KingsOfDenmark.dk


King Christian 3 rd
1503 - 1559               King    1534 - 59
                                Norway  1534 - 59
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Danish Kings, from Gorm the Old to the present Queen Margrethe 2nd

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

King Christian 3rd

Queen Dorothea


 
 
Christian 3rd had early shown, that he placed the carrying out of the reformation above all. When he after his fathers death obtained the power over the land south of the present border, he at first ensured, that the new teaching was steady spread out.
I would rather walk from here, he wrote, and let everything alone, than accept their non Christian way of living.

One year after the death of his father, which activated the civil war 1534-1536, and which is called Grevens Fejde (the count’s feud), the mature as well as moderate man, was by some of the members of the Danish Council and low-nobilities urged to receive the crown.
Christian 3rd could in August 1536 enter a starving Copenhagen, The Count’s Feud had ended.

After his victory 1536 he showed the same impatience to carry out the reformation in one blow, perhaps motivated by his fierce Holstenske Council, who cryed out, that it was necessary to break de Danish Hanser (people from Hansestederne).

Shortly after the capture of Copenhagen Christian 3rd had a meeting with Johan Rantzau and his German advicers. Here they decided to imprison the bishops. The religious councils should also have been imprisoned, but got off, as they all straigt away promised to accept repeal of the bishop’s ruling, and implementation of the Evangelical Church. The imprisoned bishops were soon thereafter released, as they gave their accept, except Joakim Rønnov, who remained in prison until the day, he died.

By this coup d’état the king achieved both, that the church was placed under him, what the miserable financial state of the kingdom almost necessitated, and that the Council, which now only counted ecclesiastical members, became secondary to the crown.
The new arrangement was then established in the written and signed document, agreed on by the king and the Council, and the dismissal decided at a “rigsdag” (council), consisted of 400 noblemen, 200 citizens and 500 peasants, who were kept in Copenhagen in October 1536.
The king’s 2 year old son Frederik was crowned as successor to the throne, and for him should the castles be kept, if the king died.
There should never more be appointed bishops, but instead appointed “super indenter” (a new word, but people got never accustomed to it, and called them bishops) to teach the people the holy gospel. The bishop’s estates should be placed under the crown.

The kings power had increased extremely. At once the bishop’s estates were confiscated and gradually the monastery estates.
In the first years after 1536 Christian 3rd leaned on the Holstenske advicers, but later he joined the Danish nobility, and the German advicers, among those Johan Rantzau, withdrew.

After all he exercised his enormous power with reservation. He was a good example for the believer, and at his court he did not tolerate drinking and wild living.
His strength he especially devoted to bring the church in good working. His enemies called him “The priest king”.

He died at Koldinghus in 1559.
Buried in St. Knuds Church in Odense, transferred in 1578 to Roskilde Cathedral.
Christian 3rd was son of Frederik 1st and Anna of Brandenburg.
Married in 1525 to Dorothea of Sachsen-Lauenburg (1511-71), daughter of count Magnus 1st of Sachsen-Lauenburg and Cathrine of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.
They had the children:

Anna, 1532-85, she was in 1548 married to prince August of Sachsen.
Frederik 2nd, 1534-88, later king
Magnus, 1540-83, king of Livland and in 1573 married to Marija of Russia
Hans, 1545-1622, count of Slesvig-Holsten, married in 1568 to Elisabeth of Braunschweig. Second time in 1588 to Agnes Hedevig of Anhalt.
Dorothea, 1546-1617, who was married to count Wilhelm of Braunschweig-Lüneburg.
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