material © 2002-present,
Högyész (Tolna) in
the 18th and 19th Century
Translated by Henry A. Fischer
The Settlement of Swabian Turkey
a) Slavic Settlements
The Imperial-Royal Repopulation Patent of 1689 indicated that, "in the totally ruined and depopulated Kingdom of Hungary...everyone, regardless of status, nationality or religion, whether from within or outside the country, from the cities or countryside who are free citizens and loyal subjects," were free to come and settle.
The settlers--even during the Turkish period--were Slavic. That was especially true of those in the Tolna as well as its neighbouring Counties that thrust the remaining Magyar population to the north. The Slavs (Croats, Serbs and members of other Slavic groups), who were also called Raizen, took on the unfamiliar work of the redevelopment of the land for which they had no experience. For example, according to the parish chronicle of Szakadát, prior to the German settlement of the village in 1759, Orthodox Serbs inhabited it. To be sure, the Raizen were not that well established at the time. Their participation in the redevelopment of the area was relatively negligible.
The Slavs, in comparison with the resident Magyars, were not looked upon as peasant farmers but as cotters. They did not receive an allotment of a full or half portion of arable land from the Estate owners but rather a quarter if any at all. But they had the right of migration unlike the Magyars. Migration was permissible on paying a tax that allowed them to do so. They carried out extensive cattle rearing and moved around the countryside with their herds and in addition did some agricultural work as day labourers. There is no way that we can consider such a limited view and outlook of the nomadic Slavs as comparable with the agricultural development and settlement of the land. On the basis of their settlements they were not of the structure or order of the former villages in the area that were destroyed during the disastrous wars that had engulfed the land.
For that reason, even though these Slavic settlements existed, German peasant farmers were invited to come and settle. Through their settlement the village boundaries were extended and what had been open pasturelands for the Slavs was divided up taking away their means of livelihood. The Slavs lost more and more of their pasturelands and had to move on to other areas with their cattle.
b) German Settlements
The underlying basis for the resettlement of Hungary as indicated in the Repopulation Patent of 1689 soon became known throughout the Holy Roman Empire.
The indigenous population, the Emperor's subjects in the Austrian hereditary lands, were promised three years of exemption from paying taxes, while those from outside the direct jurisdiction of the Habsburgs were promised five years because of the major costs they would have to bear to be transported there. This meant: all of those German subjects of the Empire who were willing to emigrate and settle on the State-owned domains in the Banat or on the private estates of the nobles would be exempt from paying taxes or any other levies for five years. Early in the 1690s the first Germans immigrated to Hungary. An example of this early phase of the settlement of the Germans is in the village of Keszöhidegkút in Tolna County taking place in 1702. These first emigrants came from Hessen and Bavaria but also from Fulda, Würzburg, the Palatinate and Alsace.
The first settlement operations occurred very much at random and were not of a planned or systematic nature. They were simply by chance or due to opportunities that presented themselves at the moment that led to the settlement of German colonists in Hungarian villages. Of prime importance for their decision to emigrate was the prospect of being freed from the feudal obligations and levies paid to their noble and the promise of free land and a building lot for a house. Nevertheless during this early settlement period there was little in the way of positive results because up until 1711, the ambushes, raids and attacks by the Hungarian Kuruz rebels flared up constantly and the newly-founded former villages were destroyed and went up in flames. In the immediate period, which followed the nobles owning private estates, were more determined than ever to bring German settlers to Hungary with the full support of the Emperor. In 1712, Ladislaus Döry de Jóbaháza, the owner of the Domain and estates of Tevel and its environs, was appointed an Agent of the Crown to provide direction and lead the way in bringing Germans to develop the devastated wastelands of Hungary. Franz Felbinger was Döry's agent in Germany, and was stationed in Biberach in Upper Swabia, where he functioned as his authorized recruiter. In the meanwhile, in early 1712, the Roman Catholic nobles in the Swabian Districts received a request from Emperor Charles VI to grant their subjects permission to emigrate and shortly afterwards Felbinger had the first handbills printed in Riedlingen (Württemberg) with all kinds of promises that would appeal to the peasants that were circulated throughout all of southern Germany.
The settlement of emigrants from the south-western principalities of Germany was carried out on the basis of the recruitment of those eager and willing to go, while large numbers of colonists from the Austrian Alpine region were forced to go or were being punished with deportation: "Undesirable elements" in the hereditary lands were dumped in the south-eastern regions of Hungary and criminal elements were deported to the Banat. Rather famous and notorious was the "Temesvar Wasserschub" (a ship that the police used to transport prisoners) that was in operation in Vienna twice a year in May and October in the years between 1752 and 1768 that was loaded with undesirable persons that had been assembled by the police. They were chiefly vagrants, smugglers, "work-shy" elements in the population and women with "loose morals" and were shipped to Temesvár in the Banat. Of course they did not settle there but got back to Vienna at the first opportunity.
The Early Colonization of Swabian Turkey
The would-be settlers received an Imperial pass for their journey down the Danube. In most cases it was a collective pass for a whole group that included agricultural implements, tradesmen's tools and livestock they brought with them that was needed when they passed through the toll booths along the way. Only those named in the collective pass could undertake the journey. In this way they tried to protect them from hangers-on and fellow travellers who might be "illegals" who would attempt to pass as bona fide settlers. In the "Travel Regulations" the following stipulation was made: "the previously mentioned Swabians along with their wives and children...are not allowed to step on dry land on their entire journey or try to remain somewhere after passing by the Royal residential city of Vienna but travel on directly to Hungary."
Such precautions were apparently necessary because it had been learned that some rather large groups of settlers never reached their designated destination. In fact, this happened frequently. Nobles and other landlords represented by their agents recruited colonists bound for the Banat to settle on their private domains and lured them off the ships at Dunaföldvár, Paks or Tolna with promises that went far beyond what had attracted the settlers to Hungary in the first place. The dupe in all of this was the noble who had recruited them in Germany and had invested a considerable sum of money in his would-be settlers. The Imperial Agent of the Crown, the landlord of the Tevel Domain, Döry, must have been taken in like this more than once, for his agent Felbinger attests he was instructed to accompany the settlers he recruited so that they would not be lost along the way. In 1721 a large convoy of settlers was awaited in the Banat but they never arrived. Research indicates the settlers left the ships in Buda, Dunaföldvár and Paks along the Danube. The most famous of those who brought about this kind deviation in the destination of the settlers and recruited them for the private domains of their noble master were the estate administrators of Count Mercy (especially those of de Mercy-Argenteau) in the Tolna whose activities earned them the title, "systematic settler stealers" by one historian of the period.
Fate was not kind to the first settlers. Fraudulent agents and corrupt shipmasters often parted them from their money. In their first years in Hungary they were often plagued with hunger because the newly cultivated fields did not provide much of a yield in terms of the crops they planted. Many settlers found it necessary to take on other work in addition to their farming. In times of need the inhabitants of Szakadát had to earn their bread as masons and construction workers on the Mercy Domain in Högyész and on other occasions they had to work as far away as one hundred kilometres.
