Andrew III of Hungary

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Andrew III
III Andras Thuroczy.jpg
King of Hungary and Croatia
Reign 1290–1301
Coronation 23 July 1290
Predecessor Ladislaus IV
Successor Wenceslaus
Born c. 1265
Died 14 January 1301 (aged 35–36)
Burial Greyfriars' Church, Buda
Spouse Fenenna of Kuyavia
Agnes of Austria
Issue Elizabeth of Töss
Dynasty Árpád dynasty
Father Stephen the Posthumous
Mother Tomasina Morosini
Religion Roman Catholic

Andrew III the Venetian (Hungarian: III. Velencei András, Croatian: Andrija III. Mlečanin, Slovak: Ondrej III.; c. 1265 – 14 January 1301) was King of Hungary and Croatia between 1290 and 1301. His father, Stephen the Posthumous, was the posthumous son of Andrew II of Hungary, although Stephen's brothers considered him a bastard. Andrew grew up in Venice, and first arrived in Hungary upon the invitation of a rebellious baron, Ivan Kőszegi, in 1278. Kőszegi tried to play Andrew off against Ladislaus IV of Hungary, but the conspiracy collapsed and Andrew returned to Venice.

Being the last male member of the House of Árpád, Andrew was elected king after the death of King Ladislaus IV in 1290. He was the first Hungarian monarch to issue a coronation diploma confirming the privileges of the noblemen and the clergy. At least three pretenders—Albert of Austria, Mary of Hungary, and an adventurer—challenged his claim to the throne. Andrew expelled the adventurer from Hungary and forced Albert of Austria to conclude a peace in a year, but Mary of Hungary and her descendants did not renounce their claim. The Hungarian bishops and Andrew's maternal family from Venice were his principal supporters, but the leading Croatian and Slavonian lords were opposed to his rule.

Hungary was in a state of constant anarchy during Andrew's reign. The Kőszegis, the Csáks, and other powerful families autonomously governed their domains, rising up in open rebellion against Andrew in almost every year. With Andrew's death, the House of Árpád became extinct. A civil war ensued which lasted for more than two decades, and ended with the victory of Mary of Hungary's grandson, Charles Robert.

Childhood (c. 1265–1278)[edit]

Andrew was the son of Stephen the Posthumous, the self-styled Duke of Slavonia, and his second wife, Tomasina Morosini.[1][2] Andrew's father was born to Beatrice D'Este, the third wife of Andrew II of Hungary, after the king's death.[3] However, Andrew II's two elder sons, Béla IV of Hungary and Coloman of Halych, accused Beatrice D'Este of adultery and refused to acknowledge Stephen the Posthumous as their legitimate brother.[4] Andrew's mother, Tomasina Morosini, was the daughter of wealthy Venetian patrician Michele Morosini.[5]

The exact date of Andrew's birth is unknown.[6] According to historians Tibor Almási, Gyula Kristó, and Attila Zsoldos, he was born in about 1265.[7][8][6] Stephen the Posthumous nominated his wife's two kinsmen, including her brother Alberto Morosini, as Andrew's guardians before his death in 1272.[9]

Pretender (1278–1290)[edit]

Andrew came to Hungary for the first time in 1278 at the invitation of a powerful lord, Ivan Kőszegi.[8][10] Kőszegi wanted to play Andrew off against Ladislaus IV of Hungary.[8] Andrew, who was the only male member of the royal family besides the king, adopted the title of "Duke of Slavonia, Dalmatia and Croatia" and marched as far as the Lake Balaton.[3] Andrew achieved nothing, however, and went back to Venice in autumn.[3][10]

Andrew returned to Hungary at the beginning of 1290.[3] On this occasion, Lodomer, Archbishop of Esztergom, also urged him to come, since the archbishop wanted to dethrone the excommunicated Ladislaus IV with the assistance of Ivan Kőszegi.[10] Before Andrew was successful, Arnold Hahót, an enemy of the Kőszegis, invited him to the fort of Štrigova and captured him.[10][11] Hahót sent Andrew to Vienna where Albert of Habsburg, Duke of Austria, held him in captivity.[10][7]

Three Cuman assassins murdered Ladislaus IV on 10 July 1290,[12][13] and Archbishop subsequently Lodomer dispatched two monks to Vienna to inform Andrew of the king's death.[14] With the monks' assistance, Andrew left his prison in disguise and hastened to Hungary.[14]


