Archbishop of Uppsala

The archbishop of Uppsala (spelled Upsala until the early 20th century) has been the primate in Sweden in an unbroken succession since 1164, first during the Catholic era, and from the 1530s and onward under the Lutheran church.

Archbishop of Uppsala
Antje Jackelén 2011
Coat of arms of the {{{name}}}
Coat of arms
Antje Jackelén
ResidenceArchbishop's Palace, Uppsala
CathedralUppsala Cathedral

Historical overview

Archbishop's palace in Uppsala
The Archbishop's Palace in Uppsala, designed in the 18th century by the architect Carl Hårleman, but built on older foundations.

There have been bishops in Uppsala from the time of Swedish King Ingold the Elder in the 11th century. They were governed by the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen until Uppsala was made an archbishopric in 1164. The archbishop in Lund (which at that time belonged to Denmark) was declared primate of Sweden, meaning it was his right to select and ordain the Uppsala archbishop by handing him the pallium. To gain independence, Folke Johansson Ängel in 1274 went to Rome and was ordained directly by the pope. This practice was increasing, so that no Uppsala archbishop was in Lund after Olov Björnsson, in 1318. In 1457, the archbishop Jöns Bengtsson (Oxenstierna) was allowed by the pope to declare himself primate of Sweden.

Uppsala (then a village) was originally located a couple of miles to the north of the present city, in what is today known as Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). In 1273, the archbishopric, together with the relics of King Eric the Saint, was moved to the market town of Östra Aros, which from then on is named Uppsala.

Uppsala domkyrka view01sml
Uppsala Cathedral, seat of the Archbishop of Uppsala.

In 1531, Laurentius Petri was chosen by King Gustav I of Sweden (Vasa) to be archbishop, taking that privilege from the pope and in effect making Sweden Protestant. The archbishop was then declared primus inter pares i.e. first among equals. The archbishop is both bishop of his diocese and Primate of Sweden; he has however no more authority than other bishops, although in effect his statements have a more widespread effect. In 2000, the Archbishop of Uppsala was aided in the diocese by a bishop of Uppsala, currently Ragnar Persenius.

Notable archbishops

The labours of the archbishops extended in all directions. Some were zealous pastors of their flocks, such as Jarler and others; some were distinguished canonists, such as Birger Gregerson (1367–83) and Olof Larsson (1435-8); others were statesmen, such as Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstjerna (d. 1467), or capable administrators, such as Jacob Ulfsson Örnfot, who was distinguished as a prince of the Church, royal councillor, patron of art and learning, founder of the University of Upsala and an efficient helper in the introduction of printing into Sweden. There were also scholars, such as Johannes Magnus (died 1544), who wrote the "Historia de omnibus Gothorum sueonumque regibus" and the "Historia metropolitanæ ecclesiæ Upsaliensis", and his brother Olaus Magnus (d. 1588), who wrote the "Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus" and who was the last Catholic Archbishop of Upsala.[1]

The archbishops and secular clergy found active co-workers among the regular clergy (i.e. religious orders). Among the orders represented in Sweden were the Benedictines, Cistercians, Dominicans, Franciscans, Brigittines (with the mother-house at Wadstena) and Carthusians. A Swedish Protestant investigator, Carl Silfverstolpe, wrote: "The monks were almost the sole bond of union in the Middle Ages between the civilization of the north and that of southern Europe, and it can be claimed that the active relations between our monasteries and those in southern lands were the arteries through which the higher civilization reached our country."[1]

See Birger Gregersson (1366–83; hymnist and author), Nils Ragvaldsson (1438–48; early adherent of Old Norse mythology), Jöns Bengtsson (Oxenstierna) (1448–67; King of Sweden), Jakob Ulfsson (1470–1514; founder of Uppsala University), Gustav Trolle (1515–21; supporter of the Danish King), Johannes Magnus (1523-26: wrote an imaginative Scandianian Chronicle), Laurentius Petri (1531–73; main character behind the Swedish Lutheran reformation), Abraham Angermannus (1593–99; controversial critic of the King), Olaus Martini (1601–09), Petrus Kenicius (1609–36), Laurentius Paulinus Gothus (1637–46; astronomer and philosopher of Ramus school), Johannes Canuti Lenaeus (1647–69; aristotelean and logician), Erik Benzelius the Elder (1700–09; highly knowledgeable), Haquin Spegel (1711–14; public educator), Mattias Steuchius (1714–30), Uno von Troil (1786–1803; politician), Jakob Axelsson Lindblom (1805–19), Johan Olof Wallin (1837–39; beloved poet and hymnist), Karl Fredrik af Wingård (1839–51; politician), Henrik Reuterdahl (1856–70) Anton Niklas Sundberg (1870–1900; outspoken and controversial) and Nathan Söderblom (1914–1931; Nobel Prize winner).[2]

Earliest bishops

The first written mention of a bishop at Uppsala is from Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum that records in passing Adalvard the Younger appointed as the bishop for Sictunam et Ubsalam in the 1060s.[3] Swedish sources never mention him either in Sigtuna or Uppsala.

