History

TYSZKTEWICZ

Prepared by “Encyclopedia Lituanica”. II. Boston, 1972. P. 517-519

TYSZKTEWICZ (Tiskevicius), Lithiuanian family of magnates, descended; from the Ukrainian landholder Tyszko (15th century). The early generations of this family resided mostly in the eastern, Slavic portions of the Lithuanian state. At the beginning of the 16th century some of its members establlshed themselves in the territories of Gardinas (Grodno) and Lyda, in ethnographic Lithuania, while others remained in Slavic Volynia (annexed by Poland in 1569). In 1516 members of the family were granted the title of count. One branch of the family used Skumin as an alternate or additional surname. Particularly influential during the 17th century, the family produced a considerable number of palatines, hetmans, castellans, bishops, other high officials, and scholars.
 
TYSZKIEWICZ, Alexander (ca 1866 -1945), owner of the Kretinga estate and supporter of the Lithuanian national movement. His daughter Maria helped smuggle forbidden Lithuanian publications across the Prussian border in her carriage, which was not searched by the guards. He addressed a lengthy memorandum dated May 5, 1897, to Sergei P. Sukhodolsky, governor-general of Kaunas, in which he explained the irrationality of the Russian policy against Lithuanian publications and emphasized the necessity of restoring their legal use. He argued that the Press Ban (imposed since 1864) hampered cultural progress in Lithuania, made criminals out of harmless people merely wishing to read a prayerbook, catechism or calendar in their native language and en couraged the distribution from abroad of socialist and atheist publications injurious to the welfare of the Russian Empire. However, Tsarist officials ignored his well-chosen arguments, and the Press Ban continued until 1904. Later he supported the reestablishment of independent Lithuania (1918). When the Soviets occupied Lithuania during World War II, he retreated to Germany.
 
TYSZKIEWICZ, Alfred (1882-1930), Lithuanian representative in Great Britain, born in Astravas, county of Birzai, on Oct. 3, 1882. He served in the Russian army and participated in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05). Subsequently he worked in the Foreign Ministry and was secretary to the Russian embassy in London. In 1919 he attended the Peace Conference in Paris, where he helped the Lithuanian delegation. Extricating himself from service to post-revolutionary Russia, he became Lithuania's minister to Great Britain (1920-21). For his services to the Republic of Lithuania he was awarded the Order of Gediminas (1928). He died in Paris on May 19, 1930.
 
TYSZKIEWICZ, Anthony Dominick (1692-1762), bishop of Samogitia. He studied philosophy and theology at the Academy of Vilnius. Ordained in 1715, he was appointed chancellor of the Vilnius diocesan chapter and raised to the rank of canon in 1725. The chapter delegated him to the Supreme Tribunal and to the diet several times. In 1739 he was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Kiev, and a year later he was appointed bishop of Samogitia. He immediately visited all parishes; instituted a three-month course at Varniai to further the theological training of priests; placed the Piarists in charge of the seminary; constructed new facilities for the latter; and required priests and clerics to attend seven-day retreats each year. Furthermore, he established the Rochite monks at Varniai and the Marian Sisters at Kraziai. In 1752 he convened a diocesan synod at Varniai. Twice (1748 and 1755) he prepared detailed reports on the state of his diocese and sent them to the Apostolic See (Relationes dioecesis Samogitiae). During his tenure nine new churches were built, including one from his personal funds. His publications include a short volume in Polish on the life of St. Casimir (1752) and Synodus diocesana Mednicensis seu Samogitiae (1752). He died in Alsedziai on Jan 31, 1762.
 
TYSZKIEWICZ, Constantine (1806-1868), archaeologist, ethnologist, and geographer, brother of Eustach. He was educated at the University of Vilnius. From 1828-31 he worked for the Finance Ministry and undertook study trips to Berlin, Brussels, Dresden, Koln, London, and Paris. From 1831 he lived on his estate at Lohoisk in the province of Minsk, engaged in industrial development and scholarly research. A member of the Archaeological Commission and other scientific societies, he investigated the history of Lithuania and western Belorussia, collecting relevant objects and conducting archaeological excavations. He published, among others, works on Lithuanian fortresses and fortress hills and an album of old Lithuanian engravings. He is best known for the expedition he organized and financed in 1857 to explore the Neris river from the source to its mouth. The ample hydrological, geographical, and anthropological data he collected were published in a posthumous volume.
 
