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Information about reign: Sverker Karlsson (King Sverker II)

CountrySweden
From1196
To1208
Personal InformationKing Sverker II of Sweden (1167 - 1210)
Description

Sverker II or Sverker the Younger, (Swedish: Sverker den yngre or Sverker Karlsson, born before 1167 – died 17 July 1210) was King of Sweden from 1196 to 1208.

King Sverker confirmed and enlarged privileges for the Swedish church and the Valerius Archbishop of Uppsala. The privilege document of 1200 is the oldest known ecclesiastical privilege in Sweden. Skáldatal names two of Sverker's court skalds: Sumarliði skáld and Þorgeirr Danaskáld. In 1202 Earl Birger died and the late jarl's grandson, Sverker's one-year-old son John received the title of Jarl from his father. This was intended to strengthen him as heir of the crown.

Around 1203, Canute's four sons, who had lived in Swedish royal court, began to claim the throne and Sverker exiled them to Norway. His position as king became unsecured from this point forward. The sons of Canute returned with troops in 1205, supported by the Norwegian party of Birkebeiner, but Sverker succeeded in winning in the Battle of Älgarås, where three of the sons fell. The only survivor returned with Norwegian support in 1208 and in the Battle of Lena, Sverker was defeated. Sverker's troops were commanded by Ebbe Suneson, the father of his late first wife and brother of Andreas Sunesen, Archbishop of Lund. King Eric X of Sweden drove Sverker to exile to Denmark.

Pope Innocentius III's attempt to have the crown returned to Sverker did not succeed. Sverker made a military expedition, with Danish support, to Sweden, but was defeated and killed in the Battle of Gestilren in 1210. The ancient sources state that "he was killed by the Folkung clan".