Translation into English by
Norman Henderson


 NB: This is a temporary version - pages will be updated as new material is made ready. Web: Geir Neverdal - Sel Historielag


Some of the institutions and organizations which are contributing information and assistance:







"The Scottish March of 1612" and The Battle of Kringen




What happened? - What was the reason? - What significance did this incident have for Norwegian history?


Background - The Battle - Myths?Significance - Objects - Literature - Scotland - Programme2012

  Many of the objects shown on this website can be seen in The Scottish March Collection at the Sinclair Inn at Kvam, together with much of the written material relating to the incident. Reprints of many of the old books are also available there.  

Contents of this page:

    Peaceful coexistence
The symbolic value to Norwegian

The Organizing Committee
The Kalmar War 1611 - 1613
The reason for the Kalmar War
Recruitment in Scotland
Who sailed from Scotland?
The Mermaid
The landing
Mobilization - “Budstikke” and burning

The March from Klungnes - round the
Isfjord and up Romsdalen

The March through Lesja and Dovre
down to Romundgard in Sel

Commemorative monuments in the
Kringen area

Kringen. Kringom, Kringlen,
Kringelen, Kringane
  Some of the sources used  

The 400th Anniversary Commemoration -  26th August 2012

1) Peaceful coexistence
Today we live in a Europe where there is a strong will to solve problems between nations peacefully.
Not so long ago that this was not the case.

Our wish is to make the Commemoration in 2012 an event where cultural intercourse with Scotland is the main reason for the occasion.
Both the Clan Sinclair and the Caledonian Society of Norway are represented on the Organizing Committee - and Clan Sinclair is planning to bring their world Clan Gathering to Otta and Kringen in August 2012.
On the 26th of August a church service celebrating Peace will be held by the Bishop of Hamar, Solveig Fiske, and attended by prominent guests.
The Gudbrandsdals Society is coming from the USA. There will be exhibitions of objects, photographs and postcards (from the Commemoration in 1912), National and local costumes as well as Scottish tartans.
Pipe bands are coming - and we are planning to have music and dance groups from Gudbrandsdalen. - Pillarguri and Sinclair are closely connected to Norwegian folk music’s melodies and dances.
A seminar comprised of Scottish and Norwegian participants will throw new light on the historical aspects and myths associated with The Scottish March of 1612.

The intention of these pages is to ensure that knowledge of the past allows us better to avoid history from repeating itself.
The job of preventing normal, everyday people - such as local farmers and others - from having to resort to bearing arms in order to protect themselves and their loved ones is a never-ending one.
That is also an important subject as we draw near to the 400th Anniversary of the Battle.



2) The symbolic value to Norwegian history

Special attention will also be paid to the great symbolic value the Battle - and myths surrounding the action had, in terms of the building of the nation Norway.
What happened strengthened the “self awareness and identity” of the individual Norwegian in general and  the inhabitants of the valleys in particular- at a time when the country was at a very low ebb.
1906 - a year after the union with Sweden was dissolved::

It was by no means by chance, when the first Society for emigrants from Gudbrandsdalen to the USA was founded in Minneapolis in 1906, that the
83 founders chose the name “Kringen” - and that its first action was to collect funds for a commemorative memorial (Holbøstøtte) at Kringen in Sel.
Nor was it by chance that both the King and the Prime Minister were present at the unveiling of the monument at the 300th Anniversary in 1912.
(Source: 2009 Yearbook of the Gudbrandsdals Society in the USA p.7).


The Organizing Committe

Mayor Dag-Erik Pryhn Sel kommune
Mobil: 913 38 870
Chris Maile Clan Sinclair
Mobil: 915 34 035
John Monn Caledonian Society of Norway
Mobil: 908 27 251
Kåre B. Hansen Sel kommune
Mobil: 959 69 811
Kjetil Eide Otta Business and Trade Association
Mobil: 976 35 133
Knut Holen The Pillarguri Committee
Mobil: 906 30 055
Maj-Britt Svastuen Nasjonalparkriket Reiseliv AS  
Mobil: 952 37 795  
Geir Neverdal Sel Historical Society
Mobil: 482 25 660
For media inquiries please contact:  
Mayor Dag-Erik Pryhn Sel kommune
Mobil: 913 38 870
Kari Hølmo Holen - Sel kommune
Mobil: 907 36 129

We invite anyone who has information, suggestions or questions related to the event to contact the Committee.


Kringen - near Otta in Gudbrandsdalen



  The Kalmar War 1611 - 1613  
  This was a war between Denmark/Norway and Sweden and got its name from the conflict about the fortified Kalmar Castle on the East coast of

Kalmar Castle was captured by the Danes in1611 following a long battle.

(The conflict however, concerned much more - even if Denmark/Norway emerged as the victor, it was Sweden which emerged as the dominant power in Northern Europe)

Kalmar castle (Wikipedia)



  The reason for the Kalmar War:  

The Swedish King - Karl lX - attempted to annex Finnmark and demanded taxes from the Sámi people in the coastal areas there.

In addition he had established the town of Gothenburg, something which was a disadvantage to the earnings of the Danish Customs at Øresund. At that time Denmark/Norway controlled Øresund. (SNL).

