Margaret I of Denmark : definition of Margaret I of Denmark and synonyms of Margaret I of Denmark (English)

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definition - Margaret I of Denmark

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Margaret I of Denmark

                   
Margaret I
Tomb of Queen Margaret in Roskilde Cathedral
Queen of Denmark
Reign 10 August 1387–28 October 1412
Predecessor Olaf II
Successor Eric VII
Queen of Norway
Reign 3 August 1387–28 October 1412
Predecessor Olaf IV
Successor Eric III
Queen of Sweden
Reign 24 February 1389–28 October 1412
Predecessor Albert
Successor Eric XIII
Consort Haakon VI of Norway
Issue
Olaf II of Denmark and IV of Norway
Full name
Margaret Valdemarsdatter
House Estridsen
Father Valdemar IV of Denmark
Mother Helvig of Schleswig
Born March 1353[1]
Vordingborg Castle
Died 28 October 1412 (aged 59)
Ship in Flensburg Fjord.
Burial Roskilde Cathedral
Religion Roman Catholicism
Danish Royalty
House of Estridsen
National Coat of arms of Denmark no crown.svg
Valdemar IV Atterdag
Children
   Christopher, Duke of Lolland
   Margaret Valdemarsdatter
   Ingeborg, Duchess of Mecklenburg
   Catherine Valdemarsdatter
   Valdemar Valdemarsen
   Margaret I
Lady Margaret
Children
   Olaf II & IV

Margaret I (Danish: Margrete Valdemarsdatter, Norwegian: Margrete Valdemarsdotter, Swedish: Margareta Valdemarsdotter, Icelandic: Margrét Valdimarsdóttir),[A] (March 1353[1] – 28 October 1412), was Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and founder of the Kalmar Union, which united the Scandinavian countries for over a century. She acted as queen regnant of Denmark, although in those days it was not the Danish custom for a woman to reign.[2] Her title in Denmark was derived from her father King Valdemar IV of Denmark. She became Queen of Norway and Sweden by virtue of her marriage to King Haakon VI of Norway.

Contents

  Biography

Margaret was born in March 1353,[1] as the sixth and youngest child of Valdemar IV of Denmark and Helvig of Schleswig.[3] She was baptized in Roskilde and in 1359 as a six-year year old engaged to the 18-year-old King Haakon VI of Norway, who was youngest son of the Swedish-Norwegian king Magnus IV & VII.[3] As part of the marriage contract it is presumed that a treaty was signed which meant that King Valdemar had to assist Magnus in a dispute with his second son, Eric "XII" of Sweden, who in 1356 was hailed as king there and had been given dominion over Southern Sweden.[3] Margaret's marriage was thus a part of the Nordic power struggle. There was dissatisfaction with this in some circles, and the political activist Bridget of Sweden described the agreement in a letter to the pope as a "children playing with dolls".[3] The goal of the marriage for King Valdemar was regaining Scania, which since 1332 had been mortgaged to Sweden.[4] According to contemporary chronicles the marriage contract contained an agreement to give Helsingborg Castle back to Denmark, but that was not enough for Valdemar who in June 1359 attacked with a large army across Øresund and soon had occupied Scania.[4] The attack was ostensibly to support Magnus against Erik, but in June 1359 Erik died, which meant that the balance of power was changed and all agreements between Magnus and Valdemar were terminated, including the marriage contract between Margaret and Haakon.[4]

At the age of ten Margaret finally did marry Haakon, now the only surviving son of King Magnus.

