The Union of Lublin, 1569

In the name of the Lord, amen. In perpetual memory of the matter described below. We the prelates and the lords counsellors, both ecclesiastical and secular, the dukes and all the estates of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and all the land deputies who are present with the lords counsellors, the deputies and the estates of the entire Crown of Poland at this joint general assembly in Lublin, that is: Walerjan Bishop of Wilno through his plenipotentiary, Gierzy Pieczkowicz Bishop of Samogitia, Hrehory Aleksandrowicz Codtkowicz Lord Castellan of Wilno, Supreme Hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Starost of Grodno, Stefan Zbaraski Koributowicz Tenant of Mohylew and Voivode of Troki, Ostafiej Wołowicz Lord Castellan of Troki, Vice-Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Starost of Brześć and Kobryń, Jan Chodkiewicz Count of Szkłów and Mysz, Starost of Samogitia, Supreme Marshall of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Administrator and Hetman of the Land of Livonia, Starost of Kowno and Tenant of Płotsk and Telsze, Wasilej Tyszkowicz Voivode of Smoleńsk, Starost of Mińsk and Pińsk through his plenipotentiary, Paweł Iwanowicz Sapieha Voivode of Nowogródek, Girzy Wasylewicz Tyszkowicz Voivode of Brześć and Starost of Wołkowysk, Gabriel Iwanowicz Hornostaj Voivode of Mińsk and Starost of Kamieniec, Malcher Szemiott Castellan of Samogitia and Ciwun of Birże through his plenipotentiary, Hrehory Tryzna Castellan of Smoleńsk, Hrehory Wołowicz Castellan of Nowogródek and Starost of Słonim, Jan Mikołajewicz Hajko Castellan of Brześć, Equerry of Grodno and Tenant of Traby, Mikołaj Talwosz Castellan of Mińsk and Starost of Dyneburg, Mikołaj Naruszewicz Land Treasurer of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Clerk of His Royal Majesty, Tenant of Markowo, Miadzioł, Uszpol and Pieniany, Mikołaj Chrystofor Radziwiłł Prince of Olita and Nieśwież, Court Marshall of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Jan Kiszka Carver of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Mikołaj Olechnowicz Drohostajski Pantler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Tenant of Wielona, Bejsagoła and Ciwun of the Estate of Samogitia and Gądzin, Lawryn Wojna Treasurer of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Clerk of His Royal Majesty, Tenant of Kraśnik and Kwasów. And the Marshalls of His Royal Majesty in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Duke Łukasz Bolesławowicz Swirzski Tenant of Krewo, Mikołaj Sapieha, Jan Wołczek Equerry of Wilno and Land Vice-Equerry, Kaleniecki Tyszkowicz Tenant of Wasyliszki, Jan Bolesławowicz Świrski Deputy of the District of Wilno, Malcher Snowski Land Judge of Nowogródek, Tenant of Kurzeniec and Deputy of the District of Nowogródek, Paweł Ostrowicki Deputy of the District of Oszmiana, and Marshalls Aleksander Wahanowski and Jan Pałuski Tenant of Niemanowicze. Clerks of His Royal Majesty: Michajło Haraburda Tenant of Świsłocz, Bazilius Drzewiński, Maciej Sawicki Starost of Mielnik and Wojski of Drohiczyn, Stanisław Naruszewicz Ciwun of Wilno. And we the deputies of the lands and districts of this famous state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, sent to this general assembly by the lands and districts with full powers from the Voivodeship of Wilno, together with afore-mentioned Marshall Duke Jan Swirski, Duke Malcher Matuszewicz Gedrojć, Chamberlain Andrzej Dzierzko from the Voivodeship of Troki, Kasper Rajecki Standard-Bearer of the Land of Troki and Michajło Wrona; from the Land of Samogitia Mikołaj Stankiewicz Bielewicza Chamberlain of the Land of Samogitia and Ciwun of Ejragoła, Iwan Ilgowski Ciwun of Wieszwiany and Ciwun of the Land of Samogitia; Jan Gradowski, Fiedor Kopeć and Jan Skirmont from the Land of Smoleńsk; from the Voivodeship of Nowogródek, together with afore-mentioned Marshall Malcher Snowski – Andrzej Iwanowicz Secretary of His Royal Majesty and Chamberlain of Nowogródek; from the Voivodeship of Witebsk – Andrzej Kisiel Castellan of Witebsk and Tymofiej Hurko Vice-Judge of Witebsk; from the Voivodeship of Brześć – Dominik Pac Chamberlain of Brześć, Adam Pociej Land Clerk of Brześć; from the Voivodeship of Mścisław – Isaj Szczołkan and Hreory Marakowski; from the Voivodeship of Mińsk – Wasilej Rahoza Court Standard-Bearer of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Andrzej Stankiewicz. And from the districts which belong to these voivodeships: from the District of Oszmiana in the Voivodeship of Wilno, together with afore-mentioned Marshall Paweł Ostrowicki – Stanisław Stanisławowicz Land Judge of Oszmiana; from the District of Wiłkomierz – Mikołaj Koncza and Krzysztof Razmysowicz; from the District of Lida – Szadzibor Dowgird and Szczęsny Augustynowicz Huba; from the District of Grodno in the Voivodeship of Troki – Duke Iwan Masalski Land Judge of Grodno and Jan Klukowski; from the District of Kowno – Andrzej Ilgowski Ciwun of Twery and Kasper Giedroić; from the District of Słonim in the Voivodeship of Nowogródek – Michajło Sokołowski Judge of Słonim and Maciej Jacynicz; from the District of Wołkowysk – Jeronim Pukszta Standard-Bearer of Wołkowysk and Piotr Skrobott; from the District of Orsza in the Voivodeship of Witebsk – Bogusz Alekieiowicz Skołko Standard-Bearer of Orsza and Fiodor Woropaj; from the District of Pińsk in the Voivodeship of Brześć – Stanisław Szyrma Wojski of Pińsk and Iwan Domanowicz Vice-Judge of Pińsk; from the District of Mozyrz – Fiedor Lenkowicz and Jan Kłopot; from the District of Rzeczyca in the Voivodeship of Mińsk – Andrzej Chalecki Land Clerk of Rzeczyca and Izmajło Zienkowicz. And the entire nobility, the citizens of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, both present and absent here in Lublin, whose will and intention towards the matters mentioned below is well-known to us from the district parliaments which preceded this general assembly of Lublin, and whose names are as if inserted here and whose seals are as if suspended here. And thereafter, also deputies from Wilno the capital town of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Franc Stanisławowic Durnik and Fiedor Jackowicz Wielkowicz Burgomasters and Hieronim Opachwski Clerk of the Town of Wilno.

1. By this charter of ours we notify to all the contemporary and future people, to whose knowledge this charter of ours will come, that we unceasingly have in mind our duty towards our fatherland the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, whose entire honour, ornament, the common good and first of all the provision against both internal and external danger is to be cared for by us, and we also consider and have in mind the union and community with the citizens of the entire Crown of Poland, which is most beneficial for both nations and which was previously made with the joint written agreement of both nations, and which was confirmed by charters, seals, oaths and honour of both parties, and which has been maintained by diligence and steadiness of both parties, but then it was somehow harmed in bad and adverse times. Both we and our forefathers have always had it in mind and for a considerable period of time we have admonished our rulers the Kings of Poland, both the late Zygmunt and Zygmunt August who now fortunately rules over both nations, the Poles and the Lithuanians, and with our requests we have inclined our rulers as supreme and the only lords of both nations to carry out the execution and effect of both common registers and our other rights and privileges, which we and the Crown of Poland received with regard to this union and community with the lords and the lands of the Crown of Poland already from the great-grandfather of His Royal Majesty and from King Aleksander, and to support us by their Royal grace and due to their suzerainty and to condescend to bring back in order all this, which detached itself from this community, by means of gathering us, the lords counsellors and other estates of the Crown of Poland at one place, so that this matter which is glorious and beneficial for both nations may be carried into effect, in such a way as this matter of the union is clearly referred to in the acts, the constitutions, the declarations and the resolutions of contemporary parliaments. Furthermore, by grace of God, Who favours community and unity, and Who condescends to have kingdoms, states and commonwealths of the entire world in His particular care, and also by grace of our ruler, Zygmunt August the afore-mentioned King of Poland etc., who presently rules fortunately over us, we diligently led to this, that first in Warszawa at the session of the Parliament held in 1563, and then in Parczew in 1564, where we convened with the estates of the Crown, we made a significant introduction to the restoration of this community and this partially harmed union, by means of mutually discussing and confirming the articles of this union. These articles could not be confirmed there by joint registers of ours and the estates of the Crown, due to scarcity of time and other more urgent needs of the Commonwealth of both nations. Therefore, in these more peaceful times, having gathered at this general assembly in Lublin on 23 December 1568, held by His Royal Majesty by permission of both Polish and Lithuanian lords counsellors, and maintained and steadily continued until present, we made the following mentioned below treatises and pacts between ourselves, which we carried into effect and conclusion with joint and unanimous agreement and register of both parties, with no detriment to the resolution of Warszawa and other privileges. For this let there be Eternal Glory to Lord God, One in Trinity, and immortal thanks to His Royal Highness by the Grace of God King Zygmunt August, and perpetual fame and ornament to the honourable Crown of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

