King of Scandinavia. He was Eric VII of Denmark, Eric III of Norway and has been counted as Eric XIII of Sweden, but never numbered himself that way. He belonged to the Griffin Dynasty and reigned for 43 years. Upon the death in 1412 of Queen Regnant Margaret the Great, who was his great aunt and had adopted him, Eric ruled the three kingdoms himself. He had already nominally been King of Sweden for 16 years and had been crowned King of the whole Kalmar Union in 1397. For 6 years, he had been married to Queen Philippa, one of the daughters of King Henry IV of England, the first Plantagenet of Lancaster. Unfortunately for the union, Eric has been considered poorly cut out for the important triple kingship he had inherited, ruling the Roman Church's big northern province of Dacia, although he was described as tall, magnificent, agile and an expert horseman. At first, he had grand plans for an empire to include the Baltic countries, Russia, and more German territory, but wars pursuing these interests damaged trade and the economy as well as the King's popularity. Eric was perceived in Sweden as being biased in favor of Denmark, and he had Copenhagen as his union capital, though Margaret had founded the federation and staged Eric's coronation at the southeastern Swedish port of Kalmar. What's fact or fiction in colorful tales of his debaucheries cannot be ascertained. After Philippa's death childless, he did try to get a Pomeranian cousin Duke Bogislaw IX recognized to succced him, but that failed. A Swedish uprising, led by the celebrated Lord Engelbert, who was made head of the army for a year but was axed to death in 1436, resulted in a big Council of the Union. Royal power was diminished greatly, and a national assembly (once considered Sweden's first) was held. The King, who felt he had well managed Sweden's interests for over 40 years in supporting trade for her towns, favoring her mining industry and representing her on his extensive foreign journey all the way to Jerusalem in 1423-25, now appears to have lost interest in his crowns and sailed off to the isle of Gothland to run a ring of piracy. A new mistress named Cecilia may have had something to do with it. Eric was then dethroned in 1439, two years later in Denmark and Norway also. He failed in several attempts to regain his crowns, and finally went back to his native Pomerania, which he ran as Duke Eric I for another ten years, dying at the then extraordinary age of 77. Having no surviving children, he saw his nephew King Christopher succeed him in Scandinavia.
Bio by: Count Demitz