SALOMON HENNING'S CHRONICLE
translated and edited by
Jerry C. Smith, William Urban and Ward Jones
Valdis Zeps, editor
for the years 1554 to 1590 A.D.
An account of memorable events
of the long Muscovite and other wars,
of the far‑reaching changes in the government
and social organization of
and of the reign of the last Master
and first Duke of
ducal counsellor in
With a Preface
in the year 1594 A.D.
[Ia] To the
illustrious, noble‑born princes and lords, Lord Friedrich (Friderich) and Lord Wilhelm, dukes of
The eternal, divine majesty, sovereign of all kings and princes, with particular forethought and great wisdom did Himself ordain and establish secular government, exalting the sovereigns of kingdoms and principalities far above other men so that they might be representatives and proxies for God, the ultimate liege lord, and so that they might in true knowledge of, and devotion to, God and our Savior Jesus Christ serve as the divine instruments of wisdom, justice and other virtues. Just as the beautiful order of nature ‑ the course of the stars and of heaven, the light of the sun, year and day, summer and winter ‑ is God's work and creation, so too is the social order in accord with divine law, whereby certain individuals rule their subjects as sovereigns and lords according to divine and other sensible custom, so that these subjects may lead honorable and upright lives. The rulers also protect and assist the pious and punish the disobedient and evil and thus preserve the general peace. God Himself ordained this so that men might recognize and revere God's wisdom, kindness, and justice in laws and judgments ‑ protection of the pious and punishment of the wicked ‑ and so that in peace and tranquility the true doctrine of God and of our Savior Jesus Christ might be widely propagated among human societies, so that many people might be brought to true knowledge of God, and so that an eternal church on earth might be established and preserved for God.
Just as the laws (which distinguish between good and evil) and the courts and judgments give clear witness to God's wisdom and justice, likewise is witness given to God's presence in secular governments by the fact that the beloved rulers and a few true sovereigns are preserved and protected [Ib] in a manner miraculous and beyond human hope in the midst of so many of the devil's destructive, evil and raging deeds and those of his minions and tyrants who attempt to devastate and overthrow everything. Everyone who knows anything of government and who observes the great changes occurring in the world must acknowledge and confess that secular rule is filled with miraculous and divine acts which give open testimony that God preserves the state, sometimes in prosperity and peace, sometimes in scarcity and unrest, just as in one year the earth is more fruitful than in others.
In states too some times are more tumultuous than others on account of the previously accumulated transgressions of the rulers and subjects. Ezechial, for example, did not have victories as magnificent as David and yet nonetheless God rendered him miraculous assistance, even though the enemies wrought great devastation throughout the entire country.
God entrusts His church to such God-fearing sovereigns, for they are the especially blessed instruments of God through which He restores the piteous lands, graciously heals the great devastation and restores and propagates public morals, justice, punishment of vice, fear of punishment, love of virtue, the church, correct dogma and other essential and beneficial gifts of the Almighty. As is written in Ecclesiasticus, "The power of the earth is in the hand of the Lord and in due time he will set over it one that is profitable." Whether this ruler succeeds is likewise in God's hand.
Just such a god‑fearing,
capable and laudable sovereign was the illustrious and esteemed prince and
lord, Gotthard (Gothardt),
Duke of Courland and Semgallia
When the arch beset the neighboring
provinces of the Transdüna (überdünisch)
year after year with constant attack, plundering, arson and murder and when
King Stephen besieged
Let us rejoice in the many obvious examples of divine presence, protection and grace during this pious and esteemed sovereign's difficult and often perilous reign and not only pay honor to the memory of this Christian and blessed sovereign, but also render thanks from our heart and soul to our Lord God who in a special act of grace chose him for the succor and salvation of wretched Livonia and of other downcast peoples, preserving him miraculously beyond all human hope. Let us spread the news of this extraordinary act of God among many people and also leave record of it for future generations, for God Himself commands in the Psalms: "This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the lord."
Indeed this blessed and laudable prince's entire life was a mirror and model of all Christian and princely virtues, a life in which there shone a true knowledge and trust of God and of our Savior Jesus Christ; a true reverence of God; good faith and steadfastness toward God and man; and a proper obedience to God. He not only sought to rule and guide his subjects in true awareness of God, but rather made his own self his starting point, having diligently heard, read, pondered and accepted in faith the pure doctrine of the Gospels. Through them the Holy Spirit guided him and brought him to a true knowledge and trust of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and comforted, preserved and strengthened him in the midst of so many great dangers, perils and trials of war. Thus was he able with joyous heart and mind to place his trust in God's presence, grace and protection and to rely on God in times of setback and defeat in the expectant hope of gracious succor and aid. For without this divine assistance it would have been impossible for his majesty to have survived the unbearably great attacks, dangers and perils and to have endured all in faith and patience. How often have the hearts of great and splendid princes in similar circumstances either renounced God altogether (as Pompey said to Cratippo after a lost battle: things fall out wily‑wily and there is no divine plan) or fall into despair and blasphemy of God (Saul, whom we mentioned above, after he had been defeated by the Philistines and disenthroned, said that God had disavowed him for all time.)
But David, Jonathan and this pious prince in Courland realized that the power of the earth is in the hand of God, which He gives to whomever He chooses and they knew that they owed obedience to God even if He occasionally beset them sorely, for as Peter says: "Humble yourself therefore under the mighty hand of God" which has the almighty power not only to punish and cast down but also to save and exalt. Paul says: "The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ."
Yet the unthinking, intoxicated, comfortable world does not understand how difficult it is to preserve this faith, humility, patience and peace of heart toward God through such travail. Yet David composed his most spiritual and consoling psalms under just such circumstances during the very period when he was being persecuted and beset by Saul for ten whole years, often attacked by other neighboring enemies and finally driven out of his own home and kingdom by his very own son.
difficult and often dangerous reign of this pious and laudable prince in
It is this splendid, blessed, supreme worship which your majesties now propagate throughout your entire land, not only for yourselves, but for your subjects, for your majesties know that God placed you in this authority and that rule is entrusted in a sovereign through His Word and Will so that the sovereign might make wide the gate in his lands for the entrance of the King of Glory, who shall live and be present in him and his subjects through His Word, Sacrament and Holy Spirit. He shall make them his dearly beloved children and heirs, indeed co‑heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ. This has all come about so that your majesties, acting in God's stead, might preserve the people in knowledge of God, virtue and peace ‑ a peace which is not to be used to insure a frivolous and complacent way of life, one given over to indecent joys and sinful lusts, but rather lead to an improvement of the churches and secular government.
His majesty, as soon as God granted some peaceful times and respite from the long and difficult wars, turned all his efforts toward laudable reforms and improvements of the churches and schools as evidenced by his published pastoral instructions which direct that the pure doctrine of the Gospels be preached in the churches, that false doctrines and idolatrous worship be forbidden and abolished, and that the Gospels, Cathecism, Lutheran exegesis, the Psalms and other hymns be translated into the vernacular for the benefit of your non‑german subjects.
He had superintendents proficient in both languages and other capable men visit all churches during a general inspection, implement the pastoral instructions according to the needs of each locality, inquire as to the doctrine and behavior of the pastors and congregations, admonish the people to listen attentively to the word of God and to memorize the cathecism, restore the old disused parish churches and increase their revenues, and, since the churches are too far apart, have new ones built. His majesty endowed these out of his own treasury and provided for all necessary and legitimate needs. He most diligently implemented this and whatever else was recommended by the inspectors.
His majesty commanded, subsequently, that a certain locality in the country be inspected each year by the supervisors of the pastoral reform and several times he himself was present during the examination of the non‑German populace. He presented those who had memorized their cathecism and hymns with money, cloth for clothes and the like to reward their diligence and to encourage others.
The pious Christian prince had begun
reforms of the churches and schools even before your majesties began your reign
after the great changes in governance in
As everyone knows, the dreadful
Muscovite war began shortly after
the castellan's return to
But he was abandoned by those from
whom he had the most right to expect assistance. In Judea, after King
Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Jerusalem and led the most prominent citizens into
captivity in Babylon, those remaining in the country, Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, Johann, son of Careah,
and Gedaliah, son of Ahikam,
began new feuds and wars among themselves.
So it was also in Livonia: the dreadful arch had conquered the most important
castles and cities along the border, led countless people away to captivity in
Moscow and advanced farther day by day and yet some rebellious inhabitants
renounced their proper sovereign, the master, and allied themselves with
another, one who later had the Muscovite proclaim him King of Livonia. On the
other side King Eric of
The extreme, pressing, irresistible
peril forced his majesty to come to terms with the Crown of Poland for the sake
of security. Thanks to the grace and favor of God things went well as long as
his majesty governed [IVb] the remaining provinces on
behalf of the Crown of Poland. Relative peace and tranquillity prevailed in
those provinces and the city of
Later some in Transdüna rebelled, like Rehum, Shimsai and Sanballat and desired their own governor. This new governor left the country as soon as the Muscovite invaded in force and abandoned the poor subjects in their peril and panic and let the Muscovite dreadfully murder them or lead them away into perpetual captivity.
However, these worldly events, the
Muscovite, Polish and Swedish wars in
During that Christian reign his
majesty not only exhorted his subjects to observe the proper, god‑ordained
form of worship by means of his princely edicts and through the instruction of
capable preachers, but rather also through his own example and that of his
blessed, royal spouse inspired them and caused them to love and revere the holy
ministry. As is written in Psalms, the best and most blessed state is where
"the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the
And in Psalms 47: "The princes of the people are gathered together, even
the people of the God of Abraham; for the shields of the earth belong unto God:
he is greatly exalted."
When Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah ruled, the
people had true religion, divine protection and justice and they saw how the
wondrous works of God miraculously preserved these rulers from their enemies
and brought protection and peace. It was a great glory to God that the rulers
were so pious, since the people came to know God and they saw that God bestowed
great blessings upon them on account of their god‑fearing rulers and they
praised these gifts with thanksgiving. So too did God cover and protect with
the shadow of His hand this haven for his church:
[Va] This prince was also wise in his conduct of the secular government, chancellery and justice system of his country. He himself, as far as was possible, heard the subjects and the most important cases. (Just as now his majesty's son, Duke Friedrich, follows his father's example and presides in person at the high court of justice.) He also on occasion pronounced strict punishments and yet he always tempered the severity of the law with mercy and kindness in keeping with Proverbs: "Mercy and truth preserve the king and his throne is upholden by mercy."
Just as in God Himself mercy and compassion shine brighter than all the other divine virtues (it is written that mercy prevails over justice and that the Lord's compassion transcends all his other works), so too in the case of the pious and godly princes who are God's deputies and (as Psalms calls them) gods on earth, administering divine decrees in God's stead, do mercy and kindness always achieve more in bringing the people to a knowledge of God, preserving peace and public morals, establishing justice, protecting the pious and punishing the evil‑doers, than does application of the strict letter of the law.
These are the good examples of God's law which the secular powers should set for their subjects, so that they might conduct themselves accordingly: to work untiringly in government, justice and war; to hear issues and either be reconciled or set matters aright; to protect widows and orphans; to severely punish evil‑doers; to valiantly fight for the Christian religion and the fatherland; to revere the proper worship, that most pleasing to God and much greater and more holy than ostentatious ceremony. If this is done then true knowledge and devotion to Christ will shine forth from your heart and God shall be merciful to you for the sake of His Son and you shall faithfully execute the duties of your position to the glory of God and in the service of justice.
This pious prince conducted the tasks of government which God set before him in just this fashion, following the light of his faith, to which also belonged trust in God, great diligence, effort and patience. Certainly one might have preferred to lead the peaceful, easy, idle life of a monk ‑ regardless of how strict the order might be ‑ than that of a prince, warrior and head of family!
this laudable and highly intelligent prince knew that true service to God is
something ordained by Him and assigned to each according to his own office;
that God has placed all manner of obligations on mankind so that in human
communities knowledge of God might shine forth; and that God desires that we
practice belief in Him and love of justice through our deeds. This laudable
prince followed the example of Ezra and the people of
Our Lord God also assigned to his majesty as loyal assistants bold, upstanding and loyal counsellors who loved truth and peace, and also some experienced men who were able to serve him with advice and deeds ‑ men who helped his majesty bear the heavy and difficult burden of government, both during times of peace and of war.
In his will his majesty also commended to the laudable young sovereigns and to their mother, his illustrious and highborn princess, old, experienced, capable and esteemed counsellors, respected men of the nobility such as the sirs Wilhelm von Erfferd (burgrave), Gerard Nolde of Hasenpoten, George Vivir (castellan at Goldingen), George von Tiesenhausen (chancellor), Berthold Butler (general), Salomon Henning, Christian Schröder, etc. These men also [VIa] faithfully shared the burden of government with him during his lifetime and were loved and honored by him as brothers. His majesty always conducted himself toward all servants and subjects like a kind, well‑meaning, friendly and good‑hearted father, rather than like a severe and cruel master. He demonstrated this with his words, deeds and many acts of kindness.
Plato says that the best way to govern people is not to command and order, but rather to let them see that the ruler himself does that which he expects and requires of them and makes manifest in his life, deeds and conduct.
Just so did this pious prince serve
as a shining example of all virtues for his family, household and entire
country. He diligently heard, read, pondered and accepted in faith the divine
teachings. He earnestly and daily prayed to God and exercised all virtues in
the true light of faith. He was truly and completely loyal and obedient to his
king, kind and gracious to his subjects, patient and diligent in all aspects of
government, and modest, circumspect and temperate in his private life. He loved
honor and good breeding. He honored as a Christian his marriage to the
illustrious, highborn princess, Lady Anna, born duchess of
God graciously and especially blessed the pious and Christian prince and his people and country with this devout, intelligent and praiseworthy princess, who was a true helpmate, comfort and crown of honor for her lord and husband and who was and still is the generous benefactor of the church and the poor, mother to the subjects and the country in general. Like the beautiful and charming saying of Ecclesiasticus: "The sun when it appeareth, declaring at his rising a marvelous instrument, the work of the Most High," so too is this Christian and capable princess a marvelous instrument throughout her entire principality, and not only a crowning glory for her beloved lord and husband, but for her entire country. She sincerely loved her beloved and pious lord and husband as her greatest possession and treasure on earth. Her conduct toward him was unfailingly filled with loving and humble respect and affection. She had eyes for him alone. She looked to him for all peace and joy. She happily and steadfastly provided him with all that was dear and pleasing to him. When the prince [VIb] was exhausted by the affairs of state or when he was downcast and depressed by these and other matters and concerns, she brought him out of his melancholy and refreshed him with sweet and charming conversation. Her dearest and happiest thoughts lay in him. It was of him she liked best to speak. Along with all this went her concern for her lord's health. She often gave evidence of this and never spared effort or travail in assuring her lord's well‑being. When conflicting reports influenced him or led him astray, the princess, like the sensible Abigail, or Placilla, wife of the great Theodosius, or Pulcheria, wife of Emperor Martian, respectfully and humbly reminded her lord and husband at some appropriate time of what was most beneficial to the glory of God, the flourishing of the church and peace, and unity among the country's estates. She was devoted to her own subjects and to those of her young lords and sons like the mother of the entire country. Now as well these subjects revere her kindness: she helps the churches and schools, gives generously to the poor and is a splendid treasure house of many virtues, which the everlasting Son of God, the shining sun of justice and the fountain and wellhead of all wisdom and virtue ignited in her majesty's heart and caused to shine forth to illuminate His divine glory and to comfort and benefit many other people. May God in His divine pleasure graciously preserve this praiseworthy princess for a long time to come for the sake of her young lords, her daughters and her subjects. May His divine light forever guide and keep her to the honor of God and the well‑being of many people and of the entire country.
