On 6 June 1446, Hunyadi became Governor of Hungary
On June 5, 1446, the noble estates of Hungary elected Hunyadi János, the Transylvanian voivode, and captain-general, the most talented commander in the war against the Turks, as governor of the country. The first governor in Hungarian history was Hunyadi János, the father of the future King Matthias Corvinus. In Hungarian legal history, this institution was established in 1446. The governor’s task is to rule the country in place of the king, for example, if there is no legitimate king or if the king is still a minor. The office was thus equivalent to the title of the regent. Its Latin name is ‘gubernator’.
On November 10, 1444, near Várna, Hunyadi’s crusading armies suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of Sultan Murad II (r. 1421-1451), and the king of the country, Ulászló I (r. 1440-1444), was also killed in the battle. (Please, note that I always use the Oriental name order for Hungarians where family names come first.) You can read more about the outcome of this battle on my page:
After the return of the defeated army in February 1445, the Diet of Rákos Field (near Pest) was at a loss as to whom to give the supreme power to after the death of Ulászló who had no heir. The next king was supposed to be the child of King Habsburg Albert who used to be the only righteous Habsburg king of the Hungarians. However, after his death, Emperor Frederick III (r. 1440-1493) refused to let the late King Albert’s son, László, return from Vienna. In the end, the noble estates appointed seven captain-generals to head the country. The most powerful of these, Hunyadi, the hero of the anti-Turk struggle, who held the office of Voivode of Transylvania, was then able to advance to the position of governor at the next Diet of Rákos, representing László who was still in Frederick’s captivity.
In 1450, Hunyadi and Frederick sat down again in Pozsony (Pressburg, Bratislava) to discuss the fate of László, but the emperor again refused to return the heir to the throne, and Ulrik Cillei accused him of trying to seize the supreme power for himself. After long negotiations, Albert’s son returned home in 1452 – without the Holy Crown – and Hunyadi abdicated a year later, in 1453, in favor of the king, who had just turned 14.
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