Rebellion against Swedish supply collectors


The Great Northern War had gone on for three years, Russian raids stretched far into Estonia. Sweden's main forces were fighting in Poland, and troops located in Livonia were relatively small. As the luck seemed to be favoring Russians, it is possible that Swedish military leadership began to exceed the limits of their authority in desperate attempts to improve the situation.

This is probably what happened in Puhja in 1703. Local pastor, Könik Könikson, agitated farmers to rise up against Swedish supply collectors, as latter had no authority to carry out requisition. The pastor too clearly exceeded his own authority, ordering local roads to be closed down. Furthermore, several Swedish soldiers were beaten with sticks, and not only did the rebels confiscate all the hay the soldiers had collected, but also property that belonged to the army: a horse, five sledges and other items. All this was arranged and directed by the pastor and Hans. The parish clerk wanted to bring additional forces from Tänassilma village nearby.
What is interesting about this case is that either of the men were punished and they kept their jobs. It is possible that the Swedish rule ran out of time: in 1704 Tartu area fell to the Russians; or that the pastor and the parish clerk were able to explain and justify their actions. After the incident, Hans stayed in Puhja, but pastor Könikson traveled to Pärnu, where Hans sent a letter in 1706, the only letter that has survived.

Source: Eesti ajalugu elulugudes: 101 tähtsat eestlast, lk-d 36-37.