THE YEARS 1556-1557

In the winter of THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1556 a comet was visible for several weeks.(1) It was near Arcturus in Libra and its tail stretched across Lithuania and Russia. A time of famine followed and a quantity of rye which had cost fifty Riga marks now cost one hundred and thirty. A great war also ensued as will be related below.

In Riga at this time there was a man from Meißen by the name of Jorgen. He went about the city ill clad and barefoot, working and refusing to eat or drink anything he had not earned from his labor. He called upon the people to repent, repeatedly crying out: "Woe upon Livonia! Mend your ways!" and similar warnings and entreaties. He never slept anywhere except upon the ground. He insisted on going into the churches to preach and although the preachers went to him on a number of occasions and tried to persuade him to cease his activities, he was able to demonstrate from Holy Scripture that they should let him be. From Riga(2) he went to Pernau and from there to Reval, everywhere calling upon the people to repent. He went on to Allentacken on the Russian border and there on a hilltop some peasants slew him.(3)

These things were all portends of the misfortune to soon befall Livonia, just as one reads in histories of the destruction of Jerusalem and Rome.

It is necessary to know that prior to this time the archbishops and bishops, prelates, the estates of the Order and the nobles had concluded and agreed at a general landtag that no hereditary princes should be installed in Livonia nor made bishop or members of the Order, for they did not wish the country to become a secular state.(4) They bound themselves to this with oaths and with signed and sealed agreements. But Margrave Wilhelm, the Archbishop of Riga, his brother Duke Albrecht of Prussia(5) and the landmarshal, Sir Jasper von Münster,(6) conspired against this agreement and sought to bring Duke Christoffer of Mecklenburg(7) into Livonia to supplant the Order. Such was their plan: from times of old the landmarshal, by virtue of his office, had been the master's successor. Since Master Heinrich von Galen was now very old and no longer able to govern,(8) Sir Jasper von Münster, expecting to succeed him, had taken the government and all authority into his own hands. He was thus in a position to put into effect their plan to divide and partition the country. To ensure some justification and protection, should they need it, they brought the King of Poland, Sigismund Augustus, into their undertaking. And so they waited but for an opportune time and for the demise of Sir Galen.

In the meantime the master was informed of this and so he quickly summoned the commanders to Wolmar(9) and told them all he had learned. Since this matter could not be dealt with lightly and since he, old as he was, was unable to do very much, he asked them to give him an assistant and co-governor.

And so the landmarshal, for the reasons mentioned above, was passed over and Sir Wilhelm Fürstenberg,(10) the castellan of Fellin, was elected coadjuator.

This angered the landmarshal and he left Wolmar in a fury and went to Segewold (Sewolde). Then he sent the archbishop a report of everything that had happened at Wolmar. The archbishop wrote to the King of Poland(11) and to the Duke of Prussia, telling them their plan had failed.

The King of Poland then sent one Lanski (Luntschi),(12) his governor at Birsen in Lithuania,(13) to the master with the following pronouncement:

His Majesty had learned of the landmarshal's distressing situation and this grieved him, for His Majesty considered it most unseemly that such a man should be so mistreated. But since it is not fitting for Christian kings to lightly take up arms, His Majesty had agreed to take the matter under advisement for a very brief period of time. In the meanwhile he had sent his ambassadors to the Holy Roman Emperor to inform him of how a new master in Livonia had been elected contrary to ancient custom; of what this master had once done against the king; and of how all this had created an extremely perilous situation, since the election of such a rash and malicious man as master might well allow the Muscovite to conquer all of Livonia.

Lanski was also to secretly tell the landmarshal that he should remain steadfast in his undertaking and abide by what he had promised and that the king would find some means to preserve the landmarshal's well being and honor.

The only reply to Lanski was that the election of the coadjuator was an accomplished fact and could under no circumstances be revoked. And with this they sent him on his way.

The statement in the pronouncement that Sir Fürstenberg had at once done something against the king is explained as follows: When Sir Wilhelm Fürstenberg was still castellan at Dünaburg(14) he had had many feuds and quarrels with the neighboring Lithuanians, who had repeatedly invaded Livonia and plundered a number of farms in the district of Dünaburg. In retaliation Sir Fürstenberg and his men had gone into Lithuania and plundered, inflicting ten times as much damage upon them as they had upon him; this took place in spite of the fact that there was an enduring peace agreement between the King and Livonia. This point required explanation.

