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Norwegian nobility

Norwegian nobility

Encyclopedia
Norwegian nobility are persons and families who in early times belonged to the supreme social, political, and military class and who later were members of the institutionalised nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 in the Kingdom of Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. It has its historical roots in the group of chieftains and warriors which evolved before Norway was unified as a single kingdom
Unification of Norway
The unification of Norway into a single kingdom took place in 872 AD, during the Viking Age.By the time of the first historical records of these events, about the 700s AD, Norway was divided into several petty kingdoms...

. However, ennoblement in modern times of farmers and citizens as well as of foreign noblemen has supplied the nobility with members who did not originate from the ancient warrior class.

The ‘old nobility’, which in the 13th century was institutionalised during the formation of the Norwegian state, became a great political factor in the kingdom. Their land and their armed forces, and also their legal power as members of the Council of the Kingdom
Rigsraadet
Rigsraadet, or Riksrådet, , is the name of the councils of the Scandinavian countries that ruled the countries together with the kings from late Middle Ages to the 17th century...

, made the Norwegian nobility remarkably independent from the king. When it was at its height, the council had the power to choose or to recognise pretenders to the throne. It even sometimes chose its own council leaders, for example Sigurd Jonsson (Stjerne) to Sudreim, as regents. This aristocratic power lasted until the Reformation in 1536, when the king abolished the council. This removed nearly all of the nobility's political foundation, and when the absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 was introduced in 1660, the old nobility was basically disappeared from governing institutions.

After 1537, the old nobility was gradually replaced by the ‘new nobility’. It consisted on the one hand of medieval Danish noble families
Danish nobility
Nobility in Denmark was a leading social class until the 19th or 20th century. Danish nobility exists yet and has a recognized status in Denmark, a monarchy, but its real privileges have been abolished....

 moving to and settling in Norway, thus being new in the kingdom, and on the other hand of persons who had recently been ennobled. Dominant elements in the new nobility were the office nobility , that is, persons who because they held high civilian or military offices received noble status for themselves, their wives and children, and in some cases also for patrilineal descendants, and the letter nobility , especially prominent in the 18th century, that is, people who for military or artistic achievements or for monetary donations received letters patent.

The Constitution of Norway
Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway was first adopted on May 16, 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll , then signed and dated May 17...

 of 1814, which had been established in the spirit of the principles of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and greatly inspired by the Constitution of the United States
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, forbade the creation of new nobility, including countships, baronies, family estates and fee tail
Fee tail
At common law, fee tail or entail is an estate of inheritance in real property which cannot be sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the owner, but which passes by operation of law to the owner's heirs upon his death...

s. The 1821 Nobility Law initiated a long-range abolition of all noble titles and privileges, a process in which the current bearers were allowed to keep their noble status and possible titles as well as some privileges for the rest of their lifetimes. Many Norwegians who had noble status in Norway also had it in Denmark, and thus remained officially noble. Even today, many patrilineal descendants of these families are included in the Yearbook of the Danish Nobility
Danmarks Adels Aarbog
Danmarks Adels Aarbog is an annual publication that details the genealogies, titles, and coats of arms of Danish and Norwegian noble families. It was first published in 1884, making it one of the oldest such publications...

, which though is a private publication.

Even though officially granted privileges and officially recognised titles were abolished, many families maintained an aristocratic profile, for example by marriage with other persons of the nobility, and still bear their inherited name and coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

. After 1821 and until the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, members of these families continued to play a significant role in the political and social life of the country. Today, this social class is a marginal factor in the community, culturally and socially as well as politically. A handful of families, like Løvenskiold
Løvenskiold
Løvenskiold is a Dano-Norwegian noble family. Members of the family now live primarily in Norway.-History:The Løvenskiold family descend from merchant Herman Leopoldus , who immigrated from Lübeck to Christiania. His son, also named Herman Leopoldus , became very rich and was in 1739 ennobled by...

, Treschow, and Wedel-Jarlsberg
Wedel-Jarlsberg
Wedel-Jarlsberg is a Danish and Norwegian noble family. It is also a branch of the family von Wedel, which comes from Pomerania, Germany...

, still possess considerable wealth.

Ancient aristocracy



Aristocracy before and after the unification of Norway


The land that in the 1000s became the Kingdom of Norway was a typically Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 tribal society. From leaders of tribal entities, as well as from soldiers and landholders supplying them, emerged a weapon-based political and military class. Though similar structures existed in the small kingdoms
Petty kingdoms of Norway
The Petty kingdoms of Norway were the entities from which the later Kingdom of Norway was founded. Before the unification of Norway in 872 and during the period of fragmentation after King Harald Fairhair's death Norway was divided in several small kingdoms...

 which later became united to form the single Norwegian kingdom, it was after the unification that the first national class of aristocrats appeared.

The national kings built their power on cooperation with the aristocracy in each of the former petty kingdoms. In return for recognition of and military support to the king, the aristocrats received vassalage titles like earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

 , given to former petty kings and chieftains, and lendmann, given to ordinary aristocrats. However, a strong clan mentality made these aristocrats' loyality to the king weaker than desired and thus represented a threat. That is why the king established a new title, årmann, which was given to persons of lower origin. These persons, who reported directly to the king, were considered having stronger loyalty as they did not have the same family alligation to the aristocratic clans. An årmann would act as an regional observer and send reports to the king. This dual set of aristocrats was intended to secure the new monarchial system.

In the upper classes of this aristocracy were, for example, the Bjarkøy Dynasty, which had been a chieftain dynasty in Northern Norway and continued to hold a prominent position for three hundred years after the final unification of Norway around 1050, and the Giske Dynasty.

Civil war era


The Lendman Party (Norwegian: Lendmannsflokken or Lendmannspartiet), which appeared after the 1150s, and its successor, the Bagler
Bagler
The Bagli Party or Bagler was a faction or party during the Norwegian Civil Wars. The Bagler faction was made up principally of the Norwegian aristocracy, clergy and merchants....

s, formed in 1196, were movements consisting of the church and some mighty feudal lords, among others Earl Erling Skakke
Erling Skakke
Erling Skakke was a Norwegian Jarl during the 12th century. He was the father of Magnus V, who reigned as King of Norway from 1161 to 1184....

, who wished to introduce a one-king monarchy on the Continental European model. The Civil war era in Norway
Civil war era in Norway
The Civil war era of Norwegian history is a term used for the period in the history of Norway between 1130 and 1240. During this time, a series of civil wars were fought between rival kings and pretenders to the throne of Norway. The reasons for the wars is one of the most debated topics in...

 (1130–1240), in which various groups fought for their candidate to become king, ultimately led to the victory over the Baglers of the Birchlegs
Birkebeiner
The Birkebein Party or Birkebeinar was the name for a rebellious party in Norway, formed in 1174 around the pretender to the Norwegian throne, Eystein Meyla...

 and the House of Sverre
House of Sverre
The House of Sverre was a royal house or dynasty which ruled, at various times in history, the Kingdom of Norway, and hereunder the kingdom's realms, and the Kingdom of Scotland. The house was founded with King Sverre Sigurdsson...

, which thereby took over the throne from the previous royal house.

Beginning with the ascent to the throne of King Sverre
Sverre of Norway
Sverre Sigurdsson was king of Norway from 1177 to 1202. He married Margareta Eriksdotter, the daughter of the Swedish king Eric the Saint, by whom he had the daughter Kristina Sverresdotter....

 in 1184, he and his descendants ousted their enemies who belonged to groups like the Baglers (1196–1217) and the Ribbungs (1219–1227), thus eliminating and replacing considerable parts of the ancient aristocracy. However, some former enemies swore loyalty to king Sverre and therefore continued into the class which later became the old nobility.

