| People who where instrumental in the hungarian history
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Prince Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann (1870-1931)

?I love my profession, the patients taught me to love God more and more, and I love God in the patients, and the patients help me more than I help them! (…) I can give them so much love, as love is what the poor patients yearn for. I pray to God that I can help many people for His glory. Thus I can console them, and open their heart to You!?

László Batthyány-Strattmann came from the ?Count? branch and within that the Pinkafő subbranch of the family. The man who wrote these words in his diary in 1926 grew up in the shadow of personal traumas and tragedies. He was the child of József György Batthyány II (1836-1897) and Ludovika Batthyány (1843?1882). Many of Ludovika?s children died young, and the father who became estranged from his wife had several relationships outside his marriage. In 1879 Ludovika was informed by the newspaper that his husband (already as a Lutheran) married the lady?s companion of his mother, the much older Antónia Kornis. Shortly after the event, Ludovika died, at the age of 38. In his teenage years, László attended a Jesuit gymnasium in Kalksburg, near Vienna. He was a problematic student, the concoctions he prepared for his fellow students that made them sick before the exams already revealed his medical inclination. In 1885, he studied in Kalocsa, but as he was expelled from the school due to his impertinence, he had to take his final exams at Ungvár. He attended the University of Vienna; he applied to the Faculty of Humanities in 1893, without a clear idea. From a superficial relationship, he had a child in 1896. Presumably this was what really shook him and made him choose medical studies. He took care of the mother and the child (who became a teacher) until the end of his life. His father died in 1897, and László was present at his deathbed and they were reconciled. He obtained a degree at the University of Medicine in 1900. In 1898, he married the strongly religious Countess Maria Theresia Coreth. After the wedding, they had several children. Their first daughter, Mizike, died in 1905, when she was only 4 years old. László Batthyány turned into a devout Catholic because of the grief. Immediately after finishing his medical studies, he opened a private hospital in Köpcsény, and specialized for ocular surgery. He performed surgery on his poorer patients free, therefore the doctor?s office became increasingly popular. In 1903, the patients had already a special train that carried them to the doctor. Until the end of his life, he performed around 30 thousand ocular surgeries. In 1915, with royal approval, he inherited the title of ?Prince?, and both the Strattmann fideicommissum and name after the death of Ödön Batthyány-Strattmann (1826-1914), the son of Gusztáv Batthyány. Together with his wife and his son, Ödön, he joined the Third Order Secular of St. Francis in 1916. He aimed to mitigate the hardships of the First World War with his devoted work, for which he was awarded with the Red Cross Decoration First Class badge. He left Köpcsény after the Treaty of Trianon had annexed it to Austria, and opened the new hospital at the family?s traditional home in Körmend. Pope Saint John Paul II beatified the Prince who took care of the patients? spiritual health as well in 2003. He changed the motto in the family?s crest. The simple sentence represents perfectly his personality that changed the fate of the family. ?Fidelitate et caritate? meaning: with fidelity and love. All the living members of the Batthyány family today are the descendants of his 12 children.


Gábor, Tillai: Dr. Batthyány-Strattmann László, 1-7., Hetedhéthatár, 2004, január 9.

Dr. Batthyány-Strattmann László – 1-7.

Boldog Batthyány-Strattmann László, Magyar Kurír, 2018, január 22.ászló-20150122

Mária, Puskely: Batthyány hercegorvos, Ősök, elődök, kortársak, utódok körében, Szombathely. 2014



Prime Minister Lajos Batthyány (1807-1849)

Count Lajos Batthyány is the best-known member of the Batthyány family. It is interesting that he was not from the family?s more distinguished part that had the prince title and also the more significant members, but from the part that started with Ádám Batthyány I?s (1610-1659) second son, Pál (1639-1674), and is called the ?Count? (or younger) branch. Within the younger branch, he was from the subbranch of Zsigmond. His parents were József Sándor Batthyány (17771812) and Borbála Skerlech (1779-1834), descendant of the Skerlecz family of Lomnic. His father died when Lajos was only five, and conflicts characterised the relationship with his mother, the frivol widow. Lajos Batthyány was an intelligent, but defiant and ornery young man. He attended the Law Academy in Zagreb and had a short-lived military career. After the litigation with his mother, he started to manage his lands at the age of 24. He married Antónia Zichy (1816-1888) in 1834. Antonia supported her husband?s politics with her public appearances and gave birth to their three children. Lajos Batthyány became more involved in politics after the 1839-40 diet. As the descendant of an aristocratic family loyal to the throne throughout its history, he represented the opposition.

While Széchenyi became an outstanding figure of the Hungarian political scene because of his moral authority and Kossuth thanks to his rhetorical skills and publicism, Lajos Batthyány could have the leading role in the opposition due to his appearances? impressive superiority, the special prominence surrounding his unreachable personality. Of course, the fact that he was of aristocratic descent mattered a lot, but he was not as wealthy or of noble origin as Kázmér Batthyány. He became Hungary?s first Prime Minister on 17 March 1848. He resigned on 2 October, when it became clear that an open armed conflict began between the monarchy and the government. Although during the 1840s he opposed the governmental policy, after he was captured in Pest in January 1849, he emphasised the legitimacy of his actions and his loyalty to the dynasty. Many factors led to his death sentence, but him joining the militia as a retired imperial, royal officer; failing to reach an agreement with the Austrian administration that was already in state of war in Italy; money emission that was originally the right of the monarch; military recruitment without permission and his alleged role in the Vienna Uprising in October were the main reasons (the last one was especially grave as Latour, the Imperial Minister of War was lynched during the uprising, however it was not a verified charge). It is important to understand that Lajos Batthyány did not intend to separate Hungary from the Habsburg Monarchy. The death sentence was carried out on 6 October 1849, in the backyard of the New Building, where today a sanctuary lamp commemorates him.



