in Németújvár and Pápa (1617– )

  • Németújvár (Güssing, A) 1617-1619,
    Johannes Korzenski, Szepesváraljai Bernhard Máté
  • Pápa 1624-1632, Szepesváraljai Bernhard Máté

It was in 1615 that Ferenc Batthyány, one of the prominent protestant magnates of the Hungarian kingdom purchased the printing shop of Johann Fidler, Vienna printer and bookseller. With this purchase Németújvár (Güssing, A) became a printing place for the second time: in the previous century Joannes Manlius was printing here for a while under the protection of the Batthyány family. Transdanubian Calvinists welcomed the new press, now they had an opportunity to issue books in their confession.
The printing shoop at Németújvár began to work in 1617 and, as a recently discovered document proves, its first printer was Johannes Korzenski. The one-leaf Latin poem decorated with an ornamental frame was the first printing by Korzenski, introducing both his skill and the equipment of the newly-founded press.

The first printing issued by the new press at Németújvár (Güssing, A)
The first printing issued by the new press at Németújvár (Güssing, A)
(RMNy 1143B)

Quite soon Korzenski either left Németújvár or died, because he was followed by Máté Szepesváraljai Bernhard. Although the owner of the printing shop was the Batthyány family, it was working for readers in Transdanubia of Calvinist Confession. In the first year of its activity (1617) it issued István Pathai's book on Helvetian religion (RMNy 1143A). It was during the activity of Szepesváraljai that the printing shop was enlarged, new founts were cast by an unknown letter caster. It is remarkable that almost at the same time this unknown letter caster was working both for the press at Keresztúr (Deutschkreutz, A) patronized by the Lutheran magnate family Nádasdy and for the nearby press at Németújvár (Güssing, A).
It can be supposed that there were also other products of the press at Németújvár, however very few of them survived.

Latin-Hungarian alphabet (Pápa 1630,RMNy 1484)
Latin-Hungarian alphabet (Pápa 1630,RMNy 1484)

When the name of the printer Máté Szepesváraljai Bernhard appeared next time, in 1624, his printing shop was already working in Pápa in the middle of Transdanubia, near to the region of Hungary occupied by the Osman Turks. It was while in Pápa, that the widow of Ferenc Batthyány Éva Lobkowitz-Poppel transferred the use of the press to Johann Sigismun d Wechel. Still, there was no change in the status of Szepesváraljai Bernhard, although Wechel was a printer himself. In the later period of this printing shop the lattertook over the leading of the press and issued books undedr his own name.

Contemporary engraving representing the fortified town of Pápa
Contemporary engraving representing the fortified town of Pápa

During the years the printing shop was working in Pápa we have knowledge of its 15 products. It was regularly isssuing Hungarian calendars and there are also alphabets and Calvinsit polemical and confessional works among its products. After 1632 the printing shop ceased to work and its equipment was lying unused in the Baatthyány castle at Németújvár.
However the history of this protestant press continued later, when it propped up in Tejfalu (Mliečno, SK) in 1637. Here the printer was the already mentioned Johann Sigismund Wechel.



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Régi magyarországi nyomtatványok -- Res litteraria Hungariae vetus operum impressorum, 2, 1601-1635. Szerk.: Borsa Gedeon és Hervay Ferenc. Budapest 1983 (= RMNy)
Zvara Edina: Johannes Korzenski németújvári nyomdász ismeretlen nyomtatványa 1617-ből. Pótlás az RMNy-hez. In: Magyar Könyvszemle 2011. 99-103.
V. Ecsedy Judit: Egy dunántúli református nyomda sorsa. In: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár Évkönyve 1979. 303-352.