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Constance of Wrocław

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Title: Constance of Wrocław  
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Subject: List of Polish monarchs, Henry II the Pious, Constance (disambiguation), Anne of Bohemia, Duchess of Silesia, Fenenna of Kuyavia
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Constance of Wrocław

Constance of Wrocław (c.1221–27 – 23 February 1257) was a Princess of Silesia and the Duchess of Kuyavia. She was a member of the Polish House of Piast and mother of Leszek II the Black and Ziemomysł of Kuyavia.

Early life

Constance of Wrocław was born in 1227, the second child of Henry II the Pious and his wife Anna of Bohemia, the daughter of Ottokar I of Bohemia and Constance of Hungary. She was named after her maternal grandmother, Constance of Hungary.[1]

Constance and her siblings were brought up away from their parents at the monastery of Trzebnica, where they were cared for by their paternal grandmother Hedwig of Andechs. Hedwig (who was later canonized) greatly influenced the young Constance – she became pious. Later, Hedwig also influenced Constance' son, Leszek.

She was expected to marry soon after coming of age at 12 years, and could do so according to canon law.[2] She married in 1239. At the time only her sister Gertrude was married, to Bolesław I of Masovia. Only one other sister, Elisabeth of Wrocław was to marry, her other sisters becoming Abbesses.[3]

Constance was more carefully educated than her future husband, Casimir I of Kuyavia, who was tutored by John Heron, who was later educated by Casimir's parents.

Marriage

In 1239 at Wrocław, Constance married Casimir I of Kuyavia, the second son of Konrad I, Duke of Masovia.[4] In literature there are two theories for the marriage.

The first theory is that Constance's father, Henry, for political reasons wanted a strong alliance with his potential enemy, Konrad I. With Constance's sister Gertrude already married to Konrad's eldest son, her marriage would make a stronger alliance.

The second theory states that Constance's father had internal and external state problems, whereby good relations with the Duke of Mazovia would help greatly, and the marriage of his daughter to the son of the Duke was intended as an effective way to strengthen cooperation.[5] Henry filed a dowry for Constance's marriage to Casimir. This dowry and inheritance of Henry would later cause fighting between Casimir and Boleslaw the Pious (1258–1262), ending in Boleslaw gaining Greater Poland [6]

Constance's husband, Casimir, was born between 1210 and 1213.[7] He was the second son of Konrad I and Agafia of Rus. He reigned over Kuyavia from 1230 or 1231 after his brother and Gertrude's husband, Bolesław, died. Bolesław, instead of leaving his lands, including Masovia, to Casimir, as stipulated in Konrad's will, passed these to Casimir's younger brother, Siemowit I of Masovia. Casimir had been married once before, to Jadwiga, a Polish noblewoman whose origins are unknown.[8] Casimir and Jadwiga had no children and Jadwiga died childless.

Constance and Casimir had three children:

  1. Adelaide (before 7 April 1249 – 8 December 1291), nun
  2. Leszek II the Black (1240-42 – 30 September 1288), Duke of the Fragmentation of Poland
  3. Ziemomysł of Kuyavia (1241-45 – 29 October or 24 December 1287), Duke of Kuyavia

Death

The date of death for Constance is disputed. Obituary strzeleński reported that she died 21 February 1257, but, according to the Abbey of St. obituary, her death occurred 23 February 1257.[9] Constance's burial place is unknown.

A document from 16 September 1257, issued by her two sons and Casimir for Bishop of Chelmno. Her sons wanted to celebrate daily Mass for Constance's soul.

Ancestry

References

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