Norwegian Monarch. He was the only legitimate son of King Harald IV Gille and his wife, Ingrid Ragnvaldsdotter. His father was murdered in 1136 by Sigurd Slembe, a pretender to the Norwegian throne. He was one year old when he was named king in 1136 at Borgarting and shared overall rule of Norway with his infant half-brothers, Magnus and Sigurd Haraldsson, who were named kings at their respective locations. According to the Morkinskinna and Heimskringla sagas, he could barely walk due to a hump on his back and chest and one foot was withered. During their minority, Norway was ruled by their guardians, prominent among them was Inge's mother. The guardians of all three infant kings joined forces against Sigurd Slembe and his ally, the former King Magnus IV Sigurdsson "The Blind", and defeated and killed them at the Battle of Holmengra near Hvaler (now part of Sweden) on November 12, 1139. Magnus Haraldsson died in the early 1140s and a fourth older half-brother, Eystein Haraldsson (Harald Gille had acknowledged Eystein as his son before his death), came from Scotland to Norway in 1142 and was given part of the kingdom. According to the sagas, the brothers ruled peacefully as long as their guardians were living. However, as the guardians died and the brothers became adults, conflict broke out between them. In 1155, a meeting between the brothers was held in Bergen that, for unknown reasons, resulted in fighting between the men of King Inge and King Sigurd and Sigurd was killed. King Eystein was late in arriving and approached only after King Sigurd was already dead. They reached an uneasy settlement that lasted until 1157, when King Inge's army battled King Eystein's smaller forces near Moster. Eystein was defeated and forced to flee; he was eventually caught in Bohuslan and killed. The supporters of Kings Sigurd and Eystein eventually united behind a son of King Sigurd, Haakon the Broadshouldered, to renewed the fight against King Inge. On February 3, 1161, King Inge was defeated and killed after leading his men into battle against Haakon's forces near Oslo after many of his men defected to Haakon's side. At the time of his death, Norway had already begun a tumultuous period of internal civil wars which would last until 1240, that primarily involved a struggle between the Bagler and the Birkebeiner political parties over unclear Norwegian royal succession laws, social conditions, and conflict between the Church and the monarchy.
Bio by: William Bjornstad