- Władysław I the Elbow-high
Infobox Polish monarch
name=Władysław I the Elbow-high
image_caption=Władysław I, recumbent statue on his tomb, 14th century,
birthdate=between March 3, 1260 and January 19, 1261
deathdate=March 2, 1333
Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
coronation_date=January 20, 1320
Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
Casimir I of Kuyavia
Euphrosyne of Opole
Władysław the Short or Elbow-high (or Ladislaus I of Poland) ( _pl. Władysław I Łokietek) (1261 - March 2, 1333), was a King of Poland. He was a Duke until 1300, and Prince of
Krakówfrom 1305 until his coronation as King on January 20, 1320.
*Title before coronation: "Wladislaus Dei gracia, dux Regni Poloniae et dominus Pomeraniae, Cuiavie, Lanciciae ac Siradiae"
*:English translation: Vladislaus by the grace of God duke of the Kingdom of
Poland, and lord of Pomerania, Kuyavia, Łęczycaand Sieradz
*Royal title after coronation: "Wladislaus Dei gracia, rex Poloniae et dominus Pomeraniae, Cuiavie, Lanciciae ac Siradiae"
*:English translation: Vladislaus by the grace of God king of
Poland, and lord of Pomerania, Kuyavia, Łęczycaand Sieradz
Later histories refer to him also as Wladislaw IV or Wladislaw I. There are no records to show that he actually used any
regnal number. Both numerals are retrospective assignments by later historians. IV comes from him being the fourth of that name to rule as overlord of the Polish, since Wladislaw I Herman. I comes from him having restored the monarchy after a fragmented era of a century or more, and also backwards-counting from Wladislaw of Varna who officially used III and Wladislaw Vasawho officially used IV.
The 12th and 13th centuries were times of adversity for Poland. In 1138 the kingdom, which had been growing in strength under the rule of the
Piast dynasty, encountered an obstacle which impeded its development for nearly two hundred years. In the will of King Bolesław Krzywousty, Poland was divided into five provinces - Silesia, Mazoviawith Cuiavia, Greater Poland, the part of Pomeraniaaround the City of Gdańsk, the SandomierzRegion, and Lesser Poland, the 'senior palatinate', comprising the areas around Kraków, Łęczyca, and Sieradz. To prevent his four sons from quarrelling, Boleslaus granted one province to each of them, and the fifth one, the senior palatinate, was to be given to the eldest brother on the grounds of primogeniture. The reason for such a decision was not only to forestall dynastic feuds, but also to prevent the disintegration of the kingdom. However, it proved an inadequate solution, and started nearly two centuries of what it had sought to counteract - constant fighting and disorder. Władysław succeeded in re-uniting the Kingdom of Poland.
Wladyslaw was born circa 1260 as the third son of
Kazimierz I Kujawski, Duke of Łęczyca, Sieradz and Cuiavia. After the death of his father, he inherited Cuiavia, while the remaining two duchies went to his brothers, Leszek Czarny(the Black) and Kazimierz II of Łęczyca. However, following the deaths of both brothers, the entire inheritance passed to Władysław, who began the task of re-uniting the Kingdom of Poland. His next step was to win Lesser Poland, for which he had to contest the local prince, Przemysł II. Following Przemysł death in 1296, Wladyslaw proclaimed himself his successor and established himself in Lesser Poland, as well as in Pomerania. While Władysław enjoyed the support of the Lesser Polish peasants, knights and part of the clergy who preferred a prince from the domestic Piast dynasty, he had to defer to Waclaw IIof Bohemia, who had the support of the local lords. In 1304 Władysław entered and occupied Lesser Poland with an army of his supporters, which, according to the 15th-century historian Jan Długosz, consisted of more peasants than knights. He also conquered Pomerania around Gdańsk, but since he did not win the favour of the local lords and settlers from Brandenburg who had migrated to that area, he was forced to give up the idea of complete control of the Baltic coast.
