He is said to have been poisoned (December 29, 1606) by his chancellor, Mihaly Katay, who was hacked to bits by Bocskay's adherents in the market-place of Kassa.
With the captaincy of the fortress of Belgrade and the voivodeship of Transylvania, which latter dignity, however, he shared with his rival Mihaly Ujlaki.
He had to be content with armistices, reconciliations and matrimonial contracts, because the great dignitaries of the state, men like the palatine Laszlo Garai, Count Ulrich of Cilli, and the voivode of Transylvania, Mihaly Ujlaky, thwarted in every way the novas homo whom they hated and envied.
Matthias was the elect of the Hungarian people, gratefully mindful of his father's services to the state and inimical to all foreign candidates; and though an influential section of the magnates, headed by the palatine Laszlo Garai and the voivode of Transylvania, Miklos Ujlaki, who had been concerned in the judicial murder of Matthias's brother Laszlo, and hated the Hunyadis as semi-foreign upstarts, were fiercely opposed to Matthias's election, they were not strong enough to resist the manifest wish of the nation, supported as it was by Matthias's uncle Mihaly Szilagyi at the head of 15,000 veterans.
Foremost among epic poets, though not equally successful as a dramatist, was Mihaly Vorbsmarty (q.v.), who, belonging also to the close of the last period, combines great power of imagination with elegance of language.