Stephen III Báthory (Hungarian language: Báthory István) (died 11 November 1444, Varna) was a Hungarian nobleman and commander. His most prestigious position was Palatine of Hungary.
Stephen belonged to the Ecsed branch of the Báthory family. His parents were John V Báthory and Catherine, daughter of John Zanti. His older brother Bartholomew I Báthory fell in 1432 fighting against the Hussites.
Stephen first appears in 1419 as dapiferorum regalium magister (mater of the royal stewards), and later as a judge royal.
In 1435 he was appointed Palatine of Hungary by King Sigismund.
Sigismund's short-lived successor, King Albert of Habsburg awarded him with the castle Bujak.
Stephen was married twice:
- Ursula, daughter of George de Kis Tapolcsa
- Barbara, widowed Csapy
After his death, his second wife Barbara went to court against Christine, the widow of Stephen's younger brother Thomas, with which she disputed a mill's revenue.
Stephen fathered nine children:
- Catherine, who married George of Marczal
- Ladislaus (d. 1474), supreme count of the counties Szatmár and Szarand
- Andrew III Báthory (d. 1495), who was confirmed in his possession of Bujak. He is the only one among Stephen's son to produce male issue.
- Stephen V Báthory (d. 1493), served first as royal judge, excelled as a military commander and was made Voivod of Transylvania, the first of a long line of Báthory rulers of that country.
- Peter Báthory
- Thomas II Báthory, whose daughter married into the Zanoler family
- Paul I Báthory, surnamed the Mute
- Nicolaus III Báthory (d. 1506) was bishop first of Syrmia and after 1474 of Vác, renaissance scholar and advisor to King Matthias Corvinus
- Margaretha, who married first Nucgaek Szilággi, and then Paul Banfi.
- Moritz Wertner, "Urgeschlechter in Siebenbürgen. 10. Gutkeled: a) Báthory.", in Archiv des Vereins für siebenbürgische Landeskunde. Neue Folge, Bd. 29, Heft 1 (1899), Hermannstadt 1899 - quoted in Michael Farin, Heroine des Grauens. Elisabeth Báthory. Munich: P. Kirchheim, 2003. ISBN 3-87410-038-3.
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