• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
2.475
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[anchor=intro]SVEA RIKE[/anchor]


King Albrekt and his father


Court is still under construction, but open

  1. [anchorlink=Intro]Introduction[/anchorlink]
  2. [anchorlink=persons]Influential Persons in Sweden[/anchorlink]
  3. [anchorlink=provinces]Provinces of Sweden[/anchorlink]
  4. [anchorlink=castles]Castles in Sweden[/anchorlink]
  5. [anchorlink=religion]Religion in Sweden[/anchorlink]
  6. [anchorlink=defence]Swedish Defence[/anchorlink]
  7. [anchorlink=treaties]Treaties and Foreign Relations[/anchorlink]
  8. [anchorlink=library]Royal Library[/anchorlink]
  9. [anchorlink=stuff]Stuff to do[/anchorlink]
  10. [anchorlink=history]History of Sweden[/anchorlink]
  11. [anchorlink=sources]Sources of Information[/anchorlink]



Realm: Sweden
Head of State: Albert of Sweden
Player: Flame of Udûn
Religion: Catholic - Rome
Culture: Scandinavian
Stats: 4/2/7/10/4 --> [4/2/7/10/4]
Provinces: 18
Ports: 3 (Stockholm, Åbo, Västervik)
Owned: Mälardalen(3), Åland(0), Bergslagen(2), Finland(1), Hälsingland(2),
Kalmar(3), Karelia(1), Lappland(0), Nyland(1), Österbotten(0),
Östergötland(3), Savolaks(1), Småland(3), Tavastland(1),
Värmland(2), Vasa(1), Västerbotten(0), Västergötland(3).
Vassal of Mecklenburg

 
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unmerged(17489)

General
Jun 7, 2003
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[anchor=persons]INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN SWEDEN[/anchor]

The King of Sweden and His Predesccors


The arms of the king, displaying Sweden (upper left), Mecklenburg (upper right), Rostock (lower left) and Schwerin (lower right)


Albert av Mecklenburg, King of Sweden​


Albert of Sweden (or Albrecht von Mecklenburg in German) was born in 1338 and was elected king of Sweden in 1363. In 1384 he inherited the ducal title of Mecklenburg and united the two countries in a personal union. He's the second son of Duke Albert II of Mecklenburg and Eufemia Eriksdotter, the daughter of duke Erik Magnusson of Sudermannia and the sister of king Magnus Eriksson of Sweden. He married Richardis, daughter to count Otto von Schwerin but she died in 1377 and is today buried in Stockholm. Before she died she gave him two children; one son, Erik of Mecklenburg, and one daughter, Richardis Catherine. Today he's married with Agnes, the daughter of duke Magnus von Braunschweig and she has given him one son, Albert V of Mecklenburg.

Albrekt bases his claims on two family ties with the royal Sverker dynasty of Sweden. Both through Albrekts mother and through Kristina Sverkersdotter, a daughter of Sverker II Karlsson of Sweden, also known as Sverker the Young. Sverker II was the king of Sweden between 1196 and 1208.

It was in 1363 when the members of the Swedish regency council led by Bo Jonsson Grip arrived in the court of Mecklenburg. They had been banished from the country after first launching a revolt against the unpopulair king Magnus Eriksson in order to replace him with someone more suitable. At the nobles' request Albrekt launched and invasion of Sweden supported by several German dukes and counts. Stockholm and Kalmar with their high percentage of German population gladly invited the German duke's son and in February 4th he could already proclaim himself King of Sweden. The coronation took place illegally at Mora Sten.

This was the beginning of an eight year civil war. Magnus and his son king Håkan of Norway were defeated by the Germans near Enköping and the former was taken as prisoner by Albrekt in 1365. Now Denmark decided to intervene on Håkan's side, and to counter this several Hanseatic cities and dukes in Northern Germany expressed support of the new king. The Germans also gained another dangerous enemy this year, the Swedish peasants who weren't content with Albrekts policy in appointing Germans as officials in all Swedish provinces. The peasants suffered tremendously under the oppression of those Germans so they revolted in support of the old king. With the help of his allies Håkan managed to beat back Albrekt and lay siege to Stockholm in 1371.

The Swedish nobles now decided to help Albrekt military and after forcing the king to promise to give almost all power in the country to the regency council they beat back the Norwegians and the Danes. Now finally a peace was signed, on the condition that Magnus was released and got to travel back to Norway where he spent the rest of his life. Albrekt got to keep the crown of Sweden, but most of western Sweden is still today unhappy with the king and de facto independent


Family Tree of the Swedish Royal Dynasty​

Bjälboätten - Albert's maternal Swedish family

Folke Filbyter
- Ingevald Folkesson
- - Folke den tjocke (Folke the fat)
- - - Bengt Snivil
- - - - Magnus Månesköld (Magnus Moonshield)
- - - - - (2nd m.) Birger Magnusson Jarl
- - - - - - (1st m.) Magnus Birgersson Ladulås
- - - - - - - Erik Magnusson, duke of Södermanland
- - - - - - - - Eufemia Eriksdotter m. Albrekt II av Mecklenburg
- - - - - - - - - Albrekt III av Mecklenburg
- - - - - - - - - - (1st m.) Erik av Mecklenburg
- - - - - - - - - - (1st m.) Richardis Catherine
- - - - - - - - - - (2nd m.) Albrekt V av Mecklenburg
- - - - - - - - - Ingeborg av Mecklenburg, countess of Holstein
- - - - - - - - - - Gerhard IV av Holstein
- - - - - - - - - Henrik III av Mecklenburg
- - - - - - - - - - Maria av Mecklenburg, duchess of Pommern
- - - - - - - - - - - Erik av Pommern
- - - - - - - - Magnus Eriksson, king of Sweden
- - - - - - - - - Erik Magnusson, king of Sweden m. Beatrix von Bayern
- - - - - - - - - Håkan Magnusson, king of Norway m. Margareta of Denmark
- - - - - - - - - - Olof III (Olav IV of Norway)
- - - - - - - Ingeborg Magnusdotter, queen of Denmark
- - - - - - - Birger Magnusson
- - - - - - - - Magnus Birgersson
- - - - - - - - Erik Birgersson
- - - - - - - - Agnes Birgersdotter
- - - - - - - - Katarina Birgersdotter
- - - - - - - Valdemar Magnusson
- - - - - - - Rikissa Magnusdotter, abbess in Klara monastery in Stockholm
- - - - - - (1st m.) Valdemar Birgersson av Sverige
- - - - - - - Ingeborg Valdemarsdotter
- - - - - - - Erik Valdemarsson
- - - - - - - Marina Valdemarsdotter
- - - - - - - Rikissa Valdemarsdotter
- - - - - - - Katarina Valdemarsdotter
- - - - - - - Margareta Valdemarsdotter
- - - - - - - ? Valdemarsson
- - - - - - - - ? ?dotter
- - - - - - (1st m.) Erik Birgersson
- - - - - - (1st m.) Rikissa Birgersdotter
- - - - - - (1st m.) Katarina Birgersdotter
- - - - - - (1st m.) Ingeborg Birgersdotter m. Johan I von Sachsen-Lauenburg
- - - - - - (2nd m.) Bengt Birgersson, bishop of Linköping, duke of Finland
- - - - - - (2nd m.) Kristina Birgersdotter
- - - - - - - Elena m. Ulf Holmgersson (Ama)
- - - - - - (bastard son) Gregers Birgersson
- - - - - - - Knut Gregersson
- - - - - - - Magnus Gregersson
- - - - - - - - Johan Magnusson
- - - - - - - - - Ingegärd Johansdotter
- - - - - - - - - - Magnus Trottesson (Eka)
- - - - - - - - Gregers Magnusson
- - - - - - - Karl Gregersson
- - - - - - - NN Gregersdotter
- - - - - - - ? Gregersdotter
- - - - - - - - Mats Kettilmundsson
- - - - - (1st m.) Eskil Magnusson
- - - - - - Ulf Eskilsson
- - - - - (1st m.) Karl Magnusson, bishop of Linköping
- - - - - (1st m.) Dotter Magnusdotter
- - - - - - Karl (Bobergsätten)
- - - - - - NN Sigtryggsdotter (Bobergsätten
- - - - - - Hafrid (Bobergsätten)
- - - - - - - Bengt Hafridsson (Bengt Hafridssons ätt)
- - - - - (2nd m.) Bengt Magnusson, bishop of Linköping
- - - - - - Magnus Bengtsson m. Ragnhild
- - - - Birger Brosa
- - - - - Filip Birgersson, viceroy of Norway.
- - - - - Knut Birgersson, viceroy of Sweden
- - - - - - Magnus Broka
- - - - - - - Knut Magnusson
- - - - - - - - Birgitta Knutsdotter
- - - - - - Cecilia Birgersdotter
- - - - - - Ingegärd Filipsdotter
- - - - - Folke Birgersson, viceroy of Sweden
- - - - - - Sune Folkesson
- - - - - - Holmger Folkesson (Ama)
- - - - - - ? Folkesdotter
- - - - - - ? Folkesdotter
- - - - - - ? Folkesdotter m. Karl den döve
- - - - - - - Karl Ulfsson (Ulv)
- - - - - Magnus Birgersson
- - - - - Ingegärd Birgersdotter m. Sverker d.y. Karlsson
- - - - - - Johan Sverkersson
- - - - - Kristina Birgersdotter
- - - - - Margareta Birgersdotter
- - - - Karl den döve (Karl the deaf) Bengtsson m. ? Folkesdotter
- - - - - Ulf Fase Karlsson
- - - - - - Karl Ulfsson [Ulv]
- - - - - Karl Karlsson [Ulv]
- - - Knut Folkesson
- Ingemund Folkesson
- Halsten Folkesson

House of Mecklenburg, Albrekts paternal German family

Niklot d. Aug 1160
- Pribislaw II m. Woizlava
- - Heinrich Burwin I m. Mathilde von Sachsen
- - - Heinrich Burwin II m. Kristina of Sweden
- - - - John I m. Luitgard von Hennenberg
- - - - - Heinrich I m. Anastasia von Pommern
- - - - - - Heinrich II
- - - - - - - Albrecht II, Duke of Mecklenburg m. Euphemia of Sweden
- - - - - - - - Albrecht III, King of Sweden m. Richardis von Schwerin
- - - - - - - - - (1st m.) Erik av Mecklenburg
- - - - - - - - - (1st m.) Richardis Catherine
- - - - - - - - - (2nd m.) Albrekt V av Mecklenburg
- - - - - - - - Heinrich III m. Ingeborg of Denmark
- - - - - - - - - Albrecht IV, heir to the crown of Denmark
- - - - - - - - - Eufemia
- - - - - - - - - Marie
- - - - - - - - - Ingeburg
- - - - - - - - Magnus
- - - - - - - - Ingeborg
- - - - - - - - Anna
- - - - - - - John IV von Mecklenburg-Stargard
- - - - - - - Agnes
- - - - - - - Beatrix
- - - - - - - Mathilde 1293-1355
- - - - - - - - Mathilde of Brunswick-Lüneburg
- - - - - - - - - Henry VI of Waldeck , Count of Waldeck
- - - - - - - - - Sofie of Waldeck
- - - - - - - - Elisabeth of Brunswick-Lüneburg
- - - - - - Elizabeth m. Gerhard I von Schauenburg, Count of Holstein
- - - - - - - John von Schauenburg
- - - - - - - Elisabeth von Holstein m. Burchard II von Wole
- - - - - - - Gerhard II von Holstein-Plon, Count of Plon
- - - - - - - Hedwig von Holstein-Schauenburg m. King Magnus I Birgersson Ladulås of Sweden
- - - - - - - Adolf VI von Schauenburg m. Helene von Saxe-Lauenburg
- - - - - - - Albrechtt von Schauenburg
- - - - - - - Mechtild von Holstein m. John I of Wünstorf
- - - - - - - Henry I von Schauenburg, Count of Holstein m. Heilwig von Bronkhorst
- - - - - - - Bruno von Schauenburg
- - - - - - - Otto von Schauenburg
- - - - - - Ludgarde m. Przemysl II of Poland, Duke of Poland
- - - - - - John III, Duke of Mecklenburg m. Helena of Rügen
- - - - - Hermann
- - - - - Poppo
- - - - - Nikolaus III
- - - - - Albrecht I
- - - - - John II m. Richarda
- - - - - - Elisabeth
- - - - Mechtilde m. Sabor II von Pommern, duke of Pommern
- - - - Nikolaus m. Jutta von Anhalt
- - - - - ? m. Albert I von Mecklenburg
- - - - - Heinrich I m. Rikissa Birgersdotter
- - - - - Bernard I
- - - - - Hedwig m. John II von Brandenburg-Stendal
- - - - - John I m. Sofie of Lindow and Ruppin
- - - - Margarete
- - - - Pribislaw I
- - - - - Pribislaw II m. Katharina von Pommern
- - - - - - Lukardis von Mecklenburg m. Wladislaw II
- - - - - - - Boleslaw of Schleissen-Beuten m. Margareta von Sternberg
- - - - - - - - Elisabeth
- - - - - - - - Euphemia
- - - - - Pribislaw III
- - - - Heinrich Burwin III m. Sofia Eriksdotter of Sweden
- - - - - Waldemar of Mecklenburg-Rostock
- - - - - John
- Wartislaw
- Prislaw



