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    The Ruthenian Series of the Crown Metrica

    Abstract of Introduction

    Shifting political fortunes over the centuries have wreaked havoc with documentary records and have obscured the subsequent archival organization and location of major groups of sources pertaining to Ukrainian lands. The complex problems involved are particularly acute with reference to Polish Crown chancery records for the traditionally Ukrainian lands (i.e., those earlier part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) that came under the rule of Poland with the Union of Lublin in 1569, as part of the newly created Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Following the Third Partition of Poland (1795) many high-level Polish and Lithuanian archives, including the royal chancery records known as the Crown Metrica and the Lithuanian Metrica were confiscated from Warsaw by order of Catherine II and brought to St. Petersburg. These included chancery records relating to Ukrainian lands administered by the Crown along with other records from the Commonwealth and earlier Polish and Lithuanian archives. Although most records of provenance specifically in the Polish Crown chancery were eventually returned to Poland under the terms of the Treaty of Riga (1921), one very important group of record books from the Crown Metrica has been retained in Moscow to this day. Twenty-eight volumes (dating from 1569 to 1673) with official copies of Crown documents addressed to the Ukrainian lands that comprised the Polish palatinates of Volhynia, Kyiv, Bratslav, and Chernihiv are still held in the Russian State Archive of Early Acts – RGADA (Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv drevnikh aktov)1.

    Separated from the rest of the Crown Metrica with which they had been created and traditionally stored until the end of the eighteenth century, these volumes were erroneously inventoried in St. Petersburg in the nineteenth century as part of the Lithuanian chancery records, the so-called Lithuanian Metrica. As a result, scholars often failed to recognize their provenance in the Crown chancery and their consequent importance for Ukrainian history. The few contemporary Soviet scholars who had access to these records assumed that they were part of the Lithuanian Metrica, and they failed to realize – or were not free to explore – the extent to which the documentation contained is closely intertwined with that of contiguous books of the Crown Metrica now in Warsaw, from which they have been separated for up to two hundred years.

    The present study seeks to rectify the archival and historiographic misfortunes of this important group of records by a careful analysis of the circumstances of their creation in the Crown chanceries of the period and of their subsequent archival and archeographic fate. The unique opportunities that arose in the late 1980s for collaboration with Polish and Ukrainian scholars and archivists in a new atmosphere of open research and historical investigation have led to the possibilities of a fresh approach to these sources from divergent points of view.

    The first part of this study considers the general types of records maintained in the royal chanceries of the Commonwealth: the recordkeeping practices, linguistic usage, and legal provisions that led to the creation of a separate series of record books with Ruthenian documents addressed to the palatinates of Volhynia, Kyiv, and Bratslav after the Union of Lublin in 1569; the chancery practices and Ruthenian chancery officials and the character of the Ruthenian books to 1629; the increasing polonization after the Polish annexation of the lands of Chernihiv and Novhorod Siveria in 1618 that contributed to the gradual demise and subsequent eclipse of separate records for those Ruthenian palatinates; and the incorporation of Ukrainian-relevant documentation into the more general Crown records books during the wartime decades of the 1650s and 1660s. The analysis presented shows the extent to which scholars of Ukrainian history and culture of the period need to consider the Ruthenian series within the context of the more general body of Polish Crown chancery records of which they form an integral part.

    The second part of this study focuses on a technical analysis of the manuscript volumes of the Ruthenian records themselves, including their bindings; a technical analysis of the registers describing the documentary contents of the Ruthenian books that were prepared for the Crown chancery in Warsaw; the archival fate of the Ruthenian series following the demise of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795; and the archeographic fate of documents in the Ruthenian books in terms of their scholarly publication.

    This initial analysis serves as an appropriate introduction to the following textual edition of original titles of the documents themselves as found in all of the extant Ruthenian volumes, together with the earliest document-by-document register prepared for the Crown chancery by Stefan Kazimierz Hankiewicz (d. 1701) in 1673 at the time the series came to an end and the more detailed eighteenth-century register of the same documents prepared by Jan Franciszek Cywiński (d. before mid-1776).

    As a projected sequel to the present publication, a register has been prepared in Warsaw of the additional documents addressed to Ukrainian lands during the same period that were recorded in the contingent main Latin books of the Crown Metrica now held in the Main Archive of Early Acts – AGAD (Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych)2. Although that register is still not finalized for publication, the present introductory analysis draws heavily on its contents and the research for its preparation. The collaborative project and related publications serve to open these crucial top-level sources for further historical analysis and show the context of the chanceries that created them and used them and the archives that preserved them for the past three hundred years. At the same time it provides an important example of displaced archives in Eastern Europe resulting from shifting international frontiers and ruling polities, and the historiographic consequences involved.

    I. Crown Chancery Practices, Ruthenian Recordkeepers, and the Preparation of Ruthenian Books

    Metrica Records for the Commonwealth Chanceries

    With the establishment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (P. Rzeczpospolita Polska) in 1569, the three palatinates of Volhynia, Bratslav, and Kyiv were transferred into the Kingdom of Poland. Later, Polish settlement and administration spread to the east, and in the early seventeenth century the “land” of Chernihiv, together with Novhorod-Siveria (U. Siver, P. Siewierz) was annexed from Muscovy by the Treaty of Deulino (now Zagorsk) at the end of 1618, securing a firmer – but temporary – Polish foothold on the northern Left Bank. That region, together with Smolensk, was jointly administered by the Grand Duchy and the Crown until the Treaty of Polianov in 1634; then, in early 1635 a fourth Crown palatinate of Chernihiv was established.

    The 1569 shift in political jurisdiction from the Grand Duchy to the Polish Crown brought no significant change to local administration and justice and the records created in these areas. Changes after 1569 were much more pronounced, however, in the records kept by central Crown authorities for the newly acquired Ukrainian lands, which is focus of the present study.

    The Crown and Lithuanian Metrica. Recordkeeping practices of the Polish Crown chancery were most probably the model for those of the Grand Duchy since the fourteenth century, when dynastic union produced considerable administrative and judicial influences and interaction. Although the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania were one and the same person for most of the period, there were always separate chanceries for the Crown and for the Grand Duchy. Hence their office records and archives were always maintained separately, a practice formalized by the Union of Lublin. From at least the mid-fifteenth century, each chancery kept systematic record books in which were inscribed complete official copies of most outgoing documents issued by the major and minor chancery. Registers included legal decrees from the appellate courts of the Sejm that were presided over by the chancellor and vice-chancellor. The parallel groups of chancery records are known respectively as the Lithuanian Metrica (L. Acta [Metrica] Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae, P. Metryka Litewska) and the Crown Metrica (L. Metrica Regni Poloniae, P. Metryka Koronna).

    Usage of the term “metrica” in Poland and Lithuania in reference to a record book (or register) in which were inscribed official copies of documents issued by a specific or chancery, dates from the late fifteenth century. The term became current in a broader archival sense with reference to the complex of earlier Crown chancery record books by the 1620s. A few other record books of miscellaneous provenance were for one reason or another retained in the chancery from time to time with the metrica complex and hence considered part of it. Unlike the original charters, most of the metrica books were initially kept in cupboards in the chancery itself and passed on from chancellor to chancellor, since they were needed for frequent reference in chancery business. It was only later in the nineteenth century after many of the high-level archives of the Commonwealth were commandeered to St. Petersburg that the term took on an expanded designation to include many other archival materials of varying provenance.

    As chancery practices developed during the sixteenth century with regard to the metrica complexes, registers with copies of outgoing documents issued with the seal of the chancellor of the Grand Duchy or the Crown were kept separately from those issued with the seal of the vice-chancellor. When the Lithuanian Metrica was rearranged and inventoried in Warsaw in 1747, main chancery books were strictly separated from those of the vice chancery; numbers were assigned for books of the main chancery, whereas letters were assigned for those of the minor chancery.

    Apparently, rational series divisions were established for the Crown Metrica after the archive was returned from Sweden in 1664. The chancery archive had been taken from the Royal Castle in Warsaw by Swedish forces in 1655 and, following its return (under the terms of the Treaty of Oliva, 1660), was reorganized and described by the then official Crown chancery metricant (archivist, P. metrykant), Stefan Kazimierz Hankiewicz. The inventory in question, or “Synopsis”, as it was entitled (Inwentarz in Polish), was prepared in 1665/1666 (and later updated in 1676). Separate sections of the “Synopsis” listed respectively books of legal decrees (libri decretorum), books of Crown inscriptions and privileges (libri inscriptionum privilegiorum & irecognitionum), legation books (or diplomatic registers) (libri legationum), and survey books (libri lustratiorum). A separate section listed books of decrees of the Referendarz Court (sąd referendarski) and another included books containing drafts (protocols). Alpha-numeric codes were assigned to individual books within each section – roughly in chronological order.

    Series divisions, such as those assigned by Hankiewicz for the Crown Metrica, were never assigned for the Lithuanian Metrica before 1795, although distinctions were made in the composition of the books themselves. After both metrica archives were taken to St. Petersburg, however, section divisions similar to those for the Crown Metrica were assigned to the books of the Lithuanian Metrica. The arrangement was done hastily, and without adequate care in the assignment of appropriate categories. Many of those errors have been perpetrated in later inventories, including the one presently used for those parts of the Lithuanian Metrica in Moscow, listing the books of the Crown Ruthenian series.

