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Adrienna 09-27-2003 09:01 PM

Princely and Noble Families of Hungary and Bohemia
 
Around 1561 Erzsébet Bathory was born into one of the noblest families of Hungary. Her father was György Bathory of Ecsed. Her mother was Anna Bathory, a sister of Stephan Bathory (1533-1585), King of Poland and Prince of Transylvania. Erzsébet's cousins Andreas and Zsigmond were Princes of Transylvania, too, and Zsigmond made in 1595 a grand marriage with Princess Maria Christina of Habsburg1.

As a girl, Erzsébet lived with her family in Nagy-Ecsed near the Romanian border. She had a cruel elder brother and two surviving sisters. In 1566 the German Emperor made a temporary truce with the Ottoman Turks, so Erzsébet must have grown up in a relatively peaceful environment. She learned to read and write in Hungarian, Greek, Latin and German. In 1570 she was officially engaged to the wealthy Count Ferencz Nadasdy de Nadasd of Fogarasfold (1555-1604), who later became known as the "Black Bey". She was sent to castle Sárvár to live with her mother-in-law, who died the next year. Erzsébet was already a voluptuous, ravishing beauty with long hair and an exquisite complexion. Rumours said that Erzsébet became pregnant in 1574 and gave birth to an illegitimate daughter. The baby is supposed to have been smuggled away.

On May 8, 1575, Erzsébet was married to Ferenc Nadasdy and the wedding celebrations continued for weeks. The Count was probably born around 1550 and had been trained at the Imperial Court in Vienna. He was usually away on various military campaigns against the Turks, leaving Erzsébet mistress of the gloomy castle of Csejthe atop a barren mountain in the Carpathians. In his absence Erzsébet amused herself with fashionable sex toys imported from Italy and she bleached her hair in the Venetian fashion. She also started experimenting with herbal brews, potions, powders and drugs.

Erzsébet had an inflammable temper. Servants were severely punished and beaten mercilessly upon making the slightest mistake. Sometimes they were whipped until they bled and then trashed with stinging nettles. Erzsébet used branding irons, razors, pincers and torches. She sawed up the mouth of a girl that chattered too much. One day, when Ferenc returned home, he found a naked girl, smeared with honey, bound to a tree. When Erzsébet suspected a servant of stealing money, she would make her undress and burn her body with heated coins. Three trusted female servants and a retarded manservant helped Erzsébet punishing the other servants. One of them, Darvulia3, taught the Countess some new cruelties. Erzsébet may also have been inspired by her aunt Klara4, a sadomasochistic bisexual, who liked flagellation. Ferenc Nadasdy will probably have learned Erzsébet some tricks, too, because mutilations were commonplace in the skirmishes with the Turks.

For more than 10 years the Nadasdy couple remained childless, but around 1585 Erzsébet gave birth to Anna. Orsolya, Katalin and two sons, András and Pal, followed. Orsolya and András both died young. Sometimes Erzsébet accompanied her husband to Bratislava or Vienna. In March 1601 Ferenc Nadasdy suffered from excruciating pains in his legs, but he recovered. He was ill again by the end of 1603. When he died at castle Sárvár on January 4, 1604, Erzsébet took over the management of their estates. Her brother, who had lived for years in seclusion, died the next year. That same year Erzsébet married her eldest daughter to Count Miklós Zrinyi, a cousin of Count György Thurzó (±1565-1616), one of the mightiest men in Hungary.

Although Erzsébet was now in a vulnerable position as a rich widow with a son under age, she still had powerful friends. Count Thurzó, for example, invited her for a wedding in 1607. In 1608 Erzsébet's second cousin, Anna Bathory, who had been raised by Erzsébet's brother at Ecsed, married. That same year Anna's brother, the capricious womaniser Gábor Bathory (1589-1613), became ruling Prince of Transylvania. He received financial support from Erzsébet. Doing so, she played a dangerous game, because Gábor was soon at war with the German Emperor5.

Her 40th birthday must have been annoying to a beautiful and vain woman like Erzsébet. According to folklore, Erzsébet became obsessed with the idea to remain young and beautiful forever. One day, in an outburst of temper, Erzsébet was said to have struck a servant girl across the face with such a powerful blow that her nose bled. Some blood spat on Erzsébet's skin and she thought that it made her skin look younger and fresher. Thus she supposedly got the idea to bath in the blood of virgins. When Erzsébet wanted to take a bath, a girl was fetched and held upside down over the tub, while her throat was slashed. After some years Erzsébet apparently concluded that the blood of peasant virgins was not good enough and that she thus needed the blue blood of noble virgins. This part of the story, however, is pure speculation.