By 1311 Władysław was already in power in Lesser Poland and his Cuiavian patrimony. Despite a rebellion by the German patricians of Kraków and Sandomierz, he was able to hold these cities thanks to the support of the nobility, gentry and townsfolk. Three years later, Greater Poland also came under his rule. However,
John of Luxemburg, King of Bohemia, also claimed the succession to the Polish crown. In alliance with the Teutonic Order, he attacked Władysław's forces from the north and west, while the Brandenburgians attempted to capture Greater Poland. Nonetheless, Władysław managed to maintain his dominions.
In 1318 he embarked on a coronation campaign. The pope, though initially unwilling, finally granted his approval and Władysław was crowned
King of Polandon 30 January 1320 in Kraków. The coronation was a sign that he had overcome Poland's internal fragmentation and re-united and re-instated the country as an independent kingdom under his rule.
Polish-Teutonic War (1326–1332)occupied Władysław's last years. In 1331, September 27 in Kuyavianear Radziejówfought the Battle of Płowceagainst a group of Teutonic knights. Other groups of enemies withdrew to the north. After numerous casualties the armies were stalemated, though Władysław's forces conquered the field, captured some prisoners and stopped the expansion of the Teutonic Orderin the region.
Władysław endeavored to establish a uniform legal code throughout the land. With the general laws he assured the
Jews safety and freedom and placed them on equality with the Christians.
Władysław died on 2 March 1333 in Kraków. Although his son, Casimir III the Great, inherited only Lesser Poland, the Duchy of Sandomierz, Greater Poland, Cuiavia, and the Duchies of Łęczyca and Sieradz; while Silesia and the Land of
Lubuszto the west, along with Gdańskian Pomerania, Western Pomerania, and Mazovia the north remained beyond the Kingdom's borders, Władysław's reign was a major step on the road to restoration of the Kingdom of Poland.
In historic Poland, an ell was a measure of length. 1 ell equalled 0.78 metres. Due to his short stature, the king was nicknamed 'Łokietek', which is a diminutive of the word 'łokieć' (
Marriage and children
In 1293, Władysław married Jadwiga of Greater Poland. [ [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/POLAND.htm#WladyslawIdied1333 Profile of Władysław in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley] ] She was a daughter of
Boleslaus of Greater Polandand Jolenta of Hungary. They had six children:
*Stephen of Poland (d. 1306).
*Władysław of Poland (d. 1311/1312).
*Kunigunde of Poland (c. 1298 - 9 April, 1331). Married first
Bernard of Świdnica. Their children included Bolko II of Świdnica. Married secondly Rudolf I, Elector of Saxony.
Elisabeth of Poland(1305 - 29 December, 1380). Married Charles I of Hungary.
Casimir III of Poland(30 April, 1310 - 5 November, 1370).
*Jadwiga of Poland (d. 3 June, 1320/1322).
style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
1= Władysław I the Elbow-high
2= Casimir I of Kuyavia
3= Euphrosyne of Opole
Konrad I of Masovia
5= Agafia of Volhynia
6= Casimir I of Opole
7= Viola of Bulgaria
Casimir II of Poland
9= Helena of Moravia
10=Sviatoslav Igorievich of Novgorod-Sieviersk
11=Iaroslava Riurikovna of Kiev [ [http://www.aemyers.net/genealogy/d0032/g0000060.html www.aemyers.net] ]
Mieszko I Tanglefoot
13=Ludmila (of Bohemia?)
Kaloyan of Bulgaria? [W. Dziewulski, "Bułgarka księżną opolską", "Sobótka", t. 28, 1973, s. 159-182]
History of Poland (966–1385)
* [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/POLAND.htm#WladyslawIdied1333 His listing in "Medieval lands" by Charles Cawley. The project "involves extracting and analysing detailed information from primary sources, including contemporary chronicles, cartularies, necrologies and testaments."]
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