Dukes of silesia

The Dukes of Silesia were the sons and descendants of the Polish Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth. In accordance with the last will and testament of Bolesław, upon his death his lands were divided into 4-5 hereditary provinces distributed among his sons, and a royal province of Kraków reserved for the eldest, who was to be High Duke of all Poland. This was known as the fragmentation of Poland. Subsequent developments lead to further splintering of the duchies.

At the beginning of the 14th century 14 independent Duchies existed in Silesia: Brzeg, Wrocław, Świdnica, Jawor, Ziębice, Głogów, Ścinawa, Żagan and Oleśnica in Lower Silesia; Koźle, Cieszyn, Bytom, Niemodlin, Opole, Strzelce, Racibórz and Opava in Upper Silesia and the eclessiatical duchy of Nysa. Between 1327 and 1329 most dukes accepted the overlordship of Bohemian king John of Bohemia, who acquired the right of succession for all of these duchies. In the coming centuries all branches of the Silesian Piasts died out, and with the death of George William, Duke of Liegnitz the dynasty ceased to exist.

Duchy of Silesia

The Duchy of Silesia, one of the hereditary provinces of Poland, Silesia, was granted to Bolesław III's eldest son, Władysław II the Exile, and was subsequently divided among his sons Bolesław I the Tall (Wrocław/Lower Silesia), Mieszko I Tanglefoot (Racibórz/Upper Silesia) and Konrad Spindleshanks (Głogów). After Konrad's death Głogów was again united with the Duchy of Wrocław/Lower Silesia.

Partitions of Silesia

In 1173 Bolesław returned and he agreed to let Mieszko and Bolesław rule in their own Duchies, separated from the Duchy of Silesia. This led to the creation of the Duchy of Racibórz for Mieszko I and the Duchy of Opole for Jarosław, beginning the fragmentation of the Duchy of Silesia. The territories controlled by Mieszko I and Jarosław roughly corresponded to what is known as Upper Silesia, while the territories remaining with Bolesław I roughly corresponded to Lower Silesia.

Lower Silesia

Duchy of Lower Silesia was a direct continuation of the Duchy of Silesia, but without the territories roughly corresponding to Upper Silesia; hence it was composed of the territories roughly corresponding to Lower Silesia. Some sources refer to it as the Duchy of Silesia; some as Duchy of Lower Silesia; others yet as the Duchy of Wrocław (Breslau). Wrocław was the capital of the Duchy of Silesia, yet this early (1172–1248) Duchy of Silesia should not be confused with the smaller Duchy of Wrocław that was created with further fragmentation in 1248. The Duchy went through various border changes in the coming years, sometimes losing and sometimes gaining territory. In 1248 Lower Silesia was divided when Bolesław II had to cede the Duchy of Wrocław to his younger brother Henry III.

      Duchy of Lower Silesia

1138-1248
Duchy of Lower Silesia

In 1248, the Duchy of Lower Silesia was partitioned in the duchies of Wrocław and Legnica.

      Duchy of Wrocław       Duchy of Legnica

1248-1251
Duchy of Wrocław (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Legnica (Lower Silesia)

In 1251, in Lower Silesia, the Duchy of Glogów emerged from Wrocław.

      Duchy of Głogów

1251-1274
Duchy of Wrocław (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Głogów (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Legnica (Lower Silesia)

In 1274, the Duchy of Świdnica-Jawor emerged from Legnica. In the same year, the Duchy of Zágán emerged from Glogów.

      Duchy of Głogów

1274-1311
Duchy of Wrocław (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Głogów (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Legnica (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Świdnica-Jawor (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Zágán (Lower Silesia)

In 1311,the Duchy of Brzeg emerged from Legnica.

      Duchy of Brzeg

1311-1313
Duchy of Wrocław (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Głogów (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Legnica (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Brzeg (Lower Silesia)

In 1313, the Duchy of Olésnica emerged from Glógow.

      Duchy of Brzeg

1313-1322
Duchy of Wrocław (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Głogów (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Legnica (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Brzeg (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Olésnica (Lower Silesia)

In 1322, the Duchy of Ziebice emerged from Swidnica-Jawor.

      Duchy of Ziębice

1322-1335
Duchy of Wrocław (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Głogów (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Legnica (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Brzeg (Lower Silesia) Duchy of Olésnica (Lower Silesia)

Upper Silesia

Upper Silesia was divided into the Duchies of Cieszyn, and Opole-Racibórz. In 1340 the Duchy of Racibórz was united with Opava, a Bohemian fief.

      Duchy of Opole-Racibórz

1173-1281
Duchy of Opole-Racibórz (Upper Silesia)

In 1281, the Duchy of Cieszyn is created.

