|Autonomous dependency of the |
King of Poland
Map of Royal Prussia (light pink)
|19 October 1466|
|1 July 1569|
|Today part of|
Royal Prussia (Polish : Prusy Królewskie; German : Königlich-Preußen or Preußen Königlichen Anteils, Kashubian : Królewsczé Prësë) or Polish Prussia (Polish: Prusy Polskie; German: Polnisch-Preußen) was a province of Polish kingdom that was created as a result of the peace treaty of 1466 between the Teutonic Order and Poland. Prussian lands of the Order were divided, western part became part of Poland and was known as Royal Prussia, eastern remained under the rule of the Order as the Polish fief. Royal Prussia was granted autonomy and a guarantee of preserving rights and customs. Ultimately, in 1569 Royal Prussia was fully integrated into the Kingdom of Poland.
Royal Prussia was established after the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), from territory in western Prussia which had previously been part of the State of the Teutonic Order.It became a 'protectorate' of Poland. As such, it was not part of Poland, but feudal overlord status lay to the Polish king, reflected in the title "Royal Prussia" or the King's Prussia. Royal Prussia retained its autonomy, governing itself and maintaining its own laws, customs, rights and German language. As a royal protectorate, its magnates could participate in the election of its titular monarch, however it could not participate in the Sejm, the Polish parliament. It continued with such status until becoming fully integrated into the Kingdom of Poland in 1569.
In 1772, the former territory of Royal Prussia, which by then was fully merged into the Kingdom of Poland and administered in the form of several voivodeships was annexed by Prussia and subsequently re-organized into the province of West Prussia. This occurred at the time of the First Partition of Poland, with other parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth being annexed by the Russian Empire and Hapsburg Austria.
The area consisted of the following districts:
From the 14th century, in old texts (until the 16th or 17th century) and in Latin, the terms Prut(h)enia and Prut(h)enic refer not only to the original settlement area of the now extinct Old Prussians along the Baltic coast east of the Vistula River, but also to the adjacent lands of the former Samboride dukes of Pomerelia, which territory the Teutonic Knights had acquired from the king of Poland in the 1343 Treaty of Kalisz and incorporated into the Order's State.
Pomerelia Lauenburg and Bütow Land to the west was ruled by the Pomeranian dukes, enfeoffed to the king of Poland.
Royal Prussia is distinguished from later Ducal Prussia, the remaining (eastern) parts of Prussia around Königsberg, founded and governed by the Teutonic Knights. After secularisation in 1525, it succeeded to the Protestant dukes of the Hohenzollern dynasty. From 1618 this area was in personal union by the Electors of Brandenburg (Brandenburg-Prussia). In 1657 the titular monarchy devolved by the Treaty of Wehlau.
By 1308 the Pomerelian part of the region was conquered by the first Polish state, who granted them autonomy and their existing self-government.During the rule of Władysław I the Elbow-high of Poland, the Margraviate of Brandenburg staked its claim on the territory in 1308, leading Władysław to request assistance from the Teutonic Knights, who had replaced the Brandenburgers and incorporated Pomerelia into the Teutonic Order state, in 1309 (Teutonic takeover of Danzig (Gdańsk) and Treaty of Soldin (Myślibórz)).
After being checked at the Battle of Grunwald, the Teutonic Knights's prestige declined, and by the 1411 Peace of Thorn they were forced to pay large contributions to the king of Poland[ citation needed ], which became a financial burden on the citizenry. In 1440, as the tax burden rose, indigenous nobles and Hanseatic cities established the Prussian Confederation at Marienwerder (Kwidzyn) in resistance of the Order's domestic and financial policies. The Confederation was led by the citizens of Danzig, Elbing, and Thorn. The gentry from Chełmno Land and Pomerelia participated as well. Grand Master Ludwig von Erlichshausen demanded the dissolution and in 1453 searched for help from Pope Nicholas V and Emperor Frederick III. In turn, in February 1454, the Confederation sent a delegation, under Johannes von Baysen, to King Casimir IV Jagiellon of Poland, to ask him for support against the Teutonic Order's rule and for incorporation of their homeland into the Kingdom of Poland. In this treaty, Prussian delegates declared the Polish king the only true sovereign of their lands, justified by the historical fact that the king of Poland had earlier ruled them. After lengthy negotiation, on 6 March 1454, the Royal Chancellery issued the Act of Treaty formalizing the terms of the treaty establishing Royal Prussia's autonomy as a foreign dependency of the king.
