The Lobkovice estate is situated in Bohemia on the river Labe in the region of Kourim. It is situated three miles from Prague, about half way between Melník and Brandýs. It consists of: the Lobkovice castle and the village of Lobkovice with 29 houses and 464 inhabitants, both situated on the left bank of Labe, the village of Neratovice with 31 houses and 213 inhabitants and one subject in the village of Kojetice. On the right bank of Labe there is the village of Mlékojedy with 31 houses and 213 inhabitants and one subject in the village of Tišice.
The origin of all these villages goes back to the ancient times and it would seem that they belong to the oldest settlements in Bohemia. We do not know when they were founded, however old local legends* talk about their existence already in the times of St Wenceslas and St Adalbert1. St.Adalbert´s chapel situated in the fields and forests near Neratovice reminds us of this bishop who apparently visited the villages in the area. It is tempting to suggest that his visits were not satisfactory for him considering the atheism of local inhabitants** . Despite the legends, the first written mention of local villages goes back, as far as we know, to the XIV century, that is to the reign of the emperor and king Charles IV. At that time there was a castle in Lobkovice as well as a church with a vicar helped by two chaplains. We can thus deduce that Lobkovice had more inhabitants than it has nowadays for only one clergyman is necessary for all the inhabitants. This also shows the castle with its village is much older than it can be proved by written records.
The ancient origin of the castle is also to be guessed from its name Lobkovice. We demonstrated earlier*** that most of local Czech names come from proper names. Mainly the local names ending with -ice or -ovice which are commonly used in the Czech language find their origin in the names of their founders. Therefore there is no doubt that the name Lobkovice comes from the name of its first founder Lobek. However this name being so old and its stem (lob) so unknown, it is impossible to find any written mention of it whatsoever and thus cannot be more analysed from the etymological point of view. In Bohemia there exists one example of it, Lobec (Lobek´s stronghold), nevertheless there is none in Moravia.
Finally, the position of the castle also shows its age. The hills on the right bank of Vltava, extending from Ládví and the Dablická hora to Veltrusy and forming the last partition between Vltava and Labe, are connected with Labe with many slate crests. Their position is regular, the crests being nearly parallel, rising high above the land and going down deep underneath it, they extend to the river Labe. The castle of Lobkovice was founded on the highest of these crests high above the surrounding land. The castle´s high tower offers a large view of the river Labe and the surrounding landscape, up to the north-west border of the country. Upon sight at the castle´s position and the shape of the landscape which surrounds it, there is no doubt that after its foundation Labe´s riverbed ran directly beyond the castle, flowing round the rock the castle stands on. Another proof of it is a pool known as tune running now round the castle as well as exclusively alluvial earth on this land. Nowadays Labe flows at a further distance from the castle2, having found its riverbed in the sandy land and watering thus surrounding fields and forests. Written records prove that three hundred years ago Labe flew at this distance. How many centuries must have gone before this change happened? One may conclude that the Lobkovice castle was founded in the heathendom.
The oldest mentions of the castle of Lobkovice are to be found in Prague Consistory3 from the XIV century. Each time a new vicar came to the castle a mention of the present owner, as well as of church patrons was made. According to them the lords of the castle of Lobkovice before 1358 were Hennig, Pribík and Raimund. Nothing is known about them, their family, nor their descendands. From 1367 to 1377 Mikuláš Cotr, Prague citizen, was the lord of Lobkovice, his wealthy family enjoying great respect in Prague until the Hussite wars. Jan Cách of Zásada was the lord of the castle from 1390 (or before* ) to 1398. He was king´s marshall and the king Wenceslas IV highly appreciated him. An important event happened during the reign of king Wenceslas IV.
