Thursday, 19 February 2015

Episode 11: The Kalmar Union

By 1389 Margaret was the ruler of all three Nordic countries, thought war with the supporters of Albrecht of Mecklenburg continued for years. At a meeting in Kalmar, representatives from Norway, Sweden and Denmark gathered to crown Margarets successor, her sisters gradson Bogislaus, as king Erik - known in Swedish history as Erik of Pomerania.

Two documents remain from the meeting in Kalmar. One apparantly official where the nobility hails Erik as king by the grace of God, without any real limitations to his power - and one draft on paper were the king is obliged to rule by the laws, must be elected and take council in foreign affairs. The latter document has raised much historical debate. What is it? A failed propsal from the aristocracy or a document that actually was legalised, though the official document has been lost? In any way, the two documents represents two different ideas of kingship and power - supreme royal power and constitutional monarchy.

Right: The "draft", on paper and with no proper seals. 
Below: The coronation letter hailing Erik as king with the grace of God.