Władysław I the Elbow-high

Władysław I the Elbow-high

Infobox Polish monarch
name=Władysław I the Elbow-high

image_caption=Władysław I, recumbent statue on his tomb, 14th century, Wawel Cathedral
birthdate=between March 3, 1260 and January 19, 1261
deathdate=March 2, 1333
deathplace=Kraków, Poland
burial_place=Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
coronation_date=January 20, 1320
coronation_place=Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
family=Piast dynasty
CoA_name=Piast Eagle
father=Casimir I of Kuyavia
mother=Euphrosyne of Opole
consort_1=Jadwiga Kaliska

Władysław the Short or Elbow-high (or Ladislaus I of Poland) ( _pl. Władysław I Łokietek) (1261 - March 2, 1333), was a King of Poland. He was a Duke until 1300, and Prince of Kraków from 1305 until his coronation as King on January 20, 1320.

Royal titles

*Title before coronation: "Wladislaus Dei gracia, dux Regni Poloniae et dominus Pomeraniae, Cuiavie, Lanciciae ac Siradiae"
*:English translation: Vladislaus by the grace of God duke of the Kingdom of Poland, and lord of Pomerania, Kuyavia, Łęczyca and Sieradz
*Royal title after coronation: "Wladislaus Dei gracia, rex Poloniae et dominus Pomeraniae, Cuiavie, Lanciciae ac Siradiae"
*:English translation: Vladislaus by the grace of God king of Poland, and lord of Pomerania, Kuyavia, Łęczyca and Sieradz

Later histories refer to him also as Wladislaw IV or Wladislaw I. There are no records to show that he actually used any regnal number. Both numerals are retrospective assignments by later historians. IV comes from him being the fourth of that name to rule as overlord of the Polish, since Wladislaw I Herman. I comes from him having restored the monarchy after a fragmented era of a century or more, and also backwards-counting from Wladislaw of Varna who officially used III and Wladislaw Vasa who officially used IV.


The 12th and 13th centuries were times of adversity for Poland. In 1138 the kingdom, which had been growing in strength under the rule of the Piast dynasty, encountered an obstacle which impeded its development for nearly two hundred years. In the will of King Bolesław Krzywousty, Poland was divided into five provinces - Silesia, Mazovia with Cuiavia, Greater Poland, the part of Pomerania around the City of Gdańsk, the Sandomierz Region, and Lesser Poland, the 'senior palatinate', comprising the areas around Kraków, Łęczyca, and Sieradz. To prevent his four sons from quarrelling, Boleslaus granted one province to each of them, and the fifth one, the senior palatinate, was to be given to the eldest brother on the grounds of primogeniture. The reason for such a decision was not only to forestall dynastic feuds, but also to prevent the disintegration of the kingdom. However, it proved an inadequate solution, and started nearly two centuries of what it had sought to counteract - constant fighting and disorder. Władysław succeeded in re-uniting the Kingdom of Poland.

Wladyslaw was born circa 1260 as the third son of Kazimierz I Kujawski, Duke of Łęczyca, Sieradz and Cuiavia. After the death of his father, he inherited Cuiavia, while the remaining two duchies went to his brothers, Leszek Czarny (the Black) and Kazimierz II of Łęczyca. However, following the deaths of both brothers, the entire inheritance passed to Władysław, who began the task of re-uniting the Kingdom of Poland. His next step was to win Lesser Poland, for which he had to contest the local prince, Przemysł II. Following Przemysł death in 1296, Wladyslaw proclaimed himself his successor and established himself in Lesser Poland, as well as in Pomerania. While Władysław enjoyed the support of the Lesser Polish peasants, knights and part of the clergy who preferred a prince from the domestic Piast dynasty, he had to defer to Waclaw II of Bohemia, who had the support of the local lords. In 1304 Władysław entered and occupied Lesser Poland with an army of his supporters, which, according to the 15th-century historian Jan Długosz, consisted of more peasants than knights. He also conquered Pomerania around Gdańsk, but since he did not win the favour of the local lords and settlers from Brandenburg who had migrated to that area, he was forced to give up the idea of complete control of the Baltic coast.

By 1311 Władysław was already in power in Lesser Poland and his Cuiavian patrimony. Despite a rebellion by the German patricians of Kraków and Sandomierz, he was able to hold these cities thanks to the support of the nobility, gentry and townsfolk. Three years later, Greater Poland also came under his rule. However, John of Luxemburg, King of Bohemia, also claimed the succession to the Polish crown. In alliance with the Teutonic Order, he attacked Władysław's forces from the north and west, while the Brandenburgians attempted to capture Greater Poland. Nonetheless, Władysław managed to maintain his dominions.

In 1318 he embarked on a coronation campaign. The pope, though initially unwilling, finally granted his approval and Władysław was crowned King of Poland on 30 January 1320 in Kraków. The coronation was a sign that he had overcome Poland's internal fragmentation and re-united and re-instated the country as an independent kingdom under his rule.

A Polish-Teutonic War (1326–1332) occupied Władysław's last years. In 1331, September 27 in Kuyavia near Radziejów fought the Battle of Płowce against a group of Teutonic knights. Other groups of enemies withdrew to the north. After numerous casualties the armies were stalemated, though Władysław's forces conquered the field, captured some prisoners and stopped the expansion of the Teutonic Order in the region.

