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Jan Antonín, Count of Rottal

Author : 🕔08.01.2022 📕2.881
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We don't know much about his childhood and the early years of his life. It is estimated that he may have been born around 1605.

Coat of arms of the Rottal family
Johann Siebmacher,


The first mention of the Rottal family can be traced back to the beginning of the 15th century, when a certain Thoman Rottaler is remembered as a city judge in Gratz. From 1536 onwards, the family held the title of provincial chief butler over the silver in their home Styria. Jan Jakub came to Moravia in 1610 when he was accepted as a resident of the Moravian Margraviate at the Land Assembly after presenting evidence of aristocratic origin. The Rottails came to our region at the beginning of the 17th century, more precisely in 1611, when Jan Jakub Rottal bought the Napajedla estate. Jan Antonín's mother was Marie Felicie of Thurz, the daughter of the famous Hungarian palatine Juraj VII. Turza. Jan also had a brother, Ondřej, based in Hungary, and two sisters, Zuzana and Kateřina.

Johann von Rottal ( 1605–1674 ), Governor of Moravia, Imperial Commissioner in Hungary and Transylvania; Austrian official.
Franciscus van der Steen,

Father's death and gradual ascension

When Jan Jakub dies in 1624, the mother of young Jan Marie takes over the administration of the property. In 1624, however, Jan Antonín took over his father's property. The 1920s were turbulent and were mainly marked by the first phases of the Thirty Years' War, and it was during this period that Jan took over the not-so-profit and substantially neglected Napajedla estate. Although he took over the name and property from his father, he did not take over his faith. Jan Jakub was a non-Catholic, but time does not want non-Catholic directions, and therefore Jan converts to Catholicism and widely supports the post-White Mountain re-Catholicization on his estate. However, it is worth noting that Jan Jakub did not get involved in the uprising, and even had the cardinal and Olomouc bishop Dietrichstein confirm in writing that he did not intervene in the uprising and remained loyal to the imperial majesty.

In 1626, Jan settled financially with his siblings on the Napajedla estate and paid his brother 12,000 gold and his sisters' shares for him. In the same year, he married his first wife Alena Bruntálská from Vrbno, the widow of Jiří Bruntálský of Vrbno, a participant in the estate uprising, to the owner of the Kvasice estate. However, he bought this estate from his wife only in 1636 for an estimated price of 24,024 gold and thus connected it with the Napajedla estate. The very next year he added to his estate Tlumačov and its surroundings for 20,000 gold.

As is well known, Jan Rottal was a good manager, but a cruel lord. The bishop of Olomouc sometimes had to deal with his treatment of his subjects.


In 1633, Jan became the governor of the Hradiště region and at the same time a member of the provincial court he had the right to title himself as the imperial council and chamberlain. He achieved this function at a particularly difficult time, when the Czech lands became the battlefield of the Thirty Years' War and the buffer field of Vienna. In 1634 he suppressed the Wallachian uprising and forced them to obey.

During these years, he gained more and more positions in the episcopal administration as the court accelerator of Cardinal Dietrichstein or the high provincial functions of the highest judge and the highest chamberlain of the Moravian margraviate. In the years 1640-1642, together with František Magnis of Strážnice and Kryštof Pavel of Liechtenstein and Kastelkorn, he administered the position of Moravian provincial governor.

In 1641, the emperor promoted him to the status of imperial counts for excellent service.During these times, Danish and Swedish troops gradually raged in Moravia, and in addition to many other positions, Jan is also the General Commissioner of Military and arranges logistics for the armies of Emperor Ferdinand within the Moravian Margraviate.

He used his military skills again in the years 1643-1644 when another uprising raged in Wallachia. John was given the task of liquidating the uprising and forcing the Protestant geldings to obey again, so in 1643 he pulled out several thousand soldiers in several directions together with Marshal Jan Kryštof III. from Puchenheim. The emperors, together with the geldings supported by several dozen Swedish soldiers from the Olomouc garrison, clashed on January 26, 1944 at Vsetín. The battle was decided after a few hours and the uprising was suppressed. Jan had about 200 rebels executed on February 16, 1644 in Vsetín, and this execution entered our history as one of the most massive and bloodiest. He then presided over the court with the leaders of the uprising in Brno and sent 20 of them to the execution site.

Coat of arms from the end of the reign

After the end of the Thirty Years' War, he became the governor of Moravia and the emperor allowed him a high privilege to use the predicate tall and benevolent in front of his name and title. In 1650 he became the imperial secret council and bought the estate of Veselí nad Moravou, at the same time at this time he founded the villages of Rusava, Alenkovice and Nová Dědina. Holešov also becomes his property, where he will gradually build a Baroque chateau according to the fields of the architect Filibert Lucches and move the manor's seat here. However, his first wife Alice dies in the same year, but the following year he increases his reputation and position by marrying Anna Maria of Sternberg, the daughter of the well-known Adam II. From Sternberg. Anna dies after two years of marriage and hands over all property to her husband, but Jan has to return some property (Bílina estate ) in 1656 after a court decision to the Lobkovic family ( Oldřich Adam Popel of Lobkowicz was Anna of Sternberg's first husband ), but as part of the property settlement will receive the Horní Beřkovice estate as a replacement.

After the death of his wife, he began to turn to the imperial court in Vienna, and between 1658 and 1659 he worked as an ambassador at the Spanish court in Madrid. In 1663, John became a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, granted to him by King Philip IV of Spain. Spanish .

From 1661 to 1673, John held the office of Imperial Plenipotentiary for Hungary, where the emperor sent him to prevent the revolt of the local nobility. After initial failures, he eventually managed to uncover and break the conspiracy of František Vešeléni and subsequently presided over the courts in Levoča and Prešpurk, which sent traitors and rebels to their deaths. By this act, he strengthened the imperial power in Hungary for the next line of years. In 1673, however, he was removed from office and turned to Vienna again to arrange for his property to remain in the hands of his family after his death, so he appointed the universal heirs of his two Styrian nephews, Jan Kryštof and Julius Vilém, and paid his grandson in cash. The life journey of Jan Antonín, Count Rottal, ends on 19 December 1674 at the age of 69.

Holešov Chateau, the main seat of the Rottal family
Vlach Pavel,

Kvasice, Petr Klapil, 2005

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Author : 🕔08.01.2022 📕2.881