Sudreim claim

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The modern-day coat of arms of Sørum municipality is based on the medieval coat of arms of the Sudreim dynasty.[1]

Sudreim-Bjarkøy-Giske was a powerful Norwegian dynasty and noble family.


When in the early 14th century it was foreseeable that the male line of Sverre dynasty would go extinct, Norwegian lords spiritual and temporal arranged the Order of succession of the kingdom together with the then king, Haakon V of Norway.

King Haakon's only legitimate daughter, Ingeborg of Norway received recognized rights of succession to the Hereditary Kingdom of Norway for her descendants - but in the eventuality of her line dying out, it was determined that the issue of king's illegitimate daughter, Agnes Haakonsdatter, born to her in marriage to Havtore Jonsson (ca. 1275–1319) would then be entitled to succession.

Ingeborg's descendants brought the kingship to union with Sweden, Terra Scania, Denmark, and even with a variety of Northern German principalities. Norway's kings from her lineage regularly resided elsewhere than in Norway.

"Nationalistic" or "separatist" forces in Norway sometimes pursued having a native Norwegian king who was not to become any other country's ruler - and Agnes' descendants lived in Norway. Accordingly, their ancient right to inherit the throne was claimed and sometimes was to act upon.

Particularly when an Ingeborgian-line monarch died without own direct heirs (as did Olav IV of Norway in 1387, Eric III of Norway, and Christopher of Norway in 1448), and in any case a remoter relative had to be found to become the successor, that was a situation where some native-minded Norwegians offered the throne to a Sudreim descendant - and always unsuccessfully.

Already in the mid-14th century, Jon Havtoresonn and Sigurd Havtoresonn, sons of Agnes Håkonsdatter referred to as Havtoresønnene, seem to have intrigued against their cousin Magnus VII of Norway (simultaneously King of Sweden), to take Norway from him.

Haakon Jonson, son of that Jon Havtoresonn, is recorded as having been offered the throne in 1387–88, when Olav IV had died. Olav's mother, Queen Margaret I of Denmark, saved the situation for herself by taking a child, Bogislav of Pomerania (later renamed Eric, becoming Eric III, Eric XIII and Eric VII of countries of the Kalmar Union) to a session of the Norwegian council and presenting him as legitimate heir. Bogislav-Eric was a maternal great-grandson of Eufemia, daughter of duchess Ingeborg Haakonsdottir, but he was also Margaret's elder sister's grandson - and thus descended from recent kings of all three countries. Haakon Jonson seems to have died childless.

In 1448, when Christopher of Bavaria died, the Norwegian throne was offered to the elderly Sigurd Jonsson, who was grandson and ultimately the heir of Sigurd Havtoresonn and his wife Ingebjorg Erlingsdottir of Bjarkoy - but he declined. He was holding combined hereditary rights of the Stovreim line (Ingebjorg Erlingsdottir's ancestors) and Agnes Håkonsdatter's Sudreim line. The 1448 offer to the intended "Sigurd III" was made by more or less the same party who after his refusal, worked towards having Karl Knutsson from Sweden as Norway's king instead of Christian I of Denmark.

The next intriguer of this "dynasty" seems to have been Knut Alvsonn, of the Swedish noble family Tre Rosor, Lord of Giske, Sigurd Jonson's sister's great-grandson, and his ultimate heir (after Sigurd's own son had died childless). He was a Royal Councillor of Norway, and holder of vast landed properties around Norway, having inherited such from his Giske-Bjarkoy-Sudreim ancestors. Knut Alvson was personal enemy of Lord Henrich Krummedige, a Danish royal governor in Norway - that made Knut somewhat an opposer of the union; and he was an ally of Sweden's anti-unionist Regent Sten Sture the Elder. Knut Alvson is said to have built a basis to grab the Norwegian throne, starting in the late 15th century. He started an open rebellion against King John of Denmark, took some Norwegian castles, but was killed in 1502 by King Johns' minions.

That appears to be the end of this "dynasty"'s open claims to the Norwegian throne (and, "A Night of Centuries" ensued in Norway). However, Knut's granddaughter and ultimate heiress was lady Görvel Fadersdotter (Sparre) (1516–1605), after Knut's sons were killed in 1520. Upon her death, the Giske-Bjarkoy-Sudreim succession right seems to have gone to descendants of the youngest son of the niece of Sigurd Jonsonn (because Gyrvhild did not have closer cousins living - she seems to have been the last survivor of the entire line of Alv of Giske). The heir of the said younger Tre Rosor line was, at that time, Johan Stensson, 4th Count of Bogesund, who died childless in c. 1612. His undisputed heir was his first cousin baron Gabriel Bengtsson Oxenstierna, later created 1st Count of Korsholma and Vaasa in Finland. Oxenstierna's descendants included Christian IX of Denmark and his grandson Haakon VII of Norway. who would bring back the blood of Agnes into the Norwegian throne.

The above-explained family married with highest Norwegian nobility and was a leading element of it well into early modern age.

Heads of the Sudreim line[edit]


  1. ^ "Sørum kommunevåpen". Retrieved 2015-06-23.