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About the cruel bailiff Jösse Eriksson

Bailiff Jösse Eriksson

Share on FacebookShare on WhatsAppShare on TelegramShare on X (Twitter)På dagens datum för 580 år sedan, den 8 december år 1436, hann rättvisan ikapp en grym dansk fogde vid namnet Jösse Eriksson som huserade i Västerås. Som man kan läsa i Karlskrönikan (se bild), som färdigställdes runt […]

On today's date 580 years ago, December 8, 1436, justice caught up with a cruel Danish bailiff named Jösse Eriksson who lived in Västerås. As you can read in The Charlemagne Chronicle (see picture), which was completed around 1453, he received his punishment according to the custom of the time. With particular ruthlessness and greed, Jösse collected taxes for his king Erik of Pomerania in most of Västmanland, Bergslagen and Dalarna. "Under a shroud of outward piety, the legend goes, he committed the most terrible things", writes Alfred Kämpe in The Freedom Struggles of the Swedish Allmog. I The Engelbrekt Chronicle told of his cruelty:
The poor peasants in Dalarna stay, their bailiff made them much trouble, he made them suffer so severely and taxed them of most of what they possess. He let the peasants hang in smoke, so hard did he afflict them they were harnessed to the hills, they would drag them, they were thus made so great distress, "they brought forth children that were dead. How much more wrong he did them ...and made them groan.
(ur The struggle for freedom of the Swedish Ommogens vol 1, s 44) As Alfred Kämpe says, not everything in the old chronicles should be "taken at face value", some of them were, after all, pure propaganda writings, but in any case the dalkar finally got tired of Jösse Eriksson's oppression. By Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson they complained to the king. Engelbrekt was referred to the Swedish Council, which investigated Jösse Eriksson's case and found him to have acted criminally. When the king did not dismiss the bailiff, the valley lords rose up in 1434, marched to Västerås and forced him to leave his county to Count Hans of Eberstein. Jösse Eriksson then went to Denmark, but in 1436, provided with a letter of appointment from Karl Knutsson (Bonde), he went to Vadstena. The commoners of Aska härad, Östergötland, broke into the monastery, and as Kämpe writes "tied him on a sledge and drove him like a pig to Motala ting", where he was sentenced to death by the ting and beheaded. Kämpe wrote that Jösse "ruled from the house of Västerås Dalarna and Västmanland since 1413 with such cruelty, that he will apparently live until the end of time." Yes, even today after 580 years the memory of his injustice lives on. May it live for many more generations.

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