Jelling kirke, Gorms grav

Jelling kirke, Gorms grav
Jelling kirke, Gorms grav

Friday, October 30, 2009

Valdemar II Sejr and Dagmar, Berengaria and Helene



Dagmar, –1212, Valdemar Sejr's first queen, was a daughter of king Premysl Ottokar I of Bohemia and Adela of Meissen. Ottokar had been living in ab. 20 years of marriage to Adela, when he under the pretext of too close kinship applied for divorce (ab. 1198) and married Constantia of Hungary. Adela went with her children, 1 son and 3 daughters to her homeland and applied in vain during many years via help from the Pope to regain her rights; she died in a kloster, which she had established in Meissen 1211. One of the daughters became an abbess and was after her death considered a saint, another got married in Bavaria. The third daughter, Dagmar, was brought to Denmark as king Valdemar's bride in 1205. Her mother's hard fate had probably early matured Dagmar and developed the best sides of her character; as queen of Denmark she won the Danish people's love and affection, and she was described in contemporary poetry as the paragon of a faithful wife and humble Christian and as the princess, who always wanted to ease the life of the suffering. The Danes gave her a name which bears witness of this. Her church name was Margareta/Margrethe , the other was a Slavic name Dragomir/Drahomir (meaning peace-loving) was by the Danes changed into Dagmar - like Vladimir became Valdemar - among people her name was interpreted as Dagens Mø (Dag-Maar).(a beautiful lady).

Historical sources know little about her, but they know like the folksongs that she influenced king Valdemar to free his relative, bishop Valdemar, who had been Valdemar's prisoner for 13 years. In 1209 she gave birth to the son Valdemar. After only 7 years of marriage she died 24. May 1212. A beautiful folksong was written and sung by people about her illness and Valdemar's long ride to come to her deathbed. The folksong says that when Valdemar kneeled at her bier, she woke up and told him about her last pious wishes and about her gnawing self-reproach , because she had sinned "on Sundays I have laced up my sleeves". Dagmar's grave is in Ringsted kirke (St. Bendts) beside Valdemar's; when it was opened in 1855, it was empty.

Schiern, Hist. Studier II, 208 ff. Grundtvig, Danmarks Folkeviser III.
After Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup's Danish text: grethe bachmann
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Berengaria, –1221, Valdemar Sejr's second queen, was the youngest daughter of king Sancho I of Portugal and queen Aldonca. When her mother died in 1198 after 24 years of marriage and after having given birth to 11 children, B. was probably born after 1192. After the mother's death B. was brought up by her eldest sister who had been married to king Alfonso of Leon. The Portuguese chronicles assume that she died unmarried , but maybe she during the sisters' feud with their eldest brother king Alfonso I of Portugal, went to her younger brother, Ferdinand, who via his marriage to (Jeanne de Flandre) had become a count of Flandern, and from there she could easily be known in Denmark.

In 1214 she was married to king Valdemar. She became the mother of 3 kings, but died already 27. March 1221, leaving a reputation about a great beauty, but also about arrogance and strictness, especially against the peasantry. This rumour was taken up by the folk poetry and used freely, since the folk songs changed her name into "Bengjærd" which was not flattering. When her grave was opened in 1855, her bone structure confirmed the rumour about her beauty; but some trouble around the grave after her death also indicated the hatred against her. None of her sons named their daughters after her.

Duarte Nunez, Primeira parte das Chronicas dos reis de Portugal, reformadas, Bl. 64 v.
Suhm, Hist. af Danmark IX.
Worsaae, Kongegravene i Ringsted Kirke.
From J. Kinch's Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg


Article in Thyra-blog from Dec. 2005:
Queen Berengaria of Denmark

Skt. Bendts Church, Ringsted



When queen Berengaria's grave was opened in 1885, they found her thick plait of hair, her finely formed skull and finely built body bones. A portrait drawing was made to show how she might have looked. Berengaria was a daughter of king Sancho I of Portugal and queen Aldonca and a descendant of Robert Capet. She was married on May 3rd 1214 to king Valdemar II Sejr of Denmark. She became the mother of three kings, but she died already on March 27th 1221 and was buried in Sankt Bendts Church in Ringsted, the burial place for the early Danish kings and queens.

Her three sons and a daughter with Valdemar:
Erik IV Plovpenning, born 1216 , king from 1241-1250; he was murdered by his brother Albert at Slien August 9th 1250. Erik was married to Jutta of Saxony.
Albert, born ab. 1218, king from 1250-1252, was killed in a battle against the Frisians at the peninsula Eiderstedt June 29th 1252. Married to Mechtilde of Holstein.
Christopher I, born 1219, king 1252-1259, died in Ribe May 29th May 1259, possibly poisoned by altar wine. Married to Margrethe Sambiria of Pommern.
Sophie, who was married to Johan 1. of Brandenburg in 1236. She died November 2nd 1247.

Eleonora of Portugal, Berengaria's niece, was a daughter of Berengaria's brother, king Alfonso II el Pancudo and Urraca of Castile, she was married in 1231 to Valdemar the Young, Valdemar's son with his first queen, Dagmar of Bohemia. Eleonora was born in 1211 and died in childbirth August 28th 1231, her child died the same year. Valdemar the Young was killed by an accidental shot at Refsnæs November 28th 1231. Buried in Ringsted with Eleonora.

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Helene Guttormsdatter, 1172-1211, the wife of Esbern Snare, was a daughter of the Swedish earl Guttorm, who once fetched king Carl Sverkersons bride in Denmark and on the same occassion was godfather of Valdemar I den Stores son Knud (1163). Helene was probably named after the Holy Helene of Skøfde, a celebrated saint , who was canonized in 1164 and wellknown in the folklore of northern Sjælland. When Esbern Snare lost his second wife Ingeborg he - although not quite young anymore - married the young beautiful Helene. In this marriage was born the daughter Ingeborg af Kalundborg and maybe more children. Soon after Esberns death in 1204 Helene became Valdemar II Sejr's frille (mistress) and had the son Knud. But in 1205 Valdemar married Dagmar of Bohemia , and his relationship to Helene supposedly stopped - it seems that Helene left Denmark. She died in Roskilde ab. 1211, but she was not buried in Sorø like Esberns other wives , and from diplomas from the 14th century it appears that she established 'Vor Frue Kapel' at Linköbing Cathedral, where she probably chose her burial place. (NB: She died in 1211 39 years old, and was buried in Vreta Kloster). Her gifts to the church were later increased by her son's son Svantopolk Knudsen and his family.

Valdemar II Sejr honoured his and Helene's son Knud by making him a hertug, ( Knud of Blekinge) , and he gave him his own property in Sweden. Helene left him a considerable inheritage there too. Knud was married to Hedvig, a daughter of duke Svantepolk in Poland. They had the before mentioned son Svantopolk, who was married to Benedicta, a granddaughter of king Sverker 2. of Sweden and Ingegerd, and two daughters, Elisabeth, married to duke Erik of Halland, and Cæcilie, married to Philip (Folkunge).

Helene Guttormsdatter's ancestors
:
1. Ingrid Guttormsdatter af Rein * ab.1160 ~ Guttorm Austmanson, * ab 1156
2. Guttorm Åsulvson, + after 1183 ~ Eldrid Jonsdatter of Blindheim
3. Åsulv Skuleson på Rein ~ Tora Skoftesdatter of Giske,
4. Skule Kongsfostre Tostigson, Earl of Rein, * ab. 1053 ~ Gudrun Nevsteinsdatter
5. Tostig Earl Godwineson, + 25 sept. 1066 ~ Judith of Flandern, * 1033 + 4 march 1094
6. Godwine Thegn Earl of Wessex * ab.992 + 15 april 1053 ~ Gytha Thorgilsdatter * ab.997
7. Wulfnoth Child Thegn of Sussex ab. 960-1015 ~ NN

Wulfnoth was the grandfather of king Harold II of England, Gytha Thorgilsdatter was a great granddaughter of Harald Bluetooth, Judith of Flandern descended from the dukes of Normandy and Rollo, and Skule's wife Gudrun Nevsteinsdatter descended from Harald Hårfager in Norway, so Helene's ancestors were a part of the big genealogical wickerwork with connections to the old Danish and Norwegian Royalty and to Anglo-Saxon England and the Normans in France.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Valdemar II Sejr, 1170-1241



Valdemar II, 1170-1241, King, son of Valdemar I and queen Sophie, was born around Skt. Hans dag (24 June) 1170; already when young his bold and lively personality caused great expectations, and he was the obvious candidate for the position as hertug in Sønderjylland which his father and grandfather had been. This position was temporarily entrusted to his cousin bishop Valdemar Knudsen, but when V. was 18 years old, it was given to him. The relation between the two kinsmen was soon tense, and V. took various castles and estates from the bishop, probably with good reason, since he discovered that his cousin joined the enemies of the country; at any rate the bishop was not backed up when a papal delegate after V.'s request investigated the case. The bishop took flight to Sweden shortly after, and when he recklessly attacked Denmark, V. took him prisoner.

