Canute I of Sweden

For Canute of England, see Canute the Great.
Canute I

Canute I
King of Sweden
Reign 1173 – 1195
Predecessor Charles VII
Successor Sverker II
Born Before 1150
Died 1195/96
Spouse Cecilia Johansdotter of Sweden (traditionally)
Issue Jon Knutsson
Knut Knutsson
Joar Knutsson
Eric X
daughter, NN Knutsdotter
Full name
Swedish: Knut Eriksson
Old Norse: Knútr Eiríksson
House Eric
Father Eric IX "the Saint" of Sweden
Mother Christina Bjornsdatter

Canute I (Swedish: Knut Eriksson, Old Norse: Knútr Eiríksson; born before 1150 – died 1195/96) was king over all of Sweden from 1173 to 1195 (rival king since 1167). He was a son of King Eric the Saint and Queen Christina, who was a granddaughter of the Swedish king Inge the Elder.

After killing Charles Sverkerson in 1167, Canute, who had just returned home after ten years in exile, started fighting for power against Sverker the Elder's sons Kol and Boleslaw Sverkerson. Only in 1173 could he call himself king of the whole country.

Canute's able jarl (earl) from 1174 was Birger Brosa (died in 1202)

Canute built a castle on the island of Stockholm in 1187, one of many such fortifications made necessary by heathen incursions from the Baltic lands.

Skáldatal names two of Knut Eriksson's skalds: Hallbjörn hali and Þorsteinn Þorbjarnarson.


Married around 1160, the name of his wife is unknown but traditionally taken to be Cecilia Johansdotter of Sweden.


  1. Jon Knutsson (slain November 1205 at Battle of Älgarås)
  2. Knut Knutsson (slain November 1205 at Battle of Älgarås)
  3. Joar Knutsson (slain November 1205 at Battle of Älgarås)
  4. Erik Knutsson, who would defeat Sverker the Younger and become King of Sweden in 1208.
  5. daughter, NN Knutsdotter (possibly Sigrid, or Karin), who is said to have married either jarl Knut Birgersson (and become mother of Magnus Broka), or married Magnus Broka himself (and with Magnus had a son Knut Magnusson, or, Knut Katarinason, claimant of Swedish throne and killed in 1251). Existence of this daughter is based on unclear mentions in old saga and chronicle material, and is to an extent accepted in research literature, to explicate Knut Magnusson's hereditary claim to the throne. This daughter was by necessity born in the 1170s or 1180s. She is also proposed by old romantical-looking genealogies as mother of a Duke's daughter Cecilia Knutsdotter (by necessity born near 1208 at earliest), whose parentage however is fully shrouded in mists of history.


Knut Eriksson
Died: 1196
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles VII
King of Sweden
Succeeded by
Sverker II

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