The title of guvernadur ("governor", Ital. governatore) was used by the Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro, initially as the diplomatic office between Montenegro and the Republic of Venice, and later evolved into the counterpart to the Metropolitan.
Venetian diplomatic title
Danilo I allowed the establishment of the post "in order to appease the Republic of Venice", the office being held by a civilian governor whose main role was to protect Venetian interests in Montenegro.
There are conflicting views about who was the first guvernadur in Montenegro. Some think that the first guvernadur was Jovan Anthony guvernadur Bolica, "gouvernatore del Monte Negro" (1688–1692), crew chief of the military in the Republic of Venice on Cetinje. Montenegro's first guvernadur was Djikan Vukotic, whose son Vukajle refused to be first guvernadur due to the suspicion that his father was poisoning Venetians because they were dissatisfied with his work. Some historians believe Vukota Ozrinic was the first, while a state Vukota Vukotic, and some believe that the Vukajle Vukotic agreed to become guvernadur in 1711. Then came Stefan Kovacevic (Cuca) and Vukadin Vukotic (Cevo) (1739–1742). Guvernadurs were also established in Kuči, in Albania, which belonged to the Republic of Venice.
Montenegrin aristocratic title
Stanislav Radonjić was the first hereditary guvernadur.
Guvernadurs of family Radonjic, as a person with a definite political influence and effects were in opposition to archbishop's family Petrovic. The first guvernadur Radonjic was Stanislav Radonjic (1756–1758), then his older son Vukolaj I Radonjic (1758–1764), then his younger son Jovan Radonjic (1764–1802), and at the end of his grandson, Jovan's son, Vukolaj Radonjic (1802–1832).
Guvernadurs Radonjic from Njegusi and their followers are everywhere:
- are on the whole the highest authorities in the country, for all time of existence of guvernadurship;
- participate in the preparation of legislation passed in their time and their first signatories;
- lead a diplomatic mission and seek concluded international agreements, or promises from other countries to help Montenegro, working on their implementation:
- prepare to defend the country from external attacks and lead her own army to the battles of Martinici and Kruse, when working together with archbishop Peter I Petrovic;
- actively participate in project development (re)organization of the central administration and the adoption of documents on the unification of Montenegro and Boka;
- were the first signatories of the letters of resistance to Russian hegemony in 1804;
- Presidents of the Montenegrin authorities subsequent to the termination of guvernadurship.