House of Ilok

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ILOČKI
Croatian noble family
Ethnicity Croatian
Current region Vukovar-Srijem County, Croatia
Earlier spellings Orahovički
Place of origin Dubica (medieval Lower Slavonia),
founder: Gug
founding: 13th century
dissolution: 1524
Notable members Nikola Kont
Ladislav Iločki
Nikola Iločki
Lovro Iločki
Connected families Frankopan
Gorjanski
Kurjaković
Estate Ilok, Orahovica, Ružica,
Várpalota (in Hungary),
Galgóc/Hlohovec (in Slovakia)
Name origin and meaning „Those of Ilok“

The House of Ilok (Croatian: Iločki; Croatian pronunciation: [ilotʃki]), in old sources de Illoch, de Wylak, de Voilack etc., Hungarian: Újlaki) was a Croatian noble family, descended in the male line from Gug (in some sources Göge), a member of the lower nobility in the region of Lower Slavonia during the 13th century.

The Iločki, meaning "those of Ilok", rose to be a powerful and influential family in the Croato-Hungarian Kingdom during the period in the Late Middle Ages history marked by dynastic struggles for the possession of the throne and the Ottoman wars in Europe that affected the country. Notable members of the family were Bans (viceroys) of Croatia, Voivodes (dukes)Transylvania, Palatines of Hungary, župans (counts), king's chamberlains and king's chief retainers. One of them, Nikola Iločki (English: Nicholas of Ilok), the most powerful and most famous member of the family, was nominal King of Bosnia from 1471 until 1477.

Family history[edit]

Sources of family origin[edit]

The family was a scion of the noble clan known as Orahovički (Hungarian: Raholcai), according to their estate Orahovica in medieval Križevci County. Gug, the oldest known ancestor of the family, possessed estates in the area of Dubica district in Lower Slavonia, and that is why the historians believe that the family originated from there. Gug's successors later gained some other estates in Croatia (Zrin, Bukovica, Viljevo and Jošava), as well as in Hungary (Palota) and Slovakia (Galgóc/Hlohovec). In 1364 king Louis I gave them Ilok Castle together with its estate, and thus they became Iločki.

Rise of the family[edit]

Ilok Castle was the seat of the family

Gug had three sons: Ivan /John/, Grgur /Gregory/ and Stjepan /Stephen/. Ivan was first mentioned in 1281 as royal commissioner who introduced and helped Petar Pakrački /Petar of Pakrac/, Ban of Slavonia, to enter into possession of an estate at river Ilova. His sons Lovro /Laurence/, Ugrin, Egidije, Jakov /James/ and Ivan II took part in king Charles' military formations during several wars. Lovro, called Slaven (English: The Slav, Latin: Sclavus), Hungarian: Tót), achieved to be the king's flag-bearer since 1312, castellan of Šintava Castle (1328), župan (count) of Nitra (1340), Varaždin, Sopron and Vas, and finally the royal chamberlain (1344). His nickname The Slav confirms his Croatian origin. When he died in 1349, his three sons (Nikola I, Bartol /Bartholomew/ and Lenkus) managed to consolidate and improve the rising power of the family.

Ružica Castle, was and still is one of biggest fortifications in Slavonia

Nikola I, called Kont, spent some time in Italy leading the army of king Louis I in his military campaigns and during his stay there earned this nickname (from Italian: conte = count). In the middle of 14th century Nikola-Kont became one of the leading magnates of the king and was given the new titles and properties. In the period between 1345 and 1351 he was royal cup-bearer, then Voivode (duke) of Transylvania (1351–1356) and finally Palatine of Hungary (1356–1367). In the meantime he served as Župan (count) of several counties in Croatia and Hungary (Sopron, Varaždin, Vas, Szolnok, Sáros etc.). In 1363 he commanded the army of the king in his Bosnia campaign against Tvrtko Kotromanić, Ban of Bosnia, and was defeated. Later, in 1365, he fougt the Bulgarians.

When the Ilok branch of the Hungarian noble family Csák died out in 1364, king Louis I gave the Ilok fief to Nikola I and his nephew Ladislav /Ladislaus/, the son of Lenkus. So the Orahovički family transferred its seat to Ilok and soon after that they called themselves Iločki. Nikola's brothers Bartol (†1352) and Lenkus (†1359) served as royal cup-bearers and chief retainers. When Nikola I died in 1367, he was succeeded by two of his sons, Nikola II (†1397) and Bartol II (†1393), who did not reach the power and glory of their father. Two sons of Bartol from the next generation of the family, Ladislav (†1418) and Mirko /Emerik/ (†1419) were Bans of Macsó. Mirko's daughter Marta married Nikola Frankopan (†1432), the mighty Prince of Krk, Senj and Modruš, and bore him eleven children.

Peak of the power and extinction[edit]

Gravestone of Nikola Iločki (1410–1477) in the Church of St. John of Capistrano in Ilok, Croatia

Ladislav Iločki (†1418) was succeeded by five of his sons: Ivan III, Stjepan III, Nikola V, Petar /Peter/ and Pavao /Paul/. The most significant and notable of them was Nikola V (*1410; †1477), Ban (viceroy) of Croatia, Slavonia, Macsó and Usora, Voivode (duke) of Transylvania and nominal King of Bosnia (1471–1477), who managed to reach the peak of family's power, wealth and influence. His seat was in the town of Ilok and during his reign Ilok experienced its „golden age“.

Having lived in turbulent times (dynastical struggles with frequent changes on the throne and continual Ottoman threat and expansion), Nikola V adjusted himself to the current circumstances, sometimes changing sides and alliances radically. After supporting king Albert's widdow Elizabeth of Luxembourg and her little son Ladislaus the Posthumous in 1439, Nikola V soon took the side of the new Croato-Hungarian king Vladislaus I Jagiello. When the king lost his life in the battle of Varna in 1444, Nikola became a member of State council. On the election of Matthias Corvinus in 1458, Nikola V, like many other noblemen in the kingdom, did not recognize him as king at once, but later, as soon as they peacefully settled the dispute between them.

In his two marriages Nikola V had eight children, among which four sons, but only one of them, Lovro III /Laurence/, survived him and became his successor. Lovro III Iločki (*1459; †1524), Ban of Macsó, Herceg (duke) of Bosnia and royal judge, retained most of the power and reputation of the family. After the death of king Matthias Corvinus in 1490, he supported his illegitimate son John Corvinus to be the king, but he did not succeed. Later he allied himself with Maximilian I of Habsburg, the Holy Roman Emperor, who fought the newly elected king Vladislaus II Jagiello. However, he reconciled himself to Vladislav II in 1496 and performed several high state duties after that. Lovro had no successors, and when he died in 1524, the Iločki family went extinct.

Most notable members of the family[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]