NĂSTUREL (HERESCU)
 1389 (Wallachia) Noblemen of Ilfov and primarily of Bucharest, bans from father to son

Among the oldest and greatest Romanian noble families, the Herescu or Năsturel family played an important part in the history of this nation, its origin and that of the Basarab princes being closely interwoven. (Noblemen of Ilfov and primarily of Bucharest, Bans from father to son; note Mateiu Caragiale)
Speaking about the beginnings of the city of Bucharest, colonel Papazoglu referred to a tradition of this nation: “One of Romanians’ biggest tycoons, NĂSTUREL by his name, while looking for a place to build a church (I’m not sure whether he was count Henrih or HERÉ NĂSTUREL, whose name is borne by the Hereşti estate on the way from Bucharest to Olteniţa), found the most beautiful location on the Damboviţa’s left hill, were the famous town of Pinum once stood, with a view in the valley over the big lake of Broşteni and the forest surrounding those two big hills. On that hill Năsturel built a Holy Church under the patronage of Annunciation on Buga’s estate, which had started to be populated with the noble families moving from Târgovişte. The church exists even today, under the name of “Dobroteasa”, in Văcăreşti Street. Behind the church Năsturel built large mansions, the ruins of which lingered until 1855, then they disappeared” (Around 1450). 0.
The old estate of that family is Hereşti, which we’ve mentioned above and which gave the name “Herescu” to the members of the Năsturel family. D. Xenopol says that during the rule of Mircea the Great, the latter “ sent two envoys to Poland in 1389, boyars Manea and ROMAN HERESCU, who, while crossing Moldavia were joined by Dugoiu, envoy of Petru Muşat, ruler of that province, and thus the three of them headed for Poland to see Vladislav Jaghello. Mircea struck a bond of friendship with king Vladislav, providing for mutual aid, against the king of Hungary…” (ISTORIA ROMANIEI, vol. II, p. 95). The envoys are evoked by Doghiel in Codex Diplomaticus regni Poloniae (vol. I, p. 597), naming that boyar “Roman Heritzki”.
A boyar “FILEA OT FIEREŞTI” is mentioned in 1568 together with his wife Stanca and his brothers Partenie and Neagoe. Undoubtedly, they are members of the Hereşti and Năsturel families, given the specific name of Fierea or Hierea. ŞERBAN, the chancellor of Fiereşti (or Hereşti, it’s all the same), is proved in 1622.
Under the rule of Mircea the Shepherd (1546-54), the chronicle makes the first mention of UDRIŞTE NĂSTUREL who died in battle. No sooner had Mircea acceded to the throne than he started killing the boyars; thus “he slaughters Coadă the Magistrate, Drăgan the High Steward, Stroia the Spatharus, Vintilă the Equerry and many others, tormenting them for their fortunes. The nobles who escaped death fled to the Hungarian land, where they raised an army. Two years later, they waged war with Mircea in Periş and ruling prince Mircea defeated them, Udrişte Năsturel and BanTeodosie losing their lives”. (See Constantin Căpitanul, Chronica I, p. 176 and Xenopol, Istorie, vol IV) (1547).
This descendant of Năsturel Herea of the 15th century had the following successors:
RADU NĂSTUREL, the boyar of Fiereşti, as a document from 1620 calls him; in 1624, an old man, he was High Chancellor. He had three children:
LADY ELINA, ruling prince Matei Basarab’s wife and lady of the country. Her brother:
ORESTE or UDRIŞTE NĂSTUREL of Hereşti, the High Chancellor, was one of the most learned men in the country in his time. He greatly assisted his brother-in-law ruler Matei, in important state paperwork, also running many of the monasteries built by the latter. He also manages the first printings that started out for the first time in the country in Govora, promoting religious writing. He translated into Romanian the book that remained a manuscript “The Life of Our Fathers Varlaam and Iosofat”. He was initially a chancellor and then GREAT BAN under Matei Basarab’s rule (1633-54). His noble palace is located in Bucharest, in the suburb that was subsequently named after him, “the Udricans”, and where he built, next to his large mansions, St. Friday Church. (St. Friday Church is built by Băleni, despite all that; n. M.C.)
His younger brother was SENESCHAL CAZAN NĂSTUREL, High Subprefect in the capital Bucharest.
Great Ban RADU NĂSTUREL, Udrişte’s son, was High Chancellor in 1669, and after 1674, 80, 81, Ban Grigore Ghica became Ruler in 1673: “right away did they send message to Grigore Băleanu, so that he might know he was ruler now and that he could catch chancellor Radu Creţulescu and Şerban Cantacuzen’s brothers, who were in Bucharest. And Gheorghe Băleanu arriving at night, they gathered the court’s secretaries in charge of correspondence, the captains, the servants and the nobles that happened to be there, Radu Năsturel and others, and as they got together, they sent Radu Năsturel and the servants, going round their houses and summoned them to the court…” All of Cantacuzen’s followers were imprisoned in the tower and Băleanu, Năsturel and Leordeanu’s party was highly influential under Ghica’s rule; but when ruler Grigore Ghica was ousted: “Băleanu and his son-in-law Hrizea together with Neagoe Secuianu the Magistrate, Radu Năsturel the Ban and Staico Buxianu the Cup-Bearer, foreseeing the future rule of prince Duca, started fleeing north, towards Piteşti, taking along Constantin Ludescu the Purveyor all the way to the Argeş monastery, while Băleanu, his son-in-law and Neagoe the Magistrate crossed the mountains in Sibiu; and Radu Năsturel and Staico fled to the mountains. And so, Duca acceding to the throne on St. Nicholas Day in the year 1674, Constantin came to tell him everything he had been through, and then Năsturel and Staico also pledged allegiance (Cronica Anonima, Magazin Istoric. V, 13)