The royal seal of King Albrekt

The Royal Family in Lübeck

Agnes, King Albrekt's spouse

Albrecht, Prince of Mecklenburg

Erik, Prince of Mecklenburg

Richardis Catherine, Princess of Mecklenburg​

Predecessors of King Albert

Prehistoric kings

Dates are approximate and existance is disputed since the sources are sparse
??? - 400 : Agne Skjafarbonde
400 - 445 : Alrek
400 - 445 : Erik
445 - 450 : Alf
445 - 450 : Yngve
450 - 475 : Jorund
475 - 497 : Aun
497 - 516 : Egil Tunnadolg
516 - 523 : Ottar Vendelkråka
523 - 530 : Ale
530 - 575 : Adils den store
575 - 580 : Östen slutet
580 - 600 : Yngvar Harra
600 - 640 : Bröt-Anund
640 - 650 : Ingjald Illråde
650 - 700 : Ivar Vidfamne
700 - 742 : Harald Hildetand
742 - 750 : Randver av Svitjod
750 - 775 : Sigurd Ring
775 - 800 : Björn Järnsida
800 - 829 : Erik Väderhatt
829 - 845 : Anund Uppsale
829 - 850 : Björn på Håga
850 - 859 : Olof I Björnsson
859 - 900 : Erik Emundsson
900 - 934 : Björn Eriksson
934 - 935 : Ring Olofsson
960 - 970 : Emund slemme
The House of Munsö or Uppsala

985- 995 : Eric the Victorius (Erik Segersäll)
995-1022 : Olof of Sweden (Olof Skötkonung)
1022-1050 : Anund Jacob (Anund Jakob) and Canute
1050-1060 : Emund the Old (Emund den gamle)

The House of Stenkil​
1060-1066 : Stenkil (Stenkil Ragnvaldsson)
1066-1067 : Eric VII of Sweden (Erik (VII) Stenkilsson)
1066-1067 : Eric VIII of Sweden (Erik (VIII) Hedningen)
1067-1070 : Halsten (Halsten)
1070-1079 : Haakon the Red (Håkan Röde)
1079-1084 : Ingold I (Inge (I) den äldre)
1084-1087 : Blot-Sweyn (Blot-Sven)
1087-1105 : Ingold I (Inge (I) den äldre)
1105-1118 : Philip Halsten (Filip Halsten)
1105-1125 : Ingold II (Inge (II) den yngre)
1125-1130 : Magnus the Strong (Magnus den Starke Nilsson)

The Houses of Sverker and Erik​
1130-1156 : Sverker I of Sweden (Sverker den äldre) - The House of Sverker
1156-1160 : Eric the Saint (Erik den helige) - The House of Eric
1160-1167 : Charles VII of Sweden (Karl Sverkersson) - The House of Sverker
1167-1195 : Canute I of Sweden (Knut Eriksson) - The House of Eric
1196-1208 : Sverker II of Sweden (Sverker den yngre) - The House of Sverker
1208-1216 : Eric X of Sweden (Erik Knutsson) - The House of Eric
1216-1222 : John I of Sweden (Johan Sverkersson) - The House of Sverker
1222-1229 : Eric XI of Sweden (Erik Eriksson) - The House of Eric
1229-1234 : Canute II of Sweden (Knut Långe)
1234-1250 : Eric XI of Sweden (Erik Eriksson) - The House of Eric

The House of Folkung​
1250-1275 : Valdemar I of Sweden (Valdemar Birgersson)
1275-1290 : Magnus I of Sweden (Magnus Ladulås)
1290-1318 : Birger of Sweden (Birger Magnusson)
1319-1364 : Magnus II of Sweden (Magnus Eriksson)
1356-1359 : Eric XII of Sweden (Erik Magnusson)
1363-1389 : Albert of Mecklenburg (Albrekt av Mecklenburg)


The Royal Council - Riksrådet


Bo Jonsson Grip, viceroy of Sweden, Officialis Generalis, head of the nobility, count of Sudermannia, owner of Bjärkaholm, Gripsholm and Ringstaholm, lord of Opensten, Orensten, Rumlaborg, Kalmar, Nyköping, Stegeholm, and Stegeborg, of Finland, Nylandia, Satakunda, Savonia, Tavastia, Åbo Slott, Raseborg, Viborg, Tavstehus.​

Bo Jonsson Grip (b. 1330) was lord of the royal council and marshal under Magnus Erikssons regency. His friend and colleauge, Karl Ulfsson av Ulvåsa the oldest son of holy Bridget was also in the council.

Bo Jonsson has dominated the political life of Sweden for decades. He was the most important representative of the council aristocracy that deposed Magnus Eriksson in 1365 and put Albrekt av Mecklenburg on the Swedish crown. In 1369 he became officialis generalis (highest official).

Through inheritance and unprejudiced methods Bo has come to control the largest wealth Sweden has ever seen. This lord has through political and economical means usurped 1 500 farms in 350 parishes throughout Sweden from Kalmar to Falun. He owns over 1/3 of Sweden and needless to say that makes him the largest landowner in Sweden, with more land than the king.

From the Gripsholm castle he governs the whole valley of Lake Mälaren, Helsingia, all of Finland, large parts of Westrogothia, Eastern Ostrogothia and the Smalandia coast including the city of Kalmar

Bo Jonsson Grip owns a dozen of fortresses, among else Finnish Åbo, Tavastehus and Viborg, Swedish Kalmar and Nyköping plus those he has built himself, Bjärkaholm, Ringstaholm and Gripsholm, the apple of his eye. He's often residing on Gripsholm just outside Mariefred.

He is the most important man in Sweden, wealthiest and most powerful as the head of the council and he leads the struggle against the royalty to prevent German influence in Sweden.

Bo has been married twice, first time with the rich Margareta Porse who died after a short time while she was giving birth. Bo Jonsson let deliver the baby who unfortunately died after one day. Rumour is that he let the surgery happen only because he wanted the inheritance right of his spouse.

The second marriage was with a beautiful German, Margareta Dume, who had many admirers. One of these were Karl Nilsson, a noble from Sudermannia. He was stabbed in front of the high altar in the church of gray brothers in Stockholm. It was rumoured that Bo Jonsson Grip was guilty, although he had witnesses who swore that he hadn't been near the church. Nine days later however Karl Nilssons estate was in the hands of Bo...



Krister Nilsson Vasa


Ulf Karlsson av Ulvåsa


Ture Bengtsson Bielke


Axel Pederssen Tott


Algot Sture


Tord Bonde Röriksson


Laurens Ulfsson av Aspenäsätten


Karl Ulfsson Sparre av Tofta

Henrik Karlsson, Henricus Caroli Archbishop of Uppsala, Prima Suecia​

Peter Kristiansson, Petrus Xtianus, Bishop of Skara​

Nils Hermansson, Nicholaus Hericus, Bishop of Linköping​

., ., Bishop of Åbo​

., ., Bishop of Växiö​

., ., Bishop of Västerås​

., ., Bishop of Strängnäs​

Noble Families and Dynasties



Grip

Tomas Jonsson m. Katarina Ulfsdotter
- Margareta m. Sigurd Djokn
- Johan m. Ingeborg Bosdotter (Natt och Dag)

- - Bo m. 1) Margareta Petersdotter (Porse), 2) Margareta (Greta) Lambrektsdotter Dume Viceroy of Sweden, Officalis Generalis
- - - Knut m. Ermegard Bylow
- - - - Katarina
- - - Katarina m. Nils Erengislesson


The possessions of the Grip Dynasty



Aspenäsätten

Birger av Aspenäs
- Filip m. Cecilia Knutsdotter
- - Ingegerd m. Karl Tjälvesson av Fånöätten
- - Birger + 1280 m. Ulfhild Magnusdotter
- - Johan + 1280 m. Ingeborg Svantepolksdotter + 1341
- - - Knut + 1347 m. Katarina Bengtsdotter + 1350
- - - - Ingeborg m. Erik Valdemarsson av Folkungätten
- - - - Filip
- - - - Birger
- - - - Cecilia + 1350
- - - - Magnus
- - - - - Ingeborg
- - - - Jon + 1359 m. Helena Laurensdotter
- - - - - Knut d y + 1359

- - - - - Bengta m. Lars Leopard Filipsson
- - - - - Ulf m. Gunhild Uddormsdotter
- - - - - - Orm
- - - - - - Knut
- - - - - - Laurens



Ätten Vasa

Nils Kettilsson +1381 m. Kristina Stjärna
- Krister (Cristiern) *1365
- Ramborg
- Ingeborg



Bielke

Ture
- Bengt m. Ingeborg
- - Ture
- - Sten



Tott

Peder Axelsson + 1375 m. Juliana Grubbe
- Axel



Sture

Anund Sture + 1360 m. Katarina Näskonungsdotter + 1331
- Magnus m. Karin Algotsdotter + 1379
- - Algot
- - Ingegärd



Bonde

Rörik Bonde + 1364 m. Ramborg Nilsdotter (Vasa)
- Tord



Ulv

Karl, den döve
- Ulf
- - Ingeborg
- - Filip
- - Ulf av Ulvåsa
- - - Karl

- - - - Ulf
- - - - Karl



Sparre av Tofta

Ulf Åbjörnsson
- Karl * 1317 m. Helena Israelsdotter
- - Margareta
 
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[anchor=provinces]THE PROVINCES OF SWEDEN[/anchor]

Sveriges Landskap



"The realm of Svitjod (Sweden), Snorre says, is divided into many provinces. One of these areas is Västergötland, Värmland and the Marks (Dal, the forest parts near Norway). It's such a wide realm, that one bishop who lives there has over 1100 churches as subjects. The second area is Östergötland, where the other bishopric is with Gotland and Öland. The last two islands alone together are larger than a bishopric. In Svitjod proper there is an area called Södermanland, too a bishopric. Then there is Västmanland or Fjerdhundraland, too a bishopric. Thereafter is Tiundaland, the third part of Svitjod proper. The fourth province is called Attundaland. Then there is Sjöland (Rodland or Roslagen). The fifth area is everything east of Svitjod."
- Snorre Sturlarsson 1178-1241


Västergötland

Towns in Västergötland with city rights:

Falköping
Skara
Kungälv
Marstrand
Jönköping

Östergötland

Towns in Östergötland with city rights:

Linköping
Skänninge
Söderköping
Kalmar

Västmanland

Towns in Västmanland with city rights:
Arboga
Västerås

Uppland

Towns in Uppland with city rights:

Enköping
Sigtuna
Stockholm
Uppsala
Östhammar

Gästrikland

Towns in Gästrikland with city rights:

Tiohärad

Värend, Finnveden och Njudung

Towns in with city rights in the Tiohärad provinces:
Växjö



Södermanland

Towns in with city rights in Södermanland:

Stockholm
Nyköping
Strängnäs
Södertälje
Torshälla
Trosa


Närke

Towns in Närke with city rights:

Örebro

Värmland

Dal

Österland

Towns in Österland with city rights:

Borgå (Porvoo)
Åbo (Turku)


Cities applying for city rights:

Skövde
Lidköping
Gävle
Hedemora
Eksjö
Sölvesborg
Ulricehamn
Vadstena
Vimmerby
Viborg (Viipuri)
Raumo (Rauma)
Nådendal (Naantali)

Bishoprics of Sweden:

Archbishopric of Uppsala
Bishopric of Växjö
Bishopric of Linköping
Bishopric of Skara
Bishopric of Strängnäs
Bishopric of Västerås
Bishopric of Åbo


The Realm of Sweden is divided into four lands;
Svealand - Sweden Proper
Österland - Eastland


Each land are divided into provinces (landskap)
Each Province is divided into hundreds (härad)
Each hundred is divided into parishes (socknar)
 
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[anchor=castles]CASTLES IN SWEDEN[/anchor]

...and other important Swedish buildings


Since a long time ago the defence of Sweden has relied upon farmers and light infantry, often armed with nothing but hayforks and thick sticks. The early medieval Swedes had a moving defense. When attacked they took their belongings and moved backwards, often to pre-prepared places. This usually demoralized the invador to the point that he returned home again. Later, Sweden established a fortified defence, fortifying places worth defending. There you could hold your ground until help arrived from neighbouring people, whom were notified by blowing a horn. That's how castles, and later when people moved towards the safety of the castle, cities were invented and founded.

