Russians first siege at Paide

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August 1558

In July 1558, Tartu had fallen to Russians and after that, Livonia was panicking. Order commanders abandoned several fortresses and had the Russians just take them over - this happened with Rakvere, Põltsamaa and Laiuse, for example. But it was different with Paide.

Although Bailiff Bernd von Smerten probably left the fortress, according to Balthasar Russow, a young chief of fortress Caspar von Oldenbockum stayed, successfully defending the fortress against the Russians, repelling them with great losses from the walls of the fortress. But Johann Renner describes the events a little differently. As he was the penman of the Järva Bailiff at that time, his story might even be considered more reliable, even more so because Russow was not even in Livonia then.

According to Renner, at first, the Järva Bailiff thought it not possible to defend Paide and departed for Tallinn with most of his assets. But on 8 August when the Russians started their siege at the fortress, the Bailiff appeared to be at the fortress again, deciding not to surrender.

Due to the guiding of a local boy Hans Bare, the Russians did indeed invade Paide, but as they did not have cannons, the fortress was not captured. The Bailiff soon managed to ward the Russians off the town by shooting guns and cannons from the fortress. After pillaging the town, Russians left, promising to return soon with cannons. But this only happened after two years.
After the end of the siege, Järva Bailiff resigned and got Saarde manor for sustenance. Probably, only then did the young Caspar von Oldenbockum become the chief of the Paide Fortress, successfully defending the fortress in 1560.

Balthasar Russow. Liivimaa kroonika. 1993.

Johann Renner. Liivimaa ajalugu 1556–1561. 1995; 2006.


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