Born 1557; died 1606. Hungarian feudal lord. Leader of an anti-Hapsburg movement in the Hungarian kingdom, 1604–06.
Bocskay was the envoy of the Transylvanian prince Zsigmond (Sigismund) Báthory at the Hapsburg court (1576 and 1603), ispán of the Bihor Comital (1592), and head of the garrison of the city of Oradea (in Hungarian, Nagyvárad). He commanded the Transylvanian troops which carried out a successful campaign against the Turkish forces in Wallachia (1595). In 1604 he led the struggle of peasants, townsmen, and sections of the nobility against Hapsburg rule. Under his leadership, units of insurgents liberated much of Slovakia, certain Trans-Danube sections of Hungary, and Transylvania. On July 23, 1606, Bocskay signed the treaty of Vienna, by which the Hapsburgs made a number of concessions to the Hungarian feudal lords—the restoration of the independence of the Transylvanian principality and the annexation to it of the comitats of Ugocsa, Bereg, Szatmár, and the fortress of Tokaj; establishment of freedom of religion for Protestants; and the replacement of a number of the Austrian emperor’s counsellors by representatives of the Hungarian aristocracy.