Lithuanian Provisional Governing Commission

The Provisional Government Commission of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; also, the Lithuanian Provisional Governing Commission (French: le Gouvernement provisoire de Lituanie; also Gouvernement générale de la Lithuanie, Lithuanian Lietuvos laikinosios vyriausybės komisija, Polish: Komisja Rządu Tymczasowego Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego; also Komisja Rządząca Tymczasowa Litewska) was a provisional administrative body for the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which had been overtaken by Napoleon's Grand Army during the 1812 French invasion of Russia.[1]


The Commission was established on 1 July 1812 by order of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.[2] Its chief tasks included the creation of Lithuanian armed forces, and the provisioning of Napoleon's troops.[2] The provinces of Vilnius, Grodno, Minsk and Białystok were attached to the jurisdiction of the government of Lithuania.[2] The Provisional Government of Lithuania had no connections to Poland.[3]

Supervision of the Commission was entrusted to the former French Resident in the Duchy of Warsaw, Commissioner Louis Pierre Édouard Bignon. Actual power, however, was exercised by Dutch General Dirk van Hogendorp, former governor of Java, who was appointed governor of Vilnius.

Napoleon, contrary to the hopes reposed in him by the General Confederation of the Kingdom of Poland, had not restored Polish statehood to the former Polish–Lithuanian lands. He had merely established, in the conquered territories, a provisional administration, thereby sidestepping final dispositions pending his further conquest of Russia.

Józef Wybicki, sent on 11 July 1812 to Vilnius with a deputation from the Council of the General Confederation, unsuccessfully attempted to get the Emperor to declare the restoration of the Kingdom of Poland, including the territories that had been annexed in the Partitions of Poland. Napoleon also refused to attach the military units consisting of Lithuanians to the Polish ones.

Only on 14 July 1812 the Commission formally joined the General Confederation of the Kingdom of Poland, creating the united Kingdom of Poland.

After Russian troops invaded Lithuanian territory at the end of 1812, the Commission acted outside Lithuania.


Secretary General: Józef Ignacy Kossakowski



  1. ^ "Lietuvos laikinosios vyriausybės komisija". Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Genzelis, Bronislovas (8 September 2015). "„Nepriklausomybės sąsiuviniai". Lietuviškumo idėja ir 1863 metų sukilimas". (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  3. ^ Genzelis, Bronius (2007). The restitution of Lithuania's statehood. ISBN 978-9955-415-66-4.