Lands of Schlawe and Stolp

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Not to be confused with Pomerania-Stolp.
Schlawe and Stolp as part of Herzogtum Pommern (i.e. Duchy of Pomerelia) under Duke Swantopolk II about 1250;
1886 map by Gustav Droysen

The Lands of Schlawe and Stolp (German: Länder Schlawe und Stolp, Polish: Ziemia Słupsko-Sławieńska) are a historical region in Pomerania, centered around the towns of Sławno (Schlawe) and Słupsk (Stolp) in Farther Pomerania (now Poland). The area is of some historic significance, as it initially did not belong to the Duchy of Pomerania (Slavinia) under Duke Wartislaw I and his descendants, who became vassals of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1181.


The region comprises the easternmost part of Farther Pomerania, located between the Unieść river at the Góra Chełmska hill (about 2 km (1.2 mi) east of Koszalin) in the west, the historic border with the Bishopric of Cammin, and the Łeba River in the east, where it bordered on the lands of Pomerelia. In the north the region is bounded by the Baltic coast. Before 1945 the region had boundaries in the south to both the New March region of the Prussian Province of Brandenburg and to Greater Poland.


Since the 1120s, the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp were ruled by Duke Ratibor I, the brother of Duke Wartislaw I of Pomerania. When Wartislaw was murdered about 1135, Ratibor also assumed the rule over his late brother's duchy as regent for his minor nephews, however upon his own death in 1156, the domains were again separated: Schlawe-Stolp was inherited by Ratibor's sons Swietopelk and Bogislaw, the so-called "Ratiborides" cadet branch of the Griffin House of Pomerania, while their cousin Duke Bogislaw I of Pomerania pledged allegiance to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1181. Nevertheless all Pomerania was under Danish occupation from the 1180s to 1227.


The last member of the Ratiborides branch of the Griffins, Ratibor II, died in 1223. This led to an inheritance dispute between the Pomeranian Griffins and the Samborides dukes of neighbouring Pomerelia, vassals of the Piast Kingdom of Poland. As Ratibor II had died during the Danish period, Denmark administered the area until she had to withdraw after the lost Battle of Bornhöved in 1227. Duke Barnim I of Pomerania immediately took control of the lands after the Danish withdrawal, but had to yield rights to the Pomerelian duke Swietopelk II, who claimed a closer relationship to the extinct Ratiborides, and took over Schlawe-Stolp in 1235/36.

In the 1250s, the Griffins mounted an unsuccessful campaign to gain the area. After the death of Duke Swantopolk II in 1266, Duke Barnim I of Pomerania again assumed the rule over the area and kept it until 1269, when Rugian prince Wizlaw II took over. On 3 September 1273 the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp became a fief under the Imperial Margraves of Brandenburg.[1] Contested by late Swantopelks's son Duke Mestwin II of Pomerelia, Wizlaw II of Rugia finally withdrew in 1277 and sold his rights to the area for 3.500 Brandenburgian Marks in silver to the Margraves of Brandenburg. In 1283, Mestwin II of Pomerelia finally took over. Competition arose anew after his death in 1294, since the Samborides dynasty had become extinct and in his testimony Mestwin II had ignored his earlier contracts and by the secret Treaty of Kępno had inserted as his successor the former Polish High Duke Przemysł II of Greater Poland.[2]

Inheritance conflict[edit]

Przemysł II was crowned King of Poland in 1295 and assumed the rule over the Pomerelian lands with Schlawe-Stolp. However, after he was murdered the next year, the lands of Schlawe, Stolp and Rügenwalde fell to the Brandenburgian House of Ascania:[3] A last attempt had been made by Przemysł II to occupy the region, but in 1296 the Polish invasion troops were beaten by a Pomeranian contingent in a decisive battle near Buckow, a village in the vicinity of the town of Rügenwalde.[4] According to a chronic of 1652 by M. Merian, the lands were then taken over by Wizlaw of Rügen and count Adolph from Holstein.[5] In 1301 Prince Sambor of Rugia enfeoffed his castellan Matthew in Schlawe with his domains in the surroundings of Schlawe, Rügenwalde and Stolp.[6] The Pomeranian dukes, acting under the sovereignty of Brandenburg, were forced out and had to withdraw at about 1301, after the Bohemian king Wenceslaus II had become king of both Poland and Bohemia. He inserted a Polish administrator in the lands of Schlawe and Stolp, Frederic of Čachovice, a Czech noble, who appeared in Schlawe in December 1302.[7]

