denmark, NOBILITY

  v3.0 Updated 30 May 2014

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

INTRODUCTION. 1

Chapter 1.            Family of THORKELL "the Tall" 1

Chapter 2.            Family of ULF "Galicienfari" 5

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

This document sets out some details about two families of Danish nobility who were closely connected with the families of the Scandinavian kings. 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1.    Family of THORKELL "the Tall"

 

 

STRUTHARALD .  King in Skåne.  Snorre names "Sigvalde…earl over Jomsborg in Vindland…a son of King Strutherald who had ruled over Skane"[1]

[m ---.  The name of Struthharald´s wife is not known.]

Strutharald & [his wife] had three children:   

1.         THORKELL "Havi/the Tall" (-killed in battle 1039).  Snorre names "Heming and Thorkel the Tall" as brothers of Sigvalde[2].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the arrival at Sandwich 1 Aug 1009 of an "immense hostile host", one manuscript specifying "to which we gave the name of Thurkil´s host", which invaded Kent, the Isle of Wight, Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire, before returning to Kent to take up "winter-quarters on the Thames" and the following year invading East Anglia and other parts of England, culminating in the kidnap and murder of Ælfheah Archbishop of Canterbury[3].  Florence of Worcester records that "Danicus comes Turkillus" invaded England with a fleet, dated to 1009 from the context, and that other fleets led by "duces Hemingus et Eglafus" landed in August at "Tenedland" [Thanet] after which the invaders joined forces to devastate Kent, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and Southampton, and establish themselves in the Thames valley for the winter[4].   He and his 3000 Jömvikings (named after the military community at the fortress of Jömsborg at the mouth of the River Oder) were hired as mercenaries to help the defence of England by Æthelred II King of England at the end of 1012 for 48,000 pounds of silver[5].  William of Malmesbury that "Turkill the Dane, who had been the chief cause of the archbishop´s murder, had settled in England and held the East Angles under subjection" and that he "sent messengers to Suane king of Denmark inviting him to come to England"[6].  William of Malmesbury´s version of the death of "Dunsten" (presumably an error for Ælfheah) archbishop of Canterbury is contradicted by Thietmar who, stating that he relates the events as recounted by an eye-witness "Sewaldi", records that "Thurkilo" tried to hinder the murder[7].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the invasion of England led by Svend King of Denmark in 1013, stating that the invaders "went east to London" where "the citizens would not submit…because King Æthelred was inside and Thurkil with him"[8].  Thorkell defected back to join Knud's invasion fleet in Aug 1015 and fought with the Danes at Ashington in Oct 1016.  Earl of East Anglia.  William of Malmesbury records that Canute King of England divided the kingdom into four parts "he himself took the West Saxons, Edric the Mercians, Turkill the East Angles, Iric the Northumbrians", adding that "in process of time…Turkill and Iric were driven out of the kingdom and sought their native land" and that "the first, who had been the instigator of the murder of the blessed Elfeg, was killed by the chiefs the moment he touched the Danish shore" (the latter point being shown to be incorrect by the subsequent references to Thorkell)[9].  Simeon of Durham records that King Canute granted East Anglia to "earl Turkill" in 1017[10].  It is probable that the king appointed him regent of England in 1019, during his absence in Denmark.  Florence of Worcester records that King Canute expelled "Turkillum…comitem cum uxore sua Edgitha" from England 11 Nov, dated to 1021[11].   The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Canute outlawed "earl Thurkil" 11 Nov 1021[12], but adds in a later passage that the two of them entered a pact of reconciliation in 1023 under which Thorkell would govern Denmark, keeping each other's sons as hostages[13].  He remained regent for about three years, being replaced by Ulf, Knud's brother-in-law.  He was killed by the Welsh[14]m EADGYTH, daughter of --- (-after 11 Nov 1021).  Florence of Worcester records that King Canute expelled "Turkillum…comitem cum uxore sua Edgitha" from England 11 Nov, dated to 1021[15].   Presumably Thorkill married her after joining forces with Æthelred II King of England.  Freeman says that "I suspect that it was Eadric´s widow whom Thurkill married. At the same time I cannot lay my hand on any authority for Thurkill´s wife being a daughter of Æthelred; but it is very likely and such a connection would account for Cnut´s jealousy of him"[16].  If this is correct, she was Eadgyth, widow of Eadric "Streona/the Acquisitor" Ealdorman of Mercia, daughter of Æthelred II King of England & his first wife Ælfgifu.  However, this would place the marriage to after 25 Dec 1017, when Eadric "Streona" was murdered, during the reign of King Canute who would most likely have arranged or approved the marriage, suggesting that it is illogical to suggest that the marriage would have been the basis for "Cnut´s jealousy".  Thorkell & [his wife] had two children: 

