Wenceslaus I of Legnica

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Wacław I legnicki of Legnica, książę

Birthplace: Poland
Death: June 02, 1364 (45-54)
Legnica, Dolnośląskie, Poland
Place of Burial: Legnica, Legnica, Województwo dolnośląskie, Poland
Immediate Family:

Son of Duke Boleslaw III the Generous and Margaret of Bohemia, Duchess of Wroclaw
Husband of Anna Cieszyńska Princess of Silesia-Teschen
Father of Rupert I legnicki of Legnica, książę; Wacław II legnicki of Legnica, książę; Bolesław IV legnicki of Legnica, książę; Jadwiga of Głogów-Żagań and Henryk VIII legnicki of Legnica
Brother of Mikołaj and Ludwig I. von Liegnitz

Managed by: Private User
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About Wenceslaus I of Legnica

Wacław I legnickiksiążę namysłowski w latach 1338-1342 i legnicki w latach 1342-1345 wraz z bratem Ludwikiem I, w latach 1345-1346 w wyniku podziału księstwa legnickiego w Chojnowie i Złotoryi, w latach 1346-1349 całość księstwa legnickiego, w 1348 lub 1349 strata Lubina, w 1358 uzyskana połowa księstwa brzesko-oławskiego, Namysłów i Byczyna, sprzedana następnie linii świdnickiej, w 1359 w wyniku nowego podziału Legnica i Złotoryja. http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wac%C5%82aw_I_legnicki

Wenceslaus I of Legnica

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wenceslaus I of Legnica (Polish: Wacław I legnicki; b. ca. 1318 - d. 2 June 1364), was a Duke of Namysłów since 1338 and of Legnica-Brieg since 1342 until his death, but with further divisions with his brother Louis I.

He was the eldest son of Bolesław III the Generous, Duke of Legnica-Brieg by his first wife, Margaret of Bohemia. He was named after his maternal grandfather, King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia.


The circumstances about Wenceslaus's childhood and adolescence were unknown. The first attested presence of the young heir of Legnica-Brieg was only in 1329, when he, alongside with his father, paid homage to King John of Luxemburg -his uncle, husband of his maternal aunt Elisabeth-.

Bolesław III's prodigality infuriated Wenceslaus, who, worried about the fate of the family's patrimony, rebelled against his father. Bolesław III didn't want to fight with his son, and give to him the Duchy of Namysłów as an independent fief, in 1338. Four years later (1342), Bolesław III decided to abdicated all his lands to his two surviving sons -Wenceslaus and his younger brother Louis I- in exchange of Namysłów, who was almost immediately sold by Bolesław III to King Casimir III the Great. Alongside with his second wife, Katharina Šubić, Bolesław III retired to the small towns Brieg and Oława, who he retained as their residence.

The two brothers initially decided co-rule without any land divisions, in order to pay the huge debts of the Duchy. The resources of Legnica were little, because their excentric father had sold several parts of land, and even the extraction of gold from the mines of Mikołajowice revealed insufficient.

In 1345 finally the brothers decided the formal division of their authority and rule. Louis convince his older brother to ceded him the overlordship over Legnica in exchange of the towns of Złotoryja, Chojnów, Chocianów and Lubin (Lüben).

However, Wenceslaus changed his mind about this unequal division of the Duchy of Legnica only one year later. Two strong reason motivated him: he was seriously ill, and after eight years of childless marriage, his wife expecting their first child. Wenceslaus claimed all the inheritance of Legnica; in exchange, he promised to name Louis as his sole heir, even if his unborn child was a son. At the end, Louis resigned his lands to Wenceslaus; in exchange, he received a monetary compensation of 400 pieces of silver per year and the possession of the palace of Buczyna.

The unexpectedly renunciation of Louis without fight maybe was dictated by the fact that his brother was dying, and he soon became again in the ruler of Legnica. However, it soon became apparent that Wenceslaus, despite his illness, doesn't any intentions to die. In addition, the situation was more complicated after the birth of the first of Wenceslaus's four sons, Rupert.

