Crown chancery between 14th and 18th century

Waldemar Chorążyczewski

The Crown chancery between 14th and 18th century

The current state of research

The Polish royal (Crown) chancery has been fully described just recently1. It shows how many gaps in our knowledge still need to be filled. We have good knowledge concerning chancery clerks in the 14th, 15th and the first half of the 16th century. For further times, we know Sigismund Augustus’ and Stephen Bathory’s secretaries, clerks of the Sigismund Vasa’s chancery, staff of the secretariat of kings Ladislaus IV and Michael. We know probably everything there is to know about Ruthenianmetricants and clerks. We are quite knowledgeable about decree clerks.

A specific research survey should be started with works of Roman Maurer concerning medieval chancery clerks2. He put together their lists; even though he collected some interesting source material, he barely analyzed it. This analysis was postponed until further studies, that have never showed. Almost simultaneously, Saturnin Kwiatkowski made lists of clerks, including ones of the King Ladislaus of Varna’s chancery, but without further study on organization of the chancery3. Next works appeared after a few decades, when Eustachy Nowicki published a separate book about the chancery of Casimir the Jagiellonian (1912), trying to describe its organization, work-flow and products4. This book was criticized by Stanisław Kętrzyński, as almost worthless. Kętrzyńki also presented his own thesis, especially about the beginnings of the Crown Metrica (Royal Chancery Registers), documents and ad relationemclause5. For several years Kętrzyński has been conducting the research on the chancery and documents of Casimir the Great, then broadening his observations on the whole Late Middle Ages6. This interest in the Metrica was favored by a starting edition of it (in a form of summary) done by Teodor Wierzbowski. Aptly did Fryderyk Papée point out, that at least for the Middle Ages the material from the Metrica should be published as a whole7. This demand has not been met yet.

The problem of the royal chancery was not fortunate in Polish diplomatics textbooks. Two earliest of them, by Kętrzyński (1934) and Karol Maleczyński (1951)have never been finished, so this issue was described there only in fragments. The whole medieval history of the royal chancery was described by Maleczyński in the third textbook (1971), but this description is just an abridgement8. A matter-of-fact discussion about the works of Maleczyński was held by Kazimierz Jasiński9, who proposed numerous detailed amendments and made some comments concerning inappropriate look on the beginnings of the chancery, with no consideration of a wider system context. A crowning of the research on the late medieval royal chancery were publications of Irena Sułkowska-Kurasiowa and Jadwiga Krzyżanowska. Works of the first one (especially classic monographs on the history of the chancery between 1370 and 1506)10 were typical diplomatics studies, based on thorough knowledge of the archives. To that she devoted numerous smaller studies (especially to books of the Crown Metrica)11, she also took part in creating the inventory of the Metrica12. Whereas Krzyżaniak concentrated on the role of the chancery as a center for historical and political culture13.

Since then, some progress in studying the royal chancery is made due to increasing number of contributions. When the Metrica book from 1479-1483 was published Grażyna Rutkowska deliberated on receipts(Polish pluralkwitancje)and activity of the chancery during a king’s stay in Lithuania14. Numerous questions were touched in papers presented on a scientific session in 200415.

However, researchers were not so interested in studying the chancery of the early modern period. For a long time the state of the research was limited to notes dispersed in the literature, several source publications and few finding aids. The oldest of these editions were not very revealing, because publishers avoided adding prefaces concerning the edited monuments16. Professional research could not be replaced by information publications created in the environment of the Central Archives of Historical Records for the whole 19th and in the early 20th century17. However, the summary of the Crown Metrica is a very precious source of information. Not only does it make accessible summaries of the content of the fonds, but also gives descriptions of particular books. Currently, this publication dates back to the times of Henry d’Valois18. Stanisław Kutrzeba dedicated some place to the Metrica and its archives in his classical synthesis on the source studies19, but even he did not conduct any specific research on the royal chancery. Works that touch some issues of the chancery just marginally, did have and still do have some recognized meaning, especially biographies of eminent chancery workers20, among which a specific analysis of creating documents might be found. But these studies are focused on the turn of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The chancery issue was described also in works concerning history of the parliamentary system and diplomacy21. Valuable contributions to the history of the royal chancery are also made by studies on the history of culture, what is shown by Ryszard Marciniak’s dissertation about Acta Tomiciana22.

But still, all these achievements could not replace systematic studies on the early modern royal chancery. Its beginnings dates back to about 1960; a symbolic moment of that was the re-edition of Reinhold Heidenstein’s Cancellarius23. It gave Andrzej Tomczak rise to outline the organization of the royal chancery in the second half of the 16th century, that reached beyond Heidenstein’s source24. But continuators were not easy to find. Regular research on the early modern royal chancery were not conducted until the 1980s, initiated by a study of Leszek Kieniewicz on the secretariat of Stephen Bathory and also Kieniewicz’s edition of an important project on the chancery ordination from the times of d’Valois25. Studies of Mirosław Korolka and Andrzej Wyczański were carried outin a similar trend. By prosopography of Sigismund Augustus’secretaries Korolka tried to reach the culture-making role of the chancery26. Wyczański presented the problem particularly widely, and he proposed to study chancery as a central body of the national authorities27. A necessary tool for any prosopographical research was a list of chancellors, vice-chancellors and great secretaries28.

A new stage begins with wide studies conducted by Wojciech Krawczuk from Cracow concerning the chancery of Sigismund III Vasa. It was not picked by accident; in that times “efficiency of chancery organization reached its peak”29. The research was accompanied by making an effort to publish the summaries of the Crown Metrica from the times of Sigismund III; particular volumes contain extensive source-knowledge introductions30. These works were a stepping stone for further studies on the royal chancery in the whole early modern period. An especially important one is a book about Metrica writers; it touches also functions of the institution and contains some important proposals relating to periodization (including praising the importance of the Executionist movement)31. Henryk Palkij, also from the Cracow center, did research on the Augustus II’s chancery, but its results, presented during numerous conferences, have never been published32.

In Toruń some studies on the 16th-century chancery were conducted by Waldemar Chorążyczewski33. They fructified with amonograph about the chancery in a groundbreaking period of the early 16th century;it presented contemporary changes against a background of some long-time processes34. Chorążyczewski and Krawczuk (under the patronage of the doyen of researchers of the Polish royal chancery, Andrzej Tomczak) initiated (in 2002) cyclic meetings serving as a forum for presentation of accomplishments and discussing about them, entitled The Polish royal chancery of the early modern period. Between authorities and society, what was important for integration of research efforts35. The outcome of these conferences are volumes, entitled like the conferences, published after these meetings36. These discussions brought numerous interesting suggestions and methodological ideas – including the postulate to study the chancery “in the long lasting” (longue durée) and wide context of political, social and cultural changes, with statistical methods37. The meetings contributed to exhilarate of the research on the early modern royal chancery, that entered boldly in the previously neglected 18th century38 and areas, that until now were poorly described (like questions of the pre-cabinet, private royal chancery (Polish kancelaria pokojowa)39 and sigillography40. Finally, these meetings eased contacts, and reception of research findings, between various centers, not only in the scale of the country. Because the Polish royal chancery also arouses interest of foreign historians, like Patricia Kennedy Grimsted or Petro Kułakowśkij41, working on the Ruthenian Metrica. The first one underlines the thesis (not new in Polish literature) about limited belonging of the books to the Crown Metrica (not the Lithuanian Metrica, as their current storage in Moscow might suggest); the second one stresses some autonomy of the Ruthenian chancery inside the Crown chancery (not as an institution, but rather as a staff of clerks, preparing documents and correspondence for Ukrainian voivodeships in Ruthenianlanguage).

The presented achievements show that, even if an in-depth synthesis concerning the history of the early modern Crown chancery in Poland is still distant, there is a circle that strives after it42. What can also be seen is a program of research treating the royal chancery as an element of the whole system of information circulation and of the administrative machinery of the Republic, that consists also of provincial chanceries (especially the municipal ones).

The organization of the Polish royal chancery and its changes

Chancellor and vice-chancellor

The restoration of the Kingdom of Poland by crowning of Ladislaus I the Elbow-High in 1320 might be seen as a symbolic beginning of the history of the Polish royal chancery, that in the early modern period evolved into the Crown chancery, and as that it lasted until the fall of the Republic in 1795. What must be remembered is that the Kingdom did not become a compact state body at once; as well did not the royal chancery, which was built on the basis of princely provincial chanceries. So, at first several chancellors (Polish singular kanclerz) worked in the same time: one in Dobrzyń, Cracow, Cuiavia, Łęczyca, Sieradz and Greater Poland. From the beginning there was one vice-chancellor (Polish podkanclerzy) – firstly called the one in Cracow. He was a replacement for all the provincial chancellors, and, what is believed, he was a head of the staff of court writers. Even before the crowning, in 1316, the Cracow vice-chancellor named himself as the vice-chancellor of the court (vicecancellarius curie). After the period when both of these titles were used, in 1333, the vice-chancellor was called only the court one, and not the Cracow one. So the office of the over-provincial vice-chancellor came into existence even before the office of the chancellor did.

The Cracow chancellor also held a special position amongst the provincial chancellors, because a king spent most time of the year in the Lesser Poland. During the Casimir the Great’s reign (1333-1370) Cracow chancellors tried to turn their office into a national one, what displayed in using the title of the royal chancellor (cancellarius noster) or the chancellor of the royal court (cancellarius aule nostre). In 1356 Janusz Suchywilk used the title of the chancellor of the Kingdom of Poland, and in 1368 – the chancellor of the court of the Kingdom of Poland (cancellarius aule Regni Polonie). It is a reflection of actions taken to turn the Cracow chancellorship into the chancellorship of the Kingdom; nevertheless, this process did not end until the end of the reign of Casimir the Great43.

The turning point in the process of shaping the uniformly managed royal chancery in the 14th century were reforms introduced in last years of the reign of King Casimir the Great, connected with Janko of Czarnków, also known as a chronicler. After taking office in 1367, he was, at first, the royal vice-chancellor, but then, he called himself (as first) vicecancellarius Regni Polonie – the Crown vice-chancellor. It was an evolution form a court office to a state office. In the same time provincial chancellors and writers disappeared from the datum per manus clause, what proves concentrating the control over chancery works in the hand of vice-chancellor and chancellor. These changes were closely connected with the system centralization and development of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom concept, that took place in the 14th century.

The process of shaping the royal chancery was stopped during the reign of Louis I the Great (1370-1382). It might be that ambition of the vice-chancellor Janko of Czarnków, having a hostile attitude to the king, trying to dominate or swallow up the chancellorship, caused that the king decided to keep individualism of the offices of chancellor and vice-chancellor – this dual nature became a characteristic of the Polish chancery. That title chancellor of the Kingdom of Poland (Crown) consolidated; what did not do so, were forms used under the influence coming from Hungary: supremus cancellarius Regni Polonie and cancellarius Regni Polonie superior.

The process of forming the titles of chancellor, important, showing the character of the office and social perception of it, ended in the times of Ladislaus II Jogaila (1386-1434). Zaklika of Międzygórz (1384-1409), appointed by female King of Poland Jadwiga of the Angevins (died 1399), was the chancellor of the court (cancellarius aule reginalis, cancellarius aule nostreorcurie nostre). But the vice-chancellor Mikołaj Trąba (1403-1412) returned to the Crown title (vicecancellarius Regni Polonie), still, sometimes he used the title vicecancellarius aule. Final stabilization of the titles took place during last years of the reign of Ladislaus Jogaila. Wojciech Jastrzębiec (1412-1423) was constantly cancellarius Regni Polonie or Regni Polonie supremus cancellarius, and Dunin of Skrzynno (1412-1418) was vicecancellarius Regni Polonie. Therefore in the times of Ladislaus Jogaila two offices were established: chancellor and vice-chancellor of the Polish Kingdom, Crown officials, not royal or court ones (the major and the minor seal became symbols of them). Still, it did not mean that chancery activity was monopolized by them or that a detailed range of chancellor office’s tasks was determined.

Final forming of chancellor offices took place in the early 16th century and was connected with a general tendency to organize some system matters of the state. During the period of vice-chancellorship of Maciej Drzewicki and chancellorship of Jan Łaski (1501-1510) ended the process of searching a place for sealers in the Senate, and in testing clauses of documents. Describing the chancellors offices in laws in the beginning of the 16th century was a crowning of almost two-century evolution, and at the same time it constituted these two offices for another 300 years. The Sejm in Piotrków in 1504 in the constitution De cancellariatus et vicecancellariatus officiis introduced orcodified numerous important rules. It legitimized lack of separation of competences between chancellor and vice-chancellor. It provided these officials priority to bishopric and other benefits. Even if it did not describe chancery duties specifically, it still ordered, that the chancery is not allowed to produce documents that are contrary to each other or to the Crown law. That concerned especially endowments and grants of royal lands, but also appointing royal commissions, unless in border cases or by mutual agreement, and military service exemptions. This constitution was the crowning of theory, dating back to the 15th century, that a king cannot produce documents that are unlawful. Due to that chancellors were obligated not to let such an incorrectness happen. The second constitution of this Sejm, De officiis cancellariae cum episcopatibus, et pari modo de officiis saecularibus copulative non tenendis, forbade combining chancellorship and vice-chancellorship with the archbishopric of Gniezno, bishoprics in Cracow, Cuiavia, Poznań and Płock and with offices of voivode and castellan. It guaranteed giving the seals during Sejm and with advice from the Senate. It must be seen as the final acknowledgement of state character of the chancellor offices, connected with the Crown, but not with a person of a king. The prohibition against combining chancellorship and vice-chancellorship with some offices hit the nobility; the prohibition against combining it with offices of voivode and castellan contained an indirect rule, that a sealer might be a layperson. Sułkowska-Kurasiowa rightly expressed her opinion, that these laws constituted “rules of functioning of the chancery in the 16th century, based on the practices from the previous period”44.

The Cracow Sejm crowning Sigismund in 1507 brought another act entitled Ut in cancellariatu et vicecancellariatu Regni alter sit spiritualis et alter saecularis, that was an important supplement to the two previous acts. The fact, that a layperson could hold the office of chancellor or vice-chancellor was written in previous constitutions; now it was made more specific, that one official in this couple of sealers must be lay. A kind of compositio inter status for the chancellor officials was established, on the basis of parity. Heidenstein commented on this reform so: “because clergymen sometimes flinched from accompanying king in his military expeditions; or because their power seemed dangerous for the nobility; or because, according to the law, there are some activities that are not proper for a cleric – in an act introduced by King Sigismund I – – it has been explained, that one of chancellors must always be a layperson”45. Today we should see this constitution in the context of public life secularization, regardless of suspicions that, temporarily, just like constitutions of 1504, it could be used to satisfy aspirations of particular persons, at that time – of Krzysztof Szydłowiecki. It seems that before the early modern period there were not enough well-educated laypersons, who could serve as a chancellor or vice-chancellor, thus clergymen held these positions. Krzysztof Szydłowiecki represented a new, humanistic generation, and his ambitions guaranteed laypersons access to the office of sealer.

