David's Rebellion (Finnish: Davidin/Daavidin kapina) also known as the Peasants' Revolt of 1438 was a peasant revolt from 1438 to 1439 in Upper Satakunta, spreading from Vesilahti to Lempäälä. The rebellion was propagated by David of Ania, also called Crazy David of Upper Satakunta, who was a peasant leader, in response to increased tax burdens.[1]

David's Rebellion
DateAutumn 1438 - 9 January 1439
Result Swedish victory

Kalmar Union Kalmar Union

Supported by
Karl Knutsson Bonde (alleged)
Commanders and leaders
Kalmar Union Eric of Pomerania
Kalmar Union Hans Kröpelin [fi]
Kalmar Union Maunu II Tavast [fi]
David of Ania [fi]
Unknown ~75 total
Casualties and losses
~4 killed in action Unknown

Background edit

David was a wealthy householder of the Heikkilä estate from Ania [fi] village in Vesilahti to Ruovesi. He along with other people who were of the peasantry, had become frustrated with the increased tightening of taxation. The anger of the peasantry was only increased by the weakening of the fur trade and the increased land grabbing by the nobility in Finland of important lands such as fishing waters and economically important lands owned or controlled by the peasantry.[2] This anger was often directed at wealthy nobility and tax officials, such as Hans Kröpelin [fi], who was the Chief of Turku Castle. It is also thought by some that David was involved as a political agent who was paid to stir up trouble by Karl Knutsson Bonde.[3][4]

The rebellion edit

The rebellion began in autumn 1438, and the rebellion's leader was chosen to be David, who was proclaimed the "peasant king" (bondekonung) by his fellow rebels. He and his rebels went on to kill 4 huovi [fi] in Nokia, where a manor was located and owned by the Folkunga family.[2] The rebels went on to loot other manors aswell in Pirkkala.[1] Along with the rebellion in Upper Satakunta, there was another rebellion in Lammi in anger towards Olav Tavast, who is reported to have thought that David's rebellion was a joke, which is why they reportedly also revolted.[2]

The peasant revolt was tamed by Maunu II Tavast [fi], who was the Bishop of Turku and by Hans Kröpelin by inviting the rebels to discuss tax reductions at Lempäälä. Ultimately the peasant rebels were given a lenient punishment of having some of their land such as meadows, handed over to the Folkunga family manor for their misdeeds,[1] and the peasants were pardoned and they were forced to promise to never rise up against the Swedish Crown again, on 9 January.[3] The rebels signed the following document in the Parish of Lempäälä [fi], which was drawn up by Maunu II Tavast:[5][3]

To all who hear or read this letter, we acknowledge and make it known that we, the residents of the parishes of Pirkkala, Kangasala, Lempäälä, Vesilahti, Kyrö, and the upper and lower Sastamala, have grievously transgressed against our sovereign, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Council of the Realm, and our leaders, in following that scoundrel and mischief-maker David and his brothers and others from his company, in their deceit and ruin, causing us to violate our lives, properties, both land and movable, according to the laws of the realm. However, the honorable lords and the Swedish councilors, for God's sake and due to the prayers of good men, have mercifully turned this eternal damnation and foolishness into grace, as is written herein: that we are to be loyal and obedient to our sovereign, the council of the realm, and our leader who holds Turku Castle, and to his officials, whom he appoints to that end, faithfully performing all that we are rightfully obligated to do for our king and sovereign, and never to rise against our sovereign, the kingdom, or our leader.

Should it happen, which God forbid, that we or any one of us should transgress against our sovereign, the kingdom, or our leader through treachery or any other form of betrayal, we bind ourselves to reopen this matter, which has been forgiven so graciously as written above, as if we had just then committed it, and it shall be rectified according to the laws without mercy. We have requested twelve men from each parish, whose names are listed (names follow), to guarantee on our behalf that the aforementioned provisions are to be observed without distortion, as written in the aforementioned clauses.

All the aforementioned twelve men from each parish acknowledge with hand and mouth, having pledged through our peace and Christian faith to our leader Hans Kröpelin in the presence of several good men, whose names are not mentioned here, on behalf of the gentry and the kingdom, to uphold all the aforementioned clauses without deviation in the future. As a greater assurance, for better and higher regard, we affix the seal of our province to the back of this letter, which is written and given in the year after the Nativity of Christ 1439 in the parish of Lempäälä, in the village of Kuokkala (Lempäälä) [fi], on the Friday after Epiphany (January 9), and sealed on the eve of Saint Henrik (January 18) in Ylistaro, in the parish of Kokemäki, as your seal was not available before.

David and his brethren were forced to flee to Tallinn to avoid a harsh punishment,[4] however David's family was allowed to keep their farm in Ania.[6]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Koskinen, Ulla (2016-12-28). Aggressive and Violent Peasant Elites in the Nordic Countries, C. 1500-1700. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-40688-6.
  2. ^ a b c "Matti Kurki". www.narvasoft.fi. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  3. ^ a b c "Davidin kapina". www.messon.fi. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  4. ^ a b "David - Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon". sok.riksarkivet.se. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  5. ^ Juva, Einar W (1964). Suomen kansan historia. 1, Esihistoria ja keskiaika. Otava. ISBN 9511011286.
  6. ^ "Etusivu". kansallisbiografia.fi. Retrieved 2023-10-21.