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Harald “Gille” MAGNUSSON, King of Norway

Male - 1136

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  • Name Harald “Gille” MAGNUSSON 
    Suffix King of Norway 
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 Dec 1136  Bergen, Hordaland, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • “HARALD Magnusson, illegitimate son of MAGNUS III King of Norway & his mistress --- (-murdered Bergen 14 Dec 1136, bur [Tronheim], Christ Church). Snorre records that "a man came…out of Ireland called Gillikrist" and met "Halkel Huk, a son of JJon Smiorbalte, who was lenderman in More" in the South Hebrides, that "his mother came with him and said his other name was Harald", claiming that King Magnus was his father, and that he was taken to Norway where King Sigurd "said he must treaead over hot irons to prove his birth". He succeeded in 1130 as HARALD "Gille" King of Norway. Snorre records that, when Magnus was proclaimed king on the death of his father King Sigurd, Harald was "chosen king of half the country" at Tunsberg and that an agreement was reached with Magnus 3 Oct 1130 to divide the country between them. He was murdered by Sigurd "Slembdjakn", who claimed to be his half-brother, and buried "in the old Christ church".
      m ([Jun 1134/36]) as her second husband, INGRID Ragnvaldsdatter of Sweden, widow of HENRIK "Skadelår/the Limper" of Denmark, daughter of RAGNVALD Ingesson "Knaphövde" Under King of Västergötland & his wife --- (-after 1161). Her first marriage is confirmed by Snorre naming "Magnus…and…Ragnvald" as sons of "Queen Ingerid and Henrik Halte…a son of the Danish king Svein Sveinson" Snorre records the marriage of King Harald and "Ingerid, a daughter of Ragnvald, who was the son of the Swedish King Inge Steinkelson". Morkinskinna records that Harald married “Ingirídr, Rognvaldr´s daughter”. She married thirdly as his second wife, Ottar Birtting, and fourthly Arne Kongsmåg Ivarsson from Ståreim. Snorre records that Queen Ingerid married "Ottar Birting…a lendermen and a great chief, and of a Trondheim family" after the death of King Harald, but that he was killed "north in the merchant town". Snorre records that "Queen Ingerid had a son to Ivar Sneis…called Orm [surnamed]…King-brother", and afterwards married "Arne of Stodreim, who was from this called King's-mate", their children being "Inge, Nikolas, Philip of Herdla, and Margaret who first married Bjorn Buk and afterwards Simon Karason".
      Mistress (1): THORA Guttormsdatter, daughter of GUTTHORM "Grabarde" & his wife ---. Snorre names "Thora, a daughter of Guthorm Grabarde" as the mother of Harald's son Sigurd.
      Mistress (2): BJADOCK, daughter of ---. Snorre names "Bjadock" as mother of "Eystein…a son of Harald Gille" when recording that she followed her son to Norway.
      Mistresses (3)+: ---. The names of King Harald's other mistresses are not known.
      King Harald & his wife had [one] child:
      1. INGE Haraldsson ([1135]-killed in battle 4 Feb 1161). Snorre names Inge as son of King Harald & his wife, recording that he was fostered by "Amunde Gyrdson, a grandson of Logberse" and was "in the second year of his age" when his father was murdered. King of Vigen. He succeeded in 1142 as INGE Joint King of Norway, jointly with his half-brothers Eystein and Magnus. Snorre records that King Inge was "small, and he had difficulty in walking alone, because he had one foot withered, and…a hump both on his back and his breast". m ---. The name of Inge's wife or concubine is not known. King Inge & his [wife/concubine] had three [illegitimate] children:
      a) HARALD (-killed in battle near Fimreite on Sognefjord 15 Jun 1184). The Saga of King Sverre records that "Harald son of King Ingi" was one of King Magnus's supporters and was killed in battle with him by King Sverre at Norafiord.
      b) JON (-[Sep/Nov] 1184 or after). The Saga of King Sverre records the rebellion "in the autumn following the death of King Magnus [1184]…east in the Vik" of "Jon son of King Ingi the son of Harald Gilli".
      c) SIGURD "Brenni" (-after 1184). The Saga of King Sverre names "Sigurd Brenni…a son of King Ingi Haraldsson" as leader of a band which made raids "into the Vik".
      King Harald had one illegitimate child by Mistress (1):
      2. SIGURD Haraldsson "Mund" (-murdered 10 Jun 1155). Snorre names Sigurd as the son of Harald by "Thora, a daughter of Guthorm Grabarde", implying that he was born before his father's accession and was older than his half-brothers. He succeeded in 1136 as SIGURD Joint King of Norway.
