Valdemar, Duke of Finland

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File:Waldemar of Sweden (1280s) seal 1905.jpg
Seal of Duke Valdemar of Finland

Valdemar Magnusson (1280 – 1319) was a Swedish prince, heir to the throne of Sweden, and Duke of Finland.


Valdemar was the third son of King Magnus III of Sweden and Queen Helvig. He became the Duke of Finland in 1302 during the coronation of his older brother, King Birger of Sweden.[1] Valdemar married Kristina, daughter of Torgils Knutsson, who was the constable and virtual ruler of Sweden during King Birger's early reign.

Political career

Valdemar's father-in-law was arrested in December of 1305 and executed the following February. Valdemar subsequently divorced his wife, claiming that they were spiritually related (baptism siblings) because Torgils was his godfather. In the fall of 1312, he married Ingeborg Eriksdottir of Norway in Oslo. She was the daughter of Eirik II of Norway and his second wife, Queen Isabella Bruce, and a niece of Robert the Bruce. It was a double wedding, because at the same time Valdemar's brother Eric, Duke of Södermanland married Ingeborg of Norway, daughter of King Haakon V of Norway. Valdemar and Ingeborg had a son in 1316 who died as a child.

In 1306, in an event known as the Håtuna games (Håtunaleken), King Birger was captured by his brothers on the Håtuna royal estate in Uppland and taken as prisoner to Nyköping Castle (Nyköpingshus). Two years later, King Eric VI of Denmark forced Valdemar and Eric to release King Birger under humiliating conditions. King Birger sought aid in Denmark after his release and the strife resumed.

By 1315, Valdemar and Eric had managed to wrest large parts of the Swedish kingdom from their brother. Valdemar had gained Turku and Häme castles, with a lion's share of Finland, the castle of Stockholm, most of Uppland, Borgholm castle, and the island of Öland. Eric was in possession of Kungahälla (which he had been given during his exile by the Norwegian king) and northern Halland, which he had been given by King Eric VI of Denmark.


On December 10, 1317, Valdemar and Eric were captured and imprisoned by Birger at the Nyköping Banquet (Nyköpings gästabud).

Valdemar and Eric's wives assumed leadership roles after their husbands' imprisonment. On April 16, 1318, the two duchesses entered into a treaty in Kalmar with Esger Juul, Archbishop of Lund and Christopher, brother of Eric VI of Denmark and Duke of Halland-Samsötreaty, to free their husbands.

This treaty was not honored, and their husbands died later that same year. Although their exact cause of death is unknown, the brothers are thought to have been murdered or starved to death.

The dower Ingeborg had included the island of Öland. Ingeborg was styled Duchess of Öland from at least 1340, surviving her late husband long after his death and staying in Sweden until her own death.



  • Lindqvist, Herman Historien om Sverige. Från islossning till kungarike (Norstedts: 1997)
  • Harrison, Dick Jarlens sekel: en berättelse om 1200-talets Sverige (Ordfront. 2002)
  • Bergman, Mats Nyköpingshus. En rundvandring i historia och nutid (Almqvist & Wiksell. 1992)
  • Mannervik, Cyrus Sagor och sägner – Från Nordens forntid och medeltid (AV Carlsons. 1958)


  1. Scott, Franklin (1988). Sweden, the Nation's History. SIU Press. p. 70. ISBN 0-8093-1513-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Logo för Nordisk familjeboks uggleupplaga.png This article contains content from the Owl Edition of Nordisk familjebok, a Swedish encyclopedia published between 1904 and 1926, now in the public domain.

Valdemar, Duke of Finland
Born: 1280s Died: 1318
Preceded by
Benedict, Duke of Finland
(Duke of Finland)
Duke of Osterlandia
(Duke of Finland)
Succeeded by
Benedict, Duke of Halland
(Duke of Finland)