During the late 12th century the farmers began paying tax to the king. The king then built more and improved fortified positions usually near the old ones to house the bailiffs and store arms and soldiers in case of rebellion. During the 13th century they also founded less fortified castles more suited for the purpose of collecting taxes, and those were called Fasta Hus, fortified houses in English. In general those are rectangular buildings which includes most of the vital functions of a house like representation premises, somewhere to sleep, kitchen and administrative parts. Those were usually fortresses with the main part built of stone, usualy with several floors. Öresten, Kindahus and Stynaborg are examples of Fasta Hus. A famous castle-builder was Birger Jarl, the viceroy of Sweden during his life time and the founder of Stockholm. The words "...Byggde åtskillige Fästen til Rikets försvar vid fiendtlige anfall..." can be read on his tombstone which roughly means "...Built many fortresses in the spirit of the defense of the realm in case of enemy invasions...".

The church also founded bishop castles, for example Läckö or Husabyborg, each with their own servants and footmen. The nobles built fortresses as a sign of their wealth and power rather than for the defence of the realm, like Torpa and Vinsarp, and then especially in Västergötland. This, together with the fact that Västergötland as a border province between both Norway and Denmark was invaded countless of times has made Västergötland the most fortified province in Sweden since 1050 until today. There are several kinds of castles today

  • Barfredsborgar - a lone main tower in stone
  • Borgar - A fortified building with tall walls around a main tower in stone.
  • Kastaler or Tornborg- Circular or square stone towers surrounded by a palisade or a small stonewall with defensive abilities. As such, the tower is only used as a last resort if the defensive walls are failing. The house is usually inside a neighbouring wooden farm
  • Kastellborgar - This is usually a Kastal, but with taller walls and perhaps even towers in the corners of the walls. The courtyard was filled with buildings, e.g. Aranäs
  • Kyrktorn - A fortified church
  • Motteborgar - A fortress built on a artificial hill, surrounded by a palisade.
  • Enkelhusborgar - A fortified house or estate

At first, all castles were built of wood, both the house and the fortress. The models were the great churches, and when the churches began to reinforce their walls with stone to prevent both fires and attacks in the early 12th century the castles followed. This happened either in connection with a reparation of the fortress, expansions, or of course when new castles were built. Stone was gathered from nearby and the brick was burnt on spot. For banks and moats though, the by far cheapest material was used: mud and sand. However, wooden palisades have survived and are still used on a lot of places, if not else than to further reinforce the expensive stone walls defense capability. What the castle was defending was of course also relevant for how large it was and what it was built of. There are few parishes without an old castle mentioned in the legends, but those were usually small wooden "motteborgar". Building such towers and calling them castles was a way for poorer dynasties to gain prestige. As the weapons were further developed and modernized the walls also got thicker and more solid. They were usually filled with mud since building thick walls of stone or brick was way too expensive, even for the more wealthy dynasties.

Albrekt av Mecklenburg's Royal Castles

Slottet Tre Kronor


Castles owned by the church

Castles of the Grip Dynasty

Bjärkaholm


Gripsholm


Korsholm


Åbo Slott


Viborg


In the year of our lord, 1283, Torgils, son of Knut, launched a third crusade against the heathens in Österland, with His Holiness agreement, to end the quarrels between Tavasts and Karelians. In connection with these brave deeds he decided to build Viborg castle which today marks the easternmost point of the eastern border of the Swedish realm.

Tavastehus

Tavastehus Castle was founded during Birger Jarl's crusade against the Tavasts. The castle has two floors.

Kastellholms Hus


Kastellholm was founded in the 1350s and is built on one of the small islands of the Åland archipelago. It consists of a living part, a small courtyard and the Kure Tower. Everything is surrounded by a ring wall and as extra protection there is a natural moat, several series of poles and floating ring bars that protects both the castle and the castle harbour. The castle is built around two old farms, the main parts with the gate tower around the inner courtyard. The northern and western wings are around the outer courtyard, and the castle is also neighbouring the old royal estate on Åland.

Castles of the Aspenäs Dynasty

Aspenäs

Castles of the Vasa dynasty

Rydboholm


Penningaby

 
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General
Jun 7, 2003
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[anchor=religion]RELIGION IN SWEDEN
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The Christening of Sweden

The victory of the Christian missionaries in the ninth century was the beginning of the establishment of Christianity in Sweden. But it was not until the eleventh century that it became much stronger.

In the twelfth century many churches were built. This was a way of showing the Church's power to the people. At first they were made from wood and then later made of stone. These churches were also supposed to protect people from evil spirits.

The Church then had most of the power. Together with the king, laws were made and courts were established. Every province of Sweden had its own precise laws. These were based on peace and justice. The laws of Västmanland declared: "The land shall be built with law and not with deeds of violence".

The Church even has its own system of taxation. This obviously makes the leaders of the churches and the priests very rich. They have their headquarters in: Västerås, Sigtuna, Linköping, Eskilstuna, Strängnäs and Skara. The society is still "ruled" by the leading families. Thanks to these laws, thralldom and blood feuds are forbidden since the establishment of equality in 1335.

Catholicism

The Schism

The archbishop of Uppsala, prima Suecia, supports the Roman pope Urbanus VI as we believe he is the one and only holy father.

Monasteries in Sweden


Workers building a monastery


When the first monks came to Sweden they built monasteries with the money they received in support from the King.
The first monks were invited to attend by King Sverker. They were called the Cisterci Brothers. The monks learned that Swedish people possessed new knowledge about the building of houses, masonry etc.
The monastery was a collection of several large houses which included: a chapel, a dining room, a dormitory and a guesthouse. Strangers often used the guesthouse which was why the monks became well-known for their kindness. The monks desisted from greed, pride and they had no possessions. The monks devoted themselves to service, teaching in the schools and studies in different forms. They transformed the surroundings into thriving areas of agriculture. In the gardens they grew plants and experimented with new medicines and new technology for cultivating. The medicines were used in the monastery hospitals.

The monasteries meant a lot for Sweden since it connected the country with the rest of Europe. The oldest monasteries are Nydala in Småland (which was founded in 1143), Alvastra in Östergötland (1143) and Roma on Gotland (1164). There many of the prominent churchmen started their time as monks.


Vadstena

Motherhouse of the Brigittine Order, situated on Lake Wetter, in the Diocese of Linköping, Sweden. Though the abbey was founded in 1346 by St. Bridget with the assistance of Magnus II and Blanche of Namur, St. Catherine, on arriving there in 1374, with the relics of her mother St. Bridget, found only a few novices under an Augustinian superior. They chose St. Catherine as their abbess. She died in 1381, and it was not till 1383 that the abbey was blessed by the Bishop of Linköping.


Bridget of Sweden

She was the daughter of Birger Persson, governor and provincial judge (Lagman) of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter. Her father was one of the wealthiest landholders of the country, and, like her mother, distinguished by deep piety. St. Ingrid, whose death had occurred about twenty years before Bridget's birth, was a near relative of the family. Birger's daughter received a careful religious training, and from her seventh year showed signs of extraordinary religious impressions and illuminations. To her education, and particularly to the influence of an aunt who took the place of Bridget's mother after the latter's death (c. 1315), she owed that unswerving strength of will which later distinguished her.

In 1316, at the age of thirteen, she was united in marriage to Ulf Gudmarsson, who was then eighteen. She acquired great influence over her noble and pious husband, and the happy marriage was blessed with eight children, among them St. Catherine of Sweden. The saintly life and the great charity of Bridget soon made her name known far and wide. She was acquainted with several learned and pious theologians, among them Nicolaus Hermanni, later Bishop of Linköping, Matthias, canon of Linköping, her confessor, Peter, Prior of Alvastrâ, and Peter Magister, her confessor after Matthias. She was later at the court of King Magnus Eriksson, over whom she gradually acquired great influence. Early in the forties (1341-43) in company with her husband she made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. On the return journey her husband was stricken with an attack of illness, but recovered sufficiently to finish the journey. Shortly afterwards, however, he died (1344) in the Cistercian monastery of Alvastrâ in East Gothland.


Bridget recieving one of her many revelations

Bridget now devoted herself entirely to practices of religion and asceticism, and to religious undertakings. The visions which she believed herself to have had from her early childhood now became more frequent and definite. She believed that Christ Himself appeared to her, and she wrote down the revelations she then received, which were in great repute during the Middle Ages. They were translated into Latin by Matthias Magister and Prior Peter.

Bridget now founded a new religious congregation, the Brigittines, or Order of St. Saviour, whose chief monastery, at Vadstena, was richly endowed by King Magnus and his queen (1346). To obtain confirmation for her institute, and at the same time to seek a larger sphere of activity for her mission, which was the moral uplifting of the period, she journeyed to Rome in 1349, and remained there until her death, except while absent on pilgrimages, among them one to the Holy Land in 1373. In August, 1370, Pope Urban V confirmed the Rule of her congregation. Bridget made earnest representations to Pope Urban, urging the removal of the Holy See from Avignon back to Rome. She accomplished the greatest good in Rome, however, by her pious and charitable life, and her earnest admonitions to others to adopt a better life, following out the excellent precedents she had set in her native land. The year following her death her remains were conveyed to the monastery at Vadstena.


Catherine of Sweden (right) and her mother, Bridget of Sweden(left). Painting from the Högsby church in Smalandia.

Catherine of Sweden - Heliga Katarina

Bridget had eight children, one of them being Catherine. She was born in 1331 and died 50 years later, only eight years after her mother's death. Catherine was wed with the knight Edgard van Kyren against her mother's will, and despite the marriage Catherine often was by her mother's side.

In 1350 Catherina and Bridget travelled to Rome to try and get permition from the pope to found a new monastery order in Vadstena. The wait in Rome was lengthyand Catherine never got to see her husband again. He died a few years after Bridget's arrival in Rome. It took twenty years until Bridget got her order recognized by the pope.

Immediately when Bridget got the answer she wanted she ordered the creation of the monastery in Vadstena. But God had in a revelation ordered Bridget to go to Jerusalem and the holy land of Palestine before she went back to Sweden. Of course Catherine and her two brothers Karl and Birger made her company on her pilgrimage. It was Catherine and her brother Birger who were given the responsibility to see that the relics were brought back to Vadstena. It took seven months for them to go home again, not without problems.

The world expected Catherine to fulfill her mother's wish to complete the large monastery under construction, which she also did. Catherine became the first abbess of the monastery. Catherine's attributes are the hind and the lamp which often are included when she is depicted.

Ingrid of Sweden

Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived under the spiritual direction of Peter of Dacia, a Dominican priest. She was the first Dominican nun in Sweden and in 1281 she founded the first Dominican cloister there, called St. Martin's in Skänninge. She died in 1282 surrounded by an aura of sanctity.

The Finnish Crusades

First Crusade

The first crusade to Österland took place between 1155 and 1157 when king Erik (the holy) together with bishop Henricus in the name of God invaded Finland. This was the first time Sweden got a real foothold in Österland, although it’s probable that via the Vikings travels there were "Swedish" colonies there during the Viking era hundreds of years before the first crusade. A document from the 1170s tells about the Finns, and how they always promise to keep to the Christian faith and are eager to ask for priests who can raise them the Christian way, but when the army departs they deny the faith and harass the priests. Except for these things, little is known of the first crusade.

Second Crusade

Sweden definitely wanted to conquer the land of the Tavasts (Tavastia or Tavastland) in south central Finland to prevent the Russian principality of Novgorod to get a foothold in the area. The second crusade probably started as a defence against a rebellion but emerged into a external war against various independent Finnish tribes, mainly Tavasts and Karelians in the east. Tavastland was since the first crusade a part of Sweden but the real power Sweden had in the area was very weak. With the second crusade the border was moved even further eastwards and thus it was, seen with Swedish eyes, a success. Åbo in south western Finland became a bishopric during the first half of the 13th century and the first bishop was Thomas, first mentioned in 1234. Thomas actively battled Tavasts together with the Swedish viceroy Birger Jarl and to confirm the new claims they build a castle in Eastern Finland that they call Tavastehus. Tavstehus becomes the centre of administration and it is from here heathen Finns are either force baptised or, if they refuse, executed.

One year later the Swedes face resistance when they go further east – the Swedes had entered the territory of the city republic Novgorod. Swedish sources hardly mention this event at all but in Russian ones you can read that Alexander Nevskij beat the Swedes on the shores of river Neva in 1240. Neva connects the large Lake Ladoga to the Finnish gulf where Torgils Knutsson once founded the fortress of Landskrona in 1293. Alexander had already in 1239 organized a defence and placed guard posts on each road connecting Novgorod and the shores of the Finnish gulf. A chief of one of the Finnish-orthodox tribes called Pelguse had warned him one year earlier that the Swedes were preparing to land an army by the outlet of Neva.

