Author Topic: Christian IV and his family  (Read 15603 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Yseult

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2006, 02:57:02 AM »
What about Corfitz and Leonora Christina´s children? Was Leonora Christina a woman who felt motherhood in a different way than her granny Ellen or her mummy Kirsten?

Leonora gave birth to four sons: Christian, Ludvig, Leo and Corfitz. She had, also, three daughters: Ellen Kristine, Leonora Sophia and Anna Cathrine. When their father Corfitz Ulfeldt was dead on a boat in the Rhine, the elder son, Christian, had twenty four years, as the younger daughter, Anna, was aged fourteen.

Another question is about queen Sophie Amalie. When his son Christian V succeeded his father Frederick III, I think that the new sovereign wished to release his "aunt" Leonora Christina, but the dowager queen was strong enough to forbid it. And Charlotte Amalie, the neglected wife of Christian, was also compassionate to the countess imprisoned in the Blue Tower. By the way...were Sophie Amalie and her daughter-in-law Charlotte Amalie in good terms? Was Sophie Amalie supportive to her daughter-in-law when Charlotte Amalie felt insulted by the presence in the court of the sixteen years old mistress of her husband, Amalia Moth?

Offline Zanthia

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • "She always made other women look common"
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2006, 04:35:44 AM »
I don't know so much about Leonora's children or how she was as a mother. And besides there is some uncertainty how many children she had. Some says she only had five, others seven, ten and twelve. But I know that Christian once met Adolph Fuchs, the commandant from Hammershus, by accident in Brügge, and murderd him as revenge of the humiliations his parents had suffered during their imprisonment on Bornholm. I think he had to live in exile because of that. When the family returned to Denmark, they had to promise Frederik III not to harm the commandant in any way. But perhaps Kmerov knows what happend to the other children.

Sophie Amalie was not fond of her daughter-in-law. She had chose her because she had heard that the princess maybe had a somewhat funny look, but was glowing of inner beauty and was smart. But Charlotte turned out to be a little too smart. Christian was'nt intelligent, a nice person, but not very sharp. Sophie actually encouraged Christian's relationship to Sophie Amalie Moth, who was named after the queen. (Her father was Frederik III's personal doctor). She adored Christian, and did everything to ignore her daughter-in-law. Once in a while, Christian felt a little suffocating by his mother, but he never stood up to her. In a letter he once wrote "Thank God that the dowager queen leaves today, so I don't have to hear "Christian, was hör ich nun?" all the time. (Christian, what is it now I hear?)" Once in a while he even wished that she would fall out the window when she waved at him, when he was about to leave the palace.

I think Charlotte was more sad that insulted by Amalie Moth's presence. The records of her shows that she was a very kind and compassionate person, and that jealousy was not a familiar feeling with her. When Christian died, everybody thought that she would take revenge on Amalie Moth, but she was concentrating on the future instead of the past. Charlotte is one of the queens that has the most beautiful reputation. Amalie Moth died in deep regret of the sorrow she has caused the queen, and refused to see anyone else than her priest. She constantly needed to be told that she had only followed the wishes of the king, and that God would forgive her. Most of her children with the king had died, and she was sure that is was God who was punishing her for her sinful life.
Of Alix: "I was raised in an age of beautiful women, and the two most beautiful was the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and my own mother"  George V

"We've invited all the beautiful women we know, but the Princess of Wales in the most beautiful of them all"  Bertie

Offline Yseult

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2006, 06:45:38 AM »
Back to Sophie Amelia...frivolous note: Zanthia, I was laughing as I was imagining your mother´s face when your goodfather suggested the name of this queen at your baptism...well, turning back to Sophie Amelia, she´s a woman of substance. I can´t imagine enigmatic, reserved and self-controlled king Frederick III in intimacy with this energetic and passionate queen Sophie Amelia. He seems to be water and she seems to be fire.

