C. M. (Clement Moore) Butler.

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PRINCETON, N. J.



S/te/f.



BR 404 .B87 1883
Butler, C. M. 1810-1890.
The Reformation in Sweden



■ ■ *i..i » ->/. S-



^\ ^



The Reformation in Sweden



ITS RISE, PROGRESS, AND CRISIS
AND ITS TRIUMPH UNDER
CHARLES IX,



C. M. 'BUTLER, D.D.

Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Divinity School of the
Protestant Episcopal Church, Philadelphia



New York
ANSON D. F. RANDOLPH & COMPANY

900 BROADWAY, COR. 20th STREET



Copyright, 1883,
By Anson D. F. Randolph & Company.



ST. JOHNLAND PRINTED BY

STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY, EDWARD O. JENKINS,

SUFFOLK CO., N. Y. 20 NORTH WILLIAM ST., N. Y.







CONTENTS . "^^



CHAPTER I.

SWEDEN FROM THE TREATY OF CALMAR, 1 398, TO THE

INVASION OF CHRISTIAN II. OF DENMARK, I52O . . . I

CHAPTER n.

FROM THE INVASION OF CHRISTIAN II., I52O, TO THE AC-
CESSION OF GUSTAVUS TO THE THRONE, 1 523 .... 1 7

CHAPTER III.

FROM THE ELECTION OF GUSTAVUS TO THE THRONE, TO HIS

COLLISION WITH THE CLERGY, 1 526 49

CHAPTER IV.

THE SUCCESSFUL STRUGGLE OF GUSTAVUS WITH THE SPIRIT-
UAL POWER, 1526-27 75

CHAPTER V.

THE ESTABLISHMENT AND CONTINUED STRUGGLES OF THE

REFORMATION 97

CHAPTER VI.

CONDITION OF THE CHURCH TO THE CLOSE OF THE REIGN

OF KING GUSTAVUS II9



iv Contents.

CHAPTER VII.

KING ERIC AND HIS BROTHERS 147

CHAPTER Vni.

KING eric's madness, IMPRISONMENT AND DEATH. DUKE

JOHN BECOMES KING OF SWEDEN, AND HIS SON SIGISMUND
KING OF POLAND 1 69

CHAPTER IX.

THE REIGN OF KING JOHN FROM 1 568 TO I5 83 . . . . I93

CHAPTER X.

THE REIGN OF KING JOHN FROM 1 583, TO HIS DEATH, 1 592 . 209

CHAPTER XI.

CHARLES AND SIGISMUND 229

CHAPTER XII.

FROM THE MEETING OF THE DIET OF SODERK(EPING, SEPT.
30, 1596, TO THE CLOSE OF THE REIGN OF CHARLES
IX., OCT. 30, 161 1 248



THE REFORMATION IN SWEDEN.



CHAPTER I.



SWEDEN FROM THE TREATY OF CALMAR, 1 398, TO
THE INVASION OF CHRISTIAN II. OF DENMARK, 152O.

THE history of Scandinavia, previous to the union
of the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and
Norway, under Queen Margaret, in accordance with
the treaty of Calmar, is a record of violent commo-
tions and revolutions, and of incessant wars between
the three kingdoms. There is very little in it to repay
the student of general history for the time and toil it
will cost him to acquire any coherent idea of its ever-
shifting conditions, and still less to attract or reward
the student of ecclesiastical history.
Scandina- The reigns of Birger, 1290-1319, and of his
viaprez'ions ^^^ Magnus, 1319-1363, in Sweden, were

to Treaty of , , , ,,1-

Calmar, SO marked by cruelty and disaster to the
'39^- nation that some of the banished nobles

invited Albert, Count of Mecklenburg, son of the sister
of Magnus, to invade the kingdom and take posses-
sion of the throne. He accepted the invitation and
succeeded to the throne and reigned from 1363 to
1389. But his favors to Germans so offended the na-
tive nobility that they compelled him to dismiiss his
German favorites, and to accept one of their number,
Bo Jonsson, as his chief adviser in the government.



