Gustav I
Gustav I
King of Svealand
Reign 7th February, 1569 - 1st May, 1599
Predecessor John IV
Successor Gustav II
Born 12th October, 1542
Ekesberg Castle, Svealand
Died 1st May, 1599
Stockholm, Svealand
Spouse Ebba Jönsdotter Roos
Issue Gustav II


Full name
Gustav Leijonhufvud
House Leijonhufvud
Father Johan Leijonhufvud
Mother Cecilia Eriksdotter Vinstorpa

Gustav II was king of Svealand at the end of the 16th century. His long reign is almost forgettable on a domestic front though he would leave Svealand in a much healthier place than he found it.

Foreign Relations

As his reign went on Gustav was increasingly paranoid that Denmark would attempt to reconquer Svealand. Though his father had essentially allied with the Danish-led 'Schmalkaldic Empire' Gustav was not convinced by Eric XI's words and as a result began looking for alternative allies. His second son, John, was married off to Anne of Scotland, daughter of the indomitable James VII. That Anne would end up inheriting Scotland in 1581 was a happy accident.

Luxembourg, also Lutheran but outside the Schmalkaldic sphere, was another willing ally. The future Charles III would be Gustav's guest for several years and led a Luxembourg cavalry division during the Svealand-Tver War of 1596.

That war, sparked by Tver's escalating interference in Livonia, was an assured success. Not only did it remove Tverian influence from the Baltic for another 30 years but it also lessened Livonia's reliance on the Schmalkaldic Empire and put it under Svealand's protection, a ploy which largely worked as the cities switched their allegiances to Svealand and Gustav manoeuvered a couple of his own choices into the Courland and Dorpat bishoprics. Gustav would be toasted in the Rzeczpospolita too, opening up future co-operation in dealing with Tver, Vladimir and Novgorod.

At Home

Keenly aware of Svealand's relative poverty Gustav took great care with the state's treasury; occasionally coming under criticism for penny-pinching and miserliness. However, through shrewd investment in Svealand's trade the treasury was in good shape by 1590.

Gustav would begin the military reforms which his successors would see to fruition; namely ensuring the small population of Svealand could support a large, semi-professional army. Despairing at the state of the army he gave the job of recruitment to the church who were better assessors of a candidate's fitness but it also helped forge a faith-based unity which the mercenary-driven armies of continental Europe could only dream of.

Gustav was betrothed to Ebba Jönsdotter Roos in as part of his father's early schemes to secure Leijonhufvud supremacy over the other Svealandic noble families. They would have 12 children.

Gustav died in 1599 and was succeeded by his eldest son Gustav.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.