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Encyclopedia > Duke of Finland

Duke of Finland (in Finnish Suomen herttua; Swedish hertig av Finland) was an occasional medieval title granted as a tertiogeniture to the relatives of the King of Sweden between the 13th and 16th centuries. It included a duchy along with the feudal customs, and often meant a veritably independent principality. The title was replaced by a nominal royal title Grand Duke of Finland in 1581 and has not been in usage since. Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a representative democracy based on a parliamentary system. ... A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess. ... Feudalism comes from the Late Latin word feudum, itself borrowed from a Germanic root *fehu, a commonly used term in the Middle Ages which means fief, or land held under certain obligations by feodati. ... A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a Monarch with the title of prince or princess (a synonym is princedom) or (in the widest sense) a Monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince. ... Grand Duke of Finland, more correctly Grand Prince of Finland, (Finnish: Suomen suuriruhtinas, Swedish: Storfurste av Finland) was a title in use, sometimes sporadically, between 1584 and 1808. ...

Contents

Dukes of Finland

Bishop-Duke Kol

In the late 15th century, historian Ericus Olai claimed that bishop Kol of Linköping (d. 1196?) had been the Duke of Finland (Dux Finlandiae).[1] This claim is not supported by any other sources. There is also no evidence of Swedish rule in Finland already at the end of the 12th century. It must also be noted that in the later 12th century, the title "dux" was still used in the meaning of jarl and came to mean duke only hundred years later. The diocese of Linköping is a Swedish diocese. ... For other uses, see Duke (disambiguation). ...


However, the Bishop of Linköping had an unexplained connection to eastern activities during the 13th century. Pope used him in 1229 to assist the Bishop of Finland to organize the diocese, and the first known Duke of Finland, Benedict, was soon after his nomination elected also as the Bishop of Linköping. Bishop of Linköping had also accompanied the Swedish ledung on their unsuccessful Estonian expedition. The institution known as leiðangr (Old Norse), leidang (Norwegian), leding, (Danish), ledung (Swedish), expeditio (Latin) or sometimes lething (in English language), was a public fleet levy of free farmers typical for the Viking Age Scandinavians. ... Combatants Estonian tribes Sweden Commanders  ? Jarl Charles the Deaf Strength  ? 500 men Casualties  ? Leader, bishop killed 500 men killed Battle of Lihula was fought between invading Swedes and Estonians for the control of the Lihula Castle in Lihula, Estonia in 1220. ...


Bishop-Duke Bengt Birgersson

Bengt Birgersson (1254-91), also known as Benedict, an eccleasiastic, the youngest brother of king Valdemar I of Sweden and Duke Magnus of Sweden (later king Magnus III), was in 1284 granted the Duchy of Finland by his elder brother king Magnus. Soon thereafter, the duke, a consecrated priest and the chancellor of the realm, was elected in 1286 bishop of Linköping. As far as is known, he bore revenues from Finland until his death but did not attempt any independent rule. He was the first known holder of the appanage of Finland. Valdemar Birgersson (1239-1302), King of Sweden 1250-1275/1288/1302, was the son of princess Ingeborg Eriksdotter of Sweden and Birger Jarl, Earl Birger Magnusson of Bjälbo, who more or less ruled Sweden from 1248 under king Eric Ericsson the Lame his brother in law. ... Bishops of the Diocese of Linköping, Sweden. ... The system of appanage has greatly influenced the territorial construction of France and explains the flag of many provinces of France. ...


Duke Valdemar

Main article: Valdemar, Duke of Finland

The youngest son of the late king Magnus III of Sweden (1240-90), Valdemar (1280s-1318), was given his late uncle Bengt's Duchy of Finland at the coronation of his eldest brother king Birger I of Sweden in 1302. Valdemar's elder brother duke Eric was in the 1310s establishing a truly independent principality in Western Sweden, duke Valdemar being his ally. There is no evidence that duke Valdemar succeeded in having as independent position as his brother, but it is obvious that Valdemar used his ducal revenues to assist Eric's campaign against the king and kept his Finnish appanage and administration under Eric instead of the king. Sigillum ad causas for Magnus II of Sweden Magnus II Ericson, Magnus VII of Norway, (1316–1377), King of Sweden, Norway and Terra Scania, son of Duke Eric and Ingeborg, daughter of Hakon V of Norway. ...