An even greater danger and threat were the floods and many harvests were ruined as a result. There was always the threat of war that existed in those regions where the Turks were still in the vicinity and often raided the settlements. In many villages, especially those with a mixed population in terms of nationality, Kuruz raids flared up when many of the villages were still in the first stage of their development and were almost totally wiped out. But the worst threats were sickness and epidemics.
In addition to the promises made to the colonists (exemption from taxes and levies; the termination of serfdom; religious freedom; assistance in house construction; providing farming equipment; the granting of arable land and meadows) were not or were not fully met. The estate owning nobles were allowed to impose the Robot (forced free labour) on their settlers as well as a tithe (one ninth or one tenth) of their crops, poultry, livestock and wine, all of which were especially forbidden in the Repopulation Patent. The settlers could not necessarily expect much in the way of support from their landlord but there were always some exceptions and in some villages in addition to the exemption from paying taxes and freedom from the tithe for three to six years they were also allocated oxen and livestock on credit, and lumber and timber for building and farming equipment were given as an outright gift. But they of course were in the minority.
For that reason there is no dearth of examples during this early settlement period of totally impoverished or sick settlers who undertook the journey back home having been forced into a life of beggary. In the Minutes of the City Council of the Royal Free City of Ulm in the year 1712 there is a report that the city had to undertake energetic measures to ward off the dangers involved by their return. While the shipping interests in Ulm saw the welcome possibility of huge profits as the steady stream of emigrants grew in May and June of 1712, a report arrived from Vienna on June 27th with the news that many of the returnees from Hungary who were reduced to beggary were making their way back home. Those who were healthy were doing so on foot and the sick were on board ships. The population of Ulm feared that the returnees would bring an epidemic to the city or even the "Hungarian sickness" (swamp fever) that they associated with the Black Death that had decimated the population of Western Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. For that reason the magistrates sought to have the ships with the sick returnees dock before reaching Ulm and go on to Offingen. On September 22, 1712 two ships with sick Swabians onboard arrived in Leipheim. The sick were treated and cared for at the expense of the Royal Free City of Ulm.
In December of the same year another ship docked at Donauwürth, where the returnees were cared for at the cost of the District.
A typical and much repeated example of a failed emigration attempt to Hungary (which was not to be an isolated case by far) is that of Konrad Rӧder from Dippach that belongs to the Bishopric of Fulda. In an official Patent of May 28, 1778 the Prince Elector Abbot Constantin von Buttlar reported that the said Röder had returned from Hungary because there "everyone is in bondage" which a German cannot tolerate. Before his emigration Röder had sold his property and possessions from which he had to pay a manumission fee of 10% of their value to his landlord the Abbey of Fulda. He was forced to use the rest of it on his journey. The Prince Abbot used this frightening example to warn his subjects about "going off to Hungary" because of the dangers involved in the emigration, although at the same time he did not forbid them to do so. In future only those returnees to the Bishopric who had an estate of 200 Gulden with them would be eligible for support until they could re-establish themselves. He did so in order to hinder the Bishopric becoming overrun with beggars and draw countless other poor people.
The release of such a decree indicates that the emigrants during this early period of the emigration to Hungary would not have been exclusively from the poorest people but people who had a "stake" of at least 200 Gulden in order to be in a position to settle in Hungary. In 1722, in Regensburg where emigrants from Fulda, Darmstadt and Franconia boarded the ships, fifty of the would-be emigrant families were sent back home because they could not show they had the minimum amount of cash with them. As a consequence several of the families sought out a shipmaster who was not as stringent about the Prince Bishop's decree and took them onboard.
The Settlement Policies at the Time of the Great Swabian Migration
Before the first phase of the Great Swabian Migration took place (1723-1727) the Hungarian Estates meeting at the Landtag (parliament) in Pressburg from 1722-1723, passed a series of Statutory Articles to promote trade and industry and above all the re-population of the Kingdom of Hungary with colonists from the Holy Roman Empire. Article 103 of 1723 can be looked upon as the basic constitutional law that lies behind the Danube Swabian colonization operation that follow.
The Emperor was thereby called upon to undertake the re-settlement of his Hungarian Kingdom with the assumption that it would be done with settlers from his extensive far flung Empire. In response, Charles VI wrote to the various German princes on three occasions and requested that they co-operate "right neighbourly" and "like a kind uncle" in a generous handling of the emigration proposal he offered to their subjects. The newly established "Neoaquistica Commissio" (New Acquired Territories Commission) in Vienna was charged with carrying out the colonization programme.
At this point in time, the first and earliest phase of the Danube Swabian colonization effort was overwhelmingly focussed on the private estates and domains of the nobles in Hungary and had a rather random and sporadic character. In contrast, the next major colonization efforts, which were State sponsored and organized. During the First Great Swabian Migration under Charles VI, about 10,000 to 15,000 persons were brought to Hungary. The Second under Empress Maria Theresia numbered 45,000 persons (between 1763-1768 there were 25,000 and between 1769-1773 another 20,000). In the Third, under the direction of Joseph II, he settled another 40,000 emigrants between 1782-1787. During the reign of Francis I another 7,000 colonists came to Hungary. It is estimated that during the 18th century around 115,000 emigrants left southwestern Germany, of which 100,000 went to Hungary and the remainder went to Galicia.
Claudius Florimundus Count Mercy and the Högyész Domains
Mercy's settlement policy in Swabian Turkey must been seen in connection with his function as the Emperor's appointed Governor of the Banat. He was an estate owner in central Tolna County with Högyész as the centre of the Mercy Domain. He was also appointed by the Emperor to be the official colonizer of the Banat, which had not been reunited with Hungary after its liberation from the Turks on the recommendation of Prince Eugene (of Savoy) but had been placed under the military and civilian authorities in Vienna. In his dual role he wore two hats and was forced to deal with issues with which he had a conflict of interests.
In 1722 Count Mercy began the colonization of the now expanded Banat. For that purpose a settler recruitment centre was established in Worms that was directed by Johann Franz Crauss, the appointee of the Emperor. Charles VI requested that the Roman Catholic prelates in the cities of Würzburg, Fulda, Mainz, Speyer, Trier as well as the Lutheran pastors in Hessen-Darmstadt and the Calvinist divines (Reformed) in Hessen-Kassel support the emigration of those who desired to leave for Hungary. The recruitment agents were also active in Lorraine, the homeland of Mercy. These regions were the catchment area for the recruitment of German settlers for Hungary: the Rhineland, Franconia and Hessen.
At the same time, Mercy began to fill his private domains in Swabian Turkey with German settlers.
In the settlement history of the Danube Swabians, Mercy counts as the most important estate owner in the new settlement of Swabian Turkey. In 1723 he received the title of Hungarian Indigenat (he had all the rights of a Magyar noble) for his military services in the war against the Turks. Before that occurred, he had purchased the entire estates of Count Zinzendorf, the Domain of Högyész and all of the villages and undeveloped prairies in central Tolna County. The Bill of Sale was dated April 24, 1722 and was ratified in Pressburg. His holdings included: Nagy-Székely, Kiss-Székely, Mucsi, Závod, Apar, Palffalva, Egres, Csetey, Szentlörinc, Ban, Udvari, Kölesd, Kis-Tormás, Nagy-Tormás, Nána, Dömör, Kapü-Apathi, Kismányok, Izmény, Alapsa, Mucsfa, Varsád, Nagy-Veike, Kis-Veike, Csókafó, Bolyata, Csék, Papd, Dusz, Csekfö, Hegiesz, Rekettye, Berény and Kalaznó. The purchase was confirmed on August 27, 1723 by Emperor Charles VI (at the same time he was King of Hungary but his title was King Charles III).