Árpád, Károlyi: Németujvári gróf Batthyány Lajos első magyar miniszterelnök főbenjáró pöre I A pör története, Budapest, 1932.

Árpád, Károlyi: Németujvári gróf Batthyány Lajos első magyar miniszterelnök főbenjáró pöre II Pöriratok és államiratok, Budapest, 1932.

András,Molnár: Batthyány Lajos gróf és ősei, Vasi Szemle, 61 (2007), 4., 387-393.

Ács 1987                    Tibor, Ács: Az ifjú Batthyány, Életünk 25., (1987), 3. 270-279.


Ferenc Batthyány I (1497-1566)

Ferenc Batthyány I is the first member in the family?s history with a more detailed biography. He married Katalin Svetkovics. He was the Croatian viceroy (ban), however, the family moved from the Croatian and the Southern Transdanubian regions to the Western border of the country during his life. He participated in suppressing the Dózsa Rebellion, a peasant revolt. He fought in the battle of Mohács, and was appointed the commander of the Hungarian army?s right wing. After the defeat at Mohács, he supported János Szapolyai for a short time, but in 1527, he pledged loyalty to King Ferdinand I, and received Rohonc and Szalónak. He obtained Németújvár – from where the family got its noble forename before the Battle of Mohács – in 1524. His biggest military achievement against the Ottoman Empire was the liberation of the Sárvár Castle in 1532. From the first half of the 16th century, his court in Németújvár became a distinguished social and cultural centre of Western Hungary. Boldizsár Batthyány, the son of Ferenc?s nephew Kristóf Batthyány, and his wife, Dorica Zrínyi grew up there as well. Ferenc was still a member of the Catholic Church, the family only joined the Reformation after him. When Miksa was crowned Hungarian king in 1563, he carried the Holy Crown of Hungary on the coronation. He died without any descendants, in contrast to his determination expressed in a letter he had sent to his wife, on the eve of the battle of Mohács. His nephew and his nephew?s son carried on Ferenc I?s public and cultural heritage.


Géza, Pálffy: A Batthyány család a törökellenes határvédelemben a XVI-XVII században, Hadtörténelmi közlemények, 122. (2009), 2. 321-356.

1526 – Egy füst alatt…,, 2014. szeptember 28.


Boldizsár Batthyány III (1537/43-1590)

Boldizsár Batthyány III is one of the most notable figures of the family?s history. His parents were Kristóf Batthyány (?-1570) and Erzsébet Svetkovics. He returned as one of the nation?s most accomplished magnates from his study trip in France and the Low Countries, speaking eight languages. His parents were Protestants, and after spending two years in France (1560-1562) where he enountered the civil wars between the Roman Catholics and the Huguenots, his commitment to Protestantism became even stronger. However, considering the stages of Reformation in Hungary at that time, it is not clear whether he was a follower of the Lutheran or the Calvinist movement. In 1566, he married Dorica Zrínyi (1550-1620), the daughter of the hero of the Siege of Szigetvár. He belonged to the closest circle of the Imperial-Royal Court in Vienna, as Emperor Miksa II wanted Boldizsár to accompany him to the imperial assembly at the time of his wedding. He was the steward at the coronation of Miksa to King of Hungary in 1563, while in 1575, when Rudolf was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague, he served as the master of stewards. He took an active part in the fights against the Ottoman Empire. The biggest triumph of his military career was at the battle at Gábornok in 1580, where Skanderbeg and three other Ottoman commanders died.

The centre of his activities was the court in Németújvár, established by his uncle and patron, Ferenc Batthyány I (1497-1566). The court functioned as a Protestant study centre as well, where Boldizsár Batthyány had a library of one thousand books, an outstanding collection for that era. The subjects of the books show interest in alchemy. Alchemy was not only the research and experimenting of scientific nature that is now covered by modern chemistry and physics, but also served as the basis for a special worldview. Boldizsár?s books suggest that he was a follower of the Paracelsian alchemy, reckoned as modern in the 16th century and popular primarily among Protestants. Boldizsár not only accumulated the knowledge gathered from the books and scientist connections, but he also experimented in his own laboratory. His interest in alchemy was related to his interest in healing arts. At that time, healing arts was also inseparable from botany, due to the great role herbs had played in it. Boldizsár was in contact with one of the period?s most remarkable scientists and botanist, the Flemish Carolus Clusius (1526-1609). He had an intense correspondence with the scientist and welcomed him in Németújvár. Thanks to him, different plants of the New World, such as potato, tomato and pepper got into the country for the first time. During his stay, the scientist wrote a book about the Transdanubian fungal species and published it in 1601. His work is one of the most important historical documents regarding our language, as the species mentioned in it include the Hungarian names as well. The fact that the Batthyány family (in comparison to the Hungarian aristocracy) owned mines on the lands in the Western part of Hungary and later in Austria may have contributed to Boldizsár?s interest in alchemy. Boldizsár had iron ore and copper mines in Vas County. He showed great interest in methods with which ore deposits or even natural resources can be found (for instance the divining rod), and also in the processes that modify, affect the nature of metals.


