Uprising of st. George's Night of 1343–45

Uprising of st. George’s Night of 1343–45


a popular rebellion against German and Danish feudal lords in Estonia.

Provoked by an increase in national and feudal oppression, the uprising began in Harjumaa on the eve of Apr. 23, 1343—St. George’s Day in the spring. Approximately 10,000 rebels, from whom four were chosen as leaders, blockaded Tallinn. From there the uprising spread to Läänemaa, where the insurgents lay siege to the city of Haapsalu. The feudal lords turned to the Livonian Order for help. On May 4, 1343, the master of the order deceitfully murdered the leaders of the uprising, who had been summoned to Paide ostensibly for negotiations.

On May 14 the peasants were routed in a battle near Tallinn. The Swedish feudal lords in Finland, whom the rebels had requested to join in the struggle against the order, arrived too late to intervene. Meanwhile, the advance of Pskovian forces into southeast Estonia and their battle with the order’s troops near Vastseliina on June 1 tied down the forces of the German feudal lords.

On July 24 an uprising broke out on Saaremaa Island. In late 1343 the combined forces of the Teutonic and Livonian orders quelled the uprising on the mainland. The orders invaded Saaremaa Island in mid-February 1343 but did not succeed in crushing the rebellion on the island until a new campaign was launched in the spring of 1345.