In company with this laudable princess the pious and Christian prince educated the young masters and the daughters in all the virtues and in a true knowledge of and devotion to God and Lord Jesus. They improved the condition of the churches and schools in the entire land. Shortly before his demise he had the beautiful palace church at Mitau restored and at its dedication, after a Christian sermon was given in German, he had the young lord Duke Friedrich deliver an oration in Latin. This was a source of special joy and pleasure for the old father, the praiseworthy and pious prince, and for the lady mother. [VIIa] In a word, this lord's entire life was a model and mirror of all piety and princely virtues.
This pious Christian life ended in a
blessed Christian death, one reminiscent of what has been written of the demise
of King Christian III of
Since your majesties' father gave witness to divine grace in his life and death, we should all find strength in his faith. Your majesties, especially now that you have been appointed by God to assume your father's ducal government, should be heirs and successors not only to his land and subjects, but also to his Christian piety and other princely virtues. I also hope that this unadorned and brief account of the Christian virtues which shone in your majesties' father will be a pleasant and fitting guide and example for your majesties. You have indeed observed, treasured and honored these virtues in praise of God and out of respect for your father and you have followed his example in your own government by praying to God and placing your trust in Him and therefore have every reason to expect divine support and guidance.
God Himself commands in Psalms 78: "I will utter dark sayings of old: which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praise of the Lord and his wonderful works that he hath done." [VIIb] Doubtlessly it will be pleasing and profitable to your majesties, to all intelligent and pious people and to future generation that the following chronicle clearly records and recollects details of the astonishing and great transformations which took place during the reign of your father of laudable and kind Christian memory; and of the obvious, clear and splendid signs of divine providence and presence, both in the dreadful and great destruction which punished the country and in the way in which your majesties' father was protected and preserved in the midst of so many and varied difficulties, burdens of war and other all but unbearable travails. Your majesties and future generations in this and other countries can read this chronicle and have constantly before you, as in a mirror, examples of God's severe and unrelenting anger toward sin, an anger made manifest in the great punishments which befell this country. Reading it will awaken and strengthen in you an humble turning toward God and a proper fear of God, which recoils from sin out of fear of His anger, which in childlike awe of His wrath and justice avoids sin, and which with true humility is obedient to God and all His commandments.
Both the miraculous preservation of your majesties' father and of his land and people and the healing of the country's distress was not, contrary to appearances, something which was accomplished suddenly and easily. One must acknowledge that the ultimate salvation was God's fatherly grace, mercy and kindness, a God who heard your majesties' father and others when they fervently called upon Him in time of indescribably great danger and peril and who placed their trust in His divine kindness and aid in true faith, patience and hope. He protected them and finally rescued them from all peril.
Just as the holy and most laudable King David, anticipating the teaching of the Holy Cross, for many years placed his hope of salvation in God, giving an example to others and urging them to seek comfort in God (Psalms 34: "This poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles."), so too your majesties and others have an example in your father, who trusted in God, relied upon Him and who in return was miraculously preserved and protected by Him. In thanks to God for this kindness [VIIIa] he restored the true doctrine of God and of our Savior Jesus Christ and the proper, God‑ordained, blessed form of worship and to ensure that these things would be preserved for future generations, he wrote and published Christian pastoral instructions and instituted constant supervision and yearly inspections. He himself set a shining example of piety, devotion, patience and other Christian virtues for his subjects.
Doubtlessly your majesties will daily look into the mirror of virtues which was your father and follow his example, steadfastly upholding all that he did in praise and gratitude to God and diligently administering those laudable and Christian ecclesiastical reforms he began, governing just as he did, with propriety, kindness and wisdom, in the service of public peace, morals and justice.
Inaccurate rumors have been spread
about in this country and in others regarding the change of government in
Therefore all intelligent people would do well to admire the diligence and honesty of the noble and most honorable Salomon Henning, senior servant and counsellor of the esteemed ducal house of Courland, and to praise him for giving an accurate account of events in Livonia from 1554 to the present, most of which he was either directly involved in or witness to. He writes neither to flatter nor defame, but rather follows truth alone to the best of his knowledge. He has faithfully collected, recorded and published this chronicle of the major events from the above‑mentioned year (and of some earlier events) [VIIIb] to the Christian demise of his blessed lord, Duke Gotthard of Courland and the coronation of King Sigismund III of Poland.
I was asked to prepare a preface for
the chronicle and have thus respectfully written this essay in praise of the
illustrious and laudable prince and lord Gotthard,
Duke of Courland and Semgallia
Since all virtues and all laudable
Christian sovereigns are gifts from God, I give ultimate thanks to the
Almighty, the Father of our Savior Jesus Christ, for graciously granting poor
To the Most Illustrious
PRINCES AND LORDS
Lord Friedrich and His Brother Lord Wilhelm
Dukes and Lords Most Merciful in
It is a form of devotion pleasing to God that children mirror the virtue of their parents and pursue honorable deeds. You, being like your father, you, most illustrious hearts, brothers, you, hearts dear to the highest God, approve my memorial which I present, of the praiseworthy deeds of your father, a memorial which is also going to be a source of praise for you and yours. Felicitous brothers, you, renowned lights of your native land, be like your father, be Godlike (as you are).
Highnesses, farewell and farewell
Your most obedient,
To the Memory
of the Most Illustrious and Best
Prince and Lord,
Who was piously and peacefully called
from this life on May 17,
in the year 1587.
Piety will preserve the name and fame and glory of Prince Gotthard, who is resplendent with the eternal praise of his virtues, since indeed he, gleaming with illustrious benevolence and good faith and renowned in the gifts of the mind and of war and peace, through divine dispensation fell to the lot of our age. With him as leader, God mercifully mollified in Livonian territory the many evils, which, while the Muscovite enemy thundered, heaped up public losses in a time that resounded with woe. This best prince, diminishing these losses, with great danger, in mighty disturbances, in grim wars, restored the Maenalian world which was shaken by varying disaster and renewed the disturbed situation and the honor of our common life ‑ loving the word, by which we approach the stars, and learning, by which, since it is alive, life is fostered, and Themis, who gleams more beautifully than a beautiful star.
Therefore, prince Gotthard, the model of a good prince, worthy of a poem which will live, rightly deserves a eulogy, since he may be properly called the memorable gift and, through his illustrious deeds, the illustrious instrument of God. His highest praise was to know the highest parent and to behold the peoples subject to himself in peace and to adorn them with good works than which nothing is better for the world; that is, to establish churches, to foster schools, to nurture those who need nurturing and to destroy blasphemous religious worships like that of Achasides, so that the genuine knowledge of God, which alone offers salvation, might instruct minds and bless hearts so that prayers directed to the true divinity might rule hearts and tongues and so that the sweet reputation of good morals and the brightness of justice and the modesty of the righteous life might grow and flourish both in his own mind and in his scepter, for all citizens and for the nations bound to him by oath. This is greater praise, this is greater glory than the capture of Troy for a leader, for whom all the others adornments of mind have produced at the same time the favor of kings, nobles, and people: a varied experience with affairs, holy wisdom breathing its balsamy odor, a humane clemency worthy of a prince, a comeliness and august gravity without disdain, and a constancy standing firm against a thousand misfortunes. Turning aside a harsher fate and conquering by enduring, he was brave enough to pour out his sweet life for his country if the situation should so demand: but when Christ is the leader of a people, they are safe in the midst of arms. As a result of his life and rule piety, laws and learning, schools and the blessings of fortune await and adorn his descendants.
True is the honor, true is the praise, of the leader who offers such things. The highest rewards await such a leader in highest heaven. Often also on earth his glory follows the righteous and offspring enjoy the Piety and Faith of a parent.
knows a thousand ways and a thousand methods and arts of helping. Hence also
was the marriage of Prince Gotthard increased. By
this marriage he joined to himself a heroine who was provided with an excellent
dowry, and he declared her to be his own. She truly most beautiful in
appearance and most excellent of mind, Anna, descendant of the royal dukes of
brothers Pollux and Castor are bright stars on
To depend upon God alone and to firmly embrace Christ as the rock of salvation is the safest virtue and the true life: here the road cannot deceive anyone. Hence let us rejoice that Duke Gotthard gleams more brightly than the eastern light (Christ was his one hope and breath of salvation and God was his firm rock and the one life of his life; thus in the case of this man who trusted in God alone and strongly clung to him, his name was quite properly also an omen.) among the heavenly princes and blessed kings and that his pious sons flourish in their father's territory and are heirs of their father's virtue.
Let mutual concord make strong magnanimous brothers. Let true faith and heroic success encompass them, so that these ages may see that the descendants of Prince Gotthard have been increased by a long line and so that future ages may sing of them.
The ornaments and virtues of good leaders are worthy to be sung so that the present age may think about them and posterity may know them. God is the greatest prince of the world and the duke of dukes, and the king of kings. Let us vie with one another in offering prayers that He will give to the people princes worthy of affection. He establishes scepters when He wishes; He changes them and as the just claimer of lands, takes them away. He likewise protects excellent leaders and kingly heroines and He helps and strengthens the offspring of pious heroes. Thus Friedrich, most illustrious leader, presented as a successor to your father, you hold the renowned scepters of state and you continue the gifts of your father with praise. May your most excellent mother Anna, rejoicing that you are such, rejoice in her joys through Sybiline years. To her Piety is a concern and all things worthy of a hero. She was praised previously; by no means will she ever be praised sufficiently.
A wise and learned circle of noble men in our country is proving itself to be faithful to your father, our country and you, standing at your side and advising most correct courses of action. May they be prosperous while they are faithful both to our country and you.
O fortunate the leaders to whom the best things are dear, who join to themselves best hearts surrendered to Christ. They are men to whom eloquence, Themis and prudence are sources of praise.
May the omnipotent ruler of the lands and the supreme leader who, being the greatest, governs with eternal majesty, who sees to it that at the end of the world heroes will be present for those who are dying, some to some, others to others, whose gift is heroic prosperity, prosper in good health you, Prince Friedrich, you endowed with gifts of mind and body together with your country and your entire household and your dear relatives and may He direct you in good fortune.
VIRTUE LIVES AFTER THE GRAVE
[1a] PART ONE
The major events of the years 1554 to 1562,
during the princely reign of
the last Master of the Order in
first Duke of
No one is unaware of the fact that the Muscovite has constantly and from the very beginning been an archenemy of these Livonian provinces as well as of all Christendom. Thus the inhabitants of this humble land have been in a constant state of war with that barbaric and monstrous foe ever since the time when they first conquered, settled and christianized the country. Now and then both sides exhausted themselves and concluded armistices in order to somewhat rebuild their forces, but even then the armistices were either short‑term or not observed for very long. Matters stood thus until the year 1501 when, through God's gracious support and assistance, the Master of the Teutonic Order in Livonia, Walther von Plettenberg of illustrious memory, defeated said archenemy in a pitched battle in which almost 40,000 Russians died on the field. This great defeat and the considerable losses forced the enemy, the grandfather of the present Muscovite, to acquiesce to a long‑term armistice of fifty years. This armistice was also carefully observed and maintained during the lifetime of the next Grand Duke.
But after the latter's death, his
son and successor, Grand Duke Ivan Vasilovich (Iwan Wassilowitz), began to enjoy
great success against his neighbors. He waged mighty wars against a number of
them, imposed his will upon them [1b], and also subjugated the Kazan (Cassan) and
this document we graciously bestow upon said Hans Schlitten
permission to seek out and enlist everywhere in the Holy Roman Empire and its
territories, in our hereditary principalities, provinces, domains and regions,
doctors and masters of the liberal arts, bell founders,
miners, goldsmiths, harbor masters, carpenters and stonemasons (especially
those able to build splendid churches), waterwork
masters, papermakers, physicians and others skilled in similar crafts. He also
has permission to bring them to the above‑mentioned grand duke of
At the time when Schlitten
was proceeding with these plans and was about to make transit of Livonia, the
lords of the Order of Teutonic Knights and others of the country's nobility,
recognizing the danger this posed not only to them but to all Christians of
these regions, wrote His Illustrious Imperial Majesty a full account of these
dangers and asked him, most respectfully, to revoke and rescind the above‑mentioned
decree granting free transit. His Imperial Majesty responded to their vital and
salutary request by means of an imperial golden bull, the original of which is
still extant. The following extract of this imperial letter is directed to the
Reverence: You have ignored our safe‑conduct pass and denied transit to
persons travelling from the
[2b] And so the treacherous, arrogant and powerful foe, rather than changing his ways, began, even while the armistice was still in effect, to raise all manner of suspicions and distrust of this humble land. This was not only most distressful in and of itself, but it also led to the destruction of the entire country. In this, his illicit undertaking, he was considerably aided and encouraged by a number of foreigners, ignobly pursuing their own self‑interest.
From all this it was quite apparent and inescapably obvious that he would not agree to a further peace agreement after the expiration of the armistice (subsequent events proved this to be all too true), unless it turned out that his above‑mentioned ploy to spread destructive suspicion gained him favor and he was granted everything he wished from this province. And yet, after the demise of the blessed Walther von Plettenberg the succeeding sovereigns virtually acquiesced in the above‑mentioned successes of the Muscovite. They used the fifty years of peace which had been achieved more for complacent luxury and for grievous sins and vices than for preparations and precautions against future attacks. They gave no heed to God's word or to the maintenance and support of the churches. They forgot Christian charity, and devoted all their efforts and energies to worldly display, debauchery and gross gluttony and drunkenness. For this the Lord God suddenly beset them with His just punishments of famine and plague and countless people starved and perished. Nor did this lead them to change their ways, rather, out of insatiable greed each coveted that which belonged to his neighbor. This was especially true of the leaders who instigated internal strife, employing whatever resources and soldiers they could muster not against the archenemy, the Muscovite, but rather against each other. In this way they depleted the country to no purpose, as can be seen from the example of those things which took place on Ösel (Ozel).
[3a] Thus there arose all manner of misunderstanding bad faith among the estates, followed by discord and even civil war, so that all good will among the estates vanished, and each schemed against the other. In a word, protracted deliberation, internal enmity and self‑interest, these are what desolated the Kingdom of the Hungarians.
