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John Hus’ supporters - Letter of complaint to Constance

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The Bohemian and Moravian nobility protested against John Hus’ condemnation and execution in a letter of complaint dated 2 September 1415, addressed to the Council of Constance. Seals were appended to the letter by 452 noble lords. The letter declared that John Hus’ punishment and death was eternal shame and a stain on the most Christian Kingdom of Bohemia and the most radiant Margraviate of Moravia and everyone.

“Now then we have thought it appropriate to send our Fatherdom these open letters concerning Master John Hus, confessing with our hearts and publicly declaring with our mouths that Master John Hus was certainly a good man, fair and Christian, for many years in our kingdom, of good morals and proven reputation...

Any one person of any estate, rank, class, status, order or brotherhood who has said or maintained that heresy and fallacies have erupted in the aforesaid Kingdom and Margraviate, and that they have, as said before, infected us and other loyal Christ’s believers, every one – with the exception of the single person of the most radiant prince and lord, master Zikmund, Roman and Hugarian King, etc., heir and our future lord, whom we believe and hope to be innocent – every and each such person, as said, says straightforward lies in his throat as the worst villain and of the aforesaid Kingdom and Margraviate and as our worst enemy, and is himself the most harmful heretic filled with all evil and falsity, yes, a son of the devil, who is the liar and father of all lies...”

The appended seals included those of some persons from around Husinec: Vlach of Březí, Jan of Hrádek, Petr of Drslavice, Mikuláš of Kratušín, Benek of Lhenice, Jan of Předslavice, Štěpán of Češtice, and Vilém of Lčovice.

Drslavice and Petr

The local fort was probably founded in the mid-14th century by lower Rožmberk nobility. Its members declared themselves squires of Drslavice. The Rožmberks were opposed by Petr, sometimes also known as
Rychart of Drslavice. His seal was appended to the letter of complaint over the burning of John Hus at a stake in the second row, next to the seal of Čeněk of Vartemberk, the supreme burgrave. Petr of Drslavice is mentioned in 1424, when he joined Jan Smil of Křemže to fight against Oldřich of Rožmberk. The fort was converted to a granary in the 18th century, and parts of it to apartments later on.

The Švejda family got the fort back in restitution in the 1990s and since then have been trying to revert it to its original condition. Viewings are possible by telephone arrangement.

Hus Castle and Mikuláš of Pístné

The castle was built by the lords of Janovice in the first half of the 14th century. The Hus domain then included 23 villages, half of the town of Husinec and the town of Záblatí. Mikuláš of Pístný acquired the domain after the notorious Zikmund Huler was executed in Prague in 1405; he added “of Hus” to his name from then on. He became a supporter of Hus, and a leader of Hussite troops after Hus’s death. He died a tragic death in Prague in 1420. The abandoned castle was occupied by Habart Lopata of Hrádek and made marauding raids on merchants travelling down the Golden Trail. The castle was burned down and demolished in 1441 for this reason. The castle ruin is accessible today along the blue hiking trail.

More tips for trips

  1. Drslavice and Petr
  2. Hus Castle and Mikuláš of Pístné
  3. Mikuláš’s Kratušín
    • Mikuláš of Kratušín joined the letter of complaint to Constance in 1415. A village with a very old history and a beautiful Baroque Chapel of St. Linhart in the square. According to a legend, John Hus was born somewhere here by the chapel - at the junction of five paths (to Zabrdí, Záblatí, Drslavice, Lažiště and Chlístov), when his mother got sudden labor. She allegedly hurried to her mother’s place in nearby Dobiš mill. The junction is marked with an old stone guide post. The local U Stuchelů pub is renowned.
  4. Záblatí and Jan Smil of Křemže
    • Jan Smil of Křemže, a supporter of the Hussite movement, became the owner of Hus Castle, thus the town of Záblatí as well, after the death of Mikuláš of Hus. His former provider, Oldřich II of Rožmberk, had him imprisoned in 1439 and then executed eight years later. The square in Záblatí is dominated by the Gothic Church of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. Also of interest are a fountain, the old 15th- century rectory and an even older wayside cross along the road to Albrechtovice.

 

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