Antemortem documents of Eastern Orthodox and Uniate burghers of Vilnius from the first half of the 18th century
Dokumenty przedśmiertne prawosławnych i unickich mieszczan Wilna z pierwszech połowy XVIII wieku
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The edition of antemortem documents i.e. last wills, registers, financial liabilities accompanying acts of the last will drafted by burghers of Vilnius in the first half of the 18th century was abandoned by researchers in the last decades of the 19th century. The failure to explore Vilnius sources results in our poor knowledge concerning this group of inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Among the documents presented here there are last wills of four Orthodox burghers from Vilnius: Gabriel Chilimonowicz, Jan Juchnowicz, Eustachy Krupski, Jan Kossobucki and Jan Burakiewicz- a member of the Uniate Church. The last will of J. Juhnowicz was accompanied by a register of movables, which gives a fuller picture of the testator’s wealth and constitutes a rare “set” of antemortem documents of Orthodox inhabitants of Vilnius in the first half of the 18th century. Jan Kossobucki’s last will was published including the confirmation of the bequest for the congregation of St. John the Evangelist, which operated in the Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius. Printed documents reveal family relations of burghers and last wills’ being drafted on the basis of the Magdeburg law. They provide information not only about the material status of testators in the city tormented by war, fires and plagues, but also show their attitude towards the threatening phenomena. Antemortem documents present Eastern Orthodox and Uniate burghers of Vilnius as attached to their religion and supporting it financially.
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