      King Harald had one illegitimate child by Mistress (2):
      3. EYSTEIN Haraldsson (-murdered 21 Aug 1157, bur Fors). Snorre names "Eystein…a son of Harald Gille" when recording that he came in spring from Scotland after Kings Sigurd and Inge had ruled over Norway about six years, and was well received aat Trondheim where he was chosen as king "at the Eyra-thing of Ascension-day", commenting that King Harald himself had testified to his paternity so "he did not resort to the ordeal of iron". He succeeded in 1142 as EYSTEIN Joint King of Norwayy, jointly with his half-brothers Inge and Eystein. Snorre records that King Eystein fled by ship but was murdered, and buried in Fors church. m RAGNA Nikolasdatter, daughter of NIKOLAS "Mase" & his wife --- (-after 1161). Snorre names "Ragna, a daughter of Nicolas Mase" as the wife of King Eystein. Snorre records that "Ragna, a daughter of Nikolas Mase, who had been married before to King Eystein Haraldson" was betrothed to "Orm the king's brother"[462], who was the son of Queen Ingrid and Ivar Sneis (see above). King Eystein had [two] illegitimate children by unknown mistresses:
      a) [EYSTEIN "Meyla/the Maid" (-killed in battle Jan 1177). Snorre names "Eystein, who gave himself out for a son of King Eystein Haraldson", recording that he was welcomed by "Brigida, Eystein's aunt…[and] Earl Birger", before he "proceeded north into Norway" and proclaimed king at Viken. Snorre records that Eystein was proclaimed king by the Birkebeins but killed in battle the following year.]
      b) [THORLEIF Breidskjegg (-1191). The Saga of King Sverre records the rebellion "east in the Marches" led by "Thorleif Breidskegg…said to be a son of King Eystein Haraldsson" in the summer in which "Earl Eirik" died.]
      King Harald had four illegitimate children by Mistresses (3)+:
      4. MAGNUS Haraldsson (-1145). Snorre names Magnus as King Harald's fourth son, stating that he was fostered by "Kyrpingaorm", was chosen as king and received a fourth part of the country, but was deformed in his feet and lived only a short time before dying in his bed. He succeeded in 1142 as MAGNUS Joint King of Norway, jointly with his half-brothers Inge and Eystein.
      5. MARIA Haraldsdatter. Snorre names "Harald Gille's second daughter…Maria who was married to Simon Skalp, a son of Halkel Huk". m ([1155]) SIMON Halkelsson, son of HALKEL Huk & his wife Sigrid Asulfsdatter of Rein (-killed in battle 4 Feb 1161).
      6. MARGRETE Haraldsdatter. Snorre names "Harald Gille's third daughter…Margaret who was married to Jon Halkelson, a brother of Simon". m ([1155]) JON Halkelsson, son of HALKEL Huk & his wife Sigrid Asulfsdatter of Rein.
      7. BRIGIDA (-22 Oct ----, bur Riseberga Abbey). Snorre records that "King Harald Gille's daughter Brigida" was first married to "the Swedish king Inge Halsteinson, and afterwards to Earl Karl Sonason, and then to the Swedish king Magnus", notining that she and King Inge Haraldson were cousins by the mother's side, and "at last [she] married Earl Birger Brose". It is not chronologically possible for Brigida to have married Inge Halsteinson King of Sweden, who died in 1118. Europäischche Stammtafeln appears to suggest that Brigida was the daughter of King Harald by his wife Ingrid. However, this is extremely improbable assuming that Brigida's second marriage is correct, as it would mean that Magnus Henriksson would have been her uterine half-brother. This appears to be the first example of the name Brigida (or derivatives) being used in the Scandinavian royal families. The name, more commonly associated with Ireland at that time, suggests that Brigida's mother may have been a Gaelic concubine of King Harald's, and that maybe she was born before her father travelled to Norway, although there is no proof that this is correct. Brigida could not have been more than a child at the time of her marriage to KKarl Sunasson. The Saga of King Sverre records that "Earl Birgi Brossa" had married "Brigit", the sister of King Sverre's father. m firstly KARL Sunasson Jarl in Västergötland, son of SUNE Ivarsson & his wife Astrid Ogmundsdatter (-after 1137)7). m secondly MAGNUS Henriksson, King in Östergötland, son of HENRIK "Skadelårs/the Lame" of Denmark & his wife Ingrid Ragnvaldsdatter of Västergötland (-killed in battle [near Örebro] 1161, bur Vreta Abbey). m thirdly (1161) BIRGER Brosa Jarl in Sweden [Folkungaätten], son of BENGT Folkason "Snivel" Jarl in Sweden (-9 Jan 1202).”