Documents of 1681 and 1679 also name Radu Năsturel Great Ban. Starting with 1674, the documents of the court make mention of “FIERESCU the Treasurer”. Ban Radu Năsturel had two sons, one of whom, Toma, is mentioned around 1663-1665; the other one:
Seneschal ŞERBAN NĂSTUREL HERESCU, mentioned and documented as seneschal by the sources in 1703, and purveyor in 1713; in 1717 he is mentioned as Lord Steward among the nobles of the princely court. We sometimes find him only as Şerban Năsturel, some other times just as Şerban Herescu. His son was:
CONSTANTIN NĂSTUREL the Great Ban in 1757; in 1731 (May 30th) he was Great Cup-Bearer, his signature being found next to those of other boyars at the princely court. He repairs the Dobroteasa church in Bucharest: “300 hundred years following boyar Năsturel’s death, Constantin the Seneschal, son of Şerban Năsturel the Great Ban, seeing that the church founded by his ancestors was derelict, he restored it in 1730 (check the stone engraving above the church door) and left a woman who was said to descend from that illustrious and noble Năsturel family in the care of his relatives that lived in the houses behind the church until 1840.” (Col. Papazol, Istoria oraşului Bucureşti, p. 7)
RADU HERESCU NĂSTUREL, his son, is mentioned before 1799 as cupbearer. His son was:
General CONSTANTIN NĂSTUREL HERESCU (born in 1798, died on December the 30th 1879, Bucharest) is the last member of the family who had the rank of Great Ban (and one Constantin; n. M.C.). In 1823 he joins the Russian army, serving as officer in a lancer regiment. Back home in 1827, he was appointed Alexandru Ghica’s adjutant. Treasurer under prince Bibescu’s rule; during Ştirbei’s rule, he enlists again, being appointed Great Ban and army Spatharus. He set up a fund accounting for half of his fortune that was to be used for awards as legacy to the Romanian Academy.
On the family tomb in St. Friday church in Bucharest there is a very interesting inscription featuring the family tree, which we shall transcribe as an annex to the history of this family. There are four sides of the marble column following the weapons etched in stone, bearing the engraving in golden letters:
“The Năsturel family descend from the Romans: they indulged in the rank of counts bestowed on them by the Emperor of Austria Louis I in 1370, therefore the first member of the family was COUNT HENRIHI N. and his sons and grandsons who remained in Hungary and the traces of buiţaţii whom were left behind, bear the same name of counts: D. Ioan Năsturelu mentioned in 1661 in the peace treaty signed by Hungary with the Poles under Ioan Sobieski. One of Count Henrihi Năsturel’s grandsons, UDRIŞTEA NĂSTUREL, Count ILIE Năsturel’s son and Count Henrihi Năsturel’s great-grandson, Great Ban over the Banat and army commander back then, gets expatriated from Hungary as early as 1518. He died in 1526 and was buried at the Argeş monastery, being born in 1436. Settling down in Walachia, they also bought the Herăşti estate back then among many other estates, as shown by the legacies left behind by his great-grandsons to the Cotroceni, Văcăreşti, Pantelimonul and Gruiu monasteries, attested by the monastery papers, and were called Năsturel of Heresco ever since. They built their monastery of stone slabs on that estate in 1520, where the family blazon is engraved:
Two Romans hold a two-headed eagle. There is a lion standing on a cannon within the emblem, holding a cross in its paws, battling a snake rising against it, carrying the Latin dictum Honor et Patria.
This Udrişte Năsturel gave birth to Ban ION NĂSTUREL in 1524, who died in 1590, and who also had a son:
This Udrişte Năsturel gave birth to Ban ION NĂSTUREL in 1524, which died in 1590, after having a son:
Ban RADU NĂSTUREL, born in 1582, died in 1652. His son was:
Ban TOMA NĂSTUREL, born in 1628, made count…in 1664 by Leopold I, the Emperor of Austria, died in 1693, and he had a son:
Ban ŞERBAN NĂSTUREL, born in 1659 and died in 1731, and his son Ban CONSTANTIN NĂSTUREL, born in 1682 and died in 1752. The latter had a son:
RADU NĂSTUREL, born in 1750, who became Cup-bearer at his baptism and died in 1804, still cup-bearer, being… and a lonely figure due to his lust for high positions and posts at that time. His son was D. LOGOFĂTU CONSTANTIN NĂSTUREL in 1798, who served in the Russian army and participating in two campaigns against the Turks, he was granted kavalars and a golden sword for acts of bravery, and for the services to his country he was honoured with Turkish cavalry and the rank of Great Ban. “  
We’ve seen most of the members of the Năsturel family reiterated above, as they were illustrated in history, apart from those at the marginal branches of whom this genealogy makes no mention, marking some filiations incorrectly, as well as from information on the older members, of particular interest to this family who was perhaps the first family in our country ever to receive the rank of “count” (Graph) of the Holy Empire.

Năsturel of Hereşti, in Walachia: without enamel. In the background…with a lion in profile raised on a dismounted gun, with its mouth turned towards the right side of the shield, holding a cross in its paws with which it battles a monstrous snake on the wide band in the middle of the shield. The two-headed eagle of the Holy Empire holds the shield on its chest right in the middle. Two feudal warriors in full armour sustain it. Above, there is a helmet attached to the count crown, with a two-level tower on top of it. The dictum: Honor et Patria. Improvised blazon. (e.n. in French in original)

 Mateiu Caragiale (born in Bucharest on March 12/25th 1885, died in Bucharest on January 17th 1936), a foremost Romanian writer, poet and historian of heraldry.

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