FYI May 04, 2019

On This Day

1436 – Assassination of the Swedish rebel (later national hero) Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson
Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson (1390s – 4 May 1436) was a Swedish rebel leader and later statesmen. He was the leader of the Engelbrekt rebellion in 1434 against Eric of Pomerania, king of the Kalmar Union.[1]


Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson was a mine owner and a nobleman from the Bergslag of Norberg in the historic Swedish province of Dalarna. His family originally came from Germany, having migrated to Sweden in the 1360s.[2] The family coat of arms shows three half-lilies formed into a triangle.

Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson was dissatisfied by the numerous offenses of the Danish local bailiffs and heavy taxation. In 1434 he started a rebellion with the support of mine workers and peasants from his home area. Engelbrekt set against the king’s bailiff in Västerås, Jösse Eriksson, who was blamed for the distress that mining men suffered under his rule. The rebellion grew into a massive force sweeping the country.

In 1435 Engelbrekt was appointed Rikshövitsman, Commander in chief, at a Riksdag in Arboga that is often considered the first Riksdag in Sweden. However, he was not able to withstand the Swedish nobility, who wanted to exploit the rebellion. He was somewhat forced into the background. The nobility and clergy decided to support Karl Knutsson Bonde, who in 1436 supplanted Engelbrekt as Rikshövitsman.[3]

On 4 May 1436 Engelbrekt was assassinated at Engelbrektsholmen, an islet in Lake Hjälmaren, by the aristocrat Måns Bengtsson, who lived in the nearby Göksholm Castle. Engelbrekt was buried in Örebro church. Måns Bengtsson was a Swedish knight and chief judge in the traditional Swedish province of Närke. He was a member of the family Natt och Dag, a family from Östergötland which belongs to the Swedish noble class.[4][5]

Over the next few decades Engelbrekt became a national hero, depicted as a public protector and an opponent of the Kalmar Union. His rebellion came to be seen as the start of the Swedish national awakening, which would triumph in the following century with the victory of King Gustav Vasa (reigned 1523–1560). Engelbrekt himself had no such ideas, which must have been anachronistic at the time; however his rebellion gave peasants a voice in Swedish politics which they never lost afterwards. The Engelbrekt rebellion caused the unity of the Kalmar Union to erode, leading to the expulsion of Danish forces from Sweden. Although later Danish kings regained influence over Sweden, the rebellion had set a precedent for Swedish claims to sovereignty.

A bronze statue of Engelbrekt by Swedish sculptor Carl Gustaf Qvarnström (1810–1867) was unveiled in Örebro in 1865. Statues of Engelbrekt also stand in Stockholm, Arboga and Falun. No known contemporary image of Engelbrekt survives.

Engelbrekt became the subject of Engelbrekt (1928), an opera by the Swedish composer Natanael Berg (1879–1957).[6] Engelbrekts församling (parish) and church in the Church of Sweden Diocese of Stockholm take their name from the hero.

See also

Engelbrekt Church

Born On This Day

1916 – Jane Jacobs, American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist (d. 2006)
Jane Jacobs OC OOnt (née Butzner; May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist who influenced urban studies, sociology, and economics. Her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) argued that urban renewal did not respect the needs of city-dwellers. It also introduced the sociological concepts “eyes on the street” and “social capital”.[1][2]

Jacobs organized grassroots efforts to protect neighborhoods from “slum clearance”, in particular Robert Moses’ plans to overhaul her own Greenwich Village neighborhood. She was instrumental in the eventual cancellation of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would have passed directly through SoHo and Little Italy. She was arrested in 1968 for inciting a crowd at a public hearing on that project. After moving to Toronto in 1968, she joined the opposition to the Spadina Expressway and the associated network of expressways in Toronto planned, and under construction.

As a mother and a writer who criticized experts in the male-dominated field of urban planning, Jacobs endured scorn from established figures. She was described as a housewife first.[3] She did not have a college degree or any formal training in urban planning, and her lack of credentials was seized upon as grounds for criticism.




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