The medieval Annales Suecici Medii Aevi[4] and the 13th century legend of Saint Botvid[5] mention some Henry as the Bishop of Uppsala (Henricus scilicet Upsalensis) in 1129, participating in the consecration of the saint's newly built church.[6] He is apparently the same Bishop Henry who died at the Battle of Fotevik in 1134, fighting along with the Danes after being banished from Sweden. Known from the Chronicon Roskildense written soon after his death and from Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum from the early 13th century, he had fled to Denmark from Sigtuna. Also he is omitted from, or at least redated in, the first list of bishops made in the 15th century.[7] In this list, the first bishop at Uppsala was Sverinius (Siwardus?), succeeded by Nicolaus, Sveno, Henricus and Kopmannus. With the exception of Henricus, the list only mentions their names.[8][9]

Archbishops before the Reformation

Archbishop Stefan Insignia
Insignia of Stefan

12th century

Johannes was ordained by the Archbishop of Lund, Absalon by November 1185. In 1187, a ship from the pagan Estonia entered Mälaren, a lake close to Uppsala, on a plundering expedition. It sailed to Sigtuna, a prosperous city at that time, and plundered it. On its way back, barricades were set up at the only exit point at Almarestäket to prevent the ship from escaping. Johannes was there also. As the ship struggled to pass through, Johannes were among those killed.

He was ordained by Absalon. Sweden got a new king, Sverker II of Sweden in 1196, who was related to the Danish Royal Court, whereby Absalon extended his authority over Sweden. When Petrus in 1196 elected three bishops, Absalon requested that the pope decide since the bishops were the sons of other priests, and this was not allowed by papal decree. He also mentioned that several Swedish bishops refused to travel to his synods. Absalon was an authoritative person whom the pope trusted and gave him rights, but by the time the message reached Uppsala Petrus had already died.

13th century

In 1200, Pope Innocent III demanded that Church estate be free from the king's taxes and that clerics be judged only by bishops and prelates, and not civil courts and judges. This was a step in the separation between worldly and spiritual matters, which the Swedish Church had not yet taken. Innocent also demanded that Olov dismiss the two bishops ordained by Petrus.

When Uppsala burnt in 1204, Olov's pallium was burnt and he sent a request to Innocent III for a new one to be made.

Valerius was most likely the son of a church man – and the Archbishop of Lund appealed the election to Rome. The pope allowed a dispensation for Valerius on the grounds that there was no other suitable candidate and because Valierus was known as a learned man with good customs and virtues.

Valerius joined sides with the King Sverker II of Sweden who belonged to the House of Sverker. The House of Sverker was one of the antagonists in a civil war that had been going on and off since 1130. In 1208 the opposing side, the House of Eric, besieged the capital Stockholm; Sverker and Valierus fled to Denmark.

Sverker gathered a small army in Denmark and tried to conquer Sweden but was killed. Valerius then decided to accept King Eric X's authority, and as a result was allowed to return to Uppsala, where he crowned Eric X in 1210. Pope Innocent III sent a letter to Valerius where he proclaimed the procedure to be unauthorised and unlawful, but it seems to have had little impact.

  • 1219(1224)-1234 Olov Basatömer. N/A
  • 1236–1255 Jarler

He was one of the first known Swedish students at the University of Paris. As archbishop, he established several clerical regulations.

  • 1255–1267 Lars (Laurentius).

Lars was recruited from the recently established Franciscan monastery in Enköping and was most likely a foreigner. The Pope expressed trust in the recently crowned Swedish monarch Birger Jarl who, unlike his predecessors, had promised to support the Church by granting it freedom from taxes and establish missionaries to yet un-Christianised parts – or parts who had returned to paganim – specifically Finland and the Baltic states.

But this promise was not realised because of the shaky political situation in Sweden. There was an ongoing struggle for power, which eventually forced the antagonists to tax Church property in order to support the war.

Lars tried to impose clerical celibacy, which still had not been enforced in Sweden because the low population figures in Sweden required priests to marry and have children. In 1258 Lars sent Pope Alexander IV a request that married clergy not be excommunicated, a request which indicates married clergy were not uncommon.

Also in 1258 the move of the archdiocese to its present location was decided, but it would not take effect for another decade.

  • 1267–1277 Folke Johansson Ängel (Fulco Angelus).

Folke belonged to the influential family Ängel, which used the Archangel Gabriel as a heraldic charge.

He was, for unclear reasons, not ordained until 1274. Civil disturbances may have been a cause, but also the reluctance of the cathedral chapter to be under the authority of Lund. In 1274, Folke ignored the Primate of Lund by travelling to Rome and getting ordained by Pope Gregory X himself.

Folke's most important contribution was to commission the moving of the episcopal see from its old location to its present location. At his death he was one of the first to be buried in Uppsala Cathedral.[10]

  • 1277–1281 Jakob Israelsson

Was from the same family as his predecessor. Little else is known about him.

  • 1281–1284 Johan Odulfsson

Not ordained. Little is known about him.

  • 1285–1289 Magnus Bosson.

Little is known about him.

Had served as prior at the Sigtuna monastery and Bishop of Åbo. Died in Avignon while travelling to Rome to receive the pallium.

