Lech Szczucki

Andreas Dudith. Youth and Early Career

The article discusses the initial stage in the biography of Andreas Dudith (1533–1589), i. e. his studies, originally in Wrocław and then in Italy (mainly under Aldo Manuzio jr.), travels across Europe as a member of the entourage of Cardinal Reginald Pole, which ended within a parting of ways, a religious crisis, and a distinct sympathy for anti–Trinitarianism. These inclinations were disclosed only among friends from Padua. Ultimately, Dudith did not renounce an ecclesiastical career in his native Hungary, which both his family and the imperial court urged him to pursue. When Dudith finally left Padua in 1559 he was already celebrated among European humanists thanks to his classical erudition, whose sample he presented in a translation of De Thucididis historia iudicium by Dionysios of Halicarnassus (1560) and the enthusiastic opinions of Aldo Manuzio.

Translated by Aleksandra Rodzińska–Chojnowska

Edward Opaliński

The Bloody Dietine in Szadek prior to the Sejm of 1623

The prime dietine of the voivodeship of Sieradz, held in Szadek, was regarded as quiet and free of disturbances. In contrast to some of the other dietines in the Commonwealth, here the senators did not arrive in the company of their private detachments. Moreover, there were no representatives of strong magnates. Nonetheless, on 13 December 1622 Szadek became the site of bloody events. The course of the incident is portrayed in correspondence addressed to Primate Wawrzyniec Gembicki, kept in the Stockholm Riksarkivet. The same archive contains material about the conciliation signed by the warring sides in Piotrkow on 11 October 1623. Sources from the Swedish archive confirm, however, a bloody tumult in Szadek. Only a survey carried out in the acta castrensia of Sieradz and the acta terrestria of Szadek makes it possible to recreate the approximate course of the events.

Apparently, Olbracht Starołęski, the starosta of Piotrkow, arrived in Szadek on the eve of the dietine together with some 300 men. The whole entourage occupied inns, which customarily served as accommodation for other participants of the dietine. Starołęski had recently moved to the voivodeship of Sieradz from the voivodeship of Poznan. His still unstable political position was based on the just obtained post of the starosta of Piotrkow and the fact that he was the son–in–law of Maksymilian Przerębski, the castellan of Sieradz. On the following day, a conflict concerning the inns broke out between some members of the gentry and the starosta’s men. Attempts to placate the two sides were made by the sons and nephews of Stanisław Bykowski, the voivode of Sieradz. Shots unexpectedly fired by Starołęski’s adherents took the lives of two members of the Bykowski family. The enraged nobility stormed the quarters of the starosta, killing two of his men. Starołęski was rescued by the intervention of the royal envoy and the marshal of the dietine, with the voivode of Sieradz retaining a neutral position. The bloody incident was a conflict among the adherents of the king, caused by a highly unfortunate coincidence. The ultimate conciliation between Bykowski and Starołęski was arranged by Primate Wawrzyniec Gembicki, head of the royalists in Greater Poland.

Translated by Aleksandra Rodzińska–Chojnowska

Andrzej Rachuba

Paradoxes of the Lithuanian Foundation for the Jasna Góra Monastery

A group of Lithuanians, whose decisive majority was associated with the Sapieha faction, one of the three involved at the time in a struggle for domination in Lithuania, decided to found a 24–pound gun for the defensive Pauline monastery on Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. A source preserved in the Main Archive of Old Acts in Warsaw shows that the initiator and organiser of the undertaking was Aleksander Hilary Połubiński, the field scribe of Lithuania, and that it took place in Warsaw in the course of a parliamentary session held in 1664, which involved a court trail of Jerzy Lubomirski, the grand marshal of the Crown. This fact certainly exerted an impact on the absence of some of the foreseen donators, headed by Paweł Jan Sapieha, the leader of the faction, the voivode of Wilno and the grand hetman of Lithuania. The participants have not been established, since only certain names and titles have been listed; empty spaces had been left for the others (the author of the article attempts to guess who was taken into account), and only some of those mentioned actually provided money for the casting of the gun. The declared sums proved to be insufficient for the foundation and we cannot tell whether the project was realised in the ensuing situation. The donators were basically zealous Catholics, renowned for their participation in numerous religious foundations. The group in question, however, includes also Marcjan Aleksander Ogiński, the master of the pantry of Lithuania, an adherent of the Eastern rite Church, and his wife, Marcybella, born Hlebowicz, a Catholic who originally was a Calvinist. The most paradoxical aspect of this situation was the fact that the main organiser of the donation arrived at the Jasna Gora monastery not with the gun but as a commander of the Lithuanian army, assisting royal forces in the struggle against the so–called Lubomirski mutiny. His men were defeated at the walls of the fortress and those seeking refuge in the monastery encountered closed gates and thus were captured. This event must have definitely influenced the fate of the planned votum, assuming that it was still being planned.

Translated by Aleksandra Rodzińska–Chojnowska

Urszula Augustyniak

The Mutual Accusations of the Gentry and the Catholic Clergy in Connection with compositio inter status in the 1630s

The intention of the article is to present the motives of the “anti–clericalism” of the Polish gentry, as a rule reduced to the so–called amortisation statues and compositio inter status. Upon the basis of a record of a parliamentary discussion on the “composition” between the secular and ecclesiastical estates in 1632–1635, found in an anonymous gentry silva, and an anti–dissident squib from 1639, U. Augustyniak analysed the accusations formulated by both sides and the manner of their argumentation.

The author concluded that the conflict raging between the gentry and the clergy was not limited to a controversy about tithes, and involving landowners and the rural clergy, but was of an ideological nature and pertained to a fundamental systemic principle of the Commonwealth: the subordination of all citizens to universal law. The “anticlericalism” of the gentry was directed not only against the parish priests but primarily against the clerical aristocracy — the abbots, the episcopate, and the Jesuits. The division into the supporters and opponents of the compositio did not coincide with religious criteria but with social ones: the lay and ecclesiastical magnates were against the “composition”, while its advocates included the lay gentry, the majority of the gentry of both creeds (Catholic and Protestant), and the parish clergy (naturally for quite different reasons).

In 1632–1635 the inimical attitude of the middle–ranking Catholic clergy to a compromise solution of the “composition” leads to the ultimate postulate of studying the charges made by the parish clergy against the gentry, conceived as an indispensable supplement of research into “gentry anticlericalism”.

Translated by Aleksandra Rodzińska–Chojnowska