Karl lX died on the 30th of October 1611 and his son, the 17 year old Gustav ll Adolf, Sweden’s new King, inherited the war with Denmark / Norway.
Both antagonists used mercenary soldiers to a great extent - something which caused problems for the young Swedish King when he tried to recruit soldiers in Scotland.

Kalmar war


As it happens, the Danish King Christian lV is the brother in law of the English King, James the First, (Sixth of Scotland) and James, being the good relation he is, has forbidden the recruitment of English or Scottish soldiers if they are to be used against the brother in law.


Christian lV was 35 years old in 1612

An older version of Gustav ll Adolf -
but in 1612 he was only 18 years old

  However, the young Swedish King decided to defy the ban decreed by James the First. He wanted 3000 mercenary soldiers which he would use against Denmark/Norway, the majority of these being foot soldiers.

Norway - an easy catch

At that time Norway was regarded as an easy catch.
In Denmark it was said that only two ships and 300 men were required to conquer Norway (Angell p.3.). Norwegian farmers had not really been of much help when they were used in conflicts in the South of the country. The will to fight was not strong.
At that time Kings used mainly professional mercenaries - and these were often soldiers who were equally dangerous to the people of the country they were fighting for as they were to those of the country they were fighting against. They plundered according to their needs and opportunity.

War is - and always has been, something which brings out the worst in people. Acts of terror are not a new phenomenon.
Swedish (mercenary) soldiers had, on previous occasions, wreaked havoc in Norway - and the inhabitants of villages were only too familiar with the results of their brutality and plundering.


One must remember that Norway was much more sparsely populated in the 1600s than it is today - and with such widespread settlement, small country hamlets had little to offer in the way of resistance when groups of armed men attacked - often without much warning.

The fear of plundering and burning must have been great
It is almost unbelievable that between 400 and 500 men, able to bear arms, were gathered together in such a short time at Kringen (from a population of just over 3000 men, women and children). The distances are often quite great and time was short.
The need to defend oneself, family, farm and land must have been very strongly felt.

The population of the area has increased to nearly 10 times that of 1612

In 1612 just over 3000 people lived in the area which today encompasses the counties of Lesja, Dovre, Vågå, Sel, Fron and Ringebu (according to Sjur Lonbakken’s Master's paper). More than 28000 people live in the same area today.



  Recruitment in Scotland

Colonel Andrew Ramsay acted as go-between.
He employed his brother - Alexander Ramsay - who, together with Captains George Hay and George Sinclair, began to recruit soldiers in Scotland -
using quite heavy-handed methods.
Recruitment was indeed so brutal that people fled into hiding and the King in London (James l) was informed.

The Scottish authorities stepped in and recruitment was stopped. They also decreed that ships’ Captains and owners should stop the transport of soldiers.

There are likenesses between the Sinclair red tartan which is
shown here, and  rondastakken,  the local traditional
costume from Gudbrandsdalen.
Read more about the Sinclair tartans.


More about the Sinclair Tartans - and about Scottish tartans and their uses in the 1600s - follows later.

  However, three companies did manage to proceed and the Scottish authorities were unable to stop them. Because of this Ramsay was impeached.
He failed to appear in court to answer for his actions and was declared to be a rebel.

He was later arrested and sentenced to exile.



  Who sailed from Scotland?

Two ships carrying 300 - 350 mercenaries left Scotland on the 2nd. of August 1612. In Angell’s view, ordinary merchant ships were probably used.
The one left from Wick with two companies onboard.

Approximately one hundred men, under the command of George Sinclair, and about the same number commanded by Captain George Hay. (According to Angell, the Scottish historian, Sir Robert Gordon, maintains that Sinclair gathered some 150 men in Caithness - which would mean that, together with Ramsay’s soldiers, they enlisted some 350 men (p.18).

The other ship sailed from Dundee with approximately 100 men, led by Colonel / Lieutenant Colonel (?) Alexander Ramsay (Andrew Ramsay’s brother).

The leader of the expedition was Alexander Ramsay.



  Sinclair’s ship sailed first to the Orkney Islands and lay there for about two weeks preparing and provisioning, according to Angell. It was there they heard that Ramsay’s ship was anchored in the Shetland Islands.

After that the ships sailed for Norway.

It seems strange that they chose to land in Romsdalen when their destination was Sweden.

At this time another group of mercenaries landed in Trøndelag and had little trouble in making their way into Sweden by that route.

It is possible that the Scots thought it would be easier to make their way through sparsely populated districts of Norway and in that way could march quickly up Romsdalen and on down Gudbrandsdalen, crossing Eastwards over the mountains from Ringebu, and from there on into Sweden.

Language difficulties?

A reasonable assumption is that they had relatively good knowledge of local Norwegian conditions. Scottish merchant vessels were often is this region and some Scots from the previously Norwegian dominated North of Scotland (which was the case until the latter half of the 17th. century), spoke the language. It was later claimed in Gudbrandsdalen that Sinclair and many of his men did in fact understand Norwegian.
(Angell pp28/29).

A Scottish aristocrat ca. 1600
(The Scottish March Collection at the Sinclair Inn in Kvam).