    Inscription Books (libri inscriptionum, ksęgi wpisów). In present Polish archival practice, all of the chancery books of the Crown Metrica with copies of outgoing charters of privilege, royal confirmations, or other letters patent are broadly termed “inscription books” (księgi wpisów), but in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century books themselves, a clear distinction was made between charters of privilege issued by the king and royal confirmations of acts between private individuals.

    Books of Sealed Documents (libri sigillata, ksęgi sigillat). Starting in 1658, separate books were kept containing notations of all documents sealed by the main Crown chancery (ksęgi sigillat). Similar registers for the vice-chancery are extant starting with 1669.

    Books of Decrees (libri decretorum; ksęgi dekretów). From the sixteenth century, separate books were kept for legal decrees in the Crown Metrica (ksęgi dekretów), so that the inscription books also do not include documents issued by the courts of law. Legal decrees and related court decisions recorded in the Crown Metrica came only from the high royal Assessors Court and the Courts of the Sejm (sąd asesorski, sąd relacyjny, and sąd sejmowy) and from the Crown Referendarz (sąd referendarski). Most of the legal books of the Crown Metrica were destroyed during the Warsaw uprising in 1944.

    Legation Books (libri legationum; ksęgi poselskie). The Crown diplomatic registers, or legation books (ksęgi poselskie, or libri legationum), contain copies of royal letters to foreign sovereigns, instructions to Commonwealth ambassądors or other envoys, and reports of negotiations with foreign nations, which were not usually recorded in the main Latin inscription books.

    Language Use. In both Crown and Lithuanian chanceries, inscriptions in official metrica books were usually recorded in the language in which the documents were issued. In the Crown chancery in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Latin was the main chancery language for both administrative and judicial functions. Crown chancery documents addressed to western Ukrainian lands were recorded in Latin in the appropriate main books of the Crown Metrica, and this practice continued after the Union.

    Throughout the lands of the Grand Duchy, on the other hand, Ruthenian was the principal language for local courts and administrative offices during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and was also used in the grand ducal chancery. Representing the chancery counterpart to early spoken Belarusian and Ukrainian, and quite distinct from the language of Muscovy, the Ruthenian language was already established in the Volhynian and Kyivan lands of Old Rus’, and it continued as the chancery language for legal-administrative registers in those areas well into the seventeenth century. In Russian academic tradition, the language is known as Early Belarusian (or sometimes West Russian), because there was never a distinctive Russian term for the language of Rus’, or Ruthenian, as it is known in English.

    The Genesis of the Ruthenian Series

    Distinctive Ruthenian Factors. Several factors should be taken into account in understanding the genesis of a separate series of chancery record books for documents addressed to the Ruthenian palatinates of Volhynia, Bratslav, and Kyiv. The guaranteed respect for the use of the Ruthenian language was undoubtedly the prime reason in the Crown chancery for a separate series of record books. Yet language was not the only factor involved, because in the final volume of the series (RM 29, 1652-1673), all of the documents starting in 1653 were recorded in Polish. The documents of incorporation, which transferred the sovereignty and administration of these lands from the Grand Duchy to the Crown in 1569, also guaranteed the continued use of the traditional Ruthenian-Lithuanian legal system in these areas and with it the use of the Ruthenian language, not only for local courts, but also for all documents issued for these areas by the Crown chancery. Accordingly, after the Union in 1569, a separate series of record books was maintained in the Crown chancery for copies of Crown documents addressed to these newly annexed palatinates.

    These separate records reflected a degree of administrative and territorial autonomy with which these areas were – at least initially – considered by the Crown chancery. A geographic or territorial factor, along with other cultural attributes, should thus also be recognized. The fact that these Ukrainian lands had not previously been subject to Crown Poland and had their own distinctive administrative and cultural traditions produced a sense of regional autonomy within the Commonwealth. The increased importance of the Orthodox Church played a role as well.

    In a sense, the Ruthenian series of the Crown Metrica represents a continuation of the Lithuanian Metrica for these areas since, before the Union of Lublin, documents addressed to these lands were issued by the chancery of the Grand Duchy and inscribed in the books of the Lithuanian Metrica. The Crown Ruthenian books themselves, usually less formal than the main Latin series, resemble those of the Lithuanian Metrica to some extent. The keeping of separate Ruthenian books by the Crown chancery continued through the mid-seventeenth century, when Polish gradually replaced Ruthenian as the administrative and judicial language in these areas, and when part of the territories involved were no longer under Crown jurisdiction.

    Identification of the Ruthenian Series. The Ruthenian series was first described as a separate series in the “Synopsis”, prepared in 1665/66 by the Crown chancery metricant, Stefan Hankiewicz, who simultaneously also held the titles of Crown Secretary (P. sekretarz) and Judicial Notary (P. pisarz dekretowy) for Volhynia. Within the Crown Metrica complex, Hankiewicz designated a separate subgroup of twenty-four volumes as “Acts, that is to say Ruthenian and Polish Books of the Palatinates of Volhynia, Bratslav, Kyiv, and Chernihiv, in which are inscribed Decrees, Privileges, Inscriptions, and Other Various Matters”. He described these books in Polish (rather than Latin that was used for most of the rest of the “Synopsis”) and assigned the designations A-1 to SB-24. Subsequently in 1673, when he prepared the document-by-document inventory of the Ruthenian series reproduced below, he included five additional books. All of the twenty-eight books he described are presently held in Moscow.

    Most of the separate group of Crown chancery records of documents addressed to the Ukrainian palatinates from the years 1569 through 1673 – the so-called Ruthenian (or Volhynian) Metrica – are now held in the Russian State Archive of Early Acts (RGADA), as part of the fond entitled “Lithuanian Metrica” (fond 389). There are now thirty volumes held in RGADA in a separate section for Crown (as opposed to Lithuanian) inscription books, described in the late nineteenth-century inventory prepared in St. Petersburg by Stanisaw Ptaszycki, which is still officially used as the inventory for the fond of the Lithuanian Metrica. However, only twenty-eight of the volumes listed in this section are in fact original record books of the Ruthenian series.

    One recently discovered additional volume, with documents dating from 1609 to 1612, can be identified conclusively as belonging to the Ruthenian series. This volume (RM 18) is now located in the Kornik Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences in the castle of Kornik near Poznan. A title on the elaborately roll-stamped leather cover identifies it as a “Book of Ruthenian (ruskich) affairs” under Sigismund III, of provenance in the Crown vice chancery, and it fills a natural gap in the chronological sequence of documents in the Ruthenian series. The curious fate of that volume – the book remained in Sweden when the rest of the Crown Metrica was returned to Warsaw in the 1660s and was presented by the King of Sweden to Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski in 1810 – explains why it is now held in Kórnik rather than with the rest of the series in Moscow. Several other books now held in AGAD contain copies of privileges and legal decrees addressed to the Ruthenian palatinates, but none of them appear to be officially recorded Metrica copies.

    Counting the Kórnik volume and the twenty-eight books in RGADA, we can now identify twenty-nine volumes that should be considered part of the Ruthenian series which, in chronological order of the documents contained, we are here designating RM 1 through RM 29. In addition, we list five separate books of contemporary copies, official extracts, or protocols for the Ruthenian series. Three of these are located in AGAD, which we are designating RMx 30RMx 32 and RMx 34. The two intervening books of Ruthenian legal protocols listed by Hankiewicz (RMx 31 and RMx 33) have not been located. Otherwise, all of the Ruthenian books listed by Hankiewicz in 1665/66 and 1673 are still extant and accounted for.

    There are many chronological gaps and apparent lacunae in the documentation recorded in existing Ruthenian books both from the main chancery and the vice-chancery, which would suggest either periods of inactivity or that some Ruthenian fascicles were lost, missing, or excluded from the bound volumes.

    “Ruthenian” versus “Volhynian” and the “Metrica” designation. In the books themselves and in seventeenth-century descriptions, the term “Ruthenian” is found more frequently than “Volhynian”. As is apparent from such references, the term “Ruthenian” was used with emphasis on the geographic area to which the Crown documents were addressed. “Ruthenian” was also used with reference to language, because the majority of documents were inscribed – at least during the first half century after the Union of Lublin – in the Ruthenian language. Obviously, more than language was involved, since the term “Ruthenian” continued in the 1660s and 1670s, even when all of the documents were recorded in Polish.

    The term “Volhynian” alone is found infrequently with reference to the books, particularly during the sixteenth century, and especially in Ruthenian language references. However, by the time of Hankiewicz’s final years in the chancery, the land of Volhynia was the only one of the four palatinates remaining in its entirety under Crown control. Thus it is not surprising that, starting in that period, more references were to Volhynia.

