On 18 August 1502, landowner and former commander at Akershus Fortress, Knut Alvsson was killed in ambush on a ship. In the trial that followed the murderers went free and Alvsson was posthumously convicted of treason. This stopped the only Norwegian revolt against the Danish union throughout four centuries.
In his present, Alvsson was an important figure in Norway. He inherited properties from his father, one of the largest estate owners in the country, as well as goods and property from his brother. He also inherited a long-standing feud with Henrich Krummedige’s family. As a member of the pro-Swedish faction on the Norwegian council of the realm, Knut was in natural opposition to Henrich, who was a key member of the Pro-Danish faction.
In 1500 King Hans of Denmark, Sweden and Norway made an ill-fated attempt to conquer the Ditmarshes (Dithmarschen) in Northern Germany. Knut Alvsson, who had married the granddaughter of Swedish King Karl Knutsson, and was involved with the Swedish Independence Party, concluded it was time to act.
- See also: Oslo Fortress – Akershus Festning
Alvsson directed harsh accusations against King Hans’ control in Norway and was provided Swedish support for his return to Norway, based on the belief that a Norwegian uprising would quickly follow the Swedish uprising. Documents indicate that Knut Alvsson made his case a national fight.
During the year 1501, Alvsson and his companions officially started to get the Danish king out of Sweden. The reason was that the king had violated the country’s laws and the covenant with the people, both in Norway and Sweden. In the autumn the same year, the real battles began.
On 11 August 1502, Knut Alvsson requested negotiations, and the meeting was held August 18 on Henrich Krummedige’s ship.
The negotiations ended with Knut Alvsson’s death, which pulled the plug out of the Norwegian battle for independence. The murder trial was in many ways a judicial farce. Two years after, the Danes accepted that Alvsson’s properties was consigned to his children. Knut Alvsson’s body was left without burial until 1514, when Christian II was crowned.
The fascinating story about Knut Alvsson’s life and death ‘Kongeblod’ (King’s Blood) has become a major theater success, starring several of Norway’s best actors. It is performed in authentic scenery at Akershus Fortress in Oslo on August 8th, 9th, 14th, 16th and 17th, 8:30 pm on Karpedammen scene.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Source: Karpedammen, Wikipedia
Painting by Claus Møinichen (Battle of Køge Bay, 1677)