Olzoffski, Andrew

, an eminent Polish divine, was descended from an ancient family in Prussia, and born about 1618. In the course of his studies, which were passed at Kalisch, he applied himself particularly to poetry; for which he had an early taste. After he had finished his courses of divinity and jurisprudence, he travelled to Italy; where he visited the best libraries, and took the degree of doctor of law at Rome. Thence he went to France, and was introduced at Paris to the princess Mary Louisa; who being about to marry Ladislaus IV. king of Poland, Olzoffski had the honour of attending her thither. On his arrival, the king offered him the secretary’s place; but he declined it, for the sake of following his studies. Shortly after he was made a canon of the cathedral church at Guesne, and chancellor to the archbishopric: in which post he managed all the affairs of that see, the archbishop being very old and infirm. After the death of this prelate, he was called to court, and made Latin secretary to his majesty; which place he filled with great reputation, being a complete master of that language. In the war between Poland and Sweden, he wrote a piece against that enemy to his country, entitled “Vindiciae Polonicae.” He attended at the election of Leopold to the imperial crown of Germany, in quality of ambassador to the king of Poland, and went afterwards in the same character to Vienna, to solicit the withdrawing of the imperial troops from the borders of the Polish territories. Immediately on his return he was invested with the high office of prebendary to the crown, and promoted to the bishopric of Culm. | After the death of Ladislaus he fell into disgrace with the queen, because he opposed the design she had of setting a prince of France upon the throne of Poland however, this did not hinder him from being made vice-chancellor of the crown. He did all in his power to dissuade Casimir II. from renouncing the crown; and, after the resignation of that king, several competitors appearing to fill the vacancy, Olzoffski on the occasion published a piece, called “Censura,” &c. This was answered by another, entitled “Censura Censurse Candidatorum;” and the liberty which our vice-chancellor had taken in his “Censura” brought him into some danger. It was chiefly levelled against the young prince of Muscovy, who was one of the competitors, though no more than eight years of age; and the czar was highly incensed, and made loud complaints and menaces, unless satisfaction were given for the offence. Upon the election of Michel Koribut to the throne, Olzoffski was dispatched to Vienna, to negotiate a match between the new-elected king and one of the princesses of Austria; and, on his return from that embassy, was made grand chancellor of the crown. He did not approve the peace concluded with the Turks in 1676, and wrote to the grand vizir in terms of which the grand seignor complained to the king of Poland.

After the death of Koribut, Olzoffski had a principal share in procuring the election of John Sobieski, who made him archbishop of Guesne, and primate of the kingdom; and he would have obtained a cardinal’s hat, if he had not publicly declared against it. However, he had not been long possessed of the primacy before his right to it was disputed by the bishop of Cracow; who laid claim also to other prerogatives of the see of Guesne, and pretended to make the obsequies of the Polish monarchs. On this Olzoffski published a piece in defence of the rights and privileges of his archbishopric. He also some time afterwards published another piece, but without putting his name to it, entitled “Singularia Juris Patronatus R. Poloniae,” in support of the king of Poland’s right of nomination to the abbeys. In 1678, going by the king’s command to Dantzic, in order to compose certain disputes between the senate and people of that city, he was seized with a disorder which carried him off in three days, aged about 60. He was particularly distinguished by eloquence, and love for | his country and his death was lamented throughout all' the palatinates. 1

1 Moreri.