Christian II of Denmark

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Christian II (1 July 1481 – 25 January 1559) was King of Denmark, Norway (1513–1523) and Sweden (1520–1521), during the Kalmar Union.



Christian was born as the son of King John of Denmark and Christina of Saxony, at Nyborg Castle in 1481 and succeeded his father as king and regent in Denmark and Norway, where he later was to be succeeded by his uncle King Frederick I of Denmark.[1]

Christian descended, through both Valdemar I of Sweden and Magnus I of Sweden, from the Swedish Dynasty of Eric, and from Catherine, daughter of Inge I of Sweden, as well as from Ingrid Ylva, granddaughter of Sverker I of Sweden. His rival Gustav I of Sweden descended only from Sverker II of Sweden and the Dynasty of Sverker (who apparently did not descend from ancient Swedish kings).


Christian took part in his father John of Denmark's conquest of Sweden in 1497 and in the fighting of 1501 when Sweden revolted. He was appointed viceroy of Norway in 1506, and succeeded in maintaining control of this country. During his harsh administration in Norway,[2] he attempted to deprive the Norwegian nobility of its traditional influence exercised through the Rigsraadet privy council leading to controversy with the latter.

Christian's succession to the throne was confirmed at the Herredag assembly of notables from the three northern kingdoms, which met at Copenhagen in 1513. The nobles and clergy of all three kingdoms regarded with grave misgivings a ruler who had already shown in Norway that he was not afraid of enforcing his authority to the uttermost. Rigsraadet of Denmark and Norway insisted in the Håndfæstning charter extorted from the king, that the crowns of both kingdoms were elective and not hereditary, providing explicitly against any transgression of the charter by the king, and expressly reserving to themselves a free choice of Christian's successor after his death. But the Swedish delegates could not be prevailed upon to accept Christian as king at all. "We have", they said, "the choice between peace at home and strife here, or peace here and civil war at home, and we prefer the former." A decision as to the Swedish succession was therefore postponed.[3]

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