Constance of Wrocław

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Constance of Wrocław (c.1221–27 – 21 or 23 February 1257) was a Princess of Silesia and the Duchess of Kuyavia. She was a member of the Polish House of Piast and mother of Leszek the Black and Ziemomysł of Kuyavia.

Early life[edit]

Constance of Wrocław was born in 1227, the second child of Henry II the Pious and his wife Anna of Bohemia, the daughter of Ottokar I of Bohemia and Constance of Hungary. She was named after her maternal grandmother, Constance of Hungary.[1]

Constance and her siblings were brought up away from their parents at the monastery of Trzebnica, where they were cared for by their paternal grandmother Hedwig of Andechs. Hedwig (who was later canonized) greatly influenced the young Constance – she became pious. Later, Hedwig also influenced Constance' son, Leszek.

She was expected to marry soon after coming of age at 12 years, and could do so according to canon law.[2] She married in 1239. At the time only her sister Gertrude was married, to Bolesław I of Masovia. Only one other sister, Elisabeth of Wrocław was to marry, her other sisters becoming Abbesses.[3]

Constance was more carefully educated than her future husband, Casimir I of Kuyavia, who was tutored by John Heron, who was later educated by Casimir's parents.[clarification needed]


In 1239 at Wrocław, Constance married Casimir I of Kuyavia, the second son of Konrad I, Duke of Masovia.[4] In literature there are two theories for the marriage.

The first theory is that Constance's father, Henry, for political reasons wanted a strong alliance with his potential enemy, Konrad I. With Constance's sister Gertrude already married to Konrad's eldest son, her marriage would make a stronger alliance.

The second theory states that Constance's father had internal and external state problems, whereby good relations with the Duke of Mazovia would help greatly, and the marriage of his daughter to the son of the Duke was intended as an effective way to strengthen cooperation.[5] Henry filed a dowry for Constance's marriage to Casimir. This dowry and inheritance of Henry would later cause fighting between Casimir and Bolesław the Pious (1258–1262), ending in Bolesław gaining Greater Poland [6]

Constance's husband, Casimir, was born between 1210 and 1213.[7] He was the second son of Konrad I and Agafia of Rus. He reigned over Kuyavia from 1230 or 1231 after his brother and Gertrude's husband, Bolesław, died. Bolesław, instead of leaving his lands, including Masovia, to Casimir, as stipulated in Konrad's will, passed these to Casimir's younger brother, Siemowit I of Masovia. Casimir had been married once before, to Jadwiga, a Polish noblewoman whose origins are unknown.[8] Casimir and Jadwiga had no children and Jadwiga died childless.

Constance and Casimir had two children:

  1. Leszek II the Black (1240-42 – 30 September 1288), Duke of the Fragmentation of Poland
  2. Ziemomysł of Kuyavia (1241-45 – 29 October or 24 December 1287), Duke of Kuyavia


The date of death for Constance is disputed. With regard to the year, she is last noted as a living person in a document dated 25 May 1252, whereas the first document indicating her death is from 3 May 1257. As far as the day and month, Nekrolog strzeleński reported that she died on the 21st of February, but, according to Nekrologu opactwa św. Wincentego we Wrocławiu (en: obituary from the Abbey of St. Vincent in Wrocław), her death occurred on the 23rd of February.[9] Thus, she is considered to have died on 21 or 23 February between 1253 and 1257. Due to the fact that the only three mentions of her death in the documents of Casimir I were from 1257 (3 May, 16 September, and 10 November), it is considered highly likely that she died earlier that year. Constance's burial place is unknown.

The document from 16 September 1257 was issued by her two sons and Casimir to the Bishop of Chełmno.[clarification needed] Her sons wanted to have daily Mass celebrated for Constance's soul.



  1. ^ Jasiński, Kazimierz (2007). Rodowód Piastów śląskich (2 ed.). Kraków: Avalon. p. 120.
  2. ^ K. Jasinski Pedigree Little Poland and Kuyavian Piast, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 62 Earlier in K. Jasinski's Pedigree of the Silesian Piast dynasty. Volume I. The Piast and Legnica-Wrocław brzescy, Wrocław Scientific Society, Wrocław 1973, pointed out that as younger than Constance, Gertrude was born probably after 1220 Cf. K. Jasinski Pedigree of the Silesian Piast, Thu. I, ed. II, Kraków 2007, p. 120 In Table I / 2 at the end of the book: zap. 1221–1227.
  3. ^ In general, married daughters were given in order of seniority, the youngest offspring was sent for the priesthood. Gertrude, in 1233, married Bolesław I of Masovia, Elizabeth, in 1244, married Przemysł I of Greater Poland, while Agnieszka cysterką Trzebnicka was a Jadwiga who joined the Poor Clares monastery in Wrocław. Cf. K. Jasinski Pedigree of the Silesian Piast, Thu. I, ed. II, Kraków 2007, p. 120
  4. ^ SILESIA, Medieval Lands
  5. ^ T. Žemaitija, The study divided Kingdom. Duke Leszek the Black, Warsaw 2000, p. 26
  6. ^ Bolesław the Pious reported claims to the land which the 1237 lost his father, Wladyslaw Odonic, while at war with Constance's father.
  7. ^ K. Jasinski Pedigree Little Poland and Kuyavian Piast, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 57-58. O. Balzer, Genealogy Piast, Kraków 1895, p. 292, put his birth at around 1211
  8. ^ This view is D. Karczew's, included in the work On the origin of Hedwig, the first wife of Prince Casimir Kuyavia Konradowica[In] K. Zielinska-Melkowska (ed.), Central and Eastern Europe in politics Piast, Toruń, 1997. Speak for him: the same name of his wife Odonic, HedwigAnd the friendly relations between the prince and his father Casimir Wielkopolskie, Konrad Mazowiecki. Cf. K. Jasinski Pedigree Little Poland and Kuyavian Piast, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 61-62.[clarification needed]
  9. ^ O. Balzer, Genealogy Piast, Kraków 1895, p. 299, opted for the earlier date, as specified by the local source. He claimed that the obituary from Wrocław indicated a date two days later, as news of Constance's death arrived late to Silesia. According to him the two obituaries were independent of one another; K. Jasinski Pedigree of the Silesian Piast, Thu. I, ed. II, Kraków 2007, p. 120-121, recognized both dates as equally likely. According to him, the Wrocław obituary would have been able to keep the record from the Nekrolog strzeleński obituary, which allegedly took the initial information about the death of Constance. Neither obituary survives to the present day. The obituary from the Abbey of St. Vincent in Wrocław is known from a thirteenth-century manuscript, and the obituary from Nekrolog strzeleński with a later copy.[clarification needed]