Sovereignty Part Six: Territorial Sovereignty Joins Ecclesiastical Sovereignty


Clearly the inauguration of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios was an example of the exercise of the ecclesiastical fons honorum – as the patent says, “by the ecclesiastical authority vested in us” indeed. The Royal House is unusual but not entirely unprecedented in that it has never reigned. It was part of an exiled Belarusian community that was centred upon the Church, and indeed that regarded the Church as the only extant remnant of Belarusian national consciousness.

There have been other situations whereby sovereignty has been proclaimed and intended but not effected in terms of control over land. The most obvious reason for this is that the monarch is actually not sovereign over land, but of a nation composed of people. Sometimes this is stated explicitly, for example, the King of the Belgians is not king of Belgium, but of the Belgian people, wherever they may be located, and a similar situation applies to the King of the Hellenes. In this and other cases the nation is not defined by territorial boundaries, and the monarch is an ethnarch. This is the more significant when the territory of a nation is under occupation by a hostile power. Governments-in-exile are a key example of the continuation of some sovereign rights without control of territory.

The division of the Belarusian exile community in the USA between republicans and monarchists does not deny the effectiveness or significance of the latter. Both were effectively successors to the Byelorussian Democratic Republic in Exile (Rada BNR) of 1918, which had been proclaimed as the rightful ruler of Belarus but which had never established effective control and had been suppressed by Germany. However brief and abortive, these months in 1918 were highly symbolic and important as they marked the rebirth of the Belarusian nation. Both divisions exist today; but while the Rada BNR in Toronto, Canada, is easily recognized by outsiders as a government-in-exile[i], the Belarusian monarchist movement, known for short as Royal Belarus, has been largely hidden to the wider community because of its unification with the Church which forms its visible structure. That wider community is also more open to the Rada BNR because it is a specifically pro-democracy movement, rather than Royal Belarus which is directed towards a traditionalist theocratic monarchism.

The position of Royal Belarus in exile is as previously stated by Philip Marshall Brown,“There is still deeper significance to this anomalous condition of sovereignty in exile. There is no automatic extinction of nations. Military occupation may seem final and permanent, and yet prove to be only an interregnum, though a prolonged nightmare for the inhabitants. A nation is much more than an outward form of territory and government. It consists of the men and women in whom sovereignty resides. So long as they cherish sovereignty in their hearts their nation is not dead.It may be prostrate and helpless and yet revive. It is not to be denied the symbols or forms of sovereignty on foreign soil or diplomatic relations with other nations.[ii]

The Orthodox Church is not by nature well-suited to republics; as discussed previously, there is a strong concept within the Orthodoxy of the Rus of sacred monarchy and of the role of the Church as the decisive power in the coronation of the monarch. It was inevitable that when a sector of Belarusian nationalism became centred upon the Church during the 1950s, that it would also turn towards monarchy. It was equally inevitable that the candidate for the throne would not be a representative of the House of Romanov, which was after all an occupying power, but instead someone who recalled a much earlier Belarusian royal ancestry.

The exile circumstances meant that uniting the Church and monarchy was not only a historically and culturally astute step, but one that would allow for a more secure embodiment of the nation than a purely secular prince would have done. The Church had shown itself through the exile period to be able to continue to embody the national consciousness. Even if small and impoverished, it could continue to do so wherever it was to be based in the future. The idea of creating an ethnarchy in exile would be entirely in keeping with these principles.

In the view of the exiled Belarusians, there was no legitimacy in an argument that “might makes right” and that their nation was simply to be subsumed into either the Soviet Union or Germany. As such, there are some parallels with ethnic groups seeking self-determination within occupied territory, such as the Kurds, Chechnyans, Basques and so on.

Cox, as we have already seen, refers to this in saying, “As the concept of state sovereignty declines in relevance, so notions of racial sovereignty have grown. The idea that a given population group is, or ought to be, sovereign within a larger country is not confined to New Zealand.”

We might also recall other ethnic examples of a monarchy being created as part of a self-determination movement, such as that of Araucania and Patagonia (whose king Achille I was among the patrons of the Order of the Crown of Thorns). The status of various African and Native American ethnarchs would also be relevant.


The ancestry of Prince Kermit of Miensk is important. He was among the heirs-general of most of the European Royal Houses, and theoretically was therefore in remainder to the British throne (as sixteenth cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II).

