Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Jan Skarbek

Jan Skarbek

*1710, †27 I 1772

Jan Skarbek (coat-of-arms Abdank), Castellan of Inowrocław, was the person who employed Jakub and Antonina Krzyżanowski, Fryderyk Chopin's grandparents, on his estate of Izbica for a couple of decades. He was born c.1710 to Franciszek (d. 1749), Voivode of Łęczyce, and his first wife, Franciszka, née Kadzidłowska. Jan's siblings were Władysław (d. 1761), major-general of the crown forces, Wojciech (1713-1759), starosta of Tuszyn, and Marianna (d. after 1791), wife of Adam Bromirski (d. 1782/84; coat-of-arms Pobóg), standard-bearer of Płock.

Before 1733 Jan received from his father the starosty of Tuszyn, situated in the district of Piotrków. In January 1733 he became Speaker of the Kujawy regional assembly in Radziejów, and in the same year represented the Łęczyce voivodeship at the Convocational Sejm; during this period he was a supporter of the Saxons. In the years 1744, 1746 and 1754 he represented the Łęczyce voivodeship at successive sejms; in 1745 he became royal chamberlain. In later years he took the side of the ‘Familia' (the Czartoryski party), and in 1764 represented the Inowrocław voivodeship at the Convocational Sejm and was an elector of King Stanislaus Augustus. On 14 December that year he was rewarded by the king with the castellany of Inowrocław. In 1767 he joined the pro-Saxon Confederation of Radom, but during the period of the Confederation of Bar (1768-1772) he supported Stanislaus Augustus.

Together with his brothers, Jan inherited from his parents the estate of Izbica, located in the district of Przedecz in the region of Kujawy. In 1744 he bought his brothers out and became the sole proprietor. In 1754, in the vicinity of the existing village of Izbica, he founded and settled Nowa Izbica. Jan also inherited from his father Drobin in the Mazovian district of Bielsko. In 1764 he purchased from Jakub Łącki the estates of Otoczna, Chwałkowice and one half of Węgierki in the Wielkopolska district of Pyzdry. Of the royal demesne he also possessed Szamborowo in the district of Gniezno (from 1748) and Świętosławice, Sarnowo and Skaszyn in the district of Przedecz (from 1750). His residence in Izbica was a two-storey walled mansion with what were, for that region, quite opulent interior decorations. It was plundered and destroyed by Prussian troops in the winter of 1772.

On 27 August 1743, in Kcynia, Jan Skarbek married Anna Gajewska (b. c.1731; coat-of-arms Ostoja), daughter of Stanisław, son of the Castellan of Santok, and Ludwika, née Cerekwicka. She died in Izbica on 5 February 1759 after a week-long illness and was buried in the church of the Pauline cloister in nearby Brdów, of which she was ‘a special benefactor'. Skarbek remarried on 13 September 1760, in Lubraniec, to Konstancja Bruchental. She was the daughter of Count Józef von Bruchental (Prukenthal, Brückental), major-general of the imperial forces, and Dorota, daughter of Adam Koss, Castellan of Chełmno, and Barbara, née Bobrownicka. The figure of Józef Bruchental is difficult to identify; he was doubtless of Austrian origins, and probably served in the Russian imperial army (which explains the family's ties with Pomerania). However, there is also documentation pointing to family interests in the Kingdom of Hungary, in Austria itself, and in both Volhynia and Podolia.

Skarbek's second marriage (to Konstancja) broke up essentially due to the actions of Duke Czetwertyński (Konstancja's future husband), who, according to Fryderyk Skarbek's Memoirs, was instrumental in the couple's divorce.

Jan Skarbek died on 27 January 1772 and on 8 February was buried in the family crypt in front of the main altar in the Pauline church in Brdów. His first marriage was childless. His union with Konstancja Bruchental produced three sons: Eugeniusz (1761-1842), Kacper (1763-1823) and Michał (1769-1794). Jan's widow, Konstancja, later married Michał-Aleksander Czetwertyński (1741-1796), starosta of Żytomierz and Ruszyn. She died in Piotrków [Trybunalski] in 1792 and was buried in the local Bernardine church. With her second husband she had three sons: Franciszek (d. after 1819), Marcin-Aleksander (1778-1825) and Stanisław (d. after 1819).

Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski (December 2006)

Bibliography:
Jarosław Dumanowski and Jerzy Dygdała, ‘Skarbek Jan h. Abdank (ok. 1710-1772), kasztelan inowrocławski', entry in Polski słownik biograficzny [Polish Biographical Dictionary], xxxviii (Warsaw-Kraków, 1997-1998), 17-19.
Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski, Chopinowie. Krąg rodzinno-towarzyski [The Chopins. Their Family and Social Circle] (Warsaw, 2005).

 


 

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