Tomșa served as hatman and came to power as leader of a boyar revolt against the Lutheran Ioan Iacob Heraclid, whose attempts to impose the new usages in Moldavia offended the Eastern Orthodox sensibilities of nobles. Ioan Iacob, better known in Romanian history as Despot Vodă, sought refuge in the city of Suceava.
Ștefan Tomșa defeated an invasion by the neighbouring Wallachian prince Petru cel Tânăr, but was unable to obtain recognition by the Ottoman Empire as ruler of Wallachia. Alexandru Lăpușneanu, who had been deposed by Ioan Iacob in 1561, was returned to power with Ottoman assistance in January 1564, and Ștefan Tomșa fled to neighbouring Poland.
Tomsa was imprisoned with his boyars in Buczacz. On the request of the Sultan boyars were sent to Turkey. The Sultan wanted also Stefan Tomsa. Tomsa on the request of the Polish King Sigismund II Augustus was sentenced to death and beheaded in Lwów on 5 May 1564. He was buried in Lwów.
- Spieralski, Zdzisław (1967). Awantury mołdawskie. Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna. p. 128.
- Spieralski, Zdzisław (1967). Awantury mołdawskie. Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna. p. 127.
Ioan Iacob Heraclid
|Ruler of Moldavia
August 1563 – March 1564
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