Wesselényi Ferenc, Lippay György és Balassa Imre vitája a Pest megyei foispansagrol

December 2011
Történelmi Szemle;2011, Issue 4, p537
Academic Journal
The administration of the county of Pest differed in the middle ages from that of other counties in Hungary. Because of the vicinity of the capital, Buda (today Budapest), it had no ispán (com es) at its head, who would normally supervise the execution of royal orders, only szolgabírák (judices nobilium). This situation was profoundly modified in 1655, when king Ferdinand III appointed count Imre Balassa, captain of the castle of Gyarmat, di Sfõispán (supremus comes) of the county of Pest. Through his wife, Balassa was related to György Lippay, archbishop of Esztergom. The county assembly protested against this encroachment upon its privileged status, and in this was supported by palatine Ferenc Wesselényi, holder of the second highest office after the king. The assembly could also count on the support of György Szelepcsényi, bishop of Nyitra and Hungarian chancellor, who was involved in a conflict with Imre Balassa because o f the disputed possession of an estate. Yet the ruler, advised by György Lippay, insisted on his decision, and thus Balassa was invested with his office early in 1656. In 1657 Imre Balassa led a raid into the territory under Ottoman occupation, which ended with catastrophic results. The captain of Gyarmat was consequently removed from his position in the army, but in the beginning of 1659 he recovered it thanks to the intervention o f an unknown patron. During the general assembly in 1659 the nobility of the county of Pest protested again against the abolition of its medieval privilege. By sanctioning law no. 76 presented by the assembly, Leopold I deprived Imre Balassa of his office of fõispán, and conferred the post on the palatine in office. This act had a durable influence upon the political life of Pest county. On the one hand, unlike in other counties, the rulers could not appoint the fõispán of Pest, for the palatines were elected by th e general assembly. On the other hand, the supervision that the fõispáns exerted over the county rem ained rather loose in th e coming centuries, for the later palatines were generally interested both in the administration of their own estates and by their official duties to other parts of Hungary and of the Hapsburg Empire. The special status of the county of Pest survived until as late as the revolution of 1848, when the administrative and social structure of Hungary was profoundly transformed.



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