[34a] PART TWO
A detailed and truthful account
of those events and occurrences
which took place in the years 1562‑1577,
after the eclipse of the Order,
the reign of Sigismund Augustus II in
and in the interregnum following his demise.
Livonians had now become vassals of the King of Poland in the manner described
above in Part One and when one allies oneself with a new sovereign and wishes
to avoid offending him, one must give thought and consideration to a number of
things, in this instance to the old and new treaties binding the Livonians to
the King of Poland, their closest sovereign and Christian neighbor, and
especially to that eternal and unconditional alliance against the Muscovite
which the legates of the Holy Roman Empire concluded with the King of Poland at
Pozvol, as mentioned above, after he broke off his campaign against Livonia.
They could, moreover, expect greater and more ready assistance from him, in
both winter and summer, by reason of the proximity of the two countries, and
thus better insure the defense of their ancestral lands which bordered on
to now His Majesty had been able to maintain peaceful relations with the raging
enemy everywhere except in
[34b] A Declaration of Hostilities
the Grand Duke of
We, born Ivan Vasilovich, one of God's
ordained governors of His kingdom and mighty emperor of all Russia, of the
lands of Moscow, Novgorod (Newgarden), Kazan and Astrakhan, prince and heir,
ever ascendant lord and conqueror, master of the province and country of
Livonia, hereby declare to you, Sigismund Augustus, present King of Poland,
with this our public letter, our displeasure, anger and eternal hostility. Up
to now we, and our now departed father during his own lifetime, considered you
a good neighbor, something of which you were never deserving. We are much
amazed that you dared attempt to seize the worthless and abject country of
[35a] The King of
to the Grand Duke's Declaration of Hostilities
Sigismund Augustus, King in Poland and
Grand Duke of Lithuanians, Russians, Prussians, Masovians, Samogithians, lord
and heir of the lands of Smolensk and Livonia, etc. Since you, born Grand Duke
of the White and Red Russians, have publicly sent us and our kingdom your
declaration of hostilities in which you direly threaten us, renounce all love
and friendship from now through all eternity, and do all you can to insure that
we will live and act in mutual enmity (all this according to your own letter),
we proclaim in reply that we likewise intend to beset your vassals and subjects
with fire, arson, artillery and all other weapons and instruments of war and to
plunder, devastate and destroy your land. Furthermore, we intend to put you to
flight and pursue you relentlessly throughout your entire country. In your
declaration of hostilities you proclaimed you would bring a coffin along with
you and your mighty assembled army and that you would not cease slaying and
shedding blood until either our head or yours was placed in said coffin. In
response to that I announce to you that we, along with all the forces at our
disposal and the help of God, intend to make our stand at
[35b] Now while the Muscovite was occupied with the King of Poland's lands in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Livonians could have rallied and recovered somewhat had not King Erik of Sweden once again and doubtlessly for the reasons mentioned above made threatening moves, and these even more serious than those he had earlier made against Reval and Padis. This was in spite of the fact that the King of Poland did everything he could, through dispatched delegations and other means, to dissuade King Erik, as a young lord who had only recently ascended the throne, from such undertakings and to move him to more peaceful behavior which would guarantee the security and prosperity of the poor Christians of these regions. But all one saw from King Erik were hostile designs: soon hereafter he invested the city of Pernau with an army around Whitsuntide, bombarded and stormed it, and in June captured it and forced it to surrender. Those people had placed their trust in the armistice and thus they had failed to provide the city with a sufficient garrison or means of defense.
following fall he also threatened the
To prevent the Swedish forces from gaining similar success at Sonnenburg on Ösel, the Duke of Courland admitted to that castle a few of Duke Magnus' men who, if need arose, were to announce that they were Danish subjects and thereby dissuade the Swedes from attacking. This was done according to a detailed, written stipulation, the original of which is still extant, that should this no longer be necessary then the persons installed in the castle would be withdrawn without any prejudice to the Duke of Courland or to the lord advocate, Heinrich von Lüninckhausen, surnamed Wulff, who as a former official of the Order also had an interest in the matter. The summary of the above‑mentioned
stipulation reads as follows:
These measures to meet the emergency
shall in no way prejudice or negate the rightful claim of the master and his
direct descendants, regardless of any other changes which might occur, to this
castle and its district. Rather, we commit ourselves to withdraw our officers
and men regardless of whether the above‑mentioned plan gains its desired
outcome or not. And all those who are in the castle's garrison, aside from our
own men, shall remain subject and bound as before to you, your descendants and
to the lord advocate. Thus these measures designed to meet the emergency and
agreed to by us both shall in no way whatsoever, now or in the future, result
in any prejudice or loss to you or your family. We do this all in good
Christian faith, without design or evil intent. We, Magnus, have had our seal
affixed to this document. Proclaimed and recorded in
(Magnus' own signature)
mentioned above, the King of Denmark had been receptive to the exchange of the
reorganized diocese of
But Duke Magnus, influenced by evil counsellors
absolutely refused and so the legates had to break off the negotiations. Yet at
this time the King of Poland was planning to send a legate, Sir Heinrich von
Dohna, to the
fall Duke Johan of
the wedding the duke and his illustrious and noble wife, Lady Catherine, born
of the royal Polish line, journeyed home by way
King of Poland's treasury was at this time so depleted on account of the war that it
would have been extremely difficult for him to have given his son‑in‑law,
the Duke of Finland, dowry money. Instead the king received several thousand
thalers from the duke and then both amounts were combined and the king
mortgaged six castles in
When von Artz learned what later happened to his lord in Finland at Turku (King Erik besieged and bombarded his brother and his wife in the castle, took them prisoner, brought them to Stockholm, and placed them in lengthy confinement), he seized this opportunity and conspired with the Muscovite, the Grand Duke. If the latter would grant him one of those mortgaged castles, Helmede, as his own hereditary fief, and defend it as such, then he would transfer the other five to him and place them in his hands.
Grand Duke did not long delay, but rather dispatched soldiers to implement the
plan. While one group of soldiers was allowed to enter Trikaten with the count,
the other group was driven off with artillery fire. Thus the would‑be
count was taken prisoner by the Germans at Trikaten and brought to the Duke of
Courland, the royal governor, in
Thus did the six mortgaged castles return to the hands and control of the King of Poland and this and other issues connected with them later led to great disputes between the two kingdoms.
[38a] The year 1563
February 15 the Russian conquered the mighty mercantile city of
great despondency arose in
the same time that Polozk was lost the blessed bishop of
Later the Lithuanian estates went with their forces to a new fortress they had recently built by the name of Vla. Here they encountered the Muscovite's commander‑in‑chief, Knez Peter Sitski (Susski), a man reputed to be the Grand Duke of Moscow's most worthy and skilled military commander. But they defeated and routed him and his forces in open battle. Sir Nicholas Radzivil, the Duke of Birse, etc., and Lithuanian commander‑in‑chief, an exemplary, intelligent and experienced man, directed the entire campaign with great skill and splendid judgment and with the mighty victory he achieved he far surpassed the above‑mentioned Knez Peter and proved to be his master.
Erik was now involved in plans regarding the city of
Royal Majesty, along with the Duke of Prussia, the
above‑mentioned Duke Christopher remained in the splendid fortress of
Treiden in his part of the diocese, that around Lemsal, after the withdrawal of
the Swedish forces. When he learned of the arrival in Semgallia of the German
forces which had been mustered at
On August 7 Swedish forces surprised and captured Karx (Kerckhaus), one of the castles mortgaged to the Duke of Finland. They had also besieged, bombarded and captured Hapsal on July 28.
this time the Swedish commander, Ake Bengtsson (Bensen), was in
Wiek with his army, bombarding the
On October 5 these forces also captured Leal, which the commander‑in‑chief,
the Duke of Courland, then turned over to the junkers of Wiek who had been
driven from their lands. They did not hold it against the Swedish forces for very
long, but were rather captured and taken to
Among the soldiers, and especially the foot soldiers, there was great hunger and deprivation and many of them had to subsist on cabbage stalks, but even so many starved to death and came to the end of their days.
the return march the above‑mentioned Heinrich von Dohna was mortally
wounded on October 28 by a Pernau musketeer who, along with several others, had
concealed himself in a thicket. He died of this wound at Gudeman's Creek, on
the last day of October at at night and was respectfully interred in the cathedral at
Grand Duke of Moscow had sent a grand delegation to
Dear God, how must those Russians have delighted in that and the sadistic Grand Duke must have chuckled in Moscow when the two Christian kings of Poland and Sweden, who the Dear God had ordained and appointed the protectors and guardians of His Christians of that area, fought each other to exhaustion. This later allowed him to deal with each in turn, at his own best convenience, sooner and with greater success, and to work his will.
