Scarce silver schilling of Thomas Schoening (1528-1539), Archbishop of Riga

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MON ECLESIE RIGI, arms of the city of Riga / MO NO ARCH P R, coat of arms of the Archbishop. 18.5mm, 0.78 grams. Riga mint. D. Fyodorov "Baltic Coins" #353.

Thomas Schöning (* probably in Riga; † 11 August 1539 in Kokenhusen) was Archbishop of Riga. He was a member of a prominent Riga burgher family and son of Johann Schöning. He studied at the University of Rostock between 1499 and 1500. Schöning was notable for the dating of coins. During his reign from 1528 to 1539, mark, shilling, and pfenning coins from Riga bore the family shield of Thomas Schöning. With the growing strength of the Reformation centered in Livonia, his position was difficult. Schöning moved his residency to the archbishop's palace at Kokenhusen in 1528 because of the conflict with the city of Riga and the Order of Livonia. He found unusual support in Duke Albert of Prussia, who was part of the Protestant movement. Duke Albrecht recommended Schöning appoint the duke's brother, Wilhelm von Brandenburg, as his coadjutor (assistant) and eventual successor. His body was buried in the parish church of Kukenhusen. Eventually, the Archbishopric of Riga was abolished in 1561 due to the conversion of the Livonian Order's territory from Catholicism to Lutheranism at the beginning of Swedish rule.