Origin


The group of persons and families who constituted the old nobility may be traced back to the time of the formation of the Norwegian state in the 13th century. Not later than King Magnus VI's
Magnus VI of Norway
Magnus VI Lagabøte or Magnus Håkonsson , was king of Norway from 1263 until 1280.-Early life:...

 reign, the secular aristocracy or nobility can be said to be identical with the members of the king's hird
Hird
The hird, in Norwegian history, was originally an informal retinue of personal armed companions, hirdmen or housecarls, but came to mean not only the nucleus of the royal army, but also developed into a more formal royal court household....

 (king's men or bodyguard). Some of these families had origin in the ancient aristocracy. Others were recruited based on their ability to provide services to the king.

The hird was divided into three classes, of which the first had three ranks. The first class was hirdmann, with lendmann as the 1st rank, skutilsvein as the 2nd, rank and ordinary hirdmann as the 3rd rank. Below that came the classes gjest and kjertesvein.

The lendmen, having the first rank in the group of hirdmen, had the right to hold 40 armed housecarl
Housecarl
In medieval Scandinavia, housecarls and sometimes spelled huscarle or houscarl) were either non-servile manservants, or household troops in personal service of someone, equivalent to a bodyguard to Scandinavian lords and kings. This institution also existed in Anglo-Saxon England after its...

s, to advise the king, and to receive an annual payment from the king. They normally also held the highest official positions in the state. The foundation for their rights was the military duty which their title imposed.

The kjertesveins were young men of good family who served as pages at the court, while the gjests constituted a guard and police corps. In addition, there was a fourth group known as housecarls, but it remains uncertain whether in the old nobility they were considered a part of the hird or as serving the hird.

During the second half of the 13th century, the pan-European court culture began to gain influence in Norway. In 1277, the king introduced continental titles in the hird: the lendmen were now called barons and the skutilsveins were called ridder. Both were then styled Herr (Lord). In 1308, King Håkon V abolished the lendman/baron institution, and it was probably also during his reign that the aristocracy seems to have been restructured into two classes: ridder (knight) and væpner (squire).

The hirdman institution, that is, the system of local men representing the king, was stronger and lasted longer in the Norwegian tributary lands Shetland, Orkney, the Faeroe Islands, and Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, and also in Jemtland
Jämtland
Jämtland or Jamtland is a historical province or landskap in the center of Sweden in northern Europe. It borders to Härjedalen and Medelpad in the south, Ångermanland in the east, Lapland in the north and Trøndelag and Norway in the west...

, originally an independent farmer republic which Norwegian kings used much time and efforts to gain control over.

Black Death


The Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

, which came to Norway around 1349, had serious consequences for the nobility. In addition to loss of their own members, the death of approximately two thirds of the Norwegian people killed by the plague led to reduced income from taxes and other sources and reduced available manpower.

Time of greatness


In the 14th century, the members of the abolished hird continued in various directions. The lower parts of the hird lost importance and disappeared. The upper parts, especially the lendmen, became the nucleus of the aristocracy of the High Middle Ages: the Knighthood. They were close to the king and as such received seats in the Council of the Kingdom as well as fiefs, and some even had family connections to the royal house. There was significant social distance between the Knighthood and ordinary aristocrats. Most of the latter sank in the 15th and the 16th centuries to the level of yeoman farmer, in their respective districts taking leading rôles as lensmann (a man holding the upper police authority), merchants, and traders. Unlike common farmers, this farming nobility often owned their ancestral farm and land.

The Council of the Kingdom
Rigsraadet
Rigsraadet, or Riksrådet, , is the name of the councils of the Scandinavian countries that ruled the countries together with the kings from late Middle Ages to the 17th century...

 (Norwegian: Riksrådet) was the kingdom's governing institution, consisting of members of the upper secular and clerical aristocracy, including the Archbishop. Originally, in the 13th century, having had an advisory function as a king's council, the council became in the 15th century remarkably independent from the king. At its height, it had the power to choose or to recognise pretenders to the throne. It even sometimes chose its own leaders as regents (Norwegian: drottsete or riksforstander), among others Sigurd Jonsson (Stjerne) to Sudreim and Jon Svaleson (Smør)
Jon Svaleson Smør
Jon Svaleson Smør was a Norwegian knight, riksråd and regent.Jon was a son of the knight Svale Jonson Smør and his wife Sigrid Gunnarsdotter Kane. He was a knight from 1449, and cabinet minister from 1458. In the 1470s he was a fehird and høvedsmann of the king's farm...

. This aristocratic power lasted until the Reformation in 1536, when the king illegally abolished the council.

In Norway as well as in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, it was in this period that the idea and the principle of riksråd constitutionalism arose, that is, that the council was considered as the real foundation of sovereignty. Although the kings were the formal heads of state, the council was very powerful. Their power and active rulership, especially as regents, have caused historians characterise this state as de facto a republic of the nobility (Norwegian: adelsrepublikk).

From fiefs to royal administration


The old nobility was mainly a fief-based aristocracy, holding power and jurisdiction within their area, beside in the Council of the Kingdom. This was also the power base which made them independent.

After the Reformation, two primary factors contributed to reduce the importance of fiefs in favour of a new and centralised apparatus of royal administration.

Military-technical development made the nobility's military function outdated. Also, paid soldiers became more important in battles, and King Christian II's instituted a national army of soldiers recruited directly from the farmer estate and controlled by the king.

In place of the old national organisation based on fiefs governed by the nobility, the country was to be controlled through a centralised administrative apparatus in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. A direct connection was established between the central apparatus and the local administration, and the men who were appointed to such positions in Norway were mainly Danish noblemen and citizens. For strategic reasons, the Norwegian nobility was deliberately under-represented when new high officials were appointed. However, another reason for the dominance of non-Norwegian officials was that under the Dano-Norwegian king the educational sector was much more highly developed in the duchies
Duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

 of Sleswick
Schleswig
Schleswig or South Jutland is a region covering the area about 60 km north and 70 km south of the border between Germany and Denmark; the territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany...

 and Holsatia
Holstein
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is part of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany....

 than in Norway. Only nobles who sent their children to foreign universities, among others the family Benkestok
Benkestok
The Benkestok family is one of the original noble families of Norway and one of the few to survive the Middle Ages...

, could hope to keep or obtain high offices.

Extinction


The old nobility was extensively reduced during the last part of the Late Middle Ages. Among the reasons for this are the following:
  • Noble families did not produce sufficient male descendants, and therefore many became extinct.
  • Noblemen were as warriors etc. exposed to greater risks than the population in general, and therefore many died young without issue.
  • Unequal marriages, of which there came to be many in the lower nobility, led to the loss of noble status.
  • Noble status was not automatically inherited. If a nobleman could no longer provide expected services to the king, he or his descendants could lose their position.


It is often claimed that the old nobility ‘died out’ in the Late Middle Ages. This is mostly but not entirely correct. The term ‘extinction’ includes not only families dying out, but also disappearance from the written sources of formerly noble families which had lost their political power and importance. This has obscured the link between the such families before and in the 16th century and their farmer descendants who appear in sources beginning in the late 17th century. In other words, many noble families have in actuality survived without knowing it or being able to prove it.

This demographic development, together with family connections and inheritance of wealth and land, made the remaining nobility notably richer and more exclusive. At the same time, it became politically more vulnerable due to its marginal size. For example after the Reformation, the number of nobles was reduced from approximately 800 to approximately 400, i.e. under 0.2 percent of the population and approximately 1/7 of the size of the Danish nobility. After 1536, only 15 percent of Norwegian land was in noble possession, and much of this belonged to Dano-Norwegian noble families, many of whom moved to or already lived in Denmark.

Following the abolition of the Norwegian Council of the Kingdom in 1536, the nobility lost most of its political foundation. The Danish Council of the Kingdom took over the governing of Norway. However, the nobility continued to take part in the country's political life, especially in paying homage to new kings. When the absolute monarchy was introduced in 1660, the nobility no longer had formal legislative or executive power in the kingdom.

