The Manor and the Villagers. Property Disputes between the Residents of the Sundholm Manor and the Neighbourhood in 16th-century Kalanti (Finland)


The article Kartano ja kyläläiset. Sundholman omistajien ja lähiseudun asukkaiden omaisuuskiistoja 1500-luvun Kalannissa
(see deals with property disputes between the residents of the Sundholm Manor and the neighbouring villages in 16th-century Kalanti (Finland).1 There were lengthy disputes over the ownership of some landed property and fishing waters. Although the court verdicts favoured the owners of the Sundholm Manor and the farmers standing on their side, the other party ignored the verdicts to a large extent and continued using the property rather than obeying the verdict given by the court.2 The article analyses the process of one specific property dispute and concludes that in a way, no final solution was made; shifting power balance in the local community, such as the manor owner’s death, often brought the parties back to the starting point of the dispute. Any court rulings were valid only in so far as they were honoured by both parties.

The article is also a pilot project testing the new PID system of the Finnish National Archives Service.3 Archival sources that were used for testing PID tools were the Archives of the Sundholm Manor (Sundholman kartanon arkisto) and the Bailiff’s Records, more precisely the Land Register (Maakirja) for the year 1540.  For more information in Finnish, please see the information provided by the National Archives Service at

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  1. The cases discussed here have been previously analysed from the point of view of spatial experiences, see Anu Lahtinen. Presence, Absence and Distance. Physical and Mental Local Landscape in Pre-modern Finland, in Pierre Francois, Taina Syrjämaa & Henri Terho (eds.) Power and Culture: New Perspectives on Spatiality in European History. Cliohres & Pisa University Press, Pisa 2008, (online at URL: []
  2. For documents shedding light on the dispute of Leppäkari isle, see, for example, documents dated 17 September 1547, 1 April 1551, 10 July 1557 and 19 March 1563, Sundholman kartanon (Kalanti) arkisto, (Archives of the Sundholm Manor, the Provincial Archives of Turku);;;; []
  3. See, for example, the previous footnote. []


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