After the Prussian Confederation pledged allegiance to Casimir on 6 March 1454, the Thirteen Years' War ("War of the Cities") began. King Casimir IV Jagiellon appointed Baysen as the first war-time governor of Royal Prussia. On 28 May 1454, the king took an oath of allegiance from the citizens of Thorn, and in June a similar oath from the citizens of Elbing and Königsberg was taken.
The rebellion also included major cities from the eastern part of the Order's lands, such as Kneiphof, later a part of Königsberg. Though the Knights were victorious at the Battle of Chojnice in 1454, they were not able to finance more knights in order to reconquer the castles occupied by the insurgents. Thirteen years of attrition warfare ended in October 1466 with the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), which provided for the Order's cession to the Polish Crown of its rights over the western half of Prussia, including Pomerelia and the districts of Elbing, Marienburg, and Chełmno.
According to the 1454 treaty signed by King Casimir IV, the whole Prussia was incorporated into a Polish crown and their elites enjoyed the same rights and privileges as the elites of Polish kingdom. At the same time they were granted considerable degree of autonomy. Already instituted law codes were retained, only Prussians could be appointed on public offices (ius indigenatus), borders of the province had to remain intact and all the decisions regarding Prussia had to be consulted with Prussian council . Thorn, Elbing, Konigsberg and Danzig (Danzig law) were to retain the right to mint coins, although with image of the Polish king .
The Bishop of Warmia had claimed Imperial Prince-Bishopric status, as mentioned in the Golden Bull of 1356 by Emperor Charles IV. Although the area was never directly under the Emperor's jurisdiction and the claim seems unsupported by any bestowal document, it was in wide use in the 17th century. The bishopric continued defending this status until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.
In 1569, as a result of the Union of Lublin, which created the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Royal Prussia was integrated fully into the Kingdom of Poland, and its parliament reduced to the status of a provincial assembly, also other separate Prussian institutions were dissolved.The former territory was subsequently governed as Pomeranian Voivodeship, Culm Voivodeship, Malbork Voivodeship, and Prince-Bishopric of Warmia
History of Brandenburg and Prussia
| Northern March |
| Old Prussians |
| Lutician federation |
983 – 12th century
| Margraviate of Brandenburg |
1157–1618 (1806) (HRE)
| Teutonic Order |
(Polish fief 1466–1525)
| Duchy of Prussia |
(Polish fief 1525–1657)
| Royal (Polish) Prussia (Poland)|
1454/1466 – 1772
| Brandenburg-Prussia |
| Kingdom in Prussia |
| Kingdom of Prussia |
| Free State of Prussia (Germany)|
| Klaipėda Region |
1920–1939 / 1945–present
| Recovered Territories |
| Brandenburg |
1947–1952 / 1990–present
| Kaliningrad Oblast |
At the same time as the 1772 First Partition of Poland, the former lands of Royal Prussia were annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia, the successor state of the Teutonic Order. In 1793, the new Kingdom of Prussia participated in the Second Partition of Poland by temporarily annexing the neighboring regions, which were almost immediately returned to the Tsarist kingdom of Poland and incorporated into the Russian Empire.
In 1510, after several attempts to install another governor, the office was abolished.
Elbląg is a city in northern Poland on the eastern edge of the Żuławy region with 119,317 inhabitants. It is the capital of Elbląg County and has been assigned to the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. Previously it was the capital of Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998) and a county seat within Gdańsk Voivodeship (1945–1975).
The Prussian Confederation was an organization formed on 21 February 1440 at Marienwerder by a group of 53 nobles and clergy and 19 cities in Prussia, to oppose the arbitrariness of the Teutonic Knights. It was based on the basis of an earlier similar organization, the Lizard Union established in 1397 by Chełmno Land nobles.
The Peace of Thorn or Toruń of 1466, also known as the Second Peace of Thorn or Toruń, was a peace treaty signed in the Hanseatic city of Thorn (Toruń) on 19 October 1466 between the Polish king Casimir IV Jagiellon and the Teutonic Knights, which ended the Thirteen Years' War, the longest of Polish–Teutonic wars.
Braniewo, is a town in northern Poland, in Warmia, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, with a population of 18,068 (2004). It is the capital of Braniewo County.
