Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Eskjær, Salling, North Jutland, Viborg amt.

Eskjær, ab. 18 km north of Skive
Grinderslev sogn, Nørre herred, Viborg amt.

Eskjær was mentioned the first time in written sources in 1328, where hr. Jacob Nielsen (Gyldenstierne) of Eskjær is mentioned. The farm was later in the ownership of the family Banner. Eskild Nielsen and Peder Høg (Banner) are mentioned as owners in the middle of the 1400s. The last mentioned's son Niels Pedersen Høg became the owner of the farm. He was a wellknown man of that period. He is mentioned as rigsråd in 1487, and both king Hans and his son Christiern II used him often as public delegate. According to the Skibby Chronicle he was known as a priest-hater. Besides his public assignments Niels Høg had also time for his private interests. During the first ten years of the 16. century he gathered gradually large estates, a big part was in the neighbourhood of Eskjær. It seems he had achieved sole rights of Eskjær, although a thing-witness from 1501 indicates that his rights were denied by others.

At Niels Høg's death in 1524 his daughter Anna inherited Eskjær; she was married to Niels Jensen Rotfeld, who in 1540 transferred the farm to his son Jens Rotfeld. After his death as the last male member of the family Eskjær came to his sister Johanne, who was a widow after Hans Lykke of Havnø. She managed the farm until her death in 1577, and the son Erik Lykke took over. His son Hans Lykke got after his father's death in 1602 into a debt up to his ears; the farm was taken over by the creditors and forever taken from the Lykke-family. The new owner was Verner Parsberg, who died in 1643, and his son Niels Parsberg, married to Helle Gyldenstierne, was not an economic genius. He had to pawn Eskjær, and in 1664 it came to grev Christian Rantzau's heirs. At that time was Eskjær a large estate.

Eskjær was in 1674 incorporated into grevskabet (county) Løvenholm, but already in 1681 it was back in the ownership of the family Parsberg, since a son of the former owner, oberst Verner Parsberg, bought it. He sold however the farm in 1698 to Barbara Rantzau, but when he after the sale married the buyer, who brought him considerable riches, the sale had no practical importance. Verner Parsberg was also the owner of Skivehus, and he managed both this and Eskjær until his death in 1719. In the anecdote-litterature he was called a stupid and ignorant landjunker. (junker = German nobleman)This was undoubtedly not true; on the contrary he was one of the most active landlords in the district and one of few from the old nobility, who was able to maintain his position and also improve status in the tough times after 1660. After his death both estates were taken over by his son, ritmester Johan Parsberg, who died in 1730 the last male member of the family. He left both estates in a disrepaired state.

After Johan Parsberg Eskjær was taken over in 1735 by his stepfather gehejmeråd, president in the Supreme Court Claus Reventlow, who probably never resided at the decayed farm. He owned several manors. In 1790 he sold Eskjær to a former tenant at Krastrup, Mads Hastrup, who was the first middle-class owner. Hastrup succeeded in bringing the farm on its feet again before his death in 1761. He was also the building master of the present main building, which was built in 1761. Below the main wing in the cellar are still rests of a late Gothic building with thick walls. The cellar room has eight small cross-vaults upon three heavy, walled middle pillars. After a local legend these cellar rooms were the whereabouts of the three known witches "Thise Trolde", until they after the judgment were burned at the stake.

After Mads Hastrup's death in 1767 Eskjær was sold at auction to major Johan Chr. v. Geistler, who was married to a Lüttichau of Tjele. He was from an old German officer's-family, but he was not a skilled farmer, and he became gradually much indebted. In 1781 he sold Eskjær to the later justitsråd and generalkrigskomissær Christian Lange, who was one of that time's progressive men in agriculture and a son of another outstanding farmer, justitsråd Jens Lange of Rødkilde. He improved the neglected farm. All operations were changed, and he made some reforms of the estate in two cities/villages, where he was the sole owner. But it was not easy for him in the other part of the estate. He was involved in feuds with the other farmers, and he also insulted the peasants with his reform-eagerness.

Lange was eventually fighting with his peasants about the villeinage and the taxes, and in the posterity he was known as a bondeplager (harassing the peasants) He cheated the peasants when he measured the corn, he moved their field boundaries, and because of these misdeeds he had according to the old legend no rest in his grave; he haunted the farm, he slammed the doors and he was seen running in the Gåsemosen (moor) with the surveyer-sticks. A special legend is connected to Langesgård, which was built by him. According to royal statutory his peasants denied to bring the tax-corn to the end of the road, and when they discovered that their delivery -duty ended in the middle of Eskjær Mark (field), they just loaded the corn here. Lange swore an oath that the peasants had to bring the corn to the barn, and when this oath could not be fulfilled, he let build a barn above the unloaded corn. This barn was said to be the first beginning of Langesgård.

In 1797 Chr. Lange sold Eskjær and Langesgård to justitssekretær in Viborg, etatsråd Henrik Johan de Leth and Thomas Thomsen of Østergård, who in the following year left the common ownership and took over Langesgård. Leth sold all the peasant-property, but in 1828 the Danish state took over the farm as the holder of an unsatisfied mortgage. In 1830 was Eskjær bought by kammerråd A.C. Grønbech, and after his death it came to baron Joseph Emil Adeler. He sold in 1869 Eskjær to cand.jur. Ludvig Th. Schütte of Bygholm, after whose death in 1915 the farm was inherited by his son dr. phil Gudmund Schütte, who gave the main building a thorough restoration and built a new farm building. The area was increased, and the forest of Eskjær - which is the only worth mentioning in Salling - was re-planted. In 1953 Gudmund Schütte (+ 1958) transferred the estate to his son, Herluf Schütte, who bought more estate for Eskjær.

Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 12, Nordvestjylland, Eskjær, af mag. art Svend Egelund.

foto Eskjær 2004: grethe bachmann


William Hyland said...

This is a wonderful blog: thank you for doing it!

Thyra said...

Hello William! Thank you so much!
Grethe ´)