Jan Bażyński

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Hans von Baysen[1] or Jan Bażyński[2] (c. 1394 – 1459) was a Prussian knight and statesman, leader of the Prussian Confederation and the first Polish governor of Royal Prussia.[3][4][5]

Biography[edit]

The Baysen family was part of a larger Flemish family which came in the 13th century from Lübeck or its vicinity. They named themselves after their possession, Basien (modern Bażyny) near Wormditt (modern Orneta) in Ermland (modern Warmia).[6][7]

Initially, he was employed by the Teutonic Knights and their Grand Masters, among them Konrad von Erlichshausen and Ludwig von Erlichshausen.[citation needed] He was one of the order's native lay associates.[8]

In service of the Grand Masters, Jan traveled on diplomatic missions to England, Denmark and Portugal in the years 1419–1422. According to legend he was knighted by the King of Portugal for his military service against the Moors during the Reconquista, which was reflected in a modification to his family's Coat of Arms. After Michael Küchmeister resigned as head of the order, Bażyński also terminated his service with the knights.[citation needed] He was also one of the ambassadors of Grandmaster Paul von Rusdorf, who appointed him to a member of a secret council.[citation needed]

He was a leader of the gathering of Prussian nobility in 1435 which was dissastified with the rule of the Teutonic Knights. He was also a member of the Lizard Union, an organization of Prussian nobles and knights who sought the incorporation of Prussia into the Kingdom of Poland. As the Standard-bearer of Ostróda (Osterode) he took part in the founding of the Prussian Confederation,[3] and was one of the signatories of the founding document of the Confederation on March 14, 1440 in Kwidzyn (Marienwerder).[5] He was a member of the Secret Committee of the Confederation[9] and took a public stance against attacks made against the organization by the Papal legate and the new Grand Master of the Order.

He was the head of the delegation which came from Toruń (Thorn) to Kraków in February 1454, which asked the King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiellon to reincorporate Prussian lands into the Polish kingdom. Consequently he led the uprising of the Prussian Estates against the Knights.[10] In 1454, during the Thirteen Years' War, in which the cities of the Prussian Confederation financed Polish military expenses, he was made governor of Royal Prussia by the King of Poland, which after the war became a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.[11] As the governor his residence was in Elbląg. In 1457 and 1459 he commanded the defense of Malbork against attacks by the Teutonic Knights, who also unsuccessfully tried to assassinate him. In 1454 he was made the starosta of Sztum (Shtum) and in 1456 of Tolkmicko (Tolkemikt).

He died at Marienburg Castle (Malbork Castle) and was buried at Elbląg. He was succeeded as governor of Royal Prussia by his brother Ścibor Bażyński (Tiburcius/Stibor von Baysen).

Legacy[edit]

The First General Lyceum of Jan Bażyński
Bażyński Oak

In honour of Jan Bażyński the authorities of Ostróda named him in 1966 as the patron of the First General Lyceum in the town, thus making it The First General Lyceum of Jan Bażyński. Besides the Lyceum there is also Bażyński Oak – a 700-year old oak located in Kadyny.

References[edit]

Literature[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Heckmann, Marie-Luise (2007). "Zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. Die Selbstsicht der Führungsgruppe des Deutschen Ordens beim Ausbruch des Dreizehnjährigen Krieges". In Prühlen, Sünje; Kuhse, Lucie; Sarnowsky, Jürgen. Der Blick auf sich und die anderen: Selbst- und Fremdbild von Frauen und Männern in Mittelalter und früher Neuzeit. Festschrift für Klaus Arnold. Nova mediaevalia (in German) 2. V&R unipress. pp. 237–264: 247. ISBN 9783899713398. 
  2. ^ Edmund Cieślak, Czesław Biernat History of Gdánsk, Fundacji Biblioteki Gdánskiej, 1995, pg. 85 and 94–95
  3. ^ a b Lerski, Halina (1996). Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966–1945. ABC-CLIO. p. 30. ISBN 9780313034565. 
  4. ^ Setton, Kenneth Meyer (1914). A History of the Crusades: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 583. ISBN 9780299066703. 
  5. ^ a b Żak, Jan; Topolski, Jerzy (1993). Dzieje Polski. PWN. p. 225. ISBN 9788301088910. 
  6. ^ Sonthofen, Wolfgang (1990). Der Deutsche Orden – 800 Jahre Geschichte (in German). Rombach. p. 145. 
  7. ^ (German)(Polish) "Homepage of the Baysen (PL: Bażyński) family". 
  8. ^ Heckmann, Marie-Luise (2007). "Zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. Die Selbstsicht der Führungsgruppe des Deutschen Ordens beim Ausbruch des Dreizehnjährigen Krieges". In Prühlen, Sünje; Kuhse, Lucie; Sarnowsky, Jürgen. Der Blick auf sich und die anderen: Selbst- und Fremdbild von Frauen und Männern in Mittelalter und früher Neuzeit. Festschrift für Klaus Arnold. Nova mediaevalia (in German) 2. V&R unipress. pp. 237–264: 262. ISBN 9783899713398. 
  9. ^ Bieszk, Janusz (2010). Zamki państwa krzyżąckiego w Polsce. Bellona. p. 86. 
  10. ^ Heckmann, Marie-Luise (2007). "Zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. Die Selbstsicht der Führungsgruppe des Deutschen Ordens beim Ausbruch des Dreizehnjährigen Krieges". In Prühlen, Sünje; Kuhse, Lucie; Sarnowsky, Jürgen. Der Blick auf sich und die anderen: Selbst- und Fremdbild von Frauen und Männern in Mittelalter und früher Neuzeit. Festschrift für Klaus Arnold. Nova mediaevalia (in German) 2. V&R unipress. pp. 237–264: 257ff. ISBN 9783899713398. 
  11. ^ Wermter, Ernst M (1983). "Das Königliche Preußen (Preußen königlichen Anteils) 1454 bis 1569) mit dem Hochstift Ermland und den drei großen Städten Danzig, Elbing und Thorn – Innerer Aufbau und das Verhältnis zur Krone Polen". In Baumgart, Peter; Schmädeke, Jürgen; Büsch, Otto. Ständetum und Staatsbildung in Brandenburg-Preussen. Veröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission zu Berlin beim Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut der Freien Universität Berlin. Forschungen zur preußischen Geschichte (in German) 55. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 129ff: 134, 135. ISBN 3-11-009517-3. 

Further reading[edit]