Sunday, August 29, 2010

Two sons of Harald Kesja

Bjørn Jernside (Ironside), --1134.,
~ Cathrine of Sweden

Oluf Haraldsen, --1143 (?)

Bjørn Jernside,(Ironside) --1134. Erik Ejegods nonmarital
son Harald Kesja had 12 sons; among the oldest was B.
During the unrests after Knud Lavard's murder he joined
his father's brother Erik, who wanted to revenge the
murdered, and whom the Zealanders (sjællændere) and
Skånings had elected king. He followed him on an
expedition to Jutland (1132), where Erik at Onsild
bridge close to the town Hobro suffered a defeat and
had been taken prisoner by king Niels' men, if not B.
and the historian Svend Aagesen's(Aggesen) father had
fought the enemies so Erik could get to his ships,
where they quickly joined him. Although B. had been
so brave at that point, he was a few years later (1134)
killed by Erik, because he was a rival to the throne.
Erik was at that time sole king after king Niels'
death. B. had - like the earlier son of Regner
Lodbrog Bjørn - also achieved the byname Ironside for
his courage. B. was married to the Swedish king Inge
I's daughter Cathrine, they had a daughter Christine,
who became the wife of the Swedish king Erik the Holy.

C Weeke.

Oluf (Haraldsen), --1143(?),counter-king, was a son
of Harald Kesja and Ragnhild. When Erik Emune
surprised Harald near Vejle and killed him (1135),
he let catch Harald's other sons, who were there and
let them kill; only Oluf , who was very young, got
away, dressed as a woman, and took flight to Norway.
In 1137 O. was in Gøtaelven (river) with a fleet
and was ready to claim the Danish throne; Sigurd
Slembe, who was on friendly terms with the Danish
government and who arrived on his ships from an
expedition in the Baltic Sea, took 3 of his ships
and chased him up into the country. O. later returned
to Denmark and demanded Erik Lam to give him his
family estate, but was rejected as the son of a
traitor. O. had to hide his anger, but he secretly
made a conspiracy and tried to attack Erik one night
at the farm Arne at Lund. Erik's guard prevented the
assassination, and O. had to take flight to Sweden.
He started a feud from here (probably 1140-43), one
of the bloodiest in Denmark's history; the legend
said that there were 3 battles in one day and 13
battles in one year. After Erik Lam had left Skåne,
O. attacked. Archbishop Eskil tried in vain to stop
him, but he was defeated and had to give up Lund to
O. He had to swear loyalty to O. and give him hostages.
Eskil took flight to Erik and forgot both oath and
hostages; but when the archbishop as a leader of
Erik's army tried to land in Skåne, he was unlucky
again. O. now found another archbishop, who also was
named Eskil. The victory made O. too self-confident,
he was suddenly surprised by Erik's attack, who let
his archbishop hang and brought him a terrible defeat
at Glugstorp. O. had to flee to Sweden again. O.
attacked soon after Bleking, but was again driven back.
In a quick expedition he killed many civilians in Lund
and attacked boldly North Zealand, but was defeated by
bishop Rike at Buddinge Å (river) between Gentofte and
Copenhagen), whereafter he took flight to Halland. In
a new attack he surprised the warrior bishop in Ramløse
at Arresø and put his house on fire; Rike asked for
peace, and O. gave him free passage, but killed him
anyway. But O. was then excommunicated by the pope,
and his luck now failed him. Erik pursued him into
Halland, and O. avoided an attempted murder, which
Erik's man Ingimar aimed at him, but then he was killed
together with many of his men in the battle at Tjuteå
in Skåne (probably in 1143). One of O.'s sons was
the later throne pretender Harald Skrænk.

Script, rer. Dan. I, 384 f.
Saxo, ed. Müller.

Hans Olrik

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg
translation grethe bachmann   ©copyright

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