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Eric IX of Denmark (The Kalmar Union)

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Eric IX/X/I
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Eric IX (Eric X in Svealand, Eric in Anglia)
King of Denmark
Reign 6th December, 1485 - 15th May, 1509
Predecessor Christopher I
Successor Christopher II
King of Svealand and Viken
Reign 6th December, 1485 - 15th May, 1509
Predecessor Christopher I
Successor Christopher II
King of Anglia
Reign 17th April, 1493 - 15th May, 1509
Predecessor William II
Successor Christopher I
Spouse Maria of Anhalt
Issue Christopher II/I

Karl
Margarethe
Elizabeth
Eric
Anna
Richaeza
Christian
Cnut

House Estridsson
Father Eric VIII
Mother Joanna of Oldenburg
Born 10th June, 1450
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died 15th May, 1509
Lubeck, Denmark

Eric IX was King of Denmark, Viken and Svealand (as well as ruling Estonia, Finland and Lade) in the late 15th century, and added Anglia to this in 1493, though would be forced into a desperate struggle to keep it. His reign would, for a time, define the limit of Kalmar power compared to the more established and wealthier kingdoms of central Europe.

The second son of Eric VIII and Joanna of Oldenburg Eric succeeded his brother Christopher I after he fell overboard and was presumed drowned in the Øresund in 1485. His succession was celebrated in Stockholm with a revolt against Danish administrators and Eric put it down in an over zealous fashion. His career as a lord in Pomerania had gotten him used to rebellious subjects and he felt honour-bound to treat the Svealanders in the same way, even though many counselled him to be more lenient.

His realms pacified he looked to involve himself in the Great Venetian War and allied with France. Danish troops would never set foot in Italia itself but successfully held their own against the massed cavalry of the Imperial-backed Auvergne during one of the war's numerous sideshows.

In 1493 William II of Anglia died, supposedly leaving the kingdom under the regency of his sister Anna of Norfolk. This situation soon became unworkable and instead the Anglian Witenage reached out to Eric. He was the great-grandson of Charles IV via his mother. Except he wasn't the only powerful relation who had a claim on the Anglian throne and his claim was quickly challenged by the Luxembourgois Emperor, Sigismund II.

Eric's ancestors had been singularly opposed to the extension of Luxembourg power in Germany, a byproduct of the struggle for Pomerania, and many other anti-Luxembourg states, such as Bavaria, saw the chance to knock Sigismund down a peg or two. As well as Bavaria Eric managed to secure the assistance of his Kalmar allies and under Prince Nils of Gothenland a Danish-Gothenlandic army brutally mauled the Saxons at Kyritz, taking much of Brandenburg. Over in Leifia Vinland and Álengiamark were busy with their own struggles however once the Great Northern War had been wrapped up Eric called in Denmark's debts and Vinland would end up providing some 2,000 men for the war. He would also successfully woo France into the war, however their entry would be offset by Wessex's declaration of war against Anglia.

In 1502 Eric arrived in Anglia, greeting his cousin Anna and his grumbling nobles for the first time. Crowned at Lincoln in September he ordered a siege of London, a possible nod to Cnut I's triumphant entry into the city in 1016, however Wessex had fortified the city considerably and the siege descended quickly into a bad-tempered slog.

Eric sensed the mood was changing and abandoned the siege, taking a considerable portion of the Anglian force to the continent. There he hoped another Lens scale victory could be achieved but none was forthcoming. In fact the Kalmar position slowly worsened and only the increased efforts of individual Anglian and Gothenlandic commanders really served to maintain some level of equality on the battlefield.

His inability to score a convincing victory in Anglia or Germany was hugely damaging to his own prestige and many Anglian nobles began wondering if the Luxembourg option would be better for the country. Anglia's tax receipts had been halved thanks to the loss of Flanders too which hurt their ability to provide troops for the continent. This feeling was dampened thanks to the efforts of Anna of Norfolk but it remained a potent idea. More pressing perhaps was his rapidly emptying treasury. Keeping the bloated Danish army in the field while food and tax yields fell at home was simply unsustainable. His chief ministers in Lade and Svealand were certainly corrupt, possibly incompetent. Svealand's nobles began the plotting in earnest to remove Denmark's yoke but, fatal to the struggle, failed to decide on a figurehead to rally around. The fight for independence would therefore be bound-up with a struggle for dominance amongst the Svealandic nobles.

Whether oblivious to the worsening situation or simply willfully ignoring it, Eric continued to govern Denmark as if it was business as usual. Perhaps this was for the best though, he was lucky to finish his rule without facing another major revolt, however they would plague his son's attempts to steer the unwieldy Estridsson possessions as a single unit. He did face the odd 'reappearance' of his brother Christopher I in 1496 in Lade when Olof Jernskjæg proclaimed himself to be the presumed drowned former king. Although he could have become the central focus of Ladish disaffection (and certainly there was much of that) his meagre support was quickly dealt with by lords loyal to Copenhagen.

In 1509 Eric would die. His collection of lands, tottering toward bankruptcy, were all inherited by his eldest son Christopher.

Family

Eric married Maria of Anhalt in 1471 and they had nine children:

  • Christopher II/I (1473-1535)
  • Karl (1474-1515)
  • Margarethe (1476)
  • Elizabeth (1478-1496)
  • Eric (1479-1540)
  • Anna (1482-1536)
  • Richaeza (1482-1547)
  • Christian (1484-1489)
  • Cnut (1486-1550)

Ancestry

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