Casimir IV Jagiellon
|Casimir IV Jagiellon
|Casimir IV, by Marcello Bacciarelli|
|Reign||29 June 1440 – 7 June 1492|
|Coronation||29 June 1440 in Vilnius Cathedral|
|Successor||Alexander I Jagiellon|
|Reign||25 June 1447 – 7 June 1492|
|Coronation||25 June 1447 in Wawel Cathedral|
|Successor||John I Albert|
|Spouse||Elisabeth of Austria (d. 1505)|
|Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary
St. Casimir Jagiellon
John I Albert of Poland
Alexander of Poland
Sophia, Margravine of Brandenburg
Sigismund I the Old
Barbara, Duchess of Saxony
|Father||Władysław II Jagiełło|
|Mother||Sophia of Halshany|
30 November 1427|
|Died||7 June 1492
Old Hrodna Castle, modern Belarus
|Burial||Wawel Cathedral, Kraków|
Casimir IV KG (Polish: Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk [kaˈʑimi̯ɛʒ jaɡi̯ɛlˈlɔɲt͡ʃɨk] ( ); Lithuanian: Kazimieras IV Jogailaitis; 30 November 1427 – 7 June 1492) of the House of Jagiellon was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1440, and King of Poland from 1447, until his death. He was one of the most active Polish rulers, under whom Poland, by defeating the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years' War recovered Pomerania, and the Jagiellonian dynasty became one of the leading royal houses in Europe. He was a strong opponent of aristocracy, and helped to strengthen the importance of Parliament and the Senat.
Grand Duke of Lithuania
The sudden death of Sigismund Kęstutaitis left the office of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania empty. The Voivode of Trakai, Jonas Goštautas, and other magnates of Lithuania, supported Casimir as a candidate to the throne. However many Polish noblemen hoped that the thirteen-year-old boy would become a Vice-regent for the Polish King in Lithuania. Casimir was invited by the Lithuanian magnates to Lithuania, and when he arrived in Vilnius in 1440, he was proclaimed as the Grand Duke of Lithuania on 29 June 1440 by the Council of Lords, contrary to the wishes of the Polish noble lords—an act supported and coordinated by Jonas Goštautas. When the news arrived in the Kingdom of Poland concerning the proclamation of Casimir as the Grand Duke of Lithuania, it was met with hostility, even to the point of military threats against Lithuania. Since the young Grand Duke was underage, the supreme control over the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was in the hands of the Council of Lords, presided by Jonas Goštautas. Casimir had been taught Lithuanian language and the customs of Lithuania by appointed court officials.
During Casimir's rule the rights of the Lithuanian nobility—dukes, magnates and boyars (lesser nobles), irrespective of their religion and ethnicity—were put on an equal footing to those of the Polish szlachta. Additionally, Casimir promised to protect the Grand Duchy's borders and not to appoint persons from the Polish Kingdom to the offices of the Grand Duchy. He accepted that decisions on matters concerning the Grand Duchy would not be made without the Council of Lords' consent. He also granted the subject region of Samogitia the right to elect its own elder. Casimir was the first ruler of Lithuania baptised at birth, becoming the first native Roman Catholic Grand Duke.
King of Poland
Casimir succeeded his brother Władysław III (killed at the Battle of Varna in 1444) as King of Poland after a three-year interregnum on 25 June 1447. In 1454, he married Elisabeth of Austria, daughter of the late King of the Romans Albert II of Habsburg by his late wife Elisabeth of Bohemia. Her distant relative Frederick of Habsburg became Holy Roman Emperor and reigned as Frederick III until after Casimir's own death. The marriage strengthened the ties between the house of Jagiello and the sovereigns of Hungary-Bohemia and put Casimir at odds with the Holy Roman Emperor through internal Habsburg rivalry.
That same year, Casimir was approached by the Prussian Confederation for aid against the Teutonic Order, which he promised, by making the separatist Prussian regions a protectorate of the Polish Kingdom. However, when the insurgent cities rebelled against the Order, it resisted and the Thirteen Years' War (1454–1466) ensued. Casimir and the Prussian Confederation defeated the Teutonic Order, taking over its capital at Marienburg (Malbork Castle). In the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), the Order recognized Polish sovereignty over the seceded western Prussian regions, Royal Prussia, and the Polish crown's overlordship over the remaining Teutonic Monastic State, transformed in 1525 into a duchy, Ducal Prussia.
Elisabeth's only brother Ladislas, king of Bohemia and Hungary, died in 1457, and after that Casimir and Elisabeth's dynastic interests were directed also towards her brother's former kingdoms.
- Hedwig Jagiellon married George the Rich, of the Wittelsbach dynasty of Bavaria. Delegates had gone to Kraków to negotiate the marriage, and their "Landshut Wedding" took place in Bavaria with much pomp and celebration in 1475, starting a tradition which continues to this day.
- Saint Casimir was to have married the daughter of Emperor Frederick III, but instead chose a religious life, eventually being canonized as St. Casimir.
- Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary combined the thrones of Hungary and Bohemia.
- Sophie, married to Margrave Frederick V of Brandenburg-Ansbach
- John I of Poland (27 December 1459 – 17 June 1501) succeeded him as the king of Poland (1492–1501)
- Alexander Jagiellon (5 August 1461 – 19 August 1506) King of Poland (12 December 1501 – 19 August 1506)
- Sigismund I the Old (1 January 1467 – 1 April 1548) King of Poland (1506–1548)
- Friedrick Jagiellon (27 April 1468 – 14 March 1503) Archbishop of Gniezno, Bishop of Kraków, and Primate of Poland.
- Anna married to Duke Bogislaw X of Pomerania; they had eight children, including Sophie of Pomerania, who became queen of Denmark
- Barbara married to Duke Georg dem Bärtigen of Saxony
- Elizabeth Jagiellon (13 November 1482 – 16 February 1517) who married Frederick II of Legnica
- Two additional daughters named Elizabeth
Kazimierz IV, by Jan Matejko
Portrait of King Casimir, by Aleksander Lesser, 1860
Tomb effigy by Veit Stoss
Statue of Casimir IV Jagiellon in Malbork
|Grand Duke of Lithuania
|King of Poland
John I of Poland