Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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.
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
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Fævejle, ab. 12 km west of Grenå
Lyngby parish, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt
Fævejle is mentioned for the first time in written sources during the rule of Erik of Pommern; in 1429 the two væbners (= esquire) Jens Laursen and Henrik Blik gave a deed on a desolate building place in "Fæuedæl" to hr. Otte Nielsen (Rosenkrantz )of Hevringholm, a deed which their wives had inherited from Andreas Eysen. In 1469 a priest Jep Tordsen lived in "Fæwedell". Or else is known nothing from Fævejle except that the farm with its parish church Lyngby before the reformation belonged to Århus Chapter.
The last abbot in Øm Kloster, hr. Jens Simonsen, was - when the kloster was abandoned in 1560 - given Rosmos (Rosmus) parish and had the vicarage, Rugård and a third farm in Rosmos parish, but in 1579 the Crown exchanged this estate, and in order to indemnify hr. Jens they let the priest in Lyngby Albøge change parish with him - so hr. Jens was given Fævejle as a vicarage. However he died the same year. Århus chapter then exchanged in 1580 Fævejle to the Crown which already the following year exchanged it to Iver Juel of Lykkesholm. In 1618 Fævejle was owned by Helvig Rantzau who died the same year in childbirth; she was a daughter of Frantz Rantzau who was killed at Skellinge hede, and she was married to Palle Rosenkrantz of Krenkerup.
In 1621 the farm belonged to fru Kirsten Sandberg, a daughter of Tyge Sandberg of Vedø and married to Gert Bryske of Margård. Fævejle was then owned by her aunt Sophie Jørgensdatter Rostrup, who was married to her paternal uncle Mads Sandberg. When he died in 1632, the farm was given to jomfru (miss) Abel Bryske, Gert Bryske and Kirsten Sandberg's daughter. After her it came back to her mother Kirsten, who died in 1647, since from her estate Fævejle was the following year conveyed to rigsråd hr. Frederik Reedtz of Tygestrup. When he died in 1659, the farm went via inheritance to his son Jørgen Reedtz of Vedø, who was amtmand (prefect) of Tryggevælde Amt and ambassador in Spain, and his son-in-law Erik Hardenberg Gyldenstierne. The two owners sold in 1664 the farm to ex-secretary in the German Kancelli Matheus Rudolphus Reinfranck.
Via his marriage to Karen Rasmusdatter Helkand, a widow after the Icelandic merchant Mikkel Nansen, mayor Hans Nansen's son, Reinfranck achieved considerable means, which gave him the opportunity to buy much spread estate in Djurs Sønder herred. In her first marriage Karen Nansen had the daughters Karen, who in 1670 married Peder Schumacher Griffenfeld, and Sophie, who in 1672 married amtmand of Kalø amt, etatsråd Christian Gersdorff. When only 12 years of age the only child of Reinfranck's marriage Lisbeth Margrethe was in 1663 " "in the presence of many distinguished people" betrothed to a son of king Frederik III's highly trusted kansler Theodor Lente, secretary in the German kanselli Christian Lente, a young careerist, who only had entered into this match in expectation of Griffenfeld's patronage and a rich dowry. After the rigskanslers (Griffenfeld's) downfall in 1676 Lente broke ruthless the betrothal in spite of Reinfranck's and his stepson Christian Gersdorff's protest. The case was still not finished in 1679, but was given up when Reinfranck died. The repudiated bride, who was now the heir of Fævejle, married in 1685 the priest of the parish church, Frederik Thomsen Lyngbye.
In 1681 she sold Fævejle to Iver Juul Høg who the same year from Bjørnholm, Lykkesholm and Fævejle founded the barony Høgholm, which after his widow fru Helle Trolle's death in 1722 went to grev Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe (+ 1728). His son, grev Frederik Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe transferred in 1753 the barony to overhofmarskal ( =Lord Chamberlain) grev Adam Gottlob Moltke, who abandoned and sold it the next year.
Fævejle belonged under Høgholm until 1802, when generalløjtnant Frederik Sehested's widow Pauline Fabritius-Tengnagel in an auction sold the farm to lesee Knud Høyer. After his death in 1821 Fævejle was bought in an auction by P.J.Møller, the later owner of Constantinsborg, and he conveyed it to the owners of Lykkesholm P.Achton and Peter Mørk Mønsted, who the same year shared the two estates, and Mønsted then got Fævejle. After his death in 1864 his widow handed over the farm to the son N.J.A. Mønsted for 39.000 rigsbankdaler. He built the present main building, a red-brick villa in one storey. In 1918 the son Peter Mørk Mønsted took over Fævejle, which he in 1945 transferred to his son Ivar Brorson Mønsted. Today Fævejle is a common agriculture farm. The old half-timbered farm-buldings still exist.
Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 14, Djursland, Fævejle by dr. phil. Louis Bobé, 1967.
photo March 2009: grethe bachmann
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Kalø, ab. 20 km northeast of Århus
Bregnet sogn, Øster Lisbjerg herred, Randers amt.
After the rebellion of the Jutland peasants and their refusal to pay taxes king Erik Menved let build three new castles to avoid any repetition, Bygholm at Horsens, Borgvold at Viborg and the castle at Kalø. This castle was built upon the highest point of the island and consisted, according to usual customs, of a square tower and a castle yard, surrounded by a ring-wall. Those forced castles were hated, and in the coronation charter, which Christoffer II had to sign in 1320 in Viborg it was decided that the forced castles had to be broken down, while the older castles like Riberhus, Koldinghus and Skanderborg were still allowed to exist. The National Museum made some examinations at Kalø in 1941-42, and they showed that Erik Menved's castle really had been broken down not long after it was built. From his time are only the cellar walls under the large tower and probably the rest of the eastern ring wall, which ends in a circular corner tower. King Christoffer hardly made the rebuild of the main tower, the rest of the castle plan must be ascribed to king Valdemar Atterdag.
According to the examinations it seems that castle nr. 2 was built not many decadees after the first, there is no document about the date, but after the treaty, which in 1340 was finished in Lybæk between king Valdemar and hertug Valdemar about the first mentioned's taking over the Danish Crown, king Valdemar had to take over at once Ålborghus with Vendsyssel and Himmerland as a dowry with the hertug's sister, Helvig; after this he could one by one redeem the four castles Kalø, Horsens, Kolding and Ribe, each with a fourth of the rest of Nørrejylland (Nørrejylland is not the same as North Jutland, it is the area around the Randers district). The castle at Kalø, which is mentioned as one of the main castles in Nørrejylland, was by grev Gert pawned to Claus Limbek, a son of a lord of the manor from Angel, whio was the greve's sub-chief of Nørrejylland.
In 1343 the king redeemed the Kalø-area, but hr. Claus Limbæk stayed as a pledgee at the castle for many years and was in 1344 by king Valdemar appointed drost, the highest office of the kingdom. He was the king's highly trusted advisor and assistant, but he was also one of the leaders of the Jutlanders' rebellion. He was nr. 1 among the lords at Kalø, where he still lived in 1348. Valdemar Atterdag had alternate chiefs (vasals ) at Kalø, after he had redeemed it, but in the end of his rule he had to give it as a pawn for a loan from the Århus-bishop Bo Mogensen. The income of the vasalry went for some years into the pockets of the bishop, until queen Margrethe in 1407 redeemed it. Bishop Bo and the Chapter had to ensure that "the island Kalføe and the walled castle and fortification, which stand upon this, belong to the Danish kingdom" and that the bishopric had no claims anymore.
Among the vasals were among others hr. Otte Nielsen (Rosenkrantz) of Bjørnholm (+ 1477), who was the mightiest man in the district; he was for many years rigens hofmester (kingdom's master at court). Erik Eriksen Banner (+ 1554) had in 1514 castle and vasalry given by Christiern II in person, while he around Easter stayed at Kalø. When the king deceitfully in 1518 had taken 6 Swedes hostage (who had been a security for his own person in a meeting with the Swedish regent Sten Sture the Younger) and brought them as a pawn to Denmark, he entrusted one of the hostages, the very young Gustav Eriksson Vasa to Erik Banner, who treated him well and allowed him in return for a promise and handshake to walk freely near Kalø, but his longing for Sweden made the young man forget his promise; he saw his chance to get away about one year after he came to Kalø; he put on peasant-clothes , joined some cattle-drovers and came in September 1519 to Lybæk, where several merchant-families took friendly care of him and fixed that the council denied to hand him over to Erik Banner, who a few weeks later caught up with him, but had to go back to Kalø empty-handed. Chr. II did not punish his vasal, but demanded him to pay a large sum of 1.600 gylden, which he had provided as security; a receipt has been kept of an instalment of 1.300 mark which the king received "for the Swedish prisoner, who got away."
Erik Banner became one of the leaders of the Lutheranian party in the rigsråd. He won together with Johan Rantzau a victory over skipper Clement in the Grevefejden and had an important place among Chr. III's councsiliors - and was from 1541 rigens marsk (military chief of the kingdom); but he did not seek for larger or more important vasalries and kept Kalø with the five sub-districts (herreder)Mols, Nørre and Sønder herred, Sønderhald and Øster Lisbjerg as tax-vasalries until his death in 1554. In the next generation a brilliant man Jørgen Rosenkrantz - who was the founder of Rosenholm - became regent while Chr. IV was underage. He was a vasal for a long time, from 1563 until his death in 1596. He kept Kalø, maybe because it lies close to Rosenholm and Skaføgård.