Mercy filled the villages and prairies with German immigrants. In doing so he established a policy from which he seldom deviated. In each village he settled people of the same nationality and same religion. The Protestant villages were as follows: Kalaznó, Varsád, Kistormás, Felsönána, Keszöhidegkút, Apáti, Mucsfa, Izmény and Kismányok. The Roman Catholic villages were: Szakadát, Högyész, Duzs, Mucsi, Závod, Nagyvejke, Apar, Hant and Varsád. On the whole, on the Mercy estates there were entirely Magyar, entirely Catholic, entirely Lutheran and entirely Reformed communities where Mercy settled his less numerous Magyar peasants on his lands at Pálfa and Szentlörinc (Lutheran), Kölesd (Reformed), Diósberény and Kisvejke (Catholic). He secured his settlers from the convoys heading for the Banat. For that purpose he sent his adjutant, Captain Vátzy, to Vienna where he attempted to talk to the waiting colonists onboard the ships and invited them to settle on the Tolna estates of Count Mercy. It must be noted that we cannot with a great deal of certainty determine that the first settlers in Högyész were bound for the Banat. Nor can we reconstruct where the first German inhabitants abandoned the ships and moved into the central Tolna with their "things". It is reasonable to assume that Mercy's, Adjutant Vátzy, had made some kind of contact with them in Vienna and accompanied them onboard the ship to Paks or he had his new recruits get off sooner at Dunaföldvár, Vác or even Vienna. If so the settlers had a to undertake a several weeks journey on foot. Disembarking from the ships prior to reaching their planned destination was an attempt to avoid running into agents of other landowners. The entire 1,000-kilometre journey lasted between four to eight weeks (depending on the destination). From Vienna to Pressburg took three days; then from Pressburg to Gran (Estergom) another two days; from there to Buda two more days.
Mercy decimated the not insignificant highly financed State convoys of settlers heading for the Banat by his recruitment policy. It is possible that the Emperor could deal with these losses better than live with the fact that the "stolen" colonists were overwhelmingly Protestants. He was determined to build a "bulwark of Christendom" in the Banat with Catholic settlers to ward off the ongoing threat that the Turks posed. Yet on the other hand, the fact that the Lutherans were settled on Mercy's estates in Tolna permitted him not to have to deal with the matter had they reached the Banat. The issue about the Catholic settlers who left the Danube convoys going to the Banat in response to Mercy's invitation to settle on his domains was a more ticklish matter. In this connection we can accept the thesis of some, that Mercy sought to protect the Catholic settlers leaving the convoys by settling them closer to his residence in Högyész to keep them from the clutches of Imperial authorities who would not be as benevolent as he was.
To a great extent, the settlement contracts between Mercy and his colonists are much like those of the other landlords. He did not require robot (forced work levies) of his subjects and tenants. For the Protestants who settled on his estates he guaranteed them unrestricted religious freedom. In some of the contracts it is stated this way: "You may worship in the manner of your religion and will be protected to do so as much as it is possible for the Domain to defend." Several German families had settled in the villages of Závod, Kismányok, Varsád and Felsönána prior to Mercy's purchase of the Domain but it was only under him that their legal status was assured. Hidegkút (Kaltenbrunn), Mucsi (Mutschingen), Szakadát (Sagetal), Kistormás (Kleintormas), Kalaznó (Kallas), Duzs (Duschau), Nagyvejke (Deutsch-Wecke), Varasd, Izmény, Apáti (Abtsdorf) as well as Högyész were all newly established villages under Mercy's direction. In 1728, Diósberény received its first German inhabitants after the major portion of its Magyar population had left.
Mercy contracted a so-called Settlement Agreement with his settlers that are all quite similar to the one he signed with the settlers in Högyész on July 27, 1722 which was written in Latin. According to this agreement, the settlers were granted the lands within the boundaries of Högyész as well as Csefö entirely for the purpose of growing crops. After the termination of the five year exemption they were responsible to provide the precise established levies in the agreement as follows: The peasant who had a full session of land (30 Joch) paid an annual sum of 15 Reich Gulden and surrendered a large bucket of wheat and a bucket of feed grain. In addition he had to deliver three wagonloads of hay annually. A "half session" farmer provided half of the above and a "quarter session" farmer or cotter paid appreciably less. One portion of the levy had to be paid or delivered on St. George's Day (April 24) and the other half on St. Michael's Day (September 29). There was also the responsibility to pay an annual fee in lieu of providing Robot (free days of labour service) and provide one ninth of his crops and the income from the community pub. The settlers in Högyész were given wood for building purposes and heating at no cost. The revenue from the fishpond and the yield from hunting were at the Domain owner's prerogative. The settlers were not only free to let their swine range for acorns in the forests within the old boundaries of Högyész and the open prairie of Csefö at no cost to themselves but also had the freedom to let them graze in other territory within the Domain. Once they had laid their vineyards and planted their vines they would be exempt from all levies for the first six years. If someone wanted to leave the settlement, he was free to do so, but only with two thirds of his possessions and the Domain would receive the other third. And those who did not meet their obligations could be driven out of the village.
The settlement obligations of the inhabitants of Högyész compared to those settling on other estates and domains in the area were far more favourable. But it appears that in general, the conditions and terms that the first settlers had to meet were more favourable than those that were offered to those who arrived in mid-century as the number of settlers became more and more numerous. That becomes obvious in the letters of complaint of the villages of Cisbrák (January 29, 1749) and Murga (October 30, 1766 and March 5, 1767) directed against their Domain owner, the Jeszenszky family. As a result, the Jeszenszkys felt less bound by the agreement with their settlers and constant revisions of their agreements became necessary. The village of Murga was a party to five different agreements in the space of 21 years that were dictated to them by the Domain owner the last of which had to be violently enforced.
At that time, these kinds of measures and such situations were totally unknown on the Högyész Domain. Not only Claudius Florimundus Count d'Mercy (1666-1734) but also his adoptive son, Anton Ignaz Karl Augustin Count d'Argentau (1692-1767) as well as his son, Florimundus Count d'Mercy-Argentau (1727-1794) lived up to the agreements made with their tenant subjects. It was hardly any wonder that the Mercys were honoured and even loved by their settlers and that was not just the case with the Germans. A Serbian tradition from Kisvejke has it this way: That at the time of campaign against the Turks in which Mercy served as an Imperial Colonel--he was taken prisoner by the enemy and dragged off to Bonyhád. Several men who gave the Turks the slip, hid in the Kisvejke forest including: Hangya János, Kispál Mihály, Vércse Mátyás, Töró János, Tülöp Mihály and a man known as Káloczi. These men freed Mercy and he later settled them in Kisvejke.
