Andrew Báthory

Last updated

Andrew Báthory
Cardinal-deacon of Sant'Adriano al Foro
Andreas Bathory, polsk biskop (1589-99), malad 1688-1703 - Skoklosters slott - 98170.tif
Prince-Bishop of Warmia
Predecessor Marcin Kromer
Successor Piotr Tylicki
Prince of Transylvania
Predecessor Sigismund Báthory
Born1562 or 1563
Died3 November 1599 (aged 3637)
Csíkszentdomokos, Principality of Transylvania
(now Sândominic, Romania)
St. Michael's Catholic Cathedral, Gyulafehérvár, Principality of Transylvania)
(now Alba Iulia, Romania)
House Báthory family
FatherAndrew Báthory
Mother Margit Majláth
Religion Roman Catholic

Andrew Báthory (Hungarian : Báthory András; Polish : Andrzej Batory; 1562 or 1563 – 3 November 1599) was the Cardinal-deacon of Sant'Adriano al Foro from 1584 to 1599, Prince-Bishop of Warmia from 1589 to 1599, and Prince of Transylvania in 1599. His father was a brother of Stephen Báthory, who ruled the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1575. He was the childless Stephen Báthory's favorite nephew. He went to Poland at his uncle's invitation in 1578 and studied at the Jesuit college in Pułtusk. He became canon in the Chapter of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Warmia in 1581, and provost of the Monastery of Miechów in 1583.

Hungarian language language spoken in and around Hungary

Hungarian is a Uralic language of the Ugric branch spoken in Hungary and parts of several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia and northern Slovenia.

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish-language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

SantAdriano al Foro building in Rome, Italy

Sant'Adriano al Foro was a church in Rome, formerly in the Curia Julia in the Forum Romanum and a cardinal-deaconry.


Pope Gregory XIII appointed Báthory cardinal during his visit to Rome in 1584. A year later, he was installed as coadjutor bishop of Warmia. He was in Rome again when Stephen Báthory died in 1586. Andrew was one of the candidates to succeed him in Poland and Lithuania, but Jan Zamoyski, the Chancellor of Poland, convinced him to support another candidate, Sigismund Vasa, and to demonstrate the Báthorys' claim to the crown only through nominating his minor cousin, Sigismund Báthory, Prince of Transylvania. After Sigismund Vasa was elected king in 1587, Báthory convinced his cousin's advisors to send reinforcements to Poland to fight against Maximilian of Habsburg, who also claimed the throne. Báthory became Prince-Bishop of Warmia after the death of Bishop Marcin Kromer in 1589.

Pope Gregory XIII Pope from 1572 to 1585

Pope Gregory XIII, born Ugo Boncompagni, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 13 May 1572 to his death in 1585. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this day.

Coadjutor bishop position

A coadjutor bishop is a bishop in the Catholic, Anglican, and (historically) Eastern Orthodox churches whose main role is to assist the diocesan bishop in the administration of the diocese. The coadjutor is a bishop himself, although he is also appointed as vicar general. The coadjutor bishop is, however, given authority beyond that ordinarily given to the vicar general, making him co-head of the diocese in all but ceremonial precedence. In modern times, the coadjutor automatically succeeds the diocesan bishop upon the latter's retirement, removal, or death.

Jan Zamoyski Polish magnate, statesman and military commander

Jan Sariusz Zamoyski was a Polish nobleman, magnate, and the 1st ordynat of Zamość. He served as the Royal Secretary from 1565, Deputy Chancellor from 1576, Grand Chancellor of the Crown from 1578, and Great Hetman of the Crown from 1581.

In the early 1590s, Andrew and his brother, Balthasar Báthory, came into conflict with Sigismund Báthory over the presence of Jesuits in the predominantly Protestant Transylvania. Before long, Sigismund's plan to join the Holy League of Pope Clement VIII against the Ottoman Empire gave rise to new tensions, because the brothers sharply opposed the plan. Sigismund executed Balthasar and confiscated Andrew's estates in 1594. After the Ottomans defeated the army of the Holy League in a series of battles, Sigismund decided to abdicate. He transferred Transylvania to the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph II, in 1598, but he returned a few months later.

Balthasar Báthory Transylvanian politician

Balthasar Báthory de Somlyó was a Transylvanian politician from the Báthory family, and like his brother, prince Andrew Báthory, an opponent of the Habsburgs in Transylvania.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Abdication voluntary or forced renunciation of sovereign power

Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing monarchical authority. Abdications have played various roles in the succession procedures of monarchies. While some cultures have viewed abdication as an extreme abandonment of duty, in other societies, abdication was a regular event, and helped maintain stability during political succession.