As Birger Jarl had returned home to Östergötland before the battle of Neva since his son, crown prince Valdemar, had been born recently Thomas, the bishop of Åbo, was responsible of the command of the army against Novgorod. The defeat at Neva was a personal loss for the bishop and he has to resign as bishop five years later. Thomas’ power had been close to unlimited before the battle of Neva but when cardinal Sinibaldo Fieschi took over the papal seat as Innocentius IV in June 1243 it was the end of his career. Bishop Thomas had also faked papal bulls and tortured a person who had opposed him until the person died so in 1249 bishop Thomas was removed and had to spend the rest of his time in a monastery on Gotland. The bishop seat was empty until 1249 when the king’s chancellor Bero was appointed new bishop by Birger Jarl (since the Swedish king, Erik Eriksson was infirm and lived on his castle Visingsöborg on an island in Lake Vättern)

Third Crusade

In 1249 Birger Jarl had conquered the central parts of Finland. When the Tavasts had been suppressed Sweden looked even further eastwards. There in the far east lived another Finnish tribe, considered at least as rough and cruel as the Tavasts. These people were called Karelians and they lived as neighbours to the Russians around Lake Ladoga in the east, an area that was called Holmgård during the Viking Era. King Valdemar Birgersson had already complained to the pope about the furious raids of the Karelians into Österland and the pope had sent a letter to the archbishop of Uppsala issuing a crusade against the heathens. Nothing came of that crusade however, since Valdemar in 1275 lost the crown and realm to his brother Magnus (Ladulås). Magnus thought that the internal domestic issues were enough as it was and didn’t want to bother expanding the realm even further. He did renew the old ban on Visby merchants to carry weapons in Karelia but that was about all he bothered in the east.

However, it wasn’t only the Karelians who kept raiding and pillaging the now christian Österland. Russians, or rather Novogorodskey pillagers were just as much of an issue, if not more. In 1292 both these enemies haunted the Tavasts with such a fury that the bishop of Åbo, Magnus, had to remit a part of the church taxes to try to reduce their misery. Then the marshal of Sweden, Torgils Knutsson, decided that it was enough and decided to travel there and see if it was possible to get peace also in this corner of the realm. The bishop of Västerås, Peter, and a few other priests made him company and these Christian men converted and baptised “the suppressed heathens” to Christianity. Because, they said, “…only then, when the cross of Christ has been raised in these dark and gloomy forests and when the doctrine of Christ can be teached freely among them, only then it is possible to cure the disturbance…”


A respectable navy was equipped and in the spring of 1293 the marshal and the priests together with their armies sailed across the Baltic sea to Österland. Without dismay the marshal went deep into the Karelians lands and they were forced to submit to his mighty weapons. They gave up and let themselves be baptised to Christianity, either freely or headless. Just like Birger Jarl founded Tavastehus to confirm his conquest, Torgils also founded a castle. In a protected bay in the eastern part of the finnish gulf he built a large fortress that would serve as the corner stone of the Swedish realm and also for the whole of Christianity. The fortress was set as the eastern border of Sweden and Torgils decided to call it Viborg while the Finns called it Viipuri. An unnamed man was appointed keeper and he was “…of such mind that he dared watch an angry heathen in the eyes”. Thereafter Torgils returned to Sweden.

When the Novogorodskey heard about the Swedes’ land gains in Karelia and that they also were building a fortress to confirm their claims the prince of Novogorod himself gathered an army which he lead as it marched towards Karelia. The Tuesday of March 30th 1294 the Novgorodskey army assaulted Viborg. However, despite the fact that they significantly outnumbered the Swedes they couldn’t do much against the modern thick walls, and so they established a camp outside and waited. Then came the spring, suddenly but expected and the Novgorodskey got obvious problems when the water began to flow around the fortress. This in combination with the horses’ food starting to run dry made the invaders retreat and thus the first siege of Viborg was over. A test that the castle had passed with verve.

The First Chronicle of Novgorod​
“In 1293 the Swedes came and founded a town in the land of the Karelians. … During the same fast the grand prince Andrej sent prince Roman Glebovitsch, Jurij Mischinitsch and the chief of thousands, Andrej with a small army of Novgorodskey to the Swedish city. They assaulted it furiously the Tuesday in the fifth week of the fast (= March 10th) and a good man, Ivan Klekatschevitsch, was killed by a shot out of the city and many were wounded. The same night God punished us for our sins by summoning a thaw, the water was flowing under the city and the horses had no food; and they retreated and everyone came back safe and sound; and Ivan Klekatschevitsch, who was brought home, died of his wounds.”
Kexholm was an old fortress in heathen hands, raised on two small islands in the Vuoksen river, near its outlet into Lake Ladoga. Its original name was Käkisalmi which was Swedified into Kakensholm and later Kexholm. When the Novgorodskey left Viborg the Swedish keeper left the castle and reached Kexholm which was conquered. Kexholm administered whole Karelia, fourteen hundreds around Lake Ladoga, and those were now transferred to Viborg. Sigge Lake was appointed keeper of the “new” fortress, and he is described as “…a intrepid and brave man, only after the keeper of Viborg in his mind…”. Most knights who had conquered Kexholm returned to Viborg after this. Sigge Lake’s said bravery was tested immediately when the supply of provisions were beginning to run dry. He sent a few men to Viborg requesting more provisions and also reinforcement of manpower. Soon after the expedition had left Kexholm they returned and alarmed Sigge about a numerous enemy army had been spotted and that it was marching towards the undermanned fortress.

The Novgorodskey surrounded the castle and attacked and attacked, night and day. Sigge and his men defended though and managed to keep them outside the walls whatever direction they chose to attack from. “This, their bravery and masculinity was very admirable, since they were both starving and significantly outnumbered…”. This worked as long as there was hope that the requested reinforcement would come, but when time passed and no reinforcement arrived the provisions ran dry. On the sixth day without food nor sleep
“…they were totally powerless…” Sigge councilled with his men and they decided that it was better to try to try to break through the Novogordskeys and fall in battle with honour than to die of hunger or be taken into captivity. “Then they went out to fight, as it no longer was worth it to wait. Bravely they attacked the Russians but Sigge and his men were too few and too powerless. All their bravery went to nothing but none of them gave themselves into captivity. They were only two, who managed to break through and escape. Everyone else fell in the battle, and their bodies remained on the battlefield. This happened in 1295”.

The Neva campaign of 1299

Marshal Torgils Knutsson began to prepare for war again as soon as the marriage of king Birger Magnusson was over in November 1298. The Christmas passed while materials were gathered and troops mobilized and when the spring had came and the water level been raised the fleet sailed to Österland with the army onboard. This time it didn’t unload in Finland however, but they sailed along the coast until they came to the outlet of the insignificant river of Ochta. There they found a spot suitable for a harbour to the ships. The place was an isthmus and here Torgils decided after having counselled with his men to found a new fortress
“…which would become a bulwark against the attacks from the east and to give protection to the Swedish possessions in Finland, so that they would have peace and calmness to develop and prosper.” The castle was called Landskrona and Russian chronicles tells that ”…possibly exaggerating slightly, the marshal with a building contractor not only from his mother country but also a famous builder from Rome has raised a fortress of such an enormous power that the Swedes in their arrogance called it Landskrona, which in their language means ‘the crown of the country’.”

When Novgorod heard that the Swedes were moving the border even further east a frantic activity emerged within the city. The army was mobilized and the fleet equipped. The army went down alongside Neva while the ships sailed to an island in Ladoga where the main part of the Novgorod navy was. In the Swedish camp it was reported that
“…a large bunch of Russians are on the small island in Lake Ladoga. More than a thousand heathens are there…” Torgils let a eight hundred men strong army under the command of a brave and intrepid man called Harald to begin a counter attack. Soon they had loaded on the ships and entered “Hvida Träsket”, the Swedes name for Ladoga. The island where the Novgorodskey were was sixty nautical miles from the shore. When the Swedish navy had come half way a large storm came that made it impossible to reach the island. Instead they tried to sail downwind towards the coast of Karelia, which eventually succeeded. On the morning land was spotted but the sea was still in such unrest that the ships had to be drawn up on land so that they would not be battered. When the sun rose they saw that they had come to the outlet of a stream, close to a farm. Here they stayed for five days during which they pillaged and burned the nearby village. The village was so poor though that the food didn’t last longer and they had to set sail again.

While sailing on Ladoga the days passed without anything particular happening to the Swedes and they went back to Landskrona. Suddenly one day though, they saw how the river was filled with
“…more than a thousand.” 'lodjor' (a kind of galleys). It was the Russian army that had come to try and stop the construction of the fortress. They constructed several rafts, packed them together, lit them on fire and then they sent them down with the stream against the Swedish boats. Torgils immediately ordered to put iron chains past the stream and attach them to poles (just like he had done in Jarlehus not far from where he lived on Aranäs in northern Västergötland). The manoeuvre was successful; the burning raft stopped and burned down without any damage done to the Swedish navy. When the Novogordskey noticed that the Swedes had managed to resist their burning raft they unloaded their ships and “…the Swedes saw how their armour was shining and their helms and swords were glimmering. A Russian interpreter stated their number to thirty thousand and when you could see the whole Russian army together the statement seemed truthful.” The assault began but Torgils and his men were well prepared.

Around the castle they had created a large bank and on it there were eight towers, each one provided with loopholes. In front of the bank there was a deep moat with its water supply from the streams around. By the southern flank the regiment from Helsingland was located and that’s where the Novgorodskey put the largest part of their assault force. With full power they attacked and according to the Rim chronicle it was a tough battle where they beat and cut, stinged and shot. The Novgorodskey tried and tried but every time a Swede fell there was another new and fresh soldier to take his place. This was when a young man with
“…a cheerful mind, Mats Kettilmundsson, who summoned the Upplanders around himself to make a counter attack against the Russians”. Two foreigners who had come to Sweden during the reign of Magnus Ladulås, Johan and Henrik von Kyrnén, joined him and so did a young man called Peder Porse.

When everyone were ready they pulled out of the fortress and went over the moat attacking the assaulting Russians. The Russians became “terrified” as they weren’t prepared for a counter attack.
“They cut their way through the heathen scum so that many Russians found themselves sweating blood” and the Novgorodskey retreated quickly. The yet undefeated Novgorodskey cavalry and the survivors from the assault, at least 10 000 men still, bided their time and their shiny weapons could be seen glimmering against the dark edge of the forest. Mats Kettilmundsson didn’t stand still for long until he told Torgils that “- I want to challenge the whole Russian army, if he doesn’t bring me to where he comes from in captivity before I can. If herr marshal allows me, I will wake up the Russian if he’s sleeping.” Herr Mats got the marshals permission and “…without hesitating he saddled his horse and dressed himself in his shiny iron armour. When he was done he hurried down, mounted his restless stead and rode over the bridge with such fury that the hooves roared. When he reached the other side of the bridge he turned around and shouted up to the bank and said 'Live well! If God gives me victory you shall soon see me again. Shall I fall I’ll enter heaven!’ Then he cheerfully turned around again to face his enemy”. However, the Russian interpreter had sent a message to the Novgorodskey.

-
“Here is a man”, he said to the Novgorodskey, “you should be able to see him where he is on his proud horse; he is one of our best men. Now he wants to challenge you about life and goods and captivity. Whoever defeats him will gain his captivity, and he shall follow him as the slave follows his master. But if he is the victor, his defeated enemy shall follow him in captivity.” When the interpreter had presented the Swedish fighter’s challenge the Novgorodskey went away to council.

-
Who may this fighter be”, they asked themselves, “who wants to challenge us?”

They looked at each other.

“They are sending a hero, and not the best one. It is sure that whoever dares facing him will fall swiftly.” Noone wanted to accept the Swedish hero’s challenge and Mats Kettilmundsson sat the whole day at his steed waiting to break a lance with the bravest man in the enemy army. But as there came noone he had to sit there in peace. When the sun began to set and no enemy had been seen Mats still sat on the horse. Not until the sun was set and the night had come he turned around and went back to the castle. The next morning the Swedes prepared to attack, but as they looked over the bank they couldn’t see any enemies anymore. During the night they had left.

Rumours of the bravery of Mats Kettilmundsson and people as brave as him were spread across the realm. As the Novgorodskey left Landskrona Torgils could now peacefully finish his construction of the castle. When it was done and the defence was organized he called for the nobles' army which was on the navy and went down towards the outlet of the stream to go with the first favourable wind home to Sweden. The wind didn’t come however, and Mats Kettilmundsson and some people like him didn’t feel like being idle in the fleet so they let unload a few horses and rode into the land of the Ingrians, Ingermanland. Wherever they rode they pillaged and burnt whatever that got in their way and anyone who opposed them were cut down. Thereafter they turned back to the ships and when the wind finally came they set sail and came happily back to Sweden. This was 1300.

