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Queen  Margrete the 1 st 

1353 - 1412             Queen  1387 - 1397       1375 - 1412                






Danish Kings, from Gorm the Old to the present Queen Margrethe 2nd


. Map of Denmark







Queen Margrethe 1st

When Margrethe was elected to head the government in 1387, Albrecht of Mecklenburg , king of Sweden 1363-1389 had great problems with the squires.

While the enmity between Albrecht and the squires became still more violent, Margrethe armed for an attack on Sweden to assert her sons right of inheritance.

The Swedish nobility did not dare to take up the fight with Albrecht as well as Margrethe, and therefore joined her, and accepted her as Swedens “ guardian lady and husband”.


At Åsle (near Falköping) Albrechts German army was defeated by the joint Danish, Norwegian and Swedish armies in 1389.
Adelbrecht was taken prisoner and placed in custody in a Danish castle.
Soon all of Sweden was in the hands of Margrethe, except Stockholm, where the German traders had the power.
After a compromise, where Adelbrecht was set free, Stockholm was surrendered to Hansestæderne, who later left the city to Margrethe.

To unite the Nordic Countries for ever, Margrethe wanted to give them a young king, who could establish a common king-family. For this she elected her sister-daughterson, Erik of Pommern, who already at seven was entrusted with her and raised by her.


Margrethes seal with the three crowns

When 15 years old he was in Kalmar by Lund’s archbishop crowned as king over all three lands as one.
Numerous Nordic squires attended the crowning.

Margrethe continued to head the government, also after Erik had become of age. He accepted gladly her governing.
The nobility bent everywhere for the queen. She governed the lands by subordinated officials.
All estates, which had come into the hands of the nobility in the years of unrest (in Sweden since 1363, in Denmark since 1368), were again made taxable to the crown.

From her safe in Kalundborg Castle, she brought many deeds and mortgages to prove, what had belonged to the crown, and had it allotted.

The church enjoyed Margrethes favour. Often she donated great gifts. She achieved Birgitta to become canonized, and she let herself register as a sister in Vadstena Monastery.
She even achieved from the Pope, that the people living in The Nordic Countries, who had not participated in the rejoicing-celebration in Rome in 1390, in stead could go to Vadstena.
30 confession-priests were not enough to give indelgence, and the wealth of the monastery was increased with many thousand Mark by the pious presents. The Pope entrusted her great influence on ecclesiastical appointment of officials.

Denmark was superior within the union. Margrethe placed many of her faithful Danish or immigrated German nobilities at the crown castles in Norway and especially in Sweden.
Hansestæderne had lost their political power, which had been on its peak 1370-1385, also their trading reights Margrethe tryed to restrict.

When Gerhard 6th was slain during a Ditmarsker-raid, it even looked like Margrethe might have South Jutland in her power. Gerhard’s widow and under aged sons had to accept, that Margrethe sieged one castle after the other. During the disputes, which arised from this, she went to Flensborg to negotiate.
While the vessel was at Flensborg Inlet, Margrethe died of plague in 1412.

She was buried in Roskilde, where her “son”, king Erik, later erected a glorious memory for her.
Buried in Sorø. Later transferred to Roskilde Cathedral.

Margrethe 1st was daughter of Valdemar Atterdag and Helvig.
She was married in 1363 to Håkon of Norway, and they had a son,
Oluf, who was elected king after Valdemar Atterdag, and after Håkon’s death in 1380 he was also elected king in Norway with Margrethe as guardian.
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