Portraits and Individual











woischund(1346 - 1412)

Nikolaus I (1366 - 1466)


Nikolaus II PRISCUS "Mathusalem" Radziwiłł  Voivode of Vilna and Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1398-1509)


NIKOLAUS III "AMOR POLONIAE" Radziwiłł - Prince of Goniadz and Medely (1470-1522)



Jerzy Radziwiłł "HERCULES"- Great Hetman of Lithuania (1480-1541)

He was Podczaszy of Lithuania since 1510, voivode of Kijów Voivodship since 1510, Field Hetman of Lithuania in 1521, castellan of Troki since 1522, castellan of Wilno since 1527, Court Marshal since 1528, Grand Hetman of Lithuania since 1531, Starost grodzieński, Namiestnik wieleński, mejszagolski, merecki, uciański, mozyrski, lidzki, skidelski, bielicki, kryński and ozierski. Known for his military achievements and as a talented politician. He took part in various conflicts against Russian Empire, Cossacks and Tatars. In 1526 as a member of the Lithuanian Council of Lords he unsuccessfully petitioned king Zygmunt I Stary to create a separate Kingdom of Lithuania under the reign of Zygmunt's I son, Zygmunt II August. In 1530s acting with his cousin Jan Radziwiłł he was in almost total control of Lithuania's internal affairs. Member of Radziwiłł family. Like his predecessors, Jerzy also managed to increase his estate, which after his death was inherited by his only son Mikołaj 'Rudy' Radziwiłł. He had two daughters, of which the younger Barbara Radziwiłł became mistress and later queen to King Zygmunt II August of Poland, which greatly strengthened the Radziwiłłs family's position in Poland and Lithuania.


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Mikołaj "Rudy - red" Radziwiłł (1512-1584) Palatine of Vilna, Great Chancellor and Great Hetman of Lithuania, Prince of Holy Roman Empire.

Palatine of Wilno, Grand Chancellor and Grand Lithuanian Hetman (from 1576) in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Mikołaj Radziwiłł spent many years as a military commander. While not the most famous of Commonwealth hetmans, under king Stefan Batory he was fairly successful in defending the eastern boarders of the Commonwealth against the Russian Empire. His political career was marked by his alliance with his cousin Mikolaj 'Black' Radziwiłł, with whom he opposed the other notable Lithuanian families in the rivalry for the dominant status in the Great Duchy. This alliance marked the formation of a dynastic-like cooperation between Radziwiłłs and showed how family interests could affect magnates relations with Rzeczpospolita (the Commonwealth). He was one of the most prominent converts and advocates of the Protestant faith in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and his line of the family became devoted memebers and defenders of the Polish Reformed Church untill its extinction. Mikołaj Radziwiłł became an advocate of Lithuanian independence and thus a vocal opponent of political union with Poland, (Union of Lublin, 1569).




Mikolaj "Czarny - black" Radziwiłł , (1515-1565) Voivode of Vilna, Lithuanian Grand Chancellor, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Major of Bierascie (Brest), Kounia (Kaunus), and Barysau.

Mikołaj Czarny was able to gain much political influence thanks to the romance between his cousin Barbara Radziwiłł and king Zygmunt II August. This made him one of the most powerful Royal advisers. Mikolaj became Marshal of Lithuania, Grand Chancellor of Lithuania, as well as Palatine of Vilnius, gained immense wealth and became the most powerful magnate in the Commonwealth of that time. The new status of the Radziwiłł family was further strengthened when, during his diplomatic mission to Charles V and Ferdinand I, a hereditary title of Prince (SRI) was granted to him and his cousin Mikolaj the Red. This was an extremely important title in the Commonwealth, were all szlachta were supposed to be equal and majority of titles popular in other countries, like duke or baron were banned and none could be awarded by the Commonwealth king. He formed an alliance with his cousin Mikołaj "the Red" Radziwiłł against other notable Lithuanian families in the rivalry for the dominant status in the Great Duchy of Lithuania. This alliance marked the formation of a dynastic-like cooperation between Radziwiłłs and showed how family interests could affect magnates relations with Rzeczpospolita (the Commonwealth). Both Radziwiłłs backed the cause of Lithuania independence. Coincidentally, despite opposing close ties with Poland, he was the chief negotatiator in the successful negotiation between Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the state controlled by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword, which led to the secularisation of Livonia and its union with Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1562. Mikołaj also greatly furthered the poloniasation of other Lithuanian nobles by adopting Polish culture - it's fashion, customs and language. He was known for his religious beliefs, as he was one of the most prominent converts and advocates of the Protestant faith in Grand Duchy of Lithuania and thus contributed to the Lithuanian branch of the Polish Reformed Church. He provided financial support for the printing of the first Polish translation of the Bible in 1563, colporated works written in defense of the Reformed faith, financed a magnificent church and college at Vilnius, supported learned Protestants, and in various other ways fostered the Calvinist faith. He is known to have exchanged letters with John Calvin. Because Protestants supported usage of mothers language, he's also believed to fund Lithuanian churches and schools. With the exception of his daughter Anna, all his children converted to Roman Catholicism and became ardent supporters of the Counter Reformation.




