I was known to have sided with the weak when the law did not protect them from nobles and clerics. It was reported that I supported a peasant whose house had been demolished by his own mistress, after she had ordered it to be demolished because it disturbed his enjoyment of the beautiful scenery. My popularity with the peasants helped rebuild the country, under the reconstruction program funded by a land tax paid by the lower social class.
On October 9, 1334, I confirmed the privileges granted to the Jews in 1264 by Boleslaus V the Chaste. Under the death penalty, he prohibited the abduction of Jewish children for the purpose of forced Christian baptism and imposed heavy penalties for the desecration of Jewish cemeteries.
While Jews had been living in Poland since my reign, I allowed them to settle in Poland in large numbers and protected them as the king’s people. My legendary Jewish mistress Esterka remains unconfirmed by direct historical evidence. I have been married four times with no sons only daughters.
I died on November 5, 1370 at the age of 60 from an injury received while hunting. My nephew, King Louis I of Hungary, succeeded me as King of Poland in personal union with Hungary. I was buried in Wawel Cathedral in Krakow.
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POLONUS POLISH PHILATELIC SOCIETY. As a collector of Polish stamps, it is always amazing to discover all that one can learn, especially on the page of “gems of Polish philately”. In the 2017 issue of the Bulletin, an article by Dr. James Mazepa features “Overprint on Letter-1919”. The Lublin postal administration was the first of the Polish administrations to become operational. The Provisional Government of the Polish People’s Republic was formed on November 7, 1918 in Lublin, four days before the official proclamation of independence in Warsaw. The remaining stamps of the Austrian Republic field post and those of Bosnia and Herzegovina were used. In December 1918, two issues of Austrian field post stamps were overprinted in Polish stamps. We knew these numbers as the first and second numbers of Lublin. However, it was a complicated time and the Lublin stamps were used during two different tariff periods.
In 2018 an unusual stamp was issued, “Poles in Siberia”, which recognized Polish writer, soldier and political activist Waclaw Kajetn Sieroszewski designed by Ryszard Kufel. A 1zl stamp was also issued to commemorate the founding of the Bar Confederation, an organization of Polish nobles formed to defend the internal and external independence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth against Russian intervention and Polish King Stanislaw II Augustus , who attempted to limit the powers of wealthy nobles. The designer of this attractive stamp was Maciej Jedrysik. To learn more about Polish history through the art of philately, join the Polonus Philatelic Society or visit our website www.polonus.org.
CURIOUS. Did you know that a mild alcoholic astringent applied to clean cuts, witch hazel was made from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel plant, Hamamelis. The shrub, whose pods explode when ripe, was used both practically and superstitiously in Anglo-Saxon times. Because the plant’s yellow flowers appear in late fall, after the branches are leafless and the bush is apparently dead, people in the British Isles have attributed supernatural powers to witch hazel. It was believed that a twig of witch hazel, in the skilled hands of a high priest, could distinguish a criminal in a crowd. However, a more practical application of a flexible hazel twig was as a dowsing rod for locating water underground for digging wells. In fact, the word “witch” in the name of the plant comes from the Anglo-Saxon wice, designating a tree with flexible branches. (To be continued.)
SUPERSTITION. Since bridges are man-made structures, built to circumvent nature, many superstitions have grown up around them. While passing under a bridge, if a train passes overhead, place your right hand against the roof of the car and make a wish. It is also believed that if you say goodbye to someone while standing on a bridge, you will never see that person again. If you make a wish on one end of a bridge, then close your eyes, hold your breath, and sail to the other side, your wish will come true, but on the other side, you might fall off a bridge and you walnut !