Grev Adolf III of Holstein was a very restless neighbour, and both on this occasion and later he showed a clear enmity towards Denmark, but he awoke some aversion in his own country, and several of the displeased went to see V. in Schleswig. To keep him in check V. fell into Holstein and conquered the open land and Hamburg and Lübeck, but he wasn't able to win Lauenborg. In a bold attack Adolf took back Hamburg , but unexpectedly stood V. on Christmas Eve upon the banks, and Adolf had to buy himself free by handing over Lauenborg. The defenders of Lauenborg would not give in to V. though, and thus Adolf had to go to prison, which was greeted with hilarity in Denmark. When king Knud died without sons 12 Nov. 1202, V. was unanimously elected king, and archbishop Anders Sunesen crowned him on Christmas Day (25 Dec) in Lund's domkirke. The next summer V. went with a large army to Elben; in Lübeck he was greeted as the lord of Nord-Albingien, and soon after gave Lauenborg up, if grev Adolf was released. V. placed his sister's son, the young grev Albert of Orlamünde as lord of Nordalbingien, and he ruled the country with just and skill. (Nordalbingien = a district in Sachsen)

In June 1204 V. made an expedition to Norway to support the Bagler's pretender Erling (Stenvæg); the swords were however not drawn, and the expedition had no importance, although Erling greeted V. as his overlord; later on V. did not interfere in the Norwegian affairs. But there were still trouble on the southern border of the kingdom, not least after V. on many's intercession had released bishop Valdemar from prison, and he then against his promise had let himself be elected archbishop of Bremen. Furthermore showed the two brothers, grev Gunzelin and Henrik of Schwerin a hostile attitude, why V. let their grevskab (county) occupy and forced them to pay tribute to him as their feudal overlord. During the feud between German's two rulers Otto IV and Philip, V. sided for Otto and supported him with money and auxiliaries, but after Philip was murdered (1208) ,Otto felt safe and was ready to turn his weapons against Denmark. Otto soon got a rival in Frederik II, and when Frederik achieved still more power in Germany, V. joined him. Frederik's interest in the north German countries was so little that he made over all countries north of Elben and its tributary Elde to V. (Dec. 1214) ,which was confirmed by pope Innocent and Honorius soon after.

But V. wanted to extend his power to more distant countries, he wanted to free the Baltic from the pirates and spread Christianity to the heathen people at its coasts. After an expedition where he conquered Øsel, but could not yet keep it occupied (1206), he went on a crusade to Preussen and Samland, and the hertug of Pomerellen had to pay tribute to him (1210). Most important was the great expedition to Estland in 1219. With a fleet of 1500 ships he landed at Lyndanise. The Estonian chiefs seemed willing to subject to him and to be baptized, but one evening they attacked the Christian army, which had to do a severe fight with the Estonians, whom they beat completely. According to tradition the cross banner (Dannebrog) fell down from the sky in connection to this battle, why the army went fighting again and won a victory. Using the castle Reval as a point of support the Danish power spread in the whole country, V. lead two expeditions there himself, (1220, 1222), but the occupation was still not secure, and it was lost, when the years of disaster arrived.

Before telling about this, V.'s personal relations must be mentioned. He married late (when he was 35) . He had a relation to Helene, who was a daughter of the Swedish jarl Guttorm, she was a widow after Esbern Snare. Helene and V. had the son Knud, and with an unknown woman he had the son Niels, who was married to Oda, a daughter of grev Gunzelin of Schwerin, they died early and left a son, Niels. Finally V. married the Bohemian princess Dagmar in 1205, whose beauty and goodness won all hearts, she bore the son Valdemar in 1209, but died already 24. May 1212. Two years later V. married the beautiful princess Berengaria of Portugal, she bore the sons Erik, Abel, Christoffer and the daughter Sophie; the next birth cost her life 27 March 1221.

In the night of 6.-7. May 1223 the reversal happened in V.'s and his country's history. The king was together with his son Valdemar hunting at Lyø, when grev Henrik of Schwerin broke into their tents and after a short fight brought the kings as prisoners on his ships. Grev Henrik wanted to revenge that V., probably wrongfully and on behalf of his grandson during Henrik's stay in the Holy land, had taken half of the castle Schwerin into possession, although it was a pawn for the dowry of Henrik's brother's daughter Oda. Henrik brought his prisoners to his castle Lenzen, and then to a castle Dannenberg on the left bank of Elben. This deed awoke horror and immediate perplexity in Denmark. Grev Albert took the position as rigshøvedsmand (regent) , and the Danes turned to the pope for help. After emperor Frederik's efforts to have the king handed over had failed, various attempts were made during a year in order to reach an agreement with grev Henrik, but the conditions were too hard, and the Danes were said to have broken the negotiations themselves. The allied German princes, who had freed themselves for obedience to V., now fell into Holstein; Albert lost a battle at Mølln (Jan. 1225), he was taken prisoner and put into prison in Schwerin, where the kings had been brought. Lübeck was lost, and Hamburg gave up to grev Adolf. There was now no other way than make an agreement on the hardest conditions. The king had to pay 45.000 mark silver and many other payments, he had to give up all countries south of Ejder and the Wendic countries, except Rügen and what belonged to this island. V. and the other prisoners had to be released from prison gradually with the payment of the ransom.

At Christmas time 1226 V. returned to Denmark, and still for some months after the release he kept a low profile, but then his revengefullness awoke, and he was by pope Honorius loosed from the oath he had sworn grev Henrik. He fell into Holstein, but the battle at Bornhøved 22 July 1227 brought him a crucial defeat, and he lost one eye in the fight. From now on V.'s policy completely changed character. In some negotations with grev Henrik's widow he achieved in Schleswig in 1230 an agreement in which the ransom was reduced considerably, and the young princes, who had gone to prison instead of their father and brother, could came home to Denmark. V. made some friendly connections to the north German princes; his son Abel married a daughter of grev Adolf of Holstein and his other children were married to Germans. But the ransom had brought a strong economic pressure upon the country, futhermore occurred a cattle plague in 1230 and a famine, which killed many people; and V. lost his eldest son (Valdemar den Unge) the year after; he had to live through dark hours, but he matured by the disaster, and he showed during the last decade of his rule an important activity in the government of the inner conditions of the country.

V. was during all his rule a faithfull friend and protector of the church; in archbishop Anders Sunesen he had an excellent helper in his crusade-activities, in bishop Gunner in Viborg he had a loyal advisor. He showed his warm interest for the church-life in numerous gifts to churches and klosters. Most important during king V.'s work was his close connection to the popes and their help in his activities. Innocent III had assisted him in the feud against bishop Valdemar and the German princes, Honorius III had been working for his release from prison, Gregor IX had in many ways eased his economic stress in his last ruling period. All these popes showed furthermore in several free pardons, how much they appreciated V. and his work for the Danish church. Pope Gregor also saw to that V. got Estonia back. V. had not given up to regain his control there, the brothers of the sword were pressed by their heathen neighbours, and via clever negotations in Rome V. made the pope order the brothers to give Estonia back to Denmark. In an agreement in Stensby at Vordingborg in 1238 the German Knights' Order (in which the brothers of the sword now were a part) handed over the lands Reval, Harrien and Wirland to V.

In all fields in V.'s government his organizing hand was felt. Statistic and economic informations about the incomes of the country, the estates of the Crown and the king's family estate were collected, all about which is written in "Kong Valdemars Jordebog". V. published several statutories , but it is especially his great credit that he wrote "Jyske Lov" with the advice of the best experts; it was given in Vordingborg in March 1241 and has had an extremely importance to the judicial life of the Danish people. During the next hundred years is often referred to the judicial state of things on king V.'s time as the normal and also golden age. When the first 20 years of his rule gave him the name "Sejr", which he has been called since the 16th century, then he might as well rightfully be called legislator, which he was called already in the 14th century. What is less approved in his rule is that he gave many parts of the country to his sons, (Abel got Sønderjylland, Niels Nørrehalland etc. ) or to kinsmen. Some transfers were necessary replacements for the loss which the disastrous years had brought, others V. meant were useful for the defence of the country, but the following period revealed the danger of such a parcelling out.

