Franciszek Bieliński

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Franciszek Bieliński
Grand Marshal of the Crown
Franciszek Bieliński.PNG

POL COA Junosza.svg
Coat of arms Junosza
Spouse Dorota Przebendowska
Noble family Bieliński family
Father Kazimierz Ludwik Bieliński
Mother Ludwika Maria Morsztyn
Born 1683
Died 8 October 1766
Warsaw, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

Franciszek Bieliński of Junosza coat of arms (1683–1766) was a Polish politician and statesman. A Grand Marshal of the Crown, Marshal of Prussia and a voivode of Chełmno, he is best remembered as a strong proponent of the expansion and the modernisation of the city of Warsaw. He is also the eponym of Marszałkowska Street (Marshal Street) in Warsaw, one of the major and most iconic streets of Poland's capital.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

He was born in 1683 to Grand Marshal of the Crown Kazimierz Ludwik Bieliński and Ludwika Maria Bielińska, daughter of Grand Treasurer of the Crown. While officially a high-ranking military officer, for most of his life Bieliński had been in fact a skilled civilian administrator. Initially a starost of Malbork, Czersk, Grójec and Garwolin (since 1713), with time he allied himself to the mighty Czartoryski family. This allowed him to move to the royal court and start his career there.

Political career[edit]

In his role as a Marshal of the Court (since 1732) and then Grand Marshal of Poland during the reign of Augustus II the Strong, Bieliński had in fact administrative and judiciary control over a large part of Prussia (as Grand Treasurer of Prussia), Masovia (as cześnik of the Crown) and the city of Warsaw. In 1740 he created the Warsaw-based Cobblestone Commission, tasked with paving the streets and creating a modern sewer system. Under his leadership in 20 years the commission managed to pave 222 streets, a large majority of streets of the contemporary Polish capital.

In 1752 he allowed for the creation of the first professional fire brigade in Poland (based in Ostrów Wielkopolski). In 1757 with his personal funds he created a jurydyka of Bielino, a small village that with time became the core of what is now the city centre of Warsaw. During his civil service he also served as a starost of Kowalewo, Brodnica and Garwolin.

Marriage and death[edit]

He married Dorota Henrietta née Przebendowska, daughter of his father's successor as Grand Treasurer and widow of Jan Mikołaj Radziwiłł, the Voivode of Nowogródek. He died heir-less on 8 October 1766 in Warsaw. In 1770 the Marszałkowska Street was named in his honour and bears that name to this day.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Helena Waniczkówna: Bieliński Franciszek h. Junosza. W: Polski Słownik Biograficzny. T. 2: Beyzym Jan – Brownsford Marja. Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejętności – Skład Główny w Księgarniach Gebethnera i Wolffa, 1936, s. 47–50.