During this time Duke Christoffer von Mecklenburg came to Livonia to the archbishop, who appointed him his coadjuator.(15)

Meanwhile the archbishop had written the Duke of Prussia the following letter:

Well-born prince, dearly beloved lord and brother: I send my fond greeting and everlasting prayers to God for your long lasting, happy and healthy reign. My greatest joy would be to learn of Your Grace's good health. I am compelled to ask that you send three ships to Reval in support of the ten thousand men who will initiate the first phase of our plan. If we act quickly in Courland this can be achieved without bloodshed. Pernau can also be taken and, God willing, Wenden as well. There are many true-hearted men who are looking for some remedy. Things are falling apart everywhere. The dissention and animosity is great, greater than one could imagine. One needs but help things along. In haste I have been compelled to write Your Grace of these matters so that you might make your preparations accordingly. Upon this man who is oppressed have we set our seal.(16) Dated at Kokenhausen, in haste, 1556. Please give this and the above your kind consideration.

This letter was captured and sent to the master. Other letters were also seized which the landmarshal had sent. From them it was clear what was about to take place. And so the master summoned all the commanders to come to him at Wenden so that they could decide on a course of action. This assembly at Wenden began on May 20 and lasted for four weeks. They had decided to keep their forces united until they could learn what lords were moving against them and then be able to attack one of them. All manner of strange rumors were going about. But since time was on the side of their opponents, they decided to either capture or put to flight the landmarshal, since he was the source of this war. This was agreed upon and Sir Gotthard Kettler,(17) the castellan of [Dünamünde],(18) was sent to Germany where he was to recruit landsknechte(19) and dispatch them to Livonia.(20)

When the landmarshal learned of these matters he feared for his life and went from Segewold to Dünamünde. The latter was his strongest fortress, situated on the shore of the Baltic about ten miles below Riga.(21) In preparation for the above-mentioned undertaking the castle had been strongly stocked with provisions and all other war material. But when he came up to the castle, the gates were slammed shut and the castellan, Sir Georg von Brabeck,(22) ordered his men to fire upon him. He fell back and quickly withdrew to Ascheraden.(23) There, too, the castellan(24) barred the gates to the castle as he had been earlier instructed to do. Thus rejected, he now had no castles except Mitau(25) (Mitouw) and Nitau (Nitouw). Convinced he would not be safe in either one, he went to the archbishop at Kokenhausen. The latter received him and hastily wrote the following letter to the Duke of Prussia:

We have no doubts that our letters and those of the landmarshal have demonstrated the latter's true intents. In the meanwhile two of his best castles, Dünamünde and Ascheraden, needlessly placed themselves into the hands of the master,(26) who, it is said, bribed the landmarshal's officers and liegemen who garrisoned those castles to forsake their sworn oaths of allegiance. The master, furthermore, has designs on the landmarshal's life and person since he refused to acknowledge the election of the new master. The landmarshal was unable to take refuge in his other castles since they had not been fortified and so, with the enemy in hot pursuit, he was forced to retreat, coming here to us at Kokenhausen two days ago. He sent his forces, his horses and liegemen, sixty well-armed horsemen, across the Düna toward Lithuania to one of his manors some five miles from here. He sorrowfully told us of his situation and plight and asked us to give him haven in his time of great peril. We are much too weak to defend him alone and must also consider that if we publicly proclaim him under our protection the men of the Order might feel justified in pursuing their enemy (thus do they consider him) wherever he might be. In an instant we could lose much which we could later regain only with the greatest effort, if at all. Nevertheless, we are well aware that it would be most unseemly of us to cast out such a guest under such circumstances, to abandon him without hope, since earlier we promised to stand by him with aid and assistance in case of such emergency. And so now we have received him here at Kokenhausen, involved as he is in difficulties and dangers, all resulting from that good cause now set into motion. Let it not be thought, however, that it was our intent to take him under our protection, but rather that out of Christian love we could not cast out one who had good reason to expect refuge with us. He and I agreed to write to the master(27) offering to negotiate this matter. We have done this, hoping in this way to forestall him for a time. It is not the landmarshal's intent to enter into an agreement with him, but rather to remain steadfast in those matters of which he earlier wrote the King of Poland(28) and Your Grace, so that he, along with me, should be worthy of the king's and Your Grace's favor. We must also tell Your Grace that he has decided to place himself, his horses and his men, since these are virtually surrounded at the manor where they are now located, under your sovereignty and that of the King of Poland, hoping thus to resolve matters with his neighbors and to gain aid and assistance against these people. Another consideration was that should he have to remain there for a long time and should something happen to him, then the horses, men and weapons might all fall into the hands of the enemy. But now should the king and Your Grace decide to take him under your protection you will be able to propose some place where he and his men might safely stay. Your Grace will certainly exert yourself on behalf of this good man and soon write us, telling us what he should now do. Since Duke Johann Albrecht(29) is doubtlessly also concerned with this matter, Your Grace will also pass all these details on to him. This day we have received news that the new master Fürstenberg has arrogantly proclaimed that he would soon seize the landmarshal and that he would have all those who have spoken on his behalf thrown into prison. But in doing this he will create much discord, for the majority side with the landmarshal. In a word, they themselves are not united in this matter and this does not harm our undertaking. We fear that our most recent dispatch, which we sent to you along with letters from the landmarshal, was seized, since it has been five weeks and we have received no reply. It is dangerous to send dispatches by way of Courland, and so in the future would Your Grace send letters by way of Lithuania, to Birsen, in the district of the voyevoda of Trakai (Trocken),(30) some fifty miles from here. From there send them through the landmarshal's holdings in that same district. He has a number of manors there, all overseen by loyal men. From there they can be sent on here, to Kokenhausen. It is out of our brotherly love for you that we inform you of all this, you for whose well being we fervently pray the mighty protection of God. Dated at Kokenhausen, in haste, June 10, 1556.