    In his Russian-language introduction to the 1887 inventory, Ptaszycki identified the Ruthenian series as the “Volhynian Metrica”. This reflects the fact that the term “Ruthenian” was not accepted in the Russian Empire in the nineteenth century. In fact, in contrast to both Polish and Ukrainian, there never was – and still is not – an accepted distinctive word for vRuthenian” in the Russian language. In Polish scholarship the series is usually cited as either the Ruthenian, or Volhynian, Metrica (Metryka Ruska, or Metryka Wołyńska), as is found in the latest (1975) inventory of the Crown Metrica, where the Ruthenian series is also included. In 1923, the term “Volhynian Metrica” was used in reference to these books to distinguish them from the rest of the Crown Metrica, which was returned to Poland (according to the Treaty of Riga) at that time. Obviously at this point, Soviet authorities wanted to justify the retention of the Ruthenian series in Moscow. Until the 1950s in TsGADA (now RGADA), the remaining materials in fond 389 were frequently referred to as the “Fond of the Lithuanian and Volhynian Metrica”.

    The variety of forms used in reference to the Ruthenian series at the time confirms the continuing fluidity and lack of standardization in usage in the period and later.

    The term “metrica” – as a register – with reference to the individual Ruthenian books, or collectively with reference to the entire Ruthenian series as a whole, occurs rarely before the 1620s. By mid-century under Hankiewicz, the term “metrica” was used much more frequently. Many documents refer to the “metrica” of a specific palatinate such as Kyiv or Bratslav without using the term Ruthenian at all, despite the fact that record books were never kept separately by palatinate. Although the designation “Ruthenian” or “Volhynian Metrica” was used with reference to individual books at the time and is common in scholarship with reference to the entire series, the Ruthenian series was never – and should not be – conceived as a separate “metrica” apart from the Crown Metrica.

    Crown Documents for Ruthenian Lands

    Crown Charters of Privilege. The documents contained in the Ruthenian series must be studied and interpreted as part of the total Crown Metrica complex because they are similar to documents in other Crown Metrica books and, increasingly in the course of the seventeenth century, many Crown chancery documents addressed to those areas were recorded in other metrica books. When formal charters of privilege or letters patent, or other documents were issued to members of the gentry (P. szlachta), or to municipal or church institutions, a copy was usually inscribed in the appropriate record book of the chancellor or vice-chancellor, namely the books of the Crown Metrica. The types of documents issued by the king that were recorded in the metrica books were many and varied, and there was not always a strict differentiation among the types. Formal names of documents appear in many orthographic variants in the documents themselves and later citations, usually reflecting the degree of polonization or ruthenization from the usually original Latin forms. Besides, a single charter could contain different categories of privileges.

    Documents issued by the Crown followed prescribed chancery formulae, some of which were prescribed in chancery manuals. No such manual for recording documents in the Ruthenian series has surfaced. Although strict differentiation of document types is risky, a few prominent examples of the many types of documents appearing in the Crown Metrica deserve mention here, especially those found in the Ruthenian series.

    Many royal charters granted land or villages to individual nobles, or occasionally to monasteries or churches. Sometimes the land grants involved additional feudal privileges or obligations.

    Of particular interest among Crown privileges were royal charters that granted rights and privileges to cities and towns (L. fundatio or locatio), such as the right to municipal self-rule under Magdeburg Law. Other royal charters permitted cities and towns to hold regular open fairs. A few charters granted rights and privileges to specific artisan or merchant guilds within a city or town. Subsequent monarchs would often issue a royal confirmation (L. confirmatio, U. potverzhenie, P. potwierdzenie) of such privileges, sometimes with modifications or amendments.

    Offices were an important category of royal charters granted to individuals, especially given the wide range of court and local offices appointed by the Crown. For cities, the municipal elder (reeve) (L. advocatus, U. viit, P. wójt) was elected by qualified citizens, but a royal charter usually confirmed his official appointment. Later in the mid-seventeenth century, royal charters were also issued confirming such important posts in Ukrainian lands as the Cossack hetman.

    Royal charters were also issued for many local honorific positions for each palatinate, which, while not involving a functioning office, held considerable prestige and privilege. Occasionally there might be a reappointment or confirmation of an office granted earlier.

    Confirmations of Private Acts. In the Crown Metrica books from the late sixteenth and seventeenth century, other types of documents issued by the chanceries were also recorded, including royal affirmations of private acts and agreements between individuals. Starting in the mid-seventeenth century, registers of documents sealed by the Crown chancery (ksęgi sigillat) include those addressed to Ukrainian lands. Noticeably, many documents of lesser significance recorded there, such as letters, mandates, passports, rights of free passage, or the like, were apparenlty never recorded in the metrica registers.

    Legal Documents. In addition to the formal decree (dekret), a number of types of judicial documents were recorded in books of the Crown Metrica, and hence are to be found in the Ruthenian series. In most periods legal decrees were segregated in a separate fascicle, or at least as separate group, although in many Ruthenian books, decrees were interspersed with privileges and other official inscriptions. By the time of Hankiewicz, some of the decrees addressed to Ruthenian lands were apparently also being recorded in the main Latin books of decrees, although the destruction of the volumes in this series (World War II) makes it impossible to verify the extent.

    Recording of Documents and Oblata. Usually the recording took place at the time of issue, but there are some instances of documents recorded later. The recipient normally had to pay a fee to have the document recorded, and occasional reference is found to such a fee. Often a recipient had the document recorded more than once. For example, when a recipient of a charter of privilege returned home, he could have the charter recorded in local inscription book maintained by the office of the district castle court (U. hrods’kyi sud) servicing the area where he resided. Hence copies of many documents in the Ruthenian series are found in local Volhynian court record books.

    Royal Letters and Diplomatic Documents. Only three (originally four) Ruthenian books (all from the chancery of Jan Zamoyski) also contain scattered copies of royal correspondence of a diplomatic character, which normally would have been recorded in the chancery legation books. Undoubtedly this was due to the fact that copies were being prepared in Ruthenian and being handled by the Ruthenian notary in Zamoyski’s chancery.

    Chancery Officials and the Nature of Ruthenian Books to 1629

    Little has been known about the Polish Crown chancery practices and personnel associated with the separate series of chancery record books with documents addressed to Ukrainian lands. Under the chancellor or vice-chancellor, a range of other lesser chancery officials were involved in the preparation and recording of documents in specific books, such as royal secretaries, regents, notaries, and scribes, each of whom was responsible for specific functions. A relatively full list of Crown offices for the mid-seventeenth century is found in one of the Crown chancery manuals from that period with the names of many of the different office holders, but there is no explanation of their function nor dates of service.

    Chancery practices in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries varied according to changing circumstances, such as the demands and procedures of different kings and of individual chancellors and vice-chancellors, the current location of the court in the course of travels, the immediate chancery situation, and the availability of Ruthenian personnel, or their qualifications in the Ruthenian language. Many of these factors are reflected in the often puzzling irregularities found in individual volumes. Indeed, chancery practices reflected in the Ruthenian books appear much less formalized than in the corresponding main Latin books of the Crown Metrica, and as such they were more similar to the books of the Lithuanian Metrica.

    Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors. Identification of the chancellor and vice-chancellor is essential for analyzing the record books involved, since the documents issued and the recorded copies were prepared for specific chancellors or vice-chancellors, and thus reflect their interests and activities. Since the chancellor or vice-chancellor signed and sealed individual charters or other documents issued by the chancery, his name often appears in the officially recorded copies.

    Chancery Scribes. A trained chancery scribe (literally, vice-notary – U. podpysok or pidpysok, P. podpisek) usually prepared the official recorded copy, and then the same or another scribe checked the text and added a formal title in chancery calligraphy above each document. Such titles in the books presumably served the chancery as reference points for quick identification of the contents. It is these formal titles that are reproduced in the present publication as a type of preliminary register of the documents contained in the Ruthenian books. Scribes are rarely named in the books of the Ruthenian series, although in one instance in 1609, a note by the responsible notary did in fact name the Ruthenian scribe (U. podpysok).

    Notaries. A specific chancery official with the designation of notary (L. notarius, P. pisarz, U. pysar) was always responsible for each book of the Crown Metrica, or each separate fascicle. In most books the responsible notary is indicated in the title at the start or the end of the bound volume, or in subsequent explanatory titles. Hankiewicz in his “Synopsis” indicated many of the notaries for individual books. Some of the Ruthenian books, where relatively few documents a year were recorded, may actually have been prepared by the notary himself rather than a separate scribe.

    Chancery practices became more formalized in the course of the seventeenth century, but procedures were much more systematic for the main Latin books than for the Ruthenian ones. In fact, two of the Ruthenian books from the 1630s and 40s were not even bound at the time (RM 26 and RM 28), and were only put together later by Hankiewicz after their return from Sweden.

    Ruthenian Notaries and their Chancery Function to 1629. Throughout the period of the Ruthenian series, a designated chancery official with the title of notary was supposed to have been responsible for outgoing documents from the Crown chanceries addressed to the Ukrainian palatinates and for the proper recording of copies in the Ruthenian Metrica books. Initially (to the end of the 1620s), there were two Ruthenian notaries conversant with the Ruthenian language and legal traditions – one serving the chancellor and the other the vice-chancellor. Later starting in 1630, however, there was only one Ruthenian notary.

