The Prussian Confederation (German : Preußischer Bund, Polish : Związek Pruski) was an organization formed on 21 February 1440 at Marienwerder by a group of 53 nobles and clergy and 19 cities in Prussia, to oppose the arbitrariness of the Teutonic Knights. It was based on the basis of an earlier similar organization, the Lizard Union established in 1397 by Chełmno Land nobles.
In 1454, the leader of the Confederation, Johannes von Baysen (Jan Bażyński), formally asked King Casimir IV Jagiellon, to incorporate Prussia into the Kingdom of Poland as a fief. This marked the beginning of the Thirteen Years' War between the Order's State and Poland, with the Prussian cities financing the military costs of the latter.
According to the 1411 First Peace of Thorn which followed the Teutonic Knights' defeat in the Battle of Grunwald, the Teutonic Order had to pay high reparations to the Kingdom of Poland. The monastic state imposed high taxes on the cities to raise the funds as well as to re-arm for another war against Poland. In the 1420s, Grand Master Paul von Rusdorf brought stability to the Order and its relations, but fighting with Poland resumed in 1431, when the Knight's invasion into Poland during the Lithuanian Civil War sparked another Polish-Teutonic conflict.
After about three decades of growing discontent, the Prussian leaders (see Prussian estates) organized themselves to oppose the rule of the order more effectively. On 14 March 1440, a group of 53 nobles and clergy and 19 Prussian cities, under the leadership of the Hanseatic cities of Danzig (Gdańsk), Elbing (Elbląg), Thorn (Toruń) and Königsberg (Królewiec), founded the Prussian Confederation in Marienwerder (Kwidzyn). Several more towns joined on 3 April, although Bütow (Bytów) did not. In Danzig, the new members signed a documentwhich was kept in the archives of Thorn.
After Grand Master Paul von Rusdorf died in 1441, his successor, Konrad von Erlichshausen, continued to negotiate a compromise until his own death in 1449. The confederation lobbied for support against the Teutonic Order within the Holy Roman Empire. Ludwig von Erlichshausen, Grand Master from 1450 to 1467, took a more aggressive stance towards the confederation. He filed a lawsuit at the court of Emperor Friedrich III (Frederick III), whose verdict of 1453 declared the confederation illegal.
In February 1454, the Prussian Confederation rose against the Teutonic Order's rule. Gabriel von Baysen and Johannes von Baysen, now leading the confederation with the support of Jan de Jani and Mikołaj Szarlejski, both of the Clan of Ostoja, requested the protection of King Casimir IV Jagiellon of Poland. They also asked for, and received, a guarantee of their continued city rights and privileges for the nobility.
The resulting Thirteen Years' War ended in the defeat of the Teutonic Order and the 1466 Second Peace of Thorn. The Order lost control of western Prussia. As Royal Prussia, it became a province of Poland, with some local rights of autonomy. Stibor de Poniec of the Clan of Ostoja become Lord of tregality of Malbork. The Teutonic Knights retained eastern Prussia, but only under the overlordship of the Polish king. The Prussian Confederation, with its members now practically divided, ceased to exist as such.
Both the Polish and Teutonic sides agreed to seek the confirmation of the Second Peace of Thorn from Emperor Frederick III and Pope Paul II, but they also agreed that this confirmation would not be needed for validation of the treaty. Soon after, however, a dispute about the status of the Prince-Bishopric of Warmia started a smaller conflict called the War of the Priests.
Towns which founded the Prussian Confederation on 14 March 1440:
|Thorn (Toruń) including "New Town"|
|Elbing (Elbląg) including "New Town"|
|Königsberg (Królewiec), including Kneiphof (Knipawa) and "Old Town"|
|Landsberg (Górowo Iławeckie)|
Towns which joined the Prussian Confederation on 3 April 1440:
|Altstadt of Danzig|
Casimir IV was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1440 and King of Poland from 1447, until his death. He was one of the most active Polish rulers, under whom Poland, by defeating the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years' War recovered Pomerania, and the Jagiellonian dynasty became one of the leading royal houses in Europe.
Prabuty is a town in Kwidzyn County within the Pomeranian Voivodeship of northern Poland. Between 1975 and 1998, Prabuty were part of the Elbląg Voivodeship.
The Peace of Thorn or Toruń of 1466, also known as the Second Peace of Thorn or Toruń, was a peace treaty signed in the Hanseatic city of Thorn (Toruń) on 19 October 1466 between the Polish king Casimir IV Jagiellon and the Teutonic Knights, which ended the Thirteen Years' War, the longest of Polish–Teutonic wars.
