Jan III Sobieski is patron of
our school from 27th October 2008.
John III Sobieski,
(17 August 1629 - 17 June 1696) was one of the most notable monarchs
of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, from 1674 until his death
King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Sobieski's 22-year-reign
was marked by a period of the Commonwealth's stabilisation, much
needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and Khmelnytsky Uprising.
Popular among his subjects, he was also a brilliant military
commander, most famous for the victory over the Turks in the 1683
Battle of Vienna. For his victories over the Ottoman Empire, he was
dubbed by the Turks the "Lion of Lechistan."
Jan Sobieski was born 1629 in Olesko, a small town near Lwów in
Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) to a notable noble family de Sobieszyn
Sobieski of Clan Janina. His father, Jakub Sobieski, was the
Palatine of Ruthenia and Castellan of Kraków; his mother, Zofia
Teofillia Daniłowicz was a granddaughter of Hetman Stanisław
Żółkiewski. After graduating from the Nowodworski College in Kraków,
young Jan Sobieski graduated from the philosophical faculty of the
Jagiellonian University. After finishing his studies, together with
his brother Marek Sobieski (1628-1652), Jan left for western Europe,
where he spent more than two years travelling. During that time he
met major political figures: Louis II de Bourbon, Charles II of
England and William II, Prince of Orange, and learned French, German
and Italian, in addition to Latin. This proved to be vital during
his later military career.
Both brothers returned to Poland in 1648 and volunteered for the
army during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. Jan founded his own banner of
cavalry and commanded it in the rank of Rotamaster. After the Battle
of Zboriv, the brothers were separated and Marek died in Tatar
captivity the following year. Jan was promoted to the rank of
pułkownik and fought with distinction in the Battle of Berestechko.
A promising commander, Jan was sent by King John II Casimir to
Istanbul in the Ottoman Empire as an envoy. There, Sobieski learned
the Tatar language and studied the Turkish military traditions and
After the start of the Swedish invasion of Poland known there as
"The Deluge", Jan Sobieski was among the Greater Polish regiments
led by Krzysztof Opaliński, Palatine of Poznań which capitulated at
Ujście, swearing allegiance to the Swedish king Charles X Gustav.
However, in less than a year he returned with his unit to the Polish
side, and after April 1656 he fought for the Polish king.