István Monok: A Batthyány család németújvári udvara és könyvtári műveltsége, In: Kék vér, fekete tinta. Arisztokrata könyvgyűjtemények, 1500-1700., Szerk.: István Monok, Budapest, 2005. 87-104.

Dóra, Bobory: Batthyány Boldizsár titkos tudománya – Alkímia, botanika és könyvgyűjtés a tizenhatodik századi Magyarországon, Budapest, 2018.


Ferenc Batthyány II (1573-1625)

There are women who are rather famous because of their husbands, but in the case of Ferenc Batthyány II it is just the opposite, as his wife, Éva Lobkovicz Poppel (1585-1640), is a more well-known character of our history than him. Ferenc II was the child of Boldizsár Batthyány and Dorica Zrínyi. He was raised as a Protestant and unlike his father, it is certain that he was a representative of the Calvin branch of the Reformation. His religious perception is clear, since he stood up for the Protestant interests with supporting Gábor Bethlen during his Transdanubian campaign in 1620 and continued the fight after the Peace of Nikolsburg in 1621 too. The magnate was a serious blackmail potential for Vienna, and later he managed to returne to the court of Ferdinand II only with the help of Péter Pázmány. After he participated in the peace negotiations in Zsitvatorok, he received the city of Körmend as a gift in 1606. He loved music and was a famous dancer. Before tying the knot in 1607, he courted Éva Poppel with the poems of Bálint Balassi. On his funeral twenty Hungarian, seventeen German and five Croatian preachers gave speeches, both Calvinists and Lutherans. Despite his wife also being a dedicated Protestant, their son, Ádám Batthyány I (1610-1659) led the Batthyány family into the circle of the Western Hungarian, catholic and loyal aristocracy.


Zoltán, Nagy Dr.: A Batthyányak nemzetsége Vas vármegyében ? 15 nemzedék jeles személyiségei ? 1452-1966, ?Batthyány II Ferenc hivatalból gróf és báró?, Testis temporis ? az idők tanúja 19., Körmend, 2007. 10-11.

ÁDÁM BATTHYÁNY I (1610-1659)

Ádám Batthyány I (1610-1659)

His parents were Ferenc Batthyány II and Éva Lobkovicz Poppel, and he was a defining member of the family?s history. The most important decision of his life was, when under the spiritual guidance of Péter Pázmány, he converted to Catholicism at the age of twenty. Ferdinand II gave him the title of Count in 1630, from then he served as chamberlain at the court in Vienna. He acted against the desire of his strong-willed mother not only in the question of religion: he married Aurora Formentini (1609-1653) for love in 1632. She came from an impoverished family of Italian origin. From 1633, he lived in the castle of Németújvár and was in charge of the Transdanubian region?s defence against the Ottoman army, being Captain General of Kanizsa and Transdanubia at the same time. He wrote a diary about the battles fought against György Rákóczi I, Prince of Transylvania, who tried to invade Royal Hungary in 1644. His grandfather?s, Boldizsár III?s passion for collecting books lived on in Ádám. Interestingly the books considered harmful or heretic from a Catholic perspective and left behind by Protestant preachers, warned to leave by Ádám himself, survived in his library in Németújvár. The books survived primarily because of the Franciscans who settled down on the estate. His favourite readings were the prayer books in Hungarian. He developed his estates with great energy. Ádám I granted Körmend the so-called ?Haiduk privilege? in 1650, furthermore, he ordered the reconstruction of the town?s castle between 1654 and 1657. The family?s Prince of Németújvár, or otherwise the elder branch started with his older son, Kristóf II (1632-1687). The Count of Németújvár, or the younger branch starts with his younger son, Pál (1639-1674).


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

Koltai 2012              András,Koltai: Batthyány Ádám. Egy magyar főúr és udvara a XVII század közepén, Győr, 2012.

Péter, Ötvös: A németújvári ferences kolostor könyvtára, Vigilia, 1990. 745-748.


Kristóf Batthyány II (1632/37-1687)

His parents were Ádám Batthyány I and Auróra Formentini. In his twenties, he travelled across Europe in 1657-58 (he visited Italy, Switzerland and the Holy Roman Empire). We know about the journey in detail, thanks to the diary his servant has written. Peregrination was quite typical among the magnates of the era ? just remember Boldizsár Batthyány III?s journey to France. It was a pilgrimage, an educational tour, a diplomatic mission all at once, during which the youth got to know the customs of other countries? nobility and learn them. After his return, he fought in the famous Ottoman war of 1663-64 as the Captain General of Transdanubia. From 1666, he was master of the cupbearers, as well as imperia, royal chamberlain. In 1683, Kristóf Batthyány II surrendered and joined the troops of Imre Thököly that departed for the siege of Vienna with Ottoman alliance. Kristóf II was not an exception, as along the troops? route, almost the whole of intimidated Transdanubia joined Thököly?s forces. After the liberation of the imperial city, King Leopold I welcomed him almost immediately back, however he had to renounce his position as Captain General in 1685. Kristóf also participated in the liberation of Buda in 1686 with which another major period started in the history of the country and of the Batthyány family as well. He married Mária Palocsai (1644-1686), and had a son called Ádám Batthyány II (1662-1703). The so-called ?Prince? or elder branch of the Batthyány family starts with Kristóf II.