14th century

He studied at the University of Paris in 1278. After returning to Sweden, he became deacon in Uppsala in 1286 and was elected archbishop in 1292. As Nils Allesson was the son of a priest, the cathedral chapter in Lund, Denmark - the primate over Uppsala - appealed the election to the pope. Nils travelled to Rome in 1295 to meet the Pope Boniface VIII and defend his case, which was eventually accepted.

Nils was known as a vigorous archbishop. He founded and supervised institutions for safety and order around the archdiocese, such as accommodations for travellers.[11]

  • 1308–1314 Nils Kettilsson

Little is known about him.

  • 1315–1332 Olov Björnsson (Olov the Wise; Olavus sapiens).

Under his time the chapter in Uppsala stopped accepting Archbishop of Lund as primate, and Olov was to be the last Uppsala archbishop to be ordained there.[12]

He came from a smaller town in Uppland, the son of the knight Filip Finnvedson, one of the most important men in Uppland (the land of Uppsala). Petrus held various clerical offices until he was elected archbishop. Following the election he travelled to Avignon, the residence of Pope John XXII, to be ordained as bishop.

He had a strained relationship with the Franciscan order. At the request of Pope Benedict XII, Paul, Archbishop of Nidaros (now Trondheim) in Norway, was to make a judgement on the matter, and this led to a settlement between the two parties in 1339.

In 1341 Petrus died and was buried in Sigtuna's Dominican order church which today is called Mariakyrkan.[13]

  • 1341–1351 Hemming Nilsson.

At the death of Petrus, Pope Benedict XII wished to occupy the archbishop's seat through commission, but following Hemming's election by the cathedral chapter, Hemming travelled to Avignon and persuaded Benedict to ordain him bishop.

During his time, he helped in the political world, made a visitation through Norway and established Uppsala ecclesiastical records. His last will shows that he was also quite wealthy. [4]

The first mention of him is from 1320, when he was vicar in Färentuna. He was chancellor of the King Magnus II of Sweden in 1340 and continued to support him during through the 1360s when Sweden was in a civil war.

In 1342 he was appointed Bishop of Linköping, where he assisted the building of the Linköping Cathedral. He was assessor during King Magnus monetary transactions, among them the repayment of a loan Magnus hade made from the Church. After the new King Albert of Sweden took power, Petrus supported him as well.

Was known as a vigorous archbishop. He was also a supporter of the Swedish, highly revered, Saint Birgitta (1303–1373), and wrote a biography of her. He also wrote in honour of her and of Saint Botvid, another Swedish saint. As a writer, he has a prominent place in early Swedish literature.[14]

  • 1383–1408 Henrik Karlsson (Henricus Caroli).

Was also friends with Saint Birgitta, in Rome and took part in the important political decisions during his years as archbishop, such as the Kalmar Union in 1397.

Had a good economical skill, was a wealthy man, and acquired many farms for the Church. At his death, he left them to the cathedral chapter, but Queen Margaret is said to have taken them in possession instead, which marked the beginning of disputes between the chapter and the states in the union (which lasted until 1520).[15]

15th century

Jöns originated the influential Danish family Lodehat. His uncle was bishop of Roskilde and a former chancellor of the Queen. Jöns himself became, thanks to his family's Royal connection, chancellor to the King of Scandinavia, Eric of Pomerania.

At the death of the Archbishop Henrik, King Eric appointed Jöns, who had no connection to Uppsala, as new archbishop without regards to the candidates of the chapter.

During his time, Jöns paid little respect to the duties of archbishop. He embessled Church property and mistreated Church officials. Eventually, the chapter complained to the Pope, who conducted an investigation and dismissed Jöns Gereksson in 1421.

Was originally a monk at Vadstena monastery. As archbishop, he freed clericals of taxation, and built a permanent house for the archbishop.

When Olaus Laurentii was elected by the Chapter to become Archbishop of Uppsala and Sweden, the Swedish King Eric of Pomerania was displeased because he was not consulted and therefore decided that Arnold of Bergen should become archbishop in 1433 while Olaus Laurentii was in Rome to be ordained. Arnold moved into the archbishopseat in Uppsala despite protests from the chapter.

The quarrels were resolved when Arnold died in 1434; then the king decided to accept Olaus Laurentii who had just returned from Rome. [5]

Gustav Eriksson Trolle (1488–1533) was a controversial person. He was in dispute with the king, since he was a supporter of the Danish King Christian II. In 1515 he was removed from office, but barricaded himself in the archbishop's mansion/fortress at Almarestäket, until an assembly of chancellors ordered its destruction in 1517. In 1520, Danish King Christian conquered Swedish territory, and Gustav was reinstated. However, King Christian's reign in Sweden lasted but one year, and in 1521 Gustav was forced to flee to Denmark to seek refuge.

When the Pope months later received news of the deposition of Trolle, he ordered the reigning Swedish King Gustav Vasa to reinstate Trolle, not realizing the severity of the matter. Not being allowed to have his selected archbishop consecrated, King Gustav Vasa in effect broke away from the Catholic tradition, making Sweden a Lutheran nation starting 1531.

