Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

Bela IV, King of Hungary 1235-1270

Bela IV, King of Hungary 1235-1270[1]

Male 1206 - 1270  (64 years)

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  • Name Bela IV  
    Suffix King of Hungary 1235-1270 
    Born 1206 
    Gender Male 
    History Béla was born about 1206, the son of András II, king of Hungary and Gertrud von Meran. In 1213 his mother was murdered by Hungarian magnates. His father failed to avenge Queen Gertrud\'s murder, so it was left to Béla to track down and punish them, a campaign he finally completed some thirty years after her death.

    In 1218 Béla was married to Maria Laskarina, a daughter of Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris, emperor in Nicea, and Anna Komnena Angelina, the daughter of Alexios III Komnenos Angelos, emperor of Byzantium. Béla and Maria had two sons and nine daughters, of whom their son Stephan and four daughters would have progeny. Two daughters were canonised by the Catholic Church: Kunigunde (Kinga), married to Boleslaw V, Duke of Poland, was canonised in 1999; and Margarete (1242-1271) was canonised in 1943.

    Béla\'s reputation as monarch, compared to that of his father, is generally perceived to have been good. He was a strong administrator, and on his accession he sought to counter corruption and to recover lost territory which had been given over to the magnates by his father.

    In 1238 Hungary was invaded by Cuman tribes fleeing the advancing Mongol hordes. Béla sought an alliance with the Cumans, and so he granted them asylum and betrothed his son and heir Stephan to Erzsebet, daughter of a Cuman khan named Kuthen. The Cumans (originally a pagan shamanist people) converted to Christianity and were baptised. They fought beside the Hungarians against the Mongols.

    Béla tried with little success to re-establish royal pre-eminence by reacquiring lost crown lands. His efforts, however, created a deep rift between the crown and the magnates just as the Mongols were sweeping westwards across Russia toward Europe. Aware of the danger, Béla ordered the magnates and lesser nobles to mobilise. Few responded. Béla also sent messages to Pope Gregory IX and the Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich II, but to no avail. The Mongols eventually routed Béla\'s army at the Battle of Mohi on 11 April 1241. His ally Kuthen had been killed by mistrustful Hungarian lords in Pest just prior to the invasion.

    Béla fled to Austria, where Duke Friedrich of Babenberg held him for ransom, then to Trogir in Dalmatia. The Mongols reduced Hungary\'s towns and villages to ashes and slaughtered half the population, before news arrived in 1242 that the Great Ögedei Khan had died at Karakorum. The Mongols withdrew, sparing Béla and what remained of his kingdom.

    Upon his return to power, Béla began rebuilding his country, including a massive construction campaign which produced a system of castles as a defence against the threat of a Mongol return. This eventually happened in 1261, but this time Béla was successful in defeating them. He is greatly respected in Hungary and commonly known as the \'second founder\' of the kingdom.

    Béla was determined to regain the western part of Hungary which had been seized by Friedrich II as his price for giving Béla assistance in the first war against the Mongols (help which never came). Béla finally defeated Friedrich in battle in 1246, Friedrich being trampled to death by his own cavalry. Béla also engaged in a long war with Przemysl Ottokar II, king of Bohemia, to gain control of Austria and Styria, but he finally had to give up all claims after a defeat in the first battle of Marchfeld (also known as the battle of Kroisenbrunn) in 1260. He was regularly engaged in protecting the outer extremities of his realm including Dalmatia, Bosnia and Serbia.

    The final years of Béla\'s reign were marred by the rebellion of his son Stephan. Béla was eventually forced to divide his kingdom in two, with Stephan crowned as junior king of Hungary, setting up his own capital, and adopting foreign policies directly contrary to those of his father. Béla died on 3 May 1270, and was succeeded by his son as Stephan V.  [2
    History Béla\'s favorite son, Béla, died in the summer of 1269.[94] On 18 January 1270 the King\'s youngest daughter, the saintly Margaret, also died.[94] In short order, Béla fell terminally ill.[128] Before his death, he requested King Ottokar II of Bohemia, Princess Anna\'s son-in-law, to assist his wife, daughter and partisans in case they were forced to leave Hungary by his son.[128] Béla died on Rabbits\' Island on 3 May 1270.[136][139] With his death at the age of 63, he exceeded in age most members of the House of Árpád.[140] He was buried in the church of the Franciscans in Esztergom, but Archbishop Philip of Esztergom had his corpse transferred to the Esztergom Cathedral.[141] The Minorites only succeeded in regaining Béla\'s remains after a long lawsuit.[142]  [1
    History The Greater Legend of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary (Béla\'s sister) described Béla\'s family as a company of saints.[157] It wrote that the \"blessed royal family of the Hungarians is adorned with resplendent pearls that irradiate all the earth\".[157] In fact, the Holy See sanctioned the veneration of three daughters of Béla and his wife: Kunigunda was beatified in 1690,[158] Yolanda in 1827;[159] and Margaret was canonized in 1943.[160] A fourth daughter, Constance also became subject to a local cult in Lemberg (Lviv, Ukraine), according to the Legend of her sister, Kunigunda.[123]  [1
    Died 3 May 1270 
    Person ID I1822  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 26 Feb 2018 

    Father Andras II, King of Hungary 1205-1235,   b. 1176,   d. 26 Oct 1235  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother Gertrud von Meran, Queen of Hungary,   b. Abt 1185,   d. 28 Sep 1213  (Age ~ 28 years) 
    Married Bef 1203 
    Family ID F1158  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Maria Laskarina,   b. Abt 1206,   d. Abt 1270  (Age ~ 64 years) 
    Married 1218 
    +1. Stephan V, King of Hungary 1270-1272,   b. 1240,   d. 1 Aug 1272  (Age 32 years)  [putative]
    Last Modified 26 Feb 2018 
    Family ID F1140  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Béla IV, King of Hungary
    Béla IV, King of Hungary
    Bela IV\'s statue in Heroes\' Square in Budapest
    Bela IV\'s statue in Heroes\' Square in Budapest
    Bela\'s youngest daughter, Margaret, on the Nimorities Church in Saint-Poi-de Leon in France
    Bela\'s youngest daughter, Margaret, on the Nimorities Church in Saint-Poi-de Leon in France

  • Sources 
    1. [S12] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Béla_IV_of_Hungary.

    2. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00020687&tree=LEO.