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Elizabeth Bonifacia of Poland

Heiress presumptive of Poland
The basics
Date of birth Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Date of death Jul 13, 1399 Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Mother: Jadwiga of Poland
Brother(s): Casimir IV Jagiellon Władysław III of Poland
Father: Jogaila
The details

Elizabeth Bonifacia (Polish: Elżbieta Bonifacja Jagiellonka, Lithuanian: Elžbieta Bonifacija Jogailaitė, Hungarian: Jagelló Erzsébet Bonifácia; 22 June 1399 – 13 July 1399) was the only child of Queen Jadwiga of Poland and Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania. Both the mother and the daughter died within a month of Elizabeth's birth.

Pregnancy of a king

Elizabeth's mother, Jadwiga, ascended the Polish throne under the title of "king" in 1384. She married Jogaila of Lithuania on 4 March 1386, at the age of twelve or thirteen. After thirteen years, "King" Jadwiga became pregnant. On the occasion of the expected birth of the royal couple, Jogaila's brother Vytautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, sent expensive gifts to the royal court on behalf of himself and his wife, Anna, among which there was a silver cradle.

Birth and baptism

The first horoscopes written for Jadwiga and Jogaila's child predicted a son in mid-September 1398. However, a girl was delivered on 22 June 1399, at 22:35 pm local time, at the Wawel Castle. The press of the time stated that the girl was born prematurely, an epitaph of the queen stating Tempus erat nondum maturae prolis ab Alvo, / Cum Venita Matris regia suae nata. The horoscope, however, states that the child was actually born a bit late. More than a bit surely- a due date of 18 June would rule out the suspicion of pregnancy as early as mid-September. Her birth also secured the succession to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, to which Elizabeth was heir presumptive to all her life.

The newborn princess received the names of Elizabeth in honour of Jadwiga's mother, Elizabeth of Bosnia, and Bonifacia in honour of Pope Boniface IX, who agreed to be the godfather of the child in a letter dated to 5 May 1399 under the condition that the child would be called Boniface or Bonifacia. She was baptised by Piotr Wysz Radoliński, Bishop of Kraków.

Death and burial

Elizabeth died at exactly three weeks old, on 13 July 1399. Her mother, Queen Jadwiga, died four days later, which could indicate an inflammation or infection. Jadwiga's will clearly stated that Elizabeth would be buried with her. The joint funeral took place on 19 July 1399 at the Wawel Cathedral.

On 12 July 1949, 550 years after the deaths of Elizabeth and Jadwiga, their tomb was opened. Nothing remained of the child's soft cartilage after that much time. After the respective deaths of his daughter and wife, Jogaila became King of Poland in full rights and remarried three times with a total of four other children.


Jogaila's family tree

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