Three hundred Swedes were left in Landskrona, and those were under the command of a knight, herr Sten, described as a powerful, strong and brave man. Perhaps you think that three hundred men were a too small force to protect such an important stronghold but the victories against the Russians had given them such experience that they were deemed enough, especially as the castle now was finished and the food supplies were rich. Sweden had learnt from the mistake at Kexholm, but they were apparently unable to foresee another vital thing. The inside of the walls were used as pantry but as they hadn’t thought of that the damp made them highly inappropriate for such use diseases broke out among the men. The men joined together and complained.

-
“Shouldn’t we contact the marshal and let him know about our misery?” said one of their spokesmen and continued: “I know he won’t take much time, and the first ship that can be sent after the winter will come to us with fresh food – living cattle, swine and sheep and he’ll also send fresh manpower to defend the castle and bring the ill ones home.”

-
“We do not want to make the marshal’s heart cry, God can cure our problems.” Sten replied harshly, and that was the end of the discussion.

One day they saw, two nautical miles from the fortress, a small troop of novgorodskey. From Landskrona they seemed like they were about to dam the river Neva. Some people were getting timber and others were making poles that they put down in the stream. Herr Sten immediately ordered some of his men to mount and ride there to see what the enemy was doing. When the expedition of about twenty men approached the Russians disappeared quickly. When the expedition arrived noone was there, the lumber and some axed poles were the only thing they could see. The Swedes then turned and rode back to the castle, but they didn’t come long before they met a large bunch of Russians who blocked the way. Herr Sten and his small band were able to break through though. They rode a bit further and again they faced a bunch of enemies, this time even larger than the last one. A furious battle emerged but also this time herr Sten and his enemies managed to break through.
“The Swedish swords fell so repeatedly and close on the helms of their enemies that they rang as if they were anvils of the blacksmith”, the chronicle says, “and whoever in the small band got attacked he skilfully unmounted his opponent.“ The Swedes then finally returned to Landskrona but many had been wounded, among them herr Sten himself. It was now clear that a great Novgorodskey army were outside the walls and soon the fortress was surrounded from all sides. This was May 19th, 1301.

Slightly less then sixteen fighters were healthy, and herr Sten himself was wounded – how could it be possible to defend this extensive building against an army who could reinforce the tired ones with fresh soldiers? The Novgorodskey were soon over the banks and threw in fire torches into the houses. The fires reached a long way up in the sky and more Novogorodskey soldiers in uncountable lines rushed over the bank. The ill people were either burnt to death or cut down. Some of the knights escaped to the cellar and herr Sten was killed. Another Swedish man called Karl Hack had taken the clothes of a dead Russian to be able to join the others in the cellar, but was cut down by his own men who took him for an enemy. Those in the cellar were bravely defending themselves, and the Novgorodskey seemed unable to reach them. Eventually they promised not to hurt the Swedish soldiers, only if they came out and they also did. They were not captives of the enemy, which wasn’t appreciated at home in Sweden. In the Rim chronicle it says
“we pray that God will forgive them, the fact that they surrendered to heathen people, while she calls for Gods blessing of the people who has fallen on the bank for their faith and honour.” Novgorod demolished the conquered fortress, stone by stone, and eventually there was only a smoking pile of gravel of “the Swedes proud Landskrona”
 
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[anchor=defence]SWEDISH DEFENCE[/anchor]

Svea Rikets Försvar


Weapons


Hand-to-hand combat​

Man has always gone to war and will probably always do. The weapons has gone from stones to bows, from wooden clubs to long spears and swords. The axe and the spear are the weapons that always works and are easy to make and thus they are the backbone of the Swedish arms. Most soldiers has, of course, also a knife in their belt.

There are five kinds of swords used by Swedish swordsmen:

  • One Handed Sword



    The "normal" sword intended to be used with one hand. The blade is usually 75 - 95 centimetres long according to the owner's preference while the handle is 13 - 20 cm which makes for a total of between 90 and 110 centimetres. It's usually double-edged although one-edged swords (so called "backswors") does exist. The blade can be formed differently depending on what it's intended to be used for, broader blades are usually used for slashes while slender and sharp blades are used to stab the enemy. During battle a one handed sword is usually combined with a small shield in the other hand.

  • Rider's Sword



    A Rider's sword is usually used by a horseman and was invented in the recent late middle ages as a variation of the one handed sword. The lightness of the sword also makes it good to bring as extra protection for noblemen during travels for example.

  • Longsword



    The long sword is a longer variant of the one handed sword but yet not as long as the great sword. It's usually 100 - 120 centimetres in total of which the handle occupies 18 - 23 centimetres. This sword is very allround, with a longer variant you can use it on horse back or as a two handed sword while a shorter variant is easily used as a one handed sword by a skilled soldier. The sword type was invented in the 12th century but became populair in the beginning of the 14th.

  • Great Sword



    The great sword is usually between 110 - 135 cm, of which the handle is 18 - 23 cm. Apart from the above ones this sword must be used with two hands and does thusly not allow a sword or any other form of protection. It can also only be used by footmen, but it's a fearsome weapon and it's very effective against armours especially. Just like the longsword the great sword was known in the 12th century but didn't get used much until the beginning of the 14th when armours became more powerful.

  • Two Handed Sword



    A two handed sword can have a blade up to 180 cm long and a 35 - 45 cm handle. It demands a lot from its owner but with the right training a two handed sword is perhaps the most fearsome sword that exists. It can't be used by horse, but it's often used by footmen to break through enemy pikemen formations. As the name implies two hands are needed to wield this sword


Archery​

The bow is an ancient weapon which has grown more and more important in the Medieval times. The most famous archers are from Wales or England, but we know how to use a bow in Scandinavia too. The best bows are made of a specific kind of spruce and they are between 170 and 185 centimetres tall. A good archer can fire ten arrows a minute and reach over 250 metres! Although a bit less when practicing precision archery, an archer armed with a 70 pound longbow can easily place fifteen of fifteen arrows inside a 3.6*3.6 metre square on a distance of 150 metres.

For hunting and against unarmored enemies arrows with thorny and broad tips, so called "broadheads", that causes a lot of bleeding and are hard to remove before the victim is already dead are enough. More sharp-pointed arrows, so called "bodkins", are used on the arrows when facing a heavily armored enemy though such as knights or heavy infantry. Those are easier to remove from the body, but they can penetrate both chain mail and upholstery. The armour makes it hard enough already to remove the arrow once its found its way between the plates and into the body, so the enemy might very well be dead before the arrow is removed anyway. There are also allround arrows.

It takes a lot of regular training to become a good archer. To battle you bring bunches of 24-30 arrows, but you bring a lot more in barrels as the personal supplies quickly runs dry. An army often brings hundreds of thousands of arrows stored in arsenals, all those arrows are made by professional arrow-makers hired by the king. The brutal effeciency of archery does have a backside though, as they are the most hated unit type by the enemy. The French for example are rumoured to cut off fingers from the right hand of an archer one at a time when he's captured.


A more modern kind of bow is the crossbow or arbalest which has recently arrived in Sweden and become very populair. A crossbow consists of a prod (similar in appearance to a bow) mounted on a stock similar to a rifle stock, which has a mechanism to wind and shoot its bolts. These bolts are typically called quarrels, and do not depend upon lift as arrows do. The stock and trigger of hand-held firearms may have been copied from crossbows. Crossbow bolts must be made to have consistent weights as the mechanical process of engaging a bolt forces a more uniform process than that of using a bow and arrow. This consistent performance was part of what made the crossbow historically a significant force in warfare.
Crossbow

A crossbow contains a string which is held in place by a nut when the bolt is loaded and the cross bow is engaged (referred to as at full cock). Typically, the nut is at the end of the shelf (also called the bolt rest). The prod ("bow") and stock of a crossbow were made of good hardwood, such as oak or hard maple. The central European bows were rather exotic as they were constructed of inlays as well as specialized woods. The prod is attached to the stock with hemp rope, linen, whipcord, or other strong cording. This cording is called the bridle of the crossbow. Much as a horse's bridle, it tends to loosen over time, and must be carefully respliced when appropriate.
The crossbow shelf is a flat section above the stock with a straight groove for the bolt to rest upon and travel along as it is shot. The strings for a crossbow are typically made of strong fibers that would not tend to fray, and whipcords are also quite common. Crossbow bolts are lighter than arrows, but must be sealed with a varnish to ensure their consistent weight. They also typically only have two fletches per bolt instead of three commonly seen on arrows. This prevents them from snagging on the crossbow nut as they are shot.


The crossbow is easier to learn than the normal bow and despite a lower rate of fire (2-5 arrows a minute) the corssbow is a very respected and feared weapon. The knights, especially, hates the crossbow as it's so easy to learn that any simple hill billy could kill a knight from short distance. Both pope Innocentius II and pope Urban II tried to outlaw the shooting with crossbow on other christians in 1097 and 1139 respectively without effect, the crossbow was so effective that noone really cared about what the pope said.

Artillery​

Artillery is a recently new discovery and is mostly used as defense in castles and fortresses. Due to its unability to move easily it's considered too ungainly to bring to battle, and thus it's primarly used as a defensive tool. First the cannons were loaded with arrows, but today rocks are used and they are loaded from the front through the mouth. The only cannons that exist in Sweden today are the two protecting the castle Tre Kronor in Stockholm.

Instead, the trebuchet is a much more common kind of artillery. The trebuchet is by far the most powerful weapon that exists and can cause tremendous damage. A trebuchet is moved by a counterweight. The axle of the arm is near the top of a high strutted vertical frame. The shorter arm of the balance carries the counterweight and the longer arm the sling that carries the shot. The sling is usually braided from rope, and has a captive end attached to the arm, and a free end whose loop slips from a hook. A trigger, usually a toggle in a chain, holds the arm down after the trebuchet is cocked. Cocking is often performed with windlasses. Because of the long winding time, a trebuchet's rate of fire was extremely slow, often not more than a couple of shots an hour. Yet some of the smaller types of trebuchets could fire a couple times a minute.

In operation the long, nonweighted end is pulled toward the ground, and held by a trigger. When the trigger is released, the arm pulls the sling out of a channel in the base of the frame. When the ball moves close to the top of its arc, the free end of the sling slips from the hook, and the missile flies free. The trebuchet's arm and frame then oscillate for several cycles and the efficiency of a trebuchet can be improved by helping the weight to fall more nearly straight down. One method is to place the weight in a swinging or jointed bucket. The sand or stones in the bucket can also be less expensive than fixed metal weights, as well as being easier to gain access to on site. Another trick is to place the supporting frame of the trebuchet on wheels. These improvements may improve overall throwing distance.

Aiming a trebuchet is best practiced with a scale model. Usually small adjustments in elevation can be made by changing the angle of the hook holding the free end of the sling, a process which requires a heated forge on a full-scale engine. For larger, quicker adjustments, the length of the sling can be altered. The perfect release angle is when the missile will fly at roughly 45 degrees, because this optimizes range. After the desired range is achieved, the trebuchet can be moved toward or away from the target. Small adjustments from side-to-side can be made by moving the channel in which the missile and sling slide in the base of the frame.

Knights​

Although the roots of the word knight are connected to the Old English cniht, meaning page boy, or simply boy, or Dutch and German Knecht, or servant, the ideas of knighthood are argued by many to be tied to the Roman equites (see esquire). While a knight was the servant of The Crown and of God he was also very often a wealthy junior nobleman.


During the middle ages, the term knight has evolved to refer to a mounted and armoured soldier. Originally, knights were warriors on horse-back, but the title became increasingly connected to nobility and social status, most likely because of the cost of equipping oneself in the cavalry. Knighthood eventually became a formal title bestowed on those noblemen trained for active war duty. At the beginning of the knight’s history, horsed soldiers were not so important in war; instead, foot soldiers were the main fighting force in all North European armies. Later, as invaders kept attacking the lands that the Roman Empire had, until recently, occupied, the knight became more and more important in obtaining victory. One of the reasons being that the invading armies had cavalry (mounted troops) and the northern European foot soldiers found it increasingly difficult to maneuver against their superior foes; as a result, knights were greatly needed in battle, and the knights in shining armor that we keep in mind today were born.
 
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[anchor=treaties]FOREIGN RELATIONS[/anchor]


Claims of the House of Mecklenburg:

Gotland - currenlty ruled by the hansa - not pressed
As the king of Sweden, Albrecht considers Gotland as a part of his kingdom

Skåne - currently ruled by Denmark - not pressed
As the king of Sweden, Albrecht considers Skåne as a part of his kingdom

Denmark - currently ruled by king Olav III - not pressed
Albrekt IV was recognized as the heir of Denmark in 1375.