      “From HARALD GILLE, OR GILCHRIST, king of Norway (1130-36), a ruthless sovereign whose feud with his fellow king Magnus IV the Blind over the Norwegian throne marked the beginning of a period of civil warrs (1130-1240) during which the right to rule was constantly in dispute. Harald's weak character helped lay the foundation for the increasingly powerful role played by the aristocracy in the civil war period. Harald arrived in Norway from Ireland in 1128, claiming to be a son of the Norwegian king Magnus III Barefoot (reigned 1093-1103). After Harald had passed an ordeal of walking over hot plowshares, Sigurd I Jerusalemfarer, Magnus III's son and reigning king, recognized him as his brother on the condition that Harald would not claim sovereignty during the lifetime of Sigurd or of his son Magnus (later Magnus IV the Blind). After Sigurd's death in 1130, Harald flouted the agreement and was accepted as king in half the kingdom, while Magnus ruled the rest of Norway. Hostilities broke out between Harald and Magnus IV in 1134; Harald was initially defeated at Fyrileif and retreated to Denmark to obtain reinforcements. On returning to Norway, he captured Magnus in 1135, castrated and blinded him, and put him in a monastery. Harald was then sole ruler of Norway, but he was killed the following year by a pretender to the throne, Sigurd Slembi, who also claimed to be a son of Magnus III Barefoot.

      Also: Harald lived his youth in Ireland and came back to Norway at the end of Sigurd Jorsalfar's reign. He claimed to be king since he was the son of Magnus Barfot. His epithet "Gille" comes from "Gilla Christ" which means God's servant. Therere are several points in his Saga that hint on why he was called like that. I think, the most obvious is that one that he promised a church to be built in case that he would be victorious in the Battle against Magnus den Blinde. After a defeat, Harald got a new army in Denmark and defeated Magnus den Blinde in Bergen.

      After Magnus was prisoned in a monastery, Harald was sole king. In 1136, another son of Magnus Barfot showed up: Sigurd Slembe. Harald denied Sigurd the power as king because of the accusations of a murder. Instead, Harald arranged the murder of Sigurd Slembe. However, Sigurd managed to escape and came back. Sigurd Slembe convinced some of Harald's men to follow him and so Harald Gille was killed while he was sleeping.”