TYSZKIEWICZ, Eustach (1814-1873), pioneer of Lithuanian archaeology. From 1835 he lived in Vilnius and was employed in the governor-general’s office. In 1837 he began exploring barrow graves in the provinces of Minsk and Vilnius. Eventually he amassed a huge and systematically ordered collection of archaeological finds (1848). Anxious to expand his horizons, he had undertaken a research trip to Denmark, Sweden, and Finland (1843), on which he reported in the two-volume study, Listy z Szwecji (1846). This trip had great influence on his subsequent work, Badania archeologiczne nad zabytkami przedmiotow sztuki (1850), in which he applied the so-called tripartite scheme developed by Danish scholar C. J. Thomson. In an earlier work, Rzut oka na zrodla archeologji krajowej (1842), Tyszkiewicz had ordered his finds not by chronology, but by their qualitative characteristics.
One of his major accomplishments was the creation of the Archaeological Commission and the establishment of the Museum of Antiquity in Vilnius, permission for both of which was received from the Russian government in 1855. Opened in 1856, the Museum was housed in the former University of Vilnius and consisted of seven sections: library, numismatics, engravings and lithography, art, documents and manuscripts, history, and archaeology. The Archaeological Commission, which was chaired by Tyszkiewicz, published a number of important studies. But it was forced to discontinue its research after the anti-Russian insurrection of 1863. Governor-general Muraviev had the best displays in the museum shipped to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Rumiantsev Museum in Moscow, while other less valuable objects were distributed among provincial museums and private collections. After this blow to his life's work he moved to Birzai. He died in Vilnius on Aug. 15. 1873.
 
TYSZKIEWICZ, George (1596-1656), bishop of Samogitia and Vilnius. He studied at the Jesuit College in Vilnius, graduated from the Academy of Cracow, and was ordained priest in 1622. For some time he was employed in the diocesan chancellery of Cracow before being consecrated suffragan bishop of Vilnius in 1628. He actively asserted himself in the fields of pastoral and charitable work; through his efforts a hospital for the poor was built in Vilnius. In 1633 he was appointed bishop of Samogitia. He made frequent visitations of parishes, urged the construction of more churches, and called a number of diocesan synods (1636, 1639, 1643, and 1647). In 1639 he visited Rome, reported to the Holy See on the state of his diocese, and performed a mission for King Ladislas Vasa concerning the beatification of Stanislaw Kostka. Pope Urban VIII raised him to the rank of domestic prelate and, in addition, appointed him administrator of the diocese of Piltene (Courland). He tried to reclaim this heavily Protestant diocese for Catholicism and to join it to his own Samogitian diocese, but eventually found it necessary to abandon these plans. Dividing the Samogitian diocese into six deaconries, he revived Catholic life there, inviting the Benedictine nuns from Vilnius and settling them at Kraziai (1643), building a convent for the Sisters of St. Catherine at Krakes (1645), bringing the Dominicans to Zemaiciu Kalvarija (1637), Raseiniai (1642), and Virbalis (1643), and installing the Carmelites at Linkuva and Naumiestis (later renamed Kudirkos Naumiestis). He further concerned himself with the creation of hymns and prayers in Lithuanian. In 1649 Bishop Tyszkiewicz was transferred to Vilnius, where he immediately undertook the renovation of the cathedral and twice convened a diocesan synod (1651, 1654). He obtained permission to celebrate the Feast of the Transfer of the Relics of St. Casimir on the first Sunday after Aug. 22. When the Muscovites invaded Lithuania and were approaching Vilnius, he retreated to East Prussia (1655) and died at Domnau, near Kionigsberg, on Jan. 17, 1656. His remains were transferred in 1759 to Zemaiciu Kalvarija. Bishop Tyszkiewicz was one of the most important churchmen of the 17th century, sharing greatly in the credit for the reinvigoration of Catholicism in Lithuania.
 
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