Frederick V of Denmark
|Frederick V. portrayed in armour by court painter, the Swedish Carl Gustav Pilo|
|Consort||Louise of Great Britain
Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
|Sophia Magdalena, Queen of Sweden
Caroline, Electress of Hesse
Christian VII of Denmark
Louise, Princess Charles of Hesse-Kassel
Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Denmark
|Father||Christian VI of Denmark|
|Mother||Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach|
31 March 1723|
|Died||14 January 1766
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen
Frederick V (31 March 1723 – 14 January 1766) was king of Denmark and Norway and Duke of Schleswig and Holstein from 1746 until his death, son of Christian VI of Denmark and Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. "Prudentia et Constantia" (By prudence and steadfastness) was the motto he chose for his reign.
Frederick was born on 31 March 1723 at Copenhagen Castle. He was the grandson of King Frederick IV of Denmark and the son of Crown Prince Christian and Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. On 12 October 1730, King Frederick IV died and Frederick's father ascended the throne as King Christian VI. Frederick himself became Crown Prince.
Christian VI and Sophia Magdalene were deeply devoted to Pietism, and Frederick was given a strictly religious upbringing. Although not unfamiliar with religious sentiments, Frederick grew into a hedonist who enjoyed the pleasures of life such as wine and women. His mother ironically referred to him as "Der Dänische Prinz" (literally The Danish Prince in German) because he occasionally spoke Danish.
Frederick's propensity for debauchery accelerated his marriage negotiations, he was first married at Altona, Holstein, on 11 December 1743 to Princess Louise of Great Britain, daughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. They were the parents of six children, but one was stillborn. His consort vivacious personality would later influence on his popularity as king. Frederick had changing lovers, none prominent as his grandfather's mistresses. He preferred random partners. During a period there was a favorite that during the years 1746-51 bore him five children, a bourgeois woman known as madam Hansen, later ennobled by him as de Hansen. Louise pretended not to notice his adultery.
The Norwegian Masonic historian Karl Ludvig Tørrisen Bugge claim that Frederik V as crown prince was included in the Copenhagen Masonic Lodge St. Martin. This was probably third June 1744, and inspired by the Prussian king Frederick the Great which were also included in a masonic lodge in his youth. They both had fathers who were violently opposed to the Masons, but unlike the Prussian king, Frederik V never published his membership of the lodge.
As an active Freemason, he set up on 24 June 1749 the first Masonic lodge in Norway.
On 6 August 1746 – the day before his parents's silver marriage festivities– his father died on Hirschholm Palace, the royal family's summer retreat. Christian VI was interred in Roskilde Cathedral. Frederick and Louise immediately ascended Denmark-Norway's throne being anointed in Frederiksborg Palace's Chapel the following year. The personal influence of Frederick was limited, making him one of absolute rulers who least made for the state's strenght. Although the king as regent took part in the conduct of government by attending council meetings, he was afflicted by alcoholism and most of his rule was dominated by very able ministers like A. G. Moltke, who he had as a favorite, J. H. E. Bernstorff and H. C. Schimmelmann marking his reign by the progress of commerce and the emerging industry of gunpowder plant and cannon foundry in Frederiksværk, built by Johan Frederik Classen. They also avoided involving Denmark in the European wars of his time. The country remained neutral even for the duration of the Seven Years' War (1756–63), despite its proximity to combatants Russia and Sweden, an act which undoubtedly shaped the perception of the period as a happy time.
In the same period was created the Royal Frederiks Hospital and the Royal Orphanage (Det kgl. Opfostringshus) a school intended for poor boys that still exists today, opened in Christianshavn on 1 October 1753. On 29 June 1753 Frederick V created Denmark's first lottery called the Royal Copenhagen Lottery, a lottery that still exists to this day as Klasselotteriet.
Count Moltke's appointement as Lord Chamberlain, an office that had previously been a mere court post, was now the outstanding position that gave Moltke opportunity as the king's confidential friend to be around him from morning till night, and the king talking to him about everything that was on his mind, enabling Moltke to make his influence felt in all areas where it pleased himself. One of his main tasks was to take care to his dissolute Majesty don't damage the Royal household's reputation with his constant orgies. Frederick's main interest was primarily the arts of war that rivaled the anti-military attitudes that characterized his counselors, he enjoyed hunting parties, and stayed with fondness on Jægersborg Dyrehave estates most of his time.
Art and science were in good conditions under his reign, although personally he wasn't interested in cultural affairs, public entertainment and freedom of expression which had been banned under the pietistic hypocrisy that had characterized his father's reign, was again permitted influenced by his endearing first wife, and in 1748 Nicolai Eigtved's Komediehus (Playhouse) on Kongens Nytorv was opened, the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) in Copenhagen, was also founded under his name and officially inaugurated on 31 March 1754, his 31st birthday. Frederick purchased what would become known as the Danish West Indies from the Danish West India Company in 1754.
