2009 | 74 | 3 | 7-36
Article title

Okoliczności wypowiedzenia wojny królowi polskiemu Władysławowi II przez wielkiego mistrza Zakonu Niemieckiego Ulricha von Jungingen w sierpniu 1409 roku

Title variants
Circumstances accompanying the declaration of war made to the Polish King Wladyslaw II by the Grand Master of the German Order Ulrich von Jungingen in August 1409
Languages of publication
The article analyzes the circumstances under which the war against the Polish King Wladyslaw II was declared by the Grand Master of the German Order Ulrich von Jungingen in August 1409. The subject has not been exhausted in literature, and the basis for the deliberations hereby constitutes the publication (as a source annex) of the notary instrument made in the Teutonic castle in Torun on 31 October 1409, ordered by the Torun commander Heinrich Hold. The content of the article concerns the circumstances in which the war declaration letter of the Grand Master issued in Marienburg castle on 6 August 1409 was handed over by the house commander to his envoys on 11 August, and the circumstances in which they brought it to the royal castle administrator (burggrabius capitanei) in Zlotoria. The behaviour of the royal official was astonishing, as he did not accept the letter. The analysis showed that in the autumn of 1409 the Polish party could lodge a plaint against the Teutonic Order concerning too hasty military activities – merely three days after declaring the war. It was demonstrated that the accusations could be justified from the formal point of view, however not in the interpretation which was presented by Poles. The sources clearly and explicitly prove that the military action was started by the German Order on 16 August, whereas the declaration letter reached Wladyslaw II on 14 August, which means three days before the outbreak of the war. Contrary to Polish accusations, which with time were becoming more and more severe, Teutonic authorities led by the Grand Master started actions against the Polish King at the end of July and beginning of August legally. The starting point for the Teutonic party in the talks with royal envoys in Marienburg on 1 August 1409 was the recognition of the question of Samogitia as the internal issue of the Order. The meeting failed to soothe the conflict. It even finished with war declarations of the Archbishop of Gniezno Mikolaj II Kurowski, which were followed by the same kind of declarations made by Ulrich von Jungingen. The statement of the Grand Master , contrary to the narration of Jan Dlugosz, was not a declaration of war. In a fit of passion the head of the Order discussed the situation with dignitaries, representatives of towns, knights and servants for many hours after the envoys had left. Having checked the legal aspect of the Order’s position in the conflict with the King and his inferior the Grand Duke of Lithuania Aleksander Witold, he ordered to make a war declaration letter on 6 August. It was a reason for announcing the mobilization of territory rations. On 8 August Teutonic brothers deliberately stopped its transport to the Kingdom of Poland in Torun for three days, the aim of which was to get more time to mobilize the army. It was not until 11 August that it reached the nearest location of a royal official – the administrator of the castle in Zlotoria. In the meantime the Teutonic Order promptly mobilized the army, and carried out one of the possible options of military actions (from the military point of view – the most cautious). Being sure that the declaration letter had reached the Polish King, they started military actions in Dobrzyn Land on 16 August.
Physical description
  • Instytut Historii i Archiwistyki, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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