The Order is disbanded

to map

28. November 1561

By the fall of 1561, the Livonian Order had lost almost all its dominions in Estonia: Northern Estonia had subjected itself to Sweden and Russians held most of the remaining mainland Estonia.

Only the domains of the commander of Pärnu and the the bailiwick of Maasilinn on the islands still belonged to the Order, and the latter began to fall to the Danes. New Russian attack could be expected in Latvian area, which would have dissolved the domains of the Order and the bishop of Riga. That is why the Order decided to surrender to Poland-Lithuania.

Master Kettler must have supported this plan and also the vassals of the Order must have agreed. On November 28, 1561, Pacta Subjectionis was signed with Sigismund II August in Vilnius, which confirmed the transfer of the lands of the Order and archbishop to the king; Kettler was allowed to create a dukedom of Courland out of the Order's land in Courland, which was in vassalage to king Sigismund II Augustus.

The treaty did not come into force right away, the Order was disbanded on March 5, 1562 and the last Master became the duke of Courland.

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