      “Harald Gylle (1103–1136), king of Norway, was born in Ireland. His byname Gylle is probably from Gylle Krist, i.e. servant of Christ. Around 1127, he went to Norway and declared he was a son of King Magnus Barefoot, who had visited Ireland jusjust before his death in 1103, and consequently a half-brother of the reigning king, Sigurd. Events April 27 - Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, goes into exile after falling out with Henry I of England Amadeus III becomes Count of Savoy Bohemund I of Antioch is released from imprisonment among the Turks The Scandinavian city of Lund becomes a see within the Roman Catholic Church Births Emperor... Sigurd I Magnusson (1089?-1130), nicknamed Sigurd Jorsalfar (Sigurd the Crusader) was king of Norway 1103-1130. ... He appears to have submitted successfully to the ordeal of fire, and the alleged relationship was acknowledged by Sigurd on condition that Harald did not claim any share in the government of the kingdom during his lififetime or that of his son Magnus. Living on friendly terms with the king, Harald kept this agreement until Sigurd’s death in 1130. Then war broke out between himself and Magnus, and after several battles the latter was captured in 1135, his eyes were put out, and he was thrown into prison. Magnus the Blind was the son of King Sigurd Jorsalfar of Norway and Borghild Olavsdotter. ... Events February 13 - Innocent II is elected pope An antipope schism occurs when Roger II of Sicily supports Anacletus II as pope instead of Innocent II. Innocent flees to France and Anacletus crowns Roger King. ... Harald now ruled the country until 1136, when he was murdered by Sigurd Slembedjakn, another bastard son of Magnus Barefoot. Events Cts Completion of the Saint Denis Basilica in Paris Peter Abelard writes the Historia Calamitatum, detailing his relationship with Heloise Births William of Newburgh, British historian and author of the Historia rerum Anglicarum Deaths November 115 - Leopold III of Austria, Patron saint of Austria Categories: 1136 ... Harald was married to Ingrid Ragnvaldsdottir, and had the son Inge with her. He also had sons with other women: Sigurd, Eystein and Magnus. All four sons were subsequently kings of Norway. Inge Haraldson, krokrygg the crouchback (1135 - 1161) was the king of Norway between 1136 and 1161. ... Sigurd II (1133 – 1155) was the son of Harald Gille, king of Norway and his mistress Tora Guttormsdottir. ... Eystein Haraldson (died 1157), son of king Harald IV of Norway. ... Approximately from his accession to the throne, started the civil wars period of Norwegian history that lasted from 1130 to 1217. During this period there were several interlocked conflicts of varying scale and intensity. The background for these conflicts were the unclear Norwegian succession laws, social conditions and the struggle between Church and King. There were then two main parties, firstly known by varying names or no names at all, but finally condensed into parties of Bagler and Birkebeiner. The rallying point regularly was a royal son, who was set up as the head figure of the party in question, to oppose the rule of king from the contesting party.”«s48», «s57», «s87» [1, 2, 3]
    Person ID I9504  Lowell&Block
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2022 

    Father Magnus III Barføt “The Bareleg” Håkon MAGNUSSON, King of Norway,   b. 1073, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Aug 1103, Ulster, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 30 years) 
    Mother Various MISTRESSES,   b. Abt 1070 
    Family ID F3353  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Ingrid RAGNVALDSDTR 
     1. Inge I HARALDSSON, KING OF NORWAY,   b. Abt 1135,   d. 4 Feb 1161  (Age ~ 26 years)
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F3436  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Thora GUTTORMSDTR 
    +1. Sigurd II HARALDSSON, King of Norway,   b. Abt 1133, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jun 1155, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 22 years)
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F3352  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Bjadok 
     1. Eyestein or Øystein HARALDSSON, KING OF NORWAY,   d. 21 Aug 1157
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F3437  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 4 Various MISTRESSES 
     1. Magnus HARALDSSON, King of Norway,   d. 1145
     2. Maria HARALDSDTR
     3. Margrete HARALDSDTR
     4. Brigida HARALDSDTR
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F3438  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 14 Dec 1136 - Bergen, Hordaland, Norway Link to Google Earth
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  • Sources 
    1. [S48] Ancestors of the Obrocks of Quincy, Illinois., Obrock, Paul E., Dr.

    2. [S57], Rapid Intelligence.

    3. [S87] Foundation for Medieval Genealogy., Foundation for Medieval Genealogy Trustees.