Eric XIV of Sweden

Eric XIV (Swedish: Erik XIV; 13 December 1533  26 February 1577) was King of Sweden from 1560 until he was deposed in 1568. Eric XIV was the eldest son of Gustav I (1496–1560) and Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg (1513–35). He was also ruler of Estonia, after its conquest by Sweden in 1561.

Eric XIV
Eric XIV by Domenicus Verwilt
King of Sweden
Reign29 September 1560 –
January 1569
Coronation29 June 1561
PredecessorGustav I
SuccessorJohn III
Born13 December 1533
Stockholm Castle, Stockholm
Died26 February 1577 (aged 43)
Örbyhus Castle, Örbyhus
Burial1 April 1577
SpouseKarin Månsdotter
Virginia Eriksdotter
Constantia, "Queen of Tividen"
Princess Sigrid
Prince Gustav
FatherGustav I of Sweden
MotherCatherine of Saxe-Lauenburg
Image of King Eric on a wall of Stockholm Palace

While he has been regarded as intelligent and artistically skilled, as well as politically ambitious, early in his reign he showed signs of mental instability, a condition that eventually led to insanity. Some scholars claim that his illness began early during his reign, while others believe that it first manifested with the Sture murders.

Eric, having been deposed and imprisoned, was most likely murdered. An examination of his remains in 1958 confirmed that he probably died of arsenic poisoning.[1]