Royal commissioner's investigation in Békés County (1835) Cover Image

Királyi biztosi vizsgálat Békés megyében (1835)
Royal commissioner's investigation in Békés County (1835)

Author(s): Orsolya Völgyesi
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The paper discusses one of the most debated events of the political life of the 1830s on the basis of archival sources. From the early 1830s, Békés County had become an important basis for the reform opposition. The attention of the government was probably raised by the consistent opposition behaviour of the deputies from Békés, and by their close cooperation with decisive personalities of the opposition, such as Miklós Wesselényi, Ferenc Kölcsey, and Ödön Beöthy. After the bills proposing the security of the persons and property of villeins, the abolishment of manorial courts, and voluntary manumission compensation were voted down in the lower house in December 1834, Békés County sent a circular to all the municipal authorities on February 3, 1835, to support having the important bills repeatedly put on the agenda. The government, on account of the resolution of the county meeting, ordered an investigation by a royal commissioner into the circumstances of the composition of the circular and to take its authors to task. The investigation started after the dissolution of the Transylvanian diet, and following the beginning of the trial of Miklós Wesselényi on charges of treason. In the tense political situation, the parliamentary opposition had, at the request of the county, the Békés case as well as the trial of Wesselényi put on its agenda as violations of the freedom of expression. The opposition claimed that the government had started investigating certain individuals for a resolution of the county meeting, indeed, that it intended to restrict correspondence among the counties themselves -- not for the first time since the 1790s. No one was prosecuted in Békés County as a result of the royal commissioner's investigation, but the Lord Lieutenant [fõispán], regarded as a weak man, was replaced by a procurator [fõispáni helytartó] in 1836. Not even this move could, however, prevent the opposition from gaining ground just as the further orders of the government were unable to restrict the correspondence among the counties, which the opposition regarded as one of the most important constitutional rights.

  • Issue Year: 1999
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 27-37
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Hungarian