Magnus Ladulås (pronounced [l'ɑːdɵloːs], lit.'Barnlock') or Magnus Birgersson, (c. 1240 – 18 December 1290), was King of Sweden from 1275 until his death in 1290.[1]

Magnus Ladulås
Bust of Magnus as duke at Skara Cathedral
King of Sweden
Reign1275 – 18 December 1290
Bornc. 1240
Died18 December 1290 (aged c. 50)
SpouseHelwig of Holstein
FatherBirger Jarl
MotherIngeborg Eriksdotter of Sweden
Seal of King Magnus
Magnus's 16th century grave monument over his family crypts in Riddarholm Church

He was the second son of Birger Jarl, and became a king after a rebellion against his brother Valdemar. He was succeeded by his ten-year-old son Birger Magnusson with Torkel Knutsson acting as his guardian.

Medieval Swedish kings did not use regnal numbers as part of their title.[2] In modern literature he may be referred to as either Magnus I[3] or Magnus III.[4][5]

Epithet edit

The origin of the epithet Ladulås (lit.'Barnlock') is not known for certain, due to the lack of source material from the latter half of the 14th century. It appears widely in written documents from the beginning of the 15th century, with the Visby Chronicle from 1412 being the oldest datable document. Lilla rimkrönikan from c. 1450 gives the traditional explanation, ascribing the epithet to the Ordinance of Alsnö. This act by Magnus freed the yeomanry from the duty to provide sustenance for travelling nobles and bishops, and "locked the barns".[6][7]

Another theory is that Ladulås is a corruption of a second name Ladislaus, the Latin equivalent of the Slavic name Vladislav. (Magnus's maternal great-grandmother was Sophia of Minsk, a Rurikid princess.)[7]

Early life edit

Magnus was born c. 1240 as the second son of Birger Jarl (1200–66) and Princess Ingeborg, herself the sister of the childless King Eric XI and daughter of King Eric X. The early life of Magnus is poorly documented, but he seems to have received an extensive education.[6]

King Eric XI ruled until 1250. After his death, Magnus' elder brother Valdemar (1239–1302) became king, but the true power was held by his father Birger Jarl who acted as a regent. In 1255, Magnus was granted the title of a iunior dux, 'junior jarl'.[6][8]

When Birger died in 1266, Magnus assumed his title as the Duke of Sweden. The title was not accompanied by any unified territory, but by a number of scattered estates and rights to collect taxes and fines. He also received Nyköping Castle in Södermanland.[6][9]

There is no indication that he would have received the powers of his father.[8] According to the Eric Chronicle, Magnus wanted to share the Royal power with his brother, which led to a conflict.[6]

Accession and marriage edit

In 1275, Duke Magnus started a rebellion against Valdemar, supported by his younger brother Eric and King Eric Klipping of Denmark. Valdemar was deposed by Magnus after the Battle of Hova in the forest of Tiveden on 14 June 1275 with the help of Danish and German horsemen. In July, Magnus was elected king at the Stones of Mora.[10]

In 1276, Magnus allegedly married a second wife Helwig, daughter of Gerard I of Holstein. Through her mother, Elizabeth of Mecklenburg, Helwig was a descendant of Christina, the putative daughter of King Sverker II. A papal annulment of Magnus' alleged first marriage and a dispensation for the second (necessary because of consanguinity) were issued ten years later, in 1286. Helwig later acted as regent, probably 1290–1302 and 1320–1327.[11][10]

Reign edit

The deposed King Valdemar managed, with Danish help in turn, to regain provinces in Gothenland in the southern part of the kingdom, and Magnus had to recognize that in 1277. However, Magnus regained them about 1278 and assumed the additional title rex Gothorum, King of the Goths, starting the tradition of "King of the Swedes and the Goths".

King Magnus's youngest brother, Benedict (1254–1291), then archdeacon, acted as his Lord High Chancellor of Sweden, and in 1284 Magnus rewarded him with the Duchy of Finland.[12]

Magnus died when his sons were yet underage. Magnus ordered his kinsman Torkel Knutsson, the Lord High Constable of Sweden as the guardian of his heir, the future King Birger, who was about ten years old at father's death.

Modern research edit

In spring 2011, archaeologists and osteologists from the University of Stockholm were given permission to open one of the royal graves in Riddarholmen Church in order to study the remains of what was presumed to be Magnus Ladulås and some of his relatives. SVT broadcast a presentation of the preliminary studies, where a number of results were presented; among others his sickly disposition. Carbon-14 tests dated the bones to the 15th century, indicating the remains could not be those of the king and his family.[13] In December 2011, the researchers applied for permission to open the neighbouring sarcophagus, which has hitherto been presumed to contain the bones of a later king, Charles VIII.[10]

Issue edit

From his alleged first (annulled) marriage to an unknown woman:

  • Eric Magnusson (born c. 1275 – c. 1277)

From his second marriage to Helwig of Holstein:

References edit

  1. ^ Ulf Sundberg (1999). "Magnus Birgersson 'Ladulås'". Pennan & Svärdet. Archived from the original on March 20, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  2. ^ Lagerqvist, Lars O. (1995). Kings and rulers of Sweden : a pocket encyclopedia. Internet Archive. Stockholm, Sweden : Vincent Publications. p. 5. ISBN 978-91-87064-15-9.
  3. ^ "Magnus I | Viking Age, Reformer & Lawgiver". Encyclopedia Britannica. 2024-03-25. Retrieved 2024-04-26.
  4. ^ Lagerqvist, Lars O. (1995). Kings and rulers of Sweden : a pocket encyclopedia. Internet Archive. Stockholm, Sweden : Vincent Publications. p. 22. ISBN 978-91-87064-15-9.
  5. ^ Centuries of Selfies pp. 22-23, 106
  6. ^ a b c d e Schück, Herman. "Magnus Birgersson". Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon. Retrieved 2024-04-25.
  7. ^ a b Moberg, Vilhelm (2005). A history of the Swedish people. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-8166-4656-2.
  8. ^ a b Line, Philip (2006). Kingship and state formation in Sweden, 1130-1290. Leiden: Brill. pp. 131–134. ISBN 978-90-04-15578-7.
  9. ^ Suvanto, Seppo (23 June 2000). "Maunu Ladonlukko". Kansallisbiografia. Studia Biographica 4. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. ISSN 1799-4349. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  10. ^ a b c Huldén, Lena (December 2014). "Magnus Ladulås". Biografiskt lexikon för Finland. Retrieved 2024-04-26.
  11. ^ "Mora Stenar". Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Sten Engström. "Bengt Birgersson". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  13. ^ "Wrong persons found in King's tomb". Stockholm News. 9 December 2011. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011.

External links edit

Magnus Ladulås
Born: 1240 Died: 18 December 1290
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Sweden
Succeeded by