The Mermaid


  In the wake of the Battle a number of myths and legends, connected to Sinclair and the March, emerged.
The Zinklarvisa (Sinclair folksong) by Edvard Storm, tells of a mermaid who warned Sinclair against going to Norway. He wrote this at the end of 1781, some 170 years after the Battle
at Kringen.

Painted by Nils Hansteen, 1910
Motif: The mermaid which, according to legend, rose up in front of Sinclair’s boat with the warning against proceeding to Norway.
(The painting can be seen in the Scottish March Collection at the Sinclair Inn in Kvam).

Maanen skinner om Natten bleg.
De vover saa sagtelig trille;
En Havfrue op af Vandet steg.
Hun spaaede Herr Zinklar ilde.

Vend om, vend om, du Skotske Mand!
Det gielder dit Liv saa fage,
Kommer du til Norrig, jeg siger for sand,
Ret aldrig du kommer tilbage.

Leed er din Sang, du giftige Trold!
Altidens du spaaer om Ulykker:
Fanger jeg dig engang i min Vold,
Jeg lader dig hugge i Stykker.

English version (from Thomas Michell's book):
"The moon amid the pale night shone,
The waves around so gently rolled ;
A mermaid rose on Sinclair's sight.
And thus prophetic evil told : — - "

"Turn back, turn back, thou Scottish man,
Or it will surely cost thy life ;
For if thou com'st to Norway's strand,
Thou never more shalt join the strife."

" Thy songs are lies, thou witch most foul ;
Thou ever sing'st the self-same tune.
Could I but get thee in my power,
In pieces small I'd have thee hewn."


The Landing


  According to Angell, the two ships arrived on the coast of Møre on either the 19th. or 20th. of August.
Close to Vestnes they saw a fishing boat with two people on board, Ivar Helland and his daughter. They were taken on board by the Scots who
needed someone who could act as pilot as they
penetrated further into the fjord. The girl was frightened and began to cry, says Angell (p. 34).
She was therefore put ashore and, according to record, was given a pair of scissors with silver grips and a silver thimble, by the Scots.

Thimble. Photo: Wikipedia

Map borrowed from Wikipedia

  They planned to land at Åndalsnes but when they reached Klungnesodden Ivar Helland said that the next part of the fjord was unfamiliar to him and he didn’t dare to pilot them further. He was then set free and, besides getting back his freedom, was actually paid for his trouble. (Angell).

Adolph Tidemand’s painting “Sinclair’s landing” (Wikipedia) exaggerates with regard to the number of ships involved.
There were
two and not five. Besides, according to record, the Scots landed on the other, north, side of the fjord near

  Peder (Per) Klungnes

In the meantime they had acquired a new pilot, Pedre (Per) Klungnes. He thought that the ships were carrying corn and, taking the sum of three
“Riksdaler” with him, rowed out to trade with the ships.
He was taken with them as pilot and later acted as guide up Romsdalen.
Records show that he had made up his mind do what he could to delay the Scots’ advance as much as possible.


Norsk "daler" from 1632 (Wikipedia)



He managed to convince them that the waters leading to Åndalsnes were dangerous and they therefore landed on the north shore of the fjord at
As a result they had to march round the whole of the Isfjord in order to reach Åndalsnes which was, according to Angell, a distance of more than
two OLD Norwegian miles (an old “post mile” being 11.3 kilometres). This manoeuvre allowed more time for a warning to reach further up Romsdalen.

Legend has it that Per was allowed to return to his farm to change clothes and while there wrote a message, some say on a piece of wood. This was given to a servant girl who later rowed over the fjord to Veblungsnes on the south shore.
A beacon was duly lit, sending a warning up Romsdalen that enemy forces were in the vicinity.

The Commemorative Stone - Peder Klungnes (Angell p37)


In the words of Thomas Mitchell, it is more likely that the real reason that the landing was made at Skotkleven, that is at Klungnes, “was that the ships’ Captains wanted to return to sea as quickly as possible, and not put themselves into greater danger by entering a narrow fjord arm of the Romsdalsfjord”.

Mobilization - “Budstikke” and burning beacons




“Budstikke”, a staff of wood or iron (often hollow) which was used historically in the Northern countries to carry messages advising of public proclamations.
When people were called to a council, to defend their country or other important common efforts, the “Budstikke” was carried from farm to farm with the relevant information ....

This important method of conveying information was governed by a number of detailed laws. The route which was to be followed was described in
detail and any departures from it were punished by fines.

Even Christian V’s Norwegian Law (1687) details rules as to how the “Budstikke” should be circulated - “Budstikke” was still in use in some areas of Norway as late as the latter part of the 1800s. (Source:
Store norske encyclopaedia).

A rope attached to the one end reminding people that
anyone who disobeyed the orders ran the risk of
being hung. A farm could also be burned.
A scorch mark at the other end of the
“Budstikke” was a reminder of this.
(Photo: On loan from  Maihaugen)


The beacons warned of unrest and the approach of enemies.


A similar system existed in Romsdalen.
(The map is on loan from the Protection of Cultural Values section of Oppland County Council).


