Nemyrych, Yurii

Nemyrych, Yurii [Немирич, Юрій; Nemyryč, Jurij] (Polish: Niemirycz, Jerzy), b 1612, d August 1659. Ukrainian magnate and political and military leader. He studied at the Socinian academy in Raków and, in 1630–4, at Leiden and Basel universities and in England, France, and Italy. He led a private army during Poland's wars with Muscovy and Sweden in the 1630s. In 1641 he was elected chamberlain of Kyiv. As the recognized leader of the Ukrainian Socinians he defended their rights at the 1636 Lublin Tribunal and the 1637–9 sejms. He took part in public debates with the Jesuits and was one of the founders of the Socinian academy in Kyselyn, Volhynia (see Socinian schools). By 1648 Nemyrych owned an immense latifundium consisting of 14 towns and over 50 villages in Volhynia and the Kyiv region and huge tracts of land in Left-Bank Ukraine between the Psol River and the Orel River. During the Cossack-Polish War of 1648–57 and the Polish-Muscovite War of 1654 he was the Polish colonel general of Kyiv voivodeship.

From 1648 Nemyrych supported the candidacy of the Transylvanian prince György Rákóczi I for the Polish throne. In 1655 he joined the side of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden, received the rank of major general in the cavalry, and acted as a Swedish envoy to Transylvania, the Hetman state, and Poland. In the summer of 1657 he switched to the Ukrainian side, converted to Orthodoxy, was appointed a colonel, and reclaimed his Left-Bank holdings. Nemyrych represented Sweden at the Cossack Korsun Council, which elected Ivan Vyhovsky hetman, and in October 1657 he signed the Swedish-Ukrainian military alliance against Poland. He conceived the idea of the creation of the autonomous Grand Duchy of Ruthenia within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and wrote the expanded draft of the Treaty of Hadiach and the Hetmanate government's 1658 manifesto to the European states. As chancellor of the grand duchy in 1659, he headed the Ukrainian delegation to the Sejm that ratified the Treaty of Hadiach, and he fought in the Battle of Konotop (1659). During the Cossack uprising against Hetman Vyhovsky he commanded a detachment loyal to Vyhovsky and was slain by insurgents near Kobyzhcha, in the Chernihiv region.

Nemyrych wrote the historical treatise Discursus de bello Moscovitico anno 1632 (1632), a Polish poem on the duties of a Christian knight, Panoplia ... (Panoply, 1653), Socinian prayers in Polish, and a famous speech, delivered in the Sejm on 23 April 1659.

Kot, S. Georges Niemirycz et la lutte contre l'intolérance au 17e siàecle (The Hague 1960)
Tazbir, J. ‘The Political Reversals of Jurij Nemyryč,’ HUS, 5, no. 3 (September 1981)

Oleksander Ohloblyn

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

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