Karl IV
King of Gothenland
Reign 5th May, 1304 - 12th September, 1315
Predecessor John II
Successor Eric II
Born May, 1284?
Jönköping, Gothenland
Died 12th September, 1315
Chojnica, Pomerelia
Spouse Rikessa Langeland
Full name
Karl Jansson
House Sverker
Father John II
Mother Elizabeth of Landeryd

Karl IV was king of Gothenland in the early 14th century. He would spend almost his entire reign away from the kingdom, embroiled in Poland's civil war.

In 1306 the young Wenceslaus III died leaving the throne of Poland without a clear heir. The various Piast dukes turned on each other. John II had arranged the marriage of Karl's sister Sophia to one of the many landless Polish nobles, John of Plock and it would appear Karl, already campaigning on the continent, jumped on the idea of seizing a Polish duchy. Pomerelia seemed an ideal target. Its duke, Leszek of Inowrocław, was absent and permanently short of funds.

With the new Gothenlandic territory of Sambia more or less secure Karl moved his attentions westward and in 1308 captured the important trading town of Hel and its island/peninsula. For the next seven years, aside from a brief return to Gothenland in 1313, Karl would spend his time in Pomerelia attempting to expand his beachhead into a permanent holding. The Teutonic Knights had also taken note of Poland's strife and were expanding here too, something which frustrated Karl considerably.

At home Gothenland was briefly rocked by the appearance of 'Karl of Halland' the long-dead rival to John II's right to rule. Any serious damage was averted after the claimant died only five days after announcing his presence to a rapturous welcome in Jönköping. Historians still debate who exactly this figure was.

Karl died in 1315 attempting to take the town of Chojnica after a quite successful season's campaigning. In the subsequent rout all Gothenlandic holdings were retaken by the new Duke of Pomerelia, and future king, Wladyslaw the Elbow-High Although a wife is mentioned in the chronicles, the presumably Danish Rikessa Langeland, it appears they had no children. His brother Eric, already acting as regent in Gothenland, was crowned as soon as news of Karl's death reached the royal court.

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