Spytek of Melsztyn

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Spytek z Melsztyna
Coat of arms Leliwa
Spouse(s) Beatrycza Szamotulska
Noble family Tarnowski
Father Jan z Melsztyna
Mother Elizabeth Lackovic
Born 1398
Died 5 May 1439 (aged 40–41)
Battle of Grotniki
Grotniki Duże, Poland

Spytek of Melsztyn (Polish: Spytek z Melsztyna) also known as Spytko; 1398-1439 was a member of the Polish nobility, and a strong supporter of Polish cooperation with the Hussite movement.


Spytek was the owner of Melsztyn estates and a castellan of Biecz.[1] He was the son of Spytek of Melsztyn, voivode of Krakow.[1]

He supported the plan for Władysław II Jagiełło's acceptance of the Czech crown from the Hussite's.[2] He supported pro-Hussite military expeditions of Sigismund Korybut to Bohemia in the years 1422-1427.[1] After Jagiełło's death in 1434 he was the leader of the opposition against the political influences of Bishop of Kraków, Zbigniew Oleśnicki during the early years of the reign of young King Władysław III.[2] Spytek's opposition to Oleśnicki was less personal and more an expression of sympathy with Czech Hussitism, and of opposition to the wealth and influence of the Catholic Church in Poland.[3] During Church synods of Warka (1434), Sieradz and Piotrkow (1435) he spoke in favor of the abolishing of the Peter's Pence in Poland.[2]

In 1439 he organized the Korczyn Confederation (also known as "Confederation of Spytko of Melsztyn") against Oleśnicki.[2] This was a reaction to Oleśnicki 's formation of an earlier anti-Hussite confederaton there.[1] His actions were condemned by the royal court, and he lost much support.[1] Following a military escalation of the conflict, he died in the Battle of Grotniki on 4 May 1439.[4][5] Spytek's defeat meant also the defeat of the Hussite cause in Poland.[5][4]

His legacy lay in King Władysław's realization that the lesser nobility could be played off against the power of the great magnates and that the Catholic Church could be reigned in.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e http://portalwiedzy.onet.pl/41057,,,,spytek_z_melsztyna,haslo.html
  2. ^ a b c d Jerzy Jan Lerski (1996). Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 563. ISBN 978-0-313-26007-0. 
  3. ^ a b Stone, David (2001). The Polish-Lithuanian State, 1386-1795. History of East Central Europe, Volume 4. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-295-98093-5. 
  4. ^ a b Oskar Halecki, W: F. Reddaway, J. H. Penson. The Cambridge History of Poland. CUP Archive. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-00-128802-4. 
  5. ^ a b Tony Jaques (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: F-O. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 412. ISBN 978-0-313-33538-9.