I know Sophie Amelia wished to be always in the centre of a sumptuous court life. She enjoyed great banquets and parties, marvellous dresses and jewelry. I suppose she was proud enough of herself because, at the end, she prevalided under Leonora. Of course, she has a bad reputation and her sister-in-law is an heroine, but, at their epoch, Sophie Amalia had a wonderful time while Leonora spent twenty two years in a dungeon suffering a lot of humilliations...

Offline Marc

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4333
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2006, 08:33:10 AM »
I just love these kind of theads;love,passion,prison etc.

Offline Yseult

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2006, 05:38:04 PM »
I feel the same, Marc!  :D

I like all this threads fulfilled with information and pictures because History seems really a time machine. Now, I can "see" with "my eyes" the struggle between Leonora and Sophie, or Leonora alone in her dungeon, or Corfitz saying the name of her wife as he was dying in a boat in the Rhine...

By the way...Kmerov! Zanthia!...who was doing Corfitz in the boat in the Rhine? Do you know his death´s cause?

 ;D

Offline kmerov

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1485
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2006, 06:31:20 PM »
Accosing to my sources Leonora Christina and Corfitz Ulfeldt had ten children, of which some died young. When Leonora Christina died, she was survived by three children. Christian, who murdered his parents old prison keeper, lived in exile as all the children, and spend much of his time in Rome with Queen Christina of Sweden. He died in 1688 before his mother.
Corfitz Ulfeldt died in the boat while trying to escape being arrested, having been sick for a while. His body was secretly buried by his sons.

When Leonora Christina was freed from jail she lived at Maribo with her oldest daughter, Anna Cathrine, the widow of a Duch nobleman. Her youngest daughter Leonora Sophie who lived in Sweden visited her often.
Her son Leo Ulfeldt joined the army of the holy German emperor and thus spend his entire life in Austria and hd a great carriere. He was allowed to visit his mother two times after her release, in 1691 and 1693 (the first time he was 40 and they had not seen each other since he was 12),and when she died he came to Denmark for the last time to get his sister. The manuscript for Leonora Christina's famous autobiography was given to him.   
Some of Leo's descendants include ,King Simeon II of the Bulgarians, King Michael of Romania, Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, Emperor Karl I of Austria-Hungary, King Peter II of Yugoslavia, King Manuel II of Portugal, King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony, Marie Christine, Princess Michael of Kent, Isabelle, comtesse de Paris.

Offline kmerov

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1485
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2006, 07:00:17 PM »
Queen Sophie Amalie enyoyed every aspect of being Queen! When she married Frederik he was only the younger son, and he served as the Archbishop of Bremen-Verden. However he became king, and together with Sophie Amalie they tried to gain the full power over the kingdom and limit the nobility. When the Swedes at one point during the wars (1657-1660) occupied the entire country except Copenhagen, she was constantly riding around the city encouraging the people to fight, never showing any sign of fear herself, and the couple became immensly popular.
The whole war led to the introduction of heredetary and absolute monarchy in Denmark, the culmination of Sophie Amalies dreams. So she was indeed a succes, achieving all she ever wanted (and Leonora Christina safely away across the courtyard)!
She also had a nice little palace build for herself, Sophie Amalienborg, but it burned down and only the name survives in the present Amalienborg Palace.

Sophie Amalie




Her daughter in-law, Charlotte Amalie

Offline Zanthia

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • "She always made other women look common"
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2006, 01:39:33 AM »
Corfitz was sent to France in his youth to be educated at the french court. He had several erotic adventures, and eventually got infected with syphilis, I believe. He had a nasty wound on one of his legs, and was already limping when he married Leonora. When they were sent to Hammershus, his leg had started to rot, and he himself had shown signs that the insanity was well on the way. That's why she had carry him down the cliffs when they tried to escape. The commandant did'nt believe that he was ill, and meant that the best cure for Corfitz was to beat him up! But Adolph Fuchs was a sadist of the worst kind. After Hammershus, they lived in housearrest, but Frederik III gave his permission that they could go to the health spas in Brügge, for Corfitz's sake. That's where Christian shoot their nemesis from Bornholm. Of all the places in world, Adolph Fuchs happened to be there at the same time!
It seems amazing that Corfitz never infected Leonora with the disease, but nothing points to that he did.
Of Alix: "I was raised in an age of beautiful women, and the two most beautiful was the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and my own mother"  George V

