The Glogoveanu boyars

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The Glogoveanu boyars
The evolution, the place and the role that the boyars had in the Romanian society had always been one of the main subjects approached by the modern historiography, starting from the very moment that it disappeared from the Romanian political life, after 1858, when, because of the Paris Convention were eliminated the nobility ranks. Shortly after, only few decades later, the Romanian historiography, due to some ample politico-ideological debates on the landed property subject, would have enriched itself with important works concerning the boyars and the nobility. The socio-political ascendance of the Romanian society, due to the independence, the raising from the princely dignity to the royal one, the political unification of all Romanians reflected itself into the perspective of the social problematic in critical scientific approaches, gathered in the most comprehensive study, Despre boieri (About boyars), written by Constantin Giurescu. Because of this work the pages from history referring to the Romanian boyars had been reformulated and, then, were grouped together the adepts of different thesis regarding the apparition and the development of the feudalism or of the role and place of boyars in the Romanian territory, from the pre-state period and after. In the inter-war period the historiographic writings reached the level of great synthesis, concretizing into the emergence of works written by Nicolae Iorga and Constantin C. Giurescu named Istoria românilor (Romanians’ history). After these stages from historiography in which the problem of evolution, role and place of the boyars was treated in accordance with the importance of this social category, followed a difficult period for the historians that treated this theme. The new ideological exigencies, of Marxist provenience, imposed the placing of the boyars among the retrograde social classes that were in a permanent conflict with the peasants. In this period were written studies and articles which evidenced the negative roles of the boyars: starting from the idea of feudal division till the unfair oppression against the peasants (the dependence of a certain estate, peasants’ revolts against the boyars). In such circumstances, Romanian historiography succeeded, in a small measure, to correctly present the situation and the real contribution of the boyars in different historical moments, events and phenomena. Once with the revolution from December 1989, this ideological orientation was eliminated, the study orientated towards the boyars captured the Romanian researchers’ attention. This time had been published different works that present the evolution, the place and the role of this social class into the Romanians’ history, as close as possible to the realities of the historical past. The most comprehensive, synthesizing, conceptualizing one is that of the historians Gheorghe Platon and Alexandru Florin Platon, Boierimea din Moldova din secolul al XIX-lea. Context european, evoluţie socială şi politică (date statistice şi observaţii istorice) – The boyars from Moldavia in the 19th century. European context, social and political evolution (statistic data and historical observations). This work reopens the problems regarding the place of the boyars in the Romanians’ history and it is followed by many other preoccupations concerning the boyars’ families from all the regions of the country: Transylvania, Moldavia, Muntenia, Oltenia.

The Glogoveni boyars, of the old families from the times of the first political provinces, with multi-secular estates and residencies in the area of the Meridian Carpathians from the north-west region of Oltenia, gathered in their history facts that took place here and over the mountains, in Banat and Transylvania or, even further, in the south of Danube or towards the centre of Europe. Under the impact of the modern life, this family of great boyars scattered in Craiova, Cerneţi, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Târgu Jiu and Bucharest. And when the historians made genealogical sketches for the Romanian politicians, put the Glogoveanu family among those with legendary beginnings and great deeds.

Taking into consideration this long presence in history, during centuries, of the Glogoveanu family and also the fact that in this moment there isn’t a monograph made for them, we took the part of the author of a historiographyc research.

We started this process by analyzing all the monographies of some boyars’ families, realized either by a descendent of them, interested in the genealogical reconstruction of his family history (such those of the Cantacuzino and Stolnici family realized by Mihai Cantacuzino and Constantin Balaceanu Stolnici) or by some independent historians (Ioan C. Mihalcea, Nicolae Iorga, Octav George Lecca, George Fotino, Anastasie Iordache, Paul Cernovodeanu, Marian Ştefan, Radu Beldiman, Mihai Sorin Rădulescu, Ştefan Gorovei, Gheorghe Platon, Alexandru-Florin Platon, Cătălina Opaschi, Ioan Drăgan, Ilie Luceac, Victor Coroianu, Paul Păltănea, Ligia Boldea, Mite Măneanu). All these works contain valuable information, useful in the reconstruction of the genealogy for some boyars’ families that played an important role in the history of Walachia, Moldavia and Transylvania.

Information regarding the history of this family and of some of its representatives can be found in some works, articles and studies that appeared in the magazines “Arhivele Olteniei” from 1922 – 1946, “Oltenia”, “Mitropolia Olteniei” etc. One of the most important works, in which we can discover numerous information regarding the Glogoveanu family, is that published by Alexandru Bălintescu, Ion Călin, Ion Popescu, Documente noi în legătură cu răscoala poporului de sub conducerea lui Tudor Vladimirescu (New documents regarding the revolt of the people under the leading of Tudor Vladimirescu). It contains 33 from the 200 documents found in 1953 in the stable’s attic of the Glogoveanu house from Craiova. Other works containing important data about the history of this boyar family are the memoirs signed by some people who lived in Craiova like Olga Gigurtu, Zoe Mandrea, Elena Culcer (the daughters of Barbu Bălcescu, close to the Glogoveanu boyars), Nicolae Porumb, Jean Porubski, Constantin Argetoianu (a relative with this family). The information we receive is of greater importance as they come from persons contemporary with the described events.

In the reconstruction of this people’s history an important role was played by the pieces of information found in the writings realized by some members of the Glogoveanu family: Maria and Ion Glogoveanu. They bring into the discussion some old written documents called “zapise”, marriage contracts, all emitted by the representatives of this family.

The presence and the role that the Glogoveanu family had in the history of the cities from different regions of the country is demonstrated by the great amount of documents spread in the Archives from Bucharest, Craiova, Jiu, Drobeta Turnu Severin, either „catagrafii”, “hotărnicii”, “arhondologii”, “zapise”, “hrisoave”, marriage contracts. Even this represents a precious category of historic evidences, most of them remained unpublished.

The thesis is structured in five chapters, each chapter approaching a different aspect from the life of this family which had an important role in the Romanian society.

The first chapter is represented by the genealogy and the domicile of the Glogoveanu boyars.

This family of boyars is first mention in the beginning of the 15th century, when the documents refer to a certain Dragomir Roşul from Glogova, ban of Jiu and Tismana (1405). The attesting of this person with an important role in the political life from the country, shortly after the feudal state obtained its independence (1330, after the battle from Posada) determines us to consider this family of boyars would have been present since the beginning of the Romanian state from the south of the Carpathians. To the end of this century is mentioned Stanciu, married with Anca, the sister of the ruler Basarab the Young. At the estate of Stanciu from Glogova came to hide the ruler after he was chased away from his second ruling (September-October 1481 – April-May 1482) by his rival and successor Vlad Călugărul. In this locality was also killed Basarab Ţepeluş in 1482 by the boyars from Mehedinţi that didn’t agree with the non-combat politic adopted towards the Ottomans. By the marriage of Stanciu and Anca, the Glogoveanu boyars were related to the Basarab family that for many century now on would have provide many rulers for the throne of Walachia.

On the initial estate, Glogova, they built a defended house, dependencies, kitchen, church etc., which lead us to the image of a boyars’ residence.

The house from Glogova, as it is today, was built on the cellar remained from an older construction from 16th century, built by Lupu Glogoveanu. If we take into consideration the building technique we can discover two stages for the building of the edifice. The first was attributed to Nicola, attested in documents in the beginning of the 17th century. From this stage are kept only partially some walls and a cellar at the level of the ground. The second stage is attributed either to Matei Glogoveanu or to his son, Ioniţă.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the Glogoveanu boyars, to keep in touch with the political, economical, social and cultural life of the Romanian society, left their initial estate and moved to Craiova, Cerneţi, Râmnicu Vâlcea. The house from Craiova was bought in 1724 by Matei Glogoveanu from Cristina, the widow of master Talabă. The house remained in their possession until 1913, when Nicolae sold it to the authorities from Craiova. In this building would have function until 1943 the Town hall. Starting from 1943 and until nowadays, this house is the residence for the People’s Court from Dolj district. This building is connected with the names of Tudor Vladimirescu and Carol the First. About the houses from Cerneţi, Râmnicu Vâlcea few things are known. It is unknown if they built or bought these houses and for how long they remained in their property. This family also built a house and a church at Prunişori. The date for this construction is unknown, all that is known is that it was sold in 1910, together with the estate of Constantin and Ilarion Constantinescu.

The second chapter presents the landed property of the Glogoveanu boyars and their implication in the economical life of Walachia. In this chapter we managed to reconstruct for the first time the landed property unmentioned until now by the historiography because of its spreading in Mehedinţi, Gorj, Dolj, Romanaţi and Ilfov districts. Another approached subject was the modality of exploiting the estates realized with the help of socmen and other workers brought from the outside areas. They were brought starting with the second half of the 19th century, when the land designed for agriculture was marked by the raising of the cereal export.

The landed property of these boyars was constituted both from properties that they bought from different inhabitant that received them after their marriages with the members of other boyar families. Some of these estates remained for long time in their possession, others were sold, given as dowry or donated to some religious institutions (The Tismana Monastery, The Râmnic Bishopric) shortly after they had obtained them (Ilovăţ, Petreştii de Sus, Comăneştii de Jos, Hăeşti, Izvorul Frumos). They administrate these properties by themselves, with the help of some trustful bailiffs, without the help of leaseholders. For exploiting them even more efficient, they used socmen that lived there and also the foreign workers that they usually brought from Serbia. The money that they obtained from their exploitation allowed them to lease in 1721 the mine from Baia de Aramă. After the revolution from 1821 was defeated and especially after the Adrianopol Treaty (1829), which announced the liberty of trade, the Glogoveni boyars implicated themselves even more in the economical life of Oltenia, making a fair on the estates Prunişori and Câlnicul de Sus, buying lots in the city Turnu Severin and starting an efficient exploitation of the estates, using new agricultural implements and methods.

