Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tjele, Mid Jutland, Viborg amt.


Tjele, ab. 12 km northeast of Viborg
Tjele sogn, Sønderlyng herred, Viborg amt.

Tjele was a village main farm, which history can be brought back to queen Margrethe's rule. At that time lived in Tjele parish two lords, the brothers Niels and Jep Eskildsen of the family Basse from Tjele, whose coat of arms was a half billy goat in a silver field. Niels owned a small main farm Tjeleris (in the present Rise) and after his death his widow Maren Iversdatter and her second husband Jens Gundesen (Lange) conveyed 6 April 1392 at Viborg landsting to rural dean Johannes and the canons in Viborg all their property in Sønder- and Nørlyng herreder (districts), namely the main farm (curia nostra principalis) Thyelriies with an additional farm, four farms in Tjele village, Vore mill, and farms in Vammen, Vorning and Hammershøj.

The Basse-family still had a connection to Tjele parish - in the existing village Tjele lived Jep Eskildsen on his family farm, which was the origin of the present manor. Jep Eskildsen's son Eskild Jepsen is mentioned in 1418, when he negotiated with Skt. Marie Kloster in Viborg about estate in Tjele. He was married to Else Svendsdatter Udsen, who after his death married Mogens Jensen Løvenbalk, known as the killer of Jens Jensen Brock. Hereby came the family Løvenbalk - who traces their origin back to an illegitimate son of Christoffer II - to Tjele. Mogens Løvenbalk was present in Viborg at the issue of Christoffer of Bayerns coronation charter in 1440, but was probably killed in the peasant rebellion in 1441 - he was dead in 1450, when fru Else gave estate to Mariager Kloster and her son of first marriage hr. Christiern Eskildsen confirms the gift letter. He was the last man of the family Basse, when he died childless as a monk of the Order of St. John in Viborg after 1478.

Tjele was inherited by hr. Christiern's half brother Laurids Mogensen Løvenbalk, who died in 1500, but whose three children Jørgen, Mogens and Maren probably all inherited Tjele. They were all three making a friendly exchange of property in 1529 with Viborg Chapter. They got compensation for transferred farms, a farm Thielriis in Tjele parish, three farms of which one was desolate in Tjele village, a desolate mill-place named Vore mølle etc. The Løvenbalk-family achieved the same estate which Jens Gundesen had given to the Chapter in 1392. The old main farm was now a common copyhold farm, and the mill had been given up. But the importance of the new main farm grew evidently the Løvenbalk-period.



The old stone house in the castle yard "Søndre Tjele" must be dated to the beginning of the 16th century and is probably the work of Jørgen and Mogens Lauridsen. It has not been surrounded by moats and is built in two storeys above a barrel-vaulted cellar. The meter-thick walls are built in field-stones with a cover of large monk bricks. It was burnt by the peasants in the Clements-feud, but the thick walls defied the fire. There were several additions, among others towers, but most of it have been removed again. In the second storey is the great hall where are traces of frescoes in cubic and rhombre patterns in black,grey and white like is known from the medieval Nyborg castle. From a later rebuild are traces from frescoe-painted wall-decorations.

Jørgen Lauridsen is mentioned the last time in 1531, and hr. Mogens, the Scottish woman Genete Cragengelt's husband, had died in 1536, when Maren and her husband Erik Skram (Fasti) of Hastrup (Nørvang herred ) took Tjele into possession, and Genete and her two children had to leave. Not until eighteen years later, in 1554, the son Knud Mogensen took legal action against Erik Skram on the king's judicial Thing; he presented four sealed letters, which he had fetched in Scotland as a proof that Genete was hr. Mogen's wedded wife. From these letters emerged that hr. Mogens, when he in 1525 was in Scotland - sent out by Frederik I to oppose Christiern II's agents -had met a lady of nobility, a relative of count William of Montrose. On the 31st of August 1525 in the morning he and Genete went to St. Ninians church at Leith, where they contracted lawful marriage according to the customs of Scotland - and then they went to Robert Barton's house, where wedding festivities were held together with the "most outstanding people and chiefs" - and after this they lived together as husband and wife in Scotland.