King V. died Skærtorsdag (Maundy Thursday) 28. March 1241 in Vordingborg and was buried in Ringsted kirke. – There are no informations about V.'s looks and almost no informations about his appearance. But he was well liked by everyone, it is never mentioned that a Danish man was his enemy, and it is never told that he bore a grudge to anyone. There were no rebellions or unrests during his rule, and even during the years, when he was imprisoned, there was no break in the king's peace. It is known about his versatile interests, that Icelandic scalds sought him and was met with hospitality; Olaf Hvítaskáld mentions the king's great knowledge, and how he tried to change the runic alphabet into Latin letters. The Icelandic Sagas called V. the most excellent king in the Nordic countries. Contemporary sources from Denmark speak about him in gratitude and admiration, tradition never writes about any evil deed; it has only praised him as a victor and grieved when he was unfortunate. When he died - the annals had to say not long after: "faldt kronen af de danskes hoved". ("the crown fell from the head of the Danes.")

Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Valdemar I's Queen, Sophie & his mistress Tove



Sophie, o.1140-98, queen,( note: a daughter of prince Volodar and Richiza Swentoslawa), was a halfsister of king Knud, Magnus' son, since her mother Richiza after the fall of Magnus had married a Russian prince Volodar, whom she had left in order to marry king Sverker in Sweden. After Valdemar, Knud Lavard's son, had began turning away from the union with Svend and to make up with Knud, a marriage was arranged between Valdemar and Sophie; she was adolescent, but showed signs of being really beautiful, and since she had no estate in Denmark, Knud promised to give her 1/8 of his paternal inheritance as a dowry. S. was brought to a woman Bodil, who had to take care of her upbringing, but after Knud's murder in Roskilde Valdemar married his bride in Viborg (1157); after the victory at Grathehede some brakteaters (coins) were made with his and S.'s portraits. Valdemar and Sophie had the sons Knud and Valdemar, and the daughters Sophie, Richiza, Ingeborg and Helene, and two daughters, who became nuns. Svend Ågesen (Aggesen) speaks about Sophie's beauty in great admiration, she seems to have been a self-assured, ambitious personality. After Valdemar's death 12. May 1182 landgrev Ludvig of Thüringen, who had repudiated his wife, proposed to the Danish queen; he was one of Germany's mightiest princes, outspoken and intense. King Knud accompanied his mother with a great entourage and equipped with costy belongings , to Ejder where the landgreve received her. But Ludvig quickly changed his mind and sent S. ashamed back to Denmark,; he went on a crusade and died on the journey home (1190). S. died 5. May 1198 and was buried in Ringsted kirke at king Valdemar's side.

Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.

Children:
Valdemar II, 1170-1241, King, Son af Valdemar I og Sophie, born around St. Hans 1170 (24 June) See special article about Valdemar II Sejr.

Knud (Valdemarsen), 1163-1202, King, son of Valdemar i and Sophie, born in the beginning of 1163 , baptized by Absalon, crowned 25. June 1170 in Ringsted. When children engagement to Richiza , daughter of Henrik Løwe; richiza died 1167; engagement to her elder sister, the widow Gertrud, Marriage 1177 when Knud was 14 years. He was king from 12 May 1182.No children.
esteg K. Tronen.

Sophie,
Grevinde of Orlamünde, –1181–, eldest daughter of king Valdemar and queen Sophie; married to grev Siegfried of Orlamünde. 8 children, the eldest Albert. Siegfried died in 1206.

Richiza, queen of Sweden, –1220, daughter of Valdemar I and Sophie, was in 1210 married to the Swedish king Erik Knudsen (Knutsson), who died in 1216. Richiza died 8. May 1220, buried in Ringsted kirke. She had a son Erik, who became king in Sweden 1222, and 3 daughters, of whom Ingeborg married Birger Jarl of Folkunger and became the mother of the Swedish kings Valdemar and Magnus Ladelås.

Ingeborg, queen of France, o.1175-o.1237. a daughter of Valdemar I and Sophie, married to king Philip August of France (see special article about Ingeborg in 5 x Ingeborg in this blog. )
ke ogsaa Abbed
Vilhelm fra Æbelholt Kloster, der havde virket ivrig for Ægteskabet.

Helene, Hertuginde of Lüneburg, –1233, daughter of Valdemar I and Sophie, was in 1202 in Hamburg married to Vilhelm der Dicke, youngest son of Henrik Løwe. Vilhelm died 12 Dec. 1213. she had a son Otto ("puer") the Young. Helene died in 1233.

Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl. Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Tove,
o.1150, King Valdemars Frille (mistress). Valdemar den Store had a mistress Tove, before he married Sophie in 1157. There is no information about Tove, except that she ab. 1150 had a son with Valdemar, Christoffer, whom Valdemar loved very much. Folksongs from a later period tell how Tove was persecuted by queen Sophie's jealousy and hate and was killed by being locked up in an overheated sauna, but this is random writing. It is a misunderstanding when Huitfeldt(historian), Peder Syv and new writers (ab. 1900) transfer Tove to Valdemar Atterdag's history.

Grundtvig, Danmarks gamle Folkeviser III. Steenstrup, Vore Folkeviser S. 231 ff. (Svensk) Hist. Tidskr. 1891, S. 306 ff. Hist. Tidsskr. 6. R. V, 45 ff.
Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg.

Valdemar I den Store 1131-82



Valdemar I, 1131-82, King, son of Knud Lavard and Ingeborg, was born 14. January 1131, 8 days after his father's murder; he was named after his mother's paternal grandfather Storfyrst (Grand Prince) Vladimir Monomachos of Novgorod/Russia. He was brought up by Asser Rig in Fjenneslevlille and was from childhood connected in a faithful friendship with his sons, the little older Absalon and his brother Esbern. He and his cousin Svend Eriksen, although still boys, determined to move Knud Lavard's mortal remains from the grave to a shrine, and they did it without asking archbishop Eskil. When the kingdom was divided between Svend and Knud, Valdemar went to service the first and was made Jarl of Schleswig; in the fights against Knud Valdemar showed great courage. But Svend's unreliability and his lacking abilities as a regent became more and more clear to V.; Knud's friends aranged an engagement between V. and Knud's halfsister Sophie. When Svend tried to ambush V., he turned to Knud and became his co-regent. After an agreement was made about dividing the country into three by V.'s mediation, Svend treacherously during a gathering in Roskilde assaulted his co-kings; Knud was killed, Valdemar was wounded, but escaped in the darkness. (9 August 1157). He hid for some time in the woods, until he with the help from Esbern managed to cross the waters to Jutland in a terrible storm. In the battle at Grathehede 23. October 1157 Svend suffered a crucial defeat and was killed on his flight. V. showed a great mildness to his opponents, only two of Svend's men were killed after the battle on the request of Knud's warriors.

The first big task V. had to do was to free Denmark from the Wendic attacks and clear the Danish waters for these pirates. During the throne disputes and the inner unrests in the previous generation the Wendic pirates had enjoyed free rein, many districts had been desolate and all the Danish citizens were scared and prevented from doing their daily work. Absalon was elected bishop in 1158, and he saw more clearly than V. how important this case was, but also how to solve it, and he became not only his persevering helper, but a pioneer in this warfare. It seemed to be a very large mission, and it was probably necessary to make an alliance with hertug Henrik Løve in the action against the Wends, yet the advantages in such an alliance were few, and V. and Absalon soon scared the Wends from showing their face in the Danish waters.

The center of the Wendic paganism and pirate-life was still Rügen, and the purpose was to conquer this island and destroy its shrine Arkona. Together with the Pommeranians V. made an expedition and captured Arkona, and on St. Viti Dag 15. June 1169 he made his entry in the castle. Pope Alexander III placed via a papal bull the island under Roskilde bishopric. In several later expeditions, especially to the countries at the Oder-outflow, V. succeeded in restraining both the Wends and the Pommeranians. By putting the war system in order and building fortifications he also took care of the defence of his homeland; he let build a thick and long wall at Danevirke, and a strong tower at Sprogø, surrounded by a fortification-wall.