Sigismund and Andrew were reconciled, and Sigismund renounced Transylvania in favor of Andrew in March 1599. Andrew was supported by Poland and the Ottoman Empire. Rudolph II persuaded Michael the Brave, Voivode of Wallachia, to invade Transylvania. Michael defeated Andrew's troops at the Battle of Sellenberk with the assistance of Székely commoners, to whom he had promised to restore their freedom. Andrew wanted to flee to Poland, but Székely serfs captured and killed him.

Michael the Brave Romanian prince of Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia

Michael the Brave was the Prince of Wallachia, Prince of Moldavia (1600) and de facto ruler of Transylvania (1599–1600). He is considered one of Romania's greatest national heroes. Michael was seen by 19th-century nationalists as the first author of Romanian unity.

Székelys ethnic group

The Székelys, sometimes also referred to as Szeklers, are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land in Romania. A significant population descending from the Székelys of Bukovina lives in Tolna and Baranya counties in Hungary and in certain districts of Vojvodina, Serbia.

Early life

Andrew was the youngest of the four sons of András Báthory and Margit Majláth. [1] [2] His father was the marshal of the court of Isabella Jagiellon and her son, John Sigismund Zápolya. [3] Isabella and John Sigismund ruled the eastern territories of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary as vassals of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. [4] The date of Andrew's birth is uncertain, because his actual age was kept secret in the early 1580s to promote his career in the Roman Catholic Church. [5] He was most probably born in late 1562 or early 1563, according to historian Ildikó Horn. [3] His father died around that time, implying that Andrew was a posthumous son. [3]

Isabella Jagiellon 16th-century Queen Consort of Hungary

Isabella Jagiellon was the oldest child of Polish King Sigismund I the Old, the Grand Duke of Lithuania and his Italian wife Bona Sforza. In 1539, she married John Zápolya, Voivode of Transylvania and King of Hungary, becoming Queen consort of Hungary. At the time Hungary was contested between Archduke Ferdinand of Austria who wanted to add it to the Habsburg domains, local nobles who wanted to keep Hungary independent, and Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent who saw it as a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire. While Isabella's marriage lasted only a year and a half, it did produce a male heir – John Sigismund Zápolya born just two weeks before his father's death in July 1540. She spent the rest of her life embroiled in succession disputes on behalf of her son. Her husband's death sparked renewed hostilities but Sultan Suleiman established her as a regent of the eastern regions of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary on behalf of her infant son. The region developed as a semi-independent buffer state noted for its freedom of religion. Ferdinand, however, never renounced his claims to reunite Hungary and conspired with Bishop George Martinuzzi who forced Isabella to abdicate in 1551. She returned to her native Poland to live with her family. Sultan Suleiman retaliated and threatened to invade Hungary in 1555–56 forcing nobles to invite Isabella back to Transylvania. She returned in October 1556 and ruled as her son's regent until her death in September 1559.

John Sigismund Zápolya King of Hungary and Prince of Transylvania

John Sigismund Zápolya or Szapolyai was King of Hungary as John II from 1540 to 1551 and from 1556 to 1570, and the first Prince of Transylvania, from 1570 to his death. He was the only son of John I, King of Hungary, and Isabella of Poland. John I ruled parts of the Kingdom of Hungary, with the support of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman; the remaining areas were ruled by Ferdinand I, who also claimed Hungary. The two kings concluded a peace treaty in 1538 acknowledging Ferdinand's right to reunite Hungary after John I's death, but shortly after John Sigismund's birth, and on his deathbed, John I bequeathed his realm to his son. The late king's staunchest supporters elected the infant John Sigismund king, but he was not crowned with the Holy Crown of Hungary.

Eastern Hungarian Kingdom the modern name used to designate the realm of John Zápolya and his son John Sigismund Zápolya, who contested the claims of the House of Habsburg to rule the Kingdom of Hungary from 1526 to 1570

The Eastern Hungarian Kingdom is a modern term used by historians to designate the realm of John Zápolya and his son John Sigismund Zápolya, who contested the claims of the House of Habsburg to rule the Kingdom of Hungary from 1526 to 1570. The Zápolyas ruled over an eastern part of Hungary, while the Habsburg kings ruled the west. The Habsburgs tried several times to unite all Hungary under their rule, but the Ottoman Empire prevented this by supporting the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom.

Andrew's mother married János Iffjú before the end 1563. [3] Andrew and his youngest brother, Balthasar, and their sisters, Anne and Catherine, lived for years at their stepfather's estate, Érmihályfalva (now Valea lui Mihai in Romania). [6] Both his mother and her second husband were Lutherans, but Andrew remained Roman Catholic, like his father and uncles, Christopher and Stephen Báthory. [7] Christopher was Andrew's legal guardian, but his actual role in his education is uncertain. [8]

Valea lui Mihai Town in Bihor County, Romania

Valea lui Mihai is a town in Romania.

Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary

The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) is a Protestant Lutheran denomination in Hungary. In 2017, there were 214,000 baptized members.

Christopher Báthory voivode of Transylvania

Christopher Báthory was voivode of Transylvania from 1576 to 1581. He was a younger son of Stephen Báthory of Somlyó. Christopher's career began during the reign of Queen Isabella Jagiellon, who administered the eastern territories of the Kingdom of Hungary on behalf of her son, John Sigismund Zápolya, from 1556 to 1559. He was one of the commanders of John Sigismund's army in the early 1560s.

After John Sigismund died in 1571, the Diet of Transylvania elected Stephen Báthory voivode (or ruler) in 1571. [9] Stephen adopted the title of prince of Transylvania after he was elected king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania in 1575. [10] The childless king decided to take charge of his nephew's education and ordered him to come to Poland in late 1578. [11] Andrew studied at the Jesuit college in Pułtusk. [2] [11] His fellow-students were mainly young Protestant noblemen from Transylvania or Royal Hungary, but Polish, Lithuanian, German and Italian noblemen and commoners were also chosen to study together with him. [12] He could speak Latin, Italian, Polish and German by the end of his studies. [13]

Church career


Andrew's uncle, Stephen Bathory Trachten-Kabinett von Siebenburgen - Stephan Bath. Rex Pol..jpg
Andrew's uncle, Stephen Báthory

Andrew was the favorite nephew of Stephen Báthory who officially adopted him. [14] Giovanni Andrea Caligari, the papal nuncio (or ambassador) in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, urged the king to persuade Andrew to start a church career. [15] According to the Transylvanian historian, István Szamosközy, Andrew had already been fascinated by altars, churches and tombs as a child. [16] However, his Protestant mother and relatives wanted to dissuade Andrew. [16] After recovering from an almost lethal pneumonia in spring 1581, Andrew accepted their advice. [17] He was especially worried about clerical celibacy, because it prevented him from fathering legitimate children. [18] He also hoped that his uncle would promote his secular career. [18] His Jesuit tutors finally persuaded him to accept his uncle's decision. [19]

Andrew was made canon in the Chapter of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Warmia on 16 September 1581. [20] The canons and the elderly bishop, Marcin Kromer, had been opposed to Andrew's appointment, but the new papal nuncio, Alberto Bolognetti, the chancellor of Poland, Jan Zamoyski, and Stephen Báthory persuaded one of the canons to abdicate in favor of Andrew. [20] However, the canons, along with the Estates of Royal Prussia, prevented Andrew's promotion to coadjutor bishop saying that he was too young. [21] At the nuncio's initiative, Andrew was elected provost of the Monastery of Miechów in spring 1583. [2] [22]


Stephen Báthory sent Andrew to Rome to start negotiations about an alliance against the Ottoman Empire, and to secure Andrew's creation as cardinal. [22] Andrew and his retinue left Kraków for Italy on 10 September 1583. [23] He visited Charles Borromeo, archbishop of Milan, who was a highly respected prelate and regarded as a living saint for his piety in his diocese. [24] After their meeting, Borromeo wrote a spiritual instruction to him. [24] In Milan, Andrew also met Giovanni Botero who described him as an actual representative of anti-Machiavellianism. [24] A Protestant retainer of Andrew, Ferenc Forgách, converted to Catholicism in the Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto on 21 November. [25]

Andrew (whom the ambassador of Venice mentioned as the "Polish prince") entered Rome on the feast of Andrew the Apostle (30 November). [26] Five days later, Pope Gregory XIII received him and made him papal protonotary. [27] The pope, who could not persuade Stephen Báthory to join an anti-Ottoman coalition, failed to make Andrew cardinal. [28] Following his uncle's advice, Andrew announced that he was to leave Rome. [28] The pope appointed him cardinal-deacon of Sant'Adriano al Foro on 23 July 1584. [28] On this occasion, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina dedicated a motet to the Báthorys. [29] Three days later Andrew left Rome. [30]

Coadjutor bishop

Andrew returned to Poland on 20 October 1584 and settled in Miechów. [31] He rebuilt the altar in the monastery and introduced new ceremonies (including a 40-hour prayer for the king and the kingdom). [32] He was installed as coadjutor bishop at the see of the Bishopric of Warmia, Lidzbark Warmiński, in early July 1585. [33] He visited the nearby major towns, including Gdańsk and Malbork. [33]

