Krasinski, Count Valerian
Krasinski, Count Valerian the Protestant Church historian of Poland, was a native of the ancient Polish province of White Russia, and was descended from a noble family, which embraced at an early period the Protestant faith. He was born about 1780, and received a superior classical education; while yet a young man he was appointed chief of that department of the ministry of public instruction in the kingdom of Poland which was charged with the superintendence of the various classes of dissenters. He was zealous in his endeavors to promote instruction among them, and especially exerted himself in the establishment of a college at Warsaw for the education of Jewish rabbis. In order to lessen the expense of valuable works, especially those on scientific subjects, he was the first to introduce stere,type printing into Poland, and this was not accomplished without a considerable diminution of his own income. When the Polish Revolution of 1830 had proclaimed the throne of Poland vacant, and organized a national government, with prince Adam Czartoryski as president, a diplomatic mission was sent to England, of which count Valerian Krasinski was a member. When the Russian armies in 1831 had overpowered the revolutionary movement of his countrymen, he was still in England, where he then became, with many others of his countrymen, a penniless exile. After having acquired the English language, he devoted himself to literature as a means of support, and became the author of several valuable works. He resided in London during the first twenty years of his exile, and during the last five in Edinburgh, where he died Dec. 22, 1855. Count Krasinski was a man of varied learning, and possessed extensive information, especially on all matters connected with the Slavonic races. His most important works are the following: The Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Reformation in Poland (Lond. 1838-40, 2 vols. 8vo): — Lectures on the Religious History of the Slavonic Nations (London, 1849, 8vo): — Sketch of the Religious History of the Slavonian Nations (Edinb. 1851, 8vo): -Treatise on Relics, by J. Calvin, newly translated from the French original, with an Introductory Dissertation on the Miraculous Images of the Roman Catholic and Russo-Greek Churches (1854, 8vo). He published also some works and pamphlets on secular and recent political subjects, especially on those connected with the restoration of' Poland. See English Cyclop. s.v.; British and For. Ebv. Rev. 1845, p. 502; Jenkins, Life o' Cardinal Julian (Preface).