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King Christian I
1426 - 81               King   1448 - 81
                            Norway 1450 - 81 
                             Sverige 1457 - 64

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

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Åbenrå Municipality’s painting exhibition of Danish kings, at Museum Sønderjylland, Åbenrå.

King Christian 1st

Queen Dorothea of Brandenburg

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After the death of Christoffer the opponents to the union in Sweden got the upper hand, and choose Karl Knutsson as king. The Danish Council thought of electing duke Adolf, for this way voluntarily again to tie Slesvig to the kingdom. But that the crown refused and referred the Council to his sisterson, count Christian of Oldenburg, whose mother was a descendent from Erik Klipping.

After Christian had promised the Council, that he would not start a war or demand new taxes without the consent of the Councel, he became king of Denmark and married Christoffer’s widow, Dorothea of Brandenburg.

Norway hesitated between Karl Knutsson and Christian 1st, until at a meeting in Halmstad between the Danish and the Swedish Councils, it was determined, that Karl should give up Norway.

Then Christian was crowned in Trondhjem’s Cathedral and made in Bergen the agreement with the Norwegan Council, that Norway and Denmark forever should stay together under one king (1450).

Thus the union between the two countries was tied firmer, while Sweden stepped out of the union. However, the Danish kings did not give up the Swedish crown, and the first three Oldenborgske kings really achieved to become masters in this country, but each time only for a short time.

In Sweden the union-party, which consisted of many noble families, was still strong and wanted to remove Karl Knutsson.
Archbishop Jons Bengtsson Oxenstjerna broke with him in 1457, when he in Upsala Cathedral laid down his bishop-stick on the altar, dressed himself in armour and swor king Karl Knutsson enmity.
King Karl was driven away.

Christian 1st was called in and acclaimed king and had the power in Sweden from 1457 - 1464.
Then the country’s peasants were tired of his governing and reluctant to his tax-impose. Karl Knutsson came back and kept under continual fighting the crown until his death in 1470.
On his deathbed he nominated Sten Sture the Elder as his successor.
 
 
                            

Jørgen and the draggon (in Stockholm’s Storkyrka). From Sten Sture the Elder’s time.

 

When Christian 1st carried out a new attack, Sten Sture defeated him at Brunkebjerg in 1471.
For 25 years after that Sweden was in peace for Danish attacks.
As duke Adolf died childless, the Holstenske nobelmen would rather choose a German count , while the Slesvigske would want Christian 1st as duke. But both parts wanted to keep together their lands, as many had estates in both Holsten and Slesvig.

Christian 1st threatened them, if they did not choose him, he would confiscate South Jutland as ownerless county, and so he forced through , that the Councils of the two lands, which correspond to the Danish Council, in Ribe 1460 elected him duke of Slesvig and count of Holsten.

As to external power the Danish Crown gained considerable by the agreement 1460, after that its power base reached to Lübeck’s and Hamburg’s gates. “Then the Holstener became Danish”, the Lybeske Krønike tells. Christian 1st did much to secure this conquest. He bought his suitors consents for huge amounts and convinced the emperor to raise Holsten to duke-status, which should also include Ditmarsken.

Christian 1st was noble, brave and laborious. As long as his mothers brother Adolf lived and guided him, his governing was succesfull, but after Adolf’s death, he was often unlucky. He was not cool-headed and independent enough.
It harmed him, that he always was short of money, especially after the election in Ribe.
Therefore he had to indulge Hansestæderne, who even forced him to cancel trading with the Nederlandske towns.

When the Germans in Bergen killed the royal chief, the bishop and many others and burned down a monastery, he let it stay unpunished.

His daughter got married to the Scottish king, James 3rd, and as he could not pay the dowry, he pawned Orkneyøerne and Shetlandsøerne as collateral, and they were never later cashed.
Huge amounts of money he spend for journeys abroad, of which one went to Rome in 1474, where the Pope acknowledged him considerable influence on appointment of the church’s officials and gave him permission to establish an university. This was opened in Copenhagen in 1479. Under his visit to the Pope Christian’s figure aroused admiration, but not his knowledge of latin, and the Pope remarked “handsome animal, only a pity it cannot speak”.

Christian 1st became ancestor to the Oldenborgske royal family.
Christian is buried in Roskilde Cathedral.
Christian 1st was son of Didrik of Oldenburg and Hedvig of Holsten.
In 1449 he married Dorothea of Brandenburg, widow after Christoffer of Bayern.

They har the children:

Olaf, 1450, died as a child
Knud, died as a child
Hans, 1455-1513, later king
Margrete, 1456-87, married in 1469 to king Jakob 3rd of Scotland
Frederik 1st, 1471-1533, later king.


 

                                                                                

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