Friday, August 12, 2011

Rane Jonsen

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon:
Jonsen, Rane, –1294.  The væbner Rane Jonsen, who had a close connection to the Hvide-family,
had a high office in the royalty - as "Camerarius" at king Erik Glipping. He was the king's only companion in the night of the 22. november 1286, when the conspirators broke into Finderup lade. "Although naked and unarmed he fought the killers" says a writing from that time, but according to the folk ballad he had instead of locking the door only "placed two straws".  "han hug i borde og balk" (he hug his sword in the table") and  protected his master as a skalk (as a traitor). The public opinion was that Rane was the helper of the conspirators, and in the Danehof (the Danish court meeting) at Nyborg (castle) at Pentecost 1287 was Rane condemned an outlaw like the other king killers. He probably fled together with them to Norway; he was among those who was given protection by the Norwegian king Erik Præstehader (Priesthater), and he took part in the expeditions of the outlaws to Denmark. In 1294 he was careless, he came to Roskilde and was caught there and put on the wheel outside the town. The Danish folk ballads deals much with Rane Jonsen. A ballad tells how he when outlaw seizes a bride, another song from the Middle Ages sings about his capture and execution.

Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.

What happened:

"The king was hunting in the area west of Viborg. When it was growing dark, he went with a small entourage - among these Rane Jonsen - to the village Finderup and he found a primitive lodging for the night in the church barn. There was still candle light in the room, when some men with covered faces knocked down the door, forced their way in and turned out the lights. Rane Jonsen was confused and fought them although  he was naked and unarmed. But when the oproar was over and the masked men were out in the dark again, king Erik lay dead by 56 stabs of which one was under the belt. It will never be solved, who the masked men were. Except one unknown knight among the magnates, who were condemned the next year - among those Rane Jonsen and rigets Marsk (the marsk of the kingdom) Stig Andersen. Marsk Stig belonged to the Jutland part of the Hvide-family and many from this family were among the condemned. But also the Halland side-line of the royal family were among the condemned: Jacob of Nørrehalland and Peder Jacobsen and Niels."

The information from encyclopedia:
Rane Jonsen was the owner of Gjorslev (Stevns Herred, Sjælland.), he was Kong Erik Glippings Kammermester (actually a finance-minister), took part in the regicide in Finderup in 1286 and was in 1287 with the other king killers condemned outlaw at the Danehof in Nyborg in 1287, had the same year a protection-letter from the Norwegian king, was 1294 captured in Niels Broks Gård in Roskilde and put on the wheel near Roskilde; from his forbidden Jutland estates was established a vasalry.

Danish Folk Ballad:
Ranild bade saddle his charger gray,
‘Twas told me oft before,
“I’ll be the Algrave’s guest today,
“Tho’ friends I have no more.”

Ranild rode up to his castle gate
‘Twas told him oft before
Where ermine-clad the Algrave sate,
Tho’ friends he had no more.

“Hail noble Algrave, here I come,
‘Twas told thee oft before
“To fetch my trothplight Kirstin home,
“Tho’ friends I have no more.”

Then up and spake her mother dear,
“‘Twas told thee oft before,
“For thee is bride no longer here,
“For friends thou hast no more.”

“I’ll either with the maid return,
“‘Twas told you oft before
“Or else your house and chattels burn,
“Tho’ friends I have no more.”

“Nay set not thou the house on flame,
“‘Twas told thee oft before,
“E’en take the bride thou ‘rt come to claim,
“Tho’ friends thou hast no more.”

In mantle wrapt the gentle maid,
‘Twas told her oft before,
On Ranild’s good gray horse was laid,
Tho’ friends he had no more.

No other bridal bed had they,
‘Twas told her oft before,
Than bush, and field, and new made hay,
For friends he had no more.

“The wood has ears, the mead can see,
“‘Twas told thee oft before,
“A wretched outlaw’d pair are we,
“For friends I have no more.”

“And had you not King Erick slain,
“‘Twas told you oft before,
“We still might in the land remain,
“But friends we have no more.”

“Stay, Kirstin, stay, such words forbear,
“‘Twas told thee oft before,
“Where strangers are, take greater care,
“For friends we have no ore.”

With that he slapp’d her cheek so red,
“‘Twas told thee oft before,
“It was not I, smote Erick dead,
“Tho’ friends I have no more.”
From the same source, Rane Jonsen meets his end:
Report is rife in all the land
Ranild at last is caught;
He surely had never gone from Hielm,
His doom had he bethought;
A death of torture he must die,
As he has long been taught.

Ranild he stepp’d within the door,
‘Good evening’ bade the king,
And all the guard of gentlemen,
Who round him stood in ring;
“Christ! may no son of loyal Dane
“Such trouble on him bring!

“But, O King Erick, noble liege,
“Remember you no more;
“The best was I of all the swains
“Your father’s livery wore;
“And you through wood and flowery mead
“In arms so often bore?”

“Full well I know thou servedst here
“For clothes and food and pay;
“And, like a vile and treacherous knave,
“My father didst betray;
“For which the stake thy carcase bears,
“If I but reign a day.”

“My hands and feet hack from my limbs,
“Tear from my head these eyes;
“With racking tortures martyr me,
“The worst you can devise;
“So much the wrong I’ve done your house
“For vengeance on me cries.”

“Thine eyes put out, that will we not,
“Nor lop thy hands or feet;
“But with a traitor’s hardest death
“The worst of traitors treat;
“And on our father’s murderer take
“Such vengeance as is meet.”

As forth from Roskilde he was led,
He wrung his hands anew,
And tears to see him go to die
Wept ladies not a few;
He turn’d him round, and bade them all
A thousand times Adieu.

They led him forth to where the rack
Stood ghastly on the plain;
“O Christ, from such a martyring death
“Protect each honest Dane!
“Had I but stay’d at Hielm this year,
“And there in safety lain!

“Now were there here one faithful friend,
“Who home for me would go,
“And would my sorrowing wife Christine,
“Her path of duty show!
“O Christ, look on my children dear!
“O comfort thou their woe!

“And you, I pray, good Christian folk,
“Who here are standing round,
“A pater noster read for me,
“That grace for me be found;
“And that this night I reach the land,
“Where heavenly joys abound.”