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St. George and the Dragon in Storkyrkan in Stockholm. The face of the princess is believed to bear the face of Ingeborg Tott.

Lady Ingeborg Åkesdotter Tott (or Ingeborg Aagesdotter of the Thott), in her lifetime called Ingeborg Åkesdotter (1440s - Jönköping 1507), was a Swedish noble, the consort of the Swedish regent Sten Sture the elder (reign 1470-97 and 1501-03). She was also the fiefholder and regent of Häme in Finland.

When her spouse was made regent in 1470, she became what would now be called "first lady" and functioned as the de facto queen consort of Sweden for over three decades. The marriage produced no heirs.

Contents

Background

Daughter of the Danish noble and knight Axel Åkesson (1405-1477), governor in the castle of Örebro, and Märtha Bengtsdotter (d. 1480). She was first married to the noble Sten Bielke. She was engaged to the Norwegian noble Hans Sigurdsen in 1464, but he died the same year. She married to Sture in 1467. Her uncle was the spouse of Princess Magdalena of Sweden, daughter of king Charles and queen Catherine of Sweden. Another relative was the infamous Brita Tott. Her spouse was made regent in 1470.

Consort of the regent

Fru Ingeborg ("lady Ingeborg"), as she was called, was what one might call a renaissance-personality; highly interested in science, theology and education, and known as the patron of the development in this issues. She encouraged the foundation of the first secular university in Sweden, the Uppsala Academy and the Uppsala University in 1477, and gave large and independent donations from her own money to print books and finance libraries. She also took an interest in religion and in the order of the Carmelites; she benefited the Carmelite convent of Varberg, founded by her father, and supported the foundation of the first convent of the Carthusian Order in Sweden, the Carthusian convent of Mariefred (1493). She financed the printing of Alanus de Rupes famous Latin book about the psalm of the Virgin Mary (1498).

She is described as wise, brave, talented, and as the equal and match of her spouse in these areas. In his absence, she was recommended for her wise rule over fortresses and counties. During her spouse's reign, the country was a de facto and independent nation, though a union with Denmark in name. Despite her Danish origin, she became known for her loyalty toward her spouse and her new home country.

During the Battle of Brunkeberg 1471 she called the poor of Stockholm to the castle of Tre Kronor and fed them in exchange for their prayers for victory. She then joined her ladies-in-waiting, who watched the battle praying for victory from the castle-walls.

In 1483, when her spouse was absent in Gotland, a riot broke out on the streets of Stockholm: the noble Sten Kristiansson Oxentstierna murdered a commoner, and the public tried to lynch him. Ingeborg ventured out on the streets to try to calm down the riot, but was pushed to the ground and almost trampled to death in the crowds. When her spouse returned, he became very angry, and had to be prevented by the parliament from extracting revenge upon the inhabitants of the city; he did, however, lecture them so severely that the city remained calm during the rest of his reign.

Later life

In 1497, the union with Denmark was reestablished, and the Danish king made regent of Sweden. Ingeborg and her spouse left for Finland, where they held a grand court at Tavastehus Castle. In 1501, a rebellion broke out against Denmark, and her spouse was again made regent. Stockholm was taken after a siece from the Danish queen, Christina of Saxony, who at her surrender turned herself over to Ingeborg, who met her at the castle and followed her to a convent (1502).

By her participation in her spouse's rebellion against Denmark, she lost her Danish property: she had in 1476 been given equal inheritence rights with her brothers after their parents.

After the death of her spouse (1503), Ingeborg withdraw to her estates. In 1504, she was given the fief of her late spouse, Häme Castle in Finland for life, were she ruled as an independent regent. In 1505, the castellan Folke Gregerinpolka tried to take the castle by force with the support of the council, but Ingeborg was supported by the public and by some of the nobility, and his troops had to retreat. Her rule only lasted two more years after this, however: she died in 1507.

The Princess in the group of sculptures "Sankt Göran och Draken" (Saint George and the Dragon) in the Storkyrkan in Stockholm, which were made in 1471-1475, are considered to bear the features of Ingeborg.

See also

References

External links

Succession

Ingeborg Tott
Born: 1440s Died: 1507
Preceded by
Kristina Abrahamsdotter
as Queen consort
Regent consort of Sweden
1470-1497
Succeeded by
Christina of Saxony
as Queen consort
Preceded by
Christina of Saxony
as Queen consort
Regent consort of Sweden
1501-1503
Succeeded by
Mette Dyre
as Regent consort
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