Batthyány Kristóf európai utazása 1657-1658, Peregrinatio Hungarorum 2., Szelestei Nagy László, Szeged, 1988.

Géza, Pálffy: A Batthyány család és a dunántúli határvédelem a XVI-XVII században, In: Batthyány I Ádám és köre, Piliscsaba, (41-66)


Ádám Batthyány II (1662-1703)

Child of Kristóf Batthyány II and Mária Palocsai. Together with his father, he participated in the military operations of the Turks. In 1684 Leopold I pardoned his father and Ádám II received the position of Captain General. He became an outstanding general of the war that led to the expulsion of the Turks. He fought in the most important battles, as he was there in the siege of Buda in 1686, and played a role in recapturing Székesfehérvár and Kanizsa. The Turkish weaponry guarded in the castle of Körmend is possibly there because of Ádám II. From 1693, he was viceroy of Croatia, commander of an army of 12 thousand soldiers. He wrote a strategic work in 1690; however, it remained in manuscript format. From 1700 onwards until his death, he was both the chief justice of the country and the chief bailiff of Vas County. After the war of the Spanish succession had started, he led the troops in Italy. He died unexpectedly in Vienna in 1703; the circumstances of his death are unknown. He was in an intimate relationship with Ferenc Rákóczi, who had been in Vienna several times. Towards the end of the 1690s, the future prince became unreliable in the eye of the court, hence the friendship of Ádám II meant a lot to him. In 1698, Rákóczi stayed in Ádám?s castle in Rohonc for a long time. Ádám II married Eleonóra Strattman (1672-1741) in 1962, who had an exceptional impact on the history of the family. A curiosity is that while the beau ideal of young Rákóczi had been Eleonóra Strattmann, Ádám II courted Julianna, Rákóczi?s sister before his marriage to Eleonóra. The couple had two sons, Lajos Ernő and Károly József, and both of them had a special career.


Zoltán, Nagy Dr.: A Batthyányak nemzetsége Vas vármegyében ? 15 nemzedék jeles személyiségei ? 1452-1966, ?Batthyány II Ádám gróf?, Testis temporis ? az idők tanúja 19., Körmend, 2007. 15-16.

Géza, Pálffy: A Batthyány család és a dunántúli határvédelem a XVI-XVII században, In: Batthyány I Ádám és köre, Piliscsaba, (41-66)

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


Palatine Lajos Batthyány (1696-1765)

Lajos Ernő Batthyány was the son of Ádám Batthyány II and Eleonóra Strattmann, and brother of general Károly (1697-1772). He married Terézia Kinsky (1700-1775), member of a Czech aristocratic family in 1717, and they had four sons. He died relatively early, but was heir to an enormous fortune thanks to his father, who played an active role in the Ottoman wars and increased the family property with the goods obtained during the recapture of the country, and thanks to his mother as well, who acquired further properties. The reputation of the Batthyány family, Lajos? talent and the influence of his mother, Eleonóra Strattmann predestined him to leading national positions. Over his outstanding political career, he was chamberlain, inner counsellor, master of the cupbearers, chief bailiff of Vas County, administrator of Zala County, furthermore he became knight of the Distinguished Order of the Golden Fleece, and received the order of Saint Stephen as well. However, being palatine from 1751 until his death was the peak of his career. In almost his entire career, he supported the Habsburg monarchy, especially Empress Maria Theresa. As the chancellor of the Tabula Septemviralis (1732-1746), he played a key role in organising the episode of the 1741 Hungarian National Assembly in Bratislava that is known as the ?vitam et sanguinem? offering. Moreover, he was also an important figure of the Seven Years? War (1756-1763).

Lajos Batthyány increased his property with further purchases from the Crown, and acquiring lands primarily in the Transdanubia region through exchange contracts within the family. In 1746, he created a fideicommissum from the majority of the family lands. Together with the Strattmann fideicommissum we can talk about the Batthyány-Strattmann fideicommissum. He commissioned the construction of many buildings (predominantly in Körmend), and he was a great patron, as he supported the publication of several books. He wanted to rationalise the yield of his Transdanubian properties. However, this idea faced strong opposition especially on his lands in Kanizsa and Vas County, but also in Körmend, where his main land was. It eventually led to small-scale peasants? revolts in 1765-66. The palatine had a disagreement with the Queen as well, on the issue of the duties of serfs. Among others, the peasant uprisings on the Batthyány lands led to the publishing of the 1767 feudal regulation that wished to settle the issue nation-wide. The short article of the Pallas Encyclopedia describes Lajos Batthyány?s death as follows: ?As he was a man of loyalty and contributed towards his country?s interests in every possible aspect, the whole country respected and loved him. The unbreakable loyalty in his heart towards the throne is proved by the fact that when his loyalty was questioned, he died from sorrow.? Lajos Batthyány was the last palatine in Hungarian history who was not a member of the Habsburg dynasty. Hence, he is commonly referred to as the last ?national palatine?.


Batthyány Lajos nádor, Móricz Péter (szerk.), Körmend, 2017.

Péter, Móricz: Batthyány Lajos nádor halotti beszédeinek Vas megyei vonatkozásai, In: Savaria, A Vas Megyei Múzeumok Értesítője, 34/1, Szombathely, 2011, 321-334.

A Pallas Nagy Lexikona, II, Arafele-Békalen, ?Batthyány Lajos?, Budapest, 739.