[40a] After the above‑mentioned Mecklenburg marriage compact had been concluded between the Duke of Prussia and the Duke of Courland at Kaunas, Duke Johann Albrecht went with his wife, sister, and his eldest son to Königsberg and then on to the King at the Polish reichstag to discuss the freeing of his brother, Duke Christopher, and also the succession of his young son Sigismund Augustus to the archbishopric of Riga which had just now become vacant. The discussions regarding the release of Duke Christopher went so well that he would have been freed had not new and unforeseen events intervened to prevent it.
achieved similar favorable response to the other point as well, obtaining the
archdiocese for his son. He dispatched one of his generals from
The year 1564
the meanwhile the Duke of Prussia sent his trusted legate Friedrich von Kanitz
to the Duke of Courland informing him that if he were serious about the maiden
from Mecklenburg, then he would have to do something about it, present himself
in person at Königsberg, etc. He was reluctant to do so without first knowing
more and so, in order to avoid any offense or insult, he sent one of his
ahead in order to inquire as to the particulars. When the latter found good
will on all sides, he sincerely advised his lord to join him, which the Duke
did, arriving in Königsberg on March 8. There, praise God, the old, illustrious
When Duke Johann Albrecht, the maiden's brother, returned to Königsberg he was given a complete account of everything. [40b] He was more or less in accord and promised the other lords and his kinsmen support of their actions, all other things remaining equal.
else worthy of note took place in 1564 except
that the Swedish commander, Henrik Klassen (Heinrich Claussen), Knight
of Konckas (Kankas), recaptured the
Also a new prophet, or man of God as he called himself, but in reality a rogue at heart and a godless charlatan, a peasant from Ösel, set himself up in the church at Kusal (Kusel), usurping authority over those districts and proclaiming that no longer would Sunday be hallowed, but rather Thursday, since it, above all the other days of the week, had once helped God when He was in distress. And he was very well received by the Estonian peasants. One sees, may God change it, how well the people of these regions, and of the entire country, had been instructed and educated in the Word of God. The following song was sung of them and also of their rulers in general:
The Livonian peasant climbs a tree
and carves saddle and bridle for his lord.
He makes his boots and spurs
and he fills his silo with grain.
He renders the pastor his due,
yet he knows nothing of the Lord God.
Dear God, how will they answer for that,
those who have profited from the sweat of their brow.
Better had they gained nothing at all,
for they will be repaid with eternal damnation
and roast in Hell with the devil.
Margrave of Baden and his wife, the Lady Cecilia, arrived in Reval from
[41a] The year 1565
Erik still had the city and
The men in the castle were unable to assist their hard‑pressed comrades in the city with anything except gunfire. The former held the castle for six entire weeks but then, when they realized they could expect no reinforcements since King Erik was involved in a campaign against the King of Denmark, they surrendered on Whitsuneve, June 9, handing over substantial artillery, shot, powder and other materiel necessary to the defense of such a fortress against powerful foes.
the capture of the city and
That same summer the Duke went in person to Pernau and again launched his forces against the Swedes: four squadrons of horsemen and a few foot soldiers. There were several sharp skirmishes and the horsemen gave a good account of themselves, but they lost their commander, Casper von Oldenbockem. He was unexpectedly struck by a stray shot and died and was buried in Pernau. The horsemen then disbanded and dispersed here and there, like sheep gone astray when the shepherd is slain.
The following fall the Duke of Courland again went to the king, going first to Wolkonick in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and then on to Vilna. He discussed weighty matters with him and the latter returned Pernau to him as its appropriate lord and governor. He also gave him the new ducal seal and bestowed great honor and favor upon him.
The year 1566
was explained above how the Duke of Courland left Königsberg, having brought
his marriage plans to a happy conclusion. Several of the maiden's closest blood
relatives and kinsmen, her mother, brothers and others, were strongly opposed
and did not wish to allow the marriage to take place in light of the incredibly
great danger which the Muscovite and Sweden posed for the country. The
illustrious old Duke of Prussia, as the one who had made the promises to the
Duke of Courland, did everything he could to expedite and settle the matter. He
appealed to the King of Poland for assistance and the latter sent one of his
own emissaries, Sützlow von Messeluntz, along with the duke's own legates, to
the two princely and electoral houses of
Thereupon commissioners from both Prussia and Mecklenburg, Johann Heut, captain of Rastenburg, Baltzer Gantz, chief secretary, Werner Hän and Dr. Laurentz Kirchoff, were sent to Courland where they and the Courish officials inspected the properties which were to become the bride's own and concluded arrangements for their transfer.
Although it had been decided that the royal wedding was to take place in Königsberg on Shrove‑Tuesday of 1566, and although all the guests had been invited for that date, the groom was unable to appear then since he, as governor of Livonia, had first to drive away the Swedish forces which were once again threatening Pernau and thus insure the security of those districts. It was not until March 11, the Monday after the Second Sunday in Lent, at in the afternoon that he arrived in Königsberg. This had caused great discomfort for the old lord since he had been burdened for fourteen days with the visiting guests, along with all their prominent lords, knights and noblemen.
The King of Poland had also sent his illustrious legate, Sir Jan Kostka (Johann Kosska), the captain of Marienburg. But the latter learned that the Duke of Courland would be unable to arrive on either Quinquagesima Sunday or the following Sunday, the First Sunday in Lent, on account of the Swedish attack on Pernau. As a Catholic he was also uncomfortable participating in a wedding celebration during Lent, an inappropriate time. And so he took his leave and departed, though praising the Duke of Courland for placing the common good before his own interests. Let the public safety be the supreme law.
[42b] In spite of all this the royal wedding was celebrated in God's Name and after the completion of the festivities, which lasted a full fourteen days, the Duke of Courland and his wife were escorted as far as Memel by Duke Johann Albrecht, his wife, and Duke Franz of Saxony. They rested, bade each other farewell and then sadly took leave of one another. The latter returned to Königsberg while the former went to Goldingen in Courland where they were formally acknowledged as the land's resident sovereigns in the presence of Duke Magnus of Holstein, the legates from Prussia and Mecklenburg, i.e., Abraham von Dohna, Friedrich von Aulaken, Joachim Rohr, and Melchior von der Lühe, as well as by the knights and noblemen of Courland.
As mentioned above, the Duke of Courland was the country's royal governor, but he did not permanently reside among the people of Transdüna governing their affairs, for he neither could nor wished to neglect his own interests in the Duchy. The people of Transdüna sent some from among their number to His Royal Majesty to respectfully request an administrator who knew the German language and who would permanently reside among them in their country. They recommended to His Majesty the lord starost of Samogitia (Samaiten), Jan Chodkiewicz. But what had become of the stipulation in their own rights and privileges that they were always to be governed and administered by a native German? Self‑interests usually overturn the kingdom.
His Majesty, who had no desire to institute this radical change, was not at all receptive to their request, but rather cautioned and admonished them in most gracious and fatherly fashion to well consider what they were doing and to think this most weighty matter over for several days. All this was in vain and so His Majesty responded to them and finally agreed to that which they had asked: he proclaimed and confirmed the lord Chodkiewicz the Livonian administrator of the royal principality of Transdüna and also appointed four castellans on the Prussian model. [43a] To a consenting party let it not be an injury and the outcome judges deeds.
the confirmation of the new administrator His Majesty is said to have wished
him well, saying "Lord administrator, I hope that you will not rule and
conduct yourself in the same way that another man ruled in
a result of all this the administrator entered
Although many fine, upstanding Livonians had no part in this, the above‑mentioned legates attempted to lend their request more credence and respectability before the king and the Lithuanian senate and so they proclaimed to the king and the estates many preposterous and unfounded things, things which they themselves knew were contrary to the clear and pure truth, as one of them later admitted and confessed. They asserted that the people of the archdiocese [43b] were abused and scorned by the men of the Order in violation of their ancient freedoms, sovereignty, law and custom, and that they were excluded from all general counsels; that the men of the Order exerted sole control over their castles, districts, lands and subjects, had heavily burdened them with debt, and had used these large sums of money to their own ends. Like jackdaws, they asserted, neither had they spared the possessions of the cathedral chapter or of the Holy Church, for when the people of Riga refused to tolerate the Catholic Church in their city, they illegally confiscated that church, as well as the bishop's palace, the buildings of the cathedral chapter and whatever else belonged to the church in and around the city. They also said that a number of foreign lords were going around Prussia plotting all manner of harmful schemes against the districts of Livonia and that to carry out these schemes Paul Wobbeser was to bring a thousand German horsemen into Livonia under the pretext of providing defense for the benefit of the country, and that the duke's entire government lent much assistance and cooperation to such schemes because of his ties to those foreigners by reason of proximity and marriage. They further asserted that the duke's entire government was in such accord with the above action that it not only divested the estates of the archdiocese of all their ancient and inherited freedom of election, sovereignty, privileges, castles and districts after they had lost their old lord and archbishop when he died, but that it also intended to remove the entire country from the control of the King of Poland and make it subject to a foreign lord. But such notions never entered the duke's heart, rather, until the end of his life and his departure from this world he showed himself to be of a very different frame of mind, as will be demonstrated below in detail.
Whatever possessions, lands and subjects of the archdiocese he mortgaged, he did in order to mollify the soldiers and to save the country from further setbacks and he did this not out of his own volition, but with the authority which the king had graciously bestowed upon him and in compliance with his commands. This was in accord with a special document conferring such power upon him, issued over the king's own signature and seal. The abstract of that document reads as follows:
[44a] Meanwhile may your lordship, as he has done up to this point, diligently apply himself to his duty and may he both retain his people in the faith and excite them to good hope, in order that they may guard their safety and their liberty according to their powers. And inasmuch as the danger in which they are involved is so close at hand that money cannot be sent from here by us to repel it in time, we therefore permit your lordship that he himself in the meantime in our name obtain money by mortgaging any castle, of those under our jurisdiction (if it cannot be done otherwise). We moreover pledge that we shall guarantee everything, which on this account your lordship has pledged on our behalf. Nor do we doubt that this desire of ours will be pleasing to the province itself, because truly we shall not omit to increase it at the first moment, if we see that this desire is also received and abetted with the alacrity and promptness of minds of those provincials.
