Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden

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Adolf Frederick
Gustaf Lundberg - Portrait of Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden - WGA13779.jpg
Portrait by Gustaf Lundberg
King of Sweden
Reign25 March 1751 12 February 1771
Coronation 26 November 1751
Predecessor Frederick I
Successor Gustav III
Born14 May 1710
Gottorp, Schleswig, Duchy of Schleswig
Died12 February 1771(1771-02-12) (aged 60)
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Burial30 July 1771
Spouse
Issue Gustav III
Charles XIII
Frederick Adolf, Duke of Östergötland
Sophia Albertina, Abbess of Quedlinburg
House Holstein-Gottorp
Father Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin
Mother Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach
Religion Lutheran

Adolf Frederick or Adolph Frederick (Swedish : Adolf Fredrik, German : Adolf Friedrich; 14 May 1710 12 February 1771) was King of Sweden from 1751 until his death. He was the son of Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin, and Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach. [1] [2]

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 11.1 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Both Norwegian and Danish are generally easier for Swedish speakers to read than to listen to because of difference in accent and tone when speaking. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin Prince regent of Eutin, Prince-bishop of Lübeck and regent of the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp

Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp-Eutin was a cadet of the reigning ducal House of Holstein-Gottorp who became prince of Eutin, prince-bishop of Lübeck and regent of the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp.

Contents

The first king from the House of Holstein-Gottorp, Adolf Frederick was a weak monarch, instated as first in line of the throne following the parliamentary government's failure to reconquer the Baltic provinces in 1741–43. Aside from a few attempts, supported by pro-absolutist factions among the nobility, to reclaim the absolute monarchy held by previous monarchs, he remained a mere constitutional figurehead until his death.

House of Holstein-Gottorp (Swedish line) cadet branch of the Oldenburg dynasty, ruled Sweden from 1751 until 1818, and Norway from 1814 to 1818

The House of Holstein-Gottorp, a cadet branch of the Oldenburg dynasty, ruled Sweden from 1751 until 1818, and Norway from 1814 to 1818. The current royal family, Bernadotte, is de jure a branch of the Holstein-Gottorps due to the last Holstein-Gottorp king's adoption of the first Bernadotte king, Charles XIV John.

Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.

His reign saw an extended period of internal peace, although the finances stagnated following failed mercantilist doctrines pursued by the Hat administration. The Hat administration ended only in the 1765–66 parliament, where the Cap opposition overtook the government and enacted reforms towards greater economic liberalism as well as a Freedom of Press Act almost unique at the time for its curtailing of all censorship, retaining punitive measures only for libeling the monarch or the Church of Sweden. [3]

The Hats were a Swedish political faction active during the Age of Liberty (1719–1772). Their name derives from the tricorne hat worn by officers and gentlemen. They vied for power with the opposing Caps party. The Hats, who ruled Sweden from 1738 to 1765, advocated an alliance with France and an assertive foreign policy, especially towards Russia. During their tenure, they involved Sweden in two expensive and disastrous wars, in the 1740s and 1750s.

The Caps were a political faction during the Age of Liberty (1719–1772) in Sweden. The primary rivals of the Caps were known as the Hats. The Hats are actually responsible for the Caps' name, as it comes from a contraction of Night-cap, a name used to suggest that the Caps were the soft and timid party. The Caps represented mostly peasants and clergymen.

Economic liberalism is an economic system organized on individual lines, which means the greatest possible number of economic decisions are made by individuals or households rather than by collective institutions or organizations. It includes a spectrum of different economic policies, such as freedom of movement, but its basis is on strong support for a market economy and private property in the means of production. Although economic liberals can also be supportive of government regulation to a certain degree, they tend to oppose government intervention in the free market when it inhibits free trade and open competition.

Ancestry

His father was Christian Augustus (16731726) duke and a younger prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, prince-bishop of Lübeck, and administrator, during the Great Northern War, of the duchies of Holstein-Gottorp for his relative Charles Frederick. [4]

Prince-bishop bishop who is a territorial Prince of the Church

A prince-bishop is a bishop who is also the civil ruler of some secular principality and sovereignty. Thus the principality or prince-bishopric ruled politically by a prince-bishop could wholly or largely overlap with his diocesan jurisdiction, since some parts of his diocese, even the city of his residence, could be exempt from his civil rule, obtaining the status of free imperial city. If the episcopal see is an archbishopric, the correct term is prince-archbishop; the equivalent in the regular (monastic) clergy is prince-abbot. A prince-bishop is usually considered an elected monarch.