2. First, although there were previous pacts of friendship and alliance which contributed to the benefit of the Commonwealth, both the Crown of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania etc., it seems that they contain some points which are contrary to good and sincere fraternal trust. Therefore, we have renewed and moderated these previous pacts in with regard to all this, for the sake of a stronger union, common and mutual fraternal love, in perpetual and mutual defence of both states, for unquestionable fraternal faith in perpetual times for the Glory of God, with eternal thanks and noble glory of His Royal Majesty, and for the immense and eternal fame, ornament, praise and strengthening of honesty, perpetual and mutual augmentation of respect and majesty of these both most respectable nations of Poland and Lithuania, as it is stated below.

3. The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania are one indivisible and uniform body and also one uniform Commonwealth, which grew and consolidated into one nation from two states and nations.

4. One head, one ruler and one common king should perpetually rule over this joint nation. He will be elected by joint votes of the Poles and the Lithuanians, and he will be elected in Poland and then he will be anointed and crowned for the Kingdom of Poland in Kraków. According to the privilege of King Aleksander, the absence of either party will impede the election, as all the estates of the Crown of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania are to be duly and obligatorily invited [for the election].

5. The election and the installation of the Grand Duke of Lithuania, which previously took part in Lithuania, is to be abandoned. And no sign or resemblance of it should occur in the future, which might result in or stand for the installation or the inauguration of the Grand Duke of Lithuania. And as the title of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and its offices remain, during the election and the coronation the ruler is to be proclaimed King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Kiev, Volhynia, Podlachia and Livonia.

6. The natural and hereditary succession of His Royal Majesty, if it were useful for His Royal Highness or whomever in the Duchy of Lithuania, is not to perpetually impede this community and union of both nations and the election of one common lord, as this right of hereditary succession was perpetually transferred by His Royal Majesty to the Crown. We do not doubt it and we also declare that neither the person of His Royal Majesty nor his offspring, if given to His Royal Majesty by God, will be left destitute by us, but they will receive honest and proper provision from the Commonwealth, in case they are not elected for King. And no dismemberment of the Crown will be done through it, as it is sufficiently stated and guaranteed in the declaration of His Royal Majesty and the resolution of the general assembly of Warszawa.

7. Rights, privileges and liberties of the subjects of both nations and states which are united this way are to be sworn by the crowned king at the coronation of the new king, and they are to be confirmed in one charter and with the same words for perpetual times.

8. This common nation is to perpetually have common Crown parliaments and councils under the King of Poland, its ruler. And the lords are to sit among the lords, and the deputies among the deputies, and they are to discuss common needs both at the sessions of the parliament and apart from them, in Poland and in Lithuania. 

9. For the sake of one party lending aid and advice to the other, His Royal Majesty is to keep entire and intact all the rights and privileges of all the lands and the nations, both of the Crown of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and to the lands that belong to them, granted to them in whatever charters by all the predecessors of His Royal Majesty and by His Royal Majesty himself in previous times and from the beginning of the union, granted by any means to everyone together and to each person individually, and all the liberties, dignities, prerogatives and offices of the common nation. And all the rights of all kinds, verdicts, ducal ranks and noble families of these mentioned nations, and all the court resolutions from ancient times until the present are to be kept firm and intact.

10. Oaths of the councils, dignitaries, starosts of the Lithuanian nation and people of more prominent houses, who are to make them, remain valid, as we jointly decided upon this both in privileges and in the common register at the general assembly in Warszawa in such a manner that all such oaths are to be later made to the crowned king and the Crown of Poland. As regards oaths to keep general agreements, they are to be kept and remain firm according to the privilege of King Aleksander.

11. We the prelates, the dukes, the counsellors, the barons and all the estates of the common nation are to lend one another mutual aid and support one another with all means and opportunities in all adversities, as it will be deemed useful and necessary by the common estimation. We are to consider both fortunate and adverse affairs to be common for us and support one another faithfully. No alliances or pacts or agreements with foreign nations are to be made or decided upon in the future, as decided upon in the common agreement of Warszawa, and no envoys are to be sent to foreign countries in significant affairs, unless with the knowledge and common deliberation of both nations. And alliances or pacts made previously with whatever nation, if found detrimental to whatever party, are not to be kept.

13. The currency both in Poland and in Lithuania is to be uniform and equal in weight and bullion, the number of coins [minted from one weight unit] and the inscriptions on coins. His Royal Majesty and his descendants will be obliged to carry this to effect.

14. His Royal Majesty shall condescend to nullify all the tolls and duties both in Poland and in Lithuania, on land and water routes, called by whatever names, both nobility’s, ecclesiastical and municipal ones. From now on, no tolls should be perpetually taken from the clergy, from lay persons of noble rank and from their subjects, concerning whatever wares of own manufacture. No merchant tolls are to be excluded from this and there are to be no collusion with merchants to the detriment and concealment of old usual Royal customs both in Poland and in Lithuania.

14. All the statutes and acts of whatever kind, passed for whatever reason against the Polish nation in Lithuania with regard to acquisition and holding of property in Lithuania by the Poles, concerning estates acquired in whatever way, by a dowry or as a reward for service, by purchase, gift, exchange or whatever way of acquisition according to the common habit and law, are to have no validity, as contrary to law, justice, common fraternal love, community and mutual union. Instead, both the Poles in Lithuania and the Lithuanians in Poland are to be perpetually allowed to acquire property and hold it according to the law of the land where the property is located.

15. As regards other articles of the privilege of King Aleksander, which are not yet declared at the assembly of Warszawa by the declaration of His Royal Majesty or by the common consent, but were postponed from the assembly of Warszawa to the present general assembly of Lublin, all such articles as stated in the privileges, in the common register and eventually in the privilege of King Aleksander, and which were referred to here in Lublin by His Royal Majesty with regard to the matter of the union, are to remain perpetually valid. And for the sake of a better declaration it is stated that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania is to wholly and integrally remain with its title, all its dignities and offices and the honour of its estates, as described in the privilege of King Alexander. This is because it does not make a division and separation of the union and the community.

16. His Royal Majesty is not to hold any separate parliaments for the estates of Poland and Lithuania from now on, but he is always to hold common parliaments for this common nation as one body in Poland, in a place which will be found the most appropriate by His Royal Majesty and the counsellors of Poland and Lithuania.

17. Dignities and offices, which are vacant or may be vacant in the future in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, are not to be given by His Royal Majesty to anyone who would not first make an oath to His Royal Majesty and his descendants the crowned kings of Poland and to this indivisible body of the Crown of Poland.

18. We also sufficiently declare and provide for the estates and the persons of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, that the execution of estates, not only according to the statute of King Aleksander, but also according to whatever privileges, charters, constitutions and parliamentary resolutions which were passed, given or agreed upon in the past in the Crown of Poland with regard to the domain estates of His Royal Majesty in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which were given in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to whomever of any condition by all the predecessors of His Royal Majesty and by His Royal Majesty himself from the very beginning of the union, is not to concern them and their descendants. On the contrary, all the rights and privileges given until present in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by all the predecessors of His Royal Majesty and His Royal Majesty himself from the beginning of the union to the nations of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Samogitia and other nations and citizens of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and to the lands, the districts, the families and individual persons, are to remain completely and wholly intact. Also perpetual landholdings, fiefs, exchanges of Royal estates against private estates, other exchanges, life-estates, and all the liens made during the sessions of the parliaments and apart from that according to whatever privilege, are to be perpetually held, with no questioning of them by means of whatever habit or argument. Also the grants of dignities and offices which for long pertained to them, the liens and whatever grants of income are to be entirely left intact and considered valid and they will not be obliged to spend any part of their usual income, called by whatever name, for anything else than their own use, apart from that what is stipulated in privileges and charters. And if whoever holds estates inherited from his predecessors but without having documentary evidence for these land and possessions, he is to perpetually hold such property both with and without such evidence, according to the old and the new Lithuanian statute and the old habits. By means of this resolution the lords counsellors and all the estates, the deputies of all the lands terminate the power of deciding upon, renewing by any means, reminding of and commencing again the execution of estates received for service and all the past estates, in the name of themselves and their descendants. And as in these times the grants of domain estates in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania are to be abandoned, the estates which will later come back from the ducal and the nobility’s property to the domain of His Royal Majesty, are to be given by His Royal Majesty according to his Royal will and grace to people of the Polish and the Lithuanian nation, so that the land military service is not diminished. Also with regard to recovery of the castles, the estates, the landholdings and all the property from the Muscovite enemy, His Royal Majesty will be obliged to restore them to those to whom these belonged previously, before having been seized by the enemy. And if whatever was given to whomever as a compensation for such property, it is to return to the domain of His Royal Majesty.

19. We the prelates, the lords counsellors, the dukes, the land deputies and all the other estates of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, consider all these articles praiseworthy, necessary and useful for the common nation of both the Crown of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as the one common and individual Commonwealth. As they are written down in this charter with our joint consent with the estates of the famous Crown of Poland, we gladly, benevolently and with good fraternal favour and love towards the prelates, the lords counsellors, the land deputies and all the other estates and person of the Crown, confirm it perpetually with the present charter of ours and we corroborate it with the seals, oaths and honesty of ours and our descendants, and we guarantee and affirm it with such a condition, corroboration and notification, as it pertains to the most significant and most eminent of us with regard to our persons, our positions or our offices on account of both particular and common habits. We promise and swear before God with our good, honest, noble and Christian word, that all which is stated here will be perpetually known, kept and maintained by us and our descendants with no deception and without bringing into doubt or changing anything of this. And we by no means conjure away from this unity which we entered with the nation of this famous Crown of Poland according to the statement of this charter of ours and the articles which are eternally and perpetually included and explained in the charter which the lords Poles have given us. And His Majesty the King has condescended to confirm these common registers of ours with his Royal authority, as our supreme lord. And if either party or an individual did not intend to keep these privileges and registers with are made with regard to the union of these nations, we and our descendants will be obliged to rise up against this party or individual as the enemy of ours and both nations and to remain with our lord the King of Poland. We and our descendants oblige under oath to always perform, fulfil, firmly keep and carry into effect all of this.

And all these matters which are decided upon and confirmed here are perpetually not to be harmed and changed either by His Royal Majesty or by the lords counsellors, all the other estates and the land deputies of both nations, be it with a joint agreement or separately by either party, but they are to remain perpetual, integral and firm.

And for a better testimony and the eternal memory of the matters described above, we the afore-mentioned prelates and the lords counsellors, both ecclesiastical and secular, the dukes, we the land deputies and other estates present at this general and joint assembly of Lublin have suspended our seals to this charter. Written and given at this joint assembly in Lublin on 1 July in the year of the Lord 1569.