Born 1547 or 1550 in Turynets, near L’vov; died Oct. 7, 1620, at Tsetsora (Cecora), Moldova. Polish statesman and military commander; grand hetman of the kingdom from 1613.
żółkiewski was field hetman of the kingdom from 1588. In 1596 he suppressed the rebellion led by G. Loboda and S. Nalivaika in the Ukraine. In 1601-02 he directed the campaign against the Swedes. Although he opposed the pro-Hapsburg policy of Sigismund III, he supported the king during the revolt (rokosz) of M. Zebrzydowski (1606-09), defeating the rebels in 1607. In 1608 he was appointed wojewoda (governor) of Kiev. Although he at first opposed the Polish intervention in Russia, he participated in it in 1609, crushing the army of D. Shuiskii at Klushino in 1610. He then concluded a treaty with the Russian boyars hostile to Tsar Vasilii Shuiskii. The treaty called for the elevation of the Polish king’s son, Wjadysjaw, to the Muscovite throne and for the entry of a Polish army into Moscow. The king, however, failed to ratify the treaty, and a popular revolt broke out in Moscow. In 1611, Zojkiewski directed operations against the Turks and Tatars in Podolia. In 1617, owing to the superior strength of the enemy, he was forced to conclude a treaty with the Turks by which Poland gave up its claim to suzerainty over Wallachia and Transylvania—as a result of which a number of Polish magnates turned against Zojkiewski. In 1618 he was appointed grand chancellor. In 1620 he was defeated by the Turks near Tsetsora and killed during the retreat.