AN ACCOUNT OF Denmark, AS It was in the Year 1692.

The Third Edition Corrected.

Printed for Tim. Goodwin at the Queen's Head, against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet-street, 1694.

AN ACCOUNT OF Sueden: Together with an EXTRACT OF THE History of that KINGDOM.

LONDON: Printed for Tim. Goodwin at the Queen's Head, against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet-street, 1694.


THE kind Re­ception which the Publick has given to a late Book, call'd, An Account of Denmark, (whereof Three Large Editions have come abroad in less than Three [Page] Months) encouraged me to seek after an Account of Sueden, I found all sorts of People desirous to be in­form'd in the state of this other Northern Crown.

After diligent Enquiry, I was at last so Fortunate as to light on this Account in Manuscript, written some few years ago by a very Able and Learned Gentle­man; and hearing that seve­ral Copies of it were got abroad, I consider'd it might at last chance to come forth in Print less Correct than at present I undertake to give [Page] it the World, whom I pre­tend to oblige by a very Accurate Edition; insomuch that I hope the Author him­self will not be offended at this Undertaking, since 'tis likely 'twould have been published by others, not so well to his Advantage.

You will find here a Re­lation of Matter of Fact only, though I will venture to say, a very Exact one; and such as I doubt not but will be very Entertaining to the Reader.

What shares the Clergy, the Army, or the Court, had [Page] in the Management of Af­fairs from time to time in Sueden, we have reason to be­lieve are faithfully delivered here; the Ingenious Author of this Account being a Per­son of so known and esta­blish'd a Reputation.

For so much as relates to my Publishing this Book, I confess ingeneously, 'tis as unknown to the Author, as his Person is to me; but his Candour, Parts, and Learning appear plainly e­nough by this Work, that he took great Care and Pains to compile it. If it prove [Page] to the Satisfaction of the Pub­lick, as I doubt not but it will, I shall not lose my La­bour, nor you the Pleasure and Benefit of it.


  • Chap. I. OF Sueden in gene­ral, Page 1.
  • Chap. II. Of the Provinces and Ci­ties of Sueden, 22.
  • Chap. III. Of the Laws of Sueden, 32.
  • Chap. IV. Of the Natural Inclina­tions and Dispositions of the Suedes, 45.
  • Chap. V. Of their Religion, 53.
  • Chap. VI. Of the Universities of Sueden, 63.
  • Chap. VII. Of their Marriages and Funerals, 69.
  • Chap. VIII. Of the Royal Family, and Court of Sueden, 73.
  • [Page] Chap. IX. Of the Government of Sueden, Page 86.
  • Chap. X. Of the Privy Council, 113.
  • Chap. XI. Of the States of Sue­den, 116.
  • Chap. XII. Of the Revenue of the Kingdom, 121.
  • Chap. XIII. Of the Forces of Sue­den, 126.
  • Chap. XIV. Of the Trade of Sue­den, 142.
  • Chap. XV. Of the Suedish Con­quests, 156.
  • Chap. XVI. Of the Interest of Sue­den, 159.
  • Chap. XVII. An Extract of the History of Sueden, 166.


Of Sueden in general.

THE Dominions subject to the Crown of Sueden have in this and the last Age been so enlarged, by the Acquisitions, or (as some call them) Encroachments made up­on all their Neighbours, that they [Page 2] do not properly fall under one General Description; the Quali­ties and Characters of some of its Provinces being as different as their Situation: So that the Short View here offer'd, will not reach the more distant parts, but chiefly respects the Kingdom of Sueden, and Dukedom of Finland, which have the Baltick Sea on the South, the unpassable Mountains of Nor­way on the West, Lapland on the North, and Moscovy on the East; being extended from 56 to 69 Degrees of Northern Latitude, and from 32 to 55 in Longitude; and consequently are more than twice as big as the Kingdom of France: But the Abatements that must be made for several Seas, and many great Lakes, some whereof above 80 English Miles long, and 20 broad, as also for Rocks, Woods, Heaths, and Morasses, [Page 3] that cover very much of these Countries, will reduce the habita­ble part to a very small portion, comparatively to the Extent of the whole.

The Soil in places capable of Cultivating, is tolerably Fruitful, though seldom above half a foot deep; and therefore more easily Plowed, as it frequently is by one Maid and an Oxe, and is general­ly best where there is least of it, that is, in the little spaces between the Rocks; and frequently the Barren Land enriched with the Ashes of Trees growing on the places that are burnt, and the Seed raked among the Ashes, pro­duces a plentiful Crop without farther Cultivation.

This practice is so ancient, that their Writers derive the Name of Sueden from a word in their Lan­guage that expresses it; but the [Page 4] danger of destroying the Woods has of late occasioned some Laws to limit that Custom.

If the Inhabitants were indu­strious, above what necessity for­ces them to, they might at least have Corn sufficient of their own; but as things are manag'd, they have not, nor can subsist without great Importations of all sorts of Grain from the Countrey of Leif-land, and other parts of Germany, adjacent to the Baltick Sea: And notwithstanding these Supplies, the poorest sort in many places remote from Traffick, are fain to grind the Bark of Birch-Trees to mix with their Corn and make Bread, of which they have not always plenty.

The Cattel, as in other Northern Countries, are generally of a ve­ry small size; neither can the Breed be bettered by bringing in [Page 5] larger from abroad, which soon degenerate; because in Summer the Grass is much less nourishing than in the places from whence they came; and in the Winter they are usually half-starved, for want of Fodder of all kinds, which often falls so very short, that they are forced to unthatch their Houses to keep a part of their Cattel alive. Their Sheep bear a very course Wool, only fit to make Cloathing for the Peasants. The Horses, especially the Finnish, tho small, are hardy, vigorous, strong, sure-footed and nimble Trotters, which is of great use to them, be­cause of the length of their Win­ters, and their fitness for Sleds, which is their only Carriage in that Season; and the Soldiers do pretend, that in War they are not only able to resist, but to break a Body of the best German Horse.

[Page 6] Of Wild Beasts, which are ve­ry plentiful in these parts, Bears, Elkes, Deer, and Hares, are hunt­ed for their Flesh, as also, toge­ther wich Wolves, Foxes, Wild-Cats, &c. for their Furs and Hides. They hunt with less Ceremony than elsewhere is used, taking all advantages to shoot their Game, at which they are generally very dextrous. Parks there are but few, and meanly stock'd, the Charge of feeding Deer all Winter ex­ceeding the Profit, and abating the Pleasure of them. There are no Rabbets in these Countries, but what are brought in for Cu­riosity, and kept Tame. In Win­ter Foxes and Squirrels somewhat change Colour, and become Grayish, but Hares turn white as Snow.

Fowl both Wild and Tame are very plentiful and good in their [Page 7] kind, except Sea-Fowl, which feed and taste of Fish: The most com­mon are Orras and Keders, the for­mer of the bigness of a Hen, the other of a Turky; as also Partridges, and a Bird somewhat resembling them, called Yerpers. There are taken in Winter great numbers of small Birds, as Thrushes, Blackbirds, and Sydenscwans; the last of the bigness of Veldefares, but better meat, supposed to come from Lapland, or yet farther North; and have their Name from the beau­tifulness of their Feathers, some of which are tipt at the point with Scarlet. Pigeons there are, those of the Woods very rare, because of the Hawks; and of the House-Pigeons none but what are kept tame, because their Food is scarce, and the danger of the Hawks great if they go abroad. Eagles, Hawks, and other rapaci­ous [Page 8] Fowl abound most in the Northern and Desart parts, whi­ther Nature seems to call them; as may be gathered from a Story credibly related, of a large Hawk shot some years ago in the North­ern Parts of Finland, which had on one Leg a small Plate of Gold with this Inscription, Ie Suis au Roy; on the other, one of Silver with these words, Duc de Chevereuse me garde.

The chiefest Lakes in Sueden are the Vetter, the Wenner, and Maeler; the first in Ostrogothia, remarkable for its foretelling of Storms, by a continual Thundering Noise the day before in that Quarter whence they arise; as also for the sudden breaking of the Ice upon it, which sometimes surprizes Travellers, and in half an hour becomes Navi­gable: For its great depth, in some places above 300 Fathom, tho no [Page 9] part of the Baltick Sea exceed 50; it supplies the River Motala, which runs through Norcopingh, where it has a Fall of about 30 Foot, and some Winters is so choak'd up with Ice, that for many hours no Water passes. The second is in Westrogo­thia, from which issues the River Elve, that, falling down a Rock near Sixty Foot, passes by Gotten­burgh. The third empties its self at Stockholm, furnishing one side of the Town with Fresh Water, as the Sea does the other with Salt: These and abundance of other Lakes, whereof many like Ponds have no Vents, and are called Inn-Seas, are not ill stored with varie­ty of Fish, Salmon, Pikes, Perch, Tench, Trouts, Eels, and many o­ther sorts unknown elsewhere, of which the most plentiful is the Streamling, a Fish less than a Pilcher, taken in great quantities, and salt­ed [Page 10] in Barrels, and distributed o­ver all the Countrey. Besides, the North-Bottom or Bay that se­parates Sueden and Finland, abounds with Seals, of which a considera­ble Quantity of Train Oyl is made and exported; and in the Lakes in Finland are vast quantities of Pikes, which being taken, are salted, dry'd, and sold at very cheap Rates.

These Lakes are of great use for the convenience of Carriages both in Summer by Boats, and by Sleds in Winter; and among them and on the Sea-Coasts are almost innumerable Islands of different Sizes, whereof there are in Sueden above 6000 that are Inhabited, the rest are either bare Rocks, or co­vered with Wood: Gotland, Oland, and Aland, are Isles of large Ex­tent, one being Sixty miles long, and the others little less.