      Duchy of Cieszyn       Duchy of Opole-Racibórz

1281-1282
Duchy of Cieszyn (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Opole-Racibórz (Upper Silesia)

In 1282, the Duchies of Opole and Racibórz were created from the partition of the Duchy of Opole-Racibórz. With this partition, it was created also the Duchy of Bytom.

      Duchy of Opole       Duchy of Racibórz       Duchy of Bytom

1282-1315
Duchy of Cieszyn (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Opole (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Racibórz (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Bytom (Upper Silesia)

In 1315, the Duchy of Oświęcim emerged from the Duchy of Cieszyn.

      Duchy of Oświęcim

1315-1445
Duchy of Cieszyn (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Oświęcim (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Opole (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Racibórz (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Bytom (Upper Silesia)

In 1445, the Duchy of Zator emerged from the Duchy of Oświęcim.

      Duchy of Zator

1315-1445
Duchy of Cieszyn (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Oświęcim (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Zator (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Opole (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Racibórz (Upper Silesia) Duchy of Bytom (Upper Silesia)

Dukes of Silesia

Piast Dynasty

Ruler Reign Ruling Part Notes
Władysław II the Exile 1138–1146 Silesia also monarch of Poland
exiled by his brothers
Bolesław IV the Curly 1146–1163 Silesia brother of Wladyslaw II
also Duke of Masovia

Dukes of Lower Silesia

Piast Dynasty

Ruler Reign Ruling Part Notes
Bolesław I the Tall 1163–1201 Lower Silesia
Henry I the Bearded 1201–1238 Lower Silesia also monarch of Poland.
Henry II the Pious 1238–1241 Lower Silesia also monarch of Poland.
Henry III the White 1241–1266 Wrocław Son of Henry II the Pious
Bolesław II the Bald 1241–1278 Legnica Brother of Henry III the White. He gained Legnica in the partition of 1248.
Conrad I 1251-1274 Głogów Brother of Henry III the White and Boleslaw II the Bald.
Henry IV Probus 1266–1290 Wrocław also monarch of Poland
Henry V the Fat 1278–1296 Legnica son of Boleslaw II.
Henry III 1274-1309 Głogów Son of Conrad I.
Conrad II the Hunchback 1274-1289 Głogów Brother of Henry III.
Przemko I 1274-1289 Głogów Brother of Henry III and Conrad II.
Henry V the Fat 1290–1296 Wrocław son of Boleslaw II. Also duke of Legnica.
Bolesław III the Generous 1296–1342 Legnica jointly with his brothers, Henry VI and Wladyslaw.
Henry VI the Good 1296–1335 Legnica jointly with his brothers, Boleslaw III and Wladyslaw.
Władysław 1296–1312 Legnica jointly with his brothers, Boleslaw III and Henry VI.
Bolesław III the Generous 1296–1311 Wrocław Also duke of Legnica, Brzeg and Opava
Wenceslaus I 1342–1364 Legnica
Louis I the Fair 1342–1398 Legnica jointly with his brother, Wenceslaus
Henry VI the Good 1311–1335 Wrocław Brother of Boleslaw III. In 1327 Henry VI signed a contract of inheritance with King John of Bohemia and upon his death the Duchy of Wrocław fell to the Kingdom of Bohemia.
Rupert I 1364–1409 Legnica
Wenceslaus II 1364–1413 Legnica
Boleslaw IV 1364–1394 Legnica jointly with Henry VIII, Wenceslaus II and Rupert
Henry VIII 1364–1398 Legnica jointly with Boleslaw IV, Wenceslaus II, and Rupert.
Louis II 1413–1436 Legnica
Elisabeth of Brandenburg 1436–1449 Legnica Widow of Louis II.After her death in 1449, Legnica is annexed by the Kingdom of Bohemia.
Frederick I 1455–1488 Legnica Legnica became independent from Bohemia in 1455
John II 1488–1495 Legnica jointly with his brothers, Frederick II and George I
Frederick II 1495–1547 Legnica jointly with his brothers, John II and George I.
George I 1495–1521 Legnica Duke of Lubin
Frederick III 1547–1559 Legnica
Henry XI 1559–1581 Legnica
Frederick IV 1581–1596 Legnica
Joachim Frederick 1596–1602 Legnica
George Rudolf 1602–1653 Legnica jointly with his brother, John Christian
John Christian 1602–1612 Legnica jointly with his brother, George Rudolf.
Louis IV 1653–1663 Legnica
Christian 1653–1654 Legnica
George III 1653–1654 Legnica
Christian 1663–1672 Legnica
George III 1663–1664 Legnica
George William 1672–1675 Legnica

In 1675, the duchy is annexed to the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Duchy of Świdnica-Jawor (1273–1392)

Ruler Reign House Notes
Henry V the Fat 1273–1278 Piast son of Boleslaw II the Bald
Bolko I the Strict 1278–1301 Piast jointly with Bernard I.
Bernard I the Lightsome 1278–1286 Piast jointly with Bolko I.
Henry I 1301–1346 Piast jointly with Bernard II until 1312, Bolko II from 1326 to 1346, and Henry II from 1334 to 1343.
Bernard II 1301–1312 Piast jointly with Henry I.
Bolko II the Small 1326–1368 Piast jointly with Henry I until 1346.
Henry II 1334–1343 Piast jointly with Henry I.
Agnes of Austria 1368–1392 Habsburg widow of Bolko II. Succeeded her husband also in Lwowek, according with his will.