Her first act after her father's death in 1375 was to procure the election of her infant son Olaf as king of Denmark, despite the claims of her elder sister's husband Duke Henry of Mecklenburg and their son. Margaret insisted that Olaf be proclaimed rightful heir of Sweden, among his other titles. He was too young to rule in his own right, and Margaret proved herself a competent and shrewd ruler in the years that followed. On the death of Haakon in 1380, Olaf succeeded him as King of Norway. Olaf died suddenly in 1387, aged 17, and Margaret, who had ruled both kingdoms in his name, was chosen Regent of Norway and Denmark in the following year. She had already proven her keen statesmanship by recovering possession of Schleswig from the Holstein Counts. The Counts had held it for more than a generation and received it back as a gift by the Compact of Nyborg,[clarification needed (of chronology)] but under such stringent conditions that the Danish Crown received all the advantages of the arrangement. By this compact, the often rebellious Jutish nobility lost the support they had previously enjoyed in Schleswig-Holstein. Margaret, free from fear of domestic sedition, could now give her undivided attention to Sweden, where mutinous nobles were already in arms against their unpopular King Albert. Several of the powerful nobles wrote to Margaret that if she would help rid Sweden of Albert, she would become their regent. She quickly gathered an army and invaded Sweden.

At a conference held at Dalaborg Castle in March 1388, the Swedes were compelled to accept all of Margaret's conditions, elected her "Sovereign Lady and Ruler", and committed themselves to accept any king she chose to appoint. On 24 February 1389 Albert, who had called her "King Pantsless" and had returned from Mecklenburg with an army of mercenaries, was routed and taken prisoner at Aasle near Falköping, and Margaret was now the omnipotent mistress of three kingdoms.

Stockholm, then almost entirely a German city, still held out. Fear of Margaret induced both the Mecklenburg princes and the Wendish towns to hasten to its assistance; and the Baltic and the North Sea speedily swarmed with the privateers of the Victual Brothers. The Hanseatic League intervened, and under the Compact of Lindholm (1395), Margaret released Albert on his promise to pay 60,000 marks within three years. Meanwhile, the Hansa were to hold Stockholm as surety. Albert failed to pay his ransom within the stipulated time, and the Hansa surrendered Stockholm to Margaret in September 1398 in exchange for commercial privileges.

  Eric of Pomerania

It had been understood that Margaret should, at the first convenient opportunity, provide the three kingdoms with a king who was to be a kinsman of all the three old dynasties, although in Norway it was specified that she would continue ruling alongside the new king. In 1389 she proclaimed her great-nephew, Eric of Pomerania (grandson of Henry of Mecklenburg), king of Norway, having adopted him and his sister Catherine. In 1396, homage was rendered to him in Denmark and Sweden, while Margaret once again assumed the regency during his minority. To weld the united kingdoms still more closely together, Margaret summoned a congress of the three Councils of the Realm to Kalmar in June 1397, and on Trinity Sunday, 17 June, Eric was crowned King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The proposed Act of Union divided the three Councils, and the actual deed embodying its terms never got further than an unratified draft. Margaret balked at the clauses which insisted that each country should retain exclusive possession of its own laws and customs and be administered by its own dignitaries, because in her opinion this prevented the complete amalgamation of Scandinavia. With her usual prudence, however, she avoided every appearance of an open rupture.

A few years after the Kalmar Union, the 18-year-old Eric was declared of age and homage was rendered to him in all his three kingdoms, although Margaret was the effective ruler of Scandinavia throughout her lifetime.

  Policy

  The tomb of Margaret I in Roskilde Cathedral.

So long as the union was insecure, Margaret had tolerated the presence of the Riksråd, but their influence was minor and the Royal authority remained supreme. The offices of High Constable and Earl Marshal were left vacant; the Danehof fell into ruin, and the great Queen, an ideal despot,[clarification needed] ruled through her court officials, who served as a superior kind of clerk. In any event, law and order were well maintained and the licence of the nobility was sternly repressed. The Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway were treated as integral parts of the Danish State, and national aspirations were frowned upon or checked, though Norway, being more loyal, was treated more indulgently than Sweden.

Margaret recovered for the Crown all the landed property that had been alienated in the troubled times before the reign of Valdemar IV. This so-called reduktion, or land-recovery, was carried out with the utmost rigour, and hundreds of estates fell into the hands of the crown. She also reformed the Danish currency, substituting good silver coins for the old and worthless copper tokens, to the great advantage both of herself and of the state. She always had large sums of money at her disposal, and much of it was given to charity.

