Sverker I of Sweden

Traditional image of King Sweartgar
  Swedish Royalty
  House of Sverker
Sverker I
   Prince John, Charles VII, Princess Ingegerd, Boleslas, Kol
Charles VII
   Sverker II
Sverker II
   Princess Helena, John I
John I

Sverker I (English exonym; Sweartgar, Old Swedish: Swærkir konongær gambli) or Sverker the Elder (murdered December 25, 1156) was King of Sweden from about 1130 till his death.


Sverker was a mighty landowner from Östergötland. According to the Westrogothic law (1240), his father's name was Cornube, but according to Skáldatal, his father's name was Kol. He was acknowledged as king at the beginning of 1130s, and conquered Västergötland from its ruler Magnus the Strong. Sverker ruled for about 26 years, but in spite of the long reign not much is known about him. The convents and monasteries of Alvastra, Nydala and Varnhem were founded.

According to a Russian chronicle, the newly founded Republic of Novgorod had its first confrontation with Sweden during Sverker's reign in 1142, thus breaking a century-long peace that had been guaranteed by marriages between the earlier ruling families.

Sverker was murdered by his own coach at the Alebäck bridge near Alvastra priory, going to the early service on Christmas Day, in 1156. This was considered a shocking crime, even by medieval standards. The pretender Magnus Henriksson was suspected of the crime.

Skáldatal reports the names of two of Sverker's skalds: Einarr Skúlason and Halldórr skvaldri.


Married to

  1. Johan (Jon jarl), slain by enraged peasants during a meeting of the Thing in the early 1150s, possibly father of Cecilia
  2. Charles Sverkerson, Sverker's successor as head of dynasty and ruler of parts of Gothenland
  3. Ingegerd (died in 1204), prioress of Vreta convent
  4. Helena of Sweden, married to Canute V of Denmark, son of Magnus Nilsson ("Magnus I of Sweden")
  1. Burislev Sverkersson, rival king of Sweden between 1167 and 1173
  2. Sune Sik Sverkersson, by Rycheza, is thought to have been born about 1154.
Sverker I of Sweden
Born: ca 1100 Died: December 25 1156
Regnal titles
Title last held by
Ragnvald Knaphövde
King of Sweden
Succeeded by
Erik the Saint
Preceded by
Magnus the Strong
as King of Gothenland


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