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By Nenad N. Bach | Published  08/20/2005 | History | Unrated




         by Mladen Ibler

Within the framework of medieval history of Europe and its own geo-strategic location, Scandinavian royalties and nobility entertained contacts with central and Western Europe. Less known however, is the relationship between Eric  of Pomerania, the King  of the three Scandinavian realms and the Croatian nobility of Frankopans. This paper attempts to provide the short description of the conditions in Croatia and Scandinavia at the beginning of XV century,  the relationship between Eric  of Pommerania and count Ivan Anz Frankopan, and the role of the Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) during King Eric's travel on his way to the Holy Land 1424-5.

Based on Dubrovnik, Budapest, Vatican and  Scandinavian  sources,  a special emphasis is being given to the events surrounding Ivan Anz Frankopan's visit to Sweden. In Venetian and Scandinavian sources, he is reffered to under the name of Gian Franchi and Johan Franke. Due to this reason, historians have been unaware of the real identity of King Eric's steward of the estate (fief) Stegeborg in Sweden 1426-34, count Ivan Anz Frankopan. 

Key words: Frankopan, Ivan Anz;  King Eric of Pommerania;  Stegeborg;  Kalmar Union


The Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia has been in personal union with Kingdom of Hungary since 1102. Its main parts,  Dalmatia and Croatia were governed by a viceroy (Ban), and Slavonia, as the third part, was governed by its own viceroy. In the beginning of the fifteenth century the Kingdom was the object of fight between King Ladislas of Naples and his rival Sigismund of Luxemburg. Aware that he would not be able to hold the Hungaro-Croatian throne, King Ladislas of Naples sold  parts of Dalmatia he still possessed in1409, i.e. towns of Zadar, Novigrad and Vrana, and the island of Pag to the Venetian Republic for 100,000 ducats. After Zadar, the islands of Rab and Cres, and the town of Nin also came under the rule of Venice which thus gained a substantial foothold in Dalmatia and kept it until its fall in 1797.

In response to the Venetian aspirations to expand their rule to other Dalmatian towns, the new Hungaro-Croatian King Sigismund (Rex Hungarie, Dalmacie, Croacie etc.) waged a new war against Venice (1411-13) however with no success, losing towns Skradin, Ostrovica and Sibenik. A five year truce was concluded in Trieste, according to which each side retained its conquests.

When the truce expired in 1418, another war started. Sigismund was defeated in Friuli and Dalmatia. After a long siege, Venice captured Trogir and Split, and the islands of Kor_ula, Bra_ and Hvar. The only parts of the Adriatic coast left to the Croatian Kingdom (i.e. Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia) were the Frankopan town of Senj (Segna) and the island of Krk (Veglia) in the north, and Omis (Almissa) with Krajina and Poljica in the south. [1]

The most powerful noble family in Dalmatia and Croatia at the time were the Counts of Krk 

(Segne, Veglie et Modrusse comites) i.e. count Nikola IV, who became Ban (Viceroy) of Dalmatia and Croatia in 1426, and whose name Frankopan (de Frangepanibus) was officially accepted later. In the same year he loaned King Sigismund 28,000 ducats, obtaining almost all of Croatia as security. Next to the counts of Krk, the master of the largest estates was his friend, count Ivanis Nelipčić, whose possessions  included parts of  Dalmatia around Split and its inland.[2]

The Dubrovnik Republic (Reipublica Ragusina) comprised  in the first half of the fifteenth century the City and its environs, peninsula Peljesac, island Mljet, Konavle inland with the islet of Molunat. The Republic stretched from the Bay of Boka Kotorska to city of Neum. In terms of government, Dubrovnik  was a patrician republic run by the Senate (Consilium rogatorum), with the Minor Council (Consilium minus) as the executive authority. The Mayor Council (Consilium maius) consisted of 203 patricians as members.The Republic was no military power, and it was therefore forced to pursue a very skilful and strictly neutral foreign policy in order to ensure its territorial integrity and freedom of trade. Beeing part of the Croato-Hungarian State, it paid tribute to King Sigismund. Ragusan ships plied active trade in all ports on the western coast of the Adriatic, as well as throughout the Mediterranean, in Portugal, England and Flanders. Dubrovnik was the strongest Croatian centre of business, and it was one of the most developed European states in terms of its national income and culture.[3]




