Jacob Ulfeldt (born 1567)

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Jakob Ulfeldt
Jakob Ulfeldt 1567-1630.jpg
Ulfeldt dressed in the Spanish fashion in 1610

Jacob Ulfeldt (25 June 1567 – 25 June 1630) was a Danish diplomat and explorer and chancellor of King Christian IV of Denmark.

Early life[edit]

Jakob Ulfeldt was born at Bavelse, the son of privy councillor Jacob Ulfeldt (1535–1593) and Anne Jakobsdatter Flemming.[1]

From 1581 he travelled widely, reaching many places which were rarely visited by Danish travellers at the time, and did not return to Denmark until 1597. Among the destinations he visited were Greece, Turkey, Rhodes, Cyprus, Egypt and Syria.

Back in Denmark[edit]

Back in Denmark, he managed his estates which included Ulfeldtsholm which he had inherited from his father in 1693. In 1616, he sold it to Ellen Marsvin and instead acquired Egeskov Castle.

Political career[edit]

In 1607, Ulfeldt became a member of the Pricy Council. In 1609, he was appointed Chancellor of the Realm.

He was a driving force behind the alliance with the Netherlands in 1621 and the extended union with the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein in 1623. Unlike the Privy Council, from 1621 he worked for the creation of a Protestant union under the leadership of Christian IV in the Thirty Years' War, an effort which was successful in 1625.[2]


Ylfeldt with his family

Ulfeldt married Birgitte Brockenhuus (9 August 1580 - 24 December 1656) on 10 June 1599 in Nyborg. She was the daughter of lensmand Laurids Brockenhuus (1552-1604), the owner of Egeskov and Bramstrup, and Karen (1552-1604), née Skram (1544-1625). She bore him the following children: Corfitz Ulfeldt (1606–1664), Elsebet Jacobsdatter (died 1676), Knud Ulfeldt (1600–1646), Eiler Ulfeldt (1613–1644), Frands Ulfeldt (1601–1636), Laurids Ulfeldt (1605–1659), Ebbe Ulfeldt (1610–1654) and Flemming Ulfeldt (1607–1657).


Ulfeldt has left a vivid account of his travels in the Holy Land and Egypt, which is still kept at the Danish Royal Library, describing Constantinople, the Colossus of Rhodes, Islands in the Adriatic Sea, Cyprus, Tripoli, Beirut, Sidon, Tyre (Lebanon), Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Cairo together with the Giza pyramids and Pyramid of Djoser.


  1. ^ "Rigskansler Jacob Ulfeldt". fynhistorie.dk. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
  2. ^ "Jakob Ulfeldt (d.y.)" (in Danish). Gyldendal. Retrieved 2011-11-22.