But the chronic state of rebellion in western Denmark, which, fomented by the discontented Jutish magnates, lasted with short intervals from 1350 to 1360, compelled Valdemar to renounce these farreaching and fantastic designs.
By the recovery of Scania Valdemar had become the lord of the great herring-fishery market held every autumn from St Bartholomew's day (24th of August) to St Denis's day (9th of October) on the hammer-shaped peninsula projecting from the S.W.
Both places were captured in 1169 by a great expedition under the command of Valdemar and Absalon; the hideous colossal idol of Riigievit was chopped into firewood for the Danish caldrons, and the Wends were christened at the point of the sword and placed beneath the jurisdiction of the see of Roskilde.
Henceforth Absalon was the chief counsellor of Valdemar, and the promoter of that imperial policy which, for three generations, was to give Denmark the dominion of the Baltic. Briefly, it was Absalon's intention to clear the northern sea of the Wendish pirates, who inhabited that portion of the Baltic littoral which we now call Pomerania, and ravaged the Danish coasts so unmercifully that at the accession of Valdemar one-third of the realm of Denmark lay wasted and depopulated.
At the first of these assemblies held at Nyborg, Midsummer Day 1314, the bishops and councillors solemnly promised that the commonalty should enjoy all the ancient rights and privileges conceded to them by Valdemar II., and the wise provision that the Danehof should meet annually considerably strengthened its authority.
It is doubtful whether even the genius of Valdemar would have proved equal to such a stupendous task.
Valdemar had indeed pledged it solemnly and irrevocably to King Magnus of Sweden, who had held it for twenty years; but profiting by the difficulties of Magnus with his Norwegian subjects, after skilfully securing his own position by negotiations with Albert of Mecklenburg and the Hanseatic League, Valdemar suddenly and irresistibly invaded Scania, and by the end of 1361 all the old Danish lands, except North Holland, were recovered.
In north German politics he interfered vigorously to protect his brotherin-law the Margrave Louis of Brandenburg against the lords of Mecklenburg and the dukes of Pomerania, with such success that the emperor, Charles IV., at the conference of Bautzen, was reconciled to the Brandenburger and allowed Valdemar an annual charge of 16,000 silver marks on the city of Lubeck (1349) Some years later Valdemar seriously thought of reviving the ancient claims of Denmark upon England, and entered into negotiations with the French king, John, who in his distress looked to this descendant of the ancient Vikings for help. A matrimonial alliance between the two crowns was even discussed, and Valdemar offered, for the huge sum of 600,000 gulden, to transport 12,000 men to England.
The third archbishop of Lund was Absalon (1128-1201), Denmark's first great statesman, who so materially assisted Valdemar I.
At Easter-tide 1368, on the very eve of this general attack, Valdemar departed for three years to Germany, leaving his realm in the capable hands of the earl-marshal Henning Podbusk.