There have been bishops in Uppsala from the time of Swedish King Ingold the Elder in the 11th century. They were governed by the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen until Uppsala was made an archbishopric in 1164. The archbishop in Lund (which at that time belonged to Denmark) was declared primate of Sweden, meaning it was his right to select and ordain the Uppsala archbishop by handing him the pallium. To gain independence, Folke Johansson Ängel in 1274 went to Rome and was ordained directly by the pope. This practice was increasing, so that no Uppsala archbishop was in Lund after Olov Björnsson, in 1318. In 1457, the archbishop Jöns Bengtsson (Oxenstierna) was allowed by the pope to declare himself primate of Sweden.
Uppsala (then a village) was originally located a couple of miles to the north of the present city, in what is today known as Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). In 1273, the archbishopric, together with the relics of King Eric the Saint, was moved to the market town of Östra Aros, which from then on is named Uppsala.
In 1531, Laurentius Petri was chosen by King Gustav I of Sweden (Vasa) to be archbishop, taking that privilege from the pope and in effect making Sweden Protestant. The archbishop was then declared primus inter pares i.e. first among equals. The archbishop is both bishop of his diocese and Primate of Sweden; he has however no more authority than other bishops, although in effect his statements have a more widespread effect. In 2000, the Archbishop of Uppsala was aided in the diocese by a bishop of Uppsala, currently Ragnar Persenius.