Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Henrikki Laavunpoika of Kankainen

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Name  Henrikki of

Henrikki Laavunpoika of Kankainen

Henrikki Laavunpoika or Henrik Klasson, lord of Kankainen and Haapaniemi, of Töytärinhovi etc., according to some anachronistic literature surnamed "Horn af Kanckas" (c.1512–1595) was Finn in the service of Sweden, an army commander, an officer and gentleman of Kankainen Manor. He was the son of the Finnish High Councillor Klaus Henrikinpoika, lord of Joensuu and Kankainen (c1445 - c1520), in Swedish Klas Henriksson, anachronistically Horn, and his second wife Kirsti/Kristina, and uncle of the baron Klaus Kristerinpoika/commander Klas Kristersson Horn (as the Swedish language wants to have his name).

Henrikki's elder half-brother. his paternal brother Krister Laavunpoika of Joensuu (est 1480 - c1519), bailiff of Turku castle, was decades older than Henrikki and died around the same time (c1520) as their father Klaus, possibly even a bit earlier. Krister left a daughter and a son, the future baron Klaus of Joensuu, the admiral-general (born c1518 or 1519, merely half a decade younger than the young uncle, Henrikki).

Henrikki's Coat-of-Arms depicted a drinking horn, like the arms of his paternal forebears in the 15th century.

Henrikki was born in circa 1513 or already in 1512. His parents presumably married in 1511 when justiciar Klaus was commander of the Viipuri castle and administered that province where the young heiress, lady Kirsti resided. Lady Kirsti of Salmenkylä (born before c1495; died in c1553) was heiress of Töytärinhovi manor and its estate (1/4 mantal), as well as of an estate in Reitkalli (1/4 mantal), an estate in Salmenkylä (½ mantal), an estate in Sivatti, an estate in Pyöli (1/6 mantal), and a house and harbor estate in Hietakylä (today Hamina), near the medieval church of Vehkalahti, and additionally heiress of a portion of the Vanhakartano manor of Lammi, in Häme.

Henrikki was not quite ten years old when his father died, probably in summer 1520. Mother and son resided chiefly at Haapaniemi manor in Kisko, on the borders of Nylandia and Finland, where Kirsti is recorded as widow by 1524 and in 1530. In around 1531, Kristi married Jaakko Vundrank (fl. 1529, d c1548), an administrator in service of King Gustav I of Sweden and a fiefholder of Elimäki in Kymenlaakso. That marriage produced sometime in the 1530s Tyni Jaakonpoika Vundrank, lord of Salmenkylä (fl 1560s & 1570s, died before 1584).

In the 1530s Henrikki was serving Gustav, both at the royal court and in the military. He was briefly over-governor of Stockholm castle. Then he was inspector of royal revenues in Finland and commander of Finnish infantry.

Henrik worked under Gustav and his two oldest sons Erik XIV and John III (who ruled Finland under the title of Duke John). He became chief judge in southern Finland through 1549 – 1561. He was also appointed governor of Finland in 1551. In 1555 Henrikki participated in the campaign against Pähkinälinna/Nöteborg.

In the mid-1540s (presumably in around 1544), Henrikki married Elina Arvintytär of the Teräskäsi-crested family (d 1577 at Kankainen manor, Masku, southwestern Finland). She was a daughter of Arvi Eerikinpoika, lord of Sydänmaa manor, justiciar of Karelia, castellan of Hämeenlinna (fl 1489, d 1529), and his wife Kirsti Nuutintytär of Laukko (fl 1515; d 1551 at Grabbacka manor, Karjaa), and stepdaughter of Niiles Grabbe, castellan of Viipuri (d 1549 at Grabbacka manor, Karjaa).

From his marriage with Elina, Henrikki had at least ten children, including three sons Kaarle, Arvi and Yrjänä, and daughters Kirsti, Kaarina, Piriitta, Elina, Elisabeth and Anna. Particularly through his daughters, within a few generations (such as, from the 17th century), Henrikki and his wife Elina became ancestors of almost all the aristocracy of Finland.

King Eric XIV knighted Henrikki at his royal coronation (1561) and he was sent as commander-in-chief to the Livonian front.

Between 1558 and 1563 Henrikki was one of Duke John's closest advisors. Henrikki then served under King Erik XIV, and was made a colonel in the Livonian War in October 1563 and Governor of Estonia (seated at Tallinn, i.e. Reval in Swedish) and highest commander of infantry in service of Sweden in the Baltic provinces. He defeated a German mercenary force near Tallinn in 1565. Henrikki was named to the position of High Councillor in 1566. In 1565 Henrikki became governor of Reval and over Livonia. He lost command in 1567 after the failure of the Swedish siege of Narva in 1579, and was replaced by Pontus de la Gardie.

King John III appointed Henrikki as governor-general of Finland, and he served as such from 1572 until around 1580. This command included being commander-in-chief of all troops in Finland. He was one of leaders of attempted conquest of Northwestern Russia, in 1578-80, but successes were only sporadic in midst of all sorts of failures.

In the 1580s, Henrikki was active in defence tasks: castellan of Käkisalmi fortress and governor of Eastern Finland. In the 1580s, he settled to Taipale manor which he had built in Masku, and left Kankainen to his eldest son Kaarle Horn, the future Marshal.

By 1584, his maternal half-brother Tyni Jaakonpoika Vundrank, lord of Salmenkylä (fl 1560s & 1570s, died before 1584) had died, apparently without any progeny, and Tyni's holdings in Vehkalahti (estates in Salmenkylä, Reitkalli, Hietakylä and Husu-Pyöli) passed to Henrikki. Later, in the early 17th century, a part of the Vehkalahti properties belonged to Henrikki's grandson Klaus Kaarlenpoika Horn and another part (Töytärinhovi of Vehkalahti) belonged to his other grandson, Henrikki Fleming.

Henrikki died on 21 June 1595 at the age of 83 at his manor of Kankainen, in Masku, southwestern Finland.

Henrikki's biographer Blomstedt wrote in 1921 that Henrikki name never had any surname in contemporary records. In the 16th century, usually noblemen in Finland did not use surnames which were exceptions at that time. This means that all variants of surnames attached to him are anachronistic.


Henrikki Laavunpoika of Kankainen Wikipedia