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Eric XIV
Original name:  Erik
Birth: Dec. 13, 1533
Gamla Stan
Stockholms kommun
Stockholms län, Sweden
Death: Feb. 26, 1577
Tierps kommun
Uppsala län, Sweden

King of Sweden. He was the second Vasa Dynasty monarch and the only son of Gustav I in his first marriage to Queen Catherine, an Ascanian Dynasty princess of Saxe-Lauenburg who died when Eric was an infant. He was also named Duke of Smallands (Småland) and Eyland (Öland). He was well educated for kingship and also a musical talent, especially on the lute. At 27 when Gustav died, he had been ready to take over for some time, often at odds with his temperamental father. Eric's interest in a conquest of the Baltic lands largely succeeded but alienated Denmark and caused seven years of war in he Nordic area. Estonia, and part of Latvia, did belong to Sweden for a long time after his reign. Domestically, he attempted to improve state administration and limit the powers of his three brothers in their respective duchies. He proposed marriage to several prestigious royal ladies around Europe, among them England's Elizabeth I who seriously considered him, in attempts to royally legitimize the Vasa Family and improve his foreign connections. He also had a new set of regalia made for his magnificent coronation in 1561, and his crown is still the official symbol of the King of Sweden in the regalia. King Eric XIV, so numbered according to calculations (probably correct in this case) by one of his father's historians, was sensitive and artistic, but also suspicious, and was strongly influenced by his chancellor. That led him to have all his dynasty's remaining potential rivals of the Sture Family murdered in a fit of hysteria and apparent madness in 1567, the king personally administering some of the stab wounds. The deed outraged the landed gentry and now turned his disgruntled brothers firmly against him, and when he finally married a handmaiden named Karen and had her crowned Queen Catherine, he sealed his own fate. His brothers had him formally deposed two years later, and Eric, who once had imprisoned the oldest, John, now spent the rest of his life as King John III's prisoner at various castles. Apparently at John's orders, the ex-king was poisoned to death by arsenic applied to his pea soup in 1577 and was laid to rest in the Cathedral of West Aros, which was an odd location for a royal interment. Queen Catherine and two surviving children she had by Eric had been separated from him. His gifted pen drawings of his beloved wife from prison are gripping. The couple's surviving son, Gustav, spent an erratic life in Poland and Russia as a pawn of international intrigue, but never again even got close to the throne his father had lost. Two hundred years after Eric's death, King Gustav III remodeled his grave monument, removing an ornamental crown over John III's at Upsala and placing it over Eric's new and elegant sarcophagus. (bio by: Count Demitz) 
Family links: 
   Gustav I Vasa (1496 - 1560)
   Catherine (1513 - 1535)
   Catherine (1550 - 1612)
   Sigrid of Sweden (1566 - 1633)*
   Gustav of Sweden (1568 - 1607)*
   Eric XIV (1533 - 1577)
   John III (1537 - 1592)**
   Catherine of East Frisia (1539 - 1610)**
   Cecilia of Baden (1540 - 1627)**
   Magnus of Sweden (1542 - 1595)**
   Anne of the Palatinate-Veldenz (1545 - 1610)**
   Stein of Sweden (1546 - 1549)**
   Sophia of Saxe-Lauenburg (1547 - 1611)**
   Elizabeth of Mecklenburg (1549 - 1597)**
   Carl IX (1550 - 1611)**
*Calculated relationship
Västerås domkyrka
Västerås kommun
Västmanlands län, Sweden
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Amelie
Record added: Dec 06, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12619748
Eric XIV
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Eric XIV
Added by: Anonymous
Eric XIV
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Added by: Amelie
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