Even more so than Claudius Florimundus, the second of the Mercys, Anton Count d'Argentau did a great deal for he inhabitants of the Högyész Domain. In his funeral oration on the occasion of the death of Anton Mercy d'Argentau, the Lutheran pastor from Varsád, Szenitzei-Bárány, cited his role as a hero in various military campaigns for which he was famous as well as his position as governor which was also given special attention. In respect to the latter, he emphasized especially, "the major increase in the population of a great part of Tolna County and the new settlements that had come to birth and the erection of the princely manor house in the centre of his Domain in Högyész and the transformation of swamps and bramble-ridden meadows and dense forests into fertile fields. Furthermore he was honoured as a "useful citizen" and because he had become an indigenous Hungarian. Among his deed were the granting of countless benefits to his settlers and subjects; the generous distribution of the fruits of the earth both among his own subjects and those who were in need scattered all across the land. In the funeral address he was praised as a "Father" of his subjects who had been just in all of his dealings with them. "Above all, his love of justice that was the holy right of every man and gave every man his due and for that reason he was both feared and loved at the same time."
Where Did the Settlers in Högyész Come From?
The Emigration Lists from the various German bishoprics and principalities provide no satisfactory answer to the question of the destination of those who set out for Hungary. In these lists, as far as we can tell, only the name of the family and the number of family members are recorded along with the amount of money or gold they were carrying. The specifications with regard to a definite destination of the emigrants were only within the bounds of probability and the place they planned to settle was often not where they actually ended up.
The emigration records kept by the German princes and nobles show no interest or concern about where the families came from and so we need to look at the dialect spoken in the individual villages and communities; researching each dialect in every village and comparing them with one another so that conclusions can be drawn about the dialect and the region where it was spoken in their former homeland. The many parallel settlement activities of the individual estate and domain owners in Swabian Turkey as well as on the Great Hungarian Plain resulted in an entirely different composition of settlers. They lived among Magyars, Slovaks, Croats and Serbs and spoke a variety of German dialects: schäbisch (Swabian), mainfränkisch (Main River Valley and Franconia), rheinfränkisch (Rhine River Valley and Franconia), hessisch (Hessian), pfälzisch (the Palatinate), stiffolerisch (From the Bishopric of Fulda). The number of emigrant families that first settled in a given village was usually between 24 and 60. Every newly settled village was relatively cut off from any other villages and led a life of its own in isolation from others. Under those circumstances it is hardly any wonder that several German dialects, especially those spoken in smaller villages have been retained to this day in those cases where German is still spoken.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Johann Weidlein, undertook an investigation to gain an overview of the dialects spoken in the German linguistic island known as Swabian Turkey. Even though his research into the geographical distribution of dialects rather than their origin and development became his concern, his interests were in the direction of establishing where the dialects were "at home" in what is now Germany. His work let to some astounding results. With the help of the so-called Wenker Questionnaire Method and other resources he was able to determine that there were no "niederdeutschen" (Germans from the lowlands in the north) but rather--and this was only in Swabian Turkey--that almost all "mittel and oberdeutschen" dialects were represented, whereby the rheinfränkische far outweighed all the others except for Szakadát where a mittelfränkische dialect is spoken.
The first inhabitants of Szakadát who were settled there in 1723-1724 were: "compatriotae prope fluvium Saar" according to a Latin entry in the parish records and were from the Saar region in the vicinity of Zweibrücken (Westrich).
(Translator's note: The author compares this dialect with various linguistic differences that are of technical nature, as he will during the rest of this portion of the article. His examples defy translation into another language and only such information that might be of interest or pertinent to an English reader will be translated.)
Closely related to this dialect spoken in Szakadát is the Upper Hessian dialect of the villagers in Nagyszekély that is spoken in the Vogelsberg region.
On the whole, the Hessian dialects can be divided into two major groups. Those spoken in the Protestant areas and the Roman Catholic regions.
The colonists who spoke the Protestant dialect emigrated from the northern lying communities in Upper Hessen and a smaller portion from the area below the Main River around Darmstadt, Grossgerau, Wiesbaden and Mainz. It is rather striking, that to a great extent, the smaller dialect groups in Swabian Turkey have adopted that of the later- arriving-settlers from Schwalm and the Wetterau in Upper Hessen. That creates all kinds of difficulties for a dialect researcher because he is confronted with blended dialects.
The dialect spoken in the Lutheran village of Mucsfa is closely related to that of the Hessian Lutherans. Their dialect leads us to their origins in the Odenwald (which their church chronicle specifically identifies), while the Pfälzer (Palatinate) dialect spoken in neighbouring Bonyhádvarsad enables us to determine the settlers came from the region around Worms.
The Fulda dialect is especially found in the Lower Baranya where large numbers of emigrants from the Bishopric of Fulda arrived early in the 18th century and settled on the estates of Prince Eugene of Savoy. In addition to their numerous villages in the Baranya there were also villages established by them in Mucsi and Závod as early as 1718 and 1720 on the Mercy Domain.
The dialects continued to flourish in the villages of Swabian Turkey. That was particularly true of the smaller communities that were relatively isolated from the world around them. But it was inevitable that dialects began to blend as neighbouring villages inter-acted with each other. Högyész itself is a prime example of this because of the special role the community played because it was Mercy's residential headquarters in the Domain. From early on, Högyész was in close contact with most of the neighbouring communities and naturally with other estates in the vicinity. This was strengthened after 1753 when it was raised to the status of a market town with four market days a year. This interchange with other communities was very brisk. For that reason it is easy to see that various dialects have been blended in the local dialects but some still remained dominant: the Franconian and the Hessian which was influenced by the dialect spoke in the Palatinate. Despite various assertions and some historical interpretations as well as the parish register we are unable to state with certainty where the first settlers in Högyész originated. Whether they came from the Palatinate (the region around Worms); the Darmstadt region as some claim (although the Roman Catholicism of the settlers refutes that since Hessen-Darmstadt was entirely Lutheran); from the Main River Valley region of Franconia (in the vicinity of Würzburg); or perhaps the other most plausible variant is the Franconian and Swabian borderlands. If the latter is true we are not only dealing with an historical possibility but also a bitter irony. The descendants of the emigrants who settled in Högyész who were expelled from Hungary after the Second World War were then re-settled in the area from which their ancestors had ventured from in going to Hungary over two hundred years before. The Franconian town of Eschenau-Brandt is now the new home of large numbers of former residents of Högyész and in the near vicinity of the ancestral homes of their forebears.
A Portrait of the Settlement of the Högyész Domain
Researching the names of local sites and landmarks is a significant contribution to a determination of the social structure of a village as Weidlein has demonstrated.
The village settlements in Swabian Turkey- -as the maps indicate--were either clustered villages or all the houses were laid out along a single street. While the old Hungarian villages (especially those in the Hegyhat District and the forested mountainous regions) that survived the Turkish wars developed were clustered villages the kind that also spread to the large settlements in the interior of Tolna County with its propensity to steep inclines and slopes unlike the Batschka and the Banat.
With the resettlement and redevelopment of the ruined Hungarian villages the new village was not implicitly built on the site of the former village not did it replicate the former village's pattern. The documents associated with the Domains and Estates identifies some special designations like "old homestead", "old village", "older village site", "old meadows," and "old gardens." The villages that had been Hungarian cluster villages during the Middle Ages that were settled with Germans became "Strassendörfer" (all of the houses were alongside each other on a single street) with few exceptions. But even in those cases they followed the regular contours of the landscape and terrain--especially in the broad valleys as was the case in Murga, Tevel, Mucsi and Bonyhád, which were normal valley villages and a deviation from the typical one street pattern. Högyész is a combination of a one street and a valley village with a main street along with various side streets.
