In the summer of 2017 200 years have passed since the beginning of the career of the outstanding financier of the XIX century, Francis Xavier Drutsky-Lyubetskiy.
Polish historians and specialists call him the Minister of Finance of the Millennium, the creator of Polish capitalism … His name is associated with the foundation of the modern Polish mining, metallurgical, processing and textile industries. He built hard-surfaced roads, established the Land Loan Partnership and the first Polish state bank. Creative approach and simple solutions to complex problems – for this he is called a genius.
In the history of the Russian Empire, Xavier Lubetsky remained a prominent statesman who seriously influenced the course of financial management. The prince returned to his homeland “returned” by the author of the biographical book “Financial genius from Pogost-Zagorodsky” Alexander KAZAK.
Family and Motherland
Francis Xavieri Drutsky-Lyubetsky was born on December 16, 1778 in the town of Pogost (then the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Today it is the village of Pogost-Zagorodsky in the Pinsk district of the Brest region.
Princes Drutskie-Lyubetskie conduct a pedigree from the Novgorod prince Rurik. Pogost became the property of the family in the middle of the XVII century, and after a hundred years the place was the main princely residence in Pinsk. Grandfather Xaveria Semyon Drutsky-Lyubetsky, ovruchsky, was elected ambassador to the Diet of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1706, during the Swedish-Russian war, he received a personal decree of Emperor Peter I about the prohibition of any excesses and expropriations in the estate Pogost. The father of the future financier was a competent master with advanced views. His farm had the greatest income in the Pinsk district. It was Francis Droutsky-Lyubetsky who built a wooden Uniate church in Pogost in 1769, and in 1775 – a brick church of St. Jozef. Today it is an active Orthodox church.
In September 1784, the King of the Commonwealth, Stanislaw August Poniatowski visited among the most famous and devoted to the gentry Drutsky-Lyubetskiy. Five thousand inhabitants of the district welcomed their monarch in a small place.
Undoubtedly, Xavier Drutsky-Lyubetsky is the most outstanding representative of the genus. At the same time, he lived only seven years in his native land. “From a five-year old child to me, only a step. And from a newborn to a five-year-old – a terrible distance, “Leo Tolstoy was sure. Great teachers K. D. Ushinsky and A. S. Makarenko argued that it was in the early years that the character of a person was formed, and for the rest of his life he was reaping the fruits of early education. Therefore, the townspeople have the right to be proud of the achievements of the famous countryman as a remarkable fact of the history of his village.
With Russia in the name of Poland
During his studies at the cadet school in St. Petersburg, Xavier Lubetskiy always had a look at the future of Poland in alliance with Russia.
The beginning of his civil service can be considered 1806, when the prince became a member of the provincial committee for Jewish affairs. In 1809 he was elected the leader of the nobility of the Grodno povet, and in 1812 he was elected marshal of the whole province. Several years later, appointments to the post of governor of Grodno region, then – the governor of Vilna. And before that, the first great victory of Lubetsky-diplomat took place. Then the prince, one of the two delegates of the Lithuanian nobility to Tsar Alexander I, returned from the capital in the high rank of a valid state councilor. All the requests of the szlachta were satisfied. Later historians called Lubetsky’s relations with the Russian monarchs Alexander I and Nicholas I “mutual hypnosis” – they were so trusting.
Each high government award of the prince was preceded by its success. The Order of St. Anne III degree with the rescript of Emperor Paul I was handed to him in 1799 for courage in one of the battles during the Italian campaign of Suvorov. The high rank of the secret adviser was granted in 1819, and the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky with diamonds (the second most important order in the Russian Empire) was awarded him in April 1826.
The triumph was crowned by five years of exhausting laborious work of Xavier Lubetsky as chairman of the special liquidation commission, which he occupied in August 1817. He managed to arrange matters in such a way that Prussia and Austria, who demanded 40 million zlotys of debt from the former Duchy of Warsaw, turned out … they owe the Poles 30 million. A similar fate befell Saxony. At the same time, the collection of awards of Xavier Lubetskiy was supplemented with orders from Austrian, Prussian and Saxon kings. Legend has come to the talented prince in Europe, they say, he can turn debts into profits.
Independence – in a Strong Economy
Alexander I evaluated the work of the prince and on July 19, 1821, signed a decree appointing Xavier Drutsky-Lyubetsky Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Poland. Nine were the most important and fruitful years of his life. On a voluntary basis, he also served as Minister of Trade and Minister of Industry. Xavieri associated independence of the state with his economic solvency and education of the population. And the detractors answered with their motto: the truth is one, and it will win! By the same words he instructed the youth, who was not afraid to trust big things.
Under Lubetsky there was an abrupt increase in Polish industry. In conditions when the products all over the world have fallen in price, he staked on the development of the industry. The Minister took care, for example, of obtaining raw materials, and began to develop sheep breeding on an industrial scale.
He also initiated and supervised the construction of the Augustow Canal, whereby Polish goods could enter the Baltic ports, bypassing Prussian customs. In the struggle to reduce customs tariffs, he risked spoiling relations with neighboring states. But with the support of the monarch he achieved favorable conditions.
The minister also had plans for his native Polissya. According to his instructions in 1829, the publicist and politician Kazimir Kantrym in his travels throughout the region described in detail his economic condition and prospects.
The November uprising of 1830 thwarted the minister’s plans.
True to myself
Poghoschinin used to solve problems as a diplomat. Trying to persuade the insurgents to begin peace talks with Tsar Nicholas I, he was accused by them of slowing the revolution. And in disgrace to the monarch fell due to the connection with the rebels.
The uprising was suppressed. Lyubetsky had to leave Warsaw forever and move to Petersburg. Not engaged in civil service, Xavery was able to devote more time to family and self-education. The family man was an exemplary prince. On the niece of Mary, he married in 1807, their six children adored his father. In his spare time he taught foreign languages, was interested in innovations in agriculture, industry, and sought ways to increase labor productivity. Earlier, living in the Grodno region, in Shchuchin, he created an exemplary farm and shared his experience with others.
The forced rest ended when Nicholas I appointed Xavier Lubetsky a member of the State Council of the Russian Empire. Until the end of his life the prince realized his ideas through this supreme authority. Sometimes the tsar deliberately reduced him in disputes with the Minister of Finance of Russia Yegor Kankrin to hear the opinions of two outstanding people.
On the night of May 11, 1846, there was no genial financier. Petersburg for a whole week said goodbye to the prince. He was buried in the church of St. Theresa in Schuchin.
Prince’s strengths are recognized by his intelligence, vast knowledge, incredible performance, sincerity and alien intrigue. Czartoryski, Staszic, Lalevel, Vavzhetsky, Grabovsky, Lempe brothers and others were the elite of the Polish kingdom of their time. And one of the central figures in it was the Litvin-townspeople Xavier Lubetsky.