"We've invited all the beautiful women we know, but the Princess of Wales in the most beautiful of them all"  Bertie

Offline Yseult

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2006, 04:31:24 AM »
Who was Adolph Fuchs? Was he the keeper of the couple Ulfeldt when they were secluded at Hammershus? By the way...was Hammershus a fortress?

I have read that Leonora Christina had a keeper, when she was at the Blue Tower, who drunk too much and every night, when he was drunked, disturbed her. One night he tried to abuse her, a very humilliating scene for the proud daughter of a great king...

Offline Zanthia

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • "She always made other women look common"
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2006, 10:55:05 AM »
Hammershus was a fortress from the middleage. When it lost its signifisance, it became a state prison. Adolph Fuchs was the commandant of Hammershus and governor of Bornholm when Leonora and Corfitz was sent there. He had replaced the former swedish governor Johan Printzensjöld, that had been murdered under the rebellion against the swedish. When Leonora and Corfitz was sent there, Bornholm had recently reentered the danish kingdom. After their attempt to escape, they were put in seperate cells. They tried to shout to each other, she in italian and he responded in latin, that none of the guards understood. But Adolph ordered his soldiers to make a terrible noise every time they tried, so they could'nt hear anything.
Hammershus is the largest castleruin in Northern Europe, and a huge tourist attraction. Most people prefer to go there in the summer when the sun shines, but I think it's most beautiful when it's really windy or in the winter when its covered in snow, then you can really feel the history. Of course that makes it a little more dangerous to walk up there. There are no sealed off areas and it can be a bit slippery.


From above.


The Mantel Tower where Leonora and Corfitz were imprisoned with one servant.
Of Alix: "I was raised in an age of beautiful women, and the two most beautiful was the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and my own mother"  George V

"We've invited all the beautiful women we know, but the Princess of Wales in the most beautiful of them all"  Bertie

Offline Yseult

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2006, 01:32:30 PM »
What a place! I can imagine how isolated must have been feel both Corfitz and Leonora, each one of them in a cell of the tower, while the wind was blowing and the rain was falling, or when the snow fell down covering the fortress...This time must have been a very hard time.

I was thinking about the last years of king Christian IV. Wikipedia relates that "The last years of the king were still further embittered by sordid differences with his sons-in-law, especially with the most ambitious of them, Corfitz Ulfeldt". The other son-in-law was, I believe, Hannibal Sehested, the husband of Christiane, a younger sister of Leonora Christina. Corfitz and Hannibal were rivals.

Do you know if Leonora Christina was in good or bad terms with her sisters? I suppose that she was not in good terms with Christiane because Corfitz was an enemy of Hannibal, but...I´m just supposing. I have read that Ellen Marsvin, a very old lady, was also involved in the struggle between Christian and the sons-in-law of Christian, supporting the husbands of her grand-daughters...but I don´t remember where I have read it to clarify the question.

Offline Zanthia

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • "She always made other women look common"
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2006, 03:39:45 AM »
Christian was about to have enough of his sons-in-law in his later years. Their rivalry was becomming insuffering for the old king, and it annoyed him terribly that they all pushed to get him let Kirsten return to the capital. However, when he died, most of them united in their fear for Frederiks reign. They did'nt liked him or Sophie Amalie much, but they undoubtedly just tried to put their differences apart because they were afraid to lose their power and wealth. Corfitz suggested they should try to work something out that would skip Frederik in the line, and put his two-year old son Christian, on the throne instead, with Corfitz as his charge of course. The others refused. None of them wanted to give Corfitz more power, he had plenty of that already.
I don't know how close Leonora and her sisters were, but I don't think there exist any letters that could show some correspondence between them. If they were, their husbands rivalry must have been hard for them. But the times were different, and if someone stood in the way, you pushed him away, even if it were your own brother. I don't think we can find the same close relationship between Leonora and her sisters, the same way we can with Alix, Minny and their siblings.

