Batthyány Ádám (1610-1659)

Batthyány Ádám
Batthyány Ádám, the son of Batthyány Ferenc and Lobkowitz Poppel Éva, was born in the castle of Németújvár on February 14th, 1610.
His sister Erzsébet later became famous for her donations to the Dominicans of Szombathely. Ádám was raised in the Calvinist faith by his father (until 1625) and later in the Evangelical faith by his mother. In Sárvár, under Nádasdy Pá, he prepared himself for life in court. He became involved in property disputes with his mother and was declared of age early, so he took over more and more manors and castles from his mother, who retired to Dobra, where she became famous for her medical practice.
Lobkowitz Poppel Éva

In 1629, despite his mother’s opposition, Ádám Batthyány converted to Catholicism under the influence of Pázmány Péter. He accompanied the imperial court to Regensburg but also visited other German cities. He kept a diary of his travels. Ferdinand II appointed him chamberlain and in 1630 he received the title of count. He lived for years at the court in Vienna, where he fell in love with Aurora Formentini, a member of an Austrian noble family. Although his mother did not consent to the marriage, Batthyány married Aurora in 1632.

Cardinal Pázmány Péter 1570-1637
In 1633, after the death of his former mentor, Nádasdy Pál, he was appointed to the position of district captain of Transdanubia and head of the Borderland region opposite the Turkish-occupied Kanizsa Castle, with the title of councilor. From Németújvár (Güssing) he was in charge of the defense of the Transdanubian region and was in regular correspondence with his subordinate officers. In the harsh winter of 1641, he led a raid to Igal with several units from the Transdanubian castles and landlords, and they returned home with rich booty.
Németújvár castle
Photo: Kocsis Kadosa
In the 1650s he led several successful raids. In the second half of October 1654, together with Esterházy Pál, they raided the area around Fehérvár. This almost cost Batthyány his life, but he was not wounded, he suffered a stroke. He recovered, but probably because of this, he did not personally take part in any further military actions. In October 1656 his soldiers were successful under Buda, and in January of the following year, they attacked Somogy. In April, with the help of a renegade named Kösze Gyurkó, they won a fine victory over the Turks of Zsámbék, Vál, and Buda near Tata.
The fortified palace at Zsámbék
In 1640, King Ferdinand III appointed him chief table master. In 1644 he was the commander of the Hungarian army of nobility during the attack of Prince Rákóczi I György of Transylvania. He also kept a record of this.
Batthyány Ádám

He modernized his estates and expelled the Protestant clergy from his manors. Between 1640 and 1648 he built a Franciscan monastery in Németújvár. He bought the manor of Borostyánkő so that the western part of Vas County belonged almost in one block to the Batthyány estate. He kept regular accounts for his employees and subordinates of the manor and the court and kept exact records of everything.

Borostyánkő castle (Bernstein) Photo: Ádám Attila
This resulted in the creation of one of the largest family archives of 17th-century Hungary, which is still an inexhaustible source for researchers of the period. He was a famous book collector, and his shelves contained not only books on theology and prayer but also technical and historical works, mainly in Hungarian and German, the only two languages he spoke. He had difficulty reading Latin. That’s why he had so many Hungarian volumes.
Borostyánkő castle Photo: Szöllösi Gábor
He also sponsored the publication of books, including a funeral oration for his wife in 1654. He did a lot of building work in his castles, especially in Németújvár, Rohonc, Szalónak and Körmend. After the death of Aurora Formentini, he remarried and wed Katharina Wittmann. His children from his first marriage were Kristóf, Pál, Eleonóra, Anna and Borbála. In an unprecedented move for the time, Batthyány managed to inherit the title of Governor General of the Transdanubian District and Chief Captain of the Borderland opposite Kanizsa to his elder and younger sons during his lifetime in case of the Emperor’s death. Batthyány Ádám died on March 15, 1659. He was buried in the Franciscan church in Németújvár by the Bishop of Győr, Széchényi György.
Batthyány Ádám
Source: Szibler Gábor

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