2 The Reformation in Sweden.

Jonsson soon became his master, and his heirs offered
the throne to Margaret, Queen of Denmark and Nor-
way. She sent an army into Sweden, which defeated
and captured and imprisoned Albert. As Albert's son
died in 1379 there was no one to contest Queen Mar-
garet's claim to the throne, and the designation of her
nephew Eric, Duke of Pomerania, to succeed to the
triple throne of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, which
was secured by the treaty of Calmar, in 1398.
Sweden tin- ^^^^ Conditions upon which the union of the
der Queen three kingdoms was concluded were such as

•^ seemed to promise peace and many mutual

advantages. It promised to put an end to the feuds by
which the Scandinavian kingdoms had hitherto been
convulsed, and to give to each member of the confed-
eracy, while still retaining its separate laws- and cus-
toms, a strength beyond its own to resist the encroach-
ments of more powerful states. It provided that the
election of the king should in future be made conjointly,
— the sons of the sovereign being preferred; each realm
was to be governed by its own laws; fugitives from
one country were not to be protected in another; all
were bound to take up arms for the common defence.

It is obvious to remark how great would have been
the advantages of such an arrangement if it could have
been faithfully maintained; but it is equally obvious to
conclude that such a union of rival states is scarcely
practicable in the most advanced stages of civilization,
and quite impossible at an era of violence and under
an undefined system of succession to the throne. Mar-
garet herself introduced, or rather set in motion, the
existing elements of discord by her partiality to her
Danish subjects, — to whom she committed the chief
posts and fortresses of Sweden, — by her new and heavy



The Reformation in Sweden. 3

imposts, her prodigality to the clergy, and her avowed
policy of humbling the nobles of the land. The in-
evitable result immediately ensued — hatred on the
part of the Swedes and devotion on the part of the
Danes. By a native historian of Sweden she is said to
have been regarded by the Danes as sanctain et canoni-
zatione dignam, and by the Swedes as proftindissirno
dig nam inferno.

Sweden nn- ^^^ discontent of the Swedes broke out
der King into open rebellion after the death of Queen
^^'^' Margaret and the accession of King Eric.

The king was not qualified either by his character or
his administrative ability to conciliate the esteem, or
to silence the dissatisfaction of his subjects. His cruel
treatment of his wife Phillippa of England, who by
her gentleness and intelligence won the hearts of the
Swedes, subjected him to deserved obloquy. In the
pursuit of objects in which Sweden had no interest—
the recovery of his dukedom of Pomerania and the
fruitless attempt to conquer Schleswig — he exhausted
the resources of the country and shed the blood of his
subjects in wars from which they could reap no bene-
fit. This continued drain of men and money from the
kingdom, and the oppression of the Danes and Ger-
mans, who filled all the offices and occupied all the
castles of the land, led to a civil war, which, checked
from time to time, still broke out afresh, and was to be
extinguished only after a hundred years of discord and
bloodshed by the disruption of the union between Den-
mark and Sweden.

Rising of Englebert Englebertson, an intelligent, elo-
Engiebertin quent and popular miner of Dalecarlia, who
Daiecariia. ^^^ passed his youth in the household of
great barons, and had there acquired a degree of



4 The Reformation in Sweden.

knowledge and culture superior to that which was
usual in his class, vowed to avenge the injuries suf-
fered by the Dalecarlians in common with all their
countrymen. The government of that province was
in the hands of a Danish nobleman named Ericson.
His administration was marked by every species of
brutal cruelty and oppression. Englebert proceeded
to Denmark and laid before the king proofs of the
atrocious tyranny of Ericson. The king ordered an
inquiry to be made, and the charges were admitted
by the State Council to have been sustained. Armed
with their report, Englebert returned to Denmark and
laid it before the king and demanded the removal and
punishment of Ericson. But the king had changed his
mind, and ordered Englebert to be gone and never
again to appear in his presence. Eric replied — *' Yet
once more I will return."

The report of this reception by the king was the
signal for revolt. The Dalesmen rose, elected Engle-
bert to be their leader, marched against Westeras in
the autumn of 1433, ^^^ though induced to retire by
some of the State Council who were there, by their
promise to urge reforms, yet they would not disperse
before taking an oath that they never again would pay
taxes to Ericson. An attempt on the part of Ericson
to collect the taxes led to a second insurrection; but
the State Council having persuaded Ericson to resign
his command, the Dalesmen were again appeased.
Ericson himself took refuge in the monastery of Wad-
stena, from which, two years after, he was dragged
out by the peasantry and put to death.

This was the first armed resistance to the Danish
dynasty, which continued from this period, 1433, at
intervals and with varying fortunes, and with several



The Reformation in Sweden. 5

revolutions, until at length, under Gustavus Vasa, and
by his agency, Sweden became, and has since contin-
ued independent of Denmark.