Barbara Radziwiłł (1520-1551) Queen of Poland and Grand Dutchess of Lithuania. Wife of King Sigismund Augustus.

According to the writings of her contemporaries, Barbara was one of the most beautiful women in Europe. Her parents had educated her well, and she spoke Lithuanian and Polish, was able to write in both languages, and most likely in Latin as well. She was married on May 18, 1537, to Stanislaus Gasztold, Palatin of Trakai, who died on December 18, 1542. Her romance and later marriage in 1547, in Vilnius, to King Sigismund II August, the last king of the Jagiellonian dynasty, greatly increased the power of Radziwiłł family in Poland and Lithuania, as can be seen by the rise to power of Mikołaj "the Black" Radziwiłł and Mikołaj "the Red" Radziwiłł. There was substantial opposition towards her marriage to the King from many Szlachta-nobles, as the marriage was carried out without regard to the laws governing Royal marriages. It was pursued by the King, who seemed to have disregarded the political liabilities and consequences and to be truly in love with Barbara. A divorce was demanded by the Sejm, and many political games took place around the issue of this marriage, and were further inflamed by the machinations of the King's mother Bona Sforza. This resulted in conflicts between the King and many magnates. A deadlock lasting two years, ensued. The opposition finally acquiesced, and Barbara was crowned Queen, on December 7, 1550. She died on May 8, 1551, in Kraków, five months after her coronation. Her death was a severe loss to the King and there was an unproven suspicion that she had been poisoned by the Queen Mother, Bona. It was her wish to be buried in Lithuania, and a funeral cortege took her body to Vilnius. Her crypt is in the Cathedral of Vilnius



Krzysztof "Piorun - Lightning bolt" Radziwiłł (1547-1603) Palatine of Vilna, Great Hetman of Lithuania.

He was Podczaszy of Lithuania since 1569, Field Lithuanian Hetman since 1572, castellan of Troki, Deputy Chancellor of Lithuania since 1579, voivode of Wilno Voivodship since 1584, Great Lithuanian Hetman since 1589, Starost kokenhauski, solecki, żyżmorski, urzędowski, aiński, borysowski and nowomyski. Krzysztof Mikołaj Radziwiłł was one of the most talented commanders in the service of Rzeczpospolita during the wars against Muscovy and Sweden. His achievements combined with his powerful Radziwiłł family backing helped him rise to his various voivode and starost offices and further increased his family wealth. Like his father, brother and nephew he was an ardent Calvinist and defender of the Polish Reformed Church from mounting Counter Reformation.


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Mikolaj/nikolaus Viii Krzysztof "Sierotka - little orphan" Radziwiłł (1549-1616)Devout Catholic pilgrim to Jerusalem, Viovode of Vilna, first majorat (lord of the manor) of Nesvish.

He made the order to burn books produced by Calvinist printing houses.