Unfortunately, internal distrust and self‑interest also prevailed here, as mentioned above. Many landtage, herrentage, assemblies and councils were held, but little was accomplished. Often one left them no wiser than before. The greatest concern and issues at many of these gatherings was how one might entertain and amuse his fellows in princely fashion. Whatever the leaders left undone, their servants would undertake and so there was such excessive gluttony and drunkenness that in their swaggering arrogance one would drink a toast to the other, swearing to kill one Russian for each tankard he drained. The lords and their lackeys (especially the untried, worthless, drunken indoor warriors who prided themselves on being the country's pillar and post) had the impropriety of such drunken vainglory brought home to them through their own piteous death and destruction. They not only disgracefully turned tail and ran from the sound of a shaken leaf as described in Leviticus 26, "They shall flee ... when none pursueth", but were also slain mercilessly in inhuman and dreadful fashion: staked, stretched, broken on the wheel, bled, hanged, drowned and roasted.
After the end of the chaos on Ösel, which we mentioned briefly above, all the sovereigns
and estates held a landtag
at Wolmar in 1546. Among other matters pertaining to
the common good, they also introduced a provision, which they finally passed
[3b], signed, sealed and solemnized with oaths. It stipulated that henceforth
no foreign‑born prince would be elected, appointed and installed by any
one estate, be it as archbishop, bishop or master in
So that all these provinces, the sovereigns, the estates of the dioceses and of the Order, nobleman and subject, men of high and low estate, may fully preserve their authority, freedoms and privileges, pass them on to future generations unchanged, and maintain them within the Holy Roman Empire and Christendom in general, we have unanimously adopted, accepted and agreed to the following, considering it necessary and proper: henceforth and forevermore the election of an archbishop, bishop or master shall be held in keeping with worthy custom and tradition, acknowledging the freedoms and privileges enjoyed by each party, in particular in accord with the provisions of the Bulla Habitus. Nor shall any of us or our successors, along with the members of the cathedral chapters, the commanders in the Order, and the other estates, at any time allow an archbishop, bishop or master to change the government of his domain and turn it into a principality. Furthermore, no foreign prince or lord is to be elected or appointed to a coadjutorship or to any other office or be allowed to enter this country for that purpose in any shape, manner or form whatsoever without the unanimous, complete and free consent and agreement of all estates of the land, the most exalted as well as the more lowly.
It is one thing to insist on one's freedoms and privileges, but at the same time it is more foolish than wise to be so stubborn and mulish in this regard, especially in time of dire peril, that one destroys oneself, land and people, wife and children [4a]. You should endure and you should not find fault with what you cannot change.
For some time all the estates held
to this Wolmar Compact. But then Margrave Wilhelm,
the archbishop of
[4b] This introductory recapitulation has been necessary for our historical account, but now we come, in God's name, to the actual subject at hand.
Abbreviations for Endnotes
Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot, 1876).
Archiv für die Geschichte Liv‑, Esth‑, und Kurlands (ed. F.G. von Bunge. Reval: Kluge, 1857).
Briefe und Urkunden
zur Geschichte Livlands
in den Jahren 1558‑1562
(ed. Friedrich Bienemann. 5 vols.
Codex diplomaticus regni poloniae et Magni Ducatus Litvanae (ed. Matthias Dogiel. Vilna, 1758).
Karl Cruse, Curland unter den Herzögen (Mitau: Reyher, 1833).
Selbstbiographie des Burggrafen
Fabian zu Dohna (1550‑1621)
(ed. Christian Krollmann.
Elementa ad Fontium
Editiones. Res Polonicae ex Archivo Regni Daniae
(ed. Leon Koczy,
Dionysus Fabricus, Livonicae Historiae (ed. Gustav Bergmann) in Scriptores rerum Livonicarum (Riga und Leipzig: Frantzen, 1848), II.
Bartholimaius Grefenthal's Livländische Chronik (ed. Friedrich Georg von Bunge) in MLA, V. see Fletcher.
Journal of Baltic Studies
Lifflendische churlendische chronica von 1554 bis 1590, und Bericht in Religionssachen...mit Erläuterungen und versehen von Theodor Kallmeyer (Riga: Kymmel, 1857).
Burchard von Klot, "Jost Clodt und das Privilegium Sigismund Augustus," in Beiträge zur baltischen Geschichte (Hannover‑Döhren: Hirschheydt, 1977).
Elert Kruse's, Freiherrn
zu Kelles und Treiden, Dörpischen Stiftvogt's Wahrhafftiger Gegenbericht auf
die Anno 1578 ausgegangene
Lieflendische Chronica Balthasar Russow's (ed. August Buchholz.
A.M. Kurbsky's History of Ivan IV (trans. J.L.I. Fennell.
Monumenta Livoniae Antiquae (3 vols.
Isaac Massa, A Short History of the Beginnings and
Origins of These Present Wars in Moscow under the Reign of Various Sovereigns
down to the Year 1610 (trans. G.E.
Deutschland. 1533‑1559. (Tübingen:
Niemeyer). (1st series 1533‑1559.
17 vols. Tübingen, 1892‑1970) (2nd series 1566‑72. 7 vols. Wien, 1897‑1952)
(3rd series 1572‑85.
Neue Quellen zur Geschichte des Untergangs der livländischen Selbstständigkeit (ed. Carl Schirren. 3 vols. Reval: Kluge, 1883‑85).
Moscovia of Antonio Possevino,
S.J. (ed. Hugh Graham,
Quellen zur Geschichte des Untergangs Livländischer Selbstständigkeit (ed. Carl Schirren. 8 vols. Reval: Kluge, 1881)
Johann Renner, Livländische Historien (ed. Richard Hausmann and Konstantin Höhlbaum. Göttingen: Vandenhöck und Ruprecht, 1876). New edition ed. Peter Karstedt, Veröffentlichungen der Stadt Lübeck, New Second Series, 1953.
Rude and Barbarous Kingdom
and Barbarous Kingdom.
Hugh Graham, trans. and editor, "A Brief Account
of the Character and Brutal Rule of Vasilievich,
Heinrich von Staden, The Land
and Government of
Klaus Dietrich Stämmler, Preußen und Livland in ihrem Verhältnis zur Krone Polen 1561‑1586 (Marburg/Lahn: Herder, 1958). Nr. 8 in Wissenschaftliche Beiträge zur Geschichte und Landeskunde Ost‑Mitteleuropas.
Heinrich Tiesenhausen, "Begangene Irrthümbe und Fehler dess liefländischen Chronickenschreibers Balthesaris Russowens," (ed. Carl Schirren), Archiv, VIII, pp. 293‑313. The citations refer to the translation in Russow.
Historica Poloniae et Lithuaniae. (ed. August Theiner.
Der Adel der russischen Ostseeprovinzen (Estland,
Zeitschrift für Ostforschung.
The year 1554
In 1554 all the estates once again
held a landtag
at Wolmar, on Epiphany,
and elected Gotthard Kettler
castellan of Dünaburg.
In accepting this office, he turned his chief attentions to how he might
establish good relations with King Sigismund
Augustus; with Nicholas Radzivil (Radziwill),
the worthy and famous palatine
of Vilna, Duke of Olica, grandmarshal
and chancellor of the Grand Duchy, and exemplary luminary of that country;
and with other prominent Lithuanian lords. In doing this, he did not exceed the
bounds of his proper obligations and loyalties, but rather achieved lasting
peace and tranquility between himself and his neighbors. Would to God that
similar relations with all neighboring potentates, kings and princes had been
observed throughout all of
Gotthard Kettler came from a race and family of esteemed, valiant
and chivalrous people. He was sent to
The year 1555
The following summer, 1555, Duke
The year 1556
He departed from Dünaburg
a few weeks before Shrove Tuesday, 1556, travelling by way of
During this same Lent the huge and
fearsome comet, in shape not unlike a broom, was seen and it was as though it
pointed a finger at the disaster which was subsequently to befall
The archbishop secretly sent a
dispatch to Prussia with encoded letters informing his brother, the duke,
of these [6a] military preparations of the Order and earnestly requesting him
to quickly and unobtrusively transport soldiers to Pernau,
Dünamünde, Salis, etc., by
ship. This dispatch, along with the letters, was seized in
They also sent an urgent report of
the situation in
The election of Fürstenberg as coadjutor was opposed by Jaspar von Münster, the landmarshal. He argued that next to the master himself he was the senior commander in the Order and that he should not have been so humiliatingly passed over in this election. This was highly demeaning to himself and to his entire family and name. Even so, his argument was not that the office should be given to him, but rather that someone other than Fürstenberg should be chosen. He asserted that Fürstenberg was not the man to best serve the country, pointing out that when he, Fürstenberg, had been castellan of Dünaburg, his relations with his neighbors along the border with Lithuania had been such as to greatly displease the King of Poland [6b] and all the estates of the Grand Duchy, to say nothing of other groups within Livonia itself. He and several other commanders nominated the present castellan of Dünaburg, who was just then out of the country, but they were unable to achieve his election.
Had he prevailed, subsequent events would have shown him to have a been a true prophet after all. While publicly denying it, he directed his efforts toward an attempt to seize and gain sole control of the fortress of Dünamünde, which had formerly been under his jurisdiction as landmarshal and as castellan. To this end he and his men‑at‑arms advanced on Dünamünde from Segewold (Segewalden) where he had his court. But the castellan there, Jürgen Brabeck, had been forewarned by the master and so denied him the castle. From there he advanced on Ascheraden (Ascherade), likewise one of his castles, situated on the River Düna, but he met the same reception there and had to withdraw.
From Ascheraden he went to visit the archbishop at Kokenhausen, doubtlessly to seek his assistance in the matter of the castles to which he had been denied entry. The archbishop sent him to Vilna (Wilde) to the King of Poland with all manner of letters of preference and commendation. Subsequently he also went to Königsberg to the Duke of Prussia. There is no doubt that in both places he argued the justice of his cause and thus further incited the king and the duke against the province and especially against his Order. What else he achieved through his bizarre machinations and how this affected him for the rest of his life, until his death, will be told later in its proper place.
Now that the situation appeared
critical, all trust and good will having vanished, the advocate of Rositen, Werner Schall of
that his royal majesty was so seriously offended on account of the killing of an envoy of his majesty, contrary to the laws of all nations, that he even wished to avenge that injury by the sword and blood, except that Ferdinand, the most excellent King of the Romans, interceded.
Civil war, third of the chief
plagues which can beset a country, broke out on June 16, the Tuesday after the
Feast of Ss.Vitus, Modestus
and Crescentia, a
day certainly foreboding of the disaster that followed
and the precursor of all the subsequent devastating Polish, Danish, Swedish and
Muscovite wars. On this day Hermann von Wesel, Bishop
of Dorpat (Dörpt),
Johann von Münchhausen (Monnichhausen),
Bishop of Ösel and
On the 18th of this month George Taube, a prominent man from the archdiocese of
On June 28, the Sunday after the
Birthday of St.John the Baptist, the lord coadjutor,
Wilhelm von Fürstenberg, arrived before Kokenhausen with the Order's forces, horsemen and foot
soldiers. Commissioners from the city of
he was escorted to Treiden where he had to remain
until the conclusion of the hostilities. Even so, the Livonian estates agreed
to let him send legates to
On this same June 30 the lord archbishop rode out of Kokenhausen and surrendered to the coadjutor, Wilhelm von Fürstenberg, turning over the keys of the castle gate to him. It shames one to describe how several unnamed brothers stupidly set upon him and stole some of his possessions, acting in a most reprehensible manner and ignoring his advanced age and his ancient and princely family and descent. The supplicant must not be violated. Let him be thought sacrosanct.
He was first escorted to Schmilten by a hundred horsemen. Then he was taken to Adzel (Atzel) which was then
under the control of Phillip Schall of
[8a] A rumor spread far and wide
that the lord archbishop was mortally ill or that he had already died while
imprisoned. This led the king to send a delegation to the country with letters
inquiring as to the condition of the two lords. The estates directed the Polish
delegation to go to Duke Christopher at Treiden.
Several noblemen were also ordered to be present at all audiences and to
carefully observe what the king was conveying to Duke Christopher, and vice
versa, either orally or in writing. They subsequently did just this, to the
considerable annoyance and displeasure of the above‑mentioned duke and
his retinue. The delegation was then allowed to proceed to the lord archbishop
at Schmilten. Letters explaining the causes of this
civil war and the country's distress were sent to the Holy Roman Emperor; to a
number of electors, princes, cities and estates of the empire, e.g., Cologne, Jülich and Münster, as well as to
Lübeck, Hamburg, Lüneburg,
Bremen, etc.; and most importantly of all to the German Master,
whose subjects and vassals earned their livelihood in Livonia through commerce
and trade. Citing their knightly freedoms and privileges as noblemen, they
asked the above‑mentioned parties not to abandon the Livonian provinces
now that the situation had become dangerous, with
Even though many appeals were made
to the German Master as head of the Order, he offered very little assistance.
[8b] Finally, however, he did dispatch an esteemed legate, Hans Wilhelm Nothoff, the castellan of Mergentheim,
and one of the von Beverns to
On August 15 legates of the Duke of Pomerania arrived at Wenden. They
were the castellan of Blumenthal (a knight of the Order of
It was to this end that they then
At the very time that the above‑mentioned
Danish delegation, along with a legate from the master who had been assigned to
accompany them, were in Vilna in
One of the other stipulations
included in the peace treaty was that the advocate of Rositen,
Werner Schall of Bell, whose men had slain the Polish
legate Lanski near the manor of Setzen,
present himself in person before the king at Vilna in order to confess his
guilt and make recompense to the slain legate's brothers, who had most
earnestly appealed to the king for justice in this matter. In the interests of
harmony the master directed him to go to the imperial legates and to one of his
own secretaries who had arrived in Vilna previously. When he arrived there,
however, neither were able to give him much assistance. But, thank God, he was
able to enlist the support of a number of Polish and Lithuanian ecclesiastical
and secular noblemen who pled his desperate cause before a large public hearing
and [9b] before the palatine of Vilna, Duke of Olica,
who had been appointed to judge the case. Out of consideration for the
castellan of Dünaburg, with whom he had especially
cordial and friendly relations, he managed to get the king and the other lords
to agree that the advocate, who was not able at that time to make restitution
to the Lanskis for their slain brother, be allowed to
leave after giving solemn promises to return as soon as possible with
recompense for the injured parties. Earlier they had wanted to arrest him and
hold him prisoner until complete recompense had been rendered. He left there in
high spirits and travelled toward Dünaburg
on his way back to his district of Rositen. As he
crossed over the border, he proclaimed that if he could not expect any more aid
and assistance than this from his gracious lords and superiors and from the
master in such pressing circumstances, then neither the latter nor the former
would ever prevail upon him to return to
Thus the misunderstandings between
the King of
At about this same time and shortly
before the peace treaty was concluded at Pozvol, the
legates of the German Master came to the Livonian delegation in Lübeck, as mentioned above. When they discovered the
purpose of their mission, they realized that behind the diplomatic trappings
there was nothing but empty words which offered no consolation or hope of aid
in their present distress and danger. And so they responded to them, saying
that their hollow words and vague promises [10b] would serve only to dishearten
and distress their friends who placed, next to God, their highest trust in
their lord, the head of the Teutonic Order, and to encourage and cheer the
abominable enemies. Whether they then cancelled their trip to
The Grand Duke of Moscow was not only highly suspicious of the Pozvol peace accord, after the conclusion of which all the soldiers were cashiered and discharged and peace and tranquility were to prevail everywhere, but when some deserters informed him of the secret and sworn compact and confederation between the Livonians and Lithuanians which was to go into effect after the expiration of the armistice, he found this quite intolerable. Since the old Master Heinrich von Galen, with whom he had negotiated the armistice for a specified number of years, had died and gone to his Maker the previous May 3rd, he now [11a] directed all his efforts toward launching a surprise attack on the provinces and striking the first blow, which is worth a month of successes. As a pretense for all this he used the so‑called Dorpat tribute. He claimed that he had been promised an amount based on the number of each and every inhabitant, young and old. The people of the diocese agreed only to undertake an investigation to determine whether they were indeed committed to render him such tribute. Later, at Wenden, they publicly explained their position to the Grand Duke's legates and protested his demands.
