Prince Thököly Imre (1657-1705)

Thököly Imre

A few general words

Thököly Imre was born on 25.09.1657 in Késmárk. Count Thököly was a Kuruc (anti-Habsburg rebel) general, prince of Upper Hungary between 1682 and 1685, and then of Transylvania in 1690.
Thököly’s statue in Késmárk Photo: MTI/Komka Péter
From his youth, he harbored hostile feelings toward the Habsburgs, mainly because of violations of Protestant religious practice and religious freedoms. To this day, he remains a divisive historical figure in Hungary, considered a traitor by some and a hero by others. He wanted to separate his political movement from Transylvania, which was achieved in 1682 with Turkish support. Without him, the Turks would never have been able to approach and besiege Vienna.
Thököly controlled the deep green areas
However, it was not until he lost power in 1685 that he finally broke with Vienna, and on several occasions, he initiated peace negotiations and offered the emperor armed assistance in expelling the Turks, but his terms were always rejected by the court. In 1690, his victory at the Battle of Zernyest temporarily earned him the title of Prince of Transylvania, but he was eventually forced to retreat before the imperial troops. After the Peace of Karlóca, he spent the rest of his life in exile in the Ottoman Empire. He died in 1705 in Izmit, Anatolia.
The COA of Transylvania
The early years
His great-grandfather, Sebestyén, was a horse and cattle trader and later a nobleman, while his father, István, acquired the title of count. Imre was born in the family castle of Késmárk, and since his brothers died early, he was the only son. His father had participated in the Wesselényi conspiracy, and the imperial army surrounded him in the castle of Árva, where the old count died soon after, but his 13-year-old son was saved in time. Imre went to Transylvania, where he studied at the Reformed College in Nagyenyed.
Thököly’s farewell from his father (by Székely Bertalan)

November 13, 1681: Thököly and Emperor Leopold I signed a truce

Thököly Imre’s career rose like a comet. The young, ambitious, and capable nobleman Thököly Imre, who joined the Kuruc (the name by which the exiles were increasingly referred to, the origin of the word is still disputed) in 1677, was a new star. In the fall of 1677, he joined the anti-Habsburg fugitives gathering on the borders of Transylvania.
At first, the Kuruc escapees went to war under Captain Teleki Mihály of Kővár, but his hesitations and unsuccessful actions contributed to their miscalculation. Wesselényi Pál, the nephew of the anti-Habsburg conspirator and leader of the conspiracy, also fought for the leadership, but he was not trusted by the rebels gathered on the borders of Transylvania.
Transylvania in 1662
By 1678 he was leading a rebel column with considerable success. His fame was established during this campaign of 1678 when he occupied the mining towns under the command of Teleki Mihály but on his self-led campaign. He could keep them only temporarily, and he was forced to retreat after the defeat of Barsszentkereszt on November 1.
On November 3, 1679, however, he defeated the imperial troops at Újfalu (near Szikszó), which may have led to his promotion to general in January 1680, when he was only 23 years old. By that year his troops had already raided Moravia and taken Késmárk. 
Teleki Mihály
On 8 January 1680, at the meeting of the rebel Kuruc outcasts in Szoboszló, 133 representatives of the Valiant Order, including Wesselényi Pál, unanimously elected Thököly as their leader and swore an oath of allegiance to him:
“We, the undersigned Hungarians who have taken up arms for God and our Homeland, swear by the living God […] that the great Teökölyi (sic! […] and those of us who have hitherto been of different opinions, we shall, by our firm and indissoluble agreement of yesterday, faithfully follow His Majesty as our Commander-in-Chief until the final decision of our cause.”
Emperor Leopold I
In the wake of Thököly’s victories, Emperor Leopold I called a new Diet for the first time since 1663, to which the Kuruc envoys were invited, but they refused to attend, claiming that Protestant grievances were not a priority. In 1681, Thököly also received Turkish support, and the Kuruc and Turkish armies launched joint raids in the northeast of the Kingdom of Hungary.
Thököly’s COA (Photo: GiMa38)
In the winter of 1681-82, his troops had already invaded the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, in the counties of Bereg, Ugocsa, Szabolcs, and Ung. This was authorized by the armistice agreement signed in Szoboszló on November 13, 1681. In December, peace negotiations began between the parties, in which Thököly demanded the seven northeastern counties, freedom of order and religion, the return of the property of the rebellious Kuruc troops, and Vienna’s consent to his marriage with Zrínyi Ilona. It took months for Leopold to respond and allow the marriage, but he did not respond to the other demands, he only wanted complete surrender.
Zrínyi Ilona /Jelena Zrinska (1643-1703)
Thököly married Zrínyi Ilona (Jelena Zrinska), the widow of Prince Rákóczi Ferenc I. Thus he became the stepfather of Rákóczi Ferenc II, the future prince. He often took the young Rákóczi with him on his campaigns; the boy never really loved him. Some historians have described Thököly’s character as strongly narcissistic, but it is certain that his life, full of events and twists, changed his personality.
the statue of Zrínyi Ilona and her son, Prince Rákóczi Ferenc in Munkács Castle (now in Ukraine)
In 1682, with a formal Turkish alliance behind him, Thököly again launched an attack and invaded northern Hungary up to the Vág River line. Ibrahim Pasha marched out from Buda with 30,000 troops, and Apafi from Transylvania in early August with 8,000. On the way, the Turks captured and destroyed Ónod castle. On 14 August, after the armies had joined forces, they captured Kassa / Kosice / Kaschau (at which time Thököly took the Chamber of Szepes under his jurisdiction).
Kassa (Kosice, Kaschau)
Then they took Eperjes, Lőcse, Fülek (they set it on fire) and Szendrő. On September 16, after the military successes and the end of the fighting, Ibrahim Pasha proclaimed Thököly Imre King of Hungary (in the presence of Prince Apafi of Transylvania) based on the Sultan’s Athanamé in Fülek Castle. According to the appointment, Thököly received the royal insignia from Sultan Mehmed IV in return for a tax of 40,000 talers per year.
Thököly did not want to bear the title of “King” and henceforth the Kuruc leader preferred to address himself as the Prince of Upper Hungary. You can read more about the siege of Fülek here:
Fülek in 1664
The army then marched on the mining towns, where they wreaked havoc. The normalization of the situation is indicated by the fact that by the end of the month, the Kuruc troops were already fighting the Palatine armies at the Vág River, and in October Thököly was already minting money, while Ibrahim Pasha was advancing towards Esztergom and Érsekújvár.
Thököly’s gold