Ordynat of Nieśwież since 1586. Court Marshal of Lithuania since 1569, Grand Marshal of Lithuania since 1579, castellan of Trakai since 1586, voivode of Troki Voivodship since 1590, voivode of Wilno Voivodship since 1604 and Starost szawelski. He held the title of Imperial Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. He married Halaszka Eufemia Wiśniowiecka on November 24, 1584. He took part in the campaign against Muscovites. Unlike many other members of Radziwiłł family he tried to stay away from politics, especially from the dynastic clan politics of some of other Radziwiłłs like Janusz Radziwiłł and supported the forces loayl to the king and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Rokosz Zebrzydowskiego, a szlachta's confederatio threatening the king. He is credited with trying to persuade the confederates to surrender their arms. Like other Radziwiłłs, he looked after the interests of his family. For example, he gained royal pardon for his cousin Janusz, one of the organisers of the Rokosz. However, Mikolaj Krzysztof refused to support Krzysztof 'Piorun' Radziwiłł in the feud with another magnatial family, which threatened to develop into a bloody civil war in Lithuania. Mikołaj became famous for a vivid account of his eventful pilgrimage to the Holy Land published in 1601. During his voyage he visited not only Palestine, but also Syria, Egypt, Crete and Greece. He converted from Protestantism to Catholicism, as later did his other brothers. He was also known for his cultural and charity sponsorships. He was a founder of many castles, cloisters, hospitals and churches, of which the most splendid was the Jesuit church in Nieśwież. One of the chapels in this church became the family's mausoleum for the next two hundred and fifty years. For his son, Zygmunt Karol, a Confrere of the Knights Hospitallers, he found a Commanderie in Stwolowicze. In Nieśwież, which became his seat, he built a castle where he established a library and a gallery of the family portraits. Because of these works, he attracted many skillful artisans and tradesmen into his estate.



Jurgis Radvila  

Jerzy Radziwiłł (1556-1600) Bishop of Cracow/Krakow, The Cardinal; made a pilgrimage, on foot, to Compostela in Spain in 1595.

Jerzy educated in Leipzig and Rome. He became Bishop of Wilno from 1581 until 1583, deputy administrator (namiestnik) of Inflanty from 1582 until 1585, Cardinal and Bishop of Kraków since 1591. In 1592 he became a trusted adviser of king Sigismund III Vasa


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Janusz vi Radziwiłł (1579-1620) Castellan of Vilna.

Podczaszy of Lithuania since 1599, Castellan of Vilnius since 1619 and Starost of Borysów. He held the title of Imperial Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Janusz expanded the already immense family fortune through his first marriage to Zofia Olelkowicz Słucka on 1 October 1600, who, at her deathbed in 1612, left him a huge estate, including seven castles and palaces and some thirty-two villages. His second marriage was to Elisabeth Sofie of Brandenburg, daughter of John George, Elector of Brandenburg on 27 March 1613 in Berlin. It was during Janusz's life that the interests between the Radziwiłł family and the state (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, or Rzeczpospolita) began to drift apart, as Radziwiłłs seeked to increase their wealth and power, disregarding the public good and putting their dynastic interests over interests of the state. Just like his father, Janusz took part in a military campaign against Swedes in Livonia. Unhappy with the lack of material rewards in appreciation of his skillful involvement in that campaign, however, he voiced his opposition against King Sigismund III Vasa by joining in 1606 Zebrzydowski Rokosz and becoming one of its leaders. This confederatio, an armed and legal rebellion, was aimed at stopping the king's plans of strengthening his dynasty and powers by introducing the hereditary monarchy, collecting additional taxes, and creating a larger standing army. Janusz Radziwłł is one of the personas on the famous painting by Jan Matejko: the sermons of Piotr Skarga.




Krzysztof ii Radziwiłł (1585-1640) Great Hetman of Lithuania.

Owner of Birże, Field Hetman of Lithuania since 1615, Castellan of Wilno (modern Vilnius) since 1633, Voivode of Wilno Voivodship since 1633, Great Lithuanian Hetman since 1635, starost of Mohylów, Bystrzyca, Żyżmory and Seje. In 1632 he served as the Speaker of the Sejm. He took part in the campaign against the Swedes in Baltic countries in 1621-1622 (Polish-Swedish War), where he agreed to a truce. Important commander of Lithuanian forces during the Smolensk War, where he was instrumental in obtaining the capitulation of the Russian army, also successfully fought in Inflanty against Sweden until 1635. Afterwards he retired from his military career, concentrating on administering his estates. Calvinist, great protector of Protestants in Lithuania. Opponent of Catholic king Sigismund III Vasa, but supporter of his more tolerant son, Władysław IV Waza. Advocate of Władysław's marriage to protestant princess, but after Władysław declined this marriage proposal he distanced himself from the king. Opponent of alliance between the Commonwealth and the Habsburgs. On his lands in Kiejdany he set up a Calvinist cultural and religious centre, which florished till the 19th century as a center of the Polish Reformed Church. His giant horse stables were famous throughout Europe.


