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Ygo Gales Galama (abt 1450 – 25 Jan 1492)

Ygo Gales Galama a 15th century Frisian warlord.

Ygo was the son of Gale Yges Galama and Trijn Douwesdr Harinxma. The marriage of Gale and Trijn was an attempt to create a provisional peace between the warring factions of the Vetkopers and Schieringers. Gale came from a Vetkoper line and Trijn from a line of Schieringers. Ygo Gales Galama was married to Goslinga.
The marriage is mentioned in the “Stamboek van de Friese Adel “ the Tribe Book of Friese Nobility. The couple had fortified homes at Koudum, Hemelum and Oudega. From this marriage they had four children Trijn, Otto, Maaike and Juw.

Ygo was a rich, powerful and war-skilled Vetkoper with a notorious reputation. To his compatriots he was known as “the forest viking’ but to his enemies "het woudzwijn“ the ‘forest swine’.

The late middle ages were an important period in the development of Friesland. Monks ensured dike construction, new agriculture methods and an increase of written sources. Some of the oldest records of Friese text originate from this period. The eleven Friese cities got their town rights, trade contacts were extended and a money economy arose.

The 14th and 15th centuries however were dominated by fighting between competing noble families. The cause of the fighting, aligned along two monastical orders, the Schieringers and Vetkopers, was due to complex family relations in which family loyalty, honour and blood revenge played an important role. In particular the fighting took place between important noble families and the influential monasteries. The Schieringers had their largest followers in Westergo. The Vetkopers had their power base in the east of the province.
The name Schieringers refers to the habits of the convent order of the cisterciënzers (schiere = grey). The Vetkopers (fat buyers – trading in butter, cheese etc) belonged to a convent order who obtained their income from livestock-farming.

In 1439 the factionalism which had abated for some years started once again in Gaasterland: the Vetkoper Galamas against the Schieringer Harinxmas. A violent conflict that continued until 1456.
The dispute in Oostergo (1441–1444) was settled through a court of law under the influence of Groningen. On August 15, 1456, the threat of Emperor Philip the Good led to a new alliance against all landlords and the formation of a council ‘of the Common Land of Vrieslandt’.
Shortly thereafter the Donia War (1458-1463) began, followed by an explosion of other disputes; the towns Sneek now played a large role, some actively, some passively (Dokkum 1470, the Beer Uproar of Leeuwarden in 1487). Attempts by the Emperor to settle the dispute proved fruitless. Holland could not supply the Vetkopers the help they needed, from which the Groningers profited until they themselves were defeated while laying siege to Franeker and had to abandon Westergo (1496).

The arrival of Albrecht (Albert, Duke of Saxony) in 1498 ensured a central authority that not only provided a visible presence, but also provided clear legislation and jurisdiction. The duke introduced general governing board measures, such as laws and taxes. The arrival of Albrecht and the setting-up of a governing board appropriate for Friesland however did not go without problems.

Fragments from the ' doodtboeck ' (deathbook) of Ernestus van Harinxma.

In 1613 Ernestus van Harinxma van Donia, a descendant of Haring Harinxma(Haring Donia) wrote a book concerning the deaths of Friese nobles. In the 'Doodtboeck' he describes the violent struggle between the Schieringers and Vetkopers. Below is a report of the assassination of Ygo Gales Galama.

From the 'Doodtboeck':

Transcription (in Friese):

Anno 1492 Den 25 januari worde Ygo Galama in een slach by Worckum van den Schyringers gevangen ende dootlyck ghewont ende naedat hy ghebiecht hadde is hy des selven nachts tot 9 uren van Seerp Beyma knechten noch dootgheslaegen. Alsoo dat die stoute helt ende het hooft der Vetcoepers in Westerghoo aldaer sijn affganck ende eynde ghecreegen heeft.