This letter was also captured and turned over to the master.(31)

After the landmarshal withdrew, the Order captured and garrisoned his castles and made preparations for a campaign against the archbishop. When the archbishop learned of this he sent his chancellor, Christoffer Sturtz, and two noblemen to the master with instructions to ask the following: The archbishop asked the purpose of this mobilization. He was not aware of having done anything against these districts. If, contrary to expectation, such acts were ascribed to him, he would ask that they cease hostilities against him and enter into negotiations. Thereupon the captured letters were shown and read to Sturtz, one of which was written in the archbishop's own hand. Sturtz feigned surprise and apologetically explained that he had known nothing of them and that he had not been in the archbishop's presence for half a year. He rode day and night to return to the archbishop, who then immediately wrote letters to his allies explaining what had happened. He sent them with a beggar, hoping he would be able to get through with them. But the beggar and the letters were both captured, for the border was so closely guarded that no one could slip through.

The King of Poland sent the Bishop of Samogitia(32) (Samaiten) to the master to tell him that the king requested him to immediately halt his mobilization. The bishop was also shown the above-mentioned letters and he too feigned surprise, acting as if he knew nothing of them. He said he would report this to the king and so departed. The master, for his part, sent Friederich von Ampten, the Bishop of Reval; Dr. Rempert Gildsheim; and Michel Brunnaue (Brunnouwe), secretary, to the King of Poland to give a full accounting of all these matters.(33)

On June 18 the men of the Order took to the field and moved first against Ronneburg (Runeborg). On June 19 the advocate of Jerwen(34) attacked and burned the foreburg.(35) Return fire came from the castle but no one was hit.

On June 21 two demi-cannons and two siege culverins(36) were brought up from Wenden(37) and when the men in the castle saw this, they surrendered the castle that same evening. The men of the Order stayed here for three days.

On June 24 they moved on against Serben which surrendered, as did Pebalg.(38)

On June 28 they arrived before Kokenhausen, the archbishop's chief castle. The archbishop and Duke Christoffer were both present there. The Order's forces took up positions around the castle. Duke Christoffer rode out to them and was so eager to negotiate that the archbishop surrendered.

On June 30 both princes departed under strong escort. The archbishop was taken to Schmilten and from there to Adsel in the district of Marienburg, where he was held prisoner. Duke Christoffer, on the other hand, was given freedom to proceed to Treiden, fifty miles from Riga.(39)

After the capture of the castle, plundering was strictly forbidden, but this was to no avail. Much booty was taken, but the commanders took over whatever remained in the castle proper.(40) The chancellor Christoffer Sturtz and the secretary Johannes Wagner were taken prisoner but then later released.

In the meanwhile the King of Poland had again sent the above-mentioned Lanski to the archbishop with letters and oral instructions. On his way he and five of his men were slain. It happened this way: At all the borders orders had been given that no one was to be allowed to cross into Livonia without official escort or by travelling the back roads. Whoever tried was to be seized. The peasants were also ordered to enforce this. Now Lanski had secretly taken a back road and so he was accosted by the advocate of Rositen.(41) But he refused to stop and rode on. Some of his men were killed in the confrontation. Others who fled into the marshes and thickets were slain there. Lanski was also seized and struck down by a peasant from behind. The letters he was carrying were sent to the master.

This brought about a new war (the third) with the King of Poland who intended to avenge this murderous deed.(42) And so he made ready for war, as did the Order.

On July 5 the commanders of the Order left Kokenhausen for Ascheraden. From there they went on to Bauske, taking up positions before the castle on July 13. The landsknechte from Riga and Reval and also horsemen from the archdiocese of Riga and the diocese of Dorpat joined them there. Altogether there were eight companies(43) of landsknechte. The King of Poland and his large army had taken up a position not far away. He outnumbered them five-to-one. No hostilities ensued, however, for other rulers had intervened to avert war. The Roman King Ferdinand(44) sent Watzlouw Wrzesolowitz of Neuschloß (Nienschlate)(45) and Valentin Saurmann of Jeltsch (Jeltz); Barnim and Philip, dukes of Pomerania,(46) sent Dr. Lorentz Otto and Henning von Walde of Losen, to resolve these hostilities.(47) They proceeded with several of the Order's commanders to Wolmar to Master Galen where they proclaimed that they had instructions and plenipotentiary power from the Roman King and from the prince electors of the Holy Roman Empire to conduct honest negotiations to end this war. Since the Order was also inclined toward peace, a treaty was concluded after much negotiation and discussion, subject, however, to ratification by the King of Poland and the Duke of Prussia. It reads as follows:

I. Each side is to forgive, absolve and acquit the other of all the provocations which allegedly led to this war and of all the animosities, deaths, losses and expenses which resulted from it. From this time forward neither shall allude to it in bitterness, but rather each shall live in peace and neighborly love with the other and his successors.

II. The archbishop shall be restored to his former dignity, station and office and all the archdiocese's churches, castles, fortresses, cities, villages, manors (whatever had belonged to him until recently), along with all the rights, privileges and revenues associated with them, shall be peacefully returned, as shall all the archbishop's regalia, crook and crown; church vestments and treasures; all of the court and chancellery records, documents, deeds and bills; and castles' guns, artillery and other equipment.

III. Until such time as these agreements can be ratified by the King of Poland and the Duke of Prussia and the archdiocese be restored to the archbishop, it shall be held in trusteeship by Hermann, Bishop of Dorpat, representing the master, and Johannes, Bishop of Ösel and Courland, representing the archbishop.

IV. The master, churchmen and estates are to send representatives to the King of Poland with authority to negotiate agreements on any issues not yet resolved.

V. The archbishop is to forgive the defection of any of the archdiocese's churchmen, priests, councilmen, nobles or commoners who went over to the master.

VI. Duke Christoffer shall be reinstated as the archbishop's coadjuator with all the dignity of that office, provided he give all the estates sufficient and emphatic assurances that he will uphold all the privileges, freedoms, laws and customs which have long prevailed in this land, confirmed by the Holy Roman Empire. (The King of Poland's right to act as protector of the diocese of Riga shall in no way be diminished, however.) Christoffer is also to promise that he will not transform the archdiocese into any secular or hereditary principality, nor do anything to diminish the authority of the Holy Roman Empire, nor to beset, oppress or harass any estate. Done in Wolmar on the 12th of August.(48)

At the conclusion of these negotiations, the lord commissioners and also the master's emissaries went together to the King of Poland's encampment to have the agreement reaffirmed. After this was done, Sir Wilhelm von Fürstenberg and a number of well armed knights went to the king at Pozwol (Paswolle) in Lithuania, as did the archbishop and Duke Christoffer. And so this war was concluded and finally settled, documents signed and sealed.(49) All returned to their homes and the landsknechte, on the advice of the landmarshal Christoffer van der Leyen,(50) were discharged.(51)

These then were the three cases of hostilities which came one after another that summer in Livonia and which were precursors of the great Muscovite war which began the following winter. When the Muscovite(52) learned that Livonia was not allowed to make war against the King of Poland, he recalled his ancient and secret hatred against Livonia and thought now to act and seize the prize.(53)

To better understand the causes of this war, it is necessary to know that in former times the Teutonic Order had conquered Kokenhausen and other fortresses and districts from the Russians.(54) The two sides had alternately warred against each other and concluded armistices.

IN THE YEAR 1501 the master in Livonia, Wolther von Plettenberg, waged war against the Muscovite. He captured, burned and destroyed Ostrov (Ostrouw) and Ivangorod (Iwanengorod), besieged Novgorod (Nougarden), Isborsk (Isborg) and Pskov and devastated the surrounding countryside with arson, slaughter and pillage. He also defeated a mighty Russian host and thus forced the enemy to sue for peace. The war came about because of the diocese of Dorpat, from which the Grand Duke demanded a yearly tribute, namely, one Danish mark for every inhabitant. But the master refused to cede the anti-Christ such a tribute and so war resulted, as mentioned above. At the conclusion of the war a fifty-year armistice was agreed upon.(55)