As early as during the reign of King Håkon the Good (920 - 960) it was decreed that a chain of beacons should be built stretching throughout the entire country. The locations of these beacons were mountain tops or any other elevated place where one could see from one beacon to the next.
There were 20 such beacons situated in Gudbrandsdalen.
In Sel there were two: Vetahøe near Otta and further north - at Vetahaugen, in Rosten.
Laws and formal decrees ensured the maintenance of the beacons, especially in times of unrest. These beacons were still in good condition as late as the 1700s.

Håkon the Good and farmers at the sacrifice
(to heathen Norse gods) on Mære,
by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1839 - 1892) (borrowed from


The march from Klungnes - round the Isfjord and up Romsdalen

Thursday 20th. August


The Scots didn’t quite trust Per Klungnes. The story goes that they tied a string to his long hair so that they knew where he was. After having
acquired pack horses to carry their equipment - and the women who accompanied them, they set off at a fast pace. They wanted to move as quickly as possible so that the Norwegians would be unable to organize resistance against them.
Already on that first day they managed to march all the way round the Isfjord and on to Åndalsnes.

According to Angell there was hardly a passable path on the route at that time. It is said that they had to scale the Bjørga crag, about four kilometres from Klungnes - and further into the fjord - to reach their objective.


They reached Åndalsnes in the evening but they were not so fatigued that they couldn’t cross the river Rauma and plunder silver from the Danish owner of the Setnes farm. (This farm lies at the mouth of the river, on the south bank of the Rauma).

Legend has it that Lady Sinclair sneaked on board ship without her husband’s knowledge and that she gave birth during the voyage from Scotland to

This piece of sculpture, which is just over two metres high, was created by the artist Oddvin Parr. (He has also carved 12 scenes from “Peer Gynt”). The sculpture can be seen as part of the Scottish March exhibition at the Sinclair Inn at Kvam.
It took almost seven years from when he was commissioned to produce something connected to the Scottish March of 1612, until the sculpture was finished.

It was inspired by the role Lady Sinclair played in the historic event. It must however be pointed out that the child which Lady Sinclair holds is by no means a new-born infant.



Angell writes that this appears to be the only known confirmed occurrence of plundering. He relates:

"The Officer of the Crown writes on October 3rd. 1612 (i.e. the same year as f.a.) that the Scots had not (my emphasis) “burnt, murdered or pillaged either in Romsdalen or Gudbrandsdalen, apart from the one Danish man who lives in Romsdalen, called Søfren Setnes; taking from him a chest full of a considerable amount of silver, both coffee pots, belts, “stabbe” and other similar articles of silver”.


This is in strong contrast to the words which Ivar Kleiven accredits to Jon Tolstad (see below) in the narrative “From Skotteåre”. (1935).  

“Enemies are coming into the valley from Romsdalen! - They are burning and robbing, ravaging and stealing and killing! All able-bodied men must assemble at the Romundgard farm, from Lesja and Lom and all villages”.


It is nevertheless reasonable to assume that this could well have been the message which was passed on in this type of situation. The beacons were lit and the “Budstikke” went from village to village to assemble people to fight the intruders. The worst was expected!

At that time plundering and ravaging were to be expected when there was unrest in the country.


It is said that Per Klungnes hid his three “Riksdaler” in a pile of birch bark that evening.


Map showing Rauma municipality and Romsdalen. (Wikipedia). (Wikipedia)

  Friday, 21st. August - The march to Kårset

Rumour has it that the Scots took two more Norwegians prisoner to act as guides, but their names are unknown.

  These men were sent in advance to tell the farmers in the valley to prepare food for the Scots whose capacity for carrying provisions was
limited. In this way they “requisitioned” what they needed.

It can perhaps be looked upon as a form of “recompense” that they didn’t burn or otherwise destroy the farms.

That day they marched to Kårset (Rasch-Eng; Skottetoget 1612 p. 8-). Where is Kårset in Romsdal?

History maintains that Sinclair ( who was wrongly taken to be the leader of the Scots) had promised his men that “as soon as they had conquered
the country, they would get the prettiest maidens and the best farms”. There was a rural district in Norway called Hedemarken and when they arrived
there they would find Cannan’s land (cf. 'a land flowing with milk and honey'). (Angell, p.40)

  According to Angell, not much has been told about what happened in Romsdal. The Scots hadn’t misbehaved to any great extent. One record says that they chopped off the feet of a dog which was bound to the door of an outside storehouse on a farm. The name of the farm is unknown however.

Another record claims that a Scot was shot on the Ødeeidet farm by a man from the Fiva farm. He shot from the other side of the river.
Fiva lies on the West bank of the Rauma, just down from the Trollvegen area. In which case it is possible that Ødeeidet lay on the East side of the Rauma here.



A sick Scottish soldier

Angell also records the episode of one Scottish soldier who fell ill during the march through Romsdalen. He built himself a rough hut in a scree and lay there, prepared to die. Some farmers found him however, brought food and took good care of him. He stayed there for quite some time but disappeared suddenly and wasn’t heard of again.

Rasch-Eng recounts that this happened on the second day of the march through Romsdalen, before they came to Einbu at Lesja and it was there he was laid in a stone hut where the farmers found him and cared for him.


They had to march through a desolate area with high, steep mountains on both sides. This is a part of Trollveggen.



