The Diet of 1556 in Võnnu

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May 1556

In May 1556, the Order got their hands on several letters from bishop Wilhelm, sent to his brother Albrecht and intercepted in Courland, which discussed plans to attack Livonia.

According to the letters, the most grandeur plan foresaw that Denmark was to attack from the sea, while Prussia and Poland-Lithuania invaded from the south.

The Order took this as obvious treason, and thus new Diet was gathered in Võnnu. Archbishop did not attend, but prepared for a siege in his main fort in Koknese. He created even more distrust after he put up land marshal Jasper von Münster, a Poland-minded man who was greatly distrusted in Livonia and who later escaped to Lithuania and encouraged king Sigismund II August to attack Livonia.

On the Diet, land lords decided to declare war on the archbishop, to stop his treacherous plans from being carried out. The declaration was sent to him on June 16, the document claimed that he had never been a proper bishop, only a secular duke, who wanted to separate Livonia from the Holy Roman Empire.


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