The union of Scandinavian states was the result of the initiative of Margareth, Queen of Denmark and her skilful diplomatic efforts and negotiations with Norwegian and Swedish nobility; however, it could not pass without an armed intervention against King Albrecht of Mecklenburg, who did not enjoy the support of the Swedish nobles. One of the primary reasons underlying the creation of the union was of a foreign political nature: Queen Margareth was quite aware that Denmark on its own could not resolve the issue of Schleswig, which had long been part of Denmark and was  now claimed by the Counts of Holstein. Dynastic ties favoured such a union since Margareth was the daughter of of the Danish king Waldemar Atterdag, and her husband, the Norwegian king Haakon was of Swedish origin. Since their son died at an early age, and in order to secure succession, Margareth adopted the grandson of her sister Bugislawa of Pomerania, and gave him the popular Scandinavian name of Eric.

Thus, on 17 June 1397, the Union of Kalmar came into being (after the town of Kalmar in southern Sweden), and Eric was crowned as the first king of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. However, because of his youth, the official ruler continued to be his step-mother, who was given an unusual and - as far as Scandinavian history is concerned - unique title of 'lady of our kingdoms, master and powerful guardian of our house'. She ruled until Eric's coming of age in 1401, and practically until her death in 1412. Through negotiations and avoiding the issue of possession, Margareth succeeded in obtaining the recognition of Danish sovereignty over

Schleswig by the Counts of Holstein.[4]

King Eric of Pomerania faced a number of foreign and domestic policy problems caused by his imposition of customs levies on ships passing through the Sund between Denmark and Sweden, his conflict with the Hanseatic League, the appointment of Danish and German stewards in Sweden, and differences between feudal systems of Denmark and Sweden.[5] After Margareth's death the Counts of Holstein again brought up the issue of Schleswig, and Eric was forced to seek the juridical support of his cousin, King Sigismund.[6]

Taking due account of the different area and geostrategic situation, the Counts of Holstein posed for the Danish king Eric a danger similar to that posed by the Venetian Republic for the Frankopans. The claims of  the Venetian Republic in Dalmatia and northern Italy on the other side, also clashed with the interests of King Sigismund. His relations with the Frankopans ought  to be regarded as a reflection of current economic interests and of the balance of power in that part of Europe in the first half of the fifteenth century.





Ivan Anz VI Frankopan was the son of Nicola IV, the most powerful of the Counts of Krk and Viceroy of Croatia and Dalmatia from 1426 to 1432 (Segne, Veglie et Modrusse comitem, Regni Dalmacie et Croacie Banus). He was the eldest of nine brothers. His name Ivan is translated  as Johannes (Latin), Hans (von Zenge, German) and Gian, Zuan or Zian (Italian). His second name Anz, is  abreviation of the latin name Angelus.   In 1411, according  agreement between the parents, he became engaged to Katarina, daughter of  Ivanis Nelipčić, count of Cetina. He had adopted Ivan Anz more than a year before the engagement, because he had no male heir himself. During his war against Venetian Republic and en route to Friuli, King Sigismund issued a charter in Frankopan's town Brinje on 28 October 1412, whereby count Ivanis Nelipčić was given licence to give his daughter Katarina, fiance of Ivan Anz, as dowry all the estates of his family.[7]  There are no records of Ivan's birth date, but in that year he and his younger brother Stjepan were mentioned as adult young men.[8]  Because of the Venetian claims on their lands, the Counts of Krk were forced not only to negotiate with Venice but also to establish ties with its rivals in Italy (such as Duke of Milan, Fillipo Maria Visconti), nobles of German origin (Elisabeth, the cousin of Nikola IV, was married to Friedrich of Cilli, whose father Hermann was Ban of Slavonia), and with King Sigismund himself. There is no doubt that in addition to Croatian, Ivan Anz also spoke Latin, Italian (of Venetto-dialect) and German. He was probably educated in good manners, negotiation and the chivalric arts of the time. It may be concluded that he was brave - probably also of an adventurous spirit - and that count Nikola Frankopan trusted him as his oldest son and heir to the position of Ban of Dalmatia and Croatia. 




