His suspicion suggested to him that, if his own brother failed him, the loyalty of the great nobles, especially the members of the ancient Sture family, who had been notable in Sweden when the Vasas were unknown, could not be depended upon.
The head of the Sture family at this time was Count Svante, who had married a sister of Gustavus Vasa's second wife, and had by her a numerous family, of whom two sons, Nils and Eric, still survived.
The dark tragedy, known as the Sture murders, began with Eric XIV.'s strange treatment of young Count Nils.
Two days later Nils Sture arrived at Upsala fresh from his embassy to Lorraine, and was at once thrown into prison, where other members of the nobility were already detained.
Gustavus's mother, Cecilia Mansdatter, was closely connected by marriage with the great Sture family.
At the battle of Brannkyrka, when Sture 1 Erste Linien eines Versuchs 'ether den Ursprung der alten Slaven (Leipzig, 1783-1789), p. 145.
The national party was represented by the three great Riksfdrestandare, or presidents of the realm, of the Sture family (see Sture), who, with brief intervals, from 1470 to 1520 successively defended the independence of Sweden against the Danish kings and kept the national spirit alive.
Meanwhile Christian was preparing for the inevitable war with Sweden, where the patriotic party, headed by the freely elected governor Sten Sture the younger, stood face to face with the philo-Danish party under Archbishop Gustavus Trolle.
Christian, who had already taken measures to isolate Sweden politically, hastened to the relief of the archbishop, who was beleagured in his fortress of Stake, but was defeated by Sture and his peasant levies at Vedla and forced to return to Denmark.
Sture was mortally wounded at the battle of Borgerund, on the 10th of January, and the Danish army, unopposed, was approaching Upsala, where the members of the Swedish Riksrad had already assembled.