About Toke "Val-toke" Gormsøn (Jelling)
while the theories concerning Toke Gormsen will probably never be proved, the theory is built on a lot more factors than described in the entries below...
there are actually 6 runestones, where the text and location makes it rather certain that it has been raised either by toke gormsson or one of his huskarls.... DR278, DR279, DR295, DR296, DR297 and DR131... 5 in Scania and 1 on Jutland.
from these sources and the surrounding settlements, it is clear that Toke Gormsen was a man of exceptional power... you could probably count the number of contemporary men with the same status and power in the danish empire on one hand... it is also clear that who ever this Gorm was who was his father, his father was a man who's name commanded even more respect.
arguments generally made:
- he is not only called Toke Gormsen, but also gorms toke on one and the same stone... suggesting that even though toke was someone which memorial it was an honour to carry, his fathers name was so important, every chance for association is taken, and his children though warlords dead in battle, are mentioned as his property. as in " eskil placed this stone in memory of toke gorms son, his lovable lord. he did not flee at uppsala. the warriors placed the stone on the hill (or mound) over their brother in arms. they who walked closest to gorm's toke.
- he is called "Druhtinaz" on one scanian stone and one in Jutland. "drott" is an extremely significant title, by for example sawyers book on runestones from 2000, placed within words for rulers.... it should be placed on the level of Jarl (highest title after king), drott is more associated with the leading of large armies in the kings place, while the jarls are more associated with ruling specific areas.
in the medieval period jarl becomes the title of the hand of the king, and drott becomes the title for the lord high commander.
in the heimskringla drott is associated with warlords of royal blood.
"Dygvi's mother was Drótt, a daughter of King Danp, the son of Ríg, who was first called konungr in the Danish tongue. His descendants always afterwards considered the title of konungr the title of highest dignity. Dygvi was the first of his family to be called konungr, for his predecessors had been called dróttinn ['chieftain'], and their wives dróttning, and their court drótt ['war band']. Each of their race was called Yngvi, or Ynguni, and the whole race together Ynglingar. Queen Drótt was a sister of King Dan Mikillati, from whom Denmark took its name."
- he has two stones raised in his memory, one on the danish mainland and one on the swedish, both calling him drott...
- one of the stones commemorating him is the corner-stone of a church... it's also square like gorms, has the same style as gorms
- one of the stones of one of his huscarls is an immitation of gorms stone (text divided by 3 linear snakes", and the text specifies the same placement of the stone as tokes own stone.
' texts imply a larger number of huscarls from half of scania as well as the danish mainland.
- his sons stone stand by a settlement known for its continued high status, his son died in battle, and the huscarls raised a monument for him as well by the main road.
- toke was not only wealthy enough to hold huscarls, but to raise monuments over them when they died.
/ your friendly neighborhood archaeologist
The source for Toke is the Hällestad Stone in Skåne, which is in memory of a certain Toke, son of Gorm, stating that he did not flee at Uppsala, presumably referring to a battle at which he distinguished
himself [See Erik Moltke, "Runes and their origin - Denmark and Elsewhere" (Copenhagen, 1985)]. The problem is that "Gorm" is not a rare name, so the case depends on the assumption that the Gorm who was
father of Toke was the famous Gorm, and not another of the same name.
This is a classic case of the "names-the-same" problem. In the absence of clear evidence that Toke's father Gorm and the famous Gorm should be identified, Toke should not be included in the list of children of Gorm of Denamrk.
Toke Gormsen is mentioned as a son of Gorm the Old and thus a brother or halfbrother of Harald Bluetooth. He is said to have been king or earl in Skåne. He was born ab. 912? ( this is more likely to be 921 considering his age at the Battle of Uppsala) There is historical evidence that he was killed in the Battle of Uppsala = the Battle of Fyrisvalla. According to inscriptions on three runestones in the walls of Hällestad Kirke in Skåne Toke Gormsen was killed in 985 in the Battle by Uppsala, (up salum).
He died in front of a Danish relief army, which came to the rescue of chief Styrbjørn Olofsen the Strong in a battle against Styrbjørn's father's brother, the Swedish king Erik Bjørnsson Sejersæl). Styrbjørn was a son of Olof Bjørnsson and Thyra Haraldsdatter and was claiming his father's right to the Swedish throne. King Erik won the Battle of Fyrisvalla (norrønt: Fýrisvellir), which went on for three days. Both Styrbjørn and Toke Gormsen and his son Asbjørn were killed that day. After this victory Erik achieved the name Sejersæl = Victorious. (norrønt: eiríkr inn sigrsæli).
One runestone in Hällestad Kirke says: ' Eskil satte denne sten efter Toke Gormsen, hans hulde herre. Han flygtede ikke ved Uppsala. Satte kæmper efter sin bror sten på bjerget. Står fast med runer. De Gorms Toke gik nærmest'. ( 'Eskil put this stone after Toke Gormsen, his good squire. He did not take flight by Uppsala. Giants put stones after brother on mountain. Runes stands forever. They were closest to Gorm's Toke.' )
The second stone also mentions the battle and tells about Åsgaut, who 'raised this stone after his brother Erra, who was Toke's hirdman'. The third stone has the inscription that 'Asbjørn, Toke's hirdman raised this stone after his brother Toke'.
Toke Gormsen had hirdmen; he is mentioned as a king or earl in Skåne, and he is named upon those three runestones after an important battle. He was a significant and powerful man; and he is probably identical with Gorm's son Toke and a good candidate as the ancestor of the Hvide-family. The large properties and great wealth of this family probably origined from the royal family and from the riches they brought back from England.
Toke's wife is unknown, maybe she was a Sigrid of Halland, but she might have been the daughter of a Swedish king or earl. Toke Gormsen was said to be a good friend of Thorgils Sprakaleg (Sprackling). No wonder. They were closely related. Thorgil's father Styrbjørn was married to Thyra, a daughter of Harald Bluetooth, Toke's brother. Erik Sejersæl's queen, the legendary Sigrid Storråde, went to Denmark and married Sven Tveskæg, Toke Gormsen's nephew.
Toke Gormsen had two known sons:
Asbjørn Tokesen, who was killed in the Battle of Fyrisvalla 985 together with his father.
Pallig Tokesen, born 975 , died 13. november 1002, married to Gunhild, a daughter of Harald Bluetooth, born ab. 965, died 13. november 1002. (Danemordet)
•ID: I8701 •Name: Toke (Val-Toke) Gormsen OF DENMARK •Given Name: Toke (Val-Toke) Gormsen •Surname: of Denmark •Sex: M 1 •Death: ABT 985
Father: Gorm den Gamle (The Old) OF DENMARK Mother: Thyra Danebod
Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown •Married: Children 1. Palne TOKESEN b: ABT 945 in England
Sources: 1.Abbrev: ES Title: Europaische Stammtafeln. Vol 1-19 Author: Schwennicke, Detlev Publication: Marburg, Germany: J. A. Stargardt Verlag, 1980- Page: 2:97
Val -Toke Gormsen's Timeline
Jelling, Syddanmark, Danmark
Jelling, Vejle amt, Danmark
Fyrisvallen, Uppsala, Sverige