Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden

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Gustav IV Adolf
Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden.jpg
King of Sweden
Reign29 March 1792 – 29 March 1809
Coronation 3 April 1800
Predecessor Gustav III
Successor Charles XIII
Born(1778-11-01)1 November 1778
Stockholm Palace, Sweden
Died7 February 1837(1837-02-07) (aged 58)
St. Gallen, Swiss Confederacy
Burial29 May 1884
Spouse
Frederica of Baden (m. 1797)
Issue Gustav, Prince of Vasa
Sophie, Grand Duchess of Baden
Cecilia, Grand Duchess of Oldenburg
Princess Amalia
House Holstein-Gottorp
Father Gustav III of Sweden
Mother Sophia Magdalena of Denmark
Religion Lutheran
Swedish Royalty
House of Holstein-Gottorp
COA country se house of Holstein-Gottorp.svg
Adolf Frederick
Children
Gustav III
Charles XIII
Frederick Adolf, Duke of Östergötland
Sophia Albertina, Abbess of Quedlinburg
Gustav III
Children
Gustav IV Adolf
Carl Gustav, Duke of Småland
Gustav IV Adolf
Children
Gustav, Prince of Vasa
Carl Gustav, Grand Duke of Finland
Sophie, Grand Duchess of Baden
Princess Amalia Maria Charlotta
Cecilia, Grand Duchess of Oldenburg
Grandchildren include:
Carola, Queen of Saxony
Charles XIII

Gustav IV Adolf or Gustav IV Adolph [1] (1 November 1778 – 7 February 1837) was King of Sweden from 1792 until his abdication in 1809. He was also the last Swedish ruler of Finland.

Finland Republic in Northern Europe

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.

Contents

The occupation of Finland in 1808-09 by Russian forces was the immediate cause of Gustav's violent overthrow by officers of his own army. Following his abdication on 29 March 1809, an Instrument of Government was hastily written, which severely circumscribed the powers of the monarchy. The "Instrument" was adopted on 6 June 1809, the National Day of Sweden now as well as in his time. It remained in force until replaced in 1974. The crown (now with strictly limited powers) passed to Gustav's uncle, Charles XIII, who had no children; this want of heirs set into motion the quest for a successor, who was found the following year in the person of Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, the first monarch of the present royal family. [2]

The Instrument of Government adopted on 6 June 1809 by the Riksdag of the Estates and King Charles XIII was one of the fundamental laws that made up the constitution of Sweden from 1809 to the end of 1974.

National Day of Sweden public holiday on June 6

National Day of Sweden is a national holiday observed in Sweden on 6 June every year. Prior to 1983, the day was celebrated as the Swedish Flag Day. At that time, the day was renamed the Swedish national day by the Riksdag.

Charles XIII of Sweden King of Sweden

Charles XIII, or Carl XIII,, was King of Sweden from 1809 and King of Norway from 1814 to his death. He was the second son of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, sister of Frederick the Great.

Early life

Gustav Adolf at the age of seven. Gustav Adolf Vierte Schweden Kind.jpg
Gustav Adolf at the age of seven.

Gustav Adolf was born in Stockholm. He was the son of Gustav III of Sweden by his wife queen Sophia Magdalena. His mother, Sophia Magdalena, was eldest daughter of Frederick V of Denmark and his first wife Louise of Great Britain. It was rumored at the time of his birth that Gustav Adolf was the biological son of a Finnish nobleman, Count Adolf Fredrik Munck af Fulkila (at that time a Baron rather than a count), though this has never been established.

Stockholm Capital of Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 972,647 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

Gustav III of Sweden King of Sweden from 1771 to 1792

Gustav III was King of Sweden from 1771 until his assassination in 1792. He was the eldest son of Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden and Queen Louise Ulrika, and a first cousin of Empress Catherine the Great of Russia by reason of their common descent from Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin, and his wife Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach.

Sophia Magdalena of Denmark Queen consort of Sweden

Sophia Magdalena of Denmark was Queen of Sweden as the spouse of King Gustav III.

