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Batthyány Lajosné Zichy Antónia (1816-1888)

Antónia Zichy was the wife of Lajos Batthyány, the Prime Minister of 1848-49 with tragic fate. The couple married in 1834. Antónia (or as the people close to her called her: Tony) was interested in the politics of her husband who played a leading role in representing the opposition. As a dedicated patriot of the era, she expressed her support also in terms of formalities. A woman?s help was extremely important in a world where the political connections were primarily formed at the social gatherings ? balls, casino, theatre, receptions ? of the magnates, influential politicians. After Lajos Batthyány was sentenced to death in 1849, in order to avoid hanging, an especially humiliating death for a magnate and public figure, his wife smuggled a small dagger into the prison on her last visit with which her husband wounded himself. Because of his wounds, the court changed the verdict to execution by firing squad. Three of the couple?s five children (Emília, Ilona and Elemér) reached adulthood. After the war of independence, the fortune of her husband was confiscated, but the Countess managed to live off the Zichy fortune abroad. She returned home in 1856 and kept the memories of her husband, Hungary?s first Prime Minister alive until the end of her life.


Nyári Krisztián: Batthyány két asszonya,, 2015. október 6.

Batthyányné – gróf Zichy Antónia, Aradi Vértanúk Emléknapja,


Erzsébet Svetkovics, wife of Ferencz Batthyány (1538-1575)

Erzsébet Svetkovics was the first better-known, great female figure of the Batthyány family. She came from a family of Croatian origin, which was not unusual in the nobiliary circles of Western Hungary. Her letters provide insight into her life. Her husband was Ferenc Batthyány I (1497-1566) who played a great role in the family?s history and established the Batthyány Court in Németújvár. After the early death of Ferenc?s brother, Boldizsár Batthyány II, she took care of her nephew, Kristóf Batthyány I. Erzsébet Svetkovics had a great relationship with the nephew?s remarkable son, Boldizsár Batthyány III. As a tutelary, as a grandmother almost, she paved the way for the family?s young hope. She managed the education, money supply of the young man (although quite strictly), and gave him political advice as well. For instance, she urged the quite passive (or just uncomfortable in public life, in contrast to the battlefield) Boldizsár III to participate in the 1569 diet in Pozsony. Erzsébet Svetkovics was a strict woman, with all of the advantages and disadvantages of it. Behind the notoriously disastrous marriage of Kristóf Batthyány I and Katalin Svetkovics (sister of Erzsébet) ? in 1565 Maximilian II ordered a royal commissioner to solve the problems ? we have to notice that they probably did not have a say in the choice of partner. Besides the court in Németújvár and the influence of the guardians, the guidance of Erzsébet Svetkovics was the strong base regarding the family?s political and cultural actions.


Erika, Terbe: Batthyány Ferencné Svetkovics Katalin levelei 1538-1575,

István,Fazekas: Franz I Batthyány und seine Frau Katharina Schwetkovich. Der Aufstieg der Familie Batthyány im 16. Jahrhundert, In: Die Familie Batthyany: Ein österreichisch-ungarisches Magnatengeschlecht vom Ende des Mittelalters bis zur Gegenwart, Band 1., Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten aus dem Burgenland, Band 139., Eisenstadt, 2014. 15-38.

DORICA `{`DOROTTYA`}` ZRÍNYI (1550-1620)

Dorica [Dorottya] Zrínyi (1550-1620)

Dorica Zrínyi was the daughter of Katalin Frangepán (ca. 1525-1561) and Miklós Zrínyi (1508-1566) who defended the Castle of Szigetvár until the end of his life. Wife of Boldizsár Batthyány III, they married on 30 January 1566. Their correspondence shows that the pair was in an intimate relationship. Dorica was one of the stay-at-home aristocratic women. One of their most important tasks was to make various pastes, decoctions, and Dorica excelled at this task. She had a good relationship with Éva Lobkovicz Poppel, the wife of her son Ferenc, and it is certain that the well-known healing skills of the daughter-in-law were based on what she had learned from her mother-in-law.


Csilla, Gramantik: Zrínyi Dorica élete levelei tükrében (1550-1620), Publicationes Universitatis Miskolcinensis, Sectio Philosophica, XVIII, 1. (2014), 57-63.

A remarkable, anonymous article on the internet:
Gyógyító főúri asszonyok
Eredeti forrása:, 2009.április 28.


Éva Lobkovicz Poppel of Batthyány (1585-1640)

Éva Lobkovicz Poppel came from a family of Austrian-Czech origins. She married Ferenc Batthyány II (1573-1625) in 1607. She was an exceptionally intelligent, practical, but at the same time a temperamental woman. As most women in aristocratic families, she was engaged in healing, and that made her well known already in her era. She had a famous, well-equipped pharmacy and her great knowledge of herbs and in preparing remedies was out of the common. Éva Lobkovicz Poppel resolutely promoted Protestantism, within that the Evangelical church (while her husband was a Calvinist). The strong-willed mother refused to acknowledge that her son, Ádám Batthyány I, had converted to Catholicism (thanks to Péter Pázmány?s influence) in 1629. It shows in the letter written to her son as well.

