The New Student's Reference Work/Gustavus I

Gusta′vus I or Gusta′vus Va′sa, king of Sweden during 1523-60, was born in 1496 of a noble family named Ericsson. As a boy he was active in the struggle against Denmark, and was carried off with other nobles to be held as hostages in Denmark. He, however, escaped, and, returning in a roundabout way, tried to revive the waning interest in the struggle with the Danes, but could not, and had to resort to work in the fields and mines for a livelihood. At last the “bloodbath” of Stockholm in 1520 aroused the Swedes, and he raised a sufficiently large army to wrest city after city from the Danes, until finally the capture of Stockholm in 1523 drove them from Sweden. That same year he was elected king. He then devoted himself to restoring the country, fostering trade at home and abroad, and building roads, bridges and canals. He died on Sept. 20, 1560, leaving his country with an army of 15,000 men, a good fleet, a full treasury and many schools and colleges. The first efforts at Christianizing Lapland and Finland were due to him. See The Swedish Revolution under Gustavus Vasa by Watson.