Norse Vikings predated Columbus exploring North America – Smoking gun part 2 chapter 2

Norse Vikings predated Columbus exploring North America – Smoking gun part 2 chapter 2
© Johansson Inger E, Gothenburg July 2015

From former chapter:
‘In 1505 I saw two such leaderboats above the Eastern portal in the Oslo Cathedral, sanctified to Saint Halvord, where they were fastened on the wall for everyone to look at. It’s told that King Hakon[IEJ: son of King Magnus Eriksson] acquired them, when he with an armed battle fleet passed Greenland’s coast…’
The source refered to was Olaus Magnus, Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, De fcorteis, feu coriariiis nauibus Gruntlandiæ, Cap. IX which you also could find the Latin text for at Olaus Magnus De fcorteis, feu coriariiis nauibus Gruntlandiæ, Cap. IX

The question you might ask is: Who was King Hakon? and secondly Why did King Hakon send an armed battle fleet passing Greenland’s coast? As you might comprehend that only gives two possible answers on question where he was going: Either he passed Greenland sailing from east, in other word either Iceland or Norway or he sailed from west which directly would have given the final proof of a settlement west of Greenland. The later is unlikely so we have to start by assuming that King Hakon sailed from Europa, either from Norway via Iceland or Orkney Island or direct. (To this I will return with some proofs in later chapter)

Now you might have heard of the days in later Medieval Age when Sweden was a large country. 1340, the year King Hakon was born and up to mid 1360’s Sweden was one of the largest Kingdom ever existing. This was due to King Magnus Eriksson, father of King Hakon and his inheritance of Norway as well as Greenland and dioceses under Gardar See, Greenland westward and over to parts of what now-a-days belongs to Russia in the inner parts of Gulf of Finland.

Greenland in King Magnus Eriksson’s and King Hakon’s days
During the 1300’s many things changed in Greenland. In 1300 AD Greenland had more than 300 farms inhabited. More than 3000 people lived at that time in the Western Settlement, the Middle Settlement and the Eastern Settlement. Same year, 1300 AD there were more than 40 churches in Greenland. Many were only small ”farm-churches” regularly visited by the priest from Herjolfsnes and Gardar. Their mission was to look so the inhabitants had the correct Christian believes and paid the tithes. Four or five monasteries still had monks and/or nuns at this time. One in the northern part of the Western Settlement on the way to Disco Bay, one closer to the mountains and the hot springs and the third more in centre in one of the fjords. The later was from beginning a Minoritian Monastery but were altered to a Birgittiner Monastery from the end of the 14th Century.

From 1319 to 1364, the inhabited farms in Greenland decreased from 300 to 190. Most of the abounded farms belonged to the Western Settlement. A year to be remembered until next chapter is 1347. In that year Western Settlement was abandoned. This is one part of the background information you better keep in mind.

Magnus Eriksson
King Magnus Eriksson was born 1319 AD as a son of the Swedish Duke Erik and the Norwegian Princess Ingeborg Princess Ingeborg was the granddaughter of Norwegian king Haakon. Duke Erik was brother of the Swedish King Birger Magnusson, Duke Valdemar and Eufemia who married the Duke of Mechlenburg and became mother of the Swedish King Albrekt of Mecklenburg.

Among Magnus Eriksson’s ancestors and relatives there are Polish, Danish and Norwegian kings; Law mans in England, Norway and Sweden; Earls in England, Jarls in Sweden and Norway; Bishops in Sweden and Denmark; Grand Dukes of Novgorod and Kiew. On the Law-man’s side of the Folkunga Dynasty to which Magnus Eriksson belonged, our Swedish Saint St Birgitta of Vadstena. All this is part of the story why things happened the way they did. In other word the politician picture of the mid 14th Century was as complicated as it is in our days…

While above might seem a bit a side of story, you will find that this matters later on when we return to King Hakon as well as the later days of King Magnus Eriksson.

Magnus Eriksson married Bianca of Namur in 1335. Their sons was Erik Magnusson and Håkan Magnusson. Queen Bianca was one of Duke Jean of Namurs many daughters. Queen Bianca’s grandfather had tried to save Namur and Flandern, where the Duke own much of the land, together with the English king Edward I(King of England 1272-1307).

After that the French king Charles IV died 1st February 1328 his widow gave birth to a female child who couldn’t inherit the French throne. There was two candidates: Philippe de Valois, Philippe IV’s nephew, and the English king Edward III son to the French princess Isabelle daughter to Philippe IV. Edward had inherited big land in France, his mother Isabelle was by no means a candidate but her son could claim the rights to the throne due to old customs.

The Swedish king Magnus spent much time in Flandern trying to help England due to his Brother-in-law’s close continued connection to the English Royal Family against the French candidate, Philippe de Valois. King Magnus even sent his own men to fight in the so called Hundred-year war on his Brother-in-law’s side. The French pretender Philippe de Valois was as you might remember elected king of France.

1348 AD King Magnus finally acknowledge his relative St Birgitta’s request and the Papal papal letter for Crusades to the ”far most parts of his kingdom” and went to Russia on his first Crusade.(Svenskt Diplomatarium 5911).

The tradition in King Magnus Eriksson’s family of Crusades goes back to Crusades on behalf of the Pope in the Baltic Areas. Involving among other Birger Brosa’s brothers Magnus Minneskold and Earl/Jarl Karl the Deaf. One of Birger Brosa’s daughters married Karl Sverkersson’s son Sverker II. This has a significance when it comes to which monestries that had an advantage of old contacts with Sweden’s and Norwegian Royal Families in Scandinavia as well as on Greenland’s soil. Magnus Minneskold was the father of Birger Jarl (founder of Stockholm), Bishop Bengt of Linköping, Earl/Jarl Filip as well as Ingegerd (mentioned above). Jarl Karl the deaf was the father of Jarl Ulf Fase who is the same Ulf/Olaf/Oleg who in Russian annals and chronicles is referred to as ”the last Varjag to be thrown out from Baltic and Novgorod areas.”

