Christian IV of Denmark

Christian IV of Denmark

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Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects. He is sometimes referred to as Christian Firtal in Denmark and Christian Kvart or Quart in Norway.

Court life


The son of Frederick II
Frederick II of Denmark
Frederick II was King of Denmark and Norway and duke of Schleswig from 1559 until his death.-King of Denmark:Frederick II was the son of King Christian III of Denmark and Norway and Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg. Frederick II stands as the typical renaissance ruler of Denmark. Unlike his father, he...

, king of Denmark-Norway, and Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, he was born at Frederiksborg castle
Frederiksborg Palace
Frederiksborg castle is a castle in Hillerød, Denmark. It was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV, and is now known as The Museum of National History. The current building replaced a previous castle erected by Frederick II, and is the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia...

 in 1577. He descended, through his mother's side, from king John of Denmark, and was thus the first descendant of King John to assume the crown since the deposition of King Christian II
Christian II of Denmark
Christian II was King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden , during the Kalmar Union.-Background:...

. He succeeded to the throne at the age of 11, on the death of his father on 4 April 1588. While he was still growing up, chancellor Niels Kaas and the Rigsraadet
Rigsraadet
Rigsraadet, or Riksrådet, , is the name of the councils of the Scandinavian countries that ruled the countries together with the kings from late Middle Ages to the 17th century...

council served as trustees of the royal power. He received a good education, and was a headstrong and talented student. At the age of 18, Christian ascended the throne on 17 August 1596.

On 30 November 1597, he married Anne Catherine of Brandenburg
Anne Catherine of Brandenburg
Anne Catherine of Brandenburg was queen-consort of Denmark and Norway from 1597 to 1612 as the first spouse of King Christian IV of Denmark.-Biography:...

, a daughter of Joachim Friedrich, margrave of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia. The queen died fourteen years later, after bearing Christian seven children. Four years after her death the king privately married a handsome young gentlewoman
Gentlewoman
A gentlewoman in the original and strict sense is a woman of good family, analogous to the Latin generosus and generosa...

, Kirsten Munk
Kirsten Munk
Kirsten Munk was a Danish noble, the second spouse of King Christian IV of Denmark, and mother to twelve of his children.- Early life and Morganatic marriage:...

, by whom he had twelve children — a connection which was to be disastrous to Denmark.

In the course of 1628 he discovered that his wife, Kirsten Munk, was having a relationship with one of his German officers; and when he put her away she endeavoured to cover up her own disgrace by conniving at an intrigue between Vibeke Kruse
Vibeke Kruse
Vibeke Kruse was the official mistress of King Christian IV of Denmark between 1629 and 1648 and the mother of one of his three acknowledged, illegitimate sons, Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve. She was described as influential.- Biography :...

, one of her discharged maids, and the king. In January 1630 the rupture became final, and Kirsten retired to her estates in Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

. Meanwhile Christian openly acknowledged Vibeke as his mistress, and she bore him a numerous family. Vibeke's children were of course the natural enemies of the children of Kirsten Munk, and the hatred of the two families was not without influence on the future history of Denmark.

Military and economic reforms


Christian took interest in work of the most various description, including a series of domestic reforms. He also did much for the national armaments. New fortresses were constructed under the direction of Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 engineers. The Danish navy
Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy
The Royal Danish-Norwegian Navy or The Common Fleet also known simply as the Danish Navy was the naval force of the united kingdoms Denmark and Norway from 1509 to 12 April 1814. The fleet was established when the Royal Danish Navy and the Royal Norwegian Navy was combined by King Hans, when he...

, which in 1596 consisted of but twenty-two vessels, in 1610 rose to sixty, some of them being built after Christian's own designs. The formation of a national army was more difficult. Christian had to depend mainly upon hired mercenary
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 troops as was common practice in the times—well before the establishment of standing armies—augmented by native peasant levies
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 recruited for the most part from the peasantry on the crown domains.

Up until the early 1620s, Denmark's economy was in great shape due to general high conjunctures in Europe. This inspired Christian to initiate a policy of expanding Denmark's overseas trade, as part of the mercantilist wave that was sweeping Europe. He founded a number of merchant cities, and supported the building of factories. He also built a large number of buildings in Dutch Renaissance style.

