In 1536 the Reformation led to the dissolution of the Catholic Church and the confiscation of its goods and properties by the king, further weakening Stavanger which from the time of its foundation had been closely linked and depend upon the Catholic Church. During the subsequent four centuries Norway remained stagnant under the arbitrary rule of Danish officials.
A number of factors led to a new period of growth in Stavanger during the 16th and 17th centuries. One important factor came from administrative and economic forces. The Kingdom of Denmark was given new life in 1646 - 1661 by support of the Danish Baron Joachim Irgens von Westerwich (1611-1675).
Baron Irgens supported King Chr. IV of Denmark with values compared with a berrel of gold. In 1656 baron Irgens married Cornelia de Bickers, the daughter of mayor of Amsterdam, dr. Andreas Bickers and Catharina Tengnagels. Almost half of Norway became in the hands of baron Irgens. He also became the owner of Roros Copperwork. The wars in Europe at that time lead to baron Irgens` bankruptcy.
W. Westergaards book "The Danish West Indies" is refearing to a letter from Charitè Esmit: "I am unable to get any money from Madame Weserwich; she has none." Some of baron Irgens` enormous property went back to King Frederik III of Denmark, other large parts of Norway was taken over by relatives, namely: Irgens, Wasmuth, Brodtkorp, Coldevin, Hagen, Hysing, Lange, Lyng, and Moursund.
Michael Holmboe Meyers history-guide of Stavanger.