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Catalog: BATHORI GABRIEL 1608-1613

BATHORI GABOR 1608-1613

Gabriel Bathori, (1589–1613) son of Bathori Stephan, and nephew of Erzsebet Bathory, was the Prince of Transylvania from 1608 to 1613.

He had fled the country in 1594, observed the developments in Transylvania from his gloomy castle at Ecsed, in Szatmár County. When Bocskai died, Gabriel Bathori wrote on 2 January, 1607, to Pasha Murad, the new Grand Vizier, asking him to persuade the sultan to entrust him with the ‘voivodeship’ of Transylvania.

He did not received any reply from the grand vizier, or at least there is no record of any, whereas all Hungary was aware of the sultan’s message to the other candidate for the throne of Transylvania, Balint Homonnai: “‘I consider you worthy to fill King Stephen’s place, from the day of his death, as King of Transylvania and Hungary.”

As the nobility considered the free election of a prince to be one of their basic rights, the candidacy of Homonnai prompted widespread outrage. The opposition was organized by Rakoczi Sigismund, whose appointment as governor dated back to the election of Bocskai Stephan, and he became also a candidate for the succession. Rakoczi quickly became the preferred candidate of Transylvania’s nobility, and when the diet met at Kolozsvar/Cluj Napoca in January 1607, it merely confirmed Rakoczi in his post as governor and declared that a new ruler would be elected after the late prince’s burial. In the end the diet did not waited for the funeral, and elected Rakoczi prince on 9 February, 1607.

Although the election prompted great uproar outside Transylvania, it did not lead to tangible reprisals. Rakoczi was prepared to make major concessions to forestall any reprisals, and in the letter informing Pasha Muradon his election, he offered to reverse the greatest loss suffered by the Turks in the Fifteen Years’ War: if the Porte suspended its support for Homonnai Balint, he would return Lippa and Jenő.

Pasha Murad rejected the offer of Lippa and Jenő, saying that “all we expect of you is to be loyal to the mighty emperor”. In April 1607, Bathori Gabor proposed his own candidacy to Archduke Matthias, and he undertook to preserve Roman Catholicism in Transylvania, and even held out the promise of his own conversion.

In the spring of 1607, the hajdu’s (haiduc’s) were still restless, for no measures had been taken to secure their liberties and settlement, and their movement began to unfold in April 1607. In February 5, 1608, Bathori Gabriel signed a letter of alliance with them, where the hajdu captains Nagy Andras and Elek Janos committed themselves to support Gabor Bathori’s effort to seize control of the principality.

Their conditions were that Bathori to support Calvinism and to look after the settlement of the hajdus in the district around Varad/Oradea, Ecsed, and Kallo, thus mainly beyond the confines of Transylvania. Also Bathori would have to make Nagy Andras general of all the hajdus as well as his own second-in-command, and to appoint the preacher Mate Foktui councillor and to grant him a livelihood. Only a month later, on March 7 Bathori was elected ruling prince of Transylvania.

Coins minted:
1608 –
taler; 1/2 taler; 3 groschen
1609 – gold of 10 ducats; ducat; 1/4 ducat, klippe of 1 1/2 talers; taler; 1/2 taler; 3 groschen, klippe of 3 groschen
1610 – gold of 4 ducats; gold of 2 ducats; ducat; 1/4 ducat; 3 groschen, groschen
1611 – gold of 10 ducats; ducat; taler; 1/2 taler; 3 groschen; klippe of 3 groschen; groschen, denar; copper groschen
1612 – gold of 10 ducats; gold of 8 ducats; gold of 2 ducats; ducat; 1/2 ducat; 1/4 ducat; taler; 3 groschen; groschen; denar; copper groschen
1613 – gold of 10 ducats; gold of 6 ducats; ducat; 1/2 ducat; 1/4 ducat; taler; 3 groschen, groschen, denar


Bathory family coat of arms.


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