The valley with the precipitous sides could easily have become a trap.

  Saturday 22nd. August. The march to Einbu (almost equidistant between Bjorli and Lesjaskog)  


The Scots were in a hurry. They left Kårset early and marched on towards Lesja.

Between Verma and Bjorli near Bjørnekleivi they feared a serious battle, says Angell. At this point they took to the mountains and avoided both a battle and loss of time.



The Scots were really in a hurry. The march from Åndalsnes to Einbu at Lesja - and possibly even a little further - was completed in just two days.
It was important for them to get through unfriendly territory as quickly as possible, allowing the Norwegians little time to gather resistance.

Angell comments:

“The military maxim that the secret of the art of war lies in the speed at which feet can move was already well known at that time. They had to move so quickly that the Norwegians neither had time to group nor entrench themselves. There is no other explanation for the extremely high speed of the march, given the dreadful state of the roads, or should it be said tracks, at that time. And it wasn’t really the custom to employ haste in those days when out to wage war. Mercenary soldiers didn’t only enlist to fight” (p.43)

Angell estimates that the daily marches to Kringen were in the nature of 4 old Norwegian miles - about 45 kilometres, per day. The road/track was not straight but into and through and up to farms along the way, making the distance considerably longer than today’s modern road.

Romsdalen - A trap?

Romsdalen could easily have become a trap for the Scots. Because of the steep valley walls it would have been difficult to escape in any other direction than through the valley ends.
Closing off the valley at Mångehammeren, Kyllingkleiva and at Bjørnekleivi would, in Angell’s opinion, have been easy.
With regard to Bjørnekleivi it has to be said that the Scots, as has already been mentioned, took to the mountains, avoiding this area.


“Wild-turks”, “weather calf”, “weather runner”, “hunter dog” - people
or “tracker dogs”??

On the farm Raudstulen (i dag Raudstøl?), just above Verma (?) a “wild-turk” was supposedly shot.


Now and again imagination runs riot when one recounts an occurrence:

The Scots apparently sent two creatures ahead of them when they were marching, two so-called “wild-turks”. Sinclair used them “as scouts to sniff out what lay ahead; in the evening they returned with the news. They ran more swiftly than deer; it is said that the muscles in the thighs and calves were cut away (?)." (Angell p. 39) (see also Kleiven below)


Ivar Kleiven
says in his book "Bygdaminne frå Vågå" (“Village memories from Vågå”):
“these weather-calves were more aggressive than a pack of farm dogs, fast as lightning and bore no resemblance to human beings. The muscles in their calves, thighs and buttocks were cut away; their nostrils were slit. People meant that this was done to them so that they could run much more easily and everybody was afraid of them, even the Scots. They could pick up the scent of someone long before they saw them and could kill a person before they knew it; they leapt onto a person’s back and broke their neck”.

The Priest, Krag, meant that:
“it hadn’t been anything other than one of Sinclair’s tracker dogs which one must suppose, from both the description - it is also said that the one that was shot on the Ødegaarden farm ran about the field and barked”.

Angell comments: Krag’s explanation is the natural one.

Rodney Mackay refers to Nansen's bok (In Northern Mists)
The calpach is referred to by Nansen in his book In Northern Mists (p. 341): “Now there is a Scottish mythical creature called a “water calf...” The Norwegian veirkalv, “weather-calf,” or “wind-calf.” which may well be thought a corruption of this. It is true the creature inhabits lakes, but it also goes upon dry land and has fabulous speed and power of scenting things far off. It can also transform itself into different shapes (as a calf or a horse or a man), but always preserves something of its animal form.”

You can read more about the “water calf” and the connection to Scottish and Irish mythology in this article. Search on “veirkalv” in the text there.


The march through Lesja and Dovre down to Romundgard in Sel.

  What happened at Lesja? Legend or reality?

According to Angell a farmer was killed near Einbu, but the person’s name is not known.

The year’s date was carved into a post here.
  Some claim that the farm Skauge was burnt and an old woman was killed. Others maintain that this happened at Bjøraa.    
  Marasletta (Merrasletti) lies a little south of Einbu. The Scots probably spent the
night here on the 23rd. of August (Angell p.45)
  Sunday 23rd. August
  When the Scots arrived at Kjellshus there was nobody there, says Angell, but food had been made ready for them.The story assumes here that they did not give thanks for the food - but:

“they tipped a barrel of flour onto the road - and burned the farm. How much truth there is in this is hard to tell. In the old census this farm is not mentioned”. (p.45)

  On the farm Norderhus it is said that a woman called Synne or Synnøva hid in the barn, ready to put out the fire if the Scots set fire to it.
The farm was not burnt.

(This story has been confirmed as part of the family history - by a present day Norderhus descendant).

  A man called Trond, who lived at Tynnøl/Tøndevold, gathered some men from Lesja to fight against the Scots. But when they saw how many there were they gave up that plan and instead offered an ample amount of food and drink. Afterwards, the tale goes, the Scots chopped off the feet of a heifer which was standing behind the barn door. (Angell p.46)  
  The majority of people fled up into the hills.
The Scots felt considerably safer in the open landscape around Lesja than in the narrow confines of Romsdalen. The risk of ambush, or of being cut off from escape, was much less there.