The third chapter holds a presentation on the way this family implicated in the socio-political life of the country.

The Glogoveanu family will continue to imply itself also after 1482 in the socio-political life of the country. Thus, in 1690, Necula Glogoveanu, great captain of Cerneţi was taken prisoner by Imre Tőkoly, that who started the anti-Hapsburgic revolt. After the agreement with the Turks and Constantin Brâncoveanu, he managed to obtain for a short period of time the throne of Hungary. The Hapsburg counterattacked and determined Tőkoly to leave the country and to retreat in the south of the Carpathians. Here, together with the groups of so called “curuţi”, plundered Oltenia. In 1716 Matei and Mihai Glogoveanu were among the boyars that, taking advantage from the starting of the war between Austria and the Ottoman Empire, planned a revolt against the ruler Nicolae Mavrocordat. They managed to defeat him at Bengeşti, in the Gorj district, they took him prisoner and give him to Eugene of Savoy. At May 26th 1732 he was designated by the Austrian authorities to be a clerk in the central organism called The Administration, having as an attribute the administrating of Oltenia, occupied after the Peace from Passarowitz (July 21st 1718) until 1739. In 1791 Ioniţă Glogoveanu was also designated by the Austrians that again occupied Oltenia in 1790, to make part from the Divan charged with the administration of the region from the west of the Olt river. The members of the Glogoveanu family also had the function of subprefect of some of the districts from Oltenia: Matei was subprefect in Gorj in 1719 and Mehedinţi in 1727, Ioniţă was subprefect in Gorj in 1768, 1785, in Mehedinţi in 1775, Nicolae was in Săcuieni in 1810, in Mehedinţi in 1810, January 1821, December 1822-1823, 1826, in Vâlcea July 15th 1811.

After the revolution from 1821 was defeated, the Glogoveanu family continued to involve in the administrative and political life of the country. In 1858 Constantin Glogoveanu was among the judges from the Court of Appeal that tried the suit in which several landowners brought an action against the leaders of the revolt from the winter of 1853 – 1854.

Another member of the Glogoveanu family, Nicolae, was in the period 1889-1896 counsellor of the Dolj district.

In 1874-1876 Alexandru Glogoveanu had the function of prefect of the Gorj district. The same Alexandru participated as an adjunct militiaman attached near the General Commandant in the war of independence. Other members from the Gogoveanu family: Gheorghe, Ion and Emil Glogoveanu took part to the military operations of the Romanian army during the First World War.

The fourth chapter presents the relations of Tudor Vladimirescu with the Glogoveanu boyars, especially with Ioniţă and Nicolae, from the moment he entered the house of this family and until the end of the revolution. During the events from 1821, Nicolae actively implicated himself in the development of the events, but sustaining the captain of the pandouri. After the tsar disavowed the movement, Nicolae, like other great boyars from Oltenia, left the country and take refuge at Sibiu. During his refuge in Transylvania, the boyar received from his trustful people information regarding the way his estates were exploited and about the political situation of Walachia.

The last chapter is consecrated to the cultural role of the Glogoveanu family, starting with the foundation of church (Glogova, Cerneţi, Prunişori, Strâmba, Tismana) and schools (Glogova) and continuing with the sustaining for founding some cultural institutions (The Musical Society, the Theatre from Craiova and The National Orthodox Society of the Romanian Women – the branch from Craiova) or the supporting of those already existing (the school from Cerneţi) and ending with their quality of donors. Because of the donations that they made, they enriched the patrimony of some cultural institutions.

The construction of the church with the patron “St. Nicholas”, from Glogova, that was first a chapel of these boyars was started in 1732 by Matei and his wife Stanca and was finished by Ioniţă in 1764. In 1915 when the old floor of the church was replaced, was discovered a grave that the historians, taking into consideration that the ruler Basarab Ţepeluş was killed at Glogova, considered to be his. At Cerneţi they finished in 1794 the foundation works at the church with the patrons “St. Nicholas and Spiridon”, started by the Pleşoianu boyars in 1784. About the church from Prunişori it is known that it was first made of wood in 1842 by Constantin Glogoveanu and in 1887, on the same place was built a brickwork one. Another ecclesiastic construction attributed to them was also at Strâmba. This religious institution was built in 1824 by Nicolae Glogoveanu and Vasile Strâmbeanu. Enumerating these laic and ecclesiastic institutions that they realized, I clearly delimitate the cultural role that the boyars held, placing them among the most important Romanian boyars that played an important part in the modernization of the cultural structures from our country.

I consider that the realization of such thesis is as important as it introduces in the scientific circuit a rich documentary material, referring at one of the most important family of boyars from Oltenia: the Glogoveanu family.

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