At that time only two villages belonged to the estate of Lobkovice. It was Lobkovice and Mlékojedy. The third village, Neratovice, was in the possession of Prague´s archbishops and belonged to their Roudnice estate, although this was situated at a long distance. Where the borders of Lobkovice and Neratovice meet, Jan Cúch built a weir in order to raise water for a water mill which still exists nowadays. This construction was fairly disliked by the archbishop´s office which said the archbishop wished no weir on his land. Jan Cúch having not ceased the construction nonetheless, archbishops attendants decided to break the weir by force. This innocent argument ended with large quarrels and disputes and made the inhabitants suffer. Jan Cúch presented his complaints at the king who disliked the archbishop Jan of Jenštein and confirmed therefore Jan Cúch´s rights. King´s court stood against archbishop´s people, both sides entering many quarrels and fights which even ended with blood and injuries. Finally the dispute between the king and the archbishop became so unbearable and uncontrolable that the latter left Bohemia forever, having abandonned his work here and moving to the papal court.**
Jan Cúch who lived in Lobkovice founded in its church a new altar in honour of St. Catherine and financed it from taxes raised in Mlékojedy.*** However he sold this estate around the year 1400 to the thane Prokop Kruknerov, a citizen of Prague and Žatec. In 1403 Prokop Kruknerov died leaving here his adult son Wenceslas and four young daughters to be under the care of Jirí Bora, Albrecht Gerwic and Kunš, a citizen of Žatec. In 1405-1408 Wenceslas was the lord of Lobkovice. He took the name „of Lobkovice“ and he kept it until his death despite the fact he had nothing to do with Lobkovice after 1433 when he became a district officer in Boleslav. He had two arrows lying parallelily in his escutcheon. He did not die until 1450, leaving one daughter.
Around the year 1409 Lobkovvice was bought by a famous knight Mikuláš of Oujezd, a son of Marš of Oujezd. His second name was Chudý4 although he was a wealthy man. This knight was given the castle of Hasištejn by the king Wenceslas in 1415. Later he became famous as a leader of king´s army. He changed his name „of Oujezd“, possibly as there were many families of this name in Bohemia. He signed a document from 27 February 1410 as „Nicolaus Chudy de Ugezd alias de Lobkowic“, a document from 30 May 1410 was signed simply „Nicolaus de Lobkowic“ and another one, from 1st February 1412 was signed „Nicolaus Chudy de Lobkowic“. After that his name is always Mikuláš of Lobkowice“**** Under this name he is the first known ancestor of the renowned noble family of Lobkovic. Its members gained great esteem since the XVI century over other noble families in Bohemia. The large family of Lobkovic being renowned for its power, fame and excellent spirit of its members, they were promoted to the princely estate in 1623 which they have held until now.
Lobkovice is therefore not the original seat of the noble family of Lobkovice. Their original seat was Oujezd and it is by coincidence that the family received its name from the name of this castle. The present author has had no success finding out which of the numerous castles of Oujezd in Bohemia was their original seat. This question shall be solved when the original sign, that is an eagel, of the knights of Oujezd from the XII or XIV century is found.
Mikuláš of Lobkovic owned Lobkovice until his death in 1435. He lived in Lobkovice for a few years, but then he moved to the castle of Hasištejn during the Hussite wars. It is likely he built the tower at the castle. This tower is the only remains of the former stronghold, for the rest of the castle was built in the XVII century. He also bought the village of Neratovice from the archbishop Kunrad for 18.000 pence5 and joined it to the Lobkovice estate*
After the death of Mikuláš of Lobkovic his elder son Mikuláš inherited the castle of Hasištejn and his younger son Jan Popel inherited the castle of Lobkovice and other estate. The two sons are ancestors of the two branches of the Lobkovic family. The branch of Hasištejn left Bohemia after the Thirty Years´ War, the Popel branch being the present princely family.
Jan Popel of Lobkovic was engaged in the conflict in 1448 together with the lord of Strakonice, an ennemy of George of Podebrady. The two noblemen together with other members of the Unity fought against George of Podebrady with a lack of success. In the summer 1450 George of Podebrady supported by Prague citizens set out against Lobkovice and conquered it upon the first attack. However in 1451 when peace was made, Lobkovice was given back to Jan Popel.** Later when George of Podebrady became king of Bohemia, Jan Popel turned a most faithful subject of his. Not only was he willing to suffer for him, he was also held in prison by the lords of Rosenberk and Šternberk.