All the country's estates, in
particular the Teutonic Order, directed their utmost efforts toward appropriate
attempts to dissuade the Muscovite from his evil and illicit undertaking. They
sought to use money to avoid imminent war and to preserve the sacred, blessed peace.
In high hopes they dispatched a legation to
Thus the sole hopeful response the
people of Dorpat could make toward the estates
and toward the Grand Duke himself was an attempt to mollify the latter with a
sum of money and thus spare the provinces all the devastations of war.
Subsequently they sent Elert Kruse (Krause), the
diocese's advocate, and some others to
During this time the castellan of Dünaburg returned to the country from
of his campaign was a self‑proclaimed emperor of the Tatars, Shigaley (Zerigaley),
who raged and pillaged during this invasion and committed inhuman atrocities.
He hacked pregnant women in two and impaled their foetuses,
as well as other small young children already born, on fence stakes. He struck
down young and old, slit open their sides, poured in gunpowder, lit it and
mercilessly blew the poor people apart. He slit the throats of countless people
and then left them lying with half‑severed necks, drowning in their own
blood until, in great anguish and pain, they gave up their souls to God. Many
were smeared with thick pine pitch, bound and burned to death. One after
another, like dogs, they raped the women and girls. Those who did not die from
all this were led away as prisoners, driven as one would not even drive cattle.
Some were raped, some kept to be sold into slavery to the Tatars. They tore
young nursing infants from their mother's breasts, chopped off their hands,
feet and heads, gutted them, stuck the bodies on spits, roasted or [12a] baked
them and ate them, thus sating their diabolical, bloodthirsty hunger. But who
can describe all the atrocities of this Tatar monster?
The pain of recollection is too great. Even worse, perhaps, Shigaley
later wrote to the Livonian estates from
Following this deceitful communique, in the spring of that year, after Holy
Eastertide, a delegation was once again sent to negotiate peace. They sought
release from the so‑called Dorpat tribute in
exchange for 40,000 thalers.
During this same period, in the spring, the Grand Duke's forces besieged and
bombarded the city of
Shortly before the capture and
conquest of the city and castle, the castellan of Reval,
Franz von Segehafen, surnamed Anstel
(Atzel), and other commanders brought a praesidium,
composed primarily of foot soldiers from
Thereupon we returned to the
encampment and had barely lay down to rest when, just at dawn, the soldiers and
townspeople came streaming into our encampment, bringing with them their poor
little children and wives, some of whom were pregnant or ill. After realizing
his victory, the enemy had allowed them to depart.
God have mercy on their misery and sorrow! We took them along with us as we
moved in the direction of Wesenberg, lamentably
forced to abandon a seventy‑five-mile stretch of the splendid district of
Narva to the enemy, along with Neuschloss
which he conquered soon afterwards.
It must have been that God Himself had willed it so and made us blind. We, with
seeing eyes, became blind and unmoved, neither perceiving nor grasping what had
been taking place in the city and
It was believed that several of the members of the Council of Narva had been in league with the Russians, i.e., Joachim Krumhausen, who had long ago received the Grand Duke's golden seal allowing him to trade freely throughout all of Russia, and Arnd von Deden. These men, acting out of self‑interest, remained in the city with the enemy. Naked greed will stop at nothing. Nor could the advocate of Jerwen be either coaxed or forced to enter the city with his men prior to the attack. Yet the advocate of Jerwen, from days of old, had always been assigned the defense of Narva. Such was the fine loyalty the master enjoyed from his commanders in the Order. A summation of our plight: And these Salvation herself, even if she had wished, could not have saved.
[13a] Thus fell the ancient city of
That enemy now invaded a good part of the province with a huge army, devastating it with plunder, fire and killing. Along with Narva, he also captured several other castles in Wierland, as mentioned above. Since he intended to continue his ravaging of the country, he established an encampment in the diocese of Dorpat. The master, as well as the archbishop and his coadjutor, Duke Christopher, along with other of the country's estates, mobilized all the forces at their command for defense. They established their field encampment at Kirienpol (Krimpey) in the diocese of that name and at neighboring Schwanenburg. One hoped to drive the enemy back and to put a check to his atrocities.
After a few skirmishes and attacks
it became obvious that the Livonian forces' counterattack against this arrogant
foe was much too weak and inadequate. Fortune had never once betrayed him,
rather he had enjoyed complete success in his subjugation of several
neighboring peoples, e.g., the two Tatar kingdoms of
The enemy now besieged Neuhausen, one of the bishop's castles, and bombarded it so
heavily that one could hear almost every shot at Kirienpol.
Finally, when it received no reinforcements, it was conquered.
It was at this time that the estates sent their legates from the above‑mentioned
field encampment at Kirienpol into the city of
Just as they were leaving, the mayor himself, Tonnies Tile, a pious, honorable and Christian man, stepped forth and in the presence of all the lords earnestly and tearfully lamented the piteous condition of the country. One had now spent several days seeking some remedy, but, God have mercy, nothing had been achieved. They should consider this: it did not matter whom they decided upon, be he from northwest, northeast or south. That person would not wage war against the Muscovite out of love for us. Rather, he would expect something in return. The best and most reasonable thing to do, since there were numerous honorable and decent people in the country who, along with their wives and children, had substantial wealth in money, golden necklaces, jewels, jewelry, etc., would be for all this wealth to be brought together and used to enlist soldiers in the best interest of the country. This was what had been done in other places. This, in his opinion, would be their best defense, next to God's merciful aid and assistance. All forces would have to be assembled at one place to offer battle to the enemy [14a] and not, as had been the case in the past, each guarding only his own territory. This had made it easy for the enemy to weaken the country's forces, picking them off singly, one after another. For valor united is stronger than valor divided.
Would to God such unity had been achieved. If it had been, the devastation might never have gone so far, but the tale was being sung to a deaf man and there were few who paid heed to this suggestion.
At Kirienpol there was a rumor that the people of Dorpat had sent their legate, Lustfert, to the Grand Duke with letters offering to become his subjects. Several people were questioned under torture regarding this. Mistrust was intensified by the fact that the people of Dorpat had done little or nothing about the siege and attack of Neuhausen. Indeed, when the lords of the Order planned to try their luck against the enemy with a night attack before Neuhausen, they were not even able to obtain a knowledgeable scout to lead them to the Russian camp. Moreover, since the people of Neuhausen had voluntarily surrendered to the enemy, the people of Dorpat began to think of surrendering so that they might be allowed to withdraw in peace. This is just what they later did. And when they were warned to be on their guard against the enemy and be ready to defend themselves, they answered: "There is no need for that. We will look after ourselves."
To avoid all manner of imminent and serious dangers the master had to disengage his army and retreat toward Walk (Walcke) in the Order's territories. During the withdrawal, as the above‑mentioned castle and camp were being put to the torch, the master and most [14b] of the soldiers led the way. Only the castellan of Fellin and a very few of his horsemen remained behind in the rearguard. When they were ten miles behind the main army, the Russians from Neuhausen came after them in hot pursuit and a sudden and unexpected skirmish ensued. The castellan of Fellin and his horse went down and he came very close to being shot or falling into the hands of the enemy. But his men, along with God, saved him. The master turned around and came back and fought all day with the enemy. The heat was so incredibly great that many of the Russians, and not unimportant ones, fell from their horses and died.
Toward evening we disengaged from
the enemy in good order and made camp in a felled clearing where there was a
small lake, not far from Oltzen in an area belonging
to a von Tiesenhausen. Horses and men both ran and
dashed toward the water just as does the hurt or wounded stag. The Russians
came after us in hot pursuit and if we had not torn down several bridges and if
God had not done other things to prevent the enemy's attacking us in our camp,
it would have been all over for
The following day the army moved as far as Walk and there, for the first time, offered the enemy serious resistance. At this time the plight of Livonia and especially of the Order was desperate: the enemy daily advanced farther and farther, doing just as he wished, while, on the other hand, people in those areas of the country not yet attacked all but despaired, growing not only fearful, but paralyzed and panic‑stricken. During this period in the above‑mentioned field encampment the suggestion was made that a coadjutor be chosen who could assume the administrative burdens of the mastership from the rather aged and infirm Fürstenberg and who could help carry out other actions during the war emergency. In regular and customary election the commanders and nobles unanimously elected the castellan of Fellin, Gotthard Kettler, to said office. A young man, Kettler had never given any thought to such lofty office. [15a] To the contrary, he was most reluctant to accept this position which would make him the probable successor to the mastership. Like Demonsthenes, the orator nonpareil of the Greeks, he would rather fall and meet his death in noble, honorable combat with the enemy than enmesh himself in the odious task of governance. He had more than a few reasons to feel this way, as any intelligent person can easily imagine. Finally, after he was strongly reprimanded for his reluctance, he obeyed the rules of the Order and reconciled himself to providence and to God's gracious favor. Against his own will,
indeed weeping, he had to assume this heavy and odious burden. Many an honorable man who was present at the time can bear witness on his conscience and honor before God and man to the truth of this. This took place on July 9 at approximately 
When he assumed the leadership of the Order he did not come into possession of wealth and money and other things essential to the great undertaking of a massive war against such a powerful archenemy of Christendom. This was aside from the fact that many districts and populations from which money for the undertaking could have been raised had already been mortgaged away. When he assumed the mastership at Wenden, he found not a single heller, much less a gulden, in the Order's treasury. The few old, insignificant objects in it, those having to do with every‑day affairs, were of no worth.
Aside from God's own mercy and compassion all quests for aid are in vain. This was also true in this time of direst peril. The Livonian estates did all they could to appeal for military and financial aid from the Holy Roman Empire; from their brothers and kinsmen in the Teutonic Order abroad and from their superior, the German Master; and from the King of Denmark and other neighboring sovereigns. Meanwhile, as mentioned above, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, responded to their repeated and impassioned pleas [15b] by immediately dispatching several legates with instructions as to what they should do in the emergency. The words of the instructions, incorporated into a second golden bull, read as follows:
light of the imminent danger that the Muscovite will attack
While one was occupied at Walk with
the election of the coadjutor to the mastership and with the dispatch of
legates to the King of Denmark
and to the Holy Roman Emperor
and while the nobility of Harrien and Wierland and the city of Reval
decided and agreed in this time of direst peril to send their legates to the
Teutonic Order seeking comfort, aid and assistance from it as they had in ages
a new and much greater disaster than ever before struck, suddenly and
unexpectedly: the large and powerful army of the Grand Duke of Moscow advanced
on the city of Dorpat and besieged it with a
magnificent artillery [16a] and every other weapon of war. On July 19 it
voluntarily, needlessly and wantonly surrendered and thus it and the entire
diocese fell into his hands and control.
This forced the master, coadjutor and the other lords of the Order to abandon
the field encampment at Walk and retire to the fortresses. One might have been
tempted to hurl the small handful of soldiers assembled there down the throat
of the enemy, sacrificing them to the slaughter. But an even greater disaster
would have attended such a course of action, in that the enemy, having
destroyed all the forces in the field, would have then been able, in the
ensuing panic, to easily conquer the entire province along with its unmanned
fortresses, thus inflicting irremediable loss and defeat upon all of
Christendom. As it was, the common people had already become incredibly panic‑stricken
when the advocates of Narva, Wesenberg,
Weissenstein and Tolsburg,
along with the castellan of Reval, abandoned their
castles, doubting their ability to defend them.
Such panic, fear and dread, like the
terror of Pan from which even the children of the gods flee,
spread throughout the country so that almost everyone gave themselves up for
lost and took to flight. And so the beautiful and splendid province and
mercantile city of
A Danish officer in Wiek (Wick), Christopher von Münchhausen,
recalled how the city of Reval and the provinces
[16b] of Harrien, Wierland
and Jerwen had, countless years before, been
transferred to the Order by one King Waldemar by the double right of purchase and donation.
In his opinion the illustrious Crown of Denmark still had a claim to these
Following his duty as he saw it, he occupied the
Royal Majesty already has sufficient lands and subjects and hopes from the
bottom of his heart but to rule and govern them in keeping with God's will. Nor
does he wish to enrich himself with the castles of his friend and neighbor, the
lord master and his order. For affliction
must not be added to one already afflicted.
It is thus his wish that the
What noble and Christian words from this Christian and illustrious king!
This same summer the other estates
again mobilized and once again advanced into the diocese of Dorpat
with their meager forces. In the absence of the archbishop's coadjutor, Sir
Friedrich Volkersam, the cathedral provost, served as
the commander‑in‑chief of the archbishop's forces.
He later met a chivalrous death fighting the enemy on the battlefield at Tirsen [17a] and received Christian burial in the cathedral
During that campaign a severely
wounded Russian was taken captive on the battlefield during an engagement.
He was a prominent and handsome individual, intelligent and experienced. He
said that he had visited
Once again the emperor offered no
concrete assistance in response to the request for aid which was sent from
Walk, aside from several documents and instructions which he sent to the
surrounding, neighboring kings and to the cities of Lübeck
And so the king rejected the
legates' suit to gain his aid and protection based on the plan to convey to him
the city of
The year 1559
After the expiration of the half‑year‑truce,
the following winter, on February 1, the archenemy once again attacked other
districts of the country with a huge horde of 130,000 savagely raging soldiers.
passed by the city of Riga and advanced through Courland
up to the [18a] borders of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, totally unhindered and
unopposed. Were it not for the fact that Duke Christopher of Mecklenburg, the
archbishop's coadjutor, who had earlier gone to Prussia and Mecklenburg as part
of the Pozvol agreement, was now returning and
approaching Courland with a few hundred horsemen
(rumor, however, spread among the Russians that he had many thousands), the
enemy would have probably advanced still farther and stormed across all of Courland, going as far as Memel
Even so, no one who witnessed the agonies the Muscovite caused can recount them
without great grief and bitter tears. He slew, murdered, slaughtered, raped,
plundered and abducted, sparing neither unborn infants nor old men and women
and he once again inflicted atrocities upon all those who had not taken refuge
in the remaining fortresses. After he withdrew, one went along all the highways
and byways picking up the poor, innocent, little children, taking them off the
fence stakes and loading them onto many wagons and sleds so that they might be
brought into the cities or to other places for burial. Their heads, arms and
legs had been hacked off and their entire bodies dreadfully and monstrously
mutilated. Not even in the accounts of the Turks and other heathens, or in
those of the most dreadful tyrants, does one find mention of such atrocities.
