Görvel Fadersdotter (Sparre)

Görvel Fadersdotter (Sparre)

Görvel Fadersdotter (Sparre) (1509 or 1517 – 20 April 1605), was a Danish-Swedish (Scanian) landholder and county administrator.


She was born in Hjulsta, Sweden, the daughter of Fader Nilsson (Sparre) of Hjulsta and Ängsö (d. 1520) and Bodil Knutsdotter (Tre Rosor) from Norway. Married in 1532 to Swedish riksråd Peder Nilsson Grip (1507–1533), in 1534 to Danish riksråd Truid Gregersen Ulfstand (1487–1545) and in 1547 to Danish riksråd Lave Brahe (1500–1567). She had one child; her son Nils Ulfstand, (1535–1548), who died of the plague during a trip with his stepfather.

Görvel Fadersdotter was an early orphan and a great heiress of both her parents. Her maternal grandfather Knut Alvsson was the greatest landholder in Norway when he rebelled against the Danish King and sided with the Swedes in 1502, and his estates was after he was slain confiscated by the Danish crown; this property, 200 estates in Norway and Denmark, was granted his granddaughter Görvel Fadersdotter.

During her second marriage, she left Sweden for Varberg Fortress in then Danish (now Swedish) Halland, where her spouse was county administrator; during the Count's Feud she was held as prisoner there. She was confronted with various legal claims of her lands from her Norwegian and Swedish relatives and her stepchildren, and in the 1530s, she had the Danish monarch appointed her guardian to protect her interests. At the death of her son in 1548, she was in sole control of large territories. In 1574 she renounced her claims on the debets owed to her by the crown, and was in exchange granted the fief Verpinge hovedgård (Trolleberg) as county administrator, and in 1582, she received the fiefs Börringekloster, Froste herred and some minor parishes in exchange for 250 of her Norwegian holdings. Between 1586 and 1599, she granted the Danish crown 600 of her Norwegian farms including her three holdings in the Nordenfjeldske Norway; the Giske holding, the Finne holdings and Bjarkøy holding and in 1601, she made the Danish King the heir of her Danish and Swedish lands. Her Swedish holdings had been confiscated during the 1563–1570 war, but was given back at the Danish-Swedish treaty at Flakkebäck in 1603.

Görvel Fadersdotter is described as clever and sensible, with the ambition to "learn to count as a bailiff, hammer nails like a carpenter, think like a professor, construct as an architect and farm like a farmer", and she was reportedly successful in her ambitions. She managed her estates by the help of good tenants, and constructed the Torup Castle in Scania after her own drawings. She only visited Norway once, but was from the 1530s a frequent guest of the Danish King, as he was of her. Among her estates, she preferred to live at Börringekloster in Scania, where she acted as the guardian of many daughters of the nobility. She died in Börringekloster, Scania.


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