.It was necessary to describe the circum-
C/tris7Ian stances under which Sweden became sub-

//. 0/ Den- je^;.^ to the crown of Denmark, in order to
mark. ■' 11,. ^

understand the history of Gustavus V^asa,

who both liberated Sweden from the sway of Denmark
and introduced and established Protestantism in his
kingdom. But it is not important, as preparatory to
a sketch of the Reformation in Sweden, to narrate the
civil history of the interval between the treaty of Cal-
mar and the accession of Christian II. A mere outline
of those events will answer for our present purpose.
Suffice it to say that Englebert was elected Regent
of the Kingdom, and held the position for three years;
that he was succeeded in that position by another pa-
triot, Karl Knutson, who was subsequently elected
king; that the dynasty of Denmark again came into
power in Sweden and held it nominally and sometimes
for a brief period actually, during the reign of Christian
L, 1448-81, and of Hans or John, 1481-1513, who was
succeeded by Christian II. in the latter year. From
this point the history of the Reformation in Sweden
properly begins.

J^ei<rns of '^^^ supremacy of the kings Christian I. and
Christian L John in Sweden was rather nominal than

and John. i 'tu 1 • j i_

■^ real. 1 he real power was exercised by pa-

triotic Swedes for the inost part, who were repeatedly
at war with Denmark. Under a popular native noble-
man, Sten Sture, nephew of their former king, Karl
Knutson, as regent, Sweden enjoyed for some few
years comparative peace and prosperity. But in con-
sequence of evils which fell upon the kingdom, for



6 The Reformation in Sweden.

which he was in no degree responsible — such as a
succession of bad crops, and the excommunication
pronounced against him, because in the interests of
the state he withheld the revenues claimed by the
Danish Queen dowager — Sture became unpopular with
the fickle and unreasoning people. The king availed
himself of this dissatisfaction, and the consequent de-
pression of the kingdom, to march an army into Sweden
with a view to establish his personal authority. The
expedition of King John was successful; and he was
crowned in Stockholm on the 25th of November, 1497.
Sture was deposed from the Regency, but became High
Chancellor, and was one of the four commissioners to
whom the administration of the kingdom was com-
mitted, by King John, on his return to Denmark. But
on account of the great dissatisfaction with King John's
administration, in 1 501 Sture was again placed at the
head of the government with the name of Guardian
of the Kingdom. This position he held until his death,
December 15, 1503. He was succeeded in the same
office by his kinsman, Saunto Sture, whose administra-
tion of nine years was an incessant but successful series
of wars, in resistance of the efforts of King John to
regain supremacy in the kingdom. After his death in
1 5 12, his son, Steno Sture, was called by the popular
voice, rather than by'any recognized authority, as his
successor. 'His election was subsequently forced upon
the council at Stockholm by the popular clamor.
Death of Christian II., justly known as " the tyrant,"
King John succeeded King John, who died in 15 13. He

— Accession . ,. , , . . -^i .1

of Chris- immediately opened negotiations with the
tian II. Guardian and the Council with a view to

secure their recognition of his right to the throne of
Sweden. Failing in this attempt, he excited his partisan,



The Reformation in Sweden. 7

Trolle, the Archbishop, to organize an armed rebellion
in his interest against the existing government. The
Archbishop was described as one "who never forgave
a past wrong, real or fancied." It in no degree dis-
armed his hostility that Sture, in order to bring about
a reconciliation, had secured his election to the Arch-
bishopric. He stirred up war therefore in the interest
of Christian II., who upon the invasion of Sweden, suf-
fered a complete defeat. This battle, as celebrated in
Swedish annals as that of Bannockburn in the history
of Scotland, was fought at Bren-Kirka, July 22, 15 18.
It was in this battle that Gustavus Vasa first appeared
prominently, having occupied the honorable position
of standard bearer, and distinguished himself for valor
and ability in the field. As the history of the rise of
the Reformation in Sweden turns upon that of Gusta-^
vus Vasa, and his history is inseparably implicated
with that of Christian II., it becomes necessary to give
a sketch of the life and character of each.
Christian Christian II. was the only son of King John
^^- and his Queen, Christina of Saxony, and was

born in 148 1. It is an evidence of the simplicity of the
times, and of the country, that in order to provide for
their frequent absence from Copenhagen, the King and
Queen, instead of leaving him in the palace in the care
of their own attendants, placed him under the charge
of a book-binder of the City. It may be inferred also
that, discerning his imperious, cruel and crafty nature,
his parents felt that these evil traits would be more
likely to be restrained in a well regulated private home,
than in the palace, where his faults would be likely to
be flattered and inflamed, rather than restrained, by
subservient menials and courtiers. Hans Metzenheim,
the book-binder, was a burgomaster and a counsellor



