| King of Denmark and Norway |
|Reign||25 August 1699 – 12 October 1730|
|Born||11 October 1671|
Copenhagen Castle, Copenhagen, Denmark
|Died||12 October 1730 59) (aged|
Odense Palace, Odense, Denmark
|Spouse|| Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow |
Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg
Anna Sophie Reventlow
|Issue|| Christian VI of Denmark |
Princess Charlotte Amalie
|Father||Christian V of Denmark|
|Mother||Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel|
Frederick IV (Danish: Frederik; 11 October 1671 – 12 October 1730) was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1699 until his death. Frederick was the son of Christian V of Denmark-Norway and his consort Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel.
As crown prince, Frederick broadened his education by travelling in Europe, led by his chamberlain Ditlev Wibe. He was particularly impressed by the architecture in Italy and, on his return to Denmark, asked his father, Christian V, for permission to build a summer palace on Solbjerg, as the hill in Valby was then known, the future site of Frederiksberg Palace.The one-story building, probably designed by Ernst Brandenburger, was completed in 1703.
Frederick was allowed to choose his future wife from a number of Protestant royal daughters in northern Germany. In 1695, he visited the court of Gustav-Adolph in Güstrow. But his visit there was cut short by a message telling of his brother Christian's serious illness (he had, in fact, already died in Ulm). Frederick later returned to Güstrow, where he was forced to choose the eldest of the unmarried princesses. On 5 December 1695 at Copenhagen Castle, he married Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, herself a great-great-granddaughter of Frederick II of Denmark. The couple were crowned King and Queen of Denmark-Norway on 25 August 1699 in the Frederiksborg Chapel.
Frederick's most important domestic reform was the abolition in 1702 of the so-called vornedskab , a kind of serfdom which had fallen on the peasants of Zealand in the Late Middle Ages. His efforts were largely in vain because of the introduction in 1733 of adscription ( stavnsbånd ), a law that forced peasants to remain in their home regions, and by which the peasantry was subjected to both the local nobility and the army.
After the war, trade and culture flowered. The first Danish theatre, Lille Grønnegade Theatre, was created and the great dramatist Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754) began his career. He established the College of Missions which funded the missionary Hans Egede (1686–1758) in colonisation of Greenland. Politically this period was marked by the king's connection to the Reventlows, the Holsteiner relatives of his last queen, and by his growing suspicion toward the old nobility.
During Frederick's rule Copenhagen was struck by two disasters: the plague of 1711, and the great fire of October 1728, which destroyed most of the medieval capital. Although the king had been persuaded by astronomer Ole Rømer (1644–1710) to introduce the Gregorian calendar in Denmark-Norway in 1700, the astronomer's observations and calculations were among the treasures lost to the fire.
Frederik IV, having twice visited Italy, had two pleasure palaces built in the Italian baroque style: Frederiksberg Palace that was extended during his reign, when it was converted into a three-storey H-shaped building, and was completed in 1709 by Johan Conrad Ernst, giving the palace a true Italian Baroque appearanceand Fredensborg Palace, both considered monuments to the conclusion of the Great Northern War.
He maintained weekly audiences where anyone could attend and deliver letters with complaints or projects.
Frederick IV holds a memorable place in the social history of the city of Venice for a visit he made during the winter of 1708–09, the king stayed in city with an entourage of at least 70 people, formally incognito as Count of Oldenburg, not to be unknown, but to get rid of the cumbersome and more costly etiquette that belonged to a king's conduct. While the nine weeks stay lasted, the king was a frequent guest on operas and comedies and a generous buyer of Venetian glass. During the visit to the state armory, he received the republic's upscale gift: two large ore guns and an ore mortar. A regatta on the Grand Canal was held in his honour and is immortalized in a painting by Luca Carlevarijs. The winter that season was particularly cold, so cold that the lagoon of Venice froze over, and the Venetians were able to walk from the city to the mainland. It was joked that the king of Denmark had brought the cold weather with him. He also paid a visit to the dowager grand-princess Violante at the grand-ducal court of the Medicis. .