Karelia - currently ruled by Novgorod - not pressed
As the king of Sweden, Albrecht considers Karelia a part of his kingdom. Currently he's bound to the treaty of Nöteborg which splits Karelia in a Swedish and Novgorodskey part.

Relations

Countries considered friends:

Teutonic Order +100

Countries considered neutral:

Denmark ±0

Norway ±0

England ±0

Hanseatic League ±0

Scotland ±0

Countries considered enemies:

Novgorod -100

Note: this is the official Swedish view on their neighbouring countries and they are by no means shared by everyone
 
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[anchor=library]THE ROYAL LIBRARY[/anchor]


Important Posts
The Royal Council of 1383 - I, II, III

Peace Treaties
[anchorlink=noteborg]Treaty of Nöteborg[/anchorlink]​


August 12th 1323
[anchor=Noteborg]The Treaty of Nöteborg[/anchor]
Nöteborgstraktaten, Dagavor Orekhovskoy


This treaty is signed to establish the border between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Novgorod and as a token of friendship to end the hostilities between the two soverign countries. The treaty is signed at the castle of Nöteborg on the island of Orochovets near the outlet of Neva into lake Ladoga.


I. The hostilities between the kingdom of Sweden and the republic of Novgorod shall cease immediately and eternal peace shall be recognized by the two countries.

II. The border will be drawn from the outlet of Siestarjoki in the Finnish gulf to the coast of the Kajaeno sea. This means the prince of Novgorod will give up control of twelve parishes in Karelia to the Swedish king as a token of friendship.

III. Sweden will be neutral in possible conflicts between the republic of Novgorod and the inhabitants of Estonia.

IV. No new fortresses or castles shall be built near the border by neither country in order to try to expand one's claim in the area.

V. No Swedes will be allowed to purchase land in the Novgorodskey parts of Karelia.

VI. Subjects of Novgorod will have limited rights to hunt and fishing inside the Swedish partof Karelia

VII. Both subjects of Sweden and Novgorod will be allowed to sail the River Neva as they please.

VIII. Trade in the republic of Novgorod will be free, both on land and sea.

IX. Escaped debtors, thralls and criminals will be given up and returned unconditionally if found in one of the signing nations.

X. In the case of the treaty being violated by a single person the relations between Sweden and Novgorod will not decrease as long as the violator is punished.

Signed,

Swedish Negotiators:
on behalf of Magnus Eriksson, the king of Sweden

[X] Erik Turesson, knight
[X] Hemming Ödgislesson, diplomat
[X] Peter Jonsson, diplomat
[X] Vämund, priest

Novgorodskey negotiators:

[X] Jurij Danilovitj, The Prince of Novgorod

Mediators:

[X] Ludwig von Gruten, hanseatic merchant​

 
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[anchor=stuff]Things to do:[/anchor]

Make first title more fancy
Catholicism
Descriptions for provinces
Finnish Crusades -> History Section (?)
Nobles -> Castles
History of castles -> Defnense post
Castles post renamed to nobility

 
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[anchor=history]THE HISTORY OF SWEDEN[/anchor]

Chronica Regni Suecia



Stone Age
-4000 Before Christ

The first found traces after the Ice Age are from northern Scania 13'000 years ago. From 8'000 years ago great settles are found along the coastal line of that time. 6'000 years ago agriculture was established. After a change of climate 5'000 years ago most of the farmlands were abandoned for colonization of the coasts and Baltic islands (for instance Åland), followed again by spread of settlements in the Scandinavian inland 4'000 years ago.

Bronze Age
4000 - 500 Before Christ

About 4'000 years ago the contacts between South-Scandinavia and the European continent increased, and approximately at the same time the central and northern parts of Scandinavia came in closer contact with Russia and Siberia. Cattle and stock-raising became important in the South, and in the North a complement to hunting, fishing and gathering.

Iron Age
500 Before Christ - 1050 Anno Domini
At the rise of the Roman Empire contacts between South/Central Scandinavia and the European continent seems to have surged, as indicated by rich finds of import objects and houses with stone foundations. Runic characters are introduced. Denmark dominates southern Scandinavia. Germanics often serve as mercenaries for the Roman armies. In early 6th century a group of disposed mercenaries of the Heruli tribe is said to have resettled in Västergötland.


Viking Age
500-100 Anno Domini

Approximately 500-700 A.D. the Sámi population is pushed further north during a Germanic expansion. Svenonians ("Svear") come to play a dominating role, and the Goths ("Götar") a subordinate role. Ironworks make the Svenonian area west for Uppland rich, and is the ground for extensive contacts also with what today is Russia, Finland and the Baltic states. The Åland islands are believed to have been colonized around 550 A.D.

The realm of the Vikings is probably better described in terms of water-ways and coastal strips along their trading routes, an not in terms of land areas. On some places there ought to have come up permanent trade stations, as for instance at the Ladoga shore.

The best and most secure settlements were deep in bays ("vik" in Swedish) were only skillful navigators could find their way. The town Birka is founded in the 800:th century at such a position. As it looks there was from the beginning a strong garrison protecting Birka all around the year.
800-1050 Viking age
It was a prosperous period. Swedish Vikings traveled trading fur and slaves to Russia, Byzantium and all the way down to the Arab caliphate at Baghdad. Possibly also silk trading was of major importance until the 970s.

The Svea kingdom gets a leading position, at least it gets best known abroad. Its capital is in old Uppsala. The Svea vikings seem to have had a couple of trade stations along the water-way from lake Ladoga to the south. The trade through Russia was in competition with the Guts from Gotland, Danes (including Scanians) and with east goths from Östergötland. Swedish Vikings possibly also inhabited Åland and coastal areas in Österland and Norrland.

The Russian leader Rurik was obviously a Viking Chieftain, who settled in Gårdarike (Russia) in the mid 9th century. Novgorod and Kiev were important stations on the way to Persia and Byzantium.

At the end of the previous millennium the trade and plundering became less profitable, and the magnates on the great plains became more powerful than the Viking leaders at the coast. Sweden at this time can be said to consist of six rich agricultural provinces with great plains, their neighboring dark woods (see the table) and the more independent people at the coast and in the archipelago.

King Olof Skötkonung converted to Christianity, was banned from the pagan Svealand, got accepted as a refugee in Skara (or as king over Västergötland?) where Sweden's first bishopric was established.

Early Middle Ages
1000 - 1383 Anno Domini

Sweden becomes Christian, and the country is united into a single kingdom. Due to pressure from the mighty Danish kingdom, which had united maybe a hundred years before, the warring landscapes of Sweden settle into an uneasy truce and start to elect a king to rule them as one kingdom. This kingdom was often called the "Svea kingdom", because traditionally this was the only stable entity and the only kingdom that foreigners had heard of. Västergötland (often with Värmland and Dalsland) remained the most independent province for many hundred years.

The royal power and authority were limited to leadership in combat and sometimes to function as the highest judicial authority.

Norwegians and Svenonians participate in attempts to make the people on the coast of Finland Christian. During the second half of the century the Svenonians seem to have a succeeded with colonies north of Åland.

1076 Bishop Adam of Bremen writes the history of the bishopric of Hamburg, describing the christianization of Sweden, which is one of our main sources to the early history of Scandinavia.

After the Christianization Sweden is ruled by kings elected by the nobility - most of the time from two rival dynasties. Formerly kings were elected by each "landsting" (that was a combined court and law-giving meeting of the free men in a province). First in 1319 the peasantry would again be officially, participating in the election of kings.

The title king of the Svears did however not give much power. Neither among the Svears nor in more distant parts of the country. The forces of particularism were very strong during the first centuries and often there would be two or three claimants to the throne engaged in civil war.

This time is characterized by the power being divided on so many local magnates assuring no individual command too much power, and becoming a threat against the other magnates. A suitable king could well be chosen from Götaland, perhaps because that person would find it hard to make his power be felt in Svealand.

Viceroys (jarlar) were commanders of the fleet (leiðungr) and deputy in Svealand when the king resided in Gothia.

In 1152 a papal cardinal refuse to organize a separate Swedish archdiocese tired of the quarrel between Götar and Svear, who couldn't agree on one of the two alternatives: Linköping in Östergötland or Uppsala in Uppland. Until the beginning of the 13th century Östergötland appears as the stronghold for the Christian Kingdom, with (pagan?) opposition particularly in Uppland.

Sweden conquers the Finnish woods for Catholicism through a series of "crusades". Most of the coast on both sides of the Bothnic sea, Åland and the plains in southern Finland of today is believed to have been colonized by Svears already. (After the first crusade 1155 Uppland was rewarded with the archdiocese.) Finland is not participating in the elections of kings until 1362.
The dominance in the Baltics by the Gutar from Gotland island is competed by the Germans in the Hansetic League, who from 1161 has an agreement with the Gutar. The situation for Götar and Svear is not improved, but Gotland gets weaker, with civil war in the end of the 13th century, and finally defeat under the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag 1361. Swedish kings had ambitions to rule also over Gotland, but the Guts were not too interested.

The first one to yield such power that he could issue grants of land in both Götaland and Svealand (showing that he had territorial power), was Knut Eriksson (late 12:th century). In his early days this son of the throne claimant Erik, "Erik the saint", used the title king of Götaland, but after coming out on top in a civil war he also called himself king of Svealand and also used the titles together. Before his days the king can be said to have wielded power only with the consent of the local upper class.

Knut Eriksson is also believed to have initiated the building of stone towers in Kalmar, Borgholm and Stockholm which later were extended to castles. Stockholm, as situated at the very center of the realm, between the rich Svealand provinces, becomes the constant residence for the crown's administration.


The crown and the realm increase in strength and stability - slowly, but though. The common people play the non-speaking parts in the drama of the noble families' competition with each other. And the kings? They participated in the competition as much as they could. The kings more than once were appointed at very low age. Probably it was easier to agree upon kings in the three-years age for the noble magnates who then had a long time to strengthen their influence.

In 1248 at the church meeting in Skänninge (in Östergötland), on demand from the catholic pope, the Swedish church introduces celibacy for priests, and the priests should now be appointed by the bishop. Earlier, priests were elected by their parish (or its noble master) and they married. The independence of the Church is now secured.

From the latter half of the 13th century the kings are requested to "cooperate" with [maybe sooner: be balanced and controlled by] a Council for the realm, with representatives for the highest nobility: a chancellor (kansler / rikskansler), commander in chief (marsk / riksmarsk), minister of Justice (drots / riksdrots), the bishops and some other peers.

1319 it is settled how king's election should take place, requiring the king to take an oath that no one could be imprisoned unless he'd been found guilty according to law, and that only domestic men were to be appointed as bailiffs. As a national law is proclaimed 1350 the power of legislation and taxation is still formally regarded as an issue solely for the landsting of the ten provinces to decide (1362 Finland was acknowledged as the eleventh).

Until the Plague of 1350 the forests were increasingly colonized for agriculture. Then followed a long time characterized by decrease in population and wealth. The reasons are not well known, but a change in the climate might be a possible explanation.

During the 1350s the conflict between King Magnus Eriksson and the strong Royal Council aggravates. The noble opposition is led by the high-born Birgitta Birgersdotter in Vadstena (Bridget of Sweden) and seconded by the crown-prince Erik.

The king and his main councillor, his alleged lover Bengt Algotsson, had debts and after the Plague also diminishing taxes and eastern wars to tamper with. When Bengt Algotsson 1353 was made duke with Halland in the west and large parts of Finland in the east as his duchy, and the Prince Håkon 1355 took over the crown of Norway, then the Crown-Prince and the State Council lost their temper.

As a result of the following civil war Bengt Algotsson was expelled and most of the realm came under the rule of the Crown-Prince Erik. The king was allowed to keep the insignificant provinces of Närke, Västergötland and adjacent parts of Småland.

After the crown-prince and all of his family suddenly had died 1359 his father Magnus Eriksson regained power, but the realm is weak and the nobility is split and fighting. Denmark conquers Gotland and regains Scania, and King Magnus is 1362 forced to abdicate in favor of his son King Håkon. It is in this sorrow time of the Swedish realm as representatives for the Finns are invited as equals to the Diet. Thereby the eastern provinces were given status as totally integrated parts of the realm.

Soon a nephew of Magnus Eriksson, the German duke Albreckt of Mecklenburg, is asked to claim the crown by a faction of the Royal Council. Albreckt defeats King Håkon and the ex-King Magnus Eriksson in a battle. Ex-king Magnus is imprisoned in Stockholm. The magnates of three provinces (Värmland, Dalsland & Västergötland) on the border to Norway agree however that Håkon is the rightful (or better?) king why their provinces were to belong to Norway.

From 1371 the Swedish State Council has bound the King Albreckt with promises to follow its advices.