The meaning of the reforms brought about between 1504 and 1507 was enormous. Status of the offices was regulated by laws through almost three centuries, as two ministers – equal in their competences, but forced to cooperate with each other, closely and systematically. State character of these offices was guaranteed, as well as its strong position, even toward the royal person. A chancellor or vice-chancellor could not be nominated by a king freely, but after consulting with the Senate during the Sejm. Moreover, a chancellor and vice-chancellor guarded conformity of royal documents to the Crown law, which means that they should be assessed by states of the Sejm, but this rule has never been expressed directly. The laws reflected the ongoing secularization of the chancery.

Political crises connected to nominating chancellors in 1511 and 1515 enabled to bring the 1504-1507 constitutions into effect. Indeed, the principle of alteration of lay and clerical chancellors worked. Both Jan Łaski, author of these acts, and Mikołaj Drzewicki, who could be a target of the act of 1504, had to vacate chancellor’s office due to impossibility to combine it to a bishopric. Łaski did not try to hold to the chancellorship, what would be breaking rules made up by himself; but Drzewicki did make such an attempt. It can be seen, that the 1504 constitution became a political tool for opponents of Drzewicki, who tried to deprive him of the seal. It is symptomatic, that soon these opponents (Piotr Tomicki and Krzysztof Szydłowiecki) will combine the forbidden offices by themselves. They both will break the law, which they instrumentally used for their own benefits. But this instrumental use of principles of constitutions enacted between 1504 and 1507 did not let to forget about them and contributed to their final strengthening.

Court writers and royal writers

Aside from chancellor and vice-chancellor, document-creating actions were taken also by court writers (Polish singular pisarz dworu). The court character of the writer’s office could be vividly seen in writer’s titles. For a long time two titles were used simultaneously: a court title (notarius aule regie) and a royal title (notarius regius). In the second half of the 15th century the second title consolidated, commonly used in a more noble form: notarius Regie Maiestatis. It was a period, when the writer’s office had its highest importance as a member of the royal court; this office evolved from the office of a court writer. Royal writers performed both chancery and administrative functions. Observation of this activity makes use think, that the nomination for these offices were made orally, by a king himself. Writers were personally and directly dependent on a king. It is believed, that a writer of a particular king did not become a writer of a next one, but he must have been nominated by this new sovereign – even though it was common to simply start serving the next king. The fact, that next nominations were necessary is shown in the example of Jan Dantyszek, who abandoned the court service for several years, and after his return in 1507, the king announced, that Dantyszek had been taken in the royal chancery46. What must be asked, is who were these writers subordinate to? Were they split between a chancellor and vice-chancellor? There are no facts that would show that. We can only say, that particular writers were closely linked with a chancellor or vice-chancellor. This lack of division becomes obvious, when we decide to develop a thesis, that royal writers, like secretaries, were connected to a king and used by him for various services concerning creating documents, and that they were also lent to chancellors and vice-chancellors. Some royal writers travelled across the country too much, to be able to do proper chancery work. Despite all the arising doubts, it must be said, that for sure writers performed their functions at the court, but they could do their work also in other places. How aptly did Maurer write about them: “Notaries write documents, make lists of prisoners after a victorious battle – – , they write down inventories of lost castles”47. For example, when in the end of August in 1510 Ambroży Pampowski died, the royal writer Baliński, on behalf of the king, took management of lands of the Malbork starosty and he was the one to meet claims made by a son of the died starost. This task was surely connected with regestrum de Marienborg, with which Baliński came back to Cracow. This source is rare, what makes it even more precious. Now we have a premise, that royal writers sent to accomplish their missions in the field, incidentally created some documents.

But the greatness of the royal writer’s office did not last long. In the first decade of the 16th century even 65 royal writers can be counted, then the second decade gives only 25 of them, the third one – just 9, and the fifth – 2. But royal writers did not disappear completely; they rather became court officials, used by a king for his private purposes. But they got outside the Crown chancery. As administrative officials and political ones for special purposes, they were supplanted by a growing group of royal secretaries. The service in the royal chancery was handed to writers of the royal chancery, strongly dependent on sealers. But there are some reasons to connect writers with functioning of the 17th century pre-cabinet chancery.

Royal secretaries

The royal secretary’s office developed in the first quarter of the 15th century. It was preceded with the office of protonotary (Polish protonotariusz), who led works of writers; this office was known from the beginning of the Ladislaus Jogaila’s reignto the beginning of the 1420s. Mikołaj of Kurów, who held this office, was aule nostre prothonotarius or aule Regni protonotarius (1395 – around 1400)48. His successor, Dunin of Skrzynno used the title of prothonotarius curie or aule regalis (1410-1411)49. Similarly, Zbigniew Oleśnicki was prothonotarius aule regie (1416-1418)50. The settlement of the title „secretary” might have been an effect of the papal chancery influence. The Pope was the first to call Zbigniew Oleśnicki the king’s secretary (1417), when this title occurred in royal documents only several years later (1422). Other idea connects the development of the secretary’s office to an ephemeral secret writer (secretus notarius) – this title was used by Stanisław Ciołek (1413)51. However, both examples show a genetic relation between the secretary’s and the writer’s office. So, a royal secretary was an especially favored writer – favored by placing him above other writers or by placing special confidence in him. We know only 38 royal secretaries up until 1506. At the royal court there were usually two or three of them at the same time. They were members of the broadly defined royal chancery, so they took part in the document creating process, that conducted at the royal court. For that times, we do not know any secretaries, who did not serve chancery functions. Whole Europe experienced in the 16th century a rise of the role of royal secretaries, due to e.g. the tendency toward direct cabinet government, as well as popularization of writing and documents, commonly authenticated with signature of a monarch or an authorized secretary. In everyday management of the country, the role of sealer decreased, while the meaning of secretaries, using signet seals (seal rings), increased. In countries such as England, France or Spain, secretaries strengthened at chancellors’ expense; especially excluding secretaries of state, who became new type ministers. Poland did not experienced so far-reaching changes. We might agree, that we had no competition between secretaries and chancellors, as the second ones were recruited from among the first ones. However, also in Poland, at the beginning of the early modern period, there was a significant development of the royal secretariat, as well in its number, as in its meaning. For 41 years of the Sigismund the Old’s reign Wyczański counted 71 royal secretaries; to this number we should add 21 “uncertain” ones52. In comparison to 38 secretaries during previous 80 years, the growth was enormous, and its rate did not decrease during next reigns. The jump, that happened during the Sigismund Augustus’ reign (1548-1572), is shocking. This king had 222 secretaries53, and for the short reign of Stephen Bathory (1576-1586) 146 secretaries might be noticed54. This data confirms permanent increase in king’s need for trustworthy officials for special purposes. A list of secretaries of Ladislaus IV (1633-1648) comprises 227 persons55. This number is only approximate, but it still shows that also in the 17th century there were numerous secretaries that worked simultaneously.

At the same time, when the royal secretariat grew in number and the royal chancery organizationally separated from the court, since the half of the 16th century there has occurred a process of separating the royal secretariat from the chancery. Since then most of secretaries did not work in the chancery anymore. The title of secretary (in Polish also tajemnik) was given to flexible officials for special purposes. They could be diplomatic tasks, or one concerning internal policy (deputies for regional diet) or taxes and the like. The fact, that secretaries were present in court lists, for example during the Sigismund III’s reign, shows, that they were outside the royal chancery, as persons directly dependent on a king; as his officials, and not the Crown’s. Thus, using them for private monarch’s matters, even during the reign of John III (1674-1696), is not surprising. Obviously, also workers of the royal chancery had access to state secrets. Due to that it seems natural, that also higher chancery officials, like document writers (metricants, Polish singular metrykant), presidents of the chancery (regents) or decree writers (Polish singular pisarz dekretowy) were automatically secretaries as well. But there arises a question: can every holder of the secretary’s title be considered as a member of the royal chancery?

It became necessary to create some categories inside the group of royal secretaries. Reinhold Heidenstein describes writing secretaries (scribentes) and non-writing secretaries (non scribentes)56, but this distinction seems not fully adequate to real tasks. A more important fact is that secretaries were full-time employees, paid from the court’s budget. According to the court statue from 1589, there were 8 paid secretaries of Stephen Bathory; his successor had 16 of them. But there are also other studies, showing that King Stephen increased the number of full-time secretaries from 6 (legacy of the Jagiellon period) to 15. In the period of Ladislaus IV there were about 10 secretaries at the court at the same time. Apart from these paid secretaries, there were also clerical secretaries at the court, salaried with benefice. The third group consists of honorary secretaries, granted with smaller royal lands or escheats. But it would be risky to call them titular secretaries, because every of them must have been ready for some service for a king, in a diplomatic mission abroad or in the country (regional diets), or in a royal commission. Many times allocating such tasks caused awarding somebody with the royal secretary office, in order to won the reputation of the royal representative.

A problem that still needs to be described, is the question of so called Lithuanian secretariat. It sometimes happened during the Jagiellonian period, that hospodar’s writers were called secretaries in Latin documents. Sometimes a term secretarius Lithuanus was used. This rather vivid difference of the Lithuanian secretariat in the Jagiellonian times started to blur after the real union in 1569. The difference in the titles disappeared completely. It should not surprise: there was just one king, and a secretary was royal; only observing the fields of activity could cause assigning him to the Polish or the Lithuanian chancery. But a secretary is a court official, and after the union, there was just one court; thus, while talkingabout secretaries not employed in the chancery, there is no sense in dividing them into Crown and Lithuanian ones.

Great secretaries

The 1470s brought a novelty in the royal chancery – awarding one of the royal secretary with the title of the highest among them. A need to award one of chancery workers and give him competences similar to later rights of a great secretary occurred during the reign of Ladislaus Jogaila, when the chancellor’s seal was given to the secretary, Mikołaj Drzewicki (1431). What is even more interesting, there were two at that time. Giving the seal to one of them awarded him, but without naming him prior, first or great. Then (1444) occurred a temporary office of the royal sigilliger (literally “sealer”– sigilliger regie maiestatis, regis, noster, in Polish pieczętarz). That took place, when in Hungary there was no chancellor or vice-chancellor by King Ladisluas III. Sigilliger, possessing the seal given to him by the king, was temporarily a head of the chancery, during the officials’ absence. Obviously, great secretaries were not simple continuators of these offices mentioned above, but the office emerged due to similar reasons. A great secretary emerged in the 1470s from royal secretaries, as a person holding the signet seal, who, if necessary, can substitute a chancellor or vice-chancellor. Sułkowska-Kurasiowa supposed, that the cause of emerging the greatest secretary’s office was a long absence of chancellor Jakub of Dębno; the situation needed to “add one more person to run works of the chancery”. A growing number of secretaries could be another cause. There were four of them in 1475. This multitude is mentioned in the 1504 constitution concerning the office of the great secretary. Even though it says about creating this office, in fact, it just legalized the situation present for several decades. The need for formal regulation might have been influenced by contemporary situation, when great secretary Jan Łaski became especially important, while, during the chancellor and vice-chancellor’s absence, he accompanied King Alexander in Lithuania and was keeping his own secretary books. It is interesting, that this constitution uses the term secretarius maior, although previous chancery practices always used the formula supremus secretarius regius; this term was applied also in Lithuania, where Erazm Ciołek or later Iwan Sapieha consequently called themselves secretarii supremi. The 1504 constitution did not change neither Polish, nor Lithuanian practices. The title consolidated by the act, supremus secretarius regius, superbly underlined the character of the office – personally connected with a monarch, a not with the state57.

At the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries there were approximately 2 or 3 secretaries at the king’s side, few more could be on state or international missions. The increasing number of secretaries must have been noticeable for contemporaries, what caused their arrangement in a hierarchy. Not much significance should be attached to a mention, made in this constitution, concerning writers and cubicularii(Polish singular pokojowiec), who only just became members of the royal court, and right appropriated the secretary’s title. Usurping titles demanding particular activity (and at that time there are no secretaries waiting in their homes for king’s call) might have been only marginal. But it is important, that this secretarius maior, singled out in the act, had access to state secrets, as well as a chancellor and vice-chancellor, so he could completely substitute them. So it appears, that another important motive of the constitution, apart from arranging the hierarchy, was to appoint the third person, who could provide continuity of central state bodies and efficiency of chancery service for a monarch. It is confirmed by functioning of the signet seal, assigned to the highest secretary; this seal was proper for many situations of internal and foreign policy, but it did not have a state seal value. It must be remembered, that although a great secretary was singled out and awarded, he still was one of royal secretaries – an official, who was at king’s disposal. To legalize the status of a great secretary as “the third secretary”, he was granted the priority, just after sealers, in distribution of clerical offices and benefices. Careers of highest secretaries working before 1504 show, that this priority was a fact also earlier.

The list of great secretaries of the early period includes: Zbigniew Oleśnicki (1472), Stanisław Kurozwęcki (1473-1476), Krzesław Kurozwęcki (1476-1479), Andrzej Róża Boryszewski (1487-1488), Maciej Drzewicki (1497-1499), Jan Łaski (1502-1503), Piotr Tomicki (1514-1515), Jan Chojeński (1526-1537), Samuel Maciejowski (1537-1539), Jakub Uchański (1548-1550), Jan Przerębski (1550-1552), Filip Padniewski (1557-1559), Piotr Myszkowski (1559-1563) and Stanisław Karnkowski (1563-1567). This list has got serious gaps, among others due to the fact, that great secretaries often called themselves just royal secretaries, whose group they were a part of. Even Samuel Maciejowski, despite written nomination for the great secretary’s office, still introduced himself as secretarius regius. Only the case of Jan Łaski raises no doubts. During his short service, it was always underlined on witnesses lists and ad relationem formulas, that he is secretarius supremus Regiae Maiestatis, though Łaski, while writing in longhand, did not always stress his superiority over other secretaries. To the group of great secretaries Wyczański added: Mikołaj Bartnicki (1514-1516?), Andrzej Krzycki (1516-1522), Jan Latalski (1522-1525) and Stanisław Hozjusz (1543-1551); sources do not confirm their service, although they show, that these secretaries were especially active.

Problems with recognizing who was a great secretary have also other reasons. His role became less exposed, while a chancellor or vice-chancellor was a prominent person, in addition still present at the king’s side. Marcin Kromer, experienced in working in the royal chancery, did not see any particular importance of a position of great secretaries: “At the court and at the king’s side he substitutes absent chancellors – –. But if also a first secretary was not present, things are done by one of other secretaries, the one, who is appointed by a king”58. It shows, that practically every secretary could for some time become the first one, if that was the king’s will, and could have access to state secrets, to the same degree as sealers. Probably problems with identification of great secretaries originate in the fact, that the process of reaching priority was simplified and did not require any special nomination.