[Page 11] Their Woods and vast Forests overspread much of the Country, and are for the most part of Pines, Fir, Beech, Birch, Alder, Juniper, and some Oak; especially in the Province of Bleaking, the Trees growing in most places so close together, and lying to rot where they fall, that the Woods are scarce passable.

These afford a plentiful and cheap firing, and being generally very straight and tall, are easily convertible into Timber, fit for all uses. In the parts near the Mines, the Woods are much de­stroyed, but that want is so well supplied from distant places by the convenience of Rivers and Winter-Carriages, that they have Char­coal above six times as cheap as it is in England, tho indeed it is not half so good.

[Page 12] Of Mines in Sueden, there is one of Silver, into which Work­men are let down in Baskets to the first Floor, which is 105 Fathom under ground; the Roof there, is as high as a Church, supported by vast Arches of Oar; thence the Descent is by Ladders or Baskets to the lowest Mine, above forty Fathom, where they now Work. They have no Records so ancient as the first Discovery either of this or the Copper Mine, which must needs have been the work of many Ages; the Oar seldom yields above 4 per Cent. and re­quires great pains to Refine it; they are also at the charge of a Water-Mill to drain the Mine, and have the benefit of another that draws up the Oar. It yearly produces about Twenty thousand Crowns of Fine Silver, of which the King has the Pre-emption, [Page 13] paying one fourth less than the real Value. The Copper-Mine is a­bout eighty Fathom deep, of great extent, but subject to damage by the falling in of the Roof; yet that is sometimes recompenced by the abundance of Oar that the ruined Pillars yield, tho most commonly the loss in that Case is very great; the occasion of which falls is attributed to the throwing the Earth and Stones, brought out, upon the Ground over the Mine, by which the Pillars become over­charged, and give way; and the reason of this is said to be, that the profit arising to those that are concerned, is so little, that they are not able to work it off as they ought; and unless the King a­bates considerable part of the Pro­fit arising to the Crown from this Mine, 'tis believed it will in few years be at a stand, especi­ally [Page 14] if the designs of making Cop­per, that are on foot elsewhere, do take any tolerable effect. The Copper yearly made out of this Mine, amounts to the value of about Two hundred thousand pounds, of which the King has a fourth part, not by way of Pre­emption, but in kind; besides, that upon the remainder, he has a Cu­stom of 25 per Cent. when it is ex­ported unwrought.

Lately a Gentleman of Italy came to Sueden with Proposals to make Copper a shorter and chea­per way than has hitherto been practised, as to make that in five Days, which before required three Weeks, and with one fifth part of the Charcoal, and with fewer hands. The Bargain was made, and his Reward agreed to be a Hundred thousand Crowns; the first Proof he made succeeded [Page 15] to admiration; but when he came to work in earnest, and had got his new-invented Ovens built to his mind, the Miners, as he com­plained, pickt out the very worst Oar, and were otherwise so envi­ous and untractable, that he failed of success, and lost his Reward, and not without difficulty obtain­ed leave to buy Oar, and practice his Invention at his own Charge, as he now does.

Iron-Mines and Forges are in great numbers, especially towards the Mountainous parts, where they have the convenience of Water-falls to turn their Mills. From these, besides supplying the Coun­try, there is yearly exported Iron to the value of near Three hundred thousand pounds. But of late years, the number of these Forges has been so much increased, that each endeavouring to undersell [...] [Page 18] and scarce can be stopt till it come at some Lake, or very large Plain.

In the Summer season the Fields are cloathed with variety of Flowers, and the whole Coun­try overspread with Strawberries, Rasberries, Currants, and the like, which grow upon every Rock. In their Gardens, Mel­lons are brought to good perfe­ction in dry years; but Apricocks, Peaches, and other Wall-fruits, are almost as rare as Oranges; they have Cherries of several sorts, and some tolerably good, which cannot be said of their Apples, Pears, and Plumbs, that are nei­ther common, nor well-tasted; all kinds of Roots are in plenty, and contribute much to the Nourishment of the poor Peo­ple.

[Page 19] The Sun at highest is above the Horizon of Stockholm Eigh­teen hours and an half, and for some Weeks makes a continual Day. In Winter, the Days are proportionably shorter, the Sun being up but five hours and a half, which defect is so well sup­pli'd as to Lights, by the Moon, and the whiteness of the Snow, and clearness of the Sky, that Travelling by Night is as usual as by Day; and Journeys begun in the Evening as frequently as in the Morning. The want of the Sun's heat is repaired by Stoves within doors, and warm Furs abroad; instead of which, the meaner sort use Sheep-skins, and other the like Defences; and are generally better provided with Cloathing, befitting their Con­dition, and the Climate they live in, than the Common People of [Page 20] any part of Europe, tho where any neglect or failure happens, it usually proves fatal, and occa­sions the loss of Noses, or other Members, and sometimes of Life; unless the usual Remedy to expel the Frost when it has seized any part, be early applied, which is to remain in the Cold, and rub the part affected with Snow, till the Blood return to it again.

What has been said in rela­tion to Sueden, is in the main applicable to Finland, except on­ly that hitherto no Mines have been discovered there. Its chief­est Commodities are Pitch, and Tar, all sorts of Wooden-ware, Dried Fish, Cattle, Train Oyl, &c.

The Remainder also of this Discourse, in what relates to the [Page 21] Laws, Government, Customs, and Natural Dispositions of the People, equally belongs to them, with this difference, that the Fin­landers are rather more hardy and laborious, more Clownish, Igno­rant, and Superstitious, than the Suedes.

Of the Provinces and Cities of Sueden.

THE Country is divided in­to Twenty five Provinces, each of which is governed by an Officer, called Landshofdingh, whose Authority comprehends that of Lord Leiutenant, and Sheriff together, except where there is a General Governor, as in Finland, and upon the Borders of Denmark and Norway, to whom the Governor of each Province is subordinate, and has thereby a more restrained Authority; these Officers are placed by the King, and take an Oath, to keep the Province for his Majesty, and his Heirs, to govern according to the [Page 23] Laws of Sueden, and such In­structions as they shall receive from his Majesty, and to quit the Province whenever he shall call them thence.

To them and their Subordinate Officers (who are all of the King's chusing) the Execution of Judicial Sentences, the Collection of the King's Revenues, the care of Forests, Parks, and other Crown Lands, &c. is committed.

Of Cities, those of Stockholm, Gottenburgh, Calmar, and Two or Three more, may deserve that Name: The other Corporations, which in all make not an Hun­dred, scarce exceed some Villages in England; they are all Govern­ed by Burgomasters, and Coun­sellors Chosen by the King out of their own Body, or at least, such as are of the quality of Burghers, no Gentleman accepting of those [Page 24] Employments. Their Offices and Salaries are for Life, or rather du­ring their good Behaviour. The Priviledges of Cities are derived from the King, and for the most part are owing to the Wisdom of Gustavus Adolphus, the Author of their best and most regular Con­stitutions at Home, as well as of their Glory Abroad.

The City of Stockholm lies in 59 Degrees, 20 Min. North Lati­tude, and about 41 Longitude. About 300 years ago, it was only a bare Island with Two or Three Cottages for Fishers; but upon the Building of a Castle there, to stop the inroads of the Russians, and the Translation of the Court thither, it grew by degrees to surpass the other more Ancient Cities, and it is at present the Me­tropolis of this Kingdom, and sup­posed to be as Populous as Bristol.

[Page 25] The Castle here, which is cove­red with Copper, is a Place of no Strength or Beauty, but of great use, being a spacious Building, that, besides Entertaining the Court, furnishes Room for most of the great Offices, the National Court of Justice, Colledges of War, Chancery, Treasury, Redu­ction, Liquidation, Commerce, Execution; as also, an Armory, Chappel, Library, Archives, &c. It Lodges very few of the Inferi­our Officers and Servants of the Court; they, together with the Foot Guards, being Quartered upon the Burghers at their Land­lords Charge for Lodging, Fire and Candle.

In this City there are Seven large Churches built of Brick, and covered with Copper, besides Two more now Building, and Three or Four Wooden Chap­pels.

[Page 26] The Palace of the Nobility, which is the place of their Assem­bly at the Convention of Estates, and the Depository of their Pri­viledges, Titles, and such other Records as concern their Body, is a very stately Pile; as is also the Bank, built at the City's Charge; which, together with several Mag­nificent Houses of the Nobility, are covered with Copper, and make a handsome Prospect; most of the Burghers Houses are built of Brick, except in the Suburbs, where they are of Wood, and thereby exposed to the danger of Fire; which commonly, when it gets to a head, destroys all before it, in the Quarter where it hap­pens; to repair which Misfor­tune, they sometimes send the Dimensions of the House they in­tend to build into Finland, where the Walls and several Separations [Page 27] are built of Pieces of Timber laid one upon another, and joined at the Corners, and afterwards mark'd, taken down, and sent by Water to Stockholm, there to be set up and finish'd, and when they are kept in good Repair, will last Thirty or Forty Years, and are warmer, cleanlier, and more healthful than those of either Brick or Stone. To prevent the Danger of Fire, the City is divided into Twelve Wards, and in each of these is a Master and Four Assi­stants, who upon notice of any Fire are immediately to repair to it, as also all Porters and Labour­ers, and to range themselves un­der the Master of their respective Wards: There is also a Fire-Watch by Night, who walks a­bout only to that purpose; and in each Church-Steeple Watch is kept, and a Bell Tolled upon the [Page 28] first appearance of any Fire.

