Richart von Brandenburg (*1370 in Vrankenvorde, Margraviate of Brandenburg) is the only son of a noble family in the late 14th century Holy Roman Empire. After his parent's death ca. 1388 he took over the land and castle in the hard time of the agrarian crisis. So he became a liege to King Sigismund of Luxemburg, who ruled the margraviate as well as Hungary and Croatia. But not for a long time. Richart 1389 moved to the german Baltic coast to join the Victual Brothers in supplying the besieged city of Stockholm and after that making good profit with a letter of marque against Denmark.

Agrarian Crisis of the late middle Ages Edit

During the 10th and 14th century, Europe undergoes a huge expansion phase in which the population doubled. The economic advancement especially in the 12th and 13th centuries let the agricultural sector grow exceedingly. Because of this major importance, changes in this sector had weighty impact on the whole economy. The growth of population generated a huge demand for crop. This lead to the cultivation even of poor grounds. 1315 and 1317 brought many crop failures, so mass starvation, population decrease and rural exodus were the results. The plage in the mid-14th century compounded the problem.

The population decreased by one third and so the demand for crop cracked drastic. It came a price collapse for crop. A labor 

deficit, reasoned in the population decrease, let the real earnings grow. So a huge price gap evolved which lead to even more rural exodus. The rural exodus and price decline of crop excavated the economical basics of the landed gentry. The were forced to seek for new means of income. Feuds and robber-knighthood became popular.
Litography of Lübeck

Richart's family also faced these problems and lead to early death of his parents (ca. 1383-1388). Seeing no better solution he impawned land and castle 1389 and moved to Lübeck, the "Queen of the hanseatic league". The ongoing conflict between Denmark and Mecklenburg promised good chances for a new life.

Denmark-Mecklenburg Conflict Edit

The conflict between Denmark and Mecklenburg was affected by different claims of the swedish throne, pirates (later called "Victual Brothers") and the Hanse (Hanseatic League)

A summary:

  • 1361-1362 Waldemar IV. "Atterdag", King of Denmark conquers Skåne, Öland, Bornholm and Gotland
  • 1367 The Conference of the Hanseatic League in Cologne decides the foundation of the Cologne Confederation to fight Denmark and it's allied Norway to secure their trade privileges
  • 1370 The Confederation defeats Waldemar, Peace of Stralsund is made:
    Margaret of Denmark, Norway & Sweden (1389) effigy 2010 (2)

    Margarete I.

    • The Hanse's trade privileges are secured and it gets control of the four Sund-castles Skanör, Falsterbo, Helsingborg and Malmö
    • The Hanse gains a say for the succession to the danish throne
  • 1375 Waldemar IV. dies
    • his daughter Margarete (wife of Norway's King Håkon VI.) sets her son Olaf IV. in succsession to the throne
    • inheritable is Albrecht IV., son of Margarete's sister Ingeborg (wife of Heinrich III., Duke of Mecklenburg)
  • 1376 Olaf IV. gets crowned against the will of house Mecklenburg and Emperor Karl IV.; The Hanse confirms Olaf
  • after 1376 Albrecht II. of Mecklenburg starts a privateering war against Denmark
  • Probably the pirate ships were commanded by lesser Mecklenburgian nobility
    • In the next years both sides used pirate ships to disturb merchant vessels
  • 1379 Albrecht II. dies 
    • his son Albrecht III., King of Sweden concludes peace with Denmark because his brother Heinrich III., new Duke of Mecklenburg also brokers a ceasefire with Denmark
    • Albrecht IV., son of Heinrich relinquishes his aspiration of the danish crown
  • 1380 Norway's King Håkon VI. dies
    • Margarete has to negotiate new trade privileges with the Hanse
      Albert of Mecklenburg

      Albrecht III.

    • Margarete changes tack and supports the Hanse against the pirates
  • 1385 The four Sund-castles are given back to Denmark, Denmark confirms the Hanse's privileges
  • after 1385 Denmark and Mecklenburg disown from the Victual Brothers
  • 1386 Official peace between Hanse and Victual Brothers
  • 1387 Olaf IV. dies
    • Margarete becomes official ruler of Denmark and Norway
    • Margarete enters into negotiations with the Swedish nobility
  • 1388 The swedish nobility acknowledges Margarete as their ruler and pledges allegiance to her while the true swedish King Albrecht III. is in Mecklenburg for gathering allies and finances
  • 1389 Albrecht III. returns with an army to Sweden
    • He was resoundingly defeated in the Battle of Falköping
    • Albrecht and his son Erich get captured
    • Margarete controls whole Sweden except Stockholm, which swears fidelty to Albrecht
      Kogge stralsund

      A typical "Kogge" like Richart's Ship Seefuchs

    • Stockholm is besieged by Denmark
    • Richart von Brandenburg endows the ship Seefuchs in Wismar and joins the Victual Brothers
    • The Victual Brothers supply Stockholm via the sea
  • 1390 Mecklenburg changes their war tactics by starting direct attacks and a new privateering against Denmark's ships
  • Piracy reinvigorates in the Baltic Sea with the Victual Brothers leading for years

Richart's second supply of Stockholm Edit

In Winter 1393-1394 a starvation ruled in the long besieged Stockholm. The cities of Rostock and Wismar endows eight big ships with all food needs and send them under the backing of the Victual Brothers, including Richart's ship Seefuchs, to Stockholm. But the swedish coast was encompassed by ice so that all ships were freezed and got in extremely danger to become raided by the nearby Danish. So the Victual Brothers cut down many high trees in the nearby woods, build an abatis among the trapped ships which they interlaced with the branches of the trees. They dowsed it with water until it became an insuperable wall of ice. Then they smashed the ice around this wall by night, so that the Danish who came in the morning with their siege engines fell through it and lost a lot of men and gear. When thaw began the Victual Brothers brought the plenty of food in the hungry city.