Pochodzenie, środowisko rodzinne i początki fałszerskiej działalności Krzysztofa Stanisława Janikowskiego
Background, relatives and the origin of the counterfeit activity of Krzysztof Stanisław Janikowski
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The origin and the course of the criminal activity of Krzysztof Stanisław Janikowski, one of the most famous forgers of documents in the history of the Rzeczpospolita in the period prior to the partitions have not been fully examined yet. This article presents the background and family connections of the 17th century swindler, the circumstances which led him to crime, including a long-lasting economic conflict with the Town Council and the burghers of Gdansk, which eventually led his family to bankruptcy. A debt spiral, prevaricating in front of various judicial instances, forced marriages, robberies, beatings and assassinations constituted the resources frequently used by the relatives of the forger (including Stanislaw Janikowski, his father, and his eldest brother – Jan Stanislaw Janikowski). The latter even made a career as an official and politician – he became a town councillor of Tczew, a member of Parliament and a deputy to the Radom Tribunal. Living beyond his means led to his estate being taken over by a family of burghers from Gdansk – the Pusches. Fighting for the legacy of his father and other estates, Krzysztof Stanislaw Janikowski turned to forgery. He even falsified the documents from the royal chancery. It was the king and his officials who protected him against the severity of the law long before he revealed to the public his extensive forgery activity.
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