Frederick I of Sweden

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Frederick I
Frederick I of Sweden.jpg
Portrait by Martin van Meytens.
King of Sweden
Reign 24 March 1720 – 5 April 1751
Coronation 3 May 1720
Predecessor Ulrika Eleonora
Successor Adolf Frederick
Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
Reign 23 March 1730 – 5 April 1751
Predecessor Charles I
Successor William VIII
Born(1676-04-28)28 April 1676
Kassel, Hesse-Kassel
Died 5 April 1751(1751-04-05) (aged 74)
Stockholm, Sweden
Burial 27 September 1751
Riddarholmen Church
Spouse
Luise Dorothea of Prussia
(m. 1700;d. 1705)

Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden
(m. 1715;d. 1741)
Issue
more...
Frederick William von Hessenstein
House Hesse-Kassel
Father Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
Mother Maria Amalia of Courland
Religion Lutheran
prev. Calvinist
King Frederick's extramarital sons Frederick William and Carl Edward von Hessenstein Frederick William von Hessenstein & Carl Edward von Hessenstein c 1745.jpg
King Frederick's extramarital sons Frederick William and Carl Edward von Hessenstein
Frederick I of Sweden Portratt, Fredrik I - Livrustkammaren - 75859.tif
Frederick I of Sweden

Frederick I (Swedish : Fredrik I; 28 April 1676 – 5 April 1751) was prince consort of Sweden from 1718 to 1720, and King of Sweden from 1720 until his death and (as Frederick I) also Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1730. He ascended the throne following the death of his brother-in-law absolutist Charles XII in the Great Northern War, and the abdication of his wife, Charles's sister and successor Ulrika Eleonora, after she had to relinquish most powers to the Riksdag of the Estates and thus chose to abdicate. His powerless reign saw his family's elimination from the line of succession after the parliamentary government dominated by pro-revanchist Hat Party politicians ventured into a war with Russia, which ended in defeat and the Russian tsarina Elizabeth demanding Adolph Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp to be instated following the death of the king.

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 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.

A prince consort is the husband of a queen regnant who is not himself a king in his own right. In recognition of his status, a prince consort may be given a formal title, such as prince or prince consort, with prince being the most common. However, most monarchies do not have formal rules on the styling of princes consort, thus they may have no special title. Few monarchies use the title of king consort for the same role.

Landgrave

Landgrave was a noble title used in the Holy Roman Empire, and later on in its former territories. The German titles of Landgraf, Markgraf ("margrave"), and Pfalzgraf are in the same class of ranks as Herzog ("duke") and above the rank of a Graf ("count").

Contents

Youth

He was the son of Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and Princess Maria Amalia of Courland. In 1692 the young prince made his Grand Tour to the Dutch Republic, in 1695 to the Italian Peninsula and later he studied in Geneva. After this he had a military career, leading the Hessian troops as Lieutenant General in the War of Spanish Succession on the side of the Dutch. He was defeated in 1703 in the Battle of Speyerbach, but participated the next year in the great victory in the Battle of Blenheim. In 1706 he was again defeated by the French in the Battle of Castiglione. Both in 1716 and 1718 he joined the campaign of Charles XII of Sweden against Norway, and was appointed Swedish Generalissimus.

Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel

Charles of Hesse-Kassel, of the House of Hesse, was the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1670 to 1730.

Maria Amalia of Courland Princess of Courland by birth, and by marriage Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel

Maria Anna Amalia of Courland was a German noblewoman. A princess of Courland from the Ketteler family, she was also Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel through her marriage on 21 May 1673 to her first cousin Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. She was the child of Jacob Kettler and Margravine Louise Charlotte of Brandenburg, eldest daughter of George William, Elector of Brandenburg.

