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Status of the Nobles including the common nobles (or "minor nobles") was defined by Verböczy as:

1) A nobleman is answerable to the King only.

2) A nobleman cannot be arrested without judicial determination.

3) A nobleman is free from all public burden and public duties, his only duty is that of national defence.

4) If the King offends the Constitution, a nobleman can lawfully resist.

Proof of nobility was ordered in Hungary in 1725, 1731, and 1759. Excepting those whose noble origin was public knowledge, every other nobleman was obliged to prove his rights to the title before a committee selected for the purpose. The final decision was a royal prerogative. (PALLAS NAGY LEXIKONA, 7/31, 13/5)

The nobility was under the obligation of covering the cost of their own outfit and all other expenses of the insurrection. The landed nobility was also burdened with the so called "portalis insurrectio" according to the number of their bondmen. The sick, the old, those with several under age children, only sons, clergymen, public servants, teachers, physicians, surgeons, widowers, under age orphans and regular soldiers were not obliged to be insurgents.

Defence obligations by nobles were always attached to their properties. In the old days when danger threatened the homeland, the countrywide showing of a bloodstained sword had ordered the nobles into military service; under our earlier kings they fought around the ancient tribal banners, later under the standard of a senior officer, now usually under instruction from the national assembly.

An insurrection might have been universal or partial depending on whether the country as a whole or only a certain part of it was called to arms. Such insurrection differed from the so called "banderium"-s. According the practice that governed an insurrection, every nobleman personally took part under the leadership of the country's highest ranking military commander, the Nador, whilst the banderium was formed from soldiers recruited under the banners of the country's standard bearer lords, other major nobles and bishops of the Church, according to orders issued by the national assembly; each under his own leadership and standard,

This differentiation is clearly underlined by Act No. XVIII of 1492 which states that , the King cannot call for a universal insurrection as long as his army and the troops of the standard bearer lords are considered sufficient to repel the enemy. Furthermore nor the insurgent nobles nor the banderiums were to be ordered to operate outside the country's borders.

The organisation and discipline of the insurgents followed normal military rules. Insurgent officers and cavalry were without exception, infantry officers below captain were nominated by the County. Staff officers were, following recommendation by the County., appointed by the Nador.

The last Hungarian insurrection in 1809

Hungary's insurgent army reserve consisted of some thirty thousand horsemen and forty thousand infantrymen.

Only a portion of this force took part in the last Hungarian insurgency against Napoleon in the battle of Györ in 1809. Nobles of the northern counties were mobilised against the invading Poles whilst the insurgents from beyond the river Tisza and from Transylvania had not reached to meeting place in time.

13 thousand horsemen and 42 thousand infantrymen made up the opposing French army. One French corps had, however, stayed behind in Pápa. Therefore only 35 thousand men took part in the battle; of that force the cavalry numbered ten thousand.

Napoleon pushed toward Vienna, his mind made up to prevent at any cost the union of Archduke Johann's forces withdrawing through Graz with the army of Archduke Karl stationed in Austria. The battle of Györ began on 11th June 1809, lasted for several days and ended , for all practical purposes, in a draw. The better equipped, better trained, seasoned and probably better led French forces faced the more spirited and resolute Austro-Hungarian units. Archduke Johann lost 6200 men; the Hungarian insurgents fighting under the leadership of General Andrássy lost 180 dead and 580 seriously wounded.

(Compiled by Pál Pintér. Based on books by Sándor Kisfaludy ex Guards officer and poet, General Graf von Beckers, Determinations of the Maria Therese Order, also Decision No. 2640 of the executive committee set up for the purpose of awarding medals of bravery and other rewards. Full details in "Hadak Utján" Munich, Vol. XXX, No.338)

Csiba Dávid István of Tejfalu (RY #25) *1783, Insurgent corporal took part in the Napoleon campaign. He was decorated with a silver medal and received 20 gold forints. (Péter Gálffy)

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