Nils Christian Egede Hertzberg

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Nils Christian Egede Hertzberg

Nils Christian Egede Hertzberg (26 October 1827 – 8 July 1911) was the Norwegian theologian, educator and politician.

He was born in Ullensvang as a son of vicar and politician Niels Hertzberg (1759–1841) and Anna Christine Egede Thomsen (1789–1860). The family moved to Bergen when he was nine. In December 1864 he married Martha Catharina Marie Clauson (1844–1928). They had the sons Arthur Johan Hertzberg, Johan Hertzberg and Mikael Skjelderup Hertzberg, and Nils Hertzberg was also a brother-in-law of Claus Pavels Riis.[1]

He enrolled in Bergen Cathedral School in 1841 and took the examen artium here in 1846. He later graduated from the Royal Frederick University with the cand.theol. degree in 1851. He was a teacher at the Norwegian Military Academy from 1853, and Asker Seminary from 1860. He was an avid outdoorsman, and took further education in 1865 when he attended the Central Gymnastic School. After that he took over the physical education for the future teachers at Asker Seminary, and organized both gymnastics, shooting and hikes. He also helped start teachers' courses in Centralforeningen for Udbredelse af Legemsøvelser og Vaabenbrug. Physical education was officially included in the teacher seminary curricula in 1867.[1]

In 1867 Hertzberg took over as headmaster of Hamar Teachers' College. In Hamar city, he was an opposing force of the Grundtvigianism proposed by Olaus Arvesen and Herman Anker who founded Norway's first folk high school in the city.[1] Hertzberg propagated his views in the periodical Norsk Skoletidende, started by him in 1869 and edited by him until 1873.[2]

In 1873 he was appointed as deputy under-secretary of state in the Ministry of Church Affairs.[1] In 1882 he was chosen as Minister in the same ministry, as a part of Selmer's Cabinet. On 1 March 1884 he changed to being a member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm. In April 1884 the cabinet was dissolved as it was impeached. He became Minister of Church Affairs and Education in the successor Schweigaard's Cabinet, but in June 1884 it fell because parliamentarism was implemented in Norway for the first time. In the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1885 he was elected to the Parliament of Norway from the constituency Kristiania, Hønefoss og Kongsvinger. He was re-elected in 1888, and served two terms.[3]

Hertzberg wrote several books, mostly after retiring as a government minister. His memoirs were published in two volumes in 1909 and 1910; Fra min Barndoms og Ungdoms Tid 1827–1856 and Minder fra min Skolemestertid 1844–1873.[1]

Hertzberg was a fellow of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters from 1883, and an honorary member of Centralforeningen and Animal Protection Norway. He was decorated as a Knight, First Class of the Order of St. Olav in 1877 and promoted to Commander in 1893. He died in July 1911 in Kristiania.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Thyness, Paul. "Nils Hertzberg". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Nils Christian Egede Hertzberg". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Nils Christian Egede Hertzberg" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD). Retrieved 28 October 2013.