Meanwhile, Stephen Báthory had decided to secure the Bishopric of Kraków for his nephew, but the Holy See did not appoint Andrew coadjutor bishop of the Kraków See, because he was still too young. [34] The king wanted to invade Russia and sent Andrew to Rome to convince Pope Sixtus V to support his plan. [35] Andrew left Poland on 22 March 1586. [36] Samuel Zborowski's brothers (he had been executed on Stephen Báthory's orders), wanted to capture and murder Andrew, but their plan failed because of a flood. [37] Andrew came to Rome on 24 July. [37] He informed the pope about Stephen Báthory's plan, asking financial support from the Holy See against Russia. [38]

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1582 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1582.PNG
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1582

Stephen Báthory died on 13 December 1586. [39] Andrew left Rome and hurried back to Poland. [40] He inherited the domains of Gyalu, Nagyenyed and Örményes in Transylvania (now Gilău, Aiud and Armeniș in Romania) from his uncle. [41] Stephen Báthory stipulated that Gyalu should serve the reestablishment of the Roman Catholic bishopric in Transylvania. [42]

Andrew, his brother Balthasar, and their cousin Sigismund Báthory, prince of Transylvania, were among the sixteen candidates to the throne of Poland and Lithuania. [43] Before long, Bartosz Paprocki published a pamphlet against "the kings from Hungary", accusing Stephen Báthory of suppressing the Polish nobles. [44] Jan Zamoyski initially stood by Andrew, who was also supported by the pope and the sultan. [45] Andrew's opponents pillaged the monastery of Miechów. [43] A group of noblemen warned Andrew to leave Poland in February 1587. [44]

After realising that the Báthorys had little chance to seize the throne, Zamoyski decided to support another candidate, Sigismund Vasa. [46] On Zamoyski's advice, the fourteen-year-old Sigismund Báthory was officially presented as the sole candidate from the family (which demonstrated the existence of the Báthorys' claim to the throne), but Andrew cooperated with Zamoyski on behalf of Sigismund Vasa. [47] Sigismund Vasa was elected king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania on 19 August 1587. [48] However, his opponents proclaimed Maximilian of Habsburg the ruler of the Commonwealth. [48] Maximilian laid siege to Kraków and pillaged Miechów. [49] Andrew persuaded Sigismund Báthory's advisors to send Transylvanian reinforcements to fight the invaders. [48] Andrew was chosen to receive Sigismund Vasa in Kraków. [50] He also attended the new king's coronation on 27 December 1587. [51] The Sejm (or general assembly) granted citizenship to both Andrew and Balthasar Báthory. [52]

István Jósika, István Bodoni, and other fellow-students of Andrew became important advisors of the young Sigismund Báthory in Transylvania. [53] After the Diet of Transylvania expelled the Jesuits in December 1588, [54] Pope Sixtus V excommunicated Sigismund. [55] Andrew went to Transylvania and sent letters to Rome to achieve a reconciliation, emphasizing that the Jesuits' aggressive proselytizing policy had contributed to their unpopularity in the predominantly Protestant principality. [55]

Bishop of Warmia

After Marcin Kromer died in early March 1589, Andrew became the Prince-Bishop of Warmia and a member of the Senate of Poland. [56] He supported the introduction of the teaching of philosophy and theology in the Collegium Hosianum in Braniewo, because he wanted to develop it into a university. [57] At the request of Sigismund III Vasa, Pope Sixtus made Andrew coadjutor bishop of Piotr Myszkowski, the elderly bishop of Kraków. [58] However, the Habsburgs wanted to prevent Andrew from seizing the bishopric which was situated near Royal Hungary. [59] The new papal nuncio, Annibale di Capua (who was their supporter) convinced the king to nominate Jerzy Radziwiłł to the see after Myszkowski died on 5 April 1591. [60] Capua emphasized that Andrew had not been an ordained priest. [61] Most Polish noblemen regarded the Lithuanian Radziwiłł's appointment to a Polish see unlawful, but Pope Gregory XIV confirmed the king's decision. [62]

Altar in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechow Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechow 2014 P06.JPG
Altar in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów

Sigismund III's confessor and court priest, who were Jesuits, supported Radziwiłł against Andrew. [63] Thereafter, Andrew urged the Holy See to send Franciscan friars to Transylvania instead of the Jesuits (who were supported by Sigismund Báthory). [64] He also suggested that the pope should make a Franciscan friar bishop of Transylvania, with a see in Csíksomlyó (now Șumuleu Ciuc in Romania). [42] He settled Catholic priests in four villages on his estates. [42] The Holy See authorized him to set up deaneries in Transylvania, making him the actual head of the Catholic Church in the principality. [65]

