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Eric I of Denmark (The Kalmar Union)

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Eric I Evergood
Eric I Denmark (The Kalmar Union).png
Eric I
King of Denmark
Reign 14th September, 1099 - 10th July, 1103
Predecessor Cnut IV of Denmark
Successor Harald IV
Spouse Boedil Thurgotsdatter
Issue Cnut V Lavard

Harald IV Kesja
Ragnhild Knudsdatter
Benedikt Knudsson
Eric Knudsson

Full name
Eric Svendsson
House Estridsson
Father Sweyn II
Born c. 1060
Slangerup, Denmark
Died 10th July, 1103
Cyprus

Yet another of Sweyn II's illegitimate sons, Eric I Ejegod was one of Cnut IV's most prominent nobles and thanks to his unswerving loyalty to his brother became heir apparent. When Cnut went to Anglia in 1098 to pursue his claim to the Anglian throne Eric remained in Denmark to act as regent. Cnut would return briefly in 1099 before dying and the popular Eric was quickly elected king by the Danish nobles.

His likeability helped defuse tensions in Denmark and people would apparently come from far and wide to hear him speak. Though ruthless with pirates and thieves he kept good relations with his nobles through fair and studied judgments. He even managed good relations with his younger brother Niels in Viken, though the family of his cousin Charles I of Anglia were pressured into leaving Denmark. This talent for diplomacy probably help secure the Danish church's freedom from the Arch-diocese of Hamburg-Bremen and Lund was raised to an Archbishopric with jurisdiction over the Scandinavian lands.

His short reign was concluded by the murder of several kinsmen during a feast. To atone for the crime he announced a pilgrimage to the Holy Land despite pleas from his nobles not to go. His illegitimate but eldest son Harald Kesja and the Archbishop of Lund, Asser, were declared regents.

He would die in Cyprus in July 1103 after becoming ill in Constantinople. His queen, Boedil, reached Jerusalem but would die there.

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