List of rulers of Estonia

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The Rulers of Estonia is a list of the rulers of Estonia throughout the history. Starting with the ancient Counties and Parishes each headed by Seniores and Meliores (Elders) as noted by Henry of Livonia. The highest political institutions in Estonia during ancient times were Councils of Elders. The administrative jurisdiction of the parish and county elders were limited, the counties themselves remained autonomous[1] until the German and Danish conquest in the 13th century. Ending with the states and the rulers of states (starting from the time of the first successful Danish conquest in 1219) who either ruled or laid claims of sovereignty over some parts of the territory of present day Estonia, as well as the leaders of the independent Republic of Estonia since 1918.

Ancient counties[edit]

Counties of Ancient Estonia

Alempois[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Harju[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Järva[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Jogentagana[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Läänemaa[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Mõhu[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Nurmekund[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Revala[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Saaremaa[edit]

Title: Elder – It is probable that these men, whose names appear on a treaty with the Order of the Brethren of the Sword in 1251, were the chiefs of administrative units on Saaremaa, Muhu, and Sõrve. Their "signatures" were, in all likelihood, phonetically "Latinized" by the authors of the document.

Sakala[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1223)

Ugandi[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Vaiga[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Virumaa[edit]

Title: Elder (- 1224)

Rulers of Estonia[edit]

Bishoprics of Livonia (Bishopric of Riga) and Estonia (Bishopric of Leal)[edit]

In 1219, during the vacancy of the Bishopric of Estonia, Valdemar II of Denmark conquered the Northern part of Estonia.

Northern Estonia[edit]

Part of the Kingdom of Denmark[edit]

House of Estridsen[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Valdemar II the Victorious
(Valdemar Sejr)
1219–1241
Valdemar sejr.jpg 9 May/28 June 1170
second son of Valdemar I and Sophia of Minsk
(1) Dagmar of Bohemia
c. 1205
Lübeck
one son
(2) Berengaria of Portugal
18/24 May 1214
four children
28 March 1241
Vordingborg Castle
aged 70
Valdemar the Young
(Valdemar den Unge)
1215–1231
Valdemar den Unge 1209-1231.jpg c. 1209
only son of Valdemar II and Dagmar of Bohemia
Eleanor of Portugal
24 June 1229
Ribe Cathedral
one child
28 November 1231
Refsnæs
aged 21–22
Eric IV Ploughpenny
(Erik Plovpenning)
1232–1250
Erik d4 Plovpenning cropped.jpg c. 1216
eldest son of Valdemar II and Berengaria of Portugal
Jutta of Saxony
17 November 1239
six children
9 August 1250
on the Schlei
aged 33–34
Abel
1 November
1250–1252
Kong abel cropped.jpg c. 1218
second son of Valdemar II and Berengaria of Portugal
Matilda of Holstein
25 April 1237
Schleswig Cathedral
four children
29 June 1252
Eiderstedt
aged 33–34
Christopher I
(Christoffer 1.)
25 December
1252–1259
Kong Christoffer 1. (1219-1259).jpg c. 1219
third son of Valdemar II and Berengaria of Portugal
Margaret Sambiria
c. 1248
five children
29 May 1259
Ribe
aged 39–40
Eric V Klipping
(Erik Klipping)
1259–1286
Erik Glipping.jpg c. 1249
eldest son of Christopher I and Margaret Sambiria
Agnes of Brandenburg
11 November 1273
Schleswig Cathedral
seven children
22 November 1286
Finderup
aged 36–37
Eric VI Menved
(Erik Menved)
1286–1319
Erik menved cropped.jpg c. 1274
eldest son of Eric V and Agnes of Brandenburg
Ingeborg of Sweden
June 1296
Kärnan Castle
fourteen children
13 November 1319
Roskilde
aged 44–45
Christopher II
(Christoffer 2.)
25 January
1320–1326
(deposed)
Krzysztof2 sorø.JPG 29 September 1276
second son of Eric V and Agnes of Brandenburg
Euphemia of Pomerania
c. 1300
six children
2 August 1332
Nykøbing Castle
aged 55
Eric
(Erik Christoffersen)
1321-1326
(deposed)
National Coat of arms of Denmark no crown.svg c. 1307
eldest son of Christopher II and Euphemia of Pomerania
Elizabeth of Holstein-Rendsburg
1330
no issue
early 1332
aged c. 25
Valdemar III
(Valdemar 3.)
1326–1329
(deposed)
Valdemar 3 kongesegl.jpg c. 1314
only son of Eric II, Duke of Schleswig and Adelaide of Holstein
Richardis of Schwerin
two sons
c. 1364
aged 49–50
Christopher II
(Christoffer 2.)
1329-1332
(restored)
Krzysztof2 sorø.JPG 29 September 1276
second son of Eric V and Agnes of Brandenburg
Euphemia of Pomerania
c. 1300
six children
2 August 1332
Nykøbing Castle
aged 55
Eric
(Erik Christoffersen)
1329-1332
National Coat of arms of Denmark no crown.svg c. 1307
eldest son of Christopher II and Euphemia of Pomerania
Elizabeth of Holstein-Rendsburg
1330
no issue
early 1332
aged c. 25
Interregnum (1332–1340)
Valdemar IV Atterdag
(Valdemar Atterdag)
21 June
1340–1346
Waldemar4DenmarkCrop.JPG c. 1320
third son of Christopher II and Euphemia of Pomerania
Helvig of Schleswig
c. 1340
Sønderborg Castle
six children
24 October 1375
Gurre Castle
aged 54–55

