székely (people of Transylvania) appraisal

Székelyudvarhely, ruins of the castle
In 1562 the székely society rebelled against the loss of their freedom, increasing taxes and the introduction of a compulsory serf services amongst the people of Transylvania. Zsigmond János defeated the székelys who massed near Kisgörény, and called an assembly in June 1562 with the intention of finalising the Székely question. Decrees of Segesvár that were brought into realisation at this meeting stripped away all freedom from the people of Transylvania and declared Székelys to be serfs. The exemption of lands under the Jus Regium was repealed and it was stated that the Székely nobility had rights of ownership over the tenants of their lands as the county land owners had over their serfs. The higher aristocracy and Székely nobility were free from tithe-paying but the compulsory military service remained in force. People lost their personal freedom and became tax paying treasury serfs owned by the Prince - as described in the principal decree "Székely land shall be in our free empire". To keep the Székelys back there were two fortresses built. These were the "Székely attack" fortress in Udvarhely and the "Székely regret" fortress in Várhely.