Historical development of Stakliškės in the 19th century

Raimonda Ragauskienė

Based on primary written and printed sources (Lietuvos Metrika [The Lithuanian Metrica], Kaunas Powiat court books etc.) as well as historiography issued in different languages, and using chronological theme sections, the present scientific study discusses the development of the settlement of Stakliškės from its very first reference in written sources during the period from the end-14th century to the end-18th century. The analysis of the development of the manor, settlement and the church in 16th -18th centuries was at the focus of attention as revealed through the relations of the manor, the settlement and the holding owners; also the history of the church is described and the corresponding register data are presented. The changes in territorial administrative ownership of the holding in Stakliškės are also shown.

It was found that from the beginning of the 15th century, there was a tradition to assign persons related to the sovereign’s chancery to be the holders of the Stakliškės state property; as a rule they were clerks or secretaries.

When Augustinus Rotundus was the elder of Stakliškės in the 16th century, the basic reforms–the Wallach and territorial administrative–had been made, as well as the town was newly planned. Approximately in 1579, Rotundus had built the first Catholic church in Stakliškės. In the 17th century, Stakliškės, as the rest of Lithuania, suffered serious shocks. In 1639, it was granted the trade privilege, but due to the plague in 1624–1628 and wars fought in mid-17th century, it suffered significant demographic losses. The wars at the beginning of the 18th century and the second wave of the plague aggravated the situation. It is unknown whether Stakliškės dwellers got any privileges to expand their rights on the second half of the 17th century, but the neighbourhood was in great request. The elders in 17th century did their best that their family members inherited this property that was not only a source of gain for its holders. Many elders used to frequent Stakliškės, and the privileges sought for showed their interest. During entire 17th century there had been a Catholic church functioning in Stakliškės. The situation of the neighbourhood stabilised in mid-18th century, and later its boom started. In 1792, the self-governance rights obtained strengthened the town for a short time.