When V. ascended the throne, the kingdom's relations abroad were unsteady, and the king felt it necessary to pay tribute to the German emperor Frederik, because he asked him to. When the emperor returned from Italy, he had summoned a Rigsdag and a synod at Dole in France Comté. (1162) Here had to be judged in the large church feud between the two popes Victor IV and Alexander III, who both claimed that they were rightfully elected pope, and both had great parties in the various countries. The emperor asked V. to be present, and although Absalon and Esbern advised hom not to, he went down there. Churchwise the meeting was without any importance, since Alexander's followers were not present, but V., who until that point had joined pope Victor, although archbishop Eskil had taken the side of Alexander, discovered the danger in such a support. The oath he had to give Frederik I was of lesser importance, since it did not order him any duties as vasal. Not long after his homecoming V. changed his church-view, and Eskil, who, caused by his hot-tempered attitude towards the king in the church-feud had to leave the country, could come back again.

V. had shortly after his accession to the throne promised the Norwegian chief Erling Skakke his help, if his son Magnus, when he won the throne of Norway, would give Vigen (in Norway) to V. After Magnus had been crowned king (1164), he did not keep his promise, why V. made two expeditions to Norway (1165, 1168), but with little profits. However the trouble was stressing to the Norwegians, and Erling achieved in a visit by Valdemar in Randers 1170 a peace, in which Vigen came to Denmark, but Erling had to be endowed with it. The same year V. had achieved, what he for a long time had worked for in Rome, that his father Knud (Lavard) was declared a saint. In a great celebration in Ringsted the day after St. Hans 1170 (24 June) the papal bull was announced; Knud's bones were placed in a magnificent reliquary. Immediately after this V.'s seven year old son Knud, who already had been acclaimed heir to the throne by the magnates of the country, was anointed and crowned by archbishop Eskil.

During all his rule V. worked closely together with the church. The feud he had for a time with archbishop Eskil was fully made up, and when Eskil resigned, he was by the pope allowed to choose his successor, and he chose Absalon. V. supported the church and kloster in many privileges and favours, he founded the richly equipped Vitskøl kloster as a thanks for his victory over Svend, he established the first Danish Johanitterkloster in Antvorskov for the goods of sick and worn-out warriors, and he gave large gifts to Ringsted kirke and many other churches in the country.

King Valdemar's ruling period was darkened by only few shadows. There were some fatal conspiracies, where Buris Henriksen, Magnus, Erik Lam's son and Eskil's daughter's sons Carl and Knud were guilty; Carl was killed in the fight, the three others were put in lifelong prison at Søborg. V. showed forbearance when dealing with these men, but he might be blamed for being hard and unforgiving during the rebellion of people in Skåne in 1180-81, when they drove away the officials, who were not from Skåne, and denied to pay tax to the bishop and other duties. Saxo does not approve his hard treatment of the rebels, and Svend Ågesen (Aggesen) who was a friend of the Skånings and wrote immediately after the rebellions, seems to blame V. for that he was more cruel to his own people than was right.

Svend praised the king for being an excellent warrior, very handsome, acute, cultured and right-minded, and all agreed in this opinion. His open kindness and complete lack of arrogance won many hearts, everyone esteemed highly his courage and generosity to his enemies . But although he was enthusiastic and resolute, when danger was present and fight was near, he would in quiet circumstances show a slowness around decisions which was not good; a certain shyness in expressing himself let him withhold burst of anger, which would have been natural and at any rate have prevented him from bearing a grudge which became fixed in his mind, which often happened.

Much of what V. fought for became an advantage of his son and came to him almost without effort, says Saxo. And V., who all his life had fought against the narrow-mindedness of the Jutlanders, had on his deathbed at Vordingborg to see that the navy gave up and expedition to the Wend because of the contrary Jutlanders. His fever worsened because of that, and on 12. May he died. The peasants came to bear their king upon their shoulders to his last resting place; he had been the liberator and innovator of the mother country, and here in Ringsted kirke Absalon read deeply touched the soul mass over the king, his fosterbrother.

Valdemar had with Sophie, whom he had married before the battle at Grathehede, 2 sons: Knud and Valdemar, and 6 daughters, Sophie, who married Siegfried of Orlamünde, Richiza, the Swedish king Erik's wife, Ingeborg, married to Pihip August of France, Helene, Vilhelm of Lüneburg's wife and 2 daughters, who became nuns. - Before his marriage V. had with his mistress Tove a son, Christoffer.

From Johannes C.H.R. Steenstrup's Danish text: grethe bachmann
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Family Krognos



Krognos, Holger Gregersen, –1382, belonged to a rich nobility-family in Skåne and owned Vidskøfle. He achieved the accolade already in Valdemar Atterdag's rule and at the king's death he belonged to the most important men in Skåne - he was among those who advised the Jutlanders to elect Oluf king, and he is mentioned both in this king's coronation charter and in the large Recess, which in 1377 came from the Danehof in Nyborg (Nyborg slot). In 1381 he was one of the main leaders in order to make a special peace between Skåne and king Albrecht in Sweden, which probably was not popular with queen Margrete. In this treaty H.G. is mentioned after Skånes gælker, the mighty Tuve Galen ; the year after T.G. was removed and the queen's troups conquered his castle Tustropsø. At this event hr. H.G. was killed, and it is not plucked out of the air when legends from the nobility-family books say that this was at the request of the queen, because he was too mighty for her, but it is a decoration on the story to say that H.G. was murdered by a man, whom Margrete just before had enobled with the strange name Sankepil, and whom she 8 days later had executed. - H.G. was married to Karen Eriksdatter Saltensee, a daughter of Erik Nielsen Saltensee.

Erslev, Dronn. Margrethe S. 86 f. 327.
From Kr. Erslev's Danish text: gb
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
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Krognos, Mourits Olsen,(Olufsen) –1550, son of below mentioned Oluf Stigsen Krognos, inherited much estate after his rich parents, i.e. after his father Krapperup, Bollerup and a part in Klogerup in Skåne and after his mother Bregentved and Ågård, and he bought himself Markie and the halfpart of Claushom which he achieved via marriage to hr. Mogens Gjøes daughter Elline M.O. was in 1525 at court and is mentioned as present in the negotiation with hr. Søren Norby in Landskrona. During the war his Skåne-property had suffered much, but he got a compensation in a big part of the executed Niels Brahe's confiscated estate. In 1526 he was endowed with Lykå, where he in 1532 got a Livsbrev ( to have the vasalry for life) after he the year before had got the castle as a pawn; but Lykå was in 1540 exchanged with Skjoldenæs, which he kept until his death; furthermore he got Han Herred in 1542, but lost this vasalry a few years later. M.O. became a knight already in 1528, but he was never a member of the rigsråd. Like the other Skåne-nobility he had to in the beginning of Grevefejden to assist Grev Christoffer, but renounced his case in 1534. M.O. took part on the grand wedding-entourage, which accompanied princess Anna to Torgau. He died at Skjoldenæs 24 Nov. 1550 and is buried in Ringsted kirke (St. Bendts), where his grave stone (the largest known in Dk) is seen. His widow married Vincents Juel and died 20 Febr. 1563.

Brasch, Gamle Eiere af Bregentved S. 142 ff.
From Thiset's Danish text: gb.
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Carl Fr. Bricka
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Krognos, Oluf Mouritsen, 1535-73, Rigsraad, a son of above mentioned Mourits Olsen (Olufsen) Krognos, was born at Bollerup in Skåne 13. March 1535. After several year's stay abroad, especially in Sachsen, he was employed at hertug Frederik's court at Malmøhus. It seems as if steps were taken for an engagement to Anna Hardenberg, but the young king's accession to the throne prevented the final decision. (Anna H. was Frederik's love of youth). He took part in the Ditmarskerwar in 1559 amd later in the Store Nordiske Syvaarskrig, but without any consequences for him in this or other respects. He blelonged to the rich højadel (high-nobility), which displeased saw the war dragging on, increasing the expenses and difficulties, like the relation to the king felt oppressively. He was delighted about Freden i Stettin (The Peace) in 1570, which closing he had attended as a marshal. In 1571 he was endowed with Helsingborg castle and the following year he became a member of the rigsråd. King Frederik had celebrated his wedding to Sophie of Meklenborg, and it must be an immediate sequence that O.M. 11. Jan 1573 was married to Anne Hardenberg in Vor Frue kirke in Copenhagen. He now had a brilliant position as a vasal and rigsråd, in 1571 he was also elected principal of Herlufsholm, everything indicated a happy and splendid future for this still young nobleman. But only a half year after his wedding and after having been present at a funeral in Voldum kirke, he was stroken by a sudden disease, which after a short sickbed caused his death 25 June 1573. His grieving widow set up the magnificent memorial in Ringsted kirke (St. Bendts), which is one of the finest memorial stones from the Renaissance period. With him the Krognos-family died oput. O.M. had owned the manors Bolleruo, bregentved, Vlausholm and Lerbæk.

