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|Cnut I Eriksson|
|Cnut I Eriksson|
|King of Svealand|
|Reign||1173 - 1196|
|Spouse|| Cecilia Johansdotter|
Elisiv of Denmark
|Issue|| John I|
At first Cnut kept close to the Sverkers. His first marriage was to Cecilia Johansdoter, grand-daughter of Sverker and sister of the future Kings, Burislev and Kol, and by this union escaped much of the violence meted out to Eric VI's children and kin once Karl I of Gothenland reconquered the kingdom in 1160. However there obviously came a point when he could no longer ignore the plight of his family and rebelled against Burislev's rule. In or around 1169 Cnut and Burilsev met in battle with Cnut proving victorious. Burislev was killed but his brother Kol then defeated Cnut in turn. Cnut was exiled to Denmark and Kol took the throne. Cecilia disappears from the record at this point and her fate is unrecorded but their five children, including John I and Karin, were all still with their father.
In Denmark, Cnut made an alliance with Valdemar I and married Valdemar's cousin, Elisiv. He probably campaigned with his host in Pomerania. In 1173 Cnut returned to Svealand and defeated Kol at the Battle of Bjälbo. Cnut would be accepted by the Svealandic nobles as king. Both Denmark and Viken cautioned Karl I about challenging this new development and the church weighed in too, widely promoting Cnut as a Christianiser whilst the Sverkerssons had been happy to allow paganism to continue. Karl I had his own domestic matters to deal with anyway and would soon be dead.
Though Burislev had extended Svealand's authority to the Aaland Islands pagan raids still occurred along the coast. In response Cnut would raise several fortifications to aid defense, including one on a Stockholm island to protect the major towns of the interior, beginning its development as a city.
Cnut died in 1196 and his son John would succeed him. His daughter Karin would also rule in her own right in due course.