Magnus VII (Magnus Ericsson), b.1316, d.1373 or 1374, king of Norway (1319–43) and Sweden (1319–63). He succeeded his grandfather, Haakon V, in Norway; at the same time he was elected king by the Swedish nobles to succeed his exiled uncle, King Birger of Sweden. He was declared of age in 1332. Educated in Sweden, he neglected Norway and soon became unpopular there. Norwegian opposition to union with Sweden forced him to recognize (1343) his son Haakon (later Haakon VI) as his successor in Norway, over which he exercised a nominal regency until Haakon came of age (1355). Early in his reign Magnus had acquired the Danish provinces of Skåne and Blekinge in S Sweden, but in 1343 Waldemar IV of Denmark forced him to sell these acquisitions back to Denmark. Magnus's son Eric revolted in 1356 and gained part of Sweden, but Magnus regained control after Eric's death (1359). The threat of the Hanseatic League, which established its colony at Bergen during Magnus's reign, induced Magnus and Haakon VI to enter (1363) an alliance with Denmark. Haakon married Waldemar's daughter Margaret I , thus preparing the union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The Danish alliance was unpopular with the Swedish nobles, who deposed both Magnus and Haakon and offered the Swedish crown to the duke of Mecklenburg. The duke's son, Albert, thus became (1363) king of Sweden. Magnus was imprisoned until 1371 and spent his last years in Norway. The codification of Swedish law was completed in Magnus's reign.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian History: Biographies