In August 1591, Maximilian of Habsburg, who still claimed Poland and Lithuania, sent his envoy to Andrew seeking Transylvanian support against Sigismund III. [66] Andrew emphasized that being under Ottoman suzerainty, Transylvania could not openly support Maximilian, but he also promised that Sigismund Báthory would not prevent the mustering of Transylvanian soldiers to fight in Poland. [66] In the same month, Sigismund Báthory's plan to enable the Jesuits to return to Transylvania gave rise to a serious family conflict, because both Andrew and Balthasar refused to support the prince at the Diet. [67] According to contemporaneous gossips, Andrew and his two brothers decided to dethrone Sigismund, replacing him with Balthasar. [68] Pope Clement VIII sent a papal nuncio, Attilio Amalteo, to Transylvania to mediate a reconciliation. [69] [70]

The Holy See also tried to reach a compromise on the Kraków bishopric, but Jan Zamoyski, who was in conflict with the king, persuaded Andrew to give up his claim in favor of Radziwiłł. [71] Andrew withheld 20,000 gulden from the royal tax of Warmia, saying that the king owed him 40,000 gulden. [71] He started negotiations with John George, Elector of Brandenburg, who promised him the hand of one of his daughters if he accepted the protection of Brandenburg over Warmia. [72] Zamoyski, who had been with Sigismund III, also persuaded Andrew to make peace with the king in May 1593. [73] Andrew renounced the see of Kraków in exchange for the Abbey of Czerwińsk nad Wisłą. [74]

The pope's new envoy, Alessandro Cumuleo, came to Transylvania to urge Sigismund Báthory to join the Holy League that the pope had set up against the Ottomans. [75] The prince was ready to join the alliance, but Andrew and Balthasar emphasized that Transylvania could not secede from the Ottoman Empire without the participation of Poland in the coalition. [76] Most of Sigismund's advisors supported their proposal, but his confessor, the Jesuit Alfonso Carillo, convinced him to continue the negotiations with the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph II. [77] Carillo prevented Andrew from taking part in the negotiations in Prague. [78] Before long, Andrew left Transylvania for Poland. [78]

Andrew's cousin, Sigismund Bathory Bathory Zsigmond 1596.jpg
Andrew's cousin, Sigismund Báthory

Sigismund Báthory's maternal uncle, Stephen Bocskai, and other commanders of the Transylvanian army, persuaded the prince to get rid of those who did not support the Holy League. [79] [80] Balthasar Báthory and his allies were captured and murdered in late August 1594. [79] [80] Sigismund also confiscated Andrew's Transylvanian estates. [81] The Diet confirmed the prince's acts, convicting Andrew and his brother, Stephen, of treason. [82]

Andrew sent letters to the Holy See, describing his cousin as an immoral tyrant. [83] He wanted to replace Sigismund with Stephen with the assistance of the pope, England and Poland, but they received no support. [84] Pope Clement VIII invited him to Rome, but he refused. [85] At the pope's request, Sigismund Báthory allowed Andrew's mother and Stephen's wife, along with their children, to move to Poland. [86] Zamoyski, who strongly opposed Sigismund Báthory's anti-Ottoman policy, supported Andrew and Stephen. [87]

Andrew exchanged letters with Aaron the Tyrant, Voivode of Moldavia, who had been captured by Sigismund Báthory because of his attempts to make peace with Poland and the Ottoman Empire. [87] The pope's special envoy, Martio Malacrida, tried to convince Andrew to accept the post of the ambassador of Poland in Rome, but Andrew again refused. [88] He said, his homeland would require his presence, because Sigismund's anti-Ottoman policy could not be continued for long. [88] Letters found on one of Stephen Báthory's retainers suggested that Andrew and his brother sent letters to the leaders of the Székely commoners who had risen up against Sigismund Báthory in February 1596. [89] Sigismund III of Poland summoned Andrew and Stephen before the Senate, but Pope Clement VIII intervened on the brothers' behalf. [90]

After the Ottomans defeated the armies of the Holy League in a series of battles in 1596, Transylvanian noblemen sent letters to Andrew, offering him the principality. [91] [92] After realizing that neither the pope nor the Polish king would support him against Sigismund Báthory, Andrew declared that he was ready to make peace with him. [93] He returned to Warmia where he was ordained subdeacon on 4 January 1597. [93] Andrew and Stephen even announced that they would not intervene in Transylvania. [94] Their envoys also started discussions with Sigismund Báthory about the compensation for their expropriated Transylvanian estates. [95]

