"James Casimir I" and "James I" redirect here. For other uses, see James Casimir (disambiguation).
James Casimir I
Erik (Wahlberg) Wahlbergson - Charles I Philipp, King of the Polish - Google Art Project.JPG
Portrait of Jacques Casimir I in 1827
by Erik Wahlbergson.
King of the Polish (more...)
Reign 18 April 1795 –
9 December 1813
Coronation 1 February 1796
Predecessor Stanislaus II Poniatowski
Successor Interrex 1813–1814
Stanislaus III Albert 1814
President of the Republic of Lithuania
In office 18 February 1797 –
9 December 1813
Predecessor Ludwik Kamieniecki
Successor Stanislaus III Albert
(as Grand Duke)
Born 14 May 1758(1758-05-14)
Warsaw, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Died 9 December 1813 (aged 55)
Lodz, Poland
Burial Casimir and John Cathedral, Warsaw, Poland
Spouse Konstancja Grabowska
(m. 1748–1813; his death)
Issue John, Count of Warsaw
Full name
James Casimir d'Radziłów
Jakub Kazimierz Radziłówski
House House of Radziłów
Father Maximilian I, Duke of Radziłów
Mother Maria Elizabeth of Lodz
Religion Lutheranism (before 1813)
Roman Catholicism (after 1813)

James Casimir I (James Casimir d'Radziłów or Radziłówski; Polish: Jakub Kazimierz I; Lithuanian: Jokūbas Kazimieras I; German: Jakob Kasimir I; 14 May 1758 – 9 December 1813) was King of the Polish[1] from 1795 to his death. In 1804, he refused and rejected the title of "Holy Polish Emperor" (Polish: Polski cesarz Świętego) by the Polish Parliament.

During his reign, known as the Casimirian era. He allied with Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars which his popularity fading. He let Poland to two major victories at war, the Forty Years' War, Kamieniecki Uprising. He was one of the most popular monarch in Polish since John III Sobieski. James Casimir I was known as the Conqueror or Casmir the Conqueror, which is he conquered Lithuania and more during the war with First Republic of Lithuania from 1795 to 1797.

His only son, John of Warsaw death in 1805, after he died of wounds at the 1805 Battle of Caldiero; during the Napoleonic Wars. At his deathbed James Casimir I converted into Roman Catholic and died on 9 January 1816, aged 58. But was best known for his eighteen year-reign. He considered the only Polish monarch was titled King of the Polish.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Jacques Casimir d'Radzilow was born on 14 May 1758 in Warsaw, Poland to Maximilian I, Duke of Radziłów and Maria Elizabeth of Lodz, before his family moved to Fort-la-Latte in France. Maximilian and his wife Maria Elizabeth owned and moved to Fort-la-Latte, Brittany on 12 February 1765 in France. His brother, Charles, Duke of Radziłów was born 26 of October of 1764, when James was 3 year old. Casimir was claimed Duke of Brittany on 1st of June od 1782. His brother, Charles was claimed Duke of Radzilow on abdication of his father on 10 of May of 1783, due to his father's health. Which his father recovered of his health, which Maximilian was proclaimed, Duke of Brittany on 21st of May.


From Charles XIII of Sweden, on the day of the royal adoption of his father, Casimir received the style of Royal Highness and the title of Duke of Södermanland. He quickly acquired the Swedish language. By the time he reached the age of majority he had become a general favourite. His very considerable native talents were developed by an excellent education, and he soon came to be regarded as an authority on all socio-political questions. On January 17, 1816, he was elected an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and in 1818, he was appointed chancellor of Uppsala University, where he spent one semester.

In 1832-34 he completed the opera Ryno, the errant knight left unfinished on the death of the young composer Eduard Brendler. In 1839 he wrote a series of articles on popular education, and (in 1841) an anonymous work, "Om Straff och straffanstalter", advocating prison reforms. Twice during his father's lifetime he was viceroy of Norway. By proxy at the Leuchtenberg Palace in Munich on 22 May 1823 and in person at a wedding ceremony conducted in Stockholm on 19 June 1823 he married the Princess Josephine, daughter of Eugène de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, and granddaughter of the Empress Josephine. [2]

Great Sejm and Constitution of 3 May 1791Edit

Abdication of Stanisław II August and Election of 1795Edit

Main articles: Third Partition of Poland and Free election, 1795

On 7 January 1795, James' uncle Stanislaw II abdicated and sent to exile in Russia. Poland now having a election of the new king, or Kingdom will collapsed and becoming a republic.

The election of 1795, as was the candidiates in this election. With his brother, the Elector of Lithuania support James. In one of his rivals was Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, also James feared that if the ELector of Bavaria was elected-King in Poland, there will be war.

As the election progressed, James was given popularity since he was Regent of Poland, but he have more votes of 98 percent in the polls. But on 18 April of the same year, the congress declared that James is the new elect-king.

Reign (1795–1813)Edit

In beginning of January of 1795, Casimir's uncle, Stanislaus II Poniatowski abdication, and favor his son, Pavel or his brother, Charles. The throne went to Casimir's brother, he refused and remained Duke of Radzilow. The election of 1795 went May 3, which he be Candidate with support from his brother against Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, George III of the United Kingdom, and Frederick Augustus I. The election was 11 months and 15 days. On April 18, Casimir accessed to the throne as Jacques Casimir I.

KingJamesCasimir portrait

James Casimir I in his Imperial Court costume.

In foreign affairs Oscar I was a friend of the principle of nationality. In 1848 he supported Denmark against the Kingdom of Prussia in the First War of Schleswig; placed Swedish and Norwegian troops in cantonments in Funen and North Schleswig (1849–1850); and mediated the Truce of Malmö (26 August 1848). He was also one of the guarantors of the integrity of Denmark (the London Protocol, 8 May 1852).[2]

War with LithuaniaEdit

Main article: Polish–Lithuanian War

With newest nation, the First Republic of Lithuania was established in 1791, four years before James Casimir's accession with new President Ludwik Kamieniecki tried to make an alliance with the King's predecessor Stanislaus II Poniatowski. The war starts on October 1795, Kamieniecki was supported James Casimir in the 1795 royal election. Which he was only battle of Ostrovets during the last week of the war. But the start of the war with an little losing streak, he victories at Slutsk, but he escaped. James Casimir I was not happy when President Kamieniecki made alliance with Russian-born Count Pyotr Rumyantsev, also known as the (Lithuanian–Ukrainian Alliance). With the final years at the end of the war, with James Casimir's victory with eighty percent of the battles won. Kamieniecki remaining into a hiding, which crippling the republic after the death of Lithuanian's Field Marshal Jan Saulius in Panevėžys.

Although Kamieniecki was re-elected in 1796, but the Following year, he met the President at Warsaw and sign the treaty, and resulting the war ended. Of course Kamieniecki remained president but he was less popular, with most of Kamieniecki's republic of 80 or most of the Lithuanian's territories was lost to James Casimir. With territories of the republic was Vilnius, Polotsk, Stlutsk and surrounding territories. When Ludwik Kamieniecki resigned and abolished of the republic on February 18, 1797 and tell the congress to abolished the republic and give the rest of Lithuania to James Casimir I; which the King agreed and allow the exiled President Kamieniecki to went into exile. But James was offered the office of president; which he accepted it.

President of the Republic of LithuaniaEdit

After the war, President Kamieniecki resign from office after the defeat by James Casimir. James, on the otherwise to take Kamieniecki's position and give himself as President of Lithuania. He's considered himself as "King-President". As President, he's also not popular indevasting Lithuania, he didn't do much, but until James's death in 1813 which caused turned re-established an Grand Duchy after twenty-six years-old German Prince Stanislaus Albert of Saxe-Coburg was elected as King of Poland in 1814.

Refusal and Rejected the title of Holy Polish EmperorEdit

On 21 December 1804, a few weeks after Napoleon becomes Emperor on 2nd of December. The Polish Parliament asked James Casimir the office of "Holy Polish Emperor", when it was offered to him on the grounds that such a constitution and such an offer were an abridgment of the rights of the princes of the individual Polish states. Which the Polish people never had a polish monarch titled, the Holy Polish Emperor since Michael I the last monarch who hold the title.

Even though that the King will or will not refused the title. On six days after deciding the title, King James Casimir rejected the title of Holy Polish Emperor, with the statement;

"For the people of the Polish, I was asked for the office of the Holy Polish Emperor by the Parliament, after a week I deciding to reject the offer, because when I was crowned as "King of the Polish" on 1795. The title of Holy Polish Emperor is nice, but I decline the offer."

Napoleonic WarsEdit

Main article: Napoleonic Wars

During the time, Napoleon is at of it's power which leaded a series of wars across Europe.[3] James Casimir meet the Emperor in Warsaw, which ended an alliance with First French Empire. At the time in Poland, the people of poles were unhappy about the king's decision alliance with Napoleon. The downgraded of James Casimir's popularity when he sided with Napoleon, when his only son, John, Count of Warsaw death at the Battle of Caldiero in 1805.

Co-monarchs of PolandEdit

James's popularity in Poland soon faded when he sided with Napoleon I of France during the series of wars of Europe which known as the Napoleonic Wars. While James was going to war during the Napoleonic Wars, his wife remain in Poland and while as Queen duties. Both Konstancja and James agreed to be co-monarchs of Poland, Konstancja was elected as Queen on 27 January 1805 was crowned on 6 May of the following year. With Queen remained as queen consort.

