87. szám // 2022. Zsidó felemelkedés vagy térnyerés?
Nagy Ágoston - Tamás Máté
„Brüder Heinrich und Bernhard Lackenbacher von Salamon.”
Vallásváltás, nemességszerzés és egy társadalmi csoport víziója a 19. századi Magyar Királyságban.
“Brüder Heinrich und Bernhard Lackenbacher von Salamon”: Conversion, Ennoblement, and the Perceptions of a Social Group in the Early Nineteenth-Century Kingdom of Hungary
In 1824, two brothers, Heinrich and Bernhard Lackenbacher, received from King Francis I Hungarian nobility and land donation, as well as the prædicatum (usu- ally the place name of landed property donated by a monarch) “of Solomon”. The brothers, who continued their father’s business, were grain wholesalers of Jewish origin, who had converted to Catholicism some years before their ennoblement. The present study examines two problems concerning their ennoblement. First, it examines in detail how they earned their title and land in order to assess both the bureaucratic process and expense of ennoblement and its value for the brothers in the “society of the Estates system”. Doing this, the paper also explores the mean- ings of the prædicatum and the coat of arms, as both apparently represented the personal taste and aspirations of the brothers. Second, the study analyzes contem- porary attitudes towards the new ennoblements and land donations at the time. These were articulated by two members of the wealthy landowning nobility, Sán- dor Kisfaludy (1772–1844), a popular writer and poet from Zala County, and István Borsiczky (1783–1850), the representative of Trencsén County at the Diet of 1832–36. They both perceived and presented the Lackenbachers as members of a wider social group, seen as “other” or “alien” within the Hungarian nobility despite their title and land, and discussed this new type of ennoblement as a ten- dency. The statistical analysis of ennoblements in this era, however, does not verify these perceptions. Constructing an image of otherness within the nobility calls the attention to the discrepancies between legal status and social prestige in the society of the late Estates system in Hungary and exposes the possibilities and limits of crossing the boundaries between the estates.