In 1346, Northern Estonia is sold to the Livonian Order. This Order was already ruling Southern Estonia since 1237.

Southern Estonia[edit]

Bishoprics of Livonia (Bishopric of Riga) and Estonia (Bishopric of Leal)[edit]

Livonian Order[edit]

Northern and Southern Estonia (reunited)[edit]

Livonian Order[edit]

Bishopric of Dorpat[edit]

In 1558, during the Livonian War, Dorpat ceased to exist.

Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek[edit]

In 1573, Ösel-Wiek was annexed by Denmark.

Duchy of Estonia[edit]

Part of Sweden (1561-1721)[edit]

House of Vasa[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Eric XIV (Erik XIV)
1561– 29 September 1568
Eric XIV of Sweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 13 December 1533 son of Gustav I and Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg Karin Månsdotter Died (Poisoned) while imprisoned in Örbyhus Castle, 26 February 1577. Aged 43, buried at Västerås Cathedral
John III (Johan III)
30 September 1568 – 17 November 1592
John III of Sweden.jpg Stegeborg Castle, Östergötland, 20 December 1537 son of Gustav I and Margaret Leijonhufvud Catherine Jagellonica (1562 – 1583),
Gunilla Bielke (1585–1597)
Tre Kronor (castle), 17 November 1592, aged 54, buried at Uppsala Cathedral
Sigmund (Sigismund)
17 November 1592 – 24 July 1599
Zygmunt III Waza 2.jpg Gripsholm Castle, 20 June 1566, son of John III and Catherine Jagellonica of Poland. Anna of Austria (1592–1598),
Constance of Austria (1605–1631)
Warsaw, Poland, 30 April 1632, aged 65, buried at Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, Poland
Charles IX (Karl IX)
22 March 1604 – 30 October 1611
also as regent Duke Charles, 1599–1604
Charles IX of Sweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 4 October 1550 son of Gustav I and Margaret Leijonhufvud Maria of Palatinate-Simmern (1579–1589),
Christina of Holstein-Gottorp (1592–1611)
Nyköping Castle, 30 October 1611, aged 61, buried at Strängnäs Cathedral
Gustav II Adolph (Gustav II Adolf)
30 October 1611 – 6 November 1632
Gustav II of Sweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 9 December 1594, son of Charles IX and Christina of Holstein-Gottorp. Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg 6 November 1632, in the Battle of Lützen, Electorate of Saxony, aged 37, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Christina (Kristina)
6 November 1632 – 6 June 1654
Swedish queen Drottning Kristina portrait by Sébastien Bourdon stor.jpg Stockholm, 8 December[2] 1626, daughter of Gustavus Adolphus and Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg Unmarried Rome, 19 April 1689, aged 62, buried at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles X Gustav (Karl X Gustav)
6 June 1654 – 13 February 1660
Sébastien Bourdons-Karl X Gustav.jpg Nyköping Castle, 8 November 1622, son of John Casimir, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg and Catharina of Sweden (daughter of Charles IX) Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp Gothenburg, 13 February 1660, aged 37, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Charles XI (Karl XI)
13 February 1660 – 5 April 1697
Charles XI of Sweden (1691).jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 24 November 1655 son of Charles X and Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp Ulrike Eleonora of Denmark Tre Kronor (castle), 5 April 1697, aged 41, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Charles XII (Karl XII)
5 April 1697 – 30 November 1718
Karl XII 1706.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 17 June 1682 son of Charles XI and Ulrika Eleonora the Elder Unmarried Fredrikshald, Norway, 30 November 1718, aged 36, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Ulrica Eleanor (Ulrika Eleonora)
5 December 1718 – 29 February 1720
UlricaEleanorQRSweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 23 January 1688 daughter of Charles XI and Ulrika Eleonora the Elder Frederick I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel Stockholm, 24 November 1741, aged 53, buried in Riddarholmen Church

