The 18th Century
The Hanseatic League:A group of towns which formed a gigantic trade association which lasted for some hundred years. It controlled almost all of the trade in the North- and Baltic-seas. In the spring of 1700 the Great Nordic War broke out, it lasted for 21 years and concerned the entire Europe. The Hanseatic league's reign was then over.
Around the year 1700 about 180 families lived in Stege, mainly poor people.
Denmark as a whole was beginning to rise from the ashes of the many wars and the country border reached all the way down to the river Elbe.
In 1703 a navigation school was founded on the initiative by King Fredrik the 4th and around the same time some of the guard-houses were rebuilt to boatswain houses. The attempt to establish Stege as a forum for sailors failed and the school only graduated 6 mates in 20 years! So the navigation school then became a house of correction/penitentiary and draper's shop. The penitentiary once had a presumed Danish princess as its prisoner (see below). Since 1851 it has been a nursing home for mentally disabled.
In 1766, the 17 year old Christian the 7th became king and the country, the trade and the maritime condition improved so much that other nationalities were beginning to move to the country. Big farm reforms also were on the rise and new opportunities were opened for the local residents and the emigrants as the Crown property was sold.
The Crown property on Møn was sold in 1769 and it was then the big estates on Møn were created, manors were built, many farmers bought their own farms, more and more merchants and craftsmen settled on Møn, many of them coming from abroad. The merchants usually lived in their merchant houses near the town gates in Vestergade and at Mølleporten to make it easy for the farmers to stop and trade. The merchants bought goods from the farmers to sell or trade for other colonial goods. The merchants often themselves owned a tradeship which they sailed to the nortern part of Germany, Norway or Sweden where they traded their goods for iron, coal or colonial goods. There was no competition between the merchants, they all held the same prices, but then again the customers would not even think about "betraying" their merchant and go to another one.
From 1770 until 1803 the penitentiary in Stege had a prominent inmate: "Princess" Anna Sophie Magdalena Frederica Ulrica. As the background story is an interesting one you can read all about it here !
In 1774 a terrible fire haunted Stege for one and a half day, burning down 112 properties, the northern part of the city up to Nørrestræde almost totally dissapeared. The city got some financial relieve during two years after the catastrophe.
In November 1782, there were 4 distilleries in Stege, 25 years later in 1807 the amount was 18.
In 1786 Frederik the 6th formed a commission which puts an end to "Stavnsbåndet" which lasted from 1733 until 1788. "Stavnsbåndet" was a obligation which the farmers had towards the estate where they were born, to stay there for a certain period of their life.
The year 1788 was a rough year as the King of Sweden, King Gustav the 3rd, attacked Russia where Catarina the 2nd ruled. She asked Denmark for assistance as the 2 countries had made a deal several years before. The Norwegian prince Carl moved into Sweden with about 12.000 soldiers. Denmark did not want to engage in any war at the moment and did not have any money either for such a course, so extra taxes were collected from the people. The war never really began as the English threatened to participate in the war and noone wanted that to happen.
In 1789 the number of citizens in Stege had reached 791 and trade had begun to flourish again. In total around 7000 people lived on Møn.
The church did not own much and maybe because of poor managing of the existing money, the income did not match the costs of the church, so it began to fall apart. When the merchant Meyer in 1793 became churchwarden and was in charge of the church economy, he wanted to get some money into the church chest fast, because some church bench rows had fallen apart. Meyer had to lend money to repair the church, and the security for the loan was the pharmacy! You might wonder why, but the year before the pharmacist had borroughed 1700 rixdollars from the church and presumably had not payed it back.
In 1794 Christiansborg Castle burned down and the citizens of Stege volontarily collected 524 rixdollars for the rebuilding of the castle.
In 1797 Møn finally got a head of the county that lived on the island and who was respected and wellliked man: P.A. de la Calmette was Chamberlain on Marienborg and he was the one who laid out the park around the mansion with channels and small houses for relaxation. He also collected trees, so therefore you will find trees in the park which should not grow in this region. He also began building the small castle in Liselund park.