Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ingeborg, –1131–, was a daughter of the Russian prince (Grossfürst) Mstislav 1. and Christine, a daughter of the Swedish king Inge Stenkilsson, who had spent much of his life in Russia and got married in Russia to Helena who probably was a Russian.

Ingeborg's father Mstislav of Kiev was a son of prince Vladimir I Monomachos of Kiev and (Gytha?). He built numerous churches in Novgorod, and a cathedral of St. Anthony Cloister from 1117 survives to the present day. Later he built important churches in Kiev. He was the last ruler of the united Rus.

Mstislaw married princess Christine of Sweden in 1095. They had many children and among those was Ingeborg, who is referred to in several names Ingeborg of Russia, Ingeborg of Novgorod, Ingeborg of Kiev. Most of her sisters and brothers were married in Russia, but she had a sister Malmfred whose first marriage was to Sigurd 1. Jorsalfar of Norway and her second marriage to Erik, a illegitimate brother of Knud Lavard, (Knud was the only legitimate son of Erik Ejegod and Bodil Thrugotsdatter) . Erik and Malmfred were married in ab. 1130 and in 1134 Erik became Danish king as Erik II (byname Emune = meaning "the always remembered") He was killed 18. July 1137 on a thing-meeting in Schleswig, it was said that his killer was the nobleman Sorteplov. He left Malmfred and a frillesøn (an illegitimate son).

Ingeborg' and Malmfred's mother Christine died on January 18, 1122, and their father Mstislaw later married Liubava Dmitrievna , the daughter of a nobleman from Novgorod. Their children were Vladimir II Mstislavich and Euphrosyne of Kiev who was married to king Geza II of Hungary in 1146. Through Euphrosyne Mstislaw is an ancestor of king Edward II of England and hence of all subsequent English and British monarchs. Through his mother Gytha? (was Vladimir married to Gytha, or was she a mistress?) he is part of a line between Harold II of England and the modern line of English kings founded by William the Conqueror??? Doubtful.

So, two sisters married two brothers. Ingeborg and Knud Lavard, Malmfred and Erik Emune. They both lost their husbands in a tragic way. Ingeborg and Knud Lavard's history is the most famous.

Ingeborg married Knud Lavard in ab. 1116. The legendary tale about Knud's proposal via the merchant Vidgaut is not historically correct, the marriage was due to Ingeborg's mother's sister queen Margrethe Fredkulla, who even gave Ingeborg a part of her Swedish paternal estate for dowry. Ingeborg advised in vain Knud against his going to the Christmas meeting in Roskilde in 1130 . He was murdered by his cousin Magnus on January 7. 1131 in Haraldsted skov, and eight days later Ingeborg gave birth to a son who was named Vladimir after his great grandfather and who became the Danish king Valdemar I the Great. Beforehand Knud and Ingeborg had three daughters Margrethe, Kirsten and Cathrine. When the chief Christiern Svendsen (he was Knud Lavard's cousin, a son of Bodil Thrugotsdatter's brother Svend) after the kill of Erik Emune wanted to crown the little Valdemar king in 1137, Ingeborg opposed most strongly against it . After this time she is not mentioned in history anymore.

See article Knud Lavard on my Thyra-blog.

Dansk biografisk lexicon


Monday, April 27, 2009

The Thrugot-family/Thrugot-Slægten

Bodil Thrugotsdatter, born ab. 1065, was a daughter of Jarl Thrugot Ulvsen Fagerskind and Thorgunna Vagnsdatter. According to Saxo she was already married to Erik Ejegod in the beginning of Oluf Hunger's rule,(1086-95) when she followed him in exile to Sweden, so she might have been about 20-21 years in the first year of her marriage. Erik was born in 1056 , and he became king in 1095 after Oluf Hunger's death. It was said that he was the son among Svend Estridsen's many sons whom people loved the most. He was tall and strong. Saxo praised Bodil's beauty as well as her character, especially her tolerance towards her husband and his mistresses. It was usual for a king in those days to have many mistresses and illegitimate children. Erik had four known children with various mistresses (friller). Bodil and Erik's only child was Knud Lavard, who was born in 1096.