House of Hesse[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Frederick (Fredrik I av Hessen)
24 March 1720 – 10 September 1721
Fredrik av Hessen.jpg Kassel, (in today's Germany), 23 April 1676 son of Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Maria Amalia of Courland Louise Dorothea of Prussia
Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden
Stockholm, 25 March 1751, aged 74, buried in Riddarholmen Church

In 10 September 1721, Sweden ceded Estonia to the Tsardom of Russia, in the Treaty of Nystad.

Governors during Swedish rule[edit]

Part of Russia (1721-1917)[edit]

House of Romanov[edit]

Monarch Coat of arms Portrait Birth Marriage Emperor from Emperor until Death
Peter I the Great Peterthegreatcoa.gif Peter de Grote 9 June 1672
Moscow, Tsardom of Russia
Eudoxia Feodorovna Lopukhina
1689
3 children

Marta Helena Skowrońska
1707
9 children
10 September 1721 8 February 1725 8 February 1725, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Catherine I Catherinecoa.gif Empress Catherine I -c.1724 -3.jpg 15 April 1684
Ringen (Rõngu), Duchy of Livonia, Sweden
Peter I of Russia
1707
9 children
8 February 1725 17 May 1727 17 May 1727, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Peter II Russian coa 1730.png Pyotralexeevich.jpg 23 October 1715
St. Petersburg, Tsardom of Russia
unmarried 18 May 1727 30 January 1730 30 January 1730, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Anna Russian coa 1730.png Louis Caravaque, Portrait of Empress Anna Ioannovna (1730).jpg 7 February 1693
Moscow, Tsardom of Russia
Frederick Wilhelm, Duke of Courland
November 1710
no children
13 February 1730 28 October 1740 28 October 1740, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Ivan VI (disputed) Russian coa 1730.png Ivan VI of Russia.jpg 23 August 1740
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
unmarried 28 October 1740 6 December 1741 16 July 1764 (murdered)
Shlisselburg, Russian Empire
Elizabeth Russian coa 1730.png Portrait of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna by Ivan Vishnyakov.jpg 29 December 1709
Kolomenskoye, Tsardom of Russia
Alexey Razumovsky
1742
no children
6 December 1741 5 January 1762 5 January 1762, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Peter III Russian coa 1730.png 1762. Antronov Petr 3.jpg 21 February 1728
Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein
Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste of Anhalt-Zerbst
16 August 1745
one son
9 January 1762 17 July 1762 17 July 1762 (murdered), Ropsha, Russian Empire
Catherine II the Great Russian coa 1730.png Catherinethegreatroslin.jpg 2 May 1729
Stettin, Kingdom of Prussia
Peter III of Russia
16 August 1745
one son
9 July 1762 6 November 1796 6 November 1796, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Paul I Paulicoa1796.gif Borovikovskiy PtPavla1GRM.jpg 1 October 1754
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Princess Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt
29 September 1773
one stillborn son