Those who are far removed from such catastrophes and who live in peaceful
tranquility are little moved by them and can neither know, believe nor imagine
what the Muscovite, Turks, Tatars and similar savage monsters do when they win
an upper hand over Christians. One is reminded of a certain prince who said:
"What a churlish fellow must this Muscovite be to do such naughty things
After the successful conclusion of this unopposed campaign and after committing his indescribably bestial atrocities, he went back to his own country in the early spring, taking with him huge spoils of people, livestock, etc.
[18b] This dire calamity took place
in winter when all the sea lanes were blocked and so one could expect neither
aid nor assistance from the German lands or elsewhere. Consequently, the
archbishop, master and coadjutor conferred and decided to send a delegation
to the King of Poland, since he had been
Before they left to make the long
journey back to the disconsolate and desperate people of
Before he left the country, hopeful
encouragement arrived from
From there they followed the king to
Söderköping (Surkoping) in Ostergötland (Östiueland) and
presented their documents. But the king was not at all
receptive to their requests and gave a number of reasons: earlier the Livonian
estates had asked the king to join them in a confederation against the Grand
Duke of Moscow, but then, after he agreed to this and was making military
preparations at land and at sea, they had concluded a shaky truce with the
Muscovite, one highly disadvantageous to the Crown of Sweden. He would
therefore be totally justified if he repaid the Livonians
in kind and left them in the lurch without aid or assistance. Yet, out of
Christian charity, the king would attempt to begin negotiations with the enemy
through his own legates and to do whatever was appropriate in the best
interests of the Crown. As regarded the loan of money, he could make no
commitment in the absence of his sons, the princes of the realm Erik and Johan,
and of his chief counsellors. All these obstacles
were in addition to those the king cited in connection with the then current Dithmarschen campaign.
[19b] And so the legates were asked to remain in the kingdom until the matter
could be deliberated and decided upon.
Since it appeared this would take a long time, they received the king's
generous permission for one of them to go back to
On the above‑mentioned Polish
mission the coadjutor, aided by that which the other legates had accomplished
earlier with the help of the Lord God, moved the king to Christian charity and
to undertake whatever assistance necessary and proper in the ongoing Muscovite
The king himself went from his kingdom to his Grand Duchy of Lithuania to
confer with the estates of that duchy which, because of its proximity to
The coadjutor in the meanwhile was
on his way to the reichstag
in Augsburg in order to bring word of these negotiations to the emperor and the
estates of the empire and also to reiterate and emphasize the repeated, impassioned
and most respectful pleas of his Order's legates, namely, that the Polish offer
of assistance presented an opportunity they should not let slip by.
(The royal Polish defensive alliance with
[20a] On rather short notice the
coadjutor was directed to appear at Vilna on June 24 for the final negotiation
of the defensive alliance.
Thus it was impossible for him to be present both there and at the reichstag in
In Vilna he, with the help of God,
labored diligently to negotiate the defensive alliance. Part of the agreement
stipulated that several of the castles of the Order and of the archdiocese were
to be turned over to
Moreover, when the Muscovite war has been finished or when peace has been arranged with the Russians by certain fixed conditions, if the reverend master himself or his successors will have wished to have or to attain from us or our successors the afore‑mentioned castles which are to be handed over to us: they will first count out to us or to our successors a sum under the heading of war expenses, that is, six hundred thousand florins, twenty‑four Lithuanian grosses, counting by individual florins. When this money has been finally counted out, the afore‑mentioned castles and lands without any difficulty and delay must be released to them by us or our successors in the same state in which we received them.
After the conclusion of this
defensive alliance and after promises of aid and assistance arrived from the
emperor and the
The enemy unexpectedly sallied from
the city of
Since winter was approaching and
nothing more could be accomplished during this season, Duke Christopher, the
archbishop's coadjutor, and all the forces of the archdiocese withdrew from the
The master and his men advanced on the
At Oberpahlen the foot soldiers followed their earlier custom and once again began to grow restless and threaten mutiny on account of their pay. They were mollified with words and assigned to their winter encampments.
During this same time an imperial
legate or chamberlain, Zacharias Hoffmann by name,
came to old Master Fürstenberg at Tarwest.
He had been dispatched with letters regarding
The year 1560
During this same winter the border
The above‑mentioned Polish
legates were received and heard at
We provide therefore, through the present letters, that we will keep our garrisons in the same castles and towns no longer than this war which is between them and the Muscovite shall last. But when this war either has been repulsed or finished by arms or settled by conditions or ended by purport of a treaty in whatever way, we are going to make as new the former right and power of the most reverend and illustrious lords, the archbishop and his coadjutor and the reverend and magnificent master and their successors ‑ the rights of all the foregoing and of the estates ‑ and we are going to return the same properties to them. And we promise on behalf of ourselves and our successors, that those things which we have provided by these letters of ours concerning freely restoring and letting go of their castles and towns, we are going to preserve unimpaired and we are not going to go against them for any reasons.
According to the custom of the Order
the old Master Fürstenberg had chosen to take up
retirement and residence for the remainder of his life at the castle and city
The new master, by contrast, was responsible for the remainder of the devastated and depleted country and for the undermanned, and for the most part poorly supplied, castles, as well as for the actual governance of the Order. These castles were held by German soldiers. They had been given no pay and refused to render their services until they received it. Not only that, but the countryside was so totally devastated that it could not only offer nothing toward payment of the mercenaries, but in its poverty and deprivation it was no longer able to even meet its own proper obligations, that of providing horses.
One tried most diligently and
earnestly to find any possible means of retaining the services of the mercenary
cavalry and other German soldiers from abroad until they could be paid and
mollified with money from the empire and with some funds expected from
When they realized that nothing was forthcoming from either of these two sources, some of them withdrew with flags furled and went elsewhere, thus bringing new calamities upon the poor, greatly beset fatherland. Misfortunes never come singly.
In addition to this one lived in the
constant fear and expectation that the other unpaid foot soldiers, who remained
in and controlled the fortresses, might undertake actions which could lead to
the country's final defeat.
Indeed just such action took place at Fellin,
as will be related later in its proper place. Confronted by these dangers, the
master once again had to appeal to the above‑mentioned King of Poland as
the Christian head of the defensive alliance and ask him for the loan of a
considerable sum of money. He was granted this in return for several castles in
On April 16, during Eastertide, Duke
At the time of Duke Magnus' arrival the master was in Reval and he was rather pleased that he had come, especially since his person had been so highly commended by his brother, the illustrious, then reigning King of Denmark. The master immediately dispatched a prominent delegation to him to wish him well and to offer cordial and neighborly regards. But when this delegation was received, something quite unexpected happened: all manner of new and [23b] clamorous counsellors had gathered together and entered into secret schemes which they later put into effect and Duke Magnus, at the instigation of these evil people and for the most trivial reasons, made hostile demands upon the master. He did this at the most inopportune time possible, for the Russian was even then advancing with a strong and fresh army. He thus impeded the necessary defensive actions against the enemy. In order to resolve this internal strife the archbishop and his coadjutor went to New Pernau in person. Through the transfer of the monastery of Padis (Padies) they brought about a peace agreement on August 6.
During this conference at Pernau, convened to settle internal disorders to which the
desertion of the above‑mentioned mercenary cavalry had also contributed,
the following disaster occurred: mounted forces of the archbishop, the Teutonic
Order and others had taken to the field in expectation of assistance from the
Trustworthy reports say that the
Grand Duke was very anxious to learn from the landmarshal
of the above‑mentioned negotiations at Pozvol
and elsewhere. He also ordered the landmarshal to
allow himself to be rebaptized in the Russian
fashion. (They regard our way of baptizing as ineffectual and meaningless since
we do it in church under a roof and not in flowing water under the blue sky as
did John the Baptist in the
After this victory in the field the Muscovite advanced on Fellin and besieged and bombarded that strong castle and little town. The retired master Wilhelm von Fürstenberg and his men were there, as explained earlier. This fortress, especially the castle, had such fine natural and man‑made defenses that it could have hardly been taken by force had not the men of that disloyal and treacherous company of foot soldiers, with but a few exceptions, risen in armed mutiny and knavishly surrendered the castle and their lord to the enemy. There was no compelling reason to do so, for there was no lack of provisions, materiel necessary for the defense of the castle, or pay, for the above‑mentioned lord Fürstenberg had made up their unpaid wages by giving them jewels and silver services worth more than the amounts due them. [24b] On August 22, the enemy gained control of this castle, the likes of which in this country are few. The soldiers then departed, the enemy having granted them safety for their lives and possessions. Later the master executed a number of them, whomever he captured, including the main ringleaders of the mutiny. He broke them on the wheel and impaled them. But the good, old, pious lord was led off into captivity in a foreign land with only a few of his attendants. After several years he passed away there, along with Hermann, the bishop of Dorpat.
Then the enemy divided his army into three groups and went with the artillery from Fellin to Weissenstein. He besieged and bombarded it but was unable to accomplish anything, thanks to the valor of those fine men and of Caspar von Oldenbockem (Jasper von Altenbokums), the governor. After a long and unsuccessful siege he had to withdraw in defeat.
The Muscovite now roamed at will in the country, bringing one castle after another under his yoke, gaining some unopposed, through needless surrender, and others through treachery. Nor did he have any intention of withdrawing until he had gained control of the entire country. Earlier Duke Magnus' clamorous advisors had not rested content until he instigated that unjustified, divisive and damaging confrontation with the master, as a result of which the Livonians were driven from the field of battle [25a] and Fellin, along with everything in it and the old lord, came under the enemy's control. Now they incited him to attempt to gain through schemes that which he had been unable to win through force. He sought to encourage the defection of the master's remaining subjects. It was to this end that he sent messages to the people of Reval, saying that they knew that their city's origin was to be traced back to the Crown of Denmark. Thus in their present desperate plight they should once again place their hopes and confidence in it. As if the city, along with the districts of Harrien, Wierland, Jerwen and the dioceses, had not already earlier offered themselves to his esteemed father, but had not been accepted for a number of reasons, some of which were described above!
Soon afterwards the King of Sweden, Gustav of blessed memory and now in heavenly repose, sent his legates over to Wiek in three galleys and then on to Reval to graciously admonish them and their subjects in the surrounding areas to observe their sworn oath of allegiance and to remain steadfast and loyal to their lord, the master. They should neither allow themselves to be frightened by the raging devastation of that dreadful monster, the Muscovite, nor should they let themselves be lured to any improper course of action by flattery and empty promises. For His Majesty the King neither would nor could tolerate any potentate whomsoever in that neighboring province aside from the master and the Order. The king was prepared to place his entire kingdom at stake to prevent any such attempt. If there were any shortage in the city of artillery, powder, shot, provisions or other supplies, the king would graciously provide such. If it came to a siege of the city, they could send their wives, children and anyone else not needed for the defense to the neighboring Duchy of Finland where they would be protected and provided for as long as necessary. Truly a regal, Christian and generous offer, one deserving of eternal gratitude.
Thereupon the spokesman of the King of Poland, Christopher Conarski, along with the master's legates, accompanied the Swedish delegation back to the Crown of Sweden. [25b] They spent a full four weeks at sea, confronted by considerable danger to their lives, before arriving at Stockholm where they were in high hopes of achieving beneficial assistance for their poor, destitute country pursuant to the royal Christian offer made to the people of Reval.
When they arrived in
The delegates were thus delayed in
One was so occupied with
preparations for the funeral and internment of the king's body and that of his
two earlier deceased queens which was to take place at
At this same time legates from the
people of Reval were also present in
In other regards, however, King Erik was to be esteemed for his personal qualities, his intelligence, command of foreign languages and other God‑given talents. But he let himself be led astray by evil counsellors, especially by Jöran Persson (Jörgen Peersen). Thus kings, princes and lords would do well to consider what manner of people they bring to their courts and to provide themselves with counsellors such as those whom David described and recommended to his son Solomon. They should also heed the following couplets which are inscribed in stone at the church in Lübeck:
For if at times God mediates bitter penalties
against cities, he removes thence the outstanding men,
especially the old, skilled in mind, experience and age,
calm counsel and serious in judgement.
If the hot‑headed offspring, the young men, succeed them,
swelling with hope, envy, hatreds, and ambitions,
then all things rush to the worse and are borne backward.
Whoever you are, learn from this to beware of your bane.
An example of this is found in the
case of King Solomon's son Rehaboam, who lost ten
[27a] The year 1561
The legates departed from
[27b] This journey lasted two entire
days and one extremely long winter night and the cold was so incredibly severe
that the legates were unable to consume a single bit of their food and drink
until, by the grace of God, they reached the
For the sake of Christendom and of
these northern regions all hearts might have wished and earnestly beseeched God
that the old, illustrious King Gustav, a splendid and wise sovereign, tested
and experienced in government, might have lived somewhat longer, or that the
illustrious, present reigning King of Sweden, Johan, might have immediately
succeeded his gracious, beloved and godblessed
father. Had this been the case there is no doubt that the Swedes would have
allied themselves with the King of Poland to fight against the Muscovite on
Soon after the Polish legates and
those from the Livonian master left
After this assistance had been gained from the Swedes, the people of Reval quickly dispatched two of their number, Reinholt Lode and Johann Winter, to Mitau (Mytaw) where the old master lay critically ill, to renounce their oaths of allegiance. Among other things they also said: "The present course of action is now irreversible and your lordship should not imagine it otherwise."
The master quickly sent his men
with word of this to the King of Poland who, along with the imperial legate Sir
immediately wrote to Reval admonishing its people to
remain steadfast and loyal and asking them to await further communications from
legates which they and the master would soon be sending them. These legates,
Sir Heinrich von Dohna (Dohn)
were instructed to arrange an armistice until such time as the King of Poland
and the master could send delegates to the King of Sweden to inquire as to the
causes of this rebellious defection (Had heaven itself fallen, it could not
have been more unexpected) and to set right, for the good of Christendom, the
Without waiting for the arrival of these legates, the nobility and town swore
allegiance to the King of Sweden on June 4,5, and 6, and thereby attached
themselves to that crown.
They then immediately besieged the castle and cathedral compound for some six
weeks. They bombarded them and conquered them through starvation.
Later they also captured the monastery of Padis along
with several other castles belonging to the diocese of Reval.
All this was on account of that above‑mentioned shaky truce which the
former master had entered into with the Muscovite.
This had greatly offended
All this took place when those
regions of the Order's territory were still directly subject to the
And so it came about that the
splendid corpus of the noble province was dreadfully torn and split asunder.