On November 19, the envoys of the new prince concluded an armistice in Vienna, which strengthened the Kuruc forces in the possession of the territories up to the Garam, but the imperial guards remained in some smaller fortresses. The mining towns were returned to Vienna, but Lipót had to hand over 3,000 forints of its annual income of 50,000 forints. Thököly again took on the role of mediator between Vienna and the Porte.

Thököly’s gold (reverse side)

The fatal year 1683

On January 11, 1683, a Diet convened by Thököly began in Kassa, which was remarkably well attended (20 counties, 9 free royal cities, 3 bishops, 2 chapters, 1 monastery, 19 overlords, as well as observers from Leopold and Ibrahim Pasha), despite the prohibition of the Palatine.

Kassa, Saint Erzsébet cathedral (Photo: Nevitsky castle)

The November armistice was confirmed and it was decided to send an envoy to the Sublime Porta to fulfill Thököly’s promise to mediate. However, there was a dispute between the prince and the participants about the Athnáme (they demanded its presentation, which Thököly refused) – in the end, only 50,000 forints in taxes were voted.

Leopold’s gold

At the end of the Diet, Thököly again made a peace offer to Leopold: he wanted to be accepted in the 13 counties occupied by the Kuruc forces and to receive the title of imperial prince and the title of “Lord of the Parts of Hungary” in exchange for supporting Leopold as king in the event of war. In the event of the extinction of the male branch of his family, his lands would have reverted to the Habsburgs – this time his offer was again rejected. As a result of this, he took part in the 1683 campaign against Vienna on the Turkish side.

Sultan Mehmed IV

On April 1, the Turkish campaign against Vienna started from Drinapolis. On June 21, Thököly canceled the armistice with Vienna and then visited the camp of the Grand Vizier in Eszék, where it was agreed that the Turks would not raid the estates of those who had become loyal to the prince. As a result, the vast majority of the lords defected and supported the Turks with food and weapons.

Thököly Imre

Thököly then marched northwest along the left bank of the Danube, while his commissioners made the Trans-Danubian counties swear allegiance to him. In July, Nagyszombat and Pozsony (Pressburg, Bratislava) opened their gates to him. On August 29, Charles of Lorraine, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Army, expelled the Kuruc soldiers. On August 26, at Angern, near the Morava River, the Kuruc suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Polish troops marching towards Vienna.

