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James Sobieski

James Louis Henry Sobieski (1667-1737), Crown Prince of Poland.

James Sobieski was born on November 2, 1667 in Paris, France, the son of king John III of Poland and Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d'Arquien.

In 1683, the sixteen-year-old prince fought alongside his father in the battle against the Turks at Vienna.

On March 25, 1691, James married Hedwig Elisabeth Amelia de Baviere Pfalz-Neuburg (July 18, 1673-August 10, 1722), the daughter of the Palatine elector William. Their children:

  1. Maria Leopoldyna (April 30, 1693 - July 12, 1695)
  2. Maria Casimira (January 20, 1695 - May 18, 1723) - she became a nun. Her father tried to get her married to Charles XII of Sweden.
  3. Marie Charlotte (November 15, 1697 - May 8, 1740) married Charles Godefroid de la Tour d'Auvergne, Duc de Bouillon (1706-1771).
  4. Maria Clementina (July 18,1702 - January 24, 1735), married James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766), son of King James II of England (1633-1701)
  5. Maria Magdalena (August 3, 1704 - August 3, 1704)

On the death of James' father, John III, no fewer than eighteen candidates for the vacant Polish throne presented themselves. Family rivalries prevented the election of James Sobieski even though Austria supported his candidacy. James Sobieskiís own mother, Marie Casimire favored her son-in-law, the Elector of Bavaria. The powerful king Louis XIV of France supported Louis, Prince of Conti (1664-1709).

In the end, Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony, who renounced Lutheranism and converted to Catholicism in order to qualify, was crowned as Augustus II, King of Poland on September 1, 1697. It was the first time that a deceased monarch's son had not been elected to succeed him; that the rightful candidate had been debarred from the throne by military force; and that the Poles had acquired a German king, which went against a long tradition of keeping German hegemony at arm's length.

Augustus IIís first act as king was to expel the prince of Conti from the country. Then, in 1704 James Sobeiski and his brother Alexander were seized by Augustus IIís troops and imprisoned. They remained in prison for two years before finally being released.

Prince James Sobieski died on December 19,1737 in Zolochev, Ukraine and is buried there.