OLDENBURG, CHRISTIAN IV [SSNE 5356]
- First name
- CHRISTIAN IV
Christian IV (1577-1648), king of Denmark and Norway (1588-1648) never reached Scotland though it was often mooted that he had plans to do so or indeed that he was on his way. The closest he came was probably during the period between 1597 and 1600, particularly for the baptism of Prince Charles. Events in the Baltic, especially relations with Sweden, were to prevent his arrival. However, Christian did reach Britain on two occasions. These visits are important since it can be surmised that some of the most intimate and frank exchanges between the two monarchs took place during their face-to-face encounters. In July 1606, Christian IV arrived near Gravesend where King James and Prince Henry met him. Thereafter they resided variously at Queen Anna's lodgings at Greenwich and at Theobalds, home of Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury. They spent the next few weeks engaged in hunting and various other entertainments. A state progress to London followed along with visits around the English capital, before the royal party arrived back at Greenwich for the farewell festivities. The Danish king had firmed up his family bond with James, his sister Anna, Princess Elizabeth and the two young princes, Henry and Charles. Christian IV had ensured that the relations between the British and Danish monarchies remained on the warmest of terms. The cost of Christian's trip to James VI was £453,000. Christian in turn gave out various gifts, including a warship to Prince Henry complete with a Vice-Admiral, of a value of £25,000. He also gave out sundry other gifts including a sword worth over 20,000 marks. The Danish king's second visit came in July 1614, when he returned to London incognito and surprised his sister at Denmark House, her residence there. Anna immediately sent for James who was on a hunting trip. Christian had left Denmark-Norway without revealing the purpose of his visit to his subjects. It was speculated in London that he had come to visit James for several important reasons. Some people believed Christian hoped to secure James's support in some secret venture. Sir James Spens, the Scotsman serving as Swedish ambassador in London, tried to establish the precise nature of the Danish king's journey and had several meetings with Christian IV in England. Christian did not reveal his plans to Spens and contemporary opinion was that they were probably an attempt to strengthen his position against his northern European Protestant opponents, notably the Swedes and the Dutch - strong military and trading rivals to the Stuart and Oldenburg kingdoms. In a letter to his sister, Elizabeth of Brunswick, Christian mentioned that he and James had discussed the current dispute between the Duke and state of Brunswick and that James would help to mediate. It is possible that this intervention formed the basis for the visit of his brother-in-law, but it is unlikely to have been the only reason for the visit. Whatever his exact political agenda, Christian had a variety of matters to settle in London. Not least of these was the growing domestic unrest between James and Anna. After all, their marriage provided the basis for the entire Stuart-Oldenburg alliance and had to be saved if possible. If it failed then all the military and mercantile benefits to both states could be in jeopardy.
Sources: H. R., The most Royall and Hounarable entertainment of the famous and renowned King, Christian the Fourth, King of Denmarke & C. who with a fleet of gallant ships, arrived on Thursday the 16. Day of July 1606 in Tylbery Hope neere Gravesend (Hall Gate, 1606); B. White, 'King Christian IV in England', in National Review, LXII, (1939), p.492; CSPV, XIII, 1613-1615 (London, 1907), Letter nos. 346, 355, 356 and 375; Swedish Riksarkiv, Anglica 3. Spens to Gustav II Adolf, 25 July 1614; ibid., Anglica 5. Spens to Axel Oxenstierna, 3 August 1614; C. F. Bricka, J. A. Fredericia, and J. Skovgaard, et al., eds., Kong Christian den Fjerdes egenhaendige Breve (8 vols, Copenhagen, 1878-1947). I, pp.82-3. Christian IV to Elisabeth of Brunswick, 15 August 1614; 'The Jacobean commissions of enquiry 1608 and 1618', in Publications of the Navy Records Society, 116 (1971), pp.37 and 40.
- DENMARK-NORWAY, ENGLAND
- Arrived 1606-07-01
- Departed 1606-12-31
- Capacity ROYALTY, KING, DIPLOMAT, purpose DIPLOMACY
- Arrived 1614-07-01
- Departed 1614-12-31
- Capacity ROYALTY, DIPLOMAT, KING, purpose DIPLOMACY