Urszula Mayerin

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Urszula Mayerin (1570–1635) was mistress to King Sigismund III of Poland and a politically influential woman. Her real name might have been Gienger, but it is still a matter of dispute among historians;Władysław Czapliński, Władysław IV i jego czasy (Władysław IV and His Times). PW "Wiedza Poweszechna". Warszawa 1976, p. 18 she signed all her letters as Urszula Meyerin. In German, her last name means chamberlain (meierin).

Early life

Urszula was most likely born near Munich in Bavaria, Germany in a poor noble family. She came to Graz as a child in the 1580s. Mayerin was pretty in her youth, and some time later was chosen by Maria Anna of Bavaria to become mistress to King Sigismund III of Poland. Maria Anna's own daughter (Anna of Habsburg) was fiancée to the Polish King, but was unattractive, and the Habsburgs had bad experiences with two marriages of King Sigismund Augustus of Poland. The girl joined the Anne's court in Poland as a chamberlain in 1592.


Urszula had a great influence on the King and Queen. She was a strict religious person. Shortly after her arrival in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, she acquired knowledge of the Polish. Despite that she was very unpopular in the Commonwealth, because she was involved in affairs of state. She used her influence on the King to appoint her favourites to state positions. She was contemptuously...
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