The church began to strengthen the marriage which must be the frame of the family, but it took some years ...many years. There was no clear-cut boundary line between children born in or out of wedlock. The last, the so-called slegfredbørn (illegitimate) were hardly in worse positions than the legitimate children - if only their father acknowledged them. Fx Svend Estridsen had 20 children out of wedlock with 20 different women , and five of the sons became kings. Most important was the blood- or family bands with a certain priority for the male line. But the church had the last word. Those loose sexual relations were condemned, the church achieved authority in matrimonial cases, and it forbid divorce between husband and wife.

In 1095 the Pope Urban 2. organized the first crusade to the holy land and a year later the crusaders gathered at Konstantinopel. From Denmark came Svend Estridsen's son Sven and a couple of bishops, but already on their way to the crusaders' army they were killed by Turks. In 1103 Erik Ejegod and Bodil went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but they did not survive either. They followed the old route of the Vikings along the Russian rivers with a large entourage. Bishop Asser, queen Bodil's nephew was together with Harald Kesja, Eriks half brother, installed as temporary regents in Denmark. King Erik died at Cypres, ab. 47 years of age, and queen Bodil died in Jersusalem, ab. 38 years of age. She died at Oliebjerget and was buried in Josafat's Dal. This happened in 1103 shortly before Asser Svendsen, her nephew and a member of the Thrugot-family became the first archbishop in Lund. And the orphan boy Knud was only seven years old.

Bodil's father Thrugot Ulfsen/Ulvsen Fagerskind was obviously a good-looking guy; Harald Hardrade gave him the by-name Fagerskind (pretty skin), a name that followed him forever. His father was the famous Jarl Galicie-Ulf/Ulv (Ulf the Galiciefarer) who was wellknown for his sea-expeditions. Galicia in the northwestern part of Spain was one of the first kingdoms in Europe, and during the 9th and 10th centuries Normans and Vikings occassionally raided the coasts. The Towers of Catoria were built as a system of fortifications to stop the Viking raids on Santiago de Compostela. Ulv was a høvding (chief) in Jutland and a Jarl in Denmark, so it's easy to imagine that he was one of the Viking-chiefs on the Galicia-raids. And when he returned home with rich booty from Spain he quickly achieved the Galicia-name. His son Thrugot had the Galicia-name too, but if he inherited it after his father or because he followed in his father's footsteps to Galicia is not sure. Ulv's wife and Thrugots mother was Bodil Haakonsdatter, a daughter of Haakon Ladejarl Eriksson and Gunhild Burislawsdatter of Venden, and she was a granddaughter of the Norwegian king Haakon Sigurdsson Jarl or Hákon jarl hinn ríki (Hakon Jarl the rich) who reigned Norway from ab. 970 until 995, where he after a peasant-rebellion was killed by his good friend and trall Tormod Kark.

Bodils father Thrugot died ab. 1070 when she was a little girl. She was born ab. 1065 and was obviously named after her paternal grandmother Bodil Haakonsdatter. She was probably brought up in Jutland on the family estate. Her mother Thorgunn/Thorgunna Vagnsdatter, born ab. 1030,who became the ancestral mother of the famous Jutland Thrugot-family, was a daughter of Vagn Aagesen/Åkesson of a family from Bornholm. It is a probability that Thorgunn lived long after Thrugot's death, maybe she is the "Thrugund, Langliva Mother dicta», whose day of death is written in the Lund-Dødebog on 8. February. A runestone in Asmild kirke at Viborg was found in the tower foundation in 1950. It is disputed if Thorgund who raised the stone after her husband Bose, belonged to the influential Thrugot-family, and it is uncertain what it means that Bose was en "tidernes mand" (man of times). The inscription is:
"Thorgund, Thorgot Thjodulfssøns datter, satte denne sten efter sin mand Bose, tidenders mand.....datter" ("Thorgund, Thorgot Thjodulfssøns datter, raised this stone after her husband Bose, a man of times.....daughter.")

