Zichy - Encyclopedia

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ZICHY (of Zich and Vasonykeii), the name of a noble Magyar family, conspicuous in Hungarian history from the latter part of the 13th century onwards. Its first authentic ancestor bore the name of Zayk, and this was the surname of the family until it came into possession of Zich in the 15th century. It first came into great prominence in the 16th century, being given countly rank in 1679 in the person of the imperial general Stefan Zichy (d. 1693). His descendants divided, first into two branches: those of Zichy-Palota and Zichy-Karlburg. The Palota line, divided again into three: that of Nagy-Lang, that of Adony and Szent-Miklos, and that of Palota, which died out in the male line in 1874. The line of Zichy-Karlburg (since 1811 Zichy-Ferraris) split into four branches: that of Vedrod, that of Versony, and those of Daruvar and Csics6, now extinct.

COUNT KAROLY ZICHY (1753-1826) was Austrian war minister in 1809 and minister of the interior in 1813-1814; his son, COUNT FERDINAND (1783-1862)1862) was the Austrian field-marshal condemned to ten years' imprisonment for surrendering Venice to the insurgents in 1848 (he was pardoned in 1851). COUNT ODON [[[Edmund (disambiguation)|EDMUND]]] ZICHY (1809-1848), administrator of the county of Veszprem, was hanged on the 30th of September 1848 by order of a Hungarian court-martial, presided over by Gdrgei, for acting as Jellachich's emissary to the imperial general Roth. COUNT FERENC ZICHY (1811-1900) was secretary of state for commerce in the Szechenyi ministry of 1848, but retired on the outbreak of the revolution, joined the imperial side, and acted as imperial commissary; from 1874 to 1880 he was Austrian ambassador at Constantinople. COUNT ()DAN ZICHY (1811-1894) was remarkable for his great activity in promoting art and industry in Austria-Hungary; he founded the Oriental Museum in Vienna. His son, COUNT EUGEN ZICHY (b. 1837), inherited his father's notable collections, and followed him in his economic activities; he three times visited the Caucasus and Central Asia to investigate the original seat of the Magyars, publishing as the result Voyages au Caucase (2 vols., Budapest, 1897) and Dritte asiatische Forschungsreise (6 vols., in Magyar and German; Budapest and Leipzig, 1900-1905). Count Ferdinand Zichy (b. 1829), vice-president of the Hungarian stadtholdership under the Mailáth regime, was condemned in 1863 under the press laws to the loss of his titles and to imprisonment. In 1867 he was elected to the Hungarian parliament, at first joining the party of Deák, and subsequently becoming one of the founders and leaders of the Catholic People's Party (see Hungary, History). His second son, Count Aladar Zichy (b. 1864), also a member of the Catholic People's Party, was made minister of the royal household in the Wekerle cabinet of 1906. Count Janos Zichy (b. 1868), also from 1896 to 1906 a member of the Catholic People's Party in the Lower House, and after 1906 attached to Andrássy's Constitutional Party, was of importance as the confidant of the heir to the throne, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Count Geza Zichy (b. 1849), nephew of the Count Ferenc mentioned above, studied under Liszt and became a professional pianist; in 1891 he became intendant of the Hungarian national opera-house, a member of the Hungarian Upper House and head of the Conservatoire at Budapest. Count Mihaly Zichy (b. 1829), one of the most conspicuous Hungarian painters, was appointed court painter at St Petersburg in 1847 and accompanied the Russian emperors on their various journeys. The National Gallery at Budapest possesses some of his paintings, notably that of "Queen Elizabeth before the coffin of Francis Deak"; but he is best known for his illustrations of the works of the great Magyar writers (Petofy, Arany, &c.).

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