Friedrich, the eldest son of Hermann, Count of Cilli and Viceroy of Slavonia, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Stjepan I Frankopan in 1405. Her uncle, Nikola IV Frankopan, was to pay 32,000 ducats as the dowry. As he was probably unable to produce such a sum, he pledged her and her husband Friedrich one-half of the island of Krk, and the Trsat, Bakar and Bribir, important cities  north of  Senj. Friedrich left Elisabeth in 1412 for his mistress Veronika Desinić, according popular belief, reputed belle from Zagorje in northern part of Croatia. His father, together with Frankopans tried for eight years to reconcile them, but without success.   Elisabeth and Friedrich met at last in 1422 in a castle at Krapina, but  on the first night Elisabeth died a violent death, probably slain by Friedrich by knife.[9]

At that time, King Sigismund was engaged in a war against the Hussites, the Viceroy was not in Slavonia and as Friedrich's sister Barbara was the wife of King Sigismund, no one held Friedrich accountable for Elisabeth's death until 1424. Fearing revenge and a clash with other Croatian nobles, in June of the same year Friedrich fled on horseback to Buda in order to seek protection from his sister, Queen Barbara.[10]  It was precisely the conflict between Frankopans and Friedrich of Cilli over the murder of Elisabeth, that occasioned the meeting between King Erik of Pommerania and Ivan Anz Frankopan.




The paths of the first King of Kalmar Union and Ivan Anz crossed in Sigismund's Buda (then Offen) in June, 1424. In that year, King Sigismund convened in Buda an assembly of European nobility to discuss, among other matters, the dispute between his cousin, King Erik and the Counts  of Holstein over possession of Schleswig.[11]   Eric's father-in-low was Henry IV of Britain, and his sister was married to the Duke of Bavaria; along with the fact that he ruled the largest state in Europe, this facts also contributed to his reputation. Therefore, having arrived in Buda in February, he joined Sigismund in order to discuss the agenda of the assembly.[12]  King Eric was  then about 42 and, according to the description of Aenes Sylvius Piccolomini, his tall figure, fair hair, athletic build and supple movements attracted general attention and particularly the glances of womenfolk.[13] 

Ivan Anz Frankopan arrived in Buda at about same time, seeking satisfaction in a duel from Friedrich of Cilli for the murder of his cousin Elisabeth. Friedrich tried to avoid the duel and was hoping to take advantage of his kinship with King Sigismund. The king, on the other side, did not want to antagonize either the Frankopans or the Cillis, and did his best to avoid scandal and find                                                                                                                                                         

a compromise.[14]  So, he found an ideal mediator in the Scandinavian king.

After king Erik received, on 28 June, the charter of King Sigismund which resolved the controversy over Schleswig with the Dukes of Holstein to his advantage (count Hermann of Cilli, Ban of Slavonia, played important role in this decision),[15]  he could only repay the favour and use his good services in order to talk young Ivan Anz out of confrontation with Friedrich of Cilli. His

persuasiveness proved successful. It is certain that while talking to Ivan, King Erik became familiar with Ivan Anz's character, linguistic versatility and knowledge of circumstances in Dalmatia and Italy, and decided to take him along as an attendant and interpreter. It is worth to remember, that Ivan Anz's father, count Nikola, experienced the pilgrimage to the Holy Land some years before. According to historian Klaić, 'king Erik may have already grown found of the valiant young man at that time, as we find him at the Danish court eight years thereafter'.[16]