New nobility



Origin


The part of Norwegian nobility that in Norway is called the ‘new nobility’ consisted of the old nobility of Denmark (the few families which had survived the Middle Ages), recently ennobled persons, and persons whose (claimed) noble status was recognised or, for foreigners, naturalised by the king. They came to Norway in order to administer the country and to fill civilian and military offices. The strategy of sending Danish noblemen to Norway was also a part of the king's tactics for strengthening his power and control in the kingdom, but also the lack of Norwegian noblemen with qualified education—Norway did not have a university—was a reason for that the king had to send foreigners.

Since 1660, the King could ennoble and for that sake remove the noble status of anyone he wished and, now as an absolute monarch, without approval from the Council of the Kingdom. He could even elevate dead humans up to the estate of nobles. For example, Hans Eilersen Hagerup was in 1781, four days after his death, ennobled under the name de Gyldenpalm. This made as well his legitimate children and other patrilineal descendants noble.

Office nobility


A considerable element in the new nobility was the office nobility (Norwegian: embetsadel, sometimes called rangadel; equal to the French noblesse de dignité). A person holding a high-ranking office within one of the three highest classes of rank automatically received ennoblement for himself, his wife, and his children, and in some cases also for his patrilineal descendants. However, basically all such ennoblements were annulled when King Christian VI
Christian VI of Denmark
Christian VI was King of Denmark and Norway from 1730 to 1746.He was the son of King Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway and Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. He married Sophia Magdalen of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and fathered Frederick V.-The reign and personality of Christian VI:To posterity Christian...

, tired of his father's generosity in this regard, acceded to the throne in 1730, and only those who received special recognition after making an application retained their noble status. Royal decrees of 1746 and 1808 introduced a more restrictive policy, under which noble status dependent on an office was limited to the person concerned, his wife, and his children, and was thus not inheritable.

Letter nobility


It became especially in the 18th century customary to ennoble persons by letter patent for significant military or artistic achievements, and there were also persons who were ennobled in this way after making monetary donations.

Examples:
  • Kurt Sørensen was ennobled as a young man for bravery in battle, under the name Adeler.
  • Ludvig Holberg
    Ludvig Holberg
    Ludvig Holberg, Baron of Holberg was a writer, essayist, philosopher, historian and playwright born in Bergen, Norway, during the time of the Dano-Norwegian double monarchy, who spent most of his adult life in Denmark. He was influenced by Humanism, the Enlightenment and the Baroque...

    , a famous writer, was ennobled as a baron for his merits, and by bequeathing his fortune to the Sorø Academy
    Sorø Academy
    Sorø Academy is a boarding school and public gymnasium located in the small town of Sorø, Denmark. It traces its history back to the 12th century when Bishop Absalon founded a monastery at the site, which was confiscated by the Crown after the Reformation, and ever since, on and off, it has served...

    .
  • Joachim Geelmuyden, the son of a priest and the grandson of a tradesman, held many titles and offices in the Norwegian-Danish state and was ennobled under the name Gyldenkrantz
    Gyldenkrantz
    Gyldenkrantz was a Danish and Norwegian noble family.-Before the ennoblement:Joachim Christian Gertsen Geelmuyden grew up in Bergen in conditioned circumstances belonging to a family of officials. His father was a priest and an official, and his grandfather was a merchant...

    .

1814 Constitution


The Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway
Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway was first adopted on May 16, 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll , then signed and dated May 17...

 of 1814, which had been established in the spirit of the principles of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and greatly influenced by the Constitution of the United States of America, forbade the creation of new nobility, including countships, baronies, family estates, and fee tail
Fee tail
At common law, fee tail or entail is an estate of inheritance in real property which cannot be sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the owner, but which passes by operation of law to the owner's heirs upon his death...

s.

1821 Nobility Law


The Nobility Law
Nobility Law (Norway)
The Nobility Law was passed by the national parliament in Norway, the Storting, on 1 August 1821...

 of 1821 (Norwegian: Adelsloven) initiated a long-range abolition of all noble titles and privileges, while the current nobility were allowed to keep their noble status/titles and in some cases also privileges for the rest of their lives. Under the Nobility Law, nobles who for themselves and children wished to present a claim to nobility before the Norwegian parliament were required to provide documentation confirming their noble status. Representatives of eighteen noble families submitted their claims to the parliament:

List

Family Name Birth Death Father Children
Born before and living on 1 August 1821
Rank Ref.
1 Frederich Christopher, Count of Trampe  1779 1832 Adam Frederich, Count of Trampe to Løgismose Adam Frederich Johan (1798–1876) Riksgreve
2 Johan Caspar Herman, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg
Johan Caspar Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg
Johan Caspar Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg was a politician and a Norwegian count, one of only two titled noblemen in Norway...

 
Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Lensgreve
Juliane Marie, Countess of Wedel-Jarlsberg Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Lenskomtesse
Caroline Sophie Amalie, Countess of Wedel-Jarlsberg Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Lenskomtesse
Helene Margrethe, Countess of Wedel-Jarlsberg 1791 1857 Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Lenskomtesse
Sophie Frederiche Antoinette, Countess of Wedel-Jarlsberg 1807 1892 Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Lenskomtesse
3 Christian Hendrich, Baron of Hoff-Rosencrone 1768 1837 Hans Edvard von Hoff Edvardine Reinholdine (1820–1901) Lensbaron
4 Carl Ferdinand Maria, Baron of Wedel-Jarlsberg 1781 1857 Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Lensbaron?
Christian Frederich, Baron of Wedel-Jarlsberg 1788 1854 Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Lensbaron?
Frederich Wilhelm, Baron of Wedel-Jarlsberg 1787 1863 Frederich Christian Wedel-Jarlsberg Hildur (1814–1901)
Finn Frederich Wilhelm (1815–1901)
Hermann Thorvald (1817–1867)
Frederik Joachim (1819–1880)
Louise Sara Ulriche (1820–1838)
Lensbaron?
Wilhelm Frederich, Baron of Wedel-Jarlsberg 1786 1885 Frederich Anton, Count of Wedel-Jarlsberg Anton Frederich (1813–1858)
Christian August (1813–1870)
Catharina Kirsten (1815–1894)
Petrea (1821–1839)
Lensbaron?
5 Eggert Christopher, Baron Løvenskiold to Ulefos and Holden 1788 1861 Michael Herman, Baron Løvenskiold Herman Severin (1815–1870)
Frederiche Juliane Wilhelmine (1817–1835)
Lensbaron
6 Carl Løvenskiold
Frederich Franz Michael Løvenskiold 1790 1869 Severin Løvenskiold, the older Henriette Benedicte Christiane Dorothea (1819–1888)
Niels Løvenskiold
Severin Løvenskiold, the younger
Severin Løvenskiold
Severin Løvenskiold, the younger , was a Norwegian nobleman and a politician.-Early life:...

 
1777 1856 Severin Løvenskiold, the older Adam Christopher (1804–1886)
Otto Joachim (1811–1882)
7 August Niels Anker Niels Anker
Elen Margrethe Anker Niels Anker
Erich Theodor Christian Bernhard Anker 1785 1858 Carsten Tank Anker Carsten Christian (1817–1898)
Hedevig Betzy Sigismunda Annette (1819–1879)
Morten Anker 1780 1838 Jess Anker Jess (1808–1864)
Bernt Olaus (1809–1881)
Christian (1811–1885)
John Collett (1816–1866)
Niels Christopher Anker 1799 1862 Jan Anker
Peder Bernhard Anker 1787 1849 Jess Anker
Peder Martin Anker
Peter Martin Anker (politician)
Peter Martin Anker was a Norwegian politician.He was a son of wholesaler Niels Anker . He was also a third cousin of Karen Anker, Johan Caspar Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg's wife. Together with Thrine Gløersen he had the children Nils Anker, Herman Anker, Christian August Anker and Dikka Møller...

