Piotr Kmita Sobieński
Piotr Kmita Sobieński, Piotr Kmita Sobiński of the Kmita (Kmitowie) noble family, Count of Wiśnicz, Szreniawa, (Latin: Petrus Kmita de Wisnicze, Petrus Cmitha in Wissnicze, also Kmitha, Ukrainian: Петро, Кміта, Slovak:, Hungarian: Peter Kmita of Sobnia, b. in 1477, d. 31 October 1553) was Grand Marshal of the Crown from 1529 onwards, voivode and starosta of Kraków, starosta of Spiš (1522 – 1553), starosta of Przemyśl, starosta of Koleński, Castellan of Sandomierz, one of the richest and most influential persons in contemporary Poland. He was the heir of 28 villages, including Wiśnicz, Sobienia and many royal estates, among others, Lipnica Murowana.
He was the younger son of Stanisław Kmita and Katarzyna of Tarnowski, husband of childless Barbara Kmita of Herburtów, who inherited from him, among other things, Lesko and Zagórz). Grandson of Jan Kmita and brother in law to Jan Herburt. An educated person who was a lover of books. He gathered a considerable amount of books in the castle Wiśnicz. He was also an ardent supporter of Erasmus of Rotterdam.
He spent his youth at the court of Emperor Maximilian I, where he distinguished himself for his military valor and humanistic refinement. He fought the Tatars in the Battle of Wisniowiec and the Russians in the Battle of Orsha, and in 1520 he took part in the war against the Teutonic Knights. In 1518, he became Marshal of the Crown Court and in 1522 member of the Polish parliament on the Reich of Nuremberg. In 1524 he defeated the Turkish army in Terebovl. In 1520 he received from Sigismund I the Old the right to collect tributes on the roads to Ustjanowa Dolna.
Kmita was one of the most trusted followers of Queen Bona Sforza for the establishment of national factions in Hungary against the Habsburgs and the fight of the nobility for privileges at the end of Sigismund Augustus reign. He traveled to Hungary in support of John Zápolya, and entered the so-called triumvirate at Bőny, alongside Piotr Gamrat and Andrzej Krzycki. In 1532 he became castellan of Sandomierz, and starosta of Bőny in 1533. In 1535 he acquired the Sandomierz province, which in 1536 came to be part of Kraków. In 1523 he received from Emperor Charles V, the title of Count of Wiśnicz.
He was a patron of culture, his court in Wiśnicz was one of the finest centers of Polish Renaissance, gathering the era of the best minds of lawyers, writers and poets. Kmita financed the publishing poems of Klemens Janicki, Stanislaw Orzechowski, and courtier Marcin Bielski. He also aroused the admiration of his contemporaries in Europe like Desiderius Erasmus, who dedicated his work to him. He was also a strong opponent of the Protestant Reformation. Kmita died without descendants on 31 October 1553, and his funeral took place a month later. He was buried in the now defunct St. Anthony Chapel in the Wawel Cathedral, in his family mausoleum.
For four of Piotr Kmita Sobieński's coat-of-arms see:
- "Charles V conceded him the title of Count of Wiśnicz. [in:] Antoni Mączak. Clientele: informal systems of authority in Poland and Europe 16th-18th, 1994. p. 268
- "In the Kraków castle he was buried" [in:] Kasper Niesiecki (1728). Herby y familie rycerskie: tak w Koronie jako y Wielkim Xięstwie Litewskim (in Polish). Collegium Lwowskiego Societatis JESU. p. 540.
- Knot, Antoni (1978). Roczniki biblioteczne, Volume 22. Poland. Rada Główna Szkolnictwa Wyższego. Komisja do Spraw Bibliotek i Informacji Naukowej, Poland. Ministerstwo Nauki, Szkolnictwa Wyższego i Techniki. p. 436.
- This article is based on the corresponding article of the Polish Wikipedia. A list of contributors can be found there at the History section.
- Akapit 126 (1540) (in Latin)