Haakon Haakonsson the Young

Haakon Haakonsson the Young (10 November 1232 - 5 May 1257), Norwegian "Håkon Håkonsson Unge", Old Norse "Hákon Hákonarson hinn ungi", was the son of king Haakon Haakonsson of Norway, and held the title of king, subordinate to his father, from 1 April 1240 to his death. He was referred to as "Haakon the Young" to distinguish him from his father, who was sometimes correspondingly called "Haakon the Old".

Haakon was born in Bergen on 10 November 1232, as the second son of king Haakon Haakonsson of Norway and his queen, Margrét Skuladóttir. His older brother died in infancy. In 1239, queen Margrét's father, Duke Skule Bårdsson, rebelled against his son-in-law, king Haakon, and had himself hailed as king. This revolt marked the end of the civil war era in Norway. Part of king Haakon's response to Skule's action was to have the seven-year-old Haakon the Young hailed as king and co-ruler. This took place at the thing of "Eyrathing" in Nidaros (Trondheim) on 1 April 1240. The ceremony was repeated at the thing in Bergen on 12 April. In this way, king Haakon the Old had provided his supporters with a successor, should he himself fall in the battle against Skule. Haakon proceeded to put down Skule's rebellion, and Skule himself was killed by Haakon's men on 24 May the same year.

The appointment of Haakon the Young as king Haakon the Old's heir-apparent marked a new development in the heredity of the Norwegian monarchy. King Haakon did have an older, illegitimate son, "Sigurd", who was bypassed in favour of Haakon the Young. This marked a break with older traditions, when the question of legitimacy of birth was not of consequence in inheriting the kingdom.

Although he held the title of "king", it was clear that Haakon the Young's position was subordinate to that of his father. This was underlined at the coronation of Haakon the Old in 1247, when Haakon the Young carried the crown in the procession. He himself was not crowned.

In 1251, he married the Swedish Rikitsa Birgersdotter in Oslo. Rikitsa was the daughter of the Swedish "de facto" ruler, Earl Birger Magnusson, and sister of the under-aged Swedish king Valdemar Birgersson. The match was the result of diplomatic activity on king Haakon the Old's part to forge an alliance between Norway and Sweden, primarily directed against Denmark. The couple had one son, who was named "Sverre" (Old Norse "Sverrir").

Haakon the Young took part in his father's military operations against Denmark in 1256 and 1257, when the Norwegian kings ravaged the Danish province of Halland. In the spring of 1257, he fell ill at Konghelle while preparing to travel to Oslo. He broke off his journey at Tønsberg, and took lodgings at a monastery there. The saga records that he was attended to by a Spanish physician, who was with a Spanish diplomatic delegation to Norway at the time. However, the illness got worse, and he died in Tønsberg on 5 May 1257. His body was taken to Oslo, where he was buried in the church of St. Hallvard.

The main source on the life of Haakon the Young is the saga of his father, the "Saga of Haakon Haakonsson", written by Sturla Þórðarson in the 1260s. The saga describes Haakon the Young as "of somewhat over medium height, well-shaped, handsome of countenance, with pretty hair and beautiful eyes. He was a strong man, unusually fast and agile. He was the best horseman there was in Norway at that time."

After his death, his wife Rikitsa returned to her father in Sweden. Their young son Sverre remained in Norway with his grandfather. He does not seem to have been considered an heir to the throne, as Haakon the Young's younger brother, Magnus, was hailed as king already in 1257. Sverre died young, in 1261.


*cite book|author=Sturla Þórðarson; translation to English by G.W. Dasent|title=The Saga of Hakon and a Fragment of the Saga of Magnus with Appendices|publisher=London (Rerum Britannicarum Medii Ævi Scriptores, vol.88.4)|year=1894, repr. 1964

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Haakon VII of Norway — Haakon VII King of Norway Reign 18 November 1905 − 21 September 1957 ( 1000000000000005100000051 years, 10000000000000307000000307 days) …   Wikipedia

  • Haakon IV of Norway — Infobox Monarch | name=Håkon Håkonsson title= King of Norway reign= 1217 ndash; December 16 1263 date1= 1217 date2= December 15 1263 coronation= July 29 1247, old cathedral of Bergen queen= Margrét Skúladóttir Royal house= Fairhair father= Håkon… …   Wikipedia

  • Cnut the Great — For other people named Canute of Denmark, see Canute of Denmark. Canute and Cnut redirect here. For other people of these names, see Knut. Cnut the Great Coin of Cnut the Great from the British Museum …   Wikipedia

  • List of characters in The Master of Hestviken — This is a list of characters in Sigrid Undset s tetralogy The Master of Hestviken.Olav s family* Olav Audunsson, the Master of Hestviken * Audun Ingolfsson, father of Olav * Cecilia Björnsdatter, wife of Audun and mother of Olav * Queen Ingebjörg …   Wikipedia

  • Fairhair dynasty — St.Olav dynasty , Hardrada dynasty , Gille dynasty and Sverre dynasty all redirect here.The Fairhair dynasty ( no. Hårfagreætta or Hårfagreætten) was a family of kings, alternatively ruling Norway 890 1387 (traditional view), or through only… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Norwegian queens — This is a list of Norwegian queens. This list covers a large time span and the role of a queen has changed much over the centuries. However individual queens have also shaped their own role in remarkable ways. Many have truly ruled the country… …   Wikipedia

  • Birger Jarl — For the ship, see MS Birger Jarl. Birger Magnusson Birger in Varnhem Church Jarl of Sweden In office c. 1248 …   Wikipedia

  • List of Norwegian monarchs — Coronation of Charles III John in Nidaros Cathedral 1818 Members of Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish royal families have been Norwegian monarchs. Norwegian territories were not united until about 860 and were ruled by jarls. Harald Fairhair united… …   Wikipedia

  • Olaf II of Denmark — For the anti king of Denmark who called himself Olaf II, see Olaf Haraldsen. Olaf II and IV King of Denmark, Norway, the Wends and the Goths; True Heir of Sweden Olaf II depicted on the Kronborg Tapestries ( …   Wikipedia

  • Norway — /nawr way/, n. Norwegian, Norge. a kingdom in N Europe, in the W part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. 4,404,456; 124,555 sq. mi. (322,597 sq. km). Cap.: Oslo. * * * Norway Introduction Norway Background: Despite its neutrality, Norway was not able …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.