After Jan Popel´s death the family of Ojír of Ocedelice became owners of the Lobkovice estate. No satisfactory proof exists of how this happened although we assume they exchanged their estate of Chlumec near Beroun for the Lobkovice estate. It is known that in 1474 on Wednesday following St. Havel´s day, Anna Lobkovská of Risenberk, the Jan Popel´s widow, bought the castle and the estate of Chlumec, the former seat of the Janovice family, for 240.000 pence6 from its owners, brothers Fridrich and Albrecht.of Ocedelice*** giving thus the castle of Lobkovice as additional payment to pay the balance to the price of the Chlumec estate. Consequently Albrecht Ojír of Ocedelice becomes the lord of Lobkovice and uses this title in his public functions: Justice of Territory, since1475 Burgrave of Prague Castle, since 1478 Deputy Justice of Territory, since 1480 Deputy Chamberlain.7 After his death his son Jan inherited Lobkovice, however he sold it in 1500 to Bartolomej Buben of Všeborice who was also the owner of the nearby villages of Jirice and Cakovice. Bartolomej Buben ceded the estate to Beneš Sekerka of Sedcice and received from him the castle Kostelec nad Labem.**** This family kept Lobkovice for one hundred years, however the village of Neratovice was separated from the estate and joined to the estate of Obríství.
Beneš Sekerka of Sedcice lived in Lobkovice. Upon his death in 1510 his three sons, Ladislav, Fabian and Štastný, inherited the estate. The latter, subjected to drowning, died a violent death. In 1541 the archives which contained public records burnt in a fire and all possessions in Bohemia had to be reregistered. Hence the two brothers registered the estate of Lobkovice in new public records (Instrum. tomo 250, D. 18):
„1543, Saturday, St. Marcell´s day“
„Brothers Ladislav and Fabian Sekerka of Sedrice proclame in the presence of territory officers that they are owners of the stronghold of Lobkovice, the manor of Lobkovice and the villages Lobkovice and Mlékojedy with manors, meadows, forests, groves, streams, ponds, upper and low Labe, islands, especially with the island situated in low Labe opposite the meadow-land in Jirice and the three islands situated in upper Labe bellow the water mills, with chickens, eggs, corvée, orchards, vinyards, hop-fields, saffron fields, with mills, a ferry and a tavern, with a church in Lobkovice and all other estate which their father bequeathed them 33 years ago and which they have possessed since and which they will bequeath their heirs.“
There is an appendix to the latter: „ In 1554, on Tuesday before St. Urban, brothers and uncles Fabian, Jan and Pribík Beneš Sekerka of Sedcice proclame that they have joined to the Lobkovice estate the estate of Kojetice with a manor, hamlets, meadows, pasture-lands, orchards, fishbasins, a tavern in Kojetice, with corvées, chickens and all other farm animals and other estate.“
Everything described above is still to be found in Lobkovice in its original position, however there are no vinyards, hop-fields nor soffran fields. The register of servile land8 has changed as well and no more interest is paid in form of eggs and chickens.
The above-mentioned Fabian Sekerka of Sedrice died childless in 1563 at the age of 78. Jan and Pribík Beneš were sons of his brother Ladislav who had died in 1554. Jan died childless in 1571 hence Lobkovice was left to his brother Pribík Beneš who was also the lord of Vodolka and Obríství. After his death his son Jan Ratibor inherited Lobkovice, Neratovice and a manor-house in Tišice. However his lack of finances obliged him to sell the estate. As a result, in 1591 Václav Budovec of Budov wanted to buy the estate for 60*11.750 Czech pence9, but this deal was never concluded due to the fact Jan Ratibor was not able to find an administrator* for Neratovice. At that time the owners of the Roudnice estate laid claims to the village of Neratovice which they had ceased long time ago as a pledge to the archbishopric. This activity was performed mainly by Polyxena of Pernštein, the wife of Zdenek Vojtech of Lobkovice and the heir of Roudnice estate of her first husband Vilém of Rosenberk. Polyxena of Pernštein intended to honour Neratovice and join it back to the estate of Roudnice.
However she was not able to prove who to, who from and for what amount the village was put into pledge. Consequently she lost her case at the Chamberlain Court of Czech Kingdom. In the face of such a defect noone was willing to buy the estate of Jan Ratibor. Only in 1615 did Václav Magrle of Sobíšek, a citizen of Prague, buy Lobkovice, Mlékojedy and one man in Kojetice** in order to sell it back, in 1616 on the first Thursday after Lent, to the above-mentionned Polyxena Lobkovská of Pernštejn, Roudnice, Litomyšl and Sedlcany for 60* 28.000 pence. *** It was in 1623 that, owing to the decision of the Chamberlain Court of Czech Kingdom, Jan Ratibor was obliged to cease Neratovice and the manor-house in Tišice to Polyxena Lobkovská for 60*4920 pence. Since then the estate stayed in its present extent with the Lobkovic family until 1829.
The estate of Lobkovice represents a clear example of the disastrous effect of the Thirty Years´ War. Before the year 1620 it included 20 subjects with horses and teams, 18 small farmers, craftsmen, a miller, a black-smith, a brewer and others living elsewhere. On the other hand its state on 26 July 1658 is described in the register of property in this way: „The castle of Lobkovice was then (that is before 1620) built of stone in a shape of a rectangular and covered in bricks. Its entry led through a stoned arched bridge. Now (1658) this castle is ruined, with no roof, only one brick tower has been left untouched“ The whole estate with its three villages included in 1638 only 1 farmer and 2 small farmers! 20 years later the register of servile land shows there was one farm with horses and teams, 18 deserted farms, 14 deserted small farms, a deserted mill and a brewery, both partially ruined, the weir out of function, 1 deserted vinyard, 2 deserted orchards, 1 deserted hop-field, a forest with 13 hunting fields and 4 meadows overgrown with bushes! The manor-houses included arable fields and lawns:
in Lobkovice made ready for sowing 24 and lying fallow 41
in Neratovice 18
in Tišice 17 9
total 41 68
This is quite a small and simple example, but it gives us an accurate idea of the situation!
In 1620 on the day after the battle of the White Mountain (9 November) a group of armed utraquists, inhabitants of Melník, were sent to defend Prívory. As they came to Lobkovice, an officer Mik. Hrádek tried to stop them entering the fery, consequently he was beaten to blood and the whole castle plundered. The day after (10 November) the emperor´s soldiers from Poland rushed in and fought the inhabitants of Melník in Mlékojedy near Labe. They shot at eachother from both sides of the river and thus burnt and ruined the whole village of Lobkovice, the manor-house, the barns, the sheepfold and the brewery. This was the beginning of Lobkovice´s destruction. Nonetheless the castle and the mill had been left untouched and the farm-houses were reconstructed. It was only around the year 1630 that the village´s destruction was accomplished definitevely.
Polyxena Lobkovská, the last of the grand family of the lords of Pernštein in Bohemia and Moravia bequeathed to her only son Václav of Lobkovice her estate, the estate of Lobkovice being one of them. The prince Václav was to cede it in 1656 to the duke Kryštof Ferdinand of Lobkovice and Bílina for 60* 17.142 pence. We have no proof of whether this happened. Before his death in 1677 the above-mentioned prince Václav Lobkovic joined Lobkovice to the duke´s fideicommissum and the administation of the estate was committed to the care of the duke´s office at the Nelahozeves estate. The church of Lobkovice belonged since 1622 to the church of Kostelec nad Labem. In 1679 prince´s architect Antonio Porto begins the reconstruction of the Lobkovice castle and gives it the form it has now.
After prince Václav (died in 1677) his son Ferdinand August (died in 1715) administrates the fideicommissum; then his son, prince Filip (died in 1731); then his son Ferdinand Filipp (died in 1784) ; then his son Josef František (died in 1816) ; and now it is prince Ferdinand Josef, the son of the latter. In 1829 Ferdinand Josef wanted to join his estate of Libceves to the duke´s fideicommissum and alienate other less profitable estate. Moreover he was exposed to problems concerning the weir in Lobkovice. Nonetheless upon king´s council licence he freed it from fideicommissum on 3 October 1829 and sold it on 6 November 1829 to a doctor of laws and advocate in Prague Jan Mechura, lord of Votín, Predslav and Habartice.
During the latter´s administartion the devastated castle of Lobkovice undertook large improvement. The castle was reconstructed, farm houses rebuilt, the weir on Labe lowered upon a country´s decree, the banks of Labe protected where necessary from destruction and the forests cultivated. Its own administrative office was established and upon king´s council licence a new parsonage was established at the local old church on 7 July 1831. As a result Lobkovice gained secular and religious administrative independence.
The History of the Lobkovice Estate
written by František Palacký
in the journal Ceské Museum 1836
www.lobkovi.cz is under construction