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Magnus VII Eriksson
(1316 - Decemeber 1374) Sweden

Magnus VII Eriksson

King of Sweden and Norway<

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Magnus II Eriksson or Magnus VII of Norway and Magnus IV of Sweden. Called "Smek" (i.e. "caress"). He bacame king of Norway (1319-43), of Sweden (1319-63), and of Scania (1332-60). He succeeded his grandfather, Haakon V, in Norway; at the same time he was elected king by the Swedish nobles to succeed his exiled uncle, King Birger of Sweden. He was declared of age in 1332. Educated in Sweden, he neglected Norway and soon became unpopular there.

In 1335 he married with Blanka of Namur witch gave him two sons and a daughter, thereafter his sex life seemed to change and he had (the first known) love affair with the young Bengt Algotsson, whom he made Duke of Finland and Halland and Stateholder of Scania. As homosexuality was a mortal sin and vehemently scorned at that time, revelations about the king's alleged love relationship with Algotsson, and other erotic excapades, were spread by his enemies in the Roman Church, particularly by Heliga Birgitta (St. Bridget) who, in her Revelations accused King Magnus Eriksson of sexual intercourse with Algotsson. Duke Bengt was fiercly hated by the nobility and was slain in Scania in 1360.

Norwegian opposition to union with Sweden forced him to recognize (1343) his son Haakon (later Haakon VI) as his successor in Norway, over which he exercised a nominal regency until Haakon came of age (1355). Early in his reign Magnus had acquired the Danish provinces of Skåne and Blekinge in South Sweden, but in 1343 Waldemar IV of Denmark forced him to sell these acquisitions back to Denmark.

Magnus's son Eric revolted in 1356 and gained part of Sweden, but Magnus regained control after Eric's death (1359). The threat of the Hanseatic League, which established its colony at Bergen during Magnus's reign, induced Magnus and Haakon VI to enter (1363) an alliance with Denmark.

In 1363 Haakon married Waldemar's daughter Margaret I, thus preparing the union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The Danish alliance was unpopular with the Swedish nobles, who deposed both Magnus and Haakon and offered the Swedish crown to the duke of Mecklenburg.

The codification of Swedish law was completed in Magnus's reign. The duke's son, Albert, thus became (1363) king of Sweden. Magnus was imprisoned until 1371 and spent his last years in Norway. He died three years after his liberation, drowned in a storm off the Norwegian coast.

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