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Frederick VI of Denmark: Wikis

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Frederick VI
Frederick VI painted by F.C. Grøger c. 1808.[1]
King of Denmark
Reign 1808–1839
Predecessor Christian VII
Successor Christian VIII
King of Norway
Reign 1808–1814
Predecessor Christian VII
Successor Christian Frederick
Spouse Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel
Issue
Caroline, Hereditary Princess of Denmark
Vilhelmine, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
House Oldenburg
Father Christian VII of Denmark
Mother Caroline Matilda of Wales
Born January 28, 1768(1768-01-28)
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen
Died December 3, 1839 (aged 71)
Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen

Frederick VI (Christiansborg, 28 January 1768 – Amalienborg, 3 December 1839) reigned as King of Denmark from 1808 to 1839, and as king of Norway from 1808 to 1814. He also served as Regent of Denmark from 1784 to 1808 under his father's name, just like his British cousin The Prince of Wales, later King George IV. His mother, Queen Caroline Mathilde, was a sister of King George III of the United Kingdom. His father, Christian VII, had major psychological problems, including suspected schizophrenia, expressed by catatonic periods, that resulted in his standing down from power for most of his reign.

During the regency, Frederick instituted widespread liberal reforms with the assistance of Chief Minister Andreas Peter Bernstorff, including the abolition of serfdom in 1788. Crises encountered during his reign include disagreement with the British over neutral shipping. This resulted in two British attacks on Danish shipping in 1801 and 1807. The former attack is known as the Battle of Copenhagen.

His wife was his first cousin Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), a member of a German family with close marriage links with the Royal families of both Denmark and Great Britain. They married in Gottorp on 31 July 1790 and had eight children. The youngest of them, Princess Wilhelmine, became the wife of the future Frederick VII of Denmark. However, none of Frederick VI's sons survived infancy and when he died, he was succeeded by his cousin, Christian VIII of Denmark.

When the throne of Sweden showed signs of becoming unoccupied in 1809, Frederick was interested in becoming elected there, too. Frederick actually was the first monarch of Denmark and Norway to descend from Gustav I of Sweden who had secured Sweden's independence after union period with other Scandinavian countries. (Also Frederick's sister was such descendant, both through their mother and her mother. As well as Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark, their uncle, who descended through Queen Juliane.) However, firstly Frederick's brother-in-law the prince Augustus of Augustenborg got elected, then the French Marshal Bernadotte.

After his defeat in the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 and the loss of Norway, Frederick VI carried through an authoritatarian and reactionary course, giving up the liberal ideas of his years as a prince regent. Censorship and suppression of all opposition together with bad economic terms of the country made this period of his reign somewhat gloomy, though the king himself in general maintained his position of a "patriarch" and a well-meaning autocrat. From the 1830s the economic depression was eased a bit and from 1834 the king reluctantly accepted a small democratic innovation by the creation of the Assemblies of the Estate (purely consultative regional assemblies).

The surviving children of King Frederick VI and Queen Marie Sophie Frederikke were their two daughters. Their children were:

By his mistress Frederikke Dannemand (Bente Mortensdatter Andersen (Rafsted))[2], King Frederick VI had the following children:[3][4]

  • Lovisa Grefvinde af Dannemand (16 April 1810 – 28 December 1888), married in 1836 Wilhelm von Zachariae (6 June 1807 – 16 August 1871), and had issue
  • Karoline Grefvinde af Dannemand (1812–1844), married in 1837 Adolf Frederik Schack von Brockdorff (Vejle, 7 February 1810 – Copenhagen, 18 October 1859), and had issue
  • Frederik Grefve af Dannemand (20 July 1813 – 12 March 1888), married firstly in 1840 Franziska von Scholten (1820–44), without issue, married secondly in 1845 Lovisa Grefvinde Schulin (1815–1884), without issue, and married thirdly in 1884 Wilhelmina Laursen (1840–1886), without issue
  • Waldemar Grefve af Dannemand (6 June 1819 – 4 March 1835)

Frederick VI was known as a patron of astronomy and in 1832 offered gold medal prizes to anyone who discovered a comet using a telescope. His successors continued this until 1850. The prize was terminated in the aftermath of the First War of Schleswig.

After discovery of Haraldskær Woman in a peat bog in Jutland in the year 1835, Frederick VI ordered a royal interment in an elaborately carved sarcophagus for the Iron Age mummy, decreeing it to be the body of Queen Gunhild. Later this identity proved incorrect, but the action suited his political agenda of the time.

He was the 894th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain and the 654th Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1822.

Ancestry

Frederick VI
Born: January 28 1768 Died: December 3 1839
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Christian VII
King of Norway
1808–1814
Succeeded by
Christian Frederick
King of Denmark
1808–1839
Succeeded by
Christian VIII
Vacant
varying occupations in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1814)
Title last held by
George III
Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg
as Frederick I

1814–1839

References

External links

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