The Lord High Steward
or Lord High Justiciar
or only Drots
) was a highly prominent member of the Swedish Privy Council
from the 13th century until 1809, excluding periods when the office was out of use.
The first mentioning of the title "drots
" in Sweden, concerns the reign of Magnus Ladulås
and the year 1276. It is difficult to say anything definite about the status of the office at that time, but sources from the 14th century shows the width of the power of the Lord High Steward. The influence seems to have been vast, as long as the steward managed to stay out of doing things against the will of the king himself. The steward was the king's closest confidant and during the guardian regency at the time of Magnus Eriksson
's adolescence (1319-1331), the title holder (mostly Knut Jonsson
) was the mightiest man in Sweden.
In the latter stages of the 14th century, during conflicts between the king and the Swedish noblemen, the title became more independent and less attached to the king. The wealthiest and most famous of the Swedish aristocrats of the time was arguably steward Bo Jonsson Grip
, who disposed of king Magnus Eriksson and then dominated the king he helped to install instead, Albrekt
. After Jonsson Grip had died in 1386, no new steward was appointed until 1435,... Read More