Jonas Goštautas

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Jonas Gostautas or Goštautas () (c. 1383 in Geranainys – 1 September 1458 in Vilnius) was a Lithuanian nobleman from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of the Goštautai noble family, a politician and skillful land owner. He served as Chancellor of Lithuania between 1443 and 1458 and was a very close advisor and mentor to Casimir IV Jagiellon before the Grand Duke became the 3rd Jagiellonian King of Poland. Goštautas was not his surname, but either a variation of a Latin Castaldius or alternatively a pagan Lithuanian given name retained after baptism by his immediate ancestor, while Jonas was his Christian name. His heirs, e.g., his sons like Martynas Goštautas, perhaps inherited the name as a surname. In 1413 at the Union of Horodlo Jonas was adopted by the Polish nobles into the coat-of-arms "Abdank" clan.

First mentioned in 1413, Jonas Goštautas served as a marshal during the late reign of Vytautas the Great. Following death of Vytautas he continued his duties under Švitrigaila and sided with him against Vytautas' brother Sigismund Kęstutaitis. In 1431 while defending Lutsk from the Sigismund Kęstutaitis' Polish-Lithuanian assault he was captured and imprisoned.

When fighting erupted between Švitrigaila and Sigismund Kęstutaitis for Grand Duke title, Jonas Goštautas supported Sigismund Kęstutaitis, who appointed him as governor of Smolensk later on. He served as governor of Smolensk for around four years until 1440 assassination of Grand Duke...
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