Jürgen von Fahrensbach

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Jürgen von Fahrensbach

Jürgen von Fahrensbach ( Polish: Jerzy Farensbach ; * 1551 ; †  May 17, 1602 fell near Fellin ) was a Livonian general of the 16th century .


Jürgen von Fahrensbach came from the German-Baltic Fahrensbach family . He was the son of Wolmar von Fahrensbach and one of Kursell . Jürgen was born as the 8th son of his parents in 1551 in the Merjama parish in Estonia , probably in Heimar . In 1580/1581 he married Sophia von Fircks , the widow of Matthias von der Recke in Neuchâtel . Through this marriage he noticed some Kurländische to goods such as Autz . The sons Georg Wolmar von Fahrensbach and Johann VI went from this marriage . from Fahrensbach .

Thrown around as a child, he had done military service in Sweden , France , Austria (in Hungary in 1566 ) and in the Netherlands . For a while, Emperor Maximilian II entered the court service . Only 19 years old, he returned to Livonia, where the Livonian War was then in full swing. He joined the Swedish courtiers under the leadership of his uncle Klaus Kursell and escaped under various dangers from Reval Castle, which was taken by surprise by the Swedes after its revolt. Shortly thereafter, he was captured by Russia, but was released by Ivan the Terrible and placed at the head of German mercenaries when Devlet I. Giray , the Khan of Crimea , prepared a new vengeance against Moscow . Fahrensbach took part in the Battle of Molodi on August 1, 1572, in which the Tatars suffered a heavy defeat on the Oka , as the legend tells, partly through Jürgen's personal bravery.

He accompanied Duke Magnus on his trip to Russia , but left the tsar's services in 1572 . With the approval of King Frederick II , he led the defense of Danzig against Stephan Báthory in 1577 and was then made Danish governor of Oesel for life by Frederick II . Without giving up this position, Jürgen von Fahrensbach entered the Polish service in 1580, again with the permission of his master . His mercenaries contributed to the final decision of the Russian-Polish struggle for Livonia, and as a reward the bold leader received the Starostei Wenden , in 1584 Karkus Castle with 1000 peasants hereditary and the highest Rittmeisteramt in Livonia. This dual position aroused the anger of Frederick II, who was fighting with Poland over the possession of the Pilten Abbey at that time . Frederick II could not tolerate the undeniably ambiguous position that Fahrensbach occupied as Danish governor and Polish colonel of the war. So he lost his position in Oesel, but not without a fight, in order to remain exclusively in Polish service. In the controversy between the Polish throne, which broke out after Stephan Bathory's death, he decisively sided with Sigismund , whose Swedish claims he later vigorously defended. Siegmund III. appointed him on January 5, 1588 voivode of Wenden for life. In 1598 he moved to Sweden and, when Sigismund had completely failed in Sweden, championed his cause on Livonian soil. His castle Karkus fell into the hands of the Swedes, but managed to get that of Charles IX. to horror besieged Riga . When Poland was able to attack again, Jürgen Fahrensbach stayed in the field during the victorious storming of Fellin on May 17, 1602. He was master of Heimar and Reichsrat, as well as a Livonian colonel.

Jürgen von Fahrensbach was an officer who rode ahead of his troops in battle and fought in the front row. His honorable and beneficial actions in the tasks entrusted to him earned him a lot of sympathy and a worthy memory in his home country.