Sunday, October 19, 2008

Toke Palnesen * ab. 975 - ab. 1030?

House at Trelleborg

Toke (Palnatoke?) Palnesen 

Pallig and Gunhild had a son, who was murdered the same day as his parents. There is no informations about his name or age, but they had another son, Toke, who was born ab. 975 in England, and he is the legendary Toke (Palnatoke) Palnesen, whose story is so heroic that it's impossible to know what's the truth and what's not. Some of the legends are so-called 'Vandrehistorier', similar stories told about national heroes in other countries.

Why Toke was called Palnatoke/Palnetoke might have a simple explanation. As a boy he was called 'Palne's Toke' - since his father's name was Pallig/Palne. Later the Palnetoke-name became legendary because of a lot of PR from the storytellers.

Toke (Palnatoke) Palnesen came to the viking fortification Trelleborg upon Sjælland together with his uncle Sven Forkbeard in connection to the England expeditions. Archaeological excavations have shown that Trelleborg was used only between 970-1020.

Roskilde Fjord

Toke Palnesen was a king's man, and he was probably given big areas upon Sjælland by Sven and became a magnate there. He was the king's nephew; he was the son of Sven's murdered sister and brother-in-law, and of course Sven took him under his wings. His arrival with Sven in Denmark and Trelleborg was probably right after his parents' tragic death in England in 1002. He was about 27 years old, he was married (Toke's wife is unknown) and had children, but he probably followed his uncle on the expeditions to England in 1003 and later.

He started a new family life though in Denmark after 1002, and this was the beginning of the Hvide family's properties and wealth at Sjælland. He was also said to be chief at Funen. One of his sons, Palne (Slau Palnesen) was born ab. 995 like Canut (the Great).

Vendsyssel, The North Sea, the road to England

Toke is also called the Earl of Winland = Vendsyssel in North Jutland. Toke of Julin is another name. Julin was Jumne = Jomsborg, but there is much dispute about Jomsborg's existence too.

Thorkel the Tall , born 1009, murdered 1023, who was a Dane and Earl of East Anglia and Canut's commander in England, was also said to be of Jumne/Jomsborg like Toke Palnatoke Palnesen.

Others claim that Thorgils Sprakaleg (Anglo-Saxon: Sprackling) is the same as Thorkel the Tall, but those two men are from different families, and Thorgils was born ab. 980, Thorkel in 1009. Thorgils father was Styrbjørn Olofsen the Strong in Norway, while Thorkel's father was the legendary Danish king Strut-Harald, and Thorkel's brothers were Hemming and Sigvald. Thorkel married Eadgyth,the widow of Eadric Streona. He was murdered by Ordulf of Saxony in 1023.

Two known sons of Toke (Palnatoke) Palnesen were:
Palne Slau (Slag Hvide) Tokesen * ab. 990-995, + ab. 1034
Aage/Aake Tokesen , killed in a battle with the Wends on Lolland-Falster.

A bishop Odinkar was said to be a son of Toke, the Earl of Winland, who belonged to the royal family, contrary to the elder Odinkar, who was 'only' of noble origin.

photo: grethe bachmann ©copyright

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