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Old 08-25-2006, 01:29 PM
norwegianne's Avatar
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Erik V Klipping and Agnes of Brandenburg

Name: Erik V Klipping

Birth: ca. 1249

Child of: Christoffer 1 and Margrete Sambiria

Reign: 1259-1286

Marriage: Agnes/Agnete of Brandenburg

Children: Erik 6. Menved, Christoffer 2., Valdemar, Richiza, Margrete, Katarine, Elisabet

Death: 22. November 1286 (murdered)

Throne passed to: Erik VI Menved


Was crowned as a ten year old, but his mother was regent in his stead.

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Old 11-28-2020, 04:30 PM
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Erik Klipping had the distinction of being the last Danish king to be assassinated.

It is not even clear today who was really behind the murder, even though the finger points very much to the Duke of Schleswig Holstein. (Actually he was titled Jarl = earl back then.) He had most to gain.
But there was so much political chaos and turmoil following that there appears to have been a general consensus afterwards, that we are not going down that road again! We are not going to have another 150 years of civil war and assassinations! It was a close call this time.

It is however interesting that QMI died of fewer at an political opportune moment for the Duke of Schleswig Holstein some 150 years later, soooo perhaps?
QMI was a very astute diplomat! And she was about to solve the Schleswig Holstein issue, I.e. bringing the duchies under direct control of the crown, that is her. Just as her father had tried when he died.
Had she succeeded we may not have had the two Schleswigan Wars 500 years later, and who knows that part of Germany might today have been fully Danish.

But back to Erik Klipping. In 1282 he was pressured by the Danish nobility to sign the first Håndfæstning (contract between the king and the nobility.)
It was pretty much a copy of Magna Carta.
People back then were well informed about what happened in neighboring countries and new ideas like a basic constitution was discussed and in the case of Denmark copied and implemented.

Because up to the introduction of Absolutism in 1660 all Danish kings were formally elected, or more correctly acknowledged.
This Håndfæsting was signed by every new king, outlining the power balance between the nobility and the king, modified in accordance to who had the political upper hand at the time. And it prevented a constant state of civil war between the various branches of the extended DRF and from now on most kings managed to die from old age.

Erik Klipping was not at all pleased with having to sign such a contract! He has also been vilified to a considerable degree in texts after his murder - but as it's the victor and the survivors who write the history, perhaps the truth is a little more nuanced.
Akin to what happened to Caligula and King John (Robin Hood) in England. Favorite villains - or were they?

Anyway the murder of Erik Klipping is equal to any good murder mystery today!
I have often thought about writing about, because the circumstances are so full of questions, suspicious behavior and no doubt downright treason. Not to mention that it almost failed.

Erik Klipping was interred locally. For whatever reason Danish kings who were murdered or killed in combat were always buried locally, instead of being brought to a family grave or a royal tomb.

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Old 11-28-2020, 05:08 PM
An Ard Ri's Avatar
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The murder of Erik Klipping on St. Cecilia Night 1286.

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Old 11-28-2020, 05:29 PM
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No doubt much more accurate than this in DK much better known painting of the perpetrators riding away after the murder:

The painting is surprisingly accurate in regards to equipment of the time. And full of symbols.

The traitor skulking behind the grave.
The ravens, the bird of death, screaming.
The burning barn, torched by the devious conspirators in attempt to conceal the traces of their foul deed.
The (accurate) remoteness and bleakness of the moor where Finderup barn was located.
The magnificent harnessed horses reveals that the conspirators weren't just anybody. They were among the high and mighty of the land.
It's not unlikely that they really were fully armed and armored in chain-mail, to overcome any unexpected stand by the loyal elements of Erik Klipping's housecarls.
Even the weather is realistic. I.e. mostly grey with a patch of snow here and there, the most common sight in DK in December.

Finderup barn, was not just any barn, it was a Barn. I.e. basically a government storage facility. Such barns were often made of stone (so they were impressive buildings and were dotted all over the kingdom, providing storage of grain for harsh times and as a part of the tax collections.
Such a barn was not necessarily located near a hamlet let alone in a town.

But why would a king choose to spend the night in a barn?
Very simple: Erik Klipping was probably dog tired after a day on horseback, so instead of sleeping at the farm of a local lord, with all the commotion and social hullabaloo that entailed, he most likely opted to simply sleep in a comfortable barn with just his men.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:01 PM
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The murderers dressed as Friars and armed with swords...its Game of Thrones material
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