The secretary’s office finally shaped at the beginning of the second half of the 16th century. During the Sigismund Augustus’ reign a first secretary turned from a royal official to a Crown one. Thus, a Crown great secretary formally separated from his colleagues – royal secretaries. It is shown in titles. Jakub Uchański, the great secretary between 1548 and 1550, was the first to use the title secretarius Regni, a Kingdom’s or Crown’s secretary, without adjectives like great, grand, prior. Its purpose was to underline, that among numerous secretaries of the king, there is only one of the Kingdom, without any need to honor him with a special adjective. Nomination of Uchański’s successor, Jan Przerębski (1550), used a title of a first secretary of the king (primus secretarius regis); the Alexander Jagiellon’s statute was quoted. Changes in titles may show that the process of shaping this office still did not end. A direct Przerębski’s successor (even if after a 5-year-old break), Filip Padniewski, was named in his nomination act (1557) in other way – a great Crown secretary (secretarius maior Regni), which alludes to the constitution from the Alexander period, but also to the Crown character of the office. But it was not the end of changes. In 1555 Filip Padniewski became a Crown vice-chancellor; before that he was primus Regni secretarius. Piotr Myszkowski, great secretary between 1559 and 1563 was summus Regni secretarius or (as he was called in his nomination for vice-chancellor in 1563) Regni Poloniae maior secretarius. The last greatsecretary of the Jagiellonian period, Stanisław Karnkowski, was the Crown highest secretary (secretarius Regni supremus) or Crown greatsecretary(maior secretarius Regni). After 1563 this last title started to be the only one in use, and in the period of elective kings it consolidated in the form secretarius maior Regni. It might be, that allusions to the constitution from the beginning of the century were made intentionally, as the act had already been considered to be a piece of old laws. From now on there are no problems with listing greatsecretaries, who eventually were Crown ones, and not king’s ones.

Writers of the royal chancery and separating the chancery from the royal court

In the Late Middle Ages all the central state affairs were concentrated on the royal court, which included the chancery. That situation lasted until the early 16th century. There is an opinion circulating in the literature, expressed by Kętrzyński, that separating the chancery from the court happened in the first half of the Casimir the Jagiellonian’s reign, as “the chancery stand at that point of its development, when it could work independently”59. But it seems, that the separation was not whole and complete. Sułkowska-Kurasiowa starts her book about the chancery in 1447-1506 with a statement, that the chancery “was the only one completely organized office, that worked attached to the central authorities”60, but data gathered by her does not indicate, that at that time the chancery was organizationally separated from the court. The source material does not show that. The fact, that documents were prepared by secretaries, royal writers, court writers or scribes, supervised by a chancellor and vice-chancellor is not tantamount to such separation. A king could entrust anybody with creating a document, a mandate or correspondence; especially officials being at the court: a chancellor, vice-chancellor or one of secretaries or writers, who he personally nominated, and who were completely flexible clerks. Chancellors could use their own private writers. But a relator (a person, who narrates to an editor of a document about its future content) might be a random official or a queen. This situation changed gradually. First of all, a chancellor and vice-chancellor monopolized controlling fair copies of documents that were created in the name of a king and with his public seal. It was showed in their monopoly on appearing in the datum per manus clause. That took place in the 14th century. A chancellor and vice-chancellor could appear in this clause side by side, but after 1470 only one of them can be found there, what shows, that sealers worked separately. This observation is important – it indicates the shaping of two organizationally separate chanceries.

The next step was concentration in sealers’ hands the whole supervision over all chancery activities, from the moment of ordering a document, to controlling and authenticating a fair copy of it. Introducing the ad relationem clause in the last decade of the 14th century is connected with the activity of protonotary Mikołaj of Kurów. Kętrzyński consequently showed, that the ad relationem clause was related to the final phase of creating a document, to the moment of chancellor’s control, to checking conformity of content of a document to the monarch’s will and a the council’s resolution. For him it was “a form of chancellor’s control”. But Krzyżaniak had a different opinion; she believed, that “the relation clausein the Polish chancery meant, like in many other European chanceries, an action of informing the chancery about some legal proceedings, that must be documented, and that persons taking part in it have right, given by a king, to pass this information to the chancery – –. Implementing the relation clause was done to order the work of the chancery, and by making a relator visible in a document, he was partly responsible for conformity of a document to the legal proceedings”61. This interpretation must be seen as correct. In the first half of the 15th century the ad relationemclause included also people from outside the royal chancery, which did not have means sufficient to fully control the process of creating documents at the royal court. It changed in the middle of the century, during the Casimir Jagiellonian’s reign. Finally, after 1464 (according to Kętrzyński) or 1471 (according to Sułkowska-Kurasiowa) the relation clause included only a chancellor, vice-chancellor or secretaries (especially great secretaries). Crowning of the chancellor’s monopolization was implementing a signature of a chancellor (vice-chancellor, secretary), that is associated with Zbigniew Oleśnicki Junior. The signature appeared in 1466 – at first put by secretary Zbigniew Oleśnicki, than by chancellor Jakub of Dębno. The chancellor’s signature popularized after 1472. A trend to make the signature a basic means of authentication and chancery control, apart from the seal, occurred in chanceries all around Europe.

In the first half of the 16th century tasks of the royal chancery developed; it registered, in unprecedented scale, records of public life, it supported judicial institutions at the court and eventful parliamentary life; it supported a monarch in his aspirations to organize neglected economic, financial, military and legal affairs. The increase in number of tasks and a mass of duties, drawingroyal writers away from their chancery work, caused a need to create a new type of writers. Maciej Drzewicki (vice-chancellor and chancellor between 1501 and 1515) employed and swore in a new type of writers – completely dependent on him and eventually leaving the chancery only with him (like municipal clerks with a starost), thanks to swearing not private, but public. This swearing-in is just a hypothesis, based on a belief, that awarding them with a title notarius, referring to public notaries, and not sriba, expressed some difference in the hierarchy. Source evidences for swearing writers (notarii cancellariae) in come from the end of the Sigismund the Old’s reign. The creation of the new type of writers, that took place at the beginning of the 16th century, means, that the chancery turned into a separate office, independent of the royal court. Still, the chancery work was done by secretaries and royal writers, but, with the passage of time, they played smaller role, and finally were placed outside of the chancery – that evolved to not a royal, but to a Crown office.

One may assume, that royal chancery’s writers arose on the basis of private chancery workers, known at least from the times of vice-chancellor Janko of Czarnków. At that time we have Świętosław, a writer (scriba) of the vice-chancellor. We can also meet Michał, a writer (notarius) of vice-chancellor Klemens of Moskorzów (1393), Jan Kościeński, a writer and secretary of chancellor Jan Koniecpolski (1438), Michał (1443) and Mikołaj Łabuński (1446), chancellor’s writers, or Maciej, who was scriba domini vicecancellarii (1478). Also at the beginnings of the 16th century, at Drzewicki’s side, when there already were royal chancery writers, by his colleagues-sealers, Jan Łaski and Krzysztof Szydłowiecki, some private writers still can be observed. Jan Dantyszek was called notarius venerabilis Joannis de Lassko cancellarii Regni (1503), and Paweł Krassowski, later a royal secretary – a writer of Krzysztof Szydłowiecki (1515). It might be recognized, that also first writers in the royal chancery were at first considered to be writers of vice-chancellor Maciej Drzewicki – it is shown in some source materials, where the same people are interchangeably referred to as chancery’s writers and writers of the vice-chancellor’s chancery. In financial sources since 1503 they were called (unfortunately, anonymously) notarii cancellariae Mathiae de Drzewycza Regni Poloniae vicecancellarii or notarii domini vicecancellarii. It might also be, that this process began earlier, because in 1482 there is mentioned an unknown person bearing a title notarius cancellarie regie. But further 20 years show us nothing about chancery’s writers; thus this single mention should be seen at the most as a harbinger of the reform, introduced on a large scale by Maciej Drzewicki in the early 16th century. In studies to date there is no distinction between old type royal writers and writers of the royal chancery – probably because while observing shorter periods of time, the phenomenon was not noticed in a longer perspective.

As it can be seen in the above described source mentions, writers of the royal chancery were connected to a particular sealer. In consequence, there existed two chanceries: major (chancellor’s) and minor (vice-chancellor’s). The existence of two offices and two seals (major and minor), wielded by these officials, was just an introduction to the process. For sure, an important point was dividing the Crown Metrica into the Metrica of the major chancery and the Metrica of the minor chancery, handed over separately by chancellors and vice-chancellors, and also kept separately (until the Swedish invasion of Poland in 1655-1660). The division of the Metricas was a long-term process, that at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries led to creating a principle, that pages that are effects of work of one person, holding one office, should be combined. But it did not bother to keep together books of various officials. A final division of books took place around 1510, due to organizational changes in the chancery. The minor Metrica was not archived with the major anymore. Creating separate groups of clerks was of basic importance. But just in the time of Sigismund Augustus the division to separate chanceries was sanctioned in the officials’ titles; there appeared maioris and minoris cancellariae regiae notarii. But the titles did not need to underline in which chancery a particular writer worked, since outside the royal chancery was treated as a whole.

In the context of the division of the chancery as a group of writers directly and exclusively subordinate to one of sealers, the constitution from 1511, introducing the chancery fee and describing financing of the royal chancery, must be reconsidered62. One of characteristics belonging to a modern, independent office, is its financial self-reliance. In this way, the royal chancery has never been fully independent, especially due to lack of financial plans for particular years in old Poland. Funds were distributed according to current needs and possibilities. So who financed services of writers and sub-writers, controlled by a chancellor or vice-chancellor? Two scopes of activities of the chancery must be distinguished. The first scope are tasks performed for a king, especially administrative ones, when a monarch himself was concerned with issuing some documents, like universals, mandates and correspondence. Due to that the royal treasury paid some amounts of money for office materials and directly for the staff. It is hard to differentiate refunds of expenses from salaries, nevertheless bills contain numerous secretaries and royal writers, chancellors and vice-chancellors (who had to personally pay for their own secretaries and writers used for some office services), and since the vice-chancellor’s office was held by Maciej Drzewicki – writers of the royal chancery. It is important, that those last were always listed in a larger group and anonymously. I think, that that is why these notarii cancellariae should be seen as the real and narrow chancery, as a staff of people sharing tasks, having one superior; seen as a whole outside, and as a whole financed and accounted. Royal writers and secretaries served a king on their own behalf. This financial independence of such comprehended chancery is also seen in production of documents, which were of a special interest not to a king, but to its receiver. The chancery became an institution of a common collection box, which contained charges from clients, later divided among members of the staff. A common collection box makes sense only with officials of a new type – an authentic staff of clerks. I think that the constitution from 1511 should be seen in this context – it restricted maximization of profits made by the chancery from creating documents. It might be, that passing this constitution in the moment of the reform in the chancery is not coincidental. Besides, a body that has got a law that refers only to it must have integrated and must have separated from a greater entirety – in our case in was the court. The constitution also established a fee charged to the gentry; while townsmen, Jews and foreigners had to payiuxta arbitrium et voluntatem cancellariae. Lawsuits could not be charged, while other documents cost between 3 grosz to 2 zloty (60 grosz). But the list of prices was not complete; it did not contain a fee for entering a charter to the Metrica. Undoubtedly, persons creating documents charged for that much earlier. Nowicki extracted from town’s bills from Cracow and Lvov some examples of fees for documents from the royal chancery, sometimes very high (from 3 to 21 grzywna)63. The account of Reinhold Heidenstein shows, that introducing the official fee was important for the work of the chancery. The statutory difference between the gentry and non-gentry disappeared with time. But Heidenstein, who knew the chancery realities of the end of the 16th century, said nothing about this64.

Writers of the royal chancery appeared in the minor chancery of Maciej Drzewicki (we know a name of only one, Jan of Wolbórz, but treasury sources use the plural). The major chancery of Drzewicki (1511-1515) employed at least four of them (Jan of Wolbórz, Stanisław of Przedbórz, Marcin Goryński, Stanisław Srocki). Due to few mentions in sources it is hard to say, if they all worked at the same time. Writers of the major chancery of Krzysztof Szydłowiecki (1515-1532) were Jan of Pacanów, Jan Grabia and Mikołaj Grabia, whereas vice-chancellor Piotr Tomicki (1515-1535) employed at that time at least 6 writers of the chancery (Wojciech Lubowidzki, Jakub Drzuskowski, Jan Lubowidzki, Jan Wilamowski, Wojciech Kiewski, Mikołaj Grabia). By vice-chancellor, and then chancellor Samuel Maciejowski (1539-1550) worked at least 12 of them (Jan Artowski, Klemens Jarunovianus, Jan Krzyżanowski, Paweł Obriczki, Stanisław Podlodowski, Augustyn Rotundus Mieleski, Wielisław Ławski, Tomasz Konopnicki, Jakub Falibowski, Mikołaj Górski, Gabriel Zaborowski, Krzysztof Konarski). But by chancellor Paweł Wolski (1539-1544) we can see only Mikołaj Kozerski, and by vice-chancellor Mikołaj Grabi (1547-1549) – Tomasz Pszonka. Undoubtedly, the Polish royal chancery underwent a special organizational development under direction of three people: Maciej Drzewicki (1501-1515), Piotr Tomicki (1515-1535) and Samuel Maciejowski (1539-1550). Until now, 29 writers of the royal chancery in the first half of the 16th century has been found, but certainly, this list is incomplete65.

Writers of the royal chancery – assuming that the one who had been sworn in – in their everyday work closely cooperated with a chancellor or vice-chancellor and were his own employees, without affiliation to the court. Probably they looked after the Crown Metrica, but lack of authentications in books from that period makes it hard to prove that thesis. No one but Tomasz Pszonka in 1548 as notarius cancelariae signed a book, and thus Krawczuk considered him to be the first metricant66.

After appearing in the early 16th century, the number of writers of the royal chancery stabilized during the second decade at the level of several persons working at the same time, which did not demand any additional specialization. The chancery’s writers (or secretaries employed in the chancery) might combine function of directors of the chancery (regents), minders of the Metrica and decree writers. The number of the chancery’s writers increased several times in the 1540., probably caused by a constant growth of duties of the chancery; but the personality of Samuel Maciejowski might not be meaningless. One may assume, that some organizational crisis occurred, and due to that the special positions, known from the description of Reinhold Heidenstein from the end of the 16th century, finally came into existence67.

From the outside the royal chancery was seen as a whole, but in reality, it consisted of the major and the minor chancery, without arrangement in a hierarchy and any formal division of competences between them. This division happened only periodically, as a result of particular relations, interests, temperaments and activities. The chancery employed or cooperated with experts in Roman, Prussian, Brunswick, Turkish and other affairs. But this experts were far from creating subject departments. However, in the 16th century the internal structure of the chancery started shaping and complicating, according to diversity of chancery activities (regent, metricant) or to the scope of documenting tasks of the state (decree writer, Ruthenian writer – Polish pisarz ruski).

The period of elective kings favored the process of distinguishing between things that are royal, which means personally connected to a king, and things that are Crown’s, which is state’s, public. During the reign of Stephen Bathory corroborations of royal documents more and more frequently mentioned authentication with the Crown seal (sigillum Regni), and not with the royal seal (sigillum regium), which was normal until that time. During the times of the House of Vasa writing about the Crown seal became a rule. But legends of the seals did not change and still referred to the royal person. At the same time the royal chancery in official sources, which also means in the political elite’s consciousness, turned into the Crown chancery. Finally, in the first half of the 17th century the term cancellaria Regni (the Crown chancery) was completely replaced with the older term cancellaria regia (the royal chancery). A similar revolution occurred earlier (in the times of Ladislaus Jogaila) with the titles of chancellors and vice-chancellors, and in the times of Sigismund Augustus also with great secretaries. Crowning of this process was recognition of the fact, that the whole central chancery has a state character.

