1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Zrinyi, Miklós, Count (elder)

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7301491911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28 — Zrinyi, Miklós, Count (elder)Robert Nisbet Bain

Zrinyi, Miklós, Count (1508–1566), Hungarian hero, was a son of Miklós Zrinyi and Ilóna Karlovics. He distinguished himself at the siege of Vienna in 1529, and in 1542 saved the imperial army from defeat before Pest by intervening with 400 Croats, for which service he was appointed ban of Croatia. In 1542 he routed the Turks at Somlyo. In 1543 he married Catherine Frangipán, who placed the whole of her vast estates at his disposal. The Emperor Ferdinand also gave him large possessions in Hungary, and henceforth the Zrinyis became as much Magyar as Croatian magnates. In 1556 Zrinyi won a series of victories over the Turks, culminating in the battle of Babócsa. The Croatians, however, overwhelmed their ban with reproaches for neglecting them to fight for the Magyars, and the emperor simultaneously deprived him of the captaincy of Upper Croatia and sent 10,000 men to aid the Croats, while the Magyars were left without any help, whereupon Zrinyi resigned the banship (1561). In 1563, on the coronation of the Emperor Maximilian as king of Hungary, Zrinyi attended the ceremony at the head of 3000 Croatian and Magyar mounted noblemen, in the vain hope of obtaining the dignity of palatine, vacant by the death of Thomas Nadasdy. Shortly after marrying (in 1564) second wife, Eva Rosenberg, a great Bohemian heiress, he hastened southwards to defend the frontier, defeated the Turks at Segesd, and in 1566 from the 5th of August to the 7th of September heroically defended the little fortress of Szigetvár against the whole Turkish host, led by Suleiman the Magnificent in person, perishing with every member of the garrison in a last desperate sortie.

See F. Salamon, Ungarn im Zeitalter der Türkenherrschaft (Leipzig, 1887); J. Csuday, The Zrinyis in Hungarian History (Hung.), Szombathely, 1884, 8vo.  (R. N. B.)