Coronation and pretenders (1290–1293)[edit]

Upon arriving, Andrew's opponents tried to bribe Theodor, Prior of the Székesfehérvár Chapter, to refuse to hand the Holy Crown of Hungary over to the soon–to–be–king, but the prior refused them.[14] Archbishop Lodomer crowned Andrew king in Székesfehérvár on 23 July.[15][16] The lords and the prelates only swore loyalty to Andrew after he issued a charter, promising the restoration of internal peace and the respect of the privileges of the nobility and the clergymen.[17][13][18] He then appointed the most powerful noblemen, who had for years administered their domains independently of the monarch, to the highest offices.[19] Amadeus Aba, who dominated the northeastern parts of the kingdom, was made Palatine, Ivan Kőszegi, the lord of the western parts of Transdanubia, became Master of the treasury, and Roland Borsa remained the Voivode of Transylvania.[18][20] Andrew held a diet before 1 September.[13] To put an end to anarchy, the "prelates, barons and noblemen" ordered the destruction of castles which had been erected without royal permission and the restoration of estates which had been unlawfully seized to their rightful owners.[15] Andrew promised that he would hold a diet in each year during his reign.[15]

There were several other challengers to Andrew's claim to the throne. Rudolf I of Germany claimed that Hungary escheated to him after Ladislaus IV's childless death, because Ladislaus IV's grandfather, Béla IV of Hungary, had sworn fidelity to Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor during the Mongol invasion of Hungary.[21] Although Pope Innocent IV had years before freed Béla IV of his oath, Rudolf I of Germany attempted to bestow Hungary on his own son, Albert of Austria, on 31 August.[21][13] The self-declared "Andrew, Duke of Slavonia"—an adventurer who claimed to be identical to Ladislaus IV's dead younger brother—also challenged King Andrew's right to the crown and stormed into Hungary from Poland.[13][22] He was shortly forced to return to Poland where he was murdered.[13][21]

Andrew married Fenenna, the daughter of Ziemomysł of Kuyavia before the end of 1290.[23][24] Andrew then held a general assembly for the barons and the noblemen of five counties to the east of the river TiszaBihar, Kraszna, Szabolcs, Szatmár, and Szolnok—at Nagyvárad (now Oradea in Romania) in early 1291.[23] The assembly outlawed Stephen Balogsemjén, a staunch supporter of the late Ladislaus IV, for major trespass.[23][25] From the assembly, Andrew went to Gyulafehérvár (now Alba Iulia in Romania).[25] Here he issued the decrees of his 1290 diet at the assembly of the local noblemen, Saxons, Székelys and Romanians, in February or March.[23][26] Around the same time, Andrew dismissed Amadeus Aba and made Iván Kőszegi palatine.[23][27]

The late Ladislaus IV's sister, Mary of Hungary, wife of Charles II of Naples, announced her claim to the throne in April 1291.[23][28] The Babonići, Frankopans, Šubići, and other leading Croatian and Slavonian noble families accepted her as the lawful monarch.[28][29] Andrew's main concern, however, was Albert of Austria's claim.[30] He invaded Austria, forcing Albert to withdraw his garrisons from the towns and fortresses—including Pressburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia) and Sopron—that he had captured years before, many of which were held by the Kőszegis before their conquest.[16][23] The Peace of Hainburg, which concluded the war, was signed on 26 August, and three days later Andrew and Albert of Austria confirmed it at their meeting in Köpcsény (now Kopčany in Slovakia).[23] The peace treaty prescribed the destruction of the fortresses that Albert of Austria had seized from the Kőszegis.[31] The Kőszegis rose up in open rebellion against Andrew in spring 1292, acknowledging Mary of Hungary's son, Charles Martel of Salerno, as King of Hungary.[23][32] The royal troops subdued the rebellion by July, but the Kőszegis captured and imprisoned Andrew during his journey to Slavonia in August.[33][34] Andrew was liberated within four months, after his supporters sent their relatives as hostages to the Kőszegis.[33][34]

Rebellions and attempts to consolidate (1293–1298)[edit]

Upon Andrew's request, his mother, Tomasina, moved to Hungary in 1293.[33][34] Andrew appointed her to administer Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia.[33][34] Due to her activities, the Babonići, Šubići, and the Dalmatian towns, acknowledged Andrew's rule.[35] Andrew visited the northern parts of Hungary and ordered the revision of former land grants in February.[36] After his return to Buda, he again made Amadeus Aba palatine.[36] In August, Andrew arranged a marriage between his niece, Constance Morosini, and Vladislav, son of Stefan Dragutin of Serbia, who had earlier acknowledged Charles Martel's claim to Hungary.[33][36]

