Sweden / Erik Eriksson (King Eric XI), first reign

Sweden - Erik Eriksson (King Eric XI), first reign (1222 - 1229)

Eric "XI" the Lisp and Lame (Swedish: Erik Eriksson or Erik läspe och halte; Old Norse: Eiríkr Eiríksson) was king of Sweden in 1222–1229 and 1234–1250.

Eric was the son of Eric Knutsson of Sweden and Richeza of Denmark. According to the chronicle Erikskrönikan written in the early 1320s, Eric is said to have been partly lame. Eric was born after his father, King Eric X, had already died, and in the meantime the fifteen-year-old John I of Sweden from the rival House of Sverker had been hailed king by the Swedish aristocracy, against the will of the Pope, who preferred Eric as king.

When King John I died in 1222, the six-year-old Eric was hailed king, with a distant male cousin who was adult, first as leader of the regency council and then as co-regent with Knut Holmgersson. Knut was a member of the council which ruled Sweden. In 1229, after having been a minor king in seven years, Eric was overthrown after the battle of Olustra (slaget vid Olustra).

After King Canute's death, Eric returned and ruled until his own death in 1250. Eric was married to Queen Catherine, daughter of (Jarl) Sune Folkason of Bjälbo and an heiress of the House of Sverker. Commonly, sources say that Eric was childless, but some sources claim that he had a couple of baby daughters who died. Eric was buried in the monastery of Varnhem Abbey in Västergötland.

Referring to Erik Eriksson as King Eric XI is a later invention, counting backwards from Eric XIV (1560-8). He and his brother Charles IX (1604-11) adopted numerals according to a fictitious history of Sweden. The number of Swedish monarchs named Eric before Eric XIV (at least seven) is unknown, going back into prehistory, and none of them used numerals. It would be speculative to try to affix a mathematically accurate one to this king.

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Erik Eriksson (King Eric XI), first reign: Details
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