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Burislev of Svealand (The Kalmar Union)

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Burislev
King of Svealand
Reign 1161 - 1169
Predecessor Magnus II Henriksson
Successor Kol
Full name
Burislev Sverkersson
House Sverker
Father Sverker
Mother Richeza of Poland†
Born 1149
Died 1169?

Burislev, or Boleslaw, was King of Svealand during the 1160s following the defeat and of the murderous Magnus II Hendriksson at the Battle of Mjölby.

Magnus's defeat was principally at the hands of Kings Sverker's son, Karl I of Gothenland. This would restore the House of Sverker to the throne of Svealand after an absence of six years. However the Svealandic nobles did not wish to be ruled by a Gothenlandic king again and so instead Karl set his twelve-year old half-brother Burislev† on the throne.

From the sources it suggests the young Burislev was intensely insecure, perhaps with reason considering the regicides which had recently rocked Svealand. He would spend his reign rooting out opposition, especially from within the House of Eric, the considerable family which Eric VI had left behind.

However he was not just concerned with his domestic position. He finally opened Svealandic horizons once more after two centuries of introspection. Pirates on the Baltic had been causing trouble for years, taking advantage of the political turmoil to raid coastal communities. By 1169 the Aaland Islands were part of the kingdom and Burislev had successfully raised taxes to pay for a navy.

He would die around the same year however, probably in battle with his brother-in-law Cnut Eriksson. His younger brother Kol would succeed him. Little is known about his personal life and it is probably likely he did not marry or have any legitimate children.

Danish sources say that Burislev and Kol were Karl's nephews, possibly the sons of his deceased elder brother John. However both kings were referred to as Sverkersson in the Upplandlagen so it is assumed they were Sverker's direct sons, probably with his Polish queen, Richeza.

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