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Magnus Minnesköld

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Title: Magnus Minnesköld  
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Subject: Birger Jarl, Ingrid Ylva, Gregers Birgersson, Magnus I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Charles the Deaf, Bengt Snivil
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Magnus Minnesköld

Template:Infobox nobility Magnus Minniskiöld (also spelled Minnisköld or Minnesköld c. 1175c. 1209) was a medieval Swedish Lawspeaker from the House of Bjelbo.

He is commonly believed to have been killed in battle, most likely in the Battle of Lena in 1208, or at the Battle of Gestilren in 1210.


His earliest known ancestor is thought to be Folke the Fat, a powerful Swedish leader of the early 12th century, who married Ingegerd Knudsdatter daughter of Canute IV of Denmark, becoming one of the first magnates of the Kingdom of Denmark.[1]

He lived at the family estate Bjälbo, in the current Mjölby municipality, Östergötland, Sweden. He was the son of Bengt Snivil, and younger brother of the Riksjarl Birger Brosa. He married the noblewoman Ingrid Ylva, and fathered several sons who would influence early Swedish history, most notably Birger Jarl. He is mentioned in two contemporary diplomas (DS 70, 116), as the brother of Birger Brosa, as well as by King Magnus Birgersson, who in a letter in 1280 called him grandfader.

Magnus Minnesköld was probably married twice; this has been inferred from the great differences in the ages of his children. Nothing is known about his supposed first wife. Magnus married his second wife around 1195 - Ingrid Ylva, who, according to to the Swedish reformer and historian Olaus Petri, was a daughter of Sune Sik. Sune Sik, if he existed, was a younger son of King Sverker I of Sweden.


From first marriage:

With either of his wives

From second marriage:

  • Bengt Magnusson († 4 January 1237), succeeded Karl Magnusson as Bishop of Linköping and died in 1237
  • Birger Magnusson, Birger Jarl who played a pivotal role in the consolidation of Sweden while Jarl in Sweden.
    • His son Valdemar Birgersson was in 1250 as a successor to his maternal uncle, Eric XI of Sweden, called "the lisping and the lame" King of Sweden (1222-1250), the first of the house Bjälboätten - better known as Folkunga - King of Sweden (1250 - 1275)[2]
  • Elavus (Elof) Magnusson died in 1268
  • He is said to have had several daughters whose names are not known.

Struggle for the crown

Although as the younger brother of Birger Brosa, Magnus was not the head of the powerful family, it his clear that he was actively involved in the fight between Sverker II of Sweden of the House of Sverker and Eric X of Sweden of the House of Eric for the Swedish crown, which was fought for over three main battles: In the Battle of Älgarås, (now a place in the Swedish community Töreboda in Västergötland) in November 1205 - in the Sverker II defeated Erik Knutsson. In the battle Battle of Lena, (now Kungslena in Västergötland) 31 January 1208 - in which Erik Knutsson, with a Swedish-Norwegian army, won a devastating victory over King Sverker II and his Danish army, drove him from the throne and place himself in the throne as Erik X, King of Sweden from 1208 to 1216. Lastly, in the Battle of Gestilren (perhaps in Enköping in Uppland) on Jul 17, 1210, in which the displaced King Sverker II, with a Danish army, attempted to regain his throne, but was defeated and died in the battle.

The remains of his son Birger Jarl has been examined, and they indicate that he was 50–55 years old when he died, and Magnus must therefore still have been alive around 1210. Though he was most likely killed in the 1208 Battle of Lena, he may not have been killed until the Battle of Gestilren in 1210.


  • Koht, Halfdan (1929) The Scandinavian Kingdoms until the end of the thirteenth century (Cambridge University Press)
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