Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
Miscellaneous Extracts relating
to Scots in Poland (3)
Done on the Tuesday after
Passion Sunday (Dominiaca Judica),28th March 1651.
Compearing in person before
the present session of the Council of Cracow, the Prudent JOHN GAWRONER,
His Majesty’s General, declared, as his faithful Report, that on the
previous day, acting as pursuer at the request of the Prosecutor of His
Royal Majesty and the State, on the information of the Treasury of the
Realm, he did deliver into the hands of the Worshipful Francis Cyrus, then
Mayor of Cracow, in the Judicial Council Chamber, and of Alexander Dyxion,
in the Hall of these City Chambers, two Summonses in writing from the
Chancery of His Majesty the King, bearing the Lesser Seal of the Realm
(dated Warsaw, the Tuesday [14th March.] after the Third Sunday
in Lent (Dominica Oculi Quadragesimalis), 1651, and fixing a Term
two weeks from their issue), and affecting the present Council of Cracow,
the Well-famed Alexander Dyxion, a Scotsman’s son, James Chanbarz, James
Larmche, and all other Scots or those of Scottish descent dwelling here in
Cracow (whose several names the said Prosecutor desires to have entered in
their Summons, and is bound to specify at a future date) cited to appear
as representing the present Court; the charge against the said Court being
‘that they did fail to compel the above-mentioned Alexander Dyxion, a
Scotsman’s son, and all other Scots or those of Scottish descent who are
citizens of Cracow, or enjoy the right to dwell therein or to continue in
their accustomed trade, to take the bounden and statutory oath concerning
the Assessment of their whole estate in general; and also to receive from
them and pay into the Treasury of His Majesty the King a tithe of their
substance as assessed on oath after the manner sanctioned by law,’ and
that against the foresaid Alexander Dyxion and the other Scots above-named
being ‘that in contravention of the Constitution of the recent Warsaw Diet
concerning subsidy for His Most Serene Highness the King of Great Britain,
and of the Letters Universal relating thereto, they did fail to take the
oath as premised on the assessment of all their estate, and to give up a
tithe of their substance to this present court, and pay it through the
same into the Treasury of His Majesty the King, thereby neglecting to
comply absolutely and entirely with the foresaid Constitution and the
Letters Universal of His Majesty the King’ (as their citations in the
premises more fully bear).
He reported furthermore that he had
fixed and appointed a Term for their compearance before the Court of His
Royal Majesty, as stated in the forementioned Summonses. In these express
terms did he make this his Report, declaring that he had acted thus and
not otherwise.—Cons.Crac., 1648-1652, f. 1073-4.
Done on the Wednesday after
Passion Sunday, 29th March 1651.
The Well-famed RICHARD
GORDON, compearing in person before the present session of the Council of
Cracow, presented to the said court the following Instruments signed by
the Well-born Olbracht Krosnowski, Courtier of His Majesty the King, and
the Worshipful John Ubaldin, Mayor of Lemberg, and fortified with the
seals of the foresaid Krosnowski and the city of Lemberg, safe, sound, and
marred by no taint of suspicion, craving that they be adopted in the
present Acts and engrossed therein to secure the best advantage. This
request was granted. The first of these Instruments is to the following
‘The Well-famed Richard
Gordon, compearing in person in the Town Hall of Lemberg (Lwow) in the
presence of Olbracht Krosnowski, Secretary, Courtier, and Commissioner of
His Royal Highness, and in presence of the gentlemen of the Lemberg
Council (in accordance with the Constitution and Letters Universal of His
Royal Highness) assembled to hear his oath and to take the tenth part of
his whole substance—a tax laid upon the merchants of English and Scottish
birth—took the oath according to the Letters Universal (?) dated Warsaw,
25th November 1650, and expressed, and written (?) in this Town Hall over
the Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Here follows the statutory
The same Richard Gordon,
having given the tenth part of his substance in ready money, received a
Cornpearing in person
before the present session of the Council of Cracow, the Honest MAGDALEN,
wife of the Well-famed Abram Ossert, with the lawful assistance of the
Noble John Maiewski, assumed as her Tutor ad hoc during the
temporary absence of her husband from the city, and approved by the court,
presented to the said court the following Instrument, fortified with the
Seal of the city of Lublow, and signed by the hand of the Honourable
Albert Pruskowski, then Judge of the city of Lublow, sound, safe, intact,
and free from all mark of suspicion, craving that it be adopted in the
Acts and engrossed therein. This request was granted. The Instrument is to
‘In the year 1651, on the
24th day of January, the Well-famed Abraham Ossert, a Scot by nationality,
our fellow-citizen and merchant of Lublow, compearing in person before our
plenary Court according to the regulation of the Constitutions-General at
Warsaw on 5th December of last year (1650), liquidated his estate on oath,
and made us certify that he reached 1000 florins as his total, from which
he now and hereby pays into our hand 100 florins, as the Constitutions
‘In surer witness whereof
we have had these Letters signed with our own hand and fortified with the
Lesser Seal of our Community.
