Interrex (Poland)

The institution of interrex existed in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, whose ruling classes liked to view their Republic (Rzeczpospolita) or Commonwealth as an heir to Roman republican traditions. The Commonwealth's smonarch helding a double title of the Two Nations King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania entered upon their office by free election, which often led to a relatively long interregnum. Traditionally the role of interrex fell since 1572 to the Archbishop of Gniezno and Primate of Poland of the Roman Catholic Church. The Archbishop could nominate a replacement (traditionally he would chose the bishop of Kujawy).

Interrex would represent the country on the international scene and oversee the internal administration until a new king was elected. In special circumstances he could declare war and negotiate peace. He summoned and presided over the convocation sejm and election sejms, the gathering of nobility that elected the king. He also announced the election of the king.

Interreges of the Commonwealth
Took the office of interrex in
Gave up the office of interrex in
1572 1573 Jakub Uchański
1575 1576 Jakub Uchański (again)
1586 1587 Stanisław Karnkowski
1632 1633 Jan Wężyk
1648 1648 Maciej Łubieński
1668 1669 Mikołaj Prażmowski
1673 1674 Kazimierz Florian Czartoryski
1674 1674 illness and death of Kazimierz Florian Czartoryski led to him being replaced by the bishop of Kraków, Andrzej Trzebicki and bishop of Poznań, Stefan Wierzbowski
1696 1697 Michał Stefan Radziejowski
1704 1705 Michał Stefan Radziejowski (again)
1704 1705 Michał Stefan Radziejowski was stripped of his authority by the Pope and went into hiding. He was replaced by bishop of Poznań, Mikołaj Święcicki
1733 1734 Teodor Andrzej Potocki
1763 1764 Władysław Aleksander Łubieński

See also

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