Zoltán, Kaposi: A herceg Batthyány-Strattmann hitbizományi uradalmak területi és gazdasági változásai (1746-1945), Uradalmak térben és időben ? Baranyai történelmi közlemények 5. 2013. 109-146.

Gert Polster: Die ältere Linie der Familiengeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert. Teil 2: Die Generation am Zenit des Hauses als Grundlage für die folgende Generationen. Der Palatin Ludwig Ernst Graf Batthyány, Burgenlaendische-Heimatblaetter 62, (2000), Heft 1, 35-38.


Prince Károly József Batthyány (1697-1772)

Károly Batthyány is a neglected figure of the earlier military history, despite playing a role as important as János Hunyadi, András Hadik, or Arthur Görgey. The little brother of Palatine Lajos Batthyány, son of Ádám Batthyány II and Eleonóra Strattmann, chose a military career, following the family tradition. While his brother supported the monarchy in the heartland, Károly did the same on the battlefield. He fought in several wars; but his most important role was in the war of the Austrian Succession (1741-1748) which was critical from the dynasty?s perspective. From 1743, he served as commander-in-chief at the crucial Bavarian battlefield, where he led military operations effectively, even in difficult strategic positions. The victory at the battle of Pfaffenhofen in 1745 was decisive regarding the war. His actions fuelled the unlikely rumours, according to which the Batthyány sons, Károly and Lajos were both the children of the legendary general, Prince Eugene of Savoya, who was famously good friends with Eleonóra Strattmann. A special episode of his career was serving as majordomo for the future József II between 1749 and 1763. The most important part of his duties was the education of the young, only 8-year-old archduke, and for a while the education of his two brothers (including the future King Leopold II). The role of Károly Batthyány was uncertain in earlier historical literature, but thanks to the recent researches, it is now clear that his position was highly appreciated and important, as no Hungarian had such a remarkable position at the imperial and royal court in Vienna before or after Károly. The decisive factor in receiving the position of the crown prince?s ayo (Spanish term, meaning tutor) was his outstanding military experience.

To get a clear picture of Emperor József?s memories of his former educator, it is worth to quote the words of Antal Pezenhoffer, who provides interesting details about their relationship: ?Batthyány used the sword, but had nothing to do with books; therefore it is clear that he could not have a religiously destructive impact on his pupil. On the contrary, the problem was that the crown prince, compared to his ?enlightened? teachers, was overly uneducated, therefore, the contrast between him and his teachers increased the respect he felt towards the modern sciences and progress. The old student had a derogatory remark about Batthyány later. He stated that the only thing he had learnt from him was a harsh curse word.? Although in the libraries of his residence in Vienna and his castle in Trautmannsdorf he had more than 3000 books, Károly Batthyány was socialised primarily on the battlefield, not in an intellectual environment. Taking this into account, the criticism of József might be based on reality. However József, who relied on his talent too much (although not without reason) hardly ever had positive comments about those who had authority above him during his life and shared with him their experiences, hence he became obliged to them. At this point Pezenhoffer?s words are again worth to read: ?But Batthyány left his mark on the future emperor, and not in a wrong way. Thanks to the fact that he grew up in military simplicity and austerity, he became a strong, trained man, who could endure fatigue and hardships, and remained a soldierly, simple person during his whole life. This is not an achievement to belittle.? In 1764 he was awarded with the title of ?Prince?, officially because his work in the education of the crown prince József. The imperial tutor and master of ceremonies had an outstanding career, but in contrast, his family life was tragic. All three of his wives, in order Borbála Waldstein, Franciska Strattmann (niece of Eleonóra Strattmann) and Countess Antónia Batthyány died young, and of his children (with Franciska he had 10) not even the girls survived until adulthood. After Franciska?s death and having no sons, the palatine, Károly?s brother received the Strattmann inheritance and fideicommissum. He was already using the name Batthyány-Strattmann since 1755. By Károly?s will, the palatine?s descendants also inherited the title of ?Prince?.


Zsolt, Kökényesi: Katona vagy udvari ember? Batthyány Károly helye a bécsi udvari arisztokrácia sorában, In: Batthyány Lajos nádor, Móricz Péter (szerk.), Körmend, 2017.

Antal, Pezenhoffer: A magyar nemzet történelme, VIII 2004. 307.

Gert Polster: Die ältere Linie der Familiengeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert. Teil 2: Die Generation am Zenit des Hauses als Grundlage für die folgende Generationen. Fürst Carl Batthyány, Burgenlaendische-Heimatblaetter 62, (2000), Heft 1, 35-38.

Mátyás, Kéthelyi: Die militärischen Aktionen in Bayern von Károly József Graf Batthyány während des österreichischen Erbfolgekrieges, 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. 165-176.


Archbishop József Batthyány (1727-1799)

Second son of Lajos Batthyány and Terézia Kinsky (1700-1775), and the favourite of the palatine. He was interested in both human and natural sciences; he showed his talent in oratory quite early. After finishing his studies in canon and secular law, he decided to become a priest. In 1759, he became Transylvania?s bishop, in 1760, he was elected archbishop of Kalocsa, and from 1776 until his death, he served as the archbishop of Esztergom (however, he lived in Bratislava due to the circumstances of the period). This means that the Batthyánys filled two of the most important positions in the Hungarian public life (palatine and archbishop of Esztergom), uniquely in the century. During the time of being an archbishop, the Catholic Church had to face notable crises both abroad and in Hungary – the French Revolution, the anticlerical measures of József II, or the Martinovics Conspiracy. As a Church politician, Archbishop József represented the autonomy of both the Church and the Kingdom of Hungary at the same time, opposing the endeavours of József II. In his actions his ?clericalism?, his loyalty towards Rome chimed in with his patriotism. He was among the firsts to promote consciously the Hungarian language, and he collected national literature. In 1782, during Pope Pius VI?s historically significant visit in Vienna, he was the main mediator between the pope and the emperor.