Paul Wobbeser's assembling a thousand horsemen had a purpose and aim quite
different from that claimed by the legates from the archdiocese and that action
had been initiated not so much by the duke as by his men and counsellors who
had entered into discussions with the Prussian legates who, as mentioned above,
had been assigned to escort the Duke of Courland back home. The discussions
centered on the great danger posed to
In order to learn the hard facts of this matter, among others, the Polish commissioners closely questioned Funcke, Horst and Schnelle at Königsberg, asking them what they knew of the Duke of Courland and of whether he was part of any scheme or action disloyal to the king. They answered with one and the same voice proclaiming his innocence and saying that never in their entire lives had they ever known or suspected him of doing anything contrary to his fealty, honor, duty or responsibility.
regard to the mortgaged district of Grobin, the duke asked at his wedding that
it be given to him and his wife so that he might once again control it, no
insignificant district in
When the duke learned of the accusations against him, he took the above‑mentioned Paul Wobbeser prisoner after he had left Prussia, arrived in the country at Windau, and was about to travel over the sea to Ösel. He turned him over to the lord administrator Jan Chodkiewicz as representative of the king, something which he would not have done had he been guilty of any plots. And so he somewhat absolved himself of suspicion and remained in the good graces of the king which he had previously enjoyed. Let one be circumspect in his own actions and he need then fear no lies.
also accused him of having failed to inform the administrator of a proclamation
the people of Transdüna made, saying that they should place themselves under
the sovereignty of the above‑mentioned King Magnus, since he was a German
prince and since King Stephen was sorely burdened by the
groundless was the charge that the duke conspired with the city of
the present royal starost at
This same winter the Swedes were unable to achieve success against Pernau because of the arrival of the Polish forces and so they left that place and went to Ösel where they plundered Arensburg and made off with great spoils, most of which, however, were recaptured from them by the Poles.
The year 1567
Livonian nobleman and the Swedish field commander, advanced into the
This same summer around Whitsuntide Sir Jan Chodkiewicz, the starost of Samogitia and Livonian administrator, entered the country with a number of soldiers. He conducted all manner of discussions with the city of Riga regarding how they might, with certain stipulations and reservations, place themselves under the sovereignty of the King of Poland (although neither the Poles nor the Lithuanians had anything to gain from this), but he was unable at that time to persuade them. [46b] Rather, the Duke of Courland intervened and adroitly set matters right so that Chodkiewicz withdrew, unable to achieve the confusion and corruption of the poor people.
afterwards the Duke of Courland went once again to the King of Poland to
discuss weighty matters. This time he went to Rodischoff in
The main reason for this muster and assembly was to give support and encouragement to a number of prominent lords in Moscow, and in particular to some of the Grand Duke's closest blood relatives and kinsmen, who had (so it was said) agreed among themselves to desert the Grand Duke because of his dreadful tyranny and to go over to the King of Poland. Unfortunately the plan misfired when one of the conspirators (it was said to have been the Grand Duke's half‑brother) betrayed and revealed the plan. The Grand Duke, who had already been a dreadful monster, became even more ruthless, like the pharaoh of Egypt, and used his oprichniki to kill, slay, and totally eradicate and destroy all those conspirators, along with their entire lines and families, their wives, children, retainers, cattle, dogs, cats, indeed even the fish in their ponds, and everything they had, so that all memory and knowledge of them virtually vanished from the face of the earth.
[47a] Here I must not neglect to mention a remarkable event and atrocity of the Grand Duke which was told by the blessed lord palatine of Vilna and Duke of Birse when he and Duke Magnus were visiting the Duke of Courland at Bauske, as will be described later. He told how two brothers who had been dispatched, along with many others, to carry out the above‑mentioned executions and total decimations, came upon a beautiful dear infant lying in its cradle. It laughed at them and gestured in such a sweet and loveable way that they could not bring themselves to lay hands on the child and kill it as their orders called for. The two brothers took counsel and agreed that they should spare the child and entrust it to their sister, swearing her to absolute secrecy. And this is what they did.
however, when the dispatched executioners, the oprichniki, returned to
The Grand Duke, like sly old Reynard the Fox, acted as though he felt compassion and as though he thought they had acted properly. Like King Herod he asked to see the child that he might adore it and when it was brought to him he took it into his arms and cuddled, kissed, and played with it. The two brothers were overjoyed and were convinced that they had acted properly in saving the child.
is the custom and way of many Russians: whenever they present a friendly
facade, whether it be through communiques, delegations or otherwise, then
something dangerous will soon follow. On the other hand, when they snort, rage
and threaten, one need have no fear. [47b] It is just like the normal behavior
among the apes and the panthers, for when the apes flee the latter and seek
safe refuge in the trees, etc., the panthers lie down under the trees, sprawl
out on the ground, hold their breath and play dead. Then the apes come down
from the trees, rejoice, celebrate their triumph, and are torn to pieces, since the enemy is not utterly defeated
before the victory.
before the two brothers knew what was happening, the Grand Duke seized a knife
unnoticed and stabbed the child three times in its heart. It immediately gave
up its little soul, collapsed, and was thrown out the window by the Grand Duke
himself and while he watched, the bears and dogs tore it apart and devoured it.
He also had the two brothers immediately struck down with sabers and slain.
Truly a remarkable tale, one worthy of note along with all the multitude of
other accounts of his dreadful and inhuman atrocities. It is said that one
member of that same family and line escaped the Grand Duke and is at the
present time in
[48a] The year 1568
manner of changes came about in the
Finally he received his proper due and was racked on four wheels.
Sten Eriksson (Stein Erichsen), the
two dukes' maternal uncle, an esteemed, intelligent and prominent imperial
counsellor, was treacherously stabbed to death and slain by a footman during
the surrender of the city when the uproar in
King Erik was imprisoned, the Imperial Council elected and confirmed Duke Johan
as the new king. He was then later crowned at
same summer, around St.James Day,
Swedish warships drove off several pirates from
A new governor, Sir Gabriel Kristiernsson (Christiernsen), Knight
of Mörby, arrived in Reval and the former governor, Sir Henrik Klassen, readily
and voluntarily ceded and yielded the city and turned the fortress over to him
in spite of the fact that he was not trusted since he had always enjoyed the
great favor of King Erik and also because just a short time before he had sent
Nils Dobbeler (Niels Dobler), a cunning and wily fellow, to take the castle of
Reval by surprise. Afterwards, too, Sir Gabriel Kristiernsson showed himself a
master of such tactics when he retook the
After these changes took place in Sweden, the King of Poland sent legates, Sir Erasmus Dembinsky, the canon of Cracow, and Iustus Claudius the elder, the royal secretary, to that kingdom to convey his best wishes to the king and queen on the occasion of their assuming rule and to express, as a father‑in‑law, his complete and fraternal devotion and friendship.
The year 1569
Taube and Elert Kruse, two prominent noblemen from the archdiocese of
these barons learned of the above‑mentioned state of affairs [49a] in
also used every conceivable means, everything they could possibly think of, to
win over the Duke of Courland, offering him all of
reichstag was held in
This incorporation of the Duchy of Courland and Semgallia into the
To these, i.e., the estates of Courland we in turn pledge defense by us and our kingdom and confirmation of all privileges, liberties, and immunities, granted by us to the same (such grants, nevertheless, not being opposed to the liberties of the kingdom) and we promise that these privileges, immunities, and liberties we are then going to renew, confirm, and redact into a fuller form when their lordship has guaranteed the homage owed to us and our kingdom, etc.
provisions of this third part were later fulfilled when the duke received his
fiefdom from King Stephen at the royal encampment at Dissena. At the beginning,
the estates in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania welcomed the arrangements whereby
[50a] If indeed contrary to our hope the estates of the kingdom of Poland do not wish to agree to the subjection and thus, with powers joined, to defend Livonia, according as the forenamed conditions stipulate, but Livonia will have been defended by the nobles of Lithuania alone in the prescribed manner, both then and now let it be considered to be attached to this grand duchy of Lithuania and united to it.
