Swedish kings during the 14th century

» Svenska kungar under 1300-talet (swe)

  • 1298-1318 Birger Magnusson
  • 1319-1332 Regent
  • 1332-1364 Magnus Eriksson
  • 1357-1359 Erik Magnusson
  • 1362-1364 Håkan Magnusson
  • 1364-1389 Albert of Sweden
  • 1388-1412 Margrethe I
  • 1396-1439 Eric of Pomerania

When Magnus Ladulås died 1290 his son Birger was too young to rule and therefore a guardian goverment was appointed under the Regent Torgils Knutsson. At the time Birger is crowned King in 1302 there are three places of power present in the country; one around the King, one around the Regent (Torgils Knutsson) and one around Birger’s two sons which have now become Dukes of Södermanland and Finnland.

The King’s sons want to gain power and so set their eyes on Norway. Duke Erik got engaged to Ingeborg, daughter of Norway’s King. Through the engagement he receives the Norwegian counties Halland and Bohuslän. During this time the Kings Regent Torgils still possesses a lot of power in the country but through cunning maneuvers and politics Duke Erik manages to get Torgils executed. At the same time he manages to sway Torgils supporters to follow him.

1306 the two Dukes make their move and execute a coup d’état and the King is captured at Håtuna. This act is known as the “håtunaleken”. Denmark, Norway and northern German cities get involved in this event and two years later they force the two Dukes to release the King. The country is split into three sovereign states.

Several years later in 1317 the King invited the two Dukes to a reconciliatory dinner. During the evening the Dukes were captured and thrown into a dungeon where they later starved to death, an event which came to be known as “Nyköpings banquet”.

But the King had misjudged the political situation in the country and a revolt took place in 1318 which forces him to abdicate and flee to Denmark where he dies in 1321. Duke Erik’s three year old son Magnus is chosen as the next King at Mora stones. As he is the only son of  Ingeborg, only child of Norway’s King, he also becomes king of Norway. Around the under aged King’s mother, Ingeborg a political group is formed out of trustees, outside of the official council.

While the council tries to gather support in Denmark, Ingeborg tries to gain the support of Denmark’s enemies Holstein and Mecklenburg. A treaty is signed between Magnus Eriksson sister and duke Albert of Mecklenburg (the elder). Denmark is suffering from financial crisis and large portions of the country are sold to Germans.

Scania and Blekinge are sold to Sweden in 1332.

The plague reaches Sweden in 1350.

The Norwegians are unhappy with having a common king with Sweden, so in 1355 king Magnus’ younger son Håkan becomes king of Norway. King Mangus’ eldest son Erik becomes very displeased over the fact that his younger brother has become King in Norway and so he tries to gather support from Duke Albert of Mecklenburg and proclaim himself King of Sweden. 1357 the country is split between the two Kings.

The real winners in this struggle are the council members who manage to strengthen their power thanks separation in the country. King Magnus tries to unite both of the kingdoms and allies himself with Valdemar Atterdag of Denmark. The treaty is sealed with the engagement between Magnus’ son Håkan and Valdemar’s daughter Margrethe. Valdemar invades Scania under the pretext to help Magnus Eriksson.

Erik (of Scania) suddenly dies in the plague but Valdemar continues to occupy Scania, whose intend is to make Denmark to a superpower once again. In 1361 he conquers Öland and Gotland. In a desperate counterattack Magnus Eriksson and his son Håkan join forces with Denmark’s arch enemies the Hansa cities. After a short war Valdemar celebrates his victory with a wedding between King Håkan and his daughter Margrethe in Kalmar.