This site is specify designed for the purpose of recording the history of the family name LAPKO which dates back to 1123 AD
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The Grand Dukedom of Pomerania and Livonia were the ancient territories of a duchy in Pomerania on the southern borders of the Baltic Sea. It existed from the century till mid-17th century and was ruled by dukes of the House of Pomerania (Griffins).
Nevertheless the Polish influence in Pomerania proper vanished over the next decade. The western areas, stretching from Kolberg (KoÅ‚obrzeg) to Stettin (Szczecin) were ruled by Wartislaw I and his descendants until 1637. Wartislaw managed to conquer vast territories west of the Oder river, an area inhabited by Liutizian tribes weakened by past warfare, and included these territories into his Duchy of Pomerania. This duchy was in the 12th and 13th centuries centered around the strongholds of Stettin and Demmin and co-ruled from there by Wartislaws successors. The eastern Stolp (SÅ‚upsk) and Schlawe (SÅ‚awno) areas (Duchy of Schlawe-Stolp) were ruled by Wartislaw's brother Ratibor I and his descendants, the Ratiboriden sideline of the Griffins, until the Danish occupation of Schlawe and extinction of the line in 1227.
In 1124 and 1128, Otto of Bamberg missioned in the duchy. The nobility accepted Christianity in Usedom. After the 1147 Wendish crusade and the 1164 Battle of Verchen, the duchy joined Henry the Lion's Duchy of Saxony. At that time, the duchy was also referred to as Slavia (yet this was a term applied to several Wendish areas such as Mecklenburg and the Principality of Rügen).
Starting in the 12th century, Pomerania was settled with Germans during the 13th century (West and North) and the 14th century (South and East). These settlements were part of a process later termed Ostsiedlung. Except for the Pomeranian Kashubians and the Slovincians, the Wends were assimilated into the German society. Most towns and villages are dating back to this period.
During the reign of Otto I, Margrave of Brandenburg (1170-1184), son of Albert I, Brandenburg claimed sovereignty over Pomerania. Yet, in 1181 the Griffin dukes took their duchy as a fief from Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, who invested Duke Bogislaw I with the Duchy of Slavia. This was not accepted by the Margraviate of Brandenburg and triggered several military conflicts. From the 13th century, the duchy was set under pressure by its southern neighbour.
The duchy remained in the Empire, although Denmark managed to take control of the southern Baltic coast and until the 1227 Battle of Bornhöved Pomerania remained under sovereignty of Denmark. However 1198/99 Brandenburg again tried to gain sovereignty over Pomerania. Their virtual rights were recognized by King (later emperor) Frederick II in 1214. After the Battle of Bornhöved in 1227, Denmark lost all its territories on the southern Baltic shore, including Pomerania. In 1231, Frederick II again invested the Ascanian Brandenburg margraves with the duchy of Pomerania.
At this time, the Duchy of Pomerania was co-ruled by Duke Wartislaw III of Demmin and his cousin Duke Barnim I (the Good) of Stettin. After the Danes retreated, Brandenburg took the chance and invaded Pomerania-Demmin. Wartislaw had to accept Brandenburg's overlordship in the 1236 Treaty of Kremmen, furthermore he had to hand over most of his duchy to Brandenburg immediately, that were Circipania, the Burg Stargard Land and the adjacent western and southern areas (all soon to become a part of Mecklenburg). In the 1250 Treaty of Landin Pomerania and Brandenburg, Barnim I managed to reassert the rule of his Griffin house over Pomerania, but lost the Uckermark to Brandenburg. Wartislaw III and Barnim I both accelerated the Ostsiedlung by inviting German settlers on a large scale and granting German town law to multiple towns.
When in 1264, Duke Wartislaw III died, Barnim I the Good became the sole ruler of the duchy. In 1266 he married Mechthild, the daughter of Otto III, Margrave of Brandenburg. Barnim died in 1278 at Altdamm (near Stettin). The duchy then was dispensed to the sons of Barnim I, Otto I and Bogislaw IV. New lines of Pommern-Wolgast and Pommern-Stettin were started. Harbors, waterways etc. were to be held in common.
In 1562, during the Livonian Wars, the Livonian Confederation was dismembered and the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, an order of German knights, was disbanded. Based on the Vilnius Pact, the southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Ducatus Ultradunensis (Pārdaugavas hercogiste). The part of Latvia between the west bank of the Daugava River and the Baltic Sea became the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, nominally a vassal state of the King of Poland.
Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of the Order of Livonia, became the first duke of Courland. Other members of the Order became the Courland nobility, with the fiefdoms they had hitherto held becoming their estates. In all, Kettler received nearly one-third of the land in the new duchy. Mitau (Jelgava) was designated as the new capital and a Diet was to meet there twice a year.
Several parts of the Courland area did not belong to the Duchy. The Order of Livonia had already loaned the Grobiņa district (on the coast of Baltic Sea) to the Duke of Prussia. Another district, the Bishopric of Piltene, also called the "Bishopric of Courland" (on the Venta River in western Courland), belonged to Magnus, son of the king of Denmark. He promised to transfer it to the Duchy of Courland after his death, but this plan failed and only later did Wilhelm Kettler regain this district.
