Christian Friis (bailiff)

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Christian Friis (born December 21, 1556 in Ørlunde (today: Ørbæklunde) on Funen , † July 29, 1616 in Christiania ) was a Danish nobleman and royal chancellor in Denmark.


Christian Friis was a son of Henrik Friis († 1571) from one of the leading Danish noble families, the so-called Black Friisen, and Margrethe Bild von Ravnholt. His uncle Johan Friis (1494–1570) was the royal chancellor.

At the age of 10, Christian Friis was sent to Rostock with a court master . He lived there in the house of the theology professor Lucas Bacmeister , who had been the royal court preacher in Kolding until 1562 . After the death of his father, he returned home for a short time, but then went back to study in Germany, where he initially enrolled at the University of Rostock . Among his teachers there was David Chyträus , with whom he corresponded decades later on the history and geography of Norway. He then attended universities in Leipzig , Jena , Tübingen and Basel before traveling to Paris via Geneva in 1577 . In 1579 he enrolled at the University of Padua . In doing so, he acquired excellent training and knowledge of several foreign languages.

In 1581 he returned to Denmark and took over the paternal inheritance. From his uncle he inherited the Borreby estate near Magleby , which he had received from the property of the Diocese of Roskilde after the Reformation . He began his political career in the pension chamber of the royal chancellery. In 1583 he became a tenant in Trondheim for Jämtland and Härjedalen in Norway . His jurisdiction was extended to the whole of Trøndelag in 1585 . His area of ​​responsibility also expanded quickly. He took care of the improvement of the church system and negotiated border disputes with Russia in northern Norway. His growing reputation with King Friedrich II. Shows u. a. in that his wedding to Mette Hardenberg († 1617) was celebrated on May 11, 1585 in the royal palace in Copenhagen. The marriage remained childless.

After King Frederick's death, the Government Council recalled the underage King Christian IV. Friis from Norway in 1589. He became a feudal man in Slagelse on Zealand and was able to support the council. He resided in the Antvorskov Monastery, which was abandoned in 1580 and converted into a castle, in which King Frederick II died in 1588. In 1592 he traveled again to Norway to support his successor Ludvig Munk, father of Kirsten Munk , and the governor Aksel Knudsen Gyldenstierne in negotiations with Russia. In January 1595 he represented the underage king as the godfather of the future Swedish king Gustav Adolf .

In 1596 he took over the royal chancellery, which had become vacant after the death of Niels Kaas in 1594, and was admitted to the Imperial Council . He gained such great influence on the young King Christian IV, who had just come of age. For his maintenance he received the former Saint Knut monastery in Odense . As Chancellor, he promoted science - also with his own wealth. He also undertook numerous diplomatic trips, partly together with the king, partly as his representative. During the Kalmar War he was in the king's absence chairman of the government and the negotiations initiated the peace treaty of Knærød of 20 January 1613 in which Sweden Finland was forced to cede to Denmark. He died on a voyage with the king on a ship in Christiania harbor and was buried in the Frauenkirche in Copenhagen.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Niels Slange, Johann Heinrich Schlegel: History of Christian the fourth, king in Denmark . Volume 3. 1771, p. 47, note 49
  2. Entry in the Rostock matriculation portal