Archbishops during the Reformation

Johannes Magnus sigill, Nordisk familjebok
Seal of Johannes Magnus

Magnus was the last Catholic archbishop. He was selected to be archbishop in 1523, but the Pope deemed the disposal of Gustav Trolle unlawful, and demanded he should be reinstated. Gustav Vasa then broke with the Church, and ordained Johannes Magnus in his own ceremony. But before long, Magnus expressed his disapproval of Lutheran teachings, and Gustav Vasa sent him to Russia as a diplomat in 1526.

Gustav Vasa appointed a new archbishop, Laurentius Petri, in 1531, and Johannes realized that his time as archbishop was over. He travelled to Rome where he settled for the remainder of his life.[16]

Brother of the previous, with whom he was in exile in Rome. After the death of his brother, Olaus was consecrated by the Pope in 1544, but he never returned home. He was the last Swedish archbishop to get papal consecration.

Staying in Rome, Olaus wrote several highly regarded works about Scandinavia that still interest readers today. He also had published works by his brother Johannes.

Archbishops after the Reformation

16th century

He and his brother Olaus Petri were the main Protestant reformers in Sweden; while his brother was more energetic, Laurentius laid the theoretical foundation for the Swedish Church Ordinance 1571.

Before becoming archbishop, Gothus appears to have been inclined towards King Johan III of Sweden's more Catholic viewpoint. He was for this reason ordained by the King in a Catholic ritual with all its apparatus, and wrote the introduction to the King's "red book". As the Jesuitic tendencies grew stronger in Sweden in the 1570s, he became more wary; he refused to support the views of the King any longer, and published Contra novas papistarum machinationes which, although it gives proper respect to the Church fathers, polemizes against the foundation of Catholicism and the Jesuits.

He was vicar in Gävle 1570 and is reported as one of the first priests to have used the King's "red book" in his sermons, which sparked the King's interest, and he subsequently appointed him archbishop after a four-year vacancy.

Björnram upset Church officials by declaring that the liturgy of the King was in accordance with the Apostles' Creed and that he supported it. Surprisingly, he nonetheless advocated the reading of Luther's works.

Angermannus first became known as a critic of the liturgy of King John, and the king had him put him in jail in Åbo, Finland. But he managed to escape back to Stockholm, under the protection of influential friends. However, eventually he had to flee to Germany, where he lived for 11 years. He visited the renowned universities there and wrote several book of Lutheran contents, directed to Swedish readers.

In 1593 the cathedral chapter in Uppsala elected him archbishop, and he moved back to Sweden and took the seat. He was a harsh critic of Catholicism remnants of which were still in practice around Sweden. In 1599 the King had had enough of him, and prosecuted him. Angermannus was put in prison in Gripsholm, where he was forced to remain until his death in 1607.[17]

Like his predecessor Angermannus, Bothniensis was imprisoned for 1,5 years due to his resistance to John III's non-Lutheran liturgy.

He in 1593 became the first professor of theology at the Uppsala University. He died before being consecrated.

17th century

Born 1557 in Uppsala. Educated first in Uppsala, then abroad.He was against the liturgy of King John III of Sweden. He was made archbishop owing to the support of Duke Charles (Charles IX of Sweden), although they later clashed because of their fundamentally different beliefs.

Born 1555. Was against the King's liturgy, and was imprisoned for a short time of 1589. Participated in the Uppsala Synod 1593. Was archbishop for a long time, into his old age.

Born 1565. Was knowledgeable in several subjects, and was professor of astronomy and logistics at Uppsala University. Wrote several works on astronomy, astrology and theology.

Professor of Logic, Hebrew and Greek. Wrote an influential book about the philosophy of Aristotle that revived interest in Aristotelianism and was used as a textbook for several years.

Professor of Logic at Uppsala where he supported Aristotelian philosophy against the adherents of Ramism. Was considered a highly learned man and was involved in various political and clerical tasks. As an archbishop he did not make any great contribution owing to his advanced age.

Commissioned the new Bible translation and revising the Swedish book of hymns. Published many works, most notably A simple explanation of Martin Luther's little catechism.

18th century

Haquin Spegel
Haquin Spegel, posthumous engraving

Benzelius took an important part in the various ecclesiastical committees active during the reigns of Charles XI and Charles XII, such as that concerning the new Church Law of 1686, the new hymn book of 1695 and the new Bible translation.

He was a typical representative of 17th-century Swedish Lutheran orthodoxy, careful not to deviate from established theological principles, and lacked originality in his writing. Nevertheless, he was a productive author of works in theology, and his work on church history was used as a textbook for the following century.[6]

  • 1711–1714 Haquin Spegel (born Håkan Spegel; 14 June 1645 – 17 April 1714)

He was an important religious author and hymn writer. He held several bishop's seats before becoming archbishop.

19th century

(Uppsala 13 May 1736 – 2 December 1836) was a member of the Swedish Academy. He belonged to the influential noble families von Rosén and Rosenstein.

He was knowledgeable in the classic languages, had an unusual knowledge of agriculture and was a member of all the Swedish Royal Academies at the time, except for the Academy of Arts. The academies he joined were: the Academy of Science and Literature (joined in 1807), Academy of Science (1808), the Academy of Literature History (1810), the Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (1818), the Swedish Academy (1819), the Scientific society in Uppsala (1820) and the Academy of Music (1822). He was regarded as a generous and social person, friendly, handsome and cheerful. [18]

After acquiring his Master of Arts in philosophy and theology and becoming assistant professor in Latin at Uppsala University, he moved to Strängnäs where he was eventually appointed bishop in 1839. He was also an influential politician in the Swedish Riksdag from 1828 to his death.

He was known as a soft and gently person, and very firm in his beliefs.[19]

Stemming from Malmö, he was orphaned early on and had to rely on others for his education and support. Despite this he managed to get a higher education at the Lund University in theology, philology and Church history, influenced by local academic dignitaries such as Erik Gustaf Geijer and the German Schleiermacher whose works were popular in Lund at the time.

He later published a comprehensive history of the Church in Sweden, and was a member of the Swedish Academy from 1852.[20]

Portrait of swedish arch bishop anton niklas sundberg
Anton Niklas Sundberg

He acquired a philosophy doctor's degree in Uppsala, became dean and was ordained priest, and then undertook travel through Europe in 1849-50.

He was known as a controversial person; very outspoken, no stranger to using strong language, despising hypocrisy, but he displayed a notable sense of wit and authority.[21]

20th century

Was PhD in Uppsala and subsequently a dean and professor of philosophy and bishop of Växjö.

He wrote many international historical and theological books. For his contribution to the history of the Anglican Church, in 1942 he was awarded the Lambeth Cross, the highest award in the Anglican Church.

He used his deep historical knowledge when he was archbishop to take measures concerning the organisation, liturgy and methods of preaching; he furthermore had an international interest and was chairman of the Faith and Order commission.[22]

(Born 19 February 1902 in Eskilstuna; died 13 February 1991 in Uppsala.)

(Born 25 August 1907 in Svenljunga, Älvsborgs län; died 19 March 1972 in Uppsala.)

He officiated at the marriage of present King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia on 19 June 1976, in Storkyrkan in Stockholm.

21st century

On 15 June 2014 Antje Jackelén became Archbishop of Uppsala and primate of the Church of Sweden. She is the first woman to hold that position.[23]


  1. ^ a b Catholic Encyclopedia: Upsala
  2. ^ The list is inspired by a similar list in Nordisk familjebok, Uppsala stift. Has external link below.
  3. ^ See Adam of Bremen, Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum Archived 7 February 2005 at the Wayback Machine, online text in Latin; scholia 94.
  4. ^ Paulsson 1974. The Annales were written in the Sigtuna Abbey. See an article Archived 27 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine by the Foteviken Museum.
  5. ^ Saint Botvid in the New Catholic Dictionary Archived 19 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Botvid had been converted to Christianity in England. He was martyred around 1100 in Sweden. Some sources claim that he was murdered by a Finnish slave. See also [1].
  6. ^ See [2]. In Swedish.
  7. ^ Heikkilä, Tuomas (2005), Pyhän Henrikin Legenda, SKS, ISBN 951-746-738-9. Page 60.
  8. ^ Article Gamla Uppsala, Nordisk Familjebok, 1908
  9. ^ See [3]. Hosted by the University of Columbia. In Latin.
  10. ^ "Ängel", in NF (1894)
  11. ^ Article Nils Alleson in Nordisk Familjebok, 1887
  12. ^ Article Olov Björnsson in Nordisk Familjebok, 1888
  13. ^ Article Petrus in Nordisk Familjebok, 1915
  14. ^ Article Birger Gregersson, in Nordisk Familjebok, 1906
  15. ^ Article Henrik Karlsson in Nordisk Familjebok, 1909
  16. ^ Article Johannes Magnus, in Nordisk Familjebok, 1910
  17. ^ Article Abrahamus Andreæ Angermannus, in Nordisk Familjebok, 1904
  18. ^ Article Rosén von Rosenstein, Karl in Nordisk Familjebok, 1916
  19. ^ Article Holström, Hans in Nordisk Familjebok, 1909
  20. ^ Article Reuterdahl, Henrik in Nordisk Familjebok, 1916
  21. ^ Article Sundberg, Anton Niklas in Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon, 1906
  22. ^ Article Yngve Brillioth on Swedish Wikipedia, and Martling, Kyrkohistoriskt Personlexikon
  23. ^


  • Nygren, Ernst (1953), Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon, Stockholm
  • Paulsson, Göte (1974), Annales suecici medii aevi, Bibliotheca historica Lundensis XXXII
  • Hansson, Klas (2014), Svenska kyrkans primas. Ärkebiskopsämbetet i förändring 1914–1990; The Primate of the Church of Sweden. The Office of Archbishop in Transition 1914–1990, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Historico-Ecclesiastica Upsaliensia 47

See also

Andreas Laurentii Björnram

Andreas Laurentii Björnram (1520 – 1 January 1591), also known as Bothniensis, Bureus which he called himself in honor of his mother's family, was Archbishop of Uppsala in the Church of Sweden from 1583 to his death. He was born in 1520, being the last Archbishop of Uppsala to have been born before King Gustav Vasa decreed Lutheranism to be the official state religion of the Kingdom of Sweden in 1531 during the Lutheran Reformation.

Was one of the strongest supporters of King John III of Sweden's liturgy. Eventually he changed his mind, and as archbishop advocated the reading of Martin Luther's catechism.

