Alternate History

Magnus III of Svealand (The Kalmar Union)

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Magnus III
Seal of Magnus III
King of Svealand
Reign 25th November, 1282 - May 1302
Predecessor John III
Successor Eric VIII
Reign 7th August, 1305 - 15th February, 1311
Predecessor Eric VIII
Successor Carl I
Spouse Matilda of Fryslân
Issue Elizabeth


House Eric
Father John III
Mother Elizabeth of Lippe
Born 1266
Stockholm, Svealand
Died 15th February, 1311
Gavle, Svealand

Magnus III, King of Svealand, was a central figure of the ongoing Svealandic Civil War between the three branches of the House of Eric†.

Succeeding his often hard put upon father at the age of sixteen Magnus was thrown straight into the hard politics of Svealandic life. Possibly in an attempt to cement his position he would almost immediately announce a campaign to recover the lost province of Finland, then ruling itself as a Papal-recognized kingdom under Eric II. It would fail, as did his father's attempts thanks to Saaremaa and Novgorod's enmity and near constant raids which foiled Svealandic attempts to secure a safe crossing of the Baltic. In fact as Svealand increasingly lost its edge in the Baltic it allowed its neighbours, Viken and Denmark to take much more control over trade.

In 1289 when the Lade dynasty ran out Magnus made a vague and almost certainly fictitious claim on the Earldom. Both Viken and Hordaland had much stronger claims but Eric III of Denmark would eventually pay both off to seize the land for himself. Magnus received no compensation but relations between Svealand and Denmark did not appear to breakdown, but perhaps needed patching up; Magnus arranged the marriage of his half-sister Karin to the Danish Prince Cnut the same year.

Magnus had issues at home anyway, Eric of Nyköping had followed in his father's footsteps, claiming the throne and picking up support from nobles and also the church, which Magnus had quarreled with over its privileges. Magnus would slowly be confined to Uppland and for a time it looked as though Svealand may have been split into two kingdoms.

When Eric of Nyköping defeated Magnus and drove him into exile in 1302 he fled to Denmark. There it appeared he could generate enough goodwill to raise an army in in 1305 reinvaded Svealand through Gothenland, usurping the usurper and wrecking revenge on the nobles who had rebelled against him. Finally dominant he would once again turn his attention to the renegade province of Finland. Taking advantage of Denmark's crackdown on Saaremaa's independence he would cross the Baltic in 1307 quickly seizing Åbo (Turku) and destroying Finland as a separate kingdom. Its crown would be melted down and the gold donated to Uppsala cathedral.

Dying in 1311 his heirs, all too young to effectively reign, would be passed over in favour of Carl Ericsson, the son of his rival Eric of Nyköping. 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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