However, despite Christian's many efforts, the new economic projects did not return a profit. He looked abroad for new income. Christian IV's Expeditions to Greenland
Christian IV's Expeditions to Greenland
Christian IV's Expeditions was a series of expeditions in the years 1605-1607 to Greenland and Arctic waterways sent by King Christian IV of Denmark in order to locate the lost Eastern Norse Settlement and assert Danish sovereignty over Greenland....

 was a series of expeditions in the years 1605-1607 to Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 and Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 waterways in order to locate the lost Eastern Norse Settlement
Eastern Settlement
The Eastern Settlement was the largest and first of the three areas of Greenland, settled in approximately 985 AD by Norse farmers from Iceland . At its peak it contained approximately 4,000 inhabitants...

 and assert Danish sovereignty over Greenland. The expeditions were unsuccessful, partly due to leaders lacking experience with the difficult arctic ice and weather conditions. The pilot on all three trips was English explorer James Hall
James Hall (explorer)
James Hall was an English explorer. In Denmark, he was known as Jacob Hald. He piloted three of King Christian IV's Expeditions to Greenland under John Cunningham , Godske Lindenov , and Carsten Richardson . In his first voyage he charted the west coast of Greenland as far north as 68° 35' N...

. An expedition to North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 was commissioned in 1619. The expedition was captained by Norwegian navigator and explorer, Jens Munk
Jens Munk
Jens Munk was a Danish navigator and explorer who was born in Norway where his father, Erik Munk, had received several fiefs for his achievements in the Northern Seven Years' War. He returned to Denmark at the age of eight...

. The ships, which were searching for the Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans...

, arrived in Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 landing at the mouth of Churchill River
Churchill River (Hudson Bay)
The Churchill River is a major river in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. From the head of the Churchill Lake it is 1,609 km long. It was named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1685 to 1691...

, settling at what is now Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill is a town on the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World" that has helped its growing tourism industry.-History:A variety of nomadic...

. However, it was a disastrous voyage with cold, famine, and scurvy destroying most of the crew. He also sent Ove Gjedde
Ove Gjedde
Ove Gjedde , born in Tommarp in Scania, Denmark , was a Danish admiral and member of the interim government, following the death of Christian IV and the harsh restrictions imposed on Frederick III due to his close ties to Germany.In 1618 he commanded an expedition to Ceylon and India by Christian...

 to establish Denmark's first colony at Tranquebar
Tranquebar
Tharangambadi is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 15 km north of Karaikal, near the mouth of a distributary of the Kaveri River. Its name means "place of the singing waves"...

, on India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's southcoast in 1620, and Christian also assigned the privilege establishing the Danish East India Company
Danish East India Company
The Danish East India Company was a Danish chartered company.-History:It was founded in 1616, following a privilege of Danish King Christian IV....

.

Foreign policy and wars



The Kalmar War



In 1611, he first put his newly organized army to use. Despite the reluctance of Rigsraadet, Christian initiated a war with Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 for the supremacy of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. It was later known as the Kalmar War
Kalmar War
The Kalmar War was a war between Denmark–Norway and Sweden. Though Denmark soon gained the upper hand, she was unable to defeat Sweden entirely...

 because its chief operation was the Danish capture of Kalmar
Kalmar
Kalmar is a city in Småland in the south-east of Sweden, situated by the Baltic Sea. It had 62,767 inhabitants in 2010 and is the seat of Kalmar Municipality. It is also the capital of Kalmar County, which comprises 12 municipalities with a total of 233,776 inhabitants .From the thirteenth to the...

, the eastern fortress of Sweden. Christian compelled King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Gustav II Adolf has been widely known in English by his Latinized name Gustavus Adolphus Magnus and variously in historical writings also as Gustavus, or Gustavus the Great, or Gustav Adolph the Great,...

 to give way on all essential points at the resulting Treaty of Knäred
Treaty of Knäred
The Treaty of Knäred was signed on 21 January 1613 and ended the Kalmar War between Denmark and Sweden. It is named after the village of Knäred in Halland, where it was signed. As a result, Sweden had to pay a ransom for the return of the fortress of Älvsborg...

 of 20 January 1613. However, despite Denmark's greater strength, the gains of the war were not decisive.