Roland Borsa besieged and captured Benedict, Bishop of Várad's fortress at Fenes (now Finiș in Romania) on 23 May 1294.[26][37] Andrew held a general assembly and outlawed Borsa. [38] According to historian Attila Zsoldos, he made Nicholas Kőszegi palatine on this occasion.[38] Andrew laid siege to Borsa's fort at Adorján (now Adrian in Romania).[38] The siege lasted three months before the fort fell to Andrew in October.[26] Andrew replaced Roland Borsa with Ladislaus III Kán as Voivode of Transylvania, but the former preserved all his domains in the lands east of the Tisza.[26][38]

The Croatian Paul Šubić again turned against Andrew and joined the camp of Charles Martel in early 1295, but Charles died in August.[39][40] Within two months, the Babonići also rebelled against Andrew.[40] Early next year Andrew, whose first wife had died, visited Vienna where the marriage of Andrew and a daughter of Albert of Austria, Agnes, was decided.[40] The Kőszegis soon rose up in open rebellion.[40] Andrew declared war on the rebels and Archbishop Lodomer excommunicated them.[37] Andrew and Albert of Austria jointly seized the Kőszegis' main fort at Kőszeg in October, but could not subdue them.[37][40] Andrew's mother seems to have died at the end of the year, because references to her activities disappear from the contemporaneous documents.[40]

Matthew III Csák, whom Andrew had made palatine in 1296, turned against Andrew at the end of 1297.[15][41] Andrew's staunch supporter, Archbishop Lodomer, died around the same time.[42] In early February of 1298, Andrew visited Albert of Austria in Vienna and promised to support him against Adolf of Nassau, King of Germany.[37] Andrew sent an auxiliary troop and Albert of Austria routed King Adolf in the Battle of Göllheim on 2 July.[37]

Last years (1298–1301)[edit]

Andrew held an assembly of the prelates, noblemen, Saxons, Székelys, and Cumans in Pest in the summer of 1298.[43][44] The preamble to the decrees that were passed at the diet mentioned "the laxity of the lord king".[15][45] The decrees authorized Andrew to destroy forts built without permission and ordered the punishment of those who had seized landed property with force, but also threatened Andrew with excommunication in case he did not apply the decrees.[46] At the gathering, he appointed his uncle, Albertino Morosini, Duke of Slavonia.[45] After the closing of the diet, Andrew entered into a formal alliance with five influential noblemen, including Amadeus Aba, who stated that they were willing to support him against the Pope and the bishops.[47][48] Gregory Bicskei, the Archbishop-elect and Apostolic Administrator of Esztergom, forbade the prelates to participate at a new diet which was held in 1299.[47][49] The prelates ignored the archbishop's order and Andrew deprived him of Esztergom County.[50][49]

A group of powerful lords—including the Šubići, Kőszegis and Csáks—urged Charles I of Naples to send his grandson, the 12-year-old Charles Robert, to Hungary in order to become King.[51] The young Charles Robert disembarked in Split in August 1300.[39] Most Croatian and Slavonian lords and all Dalmatian towns but Trogir recognized him as king before he marched to Zagreb.[52] The Kőszegis and Matthew Csák, however, were shortly reconciled with Andrew, preventing Charles' success.[53] According to a letter by Andrew's envoy to the Holy See, Pope Boniface VIII did not support Charles Robert's adventure either.[53] Andrew, who had been in poor health for a while, was planning to capture his opponent, but he died in Buda Castle on 14 January 1301.[54][55] According to historians Attila Zsoldos and Gyula Kristó, the contemporaneous gossip suggesting that Andrew was poisoned cannot be proved.[56][57]

Andrew was buried in the Franciscan church in Buda.[56] Years later, Palatine Stephen Ákos referred to Andrew as the "last golden branch" of the tree of King Saint Stephen's family, because with Andrew's death the House of Árpád, the first royal dynasty of Hungary, ended.[58][59] A civil war between various claimants to the throne—Charles Robert, Wenceslaus of Bohemia, and Otto of Bavaria—followed Andrew's death, which lasted for seven years.[18][60] The civil war ended with Charles Robert's victory, but he was forced to continue fighting against the Kőszegis, the Abas, Matthew Csák, and other powerful lords up to the early 1320s.[61][62]


