Replika av Bleiediplomet. Foto: Silje Solvi.
– a historic legal document
‘All God’s friends, old and new, those who see or hear this letter, Sigurd the Lawspeaker, Torolv of Jåstad, Peter of Sponheim and Jon the Priest, send God’s and their blessing.’
This is how the Medieval document we now know as ‘Bleiediplomet’ starts, which is the oldest complete description of a court case we know of in Norway.
On 26 May 1293, a case was heard and a settlement reached at Lagmannsstova, overseen by Sigurd Brynjulvsson. ‘Bleiediplomet’ describes the judicial decision in a dispute between farmers in Indre and Ytre Bleie concerning, among other things, fence maintenance, grazing rights and the distribution of poor relief.
The Lagmannsstova building at Agatunet is now recognised, thanks to ‘Bleiediplomet’, as the oldest known court room in Norway.
The document has been in the possession of Bergen Museum since 1825, and it is now part of the University of Bergen library’s special collection.
We have a replica of this remarkable document at Agatunet, which you can see at the site on which it was written three quarters of a millennium ago.