Zbigniew Oleśnicki

Deceased Person

1389 – 1455


Who was Zbigniew Oleśnicki?

Zbigniew Oleśnicki or Zbigniew z Oleśnicy, known in Latin as Sbigneus, was a high-ranking Roman Catholic clergyman and an influential Polish statesman and diplomat. He served as Bishop of Kraków from 1423 until his death in 1455. He took part in the management of the country's most important affairs, initially as a royal secretary under King Władysław II Jagiełło and later as the effective regent during King Władysław III's minority. In 1449 he became the first native Polish cardinal.

At the age of twenty he was secretary to King Władysław Jagiełło, and fought with him in the battle of Grunwald on 14 July 1410. A favourite with the king, he took part in the management of the country's most important affairs. His influence with the king greatly aided him in opposing the Hussites, who had gained royal favour. On 9 July 1423, he was appointed to the episcopal See of Kraków, and in 1433 he was sent by the king as legate to the council of Basle, where he endeavoured to be on friendly terms with both parties.

On 18 December 1439, he was created cardinal priest with the titular church of St. Prisca, by Pope Eugene IV. As cardinal, his influence in Poland was second only to that of the king, and, during the frequent absence of Casimir IV in Lithuania, he transacted the affairs of the State.

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Dec 5, 1389
Gmina Sienno
Also known as
  • Zbigniew Cardinal Olesnicki
  • Catholicism
Apr 1, 1455

on July 23, 2013


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