Functional divisions: regents, metricants, decree writers

The number of chancery writers constantly increased. At the beginning of the reign of Sigismund III 5 writers worked at the same time, but this number quickly increased to 10, periodically even to 30. This increase in number of writers of the royal chancery created a need for organizing them, which is – for creating a position who would control their everyday work. This position came into existence during the reign of Sigismund Augustus, and most frequently it was called a president of the chancery. Praesidentes cancellariae (with an adjective maioris or minoris) were Ścibor Krzykowski, Andrzej Przerębski, Jan Przerębski, Tomasz Pszonka. The case of the last one well depicts the change, that occurred in the mid-16th century. At the end of the reign of Sigismund the Old Pszonka was notarius cancellariae, but later notarius primarius, director and cancellariae maioris praesidens. And here we have a writer of the royal chancery, about whom we know, that he took care of the Crown Metrica (Krawczuk took him for the first known metricant), as well as run the royal chancery. It seems, that despite giving royal secretaries control over chancery works at first, finally crucial positions were created among royal chancery writers: a regent, a metricant and a decree writer; at first a president of the chancery, an records/Metrica’s writer (Polish pisarz aktowy/pisarz Metryki) and a writer of royal decrees were the same person, who worked on the basis of the constitution from 1538. The constitution mentioned that the only right to keep Metrica’s books belongs to sworn writers; this applied to every type of entries, including decrees68.

Since the early 16th century this head of the chancery has been called a regent (regens cancellariae minoris/maioris Regni), and that title was used until the end of the Republic. Naturally, two regents worked at the same time: for the major and minor chancery. These officials were closely connected with a particular sealer – when he was promoted from a vice-chancellor to a chancellor, they were usually transferred to be regents of the major chancery as well. But outstanding professionals did not always leave the chancery while leaving the sealer’s office.

A list of regents of the royal chancery that might be presented here, is for sure far from being complete. It can be seen, that we have relatively good knowledge about the beginnings of the chancery in the mid-16th and for the period of the House of Vasa. It refers to a detailed recognition of the royal chancery in particular periods. We know following regents: Ścibor Krzykowski (1552-1557), Tomasz Pszonka (1553), Andrzej Przerębski (1564-1571), Jakub Łempicki (before 1608), Maciej Pstrokoński (1591-1597), Wawrzyniec Gembicki (1605), Karol Krzysztof Niszczycki (before 1621), Szymon Rudnicki (before 1621), Jan Kuczborski (1611), Hieronim Cielecki (before 1627), Stanisław Łubieński (before 1640), Piotr Gembicki (1627-1628), Piotr Żeroński (1628-1635), Wojciech Kadzidłowski (1632-1635), Jan Gembicki (1638), Jakub Maksymilian Fredro (1638-1645), Adam Jan Komorowski (1645-1646), Stanisław Skarszewski (1646-1649), Remigian Piasecki (1649-1651), Mikołaj Prażmowski (1651), Jan Prażmowski (1651-1653), H. Prażmowski (1653), Wojciech Gorajski (1654), Wojciech Koryciński (1654-1655), Franciszek Prażmowski (1655-1669), Maciej Poniatowski (1657), Andrzej Miaskowski (1659-1663), Jan Gniński (1661-1664), Stanisław Bużeński (1663-1673), Rogacjan Pstrokoński (1669), Jan Stanisław Witwicki (1675-1679), Stanisław Józef Krajewski (1677), Stanisław Szczuka (1686-1688), Stanisław Godlewski (1699), Piotr Kczewski (1699-1702), Franciszek Maksymilian Ossoliński (1710-1711), Hiacynt Ogrodzki (1744-1746), K. Krassowski (1795).

Creating the office of chancery’s regent happened simultaneously to forming the office of metricants, formerly called records writers or described with an elaborate formula. The Sejm in Piotrków in 1538, under the circumstances of political fight between the gentry and the throne, entrusted the books of the Crown Metrica to sworn writers’ care. It was a basis for creating a new office, but the constitution did not mention it directly. W. Krawczuk hypothetically connected creating the office of records writer (later a metricant) to the impact of the public notary. A sworn writer indeed performed functions analogous to a public notary: he took sides’ statements and made excerpts from his books. This borrowing might have been eased by the fact, that in the 15th and early 16th century many public notaries from bishop’s chanceries worked in the royal chancery. Writers of the chancery, knowing state secrets and responsible for the Metrica, could be sworn in.

The third specialized office was the position of decree writer, that run the decree chancery, dealing with the court judiciary. At first, sworn writers, according to the 1538 constitution, was supposed to keep book containing all possible entries, including decrees. So there was no separate sworn decree writer. But with the passing of time it turned out, that judicial affairs need a separate full-time service done by clerks who know various legal systems present in the Republic. As a result, one of sworn royal chancery writers specialized – a decree writer. To look for a genesis of the decree writer’s office and the decree chancery, we need to look back at the turn of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The fact, that king’s rights as the highest judge were one of his oldest functions, did not indicate existence of court offices supporting him in these duties, or their office service at the court. A king judged personally everywhere he was present. Other participants of the court supported him as assessors (Polish singular asesor) or officers (Polish singular referent). They were senators, a judge, a sub-judge (Polish podsędek) and a writer of a land, in which the court was sitting at that particular time. The office service of the royal law court during a tour of the country was provided by proper land chanceries (Polish singular kancelaria ziemska). It referred most of all to the Cracow land chancery, because kings spent most of their time in Cracow. Even the parliamentary law court (Polish sąd sejmowy) was only a district law court (Polish sąd ziemski), and it’s writer was one from a land, where the meeting took place. Thus a series of law court books could not become a part of the Metrica; actually, it contains only few law court entries, dispersed in libri inscriptionum. The beginning of the early modern period and the system restructuring of the Polish state, that took place in the early 16th century, caused a change in this situation. A structure of the court judiciary, characteristic for the period, was shaping in an early stage. An important reform of the court judiciary consisted in appointing in 1507 two referendaries (Polish singular referendarz) nominated by the king (the term referendarycomes from later times) – one from laity and one from clergy. It can be explained by the fact, that they had to know both, land and Canon law. Referendaries had legal experience; their task was to study the case and then refer it to the king, who then passed a sentence. Referendaries complemented the list of assessors of the royal court of law, which included also chancellors and vice-chancellors.

Appointing referendaries would not be so important, if they only sat on the royal law court, without performing any independent legal activities. An opposition of the gentry expressed in the constitution from 1538, may be an evidence, that it happened. The literature show no agreement on such understanding of the constitution. There is an opinion, that this constitution does not show, that the referendary law court (Polish sąd referendarski) existed, but it is only an attempt to dismiss referendaries from the assessors’ law court (Polish sąd asesorski) . Regardless of these controversies, the process of creating the referendary law court continued. A crucial moment was the reign of Henry d’Valois, when chancellors stopped being interested in cases of lieges from king’s estates, and these cases were transferred to referendaries, who was treated not like officials of the royal court, but like the ones of the Crown69. Besides the referendary law court, there was also the assessors’ law court, which did not require king’s presence; it consisted of people, who formerly assisted a king during trials. In the first half of the 16th century there shaped the competences of the relation law court (Polish sąd relacyjny) and the parliamentary law court (Polish sąd sejmowy). The first one, presided over by a king himself, solved cases concerning vassal duchies, arguments about rights to possession and buying the Crown lands, arguments between the Uniate and the Orthodox; it was also a court of appeal against sentences of Orthodox bishops. The parliamentary law court judged in cases of reason of state, lese-majesty and public crimes. It was continuator of the royal law court. It judged in cases that were not put before the Crown Tribunal.

A natural consequence of shaping of the system of the court judiciary is creating the decree chancery (Polish kancelaria dekretowa). This process has been sketchily outlined by Krawczuk70. It ended during the reign of Stephen Bathory, when a specialized office of decree writer emerged. Details of this process are not known well. Krawczuk saw roots of the decree writer’s office in the constitution from 1538 concerning sworn writers, whose task was for example to register decrees in books. What proves this thesis is that Paweł Kossakowski, who was a metricant, also cared for books of the parliament’s decrees (1576). In next years of the Bathory’s reign decree writers finally separated from other chancery writers (clerks). A sworn records writer was a non-specialized, universal keeper of registers; a decree writer was supposed to register only legal documentation.

There still remains a question about relations between the decree chancery and the major and minor chancery, and about possible division to two decree chanceries. Usually we talk about one decree chancery, as later about one Ruthenian chancery. But single mentions from the Bathory’s times might suggest, that at least at first, there were some attempts to create two decree chanceries (major and minor). It also must not be forgotten, that the activity of the decree chancery might have been supported by writers, that were not normally employed in it. In the 17th century the decree chancery developed, modelling after the main Crown chancery. Also a separate regent of this chancery appeared (this title was used by Mikołaj Szulc in 1674).

The Ruthenian chancery

Other genesis had the Ruthenian chancery (Polish kancelaria ruska), one more division of the royal chancery that stands out, apart from the decree chancery and the Crown Metrica’s chancery. It emerged not due to the internal development of the chancery, but due to extending the territorial jurisdiction. After 1569, when Ukrainian voivodeships (Volhynia, Kiev and Bratslav) joined Poland, two divisions of Ruthenian affairs emerged in the Crown chancery – one division in the major and one in the minor chancery. They issued documents and correspondence in Ruthenianlanguage and kept books for voivodeships using Ruthenian tongue and Lithuanian law (the Second Statute of Lithuania from 1566). These divisions were called the Ruthenian (Volhynia) chancery, and its books – the Ruthenian (Volhynia) Metrica. First employees came to the Crown chancery from the Lithuanian chancery. Ruthenian writers (Polish singular pisarz ruski) were at the same time also decree writers and metricants for the Ruthenian voivodeships.

According to its functions, the Ruthenian Metrica (Polish Metryka Ruska) was a continuation of the Lithuanian Metrica (Polish Metryka Litewska) for the voivodeships taken over in 1569. Also according to their form, books at first were similar rather to the Lithuanian, and not to the Crown Metrica; entries contained inscriptions, decrees, and even documents in Ruthenian concerning foreign policy. Books of the Ruthenian Metrica were interlaced with general books of the Crown Metrica or separated in a group – depending on the order of the Metrica in a particular period.

Since the end of the 1620s the activity of the Ruthenian chancery started to decrease. The Ukrainian gentry became polonized, therefore did not feel any need to manifest its territorial and cultural difference, and gladly chose entering documents to the main series of books of the Crown Metrica. Thus a number of entries in the Ruthenian Metrica decreased, and many of them were made in Polish. The last book has been written for 20 years, and it contains the Polish language almost exclusively. Organizationally, two separate Ruthenian chanceries disappeared. Only legal matters were dealt with. So only one Ruthenian writer worked – a decree writer, who also served other functions in the Crown chancery, like a metricant. In 1673 the Ruthenian chancery stopped working, its books were ordered and summarized. This work was done by Stefan Hankiewicz, the last Ruthenian writer, and also an outstanding Crown metricant71.

The Ruthenian chancery was run by a total of 11 writers, and some of them had a strong position in the Crown chancery and held their office for a long time. Their list is as follows: Eutyk Wysocki (1569-1574), Ławryn Piaseczyński (1569-1586 and 1589-1591), Joachim Wysocki (1576-1593), Florian Oleszko (1583-1620), Mikołaj Waśkowski (1586-1591), Jan Nowosielecki (1591-1597), Zachariasz Jałowiecki (1594-1629), Jan Marcinkiewicz (1609-1617), Feliks Krzysztof Mokosiej Bąkowiecki (1616-1626), Jan Bederman (1629-1652) and Stefan Hankiewicz (1653-1673). Ruthenian writers controlled a group of sub-writers, which number is not known. Thanks to the studies of Petro Kułakowśki we know names of 14 sub-writers, which is a good result for clerks (lower staff of a chancery), but for sure this list is not complete72.

The cubicularium(cabinet)chancery

Parallel to the turning of the royal chancery into the Crown chancery, there emerged a need for a monarch to have a chancery, that is closely connected to him. The forming of the cubicularium chancery (Polish kancelaria pokojowa)/cabinet chancery (Polish kancelaria gabinetowa) is still a process that is not known well, despite all attempts. We are doomed to conclude from various premises. From one hand, there are different circumstances of using the royal signet, and then the king’s cubiculariumseal (Polish pieczęć pokojowa), from the other – a group of clerks having intriguing titles.

There were numerous advantages of the “third” chancery, right by a king. The first one is opportunity to issue documents without asking about whether they concur with the public law or not; the second one is opportunity for a king to pursue his policy without informing sealers about all his moves; the third one is speeding up the decisive process; the fourth one is a need to entrust somebody with private and confidential affairs of a king. Tracking the beginnings of the cubicularium chancery means studying the whole office sphere, whichproduced royal documents, in their broadest sense, outside the crystallized royal chanceries, more frequently called the Crown chanceries.

To show the genesis of the cubicularium chancery, we have to look back to the Middle Ages. It must be remembered, that since the 16th century, chancellors could refuse to seal a king’s document, thanks to their constitutional duty to care for conformity of documents issued by the chancery with the law. That caused a need to have somebody in the king’s surroundings, who would be more flexible that chancellors and vice-chancellors, bound by legal regulations; a clerk, who would be ready to prepare a confidential letter, which chancellors would not want to seal. It is symptomatic, that at the moment, when a chancellor and vice-chancellor concentrated in their hands the whole documents-creating process occurring at the royal court, emerged also the “third” chancellor, the highest royal secretary, who held the signet seal, that did not have the public seal value. Cases of replacing sealers happened also during the reigns of Ladislaus Jogaila and Ladislaus of Varna, but the reform introduced after 1470 was crucial. The character of the highest secretary’s office was dual. From one hand, he was a deputy for a chancellor and vice-chancellor, providing continuing chancery service for a king, in case of absence of his more honorable colleagues; from the other hand, he could act next to them, as the “third chancellor”. A king could, as it can be seen in Consilia Callimachi, manage without chancellors, “using secretaries and the signet seal”73. This way, Dominus rex acted per se. Consilia Callimachi in the shape we know have parts written down in various years and under various circumstances, but in this case they reflect realities from the close of the 15th century. But can the formula dominus rex per se be equated with using the signet? Analysis of documents from the reign of Alexander and first years of the reign of Sigismund the Old shows, that this conclusion is not so obvious. We know authentications made with an unknown seal, with five fields, and with the Habsburgs’ family crest, identical in size and depiction to the middle part of the major seal, but without a wreath of regional emblems and a legend. Was this seal matrix manufactured, or it is an incomplete, “demaged” impression of the major seal, made by using only this much of wax, to impress only the central part of the matrix? The moment of emerging this practice may be dated back, thanks to diplomatic material analysis, to 1503, when Jan Łaski was promoted from the great secretary to the Crown chancellor. The custom was still cultivated by King Sigismund. This time, the seal contained an eagle in an escutcheon within a circle, identical in size and depiction to the central part of the Crown major seal. Cases of using the “damaged” seal occurred also during the reign of Sigismund Augustus. That kind of seal was, as a rule, affixed to documents issued in the name of a king, who acted on his own, without senators. It seems, that for some reasons, somebody did not want to affix the public seal to some documents and correspondence. There arises a question: did the “damaged” seal or the royal signet, originatethe cubiculariumseal? If further research showed connection between this “damaged seal chancery” and the later cubiculariumchancery, it might mean, that connection of the last one to a great secretary is doubtful, at least for the Jagiellon period.