In the Middle Ages the pilgrimage to the Holy Land was the highest goal of every Christian, particularly for the nobility and crowned heads. Ivan Anz's father, Count Nikola Frankopan, also

visited Jerusalem in 1411.[17]  The pilgrimage, which was not without risk at the time, was often a sign of a ruler's gratitude for a particular success or gain. It was believed that Erik, after the favourable resolution of King Sigismund on Schleswig, decided to set off for the Holy Land. However, his visit to Venice en route to his destination (but not at his return!) shows that Erik, being indebted to King Sigismund, also had to carry out a political mission for the king.


The shortest route from Buda to the eastern coast of the Adriatic led across Croatia and the regions ruled by Counts of Frankopan, to their town and then important port of Senj.[18] On the advice of Sigismund, Eric certainly took that route and took Ivan Anz along as an attendant. It may be assumed that Sigismund was keen to have Ivan Anz away from Friedrich of Cilli for a time, and that brought his influence to bear on Erik to take him along, not only as an attendant on his journey to the Holy Land, but also subsequently to Sweden.

The Dubrovnik Republic also played a part on that journey. Already on 19 March 1424 - during  King Erik's stay in Krakow, i.e. before Sigismunds resolution on Schleswig - the Council of Dubrovnik received King Sigismund's letter informing about Erik's intention to visit the Holy Land and recommending the king to Council's attention.[19] The Ragusans replied on 17 May and

informed Sigismund about the movements of hostile ships in the Mediterranean. The similar letter was sent also on 31 August.[20]

On 31 July 1424, two envoys  arrived to Venice from Senj, requesting that King Eric should be given free passage to Venice; they also requested a galley to be outfitted at the king's expense for the journey to the Holy Land, and finally, the loan af a sizable sum of 10,000 ducats. On the same day, the Venetian Senate granted the king's wishes and decided that he would be met at Senj by Francesco Minnio, capitano delle Gallere di Quarnero, accompanied by six envoys. It was also decided to place another galley at the disposal of the Count of Senj, who would escort the king to Venice. According to the records of the Venetian chronicler and historian Antonio Morosini, King Eric left in Senj 1000 horses and most of his escort.[21]  It is possible that during his stay at Senj, a member of king's escort took over the figurative pattern of the Croatian coat of arms as his  noble family's heraldic device in Sweden.[22]  Accompanied by Count Nikola Frankopan, Viceroy of Croatia and Dalmatia (recorded by Morosini as el Signor de Segna) and some thirty noblemen and knights, King Erik experienced a solemn welcome in Venice on 24 August. He stayed at the Duke of Ferara's Palace, today 'Fondacci dei Turchi',[23]  while Count Nikola stayed at the palace of Count Carlo Malatesta de Rimini.[24]. Along with the ceremonial part of the visit, the king also held political talks with the Doge, showing that his visit to Venice was intended as mediation in the conflict between Venice and Sigismund. Venice was then allied with Duke Fillippo Maria Visconti of Milan. The alliance was meant to strengthen Venice's hand in the war against king Sigismund for the possession of Dalmatia and Friuli. The Scandinavian king tried to leave the impression of  a  neutral go-between, humbly offering his bona officia, but there is not doubt that he acted on instruction of his cousin Sigismund, to whom the alliance of Venice and Milan was certainly a thorn in the flesh.  On 1 September, the Doge reported the substance of the talks to the Senate, which accepted Eric's offer with gratitude, albeit with the reservation that no decision was possible without the agreement of theit ally, Visconti. Therefore, the Senate informed Duke Visconti of Eric's offer through the Venetian ambassador in Milan. Distrusting Eric's bona officia, Visconti declined the offer, as the Venetian ambassador reported to the Senate on 8 September. Having been appraised of Visconti's position, on 14 September the Senate instructed its ambassador to express the Venetian loyalty  to the agreed alliance. During that time, King Eric was probably in Venice, which he presumably left only after hearing Visconti's response.[25]

Although the description of King Eric's sojourn in Venice is rich and comprehensive, no word is mentioned about his interpretor, and among the  names of  Venetians involved in king's  travel, the name of  Gian or Zian Franchi is not mentioned.