?if your recent journey [to Vienna] was to […] deny God, change the true faith you had been introduced to and convert from true Christianity, do not write anything about it for me, because if you do that, believe me, you will have nothing more to do with God and with me […] moreover, I do not want to hear anything about you, and you will have no longer hold a place in my heart, as if I had never given birth to you. Think about it my dear son, to not exchange the eternal heavenly good for secular possessions.?

However, at the same time, Péter Pázmány asked Éva Poppel for remedy for his breathing problems, and she sent it to him. The episodes that show the human side of both groups belong to the complete picture of the age of religious polemics. The conflict became more bitter because of the differences regarding the dividing of the lands and primarily of the strongly opposed marriage of Ádám?s sister, Magdolna. With the death of Éva Lobkovicz Poppel the Batthyány family left the circle of Protestant families.


??m küttem én orvosságot”: Lobkowitz Poppel Éva levelezése, 1622-1640, összegyűjt., sajtó alá rend., a kísérő tanulmányt írta: Katalin, Kincses Budapest, 1993.

András,Koltai: Batthyány Ádám és könyvtára, A Kárpát-medence koraújkori könyvtárai IV, Budapest-Szeged, 2002.

1629 ? Családi perpatvar,, 2017. május 14.

Gyógyító főúri asszonyok,, 2009. április 28.


Auróra Formentini (1609?1653)

Auróra Katalin Formentini came from an impoverished family of Austrian-Italian origin. In 1632, she married the young and ambitious Ádám Batthyány I (1610-1659) who had recently converted to Catholicism. The couple spent most of their time in Németújvár, however Auróra loved staying in Vienna more where she had more opportunity for a brighter, more enjoyable and vibrant company. Other reasons were her mother-in-law, Éva Lobkovicz Poppel (1585-1640) and the fact that she did not speak Hungarian. According to the only surviving portrayal about her young self and to Wiltheim Jesuit, Auróra was a delightful looking, true Italian beauty with her black, curly hair. The couple received 300 vines from Tokaj from Ferdinand II as a wedding gift. They planted the vines on the Italian lands of Auróra?s family. The wine produced from those grapes was named after Auróra, as it is called furmint in Hungary, referring to her surname. Knowing this, Ádám I?s notorious love for wine is more excusable. Especially in the light of the fact that the era?s Hungarian aristocrats, noblemen but even the prelates were famous for their high wine consumption. The country barely had any famous political figure that was not accused of heavy drinking by the public. The family?s two main branches start with Auróra?s two sons, Kristóf II and Pál. After the death of this special woman, her husband?s sorrow could only be eased by the consolation of religion.


Formentini Auróra, a furmint névadója. Batthyány Örökségközpont ? Körmend.Évadoja.html

András,Koltai: Egy magyar f?rend pályafutása a császári udvarban Batthyány Ádám (Bécs 1630?1659), Korall, 2002, 9. 55-78.


Erzsébet Batthyány (1619-1674)

Éva Lobkovicz Poppel represented Protestantism, but the family had also an emblematic Catholic figure in the 17th century, namely Éva?s daughter Erzsébet Batthyány, sister of Ádám who had also converted to Catholicism. Her husband was György Erdődy III, master of the treasury. Besides their son Sándor, the couple had three daughters who became nuns. Their mother?s example certainly influenced them in choosing this way of life. She established a spital, donated to the poor and generously supported the establishment of the Dominican Order. Erzsébet Batthyány?s exemplary life was a special episode in the history of the family. The poem on her tomb in Szentmárton embodies the whole family?s spirit.

?Wanderer, stop, read and wonder! In this urn (crypt) lies Countess Erzsébet Erdődy, born Countess Batthyány, heiress of Saint Elizabeth?s name and virtues. Her heart was restless at all times, until it calmed down uniting with God, by the liberation of death. She redeemed her liberty with her generosity. Think that she was a pelican, whose breast, heart and spirit was always open to the needs of the monks, the misery of the needy and most importantly to the inspirations from God. However, do not disturb her rest! Beg for her eternal peace and leave!?


Mónika, Zsámbéky: Batthyány Erzsébet, Arcképcsarnok – Híres szombathelyi nők, Szombathely, 2012.

Zoltán, Móser: Álmodik a múlt: A domonkosok jótevője volt, Új Ember Hetilap, 2009. november 1.