    The office of Ruthenian notary provided a means for prominent Ruthenian representation within the inner Crown chancery circles. Usually, in the course of their service, they received some privileges from the Crown, in the form of lands or additional offices. During the first half century of the Ruthenian series (1569-1629), there were in turn three principal Ruthenian notaries and at least seven other Ruthenians who have been formally identified in the post, but who served briefer periods in the Crown chancery – all of them with family backgrounds among the middling szlachta. Little is known about most of these individuals, and indeed, even the most basic biographic data is difficult to establish, except for the few that went on to more important positions at court or in the Church.

    For the first twenty-two years (to 1591) of the Ruthenian series, Lavrin Hrihorovych Pisochyns’kyi (P. Laurenty or Ławryn Piaseczyński) (ca.1550-ca.1606), served as notary for seven books and a fragment of an eighth. From an old Ruthenian family, of origin in the Luts’k district, he was the most distinguished of the Ruthenian notaries. At least initially, when there were two notaries serving simultaneously, one prepared documents for the chancellor, and the second for the vice-chancellor, as was the established pattern in the Crown Metrica. Initially, too, the Ruthenian series followed the traditional Crown pattern whereby one notary was serving a secular official, and the other a member of the clergy. Pisochyns’kyi, however, was apparently the only Ruthenian notary of long service to have served only representatives of the clergy. Subsequently, these distinctions were obliterated in the Ruthenian series.

    A second prominent Ruthenian notary, Florian Semenovych Oleshko (P. Florian Oleszko) (ca.1565-1628), began his service at court in 1583 under chancellor Jan Zamoyski. Oleshko came from an important family of Ruthenian origin, long associated with the Volhynian region. He supervised six books in the Ruthenian series over thirty-six years through 1619, but the distinction between service in the chancery and the vice-chancery were blurred.

    Until 1626, a series of different individuals from Ruthenian lands, who have been identified with the title of pisarz, assumed the role of the second Ruthenian notary on a shorter term or more temporary basis. Several were responsible for one or two books, while others only for a major section within one of the extant volumes.

    Under all of the Ruthenian notaries until approximately 1620, the documents in the Ruthenian books were with few exceptions always recorded in Ruthenian. Also, prior to 1620, only a few scattered privileges addressed to the Ruthenian lands appear in the books of the main Latin series. However, the Polish conquest and annexation of the Left-Bank Ukrainian lands of Chernihiv and Novohorod-Siveria in 1618 brought significant changes to Ruthenian chancery practices, as privileges addressed to those areas were being issued in Polish and inscribed indiscriminately in either (or occasionally both) the Ruthenian and Latin books of the Crown Metrica. After the death of the third well-known Ruthenian notary Zakharii Ielovyts’kyi at the end of 1629, that function, together with the Ruthenian series itself, was losing its distinctiveness.

    For the final half century of the Ruthenian series (i.e. after 1629), there was only a single Ruthenian notary – designated specifically for only legal decrees (P. pisarz dekretowy ruski), and he did not serve uniquely for Ruthenian documents. First Jan Bederman (originally, Benderman, d. 1652) intermittently and simultaneously was serving for other documents in the main chancery. Subsequently, Stefan Hankiewicz, initially appointed as notary to the queen and then also for Ruthenian legal decrees, starting in 1658 served as the principal metricant for the entire Crown Metrica.

    Polonization and the Decline of the Ruthenian Series

    The use of the Ruthenian language was a prime factor in the maintenance of a separate series of record books for Ruthenian lands within the Crown Metrica after 1569. Language usage reinforced the territorial, judicial, cultural, and religious identity of the palatinates of Volhynia, Bratslav, Kyiv, and later Chernihiv, The progressive polonization of the Ruthenian nobility in the early seventeenth century drastically affected chancery practices, as the linguistic common denominator of the Ruthenian series eroded. Although religious and judicial distinctions persisted and demands for a separate Ruthenian series of record books continued, with the erosion of the linguistic issue, the practical need for a separate series lessened.

    Studies of Volhynia and the adjoining palatinates of Kyiv and Bratslav in this period are unanimous in showing the increasing polonization of the Ruthenian nobility. Polish was in fact gradually replacing Ruthenian as the main language of education, law, and administration in the Ukrainian palatinates, as shown in the monographs by Janusz Tazbir, Henryk Litwin, and Teresa Chynczewska-Hennel. The detailed 1993 monograph on the Ruthenian gentry and subsequent articles by Natalia Jakovenko provides a trail-blazing analysis of the elite during this period, based on a wide range of sources, including almost all surviving local records in Ukraine. Although debate may continue about the extent of general polonization and the nature of assimilation of the Ruthenian gentry, there is no question about their declining use of the Ruthenian language. Linguistic usage in Crown chancery documents addressed to Ukrainian lands reflected even stronger polonizing trends, as corroborated by books of the Ruthenian series.

    Privileges for Chernihiv and Novhorod-Siveria. Major new chancery developments and linguistic usage were most notable during the reign of King Sigismund III, as a result of the wars of the period that significantly extended the Polish frontier to the East, deeper into what is now Ukraine. Changes in chancery practices with respect to documents issued for Ruthenian lands (not only in the Ruthenian series) had begun during the chancery of Feliks Kryski (chancellor, 1613-1618), but the rate of change accelerated rapidly following the annexation of the lands of Chernihiv and Novhorod-Siveria (U. Siver; P. Siewierz) in 1618. The entire region was under joint jurisdiction of the Crown and the Grand Duchy until 1635, when the northern part became part of the newly created Smolensk palatinate, and the southern part became part of the Crown palatinate of Chernihiv.

    A surge of Crown privileges granting land and offices in the newly annexed territories to those who served the Commonwealth in the successful wars was notable during the 1620s and early 1630s, but separate books for documents addressed to these areas were not kept by the Crown chancery. Some documents were recorded in the Ruthenian books and others in the main Latin books of privileges. While in that period documents addressed to central Crown lands still continued to be recorded in Latin, most of the privileges (grants of land and offices) for Chernihiv and Novhorod-Siveria were recorded in Polish, even in the same “Latin” inscription books. Even more noteworthy was the extent to which privileges and other documents addressed to Ukrainian lands (including the newly annexed areas), were being inscribed in the main “Latin” series. Undoubtedly, these practicies resulted from an ambivalent situation: in Chernihiv-Novhorod the norms of the Lublin Union for the obligatory use of the Ruthenian lanugage were not imposed, while those territories had no Latin-language traditions.

    Polish for Ruthenian Privileges to 1629. Scattered privileges in the Ruthenian books began appearing in Polish from the chancery of Feliks Kryski already in 1615 in book RM 21. In book RM 23 dating from the years 1616 through 1626, prepared by the Ruthenian notary Khryshtofor Bakovets’kyi, forty percent of the approximately 154 privileges appear in Polish. The main concentration of Polish privileges came in 1620 and 1621, when almost all of the charters recorded were for lands and offices in newly annexed Chernihiv and Novhorod-Siveria. Figures for privileges in Polish were lower for subsequent years, when the privileges recorded were addressed predominantly to Volhynia, Bratslav, and Kyiv palatinates.

    Ruthenian Privileges in the Crown Latin Books to 1629. Even more striking, an increasing number of privileges addressed or pertaining to those Ukrainian palatinates were recorded in the main books of the Crown Metrica. The number of privileges in the main metrica books rose to a high of forty-eight documents for 1621 in a single volume (MK 165), most of them addressed to the newly annexed lands of Chernihiv and Novhorod-Siveria, and virtually all recorded in Polish. In fact, more documents for those lands were recorded in the main Crown inscription books than in the Ruthenian series. In many cases, those entered in the Crown books were privileges for nobles from central Polish lands who were being granted lands or offices in the newly annexed lands, so it was natural that they would prefer to have their privileges recorded in the main chancery registers, rather than the Ruthenian series. Besides, the Crown chanceries were so busy that there may have been less concerned about the book in which the documents were recorded or which particular chancery official notarized which privilege.

    The inscription of privileges for all of the Ruthenian palatinates in the main metrica books continued to rise during the 1620s. A more detailed analysis of the Ruthenian-related privileges in all of the books of the Crown Metrica from this period still needs to be completed before more definitive statistics and conclusions on this point can be reached. Clearly, however, the Ruthenian Metrica was no longer serving a unique or even predominant function with respect to privileges addressed to those Ruthenian lands.

    Ruthenian for Legal Decrees to 1652. Despite the extensive use of Polish for Crown privileges after 1618, the use of the Ruthenian language continued for legal decrees. During the years 1616 through 1626, for example, throughout the entire book RM 23, notarized by Bakovets’kyi, all of the close to 130 legal decrees were recorded in Ruthenian, except for two in 1620 in which the initial and concluding clauses are in Ruthenian, although the documents themselves are in Polish. Starting in 1626, however, the initial seven legal decrees in Ielovyts’kyi’s book RM 24 were recorded in Polish, as were all eight legal documents from 1628 in the final fascicle. A scribe’s note on the verso of the title page – initialed by Ielovyts’kyi – complained about the practice “not following law” whereby some Ruthenian decrees were being “written in Polish or Latin” and were being “inscribed in the Latin Metrica books”, when they should have been written in Ruthenian and recorded in the Ruthenian books.

