Sofia Johansdotter Gyllenhielm

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Gyllenhielm as painted in the 1580s.

Sofia Johansdotter Gyllenhielm (1556/59 – June 1583) in Reval, Estonia, was a Swedish noble. She was the illegitimate daughter of King John III of Sweden and Karin Hansdotter.

Sofia spent her childhood with her mother in Finland. She became a lady-in-waiting of her aunt Princess Elizabeth of Sweden in 1576. The same year, she was engaged by her father to her father's favourite, the French immigrant Baron Pontus De la Gardie, as a reward for his service toward her father. Sofia, her sister Lucretia and her brother Julius were ennobled in 1577 and given the name Gyllenhielm. The wedding was held in Vadstena on 14 January 1580. It was a grand ceremony with many guests, and during the ceremony a gallery broke under the weight of the spectators at church, resulting in the death of one person. This was interpreted by present Catholics as a divine verdict of over the heretics. In 1581, she accompanied her spouse to his command in Swedish Estonia. She died in childbirth in Reval in 1583.


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