In 1315, in alliance with Eric, Valdemar gained Turku castle and Häme castle together with their provinces, i.e most of Finland, as well as Stockholm Castle, most of Uppland and Borgholm with Öland, as the result of their civil war against the king. On December 10th, 1317 he was imprisoned in Nyköping together with his brother Eric by their brother Birger. Sometime in 1318, duke Valdemar (and duke Eric) died while incarcerated. The Medieval keep of Turku Castle viewed from west Exterior of Castle Bailey, viewed from south The Turku Castle, (Finnish: Turun linna, Swedish: Ã…bo slott) dating from the 1280s, is a monument of Finnish history. ... Hämeen linna on the 21th century Hämeen linna at the end of 1650s Häme castle (Hämeen linna) is one of Finlands medieval kingdoms castles. ... Uppland ( ) is a historical province or landskap on the eastern coast of Sweden. ... Location of Borgholm in Sweden Borgholm is a city in south-eastern Sweden, located on the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Nyköping is a Municipality in Södermanland County, in central Sweden. ...


With his second wife Ingeborg of Norway, duke Valdemar had a son, born in 1316, who presumably died young.


Duke Bengt Algotsson

Bengt Algotsson (1330-60), whom his homosexual lover king Magnus IV of Sweden (nephew of duke Valdemar, above) had already in 1353 recognized as Duke of Halland (an originally Danish principality) as the heir of its earlier dukes, Dukes of Estonia and Reval, was in 1353 or 1354 given the duchy of Finland, too. There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Sigillum ad causas for Magnus II of Sweden Magnus Ericson, Magnus VII of Norway, the fourth Magnus to have been proclaimed king of Sweden (1316 – December 1, 1377), King of Sweden, Norway, and Terra Scania, son of Duke Eric Magnusson of Sweden and Ingeborg, daughter of Haakon V of Norway. ...


The duke apparently did not make any bigger efforts to establish himself as ruler in Finland, being satisfied to bear revenues from the duchy. He had his seat in Southern Sweden, where he acted as Viceroy of Skane.


The duke was trampled under certain nobility's opposition against the king. He was exiled in 1357, and killed without an heir in 1360. In 1357, his holdings, including Finland, were given to Eric. Eric was co-ruler of the king, and did not need the ducal title which was left aside for almost 200 years. Eric XII Magnusson (1339-1359) was rival King of Sweden and to his father Magnus II from 1356 to his death in 1359. ...


Duke John: from a Duchy to a Grand Duchy

Main article: John III of Sweden

In 1556, two hundred years after it was vacated by deposition of duke Bengt Algotsson, king Gustav I of Sweden (reigned 1523-60) gave the duchy of Finland to his second son, the then 18-year-old John (1537-92). This became the known history's most serious attempt to create a real principality in Finland. The duchy given to John included the Finland Proper, Raasepori together with Western Uusimaa, and Lower Satakunta. The duchy thus formed was given extraordinarily independent feudal rights by the king. Additionally, John was appointed as Governor-General of Finland, meaning all the other areas beyond Gulf of Bothnia and up to the eastern border. These additions he however did not hold by feudal right but as a royal appointee. John III (Johan III) (December 23, 1537 – November 17, 1592) was King of Sweden from 1568 until his death. ... Gustav I of Sweden, commonly known as Gustav Vasa, but originally known as Gustav Eriksson (May 12, 1496 – September 29, 1560) was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death. ... In Sweden, Duke is considered a royal title, and is only given to members of the Royal House (currently Bernadotte). ... John III (Johan III) (December 23, 1537 – November 17, 1592) was King of Sweden from 1568 until his death. ... Finland Proper (Varsinais-Suomi in Finnish, Egentliga Finland in Swedish) is a region in south-western Finland. ... Uusimaa (Nyland) is a region (maakunta / landskap) in Southern Finland. ... Satakunta (Satakunda) is the name of a geographical region in Finland which can refer to: Satakunta - a historical Province of Sweden (Historical provinces of Finland) Turun ja Porin lääni - a former Province of Finland (County of Sweden) Satakunnan maakunta - a current Region of Finland Western Finland - a current Province... The Governor-General of Finland (in Finnish Suomen kenraalikuvernööri; in Swedish Generalguvernör av Finland) was the head of the Senate of Finland, the government in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, between 1808 and 1917. ...


