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War of the Outlaws
Map of Denmark-batllemap-The war of the outlaws.png
Map of Denmark with battles fought in the war
Date1289 - 1296
LocationDenmark, Halland & Skåne

Danish outlaw and Norwegian Victory

 Denmark  Norway
DenmarkDanish outlaws
Commanders and leaders
DenmarkEric VI of Denmark
DenmarkValdemar IV Eriksøn
Coat of arms of Norway (1924) no crown.svgEric II of Norway
Coat of arms of Norway (1924) no crown.svgThord Krytter
Coat of arms of Norway (1924) no crown.svgHaakon Magnusson
DenmarkJacob Nielsen
DenmarkStig Andersen Hvide
Unknown More than 230
Casualties and losses
Unknown 230
1 Ship

The War of the Outlaws (Danish & Norwegian: De fredløses krig) also known as The Outlaw War, The Outlaw Revenge War, Danish-Norwegian War, The Revenge War and in Denmark as the war with Norway over the archbishop's election. The war took place from 1289 to 1296. It was a conflict between two royal families over hereditary demands and special interests and was triggered by the murder of Eric V of Denmark.

Background[edit | edit source]

The murder of Erik V of Denmark in Findrup in 1286, had political consequences for the Danish nobles who had been in opposition. Several had powerful enemies, and wished to use the opportunity to punish them. As a result, they fled to Norway where the king ensured their protection. At the same time a costly arbitration was concluded between the Norwegian National Board and German merchants. The Norwegian Empire had a desire for territorial expansion southwards. Three years later, the Danish-Norwegian war began to be termed the war of the outlaw, because the Danish outlawed nobles played a major role in the Norwegian war strategy against the Danish kingdom.[1]

The war[edit | edit source]

King Erik II's first war expedition together with the outlaws sailed into the Øresund on the night of 6 July 1289. By accident, one of the ships broke up and 160 men drowned. The fleet was called the Leidgang. On the 7 July, Helsingør was burned before they set sail for Copenhagen. It is called the Siege of Copenhagen (1289).The city withstood the attack and the Leidgang fleet sailed from Copenhagen. On Saturday, 9 July, Ven and Amager were burned but Skanör managed to reject an attack and the Norwegian Chieftain Thord Krytter fell with 70 men in the attack/battle of Skanör. The castle in Samsø was attacked by Stig Andersen Hvide and destroyed. He also burned Torn Borg and Skelfiskør, and took Nykøbing. After an unsuccessful peace agreement, the Leidgang fleet went south of Møn to Grønsund and landed. They attacked and destroyed Falster, burning Stubbekøbing and attacking Stegeborg.

King Erik II undertook other war expeditionswith the Outlaws, and probably also with his brother Duke Haakon. He arrived in Aalborg in 1290, and was there for 15 days in the hope that citizens would help and support him. Instead, resistance increased, forcing him to sail to Langeland which he ravaged. He then sailed to Svendborg and burned it, before turning back to Agersø and Omø on Korsør, and burned Nykøbing in Odsherred and Holbæk. Stig Andersen Hvide landed on the island of Hjelm and fortified it, and the Outlaws also fortified Sprogøe in the Storebælt and Samsø. In addition, Hunehals in northern Halland was fortified.[2]

In 1290, Danish king Erik Menved entered into an agreement with Mecklenburg princes, Henry II of Werle and Nicholas II of Werle, promising that they would not help the Norwegian king for two years or allow his forces to go through their country or their subjects should be allowed to go for service to him. For this, he had promised them a considerable amount of money.

There were some attacks in 1292. The Norwegians embarked on raids with the Outlaws and did great damage. Older sources are somewhat unclear as to what happened that year or later as only the first year of an event is indicated. But it appears that the Norwegian king was not involved in war expeditions that year.

The third war expedition came in July or August 1293. The war raid disturbed and robbed ships. Duke Haakon Magnusson landed on 24 August in Vejle. He issued a "protection letter" for the Chors brothers in Viborg. These were on the island of Læsø. This suggests that the Norwegian Navy had full control in the Danish waters of risk.

There were fewer military collisions. A ceasefire was signed during a peace meeting at Hindsgavl Castle in 1295., The formal end of the war came in 1298.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

A settlement between the Norwegian royal house and the Danish royal house was not finalized until 1308 (1310 in alternative source) after four years of peace. A declaration of war was made in 1307 but nothing happened.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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