The Government of this City is in the hands of the Great Stadt­holder, who is also a Privy Coun­sellor; he sits once a Week in the Town House, and presides also in the College of Execution, as­sisted by an Under Stadtholder, and the Bailiff of the Castle; next to him are the Four Burghmasters, one for Justice, another for Trade, the Third for the Polity of the City, and the Fourth has the In­spection over all Publick and Pri­vate Buildings, and determines such Cases as arise on that account; with them the Counsellors of the City always sit and give their Votes, the Majority of which concludes: Their Number is un­certain, but usually about Twen­ty, most Merchants and Shop­keepers, or such as have served the King in some Inferior Employ­ments; [Page 29] and besides their Salary they have an Immunity from such Impositions as are laid on the In­habitants, to support the Govern­ment of the City, which pays all its Officers and Servants, and maintains a Guard of 300 men, and defrays the Charge of all Pub­lick Buildings and Repairs. To support this Expence, besides a Duty belonging to the City, upon Goods Imported and Exported, (which is about 4 per Cent. of the Customs paid the King, and a­mounts to about 4000 l. per An.) the Magistrates impose a Yearly Tax on the Burghers, in which they are assisted by a Common-Council of Forty eight (which chuses its own Members), and meets every Spring to propor­tion the Payments for the en­suing Year. On the Richer Tra­ders they usually impose 40, 50, [Page 30] or 60 l. sterling; and upon others of a meaner Condition, as Shoe-makers, Taylors, &c. 5 or 6 l. and no Housekeeper less than 15 s. besides Quartering the Guards, In­ferior Officers, and Servants of the Court, with other lesser Charges; which all together, would be thought a great burthen even in Richer Countries; neither is it otherwise esteemed by the Inhabitants of this City, who can scarce be kept in heart by the Pri­viledges they enjoy, as well in Customs, as in the Trade of the Place, which must needs pass through their hands; the Natives of other parts of the Kingdom, as well as Foreigners, being obli­ged to deal only with the Burgh­ers, except those of the Gentry that make Iron, who have a Pri­vilege to sell it immediately to Strangers.

[Page 31] This City is in a manner the Staple of Sueden, to which most of the Goods of their own Growth, viz. Iron, Copper, Wire, Pitch, Tarr, Masts, Deals, &c. are brought to be Exported. The greatest part of the Commodities Imported from abroad come to this Port, where there is a Haven capable of receiving 1000 Sail of Ships, and has a Bridge or Key near an English Mile long, to which the greatest Vessels may lye with their Broadsides: The only In­convenience is, That it is Ten Miles from the Sea, and the River very crooked, and no Tides.

Of the Laws of Sueden.

THE Laws of Sueden were anciently as various as the Provinces were numerous, each of which had Statutes and Cu­stoms peculiar to its self, enacted as occasion required by the Lagh-man or Governor of the Province, who was chosen by the People, and Invested with great Authori­ty, especially while the Kingdom was Elective, his Suffrage con­cluding the Province he governed. This variety was necessarily at­tended with great Confusion; for remedy whereof, about Four-score Years ago, one Body of Laws was compiled for the di­rection of the whole Kingdom; [Page 33] yet this Collection is but an im­perfect piece, and the Laws so few, and concieved in such gene­ral terms, that in most cases they need the assistance of the Civil Law; and after all, the Final De­termination depends much upon the Inclinations of the Bench; which in a poor Countrey, where Salaries are small, is often filled with such as are of Weak Parts, and subject to Corruption upon very small Temptations. The Effects of this would be more vi­sible, if each Superior Court did not keep a Cheque upon the Low­er, and the King's Court of Re­vision over-awe them all, to which all Civil Causes importing the Sum of 70 l. are appealable; and very few end before they have been brought thither. In this Su­preme Court his Majesty very fre­quently sits with great Patience [Page 34] and Application; and in Seven Years time has determined more Causes than the Senators did in Twenty before.

His Majesty is observed always to make a short Mental Prayer at first sitting down there.

In this Court the President of the Chancery, and Two or Three other privy Counsellors, do also sit, so does the Chancellor of the Court (an Officer next in degree to a Privy Counsellor) who is President of the Under Revision, where he and Two Secretaries do put Business into a Method fit to be brought before the King.

The Courts of Justice inferior to this are of three Degrees; of the lowest Degree of first Instance, there is one in each Corporation, (besides Stockholm, in which there are Three), as also in each Di­strict or Territory, whereof every [Page 35] Province contains several, some above Twenty; in the former (Cities) an Alderman or Coun­sellor presides, and has some of his Brethren for Assistants; in the latter, the Governor of the Terri­tory, with a standing Jury; his Court is Ambulatory, and usually kept near or upon the place where the Fact or Trespass was com­mitted.

In these Courts Examinations are taken, and matters not exceed­ing Forty Shillings are determined, the rest transmitted to the next Su­perior Court, of which in every Corporation there is one, where the Burghmaster is President, and the Aldermen Assistants; and so in every Province there is one or more of these Courts, the Presi­dent whereof retains the name of Lagh-man, without other Autho­rity than that of a Judge; from [Page 36] these all Causes of Blood must be transmitted to the respective Na­tional Courts, where they are de­termined without further Appeal; and thither also all Civil Actions, not exceeding 20 l. may be ap­pealed; of these National Courts there are Three, one for the Kingdom of Sueden, held at Stock­holm; another for the Kingdom of Gothia, kept at Iencopingh; and a Third for the Dukedom of Fin­land, at Abo: In each of these a Privy Counsellor is President, and above half the Assessors are to be Gentlemen: All these Courts sit continually, or at most have but short Vacations; and not being pestered with too much Formality give Causes a speedy dispatch, un­less they be retarded by some un­der-hand Engagements.

Actions relating to the Sea are Triable in the ordinary Courts, [Page 37] according to their Sea-Laws, founded upon those Ancient ones of Wisby in Gothland, which have formerly been as famous in the Baltick Sea, as the Laws of the Rhodes and Oleron in other places. The Court of Admiralty has not any peculiar Jurisdiction in the Administration of these Laws, but only in such matters as direct­ly concern the King's Fleet, and in some places that belong imme­diately to the Admiralty.

For Causes Ecclesiastical there is a Consistory in each Diocess, of which the respective Bishop is President, where Causes of Ba­stardy, Contracts of Marriage, and other matters of that nature, are try'd; and Church-Censures of Penance, Divorce, &c. in­flicted: These Courts have not Power to administer an Oath, nor to inflict any Corporal Punish­ment. [Page 38] From them there lies an Appeal to the respective National Court, and in some Cases to the King, as in all other matters.

For matters relating to the Mines, besides Inferior Courts, and Officers settled in the respe­ctive parts of the Countrey, a General Court, called the Col­lege of the Mines, sits at Stockholm, of which most commonly the President of the Treasury is chief, with a Vice-President, and other Assessors; the Laws in this regard are more exact and particular than in other matters, and for the most part Justice very carefully admini­stred.

The Power of executing all Judicial Sentences is lodged in the Governors of the Provinces, the Stadtholders of Stockholm, and o­ther places, and from them deri­ved to Inferior Officers, who are [Page 39] accountable to the National Courts; whither they may be Convened and punish'd, upon plain Proof of Default. But the Proof being difficult, and Ministers of Justice apt to favour each other, they take great liberty to delay Execution, or to arbitrate, and put their own sense upon Sen­tences; so that this part of Ju­stice is administred the worst of all others, and has an Influence not only at home, but lessens the Credit of the Suedish Subjects a­broad, against whom Justice can­not be obtained without great dif­ficulty.

The ordinary Charges of Law-Suits are no where more moderate than in Sueden; the greatest bur­then arising from a late Constitu­tion, That all Declarations, Acts, and Sentences, must be written upon Seal'd Paper of different [Page 40] Prizes, from Two pence to Seven Shillings a Sheet, according to the Quality of the Cause, the Bene­fit of which accrues to the King, and is computed to bring in about 3000 l. a year; other Charges are very few, every man being per­mitted (in Criminal Actions com­pelled) to plead his own Cause: Accordingly the Practice of the Law is below a Gentleman, and rather the Refuge than the Choice of meaner persons, who are ve­ry few in Number, and for the most part very poor.

The Custom of a Jury of Twelve men is so ancient in Sue­den, that their Writers pretend it had its Original among them, and was thence derived to other Nations; but at present it is dis­used every where, except only in the Lower Courts in the Coun­try, and there the Jury-men are [Page 41] for Life, and have Salaries; they have this peculiar to themselves, that among them there must be an unanimous Concurrence to de­termine a Cause, which in other Courts is done by a Majority of Voices.

Titles to Estates are rendred more secure, and less subject to Contests, by the Registers that are kept of all Sales and Alienations, as well as of other Engagements of them: The Purchaser running the hazard of having an After-Bargain take place of his, if he omit the Recording of his Trans­action in the proper Court.

In Criminal Matters, where the Fact is not very evident, or where the Judges are very favour­able, the Defendant is admitted to purge himself by Oath, to which is oftentimes added the Oath of Six or Twelve other men▪ [Page 42] who are all Vouchers of his Inte­grity.

Treason, Murther, Double Adultrey, Burning of Houses, Witchcraft, and the like Heinous Crimes, are punished with Death, which is executed by hanging of Men, and beheading of Women; to which burning alive or dead, quartering and hanging in Chains, is sometimes added, according to the Nature of the Crime. Cri­minals of the Gentry and Nobili­ty, are usually shot to Death.

