Heritage articles

Theodor Kittelsen: Mother, an old woman is coming.Where did the plague come from when it arrived in Numedal? The plague came to Oslo in the autumn 1348. It was an active shipping service between Oslo and southeast England. Norwegians travelled to sell griddles, whetstones, iron, lumber, mill stones, soapstone products, furs etc. They bought wheat, beer, wine, glass and pewter items and much more. 

One of these ships brought the plague to Oslo in 1348. In 1349 a separate contagion came to Bergen on the west coast. So Numedal may have been infected from two sides. What we know is that the plague spread from Oslo to Berg in Eiker in the summer of 1349. A document exist, telling about the great summer of death. From here the plague spread to Sandsvær (Kongsberg) and further up through Numedal. Old documents describe the plague at different locations.

Late in the fall of 1349 the Black Death ravaged in Numedal and the surrounding villages. Jon priest, then a priest in Rollag, issued a death certificate for Anundær Hælghæson on 14 July 1358 (not 31 April 1358, as falsely dated in DN. 1. p355) describing the Black Death. He also testifies that Ragndid Simondotter, Alvald Sveinkesson and many “good people” were present. Aanundær is buried at Mæl church in Tinn.