The Muscovite controlled the major and perhaps the best part: the territories
of Wierland, Fellin, Marienburg and the entire diocese of Dorpat
along with all the lands of those districts, up to the archdiocese of
In this time of direst peril, when all hope and comfort had vanished [29a], the master still encouraged and beseeched his subjects, however few there remained, to quietly and patiently await the divine will for just a short and specified time longer and to wait to see if that assistance which the Holy Roman Empire had so repeatedly promised might be forthcoming. He also sent letters to the emperor and several electors and princes, emphatically telling them what additional disasters would occur should relief and rescue not be provided within the time mentioned.
To no less extent did he, along with
the archbishop, appeal to the illustrious above‑mentioned King of Poland,
most earnestly imploring him at all the reichstage and diets (those held at Cracow,
Petrikov, Warsaw, Parschoff,
Lüblin, Lomsa, Vilna and Grodna) to provide the assistance called for by the defensive
alliance. Nor was there any lack of such assistance. On several occasions the
king mobilized the forces of the Lithuanian field commanders Sir Jan Chodkiewicz (Johann Kotkowitz)
and Sir Nicholas Radzivil,
the Duke of Birse (Bierze)
and palatine of Trakai (Trock)
who had occupied Tarwest, and was prepared to launch
them against the archenemy along with the oft‑promised support of the
Holy Roman Empire. (The king needed this support so that he could assure the
In spite of all this the king, as
one greatly concerned lest this bastion of Christendom be breached, destroyed
or fall completely under the control of the Muscovite, acted in his capacity as
a neighboring Christian potentate and graciously vouchsafed to undertake
whatever measures proper and humanly possible to prevent the complete collapse
of Livonia. So that this might be achieved in legal and proper fashion the king
gave plenipotentiary powers to the palatine of Vilna and Duke of Olica and once again sent him along with a retinue composed
of men of many nations
to the surviving noblemen of the archdiocese and the Order in assembly at
Every intelligent person can well imagine the difficult considerations which faced the noblemen in these dire straits. They were no longer able to raise any forces whatsoever. Moreover, when the above‑mentioned time limit the master had set when he wrote to the empire asking for help for the last time expired without anything having been gained aside from empty words, the impoverished, surviving subjects refused to wait any longer and were about to let themselves be seduced into action which would result in the loss of their temporal and eternal well‑being.
And so, in the name of God, the
noblemen and their lord and sovereign the archbishop concluded that there was
no other course left to them in this time of direst peril and danger but to
entrust themselves to the Christian king who had the greatest right to the
rescue and preservation of that province [30a] by virtue of his proximity and
of old and recent treaties.
During all the previous turmoils of war the king had
never been known to act out of self‑interest or to conspire to achieve an
advantage over others.
Just the contrary, several years past, when the king was compelled to wage war
and had gained almost total control of the country, he turned it back and
yielded claim to it out of respect for the
So it came about that the
archbishop, master, commanders in the Order, noble landowners and legates from
the city of
After the profession of allegiance had been made, the illustrious king took pity out of Christian charity on these poor subjects who had been abandoned by all the world and took it upon himself to rescue them, just as he would any of his subjects. The master, now released of his territory and subjects, wanted to leave and return to his fatherland or somewhere else, there to remain and live according to the will of God in a manner proper to his station. The only thing which dissuaded him from this course of action was the fact that his counsellors, now likewise stripped of rank, pleaded and begged him not to abandon and totally reject them in this time of change, constantly assailing his ears by word and letter, with hot tears and gestures of grief. In keeping with the will of God [30b] he should remain with them longer and accept whatever gracious plans the above‑mentioned king had for him in regard to his newly acquired subjects' temporal and eternal welfare, German form of government and liberties.
Their constant entreaties persuaded him to loyally acquiesce to the king and to accept as a hereditary fief a part of those lands which had been yielded and transferred to the sovereignty of the king. These lands, however, had become extremely burdened with debts during the long, ceaseless war. Many thousands were still owed the King of Denmark, the Duke of Prussia, the city of Danzig and other noblemen, and it had been necessary to hand over to them as security toward repayment many select districts along with their inhabitants, most of which even today have not yet been redeemed. This is not counting that which had to be turned over to a number of members of the Order and other deserving people, native and foreign, pursuant to an agreement between the king and the duke. Some of those lands were placed under the protection of the former, the rest, under that of the latter. Part of the document which conveyed land to the master as an hereditary fief reads as follows:
We will bestow upon the illustrious
lord master of
The diocese of
Furthermore, in the midst of all
other things and this it is agreed by us and his lordship that the illustrious
grand duke of
The palatine of Vilna sent his
legates, along with some from
regard to the exchange of the diocese of
The surviving noblemen of Livonia all rendered proper thanks to the King of Poland and could never express their fullest gratitude, not so much because he had graciously [31b] bestowed temporal holdings upon them (at this time they had none of their own, rather everything was under the control of the king), but because he had agreed in royal and Christian fashion to defend them and to preserve this bastion of all Christendom, even were that to cause him great difficulties and greatly endanger his own kingdom and ancestral lands.
Unfortunately things turned out
differently in fact and, when the war at the onset moved from
After the treaty transferring sovereignty and allegiance had been concluded, ratified and sworn to by all parties at Vilna on November 28, St.Günther's Day, the king dispatched the palatine of Vilna for a third time. He arrived in the country on January 30 of that same winter and discharged his duties on February 18. He delivered authenticated copies of the ratified and concluded treaty to the archbishop, the master and the noblemen of the duchy. He thereupon received the Great Seal of the Order, a number of documents, seals, and letters, and the keys to the castles and cities. He then occupied them and had those subjects swear allegiance and fealty to the king.
He also proclaimed the master Duke of Courland and Semgallia and royal governor of those lands and commended him to his subjects. Now released of their former oaths and obligations to the master and the Order, they swore allegiance to the king and his eventual successors as their perpetual and legal sovereign, while swearing fealty to the Duke of Courland and all his direct descendants through the male line [32a] as their hereditary lord. This took place in March, on the Thursday after the Third Sunday in Lent.
On the following day at the City Hall, in the presence of the lord archbishop and all the other estates of the country, the city swore its allegiance to the king. It was then placed under the jurisdiction of the duke and the keys to the castle and city were once again turned over to him.
There was one proviso: the king was
to intercede with the Holy Roman Emperor and especially with the Grandmaster of
the Order in German and
[32b] Moreover, since this among other things is contained in the conditions of subjection, that the aforesaid duke as well as his subjects and cities have demanded for themselves that care be taken by us that that surrender and subjection which they, led by extreme misfortunes and dangers, have offered to us as the King of Poland, as Grand Duke of Lithuania and of our other realms, not be a source of loss or imposition to them with respect to his Caesarean majesty and the other estates of the Empire in Germany, we pledge in good faith that we will apply ourselves in this matter with all our strength lest either the duke or his subjects suffer any loss either in honor or fame or in goods and fortunes from this necessary surrender or lest they incur on this account any conscription of empire or other burdens or if they have incurred these, we nevertheless will provide that this shall not be an imposition to any person publicly or privately.
The king also solemnly swore to maintain the privileges, freedoms and legal rights of everyone in the country of whatever class or estate he might be. The content of this royal oath reads as follows:
Oath of His Sacred Royal Majesty
I, Sigismund Augustus, by grace of God, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogithia, and Livonia, etc., lord and heir, swear, pledge and promise on these Holy Gospels of God that all rights, liberties, privileges, letters, and immunities ecclesiastical and secular of the Province of Livonia, granted as well to the churches and to their spiritual establishment, that is, to the archbishops, bishops, princes, masters, chapters, rulers of houses, advocates, nobles, vassals, citizen inhabitants, and whatever persons, being of whatever state and condition ‑‑ these rights granted to this province and its estates by the Roman emperors, and any other kings, dukes, princes, masters of the Teutonic Order, and other legitimate magistrates, I shall maintain, preserve, guard, and attend to on all conditions and points. All things illegally alienated from the same provinces or torn away from it through these disturbances of the war with the Muscovite, according to my power and that of my conjoined provinces, I shall recover and collect to the property of the same province by arms or agreements. I shall not diminish the frontiers of the same province but according to my power, if it has been diminished and reduced into the power of the enemy, I shall defend those frontiers when they have been recovered and I shall expand them, so help me God and these Holy Gospels.
He also made the following specific promise in regard to German administration of the duchy:
[33a] Thirdly, we have obligated ourselves, just as we obligate ourselves by the present letters, to leave the subjects of that province under the power of their own Germanic magistrate and therefore to confer offices, prefectures, the position of count, judgeships, burgraves and posts of this sort not upon others than individuals of the German nation and tongue and in fact natives just as we have been accustomed to confer these positions in the lands of Prussia.
Thus out of certain necessity and divine providence, as a result of our sins (although self‑preservation is a law of nature), and for the above‑mentioned true and unchanging reason which not even the Gates of Hell could withstand, this province of Livonia underwent a change and transformation. This is to say nothing of the unimaginable expense, effort and travail repeatedly expended on the delegations to the emperor and neighboring potentates, electors and princes and their representatives and especially to the head of the Order, the German Master, in an effort to obtain the financial assistance the empire had promised. All those still living to whom the Livonian legates often appealed with warnings, admonitions and entreaties can testify to the truth of all this and, if need be, such can also be demonstrated with written letters and documents. It remains to Almighty God alone to know why all these appeals were contemptuously cast to the wind and why one withdrew the hand of friendship and all means of help from this threatened province, denying it financial assistance and relief.
In this first part we have thus
given the main causes of the events which took place in
As for events which took place in Harrien, Wierland, Jerwen, Wiek, Ösel, in and around Reval, Pernau, etc., and the battles, especially those of the peasants [33b] and their leader Hannibal, and other adventures, these things have been described at length and in detail in the accounts of those who lived in or near the above‑mentioned areas and who consequently are able to give more accurate and detailed descriptions of them. The reader is thus referred to them. Lest others seem to have had the labors and we seem to have carried off the honors.
.. Psalms l02:18.
.. 1 Peter 5:6.
.. The Livonian Order was the
descendant of two early crusading orders, the Brothers of the Sword and the
Teutonic Knights. The Brothers of the Sword were founded in the early
thirteenth century by the Bishop of Riga and were absorbed by the Teutonic
Knights in 1237. See James A. Brundage's translation,
The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia
(Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1961) and became a semi‑autonomous
branch of that religious‑military organization. After the secularization
.. Wilhelm von Fürstenberg succeeded Heinrich von Galen in 1557.
.. As will be described by Henning, Archbishop Wilhelm von Brandenburg and Heinrich von Galen almost went to war in 1556. The archbishop was a Protestant holding a Catholic see, the master a Catholic worried about Protestants among his membership. The archbishop favored secularization of church property and alliances with Protestant princes, the master, an alliance with Catholic Poland.
.. Establishing schools so that people could read the Bible for themselves was a common Lutheran practice. What is different here is the avoidance of teaching religion in and translating the Bible into the native languages. That would have undermined German domination.
.. February, 1568.
.. 2 Kings 25:22‑25.
.. Ezra 4:8; Neh. 2:19.
.. Russow, in 1578 and 1584, and Renner, 1562.
.. Psalms 102:18.
.. Psalms 47:9.
.. Proverbs 20:28.
.. Psalms 78:2‑4.
.. Psalms 34:7.
.. Duke Wilhelm was studying in
was responsible for the reformation of the
.. Professor and dean of the faculty of
arts and sciences at the
.. The entire eulogy is in Latin verse in heroic or dactylic hexameter, e.g.,
Principis aeterna virtutum laude nitentis
GOTHARDI nomen, Pietas, famamque decusque,
Servabit: siquidem nostro divinitus aevo
Contigit illustri fulgens bonitate fideque,
Inclytus et donis animi, martisque, togaeque:
.. The Latin of this memorial poem is characterized by some rather violent hyperbatons. Thus, "and so that prayers directed to the true divinity might rule hearts and tongues" is in the Latin: Directaeque preces ad verum, pectora, numen, et linguas regerent.
.. Gott, god; hard, hard, firm, steadfast.
.. I.e., the Council of Regents.
Alexander Berkis, The
Reign of Duke James in
.. In the Latin, the poet plays with the root *patr‑: In patria patri patriae...
. Ivan IV "The Terrible" (1530‑1584), Duke of Moscow, was crowned Duke of Moscow in January 1547 after a fourteen year minority.
. Everyone who knew Ivan well was impressed by his contradictory personality, his talents, his vitality, his cruelty. See, for example, Kruse, pp. 235‑36.
. A vast exaggeration when referring to
the dukes of
. 1494‑1535. Walther was a Westphalian who rose to prominence during the lowest point of the Order's prestige, restored unity and discipline among the knights, ended the long quarrel with the Archbishop and citizens of Riga, defeated Ivan the Great, and then led the country through the turbulence of the Reformation without civil war or excessive unrest. He becomes the model against which his successors are measured, which is important for understanding Henning's portrayal of Gotthard Kettler.
. Ivan III, "The Great" (1440
‑ 1505). He had conquered
. August 24 near
. Basil (1479‑1533), ruled after
1505. He conquered
. Kurbsky, pp.
25‑71, 93‑105, 121‑29;
. A Saxon who returned to
. Charles V (1500‑1558) was then
struggling manfully to restore the unity of the
. Grefenthal, pp. 114‑115
. Basil III. He died of blood poisoning in 1533 when Ivan was three years old after a highly successful reign.
. Schlitten had been arrested in Lübeck in 1548 and his party dispersed.
. Among the favors, Ivan wanted to be
recognized as King. He sent an envoy to the Emperor Ferdinand with this request
in 1553, shortly after his conquest of
. A favorite theme of the Protestant ministers which was directed at those nobles who remained Roman Catholic and the Livonian Order. See Russow, pp. 50‑62.
. This diocese had long been the scene
of disturbances. The bishop ruled part of the island and the opposite mainland;
the Livonian knights held two areas, with the Sonnenburg
fortress; the nobles strove to maintain their autonomy in the episcopal lands, while the canons worked for their own
interests, too. In 1534 Duke Albrecht of
. Henning is very fond of inserting
Latin quotations and proverbs into his text. He usually follows them with a
translation into German, often in verse and with some embellishment. We have
attempted to translate the original quotes, rather than his German renderings,
as closely as possible. The Latin will be given in the footnotes. Longum consilium, intestinum odium, privatum commodum desolarunt Ungarorum imperium.
. Leviticus 26:36‑37.
pp. 111‑12; the kings of
. The Teutonic Knights had obtained a papal bull in 1395 allowing them to require all new canons admitted into the chapter of the Rigan cathedral to join the Teutonic Order. This plan to incorporate the chapter met with great resistance and ultimately failed.
. I.e., to make it into a secular state, as many contemporary churchmen had done by adopting the Lutheran reforms. Plettenberg was offered this, but he refused.
. Feras non culpes, quod vitare non potes.
