Olbracht Łaski

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Olbracht Łaski

Olbracht Łaski (d. 23 November 1604[1]) was a Polish nobleman, an alchemist and courtier during the reign of Stephen Batory.

Łaski was suspected of plotting to seize the Polish throne in 1575, following the brief reign of Henry Valois.[2] This episode is featured in the opéra-comique Le roi malgré lui by Emmanuel Chabrier (first performed on 18 May 1887).[3]

Łaski was particularly notable for his fine beard, which Holinshed noted was of "such length and breadth, as that lying in his bed, and parting it with his hands, the same overspread his breasts and shoulders, himself greatly delighting therein, and reputing it an ornament."[2]

Łaski arrived in England in April 1583. The French ambassador, Michel de Castenau suggested that his visit was prompted by a desire to persuade the Muscovy Company to refrain from selling arms to Ivan the Terrible. He was provided with lodgings at Winchester House, Southwark.[2] Łaski convinced John Dee to visit Poland.[4]


  1. ^ Kurtyka, Janusz (2003). "Starostwo spiskie (1412-1769/70)". Terra Scepusiensis. Levoca - Wrocław. p. 529. 
  2. ^ a b c Woolley, Benjamin (2001). The Queen's Conjuror. New York: Henry Holt. p. 185. ISBN 9780805065091. 
  3. ^ Argument, L’Opéra Comique
  4. ^ I. Topham (7 September 2005). "John Dee - Scientist, Magician and Alchemist". Red Ice Creations. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Kraushar, Aleksander (1882). Olbracht Łaski wojewoda sieradzki : wizerunek historyczny na tle dziejów Polski XVI wieku, Volumes 1, 2. Gebethner i Wolff. OCLC 749958706.  OCLC 749958746