He now turned his attention to the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Here, his objectives were twofold: first, to obtain control of the great German rivers— the Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 and the Weser— as a means of securing his dominion of the northern seas; and secondly, to acquire the secularized German Archdiocese of Bremen and Prince-Bishopric of Verden as appanage
Appanage
An apanage or appanage or is the grant of an estate, titles, offices, or other things of value to the younger male children of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture...

s for his younger sons. He skillfully took advantage of the alarm of the German Protestants after the Battle of White Mountain
Battle of White Mountain
The Battle of White Mountain, 8 November 1620 was an early battle in the Thirty Years' War in which an army of 30,000 Bohemians and mercenaries under Christian of Anhalt were routed by 27,000 men of the combined armies of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor under Charles Bonaventure de Longueval,...

 in 1620, to secure coadjutorship of the See of Bremen for his son Frederick
Frederick III of Denmark
Frederick III was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death. He instituted absolute monarchy in Denmark and Norway in 1660, confirmed by law in 1665 as the first in western historiography. He was born the second-eldest son of Christian IV of Denmark and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg...

 (September 1621). A similar arrangement was reached in November at Verden. Hamburg was also induced to acknowledge the Danish overlordship of Holstein
Holstein
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is part of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany....

 by the compact of Steinburg in July 1621.

The Emperor's War


The growing power of the Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

s in North Germany in and after 1623 was a threat to the Danish holdings in the Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

 duchies and almost induced Christian to intervene directly in the Thirty Years' War. For a time, however, he stayed his hand. The urgent solicitations of the western powers, and his fear that Gustavus Adolphus should supplant him as the champion of the Protestant cause, finally led him to plunge into war on 9 May 1625. He also feared that Sweden could use a war to further expand their holdings in the Baltic Sea. Christian embarked on a military campaign which was later known in Denmark and Norway as "The Emperor War" .

He had at his disposal from 19,000 to 25,000 men, and at first gained some successes; but on 27 August 1626 he was utterly routed by Johan of Tilly in the Battle of Lutter
Battle of Lutter
The Battle of Lutter took place during the Thirty Years' War, on 27 August 1626, between the forces of the Protestant Christian IV of Denmark and those of the Catholic League...

. Christian had not thoroughly planned the advance against the combined forces of the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 and the Catholic League
Catholic League (German)
The German Catholic League was initially a loose confederation of Roman Catholic German states formed on July 10, 1609 to counteract the Protestant Union , whereby the participating states concluded an alliance "for the defence of the Catholic religion and peace within the Empire." Modeled...

, as promises of military support from the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 did not materialize. In the summer of 1627 both Johan of Tilly and Albrecht von Wallenstein
Albrecht von Wallenstein
Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein , actually von Waldstein, was a Bohemian soldier and politician, who offered his services, and an army of 30,000 to 100,000 men during the Danish period of the Thirty Years' War , to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II...

 occupied the duchies and the whole peninsula of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

.

Christian now formed an alliance with Sweden on 1 January 1628, as he and Gustavus Adolphus shared the reluctance of German expansion in the Baltic region. Gustavus Adolphus pledged to assist Denmark with a fleet in case of need, and shortly afterwards a Swedo-Danish army and fleet compelled Wallenstein to raise the siege of Stralsund
Battle of Stralsund (1628)
The Siege of Stralsund was a siege laid on Stralsund by Albrecht von Wallenstein's Imperial Army during the Thirty Years' War, from May to 4 August 1628. Stralsund was aided by Denmark and Sweden, with considerable Scottish participation. The siege ended Wallenstein's series of victories, and...

. Thus with the help of Sweden, the superior sea-power enabled Denmark to tide over her worst difficulties, and in May 1629 Christian was able to conclude peace with the emperor in the Treaty of Lübeck
Treaty of Lübeck
Treaty or Peace of Lübeck ended the Danish intervention in the Thirty Years' War . It was signed in Lübeck on 22 May 1629 by Albrecht von Wallenstein and Christian IV of Denmark, and on 7 June by Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. The Catholic League was formally included as a party...