Due to circumstances refered to in King Hakon below as well as to the fact that St Birgitta due to her husband as well as her own due to ancestors was having some claim to inherit the Royal throne in Sweden King Magnus Eriksson and his Queen Bianca, in Sweden called Blanka, was slandered by St Birgitta. While some parts of the story she told might be true, there exist no proofs. One of the stories relates to the fact that King Hakon, who inherited Norway while his father still was the King in power had a brother Erik who died suddenly. One of the stories told was that either King Magnus or his Queen Bianca was behind that. In contemporary sources the death is said to be due to illness. Normal illness.

King Magnus Eriksson had problems with his brother in law in Mechlenburg. You will read about that under King Hakon’s part below. This came to a fight where King Magnus and his son Hakon tried to defeat Albert of Mechlenburg who had taken parts of Sweden. Hakon returned to Norway after his father Magnus Eriksson had been inprisoned. Magnus Eriksson was inprisoned for five years before he finally came to Norway.

King Magnus Eriksson is said to have died 1th December 1374 not far from Haugesund i Norge. According to Visby Chronicle Magnus’s son King Hakon took him to Norway and while on a sea voyage close to ”Lywngholm” near Bergen, King Magnus is said to have jumped over board but been saved taken ashore and died. This hadn’t had any significance for the Norse Greenlander’s North American history hadn’t it been for the fact that it’s in a Scottish contemporary document is mentioned that the former King Magnus of Sweden had been on a ship winddriven from Vineland who had fallen overboard and been brought to a Scottish castle near by earlier same year. To that I will return with documentation in later chapter due to that this might be a possible answer to the question WHEN King Hakon latest could have sailed with an armed war fleet by Greenland.

King Hakon
Hakon VI Magnusson born 1340 was the son of King Magnus Eriksson of Sweden and Queen Blanka born in Namur, Flandern. He was elected King of Norway in 1343 to rule and inherit Norway together with his father King Magnus who ruled until Hakon had grown up. King Hakon ruled by himself from 1355 to his death 1380. Due to circumstances mentioned below he became King of Sweden 1362 – 1364.
When 19 years old Hakon was engaged to Margaretha daughter of Danish King Valdemar. Margaretha was 6 years old. During the year that followed King Magnus and King Valdemar became enemies. This due to the battle round Skane. Skane had been inherited/given to King Magnus mother due to her marriage of Porse. King Magnus bought Skane. Valdemar of Denmark went for Visby (we call it that he ”brandskattade Visby” in July 1361 and the story around all this could fill a full book.

Due to the differences between Danish and Swedish King, King Magnus engaged his son Hakon to a sister of the Count of Holstein. After a ceremony in Holstein the bride to be was to sail to Sweden. While passing Skane where the Archbishop of Denmark still was located in Lund, the Archbishop was pro Valdemar and an enemy of King Magnus, the ship was siezed and she was taken as a prisoner to Denmark where she was inprisoned in a castle and dies some years later. Thus King Valdemar of Denmark was able to arrange a quick wedding in Copenhagen in 1363 between Hakon and his own daughter Margaretha who at that time only was ten years old.

Margaretha was brought to Bohus to be fostred by one of St Birgitta’s daughters until she came to age. She is said to have had a very hard upbringing. When she and Hakon finally became a real pair only one son was born in 1387, Olav.

Summary of background
The lines re. King Magnus Eriksson as well as his son Hakon, written above gives background needed to know in order to understand WHY King Hakon sent a warfleet passing Greenland. In the next chapter you will read about Ivar Bardson/Bardarsson, Paul Knutsson as well as two Popes. Or should I say one Pope who happened to be studying to become a monk together with one of Ivar Bardson’s brothers and a Kardinal who in 1364 is documented in two sources as the collector for the Papal See of tithes from Gardar as well as from Korsnes under Gardar (Korsnes in NA) and one other diocese in NA. The Kardinal later became Pope thus his documents still is saved in the Vatican vaults.

Most of the sources used above derive from:
Danskt Diplomatarium
Desliens mappamundi 1566
Diplomatarium Norwegicum,
Islandske annaler til 1578 Skalhóltann, edited Christiania 1888
Ordericus Vitalis, Historiske besetninger om Normanner og Angelsaxere fra Orderik Vitals kirkehistorie I-III. Edition 1889
Svenskt Diplomatarium

When the text within is of interest to the following chapters and/or part 3 of the blogg article serie, the exakt information for where the information can be found will be given.


4 Responses to Norse Vikings predated Columbus exploring North America – Smoking gun part 2 chapter 2

  1. Genetiker skriver:


    This is Genetiker from Thank you for reblogging my The Kurgan hypothesis is dead post a while back.

    Would you please email me? I need your help with something.


  2. mahlberg2012 skriver:

    Lovely!!! You keep delivering more than expected to us history thursting readers…
    Thank you!


    • norah4you skriver:

      Problem with Greenlanders and North America is that there is so much background information needed before one can present the important text AND combine contemporary written sources with what’s been found during excavations. Some of the artifacts found only can tell their story if more written information from the days of the active life of the artifacts been presented….. doing my best


  3. […] Nyutlagd bloggartikel i Norah4history. Norse Vikings predated Columbus exploring North America – Smoking gun part 2 chapter 2 […]

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