Braniewo, is a town in northern Poland, in Warmia, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, with a population of 18,068 (2004). It is the capital of Braniewo County.
Royal Prussia or Polish Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Poland that was created as a result of the peace treaty of 1466 between the Teutonic Order and Poland. The Prussian lands of the Order were divided: the western part became part of Poland and was known as Royal Prussia, whereas the eastern part remained under the rule of the Order as the Polish fief. Royal Prussia was granted autonomy and a guarantee to have their rights and customs preserved. Ultimately, in 1569, Royal Prussia was fully integrated into the Kingdom of Poland.
Lębork is a town of 37,000 people on the Łeba and Okalica rivers in the Gdańsk Pomerania region in northwestern Poland. Lębork is also the capital of Lębork County in Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, formerly the Słupsk Voivodeship (1975–1998) and Gdańsk Voivodeship (1945-1975).
The State of the Teutonic Order, also called Deutschordensstaat or Ordensstaat was a medieval crusader state, located in Central Europe along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. It was formed by the knights of the Teutonic Order during the 13th century Northern Crusades in the region of Prussia, and was disestablished in 1525. At its greatest territorial extent, in the early 15th century, it encompassed Chełmno Land, Courland, Gotland, Livonia, Neumark, Pomerelia, Prussia and Samogitia, i.e. territories nowadays located in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
Lidzbark is a town with 8,670 inhabitants in the Warmia-Masurian Voivodeship in Poland. It is located on the Wel river and Lake Lidzbark. The postal code for the entire area is 13-230. The town is popularly referred to as Lidzbark Welski, to distinguish it from Lidzbark Warmiński.
The Malbork Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in the Kingdom of Poland from 1454/1466 until the partitions in 1772–1795. Together with the Pomeranian and Chełmno Voivodeships and the Prince-Bishopric of Warmia it formed the historical province of Royal Prussia. Its capital was at Marienburg (Malbork).
Dzierzgoń is a town in the Pomeranian Voivodeship in northern Poland. It is located in Sztum County east of Malbork and south of Elbląg on the river Dzierzgoń. Dzierzgoń has a population of 5,800, while the city and its environs have a combined population of 10,000.
The Battle of Vistula Lagoon was fought on September 15, 1463 between the navy of the Teutonic Order, and the navy of the Prussian Confederation which was allied with the King of Poland, as part of the Thirteen Years' War. The battle was the largest naval battle of the war, and one of the two battles which decided the final outcome of the war.
The War of the Priests was a conflict in the Polish province of Warmia between the King of Poland Casimir IV and Nicolaus von Tüngen, the new bishop of Warmia chosen – without the king's approval – by the Warmian chapter. The latter was supported by the Teutonic Knights, by this point vassals of Poland, who were seeking a revision of the recently signed Second Peace of Toruń.
Ludwig von Erlichshausen (1410–1467) was the 31st Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, serving from 1449/1450 to 1467.
Hans von Baysen or Jan Bażyński was a Prussian knight and statesman, leader of the Prussian Confederation and the first Polish governor of Royal Prussia.
Nowe is a town in Świecie County, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland, with 6,270 inhabitants (2004).
The Thirteen Years' War, also called the War of the Cities, was a conflict fought in 1454–1466 between the Prussian Confederation, allied with the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and the State of the Teutonic Order.
Ogrodzieniec is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Kisielice, within Iława County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland.
The Prince-Bishopric of Warmia was a semi-independent ecclesiastical state, ruled by the incumbent ordinary of the Warmia see and comprising one third of the then diocesan area. The Warmia see was a Prussian diocese under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Riga that was a protectorate of the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights (1243–1464) and a protectorate and part of the Kingdom of Poland—later part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1464–1772), confirmed by the Peace of Thorn in 1466. The other two thirds of the diocese were under the secular rule of the Teutonic Knights until 1525 and Ducal Prussia thereafter, both entities also being a protectorate and part of Poland from 1466.
The first settlement in the vicinity of Toruń is dated by archaeologists to 1100 BC. During early medieval times, in the 7th through 13th centuries, it was the location of an old Slavonic settlement, at a ford in the Vistula river. In the 10th century it became part of the emerging Polish state ruled by the Piast dynasty.
Siege of Marienburg occurred during the Thirteen Years' War between the Teutonic Knights and the Kingdom of Poland. Marienburg was the capital of the state of the Teutonic Order, in particular, the residence of the Grand Master of the order. An alliance of Prussians and Poles besieged the city beginning 27 February 1454 with mercenaries from Danzig, and the necessary artillery.