In 1589, the Sejm of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations established the royal holdings (Crown lands), called Economijas, of Šiauliai, Hrodna, Alytus, Brest, Kobrin and Mahilioŭ in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, Šiauliai started to function as a royal Economija only in 1619. At this time, it was the largest and richest royal holding in the grand duchy. The article deals with the relatively closed community of the Šiauliai Economija in the second half of the 17th century. Its unusual administrative system, with its relatively abundant community records, makes it possible to trace and discuss the following issues: how the local government had functioned and how it maintained relations with the community; how the local community and individual members used and dealt with decisions by the Lithuanian central government; what rules of communication applied between different actors, the Lithuanian central government, the Šiauliai Economija government, and the local community.
The Žemaitijan nobility of the 15th to the 18th centuries included several heraldic groups: a group of local origin; Polish coats of arms; personalised Polish coats of arms; and coats of arms that were imported/adopted from other countries. This article focuses on the second and fourth groups, which include coats of arms that could be described as ‘imported’, ‘foreign’ or ‘alien’. The article aims to discuss the prevalence and use of these coats of arms in the heraldic tradition of the Žemaitijan nobility of the 16th to the 18th centuries. The adoption of Polish heraldry was already evident in the first half of the 16th century. The Horodło coats of arms entered the heraldry of the Žemaitijan nobility. Also, Polish coats of arms were brought to the country by Polish noble families. The number of those who came to Žemaitija from Germanspeaking lands was very small, and this meant that their heraldic sources were not abundant. On the other hand, surviving heraldic sources indicate that these newcomer families usually only used their own coats of arms.