He was married to Margareta, the daughter of Laurentius Petri, a main character in the Swedish reformation of 1531.

Arnold of Bergen

Arnold of Bergen (Norwegian: Arend) (died 1434) was bishop of Bergen, Norway, and a non-ordained, short-lived Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden.

As Olaus Laurentii, in 1432, was elected by the Chapter to become Archbishop of Uppsala and Sweden, the King Eric of Pomerania expressed his displeasure that he had not been consulted. In response, he decided in 1433 while Olaus Laurentii was in Rome to be ordained that Arnold of Bergen should become Archbishop. Arnold moved into the bishop's palace in Uppsala causing a quarrel.

The quarrels were resolved by Arnold's death in 1434. The king then decided to accept Olaus Laurentii as Archbishop after all.

Gunnar Weman

Gunnar Weman (born 25 February 1932) was Archbishop of Uppsala from 1993 to 1997. Weman is the son of Henry Weman who was the cathedral organist in Uppsala.

He was ordained in 1958 and was stationed as a priest in Sigtuna and later in Uppsala in 1959, before he became a student and study secretary of the Swedish Church Mission Board in Uppsala. Between 1964 and 1984 he was again stationed in Sigtuna, first as curate and then rector in 1969. From 1985 to 1986 he was director and head of the Swedish Church Board for worship and evangelism. He then became bishop of the Diocese of Luleå and in 1993 Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of Sweden. He retired in 1997.

He has been Secretary of the National Association of Youth and Church of Sweden Christian student movement and member of the Swedish church's mission board and its executive committee. Through various assignments, he has been active for the Swedish church's worship renewal and included the secretary of the Swedish Church's liturgical committee. In 2006 he became doctor of theology with a thesis entitled Contemporary worship and medieval churches.

He was involved in Ecumenical efforts with other Christians, but his efforts to encourage goodwill to the Muslim community in Sweden met with some internal difficulties.

Gustav Trolle

Gustav Eriksson Trolle (1488–1535) was Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, in two sessions, during the turbulent Reformation events.

He was the son of Eric Arvidsson Trolle, a former regent of Sweden during the era of the Kalmar Union. After returning from studies abroad, in Cologne and Rome, he was in 1513 elected vicar in Linköping. One year later he became Archbishop of Uppsala. In 1515 he got into an argument with the Swedish regent Sten Sture the Younger, who spread the rumour that he was allied with the King Christian II of Denmark. True or not, it resulted in Trolle being removed from his office and put under siege in the archbishops mansion Almarestäket at lake Mälaren. In the winter of 1517, Almarestäket was demolished by orders from the Swedish government.

The Danish threat grew stronger, and Trolle was among those who spoke in favour of the Danish King. In 1520, Christian II of Denmark entered Sweden, and Trolle was rewarded by being reappointed Archbishop of Uppsala. He crowned Christian King of Sweden on November 4, 1520. This, and subsequent events, supports the notion of the two having made a deal previous to Christian's conquest of Sweden.

Hans Olof Holmström

Hans Olof Holmström, born 15 October 1784 in Ösmo Parish, Sweden; died 27 August 1855 in Uppsala, Sweden, was a Swedish bishop within the Church of Sweden. He was the archbishop of Uppsala between 1852-1855.

Jacob Axelsson Lindblom

Jacob Axelsson Lindblom (27 July 1746, in Skeda, Östergötland – 15 February 1819, in Uppsala) was a Swedish scholar who eventually became archbishop of Uppsala, a position he held between 1805-1819.Axelsson Lindblom was son of a clergyman. He received his secondary education at Linköping gymnasium and matriculated at Uppsala University in 1763. In Uppsala he became student of the philologist Johan Ihre and the Latinist Petrus Ekerman (who was also inspector of the Ostrogothian Nation).

He worked as a tutor for a noble family in Livonia 1764-1766, came back to Uppsala where he completed his magister degree in 1770. After having worked as a docent and a librarian at the university library, he became an extraordinary professor in 1779 and was appointed to the Skyttean professorship of Eloquence and Political Science in 1781, after the death of his teacher Johan Ihre. Axelsson Lindblom published a History of Roman Literature (Illustriores linguæ Romanæ critici) and collaborated with Ihre on a Lexicon Latino-Svecanum, which he was eventually to complete in 1790. He published prolifically historical, literary and other topics, but is not regarded as particularly original in his scholarly production.

Axelsson Lindblom was a favorite of Gustavus III, who made him bishop of Linköping in December 1786, in spite of the fact that he wasn't even ordained, a situation remedied a few days after the appointment. As bishop he succeeded Uno von Troil, who had been made archbishop, and in 1805 he succeeded von Troil as archbishop of Uppsala as well, an appointment which also made him Pro-Chancellor of the University.

He was elected a member of the Swedish Academy in 1809, and was awarded a knighthood in the Order of Seraphim in 1818. His children were raised to the nobility with a change of name to Lindersköld.

Jakob Ulvsson

Jakob Ulvsson (died in the spring of 1521) was Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, 1469–1515 and the founder of Uppsala University.

Jakob Ulvsson came from a noble family background in Uppland and studied at the universities in Rostock (where he got a Bachelor of Arts in 1458/1459) and Paris (magister 1460).