Sigismund Báthory opened negotiations over the transfer of Transylvania to the Habsburgs, which worried both Poland and the Ottoman Empire. [96] On 20 February 1598, Andrew offered the Bishopric of Warmia and his other Church offices in Poland to Sigismund, in exchange for Transylvania. [97] However, Sigismund's envoys had already signed an agreement with Rudolph II. [96] Sigismund left Transylvania, and Rudolph's commissioners took charge of the administration of the principality on 10 April. [97] Before long, Sigismund changed his mind and returned to Transylvania with the assistance of Stephen Bocskai. [98] Sigismund sent a Jesuit as his representative to Kraków and offered Transylvania to Andrew in November. [99] Andrew accepted the offer and left Poland in disguise, without revealing the actual purpose of his travel to Transylvania. [100] He met Sigismund in Kolozsvár (now Cluj-Napoca in Romania) in the middle of February 1599. [100] Most contemporaries (including Szamosközy) believed that Andrew came to Transylvania to make peace with his cousin. [100]

Prince of Transylvania

Sigismund Báthory abdicated at the Diet in Medgyes (Mediaș, Romania) on 21 March and proposed Andrew his successor. [91] [101] After Andrew pledged that neither he nor his brother would take vengeance on those who had voted against them in 1594, the Diet elected him prince on 28 March. [102] [103] However, as Alfonso Carillo noted, the most influential noblemen remained opposed to Andrew, even if they did not dare to raise an objection openly. [102]

Andrew's head Bathory Andras 1599. oktober 31.jpg
Andrew's head

The new prince's principal supporters were the noblemen who had been forced into exile in 1594, but they were impoverished young men, without influence. [102] Instead of them, Andrew had to choose his officials from among the Roman Catholic lords: he made István Bodoni ispán (or head) of Kolozs County and Gáspár Sibrik the commander of the cavalry. [104] Andrew was even unable to get rid of his opponents. [104] For instance, Gáspár Kornis remained a member of the royal council, although he had played a preeminent role in the execution of Andrew's brother in 1594. [104]

Andrew wanted to secure his suzerainty over the rulers of Moldavia and Wallachia. [105] He initially wanted to replace Michael the Brave, Voivode of Wallachia, with his brother, Stephen, but Michael swore fealty to him on 26 June. [103] [105] Andrew's envoys signed an agreement with Ieremia Movilă, Voivode of Moldavia, about the marriage of the voivode's daughter and Andrew's half-brother, János Iffjú, on 3 July. [105] Andrew also started negotiations with the Ottoman Empire, demanding the confirmation of his hereditary rule and his suzerainty over Wallachia, and refusing the payment of the tribute for six years. [106]

After the marriage of Sigismund Báthory and Maria Christierna of Habsburg (who was a niece of Rudolph II) was declared invalid in August, Andrew proposed himself to her. [107] However, Rudolph II had not acknowledged Andrew's rule in Transylvania and sent envoys to the leaders of the "Three Nations of Transylvania". [108] He also urged Stephen Bocskai and Michael the Brave to invade Transylvania. [109] Andrew summoned Stephen Bocskai to the Diet, charging him with treason. [110] However, he did not believe the reports of Michael's preparations for an invasion and he was surprised when Michael broke into Transylvania in October. [111] [112] The Székely commoners joined the invaders, because Michael promised to restore their freedom. [113] On 28 October, Michael routed the Transylvanian army in the Battle of Sellenberk after Andrew—who had never participated in a battle—fled from the battlefield in a panic. [114] [115] The Diet of Transylvania recognized Michael as Rudolph II's representative. [116]

Andrew wanted to flee to Poland, but Székely serfs captured him on a mountain near Csíkszentdomokos (now Sândominic in Romania) on 3 November. [116] [117] He was struck to death with a shepherd's axe. [117] His head was cut off and taken to Michael the Brave, who sent it to the pope's envoy, Germanico Malaspina. [118] A Greek artist painted the head before it was sewn back on to the body at Michael's order. [118] Andrew was ceremoniously buried in St. Michael's Cathedral in Gyulafehérvár on 24 November. [118]


Related Research Articles

Sigismund Báthory Prince of Transylvania

Sigismund Báthory was Prince of Transylvania several times between 1586 and 1602, and Duke of Racibórz and Opole in Silesia in 1598. His father, Christopher Báthory, ruled Transylvania as voivode of the absent prince, Stephen Báthory. Sigismund was still a child when the Diet of Transylvania elected him voivode at his dying father's request in 1581. Initially, regency councils administered Transylvania on his behalf, but Stephen Báthory made János Ghyczy the sole regent in 1585. Sigismund adopted the title of prince after Stephen Báthory died.

Stephen Báthory King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania

Stephen Báthory was Voivode of Transylvania (1571–1576), Prince of Transylvania (1576–1586), from 1576 Queen Anna Jagiellon's husband and jure uxoris King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1576–1586).