After a while, Ellens anger towards her daughter cooled down, and she tried her best to get Christian to accept Kirsten's youngest daughter, Dorothea Elisabeth, as his. When she did'nt succeded, she started to support her daughter, and she knew that her granddauthers and their husbands were on Kirstens side too. She only supported Vibeke Kruse, because she knew this woman would'nt be a threat to her. When Kirsten fell from favour, Ellen was afraid to lose all the land, wealth and acknowledgement she has gained as the king's mother-in-law. Vibeke was a simple woman, who, in Ellens opinion, hardly could put two and two together. If Christian's eye had fell on an "Anne Boleyn"-like woman, Ellen no doubt would have done her best to make sure she did'nt got a foot inside the king's bedroom or heart.

By the way, Leonora and Corfitz inherited Ellens huge castle, Ellensborg, where they lived after being released from Hammershus. Today it's named Holckenhavn. There was a fire in september, that nearly made the old tower collapse. Luckily it did'nt.

After their failed attempt to escape, and they had been seperated, they finally got a letter through to Frederik III. Leonora complained of their horrible conditions in the prison. It was one thing to be in jail, but it could'nt hardly be right that they were to be starved, humiliated and the very ill Corfitz beaten by the commandant. Adolph Fuchs of course defended himself, and wrote that they exagerated. He knew how much the queen hated the couple, and thought if he treated them badly, it was a way to suck up to the queen so she might would speak in his favour when a better job became vacant. But Frederik still sent one of his men secretly to Bornholm to see if the things Leonora wrote, really was true or if Adolph was right. When he confirmed Leonora's words, Adolph was put out of office, and Frederik gave his half-sister and brother-in-law an offer they could'nt refuse. (Sorry about the godfather-quote, but it fitted so good and I could'nt help myself  ;)) Corfitz felt a bit humiliated by having to bow down for the king, and give up his properties, fortune and only keep Ellensborg, but Frederik's offer was very generous considering Corfitz' actions in the past. Sophie Amalie was of course not thrilled with his decision to release the couple, but Frederik was'nt so inhuman in this case, as his wife.
When the dummy of Corfitz were to be executed, Sophie Amalie wanted that Leonora should be forced to look what would happen to her husband if they caught him, but Frederik forbid such an unneccesary cruelty against Leonora. Still, Sophie made sure that Leonora's keeper stood outside her cell, and told all the details of what happend to the dummy down in the streets.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2006, 03:47:32 AM by Zanthia »
Of Alix: "I was raised in an age of beautiful women, and the two most beautiful was the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and my own mother"  George V

"We've invited all the beautiful women we know, but the Princess of Wales in the most beautiful of them all"  Bertie

Offline Yseult

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2006, 05:50:10 AM »
Do you believe, as some modern historians, that Corfitz was "a mentally highly unstable man whose lust for power ended in megalomania and insanity"?.

I can understand well his struggle with his father-in-law Christian. Corfitz was a powerful member of nobility and wanted for more, he wished not to put himself under the boots of a king. He had a great support of the Rigsrag and the noblemen and he used it to strength his position. Of course, it´s very understable, from this point of wiew, his antagonism to the crown prince, a half-brother of his wife. If an old king weakened and tired of fightingwas a rival, a new sovereign was a most dangerous rival.

But it´s strange the way he acted when he moved to Sweeden. It´s sad that Corfitz branded his name with infamy when he joined the sweedish king who invaded Denmark, but Corfitz had a reason...to humiliate his sovereign Frederick III and to enriche himself. But I don´t understand how, after this high treason to his native land, when he was highly rewarded by his new master the king of Sweeden, he also was so treacherous to him. Corfitz always played with fire! I suppose that Charles X and his queen Hedwig Eleonore had not good remembrances about the count Ulfelt at the end!.