‘Given in our Town Hall at
Lublow on the above date. ALBERT PRUSZKOWSKI, Judge of Lublow, and his
sworn Assessors. (Here is affixed the seal.)’—Cons. Crac.,
1648-1652, f. 1075-6.
One JACOB [Probably an
error for James.]CZAMER is also mentioned as having given a
tithe of his substance.
Documents about Taxes
levied upon Scots in Poland.
(1) EXTRACT FROM CIRCULAR
LETTER as to Taxes issued in the reign of Sigismund Augustus, A.D. l569.
[In Warsaw, the ‘Scots’ Tax,’ as it was called, amounted to 24 florins, 3
½ groszy per head. It was this tax which, imposed in 1617, aroused the
indignation of the Scots trading in Poland. In 1626, the proceeds of the
tax, in Warsaw, were spent on those suffering in the effects of the
Item. The Scots who carry
their things upon their backs to sell them, must pay at the rate of 1
zloty of money.
Item. The Scots who carry
about their wares with horses must pay sixty groszy in money. [60 groszy=2
zloty. The relative values of Polish moneys will be found at the end of
In this manner hath the tax
to be taken in towns and hamlets.
Item. The Scots who go with
packs and have no carts must pay 1 zloty per head, and those who have
carts and horses must pay 2 zloty, and from their wares shall they be
equal to the others.
(2) CIRCULAR OF TAXATION.
At the free Diet of the
Crown held in Warsaw in the year 1613. Zigismond III.
Item. The Scots by head
must pay two zloty. And all who have carts and horses, for each horse must
pay fifteen groszy, and for their wares apart, equally with other
merchants, must they pay four groszy.
All drivers from the horse
must pay fifteen groszy.
And the Scots who go with
packs and have no carts must pay for each one zloty during the whole year.
See ‘Acta Testimonium, h.
1122 f. 399, in the library of the ARCHIVES of ANCIENT DEEDS in Cracow,
(The curious document, of
which the following is a translatioti, is in the ‘Cracow Archives of
Ancient Acts,’ under the title of ‘Genealogia Orsetti’ (v. Acta
Testimonium, h. 1122, f. 399). Written partly in Latin and partly in
Polish, it throws an interesting light upon the part the Scots played in
the history of Poland and the fallacy of the idea that they were always
crushed and ill-treated by the Poles. Unfortunately the end of Hunter’s
career is wrapped in mystery as all traces of the result of this inquiry
have been lost.
Tynec, the place where
Hunter deserted the Poles for the Swedes, was a strongly fortified
monastery on the banks of the Vistula, a few miles from Cracow. It is now
in ruins, but the gateway through which Hunter must have led his men
At the instance and
application of the noble and famous William Orsetti, citizen and merchant
of Cracow, the under-mentioned witnesses were diligently examined, and
having taken the oath by raising the fingers of their right hands towards
heaven, the first witness, the honest Francis Fyatr, merchant and citizen
of Cracow, and second, Adam Sobierayczyk, citizen and merchant, recognise
The first Question.
Whether he was here in Cracow during the time of the
Swedes, and whether he knows what Mr. Hunter did and how he behaved with
To which he answers.
I lived in Cracow during the Swedish
occupation, and saw how Mr. Hunter went out against the Polish army with
the Swedes, and led his troop and had a sign on his troop and a position
for different Scottish apprentices; that is, merchants went to him. And
when he was with the Swedes under Tynec then he took Mr. Orlem to prison
and to the town. What he did with him after that I know not.
Whether he went to Witemberk when the
Swedes entered the town, and what service he did him.
To which he answers,
that he was Witemberk’s manager, for
Witemberk always called him manager, and Mr. Hunter himself boasted that
this same Witemberk always made him the eldest, even to the Swedish King
himself, and that he rendered accounts to none but the Swedish King, and
that by Witemberk’s promotion.
