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Håndfæstning was the name for charters forced upon the Scandinavian kings by their nobility, not unlike Magna Carta in Britain. Erik V of Denmark was the first to sign such a document. What were the events leading to the noble's "insurrection" in his case?

In England Magna Carta resulted in the First Barons' War. Was there something similar in Denmark? In England we know the leader of the rebellion was Robert Fitzwalter and much is known about his life. Do we have similar information in this case?

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From the Wikipedia article on Erik V:

As an adult ruler, Eric tried to enforce his power over the church and nobility. In the 1270s, Eric Glipping attacked Småland. His conflict with the church was brought to a satisfying result, with the help of the pope. By 1282 he had so offended the nobles throughout Denmark that he was forced to accept a charter (Danish: håndfæstning - a kind of a Danish Magna Carta) which limited his authority and guaranteed the ancient rights and customs which preserved the power of the nobles.

In other words, the story is very similar to the introduction of the Magna Carta in Britain. We are talking about times before absolute monarchy, the king had to rely on his vassals to enforce his will - all vassals had their own armies that weren't much smaller than that of the king. Support from the vassals was essential when going into war with other countries, and occasionally the king would even ally with some of the vassals against the others. However, in a situation where all vassals were united against the king (and this was apparently the case here) the king had no power to confront them - fighting was not an option, Erik V had to sign.

Why this didn't happen earlier: limiting the power of a king with a charter isn't an obvious thing to do, it is very likely that the Magna Carta served as an example. Of course there were other kings after Magna Carta and before Erik V but their interests most likely didn't bring up the majority of the vassals against them.

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OK, but in England the Magna Carta resulted in the First Barons' War. Was there something similar in Denmark? Also, in England we now the leader of the rebellion was Robert Fitzwalter and much is known about his life. Do we have similar information in this case? – Squark Oct 13 '11 at 16:20

I'm also basing my answers on the links provided in the question. The interpretations are mine.

Erik V's reign was "snakebit" from the beginning. His father died when he was two years old. Any number of nobles tried to take advantage of his mother, and one of them, Duke Valdemar, succeeded in capturing the mother and Erik himself. He spent part of his childhood as a prisoner of the Duke.

When Erik grew older, many of his mother's enemies became his enemies. To his credit, he managed to make peace with the Church (the Pope, actually), as a young man. But others were hard to placate. The nobles who had spent over twenty years "running wild" wasn't about to take orders from a young man. Nothing he did, or would do, with the possible exception of abdicating, could please them. Because he was basically the "first among equals," the nobles forced him to grant them a "handfaesting" that preserved noble powers while limiting his.

The nobles were not content to stop there. They bribed his "best friend," Rane Jonson, to spy on him. Then the "friend" set him up for a bloody murder.

The handfaestning of Erik V was not like the Magna Charta. The former was unique to King Erik V, and each subsequent Danish king or queen signed a different document with his or her nobles until absolute monarchy was established in 1660. The latter was a permanent document that bound all kings of England, including Queen Elizabeth II, for all time.

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