Józef Wybicki

Józef Wybicki

Józef Wybicki

Józef Rufin Wybicki (29 September 1747 – 19 March 1822) was a Polish jurist, poet, political and military activist. He is best remembered as the author of Mazurek Dąbrowskiego (Dąbrowski's Mazurka), which in 1927 was adopted as the Polish national anthem.


  • Life 1
  • Works 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Wybicki was born in Będomin, in the region of Pomerania in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.[1] His family was Pomeranian nobility.[2]

He finished a Jesuit school, and in his youth was a junior court official.[2] Wybicki was elected a deputy to the Repnin Sejm, the session of Polish parliament in 1767, on the eve of the First Partition of Poland.[1] Subsequently he joined the insurgency known as the Confederation of Bar (1768–1772), aimed at opposing the Russian influence and king Stanisław August Poniatowski.[1][2] He was one of the advisors (konsyliarz) of the Confederacy, acting as a diplomat.[3] After the failure of the uprising, he spent some time in the Netherlands, studying law at Leiden University.[2]

Gen. Jan Henryk Dąbrowski and Józef Wybicki meet Emperor Napoleon in Berlin in 1806

Returning to Poland, in the 1770s and 1780s he was associated with the Commission of National Education.[1] He supported King Stanisław August Poniatowski and his proposed reforms.[1][2] He helped draft the liberal Zamoyski Codex of laws of the late 1770s.[4] He was a Patriotic Party activist during the Great Sejm (1788–92) – though he was not one of its first deputies, during much of that time staying at his estate, writing and staging operas.[1][2] He did, however, participate in the Great Sejm's deliberations, beginning in 1791.[4] In 1792, in the aftermath of the Polish-Russian War of 1792, like many of Poniatowski's supporters, he joined the Targowica Confederation.[5]

He participated in the Kościuszko Uprising (1794)[1] and was a member of the Military Section of the Provisional Council of the Duchy of Masovia.[6] After the failure of this insurrection he moved to France.[2]

Józef Wybicki

He was a close friend of both Greater Poland Uprising.[2]

After the creation of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807, he held a number of positions in its Department of Justice, and continued working for it after the Duchy's transformation into Congress Poland.[2] In 1817 he became president of the Supreme Court of Congress Poland.[8]

He died on 10 March 1822 in Manieczki, in Schrimm, then part of the Grand Duchy of Posen, Prussia.[1]


Wybicki was a writer, journalist and a poet.[1] He wrote political-themed poems, plays and political treaties advocating reforms in Poland in the 1770s and 1780s.[1][2] His works of that time analyzed the Polish political system, the concepts of liberty, and advocated for more rights for the peasantry.[9] He would also publish more political brochures in the 1800s, advocating for liberal reforms in the Duchy of Warsaw.[2]

Mazurek Dąbrowskiego (Dąbrowski's Mazurka) remains Wybicki's most famous creation.[2] It has been regarded as an unofficial national anthem since the November Uprising of 1831.[1] In 1927 the Mazurka was officially adopted as the Polish national anthem by the Polish parliament (Sejm).[2][10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bolesław Oleksowicz. "Józef WYBICKI". VIRTUAL LIBRARY OF POLISH LITERATURE. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Omer Bartov (2007). Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-day Ukraine. Princeton University Press. p. 121.  
  3. ^ Mariana B. Michalika (1994). Kronika powstań polskich: 1794 – 1944 (in Polish). "Kronika"-Marian B. Michalik. p. 10.  
  4. ^ a b Richard Butterwick (1 December 2011). The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788–1792: A Political History. Oxford University Press. p. 285.  
  5. ^ Władysław Zajewski (1989). Józef Wybicki (in Polish). Książka i Wiedza. p. 10.  
  6. ^ Aleksander Kociszewski (1982). Pieśnią i szablą: rzecz o twórcy hymnu narodowego (in Polish). Iskry. p. 93.  
  7. ^ Agnieszka Barbara Nance (2008). Literary and Cultural Images of a Nation Without a State: The Case of Nineteenth-century Poland. Peter Lang. p. 141.  
  8. ^ Jadwiga Lechicka (1962). Józef Wybicki (in Polish). Państw. Wyd. nauk. p. 167. 
  9. ^ Anna Grze?kowiak-Krwawicz (17 August 2012). Queen Liberty: The Concept of Freedom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. BRILL. pp. 126–127.  
  10. ^ (Polish) Dziennik Urzędowy Ministerstwa Spraw Wewnętrznych. 1927, nr 1 i 2

External links