COUNT MAURYCY BENIOWSKI
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Who was Count Maurycy Beniowski?
Many may know Count Maurycy Beniowski as Baron Maurice
de Benyowski who was born to a noble family in Poland in the autumn of 1746. At
the time of his birth, Poland was divided into three parts and Beniowski was
born in the part belonging to Russia.
During his younger years, he took part in the
uprising to liberate Poland from Russian rule. He made a bit of a name for
himself while serving as a military officer. He did leave the army when his
Roman Catholic views caused a stir with his military obligations.
In 1768, he joined the Confederation of Bar, which
was a group of noblemen from Poland that defended their homeland and their
religious freedom against the Russians. In 1771, he was captured by the Russians
and was sentenced into exile to Siberia for his political actions.
He was just a bit to smart and escaped their
clutches. After a few more years of fighting for their freedom against Russian
rule, he found himself the leader of an expedition headed toward Madagascar. On
an island just off the African coast, not far from Madagascar he created a
stronghold for himself and his men. Here he proclaimed himself king of
Madagascar in 1776.
Many people do not really classify Baron Maurice de
Benyowski a pirate; however, while he was king, he attacked various shipping
lanes around Madagascar without any type of authority. One of the islands close
by to his self-proclaimed kingdom was named after him, Mauritius.
Baron Maurice de
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