Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Dominik Dziewanowski

Dominik Dziewanowski

*1811 Szafarnia, †8 VI 1881 Działyń

Dominik-Jan-Henryk Dziewanowski, known among Fryderyk Chopin's close school-friends as 'Domuś', came from a prominent Mazovian family, using the Jastrzębiec coat-of-arms, whose seat was Dziewanowo in the region of Płock. The documented history of this family dates back to 1408. Its members held a number of important posts in Pomerania, as well as in the regions of Chełmno and Dobrzyn. From the mid seventeenth century, the Dziewanowskis were in possession of the landed estate of Płonne, in the district of Rypin, including Szafarnia, which, in 1792, after the estate was divided among the family, fell to Jan-Kanty (1755-1813), husband of Cecylia Trembecka (her sister, Perpetua, was the wife of Józef-Andrzej Pruszak and mother of another of Chopin's friends, 'Kostuś' Pruszak). This couple's children were Jan-Nepomucen (1782-1808), a well-known officer of the light cavalry who died after the charge on Somosierra, Juliusz (1779-1854), Ludwika (1775-1880), familiar from Chopin's 'Kurier Szafarski', and Józefa (b. c.1787; d. Działyń, 25 Feb. 1863). Of these, Juliusz married (in Warsaw, 12 Nov. 1810), Wiktoria Rafałowicz (granddaughter of Andrzej Rafałowicz, mayor of Warsaw), with whom he had a son, Dominik. Juliusz's second marriage, to Honorata Borzewska (b. c.1803; d. Warsaw, 21 Jan. 1868), was childless. In 1833 he was accused by the Russian authorities of collaborating with the post-insurrectionary partisans under Kalikst Borzewski and sentenced to imprisonment in Warsaw; on his release, he remained under strict police supervision. In 1838 he transferred Szafarnia to his son, Dominik, while he himself took up residence on the estate of Działyń, in the district of Lipno, which he had previously purchased; that is where he died.

At Szafarnia, Juliusz Dziewanowski twice received Fryderyk Chopin during the summer holidays (1824, 1825). These two sojourns, combined with visits to the nearby manors and with his participation in country rituals, left a strong impression on Chopin's musical output.

The Dziewanowskis' links with the Chopins date from Mikołaj Chopin's bachelor years, when he most probably worked at Szafarnia as tutor to Jan-Nepomucen and Juliusz Dziewanowski. In later years, Jan-Nepomucen became godfather to Ludwika Chopin, in Warsaw, whilst Juliusz's son, Dominik, became a close friend of Fryderyk Chopin.

Dominik-Jan-Henryk was born at Szafarnia in 1811. In 1822 he enrolled at the Liceum Warszawskie secondary school and boarded with the Chopins. On completing his schooling, on 22 September 1828 he became a student of Warsaw University, on the Department of Law and Administration. His studies were cut short by the outbreak of the November Rising, in which he took an active part. When the uprising fell, he resumed legal studies in Berlin, where he made contact with Artur Zawisza. On returning from exile, in 1833, he took up residence at Działyń, which came into his possession in 1844; for a short time he also owned the estate of Bocheniec, in the district of Rypin. During this time he was active in political and public life. In 1848 he was a member of the Welfare Society of the district of Lipno, and the following year became its chief warden. Also in 1848 he was drawn into the conspiratorial organisation of Henryk Krajewski and appointed its head for the Lipno district; when the plot was uncovered, in 1850, he was briefly placed under arrest, and in 1852 he was put under strict police supervision. In that same year he was selected as adviser to the Committee of the Land Credit Society of the province of Płock; at the beginning of the 1860s he was an active member of the Agricultural Society. In the years 1859-1861 he was a member of the delegation preparing the rents imposed on peasants in the Lipno district; in January 1862 he was appointed a provisional member of the Council of State, and on 27 March 1861 a permanent member. He remained so until 13 April 1867, when this institution was liquidated (in 1865 he was head of the Department of Petitions and Appeals). From 30 July 1862 to 18 July 1863 he was civil governor of the Russian-ruled province of Płock; he enjoyed the trust of the authorities and supported the policies of Aleksander Wielopolski. As an opponent of the January Rising, in 1865 he was awarded a medal to commemorate 'the crushing of the revolt of 1863/1864', and in 1867 he received the Russian order of St Vladimir, third class.

He was married to his distant relative, Józefa Romocka (b. 1819), daughter of Hieronim, proprietor of Obrowo, in the region of Dobrzyn (mentioned in Chopin's correspondence), and Kawęczyn. This union produced a single daughter, Cecylia, who in 1867 married Feliks Ciechomski. Dominik Dziewanowski died at Działyń on 8 June 1881, and there he was buried; his estate was inherited by his daughter, Cecylia.

Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski (December 2006)

Bibliography:
Piotr Gałkowski, Genealogia ziemiaństwa ziemi dobrzyńskiej XIX-XX wieku [Genealogy of the Landowners of the Dobrzyn Region in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries] (Rypin, 1997).
Rafał Gerber, Studenci Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 1808-1831. Słownik biograficzny [Warsaw University Students 1808-1831. A Biographical Dictionary] (Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków-Gdańsk, 1977), 140.
Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski, Chopinowie. Krąg rodzinno-towarzyski [The Chopins. Their Family and Social Circle] (Warsaw, 2005).

 


 

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