The Duchy of Prussia or Ducal Prussia was a duchy in the region of Prussia established as a result of secularization of the State of the Teutonic Order during the Protestant Reformation in 1525.
Prussia is a historical region in Europe on the south-eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, that ranges from the Gulf of Gdańsk in the west to the end of the Curonian Spit in the east and extends inland as far as Masuria. Tacitus's Germania is the oldest known record of an eyewitness account on the territory and its inhabitants. Pliny the Elder had already confirmed that the Romans had navigated into the waters beyond the Cimbric peninsula (Jutland). Suiones, Sitones, Goths and other Germanic people had settled to the east and west of the Vistula River, adjacent to the Aesti, who lived further to the east.
The Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, known also as the Polish Crown, is the common name for the historic Late Middle Ages territorial possessions of the King of Poland, including the Kingdom of Poland proper. The Polish Crown was at the helm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1795.
Nowe Miasto Lubawskie is a town in northern Poland, situated on the River Drwęca. The total population in June 2018 was 11,062. Nowe Miasto Lubawskie is the capital of Nowe Miasto County and was assigned to the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in 1999.
The Province of West Prussia was a province of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and 1878 to 1922. West Prussia was established as a province of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1773, formed from Royal Prussia of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth annexed in the First Partition of Poland. West Prussia was dissolved in 1829 and merged with East Prussia to form the Province of Prussia, but was re-established in 1878 when the merger was reversed and became part of the German Empire. From 1918, West Prussia was a province of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany, losing most of its territory to the Second Polish Republic and the Free City of Danzig in the Treaty of Versailles. West Prussia was dissolved in 1922, and its remaining western territory was merged with Posen to form Posen-West Prussia, and its eastern territory merged with East Prussia as the Region of West Prussia district.
The State of the Teutonic Order, also called Deutschordensstaat or Ordensstaat was a medieval crusader state, located in Central Europe along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. It was formed by the knights of the Teutonic Order during the 13th century Northern Crusades in the region of Prussia, and was disestablished in 1525. At its greatest territorial extent, in the early 15th century, it encompassed Chełmno Land, Courland, Gotland, Livonia, Neumark, Pomerelia, Prussia and Samogitia, i.e. territories nowadays located in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
The Malbork Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in the Kingdom of Poland from 1454/1466 until the partitions in 1772–1795. Together with the Pomeranian and Chełmno Voivodeships and the Prince-Bishopric of Warmia it formed the historical province of Royal Prussia. Its capital was at Marienburg (Malbork).
Subdivisions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth evolved over for centuries of its existence from the signing of the Union of Lublin to the third partition.
The War of the Priests was a conflict in the Polish province of Warmia between the King of Poland Casimir IV and Nicolaus von Tüngen, the new bishop of Warmia chosen – without the king's approval – by the Warmian chapter. The latter was supported by the Teutonic Knights, by this point vassals of Poland, who were seeking a revision of the recently signed Second Peace of Toruń.
Ludwig von Erlichshausen (1410–1467) was the 31st Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, serving from 1449/1450 to 1467.
Hans von Baysen or Jan Bażyński was a Prussian knight and statesman, leader of the Prussian Confederation and the first Polish governor of Royal Prussia.
The Pomeranian Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1454/1466 until the First partition of Poland in 1772. From 1613 the capital was at Skarszewy.
Lauenburg and Bütow Land formed a historical region in eastern Pomerania. Composed of two districts centered on the towns of Lauenburg (Lębork) and Bütow (Bytów), it was on the western periphery of Pomerelia. The land is today part of the Polish Pomeranian Voivodeship.
The Polish–Teutonic War (1326–1332) was the war between the Kingdom of Poland and the State of the Teutonic Order over Pomerelia, fought from 1326 to 1332.
The Thirteen Years' War, also called the War of the Cities, was a conflict fought in 1454–1466 between the Prussian Confederation, allied with the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and the State of the Teutonic Order.
The Prince-Bishopric of Warmia was a semi-independent ecclesiastical state, ruled by the incumbent ordinary of the Warmia see and comprising one third of the then diocesan area. The Warmia see was a Prussian diocese under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Riga that was a protectorate of the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights (1243–1464) and a protectorate and part of the Kingdom of Poland—later part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1464–1772), confirmed by the Peace of Thorn in 1466. The other two thirds of the diocese were under the secular rule of the Teutonic Knights until 1525 and Ducal Prussia thereafter, both entities also being a protectorate and part of Poland from 1466.