Eleonóra Batthyány-Strattmann (1672-1741)

The wife of Ádám Batthyány II was the daughter of the court chancellor Theodor Athlet Heinrich Freiherr von Strattmann (1637-1693) who had an important organizational and diplomatic role in the French-Habsburg wars at the end of the 17th century. With the fideicomissum of Eleonóra?s father came the name Strattmann to the family, more precisely to the eldest member of the ?Prince? branch. Eleonóra ? or as she was called by the public in Vienna ?die schöne Lori? (?the beautiful Lori?) ? was the main character in the life of the court. The future Prince, Ferenc Rákóczi II who lived in Vienna for a longer period in the 1690s also longed for Eleonóra?s love. The beautiful and special Eleonóra?s charm had an affair with the great general, Prince Eugene of Savoy. The couple and the group of women who gathered occasionally around them became a concept in the social life of Vienna with their chocolate eating and card parties. Their common understanding of culture and art explains the relationship of the passionate art collector Eugene and Eleonóra ? who, as the guardian of her sons Lajos Ernő and Károly József, built and decorated their estates, palaces ? better than the circulating rumours, especially after the early death of Eleonóra?s husband in 1703. These kind of informal relationships are in the background, yet they may have been important factors of history, particularly in the case of a woman like Eleonóra Batthyány-Strattmann. According to a popular Hungarian anecdote of the 18th century, the intercession of Eleonóra by Charles VI saved the country?s constitutionalism in the 1720s.


Olga, Granasztói: A szépnem hazaszeretete, avagy hogyan mentette meg két nő Magyarországot 1722-ben, Korall, 60. 2015. 67-94.

Mónika, Zsámbéky: A Batthyány hercegek ősanyja, Strattmann Eleonóra: egy regényes életút vázlata, Vasi Szemle, 60 (2006), 6., 713-722.


Filippine Eszterházy (1734-1811)

Daughter of Ferenc Eszterházy VI (1683-1754) and Mária Szidónia Pálffy. In 1756, Filippine married Tódor Batthyány who was well-known for his enterprises and boat experiments. Their union was one of several marriages that strengthened the relation between the prominent families of the Catholic aristocracy in Hungary. Filippine was an equal partner of her husband. Tódor could count on her in his various enterprises, businesses, whether it was about the transport of chemical products or the difficulties concerning inheritance issues. Filippine was his partner spiritually too, according to her letters, she tried to reconcile her husband and her son Antal József Batthyány (1762-1828), but unfortunately, she did not succeed. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that a year after the death of Filippine, her husband passed away as well. Filippine Eszterházy is not a well-known or noble figure in our history like Éva Lobkovicz Poppel or Eleonóra Strattmann. Her personality is an example of those female figures who are part of history because of their quiet, discreet work.


Gert Polster: Die ältere Linie der Familiengeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert. Teil 5: Theodor Graf Batthyäny, Burgenlaendische-Heimatblaetter, 63 (2001), Heft 4, 33-54.

Polster, Gert: Die ältere Linie der Familiengeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert. Teil 6: Theodor Graf Batthyäny, Burgenlaendische-Heimatblaetter, 63 (2001), Heft 4, 55-68.


Auguszta Keglevich, wife of Antal Szapáry (1808-1879)

In the person of Auguszta Keglevich we are talking about a woman who was famous in an unusual way within the Batthyány family. Her husband was Antal Szapáry (1802-1883) and they had a son, Géza Szapáry (1828-1898) who served as the governor of Fiume. However their marriage was unhappy, and among the insiders of the political elite of the 1840s it was well known that the aging Auguszta accepts the courting of a member of the aristocratic opposition, Kázmér Batthyány (1807-1849). After their relationship became known in wider circles, her husband was understanding: he did not oppose the divorce. However annulling a marriage in the Catholic Church is not possible according to the Catholic doctrines, furthermore in the Kingdom of Hungary, as the country of the Holy Crown, the law was based on the principles of the Catholic Church. Thus, the new marriage of Auguszta Keglevich would not have been lawful in Hungary. Therefore Antal Szapáry and Auguszta Keglevich travelled to the officially Protestant Prussia in 1846 (where the husband did not have to leave Catholic faith as opposed to Transylvania) and taking advantage of the opportunity the law had granted, the couple divorced. Kázmér Batthyány was always against the Catholic Church concerning religious and social issues and he converted to Calvinism in Pest in October 1847. The couple married on 4 November. The divorce and remarriage caused a stir, since the Catholic, pro-Habsburg members of the political life had considered it as an unethical and unlawful provocation. On 20 February 1848 Archduke Stephen, the Palatine of Hungary organised a ball, but Kázmér Batthyány and his wife did not receive an invitation. The members of the opposition (for example Lajos Batthyány or László Teleki) expressed their resistance in a public place and proposed another ball, which was not realized eventually. It is difficult to tell how huge the actual impact of this episode was on the eve of the Revolution. Knowing the effects of social life on politics in the era from the example of another remarkable compatriot Antónia Zichy, wife of Lajos Batthyány, this episode may have been much more important than we would think.


Miklós, Füzes: Batthyány Kázmér, Magyar história (27), Budapest, 1990. 78-81.