Gustav Vasa's fate and adventure in Dalarna


December 6, 2021

Gustav Vasa's fate and adventures in Dalarna is a traditional name for the legends that deal with Gustav Vasa's time in Dalarna during the years 1520–1521.


Some parts of the legends go back to Peder Svart's chronicle, written on the king's initiative under his own review. Further additions to the stories were made in connection with the research on ancient monuments in the 1660s, some of the information was recorded as legends as late as the 18th century, many were shaped by Jacob Brandberg who became very important for the later design of the legends. The most famous legends are probably in the variant written by Anna Maria Roos in 1914 under the title Gustav Vasa's adventures in Dalarna, and which was included in the primary school reading books for children. Their historical truth content is debatable.


The adventure follows here in the order in which the story has been told.

The return

Gustav landed in Kalmar after the captivity in Denmark, and there tried to persuade the city's citizens and German soldiers that they would continue to fight against King Kristian's army. But Gustav did not become popular and he continued his journey through Småland, Östergötland and Södermanland. In September, he visited his relative, Joakim Brahe, and got to live on the farm Tärnö, northwest of Nyköping. By that time, Stockholm had fallen, and Joakim Brahe was summoned to King Kristian's coronation. Gustav warned him in vain to leave. Joakim Brahe did not want to listen and was later executed in Stockholm's bloodbath. He went on to the farm Rävsnäs which was owned by his father. When he came to Mariefred, he visited the old archbishop Jakob Ulvsson to ask for advice. The archbishop promised to write to the Riksrådet and obtain "a permanent insurance" for Gustav. But just then, in mid-November, the news of the Stockholm massacre suddenly came: His father, two of his uncles and several other relatives have been executed. Three of his sisters and his mother and grandmother have been thrown in jail in the Blue Tower in Copenhagen. All estates and farms had been withdrawn. The Danes searched for him throughout the country. He therefore chose to go to Dalarna. In Dalarna almost everyone had weapons, where they had learned that rebellion pays off. Among 30,000 valley men, he could also disappear. On November 25, he broke up, and traveled to Bergslagen. At the beginning of December, he heads to Dalarna. On his way north, Gustav tries to avoid the places where he knows that the Danish king's men are. To avoid being recognized, he dresses up as a farmer. Strategically enough, he chooses the Mora suit to blend in well. Mora is a center and there rebellions have begun before. At this time, many people from northern Dalarna also come to the area to work with the threshing. He therefore hopes not to attract any attention. However, he does not go directly to Mora, but walks around the area around Falun. Many rich, influential and powerful miners live here. Their attitude to the king is very important.


At the end of November (in Sancti Andreae time), Gustav Rankhyttan, which is a farm on the southeastern shore of Lake Vikasjön that connects with Lake Runn, reaches 20 km south of Falun. The farm is owned by the rich miner Anders Persson, whom Gustav has been familiar with since his time in Uppsala. Here he gets a job threshing. However, he is not a further servant. The maid that Gustav works with complains about his bad friend. She also notes his silk collar under the Mora costume and complains suspiciously to the master: - I do not think that that morakarlen, who came here yesterday, is a peasant boy. He can not thresh and he has a nice blouse under the shirt! The miner recognizes his old friend and, of course, wonders what happened. Gustav tells his whole story (King Kristian, the captivity in Denmark, the Stockholm massacre) and asks the miner for help. Anders Persson, however, does not dare h

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