Erik of Pomerania

Danish, Norwegian and Swedish king from Darlowo

The first Boguslaw was born in 1382 in the castle of Darlowo. The Danish Queen, Margrethe I, decided to adopt her sister's daughter from Pomerania. In late November or early December 1388, Prince Warcislaw sailed with his 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter Katarzyna from Darlowo to Queen Margrethe's court in Roskilde, which was then the capital of Denmark.
Here, the young Boguslaw underwent a thorough education and his name was changed to Erik, to give it a more Scandinavian sound.

In connection with the signing of the union between the three Scandinavian countries in Kalmar on June 17, 1397, Erik was officially awarded the title: King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

After October 28, 1412, when Queen Margrethe died, power in all of Scandinavia passed to Erik. The economic situation in the kingdom deteriorated. The German merchants, who previously only traded in cities belonging to the Hanseatic League, expanded their activity in the smaller cities into effective competition with the small local merchants. The German merchants became a threat to the small Danish cities, taking over the trade on their territory.

Erik of Pomerania initiated the preparation of legislation aimed at restricting the business of German merchants in his realm. The law stated that the foreign merchants either had to refrain from traffic in Denmark during the winter period (thus they could maintain the status of guests) or apply for Danish citizenship.

Erik supported the development of cities by deciding, by means of a regulation (1422), to concentrate trade there, and granting many of them royal merchant privileges.

From 1429 Erik enforced the collection of the Øresund Customs at Krogen (later Kronborg) and Helsingborg, so that in the future customs duties were imposed on ships passing the Øresund – from or on their way to the Baltic Sea, especially merchant ships from the Hanseatic cities and the Crusaders' ships. In this way, Denmark had significant control and influence on trade and traffic on the Baltic Sea until the middle of the 19th century. where duty was abolished. Thanks to Erik, for more than 400 years, the Danish state has been able to increase its revenue with extremely considerable sums from the customs duty.

Erik negotiated with Polish king Wladyslaw Jagiello on an association between the Scandinavian Union (Kalmar Union) and the Polish-Lithuanian Union. In this connection, he also suggested a marital connection between Jagiello’s eldest daughter, Jadwiga, and his own cousin, Prince Boguslaw IX of Pomerania. It was precisely this Boguslaw who wanted to put Erik in the position of successor in Denmark.

Erik of Pomerania had many supporters, but even more opponents, not least because of his failed attempt to get Southern Jutland back under Danish rule and because of his opposition to giving the nobility political influence in the kingdom. A revolt in Sweden against Erik became the direct reason why the detronized king left the country and stayed for a number of years at his castle Visborg on the island of Gotland; in 1449 – after setting off a Swedish siege and leaving the island on Danish hands – he left Gotland and returned to Darlowo.

Erik was first married to Philippa of England, daughter of Henry IV; she died in 1430; his last life companion was Cæcilia, who accompanied him to Gotland and Pomerania.

In Darlowo, Erik expanded the Castle of the Pomeranian Principals and, after Boguslaw IX, assumed authority over the Pomeranian Principality of Slupsk.
Erik died on April 4, 1459, resting in a sarcophagus, erected in a niche in the church of Mary in Darlowo.

Prepared by MTS on the basis of, inter alia, “Zarys historii Polski” (ed. J.Tazbir), 1979, and Erik Kjersgaard: “Kjersgaard's History of Denmark”, 1993.

Erich I
Erik I the Pomeranian

Translated into English by Google Translate. accept no liability for any errors or omissions in translation.

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