There is a proverb that says one tends to disregard fences when one has a good neighbor and that a nearby neighbor is always better than a distant friend, for the former is near at hand and quick to help when danger threatens, say when his neighbor's house is on fire, whereas the latter cannot arrive until it is already too late. It is similar to the tale of the two snakes which the Turk is said to have told the Polish legate
Sir Jan Lanski (Johann de Lasco). One
snake has one head and many bodies whereas the other has one body but many
heads. When both of them are in a thorn bush which catches fire, the snake with
the one head and many bodies can easily save itself and escape the danger. But
the other, the one with many heads and one body, first acts rashly and then
must stop so that the many heads may come together to confer and discuss how to
escape the danger. We Livonians have often experienced the same thing in our
dealings with the Muscovite. He is like the snake with one head and many bodies
when he launches his campaigns. The Livonians, with many heads and one body,
first hold landtage and herrentage and then bring word of the
impending calamity to
this same reichstag Duke Christopher
The year 1570
January 7 the
During this same time Duke Magnus once again greatly exerted himself, sending letters and legates, to see if he might not be able to make use of the then current situation and state of affairs in gaining the city and castle. But the people of Reval saw through his schemes and gave them no more credence than they had earlier given those of the Muscovite's decoy‑birds Taube and Kruse. He did, however, send legates to Claus Kurssel who graciously received and entertained them and it was agreed that Duke Magnus would send him, commander Kurssel, two hundred foot soldiers from Arensburg. This greatly aroused the suspicions of the Swedes and so they showed bravery and courage and did all they could to regain control of the castle before the two hundred soldiers arrived from Arensburg. They captured the castle on the evening of Good Friday, using a special stratagem which took the men in the castle completely by surprise since they were confident that the truce would last until Whitsunday. Nils Dobbeler and several rogues in the castle did their jobs well. The latter were bribed with money and thus persuaded to betray the others. Commander Kurssel and his men were taken prisoner during the night and [51a] the Swedes thus regained control of the mighty, royal castle, By the same arts by which something is acquired by the same arts also in turn is it lost.
The following May Claus Kurssel was tried at the castle on capital charges and sentenced to death along with three of his cohorts.
that Taube and Kruse, acting in the name of the Grand Duke and as his
representatives, were unable to persuade the Duke of Courland with their great
promises and generous offers, they went with these mountains of gold to Duke
Magnus, who received them most eagerly, in
spite of the fact that the Duke of Courland, acting as a good neighbor and
concerned in‑law, had sent legates to him on Ösel most earnestly advising
him and warning him not to trust the bloodthirsty tyrant, for no one had ever
fared well who had allied himself with that tyrant hoping to find refuge and
safe haven with him. One should recall what he and his predecessors had done
repeatedly to their own people, people of their own language, customs,
ancestry, race and name, in particular to the people of Novgorod whom they
expelled from that city, in
spite of all their promises and assurances, and forced to resettle many miles
beyond Moscow, making them build them a new castle and city which is still
today known as Sklavenburg or Kloppigrod, the
stronghold of slaves. Then
friendly and neighborly appeals and admonitions were received contemptuously
and the legates were dismissed, being told in rude fashion that one should not
be too curious about another country's affairs, nor should one lend his sickle
to another man's harvest. Moved
by the impassioned and insistent pleas and entreaties of the junkers, women and
maidens who had been displaced and driven off their lands and who swore by all
that was holy that in the case of the Muscovite everything that glittered was
gold, Duke Magnus departed [51b] in Lent and arrived in Dorpat on Maundy‑Thursday.
On Whitsunday he travelled to
At this time the Muscovite also released to Duke Magnus many Germans who had been taken prisoner and led out of the country. In doing this he merely hoped to better bring more of them into his snares and capture them. The pipe sounds sweetly, while the fowler is decoying the bird.
Magnus, well provided and greatly honored as the Grand Duke's vassal and
liegeman, returned with his men to
this same time the
negotiations conducted by the Holy Roman Emperor, the King of France, the King
of Poland and the Elector of Saxony resulted in a peace agreement between
King Magnus and his assigned war commissioners, Taube and Kruse, as well as other counsellors, piped a sweet and charming tune during the entire period of the siege, [52a] but the people of Reval had no desire to dance to it. Rather they defended their city with daily sallies and skirmishes and conducted themselves in a fashion well befitting fine, honorable men. Like the Romans, they were willing to spill their blood for the good of their nation. For this reason and since the siege was not progressing according to plan, the "kingdom" fell into disarray and the "king" used Taube and Kruse to extol himself in the hopes of achieving some success.
The year 1571
so the Russians had to abandon this long siege of the city of
in this year, on May 24, Ascension Day, there was a stupendous conflagration in
After the withdrawal from Reval King Magnus and his men stayed for a while at Oberpahlen, but since a kingdom such as this was unable to furnish provisions and other essentials for such a large number of soldiers for very long (the kitchens and cellars were inadequate to the task), these horsemen were billeted here and there among the poor peasants of the parishes and districts. By a fall of the lot the diocese of Dorpat was assigned to the two cavalry masters Reinhold von Rosen and Hans von Zeiz. [52b] They and their horsemen were to remain billeted there until further ordered.
Unbeknownst to Zeiz, Taube and Kruse reached a most secret agreement with Rosen to wrest the city and the entire district from the hands of their lord, the Grand Duke of Moscow. This then would be their way of showing their proper gratitude for all the various great favors and kindnesses he had shown them! Thus reads the solemn oath they had sworn to the Grand Duke:
To the most illustrious, invincible, almighty prince and lord Ivan Vasilievich, lord of all the Russians of Vologda (Wolladimarsch), Moscow and Novgorod; emperor of Kazan; emperor of Astrakhan; lord of Pskov (Plescow); Grand Duke of Smolensk (Schmolentzky), Tver (Tawrsky), Jaroslaw (Jurgusky), Perm (Pernsky), Viatka (Watzky), Bulgarsky, and other provinces; Grand Duke of Nizhni Novgorod (Newgarden im Niederlande), Chernigov (Cernikoffisky), Polozk (Pollotzky), Rostov (Rostoffsky), Pereslav (Gerelsloffsky), Belozersk (Bellesersky), Obdorsk (Obdorsky), Starsitz (Uradsky), Londinsky and more; master of all the lands of Siberia and the North; lord and heir to Livonia; heir and ancient successor to many other lands in the East, North, West, etc., I, Johann Taube, and I, Elert Kruse, swear and promise on our lives, fortune and blood to truly, loyally and justly serve you, said Imperial Majesty and young emperor and sovereign, at land and at sea, in recognition of the royal and imperial favors and appointments you have bestowed upon us. We swear this on our hope that God preserve our bodies and souls temporally in this life and eternally in the life to come. We will also assist Your Imperial Majesty and your imperial successors in everything which might promote the latters' advance and prosperity and, insofar as we are able, impede, avert and prevent ruin. Should we act to the contrary in this and all other matters or plot any treachery, then may our bodies and souls be beset by fire, water, sword and all pestilence. Nothing shall absolve us of this, neither our own penance and confession, nor any Christian, priestly, or spiritual authority. [53a] This we swear on our fervent hope that God and His Holy Gospel preserve our bodies and souls.
But their trick failed and the cavalry master Rosen was overwhelmed by the Russians and he and a number of horsemen were slain, hacked to bits and mutilated. The others thanked God that they had found an open gate. If they had taken the other cavalry master, Hans von Zeiz, into their confidence and not insisted on having the honor, glory and booty all for themselves, things might have turned out better for them and they might have succeeded.
Then the Russians immediately set upon the poor, innocent townsmen, along with their wives, children and entire households. They stormed and plundered their homes and piteously slew young and old alike. This slaughter and pillage lasted three entire days. What a heart‑rending sight this must have been every Christian heart can easily imagine for itself, especially the poor little school children, who were not spared but rather all inhumanly slain, slaughtered and butchered as their classes filed from the school toward the church.
Taube and Kruse, who brought about this piteous slaughter when their coup failed, fled the scene and hastened away to the King of Poland. There they were not only graciously received, but also, as mentioned above, they were made barons and lords and were richly endowed with lands and subjects as well as provided with ample means of support.
Also in this year there was incredibly great famine, starvation and suffering in the land, the likes of which no one in this region had ever before experienced, and several thousand people died. It is absolutely monstrous and dreadful to hear, but parents did not even spare their children born of their own bodies, but rather slaughtered and devoured them. The Duke of Courland and the people of Riga acted in Christian fashion during this time and kept many of those people alive even though they were not their own, but rather strangers. [53b] Thus the country, and especially Reval and its environs, was beset and afflicted by all of the three supreme plagues ‑ three words of five, six and seven letters ‑ famine, pestilence and war.
Also during this year commissioners of the King of Poland, i.e., the lord administrator Jan Chodkiewicz, the castellan Felix Auctus, and the cupbearer, Jan Lesniowski (Johann Liessnouffsky), were sent to the city of Riga where they once more conducted negotiations with the townspeople and were so successful that the city sent its legate to His Imperial Majesty to most respectfully terminate their subservience to him and to report that the city was now totally resolved to place itself under the sovereignty of the King of Poland, completely and without any conditions such as those which had been contained in an earlier proviso.
the time of the above‑mentioned slaughter and blood bath at Dorpat King
Magnus was still at Oberpahlen with his men‑at‑arms and two
squadrons of horsemen under the command of the cavalry masters Johann Maydel
and Heinrich Boisman (Bausmann). At this same time, Jürgen (Georg) von
Tiesenhausen of Randen's horsemen, he himself having fallen in the Dorpat
slaughter, were in the district of Weissenstein. They were in the
King Magnus knew less than nothing of the Dorpat affair and was quite innocent of it. Nonetheless, because of all manner of suspicion and danger he decided he could not safely remain and so he went to Arensburg on Ösel, there to stay for a while to see what course matters might take. And so at this time his authority suffered a great blow and his horsemen were dispersed.
this same period the horsemen of Jürgen Farensbeck (Georg Farenssbach) returned
The year 1572
May of this year the Muscovite sent 1,000 of his Russians and several Germans
July 7 of this year, at
in the afternoon, the King of Poland, Sigismund Augustus, blessedly passed away
the end of this year the Grand Duke entered
In his Rhythmus de excido Livoniae Tilman Brackel gives a noteworthy example of the brutalities and atrocities which the Muscovite is said to have committed against a maiden, some women and others as well during this same campaign, not far from Narva. He describes it as follows:
The tyrant seized without cause
a pious maiden, two women,
and some men,
and subjected them to torture.
He had a large fire made
over which he had them all roasted.
But when the maiden was led to the fire
and caught sight of the tyrant
in his supreme brutality and cruelty,
she spoke to him in a bold voice:
"Here you stand, tyrant, observing
my torment with great glee.
But remember and do not forget
that when the Son of God comes in judgment
He will decree a punishment for you
and will subject you to pain and torment.
I and these other children of God
will see you in the hands of the executioner
and we will rejoice when we see
your suffering and eternal torment."
With that she calmly
subjected herself to death
and in true faith commended
her soul to everlasting life.
This maiden gives me a bold heart and courageous faith and one can easily
compare her to the holy, brave and steadfast martyrs Ignatius, Polycarp,
Laurence, Blaise, the little maid of
The year 1573
After the capture of Weissenstein and after
the Muscovite committed dreadful atrocities upon the Swedes and Germans,
burning, boiling, roasting and smoking them to death, he
withdrew with one group of his army to
the third Sunday after Easter, April 12, King Magnus was married at
The wedding itself was said to have been conducted with all the pomp, splendor, and decorum proper to such events, [55b] but the celebrations, spectacles, dances and other amusements which preceded and followed it were so indecent and repulsive that chaste ears and eyes could scarcely bear to witness them These things which were performed for the Germans were actually a blessing, for they enabled them to bring back home news of some aspects of life and demeanor at the Russian court. The Grand Duke himself was so jolly and intoxicated at this royal wedding that he not only graced the ceremony with his own presence, but also provided a cantor, choir and choir master. He and several young monks sang the Athanasian Creed instead of the bridal song and he sang it so perfectly from memory that the other singers were unable to keep up with him, even though they were using a book. And so the whole performance was spoiled and he became so enraged at the poor monks that he took the baton with which he had been conducting and beat them over their tonsured heads with it so that one could see and recognize the red notes there. Such a fine teacher and school master! It was also his wont and custom, whenever he was in a splendid and untroubled mood, to sing a song of conquest and victory, describing how, when he was not yet twenty years old and had just begun his reign, he had conquered the two khans of Kazan and Astrakhan and subjugated and subdued them and their lands and peoples. A young abbot learned in the Bible was at the wedding and King Magnus' scholars conversed with him and asked why, in light of his knowledge and learning, he did not believe as they did. He answered like the parrot, saying, "Whose bread I eat, his song I sing." He also said that in spiritual and religious matters he was allowed to speak and believe only what his Grand Duke and the tsar of all the Russians believed and spoke. Even their consciences were bound and held captive, may God have mercy.
in this year Henry, the brother of the King of France, was elected King of
Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania [56a] at the reichstag in
The year 1574
On January 1 of this year a splendid Swedish army of horsemen and foot soldiers composed of Germans, Swedes and Scots under the command of Claes Akeson, knight, once again set out from Reval and moved against the Muscovite. They first besieged Wesenburg, but then had to withdraw in disgrace and defeat, having accomplished nothing. This was because of the great discord within the army, especially the fights and melees between the Germans and the Scots. All this took place before the castle and the Russians had a clear view of it from their ramparts, towers and walls and were greatly amused. The Swedes met with like disgrace before Tolsburg on the coast, fifteen miles from Wesenburg, when they attempted to storm and overrun the castle without artillery support.
June of this year, after the death of his brother, King Charles of France, King
In July Pontus de la Gardie, a Frenchman and a Swedish officer, took to the field with his army, but all he achieved in the districts of Fellin, Karx and Oberpahlen was the surprise and capture of Duke Magnus' privy counsellor Dietrich Farensbeck of Heimer. This army also dreadfully despoiled the poor, common people and drove off several thousand head of cattle. The Russians came following closely on their heels and committed similar acts in Wiek, around Lode, Hapsal and Leal.
On September 9 the men of
The year 1575
January 12 Claus von Ungern, the Danish governor of Ösel at Arensburg,
conducted negotiations with the German horsemen in the service of
About fourteen days before Shrove‑Tuesday the Russian returned totally unexpectedly and invaded the country. He swept past Reval, Padis, Lode, Hapsal, Leal, moved through all of Wiek and crossed the Gulf to Mone, Ösel and Sonnenburg; then he returned to the mainland and ravaged the areas around Pernau, Salis, Purkel, Burtneck (Burnick), Rujen (Rugen), Ermes and Helmede. In all these places he caused indescribable suffering with his pillaging, slaying, burning and leading away of many people and spoils. And something took place which, thankfully, had never happened before: some people acted as guides for the Russians and showed them the approaches to the blockhouse at Salis.
Shortly after this, in July, the Muscovite again moved against Pernau with a large army. He besieged, invested and bombarded that city. Although he lost many thousand men in a number of frontal assaults, the people besieged and beset in the city and castle were nonetheless forced to surrender to the enemy on July 9 since they were totally exhausted and prostrate and could expect no reinforcements. Soon after the capture of Pernau the Germans at Helmede, Ermes and Rujen likewise surrendered, [57a] deserting the King of Poland and placing themselves and those castles under the control of King Magnus. Purkel also needlessly surrendered to the Russians.
Muscovite field commanders, Knez Nikita Romanovich and
Knez Yuria (Jürgen) acted in
a most amiable fashion toward the people of Pernau when they took over the
city, something which had never happened before. They also allowed them to
leave unmolested with all their belongings. When some of them, e.g., Conrad von
and Melchior Fegesack, and others arrived at the
St. Laurence's Day Duke
lord administrator Jan Chodkiewicz again
took to the field that same fall with a number of Lithuanian and German
soldiers, hoping to wrest the castles of Helmede, Ermes and Rujen away from the
Magnus adherents. A short time before the castles had deserted the King of Poland
and needlessly and wantonly surrendered to Duke Magnus of
In November the
short time earlier the Holy Roman Emperor had sent his legates, N.N. and Daniel
to conclude an armistice in
I must relate a story which many an honorable man heard from the very mouths of
when they were asked how it was that the Russians could remain so obedient,
faithful and devoted to the Grand Duke even after he had raged and ravaged so
indiscriminately among his own subjects in
[58b] The year 1576
On January 27 of this year the Muscovite again attacked Wiek with a force of 6,000 strong and the castles of Leal, Lode and Vickel quite needlessly surrendered. This was after the two fortresses of Hapsal and Padis had surrendered, most dishonorably and wantonly, on January 12 and 18 respectively. Even that great lord was correct when he said of those and like people that in surrendering their castles now to one person and then to another they had used up all the fingers of both hands taking oaths and that if they were to take further oaths they would have to lie on their backs and use their toes.
Those mercenaries were in such good humor on the very evening the fortress of Hapsal surrendered that they held a farewell party with some women and girls and made merry, as though everything had turned out fine. A good spirit in an evil situation is half of the evil.
The Russian field commander, one Knez Yuria, who died there at Hapsal, was also amazed at this and said, "If we Russians were to so needlessly surrender such a castle of our Grand Duke's, we would despair of our lives, indeed in the whole, wide world there would be no place to hide." Such a thing comes about when it is not severely punished and when one fails to immediately put the perpetrators to death so that they will be unable to do it again.
mentioned above how a number of prominent lords and noblemen refused to
acknowledge the election of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II as King of
Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Aside from sending a few letters and
legates, the emperor scarcely concerned himself with the matter and showed
little interest in it. And so these dissidents proceeded to elect Stephen
Batory, the palatine of
In sum, the king was thoughtful, knowledgeable and extremely well spoken. His individual words were almost pieces of testimony since he was one who cared nothing for Italian fancies and outspreading Spanish hands. Once, when a prince was making too much of court etiquette on his behalf, he said, "I ask that your lordship sit. If it is not enough to ask, I wish to command and instruct." At a reichstag in Thorn on November 14 in the debate over liberties he publicly said, "I was born not in a stall, but in a palatial hall and I was born, and reared a free man, nor before I came into these lands were food and clothing lacking to me. Therefore, I shall love and preserve my liberty. God willing, I was chosen through you to be your king. I came here, with you demanding it and pressing me. Through you the crown was placed on my head. I am therefore your king, not a sculptured or painted one. [59b] I wish to reign and to command, nor shall I permit you to be the teachers of me or my councilors, but may you rather guard your liberties in such a way that they do not turn into abuse."
was he vain or susceptible to flattery. Once when he was at
In justice, piety and faithfulness and in war and peace
this age, o King, has no one like you.
Annoyed, the king added this distich and signed it:
This sycophant does not avail.
Let him be far away from me and also his false pen.
Make your own those things which are your own.
Do not take kings lightly.
were a number of other contenders, all of whom would have liked to have been
king, especially among the Italian princes, but
the Poles were not in the least interested. Thus Stephen, prince or duke of
Transylvania, was confirmed king before all others by the election, in spite of
the fact that he had been threatened with attack by the Emperor of Turkey, as
well as by the young prince of Sweden, who
had the strongest claim because his mother was of the Jagellonian line and who
even today refuses to cede his right of succession to the Grand Duchy of
Lithuania, proclaims himself heir to same and seeks to bring about its
incorporation into the kingdom of the blessed Sigismund Augustus. Some Poles
also suggested a native‑born king from among their own ranks. But the
Supreme Being controls the kingdoms of men and gives them to whom he wishes.