8 The Reformation in Sweden.

of state, and having no children of their own, he and
his wife devoted themselves assiduously to the education
of the royal boy. His capacity was very great, and he
applied himself well, under constraint, to his studies, and
made rapid progress; but his tutor Hinze, a Canon of
the Cathedral, dared not trust the wayward boy out
of sight, and therefore, always took him to church
when on duty there. As the young Prince had a fine
voice and a good ear for music, he was made to sing
among the choristers at matins and vespers. But
when King John was told that the heir of three
Kingdoms was singing, and was much admired, in
all of the choirs of Copenhagen, he sharply rebuked
his tutor for placing his son in a position derogatory
to his royal dignity. The incident led to a change
of tutors. At the request of the King, Joachin of
Brandenburg sent him another tutor, Magister Con-
rad, a man of great learning and force of character,
who was able to control his pupil, and succeeded in
imbuing him with a love of learning. Christian made
great progress and is said at an early age and during
all his life **to have written and spoken Latin as well
as the most learned University professors of his time"
(Otto's Scandinavia, page 214).

But this ready mastery of learning seems in no de-
gree to have softened or refined his character. He was
accustomed, after he was domiciled in the palace, to
bribe the porter to allow him to go out in the night
and join in scenes of revelry and licentiousness. On
some occasions, when detected in these escapades, the
King personally applied a horse-whip to his shoulders.
But when he had reached the age of twenty, and this
sort of rigid discipline became no longer possible, the
King sent him as his Viceroy to govern Norway. He



The Reformation in Sweden. 9

at once put himself in an attitude of hostility to the
nobility, and relentlessly crushed out every attempt
at resistance or rebellion. He seems from his early
boyhood to have hated the nobility, to have had a
dislike to their character, habits and manners, quite
irrespective of their feelings or relations towards him-
self. His chosen associates were among the lower
classes. His enmity to the nobles was increased by
the restrictions which they imposed upon his authority
at his Coronation.

Gustavus Gustavus Vasa, or as he was called befT)re
Vasa. \^Q became king, Gustavus Erickson, was de-

scended from an ancient and noble family. His grand-
father, Christopher Nilson, was appointed a councillor
by King Eric. His father was not distinguished in
the public service, and though called " a merry and
facetious lord," was arraigned before the council in
Stockholm for cruelty to his peasants, and made to
pledge himself "that he would not thereafter place
them in irons or treat them like senseless beasts,"
when accused of depredations upon his estates, but
"would allow them their rights in law." The date
of his birth has been fixed on good grounds, on As-
cension Day, 1496. Those presages of future great-
ness which seldom fail to be subsequently recorded,
in the case of those who become renowned, were not
wanting at his birth. A crimson cross was marked
upon his breast, and the outline of a helmet was seen
upon his head. When he was only four years old,
King John, during one of his later visits to Sweden,
saw him playing the part of the king in the midst of
a group of children and, as the story goes, patted him
upon the head, saying "that if he lived he would be
a remarlcable man." He kept the bright boy in his



10 The Reformation in Sweden.

train while he was in Sweden, and wished to carry
him to Denmark. If he had done so the whole his-
tory of Northern Europe would have been changed,
the Reformation in Sweden perhaps never effected,
nor the liberation of Protestantism, mainly due to
the heroic Gustavus Adolphus, achieved. But Sten
Sture, suspecting that the king was more bent on se-
curing a hostage than a foster son, sent him to his
father, who was then Lord Feudatory of Aland.

Geijer remarks that "all accounts agree that young
Gustavus was placed in the Seminary of Upsala, in
1509." *' It is known," he continues, "that he was
placed in the grammar school and was subjected to
personal chastisement while there by the Danish school-
master. The latter was informed that the young pupil
had upon some occasion said, 'See what I will do! I
will go to Dalecarlia, get out the Dalesmen, and knock
the Danes on the head.' Gustavus suffered his school
flogging, then drawing his little sword, he thrust it
through the curtains with a malison never to return.
A hundred years afterwards the country people could
point out the places in the neighborhood of Upsala
which he had frequented with his playmates, and tell
how he had been at a wolf chase hunting merrily." As
an indication of the bent of his mind toward religious
subjects, it is stated that while he was at Upsala, his
chief studies, outside of the curiculum of the school,
were canon law and theology. He was also a gifted
musician, and while at school made several musical
instruments, which are still preserved in the palace
of Stockholm.

