Knut Birgersson, Riksjarl of Sweden

Knut Birgersson (Old Norse: Knútr jarl Birgisson, died 1208) was Riksjarl of Sweden. He was the eldest surviving son of Riksjarl Birger Brosa and a member of the powerful House of Bjälbo.[1]

Knut Birgersson was apparently elevated to the office of Riksjarl during the last years of the reign of King Sverker II of Sweden. This was despite the fact that Sverker had named his infant son Johan Sverkersson as riksjarl following the death of Jarl Birger Brosa, in an attempt to confirm Johan as his royal successor and to diminish the power of highest nobility by effectively abolishing the position of riksjarl, so no adult noble could occupy it. Johan Sverkersson was the nephew of Knut Birgersson, being born of his sister Ingegärd Birgersdotter. Sources are silent how and why Knut became jarl in Johan's lifetime, but either he got it as acompromise out of King Sverker, or Sverker actually needed an effective Riksjarl to his side.

According to one source, Jarl Knut was married to daughter of King Canute I of Sweden, named Sigrid Knutsdotter. The same source states that Knut's son lord Magnus Broka was born of Sigrid. Jarl Knut was killed in 1208 at the Battle of Lena, where King Sverker lost his throne to Canute's surviving son, the new king Eric X of Sweden.


Other Sources

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