Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir

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Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir
A picture of Ragnheiður and others painted in Copenhagen, 1684
Born 1646 (1646)
Died 1715 (1716) (aged 69)
Occupation Wife of Icelandic bishop

Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir (1646–1715) was an Icelandic seamstress and Bishop's wife.

She was the daughter of the Reverend Jón Arason (1606–1673) of Vatnsfjörður and his wife Hólmfríður Sigurðardóttir. She was one of twelve children and was an active seamstress. She taught this skill actively.

Ragnheiður became the wife of two consecutive Lutheran bishops in the Hólar see -- Gísli Þorláksson and Einar Þorsteinsson. Ragnheiður was considered one of the finest marriageable women of her time. Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir and her husband Bishop Þórláksson asked Guðmundur Guðmundsson (c.1618–after 1703) from Bjarnastaðahlíð in Vesturdalur, who was one of the most renowned craftsman in Iceland in the 17th century, to build the church at Gröf on the Skagi peninsula, at that time the sanctuary for the widows of bishops. The building, among the smallest houses of worship in Iceland, is located just south of Hofsós.[1]

Ragnheiður has been portrayed on the front of the 5000 Icelandic Krónur bank note since 1986. When this note was introduced, the Central Bank of Iceland tried to find imagery related to Icelandic women and their contribution to Icelandic culture.