Reformation in Poland: King Alexander lays down the law and hangs a woman.

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Actually, King Alexander was particularly pleased. Jan Laski’s Statutes were doing their job. Who was Jan Laski? I’ll tell you later, but his Statutes were an attempt to make Poland a peaceful and law abiding place. This was something most people wanted. Of course the magnates objected, those rich aristocrats who treated everyone else as if they didn’t matter. You know the sort of people. No names but people like the Radzwills in Lithuania. It was not easy to make them understand that they were subject to the king’s law, even them. The king was advised to make an example of a few aristos. Sticking rules up on walls never works. People learn best from examples. Anyway, how many people do you think could read in 1505?

“Barbara Rusinowska! String her up, I said. I don’t give a damn if she’s a woman, it’ll scare the men even more.” Laski agreed, which was just as well. I prefer to have the support of my ministers. Come to think of it, it might have been his idea in the first place. I can’t remember.”

Soldier:” And that’s what we did, the moment we caught her. We strung her up. It was a damned shame. Barbara Rusinowska. A fine looking woman, spirited, a lady. Dressed like a man, in breeches and boots and spurs, armed to the teeth. More of a man than a woman and had the muscles to go with it. We hanged her and her band of bandits beside her, those that didn’t get away. That should please the king.”

The king had every reason to be pleased.

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