|King of Gothenland|
|Reign||1156 - April? 1178|
|Died|| April?, 1178 |
|Issue|| Sverker Karlsson|
Karl I succeeded to the Gothenlandic throne following his father's murder in 1156. While he certainly was in no position to claim his father's other kingdom, Svealand, he would receive many nobles friendly to the Sverker dynasty as the country's new ruler, Eric VI asserted himself.
In 1160 Eric VI too was murdered. The man assumed behind both his and Sverker's murder, Magnus II Henriksson seized the throne. Hearing about the crimes, Pope Alexander III authorised Karl to remove Magnus by force. However in an apparent bid to silence his critics and cut off his enemies, Magnus pre-empted him and invaded Gothenland.
At Mjölby Karl's forces caught Magnus' and defeated the murderer. The Svealandic nobles would not recognise Karl's rule in Svealand however. He offered his nephew† Burislev to them instead and they accepted the 12-year old. When Burislev died in about 1169 it appeared that Karl negotiated the coronation of Burislev's younger brother Kol. When in turn Kol died in battle against Cnut I Eriksson Karl was not available to assist or retaliate. It is however mentioned in the sources that Denmark, Viken and the church all sent warnings not to upset this new status quo, so it is likely he was put off by diplomatic pressure.
Karl I died in early 1178 and was succeeded by his eldest son Sverker II.
†Danish sources say that Burislev and Kol were Karl's nephews, possibly the sons of his deceased elder brother John. However both kings were referred to as Sverkersson in the Upplandlagen so it is assumed they were Sverker's direct sons, probably with his Polish queen, Richeza