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Wizlaw I of Viken (The Kalmar Union)

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Wizlaw I
Wizlaw I Viken (The Kalmar Union).png
Wizlaw I
King of Viken
Reign 6th October, 1188 - 23rd May, 1249
Predecessor Hildegard of Rugia
Successor Jaromar
Prince of Rugia
Reign 1221 - 23rd May, 1249
Predecessor Tetzlav
Successor Jaromar II
Spouse Inga of Vejle
Issue Jaromar

Valdemar

Full name
Wizlaw Jaromarsson
House Rugia
Father Jaromar I of Rugia
Mother Hildegard of Rugia
Born 1180
Rugard, Rugia
Died 23rd May, 1249
Tonsberg, Viken

Wizlaw I was the first Ranish king of Viken. He succeeded his mother Hildegard of Rugia after she was 'persuaded' to abdicate in 1188. Wilzaw was only 8 years old however and the kingdom would be effectively controlled by regents. Vikene politics was deeply divided in this period between the Heklung and Møyla factions and his regents changed repeatedly as the factions lost or gained power. It would only be in 1193 when the Bishop of Oslo, Haakon Magnusson, took over the regency that some stability was finally achieved. The partnership of Wizlaw and Haakon would last into the 1200s.

With Haakon he took great steps in stabilising the kingdom, defeating the Heklung faction in battle in 1298. He gave various towns their charters giving merchants various freedoms and helping spread their scope. He restricted his military activity to assistance to Denmark, eschewing his own conquests and campaigned alongside his brother and Magnus II in the Danish conquest of Estonia. He had already married one of Magnus's illegitimate sisters, Inga of Vejle

In 1215 he arranged the marriage of his second son Valdemar to the recently widowed queen of Svealand, Karin, and they would soon have the son which the Svealandic nobles had long desired. When Karin died in 1221 Wizlaw backed his son's and grandson's hold on Svealand and would provide military assistance in 1222 to crush a noble revolt. This appears to show a marked change from previous Vikene rulers who were often at the mercy of Gothenlandic and Svealandic nobles and the wealth Wizlaw could call upon to smooth through the marriage certainly displays his own standing.

After his brother Tetzlav died childless in 1221, Wizlaw inherited the island principality of Rugia. Whilst improving Viken's prestige, and increasing its involvement in Pomerania and the Empire, it also had the potential to strain relations with Denmark. Rugia was in theory a Danish vassal whilst Viken was a kingdom of equal standing, however Magnus II was generally supportive, probably assuming Rugia would now have much greater resources to draw on. Supporting Denmark's activities in Pomerania Wizlaw avoided a direct confrontation but spent a great deal of time promoting trade in his territories. In this he was supported by the slowly growing Svealandic navy which was action against piracy in the Baltic.

He died in 1249 and was immediately succeeded by his eldest son Jaromar as Prince of Rugia. He succession to the Vikene crown was confirmed five months later.

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