MATEYA NENADOVICH (1777-1854), Servian patriot, was born in 1777. He is generally called Prota Mateya, since. as a boy of sixteen he was made a priest, and a few years later became archpriest (Prota) of Valyevo. His father, Alexa Nenadovich, Knez (chief magistrate) of the district of Valyevo, was one of the most popular and respected public men among the Servians at the beginning of the 19th century. When the four leaders of the Janissaries of the Belgrade Pashalic (the so-called Dahis) thought that the only way to prevent a general rising of the Servians was to intimidate them by murdering all their principal men, Alexa Nenadovich was one of the first victims. The policy of the Dahis, instead of preventing, did actually and immediately provoke a general insurrection of the Servians against the Turks. Prota Mateya became the deputy-commander of the insurgents of the Valyevo district (1804), but did not hold the post for long, as Karageorge sent him in 1805 on a secret mission to St Petersburg, and afterwards employed him almost constantly as Servia's diplomatic envoy to Russia, Austria, Bucharest and Constantinople. After the fall of Karageorge (1813), the new leader of the Servians, Milosh Obrenovich, sent Prota Mateya as representative of Servia to the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), where he pleaded the Servian cause indefatigably. During that mission he often saw Lord Castlereagh, and for the first time the Servian national interests were brought to the knowledge of British statesmen.
Prota Mateya's memoirs are the most valuable authority for the history of the first and second Servian insurrections against the Turks. The best edition of the Memoari Prole Mateye Nenadovicha was published by the Servian Literary Association in Belgrade in 1893.
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