Christian Birch-Reichenwald

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Christian Birch-Reichenwald
Birch-Reichenwald's headstone at the Vår Frelsers gravlund

Christian Birch-Reichenwald (4 January 1814 – 8 July 1891) was a Norwegian jurist and politician who served as mayor of Oslo, Norway.[1]

He was born at Blaker in Akershus, Norway. He was the son of to Paul Hansen Birch and Anna Catharina Hoffmand Stenersen. He married Jacobine Ida Sophie Motzfeldt, daughter of Peter Motzfeldt and niece of his own mother. The couple had two children; Anna Ernesta (born 1839) and Peter (born 1843).[2]

He studied at the University of Christiania (now University of Oslo), completing his law degree in 1834. During his university studies, he had been chairman in the Norwegian Students' Society. He was a member of the social circle Intelligenspartiet, and befriended such notable figures as Anton Martin Schweigaard, Bernhard Dunker and Johan Sebastian Welhaven there.[3]

He served as mayor of Christiania (now Oslo) in 1846. In 1847 he was appointed County Governor of Smaalenene (today named Østfold).[4] While stationed here he was elected to the Norwegian Parliament in 1848 and 1854, representing the constituency of Moss og Drøbak.[5] In 1855 he was appointed County Governor in the more central county of Akershus.[4]

In 1858 he was appointed Minister of Auditing. The road had been opened for Christian Birch-Reichenwald and his supporters, as Crown Prince Carl of Sweden and Norway, who was viceroy of Norway at that time, had requested first minister and head of government Jørgen Herman Vogt to "tender his resignation".[6] According to historians, Birch-Reichenwald and his friend Georg Christian Sibbern "used" Crown Prince Carl to their own gains.[7]

Birch-Reichenwald was Minister of Auditing for one year, then became a member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm from 1859 to 1860, and then served as Minister of Justice and the Police from 1860 to 1861. In 1861, the governor-general position was discussed. Carl, who in the meantime had been crowned King, was unwilling to abolish this position, provoking Christian Birch-Reichenwald (and Ketil Motzfeldt) to resign.[7] The governor-general office was not abolished until 1873.[8]

In 1862 Birch-Reichenwald was elected mayor of Christiania for the second time, serving through that year. He was also elected to a third parliamentary term, representing the constituency of Christiania, Hønefoss og Kongsvinger.[5] From 1864 to 1865 he was mayor of Christiania for the third time, and in 1865 he was again elected to parliament.[5] From 1869 to 1889 he served as district stipendiary magistrate (sorenskriver). He died in 1891 and was buried at Vår Frelsers gravlund.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christian Birch-Reichenwald". lokalhistoriewiki.no. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ Genealogy
  3. ^ Paul Thyness. "Christian Birch-Reichenwald". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Norwegian Counties — World Statesmen.org
  5. ^ a b c Christian Birch-Reichenwald — Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD)
  6. ^ Jørgen Herman Vogt 1784-1862 - Government.no
  7. ^ a b Georg Christian Sibbern 1816-1901 - Government.no
  8. ^ Knut Dørum. "Christian Birch-Reichenwald". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Lars Rasch
Mayor of Christania
1846
Succeeded by
Lars Rasch
Preceded by
Gregers Winther Wulfsberg
County Governor of Østfold
1847–1855
Succeeded by
Carl Sibbern
Preceded by
Erik Røring Møinichen
County Governor of Akershus
1855–1858
Succeeded by
Johan Christian Collett
Preceded by
August Christian Manthey
Minister of Auditing
1858–1859
Succeeded by
Hans Christian Petersen
Preceded by
Erik Røring Møinichen
Minister of Justice and the Police
1860–1861
Succeeded by
Erik Røring Møinichen
Preceded by
Frederik Stang
Mayor of Christiania
1862
Succeeded by
August Thomle
Preceded by
August Thomle
Mayor of Christiania
1864–1865
Succeeded by
Carl Johan Michelet