But let’s assume, that the role of the “third chancellor” might have been played by any royal secretary, who was given the king’s signet. We have plenty of evidences of using the signet, also during periods, for which we do not know highest secretaries. For example, the signet was used many times in 1502, before Jan Łaski was nominated for the highest secretary’s office. This suggested latitude in creating “signet” secretaries by a king, is in conformity with the above mentioned statement of Marcin Kromer74. If a king had several signets, which was surely normal, he could give them to several persons, and each of them would issue documents with the king’s name and seal. There must have been several royal signets, even identical, but nobody was interested in bragging about it. Erazm Ciołek, sent to the Augsburg Sejm probably had the signet (to issue for himself lackingletters of credence) and did not return it just after coming back. Sigismund the Old finally told Decjusz, who went to Italy in the summer of 1520, to destroy the seal and send it back to the king. This situation fits to Heidenstein’s complaining about too full independence of secretaries. The chancery should be employed with “secretaries from documents concerning foreign and public affairs, who usually put them forward to a king for signing, and who communicate with him about these affairs on chancellors’ behalf, and if chancellors are occupied, who mediate between a king and a chancellor, hence no matter should they consider without informing chancellors, but in any case they address a king, anything they do or issue, they shall do it with knowledge and permission from chancellors”75. They shall, for sure; but putting emphasis on this matter shows, that secretaries practically wrote mostly royal letters, also in public affairs, also without informing chancellors about the fact. Thus, there still existed a sphere of chancery work that was done on king’s behalf, but going beyond the royal chancery.

This sphere must have contained a group of people in the surrounding of Sigismund Augustus (probably enrolled to his court), who served as writers, but outside the Crown chanceries. Summing up, the staff of people serving office functions (really or potentially), who were not parts of the royal chanceries, consisted of 11 royal secretaries, 5 royal writers, 4 Italian writers, 1 “Arabic” writer, 1 writer of the court treasury (Polish pisarz skarbu nadwornego). This last one, Jakub Zaleski, was very independent in his office work, what can be seen in his register of expeditions76. Corroborations copied to the book refer to sigillum anulare, which shows, that at least one person apart from a great secretary, a court treasury writer, could use the king’s signet. Were others (at least writers) organizationally connected and did they form the king’s private chancery? This chancery could have been led by a great secretary. Probably it is not just an accident, that when this office was vacating for several years, in 1567 (to 1574), after Stanisław Karnkowski assumed the bishopric in Włocławek, at the same time the king’s private secretary – Stanisław Fogelweder – got admitted to the court. He probably became the supposed director of the private chancery and it might be, that because of his actions, during the reign of Henry d’Valois it was believed, that the private seal was overused. Maybe the year 1567 should be recognized to be the symbolic initial date of the cubiculariumchancery (but it still worked without its own seal). But still there are more questions than answers. The cubiculariumchancery (the name itself is a side issue) – always suspicious for the gentry, who worried about absolutist aspirations of the court – is not exposed in the sources, unlike other office branches of a monarch. It came into existence as a result of the sphere of court office activities, which stayed outside the Crown chancery after the reforms in the early 16th century.

According to Krawczuk: “The system of illegal cubiculariumseal, supplanting the Crown seal in less important correspondence and documents flourished in the reign of Sigismund III. It was connected with fast growth in the number of matters solved and a need to facilitate their expedition. Numerous matrixes are still to be discovered, especially the ones used in secret correspondence”77. But the full bloom at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries must have been preceded by earlier development, even if it had been difficult and complicated. According to W. Krawczuk, the cubiculariumseal (later called the chancery seal) developed from a private signet in the 1560s. It was disposed by Piotr Myszkowski, still present by the king’s side in Vilnius, during chancellor’s and vice-chancellor’ absence78. This thesis is based on the description by Łukasz Górnicki, who wrote, that Myszkowski, substituting chancellors, in 1562 had considered the seal too small and had ordered manufacturing a seal slightly bigger, following the example of the signet79. But was it the beginning of the cubiculariumchancery? Marcin Hlebionek collects evidences that the seal of great secretary Myszkowski was treated as a signet80.

In the period of elective kings Sejms passed bans on using the cubiculariumseal; there was some social qualms about it; but still, the House of Vasa used it, not only in their private affairs, but also in less important official matters. It was used to seal documents and private letters of the king, litterae indemnitatis(Polish listy przepowiednie), delicate matters, and sometimes any others, when the proper seal was not within reach. The cubiculariumseal was a way to do something according to the king’s will, but against a chancellors veto. In other cases it could be a cover, that enabled chancellors to operate on the edge of the law. The scope of using the cabinet chancery was so significant in the 1640s, that implementing the Sigillata books (seal book) of the Crown Metrica might have been caused by the observed malpractices. This arising, slowly developing and not formalized for a long time secret cubiculariumchancery was standard in the 17th century, due to a trend toward cabinet rule81.

The cubiculariumchancery, at least at its beginning, probably consisted of royal writers, who, as we already know, in the first half of the 16th century were outside the Crown chancery. We have examples of their signatures on documents issued with the cubiculariumseal (for instance in 1666). Other premises indicate a possible connection between the cubiculariumchancery and the great secretary’s office (in 1734 he became also the regent of the cubiculariumseal). The internal development of the cubiculariumchancery progressed similarly to the Crown chancery and others chanceries. First of all, there emerged writers of the cubiculariumchancery (Polish singular pisarz kancelarii pokojowej) (in the reign of Ladislaus IV), then regents: of the cubiculariumseal (1734) and of the chancery itself (1776).Secretaries of the cubiculariumseal (Polish singular sekretarz pieczęci pokojowej) (1715) and cabinet secretaries (Polish singular sekretarz gabinetowy) (1784) must be mentioned as well.

We also meet a group of “private” officials, who – with high probability – may be associated to the cubiculariumchancery. In 1674 Walenty Marcinkowski was called “a confidential courtier and secretary of the Polish king” (intimus aulicus ac secretarius Regiae Maiestatis Poloniae). In 1676 Jan Grabowski was intimus secretarius noster, and Zygmunt Franciszek Gałecki – familiarus et intimus secretarius („a private and trusted secretary”). The fact, that the word intimus indicates the cabinet chancery is proved by a list of employees of Augustus III’s cabinet chancery from 1733 (it concerns the Saxon chancery, but for terminology comparisons this source may be useful). It was a part of a court specification, simply entitled Cancellaria gabinetowa (the cabinet chancery). It consisted of: 5 consiliarii (counselors, Polish singular konsyliarz), 1 advisor (Polish radca), 2 secretariiintimi, a secretary, registrator intimus, 8 clerks (Polish singularkancelista), a copier (Polish kopista) and 2 supporting officials82. It seems, that the Saxon times were crucial for the development of the well-organized own chancery of Polish kings, separated from the Crown chancery, having the state character. This thesis is proved by observation of the evolution of the sigillography system of Polish kings. Marian Gumowski associates first royal cabinet seals with Augustus II83. The royal cabinet, even if it was a continuation of the cubicularium, private royal chancery, was something brand new. The cubiculariumchancery was not clearly separated from the Crown chancery; one may assume, that it was a division of the Crown chancery, like the decree or the Ruthenian chancery. Thus, the cubiculariumseal was a king’s private seal. However, the royal cabinet was clearly separated from the royal chancery and dependent directly on a monarch. But the cabinet has its own cabinet seal, in spite of acting on behalf of a king.

Cabinets flourished all across Europe in the 18th century. Also in Poland happened the process of evolution from the cubicularium, private royal chancery to the cabinet chancery. A cabinet is a way to become independent from power of noble coteries, to rule more personally, especially in foreign policy. The cabinet chancery worked more openly, unlike the cubicularium, even though it was never considered as a public office. It can be observed, that Stanislaus Augustus treated its products as his private property. Only Secretariat of State of the Duchy of Warsaw, a functional continuator of Stanislaus Augustus’ Cabinet, possessing the cabinet seal, will be a formal public office.

The Saxon inspiration in the case of Stanislaus Augustus’ Cabinet is unquestionable, it is seen both in its organization and in flow of the staff, shaped in the Saxon times. Still, the Poniatowski’s Cabinet is a separate value, higher organizational level of a private royal chancery. The His Majesty Cabinet, created in 1764, was led by a director (regent). This office was held by (in order): Jacek Ogrodzki, a secretary and great writer of the Crown (till 1780), Adam Cieciszewski (1780-1782) great writer of the Crown, Pius Kiciński (1782-1792), and finally, as last one, Antoni Dzieduszycki,great writer of Lithuania. In total, 40 people were employed in the Cabinet. They held positions like counselors (Polish singular konsyliarz), secretaries, clerks (subalterns), plenipotentiaries from archives, servants, couriers, porters. The Cabinet divided into several chanceries, matching the departments of the Permanent Council.

Seal secretaries

In the early 18th century emerged the office of secretary of the Crown seal (Polish sekretarz pieczęci koronnej). From the beginning, there were two secretaries: one in the major and one in the minor chancery. The titles (most frequently Sacrae Regiae Maiestatis et sigilli maioris/minoris Regni secretaries) indicates, that genetically the seal secretary’s office originates in this part of the royal secretariat, that worked in the royal chancery. A seal secretary is just a specialized royal secretary. Origins and level of specialization of seal secretaries need further research. One may assume, that he was a royal secretary to whom one entrusted the seal (major or minor), a trusted official of a vice-chancellor or chancellor, following him in his moving between chanceries or out of it. A seal secretary was also this official, who signed documents; thus it might be assumed, that he was the one who edited them or who controlled edition of royal documents issued with the proper, major or minor, seal – surely not every single one, as it can be seen thanks to signatures on documents. Thus, he was one of main editors of royal document (except for a regent and other secretaries), and also this official who controlled sealing documents, no matter who had edited them.

Now it is hard to undoubtedly connect emerging the seal secretary’s office with any reform of the royal chancery, that started a new series of books. A connection between the office and starting the series of seal books (Sigillata) is logical. But these books appeared 40 years before the first mention of a seal secretary. It might be, that for long time Sigillata were kept by specialized secretaries, but without any distinctive titles. That would be a situation similar to decree books – few decades younger than the decree chancery.

Future research will surely specify and complete the list of currently known seal secretaries. Here I enlist them without dividing into secretaries of the major and minor seal: Franciszek Michał Denhoff (1694 – uncertain), Maksymilian Ossoliński (1697-1701), Wacław Trzciński (1698), Michał Augustyn Howel (1709-1712), Jan Chryzostom Rogala (1710), Franciszek Tadeusz Krotoński (1710-1720), Wilhelm Roletson (1712), Andrzej Sokołowski (1713), Mateusz Iliak (1716-1719), Kazimierz Młocki (1725-1746), Jan Wolski (1736-1744) Teodor Howel (1737-1742), Wojciech Rakowski (1752-1761), Jan Kłossowski (1748-1754), Antoni Sikorski (1755-1780), Antoni Wyszyński (1763), Klemens Kozłowski (1764-1767), Adam Cieciszewski (1765), Jan Karnicki (1768-1780), Mikołaj Sikorski (1782-1794), Ignacy Janiszewski (1791).

Procedures of chancery works

Procedures of chancery works consist of initiating a case, making a decision, preparing a draft, preparing a fair copy, expedition and registering the document; a separate issue is publishing and preservation of the document after it leaves the chancery84.

A case might have been initiated by an oral application. It is believed, even though there are not many positive proofs for that, that applicants were accepted by a secretary, who then summed up the request to a king or one of sealers. It seems, that the procedure depended on the social position of a petitioner, and highly-placed persons could address directly to a chancellor or even a monarch. We rather have no reason to think, that before the 18th century requests were submitted in writing, as a supplication. Only in the times of the reign of Stanislaus II, when collegial officesimplemented a new office system, a written request became a standard. Certainly, there always was a correspondence for a king or for a chancellor, which was read by chancellors or secretaries, who then reported it to their superiors. The initiative might also be of a king himself and of his chancery. It applies to universals, mandates, correspondence (including diplomatic one), or Sejm constitutions85.

Generally, a substantive decision was taken by a king. Depending on a type of a case, he dealt with it personally (probably with his trusted advisors) or in a group of senators, currently present at the court. The fact, that some counsellors took part in the process of making decision, was noticed in documents, and these articulations should not be considered just formal. Granting with royal estate and offices, as well as privileges needed presence of royal advisors. It is also believed, that by this occasion some notes were made, which contained, apart from the important content of an endowment, also for instance a list of those present, if the future document was supposed to have the testing clause. One may assume, that it was responsibility of royal secretaries, who could attend meeting of a king and senators. It was important, because such documents were frequently (also in the early modern period, but rarely) issued after many months, and even years after the legal proceedings.

Generally, a monarch was responsible for ordering to create a document. It is a general regularity, but sometimes it happened, that the king’s order was anticipated by a secretary working for some wealthy employer. Finally, there happenedsome accusations against chancellors of creating documents in arbitrary way, and even expediting them in a period, when the royal signature was not necessary yet (in the Jagiellon period).

An order to create a charter, a mandate or a letter caused preparing its rough draft (Polish koncept or minuta). This task belonged to this person, who was best prepared to fulfill it. There is a view, that some more difficult documents, like diplomatic letters, more important public documents, Sejm resolutions, international treaties or parliamentary instructions were prepared by royal secretaries, while chancery writers edited standard, form documents, in which only isolated data changed. But this rule is right only approximately. In a particular situation (for instance an instruction for a diplomat) a document could be prepared by an expert from outside of the chancery, even by an envoy himself, and it might be controlled by a chancellor or a king in person. Much depended on temperament of a monarch or directors of the chancery. Chancellor Maciej Drzewicki edited drafts of least important letters and mandates himself. Vice-chancellor Piotr Tomicki was making so many alteration to beautifully calligraphed drafts prepared by his writers, that he was creating a new text. While it seems that chancellor Jan Zamoyski limited himself to giving a writer or a secretary general instructions and allowing them latitude in further actions. As it comes to monarchs, who formally issued these documents, there were king like Sigismund Augustus, who was making alterations personally, or Stanislaus Augustus, who prepared rough drafts himself, because he could not wait any longer for his clerks. Also Ladislaus IV was reading and skillfully answering more important documents by himself. It should be remembered about Sigismund Augustus, that before his independent reign in Lithuania he had done a traineeship in the royal chancery. Even today we find numerous documents and letter from 1541 and 1542, which he signed instead of his father. Learning how the state works through the chancery resulted in the habit of interfering in its current work.

In the case of repetitive documents, entrusted to lower staff, we are likely to look for office forms. But were they so necessary? For sure, collections of specimens of documents can be found in central chanceries, as well of patterns of titles, lists of towns, royal stations, descriptions of roads, collections of laws or historical works. But normally a writer’s experience and aid in the form of real documents were sufficient. Moreover, stereotypical documents were so simple, that there was no need to prepare a draft, but a fair copy at once86. Obviously, drafts of royal decrees were prepared by a decree writer. They were available for inspection by sides. If the sides did not express any reservations, a document could be issued.