, without any diminution of territory. However, the treaty bound Christian not to interfere in the Thirty Years' War any further, removing any Danish obstacles when Gustavus Adolphus entered the war in 1630.

Containment of Sweden


Christian's foreign policy did not suffer from lack of confidence following the Danish defeat in The Emperor War. To compensate for lacking export revenues, and also in order to stifle the Swedish advances in the Thirty Years' War, Christian enacted a number of increases in the Sound Dues
Sound Dues
The Sound Dues were a toll on the use of the Sound which constituted up to two thirds of Denmark's state income in the 16th and 17th centuries...

 throughout the 1630s. Christian gained both in popularity and influence at home, and he hoped to increase his external power still further with the assistance of his sons-in-law, Corfitz Ulfeldt and Hannibal Sehested
Hannibal Sehested (governor)
Hannibal Sehested was a Danish statesman and Governor of Norway.He was born at Arensborg Castle on Øsel, Son of Claus Maltesen Sehested. After being educated abroad, he returned to Denmark in 1632 and was attached to the court of King Christian IV...

, who now came prominently forward.

Between 1629 and 1643 the European situation presented infinite possibilities to politicians with a taste for adventure. However, Christian was incapable of a consistent diplomatic policy. He would neither conciliate Sweden, henceforth his most dangerous enemy, nor guard himself against her by a definite system of counter-alliances. Christian contacted the Catholic part of the Thirty Years' War, and offered to broker a deal with Sweden. However, his mediating was highly skewed in favour of the Holy Roman Emperor, and was a transparent attempt of minimizing the influence Swedish influence in the Baltics. His Scandinavian policy was so irritating and vexatious that Swedish statesmen advocated for a war with Denmark, to keep Christian from interfering in the peace negotiations with the Holy Roman Emperor, and in May 1643, Christian faced another war against Sweden. The increased Sound Dues had alienated the Dutch, who turned to support Sweden.

Torstenson War



Sweden was able, thanks to their conquests in the Thirty Years' War, to attack Denmark from the south as well as the east; the Dutch alliance promised to secure them at sea. In May, the Swedish Privy Council
Privy Council of Sweden
The High Council of Sweden or Council of the Realm consisted originally of those men of noble, common and clergical background, that the king saw fit for advisory service...

 decided upon war; on 12 December the Swedish Field Marshal Lennart Torstensson, advancing from Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, crossed the southern frontier of Denmark; by the end of January 1644 the whole peninsula of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 was in his possession. This unexpected attack, conducted from first to last with consummate ability and lightning-like rapidity, had a paralysing effect upon Denmark. Fortunately for his subjects, in the midst of almost universal helplessness and confusion, Christian knew his duty and had the courage to do it.
In his sixty-sixth year he once more displayed something of the magnificent energy of his triumphant youth. Night and day he laboured to levy armies and equip fleets. Fortunately for him, the Swedish government delayed hostilities in Scania
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

 till February 1644, and the Danes were able to make adequate defensive preparations and save the important fortress of Malmö
Malmö
Malmö , in the southernmost province of Scania, is the third most populous city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg.Malmö is the seat of Malmö Municipality and the capital of Skåne County...

. The Danish fleet denied Torstensson crossing from Jutland to Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

, and defeated the Dutch auxiliary fleet which came to Torstensson's assistance at the Action of 16 May 1644
Action of 16 May 1644
This battle took place on 16 May 1644 during the Danish-Swedish War near List Deep, between Sylt and Rømø in western Denmark. Nine Danish ships under King Christian IV forced a retreat back into List Deep of 26 smaller Dutch ships which had come to assist Sweden against Denmark...

. Another attempt to transport Torstensson and his army to the Danish islands by a large Swedish fleet was frustrated by Christian IV in person on 1 July 1644. On that day the two fleets encountered at the Battle of Colberger Heide
Battle of Colberger Heide
The naval Battle of Colberger Heide took place on 1 July 1644 during the Danish-Swedish War , off northern Germany...

. As Christian stood on the quarter-deck of the Trinity a cannon close by was exploded by a Swedish cannonball, and splinters of wood and metal wounded the king in thirteen places, blinding one eye and flinging him to the deck. But he was instantly on his feet again, cried with a loud voice that it was well with him, and set every one an example of duty by remaining on deck till the fight was over. Darkness at last separated the contending fleets; and the battle was drawn.