Vagn Aagesen was a legendary Danish warrior in the end of the 900s who played an important role in Jomsvikingernes saga and is mentioned in other sagas. Vagn was a son of Åke Tokesson and Torgunn Vesetesdatter from Bornholm. According to Snorre Sturlasson Erik Jarl let Vagn Åkesson marry Ingeborg Torkelsdatter, a daughter of Erik ejegod who Vagn had killed, and Erik Jarl gave him good ship and crew. They parted as friends and the saga says that Vagn went home to Denmark; he became a great man and many great people descended from him . After this Vagn disappears from the sagas, but we know that his daughter Thorgunn Vagnsdatter married Thrugot Ulvsson Fagerskind, and Thorgunn and Thrugot's daughter Bodil became queen of Denmark via her marriage to Svend Estridsen's son Erik. If they were married before or in the beginning of Oluf Hunger's rule, then the marriage might have been in 1085, ten years before Erik in 1095 became king as Erik 1. , and he was later given the name Ejegod, probably because of his good personality.

Bodil had two brothers, Sven and Astra, who were named Thorgunnasen after their high-ranked mother and Thrugotsen after their father. Svend and Astra were according to Knytlingesaga Knud den Hellige's hirdmænd and best of friends. They accompanied him when the rebellion broke out in Jutland, and during the fight in Sankt Albani kirke they defended him bravely. Svend and Astra survived and after Knud's death they went to Flandern to work for that Knud's imprisoned brother Oluf was released; they went to prison instead of him, until a ransom could be paid to count Balduin. Oluf went home and became king in Denmark (in 1086), but he did not send any ransom. Count Balduin allowed the brothers to go home to get the ransom, but Oluf still wouldn't pay a dime. Not very sympathetic. The brothers then paid the ransom themselves, but count Balduin was generous and let them keep the money. What is told about Svend's life is marked with uncertainty, but he was the father of archbishop Asser, bishop Svend in Viborg, Eskil Svendsen and Christiern Svendsen, who became a powerful man in the Danish kingdom.

The Thrugot-family is also named the Trued-or the Trund-family. Sven Aggesen mentions in his writings about family connections to Ommersyssel in Jutland. In Kastbjerg parish in Ommersyssel (Nørrejylland) is an estate named Trudsholm. The present manor was built in the 1600s but about 2 km northeast of the manor Trudsholm is Gammel Trudsholm, a large and impressive castle bank; there are actually two sections of which the northern is the largest, both surrounded by moats. To the west and south the plan is encircled by a front work, expanding to the south in a considerable broadth. Brickwork have been found at the place. I don't know if this could be called a qualified guess, at least it is allowed to have a guess. The old castle bank is known back to the year 1368, but how far back there were fortificated buildings here is not known. Maybe Gammel Trudsholm was once a fortificated castle of the Thrugot-family. Remember it's only a guess!

When Erik Ejegod and Bodil went out on their pilgrimage, they left their son Knud in the care of Skjalm Hvide. Knud's fosterbrothers were the four Skjalm-sons, Asser, Ebbe, Toke and Sune. They probably had a happy childhood at Skjalm Hvide's estate in Fjenneslev. Knud was a prince and heir to the Danish throne; he was supposedly taken good care of. He lived in a safe family-group. The medieval name "familia" means the household, the big family itself and servants, free or not free. If a family member was attacked, the family-group gathered for revenge or receipt of compensation. Knud and his fosterbrothers' school-learning was probably put into their heads by a private teacher, possibly a priest. Clerical persons were almost the only ones who could read and write. Five lively boys, fairly of the same age harrassing one confused Latin teacher because they would rather go out playing crusaders. There were two Skjalm-daughters, Cæcilia and Margrethe, but they didn't count much!

But the childhood soon ended and Skjalm Hvide sent the young Danish prince down to the German Herzog (duke) Lothar of Saxony, who became German king in 1125. When he was 20 years old, Knud got married to Ingeborg of Russia in 1116; she was a daughter of Grossfürst Mstislav 1. of Kiev and Christina of Sweden, and almost at the same time, he became Jarl of the Danish border and Hertug of Schleswig. He was so successful that he was appointed patron protector by the merchants. His byname Lavard was a name of honour; the word originated from Old English hlaford = Lord. It meant Lord(Herre) in Saxon and other Germanic languages - the original meaning was bread giver. Later Knud became - with the assistance from king Lothar - knés over the Abodrits under Saxon superiority, and in this way he was both the Danish and German king's vassal.