Albrycht iv Stanisław Radziwiłł (1593/95-1656) Great Chancellor of Lithuania ("Intimate of three kings").

Lesser Lithuanian Chancellor from 1619, Greater Lithuanian Chancellor and Starosta of Vilnius from 1623, member of the poweful Rzadziwiłł family, whose motto was The Lord is Our Counsel (pl.Bóg nam radzi), last of Ordynacja of Ołyka line, fourth to bear the name of Albert. During his life he was the most influential politician. Catholic, staunch supporter of counterreformation and enemy of Protestants. He was born on July 1, 1595 in his family manor in Ołyka to Stanisław Pius Radziwiłł and Marianna nee Myszka. During his life he held several important posts in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, some of them hereditary. Apart from directing his family estate in Ołyka at Wołyń (ordynacja ołycka), he was in charge of foreign policies and internal affairs of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as he held the posts of sub-Chancellor of Lithuania (since 1619), Grand Chancellor of Lithuania and Starosta (city foreman) of Vilnius (since 1623), as well as starosta of Kowel, Tuchola, Gniew, Pińsk, Wieluń, Dyneburg, Kobryń and Šiauliai.

Supporter of king Sigismund III Vasa, he often stood in opposition to his son and successor, Wladyslaw IV Waza on the matters of religion. Władysław was lenient towards protestants and encouraged religious tolerance, while Albrycht was an outspoken opponent of all non-Catholics, sometimes even refusing to stamp documents with his Chancellor's seal granting them rights and priviliges. He was also a patriot of Grand Duchy: he always strived to ensure that there is no discrimnation towards his compatriots and they have equal representation in the Commonwealth political structure, just as he tried to ensure that non-Catholics had as little of it as possible. In his opposition to 'heretics' he was supported by Chancellor Jerzy Ossoliński. He sympathised with the Habsburg faction and supported Queen Cecylia Renata, Habsburg wife of Władysław. Just like other Radziwills, he was famous for the support given to his relatives: he did not fail to watch over the interests of his Calvinist cousins, despite being renown for his opposition to the 'heretics'. Despite being one of the most powerful magnates in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, both of his marriages (with Regina von Eisenreich in 1619, court lady of Queen Constance and after her death in 1637 with Anna Krystyna Działyńska (z Lubomirskich) in 1638) were childless. During later stages of his life, Radziwiłł wrote a diary Pamiętnik o dziejach w Polsce (Memoir or Diary of the history of Poland) covering the 1632-1656 period. This book is perhaps his most famous legacy. He died childless on November 12, 1656. His estates were inherited by Ordynat of Nieśwież line of Radziwill family.


ANNA KRYSTYNA Radziwiłł (1598-1657)



Janusz "the traitor" Radziwiłł (1612-1655) Lithuanian Field Hetman (1647-1654); Lithuanian Field Hetman (1647-1654), Great Hetman of Lithuania (1654-1655), and Voivode of Vilna.

Court Chamberlain of Lithuania since 1633, Field Lithuanian Hetman and starost żmudzki since 1646, voivode of Vilnius Voivodship since 1653, Great Hetman of Lithuania since 1654, Starost kamienicki, kazimierski and sejwejski. Educated abroad, in Germany and Netherlands. Took part in the Smolensk War in 1633. Calvinist, but married to a Catholic (first wife, Katarzyna) in 1638. In 1645 he married Maria Lupul, daughter of a Moldavian hospodar. He was a protector of the Protestant religion in Lithuania, sponsor of many Protestant schools and churches. For several decades, the interests between Radziwłł family and the state (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) had begun to drift apart, as the Radziwłł were less and less satisfied with the magnatial status of the family and its immense wealth and began craving for more political power. This culminated in the doings of Janusz Radziwiłł, who is remembered in Polish-Lithuanian history as one of the nobles responsible for the end of the Golden Age of the Commonwealth.