 
1801 1863 Niels Anker All children born after 1821.
Sophie Adelaide Rosalie Anker Niels Anker
8 Hagbarth de Falsen 1791 1836 Enevold de Falsen
Enevold De Falsen
Enevold de Falsen was a Danish-Norwegian lawyer, poet, actor and statesman.-Family:The family 'de Falsen' has been extensively documented...

 
Enevold (1814–1839)
Henriette Christiane (1815–1884)
John Collett (1817–1879)
Christian Baltazar (1819–1854)
9 Peter Otto Rosenørn Grüner 1783 1847
10 Hans Hagerup Gyldenpalm 1774 Eiler Hagerup Gyldenpalm
11 Andreas Niels Hauch
12 Johannes Nicolay de Kløcker Karen Amalie Johanne (1820–1854)
13 Niels Joachim Knagenhjelm 1796 1852 Christen Knagenhielm Anne Sophie Dorothea (1821–1907)
14 Bredo Hendrich von Munthe af Morgenstierne
Bredo Henrik von Munthe af Morgenstierne, Sr.
Bredo Henrik von Munthe af Morgenstierne was a Norwegian jurist, part of an old noble family.-Personal life:...

 
1774 1835 Otto Christopher von Munthe af Morgenstierne Ottilia Christine Pauline (1804–1886)
Christian Fredrik Jacob (1806–1886)
Sophie Elisabeth (1808–1892)
Wilhelmine Johanne Helene (1810–1858)
Augusta Julie Georgine (1812–1885)
Wilhelm Ludvig Herman (1814–1888)
15 Peter Tordenskiold
16 Knud Adolph Gyldenstierne Roepstorph 1746 1824 Carl Ludvig Roepstorph
17 Oluf Borch de Schouboe
Oluf Borch de Schouboe
Oluf Borch de Schouboe was the Norwegian Minister of Education and Church Affairs 1836, 1839-1840 and 1843-1844, Minister of Auditing 1838-1839 and 1841-1842, Minister of the Army 1839 and 1842-1843, and member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm 1837-1838, 1840-1841, 1844. He belonged...

 
Frederiche (1801–1890)
Anna Petra (1802–1854)
Henriette (1805–1875)
Sophie (1807–1865)
Julie (1809–1878)
Wilhelm Christian (1811–1892)
Ulriche Antoinette (1813–1901)
Ulrich Frederich Anton de Schouboe Julie Elise (1813–1911)
Olufa Frederiche (1815–1892)


The 18th family, Bergh, withdrew their claim, and the claims of Captain Brømbsen and F. J. Cold were dismissed as unproven.

Result


The last Norwegian count with official recognition was Peder Anker Wedel-Jarlsberg, who died in 1893. His younger brother Harald, Baron of Wedel-Jarlsberg, died in 1897. The cousins Ulriche Antoinette de Schouboe (1813–1901) and Julie Elise de Schouboe (1813–1911), as well as Anne Sophie Dorothea Knagenhjelm (1821–1907), died early in the 1900s as some of Norway's last persons who had had official recognition as noble.

Many of the Norwegians who had noble status in Norway had noble status also in Denmark and thus remained noble. This and the fact that many Norwegian nobles did not live in the country contributed to reduce resistance to the Nobility Law.

Norwegian nobility after 1821



Although the institution of nobility gradually was dissolved, members of noble families continued to play a significant rôle in the political and social life of the country, mainly until the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. For example Stewards and Prime Ministers such as Count Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg
Johan Caspar Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg
Johan Caspar Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg was a politician and a Norwegian count, one of only two titled noblemen in Norway...

 (Steward, 1836–1840), Severin Løvenskiold
Severin Løvenskiold
Severin Løvenskiold, the younger , was a Norwegian nobleman and a politician.-Early life:...

 (Steward, 1841–1856, Prime Minister, 1828–1841), Peder Anker
Peder Anker
Peder Anker was a Norwegian businessman and politician. He served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1814 until 1822.-Biography:...

 (Prime Minister, 1814–1822), Frederik Due
Frederik Due
-Further reading:...

 (Prime Minister, 1841–1858), Georg Sibbern
Georg Sibbern
Georg Christian Sibbern was the Norwegian Prime Minister 1858-1871, son of Valentin Christian Wilhelm Sibbern....

 (Prime Minister, 1858–1871) and Carl Otto Løvenskiold
Carl Otto Løvenskiold
Carl Otto Løvenskiold was a Norwegian military officer, politician and land owner.He was a Prime Minister in Stockholm in 1884, and a member of the Parliament from 1889 to 1897, representing Akershus and the Conservative Party....

 (Prime Minister, 1884) had aristocratic backgrounds.

Aristocrats were active also in the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union in 1905. Most prominent were diplomat Baron Fritz Wedel Jarlsberg
Fritz Wedel Jarlsberg
Baron Frederik Hartvig Herman Wedel Jarlsberg was a Norwegian aristocrat, jurist, and diplomat, as well as a Danish baron. Earlier, his family were in Norway officially recognised as barons...

 and the world-famous polar explorer Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen
Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In his youth a champion skier and ice skater, he led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, and won international fame after reaching a...

. Nansen, who otherwise became Norway's first ambassador in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 (1906–08), was for dissolving the union and, among other acts, travelled to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, where he successfully lobbied for support for Norway's independence movement. Also in the ensuing referendum concerning the formation of a republic versus continuation of monarchy in Norway, the popular hero Nansen's support of monarchy active participation in the pro-monarchy campaign is said to have had an important effect on popular opinion. After the dissolution of the union, the leading person in the creation of the new state's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was Thor von Ditten, a Norwegian of foreign nobility.

Norwegian nobility today


Today, the nobility is a marginal factor in the community, culturally and socially as well as in politics. Members of noble families are only individually prominent, like Anniken Huitfeldt
Anniken Huitfeldt
Anniken Scharning Huitfeldt is a Norwegian politician representing the Norwegian Labour Party. She currently serves as the Norwegian Minister of Culture in the Second cabinet Stoltenberg.-Life:...

.

Even though privileges were abolished and official recognition of titles was removed, some families still consider themselves noble and still bear their inherited name and coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

. This is a mostly private matter and has no effect or support in law.

Old nobility


The nobility originally called themselves e.g. ‘free men’ likewise as commoners were called ‘unfree’. The knights were gathered in a particular class known as the Knighthood (Norwegian: ridderskap). The nobility did not adopt and use the term ‘nobility’ (Norwegian: adel) until the 16th century. However, the entity was the same before and after the introduction of this term.

New nobility


In 1671, two estates were created in addition to the nobility: the estate of barons (Norwegian: friherrestand) and the estate of counts (Norwegian: grevestand). A noble was per definition untitled, and barons and counts did not belong to the nobility per se, but to their respective classes. However, it is customary to include all three estates in the general term ‘nobility’, and it is not incorrect to say that a baron or a count is ‘noble’ as an oppositional term to ‘commoner’ or ‘non-noble’.

Noble titles




Titles of the ancient aristocracy

Title English Information
jarl earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

A chieftain, especially as a ruler under a king.
herse
Hersir
A hersir was a local military commander of a hundred and owed allegiance to a jarl or king. They were also aspiring landowners, and, like the middle class in many feudal societies, supported the kings in their centralization of power. The hersir was often equipped with a conical helmet and a short...

A local chieftain.
sysselmann
Sysselmann
Sysselmann/Sýslumaður is a Norwegian, Faroese and Icelandic title of local government. It was used during the Middle Ages as a noble title. In Norway it has been revived twice in modern times as a special form of local government, the Governor of Svalbard now holds the title and the Governor of...

An administrator of a syssel. Introduced in the late 12th century; displaced 'lendmann' and 'årmann'.
lendmann
Lendmann
Lendmann , was a title in medieval Norway. Lendmann was the highest rank attainable in the hird of the Norwegian king, and a lendmann stood beneath only earls and kings...