King John Sobieski III of Poland

The next day, Thököly refused the Grand Vizier’s order to march on Vienna. This decision was probably motivated by several considerations: His good relations with the Polish King John Sobieski might have been a moderating influence, he did not want to leave Upper Hungary unprotected, and he reckoned that in the event of a Turkish victory, the Turks might soon withdraw from Vienna, as they had done after the ten-day sack of Buda in 1526.

Sobieski meets Leopold

On September 4, before Kara Mustafa’s disastrous defeat at Kahlenberg, he made his third peace offer to Vienna: in exchange for Bratislava and the mining towns, he offered to take 25,000 troops and turn against the Turks. Charles of Lorraine supported the offer, but the Court War Council (whose leader was a rival of the commander-in-chief) rejected it.

Charles V, Duke of Lorraine

After the defeat of the army besieging Vienna, Thököly retreated eastward, again refusing the Grand Vizier’s orders to join the army – he did not take part in the Battle of Párkány on October 9, further worsening his relations with the Turks. During his retreat, Sobieski captured important areas of northern Hungary for Leopold. Prince Thököly continued to seek a special peace with Emperor Leopold through King Sobieski, but it was refused – the monarch demanded the conquest of Thököly and his retirement to private life.

A “kuruc” cavalryman

In 1684, the Emperor proclaimed a general amnesty for the Hungarians, which was accepted by many, but not by Thököly. In response, Thököly issued a manifesto addressed to the Christian world and the Hungarians. “In defense of Christian religions and for the freedom of nations”. The manifesto pointed out the serial abuses of power and emphasized that the main goal of the Kuruc movement was to restore the rule of law and guarantee religious freedom. It referred to the old laws of the country and the coronation charters adopted by recent rulers.

15 October 1685 Thököly Imre was captured by the Pasha of Várad

As we have seen, the siege of Vienna was only possible because of Thököly’s success. Remember that Thököly did not give any troops to the Turks for the siege and even wanted to negotiate with the Habsburg leadership until the last moment, offering 25,000 troops to defend Vienna if they recognized his rule over the Highlands. When this did not happen, he watched the battle from afar.

Thököly was arrested by Pasha Ali

He probably expected the Turks to take Vienna and either retreat (as they did when they took Buda in 1526) or leave a garrison in the shattered city. In this case, it is likely that Thököly could have easily driven the Turks out and strengthened his position for the conquest of Hungary. But Sobieski and the Winged Hussars arrived…

the charge of the Polish winged Hussars

And the Habsburgs had learned their lesson: the next year the Turks might attack again, even with Thököly, and the Polish king might not always have help at his disposal… The question was, who would get their hands on Hungary: the Habsburgs or Thököly? They had no choice, they had to drive the Turks out of Hungary now or never. In doing so, they could lure the many soldiers of Thököly, who had no idea that the Turks would be driven out of the country for the Habsburgs’ benefit.

Remember that in 1664 the Habsburgs sabotaged the liberation of Hungary because Zrínyi Miklós (Nikola Zrinski) could have done it mainly by relying on the Germans and the French. It was not a dynastic interest. After the death of Zrínyi Miklós in 1664, the Wesselényi conspiracy was severely suppressed by the Habsburgs. The Habsburg Emperor seized the opportunity to deprive the richer Hungarian nobles of their wealth, regardless of their involvement in the conspiracy. No wonder so many people, including Thököly Imre, turned against the Habsburgs and rebelled against them in the following period. You can read more about this here:

The death of Zrínyi Miklós, 1664

Vienna did not fall, however, and the Sublime Porte blamed Thököly for the defeats. From then on, his power began to decline, and the imperial forces, in the course of the elimination of the Turkish occupation, slowly conquered his principality. In 1685 the Turks were driven back more and more from our country. Szolnok and Érsekújvár fell, and they suffered heavy defeats at Tát. They also liberated the fortresses of Vác, Arad, Heves and Törökszentmiklós. Read more about the Battle of Tát:

The Battle of Tát, 1685 by Bánlaky

While the main army pushed from the Highlands into the center of the Plain, General Schultz’s army in Upper Hungary was tasked with destroying Imre Thököly’s Kuruc Principality. Schultz soon counterattacked. He managed to take Késmárk and Ung, among other places, but by September the balance of power had shifted to the Imperial Army.