More significantly, however, he was the descendant of two royal lineages that accorded him particular dynastic rights. The first of these was the descent from the Byzantine Emperor Leo V Patrikios and several other Byzantine Emperors. This is as follows:

  • Leo V Patrikios[iii] “the Armenian” (775-820), Byzantine Emperor m. Theodosia
  • Anna (d.820)[iv] Hmayeak Maiactes Mamikonian (d.797), Prince of the Mamikonids
  • Konstantinos (785-c.828/40) m. Pancalo of Armenia Bagratina
  • Basil I[v] “the Macedonian” (811-66), Byzantine Emperor m. Eudokia Ingerina
  • Leo VI “the Wise” (866-912)[vi], Byzantine Emperor m. Zoe Zaoutzaina
  • Anna of Constantinople[vii] (886-906/11) m. Louis III “the Blind”, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Charles Constantine of Vienne (901-62)[viii] Thiberge de Troyes
  • Constance of Viennois[ix] Boso II, Count of Arles
  • William I “the Liberator” (c.950-post 993)[x], Count of Provence m. Adelaide-Blanche of Anjou
  • Constance of Arles (c.986-1032)[xi] Robert II “the Pious”, King of France
  • Adele, Princess of France (1009-79)[xii] Baldwin V, Count of Flanders
  • Matilda of Flanders (c.1031-83)[xiii] William I “the Conqueror”, King of England
  • Henry I, King of England (c.1068-1135) m. Matilda (Edith), Princess of Scotland
  • Matilda, Holy Roman Empress and Lady of the English (c.1102-67) m. Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Count of Anjou
  • Henry II, King of England (1133-89) m. Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • John, King of England (1166-1216) = unknown mistress
  • Joan, Lady of Wales and Lady of Snowdon (c.1191-1237)[xiv] Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Wales and Gwynedd (c.1173-1240)[xv]
  • Dafydd Ap Llywelyn Fawr, Prince of Wales and Gwynedd, (c.1212-1246) = unknown mistress
  • Llywelyn “Rhuddla” ap Dafydd (c.1224-)[xvi], constable of Rhuddlan
  • Cynwrig ap Llywelyn (c.1240-)[xvii], constable of Rhuddlan, m. Angharad verch Thomas, daughter of Thomas ap Gwion
  • Dafydd “Llwyd” (“the Grey”) ap Cynwrig, (1253-) m. Annes verch Gwrgeneu y Gwyn, daughter of Gwrgeneu y Gwyn ap Madoc
  • Mawd verch Dafydd “Llwyd”, (c.1275-) m. Dafydd “Goch” (“the Red”) ap Trahaearn, Lord of Enli (c. 1270-post 1324)
  • Ieuan “Goch” ap Dafydd “Goch” of Gaianoc and Penllech (c.1295-post 1352) m. Eva verch Einion ap Cynvelyn (c.1297-), daughter of Einion ap Celynin, Baron of Llwydiarth
  • Madoc “Goch” ap Ieuan (c.1340-) m. Alice verch Ieuan
  • Deikws “Ddu” (“the Black”) ap Madoc (c.1375-98?) m. Gwen Verch verch Ieuan
  • Einion ap Deicws (c.1415-1514) m. Morfudd Verch verch Mathew
  • Hywel ap Einion (1456-1543) m. Mallt verch Llewellyn
  • Gruffydd ap Howel (c.1488-) m. Gwenllian verch Einion
  • Lewis ap Gruffydd (1525-1600) m. Ellen or Ethli verch Edward ap Ievan
  • Robert ap Lewis (c.1550-1637) m. Gweryl verch Llewelyn ap David
  • Evan ap Robert Lewis (c. 1584-1668)[xviii] Jane verch Cadwaladr
  • Evan “Lloyd” ap Evan (c. 1630-90) m. Catherine verch Wynn (1630-1704)
  • Sarah verch Evan (1668-1756) m. Robert ap Hugh (c.1670-1717)[xix]
  • Evan Pugh (1699-pre 1771) m. Mary (Jones?) (d. pre 1757)
  • Robert Pugh (1730-1802) m. Mary Sarah Edwards (1736-post 1824)
  • Mary Pugh (1762-1849) m. John Chenoweth (1755-1831)[xx], soldier in the American Revolution (Sons of the American Revolution no. 83694)
  • Gabriel Chenoweth (1794-1868) m. Elizabeth Currence (1796-1859)
  • Nancy Chenoweth (1816-1849)[xxi] Solomon Collett Caplinger (1811-91), sheriff of Randolph County, West Virginia.
  • Mary Etta Caplinger (1849-95)[xxii] Rev. Stephen D. Lewis (1847-)
  • Frances (Frankie) C. Lewis (1887-1965)[xxiii] Darius Daniel Boyles (1883-1971)
  • Della Mae Boyles (1919-2009)[xxiv] Rev. Durward Willis Poling (1914-96)
  • Most Revd. Kermit William Poling, Prince of Miensk and Head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios (1941-2015) m. Patricia Ann Groves
  • Most Revd. Edmond John Kersey, Prince of Miensk and Head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios (1972-)

