Olzoffski, Andrew

Olzoffski, Andrew an eminent Polish divine, was born about 1618. In the course of his studies, which were pursued at Kalisch, he applied himself particularly to poetry, for which he was so peculiarly fitted that. Ovid-like, his ordinary discourse frequently ran into verse. After he had finished his studies in divinity and jurisprudence he traveled through Italy, where he visited the best libraries, and took the doctorate in law at Rome. Thence he went to France, and was introduced at Paris to the princess Mary Louisa, who, when about to marry Ladislaus IV, king of Poland, invited Olzoffski to attend her thither. On Olzoffski's arrival the king offered him the secretary's place, but he declined it, for the sake of following his studies. Some time later he was made a canon of the cathedral church at Gnesen, and chancellor to the archbishop. After the death of that prelate he was called to court, and made Latin secretary to his majesty, which place he filled with great reputation, being a complete master of that language. In the war between Poland and Sweden he wrote Vindiciae Polonae. He attended at the election of Leopold to the imperial crown. of Germany, in quality of ambassador to the king of Poland, and there secured the esteem of the three ecclesiastical electors. He was also sent on other diplomatic missions; and immediately on his return was invested with the high office of prebendary to the crown, and promoted to the bishopric of Culm. After the death of Ladislaus he fell into disfavor with the queen, because he opposed the design she had of setting a prince of France upon the throne of Poland; however, this did not prevent his being made vice-chancellor of the crown. He did all in his power to dissuade Casimir II from renouncing the crown; and, after the resignation of that king, several competitors appearing to fill the vacancy, Olzoffski on the occasion published a piece called Censura, etc. This was answered by another, entitled Censura Censurae Candidatorum; and the liberty which our vice-chancellor had taken in his Censura was likely to cost him dear. It was chiefly leveled against the young prince of Muscovy, who was one of the competitors, though no more than eight years of age; and the czar was highly incensed, and made loud complaints and menaces unless satisfaction was made for the offense. Upon the election of Michel Koribut to the throne, Olzoffski was dispatched to Vienna to negotiate a match between the newly-elected king and one of the princesses of Austria; and on his return from that embassy was made grand-chancellor of the crown. He did not approve the peace concluded with the Turks in 1676, and wrote to the grand-vizier in terms of which the grand-seignior complained to the king of Poland. After the death of Koribut, Olzoffski labored earnestly for the election of John Sobieski, who rewarded Olzoffski with the archbishopric of Gnesen and the primacy of the kingdom; and no doubt he might have obtained a cardinal's hat if he had not publicly declared against it. However, he had not been long possessed of the primacy before his right thereto was disputed by the bishop of Cracow, who laid claim also to certain prerogatives of the see of Gnesen, and arrogated the right of officiating at the obsequies of the Polish monarchs. Hereupon Olzoffski published a piece in defense of the rights and privileges of his archbishopric. He also some time afterwards published another piece, but without putting his name to it, entitled Singularia Juris Patronatus R. Poloniae, in support of the king of Poland's right of nomination to the abbeys. In 1678, going by the king's command to Dantzic, in order to compose certain disputes between the senate and people of that city, he was seized with a disorder which carried him off in three days. He was particularly distinguished by eloquence and love for his country; and his death was greatly lamented.

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