Emperor Leopold I

Meanwhile, on August 30, Ibrahim Sejtán Pasha of Buda visited the successfully advancing Prince Charles of Lotharingia in his camp at Nagymaros. He offered to hand over Thököly and his “traitorous companions” to King Leopold in exchange for peace. Soon Schultz was advancing relentlessly into the territory of the Thököly principality. On September 13, he took Eperjes, and on September 29, he took Tokaj and with it the Tisza River region. Thököly retreated to the castle of Regéc, but the city itself was not taken by the Imperials after 21 days of siege. Ónod, Kisvárda, Szerencs and Kálló surrendered.

Regéc castle, reconstructional drawing by Pazirik Studio

In February 1685, the Transylvanian Diet of Fogaras filed a suit against Thököly for treason, as a result of which his estates were confiscated. In May, the imperial troops besieged Ungvár for three weeks but finally retreated from the fortress without success. On September 11, Eperjes was conquered after a two-month siege.

The decline of Thököly’s power 

The principality, called Orta-Madzsar (Central Hungary) in Turkish, collapsed when the Pasha of Buda ordered the Pasha of Várad, Ali, to imprison Thököly Imre, who had gone to Várad to ask for help, on October 15, as we had mentioned it before.

Light blue: Thököly’s land

The story goes that he invited the prince to lunch, and the prince was reluctant to go, but he couldn’t say no. So after lunch, he wanted to leave quickly, but then the gatekeeper said, “No, sir, there is some black soup left,” i.e., coffee. This was the signal for the guards to burst in and arrest the “Kuruc King”.

Thököly’s bust

So the Turks dropped the unnecessary Thököly and wanted to buy peace from the emperor by serving him. By this time, however, Leopold’s goal was no longer peace but the expulsion of the Turks, and so he did not ask for the Pasha’s peace offer. Ali and Ibrahim could hardly have done the Habsburgs a greater service than putting Thököly in chains. When they heard the news, the castles of Upper Hungary surrendered one after the other and the Kuruc troops turned to the side of the Emperor.

Kuruc troops vs. Imperials

By November, 17,000 former rebels were in the service of the Habsburgs. According to a German officer, “The armed Hungarian troops are coming over to us in such large numbers that the army of Thököly’s converts, which has already grown to 12,000, is more trouble to us than if they were our enemies. Kassa, Patak, Regéc, Szádvár, and Ungvár opened their gates to the armies of Field Marshal Aeneas Caprara, who had taken over from Schultz. In the first week of November, only the castle of Munkács, held by Zrínyi Ilona, the wife of Thököly, was defended against the imperial army.

Munkács castle with the Turul Bird of the Hungarians still not removed (

When Thököly was released from prison in Belgrade on December 20 and regained his title of prince, he had nothing left to rule. He marched in a solemn ceremony to Várad, the place of his humiliation three months earlier. Then, he continued to fight in the service of the Turks with his few thousand remaining followers, and he maintained contact with Zrínyi Ilona, but he was hardly counted on. Unfortunately, he failed to get Turkish auxiliaries to relieve Munkács, and when he retired to his estate in Hunyad County to raise an army, he was expelled by the order of Teleki Mihály.

Nagyvárad castle Photo: Lánczi Imre

In February 1687, on the order of the Grand Vizier, Thököly went to Várad to ask the local pasha for help in relieving Munkács. However, the pasha was unable to help, so Thököly had to return to Gyula with his work unfinished. In July he was given the task of guarding the Pétervárad bridge, which he did during the battle of Nagyharsány on August 12. He had to flee when a military mutiny broke out in the Turkish camp in September. He returned to the Várad area in October but did not manage to reach Munkács. You can read more about the heroic defense of Munkács here:

Munkács castle

On January 24, 1688, Klobusiczky Ferenc, the vice comes of Zemplén, presented the princely insignia of Thököly to Leopold in Pozsony. In February, the imperial general Donatus Heißler defeated Thököly’s small army at Telegd and then at Várad, which fled to Belgrade. After the imperialists occupied the city on September 6, Thököly participated in the suppression of a small anti-Turkish Bulgarian uprising. In the summer of 1689, Thököly occupied Orsova and then Újpalánk with an 8,000-strong Kuruc-Romanian-Turkish army. Due to his success, Margrave Louis of Baden, at the head of the imperial army, marched against him and drove him back to Moldavia.

Count Louis of Baden, the “Türkenlouis”

Thököly, Prince of Transylvania

For a short time, in 1690, his lucky star seemed to shine again when the Sultan appointed him Prince of Transylvania, as the son of the deceased Prince Apafi Mihály was still a minor. Although Suleiman recognized the five-year-old prince in 1681, he did not renew this athnáme due to the older Apafi’s forced orientation towards Vienna.

Prince Apafi Mihály

Against him, the Transylvanian armies of Teleki Mihály and the Imperial armies of General Heißler defended Transylvania: they closed the passes and then encamped at Zernyest. Thököly, with his 15,000 Kuruc-Romanian-Turkish-Crimean Tatar army, mostly cavalry, crossed the impassable snows and attacked the rear on August 21, defeating the Transylvanian imperial forces in the Battle of Zernyest. Teleki died in the battle. Heißler was captured; in January 1692, Thököly exchanged him for Zrínyi Ilona, who had been under house arrest since January 1688, and told Leopold through her that he was ready to join the anti-Turkish struggles if he received the title of imperial duke. You can read the details of the Battle of Zernyest here:

The Battle of Zernyest

On September 22, the representatives of the three Transylvanian nations (Hungarians, Székelys, Saxons) elected Count Thököly Imre of Késmárk as the Prince of Transylvania at the Diet of Kereszténysziget. The decision ordered the return of his property and made his Kuruc soldiers “national”.

The fortified church of Kereszténysziget, (Grossau, Cristian) Source: Benő Gyula

After that, Count Louis of Baden with his sixteen cavalry regiments marched from Belgrade to Transylvania, from where he drove Thököly to Wallachia at the end of October and also blocked the road to Upper Hungary. (At the same time, Louis of Baden left Belgrade to its fate, which was occupied by the Turkish Grand Vizier on October 8). This incident was the moment when, as a result of the temporary crisis, Bethlen Miklós managed to sign the Diploma Leopoldinum with Emperor Leopold.

The Diploma Leopoldinum

The fate of Thököly proves that the new pro-Turkish orientation that emerged among the Hungarians in the second half of the 17th century, which imagined the royal part of the country as a vassal state similar to Transylvania, is not viable at all. Moreover, the Sublime Porta was not afraid to abandon its vassals if it meant a better bargaining position. The Turkish orientation proved to be a dead end.

Thököly in Turkey

Thököly’s emigration essentially began when he was arrested by the Pasha of Várad in the autumn of 1685. During his three-month imprisonment, his principality disintegrated, his soldiers defected en masse to the Emperor and took part in the anti-Turkish operations, including the liberation of Buda.
A French broadsheet about the reconquest of Buda by Henri Bonnart

After that, Thököly and his handful of followers, who spread over the territory of the Turkish Empire, played an increasingly insignificant role in the history of Hungary. The Habsburgs took control and gradually drove the Turks out of the country. The Sublime Porte was no longer able to support him, although the French were still interested in him, especially after resumed his war against the Habsburgs in 1688. However, Thököly was isolated in terms of foreign policy.

