Severin Løvenskiold

Severin Løvenskiold (7 February 1777 – 15 September 1856) was a Norwegian nobleman, politician and the prime minister of Norway.[1][2]

Severin Løvenskiold
Severin Løvenskiold (by Berglien).jpg
Governor-general of Norway
In office
27 February 1841 – 17 June 1856
MonarchOscar I
Preceded byHerman Wedel-Jarlsberg
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Norwegian Prime Minister in Stockholm
In office
10 July 1828 – 27 February 1841
MonarchCharles III John
Preceded byMathias Sommerhielm
Succeeded byFrederik Due
Personal details
Born(1777-02-07)7 February 1777
Porsgrunn, Norway
Died15 September 1856(1856-09-15) (aged 79)
Gjerpen, Norway


Severin Løvenskiold, the younger, was born in Porsgrunn in Telemark, Norway to Severin Løvenskiold, the elder, and Benedicte Henriette née Aall. In 1802, he married Countess Hedevig Sophie Knuth.[3]

Education and officesEdit

When Løvenskiold was nine years old, he was sent to Germany, where he received his formal education. After studies in Wandsbek near Hamburg, in Eutin, in Saxony and in Silesia, where he studied mining, he returned in 1794 at the age of 17 years. He earned a degree in law at the University of Copenhagen in 1796. After a few years of public service in Christiania, he assumed responsibility for some of the family’s holdings in 1802, at which time he was also made the King’s representative for his area.[4]

Political lifeEdit

After nine years as the Dano-Norwegian king’s representative, Severin Løvenskiold resigned this position in 1813, and in the following year, he was elected to the constitutional assembly at Eidsvoll. Løvenskiold was during the convention an enthusiastic member of the so-called ‘Union Party’, which advocated a union with Sweden, and he made notable efforts to retain the nobility in Norway. When noble titles and privileges in fact were abolished in a process starting with the Nobility Law of 1821, Løvenskiold went on record against the decision, finding it unjust and in violation with promises of eternal noble status in 1739 given from the king to his father, Severin Løvenskiold, the eldest.[citation needed]

His position against the dissolution of nobility is a good example of Løvenskiold’s position in many contemporary political issues. His conservatism, which sometimes could appear as reactionary, was reflected in his refusal of measures leading to a popular democracy, particularly so in 1836 when the laws on municipal democracy were sanctioned by the king—against Løvenskiold’s advice. He maintained that the peasants lacked the necessary level of education and political understanding to govern national affairs, a view the king in reality shared with him. However, King Charles III John accepted the municipal laws. Løvenskiold was very loyal to the King, and he was granted the position of prime minister in Stockholm for several years until he was appointed governor of Norway in 1841.[5][6]

Political legacyEdit

Despite his strongly conservative political views, Severin Løvenskiold was not without interest in progress in a more technical way. During the last years of his position, Norway established its first railroad, its first telegraphic lines, and a system of common postage and stamps. Several laws were established, helping the development of different types of industries in Norway. The honour for this goes mostly to Frederik Stang, but Løvenskiold must definitely have accepted and probably, at least to some extent, approved of this change. When Løvenskiold died in 1856, it was politically impossible to appoint a new governor. His anti-democratic attitude had left both him and the position isolated from most of the political establishment in Norway.[7]


See alsoEdit


Other sourcesEdit

  • Holme, Jørn (2014) De kom fra alle kanter – eidsvollsmennene og deres hus (Oslo: Cappelen Damm) ISBN 978-82-02-44564-5
  • Gisle, Jon (2010) Jusleksikon (Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget) ISBN 9788257321048
  • Andenæs, Johs (2006) Statsforfatningen i Norge (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget) ISBN 9788215009896

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg
Governor-general of Norway
Succeeded by
position abolished