Bricka, Frederik II’s Ungdomskjærlighed S. 107 ff.
Brasch, Gamle Eiere af Bregentved S 157 ff.
From Mollerup' s Danish text: gb.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg.

Krognos, Oluf Stigsen,o.1505, Rigsraad, was a son of Hr. Stig Olufsen Krognos ( of Krapperup and Bollerup) and Barbara Brahe and is mentioned from the year 1469. In 1483 he was a knight and in 1492 rigsraad; from 1486 till 1501 he is mentioned as a vasal at Varberg, and in 1505 he was høvedsmand (military chief) at Laholm. O. S. was closely connected to his cousin rigshofmester Poul Laxmand. When archbishop Birger had accused him of having been the instigator of certain treasonable relations with the Swedes during the war in Ditmarsken, O.S. had to renounce this accusation with the oath of 36 men, but this accusation might have been the main cause, why he very soon after the kill of rigshofmester Poul Laxmand withdrew from this case, although he at once had brought Poul Laxmand's children to his house and conducted their case in the rigsråd. With both his wives, Gertrud Knudsdatter Hase and Anne Mouritsdatter Gyldenstierne of Ågård and Bregentved, O.S. increased the estate he had inherited from his rich parents, and the luxurious wedding he held for his daughter of 1. marriage and hr. Tyge Brahe, is well-known. O.S. still lived 26 Aug. 1505, but was dead 23 March 1506. His widow, Anne Mouritsdatter (+ 1545) married the later famous Predbjørn Podebusk.

Brasch, Gamle Eiere af Bregentved S. 41 ff.
From Thiset's Danish text: gb
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Family Banner



According to Saxo thhe family Banner descends from Timme Sjællandsfar, who in a fight in England in the time of Knud den Store gathered the retreating Danes around a banner, which was a green beech-branch upon a spear.


Asdal

Banner, Anders Nielsen, –1486, Rigsraad, was one of the richest and most respected noblemen in the 15th century. After his father, hr. Niels Eriksen Banner, he had inherited Vinstrup in Sjælland, and after his mother, the well-known and rich fru Johanne Andersdatter (Panter), he inherited the old manor Asdal, and in his marriage to Kirsten Eriksdatter Gyldenstierne, a widow after Gotskalk Andersen of Kokkedal he also achieved Kokkedal; furthermore he owned several lesser main manors, Højris, Assendrup, Drefsholm etc. In 1452 he is mentioned as Ridder and as a member of rigsrådet. In 1470 he was a vasal at Ålborghus, to which the family was closely connected, since both his father and his son and son's son had it later. During the king's stay in Norway in 1486 hr. Anders was together with the bishop of Ribe and Oluf Mortensen Gyrstinge installed to lead the government in Jutland, but before the year had gone he died. After fru Kirsten's death he had married Sophie Mogensdatter Galt. His long-winding lawsuits were famous, i.e. with the dean of Børglum and the prior in Hundslund kloster, he even got a papal excommunication caused by that, which he however was released from by the king and the rigsråd.

Danmarks Adels Aarbog 1885, S. 47.
From
Thiset's Danish text: gb.
Dansk biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg



Kalø

Banner, Erik Eriksen, o. 1484-1554, Rigsraad and later Rigsmarsk, one of the most important leaders of the Lutheranian Adelsparti (nobility party) in the reformation-period; he was a son of Erik Andersen Banner of Kokkedal and Asdal and Karen Gjøe (Gøye) (his father was a son of above mentioned Anders Nielsen Banner) . (Is there a family-relation to Mogens Gjøe/Gøye via his mother ?) In 1514 he was endowed with Kalø slot, which he kept until his death. Here he received in 1518 Gustav Eriksson (Vasa) as a prisoner, after Christian II in a deceitful manner had brought him to Denmark from Sweden. The prisoner enjoyed a fine freedom at Kalø, and in 1519 when E.B. was concerned about the arming for Christian II's new expedition to Sweden, Gustav Vasa escaped to Lübeck, from where E.B. in vain attempted to have him handed over. E.B. had to give Christian II 1600 gylden, which was a very large sum of money at that time, and later he did not succeed in getting some compensation from king Gustav, who claimed that he had not promised E.B. not to take flight. It is not possible to prove some family-relation between E.B. and Gustav Vasa via the Swedish family, who later called itself Banér. There was no change in E.B.'s relation to Christian II; when the rebellion broke out in December 1522, E.B. joined Mogens Gjøe's party and tried like him and one of his brother-in-laws Oluf Nielsen Rosenkrantz to mediate between the rebels and the king, while his other brother-in-law, Tyge Krabbe was the most important leader of the rebellion. Like Mogens Gjøe E.B. also first denounced loyalty to Christian II, when hertug Frederik's army stood in Jutland and the king's followers were threatened on life and property. His name is found in Frederik I's jyske håndfæstning (Jutland coronation charter) from 26. March 1523; at the same time he became a member of rigsrådet, followed hertug Christian and Johan Rantzau to Funen, took a part in the siege of Copenhagen, but mostly stayed in Jutland, where he was among the rigsråd-members, king Frederik during his absence had installed as viceregents. Like Mogens Gjøe E.B. early joined the reformation and supported in various ways the Lutheranian preachers, In his own parish church at Kalø the preacher Simon Skjønning became parish priest. The indignation of the Catholic party was therefore aimed against both E.B. and Mogens Gjøe. The well-known senior lecturer Poul Helgesen (Paulus Helie) said about him that he in his initiative drove Mogens Gjø ahead. During the tiende-unrests, ( the peasants had to pay one tenth of their income in tax) which took place in Jutland, the peasants of Kalø vasalry were also unwilling to pay taxes to the bishop, and king Frederik had to beg E.B. to see to that the bishop of Århus got his income. E.B. was said to be very popular with the peasants. When Christian II's armaments in 1531 raised a strong opposition in Jutland, especially against the hated Mogens Munk, then it was also E.B. and Mogens Gjø who in their coolness had to put a brake on the opposition.

After Frederik I's detath (10 April 1533), he participated in the Jutland council's meeting in Karup (1. May), where various steps werre made in order to secure Jutland's safety, and on the big Herredag ( nobility/meeting ), which was held in Copenhagen about the king-election, he again supported Mogens Gjøe's efforts to have hertug Christian elected king ; and he did not co-seal the recess of 3 July where they tried to put obstacles in the way of the Lutheranian teachings, and at last he left Herredagen together with Mogens Gjøe, protesting against his brother-in-law Tyge Krabbe's and the other bishop-friends' behaviour, which hindered the holding of the king-election. E.B. was also among the noblemen, who together with Mogens Gjøe persuaded bishop Joachim Rønnov to let Hans Tausen come back to Copenhagen. In November the same year E.B. was among the delegates to hertug Christian on the occassion of the ratification of the Union-tractate with the hertugdømmerne (duchys), and he attempted with Mogens Gjøe and the leaders of the democratic-Lutheranian party, Ambrosius Bogbinder and Jørgen Kock to persuade hertug Christian (against the will of the rigsråd) to accept the Danish throne, which did not succeed this time. When the time came for the holding of the new king-election in Copenhagen in June 1534, various meetings were held at E.B.'s castle Kalø concerning the coming election. But when the Grevefejden (civil war) suddenly broke out, he took part in the meetings in Ry kirke 4 June and 4. July, where the Jutland council declared for hertug Christian, and he was then the main leader of the nobility during the Clementsfejden, during which both Asdal and Kokkedal (his estates in Vendsyssel) probably were burnt down.
After the defeit of the nobility at Svendstrup he organized a resistance in Randers which meant that both Kalø and the land south of Gudenå were saved. When hertug Christian sent Johan Rantzau to Jutland , E.B. was installed with him as chief of the army in Jutland and he became after Skipper Clement's defeit in Ålborg endowed with Ålborghus. The hard punishments of the rebellious peasants caused again some opposition in Vendsyssel, and E.B was sent together with Mogens Gjøe in order to calm them down. During this he got an enemy up there, the bishop of Børglum ,Stygge Krumpen, who was very displeased with the newly elected Lutheranian king, and it seemed that Stygge Krumpen had added fuel to the fire, he was also accused of having forbidden the peasants to pay their ordered taxes, he gathered them at the Thing and said that he would never do as E.B. had done, namely hang people or put them on the wheel , like he did. He probably referred to the fates of Skipper Clement himself and the other leaders of the peasants. But E.B. knew how to hit the sour bishop, he let him hear what people talked about that Stygge Krumpen during the feud "had been hiding in Peder Ridemand's baking oven." Or else there is no traceable personal strictness against the peasants in E.B.'s behaviour, he was always said to be well liked by the peasants.

