Anna Eriksdotter was a noblewoman who is known for leading the defence of Kalmar Castle against the Danish army during the military campaign of 1520.
Little definite information on Anna Eriksdotter has survived. She was born in 1490 and died approximately 30 or 35 years later. Her parents belonged to both the political and economic elite of society. After the death of her father, Erik Turesson (Bielke), Anna Eriksdotter’s mother, Gunhild Bese, held the fief of Viborg. Erik Turesson had played an active role within domestic politics during his lifetime. In 1514 Anna Eriksdotter married Johan Månsson (Natt och Dag), who was also one of the most prominent men in Sweden.
Between the years of 1510 and 1520 Anna Eriksdotter was stationed at Kalmar Castle, where her husband served as governor. He fell in battle against the Danes. Although the exact date is not known Anna Eriksdotter was certainly in charge of the defence of Kalmar Castle by February 1520 at the latest. According to Gottfrid Carlsson’s article on Anna Eriksdotter’s father in Svenskt biografiskt lexikon it is likely that she maintained the castle defence for several months, perhaps into the month of August. During the period that Anna Eriksdotter was in command of the castle she received the banished Gustav Eriksson (later King Gustav I Vasa) who had returned from Lübeck. According to Gottfrid Carlsson the soon-to-be king of Sweden was well received and Anna Eriksdotter later conceded to his request to break off her intended engagement with one of the enemy commanders.
Anna Eriksdotter fulfilled what was expected of her as a noble and high-ranking woman of her time. When her husband died she stood ready to take over his affairs. Her life history reveals how engagements and marriages were part of the political as well as the military power games.
Anna Eriksdotter’s name appears in accounts until April 1525. The circumstances and date of her death remain uncertain.