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The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a semi-confederal and semi-federal monarchic republic comprising the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from 1569 until 1795. The head of state was an elected monarch. The Commonwealth's dominant social class was the nobility. This article chiefly lists the nobility's magnate segment (the wealthier nobility), as they were the most prominent, famous and notable. These families would receive non-hereditary 'central' and Land dignities and titles under the Commonwealth law that forbade (with minor exceptions) any hereditary legal distinctions within the peerage. They would later be 'approximated' to honorary hereditary titles in the Partition period with little real-power privileges but would still be venerated among the Polish upper class and the rest of the society as 'senatorial', 'palatinal', 'castellanial' or "dignitarial' families.

"Szlachta" is the proper term for Polish nobility beginning about the 15th century. Most powerful members of szlachta were known as magnates ("magnaci" or the "magnateria" class). A Polish nobleman who lived earlier is referred to as a "rycerz" ("knight"); the class of all such individuals is the "rycerstwo" (the "chivalry" class). Most powerful members of "rycerstwo" were known as "możnowładzcy" (the "moznowładztwo" class).

By family

Below is a list of most important Polish noble (szlachta) families. The families listed are the famous magnates families - ones that had accumulated great wealth and political power, generally preserved across several centuries. Please note that this list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all szlachta families. For the list of lesser known but still notable Polish noble families, see the corresponding category

All names are given first in the singular, then (parenthetically) in the plural.









By year of birth

Listed below are important members of the szlachta of Polandmarker and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, by century and year of birth.

In many cases, birth year is uncertain or unknown. During the Commonwealth, most people—including szlachta—paid little attention to their birthdates.

15th century





16th century





17th century





18th century





19th century



20th century

Nobility privileges were abolished under the Second Polish Republicmarker (1918–1939). Nobility obligations are not addressed. This would leave the legal status of nobility as consisting of obligations only (as they demonstrated in WW2) had the article been not later revoked anyway.

Fictional nobles



See also



References

  1. Chester S. L. Dunning, Caryl Emerson, Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin, The Uncensored Boris Godunov, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2007, SBN 0299207641, Google Print, p.498
  2. Czartoryscy, Encyklopedia WIEM
  3. Wieslaw Filipczyk, Charles I the emperor of Austria confirms membership of the Lanckoronski family, poland.pl
  4. Adam Hornecki, Produkcja i handel zbożowy w latyfundium Lubomirskich, c.1650–1750 [Grain Production and Trade in the Lubomirski Latifundium, c.1650–1750], PAN: Prace Komisji Nauk Historycznych, Wrocław, 1970
  5. Ostrogscy, PWN Encyklopedia
  6. Ostrorogowie, PWN Encyklopedia
  7. POTOCCY, Encyklopedia Interia
  8. Potoccy, WIEM Encyklopedia
  9. RADZIWIŁŁOWIE, Encyklopedia Interia
  10. Radziwiłłowie, WIEM Encyklopedia
  11. Sapiehowie, WIEM Encyklopedia
  12. Sanguszkowie, WIEM Encyklopedia
  13. Tarnowscy, PWN Encyklopedia
  14. Tęczyńscy, PWN Encyklopedia


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