Alternate History

Magnus II of Svealand (The Kalmar Union)

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Magnus II Hendriksson
King of Svealand
Reign 1160-1161
Predecessor Eric VI of Svealand
Successor Burislev
House Estridsson
Father Hendrik Skatelår
Mother Ingrid Ragvaldsdotter
Born c. 1115
Died 1161
Mjölby, Svealand

Magnus II epitomises the viciousness of early-medieval Svealandic politics in many ways. A foreign lord with links to two royal dynasties, sources finger him as the force behind the murders of two kings, seizing the throne himself before being killed on the battlefield by yet another claimant.

Little of his background is known, other than he was the illegitimate great-grandson of Sweyn II Estridsson of Denmark and legitimate great-grandson of Inge I of Svealand however the sources suggest he was born in Denmark while his father appears to have gone to Svealand as part of Magnus I's retinue.

Both Magnus and his father Hendrik remained in Svealand after Magnus I's usurpation by Sverker, presumably signalling Hendrik had swapped his allegiance but Magnus after all had a better claim on the Svealandic throne than either Sverker, or the other great claimant, Eric, Lord of Uppland, both only having married into Inge I's dynasty. It is likely Magnus either directly carried out or was behind Sverker's murder in 1156. Magnus did not capitalize on the event though and Eric of Uppland seized the throne.

Five years later however Eric found his regime in trouble as he tried to levy taxes. Magnus once again stepped in, again either directly or indirectly murdering Eric as he left church. This time there was no one in his way and he rapidly gained the support of the other nobles.

Appalled by the crimes, new of which had reverberated around Northern Europe, Pope Alexander III authorised Karl I of Gothenland to remove the murderer by force. Karl duly invaded defeating and killing Magnus at the Battle of Mjölby. Once again however the Svealandic nobles refused to be ruled directly by a Gothenlandic king. Karl therefore set his nephew Burislev up as king. It is unknown if Magnus had a family.

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