Magnus VI of Norway

Magnus the Law-mender
Magnus Haakonsson (Stavanger cathedral).jpg
Contemporary bust of Magnus VI from the Stavanger Cathedral, dated c. 1270s–80s.[1][2]
King of Norway
Reign16 December 1263 – 9 May 1280
Coronation14 September 1261, Bergen
PredecessorHaakon IV
SuccessorEric II
Born1 May 1238
Tønsberg, Norway
Died9 May 1280 (aged 42)
Bergen, Norway
ConsortIngeborg of Denmark
IssueEric II of Norway
Haakon V of Norway
Full name
Magnús Hákonarson
FatherHaakon IV of Norway
MotherMargrete Skulesdatter
ReligionRoman Catholic

Magnus Haakonsson (Old Norse: Magnús Hákonarson, Modern Norwegian: Magnus Håkonsson; 1 (or 3)[3] May 1238 – 9 May 1280) was King of Norway (as Magnus VI) from 1263 to 1280 (junior king from 1257).[1] One of his greatest achievements was the modernisation and nationalisation of the Norwegian law-code, after which he is known as Magnus the Law-mender (Old Norse: Magnús lagabœtir, Modern Norwegian: Magnus Lagabøte). He was the first Norwegian monarch known to have used an ordinal number, although originally counting himself as "IV".

Early life

He was the youngest son of King Håkon Håkonsson and his wife Margaret Skuladotter. He was born in Tunsberg and was baptised in May 1238. He spent most of his upbringing in Bergen. In 1257 his older brother Håkon died, leaving Magnus the heir-apparent to the kingdom. His father gave him the title of king the same year. On 11 September 1261, he married the Danish princess Ingeborg, the daughter of the late Danish King Erik Plogpenning, after she was practically abducted by King Håkon's men from the monastery she was living in. The struggle to claim Ingeborg's inheritance from her murdered father later involved Norway in intermittent conflicts with Denmark for decades to come. Magnus and Ingeborg were crowned directly after their marriage, and Magnus was given Ryfylke for his personal upkeep. On 16 December 1263 King Håkon died while fighting the Scottish king over the Hebrides, and Magnus became the ruler of Norway.