A regional administrator under the King. He was usually a member of the aristocracy.
årmann A local administrator under the King. He was usually of lower origin.
huskarl housecarl
Housecarl
In medieval Scandinavia, housecarls and sometimes spelled huscarle or houscarl) were either non-servile manservants, or household troops in personal service of someone, equivalent to a bodyguard to Scandinavian lords and kings. This institution also existed in Anglo-Saxon England after its...

Élite infantry.
hauld hold Farmer whose family had possessed a farm for six generations or more. The highest rank of free men.


Note: This list may not express accurate rank between the titles.

Titles of the old nobility (1st system)

Title Rank English Information
hertug
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

Introduced in 1237. Not in use after 1299, when Duke Håkon Magnusson became king.
jarl earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

The last jarl in mainland Norway was appointed in 1295 and died in 1309.
hirdmann 1st: lendmann
Lendmann
Lendmann , was a title in medieval Norway. Lendmann was the highest rank attainable in the hird of the Norwegian king, and a lendmann stood beneath only earls and kings...

'Lendmann' was in 1277 replaced with 'baron', which was abolished in 1308.
2nd: skutilsvein 'Skutilsvein' was in 1277 replaced with 'ridder'.
3rd: hirdmann Later abolished.
gjest Later abolished.
kjertesvein Later abolished.

Titles of the old nobility (2nd system)

Title English Information
ridder knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

A knight was styled Herr (Lord), and his wife Fru (Lady).
væpner squire
Squire
The English word squire is a shortened version of the word Esquire, from the Old French , itself derived from the Late Latin , in medieval or Old English a scutifer. The Classical Latin equivalent was , "arms bearer"...


Titles of the new nobility

Title Title for wives Title for sons Title for daughters Fief Explanation of title
hertug
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

hertuginne
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

hertugdømme
Duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

markis
Marquess
A marquess or marquis is a nobleman of hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent oriental styles, as in imperial China, Japan, and Vietnam...

markise
Marquess
A marquess or marquis is a nobleman of hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent oriental styles, as in imperial China, Japan, and Vietnam...

mariksat
Marquess
A marquess or marquis is a nobleman of hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent oriental styles, as in imperial China, Japan, and Vietnam...

marquess
Marquess
A marquess or marquis is a nobleman of hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent oriental styles, as in imperial China, Japan, and Vietnam...

riksgreve
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

riksgrevinne
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

greve
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

 or baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

komtesse
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

riksgrevskap count of the kingdom/national count
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

lensgreve
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

lensgrevinne
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

greve
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

 or baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

komtesse
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

lensgrevskap count with a fief
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

greve
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

grevinne
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

greve
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

 or baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

komtesse
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

grevskap count
Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

riksfriherre
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


riksbaron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

riksfrifrue
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


riksbaronesse
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

friherre
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

friherrinne
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

esse
riksfriherreskap
riksbaroni
baron of the kingdom/national baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

lensfriherre
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


lensbaron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

lensfrifrue
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


lensbaronesse
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

friherre
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

friherrinne
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

esse
lensfriherreskap
lensbaroni
baron with a fief
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

friherre
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

frifrue
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

esse
friherre
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

friherrinne
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...


baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

esse
friherreskap
baroni
baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...



The correct combination of names and title when using Norwegian, is first name + title + last name, e.g. Peder Anker grev Wedel-Jarlsberg.

The titles greve and friherre are abbreviated to respectively grev and friherr when used in names or addressing the person concerned, e.g. Peder Anker grev Wedel-Jarlsberg or friherr Holberg.

E.g. a lensgreve uses the title greve, i.e. never Peder Anker lensgrev Wedel-Jarlsberg.

In some families having the title of count, among others Wedel-Jarlsberg, younger sons bear the title of baron, and not count. This is often specified in the respective family's letter patent.

The following title exists in the Norwegian language without necessarily having existed in the nobility:
  • vicomte
    Viscount
    A viscount or viscountess is a member of the European nobility whose comital title ranks usually, as in the British peerage, above a baron, below an earl or a count .-Etymology:...

     (also: visegreve, borggreve, etc.)

Fiefs


Norway has in modern times had two countships (Norwegian: grevskap) and one barony (Norwegian: friherreskap or baroni). In addition there were two marquisates, given to two Italians not living in Norway.
Name Receiver Date of creation Date of abolition English Information
Grevskapet Larvik Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve 1671 Countship of Larvik
Grevskapet Jarlsberg
Jarlsberg
Jarlsberg was a former county which forms part of Vestfold county in Norway. The former counties of Jarlsberg and Larvik were merged in 1821...

Peder Schumacher
Peder Griffenfeld
Count Peder Griffenfeld was a Danish statesman.-Early years:Born at Copenhagen into a wealthy trading family connected with the leading civic, clerical and learned circles in the Danish capital, he was prepared for university byJens Vorde...

1673 1893 Countship of Jarlsberg Originally Grevskapet Griffenfeldt.
Baroniet Rosendal
Barony Rosendal
Barony Rosendal is a historic estate and manor situated in Kvinnherad in Hordaland county, Norway.-History:The history of Rosendal dates back to the 1650s, when the nobleman Ludvig Holgersen Rosenkrantz came to Bergen as commissioner of war for the Danish king...

Ludwig Holgersen Rosenkrantz 1678 Barony of Rosendal
Markisatet Lista Hugo Octavius Accoramboni 22 April 1709 Marquisate of Lista
Markisatet Mandal Franciscus di Ratta 24 November 1710 Marquisate of Mandal

General


The noble privileges consisted of freedoms, rights, and prerogatives.

Around 1277, lendmen and skutilsveins received tax freedom for themselves and two members of their household, and ordinary members of the hird received the same, but for one member of their household.

In 1548, the nobility's attempts to weaken farmers' allodial land right
Odelsrett
The Odelsrett is an ancient Scandinavian allodial title which has survived in Norway as odelsrett and existed until recent times in Sweden as bördsrätt....

 (Norwegian: odelsrett) were rejected by the King and the Danish Council of the Kingdom.

The noble privileges of 1582 decreed that a noblewoman who married a non-noble man should lose all her hereditary land to her nearest co-inheritor. The rule was designed with the intention of keeping noble land in noble hand, and thus strengthening the nobility's power base. Another clause of the same law states that a nobleman who married a non-noble woman should forfeit noble status for their children.

The noble privileges of 1646 introduced the neck and hand right and the charge and fine right.

Tax freedom


Noblemen enjoyed personal tax freedom, although this was later abolished. Tax freedom for their 'seat farms' remained.

Noblemen had other economic privileges, among others freedom from duty
Duty (economics)
In economics, a duty is a kind of tax, often associated with customs, a payment due to the revenue of a state, levied by force of law. It is a tax on certain items purchased abroad...

 on imported and exported goods, such as beer and wine.

Seat farm


Seat farms (Norwegian: setegård, setegard) were until 1660 an exclusive privilege of the nobility. A seat farm was a nobleman's home or main farm; the place where he had his 'seat', a form of feudal demesne
Demesne
In the feudal system the demesne was all the land, not necessarily all contiguous to the manor house, which was retained by a lord of the manor for his own use and support, under his own management, as distinguished from land sub-enfeoffed by him to others as sub-tenants...

. Seat farms had, especially, freedom from tax and tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

s.

While previously any farm on which a nobleman decided to reside would thereby acquire the status of seat farm, the right to become a seat farm was remarkably limited in 1639, when the law was changed to require a farm to have been a seat farm for a minimum of 40 years in order for it to be officially recognised. After 1800, the tax freedom was modified, and under the 1821 Law of Nobility, the tax freedom was ended at the then owner's death.
  • Approximate number of seat farms in 1639: 100
  • Approximate number of seat farms in 1821: 25

Weekday farmers


Weekday farmers (Norwegian: ukedagsbønder, vekedagsbønder) were persons who, as tenants of the noble, had a duty to work on the seat farm on weekdays. The system came from Denmark before 1600. It became most widespread in Eastern Norway, where the concentration of seat farms was highest, but existed also in other parts of the kingdom. From 1685 on, the duty work was limited to farmers who lived within two miles of the seat farm.