After both King Wenceslaus II and his young successor, Wenceslaus III, had died, the Margraves of Brandenburg returned in 1305 to the lands of Schlawe, Rügenwalde and Stolp.[8] In 1307 they launched from the region a campaign against the fortified castle of Gdańsk in Pomerelia. The attack failed, however, since the local warlord, Wŀadisŀaw Ŀokietek, had recruited soldiers of the Teutonic Knights in order to help defending it.

Pomerelian lands and Schlawe-Stolp (green) under the Teutonic Knights, 1308

In 1308, after a massacre of Gdańsk citizens, the city was taken over by Teutonic Order (Teutonic takeover of Danzig). Grand Master Siegfried von Feuchtwangen and Master Heinrich von Dirschau und Schwetz integrated Danzig into the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. In the Treaty of Soldin of 13 September 1309, the Ascanian Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg sold his claims to Pomerelia east of the Łeba River including Lauenburg and Bütow Land to the Teutonic Order, but retained Schlawe-Stolp. Emperor Henry VI ratified the Soldin Treaty in 1313, whereafter the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp finally were incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire.

Duchy of Pomerania[edit]

The districts of Schlawe (now Sławno), Rügenwalde (Darłowo) and Stolp (Słupsk), remained with the Margraviate of Brandenburg and were ruled by the margraves' vassals, the Swienca family, who had administered the area already before under other dynasties. In 1316/17, the Griffin duke of Pomerania-Wolgast took over these areas as a fief from Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg. In 1347, the area became fully attached to the Duchy of Pomerania-Wolgast.[9] The lands of Stolp were pawned to the Teutonic Order from 1329 to 1341, the Bütow area was bought by the Order in 1329 and thus remained outside Pomerania-Wolgast.[10]

The lands of Schlawe and Stolp became part of the Duchy of Pomerania-Stolp after the partition of the Pomeranian duchy in 1368. The eastern border of the lands of Schlawe and Stolp to Pomerelia had shifted several times, before they, together with the lands of Lauenburg and Bütow, were integrated into the Prussian Province of Pomerania in 1653.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard Roepell: Geschichte Polens, Hamburg 1840, pp. 552.PDF
  2. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.87, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
  3. ^ Hans Barnig: Geschichte Pommerns, Part I: Vom Werden des neuzeitlichen Staates bis zum Verlust der staatlichen Selbständigkeit (1300-1648), Böhlau, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-412-07189-7, p. 13.
  4. ^ Carlheinz Rosenow: Rügenwalde an der Ostsee - Kleine Geschichte der Heimatstadt, in: Der Kreis Schlawe - Ein pommersches Heimatbuch (M. Vollack, ed.), Vol. II, Husum 1989. pp. 687-698.
  5. ^ Der Kreis Schlawe - Ein pommersches Heimatbuch (M. Vollack, Hrsg.), Vol. II: Die Städte und Landgemeinden, Husum 1989, ISBN 3-88042-337-7, pp. 683-684 and 729-730.
  6. ^ Karl Rosenow: Herzogsschloß und Fürstengruft, Mewes, Rügenwalde 1925 (or later), p. 9.
  7. ^ Jacob Caro: Geschichte Polens - Zweiter Theil (1300-1386), Gotha 1863, p. 6. PDF
  8. ^ Jacob Caro: Geschichte Polens - Zweiter Theil (1300-1386, Gotha 1863, p. 28 ff. PDF
  9. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.105, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
  10. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.106, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
  11. ^ Roderich Schmidt: Die Lande Lauenburg und Bütow in ihrer wechselnden Zugehörigkeit zum Deutschen Orden, zu Pommern und Polen und zu Brandenburg-Preußen, in: Reiche und Territorien in Ostmitteleuropa - Historische Beziehungen und politische Herrschaftslegitimation (D. Willoweit und H. Lemberg, Hrsg.), Oldenbourg, München 2006, ISBN 978-3-486-57833-9. pp. 93-106. PDF