King Eric arrived to Dubrovnik on 16 September 1424, warmly welcomed by the authorities and citizens. During his  meeting with the members of the Council, king Eric secretly declared that he, under any circumstances, has no intention to pass Venice on his return from the Holy Land. The Ragusans, in the letter of 20. September, informed King Sigismund of Eric's visit and asked him which other route to recommend when he returned to Dubrovnik.[26] 

There are no records of the king's stay in Jerusalem; on the way back he visited Rhodos, where he borrowed 2,000 ducats from the Knights Hospitaliers, which he later repaid, somewhat reluctantly, to their fellow brethren in Denmark.[27] 

King Eric arrived again at Dubrovnik on a Venetian ship on Christmas day 1424, escorted among others, by count Ivan Anz Frankopan and his younger brother Nikola. He resided at the Palace, and the authorities daily provided 60 perperi for his meals. He was permitted to import for himself a keg of Greek romagna wine.[28] [29]   The Frankopans were offered accomodation in the mansion of Duke Sandalj[30] and the Council moved for a donation of 60 perperi in their favour [31].  The detailed records kept in The Dubrovnik Archives mention no interpreter named 'Gian Franchi' in the king's escort. In Dubrovnik the king dismissed the Venetian galley on board of which he arrived. However, lucking funds to pay it, he asked the Ragusans to loan him 2000 ducats. On 26 December the loan was granted, obviously with a guarantee and certain provisions. In the receipt the king undertook to repay the loaned in Senj, if possible, or deliver it in Buda to the Ragusan ambassador who would escort him on his journey.[32]  The foregoing suggests that the Ragusans counted on King Eric to pass through Senj and borrow the money from Count Nikola Frankopan in order to be able to repay the Ragusan loan.

On the Ragusan galley, the king sailed to Omis (Almissa) on 5 January 1425 in order to visit Count Ivanis Nelipčić, Ivan Anz's father-in-law.  From Omis, he set off on horseback  to Count Nikola Frankopan in Senj, from where he continued his return to Buda. [33] [34] 

According to the Venetian Morosini, the king's galley from Senj arrived in Venice in January, but without the king. It carried the ship's commander, Giovanni Giustinian de St. Apostolo and the king's interpreter messere Zian Franchi and two envoys, who expressed King Eric's apologies and regrets at having to return to his kingdom for important reasons, and beeing therefore unable 

to visit Venice.[35]  The two enwoys were obviously the two Ragusan diplomats - ambassadors √?uro Gučetić and Dzore Palmotić.[36]

It should be reminded, within the context of further considerations, that Venetian sources, which otherwise abound in details relating to the visit of Eric of Pommerania to Venice, do not mention  the king's abovementioned interpreter, Zian or Gian Franchi (in Scandinavian sources Johan Franke), which means that he was not with King Eric when he arrived in Venice in August 1424, or when he left Venice in September of the same year. The records kept in The Dubrovnik Archives mention no word about the interpreter with such a name.


The person in question was obviously the oldest son of Count Nikola,  Ivan Anz Frankopan, whom Eric had met in Buda i juni 1424, and who joined the king on his way to the Holy Land, probably in Senj or Omis, and whose name is recorded in the archives of Dubrovnik. According to historian Klaić, 'we find him at the Danish court eight years thereafter'. [37]

According to the already cited Antonio Morosini, 'subsequently, the (king's) interpreter, messere Zian Franchi, properly outfitted and on horseback, left Venice to visit the king in his country.'