The Punishment of Stealing, is of late instead of Death, chang­ed into a kind of perpetual Sla­very, the Guilty party being con­demned to work all his Life for☞ the King, in making Fortificati­ons, or other Drudgery, and al­ways has a Collar of Iron about his Neck, with a Bow coming over his Head, to which is a Bell [Page 43] fastened, that rings as he goes along.

Duels between Gentlemen, if the one Party be kill'd, are pu­nish'd with the Survivor's Death, and a Note of Infamy upon the Memory of both; if neither be kill'd, they are both condemned to a Prison, with Bread and Wa­ter for two years, to which is added a Fine of 1000 Crowns; or one years Imprisonment, and 2000 Crowns. Reparation of Ho­nour in case of Affront, is referred to the respective National Court, where Recantation and Publick Begging of Pardon is usually in­flicted.

Estates as well acquired, as in­herited, descend to the Children in equal Portions, of which a Son has two, and a Daughter one; nor is it in the power of the Pa­rents to alter this Proportion with­out [Page 44] the Intervention of a Judi­cial Sentence in case of their Children's disobedience, only they may bequeath a Tenth of their acquired Possessions to such Child, or other, as they will fa­vour. Where an Estate descends incumbred with Debts, the Heir usually takes two or three Months time, as the Law allows, to search into the Condition of the Deceased's Estate, and then ei­ther accepts the Inheritance, or leaves it to the Law, which in that case Administers; as late­ly, besides other Instances, was practised upon the decease of the late Rix Drost Count Mag­nus De la Gardier, the King's Un­kle.

Of the Natural Inclinations and Dispositions of the Suedes.

THE Nature of the Climate, which affords a very health­ful and dry, as well as sharp Air, disposes the Natives to a vigorous Constitution; and that confirm'd by a hardy Education, course Fare, hard Lodgings, &c. qualifies them to endure what­ever uneasy Circumstances befal them, better than those that are born in a more moderate Country, and more indulgently bred.

But on the other side, it seems as if the severity of the Clime should in a manner cramp the [Page 44] [...] [Page 45] [...] [Page 46] Faculties of their Bodies, and indispose them for any great de­gree of Dexterity and Nimble­ness; and the same may be said in a great measure, of their Minds too, which seldom are found en­dued with any eminent share of Vivacity or Pregnancy of Wit; yet by Industry, Experience, and Travelling, not a few of them arrive at a mature and solid Judgment, being led by their Genius to serious things, in which they that have Patience to go through with the Studies they ap­ply themselves to, become Excel­lent, and merit the Title of great and able Men; but this seems not to be the Talent of this Nation, they being generally more apt to sit down with superficial Acquisi­tions, than to pursue their Studies to a fundamental degree.

[Page 47] This Disposition of Body and Mind qualifies them more for a Life of Labour and Fatigue, than of Art and Curiosity, and the effect of it is visible in all Orders of Men among them.

The Nobility mostly apply themselves to a Military Life, in which they are more famous for Courage, and enduring Hard­ships, than for Stratagems and Intrigues. They that are employ­ed in the Administration of Civil Affairs, tho they are indeed La­borious and Indefatigable in their business, yet they seldom raise their Speculations above what the necessity of their Employments require, their Abilities proceed­ing not so much from Study, as Experience in the Tract of busi­ness.

In point of Learning, they, like their Neighbours the Germans, [Page 48] are more given to Transcribe, and make Collections, than Di­gest their own Thoughts; and com­monly proportion their Studies to their occasions.

In matters of Trade, they more easily do the Drudgery, than dive into the Mystery, either of Com­merce or Manufactures, in which they usually set up for Masters before they be half taught; so that in all such things as require Ingenuity, Neatness, or Dexteri­ty, they are forc'd to be served by Strangers. Their Common Sol­diers endure Cold and Hunger, and long Marches, and hard La­bour to admiration; but they learn their Duty very slowly, and are serviceable more by their Obe­dience to command, and standing their Ground, than by any great forwardness to attack their Ene­my, or in nimbleness and address [Page 49] in executing their Orders; and so their Peasants are tolerably La­borious when need compels them, but have little regard to Neatness in their Work, and are hardly brought to quit their old, slow, and toilsome Methods, for such new Inventions as are more dextrous and easy.

The Dispositions more peculiar to the several degrees of these Peo­ple, are, That the Nobility and Gentry are naturally Men of Courage, and of a Warlike Tem­per, have a graceful Deportment, inclined to value themselves at a High rate, and make the best Ap­pearance they possibly can, that they may gain the respect of o­thers; and are therefore more ex­cessive in the number of their At­tendants, Sumptuous Buildings, and Rich Apparel, than in the plentifulness of their Tables, or [Page 50] other less observ'd Occasions. They never descend to any Em­ployments in the Church, the Practice of Law or Physick, or the Exercise of any Trade; and tho to gain experience in Maritine Affairs, they submit to the lowest Offices abroad, yet at home there is but one Example known of a Gentleman, that accepted the Command of a Merchant's Ship.

The Clergy are but moderately Learned, and little acquainted with the Disputes about Religion, as having no Adversaries to op­pose; they affect Gravity, and long Beards; are esteemed for their Hospitality, and have great Au­thority among the Common Peo­ple. The Burghers are not very Intelligent in Trade, nor able to do their business without Credit from abroad; rather inclined to impose upon those they can over­reach, [Page 51] than follow their Calling in a fair way. The Peasants, when Sober, are very obsequious and respectful, but Drink makes them mad and ungovernable; most of them live in a very poor Condition, and are taught by necessity to pra­ctice several Arts in a rude man­ner, as the making their Shooes, Cloathes, &c. the several Instru­ments of Husbandry, and other necessaries, that they cannot spare Money to buy: And to keep them to this, as also to favour the Cities, it is not permitted to more than one Taylor, or other such Artisan, to dwell in the same Pa­rish, tho it be never so large, as many of them are above twenty Miles in compass.

In general, it may be said of the whole Nation, that they are a People very Religious in their way, and constant frequenters of the [Page 52] Church, eminently Loyal and Affected to Monarchy, Grave e­ven to Formality; Sober, more out of necessity, than Principles of temperance; apt to entertain Sus­pitions, and to envy each other, as well as Strangers; more in­clined to pilfering, and such se­cret Frauds, than to such open Vio­lences, as breaking of Houses, or Robbing on the Highways: Crimes as rarely committed in this, as in any Country whatever.

Of the Religion of Sueden.

CHRISTIANITY was not received into Sueden, till about the beginning of the Ninth Century; and not into Finland till near three hundred Years after; and if not first Preached, was at least first Established by English Divines, of whom the chiefest was St. Sigfrid, who, as their Hi­stories relate, quitted the Arch-Bishoprick of York, to become the Apostle of the Goths, as they stile him; with him three of his Nephews that he brought thither, were Martyred by the Heathen Goths. So also was St. Eskill, and other English, by the Suedes; and about the Year 1150. St. Henry, [Page 54] an English Bishop, accompani'd St. Erick, King of Sueden, in his Expedition to Finland, which the King conquered, and the Bishop converted into Christianity; he al­so was Martyred by the Infidels, and lies buried at Abo, the Metro­polis of that Country.

The Reformation, as well there, as in Denmark and Norway, began soon after the Neighbouring parts of Germany had imbraced Luther's Tenets, and was esta­blished according to his Plat­form. The Tyranny of King Christian the Second, who then wore these three Northern Crowns, gave an opportunity to Gustavus, the Founder of the present Royal Family, both to alter Religion, and advance himself to the Re­gal Dignity, which till that time was Elective, but was then made Hereditary to his Family; in which [Page 55] it has since continued, as the Lutheran Religion has also done in the Country, never but once disturbed from abroad, and since that disturbance never distracted at home with Non-conformity; all the Orders of Men agreeing in a constant Attendance on Di­vine Service, and a Zeal for their own Way, without any nice En­quiries into disputable Points, either in their own Tenets, or those of other Churches; where­by it becomes the business of their Preachers, rather to persuade the Practice of Piety, than to oppose the Doctrine of others, or defend their own.

The Church is governed by an Archbishop and Ten Bishops, whose Studies are confined to their own Employments, being never called to Council, but on­ly at the Assembly of the States, [Page 56] nor troubled with the Admini­stration of any Secular Affair: their Revenues are very mode­rate, the Archbishop of Upsall not Importing 400 l. a year, and the Bishopricks after that Proportion. Under them are Seven or Eight Su­perintendents, who have all the Power of Bishops, and only want the Name; and over each Ten Churches is a Provost or Rural Dean, with some Authority over the Inferior Clergy, of whom the Sum total may best be computed by the Number of Churches, which in Sueden and Finland is short of Two thousand; to which the Addition of Chaplains and Curates will encrease the Body of the Clergy to near Four thousand persons; they are all the Sons of Peasants or mean Burghers, and can therefore content themselves with the small Income of their [Page 57] Places, which besides more in­considerable Dues, arises from Glebe-Lands, and one Third of the Tythes, of which the other two Thirds are annexed to the Crown, to be employ'd in Pi­ous Uses: However, the Clergy have generally wherewithal to exercise Hospitality, and are the constant Refuge of Poor Tra­vellers, especially Strangers, who use to go from Priest to Priest, as elsewhere from Constable to Constable.

The Clergy of each Diocess, upon the Death of their Bishop, propose Three persons to the King, who either chuses one of them, or some other, to succeed in that Office; which is also practised in the Choice of Su­perintendents. In the Choice of an Archbishop all the Chapters in the Kingdom vote, but the [Page 58] Determination is altogether in the King's breast. His Majesty hath also the Patronage of most Churches, some few only being in the Disposal of the Nobili­ty. Many of their Churches are adorn'd with variety of Scul­ptures, Painting, Gilding, &c. All of them are kept neat and clean, and in good Repair, fur­nish'd as well in Countrey as City with Rich Altar-Clothes, Copes, and other Vestments.