On his return he led political negotiations with the Elector Augustus of Saxony and Frederick I of Prussia about the impending plans of war against Sweden. For much of Frederick IV's reign Denmark-Norway was engaged in the Great Northern War (1700–1721) against Sweden. In spite of the conclusion of the Peace of Travendal in 1700, there was soon a Swedish invasion and threats from Europe's western naval powers. In 1709 Denmark again entered the war encouraged by the Swedish defeat at Poltava. Frederick IV commanded the Danish troops at the Battle of Gadebusch in 1712. Although Denmark-Norway emerged on the victorious side, she failed to reconquer lost possessions in southern Sweden. The most important result was the destruction of the pro-Swedish Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp, which re-established Denmark's domination in Schleswig-Holstein. Between 1703 and 1711, Frederick send military units in Hungary and supported Austria in the Rákóczi's War of Independence. The Danish regiments fought against the Kuruc army and French auxiliaries (Battle of Zsibó).
Much of the king's life was spent in strife with kinsmen. Two of his first cousins, Charles XII of Sweden and Frederick IV, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (the three men were the grandsons of Frederick III of Denmark), had waged war upon his father jointly. Initially defeated by the Swedes and forced to recognize the independence of Holstein-Gottorp, Frederick finally drove the next duke of Holstein-Gottorp, Duke Charles Frederick (who was Frederick IV's first cousin once removed) out of Schleswig in 1713, and avoided the revenge contemplated by Charles Frederick's mother-in-law, Catherine I of Russia.
Frederick was deemed a man of responsibility and industry — often regarded as the most intelligent of Denmark-Norway's absolute monarchs. He seems to have mastered the art of remaining independent of his ministers. Lacking all interest in academic knowledge, he was nevertheless a patron of culture, especially in art and architecture. His main weaknesses were probably pleasure-seeking and womanising, which sometimes distracted him. He was the second to last Danish king to make a morganatic marriage (the last was Frederick VII with Louise Rasmussen aka "Countess Danner").
Without divorcing his first queen, Louise, in 1703 he married Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg (d.1704). After the death of Elisabeth, he entered a romance with her lady-in-waiting Charlotte Helene von Schindel, though he later lost interest in her. In 1711, Frederick then fell in love with 19-year-old Countess Anne Sophie Reventlow, daughter of the then Grand-Chancellor Conrad von Reventlow. He carried her off from her home, Clausholm Castle near Randers, after her mother refused to let her daughter be a royal mistress. Frederick had seen Anne Sophie at a masquerade ball at Koldinghus, where the royal family resided during the plague that devastated Copenhagen. A secret marriage was held at Skanderborg on 26 June 1712. At that time he accorded her the title "Duchess of Schleswig" (derived from one of his own subsidiary titles). Three weeks after Queen Louise's death in Copenhagen on 4 April 1721, he legalized his relationship with Anna Sophie by a new marriage, this time declaring her queen consort (the only wife of a hereditary Danish king to bear that title who was not a princess by birth). It was undoubtedly a relief to get out of a relationship they both saw as sin.Of the nine children born to him of these three wives, only two of them survived to adulthood: the future Christian VI and Princess Charlotte-Amalia, both from the first marriage. All the other children died in infancy.
The Reventlows took advantage of their kinship to the king. Anna's sister, the salonist Countess Christine Sophie Holstein of Holsteinborg, was nicknamed Madame Chancellor because of her influence. Within a year of making Anna queen, Frederick also recognized as dynastic the issue of the morganatic marriages of two of his kinsmen, Duke Philip Ernest of Schleswig-Holstein-Glucksburg (1673–1729) and Duke Christian Charles of Schleswig-Holstein-Plön-Norburg (1674–1706), to non-royal nobles. The other Schleswig-Holstein dukes of the House of Oldenburg perceived their interests to be injured, and Frederick found himself embroiled in their complicated lawsuits and petitions to the Holy Roman Emperor.Also offended by the countess's elevation were Frederick's younger unmarried siblings, Princess Sophia Hedwig (1677–1735) and Prince Charles (1680–1729), who withdrew from Copenhagen to their own rival court at the handsomely re-modelled Vemmetofte Cloister (later a haven for dowerless damsels of the nobility).
During the king's last years he fell afflicted with weak health suffering from dropsy (edema) and the consequences of an accident in an explosion in a cannon foundry in Copenhagen. He also had private sorrows that inclined him toward Pietism. That form of faith would rise to prevalence during the reign of his son. On his last years, Frederick IV asked the loyalty of his son in order to protect Queen Anna Sophie. Despite the growing weakness, he set in 1730 on a muster travel, he reached Gottorp but had to return, and died in Odense, on the day after his 59th birthday. He was buried in Roskilde Cathedral, the mausoleum of Danish royalty.
