Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sophie Valdemarsdatter & her son, Albert of Orlamünde

Sophie (Valdemarsdatter), Grevinde af Orlamünde,
--1181--, eldest daughter of king Valdemar and queen
Sophie; she was in Schleswig married to Grev Siegfried
of Orlamünde i Thüringen(1181). Two years later he was
sent by emperor Friedrich to king Knud with a demand
that he had to pay tribute to the emperor as his feudal
overlord, but he was turned down. There is no information
about Sophie's life. She had 7 children, of whom Albert
(whose history belongs to Denmark) was the eldest.
Siegfried died in 1206.

After Johannes Steenstrup's Danish text: grethe bachmann
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Albert, Greve af Orlamünde, 1182-1245. His parents
were Grev Siegfried af Orlamünde and Sophie,king
Valdemar I's eldest daughter. They were married in
the autumn 1181, and a year later Albert was born,
he was the eldest of 7 siblings. In 1204 he got
the grevskab Holstein as a vasalry from his mother's
brother, king Valdemar II,and a part of grevskabet
Ratzeburg; after his father's death (1206), he also
got a section of Orlamünde. He had to leave the
government of Orlamünde to his brother Herman, who
owned the other part of Orlamünde. Albert had to
stay in his vasalry, taking care of its business.

During the first years of Valdemar II's rule there
were often feuds on the southern border of Denmark,
either Valdemar attacked his southern neighbours,or
they paid back, and A. could not avoid, as a vasal
in Denmark's southern province, to take part in
these feuds. In the year 1215 (there was a war in
this and the following year against a union of
German princes who was supported by the German
emperor) A. made a holy promise to go to Lifland
to fight the heathens there. He achieved a papal
allowance to take the cross, and he was shortly after
as a special favour from the pope allowed to take
with him ten of his men, who earlier had promised
a pilgrimage to the holy land, and as soon peace
had come, he sailed in the summer 1217 with his
entourage to Lifland. His expedition was praised in
Henrik Lettes Lifland's Chronicle,he called A. an
arrow which the Lord had kept in order to send him
to Lifland to save the church there.

The following year he returned to Denmark and was
without doubt present at the young king Valdemar
III's coronation in Schleswig (24.June 1218).For a
couple of years he seems to have taken a pause,but
then came the attack on the lands of greven of
Schwerin, which A. took in possession on his uncle's
behalf. Then followed the catastrophal year 1223,
when king Valdemar and his eldest son was taken
prisoner by Henrik of Schwerin. During these
circumstances A., who was Valdemar's close relative
and trusted man, exeted a decisive influence on many
of Denmark's affairs, and although he wasn't named
rigsforstander (regent), he acted often in the
following period with the authority of a regent.
Thus during the negotiations about the release of
the king (1224), where he was in Germany a couple
of times, the first time when he participated in
finishing the so-called dannenbergske agreement,
and the second time when this agreement had to be
carried out, and A. and the Danish magnates came
with the exact amount of ransom, but they had to
go home without having achieved anything.

A. had earlier (in the year 1211) founded a kloster
in Preetz, and now after his homecoming from
Germany he founded another kloster in Hoibek, which
later was moved to Reinbek; but soon he got other
things on his mind. At Christmas time 1224 Grev
Adolf of Schaumburg, who recently had joined the
archbishop of Bremen and grev Henrik of Schwerin
about releasing Holstein from Denmark, fell into
Holstein with his allies. A. gathered an army,
and after having tried to get support from the
citizens of Hamborg by promising them various
favours, he met, united with his cousin, hertug
Otto of Brunsvig, the allied at Mølln in the end
of January 1225. After a days brave fight A. was
defeated and taken prisoner by grev Henrik. Not
until the defeat at Bornhøvede, and after A. had
given up Lauenborg castle, which still was occupied
by his men, he was released(1227); but Holstein was
lost forever.

A. took for a short time residence in his Thüringen
-estates and then returned to Denmark. Here he was
endowed with estate at Als( the island) by king
Valdemar. He calls himself in 1229 "herre til Als"
(Lord of Als). After this he is only mentioned a
few times, the last time in 1238, before his death.
He died 1245, the day of death is not known, but it
must be before 22. october, where king Valdemar's
sons, caused by A.'s death exchanged the estate at Als.

In the year 1211 A. had married landgreve Herman of
Thüringen's daughter Hedevig, but had no children in
this marriage.

R. Usinger, Deutsch-dänische Geschichte 1189-1227.
C. Paludan-Müller, Studier til Danmarks Hist. i 13.
Aarh., 1. Stykke.

After C. Weeke's Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg.

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