For the more regular Go­vernment of the Church it has been found necessary to cause the Ancient Ecclesiastical Laws and Canons to be revised by a Committee chosen out of the several Bodies of the Estates, who have spent some years in that matter, and at last present­ed the King with a New Sy­stem of Church-Laws; where­in [Page 59] his Majesty, having caused such Alterations to be made as he thought fit, has lately ap­proved and publish'd them.

Of these▪ some that concern their Religion in general, shall here be taken notice of. By these New Canons it is or­dain'd, That

If any Suedish Subject change his Religion, he shall be ba­nish'd the Kingdom, and lose all Right of Inheritance both for himself and his Descen­dants.

If any continue Excommu­nicated above a Year, he shall be Imprisoned a Month with Bread and Water, and then ba­nish'd.

If any bring into the Coun­trey Teachers of another Re­ligion, [Page 60] he shall be Fin'd and Banish'd.

Foreign Ministers shall en­joy the Free Exercise of their Religion, only for themselves and Families.

Strangers of a different Re­ligion shall have no Publick Exercise of it; and their Chil­dren shall be baptized by Lu­theran Ministers, and educated in that Religion▪ otherwise they shall not have the Privi­leges of Suedish Subjects.

These Laws, as they oblige the Clergy to a more constant Attendance on all the parts of their Duty, than has formerly been practised, so they require the Laity to frequent the Church on all occasions; and the Civil Ma­gistrates, especially on Days of [Page 61] great Solemnity, make very strict search, and punish such as are found absent from Church with­out a just Excuse, with Im­prisonment and other Severities: But the Clergy are not intrust­ed with the sole Administration of these Laws, nor impower'd by them to transact matters of any great moment, without the concurrence of the Civil Power; for besides that many Causes, formerly Triable in Ecclesiasti­cal Courts, are now transferr'd to the Secular Magistrates; the King reserves to his own cog­nizance several cases of that kind, especially the Point of Excommunication, which the Cler­gy are not permitted to pro­nounce against any one, till the King hath been acquaint­ed with the Case, and gives [Page 62] leave; which Caution is used because of the consequence, which is, the Loss of a Sub­ject.

Of the Vniversities of Sueden.

LEARNING, whatever their Modern Writers pre­tend, can plead no great Antiqui­ty in this Countrey; the Insti­tution of an University at Up­sall being not above Three hun­dred years ago; and few Mo­numents extant of a more An­cient Date, but only Funeral Inscriptions, rudely cut upon Rocks and unhew'n Stones, which are every where found; but as they have no Date, so they seldom express more than the Names of Persons, of whom no other Memory remains; that which makes them most remark­able [Page 64] is, That they are writ in the Ancient Gothic Language, and the Runick Character.

The most Curious Piece of Learning among them, is a Translation of the Evangelists into the Gothic Tongue, done a­bout Twelve or Thirteen hun­dred Years ago, by Ulphila, a Bishop of the Goths in Thracia, of which they have the sole Ancient Manuscript Copy that is known to be in the world. Since the Reformation, Gustavus Adolphus was the first great Pa­tron Learning had in this Coun­trey, by whom the Universities that had been much impair'd, were endow'd with tolerable Sa­laries for Professors in most Sci­ences. These his Daughter Queen Christina somewhat augmented, and by the Fame of her own [Page 65] Learning, and the favourable Reception she gave to Scholars, drew several Learned men from abroad, that have left good Proofs of their Abilities, and raised an Emulation in the Natives, whose best Performance is in the Hi­story, Antiquities, and Ancient Laws of the Countrey.

The University of Upsall con­sists of a Chancellor, who is al­ways a great Minister of State; a Vice-Chancellor, always the Archbishop; a Rector, chosen out of the Professors, of whom there are about Twenty that have each 150 l. a Year Salary. The ordinary Number of Stu­dents is above Seven or Eight hundred; Fifty of which are maintain'd by the King, and some few others were former­ly [Page 66] by Persons of Quality; the rest, that cannot subsist of them­selves, spend the Vacation in gathering the Charity of the Diocess they belong to, which is commonly given them in Corn, Butter, dry'd Fish or Flesh, &c. upon which they sub­sist at the University the rest of the Year. They live not Col­legiately, but in Private Houses; nor wear Gowns, nor observe other Discipline, than what their own Necessity or Disposition leads them to.

The other University of Abo, in Finland, is constituted in the same manner, but less nume­rous in Professors and Students.

There was a Third at Lunden in Schonen, which, having been interrupted by the late Wars, is thought fit to be disconti­nued, [Page 67] because its Neighbourhood to Denmark nourish'd in the Stu­dents an Affection for that Crown, to which that Province formerly appertain'd; yet it is again restor'd.

In each Diocess there is one Free School, where Boys are fit­ted for the University; and o­ther trivial Schools, to which Children are sent to learn to Read, Write, and Sing their Prayers; a Custom so universal, that very few of them want this degree of Education; and fur­ther than that, such as are not design'd for Studies, do very seldom go, nor waste their time in other needless Improve­ments.

Publick Provisions for the Poor, are very few; there's not above Five or Six Hospi­tals [Page 68] in the Kingdom, and a little Alms-house in each Pa­rish, maintain'd by the Chari­ty of the Inhabitants; to which for the most part they are very well disposed, according to their Abilities.

Of their Marriages and Fu­nerals.

MArriages in Sueden are to­tally govern'd by the Will of the Parents, and found­ed so much upon Interest, that the Inclination of the Parties is little regarded, nor the Nation much troubled with the Extra­vagancies of Lovers: Stealing of Matches is scarce heard of in an Age; nor can the Church give License to Marry, without Publication of the Banns: Per­sons of Quality of both Sexes commonly remain unmarried till Thirty or above, because their Fortunes on both sides be­ing in their Parents hands while [Page 70] they live, they are not in a con­dition to maintain a Family, till the Death of Relations, or Advancement to Office, furnish them with the Means of subsisting. The Women, while young, have generally Fair Complexions, tolerable Features, and good Shapes; and some of them are accounted more eminent for Cha­stity before Marriage, than Fi­delity after; they are very fruit­ful, and seldom fail of a Nu­merous Issue: They are no where made greater Drudges than here, the meaner sort being, besides the ordinary offices of their Sex, put to Plow and Thrash, to Row in Boats, and bear Bur­thens at the Building of Hou­ses, and on other occasions.

Domestick Quarrels rarely hap­pen, and more seldom become Publick; the Husbands being as apt [Page 71] to keep the Authority in their own hands, as the Wives by Nature, Custom, or Necessity, are inclin'd to be Obedient: Divorces, and other Separations between Man and Wife, scarce ever happen, but among the In­ferior sort, when the Innocent Party is allowed to marry a­gain: Cousin-Germans may not Marry without the King's Di­spensation, which is more fre­quently granted, than refused.

In Wedding Entertainments they have ever affected Pomp and Superfluity beyond the pro­portion of their Abilities; for by the Excess of one Day, oft­times many of them involve themselves in such inconveniences as they feel many Years. The same is observable in their Fu­neral Solemnities, which are usu­ally accompanied with more [Page 72] Jollity and Feasting than befits the Occasion; and to gain time to make their Preparations, they commonly Transport their Dead to Vaults within, or adjoyning to their Churches, where they remain unburied some Months, and some­times several Years; but of late these, and other unnecessary Ex­pences begin by degrees to be laid aside, as well in conformity to the Frugality of the Court, as in com­pliance with their present For­tunes, which are narrower now than they have formerly been.

Of the Royal Family, and Court of Sueden.

CHARLES XI. the present King of Sueden, was born November the 25th, 1655. Two years after his Father, Charles Gu­stave X. of the House of Deux Ponts, was advanced to the Crown, up on the Abdication of Queen Chri­stina, whose Cousin-German he was, being the Son of Iohn Casimir, Prince Palatine of the Rhine, and Catherine of Sueden, Daughter to Charles IX. and Sister to Gustavus Adolphus, Queen Christina's Father. This Kings Mother, Princess He­diwing Eleonora, of the House of Holstein, and Sister to the present Duke, had no other Child, and [Page 74] upon the Decease of the King, her Husband, in the year 1660. was made Regent of the King­dom, together with the five Great Officers of the Crown, and held that Post till the Year 1672. when the King, her Son, was declared Major, and took the Govern­ment.

His Majesties Education in his Minority, by his own Genius, and the Indulgence of his Mo­ther, (if not by the contrivance of the Principal Ministers) was mostly in order to a Military Life; in which Exercises, such as Fencing, and Riding the Great Horse, he took more pleasure, and made better proficiency, than in such Studies as requi­red more intention of the mind. Besides the Suedish and High-Dutch Languages, which his Ma­jesty learned in his Infancy, and [Page 75] speaks both equally well; he was not perfected in any other, having only a smattering of French, to which he hath so great an Aversion, that he will neither own, nor be brought to speak so much of it as he understands; which want concurring with (if not causing in him) a reserved Temper, and backwardness to Conversation with Strangers, makes it more difficult for Foreign Ministers to entertain his Majesty, and himself uneasy upon their Ad­dresses.

None ever better conquered this Difficulty, than Mr. Warwick, who, having learned a little High-Dutch, with which he enter­tain'd his Majesty in ordinary Discourse, without much mixture of business, he thereby became the Favourite Foreign Minister, and had the Honour to be singled [Page 76] out by his Majesty on all occa­sions.