Gustav Adolf was under the tutelage of Hedvig Sofia von Rosen and her deputies Brita Ebba Celestina von Stauden and Maria Aurora Uggla until the age of four. He was then raised under the tutelage of his father and the liberal-minded Nils von Rosenstein. Upon Gustav III's assassination in March 1792, Gustav Adolf succeeded to the throne at the age of 14, under the regency of his uncle, Charles, duke of Södermanland, who was later to become King Charles XIII of Sweden when his nephew was forced to abdicate and flee the country in 1809.

Hedvig Sofia von Rosen, née Stenbock was a Swedish countess and courtier. She was the överhovmästarinna of the future Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden in 1778-1781, and for his brother Prince Carl Gustav, Duke of Småland in 1782-1783.

Maria Aurora Uggla, married name Ehrengranat (1747–1826), was a Swedish lady in waiting and noble. She was the lady in waiting and confidant of the Swedish Queen, Sophia Magdalena of Denmark, and later the head of the court of Crown Prince Gustav Adolf.

In August 1796, his uncle the regent arranged for the young king to visit Saint Petersburg. The intention was to arrange a marriage between the young king and Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna, a granddaughter of Catherine the Great. However, the whole arrangement foundered on Gustav's unwavering refusal to allow his intended bride liberty of worship according to the rites of the Russian Orthodox Church. Nobody seems to have suspected the possibility at the time that emotional problems might lie at the root of Gustav's abnormal piety. On the contrary, when he came of age that year, thereby ending the regency, there were many who prematurely congratulated themselves on the fact that Sweden had now no disturbing genius, but an economical, God-fearing, commonplace monarch.

Saint Petersburg Federal city in the Northwestern federal district, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

Russian Orthodox Church autocephalous Orthodox Christian church, headquartered in Moscow, Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively legally known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'. The ROC, as well as its primate, officially ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence, immediately below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church: Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019.

Politics

Gustav Adolf's prompt dismissal of the generally detested Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm, the duke-regent's leading advisor, added still further to his popularity. On 31 October 1797 Gustav married Friederike Dorothea, granddaughter of Karl Friedrich, Margrave of Baden, a marriage which seemed to threaten war with Russia but for the fanatical hatred of the French republic shared by the Emperor Paul of Russia and Gustav IV Adolf, which served as a bond between them. Indeed, the king's horror of Jacobinism was intense, and drove him to become increasingly committed to the survival of Europe, to the point where he postponed his coronation for some years, so as to avoid calling together a diet. Nonetheless, the disorder of the state finances, largely inherited from Gustav III's war against Russia, as well as widespread crop failures in 1798 and 1799, compelled him to summon the estates to Norrköping in March 1800 and on 3 April the same year. When the king encountered serious opposition at the Riksdag, he resolved never to call another.

Baron Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm, was a Swedish statesman.

Frederica of Baden Queen consort of sweden

Friederike "Frederica" Dorothea Wilhelmina of Baden was Queen consort of Sweden from 1797 to 1809 by marriage to King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden.

Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden Grand Duke of Baden

Charles Frederick was Margrave, Elector and later Grand Duke of Baden from 1738 until his death.

Loss of Finland

His reign was ill-fated and was to end abruptly. In 1805, he joined the Third Coalition against Napoleon. His campaign went poorly and the French occupied Swedish Pomerania. When his ally, Russia, made peace and concluded an alliance with France at Tilsit in 1807, Sweden and Portugal were left as Great Britain's European allies. On 21 February 1808, Russia invaded Finland, which was ruled by Sweden, on the pretext of compelling Sweden to join Napoleon's Continental System. Denmark likewise declared war on Sweden.[ citation needed ] In just few months after, almost all of Finland was lost to Russia. As a result of the war, on 17 September 1809, in the Treaty of Hamina, Sweden surrendered the eastern third of Sweden to Russia. The autonomous Grand Principality of Finland within Imperial Russia was established.