Andrew's first wife, Fenenna of Kuyavia, gave birth to a daughter, Elisabeth in 1291 or 1292, although she later died in 1295.[67] Elisabeth became engaged to Wenceslaus, the heir to Wenceslaus II of Bohemia, in 1298, but the betrothal was broken in 1305.[68][69] She joined the Dominican convent at Töss where she died a nun on 5 May 1338.[70][71] She is now venerated as Blessed Elisabeth of Töss.[72] Andrew's second wife, Agnes of Austria, was born in 1280.[73] She survived her husband, but did not marry again; she died in the Königsfelden Monastery of the Poor Clares in 1364.[71][70]


  1. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 282, Appendix 4.
  2. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 282.
  3. ^ a b c d Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 282.
  4. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 123.
  5. ^ Zsoldos 2003, pp. 124-125.
  6. ^ a b Zsoldos 2003, p. 124.
  7. ^ a b Almási 2012, p. 100.
  8. ^ a b c Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 283.
  9. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 125.
  10. ^ a b c d e Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 173.
  11. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 135.
  12. ^ Berend, Urbańczyk & Wiszewski 2013, p. 473.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 181.
  14. ^ a b c Zsoldos 2003, p. 136.
  15. ^ a b c d e Engel 2001, p. 110.
  16. ^ a b Bartl et al. 2002, p. 34.
  17. ^ Bartl et al. 2002, p. 23.
  18. ^ a b c Kontler 1999, p. 84.
  19. ^ Zsoldos 2003, pp. 147-148.
  20. ^ Zsoldos 2003, pp. 143-144, 147-148.
  21. ^ a b c Zsoldos 2003, p. 134.
  22. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 163.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 182.
  24. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 286, Appendix 4.
  25. ^ a b Zsoldos 2003, pp. 164-165.
  26. ^ a b c d Sălăgean 2005, p. 241.
  27. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 169.
  28. ^ a b Magaš 2007, p. 59.
  29. ^ Fine 1994, p. 207.
  30. ^ Zsoldos 2003, pp. 170-171.
  31. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 173.
  32. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 177.
  33. ^ a b c d e Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 183.
  34. ^ a b c d Zsoldos 2003, p. 183.
  35. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 207-208.
  36. ^ a b c Zsoldos 2003, p. 187.
  37. ^ a b c d e Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 184.
  38. ^ a b c d Zsoldos 2003, p. 188.
  39. ^ a b Fine 1994, p. 208.
  40. ^ a b c d e f Zsoldos 2003, p. 198.
  41. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 203.
  42. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 204.
  43. ^ Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 185.
  44. ^ Sălăgean 2005, pp. 242-241.
  45. ^ a b Zsoldos 2003, p. 206.
  46. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 207.
  47. ^ a b Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 186.
  48. ^ Zsoldos 2003, pp. 211, 213.
  49. ^ a b Zsoldos 2003, p. 214.
  50. ^ Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, pp. 186-187.
  51. ^ Zsoldos 2003, p. 218-219.
  52. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 208-209.
  53. ^ a b Zsoldos 2003, p. 220.
  54. ^ Zsoldos 2003, pp. 220-221.
  55. ^ Érszegi & Solymosi 1981, p. 187.
  56. ^ a b Zsoldos 2003, p. 221.
  57. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, pp. 287-288.
  58. ^ Engel 2001, p. 124.
  59. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 288.
  60. ^ Engel 2001, pp. 128-130.
  61. ^ Kontler 1999, pp. 87-88.
  62. ^ Engel 2001, pp. 130-134.
  63. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 282, Appendices 3-4.
  64. ^ Zsoldos 2003, pp. 121-125.
  65. ^ Runciman 1989, p. 345, Appendix III.
  66. ^ Chiappini 2001, pp. 31-32,45.
  67. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, pp. 286-287, Appendix 4.
  68. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 287.
  69. ^ Klaniczay 2002, p. 207.
  70. ^ a b Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 287, Appendix 4.
  71. ^ a b Klaniczay 2002, p. 208.
  72. ^ Klaniczay 2002, pp. 207-208.
  73. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 286.


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Andrew III of Hungary
Born: c. 1265 Died: 14 January 1301
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ladislaus IV
King of Hungary and Croatia
Succeeded by
Wenceslaus and Charles I