By Sir Thomas Heath

This Elibron Classics e-book is a facsimile reprint of a 1921 version by means of the Clarendon Press, Oxford.

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The new ruler was not welcomed in Finland, and to consolidate their rule, the Germans embarked on a programme of castle building to assist them in subduing the population. After ten years control of Finland fell to a Swedish aristocrat, Grip, who ruled until 1386. Grip acquired, through purchase and diplomacy, the overlordship of provinces in Sweden and Finland as personal possessions, but he also secured the post of lagman, which gave him official status under the Swedish constitution. He was able to operate in virtual independence of the king, because of the relative isolation of Finland from Sweden.

For a century and a half before the Reformation all the bishops had been born in Finland, although not all were from Finnish-speaking families. The nobility included Swedes, Danes and Germans who had settled in Finland, but a high proportion were born in Finland and many spoke Finnish. Finland, as part of Catholic Europe, shared the common cultural heritage of Christendom. Many Finnish students studied in the universities of western Europe, especially in Paris and later at Wittenberg, Rostock, Giessen and Frankfurt on Oder.

With inadequate means of communication the Swedish kings found it extremely difficult to establish their authority in Finland, and they had little choice but to tolerate a considerable degree of de facto autonomy. During the fifteenth century it became customary for Finland to hold its own separate electoral A short history of Finland assembly in Turku for the swearing of oaths of loyalty to a new king when he could not make an appearance in person - often because the royal progress across the Baltic was prevented by adverse weather.

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