Dutch Translation: In het jaar 1492 Op 25 januari werd Ygo Galama in een veldslag bij Workum door de Schieringers dodelijk gewond. Hij werd gevangen genomen en nadat hij gebiecht* had, is hij diezelfde nacht om 9 uur door de soldaten van Seerp Beyma dood geslagen. Zo kwam er een eind aan het leven van de dappere aanvoerder van de Vetkopers in Westergo.

* biechten = Gebruik in de katholieke kerk om vergiffenis te vragen voor je zonden.

English Translation: In the year 1492 on 25 January Ygo Galama in a battle against the Schieringers at Workum was mortally wounded. He was captured and after he confessed, he was beaten to death on the same night at 9 o'clock by the soldiers of Seerp Beyma. Thus ended the life of the brave leader of the Vetkopers in Westergo.

Ancestry of Ygo Gales Galama:

* Direct descendant of Ygo II Galama (died 910) fifth Potestate of Friesland.
* Direct descendant of Ygo Joukes Galama mortally wounded in 1099 during the first crusade and buried in Antioch.
* Great grandson of Haring Harinxma (Haring Donia) (abt. 1323 – 1403), Potestate of Friesland in 1398.
* First cousin 3 times removed of Pier Gerlofs Donia (abt 1480 – 1520), Friesian freedom fighter.

* Tresoar. Familiearchief Van Harinxma Thoe Slooten 443.
* Stamboek van de Friese Adel - Tribe Book of Friese Nobility
* Langenberg Family Genealogy

Ygo Joukes Galama [Ige Galama (Igo Joukes Galama)]

From De Vrije Fries, 1842, re: Ige Galama ancestor of Ygo Gales Galama

The Frisian Crusaders were medieval Frisian noblemen who carried the cross for Rome.
These were, according to sixteenth century Frisian chronicler Occo Scharlensis, fol. 25: Tjepke Forteman, Jarig Ludingaman, Feike Botnia, Elke and Sicco Lyauckama (two cousins), Epe Hartman, Ige Galama [Igo Joukes Galama] and Obboke (Ubbo) Haermana, son of Hessel. [In 1096] they followed the army of Peter the Hermit, and travelled through Germany, Hungary and the Greek kingdom to Constantinopel. At Nicaea [see Siege of Nicaea (1097) ], Sicco Lyauckama, Epe Hartman and Tjepke Forteman were killed in battle. With the death of Tjepke this was the last of the Forteman lineage.1
Eelke Lyauckama, with the death of his cousin sought revenge and with Botnia they so bravely acquitted themselves they were appointed commanders of a 3000 strong cavalry. Following this Lyauckama was given command of troops to monitor the conquered city of Nicaea but withdrew them in order to further the military campaign. At this time both Ige Galama and Ubbo Hermana were badly wounded, as a result of which Hermana’s left arm was paralysed. Galama recovered but was later seriously wounded at Caesarea. Galama and Hermana continued to Antioch where Galama was to die from his wounds.1
Haermana remained at Antioch with Bohemond of Taranto. At the storming of Jerusalem [see Siege of Jerusalem (1099) ], Sicco Lyauckama was badly wounded, and Feike Botnia was given up for dead but was found by the servant of Lyauckama, both were to recover slowly from there wounds.
Both Lyauckama and Botnia, were knighted (ridders geslagen) by Godfrey of Bouillon. (ref. 1)

The above individual names are also mentioned as followers of Peter the Hermits army in the latin text of the Frisian monk Ubbo Emmius 'Rerum Frisicarum historiae Libri 60' [pub .1616] which has been translated to the German by Erich von Reeken. pub. 1982, Wörner.

1. De Vrije Fries. [Nord-Nederland En Kruistogten by J. Dirks, Pg. 143-144] Mengelingen, Uitgeven door het Provinciaal Friesch Genootschap,Ter Beoefening der Friesche Geschied-, Oudheid- en Taalkunde (Leeuwarden), 1842

Owner of originalTresoar. Familiearchief Van Harinxma Thoe Slooten 443.
Linked toYgo Gales Galama

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