Princess Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg
26 September 1776
ten children
17 November 1796 11 March 1801 11 March 1801 (assassinated), St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Alexander I the Blessed Youngemperoralexander.jpg 23 December 1777
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Princess Louise of Baden
28 September 1793
2 daughters
24 March 1801 1 December 1825 1 December 1825, Taganrog, Russian Empire
Constantine I (disputed) Konstantinpaulowrussland(crop).jpg 27 April 1779
Tsarskoye Selo, Russian Empire
Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
26 February
no children
1 December 1825 26 December 1825 27 June 1831
Vitebsk, Russian Empire
Nicholas I Nicholasbotman(1).jpg 6 July 1796
Gatchina, Russian Empire
Princess Charlotte of Prussia
13 July 1817
7 children
26 December 1825 2 March 1855 2 March 1855, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Alexander II the Liberator Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire.svg Alexanderbymakovsky.jpg 29 April 1818
Moscow, Russian Empire
Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine
16 April 1841
8 children
2 March 1855 13 March 1881 13 March 1881 (assassinated), St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Alexander III the Peace-Maker Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire.svg Dmitriev 001(crop).jpg 10 March 1845
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Princess Dagmar of Denmark
9 November 1866
6 children
13 March 1881 1 November 1894 1 November 1894
Livadiya, Russian Empire
Saint Nicholas II Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire.svg Tsar Nikolai II (2).jpg 6 May 1868
Tsarskoye Selo, Russian Empire
Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine
26 November 1894
5 children
1 November 1894 15 March 1917 17 July 1918 (executed)
Yekaterinburg, Russian SFSR
Michael II (disputed) Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire.svg Mikhail Aleksandrovich by Repin.JPG 22 November 1878
Tsarskoye Selo, Russian Empire
Natalia Brassova
15 October 1911
one son (born before his parents' marriage)
15 March 1917 16 March 1917 12 June 1918 (murdered)
Perm, Russian SFSR

Governors during Russian rule[edit]

  • 1710 – 1711 Rudolph Felix BauerGeneral-Governor
  • 1711 – 1719 Prince Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov – General-Governor
  • 1719 – 1728 Count Fyodor Matveyevich Apraksin – General-Governor
  • 1728 – 1736 Friedrich Baron von Löwen
  • 1736 – 1738 Sebastian Ernst von Manstein
  • 1738 – 1740 Gustaf Otto Douglas
  • 1740 – 1743 Woldemar von Löwendahl
  • 1743 – 1753 Peter August Friedrich von Holstein-Beck (1696–1775)
  • 1753 – 1758 Prince Vladimir Petrovich Dolgorukiy
  • 1758 – 1775 Peter August Friedrich von Holstein-Beck – General-Governor
  • 1775 – 1792 Count George Browne – General-Governor
  • 1783 – 1786 Georg Friedrich von Grotenhielm
  • 1786 – 1797 Heinrich Johann Baron von Wrangell
  • 1797 – 1808 Andreas von Langell
  • 1808 – 1809 Peter Friedrich Georg von Oldenburg (1784–1812)
  • 1809 – 1811 Vacant
  • 1811 – 1816 Grand Duke Paul Friedrich August von Oldenburg (1783–1853)
  • 1816 – 1819 Berend Baron Üxküll
  • 1819 – 1832 Gotthard Wilhelm Baron Budberg von Bönninghausen
  • 1832 – 1833 Otto Wilhelm von Essen
  • 1833 – 1841 Paul Friedrich von Benckendorff
  • 1842 – 1859 Johann Christoph Engelbrecht von Grünewaldt
  • 1859 – 1868 Wilhelm Otto Cornelius Alexander Ulrich
  • 1868 – 1870 Mikhail Nikolaiyevich Galkin-Vraskoy
  • 1870 – 1875 Prince Mikhail Valentinovich Shakhovskoiy-Glebov-Strezhnev
  • 1875 – 1885 Viktor Petrovich Polivanov
  • 1885 – 1894 Prince Sergey Vladimirovich
  • 1894 – 1902 Yefstafiy Nikolaiyevich Skalon
  • 1902 – 1905 Aleksey Valerianovich Bellegarde
  • 1905 – 1906 Nikolay Georgiyevich von Bünting
  • 1906 – 1907 Pyotr Petrovich Bashilov
  • 1907 – 1915 Izmail Vladimirovich Korostovetch
  • 1915 – 1917 Pyotr Vladimirovich Veryovkin

Russian Provisional Government, 1917[edit]

Title: Chairman (1917)

Title: Prime Minister (1917)

Part of Germany (1917-1918)[edit]

House of Hohenzollern[edit]