But they did not fully trust the food which they were offered. They let the dogs eat some of it first, in case it was poisoned.

To avoid being attacked from behind by the men of Lesja, they also burned the bridge at Bottheim.

  What happened to Per Klungnes?

The Scots didn’t trust him. Near the Kjørum farms he tried to escape, but was caught. When they reached the bridge over the river Jora (near Dombås), they hung him in the waterfall to make him tell them which road they should continue on.
(For someone from the other side of the Isfjord, he must have had exceptionally good knowledge of conditions in Gudbrandsdalen.
Author’s. note)

Per was held captive until they arrived at Kringen. He marched with the advance party of about 60 men. (More about this later).
  The “Budstikke” comes to Sheriff Lars Haagaa/Lauritz Hage in Dovre
  Lars Haagaa got the message on Sunday forenoon. According to legend he immediately grabbed his war axe, jumped on his horse and galloped to Dovre Church. (Angell p.49)

In 1612 Dovre Church was at Skjellstad.

In the period from before 1584 and up to 1730, Dovre Church was located near Tofte - “Dofra kirkja paa Skjelstad”,(Dovre Church at Skjelstad) according to Ola Vigerust. (Gudbrandsdalens Yearbook for 1960, p.187f)

"The old Church lay north and perhaps a little below the farm Bergseng - where there is still a field called Churchfield ... where up until very recently, human remains have been found.”
(Gudbrandsdalens Yearbook for 1960, p.187f)


  “Listen to me! The enemy has invaded us!”

The minister was in the pulpit and the congregation had seated themselves when the Sheriff came in armed with his battleaxe and, according to Angell, banged it three times on the floor before shouting “Listen to me! The enemy has invaded us!”.

Krag however writes (1838): He came, it is said, into the Dovre
Church during the Service and knocked three times with his Stave, and
said “Listen to me...”

"Immediately everyone ran out to the weapons porch, took their axes and gathered round the Sheriff in the cemetery. There he told them what he knew, and what he had decided, that now they would see to it that the Scots needn’t trouble themselves for much longer. They would close the road down at Rosti (Rosten - Author’s note) and attack the enemy; the terrain was rugged and heavily wooded so it was easy to lie hidden and rush out in a surprise attack." (Angell p.50).



A battleaxe from The Scottish March Collection



Michell  refers to the Danish Chancellor and narrates - somewhat more soberly - as follows:

"In his first Report to the Danish Chancellor, dated September 17,1612, the Norwegian Stadtholder stated that when Lauritz Hage, Lensmand of Vaage (this is wrong, Hage was the Lensmand of Lessje, not Vaage) in Gudbrandsdalen, heard of the arrival of the Scots in Romsdalen, "he at once roused the Bonder (farmers) and peasantry in the two parishes of Lessje and Vaage, and went forth against the said Scots and foreiorn (foreign) troops. And when he perceived they were too strong for him, he advanced for two or three days and kept before them along the road, without, however, engaging in any skirmish or fight. Meanwhile, he sent messengers to the peasantry in the two adjoiping parishes, called Froen and Ringeboe, who quickly came to his assistance; and when they were in this manner gathered they were 405 men strong. Thus he advanced in front " (of the Scots) " along the road until he saw his advantage at a fjeld called Kringelen, situated in Vaage parish, which they were obliged to pass." 

  Monday 24th. August - What happened in Dovre parish?
  The Scots spent Monday in Dovre. “There are no records from here of burning and murder, nor from their march through the valley”. Angell writes (p.47).

When they came to Landheim (Lannem today) a little north of the centre of Dovre, they rested for quite some time on a “leikarvoll” (place for dancing or sport) called Kraakvolden (Kråkvollen).

However their fatigue didn’t prevent them from dancing and inviting “guests”. People who had fled up into the hills sat and watched the dancing. (Angell p.47)

  Monday 24th. August . What did the farmers do?
  Gathering at Sel near Romundgard

Angell writes (pp.51,52)

“On Monday the 24th. of August the Sheriff arrived with his men from Dovre and Lesja, who had joined forces, at the group of neighbouring farms in Sel called Jørandgard, Olstad, Largard, Ullsvold and Øvrebø. They met the men from Vågå here and perhaps also some farmers from
Ringebu and Fron. There were several hundred men gathered and everyone now believed that they were strong enough to do battle with the Scots”.

The farmers had agreed that the area round Kringen was a “suitable” place in which to stop the Scots.
Kringen lies just south of where the rivers Lågen and Otta meet, on the east side of the river, approximately 15 kilometres south of Romundgard farm.
The road/track is narrow there and passes through a precipitous area bordered by the river on the one side.


A section of a mining map from 1647 showing Sel and the farms Romundgard, Laurgard and the newly built Church
from 1628. This Church replaced the old stave church which stood there because the foundations of the old church
were deteriorating.

  We can see that in the 1640s a bridge existed here over the River Lågen, to the East bank. However, the next stage of the march towards Kringen was most probably carried out on the West bank of the Lågen until the bridge over to Selsverket was reached, since this map shows roads/tracks and several bridges over streams along the Lågen on this bank. This seems to indicate that this was the main thoroughfare.