Whatever Erzsébet's motives may have been, from 1600 onwards the death rate among her servants increased. She acquired the help of her trusted servants to recruit new girls. For small sums of money poverty-stricken fathers of young peasant girls were persuaded to send their daughters off to "a life of security in the service of the mighty House of Bathory". Often they were bound and beaten until they bled. Other times their bodies were pierced with needles and cut with razors. For fun the sadistic Countess burned their genitals with candle flames or an hot iron poker. In her house in Vienna Erzsébet had a special device installed. A girl was placed in a cylindrical iron cage suspended from the ceiling. As it was raised, a series of spiked hoops contracted mechanically, thereby piercing the girl inside. Dead girls were silently buried and their bodies showed bruises, cuts and burns. The marks on the bodies were not necessarily the cause of their death, but it was clear that Countess Bathory mistreated her staff horribly.

In 1609 Erzsébet started taking in aristocratic girls "to teach them social graces", but some of them died, too, and rumours about atrocities at castle Csejthe became stronger. In October 1610 Erzsébet took her daughter Anna, Countess Zrinyi, to Piestány for a bath in the warm mud. Afterwards she travelled to castle Sárvár, where her young son was living with his tutor. She took her jewels and other values with her, when she returned to Csejthe. Meanwhile, a priest of a nearby village notified the already alarmed authorities of his suspicions. On December 10, Erzsébet and her accomplices were arrested by Count Thurzó. The trial started in January 1611 and, because of Erzsébet's rank, it was held in secret and the Countess never attended it. Around that time in the Balkans servants were serfs and thus Erzsébet had the right to do with them whatever she fancied. That's why the emphasis of the trial lay on what she had done to girls of noble birth.

While Erzsébet's accomplices were tortured, they described 36 to 50 deaths as a result of mistreatment. Then additional witnesses were heard. One mentioned 80 death girls, another 175 and later the figure raised to 200. Some witness accounts were purely based on hearsay. The Countess was said to have kept notes in a diary, listing 650 girls she had tortured and slain, but the list was never shown in court. Witnesses mentioned that Erzsébet sometimes bit chunks of flesh from a girl's body, but no one mentioned that she took baths of blood. In fact, the story of the bathing in blood wasn't introduced until the 18th century.

All of the accused were found guilty as charged. The notorious Darvulia had become blind and died before the start of the trial, but the two other female accomplishes had their fingers torn from their hands by red-hot pincers before they were burned at the stake as witches. Erzsébet was walled up alive in a small tower room. Slits were left for air and the passage of food and water. After three and a half year in confinement the Blood Countess was found dead on August 21, 1614.

Some years after Erzsébet's trail, the widowed Anna Bathory, Erzsébet's second cousin, was brought to trail by the new Prince of Transylvania, Gábor Bethlen, on the accusation of "witchcraft" and "incest with her late brother Gábor". She was stripped of part of her inheritance. In 1618 a new trial followed in which Anna was tortured. She was accused of murdering her own son from a second marriage, although he was still alive. She had to give up most of her possessions to buy her freedom. A third trial in 1621 left 27-year-old Anna penniless. With her younger half brother she fled to Poland. She returned after Bethlen's death, but was once more brought to trial in 1640.

Rich widows were an easy prey for powerful men. Therefore, a theory has been put forward that Erzsébet may have been brought to trial to avoid a far worse trial for treason, because of her involvement with her second cousin, Gábor Bathory. It could have resulted in a confiscation of her properties by the Emperor, while her son, her uncle-in-law and Count Thurzó preferred to share Erzsébet's rich inheritance among themselves. With evidence that is partly based on hearsay and partly extracted from accomplishes under torture, it is impossible to determine if Erzsébet intentionally murdered hundreds of girls or that accidentally some of her servants died as a result of her brutal punishments. There is, however, no doubt that Erzsébet Bathory cruelly mistreated her servants.

tiaraprin 06-13-2004 02:34 AM

Monarchies of Bohemia and Hungary
 
Does anyone know about the the Bohemian monarchy which ruled over the land that is the present day Czech Republic?

I am trying to trace my family roots--I am supposed to be descended from the aristocracy of the Bohemian Monarchy.

