Beneficjenci Wielkiej wojny wśród rycerstwa polskiego

Jerzy Sperka


In the article I tried to present those of Polish knights whom the “Great War” brought measurable benefits, whose political and clerical careers were boosted and fortunes increased. They achieved that thanks to King Wladyslaw Jagiello who knew how to appreciate people serving him faithfully as well as those who proved courageous in that great campaign. In the per iod from the middle of July 1410 to the middle of March 1411, the king rewarded 23 knights bestowing them with 10 villages and charging the crown land with the sum of 2310 grzywnas which meant that the goods were actually transferred into a private property. Adding the bestowals from the autumn of 1411, which can be associated with the Great War, we will have 26 rewarded and the amount of grzywnas will increase to 3310. Among the
bestowed included were indigent knights as well as magnates who came from all over the Kingdom of Poland, although the majority was from Małopolska. A dozen of people who were
granted offices or were promoted should be also included into the circle of the beneficiaries. In both cases this certainly was not everyone. Analysing the later careers of the knights, the
heroes of the war enumerated in Jan Długosz’s chronicle, one thing can be noticed i.e. the king felt a sentimental attachment to those knights who fought in the battle of Grunwald, especially those who were exceptionally courageous and did not spare their own blood in the battle. Those of whose reward we do not know could later on count on the king’s clemency. The majority of the knights who courageously fought in the first ranks during the battle of Grunwald and Koronowo took land offices, starosties or were taken in the court by clemency of the king in the later years. The battlefields of “the Great War” turned out to be a kind of “purgatory” for those knights who had formerly fallen into disgrace (e.g. Jakub from Kobylany, Mikołaj Chrząstowski). Finally, it is necessary to mention the largest group of “the Great War” beneficiaries, unfortunately almost entirely anonymous, namely hundreds of knights who enriched themselves with trophies obtained during the campaign.

Słowa kluczowe

późne średniowiecze, Grunwald, Zakon Krzyżacki, rycerstwo

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