About three weeks ago, I decided to get a grip on my writing. I told myself to blog at last twice a month and to stick to it. A new deal! Then I got hit by Ol’ Rony and spent two weeks on my back, unable to do anything of value.
Luckily I’m feeling better, though still weak and tired, so I logged in and had a look at my drafts. I figured it was best to finish unfinished business before writing anything new. The oldest of the three was started in… 2011 – more than ten years ago! That’s how often I write, apparently. None of the drafts contained any text however, and the topics were quite outdated, so I just deleted them, to start anew!
This morning I’m in the town of Falköping, west of lake Vättern. Albrechts Bössor is having an annual meeting and quite a few of the guys are showing up. Falköping, by the way, is kind of an interesting place for people interested in Swedish late 14th century. The very name of this blog is knicked from a chronicle describing the fall of king Albrecht von Mecklenburg: In deme jare Cristi 1389, in sunte Mathias dage, was grot strid in Sweden bi Axewalde. It is medieval low German and reads: In this year of Christ 1389, on the day of Saint Matthew, was a big battle by Axvall.
Axvall was a castle som 30 kilometers north of Falköping. By the time it might well have been an important fortification, but judging by the pictures online, it is not much more than a heap of dirt these day. The battle is said to have taken place just east of Falköping, by the village of Åsle. Saint Matthew’s day is the 24th of February and writing this I realise I’m short of the anniversary by just five days! What a coincidence! I might go the battle field anyway, because I have never been there.
The backstory is that the elected king of Sweden, a north German called Albrecht von Mecklenburg, gradually started to lose grip of Sweden during the 1380’s – even more so when the rival Margareta Valdemarsdotter managed to gather the Swedish nobility around her. One by one, the Swedish cities pledged loyalty to her and in the end it was more or less only Stockholm which was still in Albrecht’s hands.
1389 Albrecht gathered a host to fight Margareta. In the beginning of 1389 he disembarked at the town of Kalmar on the south east coast and marched northwest. The 24th of February, after some weeks march and some skirmishes, he faced the commanders Henrik Parow and Erik Kettilsson Puke together with his hovetman (commander) Hinrik ”Grotekop” van Bulow.
In spite of having the upper hand initially, the king lost the battle and and was taken prisoner by his enemies. He was not released until six years later, and by then Hanseatic troops under the burgher Hermann van der Halle had occupied Stockholm, as part of the terms for the king’s release. And those Hanseatic troops are what we in Albrecht’s Bössor reenact these days!