- Childhood (1373 or 1374–82)
- Accession negotiations (1382–84)
Jadwiga, also known as Hedwig, was the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland, reigning from 16 October 1384 until her death. She was the youngest daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife Elizabeth of Bosnia. Jadwiga was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, but she had more close forebears among the Polish Piasts. In 1997 she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1375 it was planned that she would eventually marry William of Austria, and would liv
Jadwiga was born in Buda, the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary. She was the third and youngest daughter of Louis I, King of Hungary and Poland, and his second wife, Elizabeth of Bosnia. Both her grandmothers were Polish princesses, connecting her to the native Piast dynasty of Poland. Historian Oscar Halecki concluded that Jadwiga's "genealogical tree clearly shows that had more Polish blood than any other". She was probably born between 3 October 1373 and 18 February 1374. She was named after
Jadwiga's sister, Mary, was crowned "king" of Hungary five days after their father's death. With the ceremony, their ambitious mother secured the right to govern Hungary on her twelve-year-old daughter's behalf instead of Mary's fiancé, Sigismund. Sigismund could not be present at Mary's coronation, because Louis had sent him to Poland to crush a rebellion. After he learnt of Louis's death, he adopted the title "Lord of the Kingdom of Poland", demanding oaths of loyalty from the towns in Lesser
The interregnum that followed Louis's death and caused such internal strife came to an end with Jadwiga's arrival in Poland. A large crowd of clerics, noblemen and burghers gathered at Kraków "to greet her with a display of affection", according to the 15th-century Polish ...
The Polish lords did not want to accept Jadwiga's fourteen-year-old fiancé, William of Habsburg, as their sovereign. They thought that the inexperienced William and his Austrian kinsmen could not safeguard Poland's interests against its powerful neighbours, especially the ...
Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo in August 1385, promising Queen Elizabeth's representatives and the Polish lords' envoys that he would convert to Catholicism, together with his pagan kinsmen and subjects, if Jadwiga married him. He also pledged to pay 200,000 florins to William
Two leading historians, Oscar Halecki and S. Harrison Thomson, agree that Jadwiga was one of the greatest rulers of Poland, comparable to Bolesław the Brave and Casimir the Great. Her marriage to Władysław-Jogaila enabled the union of Poland and Lithuania, establishing a ...