The Middle Ages in Romania began with the withdrawal of the Mongols, the last of the migrating populations to invade the territory of modern Romania, after their attack of 1241–1242. It came to an end with the reign of Michael the Brave (1593–1601) who managed, for a short time in 1600, to rule Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania, the three principalities whose territories were to be united some three centuries later to form Romania.

Gabriel Bethlen Elected King of Hungary, Prince of Transylvania and Hungarian Protestant military leader

Gabriel Bethlen was Prince of Transylvania from 1613 to 1629 and Duke of Opole from 1622 to 1625. He was also King-elect of Hungary from 1620 to 1621, but he never took control of the whole kingdom. Bethlen, supported by the Ottomans, led his Calvinist principality against the Habsburgs and their Catholic allies.

Gabriel Báthory Prince of Transylvania

Gabriel Báthory was Prince of Transylvania from 1608 to 1613. He was the nephew of Andrew Báthory, who was prince of Transylvania in 1599. After his father died in 1601, the wealthy Stephen Báthory became his guardian and converted him from Catholicism to Calvinism. He sent Gabriel to the court of Stephen Bocskai in Kassa in Royal Hungary in early 1605. Gabriel inherited Stephen's estates, which made him one of the wealthiest noblemen in Bocskai's realm. Bocskai allegedly regarded Gabriel as his successor, but Bálint Drugeth was named as his heir in his December 1606 will.

Stephen Bocskai Prince of Transylvania

Stephen Bocskai or Bocskay was Prince of Transylvania and Hungary from 1605 to 1606. He was born to a Hungarian noble family. His father's estates were located in the eastern regions of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, which developed into the Principality of Transylvania in the 1570s. He spent his youth in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian, who was also the ruler of Royal Hungary.

The Prince of Transylvania was the head of state of the Principality of Transylvania from the last decades of the 16th century until the middle of the 18th century. John Sigismund Zápolya was the first to adopt the title in 1570, but its use only became stable from 1576.

Sigismund Rákóczi Prince of Transylvania

Sigismund Rákóczi was Prince of Transylvania from 1607 to 1608. He was the son of János Rákóczi, a lesser nobleman with estates in Upper Hungary. Sigismund began a military career as the sword-bearer of the wealthy Gábor Perényi in Sárospatak. After Perényi died in 1567, Sigismund served in the royal fortresses of Eger and Szendrő. The royal chamber mortgaged him several estates to compensate him for unpaid salaries. He received Szerencs in 1580, which enabled him to engage in the lucrative Tokaji wine trade. He took possession of the large estates of András Mágóchy's minor sons as their guardian, and the second husband of their mother Judit Alaghy, in 1587.

The Early Modern Times in Romania started after the death of Michael the Brave, who ruled in a personal union, Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia – three principalities in the lands that now form Romania – for three months, in 1600. The three principalities were subjected to the Ottoman Empire, and paid a yearly tribute to the Ottoman Sultans, but they preserved their internal autonomy. In contrast, Dobruja and the Banat were fully incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.

Moses Székely Prince of Transylvania and Hungarian noble

Moses Székely was Prince of Transylvania in 1603.

Voivode of Transylvania the highest-ranking official in Transylvania within the Kingdom of Hungary from the 12th century to the 16th century

The Voivode of Transylvania was the highest-ranking official in Transylvania within the Kingdom of Hungary from the 12th century to the 16th century. Appointed by the monarchs, the voivodes – themselves also the heads or ispáns of Fehér County – were the superiors of the ispáns of all the other counties in the province.

Farkas Kovacsóczy de Körtvélyfa was a Hungarian noble in the Principality of Transylvania, who served as Chancellor of Transylvania from Summer 1578 to 28 August 1594. His son, István later became Chancellor too.

János Petki de Ders was a Hungarian noble and poet in the Principality of Transylvania, who served as Chancellor of Transylvania from March 1607 to 31 March 1608. He was the maternal grandfather of Prince Michael I Apafi.

Sándor Kendi Romanian politician

Sándor Kendi de Szarvaskend was a Hungarian noble in the Principality of Transylvania, member of the Royal Council, who served as Governor of Transylvania for the underage voivode Sigismund Báthory from 6 March 1583 to 1 May 1585.

Stephen Báthory of Somlyó was a Hungarian nobleman, closely related to four princes of Transylvania.

Pál Márkházy, or Márkházi was a Hungarian nobleman who tried to seize the Principality of Transylvania against Sigismund Báthory in 1581.


  1. Horn 2002, pp. 16, 245.
  2. 1 2 3 Szabó 2012, p. 188.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Horn 2002, p. 16.
  4. Barta 1994, pp. 258–259.
  5. Horn 2002, pp. 16–17.
  6. Horn 2002, p. 18.
  7. Horn 2002, pp. 18–19.
  8. Horn 2002, pp. 17–18.
  9. Barta 1994, p. 260.
  10. Barta 1994, p. 261.
  11. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 24.
  12. Horn 2002, p. 29.
  13. Horn 2002, p. 33.
  14. Horn 2002, p. 39.
  15. Horn 2002, p. 27.
  16. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 26.
  17. Horn 2002, pp. 39–40, 42.
  18. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 42.
  19. Horn 2002, p. 43.
  20. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 49.
  21. Horn 2002, p. 50.
  22. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 58.
  23. Horn 2002, p. 64.
  24. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 66.
  25. Horn 2002, pp. 68–69.
  26. Horn 2002, p. 69.
  27. Horn 2002, p. 70.
  28. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 77.
  29. Granasztói 1981, p. 408.
  30. Horn 2002, p. 78.
  31. Horn 2002, pp. 80–81.
  32. Horn 2002, p. 82.
  33. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 87.
  34. Horn 2002, pp. 85–87.
  35. Horn 2002, p. 88.
  36. Horn 2002, p. 90.
  37. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 92.
  38. Horn 2002, p. 94.
  39. Granasztói 1981, p. 409.
  40. Horn 2002, pp. 96–97.
  41. Horn 2002, p. 121.
  42. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 136.
  43. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 98.
  44. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 99.
  45. Horn 2002, pp. 103–104.
  46. Horn 2002, p. 100.
  47. Horn 2002, pp. 105–106.
  48. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 110.
  49. Horn 2002, p. 120.
  50. Horn 2002, p. 117.
  51. Horn 2002, p. 118.
  52. Horn 2002, p. 119.
  53. Horn 2002, p. 126.
  54. Barta 1994, p. 293.
  55. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 133.
  56. Horn 2002, p. 140.
  57. Horn 2002, p. 145.
  58. Horn 2002, pp. 139, 148.
  59. Horn 2002, p. 139.
  60. Horn 2002, pp. 148, 150–151.
  61. Horn 2002, pp. 150–151.
  62. Horn 2002, pp. 151–152.
  63. Horn 2002, pp. 135, 150.
  64. Horn 2002, pp. 135–136.
  65. Horn 2002, pp. 136, 145.
  66. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 160.
  67. Horn 2002, p. 163.
  68. Horn 2002, p. 166.
  69. Horn 2002, p. 168.
  70. Ó hAnnracháin 2015, p. 154.
  71. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 173.
  72. Horn 2002, p. 175.
  73. Horn 2002, p. 176.
  74. Horn 2002, p. 177.
  75. Horn 2002, p. 180.
  76. Horn 2002, pp. 180–181.
  77. Horn 2002, p. 181.
  78. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 182.
  79. 1 2 Barta 1994, p. 294.
  80. 1 2 Felezeu 2009, p. 30.
  81. Horn 2002, p. 184.
  82. Horn 2002, pp. 210–211.
  83. Horn 2002, p. 185.
  84. Horn 2002, pp. 185–186.
  85. Horn 2002, p. 186.
  86. Horn 2002, p. 187.
  87. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 189.
  88. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 190.
  89. Horn 2002, pp. 191–192.
  90. Horn 2002, p. 192.
  91. 1 2 Barta 1994, p. 295.
  92. Horn 2002, p. 193.
  93. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 194.
  94. Horn 2002, p. 195.
  95. Horn 2002, p. 197.
  96. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 198.
  97. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 201.
  98. Horn 2002, p. 204.
  99. Horn 2002, p. 205.
  100. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 206.
  101. Granasztói 1981, p. 419.
  102. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 211.
  103. 1 2 Felezeu 2009, p. 80.
  104. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 212.
  105. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 216.
  106. Horn 2002, pp. 217–218.
  107. Horn 2002, p. 215.
  108. Horn 2002, p. 221.
  109. Horn 2002, p. 227.
  110. Granasztói 1981, p. 420.
  111. Horn 2002, p. 229.
  112. Felezeu 2009, p. 81.
  113. Horn 2002, p. 230.
  114. Felezeu 2009, p. 82.
  115. Horn 2002, pp. 231, 233–234.
  116. 1 2 Barta 1994, p. 296.
  117. 1 2 Horn 2002, p. 235.
  118. 1 2 3 Horn 2002, p. 236.
  119. Horn 2002, pp. 13–14, 244–245.
  120. Markó 2000, pp. 232, 282, 289.
  121. Hangay 2016, p. Appendix 5.


Andrew Báthory
Born: 1562/63 Died: 3 November 1599
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Marcin Kromer
Prince-Bishop of Warmia
Succeeded by
Piotr Tylicki
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sigismund Báthory
Prince of Transylvania
Title next held by
Sigismund Báthory