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Coat of Arms of Princes Svyatopolk-Mirsky
Nikolai Svyatopolk-Mirsky and his descendants used a variation of the Białynia Coat of Arms

Svyatopolk-Mirsky (Belarusian: Святаполк-Мірскі, Russian: Святополк-Мирский, Polish: Światopełk-Mirski, also transliterated as Swiatopolk or Mirskii) is a family of Russian and Polish nobility that originated from present-day northwestern Belarus.

They first appeared in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the late 15th century as "Mirski," a name probably derived from the town of Miory in the former Kievan Rus principate of Polotsk, although it is possible that the family had been local rulers for some centuries beforehand. The memoirs of Prince Pyotr Vladimirovich Dolgorukov assert that the Svyatopolk-Mirsky family were nobility descending from Rurik who submitted to Gediminas and became magnates. The Genealogical Handbook of the Nobility (de:Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels) states that the Svyatopolk-Mirsky family descends from a younger branch of the Princes of Turov. Two members of the family Bogusław and Stanisław were representatives at the Great Sejm in 1791.[1]

Tomasz Bogumił Jan Światopełk-Mirski (1788-1868) fought in the 1830 November Uprising near Suwalki and fled into exile in Paris, where he both represented the interests of the exiled Poles in France and attempted to seek pardon from the tsar. He was an active participant in the French colonization of Algiers, where he received a large grant of land and allegedly suggested the formation of the French Foreign Legion in order to reduce the burden of Polish exiles on the French state. He converted to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism, was regarded as a traitor by his fellow Polish rebels for his outspoken support of Pan-Slavism. He was eventually allowed to return to Russia, where he remained under house arrest until his death. His sons Dmitry (1825—1899) and Nikolai (1833—1898) were educated as members of the Russian nobility and had distinguished military careers.

Tomasz Bogumił claimed a Rurikid descent, according to his claim, the Mirskis were descendants of Sviatopolk I of Kiev, but his claims were rejected by leading genealogists of Poland and Russia in the 19th century. Despite this, his pro-Russian attitudes and allegiance to the Tsars earned his branch of the family the confirmation of their dubious princely title by Alexander II of Russia in 1861 although the Senate of the Polish Kingdom had previously confirmed it in 1821.[2] Nikolai bought the historic castle of Mir in 1895 due to its name, the family having no historic connection with it.[3]

Other branches of the family remained Polish by choice and retained estates near Braslaw and Miory until 1940. Adam Napoleon Mirski of Zawierz and his sister Maria were painted by Jan Rustem in 1808. The painting, "Portrait of Maria Mirska, Adam Napoleon Mirski and Barbara Szumska" is on display at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Tomasz (d. 1852) was an officer in Napoleon's Polish cavalry. Catholic Father Eugeniusz Światopełk-Mirski was murdered by the Bolsheviks in Mogilev in 1918, [1] Father Antoni Swiatopelk-Mirski (1907-1942) was martyred at Auschwitz by the Nazis and has recently been advanced by the Vatican as a candidate for beatification. Two teenage members of the family, Krzysztof Światopełk-Mirski and Michał Światopełk-Mirski, were killed in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.[4]

The most notable Svyatopolk-Mirsky members are in the Russian branch:


  1. ^ Polski Slownik Biograficzny
  2. ^ Polski Slownik Biograficzny
  3. ^ Dzieje Rezydencji na Dawnych Kresach Rzeczpospolitej
  4. ^ Polski Slownik Biograficzny

External links[edit]