During Christian III´s rule E.B. continued in an important position, in 1538 he followed the king to the Schmalkaldic fyrstemøde (prince-meeting) in Brunsvig, and after Tyge Krabbe's death he became rigsmarsk in 1541 and took part the same year in the kings-meeting in Brømsebro where he for the first time since the events in 1519 stood face to face with king Gustav.In 1542 he was the chief of the Danish troups sent as an assistance to king Gustav on the occasion of the Dacke-Feud. In 1547 he was together with other councillors sent to Nürnberg to mediate in order to avoid the outbreak of the Schmalkaldic war and was used in many various assignments up to his death at Kalø 28. March 1554.

E.B. had first been engaged to Karen Rosenkrantz, a daughter ot Christian II's hofmester (master at court) Niels Eriksen Rosenkrantz of Bjørnsholm ( in the Kalø-Area: present name Høegholm) and fru Birgitte Olufsdatter Thott of Vallø; when Karen died before the wedding, he later married her sister Mette Rosenkrantz, died at Kalø 13. April 1533. In January 1537 he married Margrethe Gyldenstierne , a daughter of Henrik Knudsen Gyldenstierne of Iversnæs ( Wedellsborg) etc. and fru Karen Bille, a sister of the famous brothers Mogens Gyldenstierne and Knud Gyldenstierne, bishop at funen; she died shortly after her husband, 1 Dec. 1554, and was like him buried in Torslev kirke at Kokkedal, where is a large grave stone with portraits of him and his two wives. Via inheritance in his marriages, buying estate and exchanging property E.B. had become one of the richest nobles in Denmark; he owned Asdal and Kokkedal in Vendsyssel, Højris at Mors, Gjessingholm(Løvenholm) in the Randers-area, Rygård at Sjælland etc. -
In spite of his excellent position as rigsråd and rigsmark he was never honoured with the accolade, probably because he as a protestant did not want it. From his seven children is the below mentioned Frants Banner the most known. E.B. writes the name "Banner" in the order in 1526 about the permanent family names of the nobility.

A. Heise, Fam. Rosenkrantz’ s Hist. II, passim.

From A. Heise's Danish text: gb.
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Carl Fr. Bricka
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Banner, Frants, –1575, was a son of the above mentioned marsk Erik Eriksen Banner and his first wife. He is mentioned for the first time in 1546, when he was endowed with the deanery in Århus, he was probably already at the court at that time, 2 years after he and his brother Axel were in the grand wedding-entourage, which accompanied princess Anna to Sachsen. In 1550 he became a vasal at Holbæk, but left this vasalry in 1554, when he after his father's death became his successor as vasal at Kalø. Here he only stayed for 3 years, but was then endowed with Børglum kloster, which he kept until the year before his death. During the Nordic Seven-Years-War he was ritmester of the Jutland banner (captain of the cavalry) and took part in the battle at Svarteraa. After his father he inherited Kokkedal and with his wife, Anne Johansdatter Oxe, Peder Oxe's sister, he got Gisselfeld and Rygård at sjælland, the last manor he exchanged with Ø kloster in Jutland, which he to honour his wife gave the name Oxholm. F.B. died in 1575 and was buried 24. July in Torslev kirke. Fru Anne, who only survived her husband in 6 years had given him 2 daughters.

Danmarks Adels Aarbog 1885, S. 48.
From Thiset's Danish text:gb
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Banner, Niels Eriksen, –o.1447, Rigsraad, was a son of hr. Erik Thomsen of Vinstrup in Sjælland, whose wife was Ingerd Pedersdatter. He inherited his paternal manor(Vinstrup), of which he is written in 1421; in 1438 he was rigsråd and vasal at Skivehus and took part in the rebellion against king Erik (of Pommern) and in king Christoffers summoms; in 1442 he was vasal at Ålborghus,which he probably kept until his death. He is mentioned for the last time as living in 1447. Hr. Niels was married to Johanne Andersdatter, who had a gaily coloured panter in her coat of arms and was of the same family as the famous drost Laurents (Laurids) Jonsen, known from king Christoffer II's time. In her youth she was kidnapped by hr. Bonde Due, who married her. When she after B.D's death married N.E. he became the owner of her father's manor Asdal. She survived him in many years, lead a grand household and was held in that great respect that she according to the family books' reports was a member of the rigsråd, and in 1463 was royal høvedsmand (chief) in Vendsyssel. She died in 1479 and was buried beside her husband Niels in Dueholm klosterkirke.

Danmarks Adels Aarbog 1885, S. 47.
From Thiset's Danish text: gb.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Three Daughters of Knud Lavard and Ingeborg of Russia







 Knud Lavard and Ingeborg had three daughters: Margrethe, married to Stig Hvide (Hvidelæder), Kirsten(Christine) married to the Norwegian king Magnus Sigurdsson (den Blinde) and Cathrine, who probably was married to the Wendic prince Prizlav. Eight days after Knud's murder and probably before the tragic news had reached Schleswig, their son Valdemar was born.

1) Margrethe; (no exact information about Margrethe), but she was married to Stig Hvide (Hvidelæder) and had a daughter Christine and two sons, Niels and Aage. She was probably named after Ingeborg's aunt Margrethe Fredkulla.

Hvide, Stig, –1151, Høvding, is known as the founder of the impressive Benedictine-kloster Essenbæk at Randers and as a follower of Svend Grathe and Valdemar. In the battle at Viborg in 1151, where the two kinsmen won over Knud Magnussen, Stig Hvide was killed.

He must be the "Stig Hvidelæder" (White Skin), who in the Knytlinga-Saga is said to be married to Valdemar's eldest sister, Margrethe. In this marriage was born Christine(Kirsten), who married the Swedish king Carl Sverkersen(1163) and became the mother of Sverker II. Stig Hvide and Margrethe also had the sons Niels and Aage, who distinguished themselves in the violent fight against the Estonian and Kuriske pirates (1170). It is also told about Aage, that he was the leader of the magnates, who followed the pope's proclamation and went out to contribute to conquer Jerusalem, but had to restrict himself to a peaceful pilrimage (1191-93).

Other information start:
Toke Ebbesen and Gyda's son was Stig Tokesen Hvide/Stig Hvidelæder Tokesen/ Stig Hvita), born ab. 1120, died 1152 in the battle by Gedebæk near Viborg. Stig Tokesen was married to Margrethe Knudsdatter, born ab. 1129 , a daughter of Knud Lavard and a sister of Valdemar the Great. Stig Tokesen Hvide and Margrethe Knudsdatter had a son: Toke Stigsen Hvide, his son: Anders Tokesen Hvide, his son: Stig Andersen Hvide, marsk. His wives were ladies of the Hvide-family, but he was actually a Hvide himself.
Other information finished.

It is doubtful if the kæmpevise (giant folksong) "Ridder Stigs Fald" as the king's brave standard bearer had Stig Hvide's fall at Viborg as the starting-point, and the song about Ridder Stig's attempt to win "Liden Kirsten's" love with the help of magic runes - which work on the king's sister Regitze instead - lack historical character.

Grundtvig, Danmarks gl. folkeviser II, 303. III,9.
Hans Olrik; Knud Lavard.
(Svensk) Hist.Tidsskrift 1891, S. 290.


From Hans Olriks texst:grethe bachmann
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon,
Carl Frederik Bricka
Project Runeberg.

2) Kirsten
(Christine), born ab.1118– , Knud Lavard's and Ingeborg's second daughter, was engaged to the Norwegian king Magnus Sigurdsson in 1132, but caused by her youth the marriage took place the following year. Shortly after Kirsten's father's brother Erik (Emune) took flight to Norway; but since the unreliable king Magnus thought about handing over his guest to his enemies, Kirsten hurried to reveal her husband's schemes; Erik cunningly got away, but as a revenge Magnus repudiated his young queen. Kirsten now lived in Denmark; she is mentioned as a witness, when Erik Lam issued a gift letter to Odense kloster (1141), but her later life is unknown. A folksong let king Valdemar's sister "liden Kirsten" be danced (or whipped) to death by her brother, because she was seduced by prince Buris, but from chronological reasons "liden Kirsten" cannot be Knud Lavard's daughter, and it is very doubtful if this folk song has got a truthful base in the history of that time. (Dansk Biografisk Lexicon calls her Kirsten, but the variation Christine is more likely. Her maternal grandmother was named Christine.)