In contrast with the foreign policy of her venturesome father, Margaret's was circumspect and unswervingly neutral. However, she spared no pains to recover lost Danish territory. She purchased the island of Gotland from its actual possessors, Albert of Mecklenburg and the Livonian Order, and the greater part of Schleswig was regained in the same way.

In 1402 Margaret entered into negotiations with King Henry IV of England about the possibility of a double-wedding alliance between England and the Nordic Union. The proposal was for King Eric to marry Henry's daughter Philippa, and for Henry's son, the Prince of Wales and future Henry V of England, to marry Eric's sister Catherine. The English side wanted these weddings to seal an offensive alliance that could have led the Nordic kingdoms to become involved in the Hundred Years' War against France. Margaret followed a consistent policy of not becoming involved in binding alliances and foreign wars, and therefore rejected the English proposals. However, although there was no double wedding, Eric married the 13-year-old Philippa, daughter of Henry IV of England and Mary de Bohun, at Lund on 26 October 1406, sealing a purely defensive alliance. For Eric's sister Catherine, a wedding was arranged with John, Count Palatine of Neumarkt. Margaret thus acquired a South German ally, who could be useful as a counterweight to the North German Princes and cities.

  Death

Margaret died suddenly on board her ship in Flensburg Harbor on 28 October 1412. Her sarcophagus, made by the Lübeck sculptor Johannes Junge in 1423, is situated behind the high altar in the Roskilde Cathedral, near Copenhagen. She had left property to the Cathedral on the condition that Masses for her soul would be said regularly in the future. This was discontinued in 1536, during the Reformation, but a special bell is still rung twice daily in commemoration of the Queen.

  Ancestry

  Gallery

  Notes

  1. ^ Margaret is known in Denmark as "Margrete I" to distinguish her from the current queen. Denmark did not have a tradition of allowing women to rule, so when her son died, she was titled "All-powerful Lady and Mistress (Regent) of the Kingdom of Denmark".(Huitfeldt, Arild. Danmarks Riges Krønike) She only styled herself Queen of Denmark in 1375, usually referring to herself as "Margaret, by the grace of God, daughter of Valdemar King of Denmark" and "Denmark's rightful heir" when referring to her position in Denmark. Others simply referred to her as the "Lady Queen", without specifying what she was queen of, but not so Pope Boniface IX, who in his letters styled her "our beloved daughter in Christ, Margaret, most excellent queen of Denmark, Sweden and Norway".("Carissime in Christo filie Margarete Dacie Suecie et Norwegie regine illustri" Diplomatarium Norvegicum (volumes I-XXI) number 344) In Norway, she was known as Queen (Queen-consort, then Dowager Queen) and Regent. In Sweden, she was Dowager Queen and Plenipotentiary Ruler. When she married Haakon VI of Norway in 1363, he was co-King of Sweden, making Margaret queen, and despite being deposed, they never relinquished the title. In theory, the Swedes' expulsion of Albert I in 1389 simply restored Margaret to her original position.

  Citations

  1. ^ a b c Colliers Encyclopedia. 1986 edition. p.386
  2. ^ Schnith, Karl Rudolf (1997) (in German). Frauen des Mittelalters in Lebensbildern. Styria. p. 396. ISBN 3-222-12467-1. 
  3. ^ a b c d Etting, p. 12.
  4. ^ a b c Etting, p. 13.

  Bibliography

Margaret
Born: March 1353 Died: 28 October 1412
Royal titles
Preceded by
Blanche of Namur
Queen consort of Norway
1363–1380
Vacant
Title next held by
Philippa of England
Queen consort of Sweden
1363–1364
Vacant
Title next held by
Richardis of Schwerin
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Olaf IV/Olaf II
as king
Queen regnant of Denmark
1387–1412
with Eric of Pomerania (1396–1412)
Succeeded by
Eric of Pomerania
as king
Queen regnant of Norway
1388–1412
with Eric of Pomerania (1396–1412)
Preceded by
Albert of Mecklenburg
as king
Queen regnant of Sweden
1389–1412
with Eric of Pomerania (1396–1412)

   
               

 

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