Great Northern War conflict between mainly the Swedish and Russian empires in 1700–1721

The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony–Poland–Lithuania. Frederick IV and Augustus II were defeated by Sweden, under Charles XII, and forced out of the alliance in 1700 and 1706 respectively, but rejoined it in 1709 after the defeat of Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava. George I of Great Britain and of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) joined the coalition in 1714 for Hanover and in 1717 for Britain, and Frederick William I of Brandenburg-Prussia joined it in 1715.

Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp Swedish prince

Duke Charles Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp was a Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp and an important member of European royalty. His dynasty, the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, were a cadet branch of the ancient House of Oldenburg, which at that time was ruling Denmark. Charles Frederick married a daughter of Peter the Great and became the father of the future Peter III of Russia. As such, he is the progenitor of the Russian imperial house of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov and the patrilineal ancestor of all Russian emperors starting with Peter III, except for Catherine II.

His mother Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach (1682–1755) was a descendant of earlier royal dynasties of Sweden, granddaughter of Princess Catherine of Sweden, eldest sister of King Charles X of Sweden. On his mother's side, Adolf Frederick descended from King Gustav Vasa and from Christina Magdalena, a sister of Charles X of Sweden. [5]

Catherine of Sweden, Countess Palatine of Kleeburg Foster-mother of Queen Christina of Sweden

Catherine of Sweden was a Swedish princess and a Countess Palatine of Zweibrücken as the consort of her second cousin John Casimir of Palatinate-Zweibrücken. She is known as the periodical foster-mother of Queen Christina of Sweden.

Gustav I of Sweden 16th century king of Sweden

Gustav I, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known as Gustav Vasa, was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death in 1560, previously self-recognised Protector of the Realm (Riksföreståndare) from 1521, during the ongoing Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Initially of low standing, Gustav rose to lead the rebel movement following the Stockholm Bloodbath, in which his father perished. Gustav's election as King on 6 June 1523 and his triumphant entry into Stockholm eleven days later marked Sweden's final secession from the Kalmar Union.

From both his parents he was descended from Holstein-Gottorp, a house with a number of medieval Scandinavian royal dynasties among its ancestors. Adolf Frederick was also a 13th-generation descendant of King Erik V of Denmark; a 13th-generation descendant of Sophia of Denmark and King Valdemar I of Sweden; and an 11th-generation descendant of Euphemia of Sweden, Duchess of Mecklenburg and her husband the Duke Albrecht. [6]

Euphemia of Sweden Duchess consort of Mecklenburg

Euphemia of Sweden was a Swedish princess, spouse of Albert II, Duke of Mecklenburg, Duchess consort of Mecklenburg, heiress of Sweden and of Norway, and mother of King Albert of Sweden.

House of Mecklenburg noble family

The House of Mecklenburg, also known as Nikloting, is a North German dynasty that ruled until 1918 in the Mecklenburg region, being among the longest-ruling families of Europe.

Albert II, Duke of Mecklenburg Duke of Mecklenburg

Albert II Duke of Mecklenburg was a feudal lord in Northern Germany on the shores of the Baltic Sea. He reigned as the head of the House of Mecklenburg. His princely seat was located in Schwerin beginning in the 1350s.

Reign

Adolf Frederick in old age as King, by Lorens Pasch the Younger Adolf Fredrik of Sweden.jpg
Adolf Frederick in old age as King, by Lorens Pasch the Younger

From 1727 to 1750 prince Adolf Frederick was prince-bishop of Lübeck, which meant the rulership of a fief around and including Eutin. After his first cousin Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp died in 1739, Adolf Frederick became administrator of Holstein-Kiel during the minority of the duke's orphan son, then known as Charles Peter Ulrich. Shortly afterwards, the young boy was invited to Russia by his maternal aunt, Empress Elizabeth, who soon declared him her heir; he later became known as Peter III of Russia. [7]

In 1743, Adolf Frederick was elected heir to the throne of Sweden by the Hat faction (Swedish: Hattarna) in order that they might obtain better conditions at the Treaty of Abo from Empress Elizabeth of Russia, [4] who had adopted his nephew as her heir. He succeeded as King Adolf Frederick twelve years later on 25 March 1751. [8]