Grundtvig, Danm. gl. Folkeviser III, 63 ff. Nord. Maanedsskr. 1875, S. 436 ff. H. Olrik, Knud Lavard. J. Steenstrup, Vore Folkeviser.

From Hans Olrik's Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
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3)Cathrine,
married to the Wendic prince Prizlav. They had a son Knud Prizlavsen:

Knud
(Prizlavsen), –1183, prince, was a son of the Wendic prince Prizlav, whom Valdemar as a thanks for his good services had given him his sister Cathrine in marriage and large properties in Denmark. Knud was thus Valdemar's sister's son, and he inherited large estates at Funen and the island Als and he had Lolland as a vasalry. He participated in the Wendic fights, but did not reach the same fame as his father Prizlav. When Valdemar after the expedition to Stettin in 1171 wanted to make him chief of the war ships at Rügen, he did not want to have such a dangerous job, since he only had such a small vasalry. Valdemar got angry, and Absalon got the command of the navy. Knud's relation to Valdemar grew well again, he was in the king's entourage among the "elskede mænd" (most trusted men), who witnessed the gift letter to Esrom in 1176. Knud made himself popular with the king by building a castle at the coast of Funen. (probably Nyborg). Knud was in the brotherhood of the monks in Sct. Knud's kloster in Odense and bought a burial place in their church; when he felt he was about to die , he gave (20 Nov. 1183) the kloster all his estate upon the island Als, if the monks would celebrate soul Masses for him, as if he was one of their own. As a prince Knud had a double seal; upon one side was a warrior horseman, on the other side a leopard, which referred to his family relation to the dynasty.

From Hans Olrik Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dagmar and Berengaria, Valdemar's two queens



Dagmar, –1212, Valdemar Sejr's first queen, was a daughter of king Premysl Ottokar I of Bohemia and Adela of Meissen. Ottokar had been living in ab. 20 years of marriage to Adela, when he under the pretext of too close kinship applied for divorce (ab. 1198) and married Constantia of Hungary. Adela went with her children, 1 son and 3 daughters to her homeland and applied in vain during many years via help from the Pope to regain her rights; she died in a kloster, which she had established in Meissen 1211. One of the daughters became an abbess and was after her death considered a saint, another got married in Bavaria. The third daughter, Dagmar, was brought to Denmark as king Valdemar's bride in 1205. Her mother's hard fate had probably early matured Dagmar and developed the best sides of her character, as queen of Denmark she won the Danish people's love and affection, and she was described in contemporary poetry as the paragon of a faithful wife and humble Christian and as the princess, who always wanted to ease the life of the suffering. The Danes gave her a name which bears witness of this. Her church name was Margareta/Margrethe , the other was a Slavic name Dragomir/Drahomir (meaning peace-loving) was by the Danes changed into Dagmar - like Vladimir became Valdemar - among people her name was interpreted as Dagens Mø (Dag-Maar).(a beautiful lady).

Historical sources know little about her, but they know like the folk songs that she influenced king Valdemar to free his relative, bishop Valdemar, who had been Valdemar's prisoner for 13 years. In 1209 she gave birth to the son Valdemar. After only 7 years of marriage she died 24 May 1212. A beautiful folk song was written and sung by people about her illness and Valdemar's long ride to come to her deathbed. The folksong says that when Valdemar kneeled at her bier, she woke up and told him about her last pious wishes and about her gnawing self-reproach , because she had sinned "on Sundays I have laced up my sleeves". Dagmar's grave is in Ringsted kirke (St. Bendts) beside Valdemar's; when it was opened in 1855, it was empty.

Schiern, Hist. Studier II, 208 ff. Grundtvig, Danmarks Folkeviser III.
After Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup's Danish text: grethe bachmann
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Berengaria, –1221, Valdemar Sejr's second queen, was the youngest daughter of king Sancho I of Portugal and queen Aldonca. When her mother died in 1198 after 24 years of marriage and after having given birth to 11 children, B. was probably born after 1192. After the mother's death B. was brought up by her eldest sister who had been married to king Alfonso of Leon. The Portuguese chronicles assume that she died unmarried , but maybe she during the sisters' feud with their eldest brother king Alfonso I of Portugal, went to her younger brother, Ferdinand, who via his marriage to (Jeanne de Flandre) had become a count of Flandern, and from there she could easlily be known in Denmark.

In 1214 she was married to king Valdemar. She became the mother of 3 kings, but died already 27. March 1221, leaving a reputation about a great beauty, but also about arrogance and strictness, especially against the peasanttry. This rumour was taken up by the folk poetry and used freely, since the folk songs changed her name into "Bengjærd" which was not flattering. When her grave was opened in 1855, the bone structure confirmed the rumour about her beauty; but there some trouble around the grave after her death also indicated the hatred against her. None of her sons named their daughters after her.
(Note : The last remark is hostile. We don't know all those daughters of her sons.)

Duarte Nunez, Primeira parte das Chronicas dos reis de Portugal, reformadas, Bl. 64 v. Suhm, Hist. af Danmark IX. Worsaae, Kongegravene i Ringsted Kirke.
After J. Kinch's Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg


Article in Thyra-blog from Dec. 2005:
Queen Berengaria of Denmark

Skt. Bendts Church, Ringsted



When queen Berengaria's grave was opened in 1885, they found her thick plait of hair, her finely formed skull and finely built body bones. A portrait drawing was made to show how she might have looked. Berengaria was a daughter of king Sancho I of Portugal and queen Aldonca and a descendant of Robert Capet. She was married on May 3rd 1214 to king Valdemar II Sejr of Denmark. She became the mother of three kings, but she died already on March 27th 1221 and was buried in Sankt Bendts Church in Ringsted, the burial place for the early Danish kings and queens.

Her three sons and a daughter with Valdemar:
Erik IV Plovpenning, born 1216 , king from 1241-1250; he was murdered by his brother Albert at Slien August 9th 1250. Erik was married to Jutta of Saxony.
Albert, born ab. 1218, king from 1250-1252, was killed in a battle against the Frisians at the peninsula Eiderstedt June 29th 1252. Married to Mechtilde of Holstein.
Christopher I, born 1219, king 1252-1259, died in Ribe May 29th 1259, possibly poisoned by alter wine. Married to Margrethe Sambiria of Pommern.
Sophie, who was married to Johan 1. of Brandenburg in 1236. She died November 2nd 1247.

Eleonora of Portugal, Berengaria's niece, was a daughter of Berengaria's brother, king Alfonso II el Pancudo and Urraca of Castile, she was married in 1231 to Valdemar the Young, Valdemar's son with his first queen, Dagmar of Bohemia. Eleonora was born in 1211 and died in childbirth August 28th 1231, her child died the same year. Valdemar the Young was killed by an accidental shot at Refsnæs November 28th 1231. Buried in Ringsted with Eleonora.

photo Ringsted St.Bendt's kirke: grethe bachmann

Saturday, October 3, 2009

5 x Ingeborg



Ingeborg, –1319, queen, was a daughter of the Swedish king Magnus Ladelaas (+ 1290) in his marriage to grev Gerhard(Gert) of Holsteins daughter Helvig and was probably born shortly after her parents' wedding in November 1276. In 1288 she became betrothed to the little older Danish king Erik Menved, and in 1296 their wedding was held in Helsingborg; the papal dispensation, which was necessary caused by their close family-relations, came first several years later, because Erik had a feud with archbishop Jens Grand. Ingeborg is praised by the contemporary historians, who call her lovely and friendly, the Swedish Erik-Chronicle calls her "Danebod", and in Denmark her wedding was sung about in a folk song similar to the Dagmar-song. (about queen Dagmar). In the politics of that time she plays no part, but she was probably sad about the endless fight in Sweden among her brothers, king Birger and the dukes Erik and Valdemar, which ended in the two duke's death in prison, ordered by their brother king Birger, who came to Denmark in exile. Her own marriage was unhappy, she had several children, some sources say 8, some say 14, but most of them were embryonic, and the few who lived after birth, died as babies; the last and youngest child, 14 weeks old, was killed when falling out from the queen's wagon under the drive from Abrahamstrup (Jægerspris) to Holbæk in 1318. After this last tragedy Ingeborg withdrew to Clara Kloster in Roskilde, or she might have been shut up by her husband; she was afraid of what might happen next; in a dialogue with the Roskilde bishop Oluf she foretold that both her own, the king's and the bishop's death were soon to come. She died 15 August 1319 a few months before her husband and was buried at his side in Ringsted.

