House of Eric

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  Swedish Royalty
  House of Eric
Erican Dynasty heraldic lions (drawing 1996).jpg

Eric IX
   Canute I
   Filip Eriksson
   Katarina Eriksdotter
   Margaret, Queen of Norway
   Holmger Filipsson
   Canute II
   Holmger Knutsson
   Filip Knutsson
Canute I
   Prince John
   Prince Canute
   Prince Joar
   Prince Eric
   Eric X
Eric X
   Princess Sophia
   Princess Ingeborg
   Eric XI
Eric XI

The House of Eric (Swedish: Erikska ätten) was one of the two clans, which were rivals for the kingship of Sweden between 1150 and 1220. The first king from the clan of the Erics who had won the power struggle against the Sverkers was Eric IX of Sweden whom the later world has dubbed Saint Eric. During this period, the individual provinces of the realm still had a high degree of independence, as is indicated by the Swedish provincial laws of the 13th century.[1]

The clan of St Eric favored the Varnhem Abbey, and several of its members lay interred there.

Foremother of the dynasty was Eric IX's wife Christina Björnsdatter, whom legends claim to have been the maternal granddaughter of king Inge I of Sweden.

The female first name Catherine seems to have been favored within the Erik dynasty.

In 1226, two branches of the dynasty came into conflict: Canute the Tall, allegedly the adult heir of Filip, younger son of Eric IX, deposed the underage Eric XI, the Lisp and Lame (läspe och halte), who resumed the kingship only in 1234, and died in 1250. Conflict continued between the royal, senior branch and Canute's two sons until the latter were executed in 1248 and 1251.

Eric XI was the last king of the agnatic line of this dynasty and he died apparently without surviving children (though some romantic genealogies, and later research influenced by them, have attributed one or two daughters to him; those ladies were more likely daughters of his sister and Birger jarl).

Eric XI's nephew, the then underage son of his sister Ingeborg, was elected king Valdemar I of Sweden, under the regency of his father Birger Jarl.

Almost all the subsequent kings of Sweden have been descendants of the House of Eric. Descent from this house was regarded as such hard currency in medieval and early modern power games that some aspirants (most notably Charles VIII of Sweden) even fabricated a descent (see Tofta) to show that they too were heirs of the House of Erik.


  1. ^ Jörgen Weibull (1993). Swedish history in outline. p. 18. ISBN 91-520-0294-2. 

See also[edit]

House of Eric
Preceded by
House of Sverker
Ruling House of the Kingdom of Sweden
* From 1167-1173 not in the province of Östergötland.
Succeeded by
House of Bjelbo