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The Great Northern War
Sunday, 28 July 2013
The De la Gardie papers

Count Jacob Gustaf de la Gardie (1768-1842) is one of the most prominent collectors of books and manuscripts in Swedish history. After his death most of the manuscripts came to Lund University Library, where they still remain. From the time of the Great Northern War the most important parts originate from Fabian Wrede (1641-1712), Councillor of the Realm and expert in financial matters and from three members of the de la Gardie family - Axel Julius (1637-1710) and his two sons Adam Carl (1668-1721) and Magnus Julius (1674-1741). Axel Julius was, as I have mentioned in previous posts, for many years Governor General of Estonia as well as Councillor of the Realm. Adam Carl was during the first part of the war Colonel of the de la Gardie Infantry Regiment and later became County Governor in Kalmar. Magnus Julius served abroad until after Poltava and upon returning home was appointed Colonel of the recreated Dalecarlia Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to Major General in 1713 and to Lieutenant General in 1717. He is among other things notable as a strong believer in the musket, arguing against the reintroduction of the pike that took place after Charles XII had returned to Sweden in late 1715. In de la Gardie's opinion the musket was very superior as a defensive weapon, a view which probably appeared totally irrelevant to the very attack-minded King.

In the Adam Carl de la Gardie papers there are quite a few letters from officers in his regiment and also some financial records concerning the creation of the regiment. In the Axel Julius papers there is one document of particular interest. It deals with the failure to adequately supply Narva in 1703-04 despite the urgent appeals of Major General Horn and an attempt by Axel Julius de la Gardie to divert attention from himself when questions were being asked. More about this in my next entry.


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 3:59 PM MEST
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