Morosini added a malicious remark, which he would certainly have omitted had a distiguished citizen or a nobleman from the  Republic of Venice been involved: '... looking forvard to a reward, which will enable him to keep up his knightly status ' (' lo dito so turzimano miser zian franchi, de qua eser vestido horevel mente, e con cavay in lo so pixe andando per vixitarlo, sperando ave una provixion per mantegnir la so chavalaria orevel mente.').[38]





The reasons which led King Eric of Pomerania to employ foreign noblemen as bailiffs and stewards of his castles on his estates in Sweden are certainly interesting. He trusted them more than Swedish noblemen, and could expect  loyalty and greater tax-collection efficiency from them, mostly of Danish and German origin. The appointment of 'a simple interpreter and king's travel attendant' to the post of the bailiff of one of Sweden's major castles in the fifteenth century  evoked  amazement by some historians. [39]  The same applies to the origin of Gian (Zian) Franchi, 

in Scandinavian historiography known as Johanes Franke.

All Swedish historical works and treatises [40] relating to the identity of 'Gian Franchi' rely on information from Morosini, and the sources based on the records of Venetian seamen who, having suffered a shipwreck in 1432, stayed at the Swedish castle of Stegeborg en route from Lofoten to their homeland. Their report was published in Venice by Giovanni Batista Ramusio between 1553-59, and again by Bullo in 1881.[41]  The latest translation appeared in Norway in 1991. [42]

A comparative analysis of the abovementioned sources with the sources known to Croatian historiography points to the conclusion that Gian Franchi (Johan Franke) and Ivan Anz Frankopan are one and the same person.

Having delivered, together with the Ragusan envoys, the message to the Venetian Senate to the effect that King Eric could not visit Venice for reasons of state, Ivan Anz Frankopan left, 'properly outfitted and on horseback', some time in late January or early February, for the country of King Eric, the first king of the Union of Kalmar. It is not known how and when he arrived in Scandinavia. The Swedish State Archives contain copies of two documents of 1426 mentioning the presence of Johan Franke, Steward of the estate (fief) and castle of Stegeborg. One of the documents is cited by the distinguished Swedish historian Styffe [43] , who claims that Johan Franke had certified the dowry given by Bengt Konigsmarck to Mrs. Ingrid Karlsdottir Gedda on 30 May 1426. Bengt Konigsmark was the Steward of the royal castle of Kalmar, and Ingrid Karlsdottir the daughter of a high royal dignitary. Further investigations in the Archives disclosed another copy of a document on a similar subject, in which Johan Franke, together with parson Haakon, certified a deed of donation whereby a certain Ragvald Puke donated to his wife some land at Ullalva; the deed is dated 29 May 1426, i.e. one day before the first document [44].


Along with Kalmar, among the other  important Swedish castles were Stegeborg and K√∂pingshus.  Trusting Johan Franke (Ivan Frankopan), King Eric first appointed him Steward (h√∂vitsman, fogdare) of the castle of K√∂pingshus, and then of the castle of Stegeborg, with the respective estates.[45]  Stegeborg was a well-fortified castle next to the narrowest part of the bay of Sl√§tbakken on the eastern Swedish coast, and it guarded the approach to S√∂derk√∂ping and to the

interior. It was first mentioned in 1310, although its foundations are of an older date. The Danish queen Margaret used to visit the castle, as did relatively often, also King Eric. Until 1427 it was managed by the Swedish noble Magnus Drake, and thereafter by Ivan An_ Frankopan, known in Swedish sources under the name Johan Franke and under the italianized version of his name, Gian Franchi.