a)         HARALD Thorkilsen (-murdered 1043).  It is possible that Harald was the unnamed son of Thorkell who was delivered as a hostage to Canute King of England when Thorkell was reconciled with the king and appointed regent in Denmark in 1023[17].  If this is correct, the dates suggest it is unlikely that he was the son of Thorkell´s marriage to Eadgyth.  Harald was murdered by Ordulf of Saxony, who had married a sister of Magnus King of Norway.  m ([1031]) as her second husband, GUNHILD of the Wends, widow of HAKON Eiriksson Jarl in Norway, daughter of BURISLAW Prince of the Wends & his wife [Tyre Haraldsdatter of Denmark] (-after 1045).  Florence of Worcester names "the noble lady Gunhilda daughter of king Wyrtgeorn by Canute's sister and successively the wife of earls Hakon and Harold" when recording that she was banished from England in 1044 with her two sons Haakon and Harald and went to Bruges, later to Denmark[18].  It is not, however, certain that Gunhild was the daughter of Burislaw by his wife Tyre of Denmark.  If this was the case, she was the first cousin of her first husband.  Gunhild is named "kinswoman of King Cnut" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, when recording that she was expelled from England in 1045 and for a long time thereafter lived at Bruges before going to Denmark[19].  Harald & his wife had two children: 

i)          HAAKON (-after 1044).  Florence of Worcester records that he and his brother were banished from England in 1044 with their mother[20]

ii)         HARALD (-after 1044).  Florence of Worcester records that he and his brother were banished from England in 1044 with their mother[21]

b)         [son (-after 1023).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Canute and Thorkell entered a pact of reconciliation in 1023 under which Thorkell would govern Denmark, keeping each other's sons as hostages[22].  It is possible that this son was the same person as Harald who is named above.  If this is correct, the dates suggest it is unlikely that he was the son of Thorkell´s marriage to Eadgyth.] 

2.         SIGVALDI.  Snorre names "Sigvalde…earl over Jomsborg in Vindland…a son of King Strutherald who had ruled over Skane", recording that he captured Svend King of Denmark, took him to Jomsborg and threatened to deliver him into the hands of the Wends unless he made peace[23].  He led a fleet of Jomsborg Vikings who invaded Norway and fought Haakon Jarl of Norway at Hjorungavag but was defeated[24]m ASTRID of the Wends, daughter of BURISLAW King of the Wends & his wife ---.  Snorre names "Astrid, a daughter of King Burizleif" as the wife of Sigvalde[25]

3.         HEMMING (-[1014]).  Snorre names "Heming and Thorkel the Tall" as brothers of Sigvalde[26].  Together with his brother, a leaders of the Danish invasion of England in 1009.  He was probably killed in England in 1014. 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2.    Family of ULF "Galicienfari"

 

 

ULF Jarl in Denmark "Galicienfari", son of ---. 

m BODIL Haakonsdotter, daughter of HAAKON Eriksson Jarl in Norway & his wife Gunhild of the Wends.  Her marriage and parentage is given in Knytlnga Saga[27]

Ulf & his wife had one child: 

1.         THRUGOT Ulfsen "Fagrskinna".  Commander of household troops of Svend I Estridsen King of Denmark.  m THORGUNNA, daughter of VAGN Ågesen & his wife Ingeborg Thorkilsdatter.  1070.  Thrugot & his wife had three children: 

a)         THORKIL Thrugotsen "SVEND Thorgunnasen".  Florence of Worcester records that "Suani regis Danorum filii, Haroldus, Canutus et patruus eorum Esbernus comes et comes Turkillus" sailed from Denmark in [1069] and landed "in ostio Humbræ fluminis"[28].  Commander of Knud II "den Hellige" King of Denmark.  1086.  m INGE, daughter of ---.  The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified.   Thorkil & his wife had five children (the primary sources which confirm the information relating to these children and their descendants have not yet been identified): 

i)          SVEND (-Jerusalem 30 Mar [1153], bur Jerusalem, Pater Noster Church, Mount of Olives).  Bishop of Viborg [1132].

ii)         CHRISTIERN Svendsen (-20 May [1140]).  Danish commander.  Høvding in Jylland.  m ---.  The name of Christiern´s wife is not known.  Christiern & his wife had three children: 

(a)       ESKIL ([1100]-Clairvaux [Aug/Sep] 1181, bur Clairvaux Monastery).  Bishop of Roskilde 1134.  Archbishop of Lund 1139-1177.  Papal legate.  Later a monk at Clairvaux.  m ---.  The name of Eskil´s wife is not known.  Eskil & his wife had one child:

(1)       [ASA] Eskilsdotter m KARL Eriksen Jarl in Halland, son of Jarl ERIK from Falster & his wife Cæcilia of Denmark.  1155/1162.

(b)       AAGE Christiernsen .  Commander of Erik II "Emun" King of Denmark.  1134.  m ---.  The name of Aage´s wife is not known.  Aage & his wife had one child: 

(1)       SVEND Aggesen .  Danish historian.  [1185].

(c)       SVEND Christiernsenm ---.  The name of Svend´s wife is not known.  Svend & his wife had two children: 

(1)       ASSER .  Provost at Lund cathedral.  1171/74.

(2)       CHRISTIAN Svendson .  1176.

iii)        ASSER (-5 May 1137, bur Lund Cathedral).  Bishop of Lund 1089.  First Archbishop of Lund 1104.

iv)       ESKIL Svendson (-Jerusalem [1153], bur Jerusalem, Pater Noster Church, Mount of Olives).  Danish storman.  Crusader. 

v)        AAGE Svendson .  

b)         ASTRAD Thorgunasen .  Commander of Knud II "den Hellige/the Holy" King of Denmark.  1080.

c)         BODIL Thorgunnasdatter (-Mount of Olives near Jerusalem 1103).  She is named as the wife of Erik by Saxo Grammaticus, who also gives her father's and paternal grandfather's names[29].  The Liber Vitæ of Durham names "Eiric rex Danorum Botild regina"[30]m firstly BJØRN ---.  m secondly (before 1086) ERIK Svendsen, illegitimate son of SVEND II Estridsen & his wife --- (Slangerup ---- -Cyprus 10 Jul 1103, bur Cyprus).  He succeeded in 1095 as ERIK I "Ejegod/the Good" King of Denmark.

 

 

 



[1] Laing, S. (trans.) (1907) Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla: A History of the Norse Kings Snorre (Norroena Society, London), available at Online Medieval and Classical Library Release 15b, <http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/Heimskringla/> (24 Jan 2003), King Olav Trygvason's Saga Part I, 38. 

[2] Snorre, King Olav Trygvason's Saga Part I, 38. 

[3] Garmonsway, G. N. (trans) (1972) The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dent), C, 1009 (quoted in footnote 6, p. 139). 

[4] Thorpe, B. (ed.) (1848) Florentii Wigorniensis Monachi Chronicon (London) (“Florentii Wigornensis Monachi Chronicon”), Vol. I, p. 160. 

[5] Ronay, G. (1989) The Lost King of England, The East European Adventures of Edward the Exile (Boydell Press), p. 3. 

[6] Sharpe, Rev. J. (trans.), revised Stephenson, Rev. J. (1854) William of Malmesbury, The Kings before the Norman Conquest (Seeleys, London, reprint Llanerch, 1989) Vol. I, 176, p. 160. 

[7] Thietmari Chronicon, VII, 29, MGH SS, p. 849. 

[8] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, E, 1013. 

[9] William of Malmesbury, Vol. I, 181, pp. 169-70. 

[10] Stevenson, J. (trans.) (1855) The Historical Works of Simeon of Durham (London) (“Simeon of Durham”), Vol. I, p. 526. 

[11] Florentii Wigornensis Monachi Chronicon, Vol. I, p. 183. 

[12] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle D and E, 1021. 

[13] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle C, 1023. 

[14] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle C, 1039. 

[15] Florentii Wigornensis Monachi Chronicon, Vol. I, p. 183. 

[16] Freeman, E. A. (1877) The History of the Norman Conquest of England, its causes and its results 3rd Edn. (Oxford), Vol. I, Appendix, Note NN, p. 670.

[17] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle C, 1023.   

[18] Forester, T. (trans.) (1854) The Chronicles of Florence of Worcester with two continuations (London), 1044, p. 146. 

[19] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle D 1045. 

[20] Florence of Worcester 1044, p. 146. 

[21] Florence of Worcester 1044, p. 146. 

[22] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle C, 1023. 

[23] Snorre, King Olav Trygvason's Saga Part I, 38. 

[24] Snorre, King Olav Trygvason's Saga Part I, 43, and Part II, 44. 

[25] Snorre, King Olav Trygvason's Saga Part I, 38. 

[26] Snorre, King Olav Trygvason's Saga Part I, 38. 

[27] Knytlinga Saga, ch. 75, cited in Christiansen, E. (1980) Saxo Grammaticus, Danorum Regum Heroumque Historia, Books X-XVI (B. A. R. International Series 84), p. 263 footnote 2, although the editor is sceptical about the accuracy of the information as it is uncorroborated in other sources. 

[28] Florentii Wigornensis Monachi Chronicon, p. 3. 

[29] Saxo Grammaticus (Christiansen), 12, I, p. 90. 

[30] Surtees Society (1841) Liber Vitæ Ecclesiæ Dunelmensis (London, Edinburgh, 1841) (“Liber Vitæ Dunelmensis”), folio 51b, p. 78.