Ferenc Pulszky

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Ferenc Pulszky

Ferenc Aurél Pulszky de Cselfalva et Lubócz (17 September 1814 – 9 September 1897) was a Hungarian politician and writer.


He was born at Eperjes, now in Prešov in Slovakia. After studying law and philosophy at the high schools of his native town and Miskolc, he travelled abroad. England particularly attracted him, and his book, Aus dem Tagebuch eines in Grossbritannien reisenden Ungarns (From the Diary of a Hungarian Travelling in Britain) (Pesth, 1837), gained for him the membership of the Hungarian Academy.

Elected to the Diet of Hungary of 1840, he was in 1848 appointed to a financial post in the Hungarian government, and was transferred in like capacity to Vienna under Esterházy. Suspected of intriguing with the revolutionists, Pulszky fled to Budapest to avoid arrest. There he became an active member of the Committee of National Defence. When obliged to flee after Hungary's defeat in its war of independence, he joined Lajos Kossuth in England and with him made a tour in the United States. In collaboration with his wife he wrote a narrative of this voyage, entitled White, Red, Black (2 vols., London, 1853). Pulszky wrote a historical introduction to his wife's Memoirs of a Hungarian Lady (by Theresa Pulszky, London, 1850).

Pulszky was condemned to death in contumaciam by a council of war in his home country in 1852. In 1860 he went to Italy, took part in Giuseppe Garibaldi's ill-fated expedition to Rome (1862), and was interned as a prisoner of war in Naples. Amnestied by the emperor of Austria in 1866, he returned home and re-entered public life. He was in 1867–76 and again in 1884 a member of the newly reformed Diet of Hungary, where he joined the Deák party.

In addition to his political activity, Pulszky was president of the literary section of the Hungarian Academy and director of the National Museum in Budapest, where he became distinguished for his archaeological researches. He employed his great influence to promote both art and science and liberal views in his native country. He died in Budapest on 9 September 1897.

Masonic career[edit]

As Grand Master - János Jankó's caricature

He was initiated in 1863 at Lodge Dante Alighieri in Turin, and was soon raised to the 33rd grade of the Scottish Rite. After his return to Hungary he contributed to the re-establishment of Hungarian freemasonry. First he became Master of the Lodge "Einigkeit in Vaterland/Egység a hazában” (Unity in the Homeland), then he became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of St. John. After the establishment of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary (from the Grand Lodge of St. John and the Grand Orient at 1886) he became the first Grand Master of the united Grand Lodge. In 1875 he supported Countess Helene Hadik Barkóczy's initiation into a Masonic lodge.


Among his writings are Die Jacobiner in Ungarn (The Jacobins in Hungary) (Leipzig, 1851) and Életem és korom (My Life and Times) (Pest, 1880), and many treatises on Hungarian questions in the publications of the Hungarian Academy of Pest.


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