Portrait of Stanisław Leszczyński (1677-1766), Duke of Lorraine (1737-1766), King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1704-1709), 1755
Stanisław I Leszczyński (French: Stanislas Leszczynski; 20 October 1677 – 23 February 1766) was King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Duke of Lorraine and a count of the Holy Roman Empire. Stanisław was born into a powerful magnate family of Greater Poland, and he had the opportunity to travel to western Europe in his youth. In 1702 King Charles XII of Sweden marched into the country as part of a continuing series of conflicts between the powers of northern Europe. Charles forced the Polish nobility to depose Poland’s king, Augustus II the Strong, and then placed Stanisław on the throne (1704). The early 18th century was a period of great problems and turmoil for Poland. In 1709 Charles was defeated by the Russians at the Battle of Poltava and withdrew to Sweden, leaving Stanisław without any real and stable support. Augustus II regained the Polish throne, and Stanisław left the country to settle in the French province of Alsace. In 1725 Stanisław’s daughter Marie Leszczyńska married Louis XV of France The Peace of Vienna in 1738 recognised Augustus III as king of Poland but allowed Stanisław to keep his royal titles while granting him the provinces of Lorraine and Bar for life.
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