Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699

1571, the last stand of Captain Thury György

Thury György is in the middle
Thury György made his heroic last stand on 2 April 1571. How did it happen?

Thury was one of the greatest Hungarian borderland-warriors, a hussar officer, and captain, allegedly the winner of 600 recorded duels. You can learn many details of his life from the song below.


 

He was snared in a trap by a Turk raiding party near Kanizsa Castle at Orosztony in Zala County, Hungary. He had been made to believe by Ali, the Bey of Szigetvár Castle that his Ottoman enemy wanted to get converted back to the Christian faith, that’s why he set out with a too-small unit of 150 men and finally, it has been his end:


 

„…He found a numerous Turk raiding party between Rajk and Kiskomárom who were hiding in the forest. Thury’s soldiers have arrived in the meantime and a fierce fight began to develop. Many of the enemies have fallen when the Turk officer of Szigetvár Castle, Malchus, ambushed them from a hidden place with more than 600 men. The battle took place in a narrow valley between two hills where the spring flood of the Sár Stream made the soil very damp. Here, the horse of the Chief Captain collapsed in a muddy and slippery place. Was it a lance-thrust or a musket ball? Or just slipped?” (…)
the death of Thury György (19th-century painting)
“Thury jumped to his feet and was valiantly defending himself while he managed to grab a foreign horse that had run to him. He grabbed its reins and tried to jump on it. He failed in trying so and fell back to the ground. He was told to surrender. Hearing it, he threw away his helmet, indicating that he would not be captured alive. He was striking with his sword for a while but he was surrounded by the enemy. Finally, his men abandoned him and he remained on the ground because of an enormous saber cut on his head.”
(Source: Takáts Sándor)

According to other sources, one of his faithful soldiers was also slain while trying to cut him out.
His head was taken to Istanbul where it was buried with military respect to the “Hungarian El Cid”. His body was buried by Lord Zrínyi György and the whole country has mourned him.
Let us pay honor to him, too.
Here is more about Kanizsa Castle:
Also, here is a modern song by the Hungarian Canisha Band about Lord Thury György:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJatBVo5_Rk

I tried to translate the lyrics into English, here you are:

„I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Hungary,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

He was born in 1519, in Hont County,
he was from Középtúr, a son of a noble family…

His valiance was recognized early,
in Ipolyság, in Ság-vidék, in 1544,
he became a hussar chief-lad (petty officer).

His star rose high by 1558, became
Léva castle`s captain, Chief Comes of Vas County…

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Palota,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Palota,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

He stood his ground on knightly tournaments,
on the coronation of King Miksa (Maximilian),
the Lion of Dunántúl (Trans Danubian Region)
went on raids against the Turks…

He held Palota castle in 1566
to the shame of Pasha Arslan,
his 500 fighting off 8,000…

Turk army surrounded it,
but they failed in taking it,

They tried to starve them out,
scourging them…
but Salm didn`t come to relieve the siege…

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Palota,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Palota,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

In 1567, chief commander of Kanizsa,
Chief captain of Dunántúl,
a Turk-flaying, famous tough warrior,

In 1571, he with his good 150 lads,
at Orosztorony he was trapped,
beheaded and excised…

His head was taken to Istanbul,
Sultan looked at it, was touched,
he took his grey beard in his hand,
had him buried in his court.

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Kanizsa,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Palota,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

Those whom he had been bringing up since their childhood,
carrying them through many good fortunes,
having turned in many things with them,
giving them a good name and reputation,

These have been weeping loudly,
not ceasing to mourn him day and night,
and they have all gone into hiding,
because the crown of their head had fallen…

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Palota,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…

I am telling you of György Thury,
he is the champion of Kanizsa,
he has never been defeated in a duel,
he is a fearsome Turk-beater…” 

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