All accounts agree that he was received and em-
ployed in the Court of the Regent Sten Sture the
younger. He was then eigliteen }'ears of age, and was



The Reformation in Sweden. ii

placed under the tuition of Hemming Gadd, who had
been mathematicus to Pope Alexander III., had written
a history of Sweden which was much prized, was a sworn
enemy of the Danes and an able politician. With him,
no doubt, the young patriot could freely resume his
boyish talk of his purpose to rouse up Dalesmen and
knock Danes upon the head — a seemingly wild and
empty boast which was subsequently so remarkably
fulfilled. The chroniclers of the time speak of him as
**a noble youth, comely, ready-witted and prompt in
action." He was particularly distinguished, even at
that early period, for the persuasive eloquence which
was one of the most potent means by Avhich he subse-
quently acquired such a commanding influence over
his countrymen. Even to his extreme old age, when
Gustavus met any large body of his countrymen in
council, or in a crisis of affairs, they would clamor for
a speech from the old man eloquent, and receive it
with immense applause, and insist that there was no
orator like him. We shall see how at a momentous
crisis of his own fortunes and of those of the Reforma-
tion, he consolidated the former and saved the latter
by a single speech.

The battle ^^ ^^^ after Gustavus had resided at the
of Brenn- court three years, that the rising of Arch-
^^^^' bishop Trolle, in the interest of Christian H.,

already alluded to, occurred. The Archbishop was
besieged in his castle of Stekborg and a Danish re-
inforcement was sent to his relief This force was
defeated by Gustavus. In the following year, in the
famous battle of Brenn-Kirk, betAveen King Christian
and Sten Sture, in which the king was defeated, Gus-
tavus, as we have seen, bore the banner. But by the
treachery of the king, and the misplaced confidence in



12 The Reformation in Sweden.

him of the Regent, this victory resulted in disaster and
loss rather than gain. The Danes attempted after the
defeat to retreat, but the fleet in which they embarked
their shattered forces was detained by contrary winds,
and sorely pressed by famine. The king, in order to
gain time, professed a desire to negotiate a peace which
should leave Sweden henceforth unmolested by the
Danes. The Regent, feeling that he had the king in
his power, and that he could force upon him terms
which would secure him and his kingdom in the future,
consented to treat with him; and during the negotia-
tions he generously furnished the famishing squadron
with beef and other provisions. The king invited him
to a personal conference on board his ship; and the
unsuspecting Regent would have fallen into the snare
thus prepared for him, had not the town council de-
clared that if he went on board they would soon have
another Regent, for they were sure he never would
return.

Foiled in this base design, the king devised another,
equally treacherous, which was completely successful.
He professed his willingness to come on shore, pro-
vided suitable hostages should be sent to the squadron.
Six nobles — including Gustavus and Hemming Gadd
— were chosen for this purpose. But the boat in which
they were embarked, had not accomplished half its
passage to the fleet, when a Danish ship with a hun-
dred men on board captured it, and carried the six
hostages to the fleet as prisoners. A favorable breeze
springing up took away all hope of rescue. The fleet
weighed anchor, the sails were filled, and they were
all soon landed on the coast of Denmark. Thus the
defeated king, by an act of gross treachery, evaded
the promised proposals of peace, provisioned his starv-



The Reformation in Sweden. 13

ing fleet and army from his victorious enemy, and
carried into captivity six of the most eminent nobles
of the land. But it was a triumph which, by intensi-
fying- the patriotic passion of the Swedes, led to an
ultimate defeat,

Gustavus had the good fortune to be com-
ity^ and es- mitted to the care of a kinsman, Baron Eric
cape of Gus- Baner, Governor of the castle of Kallo, North

Jutland, where he spent upwards of a year
as a prisoner, and was treated with kindness and al-
lowed a liberty, not usually granted to prisoners of
state. But the whole country was ringing with rumors
of the great preparations which were in progress for
the conquest of Sweden. Christian had imposed new
taxes for the prosecution of the war and even extorted
from the Papal Legate the sums that had been amassed
by the sale of indulgences, which he appropriated on
the plea that it was a war in which the interests of
the Papacy were involved. Copenhagen was thronged
Avith French, Scotch and English mercenary officers
and troops. The young soldiers at the mess of the
castle of Kallo talked of the preparations for the con-
quest of Sweden with exasperating exultation. They
boasted that they would soon play with the Swedes
"S. Peter's game" — an allusion to the Papal interdict
which they hoped to secure, and jestingly and mock-
ingly parcelled out among themselves the wealth and
beauty of the nation.

How the ardent and patriotic heart of the young
Gustavus must have chafed in his captivity! "By
such contumelies was Lord Gustavus Ericson seized
with anguish beyond measure, so that neither meat
nor drink might savor pleasantly to him, even if he


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