B bábi, Tibor



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Bercsényi, Count László (Ladislas) (Eperjes, now Prešov, Slovakia, 3 August 1689 - Luzancy, France, 9 January 1778) – Organizer of the French Hussars, Marshal of France. Son of Count Miklós (Nicholas) Bercsényi, Supreme Commander of the Hungarian Kuruc (insurgent) forces during the uprising against Austrian rule (1703-1711) led by Ferenc (Francis) Rákóczi II, Prince of Transylvania. When Bercsényi’s father escaped to Poland, Austrian Imperial General Montecuccoli arrested the son and incarcerated him at Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia). The younger Bercsényi was freed when the Imperial Army was forced to give up Kassa. He participated in the uprising in 1709, and served as captain and standard-bearer of the Nobility Contingent. In 1711 he was in the entourage of Ferenc (Francis) Rákóczi II, when he was negotiating with Peter the Great, Czar of Russia. He went to France in the summer of 1712. He served in the squadron of the musketeer cavalry of Louis XIV. Later he transferred to the Regiment of the Ráttky Hussars and was soon promoted to colonel. He participated in the Spanish War of Succession. In 1720 he started to organize his own Hussar (mounted) regiment following his visit to his exiled father in Rodosto, Turkey, where he recruited several Hungarian Hussars. There were many officers with Hungarian names on staff in his regiment, such as Dávid, Csepreghy, Esterházy, Kisfaludy, Sulyok, Tolnay and Tóth. For a long time the uniform of his regiment: dolman, cape and trousers were light blue with red braiding. In 1733 he organized a new Hussar regiment under the command of Count Bálint (Valentine) Esterházy; and in 1743 another new regiment was created under the command of András (Andrew) Polleritzky. In 1738 Bercsényi held the rank of General and was promoted to Marshal in 1758. Under his service there were seven Hussar regiments in the French army. He retired in 1759, and for two decades he and his wife lived in their castle in Luzancy, France in frugal circumstances. Both are buried in the modest village church of Luzancy. The Hungarian government has made several petitions for the transfer of his remains to Hungary, without success. A memorial for the heroic Bercsényis was erected in the courtyard of the Ádám Vay Muzeum in Vaja, Hungary. At the 1790 commemorative festival of the fall of the Bastille, his regiment was represented by four of his staff members. The Bercsényi Hussars fought with valor at Valmy, at Jemmapes and Fleurus. In World War II the 1st Bercsényi Hussar Regiment was captured; but was reorganized on 16 January 1946. His palace on the rue de Verneuil 58 in Paris has been declared a National Monument and was decorated with the family crest in 1923. In 1968, on the 190th anniversary of Bercsényi’s death, a spectacular festival was organized at his historic residence at Luzancy. Deputies represented the whole French Army and the flags of 48 regiments were lowered, paying respect to the memory of the Hungarian Marshal of France. The festivities continued at Tarbes, the original headquarters of the Bercsényi Hussar Regiment. Today the park and the castle serve as a youth educational center. – B: 0883, 1358, T: 3233.→Bercsényi, Count Miklós; Rákóczi, Prince Ferenc II; Freedom Fight of Rákóczi II, Prince Ferenc; Kuruc; Esterházy, Count Bálint Miklós.



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