His vanity and ambitions appeared early in his career. Upon marching into Kyiv in 1651, he ordered the production of a commemorative medal on which he compared his victory to the taking of Kyiv by the first Polish king, Bolesław Chrobry, some six hundred years earlier. Janusz used his political influence against King Jan Kazimierz Vasa in order to secure the voivode, hetman and other offices. In 1652 he paralysed the central government by evoking a Liberum veto, a procedure whereby any single member of the Sejm (Commonwealth Parliament) could completely halt and annul its proceedings by the simple expression of dissent, saying 'Veto'. In 1654, during the Swedish invasion of Poland, known as The Deluge, together with his cousin Bogusław Radziwiłł, he began negotiations with Swedish king Charles X Gustav of Sweden, aimed at breaking the Commonwealth and the Polish-Lithuanian union. They signed a treaty according to which was founded Swedish-Lithuanian union. Many Polish nobles (szlachta), as Deputy Chancellor of the Crown Hieronim Radziejowski and Grand Treasurer of the Crown Bogusław Leszczyński, thinking that Jan II Kazimierz was a weak King, or a Jesuit-King, or for any other reasons, encouraged Charles Gustav to claim the Polish Crown. Jan Kazimirerz had few friends among the Polish szlachta, as he openly sympathized with Austria and showed disregard and contempt for Polish culture (Sarmatism). Poznań Voivod Krzysztof Opaliński surrendered Great Poland to him, and quickly, the others voievodies surrendered also. Almost the hold Country did this, before the Jasna Góra resistance and the Tyszowce Confederation. The Swedish defeat and eventuall retreat from the territories of the Commonwealth abruptly ended the plans of Janusz and Bogusław. Janusz died in Tykocin, besieged by the loyal Commonwealth forces (desperate Swedish defenders later blew themselves up). Their lines of the Radziwiłl family became extinct by the next generation, and their only lasting achievement was to tarnish the Radziwiłł family name for years to come, their treason eclipsing the deeds of other Radziwiłłs like Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł, who fought for the Crown and the Commonwealth against the Swedes.


 Boguslaw, príncipe Radziwill  

Boguslaw Radziwiłł (1620-1669)

Owner of Biržai, Dubingiai, Slutsk and Kopyta. Great Standardbearer of Lithuania since 1638, Master of the Stables of Lithuania since 1648, Starost barski. Governor of Prussia (generalny gubernator Prus Królewskich) since 1657. He held the title of Imperial Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. From 1637 to 1648 studied abroad, in Germany, Netherlands, England and France. Since several decades, the interests between Radziwiłł family and the state (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) begun to drift apart, as Radziwłł were less and less satisfied with the magnatial status of the family and its immense wealth and began craving for more political power. In 1654, during the Swedish invasion of Poland, known as The Deluge, together with his cousin Janusz Radziwiłł, he began negotiations with Swedish king Charles X Gustav of Sweden, aimed at breaking the Commonwealth and the Polish-Lithuanian union. They signed a treaty according to which was founded Swedish-Lithuanian union and Radziwiłłs were to rule over two Duchies carved up from the lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Swedish defeat and eventual retreat from the territories of the Commonwealth abruptly ended the plans of Janusz and Bogusław. The earlier died in a Tykocin castle besieged by forces loyal to the Commonwealth, while Bogusław retreated with his forces to Prussia, where he supported Friedrich Wilhelm against the Polish King. In the Battle of Prostki (October 8, 1656), Bogusław's forces were decimated by the Commonwealth forces under hetman Wincenty Korwin Gosiewski. Bogusław Radziwiłł himself was captured by the Tatars who initially enslaved him and wanted to transport him to Crimea. After fierce discussions with the Tatar commanders, he was handed over to Gosiewski. Both Bogusław's and Janusz's lines of the Radziwiłl family became extinct by the next generation, and their only lasting achievement was to tarnish the Radziwiłł family name for years to come, their treason eclipsing the deeds of other Radziwiłłs like Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł, who fought for the Crown and the Commonwealth against the Swedes. Bogusław died in exile in Königsberg, the last Calvinist male member of his family. His estates and the task to protect the Polish Reformed Church passed to his only daughter.



Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł (1625-1680) Great Chancellor and Field Hetman.