Extract from genealogy in Thomas Glenn’s “Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania” showing some of the ancestors above (frontispiece)

A further line of descent is traced through Edward I of England,

  • John, King of England (1166-1216) (see the previous table) m. Isabella of Angouleme
  • Henry III, King of England (1207-72) m. Eleanor of Provence
  • Edward I, King of England (1239-1307) m. Margaret, Princess of France (c.1279-1318)
  • Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk and Earl Marshal (1300-38)[xxv] Alice de Hales
  • Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk and Earl Marshal (c.1320/4-99)[xxvi] John Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave
  • Elizabeth, Baroness Segrave (1338-)[xxvii] John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray
  • Joan Mowbray (d. 1410)[xxviii] Sir Thomas Grey or Gray of Heaton or Heton (1359-1400)
  • Maud Grey (1382-1451) [xxix] Sir Robert Ogle (c.1370-1436), Baron of Ogle and Hepple, Warden of Roxborough Castle and Sheriff of Northumberland
  • Constance Ogle (fl. 1460)[xxx] Sir John Mitford of Mitford and Molesden (1402-37)
  • Margaret Mitford (1425-75)[xxxi] John Weston of Ockham (d. 1483)
  • Thomas Weston of Chepsted (c.1467-91)[xxxii] Cecilia de Irmingland
  • Catherine Weston (1484-1508)[xxxiii] John Lennard of Knoll, Kent (1479-1555)
  • John Lennard (c.1508-90)[xxxiv], High Sheriff of Kent m. Elizabeth Harmon (1510-85)[xxxv]
  • Dorothy Margerie Lennard (c.1537-1611)[xxxvi] John George Calvert of Kiplin, Yorkshire (1532-66)
  • Leonard Calvert of Danbywicke (1550-c.1611) m. Alicia Crosland (1552-87)
  • John Calvert (1587-1617)[xxxvii] Grace Myers (1589-1672)
  • Thomas Calvert (1617-85) m. Jane Glasford (1626-85)
  • John Calvert (1648-99) m. Judith Stamper (1648/52-1704)
  • Mary Calvert (1687-1737) m. John Chenoweth (1682-1746)
  • John Chenoweth (c.1706-71) m. Mary Smith (1712-73)
  • William Chenoweth (1732-71) m. Ruth, daughter of Isaac Calvert (who was the nephew of Mary Calvert)
  • John Chenoweth (1755-1831), soldier in the American Revolution (Sons of the American Revolution no. 83694) m. Mary Pugh (1762-1849) (see the previous table)

Through this line, descent is traced from the legendary first Kings of Poland and Princes of Gniezno – from whom the “Polanie” element in the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios derives:

  • Piast the Wheelwright (740/1-861) m. Rzepicha
  • Siemowit
  • Leszek (c.870-80-), Duke of the Polans
  • Siemomysl (d.c.950-60), Duke of the Polans
  • Mieszko I (c.940-92), Ruler of the Polans and Prince of Gniezno m. Doubravka of Bohemia
  • Boleslaw I “the Brave” (967-1025), King of Poland m. Emnilda
  • Mieszko II Lambert (c.990-1034), King of Poland m. Richeza of Lotharingia
  • Casimir I “the Restorer” (1016-58), Duke of Poland m. Maria Dobroniega, daughter of St Vladimir, Prince of Kiev and Prince of Polotsk
  • Wladyslaw I Herman (c.1044-1102), Duke of Poland m. Judith of Bohemia
  • Boleslaw III “Wrymouth” (1086-1138), Prince of Poland m. Zbyslava, daughter of Sviatopolk II, Grand Prince of Kiev and Prince of Polotsk
  • Wladyslaw II “the Exile” (1105-59), High Duke of Poland and Duke of Silesia m. Agnes of Babenberg
  • Richeza of Poland (c.1140-85) m. Alfonzo VII, Emperor of All Spain
  • Sancha of Castile (1154/5-1208) m. Alfonso II, King of Aragon
  • Alfonso II, Count of Provence (1174-1209) m. Garsenda, Countess of Forcalquier
  • Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence (1198-1245) m. Beatrice of Savoy
  • Eleanor of Provence (c.1223-91) m. Henry III, King of England (1207-72)
  • Edward I, King of England (1239-1307) (see previous table)

