Versuche einer Wirtschaftsund Verwaltungsreform in den Besitzungen der Johanniter in Pommerellen im 14. Jahrhundert

Marek Smoliński


The Order of the Hospitallers of St. John the Baptist found its way into Pomerania at the end of the 12th century. The first establishments of the Hospital of Jerusalem in this region were built in 1198. The basis of their foundation was the bestowal of Starograd Gdański, few of the nearby villages, the Church of the Holy Trinity in Lubiszewo, and all its endowments to the Hospitallers. The author of this donation was Grzymisław, the ruler of Świecie and Lubiszewo. This charter is considered in the Polish source literature as a good example of the way of endowing the monastic institutions in Poland and Pomerania at the end of the 12th century. In the 13th century, the Hospitallers of the religious houses in Starogard and Lubiszewo came into conflict with the prince of Lubiszewo and Tczew, Sambor II. It resulted in the removal of the Hospitallers from the Pomerania by Sambor II. They could not return to their former domains until the 1270s. Their return was connected with the favourable attitude towards the Order of St. John by Mściwoj II, Duke of Gdańsk. Not only did he exile Sambor II from Pomerania, but he also started to return their lost goods back to the Knights step by step. With Mściwoj II the local Pomeranian dynasty ended in 1294. After a period of struggles, Pomerania was taken over by the Teutonic Order in 1308. The victim of the rivalry over Pomerania was the Polish prince Władysław I the Elbow-high. The Pomeranian representatives of the Order of St. John were adversaries of Władysław. They recognized that the cooperation with the Teutonic Order might yield the stability of their assets in Pomerania. As a result, the Order of St. John the Baptist was deprived of its demesnes in Lesser Poland and Kuyavia. The above-described events and the general crisis of the military orders, which resulted from the fall of the Christian countries in the Holy Land, also caused a decline of interest in and support for the Hospitallers in Pomerania. In effect, the then existing Pomeranian commanderies of the Order, in Lubiszewo and Szkarszewy, were governed and filled with the brothers from Mecklenburg and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. It was these brothers who, in the 14th century, took upon themselves the labour of reforming the administration of the demesnes of the Order in Pomerania. The reforms consisted in locating the endowments of the Order under a new settlement law, mainly Kulm law. Their implementation was also manifested by passing the administration of the commanderies of the Hospitallers into the hands of Henning von Wartenberg ‒ a knight who was not a brother of the Order of St. John. The studies on his person showed that he was an ex-Templar connected with the commandery of the Knights Templar in Chwarszczany, in New March. Thanks to his familial ties to some of the officials of the Order of St. John, after the dissolution of the Knights Templar in 1312, he found employment as an administrator/lessee of the demesnes of the Knights of the Order of St. John from the neighbouring Pomerania.Unfortunately, there is no way of assessing the effectiveness of the reform attempts of the 14th-century Hospitallers from Pomerania. Between 1366 and 1370, the Hospitallers sold all of their Pomerania demesnes to the Teutonic Order.
Author Marek Smoliński (FH / IH)
Marek Smoliński,,
- Institute of History
Other language title versionsAttempts of economic and administrative reforms of the commandries of the Knights of the Order of St. John in Ost-Pomerania in the 14th century
Journal seriesOrdines Militares Colloquia Torunensia Historica. Yearbook for the Study of the Military Orders, ISSN 0867-2008, e-ISSN 2391-7512, (B 9 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets1.7
Keywords in EnglishMilitary Orders, Late Medieval Pomerania, Knights Hospitaller in East-Pomerania, administrative reforms of the commandries of the Knights of the Order of St. John, Henning von Wartenberg, ex-Templar
Languagede niemiecki
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa - Bez Utworów Zależnych (CC-BY-ND); with publication
Score (nominal)9
ScoreMinisterial score = 9.0, 15-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 9.0, 15-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
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