1725 Varsad, Tolna, Settlers Complaint to the Komitat (Conuty)
Translated by Rosina T. Schmidt
In the archives of the Komitat (County) of Szakadat is a complaint of the town of Varsad early settlers on Count of Mercy Estate to be found in which the villagers listed the reasons why they would like to return back home. Here is the translation:
- The count disregards almost all of the articles of the original agreement between the settlers and him. From the area originally belonging to Varsad, the count took a large chunk of meadow away to give it to the new settlers of Szakadat, Kalazno and Kistormas.
- The villagers were promised to be paid to transport goods to the manor house of Mrs. Nigrinyi some 15 miles distance, this against the contract and in the end were forced to do that service without being compensated for it. When the settlers objected and complained they were threatened with the Hogyesz tower (the prison tower in the town of Hogyesz).
- Many different type of wild animals destroyed the villagers newly sown fields. Hungry wolves stole the chickens from their coops, but the settlers were not permitted to kill those wolves.
- The dogs had to be chained at all times. But as the dogs always do, they would get loose and the manors’ hunter would charge the dog owner for bringing the dogs back and fine them two Forint.
- When a poor settler lent his trained oxen to someone and those trained oxen were exchanged for 3 or 4 young ones, they had to pay a fee to the manor house.
- As per the settlement agreement, the settlers were free of any work obligations to the landlord, yet they were forced to work on the Danube and transport logs and other things.
- Quite a few men (carpenter and other artisans) worked in Hogyesz**for one, even two months for the manor, without ever being compensated for.
- When the landlord’s clerks asked a settler to do something, which was against their contract, the clerks would immediately give that settler the notice when he is to appear before the court in Hogyesz. They even threatened with hanging.
- The new settlers, who disembarked from the boats in Tolna, had to transport themselves to the Mercy estates. They had to pay 3 Forint each to Mr. Fendrichs. That money did not pay for the transportation itself.
- When someone sells his property, he receives only 1/3; if the landlord throws someone out, he still has to pay the outstanding mortgage on that property. The landlord is not willing to give a receipt.
Johann Dallmata and Andreas Maurer signed this declaration.
Note: * Hogyesz was the head office of Count of Mercy Estate, the local Landowner.