March 5th, 2014 Headsman
On this date in 1687, the Austrian empire made the first of its many Protestant martyrs in Eperjes — the Hungarian name for the city now in Slovakia, where it is known as Prešov.
Leopold suspended the Hungarian constitution and rounded up Protestant pastors, who “were not executed, but the choice of those convicted was between recantation and serving as galley slaves.” (Source)
Thokoly enjoyed fantastic success, carving by force of arms a Principality of Upper Hungary roughly corresponding to present-day Slovakia. Squeezed as he was between the great powers of the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Turks, Thokoly allied himself with Sultan Mehmed IV and aided the Turks’ 1683 siege of Vienna.
That meant that his followers would share the downfall of that enterprise.
Thereafter, Thokoly himself would be a ward of the Ottomans, alternately a prisoner or a vassal captain in the field. (He would briefly establish himself as Prince of Transylvania with Ottoman backing in 1690.)
For Presov and those misfortunate enough to be caught there, matters were worse.
From February 1687, Presov Protestants trying to raise money to re-establish war-damaged schools were accused of conspiring to rise again and subjected to a series of torture-driven show trials.
The first four of these, Sigmund Zimmermann, Caspar Rauscher, Andreas Keczer and Franz Baranyay, were beheaded and quartered on March 5, 1687. All told, some two dozen would die over the course of 1687 in this hunt, most of them on the scaffold — the Martyrs of Eperjes. (German link.)
Also on this date
- 1780: Colonel Hamilton Ballendine, if that was his real name
- 1945: Lena Baker
- 1413: Francesco Baldovino, to enjoy the emoluments of office
- 1986: Mamman Jiya Vatsa, warrior-poet
- 1716: 100 Sikhs per day for a week
- 1644: Ferrante Pallavicino, more caustic than elusive
Entry Filed under: 17th Century,Austria,Beheaded,Capital Punishment,Cycle of Violence,Czechoslovakia,Death Penalty,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,Habsburg Realm,History,Hungary,Martyrs,Mass Executions,Nobility,Occupation and Colonialism,Power,Public Executions,Religious Figures,Separatists,Torture,Treason,Wrongful Executions