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Piotr Zelny
PolishOrigins Team

Joined: 19 Feb 2019
Replies: 48
Location: Sanok

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Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 7:08 pm      Post subject: MICROHISTORIES AND CENSUSES. CENSUS 1. LOOTING OF KLIKUSZOWA
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On Saturday, May 18, 1631, the inhabitants of the village of Klikuszowa heard the sound of trumpets and drums reaching their village from the Krakow gate in Nowy Targ.This should have raised concern, especially because of the situation prevailing at the time, yet some residents did not stop their work in the fields to check the source of this anxiety. After a long time, banners appeared on the horizon, then riders lightly armed with chain mail and Tatar shields called Kałkan which they wore strapped to their backs or saddles. They had sabers at their side, pistols and axes, eastern reflection bows and quivers with arrows. Some of them held spears. Then appeared infantry armed with sabers, rapiers and muskets, followed by carts carrying long arquebuses and field cannons. At the head of the armed units rode the lord of the whole county of Nowy Targ, Mikołaj of Komorów Komorowski of the Korczak coat of arms along with Jan Baranowski of the Jastrzębiec coat of arms, lord of the county of Nowy Korczyn.

Really? Was it like that the initial scene of the invasion of the village? I do not know, but I have in front of me a description of testimonies of the victims, then residents of Klikuszowa, prepared two days later at the scene of the incident by apparitor Jan Goczałek of Kasinka with his personal comments. On behalf of the community, the clerk brought their account before the Castle Court of Nowy Sącz, which was entered in one of the court books as evidence in the case between the community (or rather all Podhalanian villages) and the lord of the county. I came across this testimony by accident searching for materials on the history of villages of the region of Nowy Targ.

Well, to see how it really looked like let's give the voice to the witnesses.

Voice 1: "having the army with them, that is Cossacks and Germans with long muskets, which are called mare, under four banners, with drums, with trumpets, with army prepared, came with three field cannons and twelve arquebuses ".

Polish light cavalry units were called Cossacks because they were armed according to the Eastern model. Their main task was to cover infantry, scout, and chase. In the second half of the 17th century, the name of units was changed to "armored cavalry".

Troops of German infantry were recruited among lower-ranking Poles or foreigners (burghers and peasants). Some of them could have been residents of the town of Nowy Targ. They were called German because they were armed according to the Western model.

Voice 2: "While plowing the field, they came and beat him, he lost his health"

Voice 3: "at first they took Piotr, mayor of Klikuszowa, they also invaded homes of neighbors, they captured, they plundered"

Voice 4, Jan Goczałek of Kasinka, court clerk and witness: "In the presbytery and in every house in the village, windows and doors were slashed and the crucifix cut in the presbytery by the Germans"

Voices: "they broke down the door [...], they broke the windows [...], they broke down the door to a chamber [...], they broke household dishes [...], they chopped a new chest [...], they took the money [...], 6 thin silky female shirts [...], comforters [...], money [...], violin [...], thin shirts [...], a gown [...], a new gunia /a highlander coat/ [...], money [...], mob caps [...], 80 elbows of linen [...], mares worth 60 zlotys [...], a horse [...], a cart [...], a sack of grain [...], money [...], rye [..], oats [...], spelt [...], linseed [...], money [...], an axe [...], a javelin [...], a pitchfork [...], a hoe [...], money...!!!

Voices: "Before the lord of Komorów came [...], Mr. Baranowski took a peasant from Klikuszowa [...] he is called Big Wojtek and he was tortured for three days on the wheel and tortured even more"

Voice 5: "they beat a dark woman" (probably a widow of a deceased relative).

Voice 6: "they tied him up and beat [...] with war hammers and left him behind in the stream"

Husband 1: "wife was raped"

Wife: "house was plundered, he was killed..."

Husband 2: "wife, who was pregnant, they raped"

Mother: "they killed my son, the boy, without any reason"

The court report contains testimonies of 20 people, the hosts of the village of Klikuszowa listed by name and surname. What does it mean?

In 1636, a general lustration of the Krakow Province is carried out (Central Archives of Historical Records, Lustrations, dept. XVIII, 23 and 23B) which lists in Klikuszowa a mayor of the village, 24 zarębnik (half field hosts), a cottager (a blacksmith), a miller, an innkeeper, chamberers (hosts with or without a garden) paying 2 florins and 24 groszy of annual rent (judging by the total amount of rent, it could have been 6 families). Two years later, during the takeover of the county by the new tenant Adam Kazanowski, an inventory of the county of Nowy Targ is prepared (Materials for the History of Poland, published in 1909, vol. 2, p. 27) where a mayor of the village, 24 subjects, a blacksmith, a miller and an innkeeper are listed again. Chamberers are not mentioned. This means that the testimony from 1631 made in the course of the court case contains a list of 19 hosts (I do not count the Big Wojtek as the twentieth host because I do not know his social position) from among 28 and probably 6 chamberers who lived in the village at that time. At this stage, I am not able to estimate the population of this village in the first half of the 17th c. But one thing we can conclude is that the testimony contains a list of 55% of the hosts, the main representatives of the village mentioned by name in May 1631. What's more, by calculating the losses incurred as a result of the incursion, we are able to determine social position of at least some of them. I suspect that this might be the oldest document of census character of this type related to the village of Klikuszowa. By the way, this incident was neither the beginning nor the end of the story but just 2 days out of 7 years of conflict between the lord and his subjects.


Ps.1. One of the descendants of Mikołaj of Komorów Komorowski who attacked the village is Bronisław Komorowski, the president of Poland in the years 2010 – 2015.

Ps.2. Dear Polonia, genealogical soul mates. Finding this and other documents related to the history of Podhale was neither easy nor quickly. If you want to know your roots, learn more about the place from which your ancestors went, I'm not talking about the whole of Poland here, but about the particular house where your great grandparents were born, you can read more here: https://polishorigins.com/genealogy/

Ps.3. Thanks Kim.

Best Regards
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