Count's War

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Count’s War

 

(Grevens Fejde). the civil war of 1534–36 for the Danish throne, connected with the popular movement that had swept over Denmark. The Count’s War began after the death of King Frederick I in 1533. Townspeople, peasants and some of the nobility favored the return to power of King Christian II, who had been deposed in 1523 after an aristocratic conspiracy. Among the participants in the movement to restore Christian II were many proponents of the Reformation.

The townspeople were led by the burgomasters of Copenhagen and Malmo, who acted in cooperation with J. Wullenwewer, the burgomaster of Lübeck. In June 1534 the troops of Count Christopher of Oldenburg, who was loyal to Christian II, assembled. Supported by money from Lübeck and traveling in Lübeck ships, they landed in Denmark, where they received support from townspeople and peasants. (There was a peasant rebellion in northern Jutland in 1534 led by the barge skipper Clement.) Count Christopher’s troops occupied Skane and Zealand.

The high nobility and the Catholic clergy, who had taken power in the country after the death of Frederick I, proposed his Son, Christian, the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, as their protege on the throne, although he was a Lutheran. (He became King Christian III.) Taking advantage of Swedish aid, Christian III defeated the supporters of Christian II and suppressed the popular uprising. (The residents of the besieged cities of Copenhagen and Malmo offered the longest resistance, lasting until the summer of 1536.)