Knud Lavard was, as a son of Erik Ejegod, an obvious candidate to the Danish throne, also because he had important and friendly contacts to king Lothar and the Wends, but others were more than interested in the royal power; among those his cousin Magnus, a son of king Niels - and another cousin, Henrik Skadelaar, a son of Svend, who like Niels and Erik Ejegod was a son of Svend Estridsen. Svend had been desperate for gaining the Danish crown, but he died in 1104 on his way to Viborg Thing. Henrik had inherited his father's dream; he conspired with Magnus against Knud Lavard for years. It all ended tragically with the murder of Knud in Haraldsted in January 1131. A descendant of the mighty Thrugots and the old Danish kings was eliminated, but he had left a son, who would once become one of the greatest Danish kings, the boy Valdemar who was brought up by Knuds' fosterbrother, Skjalm Hvide's son Asser Rig and fru Inge. His fosterbrothers were Esbern Snare and Absalon. (See my article about Knud Lavard in the Thyra-blog) .

More text later

Source: Danske slotte og Herregårde, bd. 1-24, 1966, Trap Danmark, Randers amt; Dansk Biografisk Lexicon; Dansk Adels Årbog; Politikens Danmarkshistorie bd.3 & 4; Norsk biografisk lexicon; Salmonsens Konversationslexicon etc.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cæcilia Skjalmsdatter, a daughter of Skjalm Hvide,
married to:
Thorstensen, Peder,
–o.1175, chief, was related to Skjalm Hvide, and he was married to his daughter Cæcilie/Cæcilia.He was Herre til Borg (Master of a Borg/Castle) and his castle was named Pedersborg, it was an early medieval fortification at an inlet of Sorø Sø (Lake), here he built a stone tower, and he probably also built Pedersborg Church,which is still situated upon the castle bank. During the fight of the Danish throne Peder T. was Svend Grathe's advisor, Svend's victory over the Friesians, who had joined Knud Magnussen, was especially caused by Peder's cleverness (1151). During the beginning of the fight with Valdemar and Knud, Svend did not follow Peder's advice, and he even scolded his faithfull supporter. "I always wore my shield for you." answered Peder T. "But I'm afraid that you shall soon need all your shields." Although Peder was attached to Valdemar, since he was the fosterfather of his frillesøn (son by a mistress) Christoffer (for whom he also later was a teacher), he was ready to defend Svend Grathe, when he had fled the country (1154). However he saw the hopeless situation in the fight against Valdemar and Knud; he let Svend's army break up, and from that point he was on Valdemar's side and became one of his most trusted men. He especially gained distinction on the expeditions to the Wends. Together with Absalon and Esbern Snare he advised Valdemar to do lesser and quicker expeditions towards the Wends; during the first expedition he put courage into the king and made him give up the warfare; when the Danes were in trouble, he saw to that they returned home in time (1159). Still in 1171 he was with an expedition and was among the brave men who wanted to stay by Absalon at the fleet at Rygen. He was now an old man and he probably did not live long after that time. - Cæcilie gave 2 bol (farms) in Førslev to Sorø Kloster; Peder T. did not want her to give more, but he was however also one of the benefactors of the kloster. Their daughter Ingerd was via her marriage to Vagn the mother of two Aarhus-bishops and the ancestral mother of many respected Danish men and women.
translated from Hans Olrik's Danish text: grethe bachmann

Saxo, ed. Müller.
Sorø Akademis Indbydelsesskr. 1900.

