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Eric VIII of Svealand (The Kalmar Union)

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Eric VIII
King of Svealand
Reign May 1302 - 7th August, 1305
Predecessor Magnus III
Successor Magnus III
Spouse Märta of Håtuna
Issue Carl

Ingeborg
John
Cnut
Katarina

Full name
Eric
House Eric
Father Birger of Nyköping
Mother Karin Svensdotter
Born 1254
Nyköping, Svealand
Died 2nd January, 1309
Riga, Livonia

Eric VIII, Eric of Nyköping, was a brief ruler of Svealand during it long and painful Civil War period.

Eric's father Birger of Nyköping had been a thorn in the side of his cousin† John III's reign, even going so far as to declare himself king in 1271. Eric followed in his father's footsteps to oppose his cousin Magnus III, claiming the throne and picking up considerable support from nobles and also the church, which Magnus had quarreled with over its privileges. Through hard won battles and the slow trickle of lords to his side, by the beginning of 1302 Eric had confined Magnus to Uppland.

In May 1302 Magnus was defeated and he fled to Denmark. Eric would be crowned that midsummer. However in Denmark Magnus and his contacts could generate enough goodwill to raise an army. And in 1305 reinvaded Svealand through Gothenland, usurping the usurper and defeating him and his loyal lords in a definitive series of battles. Eric fled to Livonia where his sister lived, possibly hoping to raise a out of the Germanic crusading orders. However his family was captured before they could join him and were kept alive by Magnus as hostages. Eric would die in 1309.

Little is directly recorded about his reign other than a couple of mentions of laws his son would implement; 'restoring the good laws of his father'.

When Magnus III died in 1311 his heirs were all too young to effectively reign, and they would be passed over in favour of Eric's eldest son Carl Ericsson, still technically a hostage but at least of age, legitimate and with plenty of apparent support amongst the nobility. Carl's succession would put a final end to the Civil War but would not secure Svealand's independence.

†Descended from Karin's three daughters; Catherine, Rikessa and Ingeborg, technically they were distaff branches of the House of Eric but emphasised their connections, as opposed to any potential Vikene claimants.

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