Gombossy Mátyás

Gombossy Mátyás

Mátyás Gombossy (Inwohner, relatives Márton and János, data that they were nobles from 1647, ennobled in 1615). He was chief notary man in Kőszeg (1649-1652), a member of the council (1649-1658), the chief judge in 1654, and the first member of the parliament of the city. He was an illustrious figure of Kőszeg, an intellectual who had an important collection of books. His first wife was Dorottya Fartagh, Mihály Salamon’s mother, the widow of István Salamon. Mihály inherited the house from his father, István. After István’s death, Gombossy took care of Mihály and remained in the house even after Dorottya’s death.

Mátyás Gombossy had a private library containing 348 books. This was a very big private collection by the standards of the time, actually the biggest one in Kőszeg. Gombossy’s predecessor, another notary man, Johannes Sagittarius (?-1603) had only 75 books, while Martin Reich who was in office in the 1630s owned 36 items. The list of Gombossy’s books was recorded by two different notary men in inventories after his death (1664, 1665). We know that Gombossy collected books and sometimes we even know the value of the books. In 1648 he spent 25 Forint for books in Pressburg, but he also bought books from local burghers, vicars, and members of the senate. In Kőszeg, the burghers who owned books kept the collection by size. Most likely Gombossy had books at home, at Táblaház street 7, and also in the town hall.

In the 17th century notaries, vicars and teachers owned the biggest collections. The “elite” of the city did not only participate in intellectual life but also played an active role in shaping local politics, most importantly in connection with religious conflicts.

We do not exactly know what schools Gombossy attended, but as notary man, he was well-trained in juridical, theological, and political issues. He had to represent his city at several forums, most importantly, in the Diet at Pressburg. He had to keep records about Kőszeg for the Diet, and also had to collect the instructions which were relevant to the city. He traveled to Pressburg several times. He took the way demonstrated on the map and most likely used a carrier you can see on the picture.


Jews in Kőszeg