Feud right


The feud right (Norwegian: feiderett) was the right to officially proclaim a feud between two or more persons. A murder committed after the proclamation of a feud was considered an 'honest murder', and unlike ordinary murders, which normally received capital punishment, could be expiated with fines. The feud right is mentioned in almost all electoral charters (Norwegian: valghåndfestning) from 1513 to 1648.

Conveyance right


The King and noblemen, as well as high officials, had the right to receive conveyance from farmers. The right was never a formal right, but rather a consequence of the ‘conveyance duty’ which was imposed on farmers. Conveyance duty (Norwegian: skyssplikt) is known since the 12th century and functioned as indirect taxation. In 1816, the duty was changed from being a free service to receiving payment per trip. However, the partial tax freedom which conveyance farmers had was abolished at the same time.

Neck and hand right


On 18 July 1646 the nobility achieved the possibility of having ‘neck and hand right’ (Norwegian: hals- og håndsrett), that is, the authority to arrest and to prosecute persons and to execute judgments. This right was limited to the farms or the fiefs over which noblemen had jurisdiction.

Charge and fine right


Related to the neck and hand right was the ‘charge and fine right’ (Norwegian: sikt- og sakefallsrett), i.e. the authority to raise a charge against and to fine persons. This right, too, was limited to each nobleman's area of jurisdiction.

Birk right


The birk right (Norwegian: birkerett) was the authority to appoint judges at the birk
Birk (market place)
Birk was during the Scandinavian Middle Ages the name for a demarcated area, especially a town or a market place, with its own laws and privileges, the Bjarkey laws....

 court, etcetera; birks were an ancient form of local jurisdiction adopted in Norway on the Danish model. Nine birks were created in 1649, but abolished already in 1651. The first real birks came in 1671 with the creation of the Countship of Larvik, in 1673 with the creation of the Countship of Griffenfeldt, and in 1678 with the creation of the Barony of Rosendal. In addition the birk right was granted to the Halsnøy Monastery in 1661, the Lysekloster Estate in 1661, and the Svanøy Estate in 1685. The two countship birks and the barony birk lasted until noble privileges were abolished in 1821.

Jus patronatus


The jus patronatus (patronage right) consisted of jus presentandi, the right to propose clergy for a specific church, and later became jus vocandi, the right to appoint such clergy. Furthermore, the patron had the right to part of the church taxes and other income of the church. Jus patronatus did not have any relevance in Norway until after the 1640s, when a few noblemen began to receive it. This privilege was never widespread in the kingdom.

Noble symbolism



Coat of arms


The use of coats of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 was originally a custom developed and maintained by the nobility, but it was not exclusive to this estate. Norwegian farmers and burghers, as well as the non-noble parts of the clergy, had since early times borne arms.

While the arms of the old nobility were of ancient origin and inherited through generations within each family, and therefore were not a privilege from the King, the arms of the new nobility were often granted by the King upon ennoblement. In some cases, the ennobled person's former coat of arms or his wishes could be regarded in the process of composing new arms and achievement
Achievement (heraldry)
An achievement in heraldry is a full display of all the heraldic components to which the bearer of a coat of arms is entitled...

s.

While everyone could use an open helmet above the shield, coronets and supporters were reserved for the nobility. Supporters were normally granted only to counts.

Coronet


Noble coronets (Norwegian: adelskrone), whether physical coronets or appearing in heraldic artwork, were reserved for the nobility. There were specific coronets for counts, barons and untitled nobility. In addition, the Golden Lions
Gyldenløve
Gyldenløve is the name of two important noble families in Danish and Norwegian history. The first Gyldenløve family belonged to the Norwegian high nobility...

 (Norwegian: de Gylden Løver etc.), illegitimate royal descendants, had an exclusive coronet.

The use of physical coronets has been rare in Norway, used mainly at homages in Oslo.

Names


Almost unique internationally and different from the continental nobility, where families have named themselves after the piece of land that they possess, Nordic nobles have from the 1500s in general adopted family names of an abstract and artistical character, often based on their respective coats of arms. For example the noble family whose arms were a golden star, took the name Gyldenstjerne
Gyldenstjerne
Gyldenstjerne, also spelled Gyldenstierne and in Swedish Gyllenstierna , is a Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish noble family divided into various branches and ranks. It is one of the oldest noble families in Scandinavia. The first known man was knight Nils Eriksson to Ågård in Jutland, Denmark, who is...

 (Golden Star). As this custom of the old nobility established itself as permanent, also the new nobility, that is persons and families ennobled after the Middle Ages, often received similar names when ennobled.

Other examples are Anker
Anker (family)
Anker, also spelled Ancher, is a Danish and Norwegian noble family living in Norway. The name means anchor.-Name and origin:The family came to Norway's capital Oslo with Erich Olufsen Ancher , who was a representative for merchant Peter Bahrum in Lübeck. His parents were trader Oluf Erichsson and...

 (Anchor), Elgenstierna (Elk/Moose Star) in Sweden, Gyllenpistol (Golden Gun) in Sweden, Hästesko (Horseshoe) in Sweden, Huitfeldt
Huitfeldt
Huitfeldt is a Norwegian and Danish surname which may refer to:* Anniken Huitfeldt , Norwegian politician representing the Norwegian Labour Party* Arild Huitfeldt , Danish historian and state official* Hans L. C...

 (White Field), Løvenørn
Løvenørn
Løvenørn, also spelled de Løvenørn, was a Danish and Norwegian noble family.Poul Vendelbo was on the 14th of January 1711 ennobled under the name Løvenørn . Among his descendants were the naval officer Poul de Løvenørn and the diplomat Poul L.E...

 (Lion Eagle), Natt och Dag
Natt och Dag
Natt och Dag [Direct translation: Night and Day], is a Swedish Noble family and the oldest still existing family of pure Swedish extraction; officially known since the year 1280, according to documents at the Swedish National Archives.- History :...

 (Night and Day) in Sweden, Rosenvinge (Rose Wing), Svanenhielm
Svanenhielm
Svanenhielm was a name in the Danish and the Norwegian nobility.Severin Seehusen was an official in Bergen as well as in Stavanger and Northern Norway. He belonged to a wealthy citizen family in Stavanger...

 (Swan Helm), Svinhufvud
Svinhufvud
Svinhufvud is a family of ancient Swedish nobility originating from Dalarna. The family is incorporated both at the Swedish House of Nobility and the Finnish House of Nobility....

 (Swine Head) in Sweden, and Tordenskiold
Tordenskiold
Tordenskiold was the name of two dignities in the Danish and the Norwegian nobility. Both are today patrilineally extinct.-Tordenskiold I:Peter Jansen Wessel was a Norwegian naval hero who for his braveness was ennobled under the name Tordenskiold. It happened by letter of nobility of the 24th of...

 (Thunder Shield).

Name predicates


The use of predicates like af, von, and de—all these mean of—was not a particular privilege for the nobility, but on the other hand almost exclusively used by and associated with them. Especially in the late 17th century and the 18th century, one would often receive a predicate together with one's old or new name when ennobled. Examples are families like von Westervick
Joachim Irgens von Westervick
Baron Joachim Irgens von Westervick , born as Joachim Jürgens, was a Dano-Norwegian baron and furthermore a Danish official and an owner of big land estates in Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands...

, de Gyldenpalm (lit. ‘of Goldenpalm’), and, with two predicates, von Munthe af Morgenstierne (lit. ‘of Munthe of Morningstar’).

Prominent non-noble families having used predicates, are von Cappelen
Cappelen (family)
Cappelen is the surname of a prominent Norwegian family of merchants, land owners, civil servants and politicians. In the 18th and 19th century, it was one of the so-called patrician families in Norway, i.e...