Active working of the mines at Rust had not yet started in 1612 and few people lived by the Ula river. One bridge led to the Selsverket area and another over the Ula. From there it is only a few kilometres to Kringen.


Copy of the mining map from 1647 (drawn on the 18th. of April 1814 by
Johan Paulsen at the Blaafarveverket at Modum). This shows the main
route between Sel and Selsverket as it was in the 1640s. Today’s E6
main road on the other hand, lies on the East bank.


  According to Ivar Kleiven’s dramatization "Frå Skotteåre"  (“From the Year of the Scots”), there was something of a heated discussion as to whether they should take up position at Rosten (between Sel and Dovre), as Lars Haagaa originally wanted to. It is difficult to give credence to the historical rectitude of this since much of what is told today about the March is not supported by written material from the time that this happened, but is based on word of mouth recounting.

Some of the myths/ legends/ sagas (?) connected to the March will be discussed later in this presentation.

That there should be such a wealth of verbally communicated myths?/ legends?/ connected to the Scottish March and the Battle at Kringen, also says much about the significance this event had for the “self esteem and identity” of Norwegians afterwards.


The map shows the populated area of Sel as it is today - with Romundgard, Laurgard, Ullsvollen and Olstad.
A little south of Romundgard a gentleman by the name of Øystein Ulen has rebuilt the Middle Ages farm Jørundgard
with its 16 houses and a Stave Church.


Romundgard farm as it is today.

  A drinking “party”

The evening didn’t exactly pass peacefully. Angell (p.52) tells us that a few of the men got hold of some barrels of beer from one of the farms and began to drink together so that many became
intoxicated. Luckily, in the early hours of the morning of the 25th., the Sheriff and several of the more sensible men hammered the taps hard into the barrels and sawed them off so close to the wood that it was impossible to get them out again. That put a stop to the drinking and the farmers could move on to Kringen.

The farmers could have paid dearly for this “party”.

Angell explains that when the farmers from the different valleys met, they “would offer each other what they had to offer, and that they could just as well have a “party” that evening - and the night as well”.

It is more likely that some felt the need to give themselves some “Dutch courage” on an evening such as that?


The map shows Sel (upper arrow). The farmers gathered there at Romundgard and Laurgard on the evning of the 24th. of August. The
Scots arrived at the same place the next day. They had travelled up the west side of the valley and come down to Sel over Horgen
(Horgesetrene) in order to avoid a possible ambush in Rosti (Rosten). In the words of the story they stayed at Romundgard the night before
the Battle of Kringen (the lower arrow on the map).

The view looking down towards North Sel and Selsmyrene from Horgen.
Furthest south in the valley we see Selsverket (close to today’s Otta).
Kringen lies some few kilometers south of Selsverket and Otta.

  Tuesday 25th. August - What did the farmers do?
  They moved about 15 kilometers south to Kringen.
Krag (1838) narrates it thus:

“The farmers moved south for 1 1/2 (“old” Norwegian) miles and finally stopped at Kringen, where they decided to remain and attack the Scots. This place lies in Bredenbygd in Sells Annex, Våge Parish, and is a mountain side which the road crosses. At the foot of this
slope, which is extremely steep in some places, flows the River Lågen. At that time the road was only a narrow path or track fit for horses, but has since been changed and widened into a main road. The terrain has been somewhat altered since 1612, particularly as a
result of a landslide in 1789, which made it less steep. There were also more woods there than now. The place name is usually written as Kringlen, the name by which it has become best known; in everyday speech however it is called Kringom or Høgkringom
*). The farmers who
had gathered here were from Vågå, Lessø, Fron and Ringebo. Slange, as well as Edv. Storm, tells that farmers from Lom were also there”.

*)The place has received its name from the way the road follows the mountain, or that the road between the farms in the North and South goes around the Bjerg crags there; called in olden times, and which occasionally still is in Farmers’ language, (“kringum”) around; just as the word Kringla in the Old Norwegian language meant a “Kreds”, or turn.

In addition to the farmers who were now in the Kringen area, farmers from Gausdal and Øyer gathered at “Bægilsklev/Bæggersklev” in Ringebu, approximately five and a half (old Norwegian) miles (55 km) further south. Their leader was Bailiff Lars/Laurits Gram.

The farmers at Kringen were led by Lars/Laurits Hage, Sheriff of Dovre, and Peder Randklev who was Sheriff in Ringebu.

They now prepared themselves to meet the Scots in the Kringen area.

  Tuesday 25th. August . What did the Scots do?

Click here to read about the preparations for the Battle, the Battle
itself - and what happened afterwards

-----------  ooooo  -----------



Kringen, Kringom, Kringlen,
Kringelen, Kringlane

  The choice of words used to describe the Battle of Kringen has varied throughout history - and still does today.

Locally, the most normal description is “The Battle in Kringom. “The Battle near Kringen” is also often used as well as “The Battle in Kringen” (meaning in the Kringen area). Krag uses “The Battle near Kringlen” while Teigum employs “The Battle near Kringane”. Angell (about Christian August) writes: “The Battle near Kringelen”.

In context today usage is often Kringen-, e.g. the “Kringenstøttene” (Kringen Monuments), “Kringenslaget” (the Battle of Kringen), “Kringenområdet” (the Kringen area) etc.


