The uprising begins

to map

23. April 1343

On April 23, Harriens lit a house on a hill, signaling the beginning of the uprising. As it was a tradition in Harjumaa (Harrien) to lit fires to celebrate the St. George's Day, the Germans did not realize at first that something serious was happening. According to the chronicle, widespread killing and torching began, all Germans that were caught, were slaughtered. No mercy was shown to the 28 monks in Padise monastery. Germans who managed to escape, sought refuge behind the walls of Tallinn and Paide.

It surmised, that all the estates in Harjumaa, which there may have been 21-31 at that time as is surmised by Sulev Vahtre, were devastated. There is no data about most of them after year 1343, or, we find that their location has been changed.

How fast the uprising spread in Harjumaa is unknown, but Estonians managed to seize the land in few days. After they had captured all the territory, messengers were sent to Finland, to the bailiff of Turu. There, Estonia was offered to the king of Sweden, in return, king had to send additional forces to help. It is important to keep in mind that at that time, a war was ravaging between Denmark and Sweden, therefore Swedes did not need a separate excuse to arrange a campaign to Estonia. The bailiff of Turu promised to reach Tallinn by May 19.

At the same time, the Master of the Livonian Order, Burchard von Dreileben, who was probably residing near Pihkva county, became aware of the revolt. Dreileben reacted quickly: he sent his messenger to the Estonians, inviting them to meet him in Paide fort for negotiations. He set on route right away.

Source: Sulev Vahtre. Jüriöö: [1343. aasta ülestõus]. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980.

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