This article presents an analysis of the long legal battle (1533–1546–1549) waged by the Pasvalys church parish priest Erazmas, son of Eustachijus (†1545/1546), over the allocation of four vacant plots of land to the Pasvalys church’s jurisdiction. Suspicions over the falsification of documents are proven. Attention is given to the legal culture environment existing in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and how justice was executed. Both the favourable and unfavourable elements of legal culture are distinguished, which determined.
Wallach measurement register of Balninkai estate of 1554 is prominent in the historiography by virtue of one of its copies of 1803 (the original has not been preserved). Fragments of the copy were translated from the Polish language into Lithuanian and published in a journal of local history, though limited to the contemporary boundaries of Balninkai subdistrict (valsčius). The new publication in the original (Polish) language offers evaluation of the four known copies of the document dating back to the 18th century which expanded the possibilities to more thoroughly utilize information potential of this source and helped establish the prototype of the copies, namely a record from the treasury archive of the GDL of 1645, inscribed into the Books of the Lithuanian Metrica of the Grand Chancery of the GDL in 1722, as well as identify the Sovereign’s land-surveyor Jonas Filipovičius Kobylinskis (Ян Филипович Кобылиньский) who conducted the wallach measurement of Balninkai estate in 1554 and who has hitherto been unknown to historiography. This publication is intended to supplement the published documentary heritage of the great agrarian Wallach Reform pursued in the state estates of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1547–1566, which for the most part consists of inventories. When publishing the source of the 18th century in the Polish language, recommendations of the latest publications of sources in Polish issued by the Archeography Department of the Lithuanian Institute of History have been taken into consideration. As the texts of the register of 1554 have been preserved only in duplicates, graphic charts and tables characteristic of inventories failed to come down to us and the document contains plain text. Therefore, striving to make the inventory easier to read, it was divided not only into notional sentences but also rubricated putting the headings in bold. Numbers indicated in words next to wallachs, morgens and rods (perches) were substituted with Arabic numerals, leavings words for numbers in such cases where the document dwells on the quantity of fields (sianozęc, pole) or places (mieyscy). Thus we expected to avoid problems related to the allocation of numbers. For example: Druga sianozęc w drugim koncu tych dwuch pol na imie Dubica morgow pułszosta → Druga sianozęc w drugim koncu tych dwuch pol na imie Dubica morgow 5½. Numerals followed by dots were used as wallach serial numbers: pierwsza, Maciey Staniewicz włoka podła, woły, kłacz → 1. Maciey Staniewicz włoka podła, woły, kłacz. Repetitive elements in wallach lists were contracted: pierwsza pusta włoka podła; wtora pusta włoka podła; trzecia pusta włoka podła → 1.–3. Pusta włoka podła. Notes to the publication contain only the current location of identified toponyms (ežeras (lake) – ež., kaimas (village) – k.; miestas (city) – m.; miestelis (town) – mst.; rajonas (district) – raj.; seniūnija (sub-district) – sen.; viensėdis (steading) –vs.). In order not to overburden the publication with footnotes, we only marked the first mentioning of a toponym, indicating in the footnote itself all the pages of the LM 160 book featuring the toponym in question and providing the peculiarities of its orthography. When dealing with the most important villages of Balninkai estate, we marked references next to the descriptions of the said villages. Notes also provide explanations with regard to anonymous persons mentioned by their office only, if such data was available in information literature in our disposition.