Volmari county council in summer 1525

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July 1525

At the county council of Volmari held in July 1525 the supporters of the old religion could cut down the lines: the order, bishops and vassals joined against the cities. Most of the vassals took again the side of old religion probably due to that the further radicalisation of the reformation was feared which could have taken to the same results as in Germany (German War of Peasantry was held in 1524-25 as known).

The bishops had yielded to the vassals as to the privileges in 1524 and thus they were at least temporarily reconciled.
The additional reason why Livonian forces clearly took the position of defending the Catholicism was in that the German high grandmaster Albrecht had secularized the order possessions in Prussia and became the protestant duke of Livonia. This was a painful blow for the German order, but still not the death blow as thought: the substitutes of the grandmaster continued their activities in Germany and Livonian order branch also remained.

The Livonian grandmaster Plettenberg was also clearly against the variant of Prussia (secularization of land), as he personally supported Catholicism, the order structure in Livonia was quite decentralized, i.e. local commanders (bailiffs) had quite big power. They did not want to lose their power and possessions and therefore the support for the more radical reformation in the order was almost non-existing. The bishops were also against reformation that would have lost all their possessions in this case.
Therefore the following was agreed at Volmari county council: up to the general council both religions had to exist side by side, the monk and nun cloisters had to preserve and the liquidated ones had to be restored such as all church properties. These decisions were clearly directed against the interests of the cities, but the home war or violent pressure still did not follow, as Plettenberg required to preserve the inner peace. Though the reformation abruptly stopped; this remained in the cities, but this spread elsewhere very slowly.


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