Just as King Erik of
this same time of the year a number of junkers from Korb in
November 6 Johann Büring seized the
This capture was achieved with an unusual tactic, ruse of war or cleverness. Büring sent several sleds filled with wood to the castle. The gate keeper carelessly opened the gate for them and kept it open and the forces lying in ambush in the thicket rushed through, shot the keeper and thus captured the castle. It was actually quite good for the country that Büring's attack succeeded, for if Kruse had continued to hold the castle, the Muscovite would have doubtlessly taken it during the above‑mentioned invasion, especially since he was particularly hostile toward Kruse. Nor did that which later befell Wenden, as will be described soon, happen to Treiden.
Thus ends Part Two in which are described the events and actions which took
place between 1562 and 1577 in
Endnotes to Part II
. See Duke Gotthard's assessment of the situation in August, 1562. QU, VIII, 339‑45.
The text of both declarations is in Vetera,
II, 713. The Russian forces captured Polozk in early 1563, then offered
Sigismund a truce. Georg Chodkiewicz went to
. Russow, p. 99; QU, VIII, 317‑19, 329‑37; Editiones, XXIV, 242‑256.
. Russow, p. 100.
. Wappenbuch, p. 167. He had been advocate
on Sonnenburg in 1560, and until his death in 1574 was governor of Kettler's
properties in Ösel and Pilten. His brother Georg founded a prominent family in
. Taube and Kruse, but Kruse objects to this popular belief, pp. 255‑56. Renner names Christian Schraffer "vir callidus et impostor," etc., p. 480.
The next year, while leading Prussian forces at the battle of Pernau he lost a
foot, dying two days later. His brother Abraham tried in vain to recover his
estates at Neumühle, Nytow, and Rodenpois in 1567 and went to
Catherine (1526‑83). Russow, pp. 101, 113. The marriage was celebrated on
Christmas Eve and Johan became a Roman Catholic. King Erik, who was at war with
. Sigismund's forces were being routed. Editiones, XXVI, 27‑29.
. The six castles were Helmede, Karx, Ermes, Trikaten, Rujen, and Burtneck. Weissenstein also belongs on the list.
He was illegitimate; probably from the
Russow, pp. 101, 113; Editiones, IX,
32‑37, XXXII, 81‑82, about rumors of the imprisonment; Fabricius,
pp. 477‑78. Their son, the future King Sigismund of
. He had no source of pay for his troops after Johan was thrown into prison. Von Artz knew that Erik had murdered many of Johan's supporters and that Sigismund had no money.
. Such deeds lead to such reward. Staden, pp. 100‑101, claims to have witnessed the execution.
. Russow, p. 104; this led to Kurbsky's fall from favor, because he had promised Ivan that he could occupy the castles through this treachery.
This is what Staden, pp. 101f., believed as he served in the Polish forces,
contemplated fighting for
. The golden apple, marked "To the Fairest", which Eris, the goddess of Discord, threw among the banqueting gods and which the Judgment of Paris awarded to Aphrodite.
Russow, p. 100.
. Staden indicates, pp. 60‑61, that the citizens surrendered against the wishes of the commander. A massacre of soldiers and Jews followed. A prisoner taken in the city, Albert Schlichting, says that up to this time no one really understood how cruel Ivan could be. Schlichting, p. 213.
. Hosti enim tanquam lupo occurrendum sive recta sive obliqua via.
. This implies the presence of all the major nobles with their armed retinues.
. Amissam esse civitatem ligneam, quae ea
facilitate posset recuperari, qua in Mosci potestatem venisset. Ivan's
forces were not that numerous. See Angermann, Livlandpolitik, p. 30, for a complete list of garrisons in
. Stämmler, pp. 21‑24.
. See Lenz, pp. 32‑33,
for competition between Poles and Swedes to take power in
. This was in February of 1564.
. A French adventurer in Johan's trust, who as governor of Alvsborg plotted to arrest the king, find Erik's hidden treasure, and put Karl on the throne. When the plot was uncovered, he fled to Karl but was later surrendered to Johan and executed in 1573.
. Editiones, XXIV, 268‑71.
. Sigismund wrote
King Friedrich from
. Albrecht, now seventy‑three years old and in poor health.
. The elder (1485‑1565).
. The meeting was at the end of June. Editiones, XXXII, 25 f.
. Anna, born 1533, daughter of Albrecht of Mecklenburg (1486‑1547) and Anna of Brandenburg (1507‑1567). Negotiations had begun in 1562. Henning and Georg von Tiesenhausen were sent by Kettler to make arrangements. Cruse, Curland, pp. 41‑42.
. Russow, pp. 102‑103.
. He was at Sonnenburg August 11.
. Russow, p. 103.
. They were
probably hurrying home in early October to report on the Polish‑Danish
. (1561‑1603). The effort to secure an archbishop for a two‑year old boy would be shocking even to contemporaries, but it had the logic of resolving the succession question and simultaneously putting off any change in the situation until the nominee came of age. The plan failed. In 1593 he married Klara of Pomerania (1574‑1623).
. Johann Albrecht
had named Christopher Bishop of Ratzeburg in 1554 whereupon the see was
secularized. Afterward he sought to do the same for
. Henning. Cruse, Curland, p. 65. As a reward he was given a golden chain with the princess' portrait.
. By Jost Clodt.
Klot, p. 65. The question under debate was
. The emperor Ferdinand died July 25 and was succeeded by his son Maximilian (1527‑76). Henning's failure to note this indicates of how little importance imperial help was now. On September 13, Sigismund Augustus summarized the year's negotiations with Ivan and efforts by Lübeck to secure access to Narva. Editiones, IX, 44‑46.
. Henrik Klassen
Horn (1515‑1595), who became commander of the Swedish troops in
. Russow, p. 104,
suggests the siege was long because the besiegers lacked artillery. Nicholas
Radzivil (the Red) crushed Shuisky's forces February 7 at Orscha (Ula). In
February of 1566 he was appointed Palatine of Vilna, holding that post until
. Also in Russow, pp. 104‑105. Both authors miss the point, mistaking the day with the god. Reference is most likely to a revival of the worship of Perkune, the god of weather and especially thunder, whom the Livonians equated with the Germanic god Thor, from whence derive both English "Thursday" and German "Donnerstag." For more on the indigenous religions of the area, see Wilhelm Mannhardt, Letto‑Preussische Götterlehre, (Riga: Lettische Literarische Gesellschaft, 1936).
. This is a common
theme of Reformation ministers and Counter Reformation priests. The
Christianity of the natives was superficial and unsophisticated. The
authorities, both German and Lithuanian, had concentrated on stamping out pagan
practices such as polygamy, child murder, and selling daughters (naturally also
the formal worship of ancient gods), but were unable to find priests who could
instruct the people in the faith. See Henning's Bericht...in Religionssachen in Kallmeyer, pp. 97ff. For the
Catholic reports on the nearest part of
. Der Eyfflendisch Pawr steigt auff ein Bawm,
darauff hawt er ihm Sattel und Zaum,
unnd machet davon Stiffel und Sporen,
füllet seim Herrn den Kasten mit Korn.
This odd image is confusing. An alternate reading, if ihm is interpreted as reflexive, might be: "The Livonian peasant climbs a tree and carves himself saddle and bridle. He also must make his boots and spurs of wood, and yet he fills his lord's silo with grain.
. From Russow, p.
105. They are mentioned by Sigismund,
. Russow, pp. 105‑106..
. Russow, p. 108.
. Russow, pp. 106‑108.
. Especially the
marriage to the duchess of
. The Prussian
situation ‑ neutral though obliged to assist both the Livonians (through tradition
and geographical interest) and the Poles (Sigismund Augustus was the overlord
. Henning and Georg von Tiesenhausen. Cruse, Curland, p. 42.
. Conjecture for das leibgedinge...zu besichtigen, zu inventieren und in seine richtigkeit...zu bringen.
. Albrecht was then seventy‑six.3) Russow, p. 99; QU, VIII, 317‑19, 329‑37; Editiones, XXIV, 242‑256.
Jan Kostka von Stangenberg (1529‑1581) was actually castellan of
. Salus publica suprema lex esto. Followed by a ditty in German: "The highest law for every age
is that the common weal be broad and deep."
Apparently Franz II (1547‑1619). His bankrupt father, Franz I (1510‑1581)
sent his children abroad as much as possible (Magnus II to
Henning accompanied him, then went on to
Conjecture for zur Haussbringunge, in
beysein Herzog Magni von
Klot, p. 66. Jan Hieronim Chodkiewicz (1525‑1579), educated at
. Privatum commodum evertere solet imperium.
. Volenti non sit iniuria et exitus acta probat. Followed by a ditty in German: "What one wants
should not bother him greatly.
The outcome extols its author
when the end result is good."
See Lenz, pp. 41‑43, for
The king's reference may have been to 1308 when a rebellion led to the Teutonic
Chodkiewicz cleverly gives his own contemporary meaning to the king's words. In
. A reference to, but not a direct quote from, Mark 10:35‑37. When Jesus foretold his death and resurrection to his apostles, James and John came to him asking that he grant them special honors in paradise, i.e., that one should sit at his right hand, the other at his left.
