People and Places in the Clara Kloster Charters

Seminar with Stephen Werronen and Johnny G.G. Jakobsen at the Centre for Name Research.

The medieval charter collection of the monastery of St Clare is a rich source for the names of people and places. Most of the charters discuss property transfers, and often list the names of relatives who approved the donations. This information can be used to reconstruct and analyze the network of relationships between people, places, and the monastery, thereby answering important questions about its history. The focus of this presentation will be the strong but short-lived link between the monastery and North Jutland.

Although it was located in Roskilde, the first women known to have joined the convent were from landowning families based in the region around Limfjorden. One of these women was Gro Gunnesdatter, whose will lists a huge number of monasteries and churches in her native region. By using this evidence, and by uncovering connections between Gro, the other early nuns, and the founder of the monastery of St Clare, it is possible to explain why the monastery was initially so appealing to the women of North Jutland and why this appeal diminished over time.