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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Sat 14 Oct, 2017 4:56 am    Post subject: Historical examples of civilian fighting episodes.         Reply with quote

The idea for this post is to share episodes recording in judicial documents of civilian fighting.
What was the reason for the fight, what weapons were used and the judicial aftermath.

Case from late 16th century Denmark.

Context:
Part of the male dress all over Scandinavia included weapons, even boys were always armed.
Though you had city laws against carrying in towns, nobody enforced this in reality.
Only the very most dangerous weapons - like trying to enter town with a cocked crossbow or loaded musket - would result in the guardsmen to order you to unload it before entering.

As all citizens had to be armed with spears ("Spidsborger"), they also carried their spears with them constantly as it could be used both in defense and as a walking stick.
As it was hard to stab people in crowded bars with spears, actually fairly few people were killed in spear-brawls, but more beaten with them.
The 16th century saw the popularity of the "degen" spread also to Scandinavia, as they were easy to carry in a civilian setting. Thrusts from a "degen" often resulted in deaths.
Also very prominent in Denmark was the "Testikel-dolk" (bollock) clearly a symbol of masculinity, that also resulted in a lot of deaths.

Even the clergy was heavily armed:
The Bishop of Sjælland had to order the priests not to appear in church with a musket and not conduct church service armed !
In 1572 the priests were allowed to have a spear on their wagon and from 1584 also to have a sword in their wagon, but only if they used it for self-defense and not attack (which means some priests did).
As everyone carried a knife (or knives), a priest would off course still have that on him during the church service.

Fighting episode: Helsingør (Elsinore) summer 1585.

Christen Riber sends a servant girl out in town to fetch him a jug of beer.
On the way the servant girl is beaten by Marine - the wife of Hans Kjøbenhavn.
Christen Riber goes to the house of Hans Kjøbenhavn and tells him to punish his wife, for beating his servant girl.
Hans and Marine both run out of the house, gather stones in their yard and starts to throw them at Christen Riber, who is standing out on the street (but he stands his ground).
Still, trying to chase Christen Riber away Hans continue to throw stones, whereas Marine grabs a shovel and runs to attack Christen Riber (she is no timid housewife).
Christen Riber unsheaths his degen and they start fencing.
Christen Riber makes a cut upwards from a deep "terts" and hits Marine's wrist, actually severing her hand entirely off!
That doesn't stop Marine that keeps fighting with the shovel with her remaining hand.
[Apparently then the fight slowly fizzles out, as Christen Riber can defend himself until Marine runs out of steam].

The episode goes to court:
They are "friendly settled" as Christen Riber pays Marine 27 "daler" for the loss of her hand.
It is the only fine for this entire episode.

Source:
Troels Frederik Troels-Lund (1903)
"Dagligt liv i Norden i det 16de aarhundrede", Book IV, page 159.


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sat 21 Oct, 2017 2:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Oct, 2017 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's why I don't send my wife to the beer store. Laughing Out Loud .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Sat 14 Oct, 2017 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Drinking between nobles ends up with less than noble conduct.

5th of April 1588 (or 1589), Falster, Denmark :
Peder Eggertsen (Sandberg, til Vestergaard) is traveling in his wagon and while passing Bellinge he is being invited home by Anders Mogensen Falster (Bielke, til Bellinge).
Peder Sandberg: https://finnholbek.dk/getperson.php?personID=I47357&tree=2
Anders Bielke: https://finnholbek.dk/getperson.php?personID=I56251&tree=2

While drinking Anders Bielke promised Peder Sandberg that he can have his hunting horn if he could blow it. Peder Sandberg manages to and the hunting horn becomes his. Then they continue drinking and eventually Anders Bielke and his wife (Anne Eriksdatter Hardenberg) send Peder Sandberg on his way seemingly in friendship.
Anders Bielke and his wife walks Peder Sandberg out the gate and Peder's wagon is to follow.

Anders Bielke and the wife walks back and when Peder Sandberg's wagon is just about to exit the gate, Anders Bielke orders the gate shuts down and declares to the driver, that the wagon is only allow to leave, if Peder gives the drinking horn back.

Peder Sandberg is wondering why his wagon is not catching up to him and starts to walk back. He sees Anders Bielke coming towards him holding a spear and ordering him to fight like an honest man.
First Peder Sandberg jumps behind a fence, but then unsheaths his degen and comes forward to duel.

While they fought, the "foged" (Vogt) of Anders Bielke had arrived at the scene and sneaked up behind Peder Sandberg. He cuts with his degen and chops a big piece of Peder Sandberg's neck off (!)
Peder Sandberg turns around and manages to pierce him, so he collapses. This distraction gave Anders Bielke the opportunity to strike with the spear, and a hit Peder Sandberg tumbled into a fence. Just as Anders Bielke was ready to pierce Peder Sandberg through with his spear, Peder Sandberg's wagon driver has also managed to appear at the scene.
In the nick of time he hit Anders Bielke with his musket, so hard that it broke.
Peder Sandberg then drove his degen through Anders Bielke's body.

The injured Vogt - and other men of Anders Bielke that had arrived - carried the dying Anders Bielke home.
[Apparently it gave Peder Sandberg and his driver opportunity to leave - unknown what happened to the wagon].

The court acquitted Peder Sandberg of the killing as it was (rightly) deemed as self defense.

PS: All this for a hunting horn - it better had to be spectacular Laughing Out Loud

As for a spectacular hunting horn - Kungliga Livrustkammaren (Sweden) have a royal hunting horn from around 1620 - made from the last auroch.

Source (search on "jakthorn"): http://emuseumplus.lsh.se/eMuseumPlus


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sat 14 Oct, 2017 7:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Sat 14 Oct, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
That's why I don't send my wife to the beer store. Laughing Out Loud .......McM

I have to ask, is it because she is like the servant girl or because she is like Marine? Razz
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Sat 14 Oct, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I couldn't rightly say who would start the fight....my wife or the other person. Either way, I'd probably be out some money and still have no beer! Laughing Out Loud ....McM (Seriously...sorry I can't add anything but a joke to your original question. Blush )
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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