Harald Kesja Ericsen

He was born in 1083 to Eric the Good, King of Denmark. He was my 26th great grandfather.

One would think the having your father as King of Denmark would have set you up pretty well, particularly if your father was called Eric the Good. Apparently the people liked the father, but when he died there were issues about who would next be king. His uncle Niels was elected king in 1104. This chaffed Harald for almost thirty years, then in 1134 Harald claimed himself as Harald IV, but only Jutland recognized his title. There was a defining battle in 1134, the Battle of Fotevik. Harald lost the battle and three of his sons were killed. He attempted to flee the country, but his whole retinue was captured in 1135.

1134-1135 was not a great time for my 26th great grandfather. Not only was did he lose his bid for the crown, but he lost the war, was captured, and executed.

The saddest thing was that Harald was beheaded, but not before he had to watch his remaining sons beheaded before him, nine of them. Count the three lost in the battle, he lost twelve sons trying to become king. Only one son escaped the onslaught, and he died nine years later trying for the throne.

Before he was beheaded, his oldest son Bjorn, married Katarina Ingesdotter, the daughter of Inge I of Sweden. Bjorn’s daughter was Kirstin , my great grandmother, who married Eric IX, the Holy. So the line continued.

Harald Kesha Ericsen risked everything in his attempt to be king, and everything, and everybody, paid the price.

Harald Kesha
House of Estridsen