His father, Nyáry Lőrinc of Bedegh must be mentioned among the brave warriors of the Valiant Order. (Note, I use the Eastern name order for Hungarian names.) Nyáry Lőrinc (about 1517-1558/59) was a captain of a castle, and Chief Comes of Hont County, the lord of Berencsváralja and Korlátkő castles, as well as official Guard of the Hungarian Holy Crown. Here is more about Berencsváralja castle:
Lord Nyáry was one of the leaders of the delegation that carried the Holy Crown of Hungary when Queen Isabella, the widow of King Szapolyai ceded this treasure to King Habsburg Ferdinand. Ferdinand appointed Nyáry as one of the Guardians of the Holy Crown. He was also appointed as captain of the strategically very important Szolnok Castle in 1547. During the victorious Ottoman campaign in 1552, the enemy besieged it. While the foreign mercenaries fled at night, Nyáry and his handful men defended the walls to the end. He was taken as a prisoner to Istanbul where he was shut in the Yedikule. A renegade Hungarian, a man called Huszár Imre of Regéc helped him to escape from there. Upon returning home, Nyáry gifted him several villages out of his gratitude.
Nyáry Pál was born in the first years of the 1550s. Like many children of other high-ranking noblemen, he was brought up in the Royal Court in Vienna. Pál took part in the sieges of the 15-Year-War (aka long War). He was at the unsuccessful siege of Esztergom in 1594. Assumedly, he was among the heroes who assaulted the walls, like Balassi Bálint who died there. On 1 October 1594, he was appointed as Captain of Eger castle. Pál was there at the siege of Hatvan castle in September 1596 and he must have seen how the bewildered mercenaries slaughtered the Turk garrison. Knowing, that the Sultan will assault Eger castle, Archduke Maximilian sent him to Eger. Soon, Pál arrived at Eger with the Archduke’s reinforcement but didn’t have much time left before the Turks got there.
Sultan Mehmed III arrived at Eger on 21-22 September 1596, and the siege began on the next day. The enemy tried to breach the walls and assaulted the castle many times but the defenders have repelled them each time. It happened on the 30 September, that the Christians not only beat the enemy back but chased them until their camp. Then, the besiegers tried to dig mines, and they managed to breach the walls at several places as well. A mine went off on 4 October, destroying a huge part of the outer castle’s wall. The castle’s Italian military engineer, Christophoro Stella also lost his life in the fight.
After the disaster, the defenders were still able to repel the first wave of assault but at the second, a panic broke out among the soldiers. It was caused by an accidental explosion of a gun-powder barrel, they thought it was another mine. Pushing and tramping each other, the defenders were fleeing into the inner castle. In fact, Captain Nyáry was among the first of the runners who rode back into the inner fort through the Setét-Gate. The fall of the outer castle has doomed the inner-fort.
Yet, the defenders carried on the fight, beating back the renewed assaults one after another. However, they could not stop the enemy from digging new mines. One of them went off on 8 October, causing great destruction. The Walloon and German mercenaries began to lose heart, they were talking about surrender. Captain Nyáry Pál and his officers, Terska and Kinski, at first tried to calm them down with words. When they could achieve nothing, they began to threaten the rebels. It was also in vain, the rebels started talks with the Turks, without involving their officers on 11 October. finally, they negotiated their terms, namely to leave the castle unharmed. The Ottomans marched in on 13 October. They promptly slaughtered all the Walloon and German mercenaries but they let the Hungarians go away. However, they captured their officers so Nyáry became a prisoner of war.
Nyáry pál was lucky enough to free himself from the captivity a few days later, during the Battle of Mezőkeresztes on 26 October. When the Christians began to loot the Turk camp, he escaped from the tent of the Grand Vizier. Upon his return to the king’s army, he was arrested for the surrender of Eger. Fortunately, he could prove his innocence and instead of receiving a punishment, he was awarded for his heroism.
Grand Vizier Szaturdzsi Mehmed decided to occupy Várad (Oradea) castle and the Partium Region in 1598. The Partium was a historical and geographical region in the Kingdom of Hungary during the early modern and modern periods. It consisted of the eastern and northern parts of Hungary proper. Archduke Maximilian (aka Miksa) sent reinforcing troops there, under the command of General Melchior Redern, Colonel Nyáry Pál, and Giovanni Marco Isolano so as to aid Várad castle.
Király György was the captain of Várad who ordered Nyáry to defend the Királyfi Bastion. Nyáry made a perfect job there. The siege began on 29 September 1598, the enemy attacked mainly the Királyfi, the Csonka, and Föld Bastions. Led by Nyáry, the defenders always repelled the assaults. Even General Redern accepted his outstanding deeds in his report to the king. Captain Király received a lethal wound on 17 October so Nyáry took over the command. The Ottomans were trying to explode mines, sending assaults, they were always beaten back. Finally, Grand Vizier Szaturdzsi Mehmed quit the siege and left Várad on 3 November.
Emperor Rudolf appointed Nyáry as the captain of Várad. Nyáry retook Sarkad castle in the next year, slaughtering many soldiers of the enemy there. When his first wife, Török Zsuzsanna died, he married Várday Kata of Kisvárda in 1600. Because of her, he took to the Calvinist faith. Lady Török Zsuzsa had brought him into the marriage the castles of Pápa, Gesztes, and Diósgyőr, including the villages around them. Her second wife gave him Kisvárda castle. We must remark, that Nyáry’s daughter, Krisztina inherited all these lands that finally ended up in Palatine Esterházy Miklós’ hands who married her.
In spite of supporting the Imperials, Nyáry Pál took the side of Prince Bocskai István of Transylvania in 1604. He was among the diplomats who signed the Treaty of Vienna on behalf of the prince in 1606. He became the Chief Seneschal of Bocskai. Nyáry was a good friend of Báthory István, Judge of the Country, and Nyáry became the guardian of Báthory Anna n 1605. However, Lord Nyáry passed away at the end of 1607, leaving behind four sons and two daughters. His son, István became a soldier and suffered Turk captivity just like his father and grandfather. Nyáry Krisztina became the wife of the wealthy Thurzó Imre, their wedding was celebrated by the famous preacher, the Protestant Alvinci Péter. After Thurzó’s death, she remarried to Esterházy Miklós and their wedding was conducted by the famous Cardinal Pázmány Péter, the antagonist of Alvinci. She became the mother of the princely line of the Esterházy family. We have her diary that is a valuable source for us.
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