With his first queen, Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow:
With his second wife Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg:
With his third wife queen, Anne Sophie Reventlow:
|Ancestors of Frederick IV of Denmark|
Frederick I was the king of Denmark and Norway. His name is also spelled Frederik in Danish and Norwegian, Friedrich in German and Fredrik in Swedish. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over Denmark and Norway, when subsequent monarchs embraced Lutheranism after the Protestant Reformation. As king of Norway, Frederick is most remarkable in never having visited the country and was never crowned as such. Therefore, he was styled King of Denmark, the Vends and the Goths, elected King of Norway. Frederick's reign began the enduring tradition of calling kings of Denmark alternatively by the names Christian and Frederick, which has continued up to the reign of the current monarch, Margrethe II.
Christian VI was King of Denmark and Norway from 1730 to 1746. The eldest surviving son of Frederick IV and Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, he is considered one of Denmark-Norway's more anonymous kings, but he was a skilled politician, best known for his authoritarian regime. He was the first king of the Oldenburg dynasty to refrain from entering in any war. During his reign both compulsory confirmation (1736) and a public, nationwide school system (1739) were introduced. His chosen motto was "Deo et populo".
The House of Glücksburg, shortened from House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, is a collateral branch of the House of Oldenburg, members of which have reigned at various times in Denmark, Norway, Greece, and several northern German states.
Marie Sophie Frederikke of Hesse-Kassel was queen consort of Denmark and Norway by marriage to Frederick VI. She served as regent of Denmark during the absence of her spouse in 1814–1815.
Frederick Louis of Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck was a Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck and field marshal of the Prussian Army. He was the son of August Philipp, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck and Countess Marie Sibylle of Nassau-Saarbrücken.
Princess Louise of Denmark and Norway was born to Frederick V of Denmark and Louise of Great Britain. Her eldest daughter, Marie of Hesse-Kassel, was the wife of Frederick VI of Denmark.
Frederick IV was the reigning Duke of Holstein-Gottorp.
Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow was Queen consort of Denmark and Norway as the first spouse of the King Frederick IV of Denmark. In 1708–09, she was regent during her husband's trip to Italy.
Princess Augusta of Denmark was the third daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark and Sophia of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, and Duchess of Holstein-Gottorp as the wife of Duke John Adolf. She was politically influential during the reign of her son, Duke Frederick III.
Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel was a cadet member of the house of Hesse-Kassel and a Danish general field marshal. Brought up with relatives at the Danish court, he spent most of his life in Denmark, serving as royal governor of the twin duchies of Schleswig-Holstein from 1769 to 1836 and commander-in-chief of the Norwegian army from 1772 to 1814.
Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow was Queen of Denmark and Norway by marriage to Frederick II of Denmark. She was the mother of King Christian IV of Denmark. She was Regent of Schleswig-Holstein 1590–1594.
Frederick Christian II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg was a Danish prince and feudal magnate. He held the island of Als and some other castles in Schleswig.
Anne Sophie von Reventlow was Queen of Denmark and Norway from 1721 to 1730 as the second wife of Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway.
Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp-Eutin was a cadet of the reigning ducal House of Holstein-Gottorp who became prince of Eutin, prince-bishop of Lübeck and regent of the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp.
Conrad, Greve von Reventlow was a Danish statesman who was "Grand Chancellor of Denmark", a predecessor title of the Prime Minister of Denmark, from 1699 until his death. His chancellorship occurred during the reign of King Frederick IV.
Frederick Charles of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön, known as Friedrich Karl or Friedrik Carl of Holstein-Plön, was a member of a cadet branch of the Danish royal family and the last duke of the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön, a Danish royal prince, and a knight of the Order of the Elephant. When he died without a male heir born of his marriage to Countess Christine Armgard von Reventlow, rule of the Duchy of Holstein-Plön returned to the Danish crown.
Prince Charles of Denmark and Norway was the fourth son of Christian V of Denmark and his consort Queen Charlotte Amalie, and thus a younger brother of King Frederick IV. He never married and had no children, nor did he ever engage in any political activities. Instead he maintained a withdrawn life on his estates.
Events from the year 1671 in Denmark.
Dorothea Christina von Aichelberg was the spouse of Prince Christian Charles of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön-Norburg as Frau von Karlstein. Later, as a widow and mother of Frederick Charles, she stood for many years at the center of a succession dispute.
Charlotte Amalie Wilhelmine of (Schleswig-)Holstein-Plön, was a princess of the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön, a cadet branch of the Danish royal family. She was born at Plön to Frederick Charles, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön and his wife Countess Christiane Armgard von Reventlow, the fourth of their five children.
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