, von der Lippe
Von der Lippe (Norwegian family)
von der Lippe is the surname of a prominent Norwegian family.In Norway, the surname is most frequently associated with the descendants Jacob von der Lippe , who immigrated from Bremen, Germany and became a citizen of Bergen, Norway in 1655. In Bergen, family members were merchants and business...

, and de Créqui dit la Roche
Créquy family
-Origins:Créquy , is a French family which originated in Artois, and took its name from a small lordship of Créquy, in the present Pas-de-Calais...

.

Norwegian nobility's relation to the people



Cognatic descent


A large number of Norwegians can trace ancestral lines back to the old nobility. They must very often cross numerous cognatic links (Norwegian: kvinneledd) and go back to the 16th century in order to establish a connection to the nobility. Also, that particular family is often the only noble family which they have in their ancestry, which otherwise mainly consists of farmers and burghers, the other estates in the Norwegian feudal society. An important consideration is also that many experts dispute some popularly accepted family relations, which they consider undocumented or obviously wrong. For these reasons, a distant connection to a family of the old nobility is often considered as a curiosity. For example Queen Sonja of Norway
Queen Sonja of Norway
Queen Sonja of Norway is the wife of King Harald V of Norway.-Prior to marriage:Sonja was born in Oslo on 4 July 1937 as the daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Ulrichsen .Queen Sonja grew up in the district of Vinderen in Oslo and completed her lower secondary schooling...

, although born a commoner, has noblemen among her distant forefathers.

A considerably smaller number of Norwegians descend from the new nobility. In addition to less time having passed, this number is much smaller because this Danish-rooted nobility, as also the old nobility had done, lived relatively separate from the ordinary population, especially with respect to who they married, and often returned to Denmark when leaving their office in Norway.

Concerning descent from royalty through nobility, the nobility expert Tore Vigerust has stated, though as a conservative estimate, that roughly 10,000 Norwegians living today can document with certainty their descent from the old kings of Norway. Vigerust has identified the noble families Gyldenløve
Gyldenløve
Gyldenløve is the name of two important noble families in Danish and Norwegian history. The first Gyldenløve family belonged to the Norwegian high nobility...

 (of Austrått
Austrått
thumb|The manor’s entry portal with the coat of arms carved in [[soapstone]].Austrått or Austrått Manor is a manor in Ørland municipality, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway. Since the 10th century Austrått has been the residence for many noblemen, noblewomen and officials who played a significant role in...

) and Rosensverd as families whose royal descent is verifiable.

Other connections to nobility


Even though a family could lose their noble status, they would usually keep their fortune and remain rich and influential. There are examples of farmer descendants of such families who were farmers continuing to inherit ancient noble land many generations after the noble family in question had become patrilineally extinct. One example is the estate of the Benkestok
Benkestok
The Benkestok family is one of the original noble families of Norway and one of the few to survive the Middle Ages...

 family, which became patrilineally extinct in the late 16th century. The estate consisted of land in Eastern, Western and Northern Norway as well as on the Faeroes and Shetland. The estate is a well-known example of a big noble estate which was passed down through generations. While the first generations of inheritors received large portions of an estate, it would subsequently be divided into smaller and smaller parts so that later generations each might receive, for example, a relatively large farm.

Authentic farmer nobility


Farmer nobility (Norwegian: bondeadel) refers to farmers who were noble.

This term may also be used unofficially to describe farmers who had been noble or who had such ancestry through cognatic links and within a short genealogical timeframe. They were not a part of the Norwegian nobility.

Romantic nationalistic farmer nobility


After Norway achieved constitutional independence in 1814, in the period of romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 that followed, the urban 'cultural élite' as well as some farmers themselves began to consider 'the Norwegian farmer' as representative or symbolic figure of 'Norwegianness'. Norwegian farmers had always been relatively free compared to farmers in continental Europe, something to which the lack of a large and strong nobility had contributed. Farmers had in general sufficient amounts of food, and lived 'in peaceful and natural circumstances'. Furthermore, from the middle of the 18th century, and peaking in the 19th, many Norwegian farmers managed to buy their own farms. Factors like these contributed to some farmers' coming to regard themselves as a kind of farmer nobility. Such ideas are reflected, for example, in romantic nationalistic literature, but the term has never had any legal currency in Norway.

For example the teacher Andreas Austlid wrote in his book Salt fraa folkehøgskulen (1926) about his home parish:
An old parish of wealth, broad and satisfied and good – the most beautiful in the whole valley. A kind and calm farmer nobility - but self-supplied [with food], with much good and much low ancestry . . .

List of noble families





Old nobility

  • Akeleye
  • Aspa
  • Bagge
  • Benkestok
  • Bildt
  • Bjelke
    Bjelke (noble family)
    Bjelke was a Danish and Norwegian noble family, known since the mid 1400s and extinct in 1868.-History:The family's progenitor was Josef Andersen of Gyllarp in Scania, living in the middle of the 1400s...

  • Bonde
  • Blix
  • Bolt
  • Bratt
  • Budde
  • Båt
  • Darre
  • Galtung
  • Gjedde
  • Hård
  • Kane
    Kane (noble family)
    Kane was the name of a Norwegian medieval noble family. The family was one of the few original noble families of Norway, as it unlike many other families did not originate from Denmark or Sweden...

  • Krabbe
  • Kruckow
  • Kusse
  • Rømer
  • Skanke
  • Smør
  • Stjerne


Most men and women of the old nobility used only patronyms, as they had no established family name. Such families are normally referred to as, for example, Aslak Bårdssons ætt (Aslak Bårdsson's clan or family) or Bjarkøyætta (the Bjarkøy clan or family ).

Danish old nobility in Norway

  • Bille
  • Gyldenstierne
  • Huitfeldt
  • Juel (Iuel)
  • Kaas (including Munthe-Kaas)
  • Rosenkrantz

New nobility ennobled by letter

  • Adeler (1666)
  • Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille
  • Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Lehn
  • Albertin (1749)
  • Anker
  • Arentskiold (1714)
  • Astrup (1810)
  • Bang (1777)
  • Bartholin (1674)
  • Benzon (1679; 1717)
  • Berner (1780)
  • Bernstoff
  • Berregaard (1726)
  • Blixen-Finecke (1802)
  • Blixencrone (1712)
  • Blixenskiold (1749)
  • Bolten (1783)
  • Bornemann (1731)
  • Braem (1731)
  • Brinck-Seidelin (1752)
  • Brocksdorff
  • Brockenhuus
  • Castenskiold (1745)
  • Cederfeld de Simonsen (1759)
  • Charisius (1659)
  • Clauson-Kaas (1804)
  • Danneskiold-Laurvig (1693)
  • Danneskiold-Løvendal (1662)
  • Danneskiold-Samsøe (1695)
  • Dehn
  • Dumreicher (1757)
  • Eberlin (1782)
  • Ellbrecht (1778)
  • Fabritius de Tengnagel (1778)
  • Falkenskiold (1716)
  • Falsen (1758)
  • Fischer (1758)
  • Fischer-Benzon (1805)
  • Fisker (1797)
  • Flindt (1768)
  • Folsach (1760)
  • Fuiren (1677)
  • Fædder (1785)
  • Fønss (1804)
  • Galtung (1640s; descent claim.)
  • Gähler (1749)
  • Grevenkop-Castenskiold
  • Grodtschilling (1784)
  • Grüner (1693)
  • Güldencrone (1673)
  • Güntelberg (1660)
  • Gyldenfeldt (1761)
  • Gyldenløve (1611)
  • Gyldenkrantz (1783)
  • Gyldenpalm (1781)
  • Halling (1783)
  • Hansen
  • Harboe (1684)
  • Hauch (1750)
  • Hielmcrone
  • Hielmstierne (1747)
  • Hoffmann (1749; 1780)
  • Holck
  • Holck-Winterfeldt
  • Holmskiold (1781)
  • Hoppe (1772)
  • Hübsch (1691)
  • Huth
    Huth (noble family)
    Huth was the surname of a member of the Norwegian nobility, whose status was newly granted in 1776....