In July 1432, the Venetian Pietro Querini stayed  at Stegeborg with the remaining members of his crew, survivors of a shipwreck. On its journey from Crete to the Netherlands, their ship foundered off the Portuguese coast.   Their  boats  were  carried  by  the wind and  the Gulf  Stream  until  the surviving seamen  - including one from Sibenik and Zadar on Dalmatian coast - finally landed  on the Lofoten, crossed Norway and Sweden on foot, before they could board a ship and sail for Venice [46].  The record describes Ivan Anz Frankopan (in this case, under the name Zuan or Gian Franco) as an outstandingly hospitable and kind 'distinguished nobleman and esteemed baron in the service of King Eric'. He escorted them personally, continues the record, with a hundred horsemen to the boundary of the estate, and from there to the port of L√∂d√∂se they were escorted by his son Mapheo (Matheo?). It should be noted that the descriptions of the Querini  and of his crew differ somewhat, and that there are possibly some errors of transcription in the Norwegian translation  [47] . Indicatively, the record of Venetian seamen does not  mention with a single word the exact origin of their benefactor, with whom they were able to converse in their own language  after six months of tribulation and journeying through Scandinavia, and whom they supposed to be their countryman. Indeed, one would expect a mention of that point if a nobleman of Italian, and particularly Venetian, origin had been involved.

However, the real identity of King Eric's Steward of  Stegeborg has been revealed by  the written record, originating far away from Scandinavia. Few weeks before Venetian seamen's  arrival to Stegeborg,  died Ivan Anz's father, Count Nikola Frankopan, Ban (viceroy) of Croatia and Dalmatia. Written by an uknown priest that very day,  in a breviary from the island of Krk, the Frankopans' 'parent' region,  it was noted that the Ban's son Anz, was in the service of the Danish king at that time, the summer of 1432:   

'The good and noble Ban Nikola died on the twenty-sixth day of the month of June 1432. And his son Anz was by the king of Denmark ...'.

The note, written by glagolytic script and in Croatian language, describes also that at the same time, Stjepan, Ivan Anz's younger brother, was by king Sigismund and that Bosnia has been  invaded by Turks [48].                                                                     



Scandinavian sources call Ivan Anz Frankopan as  Franchi or Franke, which corresponds to the belief that he was of Italian (Venetian) origin.

In fact, that was an abbreviated Italian or German version of the name Frankopan, which was not yet known in Venetian Republic. Croatian sources first mention the name Frankopan in relation  to Nikola Frankopan, Ivan Anz's father, in 1426, the very year in which Ivan Anz left for Sweden[49].  Four years later, the same name (de Frangepanibus) was confirmed to Nikola by Pope Martin V in Rome during a personal audience. However, King Sigismund's court mainly ignored  the Ban's new name, referring instead to the Segne,Veglie et Modrusse comites. Sigismund recognised the title to the name given after the Roman Frangepani, and the Pope's approval, only in 1434, i.e., after Nikola's death, to his first and third-born sons, Ivan Anz and Stjepan [50].

There is another and important reason why the identity of Ivan Anz Frankopan, during his journey to th Holy Land in the capacity of King Eric's attendant, was not known, or was not supposed to be known, even to the Venetian Republic. The information  that the son of the powerful 'el Signor de Segna' (as Count Nikola Frankopan is called in Venetian archives) was present on the ship sailing in the Mediterranean en route to the Holy Land would have been very valuable to the enemy ships and pirates in these waters [51] , because such a person could bring them a substantial amount of ducats in ransom; this would have jeopardized also the safety of King Eric [52], who travelled incognito[53], disguised as the ship's scribe, for the same reason. For Ivan Anz, an additional reason for caution and discretion was the risk which he could expect, on his way to northern Europe, while crossing the estates of the Counts of Cilli.

Last but not least, it should be mentioned that Croatian historian Klaić does not exclude the possibility that Frankopans descend from the ancient  family Franko of the island of Krk[54].      




