Poniatowski, Stanislas Augustus (1732-1798) the last King of
Poland (since 1764), son of Stanislas Poniatowski (1677-1762). In St. Petersburg
in 1855, while in suite of the British ambassador, he became much favored
by the Empress Catherine II, the Great.
Largely through her influence he was elected king in 1764, though not fitted
to rule the country at a time of such crisis. Aggressive Russia and Prussia
with the consent of Austria divided Polish territories among them in 1772.
The king tried, too late, to introduce reforms. The intrigues of the discontented
nobles led again to Russian and Prussian intervention, and a second fruitless
resistance was followed in 1793 by a second partition. The Poles now became
desperate; a general rising under the leadership of Kosciuszko took place
in 1794. With the mutual efforts of Austria, Russia and Prussia the uprising
was defeated, Warsaw was taken, and the Polish monarchy came to an end.
Stanislas resigned his crown in 1795, and the rest of his life lived in
St. Petersburg, where he died in 1798. See also A
Page from the History of Poland.
See: Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder. Portrait of Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski.
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. Portrait of Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski.