The False Dmitry I in Polish-Lithuanian Public and Political Opinion 1603-1604

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The article is devoted to the reconstruction of the socio-political resonance among the ruling elite of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, caused by the emergence in Poland of False Dmitry I. the Reconstruction based on the letters of members of the Senate to king Sigismund III, written in response to his question about how to deal with a man calling himself the son of Ivan The Terrible and heir to the Moscow throne. The second part of the study is based on instructions given by the gentry of the various States of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to deputies sent to the Sejm in Warsaw, which was to be held in January 1605. There were heated discussions about the campaign of False Dmitry I to Moscow, so these instructions are also a valuable historical source. The letters of Polish senators cited in this article were previously briefly mentioned in studies on the Time of Troubles. They are currently stored in the manuscript Department of the Kurnick library of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Among them are letters from Chancellor Y. Zamoyski, Lithuanian Hetman Y. Khodkiewicz, Krakow castellan Y. Ostrozhski, poznań castellan Y. Ostrorog, Bratslav podkomor L. Piaseczynski, poznań Bishop L. Goslicki, Plock voivode S. Krasinski and Sandomierz castellan S. Tarnowski. This article presents for the first time in full the translations of fragments of these letters concerning False Dmitry I, since their brief analysis in the historical literature did not reflect the fullness of the emotions and feelings of the Polish ruling elite regarding this issue. As a result of full acquaintance with the sources, we came to the conclusion that the full Polish Senate was against the extradition of the impostor to the Moscow state, and among them was also the Chancellor Y. Zamoyski. Opinions differed as to the future of the “Prince,” but they were also very cautious and did not call for his immediate support from the king and the Republic.

About the authors

Nataliya V. Eylbart

The Herzen State Pedagogical University

Author for correspondence.

Doktor Istorisheskikh Nauk [Dr. habil. hist.], Professor of the Department of Russian History

48, Moika Emb., St. Petersburg, 191186, Russia


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