Leitomysl or Leitomischel, John

Leitomysl Or Leitomischel, John a Bohemian prelate noted for his energetic character and his unrelenting hostility to the Hussites, flourished in the latter part of the 14th and the early years of the 15th century. He first comes under our notice as one of the two prelates — the archbishop of Prague being the other — before whom John Huss was to be cited for heresy. His position and influence in Bohemia were such that Stephen Paletz, writing against Huss, dedicated to him his Dialogus Volatilis. As the troubles at Prague increased, he was one of those to whom the archbishop of Prague applied for advice, and his response was in accordance with his notoriously stern and unbending character. When the Council of Constance met in 1414, he was present as a member, and took a leading part in its proceedings. He was the first to denounce the Calixtine practice, recently introduced by Jacobel at Prague, and he was commissioned by the council to take measures for its suppression. His enmity to Huss was signalized by the language used by him in the council, and excited the deep indignation of the friends of the Reformer, who did not hesitate to reprehend his course publicly in severe terms. His persistent energy, however, merited the euloginms of the council, and by them he was appointed to bear their threatening letter to Bohemia, in which they attempted to terrify the followers of Huss into submission. The mission, however, proved a failure. The person of the bishop was no longer safe in his own country, and he returned to the council. The first reward of his diligence was his promotion, about A.D. 1416. to the bishopric of Olmutz, in Moravia. On the secession of Conrad, archbishop of Prague, to the Calixtines a short time afterwards, he was promoted to the vacant dignity. This, however, he was not destined to enjoy. The ascendency of the Calixtines must have excluded him from Prague, if not from Bohemia; and perhaps among all the enemies of the Hussites, during the period of their religious wars, there was no one who could have been sooner made the victim of their vengeance than the obnoxious bishop. But as no mention is made of him at a subsequent date, and as he does not appear to have fallen into the hands of the Hussite leaders, we may presume that his life must have closed soon after the dissolution of the Council of Constance. He was eminently a martial prelate, and was known by the sobriquet of "John the Iron." Notices of him will be found in many histories of his times. See Von der Hardt, Authorities on the Council of Constance; Lenfant, Council of Constance; Gillett, Life and Times of John Huss, vols. 1 and 2; F. Polacky, Mag. J. Hus Documenta. — Neander, Ch. Hist. 5: 296 sq. (E. 11. G.)

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