Suhm, Hist. af Danmark XI, 32. 36. 222. 389. 828. 839 f.
From Kr. Erslev's Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg.


Ingeborg, –1131–, daughter of the Russian prince Mstislav and Christine , a daughter of the Swedish king Inge; she married Knud Lavard (ab. 1116). The legendary story about Knud's courting her via the merchant Vidgaut is not historical; the marriage was due to Ingeborg's aunt, her mother's sister queen Margrethe Fredkulla, who even gave Ingeborg a part of her own Swedish paternal estate as a dowry. Ingeborg advised Knud against going to the Christmas feast in Roskilde (1130-) -, eight days after his murder she gave birth to the son Valdemar (January 1131). She and Knud had also three daughters, Margrethe, Kirsten and Cathrine. When the høvdingen (chief) Christiern Svendsen after king Erik Emune's kill wanted to make the little Valdemar king, Ingeborg opposed strongly. From this time she is not mentioned anymore.

H. Olrik, Knud Lavard.

From Hans Olrik's Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Ingeborg, –1267, a daughter of Esbern Snare and his third wife, Helene; Ingeborg was married to the respected magnate Peder Strangesen (+ 1241). While he had a judicial feud with Sorø kloster about the ownership of the estate, which Ingeborg's brother Johannes Marsk had given the kloster, fru Ingeborg showed to be a benefactor of Sorø kloster during her widowhood. With the consent of her family, among those her halfbrother hertug Knud, she conveyed all her estate in Bringstrup and Ørslev to the kloster. (1250). Likewise she gave Århus domkirke gifts in honour of Hellig Niels. Ingeborg is mostly called Ingeborg of Kalundborg after her father's borg, where she lived as a mighty lady. But during the tension between the Danish royalty and hertug Erik Abelsen, Ingeborg's son Anders, who once was Abel's marsk, was on the hertug's side, he was in his entourage after his victory at Lohede (1261), and Ingeborg herself also favoured Abel's family; so she was the next year driven out of Kalundborg and died in Schleswig in 1267. .

From Hans Olrik's Danish text: grethe bachmann.

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg

Ingeborg,
queen of France, ab.1175-o.1237. Ingeborg was a daughter of king Valdemar I and his wife Sophie. When she was marriageable, bishop Stephan of Noyon and other messengers from king Philip August of France arrived in order to ask her hand in marriage at her brother king Knud. King Philip had thoughts about attacking England, why his suggestions were that his bride's dowry was the Danish kings' right to the English throne and leave him the Danish army and navy for one year. But king Knud and his men wouldn't accept this; a marriage was however arranged on the condition that Ingeborg brought a dowry of 10.000 Mark silver. Ingeborg was sent to France in a prominent entourage; bishop Peder Sunesen of Roskilde was there, and maybe also Abbed Vilhelm of Æbelholt kloster, who had worked eagerly in favour of the marriage.

Ingeborg was by all contemporaries described as a graceful and amiable woman, pious, modest, chaste, while the groom, who was a widower since 1190, when his queen, Elisabeth of Hainault died, was described as a capricious husband, who had even threatened to repudiate his wife. It was also known that Philip was a skilled, but calculating and self-willed regent. Ingeborg arrived at Amiens 14 August 1193, and the wedding took place the same day; the next day both husband and wife were crowned in a great ceremony. But already during this the king's aversion to his bride was obvious; he was pale and trembled, and as soon as the ceremony ended, he thought about divorce. He later claimed that black magic had been brought on him and made him feel an invincible detest of Ingeborg; people whispered that the king had found bodily faults , but this seems to be a fabrication from the imaginative Philip. He wanted to send Ingeborg home at once, but the Danish messengers as well as Ingeborg declined to do so, and now the king commanded her entourage to leave France. Philip then tried to have the marriage dissolved by proving a too close kinship between his first wife, Elisabeth and Ingeborg: a false family tree was put up and after an assembly of bishops and barons, all obedient servants of Philip and partly bribed by him, had sworn the family tree's correctness, the archbishop of Reims declared the marriage dissolved.

Ingeborg ,who did not understand French, hardly knew what was going on; when the judgment ws proclaimed she was assigned a residence in or at the kloster Cysoing at Douai, where she spent her time with prayers, reading and needlework. But the hard-hearted king wouldnt' even give her enough for her support. King Knud started moving in order to come to his sister's assistance; the old abbed Vilhelm and kansler Anders Sunesen went to Rome, and when Ingeborg also sent her complaints, pope Celestin III declared the judgment null and void. (1195); but the weak and anxious pope dared only adressing king Philip with admonitions. When the Danish messengers came to France, they were held prisoners for 6 weeks by the duke of Burgund, until clerical friends succeeded in getting them free; but their negotiations with the French king were futile. Philip married shortly after Agnes of Meran (June 1196), while Ingeborg was imprisoned at a castle, and later in the nunnery Fervaques at St. Quentin-en-Vermandois.

The old man Celestin III died in 1198; his successor the young energetic Innocents III, took at once care of the unhappy princesse Ingeborg's business. But then started a new stale of woe for Ingeborg, who for some years had lived quietly in the kloster. She was brought to a new prison, and first when a papal grant had proclaimed Interdikt over France, which was hard on the French people, Philip gave up his stubbornness and declared that he would show Ingeborg all royal honour; then the Interdikt was broken off. (Sept. 1200). Next year a divorce case started in Soissons, but as it went on, Philip grew afraid of an unfavourable judgment, and he suddenly took Ingeborg with him and declared that he wouldn't divorce her. The divorce case had to stop, but Ingeborg was now sent to a new and harder imprisonment in Étampes, where she got poor support and had to do without the comfort of a priest and the help of a physician, while she was completely without communication to her home. First after many of pope Innocent's political plans failed and he knew he had to reach a better understanding with Philip (1207), a little more favourable conditions began for Ingeborg.

Thus the great European politics influenced on Ingeborg's fate - and at last luckily. Innocents had confiscated Englands' throne from the disobedient Johan uden Land, and king Philip, whom the pope had handed over the job to carry out the judgment, prepared to conquer England. He wanted to support his rights by having a wife, who was a descendant of the kings of England; he therefore declared in Soissons in 1213, that he again took Ingeborg as his wife. (Queen Agnes had died in 1201). Althoug Ingeborg only won an appearant position and a formal right, her unhappy years had ended.

Ingeborg lived in various cities (Pontoise, St.Germain-en-Laye, Orleans) and sacrificed herself for charity and pious deeds; her firmness and patience during all her sufferings had won the respect of everybody. Ingeborg became a widow at Philip's death in 1223. She showed reverence to her husband's memory, and to his son and son's son the kings Ludvig VIII and Ludvig IX with whom she had good relations.When her brother Valdemar Sejr had to be bought out from his imprisonment, she gave her contribution to the ransom. She died 29 (30?) July 1237 (maybe 1238). A beautifully written Psalter with rich miniatures, which had belonged to her and where she had written the date of death of her parents, is still kept.

R. Davidsohn, Philipp II August von Frankreich u. Ingeborg (1888). Udvalg af L. Engelstofts Skrifter I. A. Fabricius, Ingeborg, Philip Augusts Dronning (1870).

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

Ingeborg, Hertuginde af Mecklenborg 1347- ab 1370, daughter of Valdemar Atterdag and Helvig, born 1. April 1347. She was only 3 years old, when her father's politics already decided her fate; instead of an older sister Margrethe, who died, she was betrothed to Albrecht of Mecklenborg's eldest son, Henrik (+ 1383). According to the agreement, the little princess was brought to Germany; already in 1354 she was fetched back, but the marriage was carried out, probably in 1362, when the Mecklenborg- princes gave a receipt for a part of her dowry. Ingeborg died very young, but she had 4 children, the son Albrecth (+1388), whom king Valdemar promised the throne in Denmark, and who also claimed the kingdom, both after Valdemar's and later after king Oluf's death; and three daughters, of whom Maria became the mother of Erik of Pommern, while a daughter by the name Ingeborg later became an abbess in Ribbnitz kloster and was friendly with her aunt queen Margrethe until her own death in 1408.

Suhm, Hist. af Danmark XIII, 176. 227. 229. 233. 298. 462. 690 f.

From Kr. Erslev's Danish text: grethe bachmann.
Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg