Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sophie Valdemarsdatter & her son, Albert of Orlamünde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ludvig Albertsen Eberstein

Eberstein, Ludvig Albertsen , -- 1328, Marsk, paternal ancestors
was an ancient family from Nedersachsen (Lower Saxony) , but also
a family of counts from Pommerania, the last mentioned family-line
came to Denmark in Valdemar Sejr's ruling period, probably caused
by family relations to the Danish royalty; his great- grandfather was
married to a sister of Valdemar the Great's queen. On his maternal
line he was, partly via his mother Cæcilie, Esbern Vognsen's daughter,
and partly via his paternal grandmother, who was a daughter's daughter
of Esbern Snare, closely connected to the finest families of the country,
especially to the Hvide-family, and it seems that the family felt at home
in Denmark, since it is not known if they used their fathers grevetitel
(title as a count) or the German family name Eberstein.

His father grev Albert died in 1289, probably while his children were
underage, for Ludvig Albertsen is mentioned the first time in 1313;
but he soon began to play an important and outstanding role as
expected from his noble descent and the family relation to the dynasty.
When he in 1315 seals the agreement in Nyborg, he is first mentioned
among the present væbners. Two years later he was the king's
kammermester (finance) and one of the king's best men for frøken
Elisabet of Rostock's brudeskat (dowry), and very soon he became
one of the indebted king Erik's most prominent creditors.In 1318 he
received all the interests of the Crown in Skåne and all the market
towns, except the mint in Lund and Skanør, plus he held pawn in
Helsingborg slot.

He was now a ridder and a marsk, and as a marsk he lead the taking
of Bornholm and Hammershus from the archbishop in Lund who
was the king's enemy. Thus he incurred the excommunication from
the church, but the king gave him Bornholm as a vasalry. It seems
that L.A. was on friendly terms with king Erik, who also made him
one of the executors of his will; but the relation changed after Erik's
faithless and bad brother Christoffer II was on the throne, although
L.A. had been one of the leaders for electing Christoffer as king.

L.A. got Bleking and Lister as a pawn for the money the late king
owed his relative bishop Herman of Camin, but in 1321 L.A. had
to leave Bornholm, which was given back to the archbishop, who
had to indemnify him. Two years later the king went on and took
considerable vasalries from several magnates, and from L.A. he
took all his vasalries except Bleking; this meant that the magnates
broke with the king and joined the rebel party lead by Drost Niels
Olufsen Bild and Hertug Knud Porse, which more and more was
supported by the sønderjyske hertug Erik and archbishop Esger.

L.A. was loosed from the excommunication, and he was made
chief of Hammershus, where he and his brothers soon after were
sieged by the royal army lead by one of the king's supporters
Peder Vendelbo, who had got L.A.'s job as marsk. After a
persistent defence which is said to have lasted 16 months, L.A.
had to give up caused by lack of provisions and seek a settlement
with the king , which he obtained on good terms, since the king
gave him a bond of 9360 Mark skånske penge and 600 Mark
silver for all his demands.This forced agreement was hardly
well meant from either side, and the king's lack of honesty could
easily bring on another break.

In 1326 L.A. denounced loyalty and faithfulness to the king together
with his relative the Drost Laurents Jonsen and called for support
from the young sønderjyske hertug and grev Gert. 30 march 1326
was in Sønderborg made a union, which secured the two rebels the
hertug's castles Tranekær and Haderslev, if their rebellion did not
succeed and they were driven out of Denmark. This time the rebels
had better luck, already in the month of June they had in Viborg
arranged hertug Valdemar's election to king by Jutlanders and people
from Funen, and after L.A. together with Knud Porse had captured
king Christoffer's eldest son, Erik , Christoffer gave up his resistence
and took flight to Meklenborg.

At the same time, when L.A. accompanied the newly elected king on
his celebration journey in the kingdom and among other things was
at the Danehof in Nyborg, where grev Gert was endowed with
Sønderjylland, he did not forget to secure his pay in proportion to
the part, he had played in the election of Valdemar as king. He
was endowed with Almind and Jelling sysler with the cities Kolding
and Ribe, Malt and Gjern herreder and Viborg landsting. From
earlier he had Nørre Asbo herred, but since this was given to Knud
Porse, he instead got estate in Thy and Mors, and Skive by and Hjerm
and Hindborg herreder; likewise he again became marsk, probably
soon after Valdemar became king.

When he also got his old pawn rights back from Skåne from king
Erik's days, L.A. owned power and estate, which was not much lesser
than his lord and master, and which might have been a counterbalance
against the influence of the hated grev Gert, if not death had brought
an end to this. Shortly after 29 May 1328 L.A. died, and thus king
Valdemar lost one of his strongest supporters; and the way was open
for Christoffer's return to the kingdom.

L.A. was buried in Viborg, he left a widow Else Pedersdatter, her
family relations not known, and two underage children. She tried after
her best ability to manage her husbands large estates, first by the help
of king Valdemar and then by grev Johan, whom she later bought by
giving him Helsingborg slot and leave to him the young king Erik
Christoffersen, who strangely enough had been entrusted to L.A'.s
heirs. The Jutlanders freed him from Haderslev slot where he was

She still lived in 1333 and had from the Swedish king Magnus
confirmation on her pawn properties of Bleking and Lister.

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