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John III of Sweden

Johan III

Portrait by Johan Baptista van Uther (1582).
ReignFrom September 29, 1568
- until November 17, 1592
CoronationJuly 10, 1569
Royal motto "Deus protector noster"
("God our protector")
ConsortsCatherine of Poland
Gunilla Bielke
Royal HouseVasa
PredecessorEric XIV of Sweden
SuccessorSigismund I of Sweden
Date of BirthDecember 20, 1537
Place of BirthStegeborg, Ostrogothia
Date of DeathNovember 17, 1592
Place of DeathStockholm
Place of BurialUppsala Cathedral, Uppsala

John III of Sweden or Johan III of the Royal House of Vasa, was the king of Sweden (1568-1592). He was also the ruler of Finland as Duke John or Hertig Johan (1556-1563). In 1581 he made himself the Archduke of Finland. He is sometimes known under the name Johann III Vasa.

He was born on December 23, 1537 as the son of Gustav I of Sweden, and died on November 27, 1592. He married his first wife, Catherine of Poland (1526-1583), house of Jagiello, in Vilnius on October 4, 1562. In Sweden she is known as Katarina Jagellonica and she was the sister of king Sigismund II of Poland. Their children were:

  1. Isabella (1564-1566)
  2. Sigismund king of Sweden, and king of Poland (1566-1632)
  3. Anna (1568-1625)

He married his second wife Gunilla Bielke (1568-about 1592) on February 21, 1584 and together they had the son:

  1. Johan (1589-1618).

Togeather with his mistress Karin Hansdotter he had at least four illegitimate children:
  1. Julius Gyllenhielm (1559-1581)
  2. Augustus ( -1560)
  3. Sofia ( -1583)
  4. Lucretia ( -1585)

See also: History of Sweden - Foundation of Modern Sweden

Preceded by:
Eric XIV
List of Swedish monarchs Succeeded by:
Sigismund I
Preceded by:
Gustav I
List of Finnish rulers Succeeded by:
Eric XIV