He spent the years 1465–1470 in Rome and was meanwhile appointed Canon of Uppsala in 1465 and Archdeacon of Växjö in 1468. Despite King Karl Knutsson wanting to make one of his own relatives Archbishop of Uppsala, Jakob Ulvsson was appointed achbishop by the pope in 1469 and ordained in Rome in 1470, after which he returned to Uppsala.

In the conflicts between the Danish king Christian I of Denmark and the Swedish regent Sten Sture, Jakob took a mediating position, trying as far as possible to avoid open warfare, especially in Uppland. After Sten Sture's victory in the Battle at Brunkeberg in 1471, the situation stabilized and Jakob participated in the work of the privy council. He is usually regarded is the main initiator of the university in Uppsala, which was founded after having received papal approval in the form of a bull of Sixtus IV dated 27 February 1477. Jakob Ulvsson was also appointed first chancellor of the university.

His good relations with Sten Sture later deteriorated with the regent's generally worsened relations to the rest of the council, and the archbishop spent a large part of the time in his fortress Stäket. In 1497, he and the rest of the council accepted king Hans as king of Sweden.

He resigned from the archbishopric in 1515. He remained in Sweden until his death in 1521.

Johan (Archbishop of Uppsala)

Johan was the Bishop of Turku from 1286 to 1290 and Archbishop of Uppsala from 1290 to 1291. He was Polish by birth. Before his assignment to Turku, he worked as the prior at the Sigtuna monastery. He died in Avignon while travelling to Rome to receive the pallium.

Johan Baazius the younger

Johan Baazius the younger was born in Jönköping July 17, 1626 as the a son of a knowledgeable theologian and bishop of Växjö. He was Archbishop of Uppsala in the Church of Sweden from 1677 to his death on May 12, 1681.

He was himself known as knowledgeable already at a young age. After further studies in Uppsala University, Königsberg University (Królewiec University) and some other universities, mainly in Germany, he was appointed teacher for the nephew of the Lord High Chancellor Peter Brahe. In 1653 he was also made court chaplain by Queen Christina. After this he held various offices, for instance as bishop of Växjö from 1667, bishop of Skara 1673, and finally archbishop of Uppsala 1677. He died suddenly in his sleep after returning from a visit to Stockholm.

Besides being knowledgeable, he was also known as a pious man who was serious about his duties.

Johan Håkansson

Johan Håkansson (Latinized to Johannes Haquini) (died 1432) was Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, 1421–1432.

Johannes (Archbishop of Uppsala)

Johannes was the second Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, with a short-lived reign between 1185 and 1187.

Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna

Jöns Bengtsson (Oxenstierna), in Latin known as Johannes Benedicti de Salista, (1417 – 15 December 1467) was a Swedish clergyman, canon law scholar and statesman, Archbishop of Uppsala (1448–1467). He was Regent of Sweden, under the Kalmar Union, in 1457, shared with Erik Axelsson (Tott), and alone 1465–1466.

Lars (bishop)

Lars was the name of the Archbishop of Sweden 1255–1267.

Lars is a Swedish form for the Latin name Laurentius, which in English is Lawrence. This was the name Lars used as an archbishop. His birthname is unknown.

Lars was recruited from the recently established Franciscan monastery in Enköping. Since the monastery is unlikely to have had time to recruit Swedish monks, it is possible that he was foreign.

In 1255, when Lars had just recently been ordained (which he was in the primate Lund), a papal letter arrived. The Pope expressed his belief in the Swedish monarch Birger Jarl. The situation in Sweden was still shaky. There was an ongoing struggle for the throne, which later forced the antagonists to tax the clergies to support their war.

Another papal letter in 1257 expressed the Pope's support for crusades to the east, towards the Swedish parts of Finland that were either not yet Christianized, or had turned apostate. The inspiration came from the crusades to Jerusalem.

Lars was dedicated to enforcing celibacy among priests. This was a problem that had still not been solved in Sweden, despite papal efforts and threats. The usual reason given was the low population in Sweden, which made it necessary for priests to marry and have children. Even though Lars was known for trying to uphold celibacy, in 1258 he had to send a request to the Pope about not having to excommunicate those who broke the rule. We can imagine how common it was since this was necessary.

In 1258 the move of the archbishopric to its present location was decided. It would, however, not be realized for another decade. The reason was that the present location Östra Aros had grown in significance.

When Lars died in early March 1267, he was buried among his brothers at the monastery in Enköping.

Nathan Söderblom

Lars Olof Jonathan Söderblom (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈnɑːtan ˈsøːdɛrblʊm]) (15 January 1866 – 12 July 1931) was a Swedish clergyman. He was the Church of Sweden Archbishop of Uppsala between 1914 and 1931, and recipient of the 1930 Nobel Peace Prize. He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church and in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on July 12.

Söderblom was born in a village called Trönö, today Söderhamn Municipality, Gävleborg County. His father was a priest and a devoted Christian with a strong personal faith.

He enrolled at Uppsala University in 1883. Although not initially convinced what he wanted to study, he eventually decided to follow in his father's footsteps. On returning from a journey to the U.S., he was ordained priest in 1893.

