We, the councils of the Crown, both clerical spiritual and seculartemporal, and the knighthood in their entirety, along with the other estates of the single and indivisible Rzeczpospolita, from Greater and from Lesser Poland, from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kiev, Volhynia, Podlasie, and the lands of Ruthenia, Prussia, Pomerania, Samogitian, Livonia, together with the cities of the Crown:
1. Hereby announce to and before all concerned ad perpetuam rei memoriam
that, during this insecure time, living without a king
as our superior Lord, we all have diligently sought at the convention of Warsaw
, by the example of our forebears, that we ourselves might retain and preserve the peace, justice, order, and defence of our Rzeczpospolita. Therefore, by firm and unanimous accord and sacred vow, we all hereby pledge this reciprocally, in the name of the Rzeczpospolita entire, and do commit ourselves upon our faith, decency, and conscience.
2. Firstly, to make no severance between ourselves, nor any dismembering to allow within the single and indivisible Rzeczpospolita, that no one part without the other elect a Lord for itself, neither any factione privata
with others make, whatsoever. But rather, in accord with the place and time as herein assigned, to arrive and gather into a Crown assembly, so that this act electionis
, by the will of God, be brought to sound effect. And in nowise to allow for any other Lord but by this clear and categorical agreement – namely, that he shall firstly vow to us to uphold all the rights, privileges, and liberties which are, and which we shall submit to him post electionem
. To wit that he vow to preserve the general peace between people sundered and differing in faith and worship, and never to draw us beyond the Crown’s borders, neither by any custom whatsoever, nor by his royal request, nor solutione quinque marcarum super hastam
, nor ever to make a levée en masse without a resolution of the Sejm.
3. Therefore we hereby promise to rise against every such who would ever choose and convene, at any other sites or times, for an election, or wish to cause tumult at an election, or receive the servant populace privatim
, or, dare to oppose the election as conclusae
by all in accord. And since there is in our Rzeczpospolita considerable dissidium in causa religionis christianae
, then, to prevent lest any sedition ever so detrimental, such as we clearly see in other realms, be initiated amidst the people for this very reason, and thus we do hereby mutually promise to ourselves, pro nobis, et successoribus nostris, in perpetuum, sub vinculo juramenti, fide, honore, et conscientijs nostris
, that we who be dissidentes de religione
shall preserve the peace between ourselves and shed no blood out of differing faith and practices in the Churches, nor to penalize one another by confiscatione bonorum
, denial of honour, or carceribus et exilio
, nor to ever assist any suzerainty, or office, in respect of such an attempt in any manner whatsoever. And indeed, wherever any person should will to shed blood, ex ista causa
we all need stand against anyone willing to do this, be it under the pretext of a decree, or by way of some judicial ploy.
4. Nevertheless, through this Confederacy of ours we derogate none of the suzerainties, be they of spiritual or temporal masters, over their subjects, nor do we corrupt the obedience of such subjects toward their lords. Indeed, should such licence anywhere be sub praetextu religionis
, then, as it has always been, so now may every lord punish his disobedient subject, tam in spiritualibus, quam in saecularibus
, as he deems fit. Thus, all the beneficia iuris patronatus Regi, Praeaturarum ecclesiasticarum
, the Archbishoprics, Bishoprics, and other benefices of all sorts, are to be given to no other clerics than those of the Roman Church, indigenis Polonis, juxta statutum
. And likewise the benefices of the Greek Churches shall be given to the people of the Greek faith.
5. And since peace depends in large measure on inhibiting the differences inter status
, and because between the spiritual and the temporal estates there is considerable difference de rebus politicis temporalibus
, we promise componere
all these matters amongst ourselves at the soon to transpire Sejm electionis. We shall uphold as valid the order of justice which each voivodeship has jointly adopted for itself, or will adopt in mutual accord, as well as with heed to the needful defence of frontier castles.
6. And whosoever has on record incurred a certain debt to anyone else, and firma inscription
has submitted himself to appear at the magistrate’s voluntarily, either before or after the king’s death, may each such, according to his record, suffer the progressum iuris usitatum
. And the Gentlemen Starostas shall ought, vigore hujus Generalis Confœderationis, sine omni dilatione, juxta usitatam formam
, to adjudge, reconcile, and execute such causes, except for those voivodeships that have determined for themselves sub interregno
, or are still to determine, a formam specialem
for justice and execution.
of any kind, et resignationes bonorum perpetuas, coram authenticis actis factas, et fiendas sub interregno
, we hereby strengthen by joint permission of this Confederacy, lest it never henceforth be detrimental to anyone sub interregno, commencing with the day of the king’s death, in progressibus iuris fatalia,
, his justice being harmed not.
8. Also, those who had a terminum for taking money for a past wedding, or for the new summer-time, or for some time that is past already: all those, so that they be obliged to take their money for the first adjudications, after the election of the new King, the Lord God willing, or for the first opening of the books.
9. We also promise to one another that in going to the appointed election, and being at the place, and upon returning to home, we shall do no violence to the people or amongst ourselves, whatsoever.
10. All of these things we promise to one another, and for our descendants, to be enduringly preserved, and kept sub fide, honore, et conscientijs nostris
. And he who would wish to oppose this, and to disturb the common peace and order, contra talem omnes consurgemus in eius destructionem.
And for the greater assurance of all these things herein described, we have placed our seals hereunto, and signed it in our own hands. Actum Varsaviae in Conventione Regni Generali, vigesima octava Mensis Ianuarij, Anno Domini Millesimo Quingentesimo Septuagesimo Tertio
. Translated © by Tristan Korecki, Philip Earl Steele