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Tytus Woyciechowski

Tytus Woyciechowski, photograph, c. 1875

Tytus Sylwester Woyciechowski (31 December 1808 in Lemberg, Galicia [now Lviv, Ukraine] – 23 March 1879 in Poturzyn, now Poland) was a Polish political activist, agriculturalist and patron of art. He was an early friend of Polish-French composer Frédéric Chopin.

In his youth Woyciechowski was a fellow student of Chopin at the Warsaw Lyceum, and boarded with the Chopin family. He went on to study law at Warsaw University. Chopin dedicated to him his Op. 2 Variations on "Là ci darem la mano". In 1830 Chopin visited Woyciechowski at his estate in Poturzyn, which he had inherited from his mother.[1] Woyciechowski acted as a confidant during Chopin's passion for the singer Konstancja Gładkowska.[2] Chopin's passionate correspondence with Tytus at this period has given rise to conjecture that their friendship may have been homoerotic, at least on the part of the composer.[3]

Woyciechowski accompanied Chopin in his 1830 journey to Austria but, on learning of the November 1830 Uprising, returned to Warsaw to take part in the fighting. He became a second lieutenant and was awarded the Gold Cross for Valour.[4] Whilst the two never met thereafter, they continued to correspond.[5] Woychiechowski married Copuntess Aloysia Poletylo by whom he had four children - their second son being named Fryderyk after Chopin.[6]

Woyciechowski dedicated himself to agriculture, pioneered the introduction of crop rotation in Poland, and in 1847 founded one of the first sugar factories in the country. In 1861-62 he was an active member of the White Party, which took part in the failed January 1863 Uprising.[7]

The Woyciechowski collection of Chopin memorabilia was destroyed by fire in 1914, and the family manor house at Poturzyn was destroyed during the Second World War.[8]

His surname is an archaic spelling of the more common Wojciechowski (with a "j" instead of a "y").

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ Woyciechowski (a)
  2. ^ Zamoyski (2010), pp. 55-6.
  3. ^ Walker (2018), pp. 156-158
  4. ^ Walker (2018), p. 182
  5. ^ Woyciechowski (a)
  6. ^ Walker (2018), p. 158
  7. ^ Woyciechowski (a)
  8. ^ Woyciechowski (b)
Sources
  • "Tytus Woyciechowski" (a) on Chopin Institute website (in Polish), accessed 12.2.2014
  • "Tytus Woyciechowski" (b) on Chopin Kalejdoskop website, accessed 12.2.2014.
  • Walker, Alan (2018). Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571348558
  • Zamoyski, Adam (2010). Chopin, Prince of the Romantics, London: HarperPress. ISBN 978-0-007-35182-4.