Duchy of Ziębice (1322–1742)

  • 1442–1456 Annexed by the Kingdom of Bohemia.
  • 1456–1462 George of Poděbrady, King of Bohemia since 1458
  • 1462–1498 Boček of Poděbrady, Wiktoryn of Poděbrady and Henry I of Poděbrady, sons (co-rulers)
  • 1498–1511 Albert I of Poděbrady, George I of Poděbrady and Charles I, Duke of Münsterberg-Oels, sons of Henry I (co-rulers)
  • 1511–1536 Charles I, Duke of Münsterberg-Oels (alone)
  • 1536–1542 Joachim of Poděbrady, Henry II, George II and John, sons of Charles I (co-rulers)
  • 1542–1551 Pledged to the Duchy of Legnica
  • 1551–1552 John, Duke of Münsterberg-Oels
  • 1552–1559 Isabella Jagiełło
  • 1559–1565 John, Duke of Münsterberg-Oels (restored)
  • 1565–1569 Charles Christopher of Münsterberg, son
  • 1569–1654 Annexed to the Kingdom of Bohemia
  • 1654–1677 Johann Weikhard of Auersperg
  • 1677–1706 Johann Ferdinand of Auersperg, son
  • 1706–1713 Franz Karl of Auersperg, brother
  • 1713–1742 Heinrich Joseph Johann of Auersperg, son

Duchy of Głogów (1251–1675)

  • Divided between Zágán, Olésnica, Ścinawa and a much smaller Głogów

Duchy of Ścinawa

Duchy of Żagań (1274–1476)

Duchy of Oleśnica (1313–1675)

Dukes of Upper Silesia

Duchy of OpoleRacibórz (1202–1281) / (1521–1532)

In 1282 the Duchy was divided between the four sons of Władysław.

In 1521, Jan II the Good recreates the duchy.

In 1532, Jan the Good died without children and the recreated Duchy of Opole-Racibórz was abolished again.

Duchy of Opole (1282–1521)

Duchy of Bytom

  • 1284–1312 Casimir (first ruler of the Duchy of Bytom, co-ruler of the Duchy of Opole during 1282–1284).
  • 1312–1316 Siemowit (co-ruler from 1311; deposed, d. after 1342).
  • 1316–1352 Władysław
    • 1316–1327 George (co-ruler, only formally).
  • 1352–1355 Bolesław (co-ruler to ca. 1350).
  • 1355–1357 Margareta of Sternberg (only formally; deposed, d. ca. 1365).
In 1355 the Duchy of Bytom is partitioned :
The northern part to the Duchy of Oleśnica (see above)
The southern part to the Duchy of Cieszyn

In 1459 the southern Duchy of Bytom was sold to the Dukes of Oleśnica, and with this Bytom was reunificated.

In 1472 the Duchy of Bytom was annexed by the Kingdom of Bohemia.

In 1498 the Duchy of Bytom was acquired by Jan II the Good, Duke of Opole.

Duchy of Cieszyn

In 1918 the Duchy of Cieszyn was abolished after World War I.

Duchy of Oświęcim

In 1457 Oświęcim was annexed by the Kingdom of Poland.

Duchy of Zator
In 1474 the Duchy of Zator is partitioned:
1/2 Zator
1/2 Zator
  • 1490–1513 Jan V (unificated the whole Duchy)

In 1513 Zator was annexed by the Kingdom of Poland.

Duchy of Wadowice
  • 1482–1493 Władysław
  • 1493–1503 Agnes (Sovereign owner of Wadowice per bequest of her father Duke Władysław of Zator, but without the Ducal title. The title was given to her uncle Jan V. She married with Jan Kobierzycki, Count of Tworkow and Kobierzyn and had one male heir. She was deposed, and died after 1505.)

Despite the sale of Wadowice to the King of Poland in 1503, and to insure his armorial protection of the region, Wadowice continued to be torn by wars for another 300 years.

