Wojciech Bartosz Głowacki

Mężczyzna stojący na armacie z kosą.
(approx. 1758- 1794)

A peasant, hero of the Kościuszko Uprising, before the insurrection he lived in the village of Rzędowice which at the time belonged to knez Antoni Szujski, where he managed nine morgens of land. After 24th March 1794 the local administration of the then Cracow province ordered its villages to choose one recruit from each of their five enclosures. One of them was Bartosz, who arrived at the military camp in Koniusza together with two thousand "enclosure recruits" on 3rd April. During the battle of Racławice, which began the next day, Bartosz was one of the 320 scythe-bearers who – together with the infantry unit – took over the Russian battery with a daring attack. This victorious assault turned out to be the pivotal point of the battle. The one who distinguished himself the most was Bartosz, who was the first to "run into the battery and take the cannon, not allowing it to fire by placing his cap on its flash pan." In recognition of his deeds, the Racławice hero was raised to the rank of Standard-Bearer on 8th April. On the same day, according to the old Polish military custom, he changed his plebeian name Bartosz to the more noble maiden name of his mother, Głowacki. The Commander-in-Chief prompted Szujski to release Głowacki from servitude, and he wrote a letter to the goods administrator, saying: "The former Wojtek Bartos and the current Wojciech Głowacki, Standard-Bearer of the Cracovian Grenadiers, distinguished himself on the day of 4th April, having been the first to arrive at the hostile battery, thus proving his bravery and love for the Fatherland. His courage gives me the sweetest opportunity to release himself, his wife and his children, from all the previous duties. I also hereby give to his wife and children the enclosure in which he has toiled, without claiming any labour charges. The following grain is to be given to his wife for food: 3 coombs of wheat, 4 coombs of rye... I oblige you to choose the best cow in the barn , ...and to give them a hog and a saw." Standard-Bearer Wojciech Głowacki was mortally wounded in the battle of Szczekociny on 6th June 1794. He died on 9th June in Kielce and was buried at the local cathedral's cemetery. Various political forces have claimed this legendary persona. On the one hand he became the symbol of the growing significance of peasantry in the state, which is how he was perceived by Władysław Anczyc, Teofil Lenartowicz, Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Jan Matejko, Wojciech Kossak or Jan Styka. On the other hand, the extreme left wing viewed him as a victim of the noble lawlessness.

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