The Monuments

  The Monuments in the Kringen area itself:
  Read about these Monuments her  

  The Sinclair Monument near Vik in Kvam:  

“I have been told the following by Ole Øyen who himself participated in the work in the 1890s”, tells Jon Selfors.

The memorial stone on Sinclair’s grave was made by Per Hansen Lien and erected in 1860 for the 250th. Anniversary. Before that the grave was marked by a wooden tablet and is today part of the Gudbrandsdal War Memorial Collection at Kvam. A copy of this tablet, made at Maihaugen, is on display at “The Scottish March Collection” at the Sinclair Inn.

The memorial was erected by the villagers and farmers in Kvam and paid for by funds from “Kollokassa”, i.e. taxes paid by the farms in a collective.

As payment for his work, Per Hansen Lien was exempt from paying tax/ rent for three years. I have not as yet discovered from which quarry the stone came.

He (Sinclair) was buried in unconsecrated ground i.e. outside the fence round the old cemetery at Vik. His remains and Monument were moved some meters in connection with the laying of the railway track in the 1890s.


  Moving of the Sinclair Monument at Vik in Kvam (1895-96)  

  History tells that, when the railway was extended to Otta in 1895 - 1896, the Sinclair’s Monument and grave at Vik in Kvam had to be moved some few meters to make room for the new track. The above picture is assumed to have been taken during the work.
(The photograph is on loan from Jan Selfors)

Vik is situated one km south of Kvam.

  Some sources - and other accounts of The Scottish March on the Internet - a temporary version - incomplete and in the form of cues and key words - the sources here are often linked directly into the text in the net pages:

Krag, Hans Peter Schnitler (redaktør)  Sagn, samlede i Gudbrandsdalen om slaget ved Kringlen den 26de august 1612, og udgivne i forbindelse med hvad historien : beretter om denne tildragelse

Henrik August Angell: "Skotteferdi - eit 300 aars minne 1612-1912" (sidetallene refererer oftest til nyopptrykket "Skottetoget - et 400aars minde" ISBN 978-82-994360-1-4)

Sjur Lonbakken: "Gje ly', godt folk, no er fiende kome i lande!" Slaget ved Kringen 1612  (2007)

Andreas Austlid : Sinklar-soga 1924

Andreas Austlid : Sinklar-soga 1899

Historien om den skotske ekspedisjonen til Norge i 1612 - av Thomas Michell, norsk utgave 1997 (ISBN 82-994360-0-1)

Når det gjelder Thomas Michell bør en vel legge til at hans bok ble skrevet og utgitt i en tid da den svenske kongen også var konge over Norge (1886). Han fremhevet - og hadde funnet fram til kilder som kanskje kunne gi beretningen en vinkling som passet den svenske kongen bedre. Han har da også tilegnet boken til Hans Majestet Oscar II, konge av Sverige og Norge ... "with the deepest gratitude and the most profound respect of the author".

Hans beretning er imidlertid viktig - den baserer seg i større grad på de tidlige skrevne kildene - og avviser stort sett de muntlige overleveringer i Gudbrandsdalen som Krag har samlet.

Når det gjelder noen av de norske beretningene, f. eks. Austlid må en også si at de er farget av den tiden de ble skrevet  og forfatterens ønske om vinkling av stoffet.

Rasch-Eng: Skottetoget 1612

'Kringenslaget og segna om velta' av S. Rudin (Årbok for Gudbrandsdalen 1953 s. 39ff.)

Ivar Kleiven: "Frå Skotteåre".

Ivar Teigum "Bygdebok for Vågå og Sel"

"Århundrets døler" ISBN 82-7847-049-9 (side131):
Hans H. Lie var tilstede ved 300-årsmarkeringen i 1912 og fotograferte det som skjedde

Dr.phil. Fartein Valen-Sendstad:  "Næringslivet i Oppland på 1800-tallet" (Artikkel i boka "Oppland fra istid til nåtid", utgitt av Opplandsbanken i 1979 - uten ISBN-nummer)

  Nicolai Christian Lassen: Dagbok fra 1777 over en Rejse igjennem Guldbrandsdalen (Utgitt av Gudbrandsdalens Historielag i 1933)   
  Årbok 2009 Gudbrandsdalslaget (i USA) Volume 25 Centennial Yearbook ISBN 978-1-57579-395-5  
  "Forsvaret fra Leidang til totalforsvar" ved Ersland, Bjørlo, Eriksen og Moland (PDF-dokument på nettet)  
  Karsten Alnes: Historien om Norge   (Veirkalv) (Gamle norske måleenheter) (Lars Løberg - om Pillarguri og slektskretsen hennes)

  See also the following page for information on literature related to “The Scottish March” and “The Battle of Kringen”:  Litteratur  

Background - The Battle - Myths?Significance - Objects - Literature - Scotland - Programme2012




The Norwegian pages relating to The Scottish March were first published on the web 12th. November 2010.
The first page of the English version was made available on the net on the 28th of June 2011.
This page was last updated : 25. februar 2014


Web: Geir Neverdal (lektor/cand.philol) - Sel Historielag