Duke John settled in Turku, where he created a cultivated princely court at the Turku castle. John was an enthusiastic patron of arts and architecture, and he decorated the castle to splendor never before seen in Finland. Before his marriage, he had a Finnish mistress, Kaarina Hannuntytär. Several Finnish and Swedish families claim descendancy from their bastards. After the death of his father, John drove his own foreign policy which at times was at odds with his elder brother king Eric XIV of Sweden (reigned 1560-68). Also in domestic affairs, John soon opposed the king, together with a party of high nobility who all opposed the increasing centralization of the government. John married his first wife Catharina of Poland (1526-83, also known as Catharina Jagellonica) on October 4th, 1562, against the wishes of his elder brother. Eric regarded his conduct as a rebellion. John and Catharina were imprisoned to Gripsholm Castle in 1563, after a siege of the Turku castle and its conquest by king's troops. The imprisoned duke kept his title, but the duchy itself became administered by royal officials. Turku (IPA: , Swedish:  ), founded in the 13th century, is the oldest and fifth largest city in Finland, with a population of 174,868 (as of 2005). ... The Medieval keep of Turku Castle viewed from west Exterior of Castle Bailey, viewed from south The Turku Castle, (Finnish: Turun linna, Swedish: Ã…bo slott) dating from the 1280s, is a monument of Finnish history. ... Eric XIV (December 13, 1533 – February 26, 1577) was King of Sweden from 1560 until he was deposed in 1568. ... October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events Earliest English slave-trading expedition under John Hawkins. ... Arx Gripsholm, cirka 1700, in Suecia antiqua et hodierna, with the town Mariefred at the right. ...


Eric was deposed by leaders of nobility in 1568, and John, recently released, ascended the throne of Sweden. He reigned until his death in 1592 as King John III. Apparently he made, in 1589, arrangements to grant the duchy of Finland to his youngest son Duke John (see below).


In 1581, King John III (the incumbent titular duke of Finland) assumed the subsidiary title Grand Prince of Finland (in Finnish Suomen suuriruhtinas; Swedish Storfurste till Finland) to the Kings of Sweden. That title became established in Latin renderings (and later in 19th century in English) as Grand Duke of Finland. This monarch's title was intended to cover all Finland, not only his former duchy in the Southwest part of the country. Accordingly, occasionally in the subsequent centuries, Sweden's appointees to govern Finland were assigned to the "Grand Principality of Finland". Events January 16 - English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism April 4 - Francis Drake completes a circumnavigation of the world and is knighted by Elizabeth I. July 26 - The Northern Netherlands proclaim their independence from Spain in the Oath of Abjuration. ... The title Grand Prince (Latin, Magnus Princeps; German, Großfürst, Finnish Suuriruhtinas, Swedish Storfurste, Lithuanian Didysis kunigaikštis, Russian Великий князь Velikii kniaz) ranks in honour below Emperor and Tsar but higher than a sovereign Prince (Fürst) or Royal Prince. ... Grand Duke of Finland, more correctly Grand Prince of Finland, (Finnish: Suomen suuriruhtinas, Swedish: Storfurste av Finland) was a title in use, sometimes sporadically, between 1584 and 1808. ...


Titulary use

King John III (died 1592), the previous duke of Finland, gave his old Duchy and its title as royal duke to John the Younger (1589-1618), his newborn son of his second marriage with Gunilla Bielke (1568-97). King Sigismund, child John's half-brother, seems to have confirmed this appanage. Royal chancellery administered the duchy on behalf of the underage duke, and provided him his allotted revenues. However, when young Duke John approached adulthood, his duchy was in 1606 changed (possibly forced to exchange, in apparent desire to assign Finland to crown prince Gustav Adolf; or voluntarily - Ostrogothia, the replacement, is better located for a person just wishing to enjoy the things of and near the Swedish capital city and with no very independence-desiring mind) to that of Ostrogothia (documents show a change of the recipient of revenues of these two provinces), previously held by king John's younger brother the late duke Magnus. Duke John married his first cousin Maria Elisabeth of Sweden (1596-1618), and they died childless. The system of appanage has greatly influenced the territorial construction of France and explains the flag of many provinces of France. ... In Sweden, Duke is considered a royal title, and is only given to members of the Royal House (currently Bernadotte). ...


There are documentation that Crown Prince Gustav Adolf (1594-1632), elder son of Charles IX of Sweden, the heir-apparent, was in 1606 made Duke of Finland, upon the assignation of Ostrogothia to duke John the younger, and started to receive ducal revenues from Finland. Finland was intended never to go outside the succession to the throne. Gustav Adolf ascended the throne of Sweden in 1611. Gustav II Adolph Gustav II Adolph (December 9, 1594 - November 6, 1632) (also known as Gustav Adolph the Great, under the Latin name Gustavus Adolphus or the Swedish form Gustav II Adolf) was a King of Sweden. ... Charles IX (Karl IX) (October 4, 1550 – October 30, 1611), was King of Sweden from 1604 until his death. ...