. Wilhelm von Brandenburg (1498‑1563),
son of Friedrich von Ansbach and Sophie of Poland
(daughter of King Casimir). His elder brother,
Albrecht, the last grandmaster of the Teutonic Knights in
. Christopher (1537‑92). The fourth son of Albrecht VII of Mecklenburg‑Giestrow, he was destined for the church from his youth. In 1554 he was administrator of the church at Ratzeburg. His training made him suitable for either a Protestant or a Roman Catholic post. His mother was Anna of Brandenburg (1507‑47) with a distant but still important relationship to Archbishop Wilhelm. Grefenthal, pp. 116‑17; Renner, p. 8; Fabricus, pp. 465 f.; Iselin Gundermann, "Grundzüge der preussisch‑mecklenburgischen Livlandpolitik im 16. Jahrhundert," Baltische Studien, 52 (1966), pp. 31‑56.
. Sigismund II (1520‑1572), monarch since 1548. Being childless, Sigismund was constantly pursuing new marriages, either for himself or his five sisters (Jadwiga married the Elector of Brandenburg, Joachim II; Isabella, John Zapolya; Sophia, Duke Heinrich of Braunschweig; Catherine, Johan III of Sweden; and Anna, Stephen Batory). He took a great interest in his other relatives too, but it is said that he only made one decision in his entire life and that was to marry Barbara Radzivil (1520‑51) rather than the other candidates.
. This is an exaggeration to justify
later Polish efforts to dominate the church in
. The Lanski
family was prominent through its many sons educated in
. Renner about Lanski, p. 9.
. January 6.
. Not mentioned in the official report, MLA, V, 506‑8, which is not surprising, since such appointments were made at the annual assembly of the Livonian Order, not of the Livonian Confederation (the estates).
. Weywoden, i.e., pol. wojewoda, literally, "warlord".
. Nicholas Radzivil,
"the Black," (1515‑1565), the leader of the Protestant faction
. Gotthard Kettler (1517 or 1518‑1587) must have arrived about
. Henning met Kettler
in Lübeck in 1553 and became his secretary, later a
trusted diplomat, and finally chancellor of
. Controlling the
. The question is: with
. Renner, p. 9; a coadjutor was a special office, often used in the sixteenth century, by which a younger official was selected to share the duties of an elderly office‑holder, with the assumption that the younger man would eventually become the next bishop, archbishop, master, etc., upon the death of the title‑holder. A contemporary account of this episode is found in the article by Wilhelm Lenz, junior, "Joachim Burwitz' Bericht über Livland aus dem Jahre 1555," ZfO, 20 (1971), pp. 708‑29.
. Renner, p. 10.
. Melius enim esse praevenire quam praeveniri, followed by the German equivalent. Ironically, the papal nuncio wrote September 4, 'che finisce hora la tregua con Moscoviti et non sanno quel che habia a succedere, se non ben di certo che il re non sara il primo a muovere guerra," Nuntiaturberichte, XVII, 175.
. I.e., he embarked at Lübeck for the remainder of his journey to the
. His intent seems to have included
contact with Phillip II (1527‑98), who had succeeded Charles V as ruler
of the Spanish part of the Hapsburg dominion. Afterwards, the Teutonic Knights
dealt principally with Ferdinand (1503‑64), who ruled the Austrian lands
and, after 1558, held the title of emperor. The actual governor in the
. Fred L. Whipple of the Astronomical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts identified this as an unnamed comet in a parabolic orbit with a "perihelion distance 0.49 AU, inclination to ecliptic 32.4" Also mentioned, QU, II, 132.
. Albrecht von Brandenburg and Ansbach (1490‑1568). The last grandmaster of the
Teutonic Knights in
. Grefenthal, p. 117; Renner, p. 8; Fabricus, p. 467; Wilhelm (c. 1499‑1564) had come to Livonia from Westphalia as a young knight. He served as castellan of Dünaburg until this election in April of 1556.
. Knechte. "Pikemen" is more accurate. See the Translators' Note for a short discussion of military terms.
. The recruiting of soldiers for war
. This is an exaggeration. Soldiers usually only demanded their pay on the eve of battle and otherwise were used to their employers being in arrears, but the kernel of truth is that they lived off the people of the war zone more often than from their pay.
. Grefenthal, p. 118; MLA, V, 670 (incorrectly numbered 669).
. The modern reader must remember that Sigismund Augustus, as Grand Duke of Lithuania, dealt with
the problems of this sovereign state separately from those of his
. Renner with more detail, pp. 10‑11.
. Grefenthal, p. 119.
. This was never done. Henning often intimates that he knows more than he dares tell. And, indeed, he is frustratingly discreet about matters which could affect the fortunes of the Kettler dynasty.
. Brother of Phillip Schall, castellan of Marienburg.
. Grefenthal, p. 118; Renner, pp. 12‑13; Codex, pp. 196, 201.
. For Sigismund
to threaten war was an extreme step indeed. At the moment, however, he was
trying, in his patient and forgiving way, to deal with his domineering mother,
Bona Sforza, who has been accused of poisoning his
first two wives and had just gone back to
. dies scilicet funestus secutae calamitatis.
. Hermann II (1552‑58).
. Johann V (1541‑60).
. Grefenthal, p. 118.
. He was carrying letters from Wilhelm to Albrecht. The Taubes were among the most prominent families of the archdiocese.
. Possibly, "they abandoned it." Aufgeben can have either meaning. Renner, p. 12.
. Grefenthal, p. 118; Renner, p. 12.
. Non violandus erit supplex, sacer esse putetur.
. This time
. He was the head of the German convents of the Teutonic Order. His seat of government in Bad Mergentheim can still be visited today.
. Grefenthal, pp. 120‑21.
. For letters, see Codex, pp. 203f., 209f. For the problems of the empire ‑ rebellious Protestants, a sick and unpredictable emperor who yearned to resign, the Turkish threat ‑ see Paula Sutter Fichtner, Ferdinand I of Austria: the Politics of Dynasticism in the Age of the Reformation (New York: Columbia, 1982), pp. 202‑217.
. The Danes (Otto Krumpe, Eric Krabbe, Johan Straub) were in Königsberg September 12 and shortly thereafter in Wenden. They were still in Vilna in April of 1557, but their proposals were rejected. Editiones, XXIV, 58‑70. The Lithuanian army was commanded by Nicholas Radzivil, The Red (1512‑85), cousin of Nicholas the Black and brother to the king's late beloved wife, Barbara. This army outnumbered the Livonians five to one. Renner, p. 13.
. Reports of Russian mobilization were coming in regularly. QU, I, 6f., 17f.; QU, II, 32‑41, 46‑57; Briefe, I, 27‑29 for Fürstenberg's fear of an attack in October and November, 1557.
. Renner, p. 14.
. Nicholas Radzivil,
The Black, had assembled a synod of Reformers in Vilna which founded a
Calvinist church, the next year printed Protestant books in Polish and Latin,
and in 1563 received a guarantee of equal liberty of worship with Roman
Catholicism. Thomas Chase, The Story of
. QU, II, 57‑59, 185‑87, 212‑14 showing him still in service in May, 1558.
. September, 1557. Codex, pp. 215f., 222.
. Otto IV (d. 1576). Such contacts with
. The normal garrison of a border castle was two knights and their retinue.
. Quam mirabiliter trahuntur sontes ad supplicia sera tamen tacitis poena venit pedibus. This statement is a precise quotation of the Latin elegiac poet Tibullus 1.9.3.
. Fifteen years, dependent upon the payment of the tribute from Dorpat within three years. Grefenthal, p. 114; MLA, V, 508‑16.
. A copy of Ivan's letter is in NQU, I, 31‑33, and in Russow, pp. 82‑83. See also Kruse, pp. 281‑83; QU, II, 4‑29; NQU, 75‑78; Briefe, I, 20f.; Briefe, III, 24f.; and Kurbsky, pp. 107‑8.
. The diplomatic efforts to avoid war
without granting Ivan his basic demands have been the subject of several
notable monographs. These are summarized in William Urban, "The Origin of
the Livonian War, 1558," Lituanas, 29
(1983), pp. 11‑25; a description of
. Kruse, p. 184; Renner, p. 15; Fabricus, p.467; NQU, I, 1‑30, 33‑35.
. Meaning without a declaration of war.
. Hermann Zoye's. Renner, p.16. On January 28 the mayor of Narva wrote that the people had not listened to the warnings about the impending war. Briefe, II, 36‑37.
. I.e., they could not rely on their willingness or ability to defend the country.
. QU, I, 20‑33 and NQU, I, 1‑30; Russow, pp. 71‑71. Kruse's own account of the embassy can be found on pp. 241‑42.
. Kruse, p. 200; Briefe, I, 44f., 50f. Tielemann Bredenbach's contemporary account notes that the Bishop of Dorpat had failed to honor previous promises to rebuild
Russian churches. Archiv, I, 173‑76. Thus the
failure to pay even the minor tribute went back many years ‑ even to the
previous century. MLA, V, 509‑15. In 1554 Dorpat
negotiators had promised to resolve these matters within three years. George
von Rauch, "Stadt und Bistum Dorpat bis zum Ende
der Ordenzeit," ZfO, 24(1975),
pp. 599‑606. In the end the Germans decided to promise Ivan a great sum ‑
more than the annual income of all the nobles in Dorpat
combined. Russow, p. 66. The plan was to appeal to
the Holy Roman Emperor to forbid the payment! When no money arrived at the
appointed time, Ivan sent his armies into
. Henning appears in the document, QU, I, 95, on February 18; Kettler is
mentioned as being in Fellin on May 26, QU, I, 134; Henning quietly passes over
the negotiations with
. QU, I, 87‑93; Briefe, I, 45f., 66f.; Briefe, II, 46‑47, for the engagement at the longbridge over the Embach.
. I.e., Shah Ali (1505‑1566).
This immensely fat Tatar Khan had been Ivan's choice to rule in
. Such stories are also in Fabricus, pp. 474‑76; Renner, p.16f, with great detail; Russow, pp. 72‑73; QU, II, 156‑57.
. His letters are in NQU, I, 46‑47 and Briefe, II, 52‑53.
. This was the money promised earlier,
but not delivered. June 3‑6, 1558.
Russow, p. 74; Kruse, pp. 241‑42; QU, II, 152‑56, 191‑93, 222‑3;
Renner, p.23. For Fürstenberg's own report of March
14, see Briefe, I, 102‑4. There was
a short truce at this time, which caused
. Renner, pp.23ff., May 11. The siege had begun in March. Briefe, II, pp. 68f, 73f., 81f., 100f.
. But their force was small. QU, II, pp. 195‑96, 202‑4; Briefe, I, 184f., 188; Briefe, II, 96, 98‑99. Renner, p. 25, locates Kettler as leader of this force, but he withdrew early.
. The assault was expected. QU, II, 205‑7.
. Kruse made a similar report, p.244. Narva was so strongly fortified, the army could be expected to hold out. See Armin Tuulse, Die Burgen in Estland und Lettland (Dorpat: Estnischer Verlag, 1942), pp. 173‑79. Kurbsky, pp. 109‑15, tells a story of drunken Germans trying to burn an icon, which immediately exploded and set the town on fire.
. Kurbsky, p. 115.
. Renner, pp. 26‑28.
. This paragraph appears in the first
and second editions, but was deleted from the final edition. In 1594 the city
. On May 1 Narva
received promises of trading rights in
. Russow, p.74, agreed with this judgment. Non‑combatants often fail to understand military decisions made under conditions of stress, exhaustion, and incomplete information and condemn those which turn out to be mistaken.
. Quosque salus ipsa, etiam si voluisset, servare non potuisset. The thought is a commonplace of Latin comic drama. Cf. Plautus, Mostellaria 2.1.4, Captivi 3.3.14 and Terence, Adelphoe 4.7.43.
. Kruse, pp. 244‑46; Renner, p. 28; Kurbsky, p.117.
. Kruse, p. 245; QU, II, 230‑31, 271‑74, 284; Briefe, I, 190f., 233f.; Briefe, II, 117f.; Renner, p.29. Tuulse, Die Burgen, pp. 306‑8, has a map and pictures; Horsey, p.159, says that Michael Glinsky was the Russian commander.
. MLA, V, 523‑535; QU, II, 311f.
. Tiesenhausen indirectly disagrees that there was such wealth available, p. 285; however, Russow, p. 77, concurs.
. Virtus enim unita fortior dispersa.
. sed surdo canebatur fabula. The Latin is proverbial. Cf. Terence, Heautontimorumenos 2.1.10.
. See Renner, p. 28, and Briefe, I, 246f., for the July report of the episcopal embassy to
. Renner, p. 31, accuses Elert Kruse of secret negotiations with the Russians. He mentions other traitors, p. 32.
. QU, I, 115‑6, 147‑51, 180‑96. Dietrich Behr, who later became important in Öselian affairs, refused to serve as commander at this time. QU, I, 154‑55; QU, II, 274‑75.
. Kruse reported, p. 245, that the archbishop's five hundred cavalry had failed to join the army as promised, leaving the master with only fifteen hundred horsemen.
. Kruse, p. 245; Renner, p. 32.
. QU, 220; QU, II, 322f; Renner, p. 32.
. zur teglicher Hausshaltung gehörig.
V, 547‑59; QU, I, 274‑77.
. NQU, I, 60‑61, 115‑21; Briefe, II, 144f., 171f. Henning was with this party. He was in Lübeck on September 28. QU, III, 22.
. Henning was to lead this party. QU, I, 105‑8.
. See QU, II, 325‑6; NQU, I, 65‑70; Briefe, II, 255f., for their report in March, 1559.
. Bredenbach's description of the desperate fighting was more accurate. Archiv, I, 184‑91. Henning relies too much on Russow, pp. 76‑77. Kruse, pp. 246‑49, objected strongly to this condemnation of the Dorpaters.
. QU, III, 61.
. Instar Panici terroris, quem etiam deorum liberi fugiunt.
. Hermann had resigned his office July
5 and named Magnus of Holstein his successor. Presumably this was an effort to
obtain Danish aid. NQU, I, 58‑59. He wrote a letter in his defense in June of
1558. Renner, pp. 57‑58. He was exiled to Lyubin,
a town near
. Kruse, p. 252, calls this a blatant lie, as does Tiesenhausen, pp. 284‑85. However, it is true that the previous bishop, Jost von der Recke, had left his diocese in fearful financial straits.
. Waldemar II (1170‑1241) in 1223.
. Waldemar IV (1321/4‑1375) in 1347 for the sum of 19,000 gulden.
. Christopher Münchhausen
was the brother of Bishop Johann of Ösel and
. duplici iure emptionis et donationis.
. NQU, I, 66‑74. For Reval politics at this point, see Klot, pp. 4‑19.
. NQU, I, 76‑78, 121‑26. A Swedish officer, Henrik Classen Horn, witnessed these events. QU, I, 212‑16. Also mentioned in Briefe, II, 134f., 178ff.
I, 80, seemed to confirm that, but a few days later, August 7, the king
indicated his desire to avoid war. Ibid., p. 83. In September the king was
ready to send help if he were given all of
. Renner, p. 37, quotes the reply in different words, but with the same intent. The incident catches Christian's personality well. He was a careful administrator who valued sound finances above potential gains from war.
. Afflicto enim esse afflictionem addendam.
