Eric X of Sweden

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Portrait of Erik Knutsson from the grave in Varnhem church.
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Portrait of Erik Knutsson from the grave in Varnhem church.

Erik X ( c 11801216), Erik Knutsson (Eric son of Canute) was the King of Sweden between 1208 and 1216. He was the son of Knut Eriksson and his queen, whose name is unknown, but who very probably was a high-born Swedish noblewoman. He was born around 1280 in Eriksberg royal manor.


When his father, King Canute I, died peacefully in 1295, all his sons were only children. Eric apparently was not the eldest of them. Due to the influence of the mighty second-of-the-realm, Jarl Birger Brosa, Sverker II, the head of the rival dynasty was chosen as King of Sweden, over the underaged boys.

King Canute's sons continued to live in the Swedish royal court, until 1203, when his brothers and family brought forward claims to the thorone, and Sverker did not acquiesce, at which point Eric and his brothers escaped to Norway. In 1205, the brothers returned to Sweden with Norwegian support, but lost the battle of Älgarås, where three of Eric's brothers were killed.

In 1208 Eric returned to Sweden with Norwegian troops and won Sverker in the battle of Lena. Eric became thus chosen the king of Sweden.

Sverker attempted to reconquer the throne, but was won and killed in battle of Gestilren in 1210. The banner under which King Eric's troops fought, was preserved by his kinsman Justiciar Eskil Magnuson of Bjelbo clan in Skara, who in 1219 gave it as honorary to the visiting Icelandic justiciar Snorre Sturlasson.

At that time, king Eric X married princess Richeza of Denmark, daughter of the late Valdemar I of Denmark, and sister of the then reigning Valdemar II the Victorious. This was to make up relations with Denmark, which had traditionally supported the Sverker dynasty, against the Norwegian-supported dynasty of Eric.

Eric X was the first Swedish king who was crowned.

He died suddenly in fever in 1216 in the castle of Näs on the island of Visingsö. He was buried in the Varnhem Abbey Church.

His marriage produced several daughters, at least three and possibly as many as five, and one and only son, born posthumously, the future Eric XI of Sweden. Daughters: Helena?, Sophia?, Marianna?,

  1. Märta of Sweden, married with Marshal Nils Sixtensson (Sparre)
  2. Ingeborg of Sweden, possibly the youngest daughter.

Some later pretensions claim that one of his daughters would have been Marianna, who married a duke of Pomerania, becoming an ancestress of the House of Mecklenburg.

Template:Sweden-bio-stub


Preceded by:
Sverker II
King of Sweden
Succeeded by:
John I

Template:End boxde:Erik X. (Schweden) fi:Eerik Knuutinpoika sv:Erik Knutsson

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