Coup d'état and abdication

Gustav IV Adolf's arrest Gustavarrest.jpg
Gustav IV Adolf's arrest

Gustav Adolf's inept and erratic leadership in diplomacy and war precipitated his deposition through a conspiracy of army officers.

On 7 March 1809, lieutenant-colonel Georg Adlersparre, commander of a part of the so-called western army stationed in Värmland, triggered the Coup of 1809 by raising the flag of rebellion in Karlstad and starting to march upon Stockholm. To prevent the King from joining loyal troops in Scania, on 13 March 1809 seven of the conspirators led by Carl Johan Adlercreutz broke into the royal apartments in the palace, seized the king, and imprisoned him and his family in Gripsholm castle; the king's uncle, Duke Charles (Karl), was thereupon persuaded to accept the leadership of a provisional government, which was proclaimed the same day; and a diet, hastily summoned, solemnly approved of the revolution.

On 29 March Gustav IV Adolf, to save the crown for his son, voluntarily abdicated; but on 10 May the Riksdag of the Estates, dominated by the army, declared that not merely Gustav but his whole family had forfeited the throne, perhaps an excuse to exclude his family from succession based on the rumours of his illegitimacy. A more likely cause, however, is that the revolutionaries feared that Gustav's son, if he inherited the throne, would avenge his father's deposition when he came of age. On 5 June, Gustav's uncle was proclaimed King Charles XIII, after accepting a new liberal constitution, which was ratified by the diet the next day. In December, Gustav and his family were transported to Germany. In 1812, he divorced his wife.

In exile Gustav used several titles, including Count Gottorp and Duke of Holstein-Eutin, and finally settled at St. Gallen in Switzerland where he lived in a small hotel in great loneliness and indigence, under the name of Colonel Gustafsson. It was there that he suffered a stroke and died. At the suggestion of King Oscar II of Sweden his body was finally brought to Sweden and interred in the Riddarholmskyrkan.

Arms

Armoiries du Roi Gustave IV Adolphe de Suede et Finlande.svg
Coat of Arms of King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden

Ancestry

Family

Walking with his wife Queen Frederica G IV A.jpg
Walking with his wife Queen Frederica

In 1797 he married Frederica Dorothea Wilhelmina of Baden (1781–1826), with whom he had five children:

  1. Crown Prince Gustav, after 1809 known as Gustaf Gustafsson, Prince of Vasa (9 November 1799 – 1877). He served as an officer in the service of the Habsburgs of Austria, and with his wife Princess Louise Amelie of Baden, fathered a son who died in infancy, and a daughter, Carola, the wife of King Albert of Saxony. She died childless.
  2. Princess Sofia Wilhelmina (21 May 1801 – 1865). She married Grand Duke Leopold of Baden, and their granddaughter Victoria of Baden married the Bernadotte king Gustaf V of Sweden. (The present King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is thus Gustav IV's heir.)
  3. Prince Carl Gustaf, Grand Duke of Finland, Duke of Småland (Drottningholm, 2 December 1802 – Haga, 10 September 1805)
  4. Princess Amalia (Stockholm, 22 February 1805 – Vienna, 31 August 1853), unmarried and without issue
  5. Princess Cecilia (22 June 1807 – 1844), married Augustus, Grand Duke of Oldenburg, and had issue.

By 1812, Gustav Adolf divorced his consort, and following this he had several mistresses, among them Maria Schlegel, who gave him a son, Adolf Gustafsson (1820-1907).

Notes

  1. David Williamson in Debrett's Kings and Queens of Europe ISBN   0-86350-194-X pp. 125, 134, 194, 207
  2. Cronholm, Neander N. (1902). A History of Sweden from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. ch 37 pp 203-19

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References

See also

Gustav IV Adolf
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 1 November 1778 Died: 7 February 1837
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Gustav III
King of Sweden
1792-1809
Vacant
Title next held by
Charles XIII