Hedwig of Sagan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hedwig of Sagan
Queen consort of Poland
Tenure 1365–1370
Spouse Casimir III of Poland
Rupert I of Legnica
Issue Anna, Countess of Celje
Kunigunde of Poland
Hedwig of Poland
Barbara, Duchess of Saxe-Wittenberg
Agnes of Legnica
House House of Piast
Father Henry V of Iron
Mother Anna of Mazovia
Born before 1350
Died 27 March 1390 (aged 39-40)
Burial Silesia

Hedwig of Sagan (Polish: Jadwiga; before 1350 – 27 March 1390) was Queen of Poland as the wife of Casimir III.


Hedwig was the third of five children born to Henry V of Iron and his wife Anna, daughter of Duke Wenceslaus of Płock.[1] Her brothers were Henry VI the Older, Henry VII Rumpold, Henry VIII the Sparrow, and her only sister was Anna, wife of Jan I of Racibórz..

First marriage[edit]

Hedwig married Casimir III of Poland around 1365. Casimir wished to marry Hedwig because it would to strengthen his ties with Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor.[2] Marrying Hedwig was a problem for Casimir, for he was still legally married to his second and third wives: Christina and Adelaide of Hesse. Casimir forged a papal dispensation because he was related to Hedwig by a fourth degree. The pope would not have granted them one.

Casimir's second wife Adelaide had not produced him any children and the marriage was loveless, they spent most their marriage apart from each other. His third wife was his mistress, Christina who was the widow of a wealthy merchant. She also did not give Casimir children. Casimir did already have two daughters Elizabeth and Cunigunde from his first marriage to Aldona of Lithuania, who had died. Casimir needed a son so he married Jadwiga. However, Casimir was committing bigamy. Pope Innocent VI complained on behalf of Adelaide, it is unknown whether Christina was still alive at the time.

In 1368 Pope Urban V allowed Casimir to stay with Hedwig since his marriage to Christina was invalid. Adelaide died in 1371.

Casimir awaited the birth of a son. If no son was born then Casimir's nephew, Louis I of Hungary would inherit along with his mother (Casimir's sister) Elisabeth of Poland. No son came, instead Hedwig bore three daughters:

  1. Anna of Poland, Countess of Celje (1366 – 9 June 1422). Married firstly William of Celje. Their only daughter was Anne of Cilli. Married secondly Ulrich, Duke of Teck. They had no children.
  2. Kunigunde of Poland (1367–1370).
  3. Hedwig of Poland (1368 – ca. 1407). Reportedly married ca. 1382 but the details are obscure.

Lack of male heir spelled the end of the Piast Dynasty in the Kingdom of Poland, Casimir being the last Piast dynasty king on the Polish throne.[3]

The question of the legitimacy of the three daughters was raised. Casimir had all three of his daughters legitimised. Casimir managed to have Anne and Cunigunde legitimated by Pope Urban V on 5 December 1369. Hedwig the younger was legitimated by Pope Gregory XI on 11 October 1371.

On 5 November 1370 Casimir died, leaving Hedwig a widow with three young daughters. Soon later, the middle daughter, Kunigunde died aged three. From Casimir's will, Hedwig received from the treasury of the king's 53 fine silver and 1 / 3 silver vessels in the amount of dowry and 1,000 fineslarge cents.

Since Hedwig failed to produce a male heir, his throne passed to his nephew, Louis I of Hungary, though Casimir's sister, Elisabeth of Poland, acted as regent for a period of time when Louis was in Hungary.

Second marriage[edit]

Hedwig did not remarry straight away. She returned to her home-place of Żagań where she lived at the court of her brother, Henry VI the Older.

On 10 February 1372, Hedwig married for a second time to Rupert I of Legnica, son of Wenceslaus I of Legnica and Anna of Cieszyn. The marriage produced two more daughters:

  1. Barbara (ca. 1384 – Trebitz, 9 May 1436), married on 6 March 1396 to Rudolph III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg and Elector of Saxony. Through this union, Jadwiga was a direct ancestor of the Kings of Denmark and the House of Gonzaga, rulers of Mantua and Montferrato.
  2. Agnes (before 1385 – after 7 July 1411), a nun in Wroclaw.

In 1386, Hedwig's eldest daughter from her first marriage, Anna gave Hedwig her first grandchild, Anne of Cilli, who became the second wife of Jogaila after the death of her cousin, Jadwiga of Poland.

After eighteen years of marriage to Rupert, Hedwig died. She was buried in Silesia.[4]



  1. ^ Cawley, Charles, SILESIA, Medieval Lands, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]
  2. ^ Cawley, Charles, POLAND, Medieval Lands, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012 ,[better source needed]
  3. ^ Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki, Historical dictionary of Poland, 966-1945, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 0-313-26007-9, Google Print, p.249-250
  4. ^ Translation from Polish Wikipedia
Hedwig of Sagan
Born: before 1350 Died: 27 March 1390
Royal titles
Preceded by
Christina Rokiczana
Queen consort of Poland
Succeeded by
Elizabeth of Bosnia