Late Middle Ages
1383- Anno Domini
 
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[anchor=sources]SOURCES OF INFORMATION
[/anchor]


Snorre Sturlarsson

Snorre Sturlasson was an Icelandic author, poet and nobleman who lived between 1178 and 1241. The father was one of the mightiest chiefs on the island, Hvamm-Sturla Tordsson of the Vosse dynasty, and his mother was also from a noble family. When he was only three years old his parents left him and he spent his childhood at the Uddan farm on Iceland. His master, Jon Loftson, teached him how to read and it was through him Snorre came into contact with the literary world of the time, the farm had works from many famous European authors. The step-father also tells Snorre stories, for example he tells him about the sack and plunder of Kungahälla of 1035. Jon had grown up with a priest in Kungahälla called Andreas.

Snorre sailed to Norway in the summer of 1218 where he first visited Skule Jarl during the winter and then in the summer of 1219 he visited chief judge Eskil Magnusson and his wife Kristina Nilsdotter in Skara, a city in Västergötland. Snorre keeps writing everything down and he gets trophies to bring home. One of the gifts is the banner that king Erik Knutsson of Sweden raised in the battle of Gestilren in 1210. Eskil and Kristina were both of royal families and they told him stories about the history of Sweden. Eskil is also writing down the Västgöta laws during this time, an important event in Swedish history.

Snorres Edda

Snorres Edda was written by Snorre in the beginning of the 13th century. His reason to begin writing was not to preserve the ancient pagan religion but to save the art of poetry and to bring it forward to next generations. Thatäs why large parts of the books are about poetry and how you write poetry. But "...to know how you write", Snorre discussed, "...and to be able to preserve the old art of poetry that's called 'kenning', you have to know the ancient Norse myths". Although his seemingly peaceful occupation as an author Snorre lived in an age where both sword and axe always had to be kept nearby, even to a author and a poet. Bloody intrigues were a part of everyday life and also Snorre had to know how to wield a sword. At the same time he was well respected for his wisdom and knowledge.

In 1215 he became chief judge in the Icelandic "Alltinget", a sort of council. However, dark times were approaching. The relations between the Icelandics and the Norwegians became more and more violent and Snorre offered to mediate by becoming the kings trusted man on the island. However, by doing so he came into conflict with many mighty men and families on Iceland. Old and strengthless he was stabbed in the back at the age of 63 by Jarl Gissur's men in the bath house of his own farm Rökahult (Reykholt) on Iceland a chill September night

Olaf Tordsson Hvitaskald

Many of Snorres family members would become famous as well, one of them being a nephew called Olaf Hvitaskald (Olaf White Poet). Also Olaf was poet and chief judge, although not as famous and successful as his uncle. When his father, Tord Strulasson, died in 1237 he went to Norway where he visited king Håkon Håksonsson and duke Skule. Thereafter he also visited Valdemar Sejr of Denmark and porbably also Erik Eriksson of Sweden. In 1240 he participated in the battle of Oslo and between 1252 and 1256 he became chief judge on Iceland. Hvitaskald wrote poetry about all three of the Scandinavian kings, and it is also believed that he continued his uncle's work on the Edda. Olaf died in 1259

Sturla Tordsson

Another one of Snorres nephews was Sturla Tordsson. Also he was a poet and history writer, born ~1217 on Iceland and dead July 30th 1284. Together with his brother Olaf he often visited his uncle Snorre which of course influenced the two brothers' interest in poetry and writing. Sturla was a peaceful man, wise and eloquent but with a sensitive conscience. He was forced to leave Iceland in 1263 by powerful enemies of his and he chose Norway as his new home although he wasn't really fond of the Norwegian king who wanted more and more power over Iceland. King Håkon was in Scotland when Sturla came to Norway though and the son of Håkon, Magnus Lagaböte, was instead the one who recieved him. Sturla wrote and read honour poems to both Magnus and his father during the time he spent in Norway.

Sturla also wrote two sagas about Håkon and Magnus, and he also wrote about Birger Jarl and big parts of the Sturlunga saga. In 1271 he returned to Iceland with a new law book in his hands issued by the king and thereby he became the new chief judge on the island.

Odd Snorresson

Odd Snorresson was an Icelandic monk who lived during the second part of the 12th century. He was active both as an author and a historian and wrote a saga during the 1190s about the Norwegian viking king Olav Tryggvasson. Sigrid Storråda is also present in these texts as Olav intended to marry her. They met in Kunghälla in 998 to decide about the economic details, but that meeting ended with Sigrid leaving the Norwegian city in rage. Odd worked at a monastery on the Thingeyrar island north of Iceland, and as he was monk he wrote in latin. The monastery was the first on Iceland, founded ~1125.


Adam of Bremen

A medieval writer called Adam von Bremen "the least important priest in the church of Bremen". Adam worked for Adalbert, the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen from 1066 to his death in 1072. He travelled a lot meeting different persons, for example he visited the Danish king Svend Estridsen who knew the situation in Sweden after having lived in exile ~1035 - 1047, probably with king Anund Jakob. Adam probably never travelled north of Denmark but he wrote Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum which tells a lot about the life in Scandinavia. Adam died in 1076.

Saxo Grammaticus

Saxo Grammaticus was a Danish author and history writer who lived until ~1214. He was most likely of a noble dynasty and probably related to Absalon who was archbishop of Lund until 1201. It was Absalon who told him to write the Gesta Danorum (The Achivements of the Danes), a chronicle that would tell the history of Denmark in latin. Sixteen volumes of the book was released, of which the nine first are based on old myths and sagas. The seven remining ones tells about the time in Denmark from king Harald Blåtand (Harald Bluetooth) to Knud Valdemarsson. Saxo was born Hvide, but changed his name to the more latin sounding Grammaticus. Why? He was apparently very skilled in grammar.


Eric's Chronicle - Erikskrönikan

Erics Chronicle was probably started just before duke Eric died on Nyköpings Hus in 1318 and was finished a few years into the 1320s. It is believed that it was on the intitiative on Erik himself, Erik was the second son of Magnus Ladulås. It's not as old as other chronicles, but probably the most well known. It's written like poetry and it portrays Swedens history from Erik Eriksson to Magnus Eriksson, i.e. the years between 1229 and 1319. The main person is duke Erik himself but also his supporter, Mats Kettilmundsson, is pictured as a great hero.

The Skänninge Annuals

The Skänninge has got their name from the place where it's believed they were once written, on the monastery in a village called Skänninge, in Östergötland. The text is written in latin of course, and they were written in the beginning of the 14th century by a unknown monk. The annuals begins with the year of 1208, although we do not know if this is the original beginning. They end abruptly in 1288, although the continuation has been found in other chronicles.

Lesser Sources
  • The Novgorod Chronicles
  • The Rim Chronicle
  • Karl's Chronicle




THE COURT OF SWEDEN IS OPEN
 
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Gripsholm, Mariefred


"Don't you want to be king, Bo? Don't you want a fancy golden crown and more titles than you could ever dream of? Don't you want to travel around in Europe meeting with other kings and queens of Europe?"
Karl Karlsson av Ulfåsa was the one asking this time. God knew Bo had got that question countless many times before. Not just from Karl's father who had been Bo's friend until he died in Napoli in 1372 during his mother, Holy Bridget's pilgrimage to Jerusalem. But also from countless other Swedes who were tired of the German duke. The same German duke who had been so welcomed by the nobles before was now one of the most hated men in Sweden with only about a third of the nobles and clergymen supporting him and extremely few if any in the peasantry. What was holding the country together know was the German mercenaries who had been placed by the duke to keep order.

Bo opened his mouth as if he was to say something but closed it again. Instead he sighed. Karl was much younger in the mind than in his body, which was both a benefit and a weakness. He was unintelligent and rarely thought before he acted, while on the other hand he was quick in the thought and bright when it came to understand things. Bo smiled and made another try saying something. He spoke to Karl as if he was a little child, with a fatherly voice.

"Karl, you're very like your father. Naive, but bright and quick in the mind. Sometimes however, you need to sit back and think about the pro's and con's of a desicion or else you might end up like your father did. Your father sinned, did you know that? His death was the punishment of God, Bridget was ashamed of him. Maybe I'll tell you the story son, maybe I will, one day. You're certainly old enough to hear it. Or perhaps it's best if it remains untold, some stories are forgotten you know son, and rightfully so. Only our children and brothers can decide what of our stories will be told about us in the future."


He paused, sipping the wine he had imported from Germany. Expensive wine, but Bo was the richest man Sweden had ever seen and ever would see. With possessions all over the country he had an income which could supply him with barrels of wine, every day. When Karl didn't say anything, the poor boy was probably shocked by these news, Bo decided to answer the question.

"Do you know what it means to be king, Karl? Do you know how heavy a crown can be? I have seen the other side of the coin, my son. I have seen the ugly head of royalty and I don't want to see it again. A king is subject for hatred. Everyone in this country blames their problem on the king. It isn't bad luck that Sweden has been destabilized for centuries, it isn't incompetence by the rulers that throws Sweden into civil wars every now and then. The Swedes are a rebellious people with lots of problems, the Swedish peasants are more free than in any other European country, but with freedom comes wishes of more freedom. I have enough trouble with my own land, only a madman would want to govern the whole land. A madman like the Mecklembürger duke curently on the Swedish throne, I admit."

Karl, who seemed to have forgot the news of his sinful father as fast as he was struck by them wasn't convinced. He was more excited than ever, looking at the old man in front of him with eyes burning of enthusiasm. It was an ugly and short man in front of him, crooked and with a small hunchback. This man was the most powerful man in Sweden and if Sweden was ever going to get a Swedish king it was going to be this man!

"But Bo, Sweden needs a strong king! A king who can unite the country and defeat the foreigners who wants their dirty hands on our crown and a king who can solve their problems! The people wants a Swedish king, a king like you!"


"I am old, Karl, and with age comes weakness. It doesn't look like it from the outside but between you and me, I'm getting weaker and weaker and I believe the lord is counting my days. I'm actually in the process of drawing up a will on how to split my possessions. Honestly I don't think my son is capable of governing it all, and I have told him so too."

Bo sipped the wine again. Expensive drinks were drunk slowly, so that you enjoyed every drip of it. Wastefulness was also a sin. Karl didn't say anything, the fire in his eyes had been replaced with sparkling amazement, as if he had just been told something very important and was trying to figure out what it meant. Bo couldn't help to smile at the young man.

"And besides, what does it mean to be king other than having a fancy title? I've got a personal empire stretching over one third of Sweden, I'm wealthier than any king has ever been in Sweden. I'm the most powerful man of Sweden, I could make the king bow for me if I wanted. Why would I want a crown and a title? Vanity is a sin Karl, it is hard work that is appreciated by the lord, and it is with hard work I have got what I have. I deserve every öre I earn, and I am proud of what I have achieved in my life."

Karl spoke now, and his usually so joyful and enthusiastic voice was replaced with something else, something serious. It was as if he was imitating Bo's adult voice.

"I wish I had an ounce of your wisdom Bo, and I would be able to become king of both the sun and the moon."

Bo laughed. It was a joyful laugh, which didn't go well with his slightly deformed appearance but still a laugh.

"Haven't you listned to anything I've said, silly boy! You don't want to be the king of the sun and the moon, at least not if they are as rebellious as the people who lives in this country. And I bet they are, for they are blessed and created by the lord, just like the Swedes and the Goths."

Bo stopped laughing and he got back to his normal serious self.

"May God be with you Karl, live a faithful life and don't go the way of your father. I'm leaving now for the sleep we all need, think of what I said and don't rush into decisions you shouldn't take."

With those words, the old deformed man rose with an effort

"The world isn't black and white." he whispered and dissappeared through the corridor towards his bed chamber, leaving Karl on the chair feeling like he was ten years old. His wisdom compared to this man's was at least proportional to a ten year old's to himself he stated dejectedly, and walked towards his own personal "guest" chamber in the castle. When he had been here for the fifth time in one month Bo had laughed at him and given him a permanent guest chamber as his own. If he only had a fraction of the knowledge of that man...
 

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An envoy dressed in the formal livery of the Order of Teutonic Knights arrives in Stockholm to present himself to the young King and the Regent.

zum Seine Majestät, Albrecht von Mecklenburg, und Seine Exzellenz, Bo Jonsson Grip

May I present a valued servant and veteran soldier, Ulric Loringen, who I am entrusting, with your permission of course, to serve in Stockholm as my envoy at court. I am sure Sweden and the Teutonic Order share a future of amiability and service to God.

May you continue to find peace in Our Lord,


Konrad III Zollner von Rothstein
Hochmeister, Der Deutscher Orden
 

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A letter arrives from Windsor Castle, England

Unto Bo Jonsson Grip as the head of the Regency, on behalf of His Majesty Albrecht of Mecklenburg, King of Sweden.