It can be seen that all royal descents for the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios are through the female line, and moreover no claim is made that the head of the Royal House is the senior heir-general of any royal ancestor. Some claims rest upon illegitimate descent. Lastly, the current Head was adopted for the purpose of heirship rather than being the biological son of his predecessor.

The basis on which the Royal House can claim to be the dynastic representative of its royal predecessors is therefore restricted to those predecessors where headship could devolve both in the female unrestricted line and to illegitimate and adoptive kin.


[i] As of 2020, its head is Ivonka Survilla. It claims the title of the oldest extant government-in-exile, although since Royal Belarus developed from a common root, it would have an equal claim to that distinction. It should be noted that the Rada BNR awards a number of Orders and medals, including the Order of the Pahonia, the Order of the Iron Knight, and the Partisan Medal.

[ii]  Philip Marshall Brown, Sovereignty in Exile in American Journal of International Law, no. 35, 1941, pp. 666-668.

[iii] Information on the Byzantine Emperors is taken from The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991. The descent is based on the research of Christian Settipani in Nos ancêtres de l’Antiquité, Étude des possibilités de liens généalogiques entre les familles de l’Antiquité et celles du haut Moyen Âge européen, Paris, Editions Christian, 1991.

[iv] Anna and her son Konstantinos are referenced in (1) Kaloustian, S. Saints and Sacraments of the Armenian Church. (1959), p. 17, Fresno, California: A-1 Printers and (2) Koushagian, Torkom. Saints & Feasts of the Armenian Church. Translated by Haigazoun Melkonian. (2005), p. 5, New York: Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).

[v] The identification of the parentage of Basil I is based on N. Adontz: L’age et l’origine de l’empereur Basile I (867-886) [Byzantion 8:2 (1933) 475 and 9:1 (1934) 223] and C. Settipani, op, cit.

[vi] Leo VI was either the son of Basil I or the illegitimate son of Michael III. However, he was adopted as heir by Basil I and reigned with him from 870.

[vii] Norwich, John Julius (1993), Byzantium: The Apogee, London: Penguin, ISBN 0-14-011448-3, p.113.

[viii] See Settipani, op. cit., pp.6-7.

[ix] Settipani, op. cit., p. 4, citing Chaume, M. (1925) Les origines du duché de Bourgogne (Dijon), p. 447 note 2.

[x] Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 187

[xi] Schwennicke, op. cit., Tafel 11. See also Adair, Penelope Ann (2003). Constance of Arles: A Study in Duty and Frustration. In Nolan, Kathleen D. (ed.). Capetian Women. Palgrave Macmillan.

[xii] Schwennicke, op. cit., Tafel 11.

[xiii] For discussion of her ancestry see Le Jan, Régine (2000). “Continuity and Change in the Tenth-Century Nobility“. In Duggan, Anne J. (ed.). Nobles and Nobility in Medieval Europe: Concepts, Origins, Transformations. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ISBN 9780851158822, p.56, notes 14, 57

[xiv] In April 1226 Princess Joan obtained a papal decree from Pope Honorius III, declaring her legitimate on the basis that her parents had not been married to others at the time of her birth, but without giving her a claim to the English throne. Her mother is referred to in her obituary in the Tewkesbury Annals as “Regina Clementina” but there is no evidence she was of royal blood. King John had her brought to England from Normandy in 1203 in preparation for her betrothal.

[xv] His complete known ancestry can be found at retrieved October 2 2020.

