Frederik II and the Protestant Cause

Denmark's Role in the Wars of Religion, 1559-1596


This book considers the role played by Denmark’s King Frederik II (1559-88) in the international diplomacy of the 'age of religious wars'. As Europe’s leading Lutheran sovereign, Frederik commanded great influence; his conviction that an international Catholic 'conspiracy' threatened to destroy Protestantism led him to work towards the creation of a Protestant alliance that included both Calvinist and Lutheran states.
Lockhart examines the role of religion in Frederik’s foreign policy, the motivations behind the king’s alliance-building projects, and the reasons behind the ultimate failure of Frederik’s policies.
This volume will be of interest to students of early modern diplomacy, sixteenth-century Protestantism, and the Scandinavian monarchies in the early modern period.


EUR €186.00USD $231.00

Biographical Note

Paul Douglas Lockhart, Ph.D. (1989) in History, Purdue University, is currently Associate Professor of History at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. He has published extensively on early modern Scandinavian history, including Denmark in the Thirty Years’ War (Susquehanna, 1996).

Review Quotes

' ...fills an immense gap...a convincing and important study that adds much to our knowledge of a complex period.' Robert I. Frost, The International History Review, 2006. ' …a detailed account of Danish politics largely unknown to English readers…' D.C. Baxter, Choice, 2005. ' ...closely argued, well researched, and ultimately absorbing...Lockhart does a fine job of leading the reader through the twists and turns of these complex events, and his rehabilitation of Frederik is largely successful...It is a fine achievement and a fascinating story.' Andrew Pettegree, The Sixteenth Century Journal, 2005.

Table of contents

List of illustrations List of maps Note on conventions Acknowledgements List of abbreviations Ch. 1 Introduction 1 Ch. 2 An emerging power, 1536-1572 13 The legacy of Christian III, 1536-59 14 Frederik II 29 Resources : military, naval, and financial 55 Ch. 3 Religion and foreign policy, 1559-1572 63 Frederik II and the state church 65 Confessional identity and foreign policy, 1559-72 83 Ch. 4 Two weddings and a conspiracy, 1572-1577 101 The 'bloody wedding' and the Baltic threat, 1572-80 104 The Papist conspiracy 128 Ch. 5 Protestant solidarity and the imperial crisis, 1577-1583 143 Catholic resurgence and protestant solidarity 145 Frederik II and the 'book of discord' 157 Prospects for a protestant alliance, 1577-83 174 Realignment 189 Ch. 6 The common cause, 1583-1585 202 Their ambitions have become as one 202 This manifestly wanton and devilish act 219 The English initiative, 1585 225 Ch. 7 The third peril, 1586-1588 242 To spare the blood of thousands 243 Towards Luneburg 252 The Dutch quagmire 273 I have little hope 290 Ch. 8 Retreat 298 The regency and isolationism 300 But our pious king of Denmark has passed over to God too soon ... 308 Bibliography 329 Index 339


Scholars of Scandinavian and early modern European history, especially those with an interest in the French Wars of Religion, the Dutch Revolt, the Reformation, and the interaction of religion and politics.