THE FUNERAL OF BARBARA RADZIWILL AND THE DISMISSAL OF HER ROYAL HOUSEHOLD (1551)
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The authoress' aim was to study the question of the funeral of Barbara Radziwill and the dismissal of her Royal Household. A description of this event is given by the royal secretary Ludwik Monti in a letter to Prince Albrecht von Hohenzollern. Queen Barbara née Radziwill, the wife of Sigismund Augustus, died in Cracow on 8th May, 1551. After the funeral ceremonies in the Wawel Castle and Cathedral, the coffin with Barbara's body was transported to Lithuania. The procession reached Vilnus on 22nd June. The funeral ceremonies resembled in some measure the funeral of King Sigismund the Old, but were much more modest. Valuable information on the setting of the Queen's funeral is provided by the royal accounts. The entire court of Queen Barbara participated in her funeral. On 10th July, 1551 it was finally discharged. Some courtiers and servants of the masculine court were moved to the king's court. However, all members of her feminine court, no longer needed, were dismissed, including matrons, maids of honour, and maidservants. Each of them received a compensations in cash and in the form of various kinds of dress material. The compensations for all the people discharged were paid from the treasury of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, whereas the last quarterly salaries were paid out of the Polish royal treasury. These expenses considerably increase the well-known costs connected with Queen Barbara's funeral.
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