Bocskay, Stephen

Bocskay, Stephen

(bôch`kī), 1557–1606, Hungarian noble, voivode [governor] (1604–6) and prince (1605–6) of Transylvania. Seeking to secure the independence of Transylvania, he supported his nephew, Prince Sigismund BáthoryBáthory
, Pol. Batory, Hungarian noble family. Stephen Báthory, 1477–1534, a loyal adherent of John I of Hungary (John Zápolya), was made (1529) voivode [governor] of Transylvania.
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 of Transylvania, first against the pro-Ottoman, then against the pro-Hapsburg, faction of nobles. Sigismund having abdicated (1602) in favor of the king of Hungary (Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II), Stephen Bocskay in 1604 led a revolt with Ottoman support against Rudolf's attempt to impose Roman Catholicism on Hungary. Stephen then acknowledged Sultan Ahmed IAhmed I
, 1589–1617, Ottoman sultan (1603–17), son and successor of Muhammad III to the throne of the Ottoman Empire. The chief event of his reign was the Treaty of Zsitvatorok (1606), which supplemented the Treaty of Vienna between Archduke (later Holy Roman
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 as his suzerain, but refused his offer of recognition as king of Hungary. In 1606 he negotiated with Archduke (later Holy Roman Emperor) MatthiasMatthias,
1557–1619, Holy Roman emperor (1612–19), king of Bohemia (1611–17) and of Hungary (1608–18), son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II. He was appointed governor of Austria (1593) by his brother, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.
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 a treaty at Vienna legalizing the partition of Hungary among the Hapsburgs (as kings), the sultan, and the prince of Transylvania. The old and sacred Hungarian crown of St. Stephen was returned from Vienna to Pressburg (now Bratislava), the capital of Hapsburg-held Hungary. The importance of the treaty, which was soon afterward supplemented by a peace between Austria and Sultan Ahmed, lay in the guarantee of constitutional and religious freedom for Hungary. Stephen was recognized as prince of Transylvania but died soon afterward, perhaps by poisoning.
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