Portrait of Bona Sforza (1494-1557), Queen consort of Poland, Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania (1508-1548), Duchess of Bari (1527), 1553
Bona Sforza (2 February 1494 – 19 November 1557) was a member of the powerful House of Sforza, which ruled the Duchy of Milan since 1447. In 1518, she became the second wife of Sigismund I the Old, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Their marriage lasted 30 years until Sigismund's death in 1548. Ambitious and energetic, Bona became heavily involved in the political life of Poland–Lithuania. To increase state revenue, she implemented various economic and agricultural reforms, including the far-reaching Wallach Reform in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Her reforms made her the richest landowner in the Grand Duchy. In foreign policy, she opposed the Habsburgs and sought to secure her eldest daughter Isabella Jagiellon in the Kingdom of Hungary. Bona was the third of the four children of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and his wife Isabella of Naples. Gian Galeazzo was the legal heir to the Duchy of Milan, but his uncle and regent Ludovico Sforza, known to history as "Il Moro", usurped the power. Bona and Sigismund met for the first time on 15 April 1518 just outside Kraków. The wedding and coronation took place on 18 April, but celebrations continued for a week. Bona's dowry was very large – 100,000 ducats and personal items worth 50,000 ducats in addition to Bari and Rossano that she would inherit after her mother's death. In exchange for the dowry, Sigismund granted her the towns of Nowy Korczyn, Wiślica, Żarnów, Radomsko, Jedlnia, Kozienice, Chęciny, Inowrocław, and others.
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