In the year 1674. his Majesty was Crowned, and presently af­ter engaged in a War that gain'd him an eminent degree both of Experience and Honour, having never lost a Battle in which he was Personally present.

At the Conclusion of the War, Anno 1680. he married the Prin­cess Ulrica Eleonora, Sister to the King of Denmark, a Lady as E­minent for Piety, Virtue, Wis­dom, and all other Qualities, truly Great and Noble, as for her Birth and Extraction. These, with her great Charity to the Poor, and Liberality to all, have gain'd her the Hearts of the whole Nation, and surmounted the Aversion they naturally have to those of her Country. By her his Majesty hath already had [Page 77] Seven Children; five Princes, four of which are Dead; and two Princesses, and has fair hopes of a more numerous Is­sue.

The King is of a Middle Stature, and well-set, his Hair brown, of a healthful and vigo­rous Constitution, and Sanguine Complexion, never attacqued with any Violent Sickness, but what has been occasion'd by some outward Accidents; of which two especially have endanger­ed his Life: one was in the War, when his Majesty riding on the Ice, it brake, and he fell into the Water, which brought him into a Fever, that he nar­rowly escaped. The other hap­pened by the fall off his Horse, when he broke his Leg, and was so ill treated by his Surgeons, that besides the danger of his [Page 78] Life then, the effects of their miscarriage, are still seen in his Majesties halting. There have happened to him two Accidents more, which have impaired his Strength, and it's fear'd may shorten his Days. One was, That at Hunting, Monsieur Wach­master being in danger to be kill'd by a Bear, the King was so ea­ger to rescue him, that he broke a Vein, and was then like to have bled to Death, and since hath been subject to bleeding up­on any motion. The other was, That his Majesty hath formerly accustomed himself to ride Post such long Stages, and with so great speed, that he hath often been near suffocated by the heat; the expence of his Spirits, and the Agitation of his Blood, whereof the effects are still observed, and feared by those about him.

[Page 79] He possesses many Excellent and Princely Qualities, an Ex­emplary Piety, and Religious Dis­position, that shews its self in all his Actions; and invincible Cou­rage, that has oft exposed his Per­son to great dangers, not only in his Wars, but in his Divertise­ments.

His Chastity and Temperance are very regular at least; if there be any Instances of his failing in the latter upon any extraordina­ry Occasion or Entertainment, he hath never been known, or scarce suspected to violate the for­mer.

Frugality is practised by his Majesty in a high degree, and his Parsimonious Temper ap­pears on all Occasions; that if his Subjects think him too pres­sing for Money, they have the Satisfaction to see and believe that [Page 80] it is laid either out, or up for their Good, not expended in profuse Liberalities, or vain Di­vertisements, to which his Ma­jesty is a perfect Stranger; nei­ther delighted with Plays, Ga­ming, or any other Recreations, besides Riding, Fencing, and Hunt­ing.

His peaceable Demeanour may perhaps more justly be a­scribed to the State of his Affairs, than his own Nature, which more powerfully inclines him to the Fatigue of a Camp, than the Ease of a Court; and suits better with a Martial Familia­rity, than the shews of Grandeur, and the Solemnities of State. The Cholerick Temper that hath been incident to all his Ance­stors, hath sometimes carried him to low Expressions of his An­ger, as well towards the greater [Page 81] as meaner sort of his Subjects; but the fit is usually soon over, and is recompenced by his pla­cability and readiness to for­give those that have offended him.

His Respect to his Mother seems to equal, if not exceed, his Kindness to his Consort, who hath the Satisfaction of his Con­stancy, but little share in his Se­crets, and not very much of his Conversation, which he frequent­ly bestows on the Queen-Mother, and usually eats in her Apart­ment.

His Majesty's most diligent In­spection into all the Affairs of his Kingdom, besides that it makes all his Ministers more cir­cumspect, hath gain'd him a great stock of Experience. The smallest matters are not below his notice, and nothing of any [Page 82] moment is concluded, before he hath been consulted; this is the Employment of all his time, scarce any hour of the Day passing from five in the Morning, when he constantly rises, in which business of one nature or other, is not before him.

The Frugality of his Majesties Temper, is every where visible in his Court, in which there is little regard had to Splendor and Magnificence, either in Furniture, Tables, or Attendants, or other things of that Nature. The Principal Officer of the Court, is the Upper Marshal, formerly cal­led the Marshal of the Kingdom, which Office is now held by Count Iohn Steenbeck; next to him, are the Marshal and In­tendant of the Court, with about eight or ten that are stiled Gen­tlemen of the Court, who wait [Page 83] at the King's Table. That which makes the best Appearance, is the Foot-Guards, which consist of 2200 Men, of which one Com­pany is always in the Castle, and the other in the other parts of the City. The Collonel of the Guards is next the King's Person in all Publick Solemnities; and the Captain that has the Watch, lies in the Room next to his Majesty's Bedchamber. There is another Guard of 250 Men, of which about ten at a time wait on Foot with Halberts, and on Horseback, when the King travels in Ceremony.

Next to the King, the Queen-Mother is ranked both in the Ad­dresses of Foreign Ministers, and on all other occasions.

She is a Princess of great Vir­tue and Goodness, and would be more esteemed, if she were not [Page 84] diverted from the Exercise of Li­berality, by the Inclination she has to Building, which she has gratified in the Structure of a ve­ry Magnificent House, about six Miles from Stockholm; it has one Front towards a great Lake, and the other looks upon a Garden of a Thousand Yards long, adorned with very fine and choice Statues, the Spoils of Germany and Den­mark, and a great number of Cas­cades, that are supplied with ve­ry good Water from an Eminence about a Mile distant.

Her Court and Revenue is go­verned by Count Charles Gylden­stern, and next to him is the Mar­shal of her Court, and other Of­ficers; as also a Governess of the Maids of Honour, who are six, with other inferior Servants.

The Queen Consort, besides what has already been said of [Page 85] her, is a great lover of Reading, and together with the Northern Languages, speaks French perfect­ly well; she is of a Melancholy Disposition, and lives very retired, seldom stirring out of her own Apartment, and that of the Prince and Princesses.

The Elder Princess was born in the Year 1681. And the Prince in the Year following; both of a delicate Constitution, of great hopes, and Educated with much care. The Younger Princess was born Anno 1688.

Of his MAJESTY'S Go­vernment.

HIS Majesty was no sooner Crowned, but he found himself engaged in the War then on foot; and espoused the French Interest, in Consideration of a Subsidy of 200000 l. a Year, in which the first Blow was the Defeat of Feldt Marshal Wrangel, and his Army in Germany; a Disaster so little foreseen, or provided for, that it made a more easy way for all the Mi­series that ensued upon it, and gave the King more eminent Oc­casions of shewing his Courage in defence of his Kingdoms and People; for as the Success of that [Page 87] Action turned the Byass of the Danish Councels, and presented the favourable opportunity they expected, to engage in the War, which they began with the sur­prizal of Holstein, and the Ta­king of Wismar, and thence tran­slated it into Schonen; so that when the King was called into those Parts to make Head a­gainst the Danes, he found the effects of his Ministers Deficien­cy in making due Preparations; Four of the Six Fortified Places of that Province being already in the Enemies hands, and the Inhabitants at liberty to express their Affections for Denmark.

To encounter these Difficul­ties, and a more Potent Enemy, assisted by more Powerful Con­federates, the King at first had but a Handful of Men, and empty Magazines; the Forces [Page 88] of the Kingdom being scatter'd into Germany and Leifland, the Borders of Norway, and the Sea-Service; from all which places his Majesty received no­thing but accounts of Losses and Misfortunes; so that the Fortune of Sueden, and all its Ancient Glory, seem'd to be confin'd to his Majesty's Person and his little Army, with which in the compass of One Year, he won Three Pitch'd Battels; and in one of them he is said to have Charged Thirteen times at the Head of a Brigade; and yet, which is very remark­able, doth value himself for not having drawn the Blood of any one man.

In the course of this War the King gain'd a great Stock of Military Experience, without a­ny Tincture of those Vices that [Page 89] commonly prevail in a Camp; and was so indefatigable, and perpetually employed, that he scarce had his Boots off in Three Years time: The Streights he was often reduced to, taught him many excellent Lessons, especially the Necessity of put­ting the Kingdom into a better Posture of Defence than he found it: Besides, his Officers, with the chief Ministers about him, Baron Iohn Guldenstiern, made it their business to possess his Majesty with an ill opinion of the Senate, and discovered the Malversations that the Ru­ling Lords had been guilty of in his Minority; which sunk so deep with him, that as his dis­pleasure fell upon some of those Lords during the War, and a Slight upon them all, neither communicating his Counsels, [Page 90] nor acquainting them with the Success of his Actions, which they were left to learn from Passengers and Masters of Ships; so after the Conclusion of the Peace, and his return to Stock­holm in the year 1680, his Ma­jesty call'd together the States of the Kingdom, and gave them a Summary Account of the State of Affairs during the War, and the Issue of it, and propo­sed to them to inspect the Occasions of the great Losses the Kingdom had sustain'd, to find out means to deliver the Government from the Streights (or rather States) it laboured un­der, and to consult for its further Security.

The Odium of all the Losses and Misfortunes of the War, was easily fix'd upon the Mini­sters that had managed Affairs [Page 91] in the King's Minority; and therefore a Committee was cho­sen out of the several Bodies of the States, to enquire into the Miscarriages and Evil Coun­sels of those Ministers, and pass Sentence upon the Delinquents: And to this end the Registers of the Council were examin'd, the dammage arising from each Re­solution computed, and every Senator that had Voted therein was charged with his Proportion of it; and that with so much Rigour, that their whole Estates have not sufficed to make Sa­tisfaction: To this the States al­so found, that the Power the Senators attributed to themselves, had helped to produce these bad effects, and therefore declared, That as they the States needed no such Mediators between the King and them; so neither did [Page 92] they find, that the Article of his Majesty's Coronation-Oath, (in which he had promised to rule the Kingdom with the Ad­vice of the Senators) did oblige him to think it necessary any longer to have their Concur­rence to any Counsels he thought fit to take; or continue their Salaries to more of them than he was pleased to employ: Up­on which several of them were laid aside; and the rest, instead of their former Title of Coun­sellors, or Senators of the King­dom, were stiled the King's Counsellors; a Method which perhaps in time may cost the Crown dear, there being left none to bear the Burthen between the King and the Complainants. And to give greater strength to this, the States declared also, That tho the Regents, during [Page 93] a Minority, might be called to account for their Administrati­on; yet his Majesty, who re­ceived his Crown from God, was only accountable to God for his Actions, and tied by no other Engagements than what his Coronation-Oath imported; namely, To rule the Kingdom according to Law: Which Arti­cle was further explain'd in the following Convention.

To remedy the great Neces­sities the Government was re­duc'd to, and discharge the vast Debts contracted in the War, several very Important Conclu­sions were made; for both a very large Benevolence was grant­ed, towards which every person in the Kingdom that receiv'd Wages paid the Tenth Pe­ny; every whole Farm Five Crowns, which is near as [Page 94] much as the usual Rent of those Farms; and the Cities a propor­tionable Contribution; and that for Two Years, or if a War hap­ned, for Four: And a Resolution was taken to establish a New Colledge of Reduction, with Pow­er to reunite to the Crown all such Lands, as by former Kings had been alienated by way of Donation, or sold at an under­value.

The Choice of the Members of this Colledge, and the Par­ticulars of their Instructions, were left to his Majesty; the States only prescribing some ge­neral Bounds, and especially providing, That of such Lands as were to be reunited, the va­lue of 70 l. a year should be left to the Possessor.

The care of the future Secu­rity of the Kingdom the States [Page 95] recommended to his Majesty, praying him to make such an E­stablishment of the Militia, and Preparation of the Fleet and For­tresses, as should appear need­ful: So favourable was this Con­juncture for the Advancement of the King's Authority, that he scarce needed to ask whatever he desired; each Body of the States striving which should out­bid the other in their Conces­sions. The Nobility and Gen­try, who universally depend on the King, as not being able to subsist upon their own private Fortunes, without some additio­nal Office, were under a Neces­sity to comply with every thing, rather than hazard their present Employments, or future Hopes of Advancement; their Interest therefore obliged them to keep pace with the Officers of the Ar­my [Page 96] that sate in their House, and some others of their Brethren, who vigorously promoted the King's Affairs.

The Clergy, Burghers, and Peasants, were easily persuaded, That the Miseries they had suffer­ed, proceeded from the too great Power of the Nobility; that the King could never be too much trusted, his Majesty having so oft exposed his Life to the greatest Dangers in Defence of his Sub­jects, it was their Duty to make all the grateful Returns they were able; besides, they were glad of an occasion of humbling the Nobi­lity, who in Prosperity were al­ways imperious, and concluded, that the burthen falling upon them, would redound to their own ease.

These Dispositions of the Peo­ple, added to the excessive Affe­ction [Page 97] they had for the King's Per­son, from an Opinion of his Piety, and Admiration of his Courage, gave him an opportunity to lay the Foundations of as Absolute a Sovereignty, as any Prince in Europe possesses. The Project of which great Alteration, his Majesty (as was supposed) received from Ba­ron Iohn Gyldenstiern, a Minister of Great Abilities, and as great an E­nemy to the Senate: He had wait­ed on the King in the War, and drawn to himself the Management of all weighty Affairs, and perhaps expected to hold the same Post up­on this Great Revolution, which in the former Constitution he could not hope▪ but before this Assem­bly, and soon after his return from an Embassy in Denmark, he di­ed, not without suspicion of Foul play.

[Page 98] Upon these Foundations his Majesty, after the Separation of the States, set his Ministers earnestly to work, and with an Unwearied Ap­plication took Cognizance of their Proceedings.

Foreign Affairs were committed to Count Benedict Oxenstiern, Mon­sieur Ehrenstien, and Monsieur Oern­stedt, persons of great Experience and Abilities: The Count began to be employ'd in Publick Affairs at the Treaty of Munster, at which he was for some time, and has since been for the most part in Embas­sies; especially in Germany, and was then return'd from the Trea­ty of Nimeguen, where he had ('tis said upon his Lady's account) en­tertain'd a violent Aversion to France; and being made President of the Chancery in the room of Count Magnus de la Gardie, who was laid aside, he took care to give [Page 99] his Majesty the same Impressions, laying before him how that Court, by corrupting his Ministers, had engag'd Sueden in the War, of which his Majesty had felt the miseries; and was forced to sit down with the Loss of some Ter­ritories in Germany, besides Forty Sail of good Ships, and above 100000 men; all which might ei­ther have been prevented or re­pair'd, if France had not sacrific'd Sueden to its own Interest: That the Subsidy was rather distributed by French Commissaries, and em­ploy'd in their own Service, than paid to his Majesty, who oft times in his greatest need could not be supplied out of that Fund: That his Majesty could neither be Ma­ster of his own Counsels, nor make any tolerable Figure in Europe, so long as he was esteemed a Pension­er and a Mercenary.

[Page 100] These and the like Reasons mo­ved the King to command each Member of the Privy Council to put in Writing what Measures they thought advisable for him to take, in relation to Foreign Affairs; in which some of them argued very warmly for France; but the Rea­sons on the other side were more prevalent with his Majesty, who thereupon took such Resolutions as produced the Guaranty League with Holland, and other Counsels, that Sueden has since pursu'd.

For the management of Affairs at Home, his Majesty employed Baron Claudius Flemingh, whose Fa­ther having been ill used by the Regents in the King's Minority, had left him several Projects, that fell in with the Designs on foot, and enabled him to go through with the Reduction of Crown-Lands, being made President of [Page 101] that Colledge, and assisted with a competent number of Assessors: He began to examine the Titles of those that held any Lands that had formerly belonged to the Crown; and where any such were found to have been alienated by way of Donation for pretended Services, or were situated in for­bidden places, (that is, within Six miles of any of the King's Castles) they were reunited to the Crown without further di­spute; the Value of 70 l. per An. being reserved to the Possessor: As to Crown-Lands that had been sold, enquiry was made into the nature of the Price, and the Real Value of the Estate. Where Rea­dy Money had been paid, the In­terest of 5 per Cent. was allowed for it; and if the Yearly Value of the Estate exceeded that Inte­rest, the said Overplus, and the [Page 100] [...] [Page 101] [...] [Page 102] Interest of it at 8 per Cent. from the first Alienation, was computed, and frequently made to amount to as much as the Capital it self; which being by that means satis­fied, the Estate return'd to the King. Where Lands had been gi­ven in Payment of Arrears, there no Interest was allow'd, the Ca­pital being accounted unfruitful; so that the Yearly Value of such Lands, together with the Interest, was deducted from the Principal; which being soon eaten out, not only the Lands return'd to the King, but the Possessor also be­came indebted to him; and he was to accept it as an Act of Grace, if his Majesty took the Lands, and forgave the Debt.

By these Methods the King re­cover'd a very great Revenue, tho with the Impoverishing of most Families in Sueden, and many of [Page 103] them, such whose Ancestors, and themselves also had spent their Lives and Fortunes in the Crown's Service, which Considerations could not be regarded, nor Ex­ceptions made in favour of any in particular, without adding to the Discontents of all the rest, who more patiently suffered, while the Case was general.

The same Baron Flemingh was also made president of the Trea­sury, and of the Colledge of Li­quidation, a Court erected not only to be a Barrier to the Trea­sury, and keep all Creditors off, till their Accounts were first stated and approved in that Colledge; but his business was also to find out such as were any ways in­debted to the King, to form the Charge against them, and de­mand Payment, which was not to be refused upon pretence (as [Page 104] it sometimes was the Case) that the Party had greater Sums due from the Crown, but the King's Debt was to be paid first, and without any delay, and the Party left to State his Accounts after­wards in the Colledge of Liqui­dation. And wherein such Acts were used towards many, by making (as they call them) Ob­servations upon the Price, the time of delivering the Species of Mo­ney, and the like, that several of the King's Debts have been paid without a farthing of Money, and not a few Pretenders have thereby been made Debtors to the King, and payment extorted with great Rigour.

The payment of the Fleet, his Majesty committed to Baron Hans Wachtmeister, (in the place of the Great Admiral, Count S [...]eenbeck) who prevailed to have it removed [Page 105] from Stockholm, its ordinary Stati­on, to a Harbor fortified for that purpose in the Province of Bleak­ing, and named Carlscrone, as be­ing both nearer to Denmark, and Germany, earlier free from Ice in the Spring, and the Parts adja­cent abounding with Timber. In that, and other places, great diligence was used, both to re­pair the Old Ships, which amount­ed not to Twenty Sail, and to build New Ones, of which since that time, about Twenty from Eighty to Forty Guns; and Eight or Ten of less force, have been built by Two English, and other Master builders.

The Establishment of the Mi­litia, his Majesty made his own peculiar Care, as having more immediately felt the Effects of the Disorder it had been in, and learnt by Experience the necessity [Page 106] of such a Standing Force, as might answer the ends of its Institu­tion.

