Problems with Brigida Haraldsdatter of Norway

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Problems with Brigida Haraldsdatter of Norway Leo 6/21/12 2:53 PM
When Brigida was born and died is not known. However, her first marriage
makes details about her children questionable. Was she married to Karl

S.Otto Brenner in his "Nachkommen Gorms des Alten" has nr 113 as her second
husband and nr 136 as the third. With these is displayed that

married (1) Karl Sunason who died about 1137----no children
married (2) Magnus Henriksson of Denmark killed in battle 1161----no
married (3) 1161 to Birger Brosa----with whom she had 2 sons then 1 daughter
followed by two more sons

If married to Karl Sunason who old was she? There is only a guess when her
daughter  was born : 1180. This daughter became a mother in 1201.

If old enough to marry Karl Sunason, presume she was 15 and married him the
year he died, she would have been 65 when her daughter was born who was
followed by two more sons.

Does anyone understand what the real situation was?
With many thanks
Leo van de Pas
Canberra, Australia

Brigida was the illegitimate daughter of Harald
IV Magnusson 'Gylle', king of Norway. Her mother
is unknown with any certainty, though she could
have been Thora Guttormsdatter, long-term lover
of her father and the mother of Sigurd Haraldsson
Mund, joint king of Norway. Her first marriage
was probably to Karl Sunason af Edsvära,
Justiciar of Westrogothia, son of Sune Ivarsson,
and Astrid Ogmundsdottir av Oplandene. The
marriage did not result in progeny. She was
married to Magnus Henriksson of Denmark, king in
Östergötland, son of her stepmother Ingrid
Ragnvaldsdotter of Sweden and Ingrid's first
husband, Prince Henrik Skadelår of Denmark. Her
spouse claimed the Swedish throne through his
mother in 1160-61, during which time she was
called Queen Birgida of Sweden for one year.
After his death without progeny in 1161, she
married Birger Brosa, Jarl in Sweden, son of
Bengt Folkason Snivel, jarl in Sweden. She and
Birger had five children of whom three sons and a
daughter Ingegärd would have progeny. Ingegärd
would become queen of Sweden in 1200, marrying
Sverker II 'den yngre', king in Sweden.

In 1174 the Norwegian throne claimant Eystein
Meyla, who claimed to be Brigida's nephew, asked
for the support of her and her husband Birger
Brosa, which they granted. However the
'Birkebeiner'  (a party of forest people 'having
shoes of birch') formed around him met a crushing
defeat at the Battle of Re in Vestfold in 1177,
and Eysten, the son of Eynstein Haraldsson,
joint-king of Norway, was killed. The Norwegian
throne claimant Sverre Sigurdsson then did the
same. Brigida and Birger initially turned him
away but then advised the Birkebeiner party to
acknowledge Sverre as their king and gave him
their support and that of the Swedish king.
Sverre and his Birkebeiner were victorious over
the forces of King Magnus at Nidaros (Trondheim).
Brigida's son Filip Birgersson would also join
Sverre's service. Birger Brosa died in 1202. In
1205 a conflict broke out between Brigida's
daughter Queen Ingegärd and her late husband's house of Bjelbo.

The dates of Brigida's birth and death are not
known with any certainty, though her daughter's
birth year is thought to have been about 1180.
After Birger's death she retired to the Riseberga
Nunnery in Närke, where she died, possibly about
1208, and where she was buried.

Problems with Brigida Haraldsdatter of Norway Sjostrom 6/22/12 6:42 PM
I am wondering about the mongrelized versions of Norwegian names in this
story, how they have parts that are definitely not Norwegian but some
other, anachronistic languages, and generally being hopeless messes.

For example, the version "Gylle" does not enjoy any support in authentic
sources, nor in Norwegian language, nor even in etymological development.
Surely the "y" in that is a typo ?
the name of Harald Gille should rather be rendered with "i". Gille.

Warning: because Harald gille's filiation to king Magnus was merely a claim
he and his mother made, and not even recognized by Magnus who already was
dead at the time, it should be regarded very questionable to put any
patronymic 'Magnusson' to Harald's name. Surely, no respectable genealogist
wants to give undue affirmations to filiations which are uncertain. A
patronymic is an affirmation, it does not include the admittance of

"Brigida Haraldsdatter" is a mongrel on several levels. It shows clearly
through that it is from some Danish text (Brenner, for example, was Danish,
but that unfortunate fact does not make it correct to use modern Danish
renditions to medieval people from other parts of Scandinavia),
 but sadly has no word of proper Norwegian in it. Danish is of course
totally anachronistic for her time.
A mongrel: one part Irish-like, another non-Irish.
Those who know something (instead of total ignorance), know that her name
has two alternatives:
Brigid inghen Arailt
Birgitta Haraldsdottir (= Birgitta Haraldsdotter).
The latter is Norwegian, the first is Irish-Gaelic. These should not be
mongrelized using parts of one and parts of the other.

As I have repeatedly mentioned throughout years, Bengt Snivel was not jarl.
I wonder why such an untrue title is dragged through all sorts of materials
and kept against the real history. Assuage to someones' vanity?


of the marriages of Birgitta Haraldsdottir, the one with Birger brosa and
the one with usurper-king Magnus II of Sweden are best attested. So, they
should be taken as clearer basis and factual events of her life, rather
than to believe too much in the (less-well recorded) thing with Karl

Birgitta's children with Birger Brosa should be regarded better attested
than her any relationship with Karl Sunason. That said, her daughter
Ingegerd Birgersdotter was more likely born already in the 1170s rather
than in 1180.
1180 or a couple of years before that year, is the likely timing of
Birgitta's menopause. Her being about 45 years old. It should be noted that
her father Harald Gille deceased in 1136 and after that was not in position
to sire her.

Birgitta's own birth has been plausibly reconstrued to have taken place in
the first half of the 1130s. The time of her father's activity in Norway.
Her father Harald Gille indicatedly was still a young man through the 1120s.

Birgitta's marriage with Karl Sunason was not important in light of how the
future transpired. It is not certain that she was given to that marriage
yet during the lifetime of her father. There are not clear attestation that
Karl Sunason decesed precisely in 1137. Rather, he was alive in c1137. It
is in realm of possibilities that Birgitta's family gave her to that
marriage only after the death of Harald Gille. There is no evidence that
Birgitta's marriage with Karl Sunason was ever physically consummated.

However, if Karl Sunason deceased soon in 1137 or soon after it, (and if he
even was married with Birgitta,) then in my opinion it should simply be
understood that  this marriage of Birgitta was when she was still a child.
The marriage could have remained a betrothal of child-bride to an elderly
widower. Ending on the death of the said widower.

Birgitta's next marriage, with her step-brother Magnus, took place at a
time when she was much more likely already an adult or near adulthood.
Before 1160. It was presumably Birgitta's family who arranged her to marry
Magnus, the half-brother of king Inge, her own half-brother.