Stephen Tomašević or Stephen II (Serbo-Croatian: Stjepan/Stefan Tomašević, Стјепан/Стефан Томашевић) was the last sovereign from the Bosnian Kotromanić dynasty, reigning as Despot of Serbia briefly in 1459 and as King of Bosnia from 1461 until 1463.
Stephen's father, King Thomas, had great ambitions for him. An attempt to expand into Croatia proper by marrying Stephen to a wealthy noblewoman failed, and negotiations for a marital alliance with the Sforzas of Milan were abandoned when a more prestigious opportunity presented itself: marriage to the heiress Maria of Serbia. Celebrated in April 1459, it made Stephen the ruler of the remnants of the neighbouring country. The intent was to unite the Kingdom of Bosnia and the Serbian Despotate under Stephen to combat the expanding Ottoman Empire. Stephen's Catholicism made him unpopular in Orthodox Serbia. After ruling it for merely two months, he surrendered it to the encroaching Ottoman forces and fled back to his father's court, which earned him the contempt of the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus and other Christian rulers in Europe.
Stephen succeeded his father on the throne following the latter's death in July 1463 and became the first Bosnian king to receive a crown from the Holy See. The kingdom's existence, however, was increasingly threatened by the Ottomans. King Stephen had the unanimous support of his noblemen in resistance to the Ottomans, but not of the common people. He maintained an active correspondence with Pope Pius II, who forgave him for the loss of Serbia and worked with him to preserve Bosnia for Christendom. The Hungarian king was placated, but all Western monarchs contacted by Stephen refused to assist him. Confident that at least Matthias would come to his aid, Stephen refused to deliver the customary tribute to the Ottoman sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, which provoked an invasion.
In May 1463, Mehmed marched into Bosnia, meeting little effective resistance, and captured Stephen, who was then beheaded. The execution marks the fall of the Kingdom of Bosnia to the Ottoman Empire.
|Деспот Стефан Томашевић (Despot Stephen Tomašević)
|Serbia, Despotate of
|1 April 1459
|20 June 1459
|Краљ Стефан Томашевић (King Stephen Tomašević)
|Bosnia, Kingdom of
|10 July 1461
|25 May 1463