In his dissertation” Karl XII och hans rådgivare” (1960), Gustaf Jonasson describes the circumstances surrounding the decision to send Swedish troops into Holstein in 1699. According to Jonasson it was made by Charles XII in mid-July without consulting his foreign policy advisors and was a result of the influence of the Duke of Holstein, who had arrived in Sweden at the beginning of the month. The King’s orders were dated 15 July, but Jonasson claims that the Chancery did not find out until 1 August. On that date Thomas Polus, Bengt Oxenstierna and Nils Gyldenstolpe held a meeting to discuss what the King had told them the same morning.
If Jonasson’s account is to be believed the logical conclusion seems to be that the Duke had convinced the King during the journey from Ystad to Stockholm and the two of them had then managed to keep the matter completely secret for more than two weeks. This seems rather unlikely. Thomas Polus had at the very least been in Ystad just before the Duke arrived and in an undated letter to Bengt Oxenstierna he writes: “The Duke will likely upon his arrival try to persuade the King to act vigorously”. Polus found this most disconcerting and adventurous.
So perhaps Polus wasn’t aware of the decision when it was made, but he certainly seems to have feared it would come. Had Polus managed to postpone it until the King came back to Stockholm or was he just pretending to be uninformed as late as 1 August?
Source: Riksarkivet, Ericsbergsarkivet, Autografsamlingen