Violent Crimes in the Cases between Clergy and Monks of the Catholic Church in the 18th Century according to the Books of Vilnius County Castle and Land Court


  • Domininkas Burba Vytautas Magnus University



18th century, Vilnius County, Catholic Church, clergy, monks, violent crimes


The article, based on the data of Vilnius County Castle and Land Court books, examines the problem of participation of Catholic clergy and monks in violent crimes in Vilnius County in the 18th century (1717–1773). Such cases existed in the rural and urban spaces of Vilnius County, but were quite rare. A total of 20 such proceedings were found, in which about 39 criminal facts were recorded. Of the monasteries, the basilians, Dominicans, Jesuits, as well as the Carmelites, Franciscans, Bonifratres, and the canonical canons of Mikailiškės were the most frequent and plaintiffs; of the women mentioned barefoot Carmelite, Bernardine and visiting. The plaintiffs and defendants were the chapter, bishops, deans and pastors. Some secular nobles were also involved in some of these cases. There have been cases where conflicts have persisted for decades (e. g., the basilion and the Jesuit novice). The most common cases of information about violent quarrels, beatings, assaults were recorded, there were fewer accusations of domestic assaults in the city, robbery and robbery, and illegal detention crimes. Most crimes were committed in rural areas, with slightly more than a third in Vilnius. Only five cases are known for the direct involvement of clergy in violence. In other cases, subordinates of clergy and monks were involved in this type of crime. Many of the trends were in line with the general trends in noble crime in the 18th century. In Vilnius county. Clergy and monks had different interests and fought for their own goals, often even using force. Many clergy and monks fought for the aspirations of their clan or group. The clergy and monks lived and behaved as permitted by the norms of society at that time





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