Offline Zanthia

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • "She always made other women look common"
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2006, 11:08:23 AM »
No, I don't belive that. He was mentally unstable and partly insane yes, but it was because of his disease. Even from childhood, he wanted to be head of the pack. A story goes that he in the age of 11(!) nearly succeded in luring his eldest brother to give him all the rights which normally belongs to the firstborn son. He had in a early age developed a taste for power, and was not keen to share it with anyone. But he played a dishonest game, by lies and embezzlement, and was furious when he lost it all. He was like the theif who was'nt sorry for that he was stealing, but cries because he has to go jail for it. His thoughts were constantly circeling about how to get it all back, and his mental unstability were not helping. I think it was the other way around; that his insanity triggered his obsession to get the power back by all means.

After the first swedish attack on Denmark, Corfitz were leading the negotiations on the swedish king's behalf in Roskilde. This was a bitter pill for Frederik III. Of all people, Charles/Karl X sends him! (This was probably Charles' idea of a good joke) But later, after the second attack on Copenhagen, that did'nt turned out good for the swedes, Charles got the idea that the failure was beacuse Corfitz had warned Frederik. If he had betrayed the danish king, he could have betrayed the swedish king as well.
Just before the trial against him, he had a stroke was unable to speak and partly paralyzed. Leonora spoke his defense, and did a good job. And even though Corfitz was to be stripped of his swedish properties, the verdict should first be approved and signed by the king and not to be read to Corfitz before he was able to speak again, so he could defend himself. But before Charles could make up his mind, he died.

Corfitz slowly recovered, but was never well again, and there were no words from Stockholm where Hedwig Eleonore now was in charge for Sweden's new boy king. She and the government finally decided to drop all charges against the Ulfeldts. The release papers never arrived, and when Leonora heard rumors about a ship that should sail them to a prison in Finland, she decided they should flee to Lubeck. Corfitz should sail directly to the city, but Leonora would go to Denmark first and try to speak to her brother's merciful side. When she arrived to some of her few friends in Copenhagen, she found to her big surprise and schock, Corfitz in their house. In the last minute, he had got the idea that he had nothing to fear in Denmark. He had got all his danish properties back after the peace in Roskilde, and now he had been under housearrest in Sweden, charged for treason against the swedish king. In his mind, he could'nt see why on earth he would'nt be welcome in Denmark. Leonora was'nt so naive and knew that their fate was in the hands of Frederik and Sophie Amalie. A few days later they were on their way to Hammershus.

By a twist of fate, it was their brother-in-law, Hannibal Sehested, who should bring them the release papers from Queen Hedvig. But he suddently "felt unwell and unable" to travel to Malmö with the papers. Many things suggest that he delayed the journey on purpose, maybe just to tease Corfitz. But then again, Hannibal had done his part to get queen Hedvig drop the charges.
Of Alix: "I was raised in an age of beautiful women, and the two most beautiful was the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and my own mother"  George V

"We've invited all the beautiful women we know, but the Princess of Wales in the most beautiful of them all"  Bertie

Offline Yseult

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Christian IV and his family
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2006, 05:17:37 PM »
The loyalty of Leonora to Corfitz amazes me. It was not a match love, but a political marriage. He was so much older, fifteen years older, than the bride. He suffered from a venereal disease...and he was highly unstable. He was always intriguing, always plotting, always a traitor. Standing by Corfitz´s way, Leonora was searching for a personal disaster...twenty two years jailed, twenty two years without her children and isolated from the entire world, suffering a good deal of humilliations. She had a harsh, very harsh, life...and it was only because she was loyal to Corfitz Ulfeldt, a man who never knew the meanning of the word "loyalty".

Or Leonora was madly in love with Corfitz, or I can´t understand this kind of loyalty...