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon,

(1887-1905) Carl Frederik Bricka
Project Runeberg

Margrethe/ Magga Skjalmsdatter, a daughter of Skjalm Hvide, was married - and as a widow she entered Roskilde nunnery.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Skjalmsen, Sune, –1131–, son of Skjalm Hvide, participated
with his brothers in the rebellion after Knud Lavard's killing
(1131), but he must be dead before the brothers established
Sorø Kloster. His body was not brought to the Skjalm-family's
grave in Sorø, and his heirs did not give estate to the kloster,
but his son's daughter's son Johannes Kaare was later abbot at
Sorø. Sune Skjalmsen cannot - which was often presumed - be
the Sune, who because of his eloquence tried to make the Roskilde
citizens forsake Svend Grathe, but was taken prisoner by Ebbe
Skjalmsen and later blinded by Svend.
translated from Hans Olrik's Danish text by Grethe Bachmann.

Skjalmsen, Toke, –o.1145, son of Skjalm Hvide, was also among
the leaders of the Zealanders after Knud Lavard's killing . (1131).
Together with his brethren Ebbe and Asser Rig he planned to
establish a kloster in their homeland, but he felt death coming
before the plan could be carried through, and he gave half his
inheritance to the coming kloster. Furthermore he gave Asser
Rig 16 Mark Gold for the building of the church (ab. 1145). From
Toke's and their own estate Ebbe and Asser then founded Sorø
kloster and Asser died as a monk in there.
Ebbe had the gold, and he gave it to the first prior of the kloster,
but he dissipated it. Toke Skjalmsen was buried in Fjenneslev little
church, but Absalon later transferred his and Skjalm Hvide's bones
to Sorø kloster, whose founder he was more than anyone else.
translated from Hans Olrik's Danish text by Grethe Bachmann.

Boesen, Skjalm Hvide og hans Slægt (Sorø Skoles Indbydelsesskr. 1900).

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon,
(1887-1905) Carl Frederik Bricka
Project Runeberg

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Skjalmsen, Ebbe, o. 1090-1151, sjællandsk Høvding (Zealand chief), son of Skjalm Hvide, is first seen in history when he together with his brothers had Knud Lavard's body moved from
Haraldsted to Ringsted, and when he rose the men at Zealand into a revenge of his fosterbrother's kill (in 1131). In the following civil war he was on Erik Emune's side, and he was also one of Erik Lam's most trusted men, furthermore was he a faithful adherent of Svend Grade/Grathe, who made him høvedsmand (main chief) in the newly fortificated Roskilde.
Svend's rival Knud Magnussen tried via a certain man named Sune to lure the citizens of Roskilde away from Svend, but Ebbe Skjalmsen cunningly got Sune in his power, and the plan was prevented. (in 1148). Later Knud succeeded in taking Roskilde by surprise; Ebbe S. escaped, but he couldn't prevent Knud from harrassing in Roskilde and burning his farm. According to Saxo Ebbe S. had such a big influence on Svend Grathe, that Svend in war as well as in peace, in public as in private relations always followed Ebbe's advice, and the news of his death (in 1151) overwhelmed the young king, and he abandoned his expedition against Knud; Svend's fater had probably been luckier, if he still had had the experienced adviser at his side.
Ebbe Skjalmsen founded Sorø Kloster together with his brethren Toke Skjalmsen and Asser Rig .
Ebbe was first married to Gyda, then to Ragnhild, together with whom he built a wooden
church at their farm in Bjernede. Their son Sune Ebbesen built later instead of the wooden church a beautiful round stone church, but made an inscription in memory of his parents' pious deed. Ragnhild survived Ebbe S. by more than 10 years and gave Sacerbro Mølle to Sorø Kloster; she was buried by Ebbe's side in Sorø Klosterkirke. Shortly after Ragnhild's death Ebbe's eldest son, Toke Ebbesen, died after having given half of his hovedstol (inheritance) to Sorø Kloster. Another Ebbe-son, Fin, died at the same time. A third son, Peder Ebbesen lived somewhat longer. The most famous Ebbe-son was Sune Ebbesen, the father of "the Seven Sune Sons".
translated from Hans Olrik's Danish text by Grethe Bachmann.

Saxo, Hist. Dan.
Løffler, Danmarks ældre Kirkebygninger.

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
(1887-1905) Carl Frederik Bricka
Project Runeberg