The Lady with a hook-gun in Buzita Castle

The lands around the castle of Buzita (Photo: Rl91)

The Heroine of Buzita (Buzica) Castle defended the small fort against the raiding Tatars with a hooked-gun in 1599. Buzita is a Hungarian village near the town of Kassa (Kosice, Kaschau) that was an important city of North-Hungary, at times part of the Transylvanian Principality. It was an hour-walk from Kassa, now it is right on the Slovakian side of the border. The place is in the old Abaúj County, south-east from Szepsi (in Slovakian: Moldava nad Bodvou, in German: Moldau).  

According to the Hungarian chronicle of Sárospatak (between 1523-1615), we can learn about the following about the event of the year 1599:
“There was a castle (my remark: or rather a fortified stately home) in Buzita which was defended and held against the Tatars by Mrs. Ferenc Bécs. This woman, having taken encouragement from herself, took a hooked gun with which she was shooting strongly and bravely at the Tatars, calling out at them loudly. The enemy, seeing the great boldness in her, left her…” 

The incident took place during the 15-Year War (1593-1606) and we are lucky that we could learn even this much about it. The local chronicler inserted this information because the particular year of 1599 was not that busy…

It was not uncommon for a lady of the castle to defend the place in the absence of her husband. Also, Hungarian women were fighting not just on the walls of Eger Castle next to the men in 1552 but it was quite ordinary practice. When their husbands were away, they were running the domains and controlled everything. Sometimes, they had to defend their small stately homes or castles on their own, especially when the Ottoman raiding parties could penetrate the farthest corner of the Kingdom of Hungary: nobody was safe up to the Polish and Austrian borders. Not even the Zips towns could enjoy full safety.

You can read more about the Zips towns of the Germans of North Hungary which were in the Szepesség (Slovak: Spiš; Latin: Scepusium, Polish: Spisz, German: Zips):

The fortified place had vanished and a stately home was built in its place in the mid-19th century.
As for Mrs. Ferenc “Bécs”, her name was rather “Bécz”.
Her husband was called Ferenc, he was a member of the Bécz family of Buzita. Most, unfortunately, we do not know the maiden name of this heroine. 

The good old hooked-guns may have been left there since the age of King Matthias Corvinus…After his death, the new ruler had not supplied the castles of the Borderland with enough new guns and cannons so they had to rely on the age-old hooked guns that were made in the 1480s…There were plenty of them, luckily.

(Source: Dr. József Dénes)

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