Thank you for any help you can provide!

happygolucky 06-13-2004 04:03 AM

I live in the C R ... first Habsburks ....they still exist and have inherited enormous amounts of land.... that was nationalised during communism... schwansenbergs....

go to the czech search engine seznam... and type ceska aristokracie ... u should get some answers... but in czech ... I take it u dont speak the language....

It all depends on the family name u desend from and also on the area the family lived in , e.g. Moravia.... cause it could be slovakia today or even germany... (close to the german border)

Good luck looking... just imagine u could get to meet realtives ! That is fantastic....
I still meet relaivves I have never heard of and its so exciting ! :P :woot:

tiaraprin 06-13-2004 06:47 PM

I know that my family is from the Czech Republic, just outside Prague. I don't speak the language unfortunately--wish there was a search engine in English, Spanish, or French!

stacy 06-13-2004 08:45 PM

no idea if it is any help - but this site has genealogies of some bohemian noble families:
http://www.genealogy.euweb.cz/index.html

tiaraprin 06-13-2004 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by stacy@Jun 13th, 2004 - 7:45 pm
no idea if it is any help - but this site has genealogies of some bohemian noble families:
http://www.genealogy.euweb.cz/index.html

Thank you very much Stacy for your help!! It is much appreciated!!! :flower: :flower:

Von Schlesian 07-23-2005 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tiaraprin
Does anyone know about the the Bohemian monarchy which ruled over the land that is the present day Czech Republic?

I am trying to trace my family roots--I am supposed to be descended from the aristocracy of the Bohemian Monarchy.

Thank you for any help you can provide!

Tiaraprin, I think we have an almost mutual interest.

My maternal Grandmothers family were Silesian nobles, (von Breslau, Graf's von Strachwitz etc), and I believe the families of Northen Bohemia and Lower Silesia inter-married quite strongly..

grecka 07-24-2005 12:38 AM

As far as I know, there were no Bohemian kings. There were counts of Bohemia. The Hapsburgs, certainly, ruled in Bohemia and throughout Central Europe from the high middle ages to the early 20th century.

Warren 07-24-2005 01:45 AM

Kings of Bohemia
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by grecka
As far as I know, there were no Bohemian kings. There were counts of Bohemia. The Hapsburgs, certainly, ruled in Bohemia and throughout Central Europe from the high middle ages to the early 20th century.

Under the Pręmyslid Dynasty Bohemia was a County from 871 to 895, when the reigning Count was raised to the rank of Duke.

In 1158 Duke Ladislas II became King of Bohemia and all following rulers had the title of King. The Luxembourg Dynasty followed the Pręmyslids and reigned from 1310 to 1437; after that largely Habsburg Archdukes reigned as Kings.

The Kingdom of Bohemia was formally integrated into the Habsburg Empire in 1620, when the Emperor took "King of Bohemia" as one of his many subsidiary titles. At the end of the Empire in 1918 Bohemia ranked third: "Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia" etc.
.

Von Schlesian 07-24-2005 03:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warren
Under the Pręmyslid Dynasty Bohemia was a County from 871 to 895, when the reigning Count was raised to the rank of Duke.

In 1158 Duke Ladislas II became King of Bohemia and all following rulers had the title of King. The Luxembourg Dynasty followed the Pręmyslids and reigned from 1310 to 1437; after that largely Habsburg Archdukes reigned as Kings.

The Kingdom of Bohemia was formally integrated into the Habsburg Empire in 1620, when the Emperor took "King of Bohemia" as one of his many subsidiary titles. At the end of the Empire in 1918 Bohemia ranked third: "Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia" etc.
.

I believe there was also quite a strong emphasis of using the style 'heireditary Kings of Bohemia', and I think the name 'Ulmstein' is somehow linked, either through something I've read, or through conversations I've had, but it is connected in some way.

Also Warren, having mentioned Luxembourg, it reminded me that I have a feeling Luxembourg, Bohemia, Silesia and Liechtenstein are very strongly linked to one-another, however I have no dates. It is however something to note, that the Royal Silesian Eagle, appears in the upper left quadrant of the Royal arms of Liechtenstein.

Warren 07-24-2005 04:56 AM

Bohemia and others
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Von Schlesian
I have a feeling Luxembourg, Bohemia, Silesia and Liechtenstein are very strongly linked to one-another, however I have no dates. It is however something to note, that the Royal Silesian Eagle, appears in the upper left quadrant of the Royal arms of Liechtenstein.