But then Erik Skram presented two letters from some the Danish knights' men; they told that they came often to Tjele, but they had never seen hr. Mogens treating Genete different from a slegfredkvinde(mistress). She sat at the table down by his men and never had dinner with him. Erik Skram also told that hr. Mogens in a gift-letter gave this same woman all his gold, silver etc, of 20 or 30 thousand gyldens' value, but that Genete and her children had not acknowledged inheritance and debts, which they had to do according to law, if they wanted some inheritance. He said that she in 1536 had come to an agreement with him about, what she had to inherit after hr. Mogens - and finally he pointed out that Knud Mogensen had neglected to seek inheritance in time, latest when he came of age. Knud Mogensen then presented a letter from the parish priest
hr. Jens Lauridsen, who witnessed that hr. Mogens twice had sworn to him that Genete was his wife for God and the world.



Knud Mogensen had to give up his fight to achieve his paternal farm - in 1571 he came to an agreement with his relatives - but he still fought for his mother's honour, and he won when the University of Copenhagen in 1568 - a year after Genete Cragengelt's death - acknowledged the proofs of his parents' marriage. He achieved the right to use the Løvenbalk's coat of arms , and he bought Loverstrup and Kjellerup, but died after 1598 as the last of his family.

Erik Skram (+ 1568) of Hastrup belonged to the family Fasti, who had a cleaved six-stepped storm-ladder in their coat of arms and a half blackamoor in their helmet. His father had taken the name Skram after his mother. He was in 1529 married to Maren Lauridsdatter (Løvenbalk), he was landsdommer (High Court judge) in Nørrejylland 1536-58 and vasal at Holstebrogård 1546-58. He probably repaired and rebuilt the stonehouse at Tjele after the fire and built a 17 bay long two-storey half-timbered wing, which was later extended with three brick-built bays. In the southern gable of the south wing is a room called The Scottish Womans Room. Erik Skram was buried in Tjele church, where behind the altar is a pretty headstone with life-size portraits of him and his wife.

Jørgen Skram Fasti 1534-92 is the one from the former owners who has mostly marked Tjele, he built the main house and he increased the estate. He served as courtier by the imprisoned Christiern II at Kalundborg and by the king's son Frederik and in the government of important vasalries (Båhus 1568-71, Dronningborg etc. 1573-85, Hald etc. 1585-92) and the road was prepared for a title as rigsråd (1579). He was often sent to Norway on the king's behalf for legal proceedings , and he was in 1584-87 High Court judge in Viborg. He was the founder of the large main estate Tjele, since he both extended the main farm, but also exchanged property and bought farms close to Tjele, in Foulum, Ørum, Lundum and Vammen; it was necessary to have servants nearby for the management of the extended main farm. He extended Tjele church, which in the 15th century had got a tower in monk bricks. He achieved the material in 1573 by - with the king's permission - to break down the tower and two northern chapels of Skt. Hans Kloster-church in Viborg. Above Tjeles gate entrance is a tablet with an inscription and the coat of arms of Skram Fasti and Daa.


At Tjele Langsø

Jørgen Skram could not leave Tjele to a son. In his marriage to fru Hilleborg Clausdatter Daa were born two children, but they died infants, they are pictured together with their parents at the portrait stone in Tjele church. His sister fru Anne Skram inherited farm and estate, but she was childless in her marriage to Christen Munk of Gjessinggård, and Tjele went after her death in 1612 to her brother's daughter Maren Skram, who was a widow after Jacob Hardenberg, and after her death in 1623 Tjele went to her sister's son Claus Below of Spøttrup's widow fru Karen Hansdatter Lange. Fru Karen Erik Lauridsen Grubbe of Gammelgård gave in 1636 deed on Tjele main farm with its additional mill, Gammelbylunden, Flaruphede, the houses in the fields and the peasant estate, which mainly was situated in Tjele, Ørum and Lindum parishes and forest for 130 svins olden.(measure: enough mast for 130 pigs).