Reflections on scenarios

Another royal duchy of Swedish realm, the Sudermannian one (generally held by secundogeniture) was a couple of times the holding of a royal prince who really formed a separate, quite independent principality. Most prominently, Eric, the second son of king Magnus III, and Charles, the youngest son of Gustav I. Sudermannian principality however was located in a central, Swedish-speaking area of the kingdom, very close to the capital, and was not easy to be kept separate in long run. Finland was located beyond a sea, the Gulf of Bothnia, seen from the capital of the kingdom, and was inhabited mostly by population whose language was Finnish and not Swedish. Dukes of Finland were not as enterprising as the Sudermannian ones, and they generally did not leave heirs to sustain the ducal succession separate from the kingdom's dynasty, whereas Sudermannian dukes did. Sudermannia or Södermanland, is a historical province or landskap on the south eastern coast of Sweden. ... Charles IX (Karl IX) (October 4, 1550 – October 30, 1611), was King of Sweden from 1604 until his death. ... The Baltic Sea The Gulf of Bothnia (Fin. ...


Klaus Fleming

When John the Younger was (titular) duke of Finland, baron Klaus Fleming (1535-97) acted as the Governor General of Finland, Karelia and Estonia, appointed by king Sigismund of Sweden and Poland. Duke Charles of Sudermannia managed to get the real power in Sweden proper, but Fleming opposed him, and kept faith with king Sigismund. Those years, Finland was practically independent of the Swedish government, and dependence to the king in Poland was nominal only. Historians have assessed that "at that time, Finland was closer to independence than ever before in its recorded history", or even "was an independent country for the first time when Fleming ruled it". It has been extrapolated in historical research that had the fight not got lost upon the death of Fleming in 1597, Finland would probably ended up as a separate principality under nominal Polish overlordship, and that sooner or later an independent state would have emerged,knowing that the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth was too distant to effectively keep dominance over the area. Klaus Fleming (1535-1597) was a Finnish noble man. ... Reign in Poland From September 18, 1587 until April 19, 1632 Reign in Sweden From November 17, 1592 until July 24, 1599 Elected in Poland On September 18, 1587 in Wola, today suburb of Warsaw, Poland Coronation in Poland On December 27, 1587 in the Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, Poland...


List of Dukes of Finland

  • 1284-91 Bengt Birgersson
  • 1302-18 Valdemar
  • 1353-57 Bengt Algotsson
  • 1556-63 John, son of Gustav Vasa
  • 1589-(1606) John, son of John III
  • (1606/08-11 Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, 1594-1632, since 1611 the king, eldest son of king Charles IX and Christina of Holstein-Gottorp)

No duke of Finland has left descendants in legitimate line to survive to our days. Except John III's legitimate descent (who were kings of Sweden and Poland and have been totally extinct since 1672), lineage of all the others went extinct upon their own death. John III (Johan III) (December 23, 1537 – November 17, 1592) was King of Sweden from 1568 until his death. ... John, in Swedish Johan, in Finnish Juhana, (born 18 April 1589 at Uppsala castle, died 5 March 1618 at Bråborg castle in Östergötland) was a Swedish royal dynast. ... Christina of Holstein-Gottorp (13 April 1573 – 8 December 1625) was a German noblewoman. ...


See also

The Kingdom of Finland was a constitutional monarchy whose creation was contemplated and briefly executed in the aftermath of Finnish independence from Russia. ... In Sweden, Duke is considered a royal title, and is only given to members of the Royal House (currently Bernadotte). ... This is a list of rulers of Finland, that is, the Kings, ruling Dukes and Queen of Sweden with Regents and Viceroys of the Kalmar Union, the Grand Dukes of Finland (identical with the Tsars of Russia), up to the brief Kingdom of Finland at independence in 1918. ... The Governor-General of Finland (in Finnish Suomen kenraalikuvernööri; in Swedish Generalguvernör av Finland) was the head of the Senate of Finland, the government in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, between 1808 and 1917. ...

External links

  • Creation of Grand Duchy of Finland
  • Coat of Arms of Finland

References

  1. ^ Suomen Museo 2002. See page 66. The book can be ordered from the Finnish Antiquarian Society.

 
 

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