Skipper Clement
Klemen Andersen "Skipper Clement" (c.
Circa , usually abbreviated c. or ca. , means "approximately" in the English language, usually referring to a date...

 1484 – September 9, 1536) was a Danish merchant, captain, privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

 and leader of the peasant rebellion that was part of the civil war known as the Count's Feud
Count's Feud
The Count's Feud , also called the Count's War, was a civil war that raged in Denmark in 1534–36 and brought about the Reformation in Denmark...

 (Grevens Fejde) .


Clement was born to a farmer family in Aaby parish (Aaby Sogn i Kjer Herred) in the district of Vendsyssel
Vendsyssel is the northernmost traditional district of Denmark and of Jutland. Being divided from mainland Jutland by the Limfjord, it is technically a part of the North Jutlandic Island. Vendsyssel is part of the North Denmark Region....

 in North Jutland
North Jutland County
North Jutland County is a former county in northern Denmark. It was located on the eastern half of Vendsyssel-Thy and the northernmost part of the Jutland peninsula. It was the largest county in Denmark, but with a relatively low population. The county seat was Aalborg, Denmark's fourth largest...

. He became a merchant in Aalborg
-Transport:On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen....

 and later captain and vice admiral in the navy of King Christian II of Denmark
Christian II of Denmark
Christian II was King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden , during the Kalmar Union.-Background:...

. In 1523, Christian II was sent into exile and his uncle, Frederick I of Denmark
Frederick I of Denmark
Frederick I of Denmark and Norway was the King of Denmark and Norway. The name is also spelled Friedrich in German, Frederik in Danish, and Fredrik in Swedish and Norwegian...

 had taken over the throne. In 1525, Clement mutinied and became a privateer.

Count's Feud

Clement later allied himself to Christopher of Oldenburg
Christopher of Oldenburg
Christopher of Oldenburg . German Count, regent in Eastern Denmark during the Count's War 1534–36 which was named after him....

. At Count Christoffer's instruction, he instigated the peasants of Vendsyssel and North Jutland to rise up against the nobles. On 16 October 1534 the peasant army of Clement, re-enforced with professional soldiers from Count Christoffer, met the army of the Jutland nobility, that had been sent to crush the revolt. The Battle of Svenstrup (Slaget ved Svenstrup) resulted in the defeat of the nobility army. For a couple of months the revolting peasants controlled a major part of northern Jutland. They expelled the noblemen and burned down many of their manor houses. However, in the long run the peasant army was too poorly armed and too undisciplined. King Christian III of Denmark
Christian III of Denmark
Christian III reigned as king of Denmark and Norway. He was the eldest son of King Frederick I and Anna of Brandenburg.-Childhood:...

 made a separate peace
Separate peace
The phrase "separate peace" refers to a nation's agreement to cease military hostilities with another, even though the former country had previously entered into a military alliance with other states that remain at war with the latter country...

 with Count Christoffer and his general Johan Rantzau
Johan Rantzau
Johan Rantzau was a German-Danish general and statesman known for his role in the Count's Feud.Rantzau was born at the castle of Steinburg near Itzehoe into nobility...

 was freed to fight the peasant revolt.

In December 1534, the army of Johan Rantzau defeated the peasant army which had retreated to Aalborg and strengthen the defenses of the city. After a hard battle, Rantzau's army overcame the defenses, sacked the city and killed as many as 2,000 people. Clement managed to escaped, but was betrayed and captured by his enemies. He was kept in prison until the end of the civil war and was then executed by breaking wheel Viborg, Denmark
Viborg, Denmark
Viborg , a town in central Jutland, Denmark, is the seat of both Viborg municipality and Region Midtjylland. Viborg is also the seat of the Western High Court, the High Court for the Jutland peninsula...



Later historians and fiction writers have admired Clement as a revolutionary figure and a champion for the rights of the common man. Also as a local North Jutland hero he is admired and a statue was erected here 1931. The depth of his social or ideological engagement is unprovable but as the last active, and perhaps most influential, peasant rebel in Danish history he might be viewed a Danish parallel of Wat Tyler
Wat Tyler
Walter "Wat" Tyler was a leader of the English Peasants' Revolt of 1381.-Early life:Knowledge of Tyler's early life is very limited, and derives mostly through the records of his enemies. Historians believe he was born in Essex, but are not sure why he crossed the Thames Estuary to Kent...

 in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Thomas Müntzer in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Yemelyan Pugachev
Yemelyan Pugachev
Yemelyan Ivanovich Pugachov , was a pretender to the Russian throne who led a great Cossack insurrection during the reign of Catherine II...

 in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...


Other sources

  • Dansk Biografisk leksikon, vol.3, (Copenhagen: 1979)
  • Politikens Danmarkshistorie, vol 6, by Svend Cedergreen Bech, (Copenhagen: 1963)

External links

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