Duchy of Racibórz (1282–1521)

In 1336 The Duchy of Racibórz passed to the Dukes of Opava who belonged to the Přemyslid dynasty and were relatives of the Dukes of Racibórz.
  • 1336–1365 Nicholas II
  • Union with Opava:
  • 1365–1377 Jan I, Nicholas III, Wenceslaus I and Przemko I (co-rulers as Dukes of OpawaRacibórz)
  • In 1377 the newly created Duchy of Opava-Racibórz is partitioned:
  • 1377–1382 Jan I (in Racibórz)
  • 1382–1385 John the Iron and Nicholas IV (co-rulers)
  • 1385–1424 John the Iron (alone)
  • 1424–1437 Wenceslaus II and Nicholas V (co-rulers)
  • 1437–1456 Wenceslaus II (alone)
  • 1456–1493 Jan V
    • 1456–1462 Margareta Szamotuły, regent
  • 1493–1506 Nicholas VI, Jan VI and Valentin (co-rulers)
    • 1493–1499 Magdalena of Opole, regent
  • 1506–1521 Valentin (alone)

Duchy of Opava

Split off from Moravia.

Union with Racibórz:
  • 1365–1377 Jan I, Nicholas III, Wenceslaus I and Přemek I (co-rulers as Dukes of OpavaRacibórz)
In 1377 the newly created Duchy of Opava-Racibórz is partitioned:
  • 1377–1381 Wenceslaus I and Přemek I (co-rulers, in Opava)
  • 1381–1433 Přemek I (alone)
  • 1433–1437 Wenceslaus II, Nicholas IV, William, Ernest and Přemek II (co-rulers)
  • 1437–1446 Wenceslaus II, William, Ernest and Přemek II (co-rulers)
  • 1446–1452 William, Ernest and Přemek II (co-rulers)
  • 1452–1456 Ernest (d. 1464), Přemek II (d. 1478), Frederick (d. 1470), Wenceslaus III (d. 1474) and Přemek III (d. 1493) (co-rulers)
In 1456 the Dukes of Opava sold their domains to the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Fell to Ferdinand I of Habsburg along with the Bohemian Crown. In 1614 Matthias of Habsburg invested Prince Karl I of Liechtenstein with Troppau, whose successors bear the ducal title ever since.

Duchy of Głubczyce
  • 1377–1385 Nicholas III (pledged his domains in 1385, d. 1394)
  • 1385–1394 Konrad II the Gray
  • 1394–1420 Přemek I
  • 1420–1446 Wenceslaus II
  • 1446–1485 Jan III the Pious

In 1485 Głubczyce was annexed by the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Fulnek
  • 1420–1446 Wenceslaus II
  • 1446–1454 Janusz
  • 1454–1485 Jan III the Pious
Duchy of Krnov
  • 1377–1382 Jan I
  • 1382–1385 John the Iron and Nicholas IV (co-rulers)
  • 1385–1392 Władysław Opolczyk
  • 1392–1424 John the Iron (again, alone)
  • 1424–1437 Wenceslaus II and Nicholas V (co-rulers)
  • 1437–1454 Nicholas V (alone)
  • 1454–1456 Jan IV the Elder and Wenceslaus III (co-rulers)
  • 1456–1474 Jan IV the Elder (alone; deposed, d. 1483)
  • 1474–1490 King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and Bohemia
  • 1490–1491 János Corvinus
  • 1491–1493 Barbara (sister of Jan IV the Elder; deposed, d. 1510) and Jan IV (former Duke of Oświęcim; deposed with Barbara, d. 1497)
  • 1493–1506 Johann II of Schellenberg
  • 1506–1523 George of Schellenberg and Helena of Oświęcim (daughter of Barbara and Jan IV of Oświęcim)
  • 1523–1543 George, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Bruntál
  • 1377–1382 Jan I
  • 1382–1385 John the Iron and Nicholas IV (co-rulers)
  • 1385–1407 Nicholas IV (alone)
  • 1407–1424 John the Iron
  • 1424–1437 Wenceslaus II and Nicholas V (co-rulers)
  • 1437–1447 Nicholas V (alone)

Ecclesiastical Duchy of Nysa

Established in 1290 by High Duke Henry IV Probus, held by the Bishops of Wrocław

Major part annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia after the First Silesian War in 1742.

Prussian part secularised in 1810.

  • 1823–1832 Emanuel von Schimonsky
  • 1835–1840 Leopold von Sedlnitzky
  • 1843–1844 Joseph Knauer
  • 1845–1850 Melchior von Diepenbrock

Theocracy abolished in 1850.

See also

List of Polish rulers
Piast dynasty
Dukes of Masovia
Dukes of Greater Poland
Dukes of Little Poland
Dukes of Cuiavia
Dukes of Sieradz-Łęczyca

References

  • Neue deutsche Biographie, Berlin 2001, Bd.: 20, p. 403-407
  • Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, Leipzig 1905–1909, Bd.: 17, p. 845-847

Sites

http://www.tacitus.nu/historical-atlas/regents/poland/silesia.htm


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