House of Ernušt

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House of Ernušt
Croatian noble family
Grb obitelji Ernušt.jpg
Country Croatia Kingdom of Croatia in personal union with Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia in Habsburg Monarchy
Estates Međimurje, Đurđevac, Koprivnica, Virje, Molve etc.
Titles Bans (viceroys) of Croatia, bans of Slavonia, royal chamberlains, bishops, župans (counts) etc.
Founded 15th century
Final ruler Gašpar Ernušt
Dissolution 1540
Ethnicity Jewish

The House of Ernušt (English: Ernusht) was a Croatian noble family, descending from a rich Jewish[1][2] family who came to medieval Hungary from Sweden, converted to Catholicism and reached its peak in the Kingdom of Croatia during the reign of King Matthias Corvinus and his successors. Notable members of the family were bans (viceroys) of Croatia and Slavonia, king's chamberlains, bishops, župans (counts) and other state officials.

Family history[edit]

At the beginning of the reign of King Matija Korvin (1458-1490), Ernušts were wholesalers and bankers in Budim. Ivan I (Hungarian: János) Ernušt, nicknamed „Hampo", became king's regular banker and increased his wealth by lucrative and profitable business with the sovereign. For his banking services he earned many titles and estates as well, either buying the land from the king or receiving it as mortgage for money lent to him. On 20 November 1473 „Hampo" was appointed Ban of Slavonia, receiving at the same time Međimurje County, the northernmost part of the country, with its seat Čakovec. Therefore he appeared in historical documents as Ivan Ernušt Čakovečki (English: John Ernusht of Čakovec).

After his death on 3 March 1476, „Hampo" was succeeded by his sons Ivan II and Sigismund. While the latter became Bishop of Pécs, (1475-1505), the former stayed in his father's main Međimurje estate and served (1508-1509), together with Juraj Kaniški, as Ban of Croatia. In the meantime, brothers earned some additional estates, among which were Đurđevac and Molve (in 1477).

Franjo (English: Francis; Hungarian: Ferenc) Ernušt, the son of Ivan II, inherited all of the family possessions after his father's death in 1519. He was known for his participation in the Battle of Mohács on 29 August 1526, where he was among many Hungarian and Croatian nobles who lost their lives. He left two sons, Ivan III and Gašpar (Hungarian: Gáspár). The former died in 1537 leaving no children, and the latter was married to Ana, a daughter of Petar Keglević, Ban of Croatia.

Gašpar took part in many battles against the Ottomans, leading his banderij (banderium), a kind of military unit, and even counter-attacked the enemy in already occupied parts of Croatia and Slavonia. Nevertheless, Ottoman numerical superiority was decisive and Croats were forced to retreat more and more to the west and northwest. One of the ways used for population to flee lead through the Gašpar's Međimurje County. He himself helped people by setting ferries on the Drava and Mura river which enabled the refugees to cross them and go further north to reach western Hungary, which was still not occupied.

Since Gašpar died in 1540 (or 1541) without issue, his family died out. His widow Ana attempted to retain all his possessions, even engaging her father's military crew, but King Ferdinand I Habsburg did not allow it. In the name of the king, Nikola Šubić Zrinski, the new Ban of Croatia, pushed the Keglevićs out of Međimurje by force.

Notable members of the family[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vladimir Kalšan (2006, p. 7)
  2. ^ (Croatian) Podravina (časopis za multidisciplinarna istraživanja): Borislav Grgin: Odnos središnje vlasti i grada Koprivnice za vladavine ugarsko-hrvatskog kralja Matijaša Korvina (1458. - 1490.): broj 3: stranica 128: Koprivnica, lipanj 2003.

    Plemićka obitelj Ernuszt (Ernušt) bila je židovskog podrijetla, a došli su u Ugarsku iz Švedske ili Austrije. U drugoj polovici 15. i prvoj polovici 16. stoljeća uživali su posjede u Ugarskoj i srednjovjekovnoj Slavoniji. Prvi iz obitelji Ernuszt koji se doselio u Ugarsku sredinom 15. stoljeća i tamo se pokrstio bio je kasniji slavonski ban Ivan.

    — Borislav Grgin, Podravina


  • Kalšan, Vladimir (2006). Židovi u Međimurju. Čakovec: Muzej Međimurja Čakovec. ISBN 953-6896-12-5. 


  • Horvat, Rudolf, PhD: Poviest Međimurja (History of Medjimurje), edited by „Prosvjetno-poviestno družtvo Hrvatski rodoljub", Zagreb, 1944, and reprinted by „Matica hrvatska – Ogranak Čakovec" (Matrix Croatica – Čakovec Branch), Čakovec, 1993

External links[edit]