[xvi] See (i) Peter Clement Bartrum Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400 (1973), vol. 7 p. 447 and fn. 2. (ii) Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: 2nd Edition, Vol. III, 2011, p. 426; and (iii) Gary Boyd Roberts The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993, p. 305; and (iv) John Edwards Griffith, Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families with their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire and other parts, W. K. Morton & Sons, Horncastle, 1914, pp. 169, 230; and (v) The Genealogist, London, Spring 1980, vol. 1 no. 1, p. 82. Both (vi) Lewys Dwnn, Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches Between the Years 1586 and 1613, Llandovery, William Rees, 1846, vol. 2 pp.175, 278, 280, and (vii) the Peniarth Manuscripts (128D and 134B) also mention Llywelyn, illegitimate son of Dafydd ap Llywelyn, and his son Cynwrig (or Cynveloc). See also Darrell Wolcott Osbwrn Wyddel Of Cors Gedol, retrieved at October 1 2020, citing the Pentiarth Manuscripts 128, 282b, “There was also a young lady called a sister of Osbwrn who, by her marriage, must have been born near 1265, and was probably a daughter of Osbwrn.  Her name isn’t recorded, but she married Cynwrig ap Llewelyn…that Llewelyn being a base son of Dafydd ap Llewelyn Fawr. Cynwrig, then, was the son of a first-cousin of King Llewelyn ap Gruffudd.”

[xvii] He is included in Peter Bartrum’s genealogy at 1.png retrieved October 1 2020.

[xviii] For him and his descendants see the detailed account at Howard Jenkins (1897) with contemporary additions by James A. Quinn and Elfed Owen. Descendants of Ievan known as Evan Robert Lewis: The Evans family of Gwynedd, Pennsylvania retrieved from October 1 2020.

[xix] He was his wife’s cousin, being the son of Hugh ap Griffith (1648-1700), son of Griffith ap Evan (1628-post 1700), son of Evan ap Robert Lewis who is number 31 in the table above.

[xx] See retrieved October 1 2020.

[xxi] A referenced genealogy for Nancy Chenoweth and her immediate ancestors is provided at retrieved October 1 2020.

[xxii] Referenced genealogy at Allen Public Library Genealogy Center retrieved October 1 2020.

[xxiii] Referenced genealogy at Allen Public Library Genealogy Center retrieved October 1 2020.

[xxiv] See obituary at retrieved October 2 2020.

[xxv] Cokayne, George Edward (1936). The Complete Peerage, edited by H.A. Doubleday and Lord Howard de Walden. IX. London: St. Catherine Press. pp. 596–9.

[xxvi] Cokayne, op. cit., pp.380-5.

[xxvii] Cokayne, op. cit., pp.380-5.

[xxviii] Richardson, D. (2011). Kimball G. Everingham (ed.). Magna Carta Ancestry. II (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1449966381, pp.206, 254. Her brother was Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk.

[xxix] In some sources (erroneously) given as Matilda. Her ancestry is given ar History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 22 July 2019. Her brother became Bishop of London and then of Lincoln.

[xxx] Welford, R., ed (1884). History of Newcastle and Gateshead: 14th and 15th Centuries. (Vol 1, pp.298). London: Walter Scott.

[xxxi] Burke, Sir Bernard, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. London: Harrison and Sons, 1894. Vol II, p 2176 and Brayley, Edward Wedlake, A Topographical History of Surrey. London: Tilt and Bogue, 1841. Vol II, p 85. For her death, see Bloxam, R. N. The Church of All Saints, Ockham, Surrey. Archaeological Collections Relating to the History and Antiquities of the County. Guildford: Surrey Archaeological Society. Vol. XLV, p 34.

[xxxii] Burke and Brayley, opp. cit.

[xxxiii] Brayley, op. cit., Vol. II, p.85 “Katherine Weston dau. of Thomas Weston [of Chipsted, Kent], a twin with her brother John married John Lennard, of Chevening, Kent, 1st Prothonotary of the Common Please, Their son Sampson married Margaret Fynes, who succeeded her brother Gregory as Baroness Dacre, he dying without issue: from them sprang the Lennards, Barons Dacre.”

[xxxiv] See retrieved October 1 2020.

[xxxv] She was descended from Henry I of France and his wife Anne of Kiev.

[xxxvi] See genealogical chart The six Barons Baltimore and their royal ancestry retrieved from October 1 2020. Her birthdate is given in some sources as c.1527. It is possible that she was born before the marriage of her parents.

[xxxvii] His older brother was George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore.