Jan Želivský

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Jan Želivský - memorial plaque, Old Town, Prague

Jan Želivský (1380 – 9 March 1422) was a prominent Czech priest during the Hussite Reformation.

Želivsky preached at Church of Our Lady of the Snows (Panny Marie Sněžné). He was one of a few Utraquist priests in Prague at the time and he was strongly influential, owing to his sermons which were noted both for their eloquence and their apocalyptic descriptions.

On 30 July 1419, Želivsky led the Hussite procession through the streets of Prague, and past the New Town Hall.

"The priest and his followers were, however, received with derision by the town-councillors, who appears at the windows, and stones were thrown at the procession. One of the stones struck Priest John [Želivsky]... and the infuriated people immediately attempted to storm the town hall."[1]

This event ended in the First Defenestration of Prague, which was one of the major triggering events for the Hussite Wars.

For a time during the Second Anti-Hussite Crusade, he held almost ultimate authority over the lower classes in Prague.

After his defeat in the Battle of Brüx in 1421, Želivský was removed from command. On 9 March 1422, during the civil wars between the various Hussite factions, he was arrested by the town council of Prague and decapitated.


  1. ^ Lutlow, The Count (1912). Hussite Wars. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co. p. 10. 

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