During the years 1892 and 1893, Söderblom was first vice president and then president of the Uppsala Student Union.

In 1912, he became a professor of Religious studies at Leipzig University. But already in 1914, he was elected as Archbishop of Uppsala, the head of the Lutheran church in Sweden. During the First World War, he called on all Christian leaders to work for peace and justice.

He believed that church unity had the specific purpose of presenting the gospel to the world and that the messages of Jesus were relevant to social life. His leadership of the Christian "Life and Work" movement in the 1920s has led him to be recognised as one of the principal founders of the ecumenical movement. His was instrumental in chairing the World Conference of Life and Work in Stockholm, in 1925. He was a close friend of the English ecumenist George Bell.

He was the pastor at the church that Alfred Nobel went to and in 1930 was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize.

After his death in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1931 his body was interred in Uppsala Cathedral.

Olaus Martini

Olof Mårtensson (1557 - 17 March 1609) also known in the Latin form Olaus Martini, was Archbishop of Uppsala from 1601 to his death.

Born in Uppsala, Sweden, he first enrolled in the University of Uppsala, but when it was temporarily closed in 1578 he travelled abroad. In 1583 he got a Master's degree at the University of Rostock and then travelled home again.

On returning, he made himself a reputation when he criticized the liturgy of Swedish King John III who held somewhat Catholics beliefs despite that Sweden had been Lutheran since 1531.

The king's brother Duke Charles, who later became King Charles IX, promoted Olaus to becoming Archbishop of Uppsala in 1601. Despite his support, Martini was fundamentally in opposition to the beliefs of duke Charles, a conflict which eventually led to disputes between the two. Martini was an orthodox Lutheran, while Duke Charles is believed to have been inclined towards Calvinistic tenants—which he himself denied (see: crypto-Calvinism).

In 1606 Martini had a text published which was sharply polemicing against Catholic and Calvinistic tenets.

Although he was in opposition to the King and the Duke, he was considered a hard working and trustworthy man by the University of Uppsala and by his communion.

Petrus (Archbishop of Uppsala)

Petrus was the third archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, between 1187-1197.

He was ordained by the mighty Danish archbishop Absalon in Lund, the primate of Sweden at that time. When Sweden got a new king, Sverker, who was related to the Danish Royal Court, Absalon extended his authority over Sweden. When Petrus in 1196 elected three bishops, Absalon requested the Pope to interact since the bishops were the sons of other priests, and this was not allowed according to Canon law. He also mentioned that several Swedish bishops refused to travel to Absalon's synods. Absalon was an authoritative person whom the Pope entrusted and gave him right, but by this time Petrus had already died.

Stefan (Archbishop of Uppsala)

Stefan (before 1143 – 18 July 1185) was created the first Archbishop of Uppsala in Sweden in the year 1164, a post he held until his death.

Stefan was a Cistercian monk from Alvastra monastery (of which he was one of the founders in 1143). His origin is not known, but it is believed that he was originally from England or Germany because many monks from the monastery were from those countries and because his name was rather uncommon in Sweden at that time.

In 1164 Stefan travelled to Sens in France to meet Pope Alexander III. The Pope was seeking refuge in Sens because of disputes in Rome. Present in Sens was another refugee: the archbishop of Lund (Denmark), Eskil, who had supported the wrong king in Denmark and thus been forced into exile.

The Pope agreed to grant Sweden an archbishop. This matter had already been discussed a decade earlier, but because of civil conflicts was never realized. A pallium had, however, been made in Lund for that occasion, and Eskil had brought it with him when he left Denmark. The pallium was now given to Stefan.

The archbishop of Lund was declared primate of Uppsala, and thereby given the right to ordain the archbishop of Uppsala. The primateship was upheld for a century until political conflicts between the two countries led to the independence of the Uppsala archbishopric, and thereafter the archbishop would travel to Rome to be ordained by the pope.

What is likely to be a protocol from the Sens meeting is still in existence at the Swedish Royal Library.

Tord Pedersson (Bonde)

Tord Pedersson (Bonde) (died May 1470) was the un-ordained Archbishop of Uppsala from 1468 to 1469. He was born as Tord Pedersson, but since his mother was of the Bonde family, he would often use this name in addition to his own.

He studied at the University of Leipzig in 1437-1439 and received a Bachelor of Arts. After returning home, he became dean in Linköping. His mother had a connection to the king Charles VIII of Sweden, which is believed to have been the reason for this promotion.

In 1467, the Archbishop of Uppsala died, and on the King's recommendation, Tord Pedersson was elected as his successor. He moved to Almarestäket and filled the chair as Archbishop. However, Pope Paul II did not approve this elevation, and requested that Pedersson be replaced by Jakob Ulvsson. Pedersson was replaced on 18 December 1469.

Not long thereafter, Tord Pedersson died.

Valerius (Archbishop of Uppsala)

Valerius was the Swedish Archbishop 1207–1219 (or as late as 1224). He was the fifth archbishop after the establishment of the see in 1164.

Archbishops of Uppsala
12th century
13th century
14th century
15th–16th century
17th century
18th century
19th century
20th century
21st century
Assembly Elections
Nominating groups
See also

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