Erik Grubbe was the only son of Laurids Grubbe of Gammelgård in Ryde at Lolland. When 17 years old he went with a steward and a friend on a journey abroad, which was obligatory for sons of lords of the manor; his main goal was Leipzig and Leyden. After this he was at court for a couple of years - and married Maren Juul the same year he bought the farm. Maren was a daughter of Iver Juul of Willestrup. They lived for a couple of years at Tjele, but then Erik Grubbe became vasal at Århusgård, and they had to move to Havreballegård (now Marselisborg). In Århus he got the byname the evil vasal. People thought that he was the working force behind a chase of bishop Morten Madsen's wife Kirsten Johansdatter and her son-in-law. He lost his wife in 1647 and was in 1649, after the bishop's wife was cleared , moved as vasal to Lund at Mors, where he stayed for two years. From 1651 till his death in 1692 he lived at Tjele without taking part in public life.

Erik Grubbe was a rich man, but he was known to be close-fisted. He was the only son and sole heir to a good Lolland-farm and probably increased his fortune as a vasal. He gave his daughters large dowries and bought much estate for Tjele. But in spite of his wealth the riches could crumble away under a leader, who might be marked by the miser's desire to save money on the wrong places, and the condition in Jutland was bad after the Swedish wars. Besides were also the tragic family relations, known from the Danish poets: Holberg, Blicher, H.C.Andersen and I.P. Jacobsen. After his wife's death he lived together with the peasant girl Anne Jensdatter; this was not a good example for the two motherless girls who grew up at Tjele in the 1650s.



Both girls were married early, the oldest Anne Marie to rigens kansler Just Høg's highly intelligent, but degenerated Stygge Høg; the youngest, Maren or as she was later called Marie, married the king's son Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve. Both marriages were very unhappy and had to be dissolved. Anne Marie was later married to Jørgen Arenfelt of Rugård, known as a "witch-hunter", while Marie after her divorce drifted around in Europe, till she in two years had spent almost all her maternal inheritance of 12.000 daler. When she came home she almost had no clothes to wear. Erik Grubbe received his lost daughter; she promised to improve, but lived worse than before. In 1673 she was married to Palle Dyre, and Erik Grubbe said in a complaint to the king that he helped her to get married. The married couple lived at Trinderup and was given this farm and a farm Nørbæk for their support.

After twelve year at Trinderup Palle Dyre and Marie moved at New Year's time 1685 to Tjele. Erik Grubbe was now eighty years and was persuaded to let his son-in-law have Tjele as a lessee. An examination of the buildings before the transfer showed that everything was in a bad state, also the main building. If Erik Grubbe hoped to achieve a peaceful old age, he was disappointed. There was a bitter feud about the inheritance between the two son-in-laws, and there were problems between the two households at the farm, but everything was pale beside the great scandal, when Marie was unfaithfull to her husband with the coachman Søren Sørensen Møller. A process came up, which sent a sharp light on both Marie's affair and the not very cosy life at the farm. The conviction in 1691 was divorce. Marie Grubbe followed Søren Møller, and after several years of wandering about they settled in Borrehuset in Åstrup sogn on the island Falster by Grønsund, where they had a speakeasy. In 1711 Søren ,when drunk, killed a captain and was sentenced to prison at Bremerholm. While the case was on, Ludvig Holberg visited Borrehuset. Holberg wrote in one of his epistles that Marie Grubbe told him that her marriage to Søren was much happier than her first marriage although he treated her badly. She died in 1718, about 80 years old.



When the old man at Tjele died in 1692, the other son-in-law was now the heir, but since he had a large debt, he had to sell Tjele and Vingegård in 1698 to ritmester Gert Didrik von Levetzow of Gaaslund. He got a bad reputation as "the evil lord", and his sarcophagus was a part of the legend. He let set up a magnifique sarcophagus in black marble and alabaster and place an epitaph on the northern wall of Tjele church. Both works were made by Frederik IV's and Christian VI's court sculptor, Johan Frederik Ehbisch, who was the master of the stucco-loft in the great hall at Rosenborg castle and of several works in Fredensborg slotskirke. The sight of these gaudily sculptures, especially in a church, did wake the imagination of the parishioners and made them invent stories about nightly drinking bouts in the coffin and about the mermaid-sculptures that supported it.

