Matija Nenadović

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Mateja Nenadović
Prota Mateja Nenadovic.jpg
1st Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
27 August 1805 – January 1807
Monarch Karađorđe
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Mladen Milovanović
Personal details
Born (1777-02-26)26 February 1777
Brankovina, Ottoman Empire (present-day Serbia)
Died 11 December 1854(1854-12-11) (aged 77)
Valjevo, Principality of Serbia (present-day Serbia)
Nationality Serbian
Religion Serbian Orthodox
Signature

Matija or Mateja Nenadović (Serbian Cyrillic: Матија or Матеја Ненадовић; 26 February 1777 – 11 December 1854), known as Prota Mateja, was a Serbian archpriest, writer, and a notable leader of the First Serbian Uprising.

Life[edit]

At the age of sixteen he was ordained priest, and a few years later was promoted to an archpriest (Serbian: протопоп), colloquially prota (Serbian: прота) of Valjevo. His father, Aleksa Nenadović, Knez (chief magistrate) of the district of Valjevo, was one of the most popular and respected public men among the Serbs at the beginning of the 19th century. When the four leaders of the Janissaries of the Sanjak of Smederevo (the so-called Dahias) thought that the only way to prevent a general rising of the Serbs was to intimidate them by murdering all their principal men, Aleksa Nenadović (1749–1804) was one of the first victims. The policy of the Dahias, instead of preventing, did actually and immediately provoke a general insurrection of the Serbs against the Turks.

Prota Mateja became the deputy-commander of the insurgents of the Valjevo district (1804), but did not hold the post for long, as Karađorđe sent him in 1805 on a secret mission to St. Petersburg, and afterwards employed him almost constantly as Serbia's diplomatic envoy to Russia, Austria, Bucharest and Constantinople. After the fall of Karadjordje (1813), the new leader of the Serbs, Miloš Obrenović, sent Prota Mateja as representative of Serbia to the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815), where he pleaded the Serbian cause indefatigably. During that mission he often saw Lord Castlereagh, and for the first time the Serbian national interests were brought to the knowledge of British statesmen. Prota Mateja's memoirs (Memoari Prote Mateje Nenadovića) are the most valuable authority for the history of the first and Second Serbian uprising against the Turks.

He had a brother, Sima, a voivode. His paternal uncle, Jakov Nenadović, had an equally important role in Serbia, as the first Interior Minister. Mateja Nenadović had a son, Ljubomir Nenadović, born on 14 September 1826 at Brankovina, near Valjevo. From his earliest years he showed uncommon diligence and perseverance in classical studies, nothwithstanding many difficulties and privations. In 1844 he went to Prague, Berlin and Heidelberg where he studied at their universities. His reputation as a literary scholar, writer and poet secured him a post of professor at the Belgrade Lyceum. In 1851 Ljubomir Nenadović accompanied Petar II Petrović Njegoš on his last voyage in Italy. His Letters from Italy reveal many intimate sides of Njegoš's personality. Nenadović was only 25 years old at the time. When Njegoš, the great Serb poet, was dying Ljubomir Nenadović arrived in Cetinje to record whatever he could from the eyewitnesses and to save it for posterity. In later life Ljubomir Nenadović took an active part in politics; he became a secretary at a Serbian Legation in Constantinople; and in 1859 he was in charge of the Press Bureau of the Serbian Foreign Office.

Legacy[edit]

He is included in The 100 most prominent Serbs.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Political offices
First
Serbian revolution
Prime Minister of Serbia
27 Aug 1805 – Jan 1807
Succeeded by
Mladen Milovanović