Vukac Hrvatinić (? – 1378 at the earliest) is the youngest son of Prince Hrvatin Stjepanić and the brother of Vukoslav and Pavle Hrvatinić, and therefore appears on the historical stage later than his brothers. On the other hand, of the sons of Prince Hrvatin, Vukac left the most traces in historical sources, and it was primarily his merits that ensured the further strengthening of the Hrvatinić kindred on the Bosnian, but also on the wider political scene. In an undated charter, usually placed in the period from 1326 to 1329, issued by Elizabeta together with her son Ban Stjepan II Kotromanić, he was given the “Lord’s faith” with guarantees that he could not be convicted of betrayal before it was confirmed in front of the fourteen Bosnian nobles who previously appeared on the charter issued a little earlier to his brother Prince Vukoslav. Moreover, the subsequent development of events demonstrated that he was one of the most loyal noblemen to whom the ruling Kotromanić dynasty had a vassal relationship.
Over time, Prince Vukac Hrvatinić made his way to the very top of the Bosnian feudal elite, gathered around the ruler, which is best evidenced by the charter of Ban Tvrtko issued in 1357 to his nephew Prince Vlatko Vukoslavić, where he is listed together with Duke Purća as pristav and ručnik. Generally speaking, pristav is a person who confirms legal facts by means of a written or oral statement, while ručnik is someone who provides security or protection.
In the summer of 1363, Prince Vukac best demonstrated his loyalty to the Bosnian ban by defending the town of Sokol from a Hungarian attack. Namely, King Ludovic I, claiming a war against heretics as justification for this move, attacked the Bosnian borders from two directions, and with the majority of his forces began the siege of the town of Sokol in Pliva county, where he issued several charters in his camp at the foot of the town. Under the command of Ostrogonian Archbishop Nikola and Palatine Nikola Konta, the second part of the military detachment was sent to Usora where the siege of Srebrenik was initiated. Prince Vukac successfully defended the town of Sokol and the county of Pliva, but it is unclear whether he had been appointed as the king’s castellan there or whether he had come with military detachments to break the Hungarian siege. Be that as it may, the expressed loyalty to the Bosnian ban was further strengthened by the betrayal committed by another member of the Hrvatinić noble family, Prince Vlatko Vukoslavić, towards his senior, by ceding the town of Ključ to King Ludovic I in exchange for the town of Bršljanovac in Križevci county in the midst of the Hungarian offensive. Three years later, on August 13, 1366, ban Tvrtko rewarded Vukac Hrvatinić’s loyalty with a charter by gifting him the entire county of Pliva with the town of Sokol, which was previously the possession of the ruling Kotromanić family. In the charter, Vukac is addressed with the title of Duke, so it is assumed that he received it after the successful defense of Sokol.
The assumption that the aforementioned military success of Vukac Hrvatinić and the reward that followed was of great importance for the further strengthening of his family seems valid, especially his son Hrvoje Vukčić, who grew into the most powerful Bosnian magnate at the beginning of the 15th century. In addition to the above-mentioned county of Pliva, Vukac Hrvatinić certainly owned the county of Tribova, located in the valley of the Crna rijeka, and perhaps the county of Vrbanja with the town of Kotor. It is assumed that after the aforementioned betrayal of Vlatko Vukoslavić, committed against the Bosnian ban, his possessions also came under the control of Vukac Hrvatinić.
In historical sources, Duke Vukac Hrvatinić appears for the last time as a witness in the famous charter of King Tvrtko, which was drawn up twice in 1378 on April 10 and June 17. With this charter, which was issued on the occasion of the crowning of Tvrtko as king, the former privileges were confirmed to the Ragusans.
Little information is available regarding the private life of Vukac Hrvatinić. Ragusan writers Mavro Orbini and Jakov Lukarević, whose statements cannot be verified, claim that Vukac was married to a noblewoman who came from the prominent Ragusan Lukarević family. The only thing that is certain is that he had seven children, whether from one or more marriages remains unknown. All four of his sons are known by name: Hrvoje, Vuk, Voislav and Dragiša Vukčić, in contrast to his daughters, where two are known by name: Resa, wife of the Bosnian nobleman tepčija Batalo Šantić and Vučica, while the name of the third daughter is not preserved in the sources, but it is reliably known that she was married to the uncle of the Zlatonosović brothers, Dukes Vukmir and Vukašin.
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The Hungarian National Archives in Budapest (Magyar Országos Levéltár), signatura DL 56742.
Source of signature: Ječmenica, Dejan: “Povelja bana Tvrtka knezu Vlatku Vukoslaviću”, Građa o prošlosti Bosne 4, Banja Luka, 2011, p. 10.