    Despite complaints about the practice, a final fascicle of eight unsigned legal decrees from 1628 were recorded entirely in Polish in Ielovyts’kyi’s book RM 24. Furthermore, fourteen legal documents from 1629 were entered in the same book with the texts themselves in Polish, and with only the formal recording protocols at the beginning and end appearing in Ruthenian, confirming the fact that the documents were originally being prepared and issued in Polish. In the Crown judicial chancery, as was the case at the local court level, Polish was making a strong inroad in Ruthenian lands, although the use of Ruthenian in judicial affairs continued until mid-century.

    From 1629 to 1652 Jan Bederman (often, Benderman) from Luts’k was the only official Ruthenian notary in the Crown chancery. But by this period, Ruthenian was being used, with few exceptions, only for legal decrees. During the period from 1631 to 1652, Bederman was involved with what are now three Ruthenian books and parts of two others. It is difficult to follow his activities because several of these books were bound out of order, and two of them (RM 26 and RM 28) were predominantly later prepared copies rather than contemporary metrica registers. There are many gaps in extant Ruthenian decrees, however, for the years 1630, 1632, 1642, 1644, and 1648 through 1651.

    Bederman was the last notary to prepare documents in the Ruthenian language in the Crown Metrica. But even during Bederman’s term of office, while the official metrica copies of most legal decrees were being recorded in the Ruthenian language, drafts (protocols) and other official extracts and copies were being prepared in Polish. The identification of one of the three Bederman volumes, the 1637-1641 book RM 28 as a collection of Polish-language drafts left by Bederman clarifies the prevailing legal practice. All but a few of the decrees and other legal documents included in this volume in Polish are repeated in more finished Ruthenian copies in the book designated as RM 27. We also have evidence that some legal documents from this period were being recorded in the main Latin books, particularly in the 1640s, for which copies are not extant in the Ruthenian books from Bederman’s period.

    The increasing use of Polish for Ruthenian-addressed legal documents by 1647 in the Crown chancery is evident in the fact that the only extant recorded decrees from that year within the Ruthenian books (RM 26) are now preserved only in Polish copies. An extant official sealed copy of one Ruthenian decree from 1647, however, indicates the continuing use of Ruthenian for the officially recorded copy, although the book involved has not been found. In this case, the official document itself – prepared for transmittal and signed by Bederman – is in Polish, but the introductory protocol states that it was “translated from Ruthenian to Polish”.

    Subsequently there are no extant books of the Ruthenian legal decrees at all from the years 1648-1651, the early years of the Khmel’nyts’kyi uprising. But the identification of several signed and sealed original documents and extracts from the Ruthenian books during these years indicates that some fascicles of the Ruthenian books from this period are missing.

    Seven decrees from 1652, all prepared by Bederman, were recorded in Ruthenian in the final Ruthenian book RM 29, although these were apparently added as a separate fascicle at the beginning of the bound volume. Extant official signed and sealed copies of two of these in Polish confirm the fact that, although the law with respect to recording judicial decrees in Ruthenian was still being respected, official extracts from the Crown chancery were being issued in Polish. These seven were, however, the last extant decrees in the Ruthenian language in the Crown Metrica.

    Polish for Privileges, 1630-1650. In the 1630s and 1640, the linguistic situation with regard to Ruthenian-addressed privileges, the role and function of the Ruthenian notary, and the general situation of the Ruthenian series changed even more radically than was the case with legal decrees. Indeed the use of Ruthenian was almost entirely abandoned for privileges, except for a few confirmations or official recordings (oblata) of earlier charters, which were recorded in their original Ruthenian form with registration protocols in Polish. For example, already in 1631, Polish was used for the official recording of all but two of the twenty-two privileges inscribed in the two Ruthenian books covering that year, although many of the titles were recorded in Ruthenian. Similarly, in 1645, all of the seventeen privileges in book RM 26 were recorded in Polish. Furthermore, no charters of privilege or other inscriptions at all have been preserved in the Ruthenian series for the years 1632, 1641-1644, and 1646-1652, suggesting that either copies were not preserved or that they were not always being systematically kept separately.

    Ruthenian Privileges in the Main Crown Books, 1630-1652. Many more privileges addressed to the Ruthenian palatinates appear in the Latin books of the Crown Metrica in the 1630s, continuing the trend seen in the 1620s. Even in 1635, when a record number for the decade of thirty-three privileges was recorded in the extant Ruthenian book RM 26, a total of at least fifty-six privileges addressed to Ruthenian lands appear in the main Crown Metrica books MK 180, MK 181, and MK 182.

    A recently identified book of draft Ruthenian privileges preserved with the Crown Metrica in AGAD nevertheless demonstrates that the specific privileges intended for entry in the Ruthenian books at this time were still being kept separately in the chancery.

    Still puzzling, however, is the rationale behind the designation of privileges to be recorded in the Ruthenian books as opposed to the Latin ones. Undoubtedly, some individuals took special pains to have their privileges recorded in the more official main Crown inscription books, even though the privileges would have involved the Ruthenian lands. Obviously there were many different factors at play. Nevertheless, the fact must be recognized that, by this period, many of the most important privileges addressed to Ukrainian lands were not being recorded in the Ruthenian books and, therefore, these books do not in and of themselves reflect Crown activities pertaining to these areas.

    The general lack of extant finished Ruthenian fascicles from the 1640s, together with the evidence of a missing book of decrees, affirms a major gap in the records preserved. The existence of a significant Ruthenian fascicle with seventeen privileges for 1645, suggests that at least through that year the distinct series was still being preserved, even if only in Polish copies. Yet contemporaneous books of the main Crown series contain a total of thirty documents addressed to Ruthenian lands from that year, or almost double the number of documents found in Bederman’s Ruthenian book. If Ruthenian privileges were being kept separately from 1646 through 1658, they have not been preserved, nor have privileges with protocols referencing their recording in the Ruthenian books. At the same time, a large number of privileges addressed to the Ruthenian palatinates continue to be recorded in the main Latin books.

    Role of the Ruthenian Notary. With the shift of linguistic usage for the Ruthenian lands to Polish, and with the recording of more privileges in the main Latin books of the Crown Metrica, the traditional role of the official Ruthenian notary was being drastically modified in form, title, and practice. Ruthenian nobility continued to insist that Ruthenian notaries in the Crown chancery be of their own ranks. For example, in the 1638 instructions from the Luts’k dietine to its representatives to the Sejm, the Ruthenian nobility defended the right that “the Ruthenian Metrica be serviced by nobles of these palatinates, who know the law written in Ruthenian…” Yet the Ruthenian nobility apparently received no satisfaction to their complaint, for there is no evidence of changes in the chancery or of another Ruthenian appointment after that date.

    Although few Ruthenian privileges remain for the 1640s, the extant fascicle from 1645 is revealing. Only one of the fourteen privileges for that year was notarized by Bederman, others were notarized by men who were simultaneously and regularly notarizing documents in the main Latin books. It was a small step from the declining situation of the Ruthenian series in the 1630s and 40s to the total absorption of that series during the subsequent decades. The Ruthenian nobility may not have been content with the situation under Bederman. But, after the death of Bederman in 1652, the use of the Ruthenian language in the Crown Metrica ceased completely, and only a single final book of the Ruthenian series covers the entire period from 1653 to 1673.

    Hankiewicz and the End of the Ruthenian Series (1653-1673)

    As long as the distinctive series of books for Ruthenian lands existed, it reflected a degree of administrative autonomy and encouraged a separate sense of identity for the region. Such conditions did not survive the wars and revolutionary developments of the mid-seventeenth century. As a result of the Khmel’nyts’kyi uprising and the postwar settlements, many of the Ukrainian lands involved were no longer effectively governed by the Crown chancery. In the Pereiaslav Treaty of 1654, Ukrainian lands controlled by the Cossacks accepted suzerainty of the tsar of Moscovy, although their status remained unresolved for several decades. The city of Kyiv and its environs, together with the less-polonized areas of the palatinates of Kyiv and Chernihiv were incorporated into the new Cossack Hetmanate. Although the Crown continued to appoint palatines and other offices for Kyiv and Chernihiv well into the eighteenth century, the appointments were purely honorary.

    The pattern seen developing earlier in the chancery practices with respect to the Ruthenian record books clearly reflected broader trends. Crown policy after the Khmel’nyts’kyi uprising further reflected the degree of polonization of much of the Ruthenian elite in Volhynia and adjacent areas of the Kyiv palatinate. Although Kyiv and the adjacent less-polonized areas were part of the Ukrainian Hetmanate, most of the Right-Bank lands remained under Crown administration after the Pereiaslav Treaty of 1654. But the use of Ruthenian in documents for the area from the Crown chancery ceased completely. Linguistic polonization of the Ruthenian elite had been essentially accomplished by mid-century. Hence there was no need to continue linguistic distinctions in chancery recordkeeping that might have helped preserve a separate Ruthenian identity.

    Stefan Hankiewicz and Ruthenian Documents, 1653-1658. Stefan Kazimierz Hankiewicz (d. 1701) had a particularly close association with the Ruthenian series since his appointment in 1653 as judicial notary (P. pisarz dekretowy) for Ruthenian documents in the main Crown chancery, following the death of Jan Bederman. Of Silesian family origin rather than Ruthenian, he was born in Ostroh (P. Ostróg) in the palatinate of Volhynia, where his family was in service to the Ostroz’kyi princes. Hankiewicz’s function in office with respect to the Ruthenian record books clearly reflects Crown policy and the low status of the separate Ruthenian series. In fact, only a single volume (RM 29) was kept for Ruthenian affairs during Hankiewicz’s long period in office. That last book of the Ruthenian series coincided with his term in office as Ruthenian notary – except for the added initial fascicle of 1652 legal decrees left by Bederman. The concluding date of 1673 corresponds to the end of Hankiewicz’s chancery service and also to the date of preparation of Hankiewicz’s “Index” of the entire series. The correspondence appears not to be coincidental.

    Following his appointment in April 1653, Hankiewicz served in the Crown judicial chancery, although there is no evidence that he was maintaining separate Ruthenian records before 1658. Aside from two Ruthenian-addressed legal decrees that he notarized in 1654, both of them recorded in Polish in book RM 29, there is a gap until 1659.

    The situation with Ruthenian privileges was even more pronounced, since there are no surviving separate fascicles for Ruthenian privileges at all from the years 1646 to 1658. In all likelihood, after 1646, chancery officials did not bother to keep a separate Ruthenian book for privileges during the continuing period of Cossack wars and Swedish invasion. During those years, privileges relating to these areas were being recorded in the regular Latin books of the Crown Metrica, and fewer privileges were being addressed to Ruthenian lands than had been the case before the war. All were entered in the main Crown inscription books, and notaries other than Hankiewicz were officiating.

    Hankiewicz in the Crown Chancery and the Abortive Union of Haidach. Hankiewicz was appointed as notary in the main Crown chancery in July 1658, when the court returned to Warsaw. His appointment coincided with the appointment of a new vice-chancellor, Mikoaj Jan Pra?mowski (1617-1673), who after a month became chancellor. Although Hankiewicz also (since 1654) held the post of Ruthenian notary, he was even further away from the traditional position than Bederman. Whereas there was only one Ruthenian book from his entire period in office, Hankiewicz was responsible for a total of eight large books of privileges and other Crown inscriptions in the Latin series during the years 1658 to 1673. He was also responsible for the preparation of the only extant Crown legation book from the chancery of Pra?mowski (LL 33), which contains officially recorded copies of many important documents relating to Ukrainian lands during the years 1649-1665. A second legation book for which he was responsible (LL 25), with documents principally from the years 1669 to 1673, also includes many relating to Ukraine.

    Most important in terms of the Crown chancery activities relating to Ukrainian lands in 1658-1659 was the abortive Union of Hadiach, which involved the attempt of the Crown to regain control of Ukrainian lands lost to Muscovy in 1654 and negotiate a new relationship with the Cossack leadership. This situation may well have played a role in the resumption of a separate Ruthenian record book within the Crown chancery. The legation book prepared under Hankiewicz’s direction for Pra?mowski in 1666 contains a copy of the treaty (or Commission as it was called officially) for the Union of Hadiach in the version approved by the Sejm in May 1659, together with a number of other letters and reports relating to negotiations regarding Ukrainian lands. The agreement, considerably changed from the original signed with Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Vyhovs’kyi in September 1658, called for a separate Grand Duchy of Rus’ on par with the Grandy Duchy of Lithuania – comprising the Ukrainian lands of the palatinates of Kyiv, Bratslav, and Chernihiv within a triune Commonwealth. Furthermore there was to have been considerable autonomy for the Cossack elite, primacy of the Orthodox Church within the new Grand Duchy, and co-equality for the Orthodox Church within the Commonwealth. Volhynia was not included in the Grand Duchy of Rus’, but there, too, equal rights for Orthodoxy were guaranteed (as it was throughout the Commonwealth), and Ruthenia judicial traditions were to be respected. Although the separate Grand Duchy of Rus’ was never realized, political developments associated with the Hadiach pact demonstrate a much stronger position for Ukrainian interests vis-a-vis the Crown. Since the agreement was not implemented, and a Ruthenian chancellor never appointed, a separate Rus’ chancery was never created in the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, the increased number of documents addressed to the Ruthenian palatinates in the late 1658-1659 period apparently made it appropriate to revive a separate book for outgoing documents addressed to Ruthenian lands.

    Ruthenian Privileges, 1658-1666. Starting in 1659, many more documents addressed to the Ruthenian palatinates were in fact recorded in RM 29, albeit in Polish. There was a total of forty-five for the year 1659 – namely twelve legal decrees from the Sejm court and thirty-three charters of privilege. Especially in the first few months following the ratification of the Hadiach agreement by the Sejm in May 1659, a number of grants of nobility and other privileges to major Cossack leaders were recorded in book RM 29. Clearly, however, the book RM 29 was not intended specifically for the projected Grand Duchy of Rus’, since, for example, some documents recorded in the separate Ruthenian book RM 29 were addressed to Volhynia, which in the Hadiach Agreement was not recognized as part of the Grand Duchy of Rus’.

    The Ruthenian book RM 29 was not the only record within the Crown Metrica of documents addressed to the proposed Grand Duchy of Rus’ and to Ukrainian lands more generally. Indeed, additional privileges pertaining to Ukrainian lands were entered in Hankiewicz’s Latin chancery books, half in Latin and half in Polish. To add to the complexity, other privileges relating to the Grand Duchy of Rus’ were recorded, along with the Hadiach Agreement itself, in the Crown legation book LL 33. Furthermore, as apparent from the sigillata registers starting in 1658, the full texts of many sealed documents addressed to Ukrainian lands were not recorded in any of the extant books of the Crown Metrica. Besides, in contrast to the situation observed earlier when Bederman was the Ruthenian notary, by Hankiewicz’s period in the chancery, even separate books for protocols of privileges were no longer being kept for the Ruthenian series.

    Ruthenian Legal Decrees. Legal documents for the Ruthenian palatinates at least initially were still being recorded separately. Recording clauses for several legal decrees in RM 29 in 1659 refer to a Ruthenian or Volhynian “judicial chancery”. Such formulae, however, are not found later, but then there are few subsequent legal decrees in RM 29. In fact, the lack of legal decrees after 1661 – only one decree in 1664 and one in 1667 – in the final Ruthenian volume is puzzling, particularly since Hankiewicz continuously held the office of Volhynian judicial notary and was therefore supposed to handle decrees from that area. By then, obviously, decrees for Ukrainian lands were being recorded elsewhere.

    Ruthenian Documents, 1667-1673. During the final eight years (from 1666 through 1673) of the last Ruthenian book RM 29, proportionately fewer documents were recorded than had been the case in the preceding period. And during those last two years of the reign of Jan Kazimierz (1667-1669), even more privileges addressed to the Ukrainian palatinates appear in corresponding contemporary books of the Crown Metrica – at least twelve for 1667 and over forty for 1668, and no overlap with book RM 29 has been found. The rationale behind these recordings is not apparent, but might suggest the diminished status of the Ruthenian volume.

    The fascicles for the last five years, dating from the reign of King Micha Korybut Wiśniowiecki (19.VI.1669-10.XI.1673) were added later to book RM 29 as a separate section, and involved rebinding the volume at the end of 1673, when Hankiewicz left office. The number of documents included – still only privileges – dropped again to six for 1669, all of which were repeated in the main chancery book MK 209 – the first and only year involving total repetition. An additional ten documents in the main Crown books from 1669 were not recorded in RM 29. Scattered documents addressed to the Ukrainian palatinates were recorded in the contemporary books of the Crown Metrica during Hankiewicz’s final three years in the chancery, and only a few of them were repeated in the final Ruthenian book. Only two privileges were recorded in the Ruthenian book for 1672 and none elsewhere. By that time the strong Turkish offensive in Bratslav and Podolia was already progressing and few privileges were being issued for eastern areas of the Commonwealth. Hankiewicz’s final year in office, 1673, saw only five privileges recorded in RM 29, three of which were repeated in the main privilege book MK 209.

    Hankiewicz’s Role and the End of the Ruthenian Series. Hankiewicz’s role in ending the Ruthenian series reflects his broader role and function as chancery archivist in charge of the entire Crown Metrica. It is obvious that the Ruthenian series was of peripheral concern, since there was not even a separate notary for those documents. Hankiewicz himself was chiefly concerned with the main chancery books that he was preparing for Prażmowski and later chancellors; hence, it is not surprising that there is considerable overlap and a certain lack of definition surrounding the Ruthenian documentation. Hankiewicz had been appointed metrykant in charge of the entire Crown Metrica and sekretarz królewski in 1661, and he was closely involved with the return of the Metrica from Sweden at the end of 1664. Once the Crown Metrica was back in Warsaw, he accomplished the first systematic arrangement within various rubrics, assigned alpha-numeric designations, and prepared his “Synopsis” – the first comprehensive listing of the entire complex.

    Hankiewicz’s 1653 oath of office affirmed his commitment to maintaining the Ruthenian series “in Ruthenian or Polish style”, rather than an outright guarantee to record documents in the Ruthenian language. In fact, the use of the Ruthenian language in the Ruthenian series of the Crown Metrica effectively ceased with Hankiewicz’s assumption of office. Those developments in the central Crown chancery are again mirrored by corresponding language usage in local court records. By 1662 the figure for decrees in Ruthenian in the Luts’k castle court books was still 75 percent, but three years later, in 1665, it stood at 2.5 percent. The Volodymyr court held out longer, for even in 1667, Ruthenian entries constituted 98.5 percent in the current register (potochnyie) books, 76.5 percent in books of decrees, and 29.5 percent in inscription books. But by the end of the 1660s, however, in all districts counted, the use of Ruthenian had disappeared entirely from the local castle-court record books examined. Still no constitution of the Sejm was adopted providing for the use of Polish in the Ruthenian palatinates, but earlier stipulations for the use of Ruthenian were no longer observed.

    Yet, the handling of Volhynian documents during Hankiewicz’s period, and the very existence of book RM 29, suggests that the status of the Ruthenian series involved more complicated issues than merely a change in linguistic usage. The fact that all documents in the final Ruthenian book were recorded in Polish following Hankiewicz’s assumption of office, suggests there was more at stake than language. The change in linguistic usage in the Crown chancery may help explain the decreased need for a separate Ruthenian series. Nevertheless, a sense of separate identity predicated on judicial and cultural factors still persisted, which at least some of the Ruthenian nobility were anxious to preserve. As late as 1669, in an instruction to their representatives to the Sejm, the Volhynian dietine complained about the intermingling of metrica records and the lack of a separate metricant to handle “documents of the Ukrainian Ruthenian palatinates”. Such appeals came too late, however, for the political, linguistic, and cultural die had already been cast.

    During the course of a century of Polish administration, the political situation and chancery practices had changed drastically. The linguistic usage of the mid-sixteenth century which, together with the legal system, had been the key justification for a separate series, was no longer operative by the mid-seventeenth century. Following the Khmel’nyts’kyi uprising, the least polonized Left-Bank and southern areas were no longer effectively under Crown control. The Treaty of Andrusovo in 1667 confirmed the Polish loss of Left-Bank lands, and their protection by Muscovy. The Cossack Hetmanate was effectively ruling the Left Bank and Kyiv itself. Turkish control was advancing in the northern Black Sea littoral and, by 1673, the palatinate of Bratslav and the southern part of the Kyiv palatinate were already occupied by the Ottoman Empire. Thus the lands originally served by the books of the Ruthenian series in the period after the Union of Lublin were reduced only to Volhynia and part of the palatinate of Kyiv, and administrative and legal usage in these areas was sufficiently polonized not to need a separate series of records.

    The purpose behind Hankiewicz’s preparation of a summary register for the Ruthenian series in 1673 now becomes clear. By that time, few chancery officials knew or adequately understood the Ruthenian language, and they needed a listing or “Index” of the documents recorded in Ruthenian in earlier volumes of the series – documents which for the most part were not found in other books of the Crown Metrica. Hankiewicz, as Crown metricant and with knowledge of Ruthenian, was the first to provide such a model. He may have brought the separate Ruthenian series to an end, but at the same time he provided a document-by-document “Index” of all the books in the series which, despite its severe deficiencies, was essential for Crown chancery use in the subsequent century and even today is still of interest and potential assistance to scholars.

    II. Bindings, Inventories, and the Archival Fate of the Ruthenian Series

    Ruthenian Books and their Bindings

    Gatherings or Fascicles. Like other volumes of the Crown Metrica, the books of the Ruthenian series were initially prepared as gatherings or quires, that is to say, fascicles of folded sheets of paper. Usually, new fascicles were started for a new year, and to be sure for a new chancellor or vice-chancellor and for each new monarch. In the process of binding, fascicles in the Ruthenian series were usually grouped together chronologically for the chancellor or vice-chancellor involved by the responsible notary (P. pisarz), but some of those from the 1630s and 40s were not assembled and bound until the time of Hankiewicz.

    By the mid-sixteenth century, distinctions between fascicles for legal documents and those for privileges and other types of inscriptions were strictly observed in the Crown chancery. Within some of the Ruthenian books separate fascicles were devoted to privileges, but in other cases, privileges were grouped in separate sections, or simply interspersed with other documents, including legal decrees.

    Bindings of the Ruthenian Books. Bindings of books of the Ruthenian series are similar to the royal bindings found in other books of the Crown Metrica from the same period. As they remain today, bindings for the Ruthenian series fall into four major categories: (1) Original Roll-Stamped Leather Bindings. Eight of the Ruthenian volumes retain their original elaborate roll-stamped leather bindings from the period of their completion. (2) Original Roll-Stamped Bindings Restored. An additional five books retain their original elaborate roll-stamped leather covers, but have been substantially restored in Poland in the eighteenth century. (3) Vellum Bindings. Another group of five books preserve their more modest original vellum bindings in various colors. The use of vellum after 1618 in those cases may well reflect the lesser status of the Ruthenian books vis-a-vis the main Latin books of the Crown Metrica. (4) Eighteenth-Century Calf Bindings. A final ten books – over one third – now retain high-quality calf bindings, which were prepared in the mid-eighteenth century, presumably in Warsaw.

    Inventories of the Ruthenian Series

    Lists of Metrica Books from the 1620s. From the time of their creation, the Ruthenian books were kept in cabinets in the chancery for future reference, along with other books of the Crown Metrica. The earliest known inventories of the Crown Metrica, dating from the 1620s, were prepared for the chancellor Waław Leszczynski (ca.1576-1628). These only known lists prior to Hankiewicz’s 1666/1673 “Synopsis” are two very sketchy ones found at the start of two metrica books of privileges in the Crown Latin series and recently published3. The first prepared in 1620 when Leszczynski became vice chancellor, lists earlier books from the Crown vice chancery. The second Latin-language inventory, dated 1627, lists the Ruthenian books interspersed with other volumes of the main chancery books.

    Hankiewicz’s 1665/66-1673 “Synopsis”. Hankiewicz’s 1665/66 “Inwentarz” or “Synopsis” (in Latin) is the first known comprehensive inventory of Crown Metrica books prepared after the Metrica complex was returned from Sweden (December 1664). Completed before Mikoaj Jan Pra?mowski (1617-1673) ended his term in the main chancery in December 1666, it was brought up to date after Hankiewicz left office in 1673. Of the four Hankiewicz prepared, the only known extant copy is now located in the Manuscript Division of the library of the Ossolineum in Wrocaw. Hankiewicz listed the series of twenty-four “Ruthenian documents and books of the Polish palatinates of Volhynia, Bratslav, Kyiv, and Chernihiv” as a separate section of the “Synopsis” written in Polish, whereas most other sections of the text were presented in Latin. For the Ruthenian series, Hankiewicz assigned numbers 1 through 24 and letters A through Z (with the omission of “J” and “U” not then used with the Latin alphabet, and also the letter “P”). On a separate line where the volume designated “P” should have been, he noted that he found no books from the years 1608, 1609, and 1610. Interestingly enough, the recently discovered Kornik volume with documents from the years 1609 through 1612 precisely fills this gap for the letter “P”.

    Hankiewicz’s 1673 “Index” or “Register”. Hankiewicz’s major contribution to the future use of the series is his detailed document-by-document inventory, or summary register – “Index” (“Regestr” in the Polish title) – of the twenty-eight volumes in the Ruthenian series that were then held together with the rest of the Crown Metrica. This was completed in 1673, the final year of his service in the Crown chancery. The only known extant original seventeenth-century copy is now held in the Main Archive of Early Acts (AGAD) in Warsaw (102 folios).

    Hankiewicz’s “Index” was the first document-by-document register for the Crown Metrica. It was undoubtedly prepared as an aid to the chancery at a time when there was no longer a Ruthenian-language notary, and when few if any in the chancery were familiar with the Ruthenian language. It lists documents in the Ruthenian series, covering an additional five books not specifically listed in the earlier “Synopsis”.

    The Eighteenth-Century Cywiński Inventory. A more detailed Polish summary register was prepared in Warsaw in the 1760s or early 1770s by Jan Franciszek Cywiński, who then held the office of regent for the Crown Metrica. The manuscript is now held in RGADA within the fond of the Lithuanian Metrica (opis’ 1, no. 663). It was mistakenly described in the 1887 Ptaszycki inventory as a second copy of the Hankiewicz 1673 register. A barely legible title in Latin, inscribed in ink on paper affixed to the front cover, identifies its contents: “Register of acts [documents] in Ruthenian Characters Inscribed, Relating to the Palatinates of Kyiv, Volhynia, Bratslav, and Chernihiv” (139 folios).

