Negotiations in Paide and slaughter of the Estonians

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04. May 1343

On may 4, 1343, both the Master of the Order and the Estonians reached Paide. Estonians had probably sent their leaders: four elected kings, together with their three man servants.

The kings had likely been elected near Tallinn, where to the Estonian army had gathered. According to the chronicle, some people were made knights there. What we should make out of this is that the Estonians selected couple of more important men amongst themselves, who might have received something similar to knighthood. It is possible, that the four kings had also been made knights. Is is also possible, that those were Estonian vassals that had joined the rebellion. In addition to the Master of the Order, to more important Order's officials and Estonian representatives, also the bishop of Tallinn was present.

Before the negotiations began, the Order's forces, led by the commander of Kursi, destroyed an Estonian supply train, located near Kursi, pleasing the Master of the Order. The incident did not end the negotiations though.

In Paide, the Master asked Estonians, why they had killed so many Germans and were now camping near Tallinn. Estonians replied, that German vassals had oppressed and exploited them, something that they could not take any more, and from now on they wish to life free from the oppressors. Also, they claimed, perhaps to win time, that they would be willing to surrender to Order's supremacy. The Master replied, that such crimes which no-one has seen since the beginning of the world, cannot be left unpunished. He ordered the Estonians to be kept in Paide, until he gets to Tallinn and punishes the rebels. Estonian representatives did not agree with this, and demanded to be released. Supposedly they had made plans to to kill the lords. It is possible, however, that this is an excuse put forward by the Order, because the servants of the bailiff of Järva killed Estonians ambassadors. Hence, the Master of the Order has been accused of violating the immunity status of the messengers, but it is unclear why the conflict happened in the first place. In any case, Estonians had lost their leaders and the Order began to rally its forces to Paide, in the preparation to banish the uprising.

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


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