     (1776)
  • Høeg-Goldberg (1771)
  • Ingwersen (1759)
  • Iuel-Brockdorff
  • Jermiin (1750)
  • Jessen (1681; 1744; 1754)
  • Kiærskiold (1735)
  • Klaumann (1749)
  • Klevenfeldt (1747)
  • Knagenhjelm (1721)
  • Knuth
  • Kolderup-Rosenvinge (1811)
  • Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs
  • Kragenskiold (1759)
  • Krieger (1797)
  • Køller-Banner (1772)
  • Kaalund (1766)
  • Lasson (1731)
  • Lehn (1731)
  • Lente-Adeler
  • Lerche (1660; 1676; 1679)
  • Leth (1708; 1757)
  • Leuenbach (1765)
  • Levetzow (1670)
  • Lichtenberg (1739)
  • Lillienkrantz
  • Lillienschiold (1676)
  • Linde (1704)
  • Lindencrone (1756)
  • Lohendal (1720)
  • Lohenskiold (1726)
  • Lütken (1780)
  • Løvendal (1682)
  • Løvencrone (1695)
  • Løvendal (1682)
  • Løvenhielm (1669)
  • Løvenskiold (1739)
  • Løvenstierne (1714)
  • Løvenørn (1711)
  • Løwenklau (1641)
  • von der Maase (1712)
  • Meyercrone (1674)
  • Michaelsen (1809)
  • Moldrup (1731)
  • Moltke
  • Mossencrone (1761)
  • Moth (1679; 1698)
  • Munthe af Morgenstierne (1755)
  • Münnich (1688)
  • Neergaard (1780)
  • Numsen (1688)
  • Nutzhorn (1759)
  • Nørckencrone (1754)
  • Petersdorff (1810)
  • Ployart (1777)
  • Pottendorpf (1695)
  • Revenfeldt (1695)
  • Roepstorff (1701)
  • Rosencrone
  • Rosenheim
    Jens Toller Rosenheim
    Jens Toller Rosenheim , was a Danish and Norwegian nobleman, a jurist, and an official.-Family and marriage:Jens Toller was the son of Niels Toller, who was Mayor of Christiania and one of the leading merchants there...

     (1676)
  • Rosenpalm (1679)
  • Rosenvinge
    Rosenvinge (noble family)
    Rosenvinge is a Danish and Norwegian noble family.-Origin:The family's progenitor, Mogens Jensen , who was Prince Christian's secretary, later overlord in Bergenhus and Mayor of Helsingør, was ennobled in 1505...

     (1505)
  • Rosenørn (1679)
  • Ross (1782)
  • Rothe (1809)
  • Rusenstein (1671)
  • Schaffalitzky de Muckadell
  • Schimmelmann (1762; 1780)
  • Schiønning (1681)
  • Schmetteau (1776)
  • Schmidten (1783)
  • Schmieden (1758)
  • Scholten (1777)
  • Schouboe (1747)
  • Schreeb (1755)
  • von der Schulenburg (1741; 1776)
  • Schulin (1750)
  • Sommerhielm (1764)
  • Sperling (1776)
  • Spädt (1777)
  • Stampe (1759)
  • Stemann (1777; 1782)
  • Stibolt (1777)
  • Stiernholm (1747)
  • Stockfledt (1779)
  • Stöcken (1681)
  • Suhm (1683)
  • Sundt (1733)
  • Svanenhielm (1720)
  • Svanenskiold (1780)
  • Sylverstein (1671)
  • Theilmann (1751)
  • Thurah (1740)
  • Thygeson (1776)
  • Tordenskiold (1716; 1761)
  • Tordenstjerne (1505)
  • Treschow (1812)
  • Ulrichsdal (1726; 1782)
  • Undall (1777)
  • Vedel (1812)
  • Vieregg (1776)
  • Voss (1777)
  • Wasmer (1695)
  • Wedel-Heinen (1812)
  • Werenskiold (1717)
  • von Wessel (1720)
  • von Westervick
    Joachim Irgens von Westervick
    Baron Joachim Irgens von Westervick , born as Joachim Jürgens, was a Dano-Norwegian baron and furthermore a Danish official and an owner of big land estates in Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands...

     (1674)
  • Wichfeldt (1777)
  • Wilster (1755)
  • Wibe (Vibe, de Vibe) (1634)
  • Wleugel (1782)
  • Wormskiold (1751)
  • Zeppelin (1785)
  • Zytphen-Adeler

New nobility ennobled by office

  • Motzfeldt
  • Rosing
  • Scheel
  • Sibbern
  • Tonsberg
  • Undall

Naturalised foreign nobility

  • Ahlefeldt
  • Arenstroff
  • Aubert (French)
  • Beck
  • Berger
  • Bertouch
  • Briand de Crèvecœur
  • Buchwald
  • von Bülow
  • Gersdorff
  • von der Goltz
  • Güntelberg
  • Haxthausen
  • Hobe
  • Hoff
  • Kløcker
  • von Krogh (Lower Saxony
    Lower Saxony
    Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

    )
  • Linstow
  • Lowzow (Mecklenburgian)
  • von der Lühe
  • Lützow (German)
  • le Normand de Bretteville (French)
  • Raben
  • le Sage de Fontenay (French)
  • Schack
  • Staffeldt (Pomeranian)
  • Trampe (Pomeranian)
  • Uyttendaele de Breton
  • Wadenstierna (Swedish)
  • von Wedel (Pomeranian)
  • Wedel-Jarlsberg (Pomeranian)

Old nobility

  • Alv Erlingsson, the elder
  • Alv Erlingsson
    Alv Erlingsson
    Alv Erlingsson was a Norwegian nobleman, jarl of Sarpsborg and governor of Borgarsyssel.Alv Erlingsson was born at Tanberg in Norderhov, Buskerud. Alv Erlingsson was the son of Erling Alvsson of Tanberg and grandson of Alv Erlingsson of Tanberg...

    , the younger
  • Audun Hugleiksson
    Audun Hugleiksson
    Audun Hugleiksson was a Norwegian nobleman at the end of the 13th century. He was the king's right hand, both under King Magnus Lagabøte and King Eirik Magnusson, and was seen as an important politician and lawman in his time. He played a central role in reforming the Norwegian law system...

  • Erling Alvsson
  • Skule Bårdsson
    Skule Bårdsson
    Skule Baardsson or Duke Skule was a Norwegian nobleman and claimant to the royal throne against his son-in-law, King Haakon Haakonsson. Henrik Ibsen's play Kongs-Emnerne is about the dispute between Duke Skule and King Haakon.-Biography:Skule Baardsson was born around 1189...


Ancient Norwegian royalty and nobility overseas

  • Kings of Dublin, originally Norwegians and Danes.
  • Kings of Man and the Isles, originally Norwegians.
  • Earls of Orkney, who have living cognatical descendants in Scotland.
  • Clann Somhairle
    Clann Somhairle
    Clann Somhairle refers to those Scottish and Irish dynasties descending from the famous Norse-Gaelic leader Somerled, King of Mann and the Isles. Primarily they are the Clan Donald, formerly known as the Lord of the Isles, and the mainland Clan MacDougall, and all their numerous branches...

    , formerly known as Lords of the Isles, believed to be of Norwegian origin.
  • Cotter family, an ancient Norwegian noble family still having property in Ireland. It fell into obscurity from 1300 to 1600, but has resurfaced still on their small estates.
  • Sturlungs
    Age of the Sturlungs
    The Age of the Sturlungs or the Sturlung Era was a 42-44 year period of internal strife in mid 13th century Iceland. It may also have been the bloodiest and most violent period in Icelandic history...

    , chieftains in medieval Iceland.

External links