Image Name Date of birth Monarch From Monarch Until Date of death
EmporerWilhelm2.jpg
Wilhelm II 27 January 1859 25 October 9/28 November 1918[3]
(abdicated)
4 June 1941

The October Revolution of 1917 era[edit]

(independent de facto)

Title: Chairman of the Soviet Executive Committee of Estonia (Eestimaa Nõukogude Täitevkomitee esimees) (1917–1918)

  • Jaan Anvelt (5 November (23 October) 1917 – 4 March 1918)

(independent de jure)

Title: Gouvernement Commissioner (Kubermangukomissar) (1917–1918)

  • Jaan Poska (28 November (15 November) 1917 – 24 February 1918)

Soviet Republic of Sailors and Builders of Nargen[edit]

Title: Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Rahvakomissaride Nõukogu esimees) (1917–1918)

Republic of Estonia[edit]

Title: Prime Minister of the Estonian Provisional Government (Peaminister) (1918–1919)

Title: Prime Minister (Peaminister) (1919–1920)

Title: Head of State (Riigivanem) (1920–1934)

  • Ants Piip (20 December 1920 – 25 January 1921)
  • Konstantin Päts (25 January 1921 – 21 November 1922)
  • Juhan (Johann) Kukk (21 November 1922 – 2 August 1923)
  • Konstantin Päts (2 August 1923 – 26 March 1924)
  • Friedrich Karl Akel (26 March 1924 – 16 December 1924)
  • Jüri Jaakson (16 December 1924 – 15 December 1925)
  • Jaan Teemant (15 December 1925 – 9 December 1927)
  • Jaan Tõnisson (9 December 1927 – 4 December 1928)
  • August Rei (4 December 1928 – 9 July 1929)
  • Otto August Strandman (9 July 1929 – 12 February 1931)
  • Konstantin Päts (12 February 1931 – 19 February 1932)
  • Jaan Teemant (19 February 1932 – 19 July 1932)
  • Kaarel Eenpalu (19 July 1932 – 1 November 1932)
  • Konstantin Päts (1 November 1932 – 18 May 1933)
  • Jaan Tõnisson (18 May 1933 – 21 October 1933)
  • Konstantin Päts (21 October 1933 – 24 January 1934)

Title: Prime Minister acting Head of State (Peaminister Riigivanema ülesannetes) (1934–1937)

  • Konstantin Päts (24 January 1934 – 3 September 1937)

Title: President-Regent (Riigihoidja) (1937–1938)

  • Konstantin Päts (3 September 1937 – 24 April 1938)

Title: President of the Republic (1938–1940)

  • Konstantin Päts (24 April 1938 – 21 June 1940)
  • Johannes Vares (21 June – 21 July 1940 (Prime Minister acting as the President of Repuvblic, Soviet-installed collaborant)

Title: Prime Minister acting President (Peaminister Vabariigi Presidendi ülesandeis) (1940–1992)

Title: Acting Prime Minister (Peaministri asetäitja) (since 1944)

Title: Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia (in the body of Soviet Union) (1990–1991)

Title: Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia (Eesti Vabariigi Ülemnõukogu esimees) (1991–1992)

Title: President (since 1992)

United Baltic Duchy[edit]

Title: Regent Councillor (1918)

Commune of the Working People of Estonia[edit]

Title: Chairman of the Council of The Commune of the Working People of Estonia (Eesti Töörahva Komuuna Nõukogu esimees) (1918–1919)

Estonian SSR[edit]

Title: Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Estonian SSR (Eesti NSV Ülemnõukogu Presiidiumi esimees) (1940–1988)

Title: Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Estonian SSR (independent) (1988–1990)

Soviet Union[edit]

Title: Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (NLKP Keskkomitee peasekretär) (1940–1991)

Reichskommissariat Ostland[edit]

Title: Führer und Reichskanzler (1941–1944)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raun, Toivo (2001). Estonia and the Estonians. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University. p. 12. ISBN 0-8179-2852-9. 
  2. ^ Note that the birth date is December 8 in the Julian calendar, which was in effect in Sweden at the time, corresponding to December 18 in the Gregorian calendar.
  3. ^ His abdication was announced by the Chancellor on 9 November, and the Emperor went into exile in the Netherlands. He did not formally abdicate until 28 November.

See also[edit]