Wolthusen Feud, 1473-1475

In 1470, Johann von Wolthusen had been appointed Landmeister of Livonia; one year later he was deposed and imprisoned. His brother Ernst von Wolthusen began a feud against the Livonian (and Teutonic) Order, and looked for support. He found the latter with the Axelsson Tott brothers, Swedish noblemen with vast estates in Finland; Ivar Axelsson Tott was governor of the island of Gotland. The Axelsson brothers, in a letter, demanded the Teutonic Order to reinstate Johann von Wolthusen. In 1473, Ivar Axelsson Tott declared war on the Teutonic Order in Livonia. Livonian shipping was harrassed, Livonian goods confiscated.
The Totts equipped an expedition into Estonia, which garrisoned Reval (1474-1475) and Narva (1475); both city councils sided with Wolthusen.
Neither the Teutonic Order as a whole, nor Sweden (superintendent of the realm Sten Sture the Elder) got involved; the conflict was limited to the Livonian Order and the Axelsson Tott brothers. Johann von Wolthusen died in prison in 1476; the conflict was discontinued, with the Swedish forces withdrawing from Reval and Narva, and harrassment of Livonian shipping ended.

Första tåget mot Livland 1473-1475 (First campaign against Livonia, 1473-1475), from Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Bibliotek, in Swedish
DOCUMENTS List of Grand Masters of the Livonian Order, from De Re Militari, in Spanish

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 9th 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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