The villages that fell into ruin during the Turkish wars were not all resettled or redeveloped in the 18th century. In many cases two to three and sometimes even more of their boundaries that existed in the Middle Ages were combined into one village. Today's Högyész consists of the former Högyész, Csefö, Csicsó and Csernyéd as well as the southern portion of Hertelend. The designations for many of the sites and locales bear these earlier names, such as the open prairies next to Högyész named the Csernyéd Puszta and Csicsó Puszta (called "Bründl by the Germans) and the "Csefö Heights" and the "Csefö meadow." In order to explain why only two of the village names--namely, Csernyéd and Csicsó--have been maintained while the third has been degraded to identify a local feature in the landscape we need to concern ourselves with a settlement document that is dated July 27, 1722 signed by Count d'Mercy. Point three in the document said that the German settlers had the free use of the adjoining prairies of Csefö while the Domain would retain the other two (Csicsó and Csernyéd were first developed in 1726). Residences for administrators working for the Domain were erected quite early on both of the open prairies on the sites of the ruined villages and the manor houses were named after the former villages.
Not every administrator's residence bore the older name of the locale because most of them were built in the Tolna and Baranya in the middle of the 19th century after the abolition of serfdom in Hungary. Following the partitioning of the lands of the estates and domains (through the Urbarial Regulations) the domain received a large portion of the community forest and meadowlands in every village. By 1860 the land was cleared and the houses of the Administrators of the domains were first erected. This new landed estate was named after the owner or the old designation for the site: Apponyi-Puszta or the Nana Moorlands.
The names of streets provide a valuable contribution to the history of the communities and helps to answer the question of whether a village was a newly founded or built on an old Hungarian site or had been inhabited by Raizen prior to the settling of the Germans. For example in Gyönk both a "Hungarian" and a "German" village exist; in Murga there was a "Slovak Street". If we find ourselves confronted by a "Kleinhäuslergasse" (the street of the Cotters = families without farmland) as we would in Gyönk and Kisdorog we discover first hand evidence of the social structure in the life of the villages. The designation "Cotters' Street" is a reference to the existence of various social groups among the colonists in the village and they were primarily of two classes: an older, well established group of farmers and a younger, poorer landless cotter element that had come later after the sessions of land had been distributed. A surviving document from the year 1742 indicates that in Kisdorog that in addition to the older established people there were new people without land, colonists who moved in later and lived apart from the original settlers on a separate street, the Cotters' Lane. There are other cases where the homesteads of the farmers are on the site of former ones, as is true in Csibrák and Závod while the Cotters' Street is in the highly shaded northern section of the village. In Kalaznó the cotters had to dig 35 metres deep to reach water for their wells while the farmers built their homesteads on the valley floor that was much closer to the water table.
These cotters or "housed residents" as they were also called, were an element in the population in all of the Domains. Because there was no land available for them to earn a livelihood they were assigned to work, cultivating the lands of the Domain owner. This cotter "class" first appeared in the German village of Ladomány in Swabian Turkey in 1735 and from then on they were a regular element in all of the German Hungarian villages. With regard to the farmers who had a full session of land and those with only a half session they were both counted equal socially but differed in that those with only a half session worked as day labourers for the Domain and those with full sessions during the major working season of the year during the summer and autumn worked their own fields.
For all of that, the customary inheritance practices also affected the original owners of small and smaller parcels of land. The cherished inheritance custom that the firstborn received the homestead and major portion of the land was well in place in the Banat and southern Swabian Turkey. The siblings received a quarter or less of the land to survive on and could only expand their holdings through an advantageous marriage or through any future inheritance.
The Farm Homestead and Agricultural Pursuits
Before the settlement began the individual Domain owners established the exact number of house lots for each village for an average of 25 to 35 sessions of land for each. These sessions consisted of 24 to 28 Katastral Joch based on the size of the family involved and their financial situation and divided some in half so that initially there were only full and half session farmers. Those who came later had to make do with what was still left over. The cotter had three to four Katastral Joch at his disposal or received meadowland. Next to the "Herreleit" (the full and half session farmers) also called "Hausgesesesene" (house possessors) and the poorer element, the cotters, there were two additional classes: a middle class of tradesmen and artisans who were also farmers with an eighth of a session who made their living with their limited farming and their trade and then there was the poorest class of all, the day labourers known as "Beisasse" (inhabitants).
At the time of settlement each family received a "Einschreibbüchel" (a regulation booklet) that guaranteed the possessor a house lot, garden and yard as well as a stated amount of land that would be apportioned to him. But the theoretical formulation of the principle was one thing; the rights of the settlers and how they were treated was another so that a considerable number of the settlers in the early period of the settlement had to endure great privations. In a letter written in 1771 by the settler, Georg Adolf Schäffer--he lived in "Gallas" (Kalaznó) a tenant farmer of Count d'Mercy--to his brother-in-law in his old homeland (in the Kassel area) it documents the harsh difficulties that had to be overcome in the early period of settlement but that following that life for the emigrants to Hungary was quite tolerable if not favourable to what they had known back home. In a very short time the emigrants following their departure from home were able to fend for themselves quite well. Above all that meant their living accommodations.
The homesteads were laid out in equal proportions alongside each other on the streets and lanes on which their houses were erected most of which also had a fence along the street. Likewise a large vegetable garden was laid out towards the street. In the yard between the house and garden there was a well. In back of the house there was a stable, hayloft, press-house (wine making), sheds and other outbuildings that were attached to it. Depending on the location of the settlement, the arable land formed a loose chain around the village and sloping terrain became the site for wine cellars and "press-houses" in the wine growing areas.
The settlers had to forget about replicating the wood frame houses of their old homeland because of the costs involved. And the lack of skills to do so. To fashion the first "Kurzbauten" (literally short built but best described as being squat) houses, the cheapest and most readily available building materials was used: loess. This "small colonist's house" that was built at the outset was of the type associated with Franconia and built quite simply. It did not have a walkway alongside of it as would be common later. The straw covered roof had only a bit of an overhang and several small windows were inserted into the thick walls.
Because of the notable increase in family size in the years ahead it was often necessary to make additions so that over time the squat house developed into the now common long rectangular house. From the time of construction in the beginning in addition to living space in the house there were also agricultural buildings: the stable, hayloft and sheds. The building material that was used was the same that served in the construction of the squat and later rectangular houses made of stamped down or air-dried mud (made out of earth, clay, water and chopped straw). (Translator's note: we would refer to it as adobe.) In more mountainous terrain the houses had foundations had a base formed out of stones or bricks. Because the straw and reed roofs were a fire hazard, over time, roof tiles replaced them on the house as well as the stable and outbuildings to even out the outward appearance of the rectangular house. Later, due to a need for expansion a third section was added to form a U shaped building and even later it became four sided.
