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Czapski versus Branicki – neighbors conflict of the age.

Jan Klemens Branicki was the owner of 12 towns, 257 villages and 17 palaces. In 1708 he left France came back to the coutry because of his father Stefan Mikołaj Branicki death. Year later he associates with one of the most influencial families in Lithuania – Radziwiłł. The alliance was sealed with his marriage to Katarzyna Radziwiłłówna daughter of Karol Radziwiłł. “Mr Lover”  Jan Klemens Branicki gifted by ancestors with great fortune and backed up by saxon court had the basis to think he can do much.


Knyszyń starostwo was a direct neighbour to Białystok latyfundium of Great Crown Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki. Despite the fact that foreman Tomasz Czapski in May 1746 declared in letters to hetman his neighbourly friendship, which will always stay, the relations between the two magnates were not good, and soon were to get worse. Hetman Branicki wanted to join wealthy and wide Knyszyń king’s land to his own property, therefore he tried many different ways to get rid of Czapski from the land. In earlier mentioned letters Knyszyń foreman spoke up about ending dealings, which mayor Jan Henryk Klemm did, Branicki court architect. In hetman possesions he was hiding runaways from Dobrzyniew e.g. tinsmith who run without finishing his job at Czapski’s residency. Knyszyń foreman asked again to hand over the deserter, without answer. Probably that was the direct cause of conflict between magnates, which added also the revenge for the woodcutting ban in Knyszyń Forest (and Tykocin people) given by Czapski. Branicki got a triple condemn on Czapski (a sentence in criminal and civil cases, pronounced in absentia).
Between Czapski and Branicki even a minor military fight happened. It was quite safe but also indicates that Branicki might have tried to remove the debtor with force from his residence. In October 1746 Tomasz Czapski has settled an army to defend a farm in Dobrzyniewo. Similar conflicts were not unfamiliar to Czapski, even more so that Konstancja Gnińska has wrote in a letter about son to her daughter that she would not mind if he managed to unlearn brawls […] because mother’s heart has to hurt for needless fights. In letters she also mentioned about 6 condemns by Piotrowski Tybunał on Branicki, who agreed to comply only after charging Tomasz Czapski and payed his late fee of 10 000 polish zlotys to Zbiwski from Greater Poland.