Today in the Middle Ages: May 1, 1576

On May 1, 1576, Stephen Báthory, former lord of Transylvania, was crowned king of Poland after his election by a majority of Polish nobles.

Stephen appears to have been a successful and wise king, continuing the Polish policy of religious tolerance (for other Christians) and making judicial reforms at the sacrifice of some of his own power. He sought peace through alliances but was able to defend Poland by force of arms against Russia.