After Wolther von Plettenberg, Sir Herman von Bruggenei, also called Hasenkampf, and then Johan van der Recke became master. Under the latter the armistice was extended for four years. And then the above-mentioned Heinrich von Galen became master. In 1554 he sent Johan van Bockhorst and Otto Grothus(56) to Russia to the Grand Duke to seek a further extension of the armistice. They were accompanied by emissaries of the Bishop of Dorpat. But the Grand Duke raged against Livonia and threatened to invade it and so these emissaries agreed to a yearly tribute and ratified this agreement with seals and kissings of the crucifix, doing this, however, without instructions, authority or consent from the general estates of Livonia.(57) After they returned and told their compatriots what they had done in good intent, Valentin Hane and some others were dispatched to Russia to tell the Grand Duke that no mention of a tribute could be found in any old papers or documents and so they, the general estates of Livonia, had no intention of rendering it, in spite of the fact that some had recently agreed to it, even though they had had no authority to do so.(58) When the Russian received this proclamation, he threatened to invade Livonia in force in short order and then dismissed Valentin Hane and his company. He thought to wait for an appropriate opportunity to implement his plan and the above-mentioned affair with the King of Poland, mentioned above, afforded him just such an unexpected opportunity. And so he seized upon it, even though the agreed upon armistice was still in effect and its expiration almost a year away.

Livonian coins from this century. Upper left: Schilling of Archbishop Thomas Schöning (1527-39); lower left, Pfenning from Riga during the administrations of Archbishop Linde and Plettenberg; right, 1/2 Mark of Archbishop Wilhelm von Brandenburg and Master Heinrich von Galen.(59)

Wilhelm von Fürstenberg, the 47th Master

It was at this time that Sir Heinrich von Galen died and the coadjuator, Sir Wilhelm von Fürstenberg, assumed all the powers of the mastership.(60) Since the Russian's hostile designs were clearly apparent, the master wrote to the Bishop of Dorpat offering to send him some landsknechte, saying that the brunt of the war was about to fall upon his diocese and he alone would be too weak to defend it. But the bishop declined this help and replied that with God's aid the diocese would need no assistance.(61)

In the meanwhile the dean of Dorpat; Elert Kruse,(62) the advocate of the diocese; and emissaries from the master, Claus Francke and Tomas Horner (licentiatus); were sent to the Grand Duke to tell him that in the interests of peace and friendship some tribute could possibly be agreed upon.(63) This was done because there was strong evidence that the Grand Duke planned to attack. A prominent boyar in Russia by the name of Pavel Petrovich (Powick), for example, had written his kinsman, Sir Bernt von der Steinkulen,(64) the advocate of Neuschloß (Nienschlate), telling him to send away to safety whatever was dear to him, because the Grand Duke's invasion of Livonia was imminent. The advocate sent word of this to the master.(65)

Thereupon the master once again wrote to the Bishop of Dorpat and earnestly advised him to decline no assistance. If he alone were unable to provision the landsknechte, others would help him. He himself was ready to come to his aid with horsemen. The bishop had but to designate some place for his encampment. But the bishop's councilors and the noblemen opposed this and dissuaded the bishop with the argument that if these landsknechte and horsemen came into the diocese, they would plunder it and take all manner of liberties with their wives and children. This they could not endure. And if it were to be devastated, better by enemies than by friends. That, at least, they could understand. And so the bishop wrote to the master, kindly thanking him for his offer of assistance, but saying he was certain it would not be needed, since the emissaries would doubtlessly succeed in negotiating a peace.(66)

About this time (it was around Candlemas) a nobleman, Herman Zöge (Zoie),(67) was celebrating his wedding to the daughter of the lady of Röal (Rojel)(68) in Reval. Most of the nobility of Harrien and Wierland, as well as a number from the diocese of Dorpat, had gone there to attend. Many other noblemen were also in the city, since the master was to have come there at this time to receive their oaths of allegiance. His trip was canceled, however, when the Russian's intent became clear.(69) The master wrote to all the noblemen in Reval instructing them to quickly move their men up to the border, each providing a number commensurate with their land holdings, for the Russians were at hand. But the leading noblemen kept this letter secret and did not publicize it until after the wedding celebrations were over.(70)

Meanwhile, Elert Kruse and the others had arrived in Moscow, inferring that they had brought the tribute with them. They were received and the Grand Duke instructed his chancellor and treasurer to take possession of the money.(71) But when none was forthcoming, the Grand Duke flew into a rage and immediately dispatched the Tatar khan of Kazan, Shigaley (Segelei),(72) into Livonia with a mighty army. They found the border undefended and so, on January 24, 1558, they attacked at three places at once, in the areas of Dorpat, Narva and Rositen.(73) The Grand Duke detained the emissaries in Moscow until his army should complete its mission in Livonia.(74)

This Shigaley, khan of Kazan, had been defeated by the Grand Duke, captured and had his country taken from him. The Grand Duke had done the same to the Tatar khan of Astrakhan.(75)

1. Fred L. Whipple identified this as an unnamed comet in a parabolic orbit with a perihelion distance 0.49 AU, inclination to ecliptic 32.4; Russow, 65, reported that when it appeared during an assembly of the Livonian Confederation, delegates urged a canon from Dorpat to interrupt his drinking in order to see it and give his opinion. He looked, said that it was a comet, and that "these thingumajigs usually foretold nothing good." On the other hand, when the Bishop of Dorpat reported another comet on Feb. 5, 1558, he suggested (QU, II, 132) that it "may indicate for us a victory over the Russians."

