Magnus, Duke of Östergötland

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Duke of Östergötland
Magnus of Sweden (1542) c 1580.jpg
Prince Magnus of Sweden
Born (1542-07-25)25 July 1542
Died 26 June 1595(1595-06-26) (aged 52)
Burial Vadstena Abbey
Issue Lucretia Magnusdotter Gyllenhielm
Helena Magnusdotter Gyllenhielm
Virginia Magnusdotter Gyllenhielm
House Vasa
Father Gustav Vasa of Sweden
Mother Margareta Leijonhufvud

Magnus Vasa (25 July 1542 – 26 June 1595), prince of Sweden, Duke of Östergötland from 1555. Magnus was the third son of King Gustav Vasa. His mother was queen Margareta Leijonhufvud.


Magnus was the only of Gustav Vasa's sons, except for Karl and Sten, who died in infancy, that didn't become king of Sweden. In 1555, he was made Duke of Ostrogothia, Kinda and Ydre, Dalsland, Sundbo härad in Närke, Kåkind, Valla, and the major part of Vadsbo härad in Västergötland. As Duke of Ostrogothia, he lived permanently at Vadstena Castle in Vadstena.

Magnus suffered from a mental illness. The illness showed its first signs in 1563, and eventually became permanent. In 1574, the responsibility of his fiefs were taken over by his brother ing John III, who managed them as his guardian because of his mental condition. A smaller part of them was granted to his other brother, Charles.

Magnus died at the Manorhouse of Kungsbro, outside Linköping, in 1595 and is buried in the Bridgettine Abbey Church in Vadstena.


Many ballads and stories were made inspired by Magnus and his alleged interest in mythological creatures such as fairies.

There are many stories about the 'Mad Duke', for example when he saw a mermaid in the castle moat and threw himself out of a window. He nearly drowned. There are no proof of the story, but it might come from when he in 1563 fell in the moat, during the construction of the castle drawbridge.


Magnus was never married. He had three confirmed and acknowledged children outside of marriage.

With Valborg Eriksdotter:

  1. Lucretia Magnusdotter (Gyllenhielm) (1562-1624) married to nobleman Christoffer von Warnstedt

With Anna von Haubitz

  1. Helena Gyllenhielm (1572-1630) married to nobleman Wollmar Yxkull

Mother unknown:

  1. Virginia


Johan Kristiersson (Vasa)
Erik Johansson (Vasa)
Birgitta Gustafsdotter (Sture)
Gustav I of Sweden (Vasa)
Måns Karlsson (Eka)
Cecilia Månsdotter (Eka)
Sigrid Eskilsdotter (Banér)
Magnus of Sweden (Vasa)
Abraham Kristiernsson (Leijonhuvud)
Erik Abrahamsson (Leijonhufvud)
Birgitta Månsdotter (Natt och Dag)
Margareta Leijonhufvud
Erik Karlsson (Vasa)
Ebba Eriksdotter (Vasa)
Anna Karlsdotter (Vinstorpa)