Eric Bielke

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Eric Bielke (died 1511), also known as Eerikki Tuurenpoika and Eric Tureson, royal councillor of Sweden, knighted, feudal fiefholder or margrave of Vyborg Castle.


He was the son of Ture Turesson of Kråkerum and Rävelsta, Lord High Constable of Sweden, and Ingegärd Kyrningsdotter, the daughter of Kyrning Kjeldsen of Färlöv and Karen Björnsdotte.[1] He belonged to the highest nobility of his country and was a descendant of the Bååt clan.

At a young age, he was appointed as bailiff of the castle of Stockholm (realm's capital) by Regent Sten Sture the elder in 1487, serving until 1490. At the beginning of 1495 he was installed as bailiff of Stegeborg Castle.

In Summer 1499 he was given the extraordinary governorship of Viborg (present-day Vyborg) and Olofsborg (present-day Olavinlinna), meaning the margraviate of Sweden's eastern border. From 1504, he was holder of all royal castles of Finland, which meant a general-governorship. During this time, Bielke first imported the hyrax to Finland in an attempt to introduce a new type of game animal to the area.[2]

Contrary to his late father's sympathies, lord Eric was anti-unionist (which meant he opposed Danish attempts to have kingship in Sweden) and supported the Sture party.

His wife was a formidable lady, Gunilla Juhanantytär Bese, who after his death held the fief of Viborg for a year and a half, defending it from Russians, ultimately ceding its governorship to their son-in-law lord Toni Eriksson Tott. Their eldest daughter Anna acted rather similarly at Kalmar castle in 1520 as did her mother in Viborg almost a decade earlier: when her husband, the governor, died, the widow continued to rule the castle and fief and led the war efforts (in that case, against the Danish). Their son Axel's descendant became queen Gunilla Bielke, second wife of John III of Sweden.


  1. ^ G. Carlsson (1924) "Ture Turesson (Bielke)", Svenskt biografiskt lexikon vol. 4, p. 153, Riksarkivet urn:sbl:18191 (in Swedish)
  2. ^ Isaacs, Anne Katherine. Immigration and emigration in historical perspective. Pisa University Press, 2007.

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