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Anna Phersönernas moder, ("Anna, mother of the sons of Per"), (died 18/21 September 1568 Stockholmmarker), whose last name is unknown, was the mother of the Swedish statesman Jöran Persson, the powerful adviser of king Eric XIV of Sweden. She was rumored to be a witch, and considered to have wielded a significant (and disliked) influence over her son and the affairs of state.

First vicar's wife

Anna was what was referred to as a "house keeper" to the Catholic priest Curatus Petrus (Per Joensson), who is confirmed as a priest in 1526, when he acted on the behalf of king Gustav Vasa during negotiations in Sala. It was commonly accepted and well known that the Catholic priests had relationships with their house keepers, who were referred to as "Red-Deja" or "Forssia". After the protestant reformation, the priests were expected to marry their mistresses, and Anna belonged to the last "house keepers" and the first vicar's wives when Petrus married her in about 1530. Her husband later lived as a merchant in Stockholm, but returned to the profession of a priest in 1548, when he was employed in Strängnäsmarker.

Alleged witch

Both Anna and her husband was well seen by king Gustav Vasa, and in the 1550s, Anna was appointed house keeper at the Royal Strömsholm Palacemarker, which after the king's death in 1560 was made residence of the court of the Queen Dowager Katarina Stenbock. Her son was appointed adviser of the new king, Eric XIV, and often considered as the country's real regent during the 1560s. Her other son, Christern Persson (d.1567), was also employed in the king's council. The two brothers became eminently unpopular, and Anna herself was rumored by the propaganda to influence them and effect their rule through magic.


In 1567, Jöran was deposed and imprisoned, but was reinstated in 1568, which increased the hostility against king Eric, and the same year, the king was deposed. Jöran Persson was arrested and executed brutally by the new king, John III. The wife of Persson, Anna Andersdotter, was arrested, and it is said that she was accused of sorcery; whatever the case, she managed to escape and was given protection by Duke Charles. John also had Jöran's mother Anna arrested, and ordered that she be taken to the place of execution together with her son to be executed with him. It is commonly claimed that she had been judged for sorcery, but not much seems to be known about this trial. On the way to the execution, however, where she was taken on horseback, she threw herself or fell off the horse and broke her neck. There are some different versions of this. According to some sources, a pike was put through her back and her corpse was buried without ceremonies on the ground of the execution place beneath the corpse of her son.

See also


  • Herman Lindqvist, Historien om Sverige. Gustav Vasa och hans söner och döttrar. (History of Sweden. Gustav Vasa and his sons and daughters). (In Swedish)
  • Lars-Olof Larsson, Arvet efter Gustav Vasa (The legacy of Gustav Vasa) (In Swedish)

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