With the lengthening of the house it became necessary to provide a walkway from one room and one section to another, the so-called "Gang". It also became necessary to extend the roof overhang over the Gang and supported it with wooden pillars to provide a covering over it. (Translator's note: It is very much like a roofed side porch.) Doors were added on the street side of the house. The covered walkway was separated from the yard by a low wall and was integrated with the rooms of the house and the agricultural buildings. It also served as cool sleeping place on hot summer nights and also a place to hang and dry tobacco, corn and paprika.
The cellar at the rear of the yard served as a summer kitchen and a small cattle stall but also as a place for cotters to live, as was the case in Mucsi.
In the early settlement years, parallel to erecting the necessary living accommodations the settlers also undertook the cultivation of their fields that differed according to whether their landholdings were large or small and depending on their status. Meadow and forestry work was carried out alongside of clearing and cultivating their acreage. These were the major tasks of those with the larger pieces of land, while those with smaller holdings established their vineyards, meadows and pastures alongside of working the land. Winter wheat was planted along with winter rye, beets for fodder, corn, potatoes, hemp and tobacco and in some areas rice as well. A great deal of Tobacco was cultivated in Fadd, Bonyhád, Izmény, Nagyszekély and Pari. But the major centre for "Swabian Tobacco" growing was Högyész in which thousands of Zentner (hundredweights) was grown annually in the 1780s.
Due to the intensive farming of the land and the methods used it led to the doing away of the fallow ground. In its place new methods of cultivation were introduced that was familiar to the settlers in their former homelands, the improved three field system. Alongside of this their use of the iron plough that was then unknown in Hungary at that time they introduced the fertilization of their fields with manure from their stables. Straw was no longer burned as it had been by custom by the Raizen in the past but rather was spread on the floors of their livestock's stalls.
In addition to tobacco growing the cultivation of silkworms was carried out in Högyész as it was in other parts of Swabian Turkey that supplied a flourishing silk industry in the Tolna. The centre of silkworm cultivation was Szekszárd where a "microscopic institute" provided further research in silkworm cultivation and employed over one hundred people. By government decree mulberry trees were planted in cities and villages and the leaves served as fodder for the silkworms being raised as a household industry in special chambers that were specially designed for them.
Cattle rearing which was more familiar to the Hungarians and which they pursued more intensively than the German settlers who were engaged in the cultivation of the land was still of great deal of importance to them. It resulted in the crossbreeding of the cattle they brought with them to Hungary with the Hungarian "Simmentaler" breed, which produced a highly productive, brown spotted milk cow that was named the "Bonyhád Horned Cow" that soon replaced and eventually vanquished the Hungarian "Steppenrind". The herding of swine, sheep and geese is another characteristic of all of the settler villages. The wool from the sheep understandably was spun and used in making various knitted items including the famous "Batschker" (a kind of slipper).
The Structure of the Village
As we saw in the work of Weidlein, many of the original names of locales, sites and street names indicate that there were not only farmers in the villages. There were also tradesmen, artisans, merchants and other important "Herreleit" (the kind of people you had to call "Sir") that appear in street names such as "Herrengass" (where the teacher, Richter (local official something like a mayor) and doctor lived); the "Judengass" (the Jewish Street); "Müllersäcker" (The miller's acreage); "Fleischhackerstal" (The butcher's part of town). Even a portion of the names of the streets are family names of former inhabitants: in Diósberény the following are some examples of that. The names "Bojáshegy" and "Gellérthegy".
In Högyész tradesmen and artisans were considered to be a highly desired settlers. The conduct and behaviour of Mercy's agents at the time of the Great Swabian Migration demonstrates their deviation of tradesmen from their destination in the Banat to the Högyész Domain. Tradesmen were important in the life of the villages and provided more work opportunities for them to ensure them of a livelihood. In addition to their trade they also did the unfamiliar work associated with farming. Above all, those who were able to make a decent living by their trade were the merchants, traders, innkeeper and tavern operator and the butcher. The others--the shoemaker, blacksmith, tailor, fuller or draper and the Klumpen maker (a type of wooden shoe) did not earn much more from their products than a day labourer. Far better off by far, were the masons, as the example of Szakadát demonstrates which was known throughout the surrounding area.
The social structure of a village is not only determined by the social classes represented in its inhabitants but also through familial ties and neighbourly connections. Because of its isolation from other neighbouring communities there were limited possibilities to marry outside of close family connections and within one's social class. The custom of marrying among one another was simply presumed and the engagement of their offspring in childhood was widespread despite the threat of incest. In this way, the village developed a social cohesiveness expressed in various ways by providing mutual help and neighbourly support to one another.
Neighbourliness along with friendship ties were developed and nurtured by "going to the Wirtshaus (the pub) on Sunday after church." The Wirtshaus, the official pillar of Danube Swabian society had a rival in the "Keller" (wine cellar). That is where smaller groups of neighbours gathered in seclusion away from the " big shots" to discuss the things that could not be spoken about out in the open at the Wirtshaus.
The "Weibersleit" (the females) discussed matters as they went about doing all kinds of household tasks and activities; shucking corn cobs; while darning stockings; spinning wool; all at group gatherings in the private home of a neighbour where the significant happenings on the street or in the village were shared (and of course every thing was significant).
The weekly markets also played the same kind of social function.
In 1753, Högyész was raised to the status of a market town with the right to hold four market days each year. Because of it, the community experienced an economic upswing because of its strategic geographical location in the hill country along the major highway that lay within its boundaries. (The Danube Line: Esseg-Budapest and the Kapos Valley Line: Dombovár-Pincehely-Budapest) The right to hold a market also brought with it a special title for Högyész: "oppidum" (fortified town) even though there was never any walls around the town. The market in Högyész served as an important centrally located grain market for the surrounding villages. While Högyész was raised to the status of a market town in 1753 it was not until 1780 that Bonyhád received its right to hold a market even though it lay at the very centre of agricultural production in the surrounding twenty-eight villages.
In those Danube Swabian towns and market towns where business and trade were developing and flourishing the Jewish population played a significant role in it. Their percentage of the population was an indication of the economic importance that the community had. At the end of the 19th century the Jewish population in Bonyhád was 30% of its inhabitants while in Högyész it was always 10%. Even before the Edict of Toleration of Joseph II in 1781 there had been a large-scale emigration of Jews to Högyész and a synagogue had been built in 1755.
Despite of the steady impact that trade and business of all kinds made on Högyész--that portion of the local economy rose to 45% in 1920--it did not lead to any industrialization as was also true of the other towns in the area (Szekszárd, Bonyhád, Szigetvár) so that their character as farming towns continued for a long time.
The rights of the individual villages were established in their settlement contract. In these agreements it becomes apparent that although the settlers were not serfs on coming to Hungary (which was also the case in Högyész) many of their rights were curtailed and they were legally subject to the Domain to a great extent.
A significant degree of self-governance was achieved in their local affairs even though the nobleman who owned the Domain de facto appointed the governing officials. The highest organ of governance in the village was the "Gericht" (Council) in which the community Richter represented the people. The Richter was elected by the members of the community (only the men were eligible to vote and among them only those with a certain amount of property) but the nobleman had the right to nominate the candidate. The Council consisted of up to three members--without being nominated by the noble--who were directly elected by the community. The notary did all of the necessary paper work with the officialdom.
