Thököly, Imre ĭm´rĕ tö´kölyə [key], 1656–1705, Hungarian rebel, of a noble family of N Hungary. His father, Stephen Thököly, took an important part in the unsuccessful conspiracy of Francis I Rákóczy and Peter Zrinyi against Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and died (1670) while defending his castle against imperial troops. Thököly fled to Poland. The severe reprisals meted out by the Austrian governor of Hungary led to a general uprising, supported after 1674 by Louis XIV of France. Thököly took command (1678) of the rebel army and in 1680 made a truce with Leopold. The emperor restored (1681) religious and political freedom in Hungary, but Thököly rejected his concessions as insufficient and began to plot with the Ottoman Empire to make himself master of his country. In 1682 he married Helen Zrinyi, daughter of Peter Zrinyi and widow of Francis I Rákóczy, and late in the same year he was recognized by Sultan Muhammad IV as
king of Upper Hungaryunder Ottoman suzerainty. It was largely at his instigation that the sultan undertook his expedition against Vienna, and in 1683 Thököly joined the Ottoman forces under Kara Mustafa in the siege of that city. The Ottomans blamed their rout on Thököly and imprisoned him briefly (1686) at Adrianople, but in 1690 they appointed him prince of Transylvania. He was driven out (1691) of Transylvania by the imperial force under Louis of Baden. The Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), by which the whole of Hungary passed to Leopold, also stipulated that Thököly was to be interned by the Ottomans in Asia Minor. He spent the remainder of his life near Constantinople. The name is also spelled Tokoly.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Austria and Hungary, History: Biographies