In the Pallas Encylopedia, Henrik Marcali writes the following about the culture and art enthusiast archbishop, quoting the expressive description of Prince Albert, royal governor: ?Under the strange, not to say comical appearance there was a true mind, a sincere and elaborate spirit and since that was connected with great, natural eloquence, his words carried great weight, all the more because he knew the country thoroughly.? In another work (Magyarország története II József korában, 292.), the great historian provides a witty presentation about the man who was named the Hungarian Dionysius Areopagita, after the churchman who had disserted about angels. ?Great ancestry, outstanding virtue and special education that has always distinguished the churchmen who were also part of the public affairs, and enhanced their prestige as well. When József II came to the throne, József Batthyány, the son of Palatine Lajos Batthyány was the country?s primate and he, as the archbishop of Kalocsa, devoted all of his private income for religious purposes. An author, who also wrote about the chronique scandaleuse of the complete Catholic prelacy, cannot claim worse about him than that he was a chess enthusiast.?


Vajk, Bánhidy: Batthyány József egyházfői tevékenysége (1776-1799). (Az érseki székhely Esztergomba való visszatelepítésének gondolata), in: Esztergom Évlapjai, Esztergom, 2009. 91-98.

Gert Polster: Die ältere Linie der Familiengeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert. Teil 4: Kardinal József Graf Batthyäny, Burgenlaendische-Heimatblaetter 63, (2001) Heft 4, 11-32.

A Pallas Nagy Lexikona, II, Arafele-Békalen, ?Batthyány Lajos?, Budapest, 738.


Tódor (Tivadar) Batthyány (1729-1812)

Third son of Palatine Lajos Batthyány and Theresa Kinsky (1700-1775). In contrast to his brother, Archbishop József Batthyány, Tódor was clearly more prosaic and practical minded. The enterprises on his properties (mining, metal industry and textile industry) determined his activities. He took control of the land in Németújvár and the iron mining there already when his father was still alive. He married Filippine Eszterházy (1734-1811), who was his lifelong partner and supported him in his enterprises as well. In the eyes of posterity, his main work was his experiments to find a way for the ships to swim against the stream. However, behind his efforts, we have to recognize his aforementioned enterprises. As the result of the era?s circumstances, the agricultural products cultivated on his lands were carried to the market on waterway. The fact that Tódor showed a preference for France when trying to sell his products from mining and manufacturing makes his ambitious ideas clear. The count urged the development of the country?s infrastructure in relation to the waterway trade. He supported the regulation of the Danube and other rivers of the country in order to make their navigability optimal. In the 1770s, he assisted the construction of a navigable channel on the River Kulpa in Croatia on behalf of the court. His entrepreneurial mentality showed when he established a company in order to cover the expenses of his expensive, but eventually successful tests. The symbolic icing on the cake was the patent he got in 1793 for his innovative way of ship construction. The unique looking ships that cruised without any visible equipment and appeared at Vienna and Bratislava in the 1790s were in the focus of attention.

In his enterprises and objectives, a certain obsession characterized Tódor Batthyány. With great enthusiasm, he collected more than a thousand books on technical, technological and industrial topics. In Hungary uniquely, his book collection focused on practical knowledge. His collection made up the majority of the book donation of Gusztáv Batthyány, the grandson of Tódor. The books were moved to the future library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from Rohonc in 1838-39. Although it may seem that his enterprises occupied all of Tódor?s time, we know about his political views as well. A work written in German after József II?s death, during the time of the 1790-1791 diet, shows the Hungarian nobles in a bad light but dissolves an assumption. Tódor Batthyány was not afraid of conflicts in politics and neither in his personal life. The count had great disputes (feuds involving lands) with his brother, archbishop József too. It is unknown why exactly was he displeased with his son, Antal József Batthyány (1762-1828) nicknamed Tonerl, but he did not even mention Antal?s name in his testament. Nevertheless, he inherited his father?s lands, although burdened with heavy debt. At this point, we can talk about the disruption of the relationship between the generations. We know little about the personality of Antal József, as he spent most of his life in Milan and Vienna. The grandchildren of Tódor barely knew who their grandfather was.


Géza, Szőcs: Batthyány Tódor Album,, 2015.

Walter, Endrei: Batthyány Tódor műszaki könyvtára, Magyar Könyvszemle, 107 (1991), 141-145.

Gert Polster: Theodor Graf Batthyány (1729-1812), 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. 203-222.

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

about his work concerning ship construction and his patent:

József, Bíró: Batthyány Tódor hajóépítő és hajózási kísérletei, In: A Közlekedési Múzeum Évkönyve I 1896-1971, 1971. 239-264.

Batthyány Tódor grófnak, a Cs. és kir. Szabadalmazott Hajózási és Hajóépítő Társulat elnökének hajóépítési szabadalma (1793), Endrei Walter és Tardy Lajos kísérőtanulmányával, In: Alpárné Szála Erzsébet, Alpár Geyza, Gazda István: Hat korai magyar szabadalom (1782?1796), A Magyar Tudománytörténeti Intézet Tudományos Közleményei 97., Budapest, 25-33.