Like the other members of the Order, Kettler was German and set about establishing the Duchy along the lines of similar German states. In 1570, he issued the Privilegnum Gotthardinum, which allowed the landholders to enserf the native peasantry on their lands.
When Gotthard Kettler died in 1587, his sons, Friedrich, and Wilhelm, became the dukes of Courland. They divided the Duchy into two parts in 1596. Friedrich controlled the eastern part, Semigalia (Zemgale), with his residence in Jelgava (Mitau). Wilhelm owned the western part, Courland (Kurzeme), with his residence in Kuldīga (Goldingen). Wilhelm regained the Grobiņa district when he married the daughter of the Duke of Prussia. He also paid out and regained control over the Piltene district, but eventually it fell to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Here he developed metalworking, shipyards, and the new ships delivered the goods of Courland to other countries.
However, relations between the duke and the landowners were quite hostile. In addition, the Commonwealth, the overlord of the Duchy of Courland, supported the landowners. Wilhelm expressed his disappointment with the landowners, but this ended with his removal from the duke's seat in 1616. Finally, Wilhelm left Courland and spent the rest of his life abroad. Thus, Friedrich became the only duke of Courland after 1616.
From 1600 to 1629, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden conducted a war with its main battlefields around Riga. As the result, Sweden gained control of central and northern Latvia, which became Swedish Livonia. The Commonwealth retained the eastern part of the Duchy of Livonia, thereafter, called Inflanty Voivodeship in Polish. Courland was also involved in this war but did not suffer severe damage.
Under the next duke, Jacob Kettler, the Duchy reached the peak of its prosperity. During his travels in Western Europe, Jacob became the eager proponent of mercantilist ideas. Metalworking and ship building became much more developed, and powder mills began producing gunpowder. Trading relations developed not only with nearby countries, but also with Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Jacob established the merchant fleet of the Duchy of Courland, with its main harbours in Ventspils and Libau.
The Kingdom of Livonia was a nominal state in what is now the territory of Estonia and Latvia. The Russian Tsar Ivan IV declared the establishment of the kingdom during the Livonian War of 1558-1583, but it never functioned properly as a polity. On June 10, 1570 the Danish Duke Magnus of Holstein arrived in Moscow, where he was crowned King of Livonia. Magnus took the oath of allegiance to Ivan as his overlord and received from him the corresponding charter for the vassal kingdom of Livonia in what Ivan termed his patrimony. The treaty between Magnus and Ivan IV was signed by an oprichnik and by a member of the zemskii
The Kingdom of Livonia was a nominal state in what is now the territory of Estonia and Latvia. The Russian Tsar Ivan IV declared the establishment of the kingdom during the Livonian War of 1558-1583, but it never functioned properly as a polity. On June 10, 1570 the Danish Duke Magnus of Holstein arrived in Moscow, where he was crowned King of Livonia. Magnus took the oath of allegiance to Ivan as his overlord and received from him the corresponding charter for the vassal kingdom of Livonia in what Ivan termed his patrimony. The treaty between Magnus and Ivan IV was signed by an oprichnik and by a member of the zemskii administration, the d'iak Vasiliy Shchelkalov. The territories of the prospective new kingdom still had to be conquered, but nevertheless Põltsamaa Castle was proclaimed the future official residence of the king.
The new king Magnus of Livonia departed from Moscow with 20,000 Russian soldiers for the conquest of Swedish-controlled Reval. Ivan's hope for the support of King Frederick II of Denmark, the older brother of Magnus, failed. By the end of March 1571 Magnus gave up the struggle for Reval and abandoned the siege.
In 1577, having lost Ivan's favour and getting no support from his brother, Magnus called on the Livonian nobility to rally to him in a struggle against foreign occupation. Ivan's forces attacked him and took him prisoner. On his release he renounced his royal title. Magnus spent the last six years of his life at the castle of Pilten in the Bishopric of Courland where he died (March 1583) as a pensioner of the Polish crown. The end of the Livonian War in August 1583 saw most of the territory of Old Livonia (Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and Duchy of Livonia) under the control of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with Swedish control established in the Duchy of Estonia.
The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom (Czech: České království; German: Königreich Böhmen; Latin: Regnum Bohemiae, sometimes Regnum Czechorum), was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, ruled also the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg and Bavaria.
The kingdom was established by the Přemyslid dynasty in the 12th century from Duchy of Bohemia, later ruled by the House of Luxembourg, the Jagiellonian dynasty, and since 1526 by the House of Habsburg and its successor house Habsburg-Lorraine. Numerous kings of Bohemia were also elected Holy Roman Emperors and the capital Prague was the imperial seat in the late 14th century, and at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries.
After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the territory became part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire, and subsequently the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867. Bohemia retained its name and formal status as a separate Kingdom of Bohemia until 1918, known as a crown land within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its capital Prague was one of the empire's leading cities. The Czech language (called the Bohemian language in English usage until the 19th century) was the main language of the Diet and the nobility until 1627 (after the Bohemian Revolt was suppressed). German was then formally made equal with Czech and eventually prevailed as the language of the Diet until the Czech National Revival in the 19th century. German was also widely used as the language of administration in many towns after Germans immigrated and populated some areas of the country in the 13th century. The royal court used the Czech, Latin, and German languages, depending on the ruler and period.
Following the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, both the Kingdom and Empire were dissolved. Bohemia became the core part of the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic.