Sebastiano Montelupi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sebastiano Montelupi de Mari
Sebastian Montelupi (1516 - 1600).jpg
Commemorative stamp issue, 2008 (detail).
Born 1516
Died 18 August 1600(1600-08-18) (aged 83–84)
Monuments Montelupi Monument, St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków
Residence Montelupi House, Main Square, Kraków
Nationality Polish (patent of naturalization awarded by King Sigismund II)
Other names Sebastian Wilczogórski
Citizenship Florentine (awarded 1567)
Occupation merchant, banker, postmaster
Years active 1557–1600
Net worth estate at death estimated at fl.150,000
Title Master of the Royal Posts
Term 1568–1600
Predecessor Pietro Maffon
Successor Valerio Tamburini Montelupi
Spouse(s) Urszula Baza (1551–1586), m. 1567
Partner(s) Carlo Montelupi (younger brother)
Children Valerio Tamburini Montelupi (adopted)
Parent(s) Valerio Montelupi de Mari
Coat of arms POL COA Montelupi.svg

Sebastiano Montelupi (Polish: Sebastian Montelupi, name occasionally Polonized as Wilczogórski, 1516 – 18 August 1600),[1] was an Italian-born merchant and banker in Kraków, Poland, and Postmaster General of the Polish royal postal service under Sigismund II Augustus, Henry III of Poland, Anna Jagiellon, Stephen Báthory and Sigismund III Vasa.


Montelupi left Italy in 1536, settling in the Kingdom of Poland in 1557. He worked for the merchants and bankers Carlo and Bernardo Soderini until establishing himself independently in partnership with his younger brother Carlo.[2]

Montelupi House (now a hostel) on the main square in Kraków

In 1567 he married the teenaged Urszula, daughter of doctor of medicine Wojciech Baza (died 1569),[2] physician to the court.[3] The year after the wedding the couple moved into a kamienica residence in the centre of Kraków, rebuilt in the Renaissance style. This building, known as the Italian House or Montelupi House, also served as the central post office. Urszula was to die without surviving issue on 12 July 1586, aged 35, after 19 years of marriage.[4] At one point Francesco Pucci had consulted John Dee on Montelupi's behalf, to determine whether their childlessness could be due to witchcraft.[2]


As a merchant, Montelupi traded with Italy, Germany, England, Austria and Russia. He was banker to, among others, the papal nuncios at the Polish court.[2] In 1574, the city reimbursed Montelupi a little over fl.1,827 for his contributions to the ceremony of receiving and performing hommage to the new king, Henry III; these contributions included a yard and a half of red Chinese cloth for the dish holding the keys to the city, and a number of vermeil vessels and a large silver vase that were presented to the king.[5] In 1581 Montelupi advanced fl.3,000 to King Stephen Báthory to help finance that year's campaign against Muscovy.[5] Towards the end of his life he became court banker to King Sigismund III, and consul of the Italian community in the capital.[2] In the 1580s he funded the publication of work by the Franciscan writer Annibale Rosselli.[2] He died in Kraków on 18 August 1600, aged 84,[4] leaving an estate valued at fl.150,000.[6] He was succeeded by his nephew and adopted heir, Valerio Tamburini Montelupi (Walerian Montelupi, 1548–1613), who thus became the richest citizen in Kraków.[2]

Master of the Royal Post

From 1568 Montelupi was postmaster general of the Polish Royal Post (succeeding Pietro Maffon), running one public service to Vilnius (in three weeks) and another to Vienna and Venice (in ten days).[2] These services were suspended in 1572 and when resumed in 1574 were reserved for the carriage of royal messages. In 1583 he was confirmed as royal postmaster general by the new king, Stephen Báthory, on condition he maintain public deliveries between the major cities of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and an international service to and from Venice at least twice each month. His position enabled Montelupi to provide high-level information services for correspondents including the Medici in Florence and the Fugger in Augsburg.[7]

At Sebastiano's death the postmastership also passed to his nephew Valerio, and in time to Valerio's descendants, the last postmaster of the dynasty being Carlo Montelupi de Mari (Karol Montelupi, died 1662).[8] Another Italian, Angelo Maria Bandinelli, then became royal postmaster general.[9]


A magnificent monument to Sebastiano Montelupi and his wife Urszula was erected in St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków. The work has been attributed to the workshop of Italian-Polish architect and sculptor Santi Gucci.[10]

A street in Kraków is named after his family, as is his kamienica, and a palace built by his descendants.[11]

In 2008 a commemorative stamp set celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Polish postal service was issued, featuring portraits of Prosper Provano and Sebastiano Montelupi.[12] The portrait of Montelupi was based on the effigy incorporated into the Montelupi monument.

See also

  • Montelupich Prison along the Montelupich Street in Kraków, the notorious Gestapo torture chamber throughout World War II.[13]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Jakub Jagiełło (November 2010). "Nagrobek Montelupich w kościele Mariackim w Krakowie". Sztuki wizualne (in Polish). Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Laura Ronchi De Michelis (2012). "Montelupi, Sebastiano". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 76 (in Italian). Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  3. ^ Witold Lisowski (2006). "Lekarze w służbie królów i hetmanów polskich". Skalpel nr 2/2006 (in Polish). Wojskowa Izba Lekarska w Warszawie. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b Szymon Starowolski (1655). "Sebastianus Montelupi". Monumenta Sarmatorum (in Latin). Cracoviae: In officina viduae & haeredum Francisci Caesarii. p. 113. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  5. ^ a b (in French) Louis Fournier, Les Florentins en Pologne, Lyon, 1893, p. 233.
  6. ^ Richard A. Goldthwaite, The Economy of Renaissance Florence, Johns Hopkins University Press, c.2009, unpaginated electronic version.
  7. ^ (in German) Jan Pirozynski, "Polnische Metropolen im Nachrichtenverkehr", in Marina Dmitrieva and Karen Lambrecht (eds), Krakau, Prag und Wien: Funktionen von Metropolen im frühmodernen Staat, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2000, p. 103.
  8. ^ "Montelupi". (in Polish). Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  9. ^ S. Païków (1963). "Bandinelli, Roberto". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Vol. 5 (in Italian). Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  10. ^ Grzegorz Rudzinski (2008). "The Montelupi Tomb". Krakow. Bonechi-Galaktyka. p. 36. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  11. ^ Włodzimierz Jędruszak (6 March 2007). "Dwór Montelupich (The Montelupi Manor)" (PDF). GD&K Group, Nowa Kamienica. Archived from the original (PDF direct download, 6.91 MB) on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Postage Stamp: Sebastian Montelupi". Postage stamps catalogue. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  13. ^ "Montelupich Prison" (PDF direct download, 19.5 KB). Yad Vashem. Shoah Resource Center, The International School for Holocaust Studies. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 


  • Danuta Quirini-Popławska, Działalność Sebastiana Montelupiego w Krakowie w drugiej połowie XVI wieku, Kraków, 1980.
  • Danuta Quirini-Popławska, Korespondencja Sebastiana i Valeria Montelupich (1575–1609), Wrocław, Wydawnictwo "Ossolineum", 1986.
  • Danuta Quirini-Popławska, Sebastiano Montelupi, toscano, mercante e maestro della Posta Reale di Cracovia: Saggio sulle comunicazioni Polonia-Italia nel '500, Quaderni di storia postali 13; Istituto di studi storici postali, 1989.

External links

Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Sebastiano Montelupi"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA