Governor-general of Norway

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The Governor-general of Norway, styled Rigsstatholder in Danish or Riksståthållare in Swedish, both meaning 'Lieutenant of the realm' (see Stadtholder), was the appointed head of the Norwegian Government in the absence of the Monarch.

Governors-general appointed by the Danish crown[edit]

The successive Statholder of Norway during its union with Denmark were:

  • 1572 – 1577 Pouel Ottesen Huitfeldt (b. c.1529 – d. 1592)
  • 9 July 1577 – 1583 Ludvig Ludvigsson Munk til Norlund (b. c.1532 – d. 1602)
  • 1583 – 1588 Ove Juel
  • 1588 – 1601 Aksel Gyldenstjerne (b. c.1537 – d. 1603)
  • 1601 – 1608 Jørgen Friis til Krastrup (b. c.1543 – d. 1616)
  • 1608 – 1618 Enevold Kruse til Hjermislov (b. 1554 – d. 1621)
  • 1618 – 1629 Jens Hermansson Juel (b. 1580 – d. 1634)
  • 1629 – 1642 Christopher Knudsson Urne til Asmark (b. 1593 – d. 1663)
  • 1642 – 24 June 1651 Hannibal Sehested (b. 1609 – d. 1666)
  • 1651 – 20 December 1655 Gregers Krabbe (b. 1594 – d. 1655)
  • 1656 – 28 March 1661 Nils Trolle til Trollesholm og Gavnø (b. 1599 – d. 1667)
  • 8 Oct 1661 – 1664 Iver Tageson Krabbe (b. 1602 – d. 1666)
  • Jan 1664 – 1699 Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, greve til Laurvig og Tønsberg (b. 1638 – d. 1704)
  • 1669 – 5 June 1675 Ove Juel (Vice Governor-general of Norway under Gyldenløve) (b. 1615 – d. 1686)
  • 5 June 1675 – 9 May 1682 Jens Juel (Vice Governor-general of Norway under Gyldenløve) (b. 1631 – d. 1700)
  • 9 May 1682 – 26 September 1694 Just Högh til Fultofte (Vice Governor-general of Norway under Gyldenløve)
  • 30 September 1699 – 1708 Frederik Gabel (b. c.1640 – d. 1708)
  • 10 April 1708 – 22 Feb 1710 Johan Vibe (b. 1634 – d. 1710)
  • 1 Aug 1710 – 30 April 1712 Ulrik Frederik Valdemar, baron Løvendal (b. 1660 – d. 1740)
  • 4 August 1712 – 14 July 1713 Claus Henrik Vieregg (b. 1655 – d. 1713)
  • 19 September 1713 – 1722 Frederik Krag (b. 1655 – d. 1728)
  • 17 April 1722 – 5 October 1731 Ditlev Vibe (b. 1670 – d. 1731)
  • 1731 – 1733 Patroclus Rømeling (acting) (b. 1662 – d. 1736)
  • 1733 – 1739 Christian greve Rantzau (b. 1684 – d. 1771)
  • 1739 – 11 Sep 1750 Hans Jakob Arnold (acting)
  • 11 September 1750 – 8 February 1771 Jacob von Benzon (b. 1688 – d. 1775)
  • 4 July 1766 – January 1768 Carl, Landgraf zu Hessen (b. 1744 – d. 1836)

(acting for Benzon)

Governors-general appointed by the kings of Norway and Sweden[edit]

The following describes the office of governor as it was from 1814 during the personal union with Sweden:

The office came into existence by the Norwegian Constitution, of 4 November 1814 where the paragraphs 12, 13 and 15 stipulated that a Governor-general of Swedish or Norwegian nationality could be appointed. The Governor-general resided in Christiania (today Oslo) and led the Government in the absence of the Monarch, when he resided in his Swedish capital Stockholm. The Council was normally led by the Governor-general, who had two votes, unless the Monarch was present, at which point he would lose his authority and merely become the first among equals, or Prime Minister of the Council.

The post was held by Swedish appointees from 1814 until 1829, when it was vacated by natural causes. Protests would however leave the position empty until 1836, when it was filled by a Norwegian appointee. He was succeeded in 1841 but the successor Severin Løvenskiold laid down his office in 1856, after which it would not be reinstated. The demand to abandon the office completely was ultimately granted in 1873 by King Oscar II.

List of Governors-general during the Union between Sweden and Norway[edit]

From 1829 to 1836, the office was vacant.

From 1840 to 1841, the office was vacant.

From 1856 to 1873, the office was vacant, then it was abolished.

See also[edit]

Sources and references[edit]