In 1737 Tjele and Vingegård were bought by generalmajor Christian Ditlev Lüttichau, whose father Hans Helmuth Lüttichau belonged to and old noble family from Sachsen; he immigrated from Mecklenborg in Christian V's rule. He had taken part in Ludvig XIV's wars. He abducted from a Belgian kloster a Spanish nun, who became his wife. The descendants of this fantastic couple settled at the Jutland manor, which is now owned by the eigth generation. Christian Ditlev Lüttichau (1696-1767) established 15. november 1759 the entailed estate Tjele, and it was decided that the widow could enjoy the estate, until the eldest son was 30 years. The eldest son, konferensråd, kammerherre Hans Helmuth Lüttichau (1740-1801) was in 1763 married to Johanne Marie Charlotte v. Brockdorff and left the estate to his eldest son, kammerjunker Christian Ditlev Lüttichau (1766-1809), after whose early death his widow Ida, née von Bülow, took it over. Their son Hans Helmuth Lüttichau (1804-57) left Copenhagen in order to manage Tjele, and his friends wondered, why he would give up his safe income as a premierløjtnant instead of a not so safe income as the owner of an entailed estate. The times were difficult for him and his clever wife Idalia, née Dirckinck-Holmfeld; they lived very modest in small rooms in the first floor, and in the evening they lit tallow candles which she and her maids had done.


Tjele Langsø

The next generation, kammerherre Christian Ditlev Lüttichau (1832-1915) became the most important man of the family. After having done legal and agricultural-economic studies, he took over the lead in 1857 at his father's death, and in 1862, when he was 30 years, he took over the entailed estate. On 10th of July 1860 he married his cousin Malvina Jessen, a daughter of overførster Jessen in Randers. He improved the work of the main farms and equipped them with modern buildings, he was a co-founder of Hedeselskabet in 1866 and took part in its activity and planted at the same time large areas at Tjele. His working-areas grew gradually and quietly, and it spread from the estate to the whole neighbourhood. At his death it was said that there was hardly a public field in the area where Lüttichau had not taken part. He finally came to rigsdagen, ( Danish government) , he became minister and was in the lead of many large concerns. He was finansminister (minister of finance) in the ministery Reedtz-Thott. In 1897 he retreated from politics and returned to Tjele. His son has told that he learned to ride on his father's old red horse - it stopped automatically by every house and every human.

The eldest son Hans Helmuth Lüttichau took over the entailed estate in 1911 (1868-1921). He had since 1893 owned Viskum; he replaced in 1908 his father as chairman of Hedeselskabet and had in 1909-10 been a folketingsmand. (member of the Danish Folketing). He was later a president in landhusholdningsselskabet (agricultural household society) and had many positions of trust. In 1921 he suddenly died in the middle of his working day. His wife Fanny Lüttichau, née Fønss, died a few months later. The entailed estate was now taken over by the eldest son, kammerherre Christian Ditlev Lüttichau (1895-1963), married to Vibeke v. Brockdorff. 29. April 1930 the entailed estate became a free estate, and there was some outparcelling, especially from Vingegård.

Kammerherre Christian Ditlev Lüttichau had like his father several positions of trust, he was from 1931 chairman of Hedeselskabet and from 1933 president of Det kgl. danske landhusholdningsselskab. (The royal Danish agricultural household society). He was killed by an accidental shot in 1963 . His son, Hans Helmuth Lüttichau took over Tjele gods. Thorough restorations have been made during the latest owners' time of the historic main building.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 13, Tjele, af bibliotekar, cand.mag. Ejler Haugsted, 1966.

Note from: Danmarks slotte og herregårde, Niels Peter Stilling, Politikens forlag 1998:
Tjele is one of Denmark's national treasures. The main building is one of the eldest manor-buildings in the country. Marie Grubbe, the landowner's daughter from Tjele, has immortalized the old manor. Holberg, Blicher, H.C. Andersen and I.P. Jacobsen has told the story of Marie Grubbe's life. The civil Lüttichau-family has owned Tjele since 1737. Until 1996 was Tjele open to the public, but today is the public access limited to the exclusive restaurant, named "Marie Grubbe".


photo Tjele: grethe bachmann

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