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'Lords of Norroway' The Shetland estate of Herdis Thorvaldsdatter

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Chapter Summary

'The lords of Norroway' are mentioned in several Shetland sources from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These 'lords', aristocratic families based in (Western) Norway, were inheritors of the vast estate that a lady of Shetland origins, Herdis Thorvaldsdatter, had amassed before her death in 1363. This chapter presents a closer look at this estate. The deed of division, specifying which parts of Sigurd Jonsson's estate fell to each of the three benefactors, is the first listing of the properties Lady Herdis Thorvaldsdatter had amassed in Shetland. Lady Herdis' Shetland estate was a multi-polar one, and that it comprised three discrete estates, probably with different origins, and each perhaps having once been an independent holding.

Keywords: 'The lords of Norroway'; Herdis Thorvaldsdatter; Shetland origins



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