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Bjorn III of Arendaal
By the Grace of God, King of all Arendaal
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King of Arendaal
Reign 1554 - 1560
Coronation December 1554, Kronstad
Predecessor Queen Katherine I
Successor King Kristian II
Consort Sophie of Eiffelland
Birth 8 February 1520, Lulea
Death 13 March 1560, Leuven
Father King Frederik II of Arendaal
Mother Helena of Franken
Issue Matthias, Grand Duke of Hainaut
Royal House Kapétien Dynasty
House of Norregaard
Full Name Bjorn der Norregaard-Kapét
Religion Christian (Catholic)
Buried Saint Chapelle, Emyn Arnen

Bjorn III of Arendaal ("Bjorn the Bloody") (1520 - 1560) was the King of Arendaal between 1554 and 1560. He was the second son of King Frederik II of Arendaal and Helena of Franken. He came to the throne after the death of his sister, Queen Katherine I, who in turn had come to power by deposing the heir to the throne, Kristian II. The Catholic and keenly pragmatic Bjorn is remembered for his role in the persecution of Protestants during the Wars of Religion.


King Bjorn III of Arendaal
Aren Royalty
Kapétien Dynasty
House of Norregaard

House of Kronhielm
Last monarchs
   Marguerite I of Arendaal
   Rurik II of Arendaal
Marguerite I's children
   Frederik II of Arendaal
   Gisela, Queen of Franken
   Malena,HolyGermanicEmpress
Frederik II
Consort
   Helena of Franken
Children include
   Johannes I of Arendaal
   Katherine I of Arendaal
   Bjorn III of Arendaal
Johannes I
Consort
   Blanche of Montelimar
Children include
   Kristian II of Arendaal
   Elisa, Queen of Anglyn
   Adele,TalemantineEmpress
Katherine I
Consort
   Matthieu of Lorraine
Bjorn III
Consort
   Sophie of Eiffelland
Kristian II
Consort
   Frederika of Suionia
Children include
   Adeliza I of Arendaal
   Elisabet,Queen ofEiffelland
Adeliza I
Consort
   Robert of Franken
Children include
   Edvard III of Arendaal
   Alienore of Havenshire
   Karolina,QueenofMontelimar
House of Lundmark

These violent struggles between rival Catholic and Protestant forces in mid-sixteenth century Arendaal only came to an end in 1560, once Bjorn III was defeated in battle by Kristian II, and the latter upheld legislation to allow for religious freedom in the country. Lingering tensions would not be completely resolved until late in the 17th century.

Although he has been viewed in a negative light by posterity, especially since Arendaal became a majority Protestant nation, Bjorn III was in many ways a complex figure. His mother Queen Helena remarked that he was "a true son of his father, through and through", the formidable and imposing Frederik II. In his youth he seems to have considered joining the Catholic clergy. He was known as a witty figure at his father's court, well versed in poetry, philosophy and rhetoric and with a "tongue as sharp as any". Like his siblings, Bjorn was possessed of great intelligence, and unlike his elder brother Johannes he was adept at acting decisively, even rashly, to solve problems.


Bjorn's Queen, Sophie of Eiffelland


During his reign Bjorn III was often opportunistic and was determined to do almost anything to achieve his ends. He was determined to keep Arendaal a Catholic nation, and was convinced (as his sister Katherine I had been) that the only way to ensure this, and thereby to ensure stability, was to stamp out the Protestant heresy. He was vicious to Protestant ministers who he saw as agents of unrest, but granted pardons on a wide scale to communities which surrendered to his forces, so long as they converted to Catholicism.

Bjorn III's forces were defeated by those of his nephew Kristian II at the Battle of the Cross in 1560. Bjorn was injured during the fighting, and he died a few days later.


Bjorn III as a boy with his siblings, including Johannes I and Katherine I, and their governess

Poison is suspected as having caused his ultimate demise. By this point many key nobles had defected to Kristian's side, given the harsh measures Bjorn employed against Protestant communities, such as burning them to the ground.

After his own coronation in 1560, Kristian had his uncle buried in Saint Chapelle in Emyn Arnen, as a gesture of reconciliation. Bjorn's widow, Sophie of Eiffelland was invited to court and all of his children by her became prolific members of the courts of Kristian II and Queen Adeliza I.

Family, Marriage and ChildrenEdit

King Bjorn III of Arendaal married Princess Sophie of Eiffelland in 1552. Their children included:

  • Matthias, Grand Duke of Hainaut (b. 1564)

SiblingsEdit

Other Royal RelationSEdit

AncestorsEdit

Bjorn III of Arendaal's ancestors in four generations:

 
 
 
 
 
King of Coronado
 
 
King Fernando II of Coronado
 
 
 
 
 
 
Queen of Coronado
 
 
Juan Carlos Vázquez, Prince of Coronado
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Queen of Coronado
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
King Frederik II of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
 
King Gustav IV of Arendaal
 
 
King Harald III of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beatriz of Frescania
 
 
Queen Marguerite I of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emperor Giovanni Luciano III of the Talemantine Empire
 
 
Ottavia of the Talemantine Empire
 
 
 
 
 
 
Talemantine Empress
 
Bjorn III of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
Heinrich V of Franken, Holy Germanic Emperor
 
 
Heinrich VI of Franken, Holy Germanic Emperor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Madeleine of Arendaal
 
 
Duke Nikolaus IV of Franken
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Holy Germanic Empress
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Helena of Franken
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
x
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Duchess of Franken
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
x
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 

See AlsoEdit

Kapétien Dynasty
House of Norregaard

Regnal Titles
Preceded by
Queen
Katherine I

1550 – 1554
King of Arendaal
1554 - 1560
Succeeded by
King Kristian II
1560 – 1570
Prince of Norseberg
1554 - 1560
Grand Duke of Emyn Arnen
1554 - 1560
Aren Royalty
Preceded by
Queen
Katherine I
Crown Prince of Arendaal
Prince of Fjordholm

1550 - 1554
Succeeded by
King Kristian II

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