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Date of birth unknown; died May 4, 1436, on an island in Lake Hjálmaren. Leader of the largest popular uprising in medieval Sweden, which lasted from 1434 to 1436. National hero.
Engelbrekt was a mine owner (bergsman) of the petty nobility in Norberg, Dalarna (Dalecarlia) Province. The rebellion headed by him ostensibly was directed against the policies of the Danish kings in Sweden but in fact was aimed at dissolving the Union of Kalmar. The rebels liberated most of the country from the Danish garrisons and brought about the overthrow of King Erik of Pomerania. Under pressure by the insurgents, an expanded session of the state council—the Riksrod—was convened in Arboga in January 1435 in which not only the nobility and clergy took part, but also representatives of the cities and, possibly, of the rural communes; this is considered the first Swedish Riksdag. Engelbrekt was proclaimed leader of the state (rikshövitsman) and made a member of the Riksrod. The aristocracy succeeded, in effect, in removing him from leadership of the movement. In 1436, Engelbrekt once again raised a popular rebellion, but he was treacherously murdered by the Bengtssons, who were from an aristocratic clan; the rebellion was suppressed.