Manorial Cossacks

Manorial Cossacks (надвірні козаки; nadvirni kozaky). Cossacks who served in the private armies of the great landowning or magnates in Ukraine during the 16th to 18th centuries. Wealthy Polish or Ukrainian magnates, such as the Wiśniowiecki (Vyshnevetsky), Ostrozky, Zasławski, Korecki, and Potocki families, maintained their own military forces, recruited from among peasants or serfs, who received land grants, cash payments, and exemptions from corvée in return for their services. The armies numbered up to several thousand men. They were used by the magnates to maintain social order on their estates and to repel raids. Occasionally the manorial Cossacks turned against their masters and participated in Cossack and haidamaka uprisings. The best-known examples are Captain Verlan's rebellion against Prince Lubomirski in 1734 and Ivan Gonta's support of Maksym Zalizniak in 1768 (see Koliivshchyna rebellion). Manorial armies were disbanded in the Left-Bank Hetman state and in Right-Bank Ukraine after the partitions of Poland in 1772 and 1793.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]




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