Louise precociously died on 19 December 1751 at Christiansborg Palace, predeceasing her husband by fourteen years, causing great impact on the royal family and the court's life where she was adored. She was buried with great pomp at Roskilde Cathedral. At the time of her death, she was pregnant with her seventh child, who also died.
A new marriage for the king arranged by Moltke took place at Frederiksborg Palace on 8 July 1752 to Frederick the Great of Prussia's sister-in-law Duchess Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, daughter of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The marriage was frowned upon by the people who saw it as too early for the King remarry. And the gritty princess fell not to his taste, with the court she was never popular - with no other identifiable cause than probably her sense of rigid etiquette practiced in German princely courts that may have seemed less friendly than the English Louise.
Their notable child was the Hereditary Prince Frederick, who was, in his turn, father of King Christian VIII of Denmark and grandfather of Louise of Hesse, the future queen of Denmark. She died in 1796 having been regent for her son Prince Frederick.
Death and burial
After 1760 an accident broke Frederick's leg, result of his drunkenness, weakening him a lot, according to Dorothea Biehl's statements the king was often seen in a condition, "where his arm was not strong enough to bring his hat on his head again without Moltke 's help. "The king died at the age of 42, and after twenty years of reign. He was a nice change compared to the pious Christian VI's autocracy, and when Frederick died, there were many who mourned. His last words were reportedly: "It is a great consolation to me in my last hour that I have never wilfully offended anyone and that there is not a drop of blood on my hands."
On 1 August 1771, five years after the king's death, an equestrian statue of Frederick V dressed in the garb of a Roman emperor by the French sculptor Jacques François Joseph Saly was unveiled at Amalienborg Square in Copenhagen.
The town of Frederiksværk on the island of Zealand, the town of Frederiksted on the island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the district Frederiksstaden in Copenhagen are named after Frederick V. The city of Serampore in the Indian state of West Bengal was known under the name Frederiksnagore from 1755 to 1845 when it was part of Danish India, and the city of Paamiut in Greenland was formerly known as Frederikshaab, both in his honor.
Within one hundred years of his time, Denmark faced the crisis of his male issue (the main branch of the Royal House) becoming extinct. This created a succession crisis beginning from his grandson's reign that affected both Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein. Finally, his great-grandson through the female line, Christian IX of Denmark, who was married to his great-granddaughter Louise of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), became the designated heir.
Frederick V appears in the early part of The Visit of the Royal Physician (Livläkarens besök), a 1999 historical novel by Per Olov Enquist, which mainly deals with his son Christian VII. As depicted in the book, Frederick's contemptuous and overbearing attitude to his son had a significant part in causing the mental instability which characterized Christian's life and reign.
Titles and styles
- 31 March 1723 – 12 October 1730: His Royal Highness Prince Frederick
- 12 October 1730 – 6 August 1746: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince
- 6 August 1746 – 14 January 1766: His Majesty The King
The full title of the sovereign was: By the Grace of God, King of Denmark and Norway, the Wends and the Goths, Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Stormarn and Dithmarschen, Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.
|Prince Christian||Copenhagen, 7 July 1745||Frederiksborg, 3 June 1747||died in infancy|
|Sophia Magdalena, Queen of Sweden||3 July 1746||21 August 1813||married, 1766, Gustav III, King of Sweden; had issue|
|Caroline, Electress of Hesse||10 July 1747||19 January 1820||married, 1763, William I, Elector of Hesse; had issue|
|King Christian VII||29 January 1749||13 March 1808||married, 1766, Princess Caroline Matilda; had issue|
|Louise, Princess Charles of Hesse||30 January 1750||12 January 1831||married, 1766, Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel; had issue|
|Hereditary Prince Frederick||11 October 1753||7 December 1805||married, 1774, Duchess Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; had issue|
His officially recognized children by Else Hansen:
- Frederikke Margarethe de Hansen, Countess of Destinon (1747–1802)
- Frederikke Catherine de Hansen, Countess of Lützau (1748–1822)
- Anna Marie de Hansen, Mrs. Fehmann, later Mrs van Meulengacht (1749–1812)
- Sophie Charlotte de Hansen, Countess d'Origny (1750–1779)
- Ulrik Frederik de Hansen (1751–1752)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Frederik V of Denmark.|
- K.L. Bugge, Det danske frimureries historie, bind 1, 1910, s. 191-194.
- Frederik den Femtes Hof, Charlotte Dorothea Biehls Breve og Selvbiografi.
Frederick VBorn: March 31 1723 Died: January 13 1766
|King of Denmark and Norway
Duke of Schleswig
Count of Oldenburg
Christian VI and
Charles Peter Ulrich
|Duke of Holstein
with Charles Peter Ulrich (1746–1762)