In Sweden, discontent with King Eric grew in the early fourteen-thirties and as of 1430 his visits to that country became less frequent. In Dalarna, the northwestern part of Sweden, the nobleman Engelbrekt Engelbrektson started an insurgency which soon spread to other parts of the country. The uprising against Eric of Pommerania reached its climax in 1434, when it was also joined by the high nobility (Bo Stensson Natt och Dag, Karl Knutsson Bonde and others) dissatisfyied with

foreign stewards in royal castles [55]. The Swedish people called foreigners from the southern parts of Europe (Walloons, Italians, etc.) Waale; thus, in the well-known fifteenth-century Swedish chronicle on Engelbrekt Engelbrektson the master of the castle of Stegeborg was called Johan Waale [56]. Having captured the castles of Borganäs and Västerås, in the summer of 1434, Engelbrekt laid sieg to the fort of Köpingshus. Unable to to defend the fort, Frankopan withdrew to Stegeborg. Two months later he also surrendered that castle [57], which he hold since 1427 [58].

Considering the situation, it was understandible for Ivan Anz to decide to leave Sweden and return home. It is not known when and how he returned back to Croatia, and whether he kept coming back to Sweden. According to an document in the Swedish State Archives, he (under the name of Johan Franke) mortgaged an estate to the monastery at Vadstena in 1435 for 233 east Gothic pfennig; this would suggest that he needed money, perhaps to repay a debt or return to Croatia. Of particular interest is the fact that he - or someone else on his behalf -  later paid off the mortgage, and that his son Matts Franke (in Croatian language Matija) sold it in 1437 to Karl Knutsson Bonde [59], commander of Engelbrekt's army and subsequently regent of Sweden.

In Croatia and Dalmatia, after the death of  Ban (viceroy) Nikola Frankopan, King Sigismund, in his capacity of sovereign, designated Nikola's sons as heirs in that part of the Kingdom.  Stjepan II was Nikola's third-born son, but King Sigismund mentioned him first (inspite Ivan Anz was the eldest).  It was  partly because Ivan Anz was absent from Croatia, and partly because his younger brother Stjepan was at that time  continuously in the king's retinue in Italian and German lands. He also confirmed the title of Ban to the brothers, and Stjepan and Ivan consequently signed themselves as Regni Dalmatiae et Croatiae Banus [60].

Ivan Anz's father-in-law died in May 1434, and Ivan inherited, through his wife Katarina, cities Klis, Omis and other etates. Having concluded peace with Venetian Republic, Sigismund was no longer politically and economically interested in Frankopans. In spite of the charter by which he had renounced, in 1412, his claim to the estate of Ivan Anz's father-in-law, he requested from Ivan Anz to reliquish the inherited estates. At the same time, Ulrich, son of Friedrich of Cilli, also claimed the unpaid dowry, i.e., the estates pledged by Frankopans to his father, Ivan Anz's opponent in Buda in 1424. Ivan Anz refused to bow to the king's request and to relinguish the estates, upon which he was proclaimed a rebel and divested of the title of Ban (viceroy) in January 1436. The king ordered the Ban of Slavonia to subdue Ivan Anz by force of arms. His military campaign against Ivan Anz in the summer of the same year  was not particularly successful. However, Ivan Anz died on 20. November, of uknown cause, probably at his castle of Klis [61].                                   


His acquaintance from Buda, King Eric of  Pommerania, visited Stegeborg for the last time three years later[62], and after signing  stillest√•ndsf√∂rdrag[63] on 21 August 1439, definitively left Sweden.  

[1] Sisić, F., Pregled povijesti hrvatskog naroda, Zagreb 1962, p. 221-222;   Sunjić, M., Dalmacija u XV                                   stoljeću, Sarajevo 1976, p. 40-66.

[2] Klaić,V., Povjest Hrvata, 2, Zagreb 1901, p. 113-114.

[3] Stulli, B., Povijest Dubrovačke Republike, 1989, Dubrovnik - Zagreb, p. 50-60 etc.

[4] Lauring, P., A History of The Kingdom of Denmark, Copenhagen 1969, p. 106-113.

[5] Scott, D.F., Sweden - the Nation's History, South Illinois Univ. Press 1988, p. 106-113.

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