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Inge II of Norway

  • Original Name Inge Baardsson
  • Birth 1185 Rissa, Rissa kommune, Sør-Trøndelag fylke, Norway
  • Death 23 Apr 1217 Trondheim, Trondheim kommune, Sør-Trøndelag fylke, Norway
  • Burial Trondheim, Trondheim kommune, Sør-Trøndelag fylke, Norway
  • Memorial ID 81195140

Norwegian Monarch. His reign was from 1204 to 1217 during a time of internal civil wars, primarily between the two main political parties, the Bagler and the Birkebeiner. He was an early supporter of King Sverre, who was the leader of the Birkebeiner party. When King Sverre died in 1202, his son, Haakon (who was crowned king as Haakon III upon Sverre's death), and his grandson, Guttorm, died within two years, leaving the Birkebeiner party without any direct successors to ascend the throne. The Bagler party determined to exploit the situation and seize power by launching an invasion at Viken under their leader, Erling Steinvegg. The Birkebeiner party needed a strong leader to rule and oppose the Bagler threat and sought to enlist Earl Haakon the Crazy, who was Inge's older half-brother. However, Erik, the Archbishop of Nidaros (now Trondheim), and the farmers from the Trondelag region of Norway, insisted on choosing Inge who had previously ruled in Trondelag. A compromise was reached, and in 1204 Inge became king and Earl Haakon became the leader of the army and received half of the royal income. Over the next four years, intense fighting continued between the Bagler and Birkebeiner parties. The Baglers controlled the Viken area which included the cities of Oslo and Tonsberg and the Birkebeiners, under King Inge controlled the Trondelag area, which included the city of Nidaros, while the city of Bergen changed hands several times. On April 23, 1206, the Baglers attacked the city of Nidaros while Inge was attending the wedding celebration of his sister, and he barely escaped with his life by swimming the Nidelva River in frigid temperatures, which left him in poor health for the rest of his life. Shortly afterward, the Birkebeiners countered by successfully attacking the Bagler stronghold of Tonsberg, but the conflict continued without either side able to score a decisive victory. In the autumn of 1207, Archbishop Tore of Nidaros and Bishop Nikolas of Oslo started negotiations for a peaceful settlement between the warring political parties. They successfully brought about a meeting between the Birkebeiner King Inge, the Bagler King Philippus Simonsson, and Earl Haakon at Kvitsoy in the autumn of 1208, and a treaty was signed where Philippus agreed to relinquish his title of king along with his royal seal. Philippus would remain in control of eastern Norway with the title of Earl, and Earl Haakon would control western Norway, with both subservient to King Inge, the overall ruler. The treaty held for the remainder of Inge's reign; however, Philippus did not keep his end of the bargain and continued to use the title of king and kept his royal seal. Earl Haakon also made several attempts to declare himself king as well, which Inge refused to accept. Instead, an agreement was drawn up between Inge and Haakon in which the surviving brother would inherit the other's lands, while a legitimate son of either would inherit them both. Earl Haakon died in late 1214 and Inge took over his part of the kingdom. In 1217, Inge became ill at Nidaros and before he died, he appointed his younger half-brother, Skule Baardsson, earl and leader of the army. He was succeeded to the throne by the 13-year-old Haakon Haakonsson, an illegitimate son of King Haakon III, who had been raised at the courts of King Inge and Earl Haakon since they became aware of his existence in 1206.

Bio by: William Bjornstad





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: William Bjornstad
  • Added: 29 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 81195140
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Inge II of Norway (1185–23 Apr 1217), Find A Grave Memorial no. 81195140, citing Domkirkegården, Trondheim, Trondheim kommune, Sør-Trøndelag fylke, Norway ; Maintained by Find A Grave .