BRANCOVAN, or Brancoveanu, the name of a family which has played an important part in the history of Rumania. It was of Servian origin and was connected with the family of Branko or Brankovich. Constantine Brancovan, the most eminent member of the family, was born in 1654, and became prince of Walachia in 1689. In consequence of his anti-Turkish policy of forming an alliance first with Austria and then with Russia, he was denounced to the Porte, deposed from his throne, brought under arrest to Constantinople and imprisoned (1710) in the fortress of Yedi Kuleh (Seven Towers). Here he was tortured by the Turks, who hoped thus to discover the fortune of £3,000,000, which Constantine was alleged to have amassed. He was beheaded with his four sons on the 26th of August 1714. His faithful friend Enake Vacarescu shared his fate. Constantine Brancovan became, through his tragic death, the hero of Rumanian popular ballads. His family founded and endowed the largest hospital in Walachia, the so-called Spital Brancovanescu.
See O.G. Lecca, Familiile Boereşti Române (Bucharest, 1899), p. 90, sqq.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)