General Pálffy Miklós (1552-1600)
General Pálffy Miklós was a famous Hungarian hero of the 15-Year-War
The praise of Miklós Pálffy from his lethal enemy, a Turk officer from the Grand Vizier’s army at Buda Castle:
„Here, in Turkey, your Highness has a great and good reputation among all the warriors, your Highness is being praised by great respect and valiance.” (My remark: all the Ottoman-held lands, including Buda, were considered Turkey in that age.)
Pálffy was born in 1552 has gained both national and international reputation with his military and political activity.
He grew up with the sons of Emperor Maximilian (like Ferenc Nádasdy did it) and he traveled all around Europe.
Although Hungary was almost fully Protestant, he remained Catholic and his loyalty to the Habsburgs was unquestionable.
This was why his career became fast and King Rudolf made him a baron in 1581. He became a Royal Chief Chamberlain at the same time. He was appointed as Chief Comes of Pozsony (Pressburg, Bratislava) in 1590 and thus a country-baron.
He made a good marriage, he wed the daughter of the famous German Fugger family, Mary, and purchased the Castle of Vöröskő from them as well.
Together with his friend, Ferenc Nádasdy, they launched many smaller attacks against the Turks and won many victories.
Due to his success, he was appointed as Captain of Komárom in 1584 and the Captain of Érsekújvár (Nové Zámky) in 1589 which were the signs of serious appreciation.
He took part in almost all the serious moves of the 15-Year-War:
in the Battle of Fehéervár in 1593, then in the retaking of the castles of Nógrád County, as well as in the siege of Esztergom Castle in 1594 and in the attempt to relieve the besieged Győr.
Next year he was at the retaking of Esztergom whereas he had an important role when he defeated the Turk reinforcing army at Párkány (Sturovo) and he was there in the Battle of Mezőkeresztes in 1596, too.
He retook Tata Castle in 1597 and took Győr back in the following year.
King Rudolf made him a “Knight with a gold stirrup” and he was given a gold goblet from the Austrian Estates. He accepted nothing else, saying that he had been fighting for his homeland.
He was considered at that time as the second most successful general after János Hunyadi.
He was made the Chief Captain of Esztergom in 1595.
He was the only Hungarian nobleman of the age who was nationalized as an Austrian and a Moravian noble by the Austrian and the Moravian Estates. He maintained good connections with them later, too. His international reputation was due to his wife’s connections as well. His name was printed and being spread all over Europe.
He finished his life soon because of the constant warring lifestyle. He is buried in the Saint Martin Church of Pozsony (Bratislava, Pressburg).