Conf. univ. dr. habil., Universitatea din Piteşti;
Cercet. şt. III, dr., Muzeul Judeţean Argeş, Pitești;
In this article we have tried to reconstruct, as accurate as possible, based on historical sources and on published and unpublished documents, the story of a lesser known high ranking official of the Ruler Court of Wallachia: the administrator of the Ruler Court, known as the burgrave (or the burgrave of the Ruler Court, as he was mentioned in the documents of the Middle Ages). The first time when this high ranking official was mentioned was on May 19, 1639, when Matei Basarab was the Ruler of Wallachia.
In the second half of the 17th century, more precisely between 1672–1673, when Grigore Ghica was the second time in duty as the Ruler of Wallachia, the burgrave appeared as a member of the „Divan” (a sort of government, which consisted of the highest ranking boyars of Wallachia). A decade later, in 1673–1678, when Gheoghe Duca was the Ruler of Wallachia, the burgrave didn’t appear anymore to be a member of the „Divan”.
In the 17th century, the majority of the burgraves came from the medium and lower level of the boyars in Wallachia, with the exception of Barcan from Bucșani and Merișani, Badea and Pârvu Vlădescu and, probably, Grigore Cornescu, who came from the top level of boyars. Starting from the middle of the 18th century, the name burgrave was changed in ispravnic (originally slavic term ispravnik), a boyar who was designated to fulfill the Ruler’s commands.
Based on the internal documents, part of the duties of the burgrave could be identified: he carried out certain orders of the Ruler; he took care of the Gypsy who worked in the Ruler Court; he provided the Ruler Court with bread and supervised certain renovation works of the Ruler’s palace; he carried out some judicial duties. Starting from 1830, the burgrave was no longer mentioned in the documents.
Wallachia, 17th–19th centuries, high ranking official of the Ruler Court, burgrave.