1772 The 16 towns of the Szepesség are returned to the Hungarians

6 November 1772 – The 16 Szepes (Spiš) settlements, mortgaged to Poland by King Sigismund in 1412, were returned to Hungary after the partition of Poland. Now, this area can be found in Slovakia. You can read more about this region on my page:
The Szepesség in the Kingdom of Hungary
In the Treaty of Turin of 1381, King Louis the Great (reigned 1342-1382) forced Venice to cede Dalmatia to Hungary in return for an annual tribute of 7000 ducats. This state of affairs lasted until the end of the century, but after Sigismund’s position was shaken by the defeat of the Turks at Nicapolis in 1396, the Doge suddenly canceled the tribute and later, in parallel with his conquests in Italy, established himself in Dalmatia. Venice first acquired Zara by purchase and from there, after 1409, besieged several castles under Hungarian rule.
King Zsigmond (Sigismund)
In response to the attack, Sigismund of Luxembourg launched a war against the Republic in 1411, but the recruitment of mercenaries soon ran out of money and he resorted to the tried and tested method of the rulers of the time: pledging. On 8 November 1412, representatives of Sigismund and the Polish king Ulászló II signed a pact in which the Hungarian monarch ceded 13 towns in Szepesség (Spiš), including Szepes, Igló and Poprád, as well as the castles of Gnézda, Podolin and Lubló to Ulászló in exchange for 37,000 Czech florins.
Szepes castle (Photo: Kocsis Kadosa)
The war against Venice dragged on until the end of Sigismund’s reign – and ended in Hungarian defeat – so that, contrary to plans, the return of the settlements was off the agenda for a long time. Although Ullászló I (r. 1440-1444), who also held the Polish crown as Ullászló III, promised to return the 16 settlements, his early death in the Battle of Várna meant that this was not carried out, and in the Polish-Hungarian peace treaty of 1474, Hunyadi Mátyás alias Matthias Corvinus (r. 1458-1490) also forgot the issue of the Szepesség territories.
King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary
The local administration temporarily organized by Cracow was thus established over time, i.e. the pledged estates were annexed to Poland as independent territorial units – members of the Hungarian Holy Crown – and the unconnected territories were governed from 1412 by a starost – based in Lubló – and thus enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and were relieved of many burdens. Their situation changed somewhat after 1593 when the Lubomirski family tried to incorporate the pledged Szepesség territories into their private estates.
Ólubló castle Photo: Ádám Attila
In the course of the centuries, the Hungarian nobility made serious efforts to recover the 16 towns, but the means of the Diet were limited: the fact that the issue of the pledged lands was raised 25 times in the Diets after 1552 and that the redemption of the 16 towns was included in the coronation oath after 1618, is a good proof of the intention. Despite this, the above-mentioned territories remained in the hands of the Cracow rulers. 
A French map of Hungary in 1750
Poland had been a virtual state of Russia since the mid-18th century. This led to the outbreak of the Bari Confederation Rebellion (1768). In 1769 the insurgents captured Lubló Castle, looted its mint, and forced its officials to swear an oath of allegiance. They were expelled from the Szepesség region by Russian troops. On 19 April 1769, the Habsburg army took control of the region. On 5 August 1772, the three powers signed a treaty and the first partition of Poland took place. In November of the same year, the territories were ceremonially returned.
On 18 September 1773, the Polish Sejm passed a law accepting the dismemberment of its own country, and in the treaty with Austria it also renounced its secession rights; Maria Theresa (r. 1740-1780) thus returned the once mortgaged settlements to Hungary ‘free and clear’, without paying the 360-year loan. However, the income from these settlements had gone to the Polish state during the period of the pledge, so it wasn’t such a bad deal for them after all.
The ducat of Empress Maria Theresa

Here is the list of the 16 settlements in Hungarian, Slovak, Polish, and German: Duránd (Tvarožná, Twarożna, Durelsdorf), Felka (Veľká, Wielka), Gnézda (Hniezdne, Gniazda, Kniesen), Igló (earlier: Szepesújhely or Szepesújfalu, Spišská Nová Ves, Zipser Neudorf, Spiska Nowa Wieś), Leibic (Ľubica, Lubica, Leibitz), Mateóc (Matejovce, Maciejowce, Matzdorf), Ménhárd (Vrbov, Wierzbów, Menhardsdorf), Ólubló (Stará Ľubovňa, Altlublau, Lubowla,), Podolin (Podolínec, Pudlein, Podoliniec), Poprád (Poprad, Poprad, Deutschendorf), Ruszkin (Ruskinovce, Ruskinowce, Rissdorf), Strázsa (Stráže pod Tatrami, Michelsdorf), Szepesbéla (Spišská Belá, Biała Spiska, Zipser Bela), Szepesolaszi (Spišské Vlachy, Spiskie Włochy, Wallendorf), Szepesváralja (Spišské Podhradie, Spiskie Podgrodzie, Kirchdrauf), Szepesszombat (Spišská Sobota, Spiska Sobota, Georgenberg). 

Szepes Castle (Photo: Civertan)
Source: Rubicon, Hungarian Wikipedia, and Felvidék Ma

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