    1798 St. Petersburg Inventory. Following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, most of the Crown Metrica and the Lithuanian Metrica, both of which were then held in Warsaw, were transported by Russian authorities to St. Petersburg on the order of Catherine II, along with some other high-level archival materials from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The first St. Petersburg inventory covering these materials, prepared in Russian in 1798 (published in 1843), showed the traditional distinctions among the Polish Crown Metrica, the Lithuanian Metrica, and other groups of Polish records that were then part of the collection. The Ruthenian series, appropriately listed as part of the Crown Metrica (Part A), was assigned the Crown Metrica numbers of 304-333, together with their earlier seventeenth-century letter codes that had been assigned by Hankiewicz.

    In 1799, a large portion of the Crown Metrica was turned over to Prussian authorities, since the areas to which most of the volumes pertained were then under Prussian rule. Within the decade, most of this collection was returned to Warsaw. The Lithuanian Metrica was retained in St. Petersburg, because almost all of the territories of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania were then part of the Russian Empire. The Ruthenian series of the Crown Metrica was also retained there, because the Ukrainian lands to which it pertained had also been annexed by the Russian Empire. At the time, the copies of the documents involved were needed by Russian authorities to substantiate land holdings and the social status of residents in the newly annexed lands.

    1835-1836 Commission Inventory. Following the Polish uprising in 1831, anti-Polish sentiments among imperial authorities brought additional concern for the archival materials from the Commonwealth. In light of alleged tampering with the volumes and falsification of documents by individuals anxious to avoid taxes and military service, an official imperial commission was appointed in 1834 to inspect and register the Metrica complex. Thorough and distinctive registration inscriptions were affixed to each volume by the 1835 commission. Lists of the volumes (according to the newly assigned code numbers) and their foliation counts were prepared and filed as part of the official reports of the Commission, signed by metricant Franciszek Malewski and assistant Franciszek Czarnoski (Rus. Sarnotski). A formal inventory was prepared in 1836 (RGADA, fond 328 – Expeditsiia Litovskoi metriki, d. 251). The formal distinction between the Crown Metrica and the Lithuanian Metrica was dropped in the title of this 1836 inventory, and the entire collection was euphemistically called the “Metrica of the Reunited Provinces” (Metrika prisoedinennykh provintsii).

    1887 Ptaszycki Inventory. An official inventory of the entire collection of archives from the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth that remained under the control of the Senate in St. Petersburg was published in 1887. The compiler, Stanisaw Ptaszycki (1853-1933), himself a Pole, was then the official chancery official (i.e. metricant) in charge of the collection. The enduring importance of this publication is underscored by that fact that even today, a hand-amended copy of the printed Ptaszycki inventory remains the official inventory covering the Ruthenian Metrica in RGADA. When the inventory was prepared, the collection still included other major groups of Polish Crown and Commonwealth records, although the published volume was misleadingly entitled the “Lithuanian Metrica”. Regrettably, that inappropriate designation (probably due to the intense russification and official anti-Polish policy of the late 1880s) has led to much subsequent scholarly confusion and has obscured the actual provenance of the materials involved to this day. Most significantly, the earlier distinctions among the Lithuanian Metrica, the Crown Metrica, and other high-level Commonwealth records from the reign of Stanisław II Poniatowski (Stanisław August) were entirely obliterated in the organization and presentation of the collection as the “Lithuanian Metrica”.

    Ptaszycki listed the Crown Metrica Ruthenian series as “Section B” of the first Roman-numerical part entitled “Inscription Books”. But instead of “Crown Metrica”, as had been the heading in 1836, he simply uses the adjective “B Crown (Koronnaia)”, following his subsection A for “Lithuanian”.

    The “Lithuanian Metrica” in Moscow. The same year that inventory was published, in the fall of 1887, the so-called Lithuanian Metrica collection was moved to the Moscow Archive of the Ministry of Justice – MAMIu (Moskovskii arkhiv Ministerstva iustitsii). Since then the collection has been housed in the same building specially constructed for MAMIu. Starting in 1941, the archive was known as the Central State Archive of Early Acts (TsGADA), and in 1992 was renamed the Russian State Archive of Early Acts (RGADA), still housed in the same building.

    The so-called fond (collection) of the Lithuanian Metrica today embraces less than half of the materials originally described by Ptaszycki. Forty-four volumes from the Ptaszycki inventory that had been identified as part of the Crown Metrica were returned to Warsaw between 1895 and 1898. Except for the Ruthenian series, the rest of the Crown Metrica, parts of the former Warsaw Crown Archive, and most of the remaining high-level Polish records from the period of Stanislaus Augustus – all of which had been held in Russia since 1795 – were restituted in 1923, under the terms of the Treaty of Riga (1921).

    The Ruthenian series remained virtually forgotten in terms of scholarly research interest after the 1920s, and the entire fond of the Lithuanian Metrica appeared to be closed for most research purposes. The so-called fond of the Lithuanian Metrica in TsGADA was finally renumbered in 1952, but it was not rearranged, and no new inventory was prepared. Those items listed in the 1887 Ptaszycki inventory that remained in TsGADA were simply renumbered consecutively in the margin of a copy of the published Ptaszycki text. Today, it is usually referred to only as the fond of the “Lithuanian Metrica”. Yet even Ptaszycki referred to the 1673 Hankiewicz summary register as a “document-by-document inventory of the Russian [Ruthenian] books of the Crown Metrica (Volhynian)”.

    1975 AGAD Inventory. The only subsequent attempt to describe the individual volumes of the Ruthenian series after Ptaszycki occured in the 1975 inventory of the Crown Metrica prepared in AGAD in Warsaw. That inventory listed all of the earlier inventory descriptions available to the compilers of each Ruthenian book and correlated their numbers with those assigned in the earlier inventories. Unfortunately the Warsaw compilers did not have access to the books of the Ruthenian series held in Moscow, and accordingly were able neither to provide de visu descriptions of the manuscript volumes, nor to provide references to the current archival code numbers assigned by TsGADA in 1952.

    Previous Scholarship

    The full technical and substantive analysis of the books of the Ruthenian Metrica is now only beginning, but an understanding of their earlier inventories is an important first step in correctly identifying individual volumes, the circumstances of their creation, and the nature of the documents they contain. Too often the Ptaszycki inventory has been accepted as the norm. Because most of the extant Ruthenian volumes are currently held as part of the so-called “Lithuanian Metrica” complex in RGADA in Moscow, a number of scholars who have used them have erroneously assumed they were actually part of the Lithuanian Metrica.

    Because the books remain archivally separated from the contiguous and related books of the Crown Metrica, their contents have not been studied in their appropriate context. Polish historians have generally not included reference to the documents contained in various analyses of the period. Specialists on genealogy and heraldry have completely overlooked their contents in major armorials and other reference compendia. Scholars of Ukrainian history have not realized the extent to which the documentation contained is intertwined with the rest of the Crown Metrica in Warsaw.

    One of the major reasons the Ruthenian series has been so little and so inadequately used in earlier research is that a full register and index of documents in the series has never been prepared. The present edition of these early manuscript inventories, correlated with the original Cyrillic or Polish titles of the documents recorded in the Ruthenian books themselves, and indexed to the limited extent of their coverage, now provides an initial key to the contents of this important group of sources pertaining to the palatinates of Volhynia, Kyiv, Bratslav, and later Chernihiv from the Union of Lublin in 1569 to 1673. Although many documents pertaining to these areas were recorded in the main Crown Metrica books, as we have seen, sądly there are no general registers of the Crown Metrica for that period. Summary registers of the Crown Metrica were prepared in Warsaw in the nineteenth century, but never published, and the manuscripts and card indexes were all lost in World War II.

    The fundamental historical importance of this series of Polish Crown documents requires much further analysis in the context of the Polish administration of Ukrainian lands. Since most of the originals of the documents recorded in these volumes are no longer extant, the official metrica copies kept by the Crown chancery for the documents issued for the palatinates of Volhynia, Bratslav, Kyiv, and Chernihiv, provide a unique body of sources for the history of Ukraine during the period. Even in the few cases where other copies might survive, these official copies provide a unique means of textual verification. The present publication should provide a starting point for further scholarly analysis of the Crown Metrica and its contents, and particularly the Ruthenian series, so that students of the period will be able to access and analyze the entire range of Crown interests and activities, as well as actual chancery practices, expressed in privileges and other legal documents addressed to these Ukrainian lands during the period 1569 to 1673.


    1 In the text that follows, the term “Ukrainian lands” or “Ruthenian”, unless otherwise indicated, refers specifically to the Ukrainian lands that comprised these Polish Crown palatinates. Although the term “Ukraine” was already widespread in the seventeenth-century, in the Crown chanceries the term “Ruthenian” with reference to the Right-Bank palatinates still prevailed.   

    2 Recently, AGAD has been using the English version “Central Archives of Historical Records.”  

    3 See: Krawczuk W. Metryka Koronna za Zygmunta III Wazy: Początki archiwum koronnego warszawskiego w świetle spisów z 1620 i 1627 roku. – Kraków, 1995.