. I.e., they had mortgaged them. See Henning's response below.
. Fabricius, pp. 470f.; the secularization of the church was confirmed by Chodkiewicz. Codex, 266‑67.
. See Chodkiewicz's instructions, letter from the king, Codex, pp. 257‑66.
Such an arrangement had existed for centuries between the Teutonic Knights in
For correspondence and reports on this complicated intrigue see De rebus ac statu Ducatus Prussiae tempore
Alberti Senioris Marchionis
Brandenburgensis (ed. Adolph Pawinski.
. Kettler in any case removed his chancellor, Jost Clodt, and obtained for him a certificate of Polish nobility which protected him from prosecution. Klot, p. 66; for the accusations, see Editiones, XXXII, 116‑117.
. Editiones, XXXII, 149.
. Kettler cooperated fully in the union of Lithuania and Livonia, December 26, 1565, which was guaranteed by the Privilegium Sigismundi Augusti, pp. 61ff.; Editiones, XXXII, 156‑61, 171, 179‑80, 184‑91, 202‑4.
. Regem non habemus nisi Caesarem, et nullum Dominum nisi Regem. For the constitutional arrangement, see Stämmler, pp. 34f.
. He established his family in ducal service.
. Proverbial, "Gut meinen, machet Leib weinen."
. From an old noble family. Wappenbuch, III, part 1, p. 37.
. Et vincit veritas, tandem bona causa triumphat.
Confirmed in a letter from Sigismund,
. Kurssel had joined the Swedish service about 1560. Kruse, p. 255, tried in vain to persuade him with bribes to betray his lord.
. Castellan of Dünaburg, died 1600.
. Commander of the Estonian nobles. Wappenbuch, 170.
. Russow, pp. 109‑110. The Polish emphasis on cavalry seemed to be confirmed in this and other encounters, where smaller Polish forces beat much larger infantry armies.
. Russow, p. 110; Fabricius, p. 478; see Lenz, pp. 44‑46, for more detail.
. Ivan IV. Henning refuses to call him Tsar.
Yury (1532‑1563) could hardly have been involved in this plot, but may
have been marginally involved in such an undertaking in 1554. Born deaf and
dumb, however, he was never of any importance politically. Peter and Iurii
Gorenski‑Obolenski had sought to flee to
The Oprichnina was a special court with its own police responsible to Ivan
alone. Ambitious minor nobles (often bearing distinguished names) used this
authority to break domestic resistance to the Tsar and to enrich themselves.
Ivan was undergoing great personal stress and displaying signs of mental
instability, especially paranoia. This led to a reign of terror with the
Oprichnina as the principal agent of destruction. An eyewitness account of
. Nicholas the Red.
Probably George and Ivan of Staritsa, and an unmarried sister, children of
Vladimir of Staritsa. They were all murdered by Ivan in October of 1569. This
story is, of course, apocryphal. The family was later rehabilitated so that
Ivan could promise one of
. Ante victoriam non debellatis hostibus.
Probably Basil, known to still be alive in 1573. Numerous other princes were
accused of planning to flee to
. Editiones, XXV, 22‑44, for discussions of extending the Polish‑Danish alliance by marriage between Magnus and one of the royal daughters.
. Anna, widow of Stephen Batory. Usula Renner, "Herzog Magnus von Holstein als Vassall des Zaren Ivan Grozni," Deutschland‑Livland‑Rußland, pp. 142‑43.
Ivan's demands that Catherine be married to him or be sent to his safekeeping
continued for years. Ivan's marriage projects were always ambitious ‑ he
even contemplated a union with Queen Elizabeth of
Magnus (1543‑1603) of Sachsen ‑ Lauenburg served as general in the
. September. Russow, pp. 111‑12; Fabricius, p. 479.
. Tutius est, praestatque Deo confidere soli quam se principibus credere mille viris.
Sten Eriksson Leijonhufvud (1518 ‑
. July 25.
. knüpkülichen. Kallmeyer explains this as "ein Kinderspiel, entsprechend dem noch jetzt gebräuchlichen, sogenannten Butterloch..." I know of no English equivalent for this. Shifting allegiances were traditional on Ösel. Remember Henning's earlier denunciation of "evil counsellors."
. Gabriel Kristiernsson Oxenstierna (1500‑1585) became royal marshal in 1569 and from 1582 royal counsellor.
. Klot, p. 79.
. Summer of 1560. See Kruse's letter of October 26 of that year. QU, VII, 126‑29. Also: Theodor Schiemann, "Johann Taube und Eilhard Kruse," Charakterköpfe und Sittenbilder aus der baltischen Geschichte des 16. Jhdts. (Mitau: Behre, 1871), pp. 1‑30; Ernest Seraphim, Geschichte Liv‑, Est‑, und Kurlands. II, (Reval: Kluge, 1896), pp. 26ff; Michael von Taube, Die von Üxküll (Meine, 1955), III; Staden, pp. 103f.
. Staden, p. 13, says that foreigners had to buy their alcoholic beverages from the Chancery for Ambassadors, p. 66, that foreigners employed by the tsar might keep a tavern ‑ an ignominious profession in the eyes of the Russians. Rude and Barbarous Kingdom, pp. 56‑57, on Russian drinking habits.
. Kruse, p. 270.
Sigismund Augustus was more eager to attract deserters than punish offenders.
Moreover, their plans to create an autonomous Livonian province under King
Magnus, had they succeeded, would have preserved the essential liberties of the
nobles and burghers in the country and established a relationship to the tsar
which like that enjoyed by their descendants after Peter the Great conquered
Perhaps from the Swedish delegation which had been sent to seek peace. Rolf
Dencker, "Der finnländische Bischof Paul Juusten und seine
Russow, pp. 113‑14. Erik died
. Kruse, pp. 270‑71.
Glinski was a Roman Catholic Tatar who had rebelled against Lithuanian
administration in 1506 and fled to
. Kruse, p. 255.
. A reference to Magnus.
Sigismund's description of the assembly, June 23, Editiones, IX, 104‑107; Stämmler, pp. 49f.; Lenz, pp. 46‑48.
This laconic description of the most important event in Polish‑Lithuanian
relations is one of the frustrating aspects of reading Henning. In effect, the
Lithuanians gave up their national independence and religious freedom in return
for Polish military aid against
. membrum regni, feudatarisque Princeps...Ducalibus immunitatibus, libertatibus, privilegijs, etc...ad instar Ducum Prussiae acceptiret.
. This quote, with minor changes, is in Codex, p.288.
. Lit., "Until after the cakes have already been blessed" (wenn die Fladen schon geweyhet), an allusion to the custom of bringing special, unleavened cakes and other foods into the church on Easter Day to be blessed by the priest.
. A humanist and reformer (1499‑1560), whose books were circulated widely. He was a favorite of Nicholas Radzivil the Black.
For example, at this moment Maximilian was sending a mission to
See Codex, pp. 278ff., for conditions
of the release. He returned to
. Russow, pp. 123-124.
. Magnus had sent a secret mission to Ivan in September, 1559; according to Staden, p. 113, Johann Taube had persuaded Magnus to come over to Ivan. Sigismund wrote to King Frederich about this January 20. Editiones, IX, 117‑20, 122‑26.
. Nils Dobbeler, a Swedish infantry captain, joined Claus Kurssel's band and recruited two outlaws to assist him. Providing drink for a party, he made part of the garrison dead drunk, then slipped down ropes to the cathedral compound. There they lowered ropes through the toilet shafts and brought up three hundred soldiers. Russow, pp. 128‑30.
. Iisdem artibus, quibus quid acquiritur, isdem etiam vicissim perditur.
. Balthasar Heller, Fromhold Düker, Heinrich Hacker. Russow, p. 130.
. Russow, p. 130; Kruse, pp. 258‑59; Fabricius, p. 479.
. Russow, pp. 125‑27, describes mass murders. So do Staden, pp. 26‑28; Horsey, p. 162; Kurbsky, p. 247; eyewitnesses from Sweden report brutal but less bloody behavior, "Paul Juusten's Mission to Muscovy," pp. 53‑65. It should be noted that Ivan's wife had just died, an event which made him unstable and dangerous; Schlichting, pp. 233‑37.
. castrum mancipiorum. Fletcher refers, p. 60, to Kolophey as bondslaves, the nobles subjected to the tsar as their serfs are to them.
Early July 1570. Russow, pp. 127‑28, 134. This was based on the betrothal
of Magnus to Ivan's nearest relative, Eufemia of Staresta. When she died in
1571, Ivan substituted her sister, Maria, and set back the wedding until she
came of age. Eyewitness account in "Paul Juusten's
. This release of prisoners was part of the three‑year truce concluded between Sigismund Augustus and Ivan IV.
. Fistula dulce canit volucrem dum decipit auceps.
. The siege lasted just short of thirty weeks. Russow, pp.130‑37. Kruse, pp. 258‑59.
. December 13.
The Peace of
. Archiv, VII, 272‑87; Lenz, pp. 60ff.
. Russow, pp. 134, 137; Kruse, pp. 258‑59.
. Russow, p. 137; Possevino, pp. 3‑5.