The divisions of the Liechtenstein arms respresent five of the family estates; the first being those in Silesia, hence the eagle.

The Luxembourg dynasty gained the Crown of Bohemia when Elizabeth, the daughter of the Pręmyslid King Wencelas II married John of Luxembourg in 1310. John was the son of the Emperor Henry VII, who was one of the Luxembourg Holy Roman Emperors.

The Crown of Bohemia was recognised as an hereditary possession of the House of Habsburg by the Treaty of Westphalia following the Thirty Years War.

The Habsburg province of Silesia was "given" to Prussia by Maria Theresia as a bribe for support during the War of the Austrian Succession. The Habsburgs never forgave the House of Hohenzollern for the loss of this rich territory.

Most of this has come from a great book "Lines of Succession - Heraldry of the Royal Family Families of Europe" by Jiri Louda & Michael Maclagen, Orbis Publishing London 1981. Great history, lines of descent going way back, and fabulous coats of arms by the hundreds. Highly recommended!
.

tiaraprin 08-07-2005 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Von Schlesian
Tiaraprin, I think we have an almost mutual interest.

My maternal Grandmothers family were Silesian nobles, (von Breslau, Graf's von Strachwitz etc), and I believe the families of Northen Bohemia and Lower Silesia inter-married quite strongly..

It would be interesting if we were related somehow???:p I still have not found my family name on the list of aristocratic nobles. I am trying to find out my great-grandmother's maiden name and her mother's also. They may be the link.

tiaraprin 08-09-2005 02:06 AM

The Royal House of Bohemia gave the motto all Princes of Wales have used since Edward, the Black Prince. He took the motto "Ich Dien" (I serve) after the Bohemian king had been slain in battle by Edward's side. He admired the bravery of the Bohemian king who I believe suffered from some sort of blindness.

CATS 08-12-2005 03:56 PM

Wow I am also Czech, and think either my sister or I did a school report on it. I also still have relatives that still live there. Though I don't contact them, my grandparents do.

tiaraprin 08-13-2005 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CATS
Wow I am also Czech, and think either my sister or I did a school report on it. I also still have relatives that still live there. Though I don't contact them, my grandparents do.

I may still have distant relations in the Czech Republic. My family comes from a place 60 miles south of Prague.

Princess Robijn 08-19-2005 02:50 PM

re
 
are the children of Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este, also princes and princesses of Bohemia???? btw.. I think so

Warren 08-19-2005 11:51 PM

Bohemian Belgians
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Princess Robijn
are the children of Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este, also princes and princesses of Bohemia?btw.. I think so

Yes Princess Robijn, you are correct.
Using their Habsburg titles Princess Astrid's children are Archduke (Erzherzog) or Archduchess (Erzherzogen) of Austria-Este, Prince or Princess of Hungary and Bohemia, with the style of Imperial and Royal Highness.
Within the Habsburg territories Austria ranked first, Hungary second, and Bohemia third.

tiaraprin 08-20-2005 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warren
Yes Princess Robijn, you are correct.
Using their Habsburg titles Princess Astrid's children are Archduke (Erzherzog) or Archduchess (Erzherzogen) of Austria-Este, Prince or Princess of Hungary and Bohemia, with the style of Imperial and Royal Highness.
Within the Habsburg territories Austria ranked first, Hungary second, and Bohemia third.

As someone of Bohemian descent, I take umbrage to being ranked last!!:D :p :eek:

tiaraprin 08-21-2005 01:28 AM

Coat of Arms
 
Bohemia's Coat of Arms:
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Bohemia

http://www.nationmaster.com/wikimir/...4f/Cs-coat.png

Warren 08-21-2005 02:00 AM

A few titles
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tiaraprin
As someone of Bohemian descent, I take umbrage to being ranked last!!

Not last, third.
Here are the titles of the last Emperor (or Kaiser) of Austria, Karl I:

Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, of Slavonia, of Galicia, of Lodomeria and of Illyria, King of Jerusalem etc, Archduke of Austria, Grand Duke of Tuscany and of Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, of Styria, of Carinthia, of Carniola and of Bukovina, Grand Duke of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia, Duke of Upper Silesia, of Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz and Zator, of Teschen, Friuli, Ragusa and Zara, Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Goritz and Gradisca, Prince of Trient and Brixen, Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria, Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonneburg, etc, Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro and of the Wendish Mark, Grand Voyvode of the Voyvodie of Serbia, etc.
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