Ștefan Tomșa or Ștefan VII (Polish: Stefan VII Tomża[1]) (died 5 May 1564 in Lwów) was the ruler of Moldavia in 1563 and 1564.

Ștefan Tomșa
Prince of Moldavia
ReignAugust 1563 – March 1564
PredecessorIacob Heraclid
SuccessorAlexandru Lăpușneanu
Died5 May 1564
IssueȘtefan IX Tomșa, Leon Tomșa


Tomșa served as hatman[2] and came to power as leader of a boyar revolt against the Lutheran Ioan Iacob Heraclid, whose attempts to impose the new usages in Moldavia offended the Eastern Orthodox sensibilities of nobles. Ioan Iacob, better known in Romanian history as Despot Vodă, sought refuge in the city of Suceava.

Ștefan Tomșa was claimed the ruler of Moldavia on 8 August 1563.[2] Suceava fell to Ştefan Tomșa's forces in October 1563, and the new ruler killed his predecessor with a mace.

Ștefan Tomșa defeated an invasion by the neighbouring Wallachian prince Petru cel Tânăr, but was unable to obtain recognition by the Ottoman Empire as ruler of Wallachia. Alexandru Lăpușneanu, who had been deposed by Ioan Iacob in 1561, was returned to power with Ottoman assistance in January 1564,[1] and Ștefan Tomșa fled to neighbouring Poland.[1]

Tomșa was imprisoned with his boyars in Buczacz.[1] On the request of the Sultan boyars were sent to Turkey.[1] The Sultan wanted also Ștefan Tomșa.[1] Tomșa on the request of the Polish King Sigismund II Augustus was sentenced to death and beheaded in Lwów on 5 May 1564.[1] He was buried in Lwów.

His sons were later rulers of the Romanian principalities, Ștefan IX Tomșa in Moldavia, and Leon Tomșa in Wallachia.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Spieralski, Zdzisław (1967). Awantury mołdawskie. Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna. p. 128.
  2. ^ a b Spieralski, Zdzisław (1967). Awantury mołdawskie. Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna. p. 127.
Preceded by
Ioan Iacob Heraclid
Ruler of Moldavia
August 1563 – March 1564
Succeeded by
Alexandru Lăpușneanu
second reign