In case of a Sejm action (Polish akcja sejmowa), the chancery used a special instructuarium, which described particular stages of actions, texts of various documents, and also their distribution list and schedule of expeditions87. Preparing for a Sejm action, one was sending deliberatoria to senators; when dates of a regional diet and the Sejm were set, letters, universals and mandates were sent to senators, starosts, land officials and the gentry. This instruction, also serving functions of an office form, has been used in the chancer in some way even since the 1530s, and it was updated in further decades. Above all the number of letters increased rapidly, and every time there were from hundreds to thousands of them. The life of the instruction ended probably in the early 18th century.

During the normal, everyday office work, a prepared draft was controlled and accepted by a head of the chancery. These drafts were then transferred to a regent of the chancery, who divided work among writers and sub-writers, who then produced fair copies. An editor or a person controlling the edition of the document signed it. But that occurred in the end of the 16th century. Before that in many cases there was no information on documents, about substantive responsibility for their content and conformity to the legal proceedings. In the Late Middle Ages this responsibility was expressed by the clause datum per manus and the relation clause (ad relationem, relatio), which later turned into empty formulas, showing only general responsibility of a chancellor or vice-chancellor, because in the end only these offices still were present in the clauses88.

A controlled fair copy might be authenticated. Chronologically, first was a signature of a king or a chancellor. Signatures were used from the 1470s. At first, only heads of the chancery and occasionally kings signed documents. Since the end of the reign of Sigismund Augustus the royal signature had started to become a necessary element of authentication. The announcement of the signature became a part of the corroboration, and it was set at the first place – even before the mention about the seal. The royal signature got popularized thanks to the senatorial project of the chancery reform from 157489. It expressed the idea of inalienability of the royal signature. The signature was supposed to be inventoried, by both sealers, no matter which one prepared a document. The project was not accepted, but for sure, it expressed a widely recognized social trend, and the practice of using the signature evolutionarily won in the period of Stephen Bathory. The royal signature became so essential, and its lack so unimaginable, that forgers of documents made in the 18th century were signing their imaginary endowments by hand of illiterate medieval dukes. As early as in the 17th century emerged a practice of a monarch signing documents in particular days and at particular time of the day.

Illuminations on royal documents were made in the last phase of creating them. They should be seen as a work contracted outside of the chancerywith painters who decorated codices. Generally, decorations were made at a recipient’s expense, after issuing the document, sometimes even after sealing it. A sign of that are documents with empty spaces for decorative initials or with normal initials put in disproportionately large spaces, spared for decorations. Lack of illumination did not cause any legal faults of documents (except from documents of ennoblement, in which an illustration of a family crest had a legal value and was a part of the disposition). Not only illuminations were made at recipients’ expense. Such a person paid also for parchment, strings, and wax or provided these materials. Separately he paid for a writer’s work, and separately for issuing the document by the chancery and entering it to the Metrica90.

Sealing documents required some proficiency, thus it was done by specialists, sometimes called sigillators. Adding a seal took place in the very end, directly before expediting a document. Sometimes a document was sealed with a different seal, and not with the one possessed by the chancery issuing the document. A chancellor might ask to seal a document with the vice-chancellor’s seal (because it was not seemly to authenticate a document for his own relative, for example) or the royal chancery asked for that the Lithuanian chancery, when it had turned out that it is the proper office for this matter. But in general, a document was sealed in the chancery, by which it was prepared.

Let’s illustrate that with a particular example of a senator in the Bathorian period, who was granted a privilege and who interceded for his protégés for official nominations and royal lands endowments. In 1581 Grand Marshal of the Crown Andrzej Opaliński wrote in confidence to his trusted employee of the Crown chancery, royal secretary Jan Piotrowski. The secretary personally, or through chancellor Jan Zamoyski was granted by the king with endowments called for the marshal. As he had an oral decision, he personally prepared documents, which then he brought to the king to sign. As an employee of the chancery, possessing a document signed by the king, he did not even have to try acquiring consent to sealing it. He addressed directly to a chancellor’s servant, who was taking care of the seal. It seems, that he even could take the matrix himself and seal the document, maybe with a help from the servant, more experienced in the technique. The same secretary cared for expediting documents and maybe he also saw to entering them to the Metrica, but here we have no confirming data91.

Apart from document completely prepared in the chancery, the royal chancery issued also so called membranes (Polish singular membrana) – sealed blank sheets of parchment or paper, or documents filled with text, but with blank spaces, where one could write some particular data. They were issued especially for envoys, so they could fill in their authorizations or financial commitments according to their needs, or supplement personal data (for example, in accrediting letters for elective diets there were blank spaces for names of candidates). For the whole time the chancery issued membranes for petitions, on chancellor’s recommendation. In general, documents with blanks were also used by starosts for nominating general ushers (Polish singular woźnygeneralny) in the king’s name. Such documents could be used also in the case of joining the army, which means in litterae indemnitatis, issued by a king, but remaining in the disposition of a hetman. The chancery tried to register the issued membranes. In the Casimir the Jagiellonian’s Metrica we can read, for example, for the date of September 22nd, 1456 about 24 paper and 2 parchment membranes issued for the chancellor by the vice-chancellor, and for the date of December 7th about 4 membranes “as authentication letters” handed over by the vice-chancellor to Mister Zbierski, who had been sent to Poland92. Also next years show many such cases. The custom of issuing membranes did not die in the early modern period, but documents with gaps were used more frequently. It eased diplomatic activity, as well as internal relations. Thanks to that officials such as hetmans, voivodes or starosts could, according to their knowledge about the situation, fill in personal data inlitterae indemnitatis, diet letters to the gentry or nominations for land ushers (Polish singular woźnyziemski)93.

A finished document should be expedited. This could be done by a special employee of the chancery. The document was given directly to the interested party or was sent by a courier or letter bailiff (Polish komornik listowy), employed at the royal court. But essentially, bailiffs’ job was to deliver universals, mandates and letter written on the initiative of a king. In case of documents initiated by the recipient, the chancery used the chancery charges (fees), that specified costs of particular services. First such a charge was applied in 151194.

Central documents issued by the chancery were registered, since the 15th century, in the Crown Metrica or in the Lithuanian Metrica. The registration was never complete. It is also hard to answer precisely to questions about criteria of selection documents for entries. Undoubtedly, one registered a document if the interested party had commissioned it and paid for it. Also documents protecting king’s business were registered, as fully as it was possible; they were endowments of royal lands, putting duties, tolls, tax exemptions and the like. We also recognize a phenomenon of over-representativeness of entries of documents concerning a chancellor and his circle, vice-chancellor, eventually other chancery workers. Model calculation shows, that during the King Alexander’s reign about 60% of privileges issued by him were entered to the Metrica. It is a good result, comparing to other periods. But let’s notice, that, in general, other forms of documentation besides privileges were not contained in entry books. After 1700 entries to chancellor’s books were made, especially political correspondence, but on other basis95.

Most frequently applied rule was registering a document after its final preparation, basing on the original. But this rule was often violated. Fragmentary research indicate, that entries were made on the basis of drafts or copies and the entry was not necessarily corrected, if the original differed from them. Moreover, sometimes clerks did not wait for a head of the chancery to order the registration. In the Crown Metrica documents were registered in two ways: whole (usually without clauses like intitulation, publication, corroboration, dating and closing clauses, including testing clause, the same in numerous documents), or in regesta, containing only a date and essence of a disposition. This second possibility, frequent especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, was applied to documents, that were easy to recreate, typical, like liberations, nominations or grants of ennoblement. The evidence of expeditions was a separate issue. The previously mentioned senatorial project of the office statue from 1574 tried to cope with this problem, through the evidence of royal signatures. Successful reforms took place no sooner than in the mid-17th century, when seal books (Sigillata) were introduced in the Crown and Lithuanian Metrica96. The 18th century brought further reforms attempting to apply a full registration of documents issued by a king. In 1716 occurred rules stating control of expedited documents by keeping more registers97. In next years a secretary, who was bringing documents to a king for signing, carried also their registers98. The office rule implemented by chancellor Andrzej Zamoyski between 1764 and 1767 forbade to prepare privileges before receiving a register of grants signed by the king99. This duty concerned earlier phase of creating a document, but it originated in the same need to rule the whole office production. It really became possible after the reform of the office system, which is replacing the chancery of books of entries with the chancery of records of activity (Polish kancelaria akt czynności; akta czynności – official records of collegial organs of the Stanislaus Augustus period)100. The next subsection describes it.

Without detailed research, it is now hard to tell anything binding about efficiency of the royal chancery and the scale of its malfunctions. Sejm diaries (Polish singular diariuszsejmowy) from the reign of Sigismund Augustus contain complaints about dilatoriness and neglect of work of the Crown chancery101. Well known are also reservation of the gentry gathered near Lvov in 1537 about credibility of the Crown Metrica. It must be said, that we cannot a priori assume that the noble politicians mistaken, especially if we know about phenomena occurring at the same time in the grand-duchy chancery in Lithuania: issuing contradictory documents, granting people and land behind hospodar’s back and against his will, or overusing forms with royal signatures102. Some facts tend to prove some incorrectness in functioning of the chancery. For example, a nomination for the office of castellan in Poznań was received on March 24th, 1508 by both Jan Zaremba and Łukasz Górka (the first one took the office). The nomination document for castellany of Krzywiń for Andrzej Małgowski, dated May 7th, 1526, as his predecessor gives Mikołaj Kemblan Siedlecki, incorrectly combining names of two persons: Mikołaj Kemblan of Wszołów and Mikołaj Siedlecki. The nomination for castellany of Śrem was issued on March 28th, 1547 for Stanisław Spławski, after the death of Andrzej Roszkowski – who was still alive; maybe it was just a simple mistake, or it might have been a kind of expectativa (a legal expectation) for the first vacating castellany, because Spławski was later announced the castellan of Santok103. In 1466 the royal chancery issued a letter concerning the matter of Gdańsk, in which an addressee was French king Charles (VII), who had died five years before that, instead of Louis (XI), even though he had addressed Casimir Jagiellonian in 1463104.

The efficiency of the chancery was decreasing, due to lack of care given to records. From the Ladislaus IV reign, we know some spectacular cases, when in 1633 nobody in the chancery could find descriptions of previous ceremonies of paying homage by the Prussian Prince. Also unbelievably seems the situation, when the chancery lost the deed of election Ladislaus for the Moscow tsar105. It is possible, that these accidents speeded up the process of creating the Warsaw Crown Archives.

Documents and records

The Polish royal document (charter) shaped in the Late Middle Ages. In the early modern period it evolved, but remained the connection with its original pattern. Thus, a royal document from the 14th to the 18th century might be seen as the longue durée (long-term) phenomenon106.

Number of documents issued by the central chanceries, under the name of a king, increased systematically. According to calculations, there are 1000 known documents of Casimir the Great, 100 from the Angevin period, 2000 from the times of Jadwiga and Jogaila, 800 from the reign of Ladislaus of Varna, twice as many from the reign of Casimir the Jagiellonian, 227 originals of John Albert (with 1549 entries in his Metrica). Approximate calculations show about 120 000 of charters, mandates and letters, that could have been issued by the royal chancery107. Unchanged remained core functions of a document, as a tool of shaping the law (which sometimes had had a smaller value), a tool of social communication in the process of state management, a tool of propaganda and manifestation of power (which sometimes had had a bigger value, due to a growing mass of documents). For example, arengas of Casimir the Great’s charters propagated the ideas of the united, centrally governed kingdom, but also an image of the state, where law rules and the strength of the state depends on wealth of lieges. It was a presentation of official direction of royal policy108. Also intitulations played an important role as tools of propaganda. It is characteristic, that intitulations of temporary documents, mandates and letters, previously shortened as much as possible, in the 17th and 18th centuries got extended again – sometimes they even overwhelmed the small content of the document. Intitulations should be seen as a short presentation of the legal-state doctrine set in the core place in every single document. Moreover, such a presentation is easier to change that one set in a seal legend. Like a matrix, it impressed in minds of recipients. Every change in intitulation means a new political situation, and repeating it consolidates the knowledge in social consciousness. For instance: after the Cracow treaty in 1525 the royal titles stress, that Sigismund is a duke of totius Prussie, but about 1540 this emphasis disappears, and the title comes back to dux Prussie. Apparently, after some years disappeared the need to stress the fact of secularization of the Teutonic order state and to closely unite this part of Prussia with Poland109.

In the Middle Ages there formed four fundamental types of royal documents: a permanent charter, a temporary charter, a mandate and a letter. This types, earlier more similar it their forms, with the passing of time, especially in the early modern period, considerably diversified, evolving in their own way. Permanent charters, from the beginning written on parchment, were used to issue privileges, which were indefinite. They consisted of foundation chartersfor new towns, grants of ennoblement, religious privileges, endowments of lands. Temporary charters were issued much more frequently. They were privileges, that after some time had to expire. This group comprises nomination for offices, grants of starosties and royal tenancies, tax exemptions. Mandates were administrative documents, which ordered to perform particular activities, from gathering regional diets, through arbitrating arguable cases, to small cases, like repairing the Wawel Castle wall. Also litterae indemnitatis (Polish plurallisty przepowiednie) should be seen as mandates; on their basis a cavalry captain (Rittmeister, Polish rotmistrz) on king’s command recruited army units. Also inhibiting letters (Polish plural listyinhibitacyjne) should be taken as mandates; they consisted king’s order for courts of law to inhibit trying in particular cases (that practice was banned in 1454 in Nieszawa statues, and completely disappeared in the mid-16th century). Usually mandates accompanied privileges (ordering putting them into effect) or universals. Also universals should be seen as mandates, but ones directed not to a particular person, but to the whole society. A form of universals had tax laws and wici – royal acts calling the gentry for mass mobilization to arms (Polish pospolite ruszenie)110.

An elaborative formula of a permanent charter, typical for a royal document, developed first. In consisted of: invocation, ad perpetuam clause, arenga, extended intitulation with a sanctimonious clause (Polish formuła dewocyjna), promulgation, narration, disposition, corroboration, dates, a list of witnesses, a datum per manus clause, relation/ad relationemclause, subscription. The early modern simplification of the form in the lowest degree implied to permanent charters. Stability of the form expressed their power. Arenga started to disappear suddenly in the second half of the 16th century, despite it was very popular before that. Its function of general justification of issuing the document was taken over by narration. For example, in ceremonial nominations for higher offices (but these were temporary charters) sometimes happen clauses, that in their functions are similar to arengas – they expressed king’s obligation to award persons of merit. The testing clause in the elective kings’ period was limited to documents issued during regional diets.

Unvaryingly, Latin was the language of permanent (and even temporary) charters, at least on the area of the Crown before the Union of Lublin. In administrative documents – universals, mandates and correspondence – Polish practically gained advantage. Treated as the second official language, it dominated the public administration. When a nobleman was granted with an office, he demanded the nomination act written in Latin. That was the tradition and expectations of the whole local community, in which he was supposed to flaunt his rank. The charter was so formalized, that even somebody, who knew Latin only superficially, which was common, could know the content of the charter. Other situation was with royal mandates, statues of regional diets, parliamentary instructions, political correspondence, which reacted to contemporary situation and which contents were unpredictable. These documents had to be comprehensible at the first place. It caused an actual advantage of the Polish tongue in public life111.