. Dietrich Behr and Heinrich Üxküll were severely criticized by the Danish diplomats for
having given up the city. NQU, II, 11‑15. Plans were
underway to bring all
. Mentioned in Briefe, I, 288, September 15. The September expedition is mentioned, Ibid., p. 279, 283; also in Briefe, II, 199f.
. Dietrich Behr had married Anna Münchhausen in
. On St.Martin's Eve. See Russow, p. 84, who places the event in 1556; QU, I, 289‑96 for the campaign.
. Rogo D. Tuam intercedat pro me apud Dominum suum Magnum Livoniae Magistrum, ut me in civitatem suam, ad medicos mittat, qui graviter et lethaliter sum vulneratus.
. QU, I, 289.
. I.e., the sale of munitions, etc., to the Russians. See 24b, 25b. The hansatag was in August and September, 1559. QU, III, 245f., 256‑66, 187; Briefe, II, 229f., 233f.
. QU, I, 215. He was very ill and was planning the conquest of Dithmarschen, a free republic whose warriors had smashed a Danish army in 1500 and whose existence was a hated embarrassment to each successive monarch. This invasion was carried out by his successor, Frederick II, in the summer of 1559.
. Cum ne Hercules quidem contra duos, multo minus contra ternos.
. For reports concerning the delegation, see NQU, II, 55‑107, 140‑164; QU, III, 90, 97. See Briefe, II, 136f., for the exchange of letters between Reval and the Russian commander at Dorpat, Prince Shuisky.
. Disce Mori.
. Ivan was not present. A prisoner identified the commanders as Simon Mekolenski, Prince Vasilii, Prince Yuri Serementov, and Mikita Romanov. NQU, I, 29.
. See Renner, p. 50, for a description of the Russian advance. Also, QU, III, 102‑4; and Briefe, II, 245f.
. February, 1559.
. The governor of
. Renner, p. 54; MLA, V, 574‑75; letter to the king, NQU, II, 114‑18; instructions for Kettler, QU, III, 105‑8, 131‑35; Lenz, p. 14.
. In March. For letter of instruction to Rembert Gilsheim and Salomon Henning, see QU, II, 109‑17, 125‑30, 177f.
. Johan, who was receiving reports
about the weakness of
. He had been reprimanded by Gustav for his childish enthusiasm in October of 1558. QU, IV, 106f., 166f. See Sture Arnell, Die Auflösung des livländischen Ordensstaates. Das schwedische Eingreifen und die Heirat Herzog Johanns von Finnland 1558‑1562 (Lund: Lindstedt, 1937), p.36, quoting his representative to Reval, Henrik Classen Horn, "they will open the door to whomever comes first."
. Ehrlauchtigsten und nicht Durchlauchtigsten.
. Quid significat, Ehrlauchten, Illuminare? Non esse Regem Suecorum, Dei gratia tam obfuscatum, ut illuminatione Livoniensium opus haberet. Correct in the Latin. Oct. 16, QU, III, 302. The point of the anecdote is that Erik was mentally unstable.
. The Lapps were of course dressed in reindeer skins.
. Presumably, "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing."
. Renner, p. 59; description in QU, III, 203‑7.
. Before August. QU, IV, 132f.; Gustav's letter of November 24 to Kettler, QU, IV, 1‑4.
. Henning is in Hapsal
by December. NQU, III, 208; Gilsheim appears in
. NQU, II, 60‑101.
V, 577, indicates the king would only act if he were given
. MLA, V, 578‑83.
. Renner, p. 60; Johann Albrecht of
. QU, III, 197‑99.
. They presented their petition to
. Letter of July and from Kettler, QU, III, 229‑30. Agreement of August 31, QU, III, 267‑71; Renner, pp. 62‑63.
. Renner, pp. 67ff. The title refers to
the technical division of the
. QU, III, 269‑70. Renner, pp. 62‑65, gives the entire German text of the treaty, whereas Henning quotes from the Latin version.
. QU, III, 313‑5.
. November 10.
. Kurbsky says, pp. 135‑37, that Russians were being beaten by smaller forces of Germans because Ivan had sent his best generals and experienced troops south against the Tatars, leaving unskilled and inexperienced men in their place. Dorpat was the seat of the Russian administration. For details about Ivan's form of government, see Norbert Angermann, Studien zur Livlandpolitik Ivan Groznyjs (Marburg/Lahn: Herder, 1972).
. More important was the lack of ammunition and other supplies, especially fodder. September, 1559, QU, III, 292, 294‑5.
. A report to Johan of Finland summarized the fighting. QU, IV, 22‑23; Renner, pp. 71‑72. Henning was here in December. Renner, p.73.
. QU, IV, 19f., 24f.
. MLA, V, 719‑20. "Jeremias" Hoffmann in Renner, pp. 70‑71, who gives texts of the letters, also pp. 75, 88. For the report on his failure, May, 1560, see QU, V, 55‑56.
. Henning was meanwhile seeking to obtain possession of Wiek for Kettler, NQU, II, 206‑14. He witnessed the Revalers taking the oath of allegiance to the Livonian Order, Briefe, V, p. xxxv. See Codex, pp. 222f., for letter.
. Caspar von Syberg. The castle fell on February 14. Tiesenhausen, p. 337, says that the story of the surrender will come to light at an appropriate time. Renner, p. 79, says that a breech had been made in the wall.
. February, 1560. Renner, pp. 79‑80; NQU, III, 62‑63; NQU, IV, 38f., 51f., 57f. See Codex, pp. 226f., for the royal instructions to the legates; Lenz, pp. 15ff., for the Rigan objections. This led to a long series of meetings which Henning neglects to mention.
. June 11. QU, V, 98.
. MLA, V, 603‑610, in Kokenhausen, April 21; Renner, pp. 84‑85.
. This problem was the subject of extensive correspondence. QU, VI, 21‑24, 29, 46‑47, 51f. This specific quote cannot be verified.
. Renner, pp. 79, 82. Kettler and Fürstenberg were fierce enemies. Fürstenberg did not agree with Kettler's policies, which he believed would lead to the dissolution of the Order, the introduction of Protestantism, and Polish domination. QU, IV, 231‑32, 257‑80, 282f., 306‑14; Briefe, IV, 4f; QU, V, 85‑86. Kettler wrote Fürstenberg that rumors of their quarrel were disturbing the Poles. Theodor Schiemann, Historische Darstellungen und Archivalische Studien (Mitau: Behre, 1886), pp. 94f.
. Nulla calamitas sola. A report from March confirms this. QU, IV, 254‑55; Renner, p. 75.
. In March the mercenaries were ready
to turn the city over to
. In April 1560, the city council warned about unpaid soldiers. QU, V, 4‑5, 17f.
. March 1560. Renner, pp. 85‑86; QU, IV, 245f., 263; QU, V, 26f., 66ff. On May 20 Kettler wrote the mercenaries that he had the Prussian money for their back pay. QU, V, 83‑84.
. 80,000 gulden according to Karl
Cruse, Curland unter den Herzögen (Mitau: Reyher, 1833), I, pp. 29‑30. On
. Renner, p. 87; Fabricus,
pp. 474f.; MLA, V, 583‑84. QU, V, 46f., indicates Magnus' ambitions
. 30,000 with half paid in June, 1560, according to NQU, II, 357‑59. For Münchhausen's own story, see NQU, III, 237‑40.
. Henning has '1541', which is incorrect.
. Magnus was the younger brother of the
King of Denmark who had been sent to Ösel to replace
Johann Münchhausen as bishop of Ösel
. Henning, Clodt
and Nulle represented Kettler
when Fürstenburg refused to serve. QU, V, 88, 90‑91, 201f.; Renner,
p.96. Frederik II (1534‑1588) was a lazy,
pleasure‑loving monarch. He occupied himself with hunting, banquets, and
heavy drinking and left diplomacy to his officials. He had little interest in
. Fabricus, p.475, repeats the charge and names Christian Schraffer. Magnus describes his appointments in NQU, III, 173‑79. Christopher Münchhausen was replaced by Dietrich Behr, but Christopher's policies had not pleased Henning, nor was Dietrich Behr new. Ulrich Behr was similarly well‑known as prior. Johann Zöge zu Errestfer had been prominent before, now he was put in charge of Lode. According to the Wappenbuch, pp.169‑70, the Manteuffel family is descended from this family.
. sich...zu dem Herrn Meister nötigte. To the
contrary, NQU, III, 183‑85,
. Such was the archbishop's feeling. August 21, NQU, III, 19. The plans for the attack are in QU, V, 94‑98.
. QU, V, 124‑26, 198f, 241‑44. Kettler remained in Dünamünde. The conclusion of the talks was accelerated by the news of the defeat at Ermes. Ibid., 271‑75, 279f. Text in Renner, p. 98f.
. Tiesenhausen, p. 337; Russow, p. 100; QU, V, 269‑75; NQU, II, 9‑12; MLA, V, 632‑34.
. On July 5, the emperor suggested that
Kettler approach the reichstag again. QU, V, 147‑48. The same day, Chodiewicz withdrew the Polish forces out of danger! Ibid., 149‑50. Kettler
appealed to him to send the army into
. Kurbsky, pp. 136‑49.
. NQU, III, 185; Renner, p. 97. Kurbsky, pp. 141‑43, indicates that the marshal had not realized the size of the army facing him.
. Mentioned in Wappenbuch, p.192, as the founder of a prominent family.
. See Kurbsky, pp. 143‑49, for Phillip Schall's own words.
. Russow, pp. 86‑87.; QU, V. 269‑75; Kurbsky, pp. 149‑51. The siege had lasted four weeks.
. Kettler asked Chodkiewicz to proceed there immediately after hearing of the defeat at Ermes. Chodkiewicz did not, of course. QU, V, 270‑71. For the siege, see Ibid., 295f.; Renner, p. 98, 101f.; Briefe, IV, 41ff., 57f.
. The mutineers were known by name. QU, VI, 198‑201.
. Staden, pp.
23, 72, claims to have been present at Fürstenberg's
interrogation by Ivan. He says the master refused to serve the Russian tsar and
that he was exiled to Lyubim, a small town near
. This is plausible. A Tatar delegation
. Russow, p. 88; Renner, pp. 106f.; QU, VI, 37‑39, 80‑83, 125‑26, 142‑44, 159‑60.
p.85: "Duke Magnus was nineteen years old when he came to
. Russow, pp. 94‑95; NQU, 56‑57, 150f.
. Henning was in Reval in June and July. QU, V, 222‑24. Negotiations had continued for an alliance with Kettler through the summer. QU, V, 176‑77. Also note reports from Reval, Ibid., pp. 189‑94. Kruse, pp. 268‑69, describes the situation in Wiek. See also Arnell, Die Auflösung des livländischen Ordenstaates, pp. 87, 103‑5, 126f.
. Henning with Jaspar Sieberg and Otto Taube in August of 1560. Briefe, IV, 2‑83. He married Margareta von der Pahlen in August. This was the first of his three marriages, from which three sons and a daughter survived.
. Gustav Vasa (1494‑1560).
. Johan was now Duke of Finland, Magnus
(1542‑1595) later to be duke of
. Reval reported the progress to Kettler in October. Briefe, IV, 91f.
. He hoped to persuade
. They presented their requests to him on November 7. QU, VI, 149. By December they had still not been received. Ibid., 172‑75. See Renner, pp. 111‑12, for a summary.
. Nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet. This is an exact quotation of the Latin poet Horace, Epistles 1.18.84. The meter is the dactylic hexameter.
. QU, VI, 16‑18, 92‑96; Briefe, IV, 104f. The stories they told about the corruption of the Livonian Order provoked Kettler to order them arrested or killed. For family, consult Wappenbuch, III, 1, pp.187‑88.
. Once a monk, then a married pastor, Jöran (1533‑77) had worked briefly for Gustav Vasa before being exiled. At the court of Erik, he became his evil genius. He was the king's personal secretary, a remarkable machiavellian figure who suited the king's personality well.
. The meter is the elegiac.
. January 6. They took formal leave on December 29. QU, VI, 190f.
. Henning was present in person, having
. A fathom (Klaffter, Fadem) is equal to about six feet.
. Jost Clodt was a member of this delegation. Briefe, IV, 270‑307; Klot, pp. 39‑44.
. A letter of King Erik reflects his feelings in June, 1562. NQU, III, 311‑24. He sent a message to Ivan in May of 1561. QU, VII, 94‑97, 104‑115. The king's intention was not to have an alliance, but merely an understanding that each would keep what he had taken. QU, V, 307ff.
. Sed facta non possunt fieri infecta.
. Clas Kristernsson Horn (1518‑1566), the governor of
. Renner, p.113. Briefe, IV, 241‑51, 259‑61, 307‑48; Tiesenhausen, pp.338‑39.
. Including Henning. Cruse, Curland, p.65.
. Briefe, IV, 256f., 293ff. Henning
wrote on April 10 that he was expected soon. QU, VI, 342. Also see his letter of April 25, QU, VII, 86f. His wife meanwhile had been left, ill, in Reval. Ibid., VI,
336. In July Kettler presented Henning and his wife a
. Including Salomon Henning, NQU, III, 157; QU, VII, 124. Heinrich was the son of Peter von Dohna and Catherine, daughter of Achaz von Zehman. Dohna, p.1. They went north by way of Kokenhausen. QU, VII, 205. p.205; Briefe, IV, 277‑78, 305, 338.
. Briefe, IV, 327f., 351f.
. QU, VII, 311‑324. Henning and the delegates had almost arrived. QU, VII, 275‑77; Briefe, IV, 373f.
. The city was defended by a small Polish force and the German mercenaries led by Caspar von Oldenbockem, almost the only hero of the earlier fighting. The garrison surrendered on June 6. QU, VII, 229‑34; NQU, III, 164‑70, 174‑76. Russow, p.95, gives the date as June 24.
. At the king's orders. QU, VII, 78f.; VIII, 24f., 49f.
. I.e., between
. Manet alta mente repostum Iudicium Paridis. Quotation of Vergil, Aeneid 1.26‑27.
. A deliberate policy of Kettler, who authorized freebooters to attack ships bound
for Narva. QU,
V, 16, 44‑45, 60f., 88‑89. The question of Hanseatic
ships sailing to Narva was less of a concern to
Henning than to the Reval chronicler, but it was
important to undermine Russian trade. The letters between the kings of
. There was no conflict between Ferdinand and Sigismund Augustus. The former had given two daughters as wives to the Polish king and overlooked their extreme unhappiness. For his part, Sigismund Augustus was a quiet and peaceable man wholly lacking in enthusiasm for glory or conquest, much less conflict.
. I.e., King Erik and Ivan.
. Magnus agreed. The situation was so chaotic that opportunities abounded. NQU, III, 194f., 200‑4.
. On September 19 Kettler wrote his representatives in Vilna to make haste. QU, VI, 18‑21; Ibid., 27‑28.
was the very unpopular governor of Polish‑Lithuanian Livonia (1563‑1579)
who did not check the violence of his troops or temper his religious fervor on
behalf of the Roman Church. Chodkiewicz announced his