2. Hausmann edition, 144, says that he was there for nine years.

3. Russow, 69.

4. erflich, literally "inheritable," i.e., a fiefdom, subject to one of the neighboring kings, as had been the case of Prussia, which was secularized in 1525 and whose last Grandmaster became Duke Albrecht I. For the text, MLA, V, 116f.

5. Two of the numerous progeny of Friedrich V (1460-1536) of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Sofie (1449-1501, daughter of Casimir IV of Poland). Albrecht (1490-1568), being a third son, was dedicated to a religious calling. However, he converted his office as grandmaster of the Teutonic Order into a secular state in 1525 and became a Protestant. Wilhelm (1498-1534), like the remaining younger sons, entered the clergy proper and became a priest. However, the family was on the watch for appropriate career opportunities (one brother became Archbishop of Magdeburg, another prior in Würzburg, and yet another prior in Bamberg).

6. Landmarshal since 1551, by now young only in comparison with the other high officer. Born near Utrecht, he entered the Livonian Order in 1515, served in minor offices in Wenden and Marienburg, and brought a nephew (Johann von Münster) to be a canon in Riga. A strong personality, determined to maintain the order's sovereignty and independence. Ritterbrüder, 460-461.

7. Christopher was the fourth son of Johann Albrecht VII of Mecklenburg-Giestrow and Anna of Brandenburg (1507-47) and was thus distantly related to Wilhelm and Albrecht of Brandenburg. Despite being but nineteen years of age, he was already Bishop of Ratzeburg. Catholics logically suspected that he would secularize any diocese which came into his possession.

8. Landmarshal from 1535, the death of Wolther von Plettenberg, until 1551, when he was elected Master. He had entered the Livonian Order before 1506 and had been given command of the important castle at Wenden as early as 1514. He was a compromise candidate between hard-line Catholics and radical Protestants, but his sympathies lay with the reformers: he immediately began Protestant services in the Cathedral, in 1552 ordered Jost Clodt to make plans for a reform school system and for worship services in Estonian. Ritterbrüder, 248-9.

9. Landtag, March 16, 1556.

10. Wilhelm (1499-1564) was one of the numerous Westphalians in the Livonian Order, one of many von Fürstenbergs there. He had apparently been sent to Livonia as a child, had served in a variety of posts: castellan of Ascheraden (1524-35), Dünaburg (1535-54), Fellin (1554-57); and Livonian Master (1557-59). MLA, V, 146ff; Ritterbrüder, 243-4.

11. Sigismund II (1520-1572), king since 1548. Lacking ambition and energy except in arranging marriages for his five sisters, he left the administration of Lithuania to his governors.

12. Kaspar cki. Royal secretary, according to Hausmann, 147; Editiones, LXVII, 89, 120-121, indicates he was secretary to Nicholas Radzivil the Black. This scion of a prominent family probably anticipated that this mission would be the foundation for a brilliant career, hence his willingness to undergo great risks to assure its success.

13. Birai, just south of Bauske.

14. He commanded that post from 1535-1554. In the latter year he was promoted to the command of Fellin, traditionally the castle governed by the Vice-Master.

15. His appointment violated the 1541 Treaty of Wolmar, which prohibited naming foreign princes to any important office in Livonia. A coadjuator was essentially an apprentice, usually a younger person appointed as eventual successor who would learn how to govern by observation and taking on an ever-increasing share of the responsibilities. See Henning, 32.

16. Isaiah, 53, which begins "Who hath believed our report?", continues on to describe the "man of sorrows," and concludes with a promise of sharing the spoils taken from the wicked.

17. Born in the diocese of Cologne in 1517-8 and reared at the archepiscopal court, he entered the Livonian Order in 1538. He was castellan of Dünamünde (1554-58) at this time and later Fellin (1558-59). Ritterbrüder, 378-9.

18. Renner erroniously writes Dunaborg, a post Kettler had left in 1554..

19. Mercenary infantry, trained to fight in serried ranks with pike, axes, and swords. They wore helms, breastplates, and colorful costumes. A well-known unit still in existence is the papal guard.

20. Henning, 33.

21. Dünamünde dominates the bar across the mouth of the river; the garrison can prevent ships from approaching or leaving Riga.

22. A Westphalia, he was castellan from 1549-1560, later at Segewold. Ritterbrüder, 135-6.

23. Henning, 34; Ascheraden had been rebuilt in 1524.

24. Wilhelm Holtey, a Westphalian, was castellan from 1548 to 1560. Ritterbrüder, 344.

25. Commanded by Wilhelm von Raspe. Ritterbrüder, 524.

26. Title not given, but the cipher (an arrow pointed toward 2 o'clock with a slash that made it into a cross) is unmistakable.