Confirmed by Horsey, pp. 160‑61, who arrived in
. See Russow, p. 138; Horsey, pp. 164‑66; Fletcher, pp. 17, 65‑7, 85‑90; and Staden, pp. 46‑47, 51‑53, 77; Massa, pp. 16‑20, with better information on this than the others.
. It is with bitter irony that Henning applies the term "kingdom" to the territories the Grand Duke granted Duke (now "king") Magnus the preceding year.
. Russow, p. 138, contradicts this statement with a comment that even the relatively poor region of Harrien could support 30, soldiers during the siege of Reval, and that nobles and peasants alike would not complain about that, if only that were the end of it.
Hans von Zeiz had recently arrived from
. See Russow, pp.140‑41, and Kruse, pp. 260‑65.
. Modern Gorki.
. Kruse denies the existence of such a document, pp. 267‑68.
. October 21. Kruse, pp.265‑66, has a long description. See also Russow, p. 141.
Not all went as smoothly as Henning suggests. Kruse had been captured by the
Russians in 1560, his infant daughter killed, and his wife and two other
children mistreated. He was held in a
Russow, p. 139, mentions an epidemic. Staden, p. 46, indicates that
While the suffering was undoubtedly great in the regions that were ravaged the
most severely, Russow does not mention cannibalism occurring at this time. The
story seems to reflect the propaganda of the era, which was designed to seek
sympathy and aid from the
. Limos, loimos kai polemos. Fames, pestis et duellum.
. Pocillator, a major office in the court
This does not seem to be accurate. Although Taube and Kruse went to
. Carl Henriksson Horn (1550‑1601), serving with his father, Henrik Klassen Horn, at this time. He was to serve Sigismund and Karl, to be governor of Reval, and died of wound received at the battle of Pernau.
. Russow, pp. 143‑44. This concluded a notorious scandal. In 1570 Tiesenhausen had discovered that his sister Barbara was pregnant by a handsome and well‑educated commoner, and that she wanted to marry him. So he had sewn her into a sack and drowned her.
See Russow, p. 142. "Paul Juusten's
Jürgen Farensbeck (1551‑1602) of Nelffi was a noble from Ösel who
subsequently led the Swedish forces until 1580, then served under the Polish
king, Stephen Batory. Russow, pp. 128, 142; Editiones,
XX, 67, with Batory's safe‑conduct; and Schiemann, "Jürgen
Farensbach, ein Bild baltischen Kriegerlebens," Charakterköpfe, pp. 49‑76. The practice of hiring German
troops to serve in
So powerful were the enemies to the south of
This exaggerated fear of Ivan's ambitions is typical of western political
commentaries for centuries to come. Ivan's plans were limited to
Knyszgn near Bialystock, his favorite castle. He left no direct heirs. Soon
afterward Ivan offered the kingless Poles peace, promising to give them
. Russow, p. 143, gives 80,000 men. The story gets better with repetition.
. Maliuta Skuratov, one of Ivan's favorites in the Oprichnina, died in the attack. Among Ivan's commanders was Ivan Petrovich Shuiski, whose father had led the first invasion in 1557 and whose son Andrei was to become a prominent general.
. Tilmann Brakels Christlich Gesprech von der großen Zerstörung in Lifland durch den Muscowiter u.s.w. (reprint: Dorpat: Laakmann, 1890).
. samt andern Männern und Gesellen. Gesellen, here, "fellows," is included merely to provide a rhyme with stellen in the following line and has not been translated.
. Russow, pp. 143‑46.
. Russow, p. 147; rumors reaching the imperial court reported victories and another siege of Reval. Nuntiaturberichte, (3rd), VI, 353.
. Fabricius, pp. 479‑80. Maria Vladimirovna was then thirteen. Ivan had murdered her parents and a sister in 1569. See Horsey, pp. 170‑71, for details of the marriage.
. Ivan's eating habits are described in Rude and Barbarous Kingdom, pp. 26‑27.
. Proverbial, wenn der Himmel voller Geigen, "whenever heaven [was] full of violins." Schlichting, pp. 254‑55, has similar comments about Ivan's banquets and ceremonies.
. Fletcher, pp. 110‑19, is equally uncharitable about the Orthodox priests. See Kurbsky, pp. 247‑285, for Ivan's oppression of the church.
Henry of Valois (1551‑1589), whose candidacy rested largely on the
assumption that he could persuade his brother, King Charles IX, to support
Three thousand Scottish infantry had been raised. James Dow, Ruthven's Army in
. Horsey, pp. 182‑84, notes that Ivan held prisoner twenty‑five Scots and three Englishmen. Horsey persuaded Ivan to take them into his service against the Tatars. He intimates that twelve hundred foreigners served in this army.
If he stayed, the twenty‑three year old king had to marry the fifty‑three
year old princess, Anna. If he left, he would become king of
(1520‑1585). A competent officer who had come to
. Russow, pp. 157‑58.
. Russow, pp. 158‑59.
. Russow, p. 161. Norbert Angermann, "Pernau in den Jahren 1575‑1582," ZfO, 19 (1970), pp. 744‑51.
Russow, p. 161. Magnus II of Sachsen‑Lauenburg (1543‑1603) had
closer connections to
. His sister Anastasia had been Ivan's first wife. He died in 1585. His grandson founded the Romanov dynasty.
. Yuria Tokmakov. See below.
. Wappenbuch, p. 212.
. August 10.
uncontrolled brutality extended even to his wife, Sophia of Sweden, who refused
to accompany him back to
. He had been promoted to castellan of Vilna in 1574.
. The Polish forces were too weak to resist. Stämmler, p. 55.
. The Livonians wanted Maxilimian to succeed the late Sigismund Augustus. Lenz, pp. 72‑75. The vast majority of electors demanded a king of Polish blood. There was no suitable candidate, but they kept looking rather than accept any German. Finally they settled on an Hungarian, Stephen Batory.
. In 1572. Hans Koblenzl Prosseck and Daniel Printz of Buchau. Printz made a detailed report of their reception to the emperor.
. Oderunt quem metuunt.
. I.e., Taube and Kruse.
. Non virtutis amore, sed formidine poenae.
Horsey, pp. 173‑180, elaborates on Ivan's reign of terror, attributing
the lack of resistance to the want of a leader. Other Englishmen marveled at
Russian loyalty. Rude and Barbarous
Kingdom, pp. 29‑30. Some historians believe that Ivan's madness was
real but exaggerated by his enemies. S.F. Platonov, Ivan the Terrible (trans. Joseph Wieczynski, introduction by
Richard Hellie. Gulf Breeze,
. Kurbsky is even more hyperbolic in his denunciation of Ivan's terror, pp. 287‑95, blaming it mainly on drunkenness.
. Tuulse, Die Burgen, pp. 195‑200, 274‑85, indicates that these key fortresses were out‑of‑date in an era of siege artillery, but were still formidable. Vickel, p. 121, was little more than a tower surrounded by wood and earth walls. Lode, p. 256, depended on water filled moats (which would not be very effective in January), and Leal's fortifications were three hundred years old, pp. 72‑73.
. quasi re bene gesta. Bonus animus in re mala dimidium
Yuria Tokmakov, governor of
Stephen (1533‑1586) had been a famous warrior under the command of Janos
. Anna (1523‑1596) was a Protestant, the sister of Sigismund Augustus. She was often ill, given to religion and acts of charity, loved court life, and beyond the age of childbearing. In short, she had little in common with the active Batory. Nevertheless, they treated one another with respect and became a model royal couple.
. Ut oculus videat et auris audiat, Deus facit utrumque.
. Eius singula verba fere singula testimonia
fuerunt, qui nihil curabat Italicas phantasias et Hispanicas pessolas manus.
"Outspreading" is our conjectural translation of the Latin pessolas, which we connect with the
medieval Latin noun pessulum, meaning
an "extension." An example of his conversation is in Possevino, pp.
29‑30, regarding the political and military situation in
. Rogo sedeat Illustritas vestra, si non satis est orare, ego volo imperare et mandare. Not knowing Polish, Batory commonly spoke in Latin.
. The Latin has a word play involving caula and aula.
. Non in caula sed in aula, et liber homo natus et educatus sum, neque antequam in has terras veni, mihi victus et amictus defuit, libertatem itaque meam amabo et conservabo. Deo volente, per vos in regem vestrum sum electus, vobis postulantibus et instantibus huc veni, per vos capiti meo corona est imposita. Sum igitur Rex vester, non fictus neque pictus, volo regnare et imperare, neque feram, ut mei meorumque consiliariorum sitis paedagogi, sed potius ita custodiatis libertates vestras, ne in abusum vertantur.
. Conjecture for in dasselbe gemach bey den Wilckemuten. Kallmeyer, p. 16, is also uncertain of the last word. He suggests "officer", possibly from the Polish wielmozny.
. Justitia, pietate, fide, belloque, togaque,
haec aetas nullum Rex tibi habet similem.
. Non valet hic Spitzhut, longe absit fictaque pluma.
Fac tua quae sunt, noli contemnere Reges.
. Alfonso of Ferrara, who had come to Cracow and impressed many with his generous spirit and overflowing treasury he promised to pay the national debt and pay the costs of running the country ‑ but he was too friendly to the Protestants.
. Sigismund, born 1566.
. Deus dat cui vult, et qui vicissim adimit cui vult.
. A description of the castle with pictures is in Tuulse, Die Burgen, pp. 41‑44.