The Info List - Lucas Watzenrode

Lucas Watzenrode
Lucas Watzenrode
the Younger (sometimes Watzelrode and Waisselrod; German: Lucas Watzenrode
Lucas Watzenrode
der Jüngere; Polish: Łukasz Watzenrode; 30 October 1447 – 29 March 1512) was Prince-Bishop of Warmia
Prince-Bishop of Warmia
(Ermeland) and patron to his nephew, astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.


1 Early life 2 Historic background 3 Bishop 4 Family 5 Notes 6 References 7 Further reading

Early life[edit] The family and its name stemmed from the Silesian village of Pszenno (in German Weizenrodau "wheat uprooting"). Watzenrode was born in Thorn (Toruń), son of the merchant Lucas Watzenrode
Lucas Watzenrode
the Elder (1400–62). He studied at Jagiellonian University
Jagiellonian University
and at Cologne and Bologna. After his sister Barbara and her husband Niklas Koppernigk[1] died in about 1483, Lucas cared for their four children, Katharina, Barbara, Andreas and Nicolaus, the last of whom would become known as astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Historic background[edit] The Bishopric of Warmia, previously part of the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights, had, with the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), come under the protection of the King of Poland. Based on that treaty, the Polish King had the right to appoint the Bishop. Neither the Warmia chapter, however, nor their newly elected bishop, Nicolaus von Tüngen (1467–89), acknowledged the King's right to do so. Poland
contested von Tüngen's election, and this led to the War of the Priests (1467–79) and the First Treaty of Piotrków Trybunalski (1479), by which the chapter was obliged to seek consensus with the Polish king. The Bishopric of Warmia
Bishopric of Warmia
was made suffragan to the Archbishopric
of Riga, then headed by Archbishop Michael Hildebrand. Bishop[edit] This agreement was somewhat vague, as shown in the 1489 election of the next bishop, Lucas Watzenrode, who was mitred by Pope Innocent VIII against the explicit wishes of King Casimir IV Jagiellon, who would have preferred that one of his sons, Frederic, become Bishop of Warmia. Watzenrode resisted, and when Casimir died in 1492 and was succeeded by John I Albert, Watzenrode could finally establish the exemption of the Bishopric from Riga. With the Second Treaty of Piotrków Trybunalski (1512), later bishops accepted a limited influence of the Polish King on elections. The Holy See
Holy See
considered the Bishopric exempt until 1992, when it was made an archbishopric, which by its nature is exempt. Watzenrode, a successful organizer of his territory's internal affairs, resided at Heilsber, now Lidzbark. He reorganized the cathedral school and planned to found a university at Elbing, now Elbląg. He argued that the Teutonic Order
Teutonic Order
had fulfilled its mission in the Baltic region, by then converted to Christianity, and proposed sending the Order to more heathen regions. The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
was an ongoing threat and had taken over large parts of Europe, and the Bishop suggested that the Order "do battle with the Turks." The Bishopric was exposed to repeated armed attacks by the Teutonic Order, which attempted to regain the territory. Poland
sought to rescind the Prince-Bishopric's autonomy, hoping to force the surrender of its prerogatives to the Polish crown.[citation needed] In this area of conflict, Watzenrode guarded the interests of Warmia
and maintained friendly relations with Poland. He was a long-time opponent of the Teutonic Knights, and shortly after his death it was rumored that he had been poisoned by them.[2] Family[edit] Watzenrode looked after his orphaned two nephews and two nieces. Katharina married businessman and city councilor Barthel Gertner, while Barbara became a Benedictine
nun. Watzenrode sent the brothers Nicolaus (Copernicus) and Andreas to study at the Kraków Academy
Kraków Academy
and in Italy (Bologna, Padua, Ferrara). After his studies, Copernicus assisted his uncle in administrative matters and was his closest advisor as well as his personal physician. Watzenrode also took care of his son Philipp Teschner, whose mother was the daughter of the rector of the Johannes school in Thorn . When Watzenrode became bishop he arranged for Philipp Teschner to become major of Braunsberg. Lucas Watzenrode
Lucas Watzenrode
the Younger died in Thorn (Toruń) during his return from an official journey. Notes[edit]

^ Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus
Gesamtausgabe [1], Regesta Copernicana [2] ^ Alan W. Hirshfeld, "Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos", Macmillan, 2002, pg. 38, [3]


Bücherei Danzig, J. Kretzmer, Liber de episcopatu et episcopi Varmiensis ex vetusto Chronico Bibliotheca Heilsbergensis, 1593 Christoph Hartknoch, Preußische Kirchen-Historia, Frankfurt a.M., 1668 M.G. Centner, Geehrte und Gelehrte Thorner, Thorn 1763 A. Semrau, "Katalog der Geschlechter der Schöffenbank und des Ratsstuhles in der Altstadt Thorn 1233-1602", in: Mitteilungen des Copernicus-Vereins für Wissenschaft und Kunst zu Thorn 46 (1938) Wojciech Iwanczak (1998). "WATZENRODE, Lucas". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 13. Herzberg: Bautz. col. 389-393. ISBN 3-88309-072-7.  Poczet biskupów warmińskich, Olsztyn 1998 Jürgen Hamel: Nicolaus Copernicus. - Spektrum Verlag: Heidelberg, 1994. Hans Schmauch (1957), " Lucas Watzenrode
Lucas Watzenrode
(in Copernicus' article)", Neue Deutsche Biographie
Neue Deutsche Biographie
(NDB) (in German), 3, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 349–355 

Further reading[edit]

Górski Karol, Łukasz Watzenrode : życie i działalność polityczna (1447-1512), Wrocław 1973.

Catholic Church
Catholic Church

Regnal titles

Preceded by Nicolaus von Tüngen Prince-Bishop of Warmia
Prince-Bishop of Warmia
(Ermland) 1489–1512 Succeeded by Fabian of Lozanien

v t e

Nicolaus Copernicus

Scientific career

Copernican heliocentrism Copernican Revolution


Commentariolus De revolutionibus orbium coelestium Locationes mansorum desertorum Monetae cudendae ratio Translations of Theophylact Simocatta


Lucas Watzenrode the Elder (grandfather) Lucas Watzenrode
Lucas Watzenrode


Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus
Gesamtausgabe Astronomer Copernicus, or Conversations with God Copernicus Law Copernican principle Monuments

Chicago Montreal Toruń Kraków Warsaw


Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 3366964 GND: 122932641 SUDO