The Nordic Seven Year War in Livonia

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At the beginning of 1563 the serious conflict had broken out in Livonia between Poland and Sweden, as the latter had conquered also Karksi beside Pärnu and Paide and threatened already the possessions of the Polish in Northern Latvia. At the same time the war broke out also between Denmark and Sweden, this mainly due to the commercial contradictions.

War did not leave untouched also the Estonian territory where the Swedes were successful: Läänemaa and also half of Saaremaa, the former areas of bailiwick of Maasilinn, were conquered. In 1565 the luck of war still turned over: in 1565 the Livonian landlords in the service of Poland conquered Pärnu and soon the Danish got back also Lihula.

The bloodiest battle of the war took place on 13 February 1567 near Ruunavere mill, where the Swedes were severely defeated by the Polish landlords. The essential turn in war took place in 1568 when the Poland-friendly Johan III raised to the throne of Sweden.

Thus the mutual war was soon ended and in 1570 Johan concluded peace also with Denmark. The latter did not please Russia which had been in close relationships with Erik XIV and to whom it had promised even Northern Estonia for military assistance. Thus the Russian-Swedish war was breaking out just after the Nordic Seven Year War.

Mati Laur. Eesti ajalugu varasel uusajal 1550-1800. Tallinn: Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus, 1999.

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