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Karel Bonaventura Buquoy

Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy (Czech Karel Bonaventura Buquoy, full name in French Charles Bonaventure de Longueval comte de Bucquoy, German: Karl Bonaventura Graf von Buquoy) (Arras, 9 January 1571 – Nové Zámky, 10 July 1621) was a military commander who fought for Spain and the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.

Career in the Army of Flanders[edit]

Engraving by Chrispijn van der Passe showing the conquests and the equestrian portrait of Ambrogio Spinola, with the Count of Bucquoy riding by his side

Bucquoy was born in Arras on 9 January 1571. He began serving in Habsburg forces in the Low Countries as a teenager, and was a colonel at the age of 26. He fought in the Battle of Nieuwpoort (1600), the Siege of Ostend (1601–1604) and distinguished himself as General of the Artillery in the Frisian campaigns of Ambrosio Spinola. He married Maria Maddalena Biglia in 1606 and had a son named Charles Albert.

In 1613 he became a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. As a mark of special favour the commandery in the Order of Calatrava that he had to renounce upon entering the Golden Fleece, was transferred to his son. That year also saw his appointment as Grand Bailiff (or governor) of the County of Hainaut.

Commander of the Imperial Army[edit]

Shortly after his election, Emperor Matthias invited Bucquoy to take charge the Imperial Army and he accepted the post in August 1614. He happened to be on leave in the Habsburg Netherlands when on 23 May 1618 the Defenestration of Prague triggered the Bohemian Revolt. Bucquoy returned to Vienna in August and took command of the imperial forces raised to put down the revolt. Short of soldiers, supplies and money, his first campaign came close to disaster more than once. Defeated by Count Jindrich Matyas Thurn on 9 November in the Battle of Lomnice, he was unable to save the besieged town of Pilsen. While his army encamped in its winter quarters around Budweis, Thurn's surprise march on Vienna was only halted by the severity of winter. After receiving reinforcements provided by Archduke Albert, his campaign of 1619 did much to reverse the fortunes of the war. On 10 June he defeated Ernst von Mansfeld in the Battle of Sablat, thereby forcing the Bohemians to abandon their siege of Budweis.

He also commanded the imperial forces during the Battle of White Mountain on 8 November 1620. As a result of his successes, Emperor Ferdinand II gave him estates at Nové Hrady[disambiguation needed], Rožmberk and Libějovice. These estates remained in the family until 1945.

Bucquoy was killed during the siege of Érsekújvár (Neuhäusel) (Nové Zámky) on 10 July 1621. One of his commanders, Torquato Conti attempted to retrieve his body from the battlefield but was captured. Conti was later released and replaced Bucquoy as a commander of Imperial forces.


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