He held the following titles: Majorat of Nieśwież, Master of the Pantry of Lithuania (since 1652), Curver of Lithuania (since 1653), Cupbearer of Lithuania (since 1656), castellan of Vilnius (since 1661), voivod of the Vilnius Voivodship (since 1667), Deputy Chancellor of Lithuania (1668) and Field Hetman of Lithuania. He was also a starost of Upita, Przemyśl, Człuchów, Kamieniec, Chojnice, Lida, Telsze, Rabsztyn, Choteń, Homel, Ostra, Gulbin, and several other towns in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Between May 2 and July 18, 1661, he served as the Marshal of the ordinary Sejm held in Warsaw. He married Katarzyna Sobieska, the sister of the King of Poland Jan III Sobieski on June 16, 1658. Unlike his cousins, Janusz Radziwiłł and Bogusław Radziwiłł, he was one of the members of the Radziwiłł family who valiantly fought in the defence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during The Deluge.



Katarzyna Barbara Radziwiłł

KATARZYNA BARBARA Radziwiłł (1693-1730) She married Jan Klemens Branicki on October 1, 1720 (other sources: 1709) in Biała


Michał Kazimierz "Rybenko" Radziwiłł (1702-1762) Great Hetman of Lithuania, Voivode of Vilna.

He was frequently referred to by his idiolect Rybeńko (Рыбанька), to distinguish him from the other Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł. Ordynat of Niasviž and Olyka, owner of Biržai, Dubingiai, Slutsk and Kopyła. He was a koniuszy of Lithuania since 1728, Court Marshal of Lithuania since 1734, Field Hetman of Lithuania and castellan of Trakai (Troki) since 1737, castellan of Vilnius (Wilno) since 1742, voivod of Vilnius (Wilno) and Grand Hetman of Lithuania since 1744. Like his father, he was the starost of a number of towns, including Przemysl, Bratslav, Kamieniec Podolski, Człuchów, Ostra, Krzyczów, Ovruch, Nowy Targ, Parczew, Osiek and Kaunas (Kowno). On April 23, 1725 in Biala Krynica he married Urszula Franciszka Wiśniowiecka. Later married Anna Luiza Mycielska on January 2, 1754 in Lwów. Awarded with the Order of the White Eagle in August 1727. Rybeńko was a man of average intellect, an egocentric and a snob, at the same time as which he was single-minded and magnanimous. Nevertheless, in fundamental issues he was capable of being resolute. He was fervently religious, generally cheerful, fond of entertainment and keen on hunting. As a hetman, "Rybenko" was a parody of a military leader, with no talent whatsover. At the same time he was an honest and principle-minded figure to such a degree that he was an exception to the generally corrupt and morally abject elites of Poland in the 18th century.


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Hieronim Florian Radziwiłł (1715-1760) "Berserker of the Family."

He was Podczaszy of Lithuania since 1739, Great Chorazy of Lithuania since 1750 and starost of Przemyśl and Krzyczew. He married Teresa Sapieha on September 9, 1740, Magdalena Czapska in October, 1745 in Warsaw, and Aniela Miączyńska on January 1, 1755


Karol ii Stanisław "Panie Kochanku" Radziwiłł (1734-1790) Voivode of Vilna

Voivod of Vilnius and the starost of Lwów. He is frequently referred to by his idiolect Panie Kochanku (Beloved Sir), to distinguish him from the other member of his family to use this name. Throughout his life, Radziwiłł held many posts in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Since 1752 he was the Master Swordbearer of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. On August 3, 1757, he was awarded with the Order of the White Eagle and was among the first recipients of the decoration. Since 1762 he was the voivod of Vilnius. In 1767 he became the Marshal General of the Radom Confederation and the following year he became the Marshal of the Bar Confederation. After its fall in 1772 he emigrated, but returned to Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1777 and resumed all his previous posts after pledging loyalty to the King of Poland Stanisław August, whom he previously opposed. During the Four-Year Sejm between 1788 and 1792 he was one of the most notable opponents of reforms, the king and the Familia faction. Radziwiłł was the wealthiest magnate in Poland in the second half of the 18th century, and one of the richest in Europe. A lot of legend was built around his life and Radziwiłł was featured in many novels and poems. On one hand, he was shown as a drunkard and a degenerated reveler, on the other, as a flamboyant character, a noble favourite, the best representant of sarmatism, and a great patriot. He was popular among the poorer szlachta and today remains one of the symbols of his epoch.


Jozef Mikolaj Radziwiłł (1736-1813)


Michal Hieronim Radziwiłł (1744-1831) Last Voivode of Vilna, married the "Beautiful Helena".

