Clashes of interest in the first half of the 1550s

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The political situation in Livonia changed radically in the beginning of 1550s. In 1551, Heinrich von Galen, a strong supporter of the Lutheranism, became the Master of the Order.

This meant that both important rulers of Livonia supported the new belief, because archbishop Wilhelm von Hohenzollern had been supporting the spread of Lutheranism since 1530s. This seemed to initially create a base for the improvement of the relationship between the Order and the archbishop, but unfortunately the rest of the conditions were not that favorable.

For example, a truce with Russia was coming to its end, and the Order and archbishop were looking to different places for help: the Order had its hopes on Sweden and the Holy Roman Empire, archbishop had turned to Poland and Prussia. An alliance with the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania was unacceptable for the Order, as it would have directly threatened Livonia's independence.

From the beginning 1552 until the autumn of 1553, Wilhelm, the archbishop of Riga, spent time at his brother's, duke Albrecht, in Prussia. There he discussed the political situation in Livonia, and decided to secretly take on a coadjutor, of noble origin.

The coadjutor was to improve archbishop's position inside Livonia, and make it possible to create a closer alliance with Poland. This meant that Wilhelm was going directly against the principles set down in 1546, during the Volmari meeting. Brother of duke of Mecklenburg, Christoph, was chosen as the coadjutor-to-be, this would have created an alliance between Mecklenburg, Prussia, Poland and the archbishop of Riga.


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