A process of diversification of dates on royal documents took place in the early modern period. Holding to the traditional form, permanent charters till the end stuck to dates according to the Christian calendar. Temporary charters, as well as mandates and letters, were dated in a contemporary way, with days and months. A Christian way of dating became another element that invested it with a ceremonial character.

Temporary charters had a shortened form, comprising: simplified intitulation, promulgation, narration, disposition, corroboration, dates, office clauses (commission, ad mandatum and others) and subscription. Temporary documents, as well as mandates and letters were written on paper – a material that is less durable than parchment, reserved for permanent charters.

There also shaped a separate form of royal mandates, which in the Middle Ages had sometimes promulgation or corroboration, but quickly remained without them. Characteristic for the form of mandates are address with salutation and sanction, and lack of corroboration. Language of mandates went through an interesting evolution. Mandates were written in Latin during the reign of Sigismund the Old, and in times of the last Jagiellon – in Latin and Polish – opening and closing clauses were in Latin, while a proper content, which had to be comprehensible and precise, was written in Polish. During the reign of King Stephen, who did not speak Polish, the process of disappearance of Latin slowed down. But mandates from the Vasa period are in general written in Polish, completely. For some time mandates directed to Prussia and Livonia were exceptions.

Letters were the fourth main type of royal documents, that shaped in the Middle Ages. They comprised a shortened intitulation, address, publication, date and closing formulas.

Besides charters, mandates and letters, dispersing later in royal, municipal, church, university or private archives, the royal chancery also kept books partly registering issued documents – the Crown Metrica (Royal Chancery Registers). The registration was not complete. Generally it can be said, that it registered rather permanent and temporary charters, mandate (to a limited extent, in the main series – books of entries, from the 15th century), parliamentary instructions, speeches and diplomatic correspondence (parliamentary books, from the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries), sentences of court judiciary (decree books, from the 1530s), summaries of sealed documents (Sigillata, seal books, from the mid-17th century), royal correspondence (books of public affairs, from the early 18th century).

1 Por. W. Chorążyczewski, Kancelarie centralne państwa XIV-XVIII w., [w:] Dyplomatyka staropolska, red. T. Jurek, Warszawa 2015. Zależność tego tekstu i obecnie przedstawianego jest z naturalnych względów znaczna.

2 R. Maurer, Urzędnicy kancelaryjni Władysława Jagiełły. Studium dyplomatyczne, Warszawa 1877; tenże, Urzędnicy kancelaryjni królów polskich z lat 1434-1506, Brody 1881; tenże, Urzędnicy kancelaryjni książąt i królów polskich aż do r. 1386, „Przewodnik Naukowy i Literacki” 1884, s. 60-71, 116-149.

3 S. Kwiatkowski, Urzędnicy kancelaryjni, koronni i dworscy z czasów Władysława III Warneńczyka, RAU whf 17, 1884, s. 118-220.

4 E. Nowicki, Studia nad kancelarią koronną Kazimierza Jagiellończyka, Lwów 1912.

5 S. Kętrzyński, Uwagi i przyczynki do studiów nad kancelarią koronną Kazimierza Jagiellończyka, „Przegląd Historyczny” 15, 1912, s. 89-112; zob. dalszą polemikę: tamże 16, 1913, s. 357-373 (E. Nowicki), 373-378 (S. Kętrzyński).

6 S. Kętrzyński, Studia nad kancelarią Kazimierza Wielkiego, „Sprawozdania z Czynności i Posiedzeń Akademii Umiejętności w Krakowie” 8, 1903, nr 8, s. 8-9; 9, 1904, nr 7, s. 17-19; tenże, O elementach chronologicznych dokumentów Kazimierza Wielkiego, Kraków 1913 (odbitka z RAU whf 56); tenże, Formuła „ad relacionem” w kancelarii polskiej 1393-1492, „Przegląd Historyczny” 18, 1914, s. 39-50, 146-171; tenże, Do genezy kanclerstwa koronnego, KH 42, 1928, s. 713-760.

7 F. Papée, Metryka Koronna w Warszawskim Archiwum Głównem i jej znaczenie dla historii XV w., „Sprawozdania z Czynności i Posiedzeń Akademii Umiejętności w Krakowie” 11, 1906, nr 3, s. 24-26.

8 S. Kętrzyński, Zarys nauki o dokumencie polskim wieków średnich, t. I, Warszawa 1934; K. Maleczyński, Zarys dyplomatyki polskiej wieków średnich, cz. I, Wrocław 1951; tenże, w: M. Bielińska, A. Gąsiorowski, K. Maleczyński, Dyplomatyka wieków średnich, Warszawa 1971, s. 201-229.

9 K. Jasiński, Uwagi nad kancelarią Władysława Łokietka i Kazimierza Wielkiego, „Zapiski TNT” 19, 1953, s. 57-101.

10 I. Sułkowska-Kurasiowa, Polska kancelaria królewska w latach 1447-1506, Wrocław 1967; taż, Dokumenty królewskie i ich funkcja w państwie polskim za Andegawenów i pierwszych Jagiellonów 1370-1444, Warszawa 1977.

11 Taż, Księgi polskiej kancelarii koronnej w drugiej połowie XV wieku, SŹ 6, 1961, s. 81-101; taż, Rewizje nadań królewskich na przełomie XV/XVI wieku, KH 74, 1967, nr 2, s. 289-297; taż, Księgi wpisów Metryki Koronnej (1447-1794) w Archiwum Głównym Akt Dawnych w Warszawie, „Archeion” 44, 1966, s. 73-91; taż (wraz z J. Wejchertową), Księgi poselskie (Libri Legationum) Metryki Koronnej, „Archeion” 48, 1968, s. 61-73; taż, Księgi Sigillat Metryki Koronnej (1658-1794), „Archeion” 54, 1970, s. 41-57; taż, Księgi kanclerskie (księgi spraw publicznych) Metryki Koronnej, „Archeion” 60, 1974, s. 143-158.

12Inwentarz Metryki Koronnej. Księgi wpisów i dekretów polskiej kancelarii królewskiej z lat 1447-1795, opr. I. Sułkowska-Kurasiowa i M. Woźniakowa, Warszawa 1975.

13 J. Krzyżaniakowa, Kancelaria królewska Władysława Jagiełły. Studium z dziejów kultury politycznej Polski w XV wieku, cz. 1-2, Poznań 1972-1979; taż, Studia praskie urzędników kancelarii Jadwigi i Jagiełły (Problem identyfikacji), „Zeszyty Naukowe UAM w Poznaniu”, Historia 7, 1967, s. 217-228; taż, Wprowadzenie formuły relacji do polskiej kancelarii królewskiej, w: Europa – Słowiańszczyzna – Polska. Studia ku uczczeniu Profesora Kazimierza Tymienieckiego, Poznań 1970, s. 397-416; taż, Urzędnicy kancelarii królewskich w wielkopolskich kapitułach katedralnych w XV wieku, w: Drogą historii. Studia ofiarowane profesorowi Józefowi Szymańskiemu w siedemdziesiątą rocznicę urodzin, Lublin 2001, s. 227-244.

14Księga Metryki Koronnej podkanclerzego Andrzeja Oporowskiego z lat 1479-1483, ze spuścizny A. Prochaski wyd. G. Rutkowska, Warszawa 2005.

15 M. Grzegorz, Geneza i znaczenie księgi wpisów w kancelariach wielkiego mistrza i polskiej królewskiej, w: Kancelaria wielkich mistrzów i polska kancelaria królewska w XV wieku, Malbork 2006, s. 85-94; B. Możejko, Kontakty polskiej kancelarii królewskiej z Gdańskiem w okresie wojny trzynastoletniej, w: tamże, s. 191-210; W. Szczuczko, Korespondencja czasów wojny. Listy króla Kazimierza Jagiellończyka do Rady Miasta Torunia z okresu wojny trzynastoletniej 1454-1466, w: tamże, s. 257-265.

16Akta podkanclerskie Franciszka Krasińskiego 1569-1573, wyd. W. Krasiński, W. Chomętowski, cz. 1-3, Warszawa 1869-1871; Akta Metryki Koronnej co ważniejsze z czasów Stefana Batorego 1576-1586, wyd. A. Pawiński, Warszawa 1882.

17 A. Powstański, Wiadomość o Archiwum Krajowym Królestwa Polskiego, Kraków 1824; F. Bentkowski, Spis akt dawnych w Głównym Archiwum Królestwa Polskiego w Warszawie znajdujących się 1835, Warszawa 1840; T. Wierzbowski, Manuscriptorum que in Chartophylacio Maximo Varsoviensi asservantur tabulae analyticae, t. I: Libri privilegiorum et sententiarum in Regni Poloniae cancellaria perscripti actorumque fasciculi in aliis quibusdam subseliis compositi, Warszawa 1912 (Monumenta iuris 1).

18Matricularum Regni Poloniae summaria, t. I-V/1, wyd. T. Wierzbowski, Warszawa 1905-1919, t. V/2, wyd. J. Płocha, A. Rybarski, I. Sułkowska, Warszawa 1961, t. VI, wyd. M. Woźniakowa, Warszawa 1999.

19 S. Kutrzeba, Historia źródeł dawnego prawa polskiego, t. I, Lwów 1925, s. 111-118, t. II, Lwów 1926, s. 370-372.

20 K. Morawski, Andrzej Patrycy Nidecki, jego życie i dzieła, cz. 1, Kraków 1884; W. Maciejewska, Wojciech Kryski, sekretarz kancelarii królewskiej Zygmunta Augusta, w: Księga ku czci Oskara Haleckiego wydana w XXV-lecie Jego pracy naukowej, Warszawa 1935, s. 143-156; K. Hartleb, Jan Zambocki, dworzanin i sekretarz JKM, Warszawa 1937; H. Rybus, Prymas Maciej Drzewicki. Zarys biografii (1467-1535), „Studia Theologica Varsaviensia” 2, 1964, nr 1-2, s. 79-308; R. T. Marchwiński, Czynności urzędowe sekretarza królewskiego Marcina Kromera, w: Historia i archiwistyka, Toruń-Warszawa 1992, s. 153-165; J. Dorobisz, Jakub Zadzik (1582-1642), Opole 2000; A. Odrzywolska-Kidawa, Biskup Piotr Tomicki (1464-1535). Kariera polityczna i kościelna, Warszawa 2004; taż, Podkanclerzy Piotr Tomicki (1515-1535). Polityk i humanista, Warszawa 2005; W. Zawitkowska, W służbie pierwszych Jagiellonów. Życie i działalność kanclerza Jana Taszki Koniecpolskiego, Kraków 2005; P. Tafiłowski, Jan Łaski (1456-1531), kanclerz koronny i prymas Polski, Warszawa 2007; Z. Zyglewski, Polityczna i aktotwórcza działalność kanclerza Krzesława z Kurozwęk i podkanclerzego Grzegorza z Lubrańca w latach 1484-1495, Bydgoszcz 2007.

21Historia sejmu polskiego, t. I, red. J. Michalski, Warszawa 1984; Historia dyplomacji polskiej, t. I: Połowa X w. – 1572, red. M. Biskup, Warszawa 1982; Polska służba dyplomatyczna XVI-XVIII wieku. Studia, Warszawa 1966.

22 R. Marciniak, Acta Tomiciana w kulturze politycznej Polski okresu odrodzenia, Warszawa-Poznań 1983, s. 23-32, 41-47.

23 R. Heidenstein, Cancellarius sive de dignitate et officio cancellarii Regni Poloniae, wyd. A. Kempfi, Warszawa 1960.

24 A. Tomczak, Kilka uwag o kancelarii królewskiej w drugiej połowie XVI w., „Archeion” 37, 1962, s. 235-252 (przedruk w: tenże, Studia historico-archivistica, Toruń 2002, s. 155-172).

25 L. Kieniewicz, Sekretariat Stefana Batorego. Zbiorowość i kariery sekretarzy królewskich, w: Społeczeństwo staropolskie, t. IV, Warszawa 1986, s. 33-69; zob. też tenże, Projekt ordynacji kancelaryjnej za Henryka Walezego, „Przegląd Historyczny” 78, 1987, s. 713-721.

26 M. Korolko, Seminarium Rzeczypospolitej Królestwa Polskiego. Humaniści w kancelarii królewskiej Zygmunta Augusta, Warszawa 1991; tenże, Poczet sekretarzy królewskich Zygmunta Augusta, „Odrodzenie i Reformacja w Polsce” 31, 1986, s. 45-84; tenże, Środowisko intelektualne kancelarii królewskiej za podkanclerzych Filipa Padniewskiego i Piotra Myszkowskiego, w: Jan Kochanowski 1584-1984. Epoka – twórczość – recepcja, t. I, Lublin 1989, s. 143-159.

27 A. Wyczański, Między kulturą a polityką. Sekretarze królewscy Zygmunta Starego (1506-1548), Warszawa 1990; tenże, Kto w Koronie w latach 1506-1650 zostawał kanclerzem, w: Kultura, polityka, dyplomacja, Warszawa 1990, s. 513-518; tenże, O potrzebie badań nad kancelarią Zygmunta Starego (1506-1548), w: Historia i archiwistyka, Toruń-Warszawa 1992, s. 147-152.

28Urzędnicy centralni i nadworni Polski XIV-XVIII wieku. Spisy, red. A. Gąsiorowski, Kórnik 1992.

29 W. Krawczuk, Pieczęcie Zygmunta III Wazy, Kraków 1993; tenże, Pisarze kancelarii koronnych Zygmunta III Wazy, „Studia Historyczne” 36, 1993, z. 2, s. 149-164; tenże, Problemy badawcze kancelarii koronnej na przykładzie kancelarii Zygmunta III Wazy, w: Tradycje i perspektywy nauk pomocniczych historii w Polsce, Kraków 1995, s. 149-153 (tu, s. 149, przytoczony cytat); tenże, Metryka Koronna za Zygmunta III Wazy. Początki Archiwum Koronnego Warszawskiego w świetle spisów z 1620 i 1627 roku, Kraków 1995.

30Sumariusz Metryki Koronnej. Seria nowa, t. I-VII, wyd. W. Krawczuk, K. Chłapowski, Kraków 1999 – Warszawa 2014.

31 W. Krawczuk, Listy sejmikowe w świetle „Instructuarium” kancelarii koronnej, „Czasopismo Prawno-Historyczne” 46, 1994, z. 1-2, s. 63-68; Kancelaria koronna a sejm walny. Instructuarium, opr. W. Krawczuk, Warszawa 1995; tenże, Pisarze dekretowi, w: Poprzez stulecia. Księga pamiątkowa ofiarowana Profesorowi Antoniemu Podrazie w 80. rocznicę Jego urodzin, Kraków 2000, s. 39-43; tenże, Metryka Koronna. W stronę inwentarza idealnego, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem., Toruń 2003, s. 11-18; tenże, Metrykanci koronni. Rozwój registratury centralnej od XVI do XVIII wieku, Kraków 2002 (rec.: W. Chorążyczewski, SŹ 42, 2004, s.178-180).

