King John III (1537-1592) and Wives (Catherine Jagellonica & Gunilla Bielke)

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Imperial Majesty
Jan 9, 2013
John III (Swedish: Johan III, Finnish: Juhana III; 20 December 1537 – 17 November 1592) was King of Sweden from 1569 until his death. He was the son of King Gustav I of Sweden and his second wife Margaret Leijonhufvud. He was also, quite autonomously, the ruler of Finland, as Duke John from 1556 to 1563. In 1581 he assumed also the title Grand Prince of Finland. He attained the Swedish throne after a rebellion against his half-brother Eric XIV. He is mainly remembered for his attempts to close the gap between the newly established Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Catholic church, as well as his conflict with, and murder of, his brother.

His first wife was Catherine Jagellonica of the Polish-Lithuanian ruling family, and their son Sigismund eventually ascended both the Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish thrones.
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King of Sweden
Grand Duke of Finland:

Reign: January 1569 – 17 November 1592
Coronation: 10 July 1569
Predecessor: Eric XIV
Successor: Sigismund
Born: 20 December 1537, Stegeborg Castle
Died: 17 November 1592 (aged 54), Tre Kronor castle
Burial: 1 February 1594, Uppsala Cathedral
Spouse: Catherine Jagellonica
​(m. 1562; died 1583)​
Gunilla Bielke
​(m. 1585)​
Children: Sigismund III, King of Poland and Sweden
Anna, Starosta of Brodnica and Golub
John, Duke of Östergötland
Sophia, Baroness de la Gardie (ill.)
House: Vasa
Father: Gustav I of Sweden
Mother: Margaret Leijonhufvud
Religion: mediating between Lutheranism and Catholicism

Catherine Jagiellon
Catherine Jagiellon (Swedish: Katarina Jagellonica, Lithuanian: Kotryna Jogailatė; 1 November 1526 – 16 September 1583) was a Polish princess and Queen of Sweden as the first wife of King John III. As such, she was also Duchess of Finland (1562–1583) and Grand Princess of Finland (1581–1583). Catherine had significant influence over state affairs during the reign of her spouse and negotiated with the pope to introduce a counter-reformation in Sweden. She was the mother of the future Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland.
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Gunilla Bielke
Gunilla Bielke; Swedish: Gunilla Johansdotter Bielke af Åkerö (25 June 1568 – 19 July 1597) was Queen of Sweden as the second wife of King John III. Queen Gunilla is acknowledged to have acted as the political adviser to John III and to have influenced his religious policies in favor of Protestantism.
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Both is mother Queen Margaret and his first wife, Queen Catherine were devoutly Catholic and opposed to the Reformation.


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