Wednesday, 24 November 2010
A real Imagination- if you know what I mean...
One of the chaps at my local club in Dunfermline has begun a Great Northern War project and is commencing collecting my fave army of the period – the Danes! He intends to use Under the Lily Banner or perhaps Basic Baroque Impetus….
My initial reaction was enthusiasm then I thought better of it and put the brakes on. However after considered thought I have decided to raise a few units – enough for an afternoon’s entertainment upon a smallish table.
My initial reaction was to go for the Swedes- I have loads of information and a long standing admiration for these Predestination driven Calvinists under their wonderful King Karl XII…
However I have finally been “won over” to the side of a real Imagination in the shape of the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp. Let’s meet the Duke ….
Duke Frederick IV of Holstein-Gottorp (18 October 1671 – 19 July 1702) was Duke of Schleswig.
He was born in Gottorp as the elder son of Duke Christian Albrecht of Holstein-Gottorp and Princess Frederika Amalia of Denmark. He was married on 12 May 1698 to Princess Hedwig Sophia of Sweden and they had a son, Charles Frederick, their only child, who eventually fathered the future Tsar Peter III of Russia..
He took part in the Great Northern War and was killed in the Battle of Kliszów in Poland.
According to Robert Massie's Peter the Great: His Life and World, Duke Frederick quickly befriended his brother-in-law and first cousin, King Charles XII of Sweden upon arriving in Stockholm to marry his cousin Princess Hedwig Sophia. His visit made such an impression on Swedish society that the excesses surrounding him and the King earned him "the Gottorp Fury" as a nickname. Duke Frederick and King Charles regularly participated in wild festivities, drinking binges, and outlandish pranks. Generally, Duke Frederick's influence was the blame for the King's "reckless" lifestyle. There were even rumors at the time that the Duke sought to kill the King and usurp the throne. As it happened, according to Massie in the aforementioned book, the 17-year-old King Charles, in the summer of 1699, pushed himself to an unbearable point of excess and vowed never to touch another drop of liquor again. Apparently, writes Massie, the King stuck to beer thereafter, and even just drank beer when he was either wounded or post-battle. As for his relationship with his cousin Frederick, they remained on good terms, so much that King Charles gave him military assistance to defend Holstein-Gottorp from Danish invasion. (thanks to Wikipedia…)
P.S Perhaps one day I will raise the Duchy of Tradgardland’s army of 1700 to provide oppostion…