Louis want the annulment of his resignation over Legnica on basis of the suspension of the compensatory payment, but without success. The situation remained in an unstable peace until the death of Bolesław III (21 April 1352), who broke in the civil war between the brothers.

The war going on with varying fortune between both sides during six years (during were failed the mediation attempts of Duke Konrad I of Oleśnica, Przecław von Pogarell, Bishop of Wroclaw, and Emperor Charles IV). The war ended only in July 1359 when was settled an arrangement between the brothers, under which Wenceslaus -who actually lost the final battle- was compelled to give to Louis the Duchy of Brieg (who returned to him after the death of their stepmother, Katharina Šubić) and half of Chojnów as an independent Duchy (the other half of Chojnów, with Byczyna, was already sold by Wenceslaus to Duke Bolko II of Schweidnitz). Another additional concession of Wenceslaus to his younger brother was to pay of 4,500 pieces of silver for damages.

In addition to the conflict with his brother, Wenceslaus was also involved in promoting the rule of the House of Luxemburg in Silesia and so in 1348 he represented the Emperor as a mediator in the dispute between the Bishop of Wroclaw Przecław von Pogarell and the local nobility. Eleven years later, in 1360, he was again a mediator in the tried to turn rozsądzić dispute between Duke Konrad I of Oleśnica and Duke Przemyslaus I of Cieszyn (Teschen) over the control of the Duchy of Bytom-Koźle.

By February 1348 Wenceslaus was also part of the suite of Emperor Charles IV, who travel to Bautzen in order to arrange a meeting with Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen and Langrave of Thuringia with the purprose of settled their frontiers disputes.

During the entire period of his reign, the main problem of Wenceslaus was the financial difficulties of his Duchy. From his father Bolesław III, the Duke also inherited his enormous debts. It is therefore not surprising that most of the Duchy was soon rented to a neighboring Princes and Bishops, and even ordinary Knights and townspeople.

Despite the disastrous financial situation of Legnica, Wenceslaus decided to founded a Benedictine monastery and Kolegiate in Legnica called "Church of God" (pl: Bożego Grobu). In order to raise the prestige of his own for several years he ordened the creation of a gold coin called "wacławki", who was used in his Duchy since them.

Wenceslaus died on 2 June 1364 and was buried in the Church of God in Legnica, who was then under construction. His excommunication as a punishment for unpaid debts, led major complications. It was only in 1365 when his sons finally obtain the pardon for him. Wenceslaus's beautiful tombstone survived until our days and was currently in the Legnica Cathedral.

[edit]Marriage and Issue

By 1338, Wenceslaus married with Anna (b. ca. 1325 - d. 1367), daughter of Duke Casimir I of Cieszyn. They had five children:

Rupert I (b. 27 March 1347 - d. bef. 12 January 1409).

Wenceslaus II (b. 1348 - d. 30 December 1419), Bishop of Lubin (1375-82) and Wroclaw (1382-1417).

Bolesław IV (b. ca. 1349 - d. 3/4 March 1394).

Hedwig (b. ca. 1351 - d. 1 August 1409), married on 10 February 1372 to Henry VI, Duke of Głogów-Żagań.

Henry VIII (b. ca. 1355 - d. 12 December 1398), Canon at Breslau (1378), Administrator of the Bishopric of Wroclaw (1379) and Bishop of Leslau (1389).


Complete Genealogy of the House of Piast-Silesia


This article was translated by his Polish Wikipedia version.

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Wenceslaus I of Legnica's Timeline

March 27, 1347
(Liegnitz), Legnica, Poland
Of Legnica,Wrcl,Plnd
Of Legnica,Wrcl,Plnd
Of Legnica,Wrcl,Plnd
June 2, 1364
Age 50
Legnica, Dolnośląskie, Poland
Legnica Cathedral, Legnica, Legnica, Województwo dolnośląskie, Poland