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Jan Hieronimowicz Chodkiewicz

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Jan Chodkiewicz
Noble Family Chodkiewicz
Coat of Arms
Kościesza odm.Chodkiewicz
Parents Hieronim Chodkiewicz
Anna Szemetówna
Consorts Krystyna Zborowska
Children Hieronim, Aleksander
Jan Karol, Anna, Zofia
Elzbieta, Aleksandra
Date of Birth 1537
Place of Birth  ?
Date of Death 4 august 1579
Place of Death Vilnius

Jan Hieronimowicz Chodkiewicz (Ivan Hieronimovich) (1537 - 1579) Great Master of the Pantry of Lithuania 1559, general starost of Samogitia 1563, Elder of Samogitia 1564, starost of Telszew and Ploeltsk 1566, Livonia Hetman and governor, Grand Marshal of Lithuania 1566, Kaunas starost 1569, Count on Szkłów 1568, Vilnius castellan 1574.


He was one of the most famous Lithuanian magnates of the 16th century. Raised a Calvinist he studied at the universities of Königsberg, Leipzig and Wittenberg, and entered in the service of Emperor Charles V from 1552 to 1555. After that he entered the service of the Grand Duke of Lithuania. In 1558 IJan Chodkiewicz was made Livonia Hetman and sent to defend Livonia against Tsar Ivan IV 'the Terrible' who was trying to enforce a passage to the Baltic Sea. With the help of Michael Radziwill, Great Chancellor of Lithuania, he succeeded in attaching Livonia to Lithuania. But this territory remained for long the main target of Russian attacks. In 1564 he became Elder of Samogitia, in 1566 Grand Marshal of Lithuania and governor of Livonia (1566-78, with headquarter at Sigulda near Riga), and in 1574 Castellan of Vilnius. As his uncle he was a strong opponent to the Union of Lithuania with Poland. King Zygmunt August in 1569 he succeeded formally to found one integrated state instead of a loose Polish-Lithuanian federation. The Lithuanian delegation to the meetings preparing the Act of Union was led by Jan, who insisted in a long impassioned speech on the equality and independence of the two nations. Finally "bowing to the king's power, he pointed out those parts of the Act of Union which were unacceptable to Lithuania and he stated that he yielded to the King's will only with the deepest sorrow"[1].
In practice the Union of Lublin in 1589 made sure that the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania retained its own form of government and separate laws until the end of the joint state in 1795.

In 1570 Jan Hieronimowicz converted to Catholicism and became a great benefactor of the Jesuits.

He married the Calvinist Krystyna Zborowska before 1559 in Crakow, daughter of Marcin Zborowski, Cracow castellan, and Anna Konarska.
She remained Calvinist despite his convesrion and rasied some of their daughters in that religion despite their fathers will. They had issue: in 1559 Hieronim was borned at Vilnius, Aleksander in Trakai 1560 year,
Jan Karol Vilnius 1560-61, Anna in Vilnius 1562 year, Zofia in Vilnius 1564, Elzbieta Vilnius 1568 and Aleksandra borned 1576 at Vilnius.

He died at 4 aug 1579, and was buried in Vilnius Cathedral.


Anna of Riazan
Fyodor Bielski
Chodko Jurewicz
Jaroslav Hołwczyński
Jawnuta Bielska
Ivan Chodkiewicz
Elzbieta Hlebowiczówna
Melchior Szemet
Wasylissa Hołowczyńska
Aleksander Chodkiewicz
Anna Szemetówna
Hieronim Chodkiewicz
Ivan Hieronimowicz
Cathetral square 2007 July 15

Vilnius Cathedral, place of Ivans` burial

See also

External links

Genealogy of Chodkiewicz family.
Family tree of Chodkiewicz.
Full interactive family tree (in Polish).



  1. Encyclopedia Lithuanica
be:Ян Геранімавіч Хадкевіч

lt:Jonas Chodkevičius

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