Starostvo peasants (starostynski seliany). A category of peasants in Poland and Lithuania during the 14th to 18th centuries who were bound to starostvo estates. They were obliged to fulfill various obligations to their lords. In the 16th century the crown established a special court to deal with their grievances, but that measure gave them little protection against their masters. With the abolition of the starostvo estates in Ukraine under Austrian and Russian rule, the starostvo peasants became either private or state serfs.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]