A person commanding even more respect than the Richter was the clergyman who was also more influential than he was. In 1723, a year after the first settlers arrived in Högyész, the parish was established by Peter Willerscheid a priest from Fulda, while another source suggests that he originally came from Trier. Beginning in 1724 he began to keep the parish records of Högyész. In the year of the settlement in 1722 according to the report of the canonical visitor for the Bishop of Pécs he wrote: "...in the wastes of Högyész between Mucsi and Bereny...I found an old church with no walls standing with the exception of the threshold of the sanctuary." The site of this Raizen church that the first settlers repaired and used as a place of worship was the courtyard of today's town hall. In the same report the residence of the clergyman was fifteen strides away from the church that the parishioners had built for him right after the settlement took place and--so complained the visitor--the noble landlord was content with the old church and had no interest in building a new one. The contemporary knowledgeable citizen of today might well wonder, as did the bishop's representative did in 1729, why Claudius Florimundus d'Mercy who always retained a tolerant attitude when it came to the various confessions (denominations) did not extend this tolerance and liberal tendencies to questions dealing with church governance or got involved in church affairs since he had the rights of a Patron over all of the parochial churches on his Domain. In 1733, a later legate of the Bishop of Pécs felt quite satisfied that he could report that during his visitation that Mercy had repaired the church in good order and had a sacristy built.
But Mercy interfered in church affairs--for the benefit of the priest-- to the extent that in his function as the spiritual overlord of his subjects on the Domain that in addition to the tithe of a ninth, he added the tenth of the all of the crop yields and gave the latter to the priest. Mercy appointed the parish priest of Högyész, Willerscheid, as the rector of all the German colonist villages that were then responsible to assume some of the costs of his support.
The village Richters were charged with the punctual and orderly payment and support of their clergy. There was confusion about the rightfulness of the clergy's demands and they argued about it saying that they asked for more than they were entitled and gave them less than they demanded. For that reason the priest in Högyész could not pay his two chaplains. The pastoral care he was to provide in a neighbouring village which was called a "filial" (daughter) was accordingly left unattended. Quite often worship that was conducted in the filials took place only once a month. The establishment of more new parishes made things more difficult because of the huge and constant changes as the numbers increased in the Mother churches.
How clever Mercy's decision was to settle only members of a common religious confession in each village can be fully validated by this example from the village of Kismányok where Lutheran and Reformed Swabians were settled together in 1720. (Translator's note: This was at the time when the Domain were owned by Count Zinzendorf prior to Mercy's purchase of it.) When it came to the election of pastors both confessions wanted one of their own. Because the Lutherans were unsuccessful they left in 1721/1722 and settled in Nagyszekély and later moved on to Gyönk. (Translator's note: I am afraid that the author is in error. It was the Reformed who moved on because it was a Lutheran pastor who came to serve the congregation. There would never be a Reformed congregation in Kismányok. Both Nagyszekély and Gyönk had Reformed congregations.) The clergy themselves sometimes demonstrated their intolerance rather than some kind of religious zeal. The Swabian Lutherans in Szárázd who formed the vast majority of the village's inhabitants did not want to submit to the spiritual authority of the local priest and organized a "religious fellowship" under the leadership of the village notary who also taught the Lutheran children in their school. Outraged by such "heretical activities" the priest, Michael Winkler, who had the Lutherans in Szárázd under his spiritual jurisdiction, outlawed the Lutheran school so that the children had to attend school in a neighbouring Lutheran community. To the contrary, a Roman Catholic from Murga in his request to leave the Domain of his landlord in 1776 gave as his reason for wanting to do so was the fact that he did not want to live among Lutherans.
But there was an example of tolerance that was spoken of and well known throughout the Tolna concerning the village of Varsád, where during the first years of its settlement Calvinists, Catholics and Lutherans used the church that was erected.
The piety of the settlers is a subject that was addressed extensively in the reports of the bishop's canonical visitors. They gave expression to their faith in their cheerful giving towards the building of their churches and the furnishing of altars as well as their participation in pilgrimages. A place of pilgrimage that attracted numerous pilgrims was the "Brünnl Mariae" (Mariae Bründl, two kilometres north-east of Högyész in Csicsó). Count Mercy-Argentau in which he was interred on March 10, 1767 endowed the chapel. The Chief Chaplain, Father Felix Augustin Sporer, to the Bishop of Pécs, appended this information to an authentic report; Georg Klimó dated January 23, 1767 following Count Mercy's death. In his report Sporer indicates he spent some time in the vicinity and gave the Count absolution and the Last Rites. The thesis that Anton Count Mercy-Argentau died in Esseg and was brought back to Högyész (which would have taken up to six weeks considering the distance and the winter weather that was bad at this time of year) is no longer tenable. Above all, an appendix to the report of Sporer puts an end to all of that. He reports that the mortal remains were kept in the house chapel in Högyész until his only son and heir, Florimundus Claudius Count Mercy-Argentau arrived from Paris to pay his last respects. That took six weeks.
The Development of the Högyész Domain in the 18th and 19th Centuries
On June 2, 1773 the Domain of Högyész was sold to the Apponyi family by the last Mercy, Florimundus Claudius Count Mercy-Argentau (1727-1794). As a busy Imperial diplomat and ambassador to the French Court in Versailles in the service of the Empress Maria Theresia and her successors, Joseph II, Leopold II and Francis I/II he saw himself unable to devote time to the running of his Domain in Swabian Turkey. He saw, "how his officials looked after his estates to their own advantage but had to rely upon them." In 1767 he endeavoured to find a buyer but his formal request "for permission to sell my Högyész Domain in Hungary to someone," was denied on October 5, 1771 by the Viennese authorities. Maria Theresia, who laid great store by Mercy, personally took the trouble to bring about a favourable solution to the matter. On February 10, 1772 the Empress wrote to her "Friend and Minister" Mercy who was the Austrian envoy to St. Petersburg, Warsaw and Paris at the time, "I am sorry to say that I cannot tell you any more about Högyész except for this memorandum: the death of Grassalkovich and the changes in the Ministry are to blame." Yet with the help and support of Prince Kaunitz, Mercy was able to sell the Doman of Högyész that same year to Count Georg Apponyi, which was valued at 700,000 Gulden. The "deed for the sale of the Estates of Count Mercy d'Argentau of the Domain of Högyész or Mezöhegyes to Count Apponyi" is dated June 12, 1734. The former Mercy rights of primogeniture were also granted to Apponyi.
At the time of the sale, the Domain of Högyész included twenty-three communities of which two were market towns and twelve open prairies with residential buildings. In addition there were 1,546 "farming households" and 736 "cotter families". With regard to an inventory of the Domain we have the result of: A Draft of the Domain of Högyész. It states that the Domain consists of twenty-three communities and twelve open prairies, kitchen gardens, residential buildings for officials, a wine cellar and 8,000 Eimer of wine, and in the market town of Högyész a well built castle, fruit garden, two greenhouses, a large courtyard, Jewish synagogue, Jewish shops, brewery and distillery, fruit storage, butcher shop, a well-built church and a rectory in the village. Everything has a tile roof. The inhabitants are German Catholics. Four market days per year. The Domain has no vineyards and the tenant subjects have a bit. At the time of this documentation the churches and rectories in the communities of Duzs, Mucsi and Závod (Calvinist) were extant. In Duzs there was also a gardener's house, a good mill and four footbridges across the Kapos River and in Calvinist Závod there is a tavern, a mill on the Sárvís River, a custom's house and a store. This is followed by an enumeration of the Lutheran villages in the Domain.
With the change in landlords several significant changes took place in the Högyész Domain. These changes cannot be simply isolated to the Högyész Domain because parallel to those changes with their landlord important developments effecting the relations between the Domains and their tenant subjects that had existed up to now in the middle of the 18th century were being questioned. The right of migration on the part of the tenants was being curtailed more and more and the estate owners felt themselves less and less bound by the terms of their settlement contracts. The inhabitants of the villages were once again treated like they were duty bound serfs so that the demands made of them were always greater. The peasant farmers were no longer willing to look upon serfdom as something divinely ordained and that it was possible for them to work for their landlords without the demands of serfdom being imposed on them. More and more complaints were sent to the State Commission about the abuses they suffered so that government intervention became necessary. In 1767 the long overdue Urbarial Regulation was put into force. It stipulated the following provisions: At the time the regulation went into effect whatever landholdings the tenant subjects worked could not be taken away from them by the landlord and assigned to someone else even thought the land was still the possession of the landlord. For the first time a legal distinction was made between the land worked by the tenant subject and the land that was cultivated by the noble himself. The Urbarial Regulation established new binding agreements between the Domains and their tenant subjects and provisions for the protection of the rights of the tenants that had been violated since the first settlement had taken place.
There were also significant changes in the religious and confessional sphere in the mid 18th century in the form of rigorous restrictions placed upon the Protestants. The Mercy Domain with its predominant Lutheran villages came into the possession of the Apponyi family. At that time the nobles and landlords could not protect or defend their Lutheran tenant subjects from the massive pressures unleashed by the staunchly Catholic House of Habsburg (read Maria Theresia). As was the case in other villages in the Domain of Högyész the prayer houses and schools of the Protestants were locked up and their pastors and teachers were expelled from the community. It was only three years after the Edict of Toleration of Emperor Joseph II in 1781 that the Lutherans were permitted to open their churches once more. In this time frame a super abundance of letters of homage were written to the Domain owners by their Lutheran subjects. This is the way that the Lutheran pastor in Kismányok, Johann Friedrich Weiss, along with the Richter, of the village, Johann Just Allrutz, and four Council members in a letter of August 12, 1773 addressed their new landlord, Count Georg Apponyi with their servile request: "that he would also be a true father and defender of the Lutherans as were the Counts d'Mercy before him." All of this bending of the knee was futile because as was to be true in all of the Lutheran villages of the Apponyi Domain their prayer house was locked up and their pastor and teacher were driven out of the community.
The emancipation of the peasant subjects of the nobles was first set in motion during the reign of Joseph II. Alongside of the Urbarial Regulation of his mother, Maria Theresia, he recognized and accorded the tenant subjects their freedom of movement and migration in his famous Patent of 1785. Thereafter the tenants had the freedom to choose where they wanted to live and work without requiring the permission of the noble landlord nor were they obliged to have his consent in order to marry or choose a trade.
Sixty years later in the course of the emancipation of the serfs in Hungary in 1848, land that was worked by tenant subjects became theirs by legal right. As a result there were some important changes in the former boundaries--including the villages in central Tolna around Högyész. Changes that had their beginnings during the period when the Urbarial Regulations were in effect when the landholdings were designated Domain or tenant landholdings. At that the time of that division Apponyi received mostly forests and pasturing fields on the borders of the villages of Kalaznó, Felsönána and Varsád. Because the forest bordered the three villages for technical governing purposes Varsád was annexed to his holdings. After clearing some of the forest and making the land arable an administrator's residence was built, the so-called Rudolf-Puszta. The northwesterly portion of Hertelend consisted of forests that along with the Duzs forest were both connected with the Högyész forest. At the time of the division that took place as a result of the Urbarial Regulations this interconnected forest was added to the boundaries of Högyész, which was simple to arrange since they all had the same landowner.
A Brief Church History in Högyész
According to the summary account of the bishop's canonical visitor of March 30, 1729 the old church had three altars, a cross above the High altar, a chalice with the initials C and E (perhaps a gift from the royal couple Charles VI and his wife Elisabeth), a trunk with an iron lock in which the ciborium and the reserved host were stored. Four years after the first visitation, the bishop's legate made a new assessment of the situation. According to his submission the church was in good repair and sacristy had been built as an addition. On May 16th 1755, the Bishop of Pécs, Georg Klimó, administered the sacrament of confirmation. The parish of Högyész with its filial in Duzs counted 88 Roman Catholic families. In addition to the furnishings in the church building the report to the bishop mentions that there is a vineyard as part of the rectory property that the priest needed because of the meagre salary he received.
The refurbishing of the church took place in the 19th century. In 1850 Vinzentius Prick of Vienna donated a baptismal font and statue and in 1860 Count Kasimir Apponyi made a gift of banners for the Stations of the Cross. There have been twenty-two priests who served in the parish of Högyész as follows:
l. Peter Willerscheid (the priest at the time of the settlement
who left to serve in Köln 1723-1731
2. Karl Kriener 1732 - 1739
3. Franz Schuknecht 1739-1740
4. Heinrich Muth 1740-1744
5. Andreas Federspiel 1744-1745
6. Paul Babonitcs 1745-1753
7. Anton Fabrik 1753-1760
8. Johann Henckelmann 1760-1787
9. Josef Pirker 1787-1798
10. Karl Kolb (from Batászék) 1799-1842
11. Karl Gyenis (from Högyész) later Dean 1842-1874
12. Karl Hunyadi (from Szakadát) 1874-1881
13. Peter Streicher (from Högyész) 1881-1910
14. Josef Schäfer 1910-1922
15. Josef Leh 1922-1930
16. Josef Eberhard 1930-1933
17. Franz Bräutigam 1934-1938
18. Endre Pásztor 1939-1958
19. Dr. Ladislaus Gallos 1958-1968
20.Josef Petz 1968-1980
21. Eduard Mim 1980-1986
22. Michael Klein Since November 1986
The first wedding in the new church took place on June 10, 1800. During the 19th century to the Church Jubilee on September 14, 1899 there were 2,835 more. In the same time frame, 12,470 children were baptized. Josef Streicher, resident priest in Packs, a son of the parish and the brother of the parish priest in Högyész, Peter Streicher and in the presence of Count Geysa Apponyi, Imperial and Royal Counsellor and the members of the parish, preached the festival sermon at the One Hundredth Anniversary of the church.
In addition to the parish church in Högyész a chapel existed in the castle built by the Mercys in 1740. The palace chaplain also served at the pilgrimage church "Mariae Bründle" in Csicsó. In 1812 in addition to Duzs there were two other filials in Felsönána and Nagytormás that were later integrated into other parishes. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th the following filials were integrated into the Högyész parish: Kalaznó, Kalaznó Puszta, Csicsó, Csernédpuszta and Szállapuszta.