King Louis XIV of France (in 1667)
He was driven out of Hungary, and in 1688 the Habsburgs recaptured Belgrade. Thököly lived for several years in Bulgaria, mainly in Vidin. Here, in September 1688, he won a victory over an Austrian army, but it did not help him to return to his former country. At the same time, he participated in the suppression of the Bulgarian uprising, his troops took the center of the rebellion, Tsiprovac. As a result of this, Thököly doesn’t have a good reputation there. 
Thököly Imre
Even then, he almost played the role of the local policeman of the Turkish Porte. He was on the Turkish side in the battle of Szalánkemén (1691). In February 1691, the voivode of Wallachia expelled Thököly’s Kuruc troops from his land, who then retreated to the Vidin area. In October 1691 he invaded Gyula’s territory in Hungary, but after some minor raids, he was forced to leave the country. Until 1696 he took part in small military operations in the Lower Danube region as a commander of a smaller Turkish unit.
The Battle of Szalánkemén (Slankamen)
He also took part in the battle of Zenta (1697), where about 30 thousand Turks drowned in the River Tisza and the Grand Vizier Elmasz Mehmed also fell. Here Thököly pretended to be dead and managed to escape in the darkness of the night. Here is more about the Battle of Zenta:
The Battle of Zenta
In 1693 he was finally reunited with his wife, whom he exchanged for two imperial officers, Heissler and Doria. He constantly hoped to return to Hungary, and he had high hopes for the Hegyalja Uprising that broke out in the summer of 1697, in which his former officers played an important role. The Turks wanted to use the uprising to divide the Habsburg forces, but when the Sultan’s 80,000-strong army crossed the Danube at Pancsova on August 19, the Hegyalja uprising was already drowned in blood.
Thököly Imre, portrayed as the “Kuruc king”
Another turning point came in mid-January 1699 when the Habsburgs and the Ottomans signed a twenty-year peace in Karlóca. The Turks wanted the Kuruc forces to be pardoned and allowed to return home, but the Emperor only agreed to allow the wives of the refugees to follow their husbands. The Sublime Porte, on the other hand, refused to release Thököly. Even then, the former prince lived in illusions of his former power. He wanted a separate treaty to be signed with him as the Transylvanian prince and to grant him the province up to the town of Kassa.
Hungarian “kuruc” rebels
One point of the peace treaty also applied to the refugees. According to it, the Ottoman Empire undertook to resettle the Kuruc soldiers camped around Temesvár and Belgrade inside the Empire. They chose a place not far from the Hungarian border, in the vicinity of Nikápoly (Nikopol), but in a fully barren area. However, Thököly could not keep up with them. The imperial representative achieved that Thököly could no longer visit his soldiers even as a private person, but he could not persuade the Turks to settle Thököly on the Black Sea coast of Asia Minor. Therefore, Thököly could stay in Istanbul.
The coins of Sultan Ahmed III (1673-1736)
However, the Porte provided less and less appanage, so the princely couple suffered from a serious lack of money. They had to sell Zrínyi Ilona’s jewelry, then the silver cutlery, and then take out a loan. Only the French ambassador sent some money. In his letters to the Porte, Thököly encouraged the Sultan to start another war, which became more and more onerous for the Sultan. In November 1700, they were given four days to leave Istanbul and move to Brussa.
Sultan Mustafa II (r.1693-1703)
Thököly asked the Sultan for an interrogation, but it was not allowed. Finally, through the intercession of the French ambassador, they were allowed to stay. However, he had to move not to Galata but to the “Transylvanian House”, the former residence of the princely ambassadors, which was already in bad condition at that time. His every move was watched.
Thököly’s COA
In his helplessness, Thököly did not know what to do, he even thought of asking the Habsburg Emperor for mercy with the help of his sisters (Éva was the wife of Palatine Esterházy Pál, and Katalin was the wife of Esterházy Ferenc). However, the French ambassador warned that this step could cost him his life.
Zrínyi Ilona in 1695 (in the palace of Bath marquis in Longleat)
In the fall of 1701, he traveled to Edirne from the plague raging in Istanbul but was held responsible. He told to the Turkish officer, who was sent to him, that he thought he was a free man. He was taken to Istanbul and a few days later he was ordered to go to Nicomedia in Asia Minor. Zrínyi Ilona followed her husband.
The gold of King Louis XIV of France
Here he lived in complete isolation, apart from his wife, keeping in touch only with the French envoy, who appeared very rarely. All contact with Kurucai was also cut off. Thököly, who was lonely, poor, and increasingly ill, made a big decision, he asked France for a settlement permit and promised to convert to the Catholic faith. If  XIV. Louis won’t let him into his own country, at least help him to move to Rome. The king refused the request because “Count Thököly cannot be counted on anymore, it seems that he has lost all his authority in Hungary as well”.
Pope Clement XI
The head of the Jesuit mission in Istanbul, Father Braconnier, embraced Thököly’s cause, interceded with the French king to grant the prince permission to move, but clumsily announced to the world that the great Protestant champion would finally return to the bosom of the true Mother Church. But Braconnier could not achieve that King Louis XIV or Pope Clement XI would accept Thököly. This knowledge worsened the condition of the once again disappointed prince. From 1704 he hardly left his room.
The death of Zrínyi Ilona
His wife died in the spring of 1703, leaving him completely alone. He was glad that his stepson, Prince Rákóczi Ferenc II in the summer of 1703, started an uprising in Hungary, there was a last glimmer of hope that he could return to the leadership of Transylvania, but it turned out that the Porte would not allow him. However, his name had occurred among the potential leaders of the new Kuruc rebellion but he was an old sick man, and far away from the events so Esze Tamás suggested the appointment of his stepson, Rákóczi Ferenc.
Rákóczi Ferenc meets Esze Tamás in 1703 (by Veszprémi Endre)
At the beginning of September 1705, Braconnier approached him again to convert, but Thököly persisted. In his will, he maintained his evangelical religion. Completely lonely and isolated, he died a few days before his 48th birthday on September 13, 1705. His remains were brought home in 1906 and buried in the Lutheran church in Késmárk. The tomb of his wife can be found in Kassa.
The tomb of Thököly Imre in Késmárk (Photo: Bebu65)
The tomb of Zrínyi Ilona in Kassa
Source: mainly from Szibler Gábor, and from the Hungarian Wikipedia, sprinkled with my thoughts

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