Bishop Ignác Batthyány (1741?1798)

Ignác Batthyány is an important representative of the Princes of the Church of the 18th century, who established the further development of the Hungarian civilization and culture. Ignác comes from the family?s ?Count? branch, more precisely from the Pinkafő sub branch that eventually inherited the title of ?Prince? with László Batthyány-Strattmann (1870-1931). His parents were Imre Batthyány (1707-1774) and Anna Sauer von Krosiagh zu Ankerstein (17201764). Ignác became a priest, and served as the bishop of Transylvania from 1780 to 1799, following his relative from the family?s ?Prince? branch József Batthyány, who was the bishop for a short time in 1759-60. As the bishop, Ignác engaged in several pastoral, church organiser and patronising activities that had a lasting effect. He played a role in the investigation of the heavenly events related to the Virgin Mary statue in Csíksomlyó, and he was involved in the pastoral care of the Csango people. His best-known work is the library he established at the bishop?s seat in Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia). With thousands of books, the beautiful library hall stands to this day. Several special codices, books, and manuscripts are part of the library stock, for example the Hungarian text from the 1300s, known as the ?lines of Gyulafehérvár?. The bishop was quite interested in his country?s past; he wrote significant books as a historian too. His main work was the Leges ecclesiasticae regni Hungariae (Ecclesiastical law of the Kingdom of Hungary) published in 1785, and he wrote the first scientific overview of Bishop Gerard?s life work as well.


Zsigmond, Jakó: Batthyány Ignác, a tudós és a tudományszervező, Erdélyi Múzeum, 53. (1991), 1-4. 76-99.

Edit, Madas: Sermonianum ? gyulafehérvári sorok, Magyar nyelvemlékek


Prince Gusztáv Batthyány-Strattmann (1803-1883)

Gusztáv Batthyány was the archetype of true bon vivants in the aristocracy. He was the son of Antal József Batthyány (1762-1828) and Cecília Roggendorf. He spent the majority of his childhood in Vienna and Milan, with his brother Kázmér (1807-1852) who later played a great role in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. From the 1830s on, Gusztáv spent most of his time in London and England, but occasionally he visited Hungary and lived here for longer periods until 1849. In 1838, he donated his grandfather?s, Tódor Batthyány?s library in Rohonc, with around 30 thousand books, to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Otherwise, he had never engaged in public issues. However, he had a clear political view. In his diary, Széchenyi wrote that along with Kázmér, Gusztáv disputed the political philosophy of Metternich and they participated in the press debate that unfolded within the circles of the emigrants. Although we know little about his personality, it is clear that in contrast to his brother, Gusztáv Batthyány was conservative and loyal to the court. According to a legend, he fought in the Hungarian Revolution and as punishment, he was enlisted as soldier in the imperial army, but this turned out to be false. The count primarily lived off his lands? income and his main activity was horse racing. He talked about horse racing with Széchenyi who was also a sportsman and for a while his swimming partner. Széchenyi?s remark in his diary from the 16th of July, 1848 portrays Gusztáv well: ?He applauds ?15th March?…because it amuses him greatly.? At the time, Széchenyi became more and more troubled, but this remark shows us Gusztáv?s irresponsibility, cynicism towards the radicalism of the revolution, or even the stoic wisdom he showed concerning the political changes. After the war of independence, he managed his Hungarian estates from abroad, but he also handled the issue of his brother?s confiscated estates. In England, he owned a famous racing stable, his horses won several derbies. He became a member of the prestigious Jockey Club in 1859. He inherited the title of ?Prince? after the death of Fülöp Batthyány (1781-1870). His son, Ödön Batthyány-Strattmann (1826-1914) was also a well-known sportsman, a sailing champion. After him, the blessed eye doctor inherited the title of ?Prince?.


Anna, Rákossy: Batthyány Gusztáv, a hitbizomány birtokosa 1870 és 1883 között, in: A Batthyányak évszázadaI Tudományos konferencia Körmenden 2005. október 27-29. II A Batthyány család évszázadai – Gróf Batthyány Ádámtól Batthyány-Strattmann László hercegig., Szerk.: Nagy Zoltán (szerk.), Körmend, 2006. 181-186.


Kázmér Batthyány (1807-1854)

Son of Antal József Batthyány (1762-1828) and Cecília Roggendorf, grandchild of Tódor Batthyány, and brother of Gusztáv Batthyány (1803-1883). Together with Lajos Batthyány who was a distant relative from the family?s other branch, he played a great role in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49. His mother died when the children were quite young. He spent some time in Hungary, but mostly he grew up in Vienna and Milan. Only after reaching the legal age of adulthood in the 1830s did he move to Hungary, when he and his brother divided the estates in 1837. In connection with Hungary, the quite unexperienced and, according to himself, rather an art lover Kázmér relied on Károly Nagy (1797-1868), a natural scientist who had experience in intellectual and estate issues as well. The astronomer, mathematician and member of the Hungarian Learned Society (contemporary name of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) was responsible for shaping the young count?s ideological and political views. The first public manifestation of his patronage was when Kázmér financed the publishing of Károly Nagy?s Hungarian informative books. After his brother?s, Gusztáv?s donation and having received encouragement from Károly Nagy, he offered his library in Kisbér to the Learned Society. Kázmér learned Hungarian from Nagy, although when he appeared on the political stage of Hungary on the diet of 1839-40, his Hungarian was barely understandable, according to the secret police?s report. As for Kázmér Batthyány?s political career, the commemorative speech held at the funeral of Károly Nagy was not unfounded. According to this speech the republican scientist, who also embraced ultrademocratic and communist-like doctrines, was quasi the alter ego of the count.