Jørgen Skeel, ancestor of the Skeels at Gammel Estrup, was the owner of Sostrup and Ulstrup and rigsmarsk by Chr. IV from 1627. He had Kalø vasalry from 1607-27. During his time at Kalø a judicial murder took place. The priest in Vejlby, Søren Quist, was sentenced and executed for a murder he had not committed. A conspiracy of his enemies, whose main instigator was a sub-bailiff at at Kalø, succeeded in forcing some Vejlby-peasants to give witness and take an oath on fabricated stories. The court of justice assumed that the sworn testimonies were true and sentenced the priest to death. During the period of the next vasal kansler Christen Thomesen (Sehested)(1629-40) , the learned Holger Rosenkrantz' son-in-law, the truth came out and the case was taken up again. The priest's innocence was established and the main instigators of the conspiracy were punished. The two last vasals at Kalø were Christen Thomesens brother's in-law, first Gunde Rosenkrantz 1648-60, then Erik Rosenkrantz of Rosenholm, who had to give up the vasalry caused by the change of the Danish government in 1660.
For more than three hundred years the royal castle at Kalø was domicile for vasals, and during that period history tells nothing about any war-events. The castle and its crew were means of power in the vasal's hands in order to fight troublemakers and criminals and to protect the inhabitants in the five districts( herreder). The castle was a place from where peace went out. The money for its maintenance and the support for its residents went to the Crown from farm and estate. Upon the island was a farm-building and another up behind the eastern forest - and gradually many peasants in Bregnet and the neighbouring parishes became copyholders for the castle.
The straight paved road out to the castle, named Vasen, was probably laid out in the 14th century. There is a document with information that it was repaired by Jørgen Rosenkrantz, so it is earlier than his period as a vasal (1563-96). In the middle of Vasen was a bridge which could be broken off. There were several road blocks on the way out to the castle; at the third break the drawbridge led across the dry moat to the castle-gate, which was built just on the other side of the moat ( a large piece of wall work have been found from a gate tower). The fourth break was the main gate, and behind it was the castle yard where a potential attacker was facing a difficult tastk, conquering the tower, where the defenders behind thick walls could defend themselves from narrow arrow slits.
In 1660 the castle was much dilapidated. It was also outdated as a fortification, and since it after 1660 was not a vasalry anymore its days were numbered. In 1661 Frederik III gav his son Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve Kalø castle with farm-buildings and estate, which meant most farms and houses in Bregnet and Thorsager parish and several in Egens, Agri, Dråby and Vistoft and the two churches in Bregnet and Thorsager with their taxes. This large estate was transferred to Thorsager birk (judicial). Ulrik Frederik had just got married to Marie Grubbe. In 1670 he handed over farm and estate to the Crown after having achieved his main work as a viceregent in Norway. In 1672 he was one of Chr. V's leading ministers and had begun building his palace in Copenhagen (the present Charlottenborg) The king gave him Kalø's buildings and material "which was very ruined and disrepaired." Everything usable was now sailed to Copenhagen. What was left were only rests of tower walls and small remains of ringwalls and fruerstuen. (the ladie's room). The castle became an overgrown and mouldering ruin.
The Crown kept Kalø ladegård and the large estate for twenty years. In 1690 grev Conrad Reventlow of Clausholm bought in an exchange the farm-buildings and the part of the estate in Bregnet and Thorsager parish. He had judicial rights and a right to buy back the churches in Thorsager and Bregnet. Conrad Reventlow, who became storkansler under Frederik IV and was the father of queen Anna Sophie, had in 1684 bought Løjstrup in Laurbjerg parish and Frisenvold in Ørum parish and in 1686 bought Clausholm in Voldum parish, which became the main residence in the large estate.
In 1703 he handed over Frisenvold, Løjstrup and Kalø to his daughter-in-law Benedicte Margrethe (née Brockdorff)(+ 1739), who very young was a widow after Jørgen Skeel of Gammel Estrup and in 1700 was married to grev Christian Ditlev Reventlow (1671-1738). He was an officer, diplomat and official; he became a general in Austrian service, in 1709 he was as a Danish general leader of the failed attempt to win back Skåne; later he became overpresident in Altona and overjægermester( title at court). While he used his power in the State service his wife ruled despotical, but with great skill, the many and large estates the married couple owned: grevskaberne Christianssæde and Reventlow (Sandbjerg), baroniet Brahetrolleborg, the entailed estate Krenkerup, Tølløse and Sehested ( in Sønderjylland) besides three Jutland manors, of which they in 1731 founded the entailed estate Frisenvold . This couple did not need a classy residence at Kalø, but it is probable, that the energetic lady planned the building of the up-to-date halftimbered farm buildings. The large old barn north of the present country road has kept the mark from the 18th century and reminds about the now burnt barn at Møllerup.
