THE CAREER OF MARCIN MICHAL DEBICKI, POPULAR SPOKESMAN OF THE SANDOMIERZ GENTRY IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 17TH CENTURY
Marcin Michal Debicki (b. before 1610, died c. 1689) was a leading spokesman of the gentry during the reigns of Jan Kazimierz and Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki. The Voivodeship of Sandomierz, which he represented in 28 parliaments between 1637 and 1674, was the launchpad of his political career. Confident of the whole–hearted backing and trust of the Sandomierz gentry, he gradually built up his position of a conspicuous and highly influential parliamentarian. In 1668-1670 he became one of the principal movers and shakers in the Sejm and, in 1669, a member the inner circle of Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki's counsellors. However, it did not take long for his popularity and prestige to peak off. Under pressure from a group of senators he had to give up his seat in the royal council; nor did he succeed in his attempts to become a senator from Sandomierz. Although Debicki assumed the role of spokesman of the interests and aspirations of the gentry, his integrity must not be taken for granted. He was not above ingratiating himself with the magnates and seeking their patronage. For a number of years Debicki was in fact a client of the Voivode of Cracow Aleksander Michal Lubomirski, who let him some of his estates. In return for personal gratifications Debicki offered his services to magnates who were his political enemies. Moreover, in late 1655 he came up with an appeal for mercy to the Swedish king Carolus Gustavus, whose armies had invaded Poland. The appeal could only be interpreted as a declaration of loyalty from an old supporter. Debicki tried hard to improve his fortunes, and yet had little to show for his efforts. From this point of view probably the greatest setbacks in his later career was the failure to secure in 1670 the lucrative post of superintendent (bachmistrz) of the Bochnia Salt Mine.
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