Grand Tour Journey around Europe for cultural education

The term "Grand Tour" refers to the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip of Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank when they had come of age. Young women of equally sufficient means ("debutantes"), or those of either gender of a more humble origin who could find a sponsor, could also partake. The custom—which flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transport in the 1840s and was associated with a standard itinerary—served as an educational rite of passage. Though the Grand Tour was primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of other Protestant Northern European nations, and, from the second half of the 18th century, by some South and North Americans. By the mid 18th century, the Grand Tour had become a regular feature of aristocratic education in Central Europe, as well, although it was restricted to the higher nobility. The tradition declined as enthusiasm for neo-classical culture waned, and with the advent of accessible rail and steamship travel—an era in which Thomas Cook made the "Cook's Tour" of early mass tourism a byword.

Prince consort of Sweden

He married his second wife, Princess Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden, in 1715. He was then granted the title Prince of Sweden , with the style Royal Highness by the estates, and was prince consort there [1] during Ulrika Eleonora's rule as queen regnant from 1718 until her abdication in 1720. He is the only Swedish prince consort there has been to date. Frederick I had much influence during the reign of his spouse.

Ulrika Eleonora, Queen of Sweden Queen of Sweden

Ulrika Eleonora or Ulrica Eleanor, also known as Ulrika Eleonora the Younger, reigned as Queen of Sweden from 5 December 1718 until her abdication on 29 February 1720 in favour of her husband Frederick I of Sweden, which made her Queen consort of Sweden until her death.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

A queen regnant is a female monarch, equivalent in rank to a king, who reigns in her own right, as opposed to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king, or a queen regent, who is the guardian of a child monarch and reigns temporarily in the child's stead. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire.

Some historians have suggested that the stray bullet which killed his brother-in-law Charles XII of Sweden in 1718 was actually fired by Frederick's aide. Charles had been an authoritarian and demanding ruler; one reason the Swedish Estates elected Frederick was because he was taken to be fairly weak, which indeed he turned out to be.

Charles XII of Sweden King of Sweden

Charles XII, sometimes Carl or Latinized to Carolus Rex, was the King of Sweden from 1697 to 1718. He belonged to the House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, a branch line of the House of Wittelsbach. Charles was the only surviving son of Charles XI and Ulrika Eleonora the Elder. He assumed power, after a seven-month caretaker government, at the age of fifteen.

King of Sweden

Frederick succeeded Ulrika Eleonora on the throne upon her abdication in his favor in 1720, elected by the Swedish Estates.

The defeats suffered by Charles XII in the Great Northern War ended Sweden's position as a first-rank European power. Under Frederick, this had to be accepted. Sweden also had to cede Estonia, Ingria and Livonia to Russia in the Treaty of Nystad, in 1721.

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.

Swedish Empire the years 1611–1721 in the history of Sweden

The Swedish Empire was a European great power that exercised territorial control over much of the Baltic region during the 17th and early 18th centuries. The beginning of the Empire is usually taken as the reign of Gustavus Adolphus, who ascended the throne in 1611, and its end as the loss of territories in 1721 following the Great Northern War.

Estonia Republic in Northern Europe

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), water 2,839 km2 (1,096 sq mi), land area 42,388 km2 (16,366 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the second most spoken Finnic language.

Frederick I was a very active and dynamic king at the beginning of his 31-year reign. But after the aristocracy had regained power during the wars with Russia, he became not so much powerless as uninterested in affairs of state. In 1723, he tried to strengthen royal authority, but after he failed, he never had much to do with politics. He did not even sign official documents; instead a stamp of his signature was used. He devoted most of his time to hunting and love affairs. His marriage to Queen Ulrika Eleonora was childless, but he had several children by his mistress, Hedvig Taube. [2]

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Hedvig Taube Swedish noble

Hedvig Ulrika Taube, also Countess von Hessenstein was a Swedish courtier and countess, a Holy Roman countess of the Empire, and royal mistress to king Frederick I of Sweden from 1731 to 1744. She is regarded as the only official royal mistress in Swedish history.

In 1723 Frederick rewarded the military inventor Sven Åderman with the estate of Halltorps on the island of Öland, for improving the rate of fire of the musket.

As a king, he was not very respected. When he was crowned, it was said of him: "King Charles we recently buried, King Frederick we crown – suddenly the clock has now passed from twelve to one". It is said about him, that although a lot of great achievements in the country's development happened during his reign, he never had anything to do with them himself. When he died, Carl Gustaf Tessin said about him:

Under the reign of King Frederick, science has developed – he never bothered to read a book. The merchant business has flourished – he has never encouraged it with a single coin. The Stockholm Palace has been built – he has never been curious enough to look at it.

Neither did he have anything to do with the founding of the first Swedish speaking theater at Bollhuset during his reign. One of his few important policies was the banning of duels.

On 23 February 1748 Frederick I instituted the three Swedish royal orders of the Seraphim, of the Sword and of the North Star, the three principal Swedish orders of chivalry.

Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel

Frederick became Landgrave of Hesse only in 1730, ten years after becoming King of Sweden. He immediately appointed his younger brother William governor of Hesse.

As Landgrave, Frederick is generally not seen as a success. Indeed, he did concentrate more on Sweden, and due to his negotiated, compromise-like ascension to the throne there, he and his court had a very low income. The money for that very expensive court, then, since the 1730s came from wealthy Hesse, and this means that Frederick essentially behaved like an absentee landlord and drained Hessian resources to finance life in Sweden. Also, Frederick's father, Charles I of Hesse-Kassel, had been the state's most successful ruler, rebuilding the state over his decades-long rule by means of economic and infrastructure measures and state reform, as well as tolerance, such as attracting, for economic purposes, the French Huguenots. His brother the governor, who would succeed Frederick as Landgrave William VIII of Hesse-Kassel, though by background a distinguished soldier, was likewise a great success locally. There are very few physical remainders of Frederick in Hesse today; one of them is his large Royal Swedish paraph (FR) over the old door of the University of Marburg's former riding hall, now the Institute of Physical Education.

Ancestry

Through Euphemia of Sweden, one of King Frederick's ancestors was King Magnus III.

Family and issue

Frederick's sarcophagus in Riddarholm Church Frederick I of Sweden grave 2007.jpg
Frederick's sarcophagus in Riddarholm Church

On 31 May 1700, he married his first wife, Louise Dorothea, Princess of Prussia (1680–1705), daughter of Frederick I of Prussia (1657–1713) and Elizabeth Henrietta of Hesse-Kassel (1661–1683). Louise Dorothea died in childbirth in December 1705.

His second wife, whom he married in 1715, was Ulrika Eleonora, Princess of Sweden, (1688–1741), daughter of Charles XI of Sweden (1655–1697) and of Ulrika Eleonora of Denmark (1656–1693). Ulrika suffered two miscarriages, one in 1715 and another in 1718, after which there are no further recorded pregnancies.

Frederick I had three extramarital children with his mistress Hedvig Taube:

After the death of Hedvig Taube, his official mistress was the noblewoman Catharina Ebba Horn, whom he gave the title and recognition of German-Roman Countess (1745–1748).

Thus, the Hessian line in Sweden ended with him and was followed by that of Holstein-Gottorp. In Hesse-Kassel, he was succeeded by his younger brother William VIII, a famous general.

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References

Notes

  1. Hofberg, Herman; Heurlin, Frithiof; Millqvist, Viktor; Rubenson, Olof (1908). Svenskt Biografiskt Handlexikon – Uggleupplagan [Swedish Biographical Dictionary – The Owl Edition] (in Swedish). 8 (2nd ed.). Stockholm, Sweden: Albert Bonniers Förlag. pp. 1255–1258. OCLC   49695435 . Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20070904113914/http://nygaard.howards.net/files/3/4049.htm. Archived from the original on September 4, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2006.Missing or empty |title= (help)
Frederick I of Sweden
Cadet branch of the House of Hesse
Born: 23 April 1676 Died: 25 March 1751
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ulrika Eleonora
King of Sweden
1720 – 1751
Succeeded by
Adolf Frederick
Duke of Estonia
1720 – 1721
Succeeded by
Peter I
Preceded by
Charles I
Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
1730 – 1751
Succeeded by
William VIII
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Ulrika Eleonora of Denmark
as queen consort
Prince consort of Sweden
1718 – 1720
Succeeded by
Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden
as queen consort