Władysław endeavored to establish a uniform legal code throughout the land. With the general laws he assured the Jews safety and freedom and placed them on equality with the Christians.

Władysław died on 2 March 1333 in Kraków. Although his son, Casimir III the Great, inherited only Lesser Poland, the Duchy of Sandomierz, Greater Poland, Cuiavia, and the Duchies of Łęczyca and Sieradz; while Silesia and the Land of Lubusz to the west, along with Gdańskian Pomerania, Western Pomerania, and Mazovia the north remained beyond the Kingdom's borders, Władysław's reign was a major step on the road to restoration of the Kingdom of Poland.

In historic Poland, an ell was a measure of length. 1 ell equalled 0.78 metres. Due to his short stature, the king was nicknamed 'Łokietek', which is a diminutive of the word 'łokieć' (ell, elbow).

Marriage and children

In 1293, Władysław married Jadwiga of Greater Poland. [ [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/POLAND.htm#WladyslawIdied1333 Profile of Władysław in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley] ] She was a daughter of Boleslaus of Greater Poland and Jolenta of Hungary. They had six children:

*Stephen of Poland (d. 1306).
*Władysław of Poland (d. 1311/1312).
*Kunigunde of Poland (c. 1298 - 9 April, 1331). Married first Bernard of Świdnica. Their children included Bolko II of Świdnica. Married secondly Rudolf I, Elector of Saxony.
*Elisabeth of Poland (1305 - 29 December, 1380). Married Charles I of Hungary.
*Casimir III of Poland (30 April, 1310 - 5 November, 1370).
*Jadwiga of Poland (d. 3 June, 1320/1322).


style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
boxstyle_1=background-color: #999;
boxstyle_2=background-color: #bbb;
boxstyle_3=background-color: #ddd;
boxstyle_4=background-color: #eee;
1= Władysław I the Elbow-high
2= Casimir I of Kuyavia
3= Euphrosyne of Opole
4= Konrad I of Masovia
5= Agafia of Volhynia
6= Casimir I of Opole
7= Viola of Bulgaria
8= Casimir II of Poland
9= Helena of Moravia
10=Sviatoslav Igorievich of Novgorod-Sieviersk
11=Iaroslava Riurikovna of Kiev [ [http://www.aemyers.net/genealogy/d0032/g0000060.html www.aemyers.net] ]
12=Mieszko I Tanglefoot
13=Ludmila (of Bohemia?)
14=Kaloyan of Bulgaria? [W. Dziewulski, "Bułgarka księżną opolską", "Sobótka", t. 28, 1973, s. 159-182]
15=Anna Cuman?


ee also

* History of Poland (966–1385)


External links

* [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/POLAND.htm#WladyslawIdied1333 His listing in "Medieval lands" by Charles Cawley. The project "involves extracting and analysing detailed information from primary sources, including contemporary chronicles, cartularies, necrologies and testaments."]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Władysław II the Exile — This article refers to the 12th century Polish monarch. For the 14th century founder of the Jagiellon dynasty, see Jogaila, and for other monarchs with similar names, see Ladislaus II (disambiguation). Władysław II the Exile 19th century portrait …   Wikipedia

  • Władysław I Herman — This article is about the 11th century Polish monarch. For the 13th century monarch, see Władysław I the Elbow high, and for other nobles with a similar name, please see Ladislaus I (disambiguation). Władysław I Herman Duke of Poland Portrait by …   Wikipedia

  • Władysław IV Vasa — Portrait by Rubens …   Wikipedia

  • Władysław III Spindleshanks — This article refers to the 12th century Polish monarch. For the 15th century Jagiellon monarch, see Władysław III of Poland, and for other monarchs with similar names see Ladislaus III (disambiguation). Władysław III Spindleshanks 19th century… …   Wikipedia

  • Władysław Opolczyk — This artivle is about a 14th century noble. For the 13th century one, see Władysław Opolski. Władysław Opolczyk ( de. Ladislaus von Oppel, (ca. 1326 18 May 1401 Opole), count palatine of Hungary 1367 1372, governor of Halych Volhynia 1372 1378,… …   Wikipedia

  • Mieszko III the Old — 19th century portrait by Jan Matejko High Duke of Poland Tenure 1173–1177 1191 1198–1199 1201 Predecessor Bolesław IV the Curly …   Wikipedia

  • History of Poland in the Middle Ages — History of Poland This article is part of a series Chronology List of Polish monarchs …   Wikipedia

  • Boleslaw the Pious — (born between 1221 1227, died 14 April 1279), was a duke of Greater Poland (provinces of Poznań, Kalisz, and Gniezno).He was born to Ladislaus Odonic Plwacz, duke of Greater Poland, and Jadwiga of Pomerania, daughter of Mściwój I, duke of Eastern …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Castle, Poznań — The Royal Castle in Poznań ( pl. Zamek Królewski w Poznaniu) dates from 1249 and the reign of Przemysł I. One of the largest castles in Poland, it was largely destroyed during the Second World War but has since been partly rebuilt.History and… …   Wikipedia

  • Wawel Cathedral — The Wawel Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Stanisław and Vaclav, is a church located on Wawel Hill in Kraków–Poland s national sanctuary. It has a 1,000 year history and was the traditional coronation site of Polish… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”