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Harald of Norway Gille, IV

  • Birth c.1102 Ireland
  • Death 14 Dec 1136 Bergen, Bergen kommune, Hordaland fylke, Norway
  • Burial Bergen, Bergen kommune, Hordaland fylke, Norway
  • Memorial ID 82159156

Norwegian Monarch. He reigned as King of Norway from 1130 until 1136. He was born circa 1102, probably in Ireland. He claimed to be the illegitimate son of King Magnus III "Barefoot" Olafsson of Norway, who had visited Ireland shortly before his death in 1103. (According to some Irish stories, Magnus III was known to have been particularly fond of at least one Irish woman.) Around 1127, he went to Norway and announced his claim, which would have made him the half-brother of the reigning king, Sigurd I Magnusson "The Crusader." He supposedly submitted himself to an ordeal by fire to prove his claim and was successful. Sigurd then acknowledged the relationship on condition that Harald did not claim any right to the kingdom during his lifetime or that of his son Magnus. He kept this agreement until Sigurd's death in 1130, at which time he called for a meeting at Hauga of all the noblemen and he was chosen king over half the country and King Magnus IV Sigurdsson ruled over the other half. They managed to keep a shaky peace until August 9, 1134, when Magnus and his army defeated Harald at Farlev in Bohuslan and he fled to Denmark. Shortly afterward, Magnus disbanded his army and wintered at Bergen. Harald then returned to Norway with a new army and, meeting little opposition, besieged Bergen and took it on January 7, 1135. He captured Magnus, had him blinded, castrated, and one leg cut off, and put him in prison at the Nidarholm Abbey on the island of Munkholmen in the Trondheimfjord. He then ruled all of Norway until December 14, 1136, when he was murdered by Sigurd Slembedjakn, another alleged illegitimate son of Magnus III. His accession to the throne would plunge Norway into a series of internal civil wars lasting from about 1130 to 1240, which involved a struggle between the main political parties, the Bagler and the Birkebeiner, over unclear Norwegian succession laws, social conditions, and conflict between the Church and the monarchy.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: William Bjornstad
  • Added: 19 Dec 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 82159156
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Harald of Norway Gille, IV (c.1102–14 Dec 1136), Find A Grave Memorial no. 82159156, citing Christ Church (Defunct), Bergen, Bergen kommune, Hordaland fylke, Norway ; Maintained by Find A Grave .