Whether he did not himself manage all Witemberk’s
affairs for the side of the Swedes against his own. To which he hath
replied in the negative.
Whether he was in such favour with
Witemberk and other Swedes that he got all he wanted and did what he
he hath made reply in the affirmative that he had
favour with Witemberk as with a master, and got what he wanted, and did
what he liked. [This must refer to Hunter. Cf. answer to question 6.]
Whether after Witemberk’s leaving he
knew all the secrets and knew whatever the Swedes were to do. To which he
hath made reply in the negative.
Whether he had his own company and who
was in that company, and whether he, with this company, rode out against
our own, as under the mogila. [Mogila was the stone laid upon the
graves where soldiers were buried in large numbers after a battle.]
he hath made answer as above, that he had this troop,
which he led under his banner, and various Scottish apprentices were in
it, that is, apprentices of this Mr. Pupp and various others; but the
Christian and surnames of these I do not know, as I only knew them by
Whether he had taken any booty, either
he or any of his apprentices.
he hath made negative reply, that I do
Whether he plundered any villages or set
the Scots to do so.
he hath made negative reply. That I do
Whether he was under Tynec when they
stormed ours, and whether he, having got Mr. Orlem out of prison, took him
first to his house and then took him to the Castle with other prisoners,
when he boasted that he had defeated and killed ours.
he replied as above. That he was under
Tynec and took Mr. Orlem to prison, but I did not see whether he took
other prisoners, but he often boasted that he had beaten and killed ours,
and even said that our beloved Majesty the King was never to be King of
Poland any more. This I heard from his own lips, he even said he would no
longer be king.
Whether, during the time that the Swedes
went out from the town against ours, Hunter stayed in the town with the
guard he had trained, looking after the citizens lest they should look out
of their houses—or run away.
he hath made reply in the negative, that
I do not know.
Whether he rode about the town with a
gun and looked over the streets and walls and rendered other services to
the Swedes against us to such an extent that the Swedes themselves could
not have done more.
he hath made reply in the affirmative, that he always
walked about the town with a rapier, and always had a gun when he rode,
and he could always ride about by the walls and did so ride, and was even
commandant over the watch of the citizens who were told off at night. At
such times he was there and looked after things.
Whether he at all times walked abroad with a sword,
even when other citizens had theirs taken away.
he made reply in the affirmative, that he always went
with a rapier or a sword.
Whether he did cavil, curse, and everywhere laugh at
the Polish army, did circulate bad news against ours, and rejoiced at the
he hath made reply in the affirmative, that he hath
done all this, that he cavilled at the Polish army, and did his best to
curse them on every occasion, he never scattered good news but always bad,
and rejoiced at the Swedish victories.
Whether he knoweth or hath heard that Hunter disposed
of the goods and things belonging to Mr Orsetti, and which were left in
the same house wherein he lived and took them for himself.
he hath made answer in the negative, that he does not
The third witness, David
Wolff, hath answered the first question in the affirmative. He hath given
the names of the Scots who followed Hunter as Blahal, Hod (?), Puppe.
He hath made answer that he is not sure.
He hath affirmed that Hunter sat at the Council with Witemberk.
He made reply affirmatively, affirming the same things
as the others.
The fifth witness, David
Sanochi, hath suggested that Blahal, Karmichael and other gentlemen,
Scots, could make best answer to question third. He also hath affirmed
that Hunter made boast that he had killed a noble.
He answered in the negative.
He answered in the negative.
He answered in the negative.
He made reply that he always went about with a sword,
that he never gave the Polish army a good word. (One Andrew Sanochi also
affirms that Hunter led a troop against the Poles; that he was Witemberk’s
‘good man,’ but knows nothing of their secret dealings. He answers
question number three in the negative. Says that he saw Blahal and Danil
[?] Puppe, ‘Scots,’ with Hunter, and that Hunter went about with a sword,
and laughed at the Polish army.
The tenth witness, one Paul
Byczkowicz, likewise affirms that Hunter had a troop, and was in favour
with Witemberk and another Swedish general; that he had a guard in the
town; went about with a sword; laughed at the Polish King and army; took
Mr. Orsetti’s goods; but that he does not know how many.
witnesses, who bear out, more or less, the statements of the foregoing,
are then called, and the entry closes.]
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