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Information about reign: Hans (King John)

CountryNorway
From1483
To20 February 1513
Personal InformationKing John of Denmark (1455 - 1513)
Description

John (Danish and Norwegian: Hans; Swedish: Johan) was a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He was King of Denmark (1481–1513), Norway (1483–1513) and as John II (Swedish: Johan II) Sweden (1497–1501). From 1482 to 1513, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig and Holstein in joint rule with his brother Frederick. He currently remains the only King of Denmark since the mid-15th century to not be named Christian or Frederick, if one does not include the current Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II.

The three most important political goals of King John were the restoration of the Kalmar Union, reduction of the dominance of the Hanseatic League, and the building of a strong Danish royal power.

In 1458, John's father, King Christian I, had the Norwegian Council of the Realm commit to electing Christian's eldest son as next king of Norway upon his death. A similar declaration was made in Sweden. In 1467, John was hailed as successor to the throne in Denmark. John used the title heir to the throne of Norway, in line with Norway's old status as a hereditary kingdom, but this was a claim the Norwegian Council did not immediately recognise. Consequently, upon King Christian's death in May 1481, John's position was unchallenged in Denmark, whereas in Norway the Council of the Realm assumed royal authority, and an interregnum ensued. No serious rival candidates to the Norwegian throne existed, but the Council was determined to demonstrate Norway's status as a sovereign kingdom. A meeting between the Councils of Denmark, Sweden and Norway was appointed for 13 January 1483 at Halmstad, to work out the terms for electing John as king.

The Swedish Council failed to turn up at the meeting, but the Norwegian and Danish councils proceeded to produce a joint declaration containing the terms for John's rule, and electing him king. It was hoped that Sweden would later accept the same document and thereby acknowledge John as king. Subsequently, John was crowned King of Denmark in Copenhagen on 18 May, and King of Norway in Trondheim on 20 July.

In 1513, King John died at Aalborghus Castle a short time after being thrown from his horse. King John was buried in the church of the Franciscan friary in Odense.