Your Excellency,
We extended our best wishes to the health of His Majesty Albrecht of Mecklenburg, and His Majesty’s government in Sweden.
His Majesty King Richard the second of England has heard great stories from your realm, but little facts are known by His Majesty’s government in England about the recent times in Sweden. We understand that Albrecht of Mecklenburg is the current King of Sweden, but from what I understand from rumours is that the King is not often in Sweden?
As His Majesty’s education progresses it has become more and more important that His Majesty is able to understand the other realms of the world, and therefore I would be greatly honour if Your Excellency would do us the great honour of informing us about the political situation of Sweden!
Also I know that Sweden is a land rich of resources and as trade and resources are always good for a realm, I have been instructed to look into what goods Sweden might be able to trade with England? The fur of the north is very good, and so are the great amounts of timber that I understand the North is filled with, and England is interested in both.

Once more His majesty King Richard the second of England extends his best wishes to the Kingdom of Sweden and its King, and we hope that all is well.


Written at Windsor, in the year of Our Lord 1383 A.D
On behalf of His Majesty Richard the second, by the Grace of God King of England and France, Lord of Ireland and Aquitaine , Sovereign of the Order of the Garter


Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk, Lord Chancellor
 

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Gripsholm, Mariefred


A knight. A live teutonic knight with the black cross on white background on his chest. Karl didn't believe his eyes when the carriage rolled over the short bridge and on to the courtyard of Gripsholms Slott. This was no usual knight, Karl recognized the colours and the cross from paintings. This was a crusader knight from Livonia, who had dedicated the very whole of his own life to the church. This was a man who had resisted seductions and desire only to serve the holy mother church. This was a man who had given up his nobility in search of even more prestige and piety as a knight, and thus he was of higher rank than mere mortals. The knight just below him was a man with guarantueed entrance to heaven. Here, at Bo Jonssons castle!

Karl supervised every move the stranger made from the window of his bed chamber and every step the knight took closer to the door made Karls admiration of Bo Jonsson greater. For there was noone else this man would want to meet, Bo was the mightiest man in Sweden and thus also the mightiest man on Gripsholm. Below this stranger now of course though. Karl got struck by curiousity, and as was usual for him he didn't think before he gave in to the temptation to run down and try to get a better look of the stranger lord when he dissappeared inside the large wooden doors. Possibly the mightiest man who had set his foot in Gripsholm, ever.

Karl ran down the stairs. Fell and scratched his arm on the rough stones but rose again and kept running downstairs. He had to get a close look at the stranger lord before he dissappeared into some private room with herr Bo. He was approaching the vestibule when he suddenly stopped. He thought of the conversation he had with Bo yesterday, didn't Bo warn him of these things? He thought for a while, tried to think hard but his memory escaped him. Would Bo be proud of him if he stormed into the vestibule, presenting himself to the stranger? Bo thought hard but when he didn't seem to refuse to remember anything he gave up and walked quietly towards the door. He opened it slightly and peeked through it and yes, there was the knight in all his glory, dressed in the formal lingerie of the teutonic order! Karls legs were eager to throw up the door and run to the lord but with all his will power he prevented them to do it. Instead he just stood there quietly. Listening.

*****​

"Wilkommen zum Stockholm, mein herr!" The sligthly deformed looking short man known as Bo Jonsson Grip had a faked smile on his lips when he met the Teutonic knight in the vestibule of Gripsholm Castle. The wealthiest man Sweden had ever seen spoke German with no accent whatsoever, as was required by most men with any sort of self respect in these days. Most bailiffs were Germans on the kings order, and they refused to learn any Swedish. The largest cities such as Kalmar and Stockholm were also inhabited almost exclusively of Germans. Bo Jonsson bowed in front of the knight

"My name is Bo Jonsson Grip and I am the owner of this castle and many others throughout Sweden. I am the drots err, the viceroy of Sweden and head of the riksråd, the royal council which helps His Majesty king Albrecht von Mecklenburg to govern his wide country. I have also been officialis generalis, the kings highest advisor, since 1369. It is a great honour to welcome a knight of the holy order here at Gripsholm, for you should know that knights such as yourself enjoy immense respect throughout this country."

"Tell me, what can I do for you, mein herr?"


Bo Jonsson Grip was handed a letter. He read through it, it was signed by the Grand Master himself. Suddenly, a door opened to the left of Bo and everyone's attention was drawn to it. Out fell a man in his 30s, with brown hair and young eyes. It was Karl, the silly boy. Bo cursed his name quietly so that the man of the church in front of him wouldn't hear, and then he said through closed teeth.

"Remove that man, please. At once!

Guards quickly took hold of the spy and roughly pulled him up to his feet. His eyes seemed to fill with tears, but Bo couldn't care less. Without any words he was pulled out of the room backwards, his eyes seemed to want to ask Bo to forgive him but Bo's expression on his face clearly told him not to.

"I'm really sorry about that little incident, the man is ill. Thinks he's 14 years old, the poor guy. He was my friend's son, and I take care of him, when he comes here. Didn't our Lord tell us to take care of the weak and protect the poor? I have lived a zealous life, mein herr, and I aim to please the church and our lord."

Bo looked around himself, as if he was looking for more spies. He knew Karls intention wasn't to spy, but he has to learn. To the knight it must surely have looked like a spy and if the teuton was going to give him important information from the grand master he didn't want him to be weary of spies

"Perhaps we should go somewhere more secluded than here? Please, follow me up to my working room. Leave your sword, mein herr. Noone here will hurt you, I give you my word."

Bo saw that the knight was unarmed and went the familiar way from the vestibule upstairs to his room. The very same room where he had told Karl yesterday about not giving in to impulses. Damn him, he's just like his father who ran into the married queen of Naples and kissed her lips, a crime for which God punished him with death. A sonson of the holy Bridget too, he should be ashamed of himself. Holy Bridget was a good woman, and Bo had himself financed most of the building of her monastery and the foundation of her order. Oh, the memories. He was getting old.

He entered the room and saw the knight follow him. The room was quite large, one of the largest on Gripsholm. A lone fireplace lit up the room and heated it. He motioned the knight to sit, while he went to the drink cupboard himself.

"May I offer you anything to drink mein herr? Wine from France or Germany? Beer from Bayern? I hope you can stay for dinner tonight by the way, for we will arrange a great one in your honour."

The ugly man smiled, obviously proud of his collection of spirits and wealth that he was trying to show off with.

"I trust you had a pleasant trip here, although the seas can be treacherous this part of the year. Tell me, what news do you bring from Marienburg? What words do you bring from the Grand Master?

If you were observant you could see a tiny small fire in the viceroys eyes, almost unnoticable. Bo saw some kind of opportunity here, that was quite obvious and although he didn't know what it was, he desired what this man had to tell.
 

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Ulric only spared a small smile for the boy who had so briefly intruded upon his audience. It invoked fleeting but faint memories of a childhood, something before the years of discipline. To the Swedish guardian, he merely nodded stiffly, following the tact of this odd man who appeared to have deep motivations. ”Of course,” he said in response to Jonsson’s suggestion of seclusion. From what the Grandmaster had instructed him, Scandinavians valued a sense of control over diplomacy. Fortunately, Ulric was disciplined naturally by war into giving away little in the manner of emotions or thoughts. If the Swedish politician were to ponder him, he would find himself confronted by a steely mask.

He nodded again at the offer of wine. Only sparingly, the Grandmaster had intoned, and then he must cleanse himself through exertion, praying for penance from the Lord for his cessation of sobriety. ”Marienburg yet remains as a bulwark of our faith in the face of pagans and their pretender allies. Sweden’s proximity lends itself naturally to friendship of shared virtue and values. The Order humbly asks to negotiate a possible provision of material support for our Crusades. Our enemies pause not and we cannot win this holy struggle alone.”
 

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For a brief moment, Bo Jonssons surprise showed in his ugly face. After that, a flash of disappointment until it went back to its normal wrinkled look. The tiny fire in his eyes was put out quickly by the knight's cold words that hit him like a cold shower in the early morning. This was a man of the holy order, and he dared asking this relatively poor noble from an obscure destabilized country in the north for money? Bo was paying more than a tenth of his income to the archbishop of Uppsala, the pope, the churches, the Vadstena monastery... and now he was required to send money to the crusader order of the baltic too? Wasn't donations supposed to be volountarily?

Bo Jonsson squinted his eyes as if he was trying to see through this mans real intentions. He had suddenly become very suspicious against him.

"Are the treasures of the order emptied already?" he asked. He felt like he had to know more before he let go of his well earned and deserved money to this man. He was hiding something, Bo got more and more convinced. "It's unfortunate that warriors of God has to spend so much time travelling around the courts of Europe begging for money instead of focusing on what they were founded for."

Still looking at the knight through squinted eyes, Bo waited for a reply.
 

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A letter arrives from Windsor Castle, England

Unto Bo Jonsson Grip as the head of the Regency, on behalf of His Majesty Albrecht of Mecklenburg, King of Sweden.


Your Excellency,
I thank you very much for that comprehensive account Your Excellency was able to send us about the situations in Sweden. I can assure you that His Majesty personally got very found off it, and it seems it has made His Majesty just more interesting in learning about the lands in the North.
His Majesty would therefore like to offer His Majesty’s personal gratitude towards Your Excellency. Also His Majesty sends word that Your Excellency must be aware off that the peasants, when irritated and under a disliked system, is very likely to rebel. His Majesty managed to destroy the Peasant rebellion of 81 here in England, but the rebellion has made His Majesty very cautious about peasants, and therefore we warn Your Excellency against trusting them, because they might rebel against Your Excellency’s rule. Then on the other side if they rebel against this German who holds the Swedish Throne that might be just fine for a man of ambitions…
So should this German be dethroned who would then be the King of Sweden?

England would very much like to start a trade with Sweden because England have good use for fur and timber, and we can supply Sweden with both weapons and luxuries if there is interest about that.
Maybe it would be possible for us to send one of His Majesty’s envoys to Sweden to talk more closely about such matters?


We wish you everything good, and once again extend our gratitude towards Your Excellency’s reply, and we look forward to hearing from Your Excellency again.

Written at Windsor, in the year of Our Lord 1383 A.D
On behalf of His Majesty Richard the second, by the Grace of God King of England and France, Lord of Ireland and Aquitaine , Sovereign of the Order of the Garter


Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk, Lord Chancellor
 

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Ulric remained impassive as Bo Jonsson Grip registered his displeasure at his request. The knight now understood better what the Grandmaster meant when he discussed the sensibilities of Scandinavian courts. As politely as he could managed, Ulric bowed deferentially. "If offense was given, pardon is asked. It is not the intention of our Order to bankrupt or impoverish the Swedish kingdom. It is indeed unfortunate that we must make these requests. Our holy Crusade will go forward, whether with our current funds or that which Our Lord provides for us in addition. We are strong, and it is only because your aid would make us stronger in the service of Our Lord, that we request assistance."

Ulric contemplated what else he could add to ressure the Swedish regent. "It is not my hope that this audience is merely our imposition on your time. Perhaps milord has issues of his own that he would see fit to discuss?"
 

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7
Gripsholm Castle

Bo sipped his wine while listening to the Teutonic knight. Bo felt like there was something unusal in the room, something with the titles which weren't right. He knew all knights who applied for membership in the teutonic order had to be of noble birth, and thus they were considered higher in rank than the average noble. Bo knew that he was below average in Europe although he was by far the most powerful in Sweden, but yet he was allowed to treat this man as a normal emissary. It also showed in the words of the knight, that this man considered himself first an envoy and second a knight. Bo was satisfied by the respect he got, and proud of himself that a knight of a holy order was asking for his pardon.

"If offense was given, pardon is asked. It is not the intention of our Order to bankrupt or impoverish the Swedish kingdom. It is indeed unfortunate that we must make these requests. Our holy Crusade will go forward, whether with our current funds or that which Our Lord provides for us in addition. We are strong, and it is only because your aid would make us stronger in the service of Our Lord, that we request assistance."

Bo looked at the knight for a second, placed his glass of wine on the table and then answered, still speaking in perfect German with a slight Mecklenburger accent.

Herr Loringen, my intention was not to express displeasure with your request as I believe it is every man's duty to fund the church's holy mission. As I have no doubt that the treasurer of the Teutonic treasury is a competent man I was merely pondering about where the problem was. For surely the knights of the church should not have to travel from town to town in search for funds, like the pity beggars on the streets. I will gladly share a small part of my wealth for the noble cause and I wish you luck in your future crusades. Bordering the heathens myself as the Lord of Viborg and duke of Finland I know their standards and morals and it is not a pretty sight."


"It is not my hope that this audience is merely our imposition on your time. Perhaps milord has issues of his own that he would see fit to discuss?"

A smile appeared on Bo's face when he heard this, wrinkling his unpretty face a bit more.

"I'm an old man herr Loringen, and old men are rarely busy. You see, time moves slower when you are old, I can assure you that I've got enough time."