Cnut I Eriksson
Cnut I Eriksson
King of Svealand
Reign 1173 - 1196
Predecessor Kol
Successor John I
Born c. 1145
Died 1196
Spouse Cecilia Johansdotter

Elisiv of Denmark

Issue John I

Knut Knutsson
Joar Knutsson
Erik Knutsson
Karin Knutsdotter
Valdemar Eriksson
Richeza Knutsdotter

Full name
Cnut Eriksson
House Eric
Father Eric VI
Mother Christina Bjornsdatter

Cnut I Eriksson is a decisive figure in Svealandic history, ending the reign of the Gothenlandic House of Sverker and forging the House of Eric.

At first Cnut kept close to the Sverkers. His first marriage was to Cecilia Johansdoter, grand-daughter of Sverker and sister of the future Kings, Burislev and Kol, and by this union escaped much of the violence meted out to Eric VI's children and kin once Karl I of Gothenland reconquered the kingdom in 1160. However there obviously came a point when he could no longer ignore the plight of his family and rebelled against Burislev's rule. In or around 1169 Cnut and Burilsev met in battle with Cnut proving victorious. Burislev was killed but his brother Kol then defeated Cnut in turn. Cnut was exiled to Denmark and Kol took the throne. Cecilia disappears from the record at this point and her fate is unrecorded but their five children, including John I and Karin, were all still with their father.

In Denmark, Cnut made an alliance with Valdemar I and married Valdemar's cousin, Elisiv. He probably campaigned with his host in Pomerania. In 1173 Cnut returned to Svealand and defeated Kol at the Battle of Bjälbo. Cnut would be accepted by the Svealandic nobles as king. Both Denmark and Viken cautioned Karl I about challenging this new development and the church weighed in too, widely promoting Cnut as a Christianiser whilst the Sverkerssons had been happy to allow paganism to continue. Karl I had his own domestic matters to deal with anyway and would soon be dead.

Though Burislev had extended Svealand's authority to the Aaland Islands pagan raids still occurred along the coast. In response Cnut would raise several fortifications to aid defense, including one on a Stockholm island to protect the major towns of the interior, beginning its development as a city.

Cnut died in 1196 and his son John would succeed him. His daughter Karin would also rule in her own right in due course.

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