32 H. Palkij, Listy jako element obyczaju i życia codziennego na przykładzie korespondencji do kanclerza wielkiego koronnego Jana Szembeka, w: Między barokiem a oświeceniem. Obyczaje czasów saskich, Olsztyn, 2000, s. 66-73; tenże, Kancelaria królewska w systemie politycznym Rzeczypospolitej. Problem analizy źródeł masowych, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem., Toruń 2003, s. 71-88.

33 W. Chorążyczewski, Polska kancelaria królewska w XVI w. jako problem badawczy, „Archeion” 101, 2000, s. 36-61; tenże, Sprawy wojskowe w kancelarii królewskiej Zygmunta Starego, „Miscellanea Historico-Archivistica” 13, 2001, s. 69-80; tenże, Nowożytny dokument królewski. Możliwości badawcze, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem., Toruń 2003, s. 27-48; tenże, Czy istniała kancelaria ruska? (na marginesie edycji regestów Metryki Ruskiej i monografii Petro Kułakowśkiego), „Wschodni Rocznik Humanistyczny” 1, 2004, s. 383-390; tenże, Stan i perspektywy polskiej dyplomatyki średniowiecznej i wczesnonowożytnej. I Konferencja z cyklu „Kancelarie w kręgu kultur”. Lublin, 8-9 grudnia 2003 r., „Klio” 5, 2004, s. 183-184; tenże, Próba rekonstrukcji organizacji polskiej kancelarii królewskiej w 1. połowie XVI wieku, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 2, Toruń 2006, s. 9-50; tenże, Formuły narracyjne dokumentów królewskich z XIV-XVIII wieku, w: Formuła, archetyp, konwencja w źródle historycznym, Lublin – Radzyń Podlaski – Siedlce 2006, s. 115-131.

34 Tenże, Przemiany organizacyjne polskiej kancelarii królewskiej u progu czasów nowożytnych, Toruń 2007

35 Por. tenże, Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych, „Archiwista Polski” 2002, nr 2 (26), s. 84-90; A. Kuś, Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem (Toruń 18 IV 2002), SŹ 40, 2002, s. 274-275.

36Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem., red. W. Chorążyczewski, W. Krawczuk, cz. 1-4, Toruń, Kraków, Warszawa 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011.

37 W. Krawczuk, „Długie trwanie” kancelarii koronnej, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 2, Toruń 2006, s. 99-106.

38 J. Łosowski, Kancelaria królewska a miasta. Problemy badawcze, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 2, Toruń 2006, s. 129-156; K. Syta, Akta kancelarii królewskiej z XVIII wieku w archiwach prywatnych – problemy i możliwości badawcze, w: tamże, s. 187-204; J. Łosowski, Kancelaria królewska w procesie komunikacji z urzędami grodzkimi w XVII i XVIII wieku, w: Belliculum diplomaticum II Thorunense. Kancelarie władców na ziemiach polskich w średniowieczu i czasach nowożytnych na tle porównawczym, Toruń 2006, s. 97-115; K. Syta, Kancelaria królewska za Andrzeja Zamoyskiego 1764-1767, w: tamże, s. 117-129; zob. też W. Chorążyczewski, R. Degen, Kancelarie „władców” polskich XIX i XX wieku. Rekonesans badawczy, w: tamże, s.131-151.

39 W. Chorążyczewski, Początki kancelarii pokojowej za Jagiellonów, w: Polska kancelaria królewska między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 3, Warszawa 2008, s. 33-46; W. Krawczuk, Kancelaria pokojowa za Wazów, w: tamże, s. 47-54; K. Syta, Gabinet Dyplomatyczny Stanisława Augusta Poniatowskiego 1764-1768, w: tamże, s. 79-93.

40 M. Hlebionek, Nowożytne pieczęcie królów polskich, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem., Toruń 2003, s. 49-70; tenże, Pieczęć majestatowa Augusta II w zbiorach Biblioteki Kórnickiej, „Pamiętnik Biblioteki Kórnickiej” 26, 2003, s. 199-204; tenże, „Dziękowania za pieczęć”. Wokół polskiego ceremoniału dworskiego, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 2, Toruń 2006, s. 51-72.

41Metryka Ruska (Wołyńska). Regesty dokumentów kancelarii koronnej dla ziem ukraińskich (województw wołyńskiego, bracławskiego, kijowskiego i czernihowskiego) 1569-1673, wyd. P. Kennedy Grimsted, Kijów 2002; П.Кулаковський,Канцелярія Руської (Волинської) метрики 1569-1673 рр. Студія з історії українського регіоналізму в Речі Посполитій, Острог-Львів 2002; tenże, Kancelaria królewska a dokument czernihowski, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych. Między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 2, Toruń 2006, s. 107-115.

42Sometimes there are unsuccessful initiatives, like the work of B. Kaczmarczyk, Język polski w kancelarii królewskiej w pierwszej połowie XVI wieku, Wrocław 2003, which repeats opinions from older literature and is based on unsatisfying source basis.

43 J. Kurtyka, Problem identyczności urzędów ziemskich krakowskich i nadwornych w wiekach XIV-XVI, w: Urzędy dworu monarszego dawnej Rzeczypospolitej i państw ościennych, Kraków 1996, s. 27-28; zob. też tenże, Odrodzone Królestwo. Monarchia Władysława Łokietka i Kazimierza Wielkiego w świetle najnowszych badań, Kraków 2001.

44 I. Sułkowska-Kurasiowa, Polska kancelaria, s. 6.

45 Tamże.

46 Gdańsk, AP, 300 D/5,649.

47 R. Maurer, Urzędnicy kancelaryjni Władysława Jagiełły, s. 4.

48 Tamże, s. 34.

49 Tamże, s. 35.

50 Tamże, s. 36.

51 J. Krzyżaniakowa, Kancelaria królewska, cz. 1, s. 78.

52 A. Wyczański, Między kulturą a polityką, s. 24-30.

53 M. Korolko, Seminarium, Warszawa 1991.

54 L. Kieniewicz, Sekretariat Stefana Batorego, s. 33-67.

55 D. Żądłowski, Sekretarze królewscy Władysława IV Wazy w kancelarii królewskiej, w: Polska kancelaria królewska między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 3, Warszawa 2008, s. 55-67.

56 R. Heidenstein, Cancellarius, s. 49-50.

57 Podkreślał to już R. Maurer, Urzędnicy kancelaryjni z lat 1434-1506, s. 39.

58 M. Kromer, Polska czyli o położeniu, ludności, obyczajach, urzędach i sprawach publicznych Królestwa Polskiego księgi dwie, wyd. R. Marchwiński, Olsztyn 1977, s. 126.

59 S. Kętrzyński, Formuła „ad relacionem”, s. 165.

60 I. Sułkowska-Kurasiowa, Polska kancelaria królewska, s. 5.

61 J. Krzyżaniakowa, Wprowadzenie formuły relacji, s. 415-416.

62Volumina constitutionum, t. 1, cz. 1, wyd. S. Grodziski, I. Dwornicka, W. Uruszczak, Warszawa 1996, s. 244-245.

63 E. Nowicki, Studia nad kancelarią, s. 130-132.

64 R. Heidenstein, Cancellarius, s. 52-53.

65 W. Chorążyczewski, Próba rekonstrukcji, s. 27-28.

66 Tenże, Metrykanci koronni, s. 28-29.

67 W. Chorążyczewski, Próba rekonstrukcji, s. 42.

68Volumina constitutionum, t. 1, cz. 2, wyd. W. Uruszczak, S. Grodziski, I. Dwornicka, Warszawa 2000, s. 172.

69 Por. J. Matuszewski, W sprawie genezy sądu referendarskiego, CPH 6, 1954, z. 2, s. 338-365; also important is observing the titles of referendaries.

70 W. Krawczuk, Pisarze dekretowi, s. 39.

71More about the Ruthenian Metrica can be read in the chapter concerning the Crown Metrica and the Lithuanian Metrica by Wojciech Krawczuk.

72П.Кулаковський,Канцелярія, s. 139-189.

73 F. Papée, Jan Olbracht, wyd. 2, Kraków 1999, s. 122.

74 Zob. wyżej, przyp. 58.

75 R. Heidenstein, Cancellarius, s. 54-55.

76Księga ekspedycji kancelarii nadwornej 1559-1572. Materiały do dziejów dworu królewskiego, opr. I. Kaniewska, Kraków 1997.

77 W. Krawczuk, Problemy badawcze, s. 153.

78 Tenże, Pieczęcie Zygmunta III Wazy, Kraków 1993, s. 6-7.

79 Z. Piech, Monety, pieczęcie i herby w systemie symboli władzy Jagiellonów, Warszawa2003, s. 82.

80 M. Hlebionek, Nowożytne pieczęcie, s. 56.

81 W. Krawczuk, Kancelaria pokojowa za Wazów, s. 47-54.

82 Kraków, Biblioteka PAU i PAN, rkps 931, k. 168.

83 M. Gumowski, Pieczęcie królów polskich, Kraków 1910-1920, nr 117, 151-153.

84This section is based mostly on: Dyplomatyka wieków średnich, oprac. K. Maleczyński, M. Bielińska, A. Gąsiorowski, Warszawa 1971; E. Nowicki, Studia nad kancelarią koronną Kazimierza Jagiellończyka, Lwów 1912; W. Krawczuk, Metrykanci koronni. Rozwój registratury centralnej od XVI do XVIII wieku, Kraków 2002, and also on a file collected by the author, which contains excerpts from royal documents in the early modern period; in future it is supposed to be a base for a separate treatise.

85 Por. W. Chorążyczewski, Dokument w życiu politycznym Polski wczesnonowożytnej, „Studia Archiwalne”, t. 2, 2006, s. 61-72; tenże, Formuły narracyjne, s. 115-131; tenże, Sprawy wojskowe, s. 69-80.

86 Por. T. Jurek, Dokument jako przejaw uczoności w Polsce średniowiecznej, w: Od genealogii do historii społecznej, Warszawa 2011, s. 110-112.

87Kancelaria koronna a sejm walny. Instructuarium, opr. W. Krawczuk, Warszawa 1995.

88The problem of ad relationem clauses caused in the past a wide discussion, that fructified especially with studies of Stanisław Kętrzyński and Jadwiga Krzyżaniakowa, but also other authors felt obliged to adopt a sentence.Vide the first section of this charter comprising the current state of research.

89 L. Kieniewicz, Projekt ordynacji kancelaryjnej za Henryka Walezego, „Przegląd Historyczny” 78, 1987, s. 713-721.

90 Por. A. Jaworska, Corona Regni, Corpus Regni et gentis i ich znaki w wystroju malarskim dokumentów w okresie staropolskim, w: Od genealogii do historii społecznej, Warszawa 2011, s. 63-95.

91 W. Chorążyczewski, A. Rosa, Samoświadectwa pracowników polskiej kancelarii królewskiej czasów nowożytnych. Przypadek sekretarza królewskiego Jana Piotrowskiego, [w:] Polska kancelaria królewska między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 4, red. W. Chorążyczewski, W. Krawczuk, Warszawa 2011, s. 87-106.

92Matricularum Regni Poloniae summaria, t. I, nr 334, 376.

93Numerous examples of such documents were collected by the author in the file mentioned in the footnote no. 106. Authenticated royal documents have survived to this day without any personal data filled in; compare with a nomination for an usher, stored in the State Archives in Toruń, Katalog dokumentów i listów królewskich z Archiwum Państwowego w Toruniu (1345-1789), oprac. A. Radzimiński, J. Tandecki, Warszawa 1999, s. 249.

94Volumina constitutionum, t. 1, vol. 1, s. 244-245.

95Listings of levels of royal documents registrations in the Crown Metrica as in: W. Krawczuk, Metrykanci koronni.

96 R. Górny, Najstarsze zachowane księgi Sigillat Metryki Koronnej, w: Polska kancelaria królewska między władzą a społeczeństwem, cz. 3, Warszawa 2008, s. 69-77.

97 H. Palkij, Kancelaria królewska w systemie politycznym Rzeczypospolitej. Problem analizy źródeł masowych, w: Polska kancelaria królewska czasów nowożytnych między władzą a społeczeństwem, Toruń 2003, s. 76.

98 Tamże, s. 76-77.

99 K. Syta, Kancelaria koronna za kanclerstwa Andrzeja Zamoyskiego (1764-1767), w: Belliculum diplomaticum II Thorunense, Toruń 2007, s. 117-129.

100 J. Siemieński, Przewodnik po archiwach polskich, cz. 1: Archiwa dawnej Rzeczypospolitej, Warszawa 1933, s. 83-85.

101 M. Korolko, Środowisko intelektualne kancelarii królewskiej za podkanclerzych Filipa Padniewskiego i Piotra Myszkowskiego, w: Jan Kochanowski 1584-1984. Epoka – twórczość – recepcja, t. I, Lublin 1989, s. 144.

102 J. Bardach, Z praktyki kancelarii litewskiej za Zygmunta I Starego, w: Prace z dziejów Polski feudalnej ofiarowane Romanowi Grodeckiemu w 70 rocznicę urodzin, Warszawa 1960, s. 322, 335, 339, 351.

103Matricularum Regni Poloniae summaria, t. IV, nr 344-345, 22735; Urzędnicy wielkopolscy XVI-XVIII wieku. Spisy, opr. A. Bieniaszewski, Wrocław 1987, s. 92-93, 117, 161.

104 B. Możejko, W sprawie jednej pomyłki polskiej kancelarii królewskiej z II połowy XV w., czyli przyczynek do funkcjonowania służby dyplomatycznej Kazimierza Jagiellończyka, w: Kaci, święci, templariusze, Malbork 2008, s. 218-219.

105 W. Czapliński, Na dworze króla Władysława IV, Warszawa 1959, s. 177.

106This section is based mostly on: Dyplomatyka wieków średnich, oprac. K. Maleczyński, M. Bielińska, A. Gąsiorowski, Warszawa 1971; I. Sułkowska – Kurasiowa, Dokumenty królewskie i ich funkcja w państwie polskim za Andegawenów i pierwszych Jagiellonów 1370 – 1444, Warszawa 1977; taż, Polska kancelaria królewska w latach 1447-1506, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1967, and also on a file collected by the author, which contains excerpts from royal documents in the early modern period; in future it is supposed to be a base for a separate treatise.

107 W. Chorążyczewski, Nowożytny dokument, s. 42-44.

108 A. Adamska, Arengi w dokumentach Władysława Łokietka. Formy i funkcje, Kraków 1999.

109 W. Chorążyczewski, Nowożytny dokument, s. 35.

110 W. Chorążyczewski, Dokument w życiu politycznym; tenże, Sprawy wojskowe.

111 Por. W. Chorążyczewski, Języki życia publicznego w Rzeczypospolitej Polsko-Litewskiej. Między polityką a użytecznością, w: Humanities in New Europe, cz. 2, Science and Society, Kaunas 2007, s. 136-144.

Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych PL_1_4_1-358_0059.jpg Polskie Towarzystwo Heraldyczne"