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The Báthory (Polish: Batory) were a Hungarian noble family of the Gutkeled clan. The family rose to significant influence in Central Europe during the late Middle Ages, holding high military, administrative and ecclesiastical positions in the Kingdom of Hungary. In the early modern period, the family brought forth several Princes of Transylvania and one King of Poland.



The Báthory family belonged to the Gutkeled, a clan of Hungarian nobles, which traced its descent to the Swabian brothers Gut and Kelad, who immigrated into Hungary from the castle Stof (probably Staufen im Breisgau or Hohenstaufen in Württemberg) during the reign of King Peter (reigned 1038-1046), who himself was partly of Venetian descent.[1]

The actual Báthory family began in the 13th century with Andrew of Rakoméz, surnamed the Bald, son of Nikolaus. Andrew is mentioned in 1250 as a patron of the monastery of Sárvár in the county of Szatmár.

In 1279, King Ladislaus IV rewarded Andrew's brother Hados[2] and Andrew's sons George (d. 1307), Benedict (d. 1321) and Briccius (d. 1322) for their military services by granting them Bátor in the county of Szabolcs. Bátor had been the estate of Vajda son of Lángos, who had married a relative of Andrew but died without issue.[3]

In 1310, Bátor came into the sole possession of Briccius when he reached an agreement with his nephew Michael and his cousin Vid to divide the joint possessions. After this, Briccius and his descendants named themselves "of Bátor" or Báthory.[4]

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