From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Danehof ("Danish Court") was the name of the Danish medieval parliament which played a certain role between c. 1250 and 1413.

The precondition of the Danehof – like that of the Håndfæstning - was the growing power and opposition among the Danish magnates after 1250. They wanted limitations of the royal power, especially of its right of legislation and taxation. The political weakness of the royal house during this period seems to have promoted its development. By 1282, King Eric V of Denmark had so offended the nobles throughout Denmark that he was forced to accept a Royal Charter (Håndfæstning), which limited his authority and guaranteed the ancient rights and customs which preserved the power of the nobles.[1]

About the details of the establishment and form of the Danehof, surprisingly little is known. It had to be gathered at a central site which was often Nyborg Castle on Funen but nothing is known of elections or procedures. Its members consisted only of magnates, clergy and noblemen. The king was to consult this parliament before he took greater steps especially of economic character. However, in several cases, the kings ignored the Danehof by omitting to summon it. By the creation of the first Haandfæstning in 1282, more defined rules were established. However, in reality the Danehof was only summoned at special occasions.[2]

The disasters and chaos in Denmark during the 14th century did not strengthen the authority of the Danehof. Step by step it was ousted by not only the royal power but also by the Danish Council of the state (Rigsraadet), the Privy Council or inner circle of magnates that often controlled the king. Dating from the 1320s, it became the role of the Rigsraadet to rule together with the king and to manage the affairs of State.[3]


  1. ^ Conflict and the Disintegration of the Kingdom (Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  2. ^ Nyborg Slot (Nyborg Museum)
  3. ^ Håndfæstning (TV 2 | Danmark A/S)