Knight of the Order of the White Eagle, awarded on September 7, 1773. Ordynat of Kleck, Ołyka and Nieśwież, Great Sword-bearer of Lithuania since 1771, castellan of Wilno since 1775, voivode of Wilno Voivodship since 1790, Starost grabowski, komorowski, kraszewicki, and miksztadzki. Marshal of Sejm (nadzwyczajnego delegacyjnego) on April 19, 1773 - April 11, 1775 in Warsaw. Married to Helena Przeździecka since April 26, 1771.


Maciej Radziwiłł (1749-1800) Castellan of Vilna, composer.

He was owner of Szydłowiec, Grand Podkomorzy of Lithuania since 1786, castellan of Wilno since 1790. Awarded with the Order of the White Eagle on February 18, 1788.


Hieronim Wincenty Radziwiłł

HIERONIM WINCENTY Radziwiłł (1759-1786)

He was Ordynat of Kleck, Great Podkomorzy of Lithuania from 1779 and starost of Mińsk. He married Sophie Fridericke von Thurn und Taxis on December 31, 1775 in Regensburg. He was decorated with the Order of Saint Hubertus and Knight of the Order of the White Eagle, awarded in 1780.



Anton Heinrich (Antoni Henryk) Radziwiłł (1775-1833) Stadholder of the Grand Duchy of Posnan, composer.

Prince Antoni Henryk Radziwiłł, Duke of Nieśwież (today in Belarus) and Olyka (Ołyka) (today in the Ukraine), (1775-1833) was a Polish-Lithuanian aristocrat, musician, politician and the Duke-Governor (pol. książę-namiestnik, ger. Statthalter) of Grand Duchy of Poznań. Antoni Radziwiłł was born on June 13, 1775 in Vilna to Michał Hieronim Radziwiłł and Helena nee Przeździecka. In 1796 he married Princess Louise of Prussia, a niece of king of Prussia Frederick the Great. His new family convinced him that he should be a mediator between the Poles under Partitions and the Prussian authorities in Berlin. During Napoleon's campaign in Poland in 1806 he tried to incite a Polish uprising against the French army and tried to convince Prince Józef Poniatowski to abandon his French allies and join the cause of Russia and Prussia. He failed on both occasions. In 1815 he was sent to Poznań as the Duke-Governor of Grand Duchy of Poznań. Struggling between his Polish subjects and the Prussian authorities, Radziwiłł found himself with little power. He unsuccessfully tried to oppose the Germanisation campaign started by the Prussians. Shortly after the outbreak of the November Uprising he was deprived of all the powers, the Grand Duchy was abolished and its autonomy was cancelled. It was directly incorporated into Prussia and renamed Province of Posen. Antoni Henryk Radziwiłł returned to his palace in Berlin, where he died on April 7, 1833. He was buried in the Poznań Cathedral. His children with Louise were germanised and never returned to Poznań, however, as owners of the manor Nieborów near Warsaw and huge family estates in today's Belarus they paid frequent visits to other parts of Poland. Antoni Radziwiłł is better known for his art patronage than for his ill-fated political career. His palaces in Berlin (later Bismarck's and Hitler's Chancellery of the Reich), Poznań and Antonin near Ostrów Wielkopolski were known for great concerts performed by one of the most notable musicians of his times. Apart from the guitar, cello and opera concertos performed by Radziwiłł himself, among his guests were Niccolň Paganini (concert in Poznań on May 19, 1829), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Frédéric Chopin and Ludwig van Beethoven. Chopin wrote his Introduction and Polonaise Op. 3 for cello and piano especially for Radziwiłł. He also performed a concert in his palace in Poznań on October 2, 1828. Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated his Ouverture Op. 115 (Zur Namensfeier) to him, while Goethe participated in his efforts to write the music for his Faust. He was also a notable sponsor of Polish theatres and his wife opened the first public school for girls in Poznań in 1830. Awarded on September 6, 1793 with the Order of the White Eagle and on December 1, 1815 with the Order of the Black Eagle, Prussia's highest decoration.


Elisa Radziwiłł (1803-1834) Youthful love of Kaiser Wilhelm I.


Friedrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Anton (Teplitz 31 Jul 1833-Berlin 16 Dec 1904)

Adjustant General to William I and Friedrich III of Prussia; Duke of Nieśwież (today in Belarus) and Olyka (Ołyka).

to be continued


last 29/01/2007