Although Kázmér was from the family?s wealthier and more famous part, he could not obtain such influence during his political career in the 1840s as his relative, Lajos Batthyány. He represented the aggressive opposition regarding the issues of Church politics, constitution and economy. From 1844, he was the president of the National Protective Association; however, the association had to stop its work in 1846 after it turned out that its badges were made in Vienna. In 1847, after leaving his faith, he married Augusta Keglevich (1808-1879) who had been the wife of Antal Szapáry but divorced him abroad. The social scandal induced by this event increased the disagreement with its personal nature between the two main parties of the political life, the conservatives and the liberals. During the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence, Kázmér became chief bailiff of Baranya, and from September 1848, he led the campaign on the Serbian frontline as commissary. After the dethronement, he served as foreign minister in the Szemere Government. When the war ended, he managed to leave the country. According to the remembrance of Bertalan Szemere who accompanied him, when the boat reached the frontier he asked Kázmér Batthyány what to do with the Holy Crown and his response was to break it into pieces or throw it into the Danube. He suffered from the emigration, since he started to disagree with other members of the emigration. It is known that he was interested in getting amnesty. He died almost unnoticed in Paris, in 1854.

Miklós, Füzes: Batthyány Kázmér, Magyar história (27), Budapest, 1990. 214.

János, Veliky: Batthyány Kázmér a Védegylet élén, in: Gróf Batthyány Kázmér (1807-1854) emlékezete, Baranyai történelmi közlemények 1., A Baranya Megyei Levéltár Évkönyve, Szerk. Ódor Imre ? Rozs András, Pécs, 2006. 29-38.

Orsolya, Völgyesi: Batthyány Kázmér az 1839/40-es és az 1843/44-es országgyűlésen, in: Gróf Batthyány Kázmér (1807-1854) emlékezete, Baranyai történelmi közlemények 1., A Baranya Megyei Levéltár Évkönyve, Szerk. Ódor Imre ? Rozs András, Pécs, 2006. 9-29.

József, Bakos: Nagy Károly 1797-1868 reformkori természettudós élete és munkássága, Budapest, 1994.


Prince Fülöp Batthyány-Strattmann (1781-1870)

He was the great-grandchild of Lajos Batthyány, the last national palatine, and inherited the prince title from his father II. Lajos József Batthyány (1753-1806), via his grandfather, Ádám Vencel Batthyány (1722-1787). His mother was Márta Erzsébet Pergen (1755-1815). A Jesuit father, József Fuxhoffer played the greatest role in his education. He was Vas County?s chief bailiff and the captain-general of the Vas County insurgents. He fought in the famous battle of Győr in 1809. He was a significant patron of the Hungarian culture and what is perhaps even more important; he was a great overlord who improved the lives of his tenants with adept administration and deliberate social measures. He constructed one of the most beautiful Roman Catholic churches of Transdanubia in Enying (1838-1840), provided pension, medical care and schooling. Furthermore, he carried out land reparcelling and offered various supports. However, there are barely any memorials or streets bearing the name of the ?gentle prince? who built the country with quiet work, without publicity and clichés. Only a few know about Fülöp Batthyány?s 50 thousand Forints donation ? which practically amounts to Stephen Széchenyi?s 60 thousand Forints offering ? he gave in 1826, a year after the establishment of the Hungarian Learned Society (according to Széchenyi?s diary, he encouraged Fülöp to give the donation). He gradually changed the language of his farm administration on the lands from German to Hungarian. In 1812 he donated a 14th century artefact found in the park of Körmend Castle to the Hungarian National Museum, and he also offered the National Museum the collection of László Farkas and Antal Petrédy he had bought (the collection consisted mostly of the Roman remains found during the 1819-20 excavation at Szombathely). He supported the Ludovica Academy with 12 thousand Forints. Hungary?s officer cadets training institute was established in 1808 and named after the wife of Ferenc I, King of Hungary. After the 1830 diet, he finished playing a role in the national public life. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49, the loyal prince stayed in Vienna, clearly supporting the dynasty and Franz Joseph I. The count lived practically as a hermit, he did not get married. The historical interest of recent times started to give Prince Fülöp the attention he truly deserves.


László, Benczik H.: A szelíd herceg emlékezete, Népszava, 2015. júl 4.

Endre, Domaniczky: Az elfelejtett magyar mecénás, herceg Batthyány Fülöp (1781-1870), In: A Batthyányak évszázadaI Tudományos konferencia Körmenden 2005. október 27-29. II A Batthyány család évszázadai – Gróf Batthyány Ádámtól Batthyány-Strattmann László hercegig., Nagy Zoltán (szerk.), Körmend, 2006. 163-172.

Éva, Kandicsné Kovács: Batthyány Fülöp, a mecénás főúr, In: A Batthyányak évszázadaI Tudományos konferencia Körmenden 2005. október 27-29. II A Batthyány család évszázadai – Gróf Batthyány Ádámtól Batthyány-Strattmann László hercegig., Nagy Zoltán (szerk.), Körmend, 2006. 157-162.