Brothers of the Order of St John arrived in Sweden around 1170 and founded before 1185 a monastery in Eskilstuna at the grave of the martyr St. Eskil, 100km west of Stockholm. The monastery soon became a centre for the cure of the old and infirm. The Swedish Royal Houses and important noble families became generous donors to St John and Eskilstuna.

During the 14th century a smaller monastery was founded in Stockholm where goods and other tributes were stored. From Stockholm, they were sent further to the headquarters of the Priory of Dacia. At the end of the Middle Ages, the Order also acquired a church in Stockholm and a monastery in the southeast of the country close to the town of Kalmar. In 1467 leading Swedish members of the Order had direct independent links with Rhodes. The reformation in 1527 ruled by King Gustav I resulted in the temporary extinction of the Order in Sweden.

During the last centuries, Swedish nobles became knights of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg. Among them a Swedish Commandery of the Order was founded in 1920 under the protection of King Gustav V and Queen Victoria; but the Commandery was formally still affiliated to the Bailiwick of Brandenburg until 1946.

In November 1946, Johanniterorden I Sverige was embodied by a Royal Charter with King Gustav V as its Herre och Mästare (Lord and Master).