The Danish fleet subsequently blockaded the Swedish ships in the Bay of Kiel
Bay of Kiel
The Bay of Kiel is a bay in the southwestern Baltic Sea, off the shores of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and the islands of Denmark. It is connected with the Bay of Mecklenburg in the east, the Little Belt in the northwest, and the Great Belt in the North....

. But the Swedish fleet escaped, and the annihilation of the Danish fleet by the combined navies of Sweden and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, after an obstinate fight between Fehmarn
Fehmarn
Fehmarn is an island and - since 2003 - a town on this island in the Baltic Sea, off the eastern coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and ca. 18 kilometers south of the Danish island of Lolland...

 and Lolland
Lolland
Lolland is the fourth largest island of Denmark, with an area of 1,243 square kilometers . Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland...

 at the end of September, exhausted the military resources of Denmark and compelled Christian to accept the mediation of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the Netherlands; and peace was finally signed with the Treaty of Brömsebro on 8 February 1645. Here Denmark had to cede Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

, Ösel
Saaremaa
Saaremaa is the largest island in Estonia, measuring 2,673 km². The main island of Saare County, it is located in the Baltic Sea, south of Hiiumaa island, and belongs to the West Estonian Archipelago...

 and (for thirty years) Halland
Halland
' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , on the western coast of Sweden. It borders Västergötland, Småland, Scania and the sea of Kattegat.-Administration:...

, while Norway lost the two provinces Jämtland
Jämtland
Jämtland or Jamtland is a historical province or landskap in the center of Sweden in northern Europe. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west...

 and Härjedalen
Härjedalen
' is a historical province or landskap in the centre of Sweden. It borders the country of Norway as well as the provinces of Dalarna, Hälsingland, Medelpad, and Jämtland...

, giving Sweden the supremacy of the Baltic Sea.

Last years and death



After the Torstenson War, Rigsraadet took on an increasing role, under the leadership of Corfitz Ulfeldt and Hannibal Sehested. The last years of Christian's life were embittered by sordid differences with his sons-in-law, especially with Corfitz Ulfeldt. On 21 February 1648, at his earnest request, he was carried in a litter from Frederiksborg
Frederiksborg Palace
Frederiksborg castle is a castle in Hillerød, Denmark. It was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV, and is now known as The Museum of National History. The current building replaced a previous castle erected by Frederick II, and is the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia...

 to his beloved Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, where he died a week later. He was buried in Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral , in the city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark, is a cathedral of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. The first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick, it encouraged the spread of the Brick Gothic style throughout Northern Europe...

.

Legacy


When Christian was crowned king, Denmark held a supremacy over the Baltic Sea, which was lost to Sweden during the years of his reign. Nevertheless, Christian was one of the few Danish kings from the House of Oldenburg
House of Oldenburg
The House of Oldenburg is a North German dynasty and one of Europe's most influential Royal Houses with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Russia, Greece, Norway, Schleswig, Holstein, Oldenburg and Sweden...

 that achieved a lasting legacy of popularity with the Danish people. As such, he featured in the Danish national play Elverhøj. Furthermore, his great building activities also furthered his popularity.

Christian IV was a good linguist, speaking, besides his native tongue, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

. Naturally cheerful and hospitable, he delighted in lively society; but he was also passionate, irritable and sensual. He had courage, a vivid sense of duty, an indefatigable love of work, and all the inquisitive zeal and inventive energy of a born reformer. His own pleasure, whether it took the form of love or ambition, was always his first consideration. In the heyday of his youth his high spirits and passion for adventure enabled him to surmount every obstacle with elan. But in the decline of life he reaped the bitter fruits of his lack of self-control, and sank into the grave a weary and brokenhearted old man.

In fiction

  • Christian IV is depicted as a hard-drinking monarch in the Eric Flint
    Eric Flint
    Eric Flint is an American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.- Career :...

     and David Weber
    David Weber
    David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Weber and his wife Sharon live in Greenville, South Carolina with their three children and "a passel of dogs"....

     historical fiction novel 1634: The Baltic War
    1634: The Baltic War
    1634: The Baltic War is the direct novel sequel to 1633 in the collaboratively written alternate history shared universe 1632 series by David Weber and Eric Flint...