But James Casimir's sided with Napoleon suddenly switched sides and allied the Allied forces (Austrian Empire, Kingdom of Prussia, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,[4] Kingdom of Sardinia, Dutch Republic, Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Kingdom of Portugal, Kingdom of Sweden, various Confederation of the Rhine and Italian states after the news of Napoleon's failed by invasion of Russian in 1812. After he sided with allied, his popularity slowly become popular again after his final years of his reign.

James Casimir met with allied forces such as Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor (now Francis I of Austria), Frederick William III, King of Prussia, and Crown Prince Charles John (born Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte; later Charles XIV/III John) in London.

Health declining, illness and deathEdit

James Casimir health was declined by the end of December of 1812. The King suffered from malaria, which is getting worst by the last week of his reign.

James Casimir's health was declining during the last years of his reign, James Casimir had ended suffered a seriously illness. Which is the king seriously ill in 1805. He was suffering from a kidney-ailment. However in 1888, he personally presented a gold medal of honor to the lifeboat hero Dorus Rijkers, for saving the lives of 20 people.

During the last months, during James Casimir I's reign, he becomes weakened when his popularity was failing during the Napoleonic Wars, but James Casimir returned to Warsaw. Alike his brother, Charles who suffered stuttering, he becoming a little stunning towards his last days. James Casimir died on 9 December 1813 from Cardiovascular disease at age of 55. His only son, His only son, John of Warsaw got assassinated in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars. He had no legitimate children, though contemporary rumours suggested he might have had several illegitimate children. None of these rumours have been confirmed by modern historians.[5] His death was followed by an interregnum of one year. The George III's son William Henry (future William IV) was candidate of the Polish throne against German Archduke Stanislaus III Albert, Prince of Saxe-Coburg; but was later defeated in the hands Stanislaus Albert.


Of course his eighteen-year reign, James Casimir I was only given the title, King of the Polish (King of Poland-Lithuania). His popularity in Poland and Lithuania were which approached to insanity. Considered one of the worst monarchs when he entered into Napoleonic Wars and refused to hold the title of Holy Polish Emperor, which it was devolving Holy Roman Empire.

Historian George H. W. Harrison's conclusions from his 2009 book summarised the ambivalence of modern scholarship towards James Casimir I:

The jury will doubtless remain out on James for a long time ... Was he an egotistical bigot ... a tyrant who rode roughshod over the will of the vast majority of his subjects (at least in England and Scotland) ... simply naïve, or even perhaps plain stupid, unable to appreciate the realities of political power ... Or was he a well-intentioned and even enlightened ruler—an enlightened despot well ahead of his time, perhaps—who was merely trying to do what he thought was best for his subjects?[6]

Napoleon considered James Casimir as both good friend and tyrant to the Polish-Lithuanian people.

Criticism of James Casimir IEdit

Heritage and memorialsEdit


James Casimir I left only one legitimate child.

  1. Prince John, Count of Warsaw (1780–1805), heir to the Polish throne from 1795 to his assassination in 1805.


Oscar I was in part responsible for the international popularisation of the Irish male given name Oscar, which was given to him by his godfather, Napoleon, who had been an admirer of the Ossianic poetry of James Macpherson.


Titles, styles, honours and armsEdit

Royal styles of
James Casimir I of Poland
606px-Coat of Arms of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Frist Polish Empire
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sire

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 14 October 1764 – 7 January 1795: His Royal Highness Jacques Casimir, Crown Prince of Poland
  • 18 April 1795 – 9 December 1813: His Majesty King Jacques Casimir I, King of the Polish



175px<center>Crown Prince, Duke of Södermanland (1818-1826)
175px<center>Crown Prince, Duke of Södermanland (1826-1844)
150px<center>King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway
95px<center>Royal Monogram of King Oscar I of Sweden


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Polish Parliament was offer the crown of Poland to James Casimir as King of the Polish; but he is the only monarch to hold the title.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chisholm 1911.
  3. Jackson, pg. 145
  4. The only constant in each of the seven coalitions, the first of which was formed against the First French Republic
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named psb125
  6. Harris, 478–479

Further readingEdit

James Casimir I
Born: 14 May 1757 Died: 9 January 1813
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Stanislaus II Poniatowski
King of the Polish
With: Konstancja Grabowska (1798–1813)
Title next held by
Stanislaus Albert
Preceded by
Maximilian I
Duke of Radziłów and Lodz
6 August 1789 – 19 February 1803
Succeeded by
John, Count of Warsaw
Political offices
Preceded by
Ludwik Kamieniecki
President of the Republic of Lithuania
18 February 1797 – 9 December 1813
Succeeded by
Stanislaus III Albert
as Grand Duke of Lithuania

Template:Swedish princes Template:Monarchs of Norway Template:Monarchs of Sweden

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