the death of duke Henrik and king Valdemar, both men-lines of the Danish
kingdom had died out, and the 5 year old Oluf, Margrethe and Håkon 6th’s
son, was choosen as Denmarks king.
Margrethe governed in the name of Oluf. When 6 years old she had been engaged
to Håkon and married when 10 years old.
After the marriage her upbringing took place in Norway, with a daughter of the
holy Birgitta. It is told, that the young queen often was punished. The great
reverence she felt to the church, is probably founded in her childhood.
When she was 22 years old, and should govern in Oluf’s name, she soon knew,
that she had inherited her fathers wisdom, stamina and talent for using all
possibilities. She normally appeared with calmnes, and at the same time she
showed unbending firmness.
In the beginning her power was small. She had to accept, that Oluf issued a
firm statement, by which the nobility got many estates back, which Valdemar
Atterdag had placed under the crown.
Hansestæderne had the western Skåne, and the Holstener had conquered South
The sea was unsecure because of pirate ships, which were sent from the Danish
castles, and which especially caused damage to Hanseaterne’s trade.
When the Hanseater complaint about it, Margrethe answered by referring to the
fact, that she unfortunately had too few castles to be able to cow the pirates.
First when the Skånske castles actually were given her in 1385, she stepped
forward with power and made peace at sea.
The Holstener she she did not believe, that she was able to drive away from
South Jutland, but she succeeded in having them make an oath of loyalty. The
Duke’s country was given as undivided, hereditary county to Jernhenrik’s
son Gerhard 6th (1386). From now on it was often named Slesvig
after its main city.
After Denmark had achieved peace toward the south, Margrethes reputation
raised rapidly. One must admire this woman, who was so poor, that she was not
able to give a meal without the help of her friends, as all her castles were
At Oluf’s unexpected death in 1387, her power was so established, that she
in Denmark as well as in Norway was elected the kingdoms lady and husband and
Soon she also obtained the power over Sweden.
Oluf was buried in Sorø.