    .
  • Christian IV is featured several times in the book series The Legend of the Ice People
    The Legend of the Ice People
    The Legend of the Ice People is a 47-volume story of a family bloodline. The author of the series is Margit Sandemo. The novels are based in historical facts, mostly occurring in Scandinavia, but the fantastic is never far off. The series first began as a feuilleton in the Norwegian magazine Hjemmet...

    .
  • Christian IV also features prominently in the novel Music and Silence
    Music and Silence
    Music and Silence is a novel written by the English author Rose Tremain. It is set in and around the court of Christian IV of Denmark in the years 1629 and 1630.The book won Best Novel at the 1999 Whitbread Awards....

    by Rose Tremain
    Rose Tremain
    Rose Tremain CBE is an English author.-Life:Rose Tremain was born Rosemary Jane Thomson on August 2, 1943 in London and attended Francis Holland School then Crofton Grange School from 1954 to 1961; the Sorbonne from 1961–1962; and graduated from the University of East Anglia in 1965 where she then...

    , which is primarily set in and around the Danish court in the years 1629 and 1630.
  • Christian IV is depicted as a foul-natured person, but a good king who did a lot to make his realm flourish, by the Danish alternative music band Mew
    Mew (band)
    Mew is a Danish alternative music band consisting of Jonas Bjerre, Bo Madsen, and Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen. Bassist Johan Wohlert was also a founding member of the band, but left in 2006...

     in their song, "King Christian".

Cities and buildings


Christian founded a large number of towns and buildings in his countries. These include: Christianshavn
Christianshavn
Christianshavn is an artificial island neighbourhood located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded in the early 17th century by Christian IV as part of his extension of the fortifications of Copenhagen. Originally it was laid out as an independent privileged merchant's town with inspiration from...

, Christiania
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 (now Oslo, modern capital of Norway, founded after a fire destroyed the original city in 1624), Glückstadt
Glückstadt
Glückstadt is a town in the Steinburg district of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is located on the right bank of the Lower Elbe at the confluence of the small Rhin river, about northwest of Altona...

 (founded as a rival to Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

), Christianstad
Kristianstad
Kristianstad is a city and the seat of Kristianstad Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden with 35,711 inhabitants in 2010.-History:The city was founded in 1614 by King Christian IV of Denmark, the city's name literally means 'Town of Christian', as a planned city after the burning of the town of Vä...

, and Christiansand
Kristiansand
-History:As indicated by archeological findings in the city, the Kristiansand area has been settled at least since 400 AD. A royal farm is known to have been situated on Oddernes as early as 800, and the first church was built around 1040...

. Two short-lived towns were Christianspris in Schleswig near Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

 and Christianopel
Kristianopel
Kristianopel is a village in Karlskrona Municipality in the southeastern Swedish province of Blekinge.-History of the town:Kristianopel is located in the easternmost part of Blekinge, which was the easternmost part of Denmark in beginning of the 17th century...

 near the Swedish border. Two settlements were constructed for industrial purposes: Kongsberg
Kongsberg
is a town and municipality in Buskerud county, Norway. It is located at the southern end of the traditional region of Numedal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kongsberg....

 in Norway to mine a silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 deposit and Kobbermølle
Kupfermühle
Kupfermühle is a village located north of Flensburg in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is located near the Flensburg Fjord just south of the easternmost part of the Danish-German border....

 in Schleswig as a copper mill.

Christian's best known buildings include the observatory Rundetårn
Rundetårn
The Rundetårn is a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the many architectural projects of Christian IV, it was built as an astronomical observatory...

, the stock exchange
Stock exchange
A stock exchange is an entity that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities. Stock exchanges also provide facilities for issue and redemption of securities and other financial instruments, and capital events including the payment of income and...

 Børsen
Børsen
Børsen is a building on Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is built by Christian IV in 1619–1640 and is the oldest stock exchange in Denmark...

, the Copenhagen fortress Kastellet
Kastellet, Copenhagen
Kastellet, located in Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners...

, Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects...

, workers' district Nyboder
Nyboder
Nyboder is a historic row house district of former Naval barracks in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was planned and first built by Christian IV to accommodate a need for housing for the personnel of the rapidly growing Royal Danish Navy and their families during that time...

, the Copenhagen naval Church of Holmen
Church of Holmen
The Church of Holmen is a church in central Copenhagen in Denmark, on the street called Holmens Kanal. First built as an anchor forge in 1563, it was converted into a naval church by Christian IV. It is famous for having hosted the wedding between Margrethe II of Denmark, current queen of Denmark,...

 (Holmens Kirke), Proviantgården, a brewery, the Tøjhuset arsenal
Arsenal
An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

, and two Trinity Churches in Copenhagen and modern Kristianstad, now known as respectively Trinitatis Church and Holy Trinity Church
Trinity Church, Kristianstad
Trinity Church is a religious building in Kristianstad, Sweden, built between 1617 and 1628 by Christian IV of Denmark. He had founded the city of Kristianstad in 1614 at a time when Scania was part of the Kingdom of Denmark...

. Christian converted Frederiksborg Castle to a Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 palace and completely rebuilt Kronborg Castle
Kronborg Castle
Kronborg is a star fortress situated near the town of Helsingør on the extreme northeastern tip of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Øresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden...

 to a fortress. He also founded the Danish East India Company
Danish East India Company
The Danish East India Company was a Danish chartered company.-History:It was founded in 1616, following a privilege of Danish King Christian IV....

 inspired by the similar Dutch company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

.

Issue




With his first wife, Anne Catherine of Brandenburg
Anne Catherine of Brandenburg
Anne Catherine of Brandenburg was queen-consort of Denmark and Norway from 1597 to 1612 as the first spouse of King Christian IV of Denmark.-Biography:...

;
  • Frederik (15 August 1599-9 September 1599)
  • Unnamed Son (b. & d. 1601)
  • Christian
    Christian, Prince Elect of Denmark
    Christian was the Prince Elect of Denmark between 1610 and his death.-Early life:He was born in Copenhagen Castle as a son of King Christian IV of Denmark and Queen-Consort Anne Catherine . He was the couple's oldest living son, an older brother Frederick having died in 1599, less than a year old...

     (10 April 1603-2 June 1647)
  • Sophie (4 January 1605-7 September 1605)
  • Elisabeth (16 March 1606-24 October 1608)
  • Frederick III
    Frederick III of Denmark
    Frederick III was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death. He instituted absolute monarchy in Denmark and Norway in 1660, confirmed by law in 1665 as the first in western historiography. He was born the second-eldest son of Christian IV of Denmark and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg...

     (18 March 1609-9 February 1670)
  • Ulrik
    Ulrik of Denmark (1611–1633)
    Prince Ulrik of Denmark, was a son of King Christian IV of Denmark and his consort Queen Anne Catherine of Brandenburg...

     (2 February 1611-12 August 1633); murdered, as Ulrich III Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin (1624–1633)


With his second wife, Kirsten Munk
Kirsten Munk
Kirsten Munk was a Danish noble, the second spouse of King Christian IV of Denmark, and mother to twelve of his children.- Early life and Morganatic marriage:...

, he had 12 children, though the youngest, Dorothea Elisabeth, was rumoured to have been the daughter of Kirsten's lover, Otto Ludwig.;
  • Unnamed Stillborn child (b. & d. 1615)
  • Unnamed infant (b. & d. 1617)
  • Anna Christiane of Schleswig-Holstein (10 August 1618-20 August 1633)
  • Sophie Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein
    Sophie Elisabeth Pentz
    Sophie Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein was the daughter of king Christian IV of Denmark and Kirsten Munk. She shared the title Countess of Schleswig-Holstein with her mother and siblings....

     (20 September 1619-29 April 1657)
  • Leonora Christina of Schleswig-Holstein (8 July 1621-16 March 1698); married Corfitz Ulfeldt
  • Count Valdemar Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
    Valdemar Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
    Valdemar Christian of Schleswig-Holstein was the son of king Christian IV of Denmark and his morganatic spouse Kirsten Munk...