27. Cipher again.

28. This cipher was a cross topped with a curlicue.

29. Count of Mecklenburg, Christoffer's father. This cipher was two connected letters, By.

30. Governed by Nicholas Radzivil the Red from 1549-1566. He was also the commander of the Lithuanian army.

31. These captured letters (in a primitive code) precipitated the Order's immediate mobilization. Von Galen ordered an attack on the archbishop before he could rally his powerful allies to his side. Henning, 32-33.

32. Johan Domanovskis (1556-1563), who had been a canon in Vilnius (Vilna). Codex Mednicensis seu Samogitiae Dioecesis, I (ed. Paulus Jatulis. Rome: Academia Lituana Catholica Scientiarum, 1984), 322-335.

33. As notary of Reval, Renner was in a position to be aware of this mission. However, events moved so swiftly that their efforts were wasted. The issues became too important to be resolved by minor personalities from a city lying on the extreme northern edge of Livonia. Hausmann edition, 154-155, contains a longer description of the bishop, a man who had risen from a common youth to a popular preacher; Renner notes that he had often eaten and drunk with him.

34. Bernt van Schmerten, Renner's employer.

35. dat fleck. The outer fortifications, including the village and some storehouses.

36. The demi-cannon (halve kartouwen) fired a 50 lb. iron ball. The siege culverin (nothslange), characterized by a long and narrow barrel, a 30 lb. ball. See the Introduction for an explanation and listing of terms relating to artillery and other firearms.

37. Wenden, 77 km. northeast of Riga, was the landmaster's principal residence and the arsenal where the siege artillery was stored.

38. All these small, old castles had relatively thin walls easily shelled by artillery. Serben, 26 km. southeast of Wenden, was the residence of the archbishop's chancellor Christof Sturz. Pebalg, 45 km. southeast of Wenden, stood at the end of a lake; it was the property of the coadjuator.

39. Russow, p. 67. Treiden was 49 km. northeast of Riga.

40. Henning, 35: "It shames one to describe how several unnamed brothers [of the order] stupidly set upon [the archbishop] 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."

41. 41 Werner Schall van Bell. The encounter took place at Selzen, 31 km. north-northwest of Jacobstadt. Elementes, LXVII, 116; also QU, II, 43-45, 57-59.

42. Henning, 34, agreed that this was the cause of the war.

43. fenlin. Hausmann editon, 157, estimates 80,000 Lithuanians versus 7000 Germans.

44. Ferdinand I (1556-1564). For this embassy, see Henning, 37-38.

45. Neuschloß in Moravia.

46. Barnim IX (1501-1573) and his nephew and presumptive heir, Philipp I (1515-1560).

47. According to Henning, 37, these were the castellan of Blumenthal, Dr. Matthias Boess and Johann Wulf. Otto and von Walde were imperial representatives.

48. Text MLA, V, 116f, 516-520.

49. This extremely important treaty is in QU, I, 1-19, and MLA, V, 121.

50. Better known under the name Neuhof. Former castellan of Goldingen (1530, 1545-56) and Riga (1535-45). He had brought two brothers and a nephew to Livonia by 1552. Ritterbrüder, 470-1.

51. Hausmann edition, 160, says that the mercenaries returned to Germany, though they should have been retained and kept for the upcoming emergency.

52. Ivan IV (1533-1583), Grand Duke of Moscow, the first Tsar of all the Russias. Best known as Ivan the Terrible.

53. The above-cited treaty, dated September 14, 1557, implied that Livonia would be subject to Poland-Lithuania in certain respects while still retaining its essential sovereignty. Ivan wanted to strike at the weakened Livonian state before its relationship with Sigismund became closer. As we shall see, when Sigismund agreed not to require the Livonians to serve in his armies, he had carefully refrained from making any commitment of his own to defend Livonia from outside attack.

54. In 1208. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia (translated James Brundage. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1961), 55, 76

55. Wolter von Plettenberg, der grösste Ordensmeister Livlands (ed. Norbert Angermann. Lüneburg: Nordost, 1985); Russow, 41-43; Renner emphasizes the tribute because of its role in the 1557-8 crisis.

56. This family lived near Bauske in Kurland.

57. Russow, 63-65. The general estates, noted in the Introduction as the Livonian Confederation, was composed of representatives from the bishoprics, the cities, the Livonian Order, and the associations of nobles. The best history of Dorpat, which held itself aloof from the other estates of Livonia is Georg von Rauch, "Stadt und Bistum Dorpat bis zum Ende der Ordenszeit," Zeitschrift für Ostforschung, 24(1975), 599-606. For the text of the treaty, see MLA, V, 515-6.

