Hungarian Folk Figure. Born Lajos Batthyány de Németújvár in Pozsony, present day Bratislava, he attended school in Vienna and joined the army in 1826 serving in the cavalry. In 1831 he moved home to take control of his lands and obtained a law degree in Zagreb. He was a moderate nationalist and a liberal landowner. In 1839 he established a sugar factory on his estate and had a hydro-electric plant built. He became a member of Hungary's Upper House in 1830 and in 1845 he led the forces seeking Hungarian independence from Habsburg rule. In March 1848 he served as a member of the committee that presented Hungarian demands for parliamentary reform to the Austrian imperial court. In April the Austro-Hungarian emperor, Ferdinand, appointed him prime minister of Hungary's new parliamentary government. He proved himself an able leader, but was doomed by circumstance. His government stood between the Austrian monarchy and the Hungarian extremists. In the rebellion to follow, he attempted mediation, but eventually found himself on the side of the rebels. Shortly after resigning his office, he was wounded in an action in the winter of 1848. In January 1849 he was seized while traveling through Pest and was held for trial, charged with treason. He was sentenced to death. The night before the scheduled execution he attempted suicide with a knife. Unsuccessful, his execution was carried out by firing squad the following morning. In 2002 the Batthyány College of Law was named in his honor.
Bio by: Iola