Wormwood on the stony beach behind Kalø.
In 1798 Kalø and estate was by fyrst (German prince) Christian Heinrich August Hardenberg Reventlow (son of the Preussian statskansler and German prince Carl August Hardenberg and Juliane Frederikke Christiane Reventlow) handed over to birkedommer (judicial rights), kammerråd Morten Friederich Leemeyer at Kalø and Erik Christian Müller at Møllerup. The purchase price was 217.000 rigsdaler. The deed was in 1803 issued to Leemeyer only. After his death his widow Mette Leemeyer, née Brendstrup, had difficult times at Kalø and in 1823 she sold farm and estate to the German senator Martin Johan Jenisch (1760-1827) from Hamborg, who bought it for 80.000 rigsbankdaler silver. Kalø did not become his or his family's home, but a part of a widespread concern. Kalø hovedgård and estate was driven by Danish employees, but the family from Germany often visited their Jutland manor and showed much interest in the great enterprise and the many people connected to it.
It was a great advantage for Kalø that the new owner was a rich man, who could improve the buildings and equip the peasants with livestock and tools. In 1848 the villeinage was abolished and the main farm was from this year driven with the assistance of paid people. In the 1870s both churches of the estate ( Bregnet og Thorsager) were restored. Bregnet church was in danger of being broken down, but was saved and secured. In 1881 was Kalø taken over via inheritance by Martin Johan Rücker, who took the name Jenisch. He became baron and ekscellence in 1906 , he was a diplomat and was appointed ambassedeur in Rome.
In 1883 was established a modern diary at Kalø hovedgård, and in 1890 was built a large stable for the large stock of Angler-cattle. In 1898 the baron built Kalø Jagthus (Hunting lodge) south of the garden, from where is a beautiful view across the fields, framed by the forests, Kaløvig (the bay) and the castle island with the ruin. During the difficult years after WWI the baron thought about selling Kalø, but instead he decided to rebuild and modernize the large agrigulture- and forest enterprise. As an inspector of the estate he chose in 1924 the young landowner, later hofjægermester Folmer Lüttichau of Rohden, who had been a lesee at Kalø 1918-20. When the baron died a half year after the new inspector's beginning in September 1924, the executors of the estate took the lead and kept it until September 1933, when it was transferred to the son Wilhelm Rücker von Jenisch.
Like his parents he protected the beautiful and historic values he was responsible of. He supported in many ways the National Museum's work at the castle island and gave the public access to both the ruin and the forests. In the end of the 1930s he proposed a grandiose offer about Nature preservation of the beautiful landscapes from Kaløvig up to Rønde and Kalø hovedgård and to the castle island, 300 tdr. land ( 1 tdr = 1.363 acres). The condition of the proposal was that a road project, which had been confirmed by Randers amt, where a road should lead from Følle through Hestehaven and down to the Ebeltoft-road at the beach, must not be carried through. When the Nature Conservancy Board in an instalment of 3. January 1939 had decided that this road project must not be carried through, the baron's offer was brought to life according to the Nature Conservancy Law of 1937. By protecting this magnificent East Jutland landscape baron Jenisch has got an unusually beautiful memory. He also expressed his interest in hiking by giving land to a youth hostel, which is placed east of Rønde with a view across the listed terrain.
In WWII Jenisch, being a German officer, had to go to war and died in Greece 13. July 1941. Shortly after his death his workers and employees raised a memorial stone as an expression of their gratitude. According to his will his youngest brother Johan Christan von Jenisch became the owner of Kalø, but after the end of the war Kalø was confiscated as German property by the Danish State. After this 440 tdr. land of the estate was being outparcelled and sold, partly for establishing Kalø agricultural school, partly for establishing State-smallholdings and additional land. In 1948 Kalø estate was rented to Jagtfonden, the idea was to use the estate for 1) vildtbiologiske forsøg (biological research with game) 2) breeding game 3) hunting school and at the same time continue the farming and foresting.
Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 14, Djursland, af bibliotekar, cand.mag. Ejler Haugsted.
photo Kalø 2003/2006/2007/2008/2009: grethe bachmann