58. Dorpat had paid tribute to Polozk in the thirteenth century and to Moscow between 1464-1474. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, p. 122; Archiv I, 173-6.

59. William Urban, "Medieval Livonian Numismatics," Journal of Baltic Studies, 24/1(Spring 1993), 37-52.

60. May 30, 1557.

61. Traditionally, the relationship between the Livonian Order and Dorpat was strained--the former hoped to unify Livonia under its leadership, the latter wanted complete independence. Consequently, although both recognized that Livonia had to assemble all its forces together, at first there was little cooperation beyond the exchange of information. For the correspondence, Briefe, I, 36, and QU, II, 69-83.

62. This man becomes one of the key figures in the history of the Livonian War. His own account is in Kruse, 241-2; see QU, I, 20-33; NQU, I, 1-30; Briefe, I, 1-2, 4-7.

63. QU, II, 4-26; MLA, 515-6; Archiv, II, 1-29; Staden, 9-16, describes the administrative organization of Ivan's government that the ambassadors had to deal with and later gives many colorful anecdotes about the difficulties foreigners facing trying to get their cases heard and resolved favorably. Another good account is Herberstein, 53-76.

64. Dietrich von der Steinkuhl. Castellan in Reval 1550-52, Advocate of Neuschloss 1556-58. Ritterbrüder, 623; Archiv, I, 74-76.

65. Jan. 11. UB, II, 74-76; warnings were arriving almost daily: Archiv, I, 17-18, 40-43; II, 29-32; Briefe, 27-29.

66. Later apologists for Dorpat were furious at the accusations hurled at them by the Reval historians, Russow and Renner. See Russow, 239-42, 248-9 and 284-9. Yet, as noted above, the bishop had consistently advised against any precipitate sending of troops into his diocese until January 28, when the Russians invaded. Then he sent a panicky letter asking for immediate help. UB, II, 101-2; Archiv, I, 18-19, 43-45, II, 32-42, 50-57, 69-74, 76-79..

67. Hausmann notes, 162, he was from Hannijoggi in St. John's parish in Harrien. The family Zöge von Manteuffel was one of the richest of the region. They were to lose almost everything in the ensuing war--with many of their estates going to adherents of the Polish king--however, they reestablished themselves further north as vassals of the Swedish king. Beiträge, I, 22, 100, 132.

68. Probably Mai Üxküll. Johansen's Ort- und Personenregister, 140. However, there are two possibilities. First, Magdalena, the widow of Hans Wrangel (d. before 1542). Beiträge, I, 58-59. Second, the widow of Otto Vietinghoff. Hausmann, 162; Herkunft, 129, follows this lead, but calls her Ann Vietinghoff and attributing possession of the estate to her son, Johann Taube. Baltisches Historisches Ortlexikon, 517, locates the Rogell estate 23 km southwest of Wesenberg. There is a village by the same name, Rojel [Röa, Röal], 3 km west of Weißenstein, which Renner mentions in connection with events of 1558. Ibid., 506. Beiträge, I, 6, notes that the estate had been so ravaged by 1629 that only two peasants remained on it.

69. Ivan wrote the Livonian Confederation in November of 1557 a very threatening letter. NQU, I, 31-33. Therefore, there was no secret about the imminence of war.

70. Russow, 53-4, 72-73; QU, II, 71-74, about the need for haste.

71. Russow, 71-72, Kruse, 242; Kurbsky, 107; Archiv, I, 20-40, has a description; see also the anecdotal history of Dionysius Fabricus, Livonicae Historiae in Scriptores rerum Livonicarum (Riga and Leipzig: Frantzen, 1848), II, 467.

72. A more correct name would be Shah Ali (1505-1566) of Kazan, a descendant of Ghengis Khan whose kingdom (and that of Astrakahn) became subject to Ivan in 1552-6. Staden, 56-57, 73, 91; Massa, 10-14; see QU, II, 98, for the commanders and troop strength reported by prisoners.

73. Meaning simultaneously in the north, center, and south. As we shall see, some of these attacks were feints, some reconnaissance expeditions. The date represents the day the declaration of war actually arrived. QU, II, 87-89, 94-97; Archiv, I, 48-52; Briefe, I, 43-44.

74. Possevino comments on the difficulties involved in negotiating with the Muscovites. The treatment is either lavish hospitality or threats and brutal treatment.

75. Renner makes a clear distinction between Tatars and Russians, the former being brutal beyond all comprehension. Possevino, 26-27, observes that the Russians exhalt their ruler greatly because he has thrown off the Tatar tyranny and made their khans subject to his rule. Possevino, however, also notes the Scythian and Tatar heritage of many Russians, which religion has not yet changed significantly.