The Danish Soldiers' PlaqueSun 23rd October 2022
Pinned on a buttress on the south side of the church is a plaque telling the tragic story of two Danish soldiers.
In 1689, about seven thousand Danish soldiers arrived in Hull on their way to fight in Ireland on behalf King William III of England. Many of them were billeted in and around Beverley. This may have been the first time Danish mercenaries had served abroad. Locals found them to be kind, civil, and well trained.
However, two of the soldiers, Daniel Stricker and Johannes Bulow, had a quarrel. We don’t know what they were fighting about, but swords were drawn, and Daniel was killed.
According to Danish Articles of War, duelling was forbidden, and carried a death sentence. On 23 rd December, Johannes was beheaded in Beverley market. Shrieks were heard from women who had had come to witness the execution.
The people of Beverley were deeply touched by this tragedy and decided that both soldiers should be buried side by side at St Mary’s church. The Chief Danish Cavalry Officer had the plaque engraved at his own expense and being a bit of a poet, wrote the verse.
The plaque captures the special part that Beverley played in a turbulent period of British history and immortalises the deaths of two young men far from home.