Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Episode 9: The Black Death and it's aftermath

Death plays chess in Täby curch, 15th century

Last time we met king Magnus Eriksson everything was hunkydory. The king ruled Sweden, Norway and Scania, he had made a good marriage to Blanche of Namur and had two sons. His only problem
really was lack of money, or really - large debts. But that was nothing unusual for a medieval king.

And the everything changed - not just for the king, but for the entire society. The Black Death arrived in Sweden in 1350 and the effects were just like in other parts of Europe: mass death followed by economic and political upheaval. In the turmoil following the plague, the king was dethroned by the nobility in Sweden. Instead they invited the king's nephew, duke Albrecht of Mecklenburg to rule. He lasted some twenty years, but then he too got thrown out in favour of Margret, daughter of Danish Valdemar Atterdag and daugther in law to Magnus Eriksson.