During his twenty-year reign, Adolf Frederick was little more than a figurehead, the real power being lodged in the hands of the Riksdag of the Estates, often distracted by party strife. Twice he endeavoured to free himself from the tutelage of the estates. The first occasion was in 1756 when, stimulated by his imperious consort Louisa Ulrika of Prussia (sister of Frederick the Great), he tried to regain a portion of the attenuated prerogative through the Coup of 1756 to abolish the rule of the Riksdag of the Estates and reinstate absolute monarchy in Sweden. He nearly lost his throne in consequence. On the second occasion during the December Crisis (1768), under the guidance of his eldest son, the crown prince Gustav, afterwards Gustav III of Sweden, he succeeded in overthrowing the "Cap" (Swedish: Mössorna) senate, but was unable to make any use of his victory. [4] [9]

Death

Adolf Frederick died in Stockholm on 12 February 1771 after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, kippers and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: hetvägg made of semla and served in a bowl of hot milk . [10] [11]

The king was regarded, both during his time and in later times, as dependent on others, a weak ruler and lacking of any talents. But he was allegedly also a good husband, a caring father, and a gentle master to his servants. His favourite pastime was to make snuffboxes, which he allegedly spent a great deal of time doing. His personal hospitality and friendliness were witnessed by many who deeply mourned him at his death.

Following his death, his son Gustav III seized power in 1772 in a military coup d'état, reinstating absolute rule. [12]

Children

By his marriage to Princess Louisa Ulrika of Prussia (which took place on 18 August/29 August 1744 in Drottningholm), he had the following children:

  1. (Stillborn) (18 February 1745 in Stockholm)
  2. Gustav III (1746–1792)
  3. Charles XIII (1748–1818)
  4. Frederick Adolf (1750–1803)
  5. Sofia Albertina (1753–1829)

With Marguerite Morel he had one son who died as a child:

  1. Frederici (d. 1771) [13]

Adolf Frederick may have been the father of Lolotte Forssberg by Ulla von Liewen, but this has however never been confirmed. [14]

Ancestors

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Count Claes Adolph Fleming (1771-1831) was a Swedish court official and diplomat, and member of the Swedish Academy. He was the one of very few personal friends and confidants of king Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, and according to Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp he was often courted by petitioners, but normally refused to make use of his influence. He was given numerous diplomatic missions by the king, and accompanied him to Saint Petersburg in 1796.

References

  1. L. Stavenow. "Adolf Fredrik". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  2. "Christian August (Herzog von Holstein-Gottorf)". Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  3. "Adolf Fredrik". Nordisk familjebok. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Adolphus Frederick"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 211–212. This cites:
    • R. Nisbet Bain, Gustavus III. and his Contemporaries, vol. i. (London, 1895).
  5. Nina Ringbom. "Kristina Magdalena av Pfalz-Zweibrücken". historiesajten.se. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  6. "Holstein-Gottorp". europeanheraldry.org. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  7. "Peter III". Saint-Petersburg.Com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  8. "Hattpartiet, Hattarna". Nordisk familjebok. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  9. "Mösspartiet, Mössorna". Nordisk familjebok. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  10. The lowdown on Sweden's best buns Archived 2008-02-16 at the Wayback Machine The Local, February 2007
  11. Magnus Carlstedt. "Hetvägg". semlor.nu. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  12. "Gustav III (January 24, 1746 – March 29, 1792)". European Royal History. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  13. Gunilla Roempke (1994). Gunilla Roempke. ed. Vristens makt – dansös i mätressernas tidevarv (The power of the ankle - dancer in the epoch of the royal mistresses) Stockholm: Stockholm Fischer & company. ISBN   91-7054-734-3
  14. af Klercker, Cecilia, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). VI 1797-1799. (1927) Translated by Cecilia af Klercker. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. pp. 290–291
  15. Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 28.
Adolf Fredrik
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 14 May 1710 Died: 12 February 1771
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Fredrik I
King of Sweden
1751–1771
Succeeded by
Gustav III
Preceded by
Charles Augustus of Holstein-Gottorp
Prince-Bishop of Lübeck
1727–1750
Succeeded by
Frederick August of Oldenburg