Catherine of Ymseborg
|Tomb of Catherine|
|Spouse||Eric XI of Sweden|
|House||House of Bjelbo (by birth)
House of Eric (by marriage)
|Mother||Princess Helena Sverkersdotter of Sweden|
Catherine Sunadotter of Ymseborg (Swedish: Karin Sunadotter av Ymseborg or Katarina Sunesdotter), (born c. 1215, died 1252 at Gudhem Abbey), was a Swedish queen, wife of King Eric XI of Sweden and queen consort of Swedes and Goths from 1244 to 1250. In her later years she served as abbess of Gudhem Abbey.
Heir of the Sverker dynasty
Catherine's father Sune Folkason was Lord of Ymseborg, lawspeaker of Västergötland, and in some literature he is referred to as Earl of the Swedish. His father was Folke Birgersson of Bjelbo, Earl of the Swedish, who was killed in 1210. Folkason's paternal grandparents were Birger Bengtsson of Bjelbo (d. 1202), Earl of the Swedish, and Queen Dowager Brigida of Sweden. Folkason died in 1247.
Queen of Sweden
Eric XI (1215–50) of the Eric dynasty became king in 1222 and was exiled by co-king Canute II of Sweden from 1229 to 1234. Eric returned to Sweden on Canute's death in 1234 and served as king until his own death in 1250. Young Eric was, according to semi-legendary material, physically lame and spoke with a stutter ("läspe och halte"), and he was reportedly of a kindly nature. Eric and Catherine were married in order to strengthen Eric's claim to the throne, as Catherine was of royal blood on her mother's side. The marriage took place in 1243 or 1244, at Fyrisängen near Uppsala. Catherine had received an immense dower upon the marriage: some legends speak romantically about "half the kingdom".
Since she immediately devoted herself to a sequestered religious life and not to family at Eric's death, the conclusion has tended to be that they did not have any surviving children. The underage Valdemar Birgersson, a nephew of king Eric, was chosen as the next King of Sweden.
Queen dowager and abbess
Upon the death of her husband, the now Queen Dowager retreated to Gudhem Abbey. Because Scandinavian customary law dictated that no clan property could be held by a member of a religious order, she transferred some lands, including her queenly dower, to certain relatives and gave others as donations to ecclesiastical institutions. For example, her sister Benedikta received as a gift from her the town of Söderköping, one of the Queen's dower possessions. The Queen Dowager soon became the Abbess of Gudhem Abbey, and served in that position until her death in 1252.
|Ancestors of Catherine of Ymseborg|
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (October 2009)|
- Lars O. Lagerqvist (1982). "Sverige och dess regenter under 1.000 år",("Sweden and its rulers during 1000 years"). (in Swedish). Albert Bonniers Förlag AB. ISBN 91-0-075007-7.
Katarina SunesdotterBorn: 1215 Died: 1252
|Queen consort of Sweden