     (1622-26 February 1656)
  • Elisabeth Auguste of Schleswig-Holstein
    Elisabeth Augusta Lindenov
    Elisabeth Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein was the daughter of king Christian IV of Denmark and Kirsten Munk. She shared the title Countess of Schleswig-Holstein with her mother and siblings....

     (28 December 1623-9 August 1677)
  • Friedrich Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (26 April 1625-17 July 1627)
  • Christiane of Schleswig-Holstein
    Christiane Sehested
    Christiane Christiansdatter Sehested was the daughter of king Christian IV of Denmark and his morganatic spouse, Kirsten Munk. She shared the title Countess of Schleswig-Holstein with her mother and siblings. She was the twin of her sister Hedevig Ulfeldt. Christiane was engaged by her father...

     (15 July 1626-6 May 1670); married Hannibal Sehested
    Hannibal Sehested (governor)
    Hannibal Sehested was a Danish statesman and Governor of Norway.He was born at Arensborg Castle on Øsel, Son of Claus Maltesen Sehested. After being educated abroad, he returned to Denmark in 1632 and was attached to the court of King Christian IV...

  • Hedwig of Schleswig-Holstein
    Hedevig Ulfeldt
    Hedwig of Schleswig-Holstein was the daughter of king Christian IV of Denmark and Kirsten Munk. She was the twin of her sister Christiane Sehested. She shared the title Countess of Schleswig-Holstein with her mother and siblings.As with her siblings, she was raised by her grandmother Ellen Marsvin...

     (15 July 1626-5 October 1678)
  • Maria Katharina of Schleswig-Holstein (29 May 1628-1 September 1628)
  • Dorothea Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein
    Dorothea Elisabeth Christiansdatter
    Dorothea Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein was the daughter of king Christian IV of Denmark and Kirsten Munk....

     (1 September 1629-18 March 1687)


With his mistress, Kirsten Madsdatter
Kirsten Madsdatter
Kirsten Madsdatter was King Christian IV of Denmark's lover, and the mother of one of his three acknowledged, illegitimate sons, Christian Ulrik Gyldenløve....

;
  • Christian Ulrik Gyldenløve
    Christian Ulrik Gyldenløve
    Christian Ulrik Gyldenløve was a Danish diplomat and military officer. He was one of three acknowledged illegitimate sons of Christian IV of Denmark— the only one by Kirsten Madsdatter. He died in a fight with troops from the Netherlands at the churchyard of Meinerzhagen and was buried in...

     (1611–1640)


With his mistress, Karen Andersdatter
Karen Andersdatter
Karen Andersdatter was a Danish county administrator, a lover of King Christian IV of Denmark from 1613 until 1615/16, and the mother of one of his three acknowledged, illegitimate sons, Hans Ulrik Gyldenløve.- Biography :...

;
  • Dorothea Elisabeth Christiansdatter (1613–1615)
  • Hans Ulrik Gyldenløve
    Hans Ulrik Gyldenløve
    Hans Ulrik Gyldenløve was a Danish diplomat. He was one of three acknowledged, illegitimate sons of King Christian IV of Denmark— the only one by Karen Andersdatter.He married Regitze Grubbe on October 10, 1641 and died January 1645.-See also:...

     (1615–1645)


With his mistress, Vibeke Kruse
Vibeke Kruse
Vibeke Kruse was the official mistress of King Christian IV of Denmark between 1629 and 1648 and the mother of one of his three acknowledged, illegitimate sons, Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve. She was described as influential.- Biography :...

;
  • Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve
    Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve (1630-1658)
    Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve was an illegitimate child of Christian IV of Denmark and his chambermaid and mistress Vibeke Kruse....

     (1630–1658)
  • Elisabeth Sophia Gyldenløve (1633–1654); married Major-General Klaus Ahlefeld

Ancestry





Further reading


  • Scocozza, Benito, "Christian 4.", 2006 ISBN 978-87-567-7633-2
  • Kurzer Discurs was Feyrlicheit vnd Geprenge zu Copenhagen ..., Wegener, Schlewig (1596) Account of Christian's coronation in 1596: digitised by the British Library
    British Library
    The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...