In what manner his Majesty proceeded herein, shall be shown in another place.

In this interval, his Majesty published several new Laws; one against Duels, the substance of which is already mentioned; another to fix the Right of Pre­cedency among the Nobility and Officers; wherein next after the Privy-Counsellors, the Soldiers are principally considered; each considerable Office, being rank­ed according to its Dignity and Precedency, determined accord­ing to that Rank, without any respect to Birth or Quality.

At the next Assembly of the States in the Year 1683. besides a benevolence equal to that grant­ed the last Sessions, his Majesty [Page 107] obtained such farther Advantages, as the ends he designed did re­quire; for not only the Reunion of the 70 l. a year reserved by the former Session, was consented to, and that without the least difficulty, because those of the Nobi­lity that had lost most, did there­by revenge themselves of the Offi­cers of the Army: And others, who had been the great Sticklers in the Reduction, by which themselves had lost little or nothing, if the Reservation of 70 l. per Annum had stood; but the Article of ruling the Kingdom according to Law, was al­so further explained, and the States declared, That his Majesty was not thereby tied to the Laws then in being, but might alter the same, and add thereto such Con­stitutions, as he thought most use­ful for the present State of the Kingdom; and that whatever In­structions [Page 108] he pleased to give any Colledge or Officer, the same were a Law to them, and all others that they concerned, added only this, That they hop'd his Majesty would communicate to the States such Laws as were of a general Nature, and intended to be binding to the whole Kingdom. And whereas his Majesty had laid before the States, the undue Proceedings of the Ministers at his Father's Death, whose Testament they rescinded, and alter'd the Frame of the Go­vernment, he had prescribed to be observ'd in the King's Minori­ty; the States declared, That the Authors of those Alterations, were no honest Patriots, and left them to the King's Justice, pro­mising that in case of his Majesty's Decease, during his Successor's Minority, they would see his Te­stament punctually fulfilled, and [Page 109] the Form of Government thereby prescribed, inviolably observed.

The next Assembly of the States in 1686. renewed the usual Bene­volence which was asked to enable the King to pay his Debts, and made some further Concessions in the matter of the Re-union, rather to take off the Odium from the King and his Ministers, than to add any Authority to his Majesty's Proceedings.

These and the like Concessions, have rendred his Majesty an Abso­lute Monarch, to which his Subjects submit without any contest; and had not those other pressures that accompanied it made it uneasy, there would scarce have been found in that Loyal Kingdom any one Person disaffected to the Go­vernment; but the loss of Estates, they supposed to have right to, has created Discontents in many of [Page 110] the Nobility and Gentry, and the frequent and heavy Taxes impo­sed by the States are no less sensi­ble to those of inferior Degrees; that perhaps the King of Sueden has lost as much in the Affection of his Subjects, as he has gain'd in his Revenue; yet this is not like to produce any bad Effects, since the King knows so well how to make himself obeyed, and has such effectual means in his hands, not only to restrain any disorders, but to engage the great­est part of the Nation to his In­terest.

For the Distribution of all Im­ployments of any Value in the Kingdom, belongs to his Maje­sty; and the Nobility and Gen­try, as well as others, are under a greater necessity than ever, of rendring themselves acceptable to him, that they may get Employ­ments. [Page 111] Besides, his Majesty has lately thought fit to cause all that are in Office to renew their Oath of Fidelity; the Tenor of which has been accommodated to the present Government. The In­structions also of all Governors of Provinces, and other, both Civil and Military Officers, have been revised and renewed: And as a new Body of Laws Ecclesiastical is already published; so the Com­mon Laws of the Kingdom are under Consideration, to be ren­dred more plain, full, and suitable to the present State of things, ac­cording to the mind of the King, and those that are his Advisers in this Change; yet all this Power and Provision is not by the Court it self thought sufficient to keep an Oppressed People from Disor­ders; nor would it likely long do so, if the King did not by great [Page 112] Applications and Deferences court the Clergy, and by no small de­grees of Compliance with them, not only in Ecclesiastical, but even in Civil Affairs, cultivate their Fidelity and Affection; and this, because the Priests have ve­ry great and uncontroulable Inte­rest and Authority among the Common People (who only can make Disturbances) and can at their pleasure inflame, or appease them.

Of the Privy-Council.

THE Ancient Constitution, which gave them the Ti­tle of Senators of the Kingdom, gave them also Authority, not only to advise in all business of Importance, but in some Cases to admonish and over-rule the King, who was not at Liberty to transact any weighty Affairs with­out the Concurrence of a majori­ty of the Senate; and tho the King chose them, yet the States received their Oath, which rather exprest their Fidelity to the Kingdom in general, than to the King; their Office was for Life, and not only attempts upon their Person, but Defamation of them, was account­ed Treason.

[Page 114] But the Late Revolution has ef­fectually delivered the King from this (as they call it) Encroach­ment upon Royalty and Prero­gative, and reduced those Of­ficers to the Title, and proper Duties of Privy-Counsellors, put­ting it into the King's Power to employ them as he thinks fit, to ask their Counsel as he sees oc­casion, and to lay such of them aside, as he finds convenient, which his Majesty accordingly practices; some of them being laid aside, and the remainder, together with those the King hath added to them, are disperst in­to various Imployments, and very rarely meet in a Body; his Majesty transacting all Affairs, both Domestick and Foreign, with the proper Officers, to whom they are immediately intrusted, without the Participation of the [Page 115] whole Council. The number of Privy-Counsellors is at present about Eighteen, each of them has a Salary of 300 l. a year, and most have other beneficial Em­ployments.

Of the States of Sueden.

THE Boundless Liberality of the three last Sessions of the States hath left that Body lit­tle more than its Ancient Name, and a Power of Consent to such Impositions as the King's Occasi­ons require, which he chuses ra­ther to receive through their hands, than imploy his Authority in a matter so apt to Administer oc­casion of Discontent: Their usual time of Assembly, is once in three Years, or oftner, if the Affairs of the Kingdom require it. The Letters for calling them together, are sent to the Governors of Pro­vinces, who thereupon write to each Nobleman and Gentleman in their Province, and to the Bi­shops, [Page 117] who cause the same to be published in all Churches.

The Body of the Nobility and Gentry are represented by one of each Family, of which there are about a Thousand in Sueden, and with them the Collonel, Lieute­nant-Collonel, Major, and one Captain of each Regiment sit and vote.

For the Clergy, besides the Bi­shops and Superintendents in each Rural Deanery, or Ten Parishes, one is chosen, and maintained at the Charge of his Electors; these make a Body of about Two hun­dred.

The Representatives of the Burghers are chosen by the Magi­strates and Common-Council of each Corporation, of which Stock­holm sends Four, others Two, and some One, who make about One hundred and fifty.

[Page 118] The Peasants of each District, chuse one of their own Quality to appear for them, whose Charges they bear, and give him Instructi­ons in such matters as they think need Redress; they are about Two hundred and fifty.

Their first meeting (when at Stockholm) is in a large Room in the Castle, called the Hall of the Kingdom, where his Majesty be­ing seated on a Throne, and the Privy-Counsellors sitting at some distance, the President of the Chancery makes them a Comple­ment in the King's Name, and then a Secretary reads his Majesty's Pro­posals to them, in which they are acquainted with the State of Affairs since their Recess, and the present occasion of their Advice and Assi­stance. To which, first, the Marshal of the Nobility, who is chosen by the King, returns an [Page 119] answer, and kisses the King's hand; and after him, the Arch­bishop in the Name of the Cler­gy; the first Burgher master of Stockholm, for the Burghers, and one of the Peasans for his Brethren. They then separate into four se­veral Houses, and chuse a Secret Committee, composed of an equal Number of each Body, who receive from the King's Ministers such further Informations of his Majesty's Pleasure, as are not thought fit to be communicated in publick, and thereupon prepare such matters as are to be proposed to the several Bodies. In each House matters are concluded by majority of Voices; and if one or more of these Bodies differ in Opi­nion from the rest, they are either brought over by persuasions, or the point remains unconcluded.

[Page 120] When the Affairs proposed by the King are finished, they then insinuate their Grievances, each Body severally, to which the King returns such Answers as he thinks sit; and to each Member of the three Inferiour Bodies an Authen­tick Copy is delivered, as well of the general Conclusion made by the whole States, as of the King's Answer to the Grievances of his respective Body, which he carries home to his Electors.

Of the Revenue of the King­dom.

THE standing Revenues of the Kingdom of Sueden, arise from Crown-Lands, Customs, Poll-Money, Tythes, Copper and Silver-Mines, Proceedings at Law, and other less considerable Particu­lars; which are calculated in all to near a Million of Pounds a Year; of which the Lands make above one Third, and the Customs almost a Fourth. The Poll-money is paid only by the Peasants, each of which above Sixteen, and under Sixty, pays about Twelvepence a year.

In the Treasury-Chamber, a President (now Baron Fabian Wrede) with Four Counsellors, and other [Page 122] Officers sit, and act as a Court of Justice, in such matters as relate to the King's Revenue; but they make no Assignments, that being the business of the Contoir of State, in which the Commissary, in con­junction with the President, di­spose of all Payments, but yet not without Orders immediately from the King: At the beginning of every Year they make a Calculati­on of what is likely to come in, and what will remain above the ordinary Charge; which they lay before his Majesty, and receive his Orders what Debts shall first be paid. The greatest part of the King's Money passes through the Bank, and thereby saves the Charge of Officers, to recieve and pay it, there being between the Contoir of State, and the Bank, on­ly one Rent-master (as they stile him) who keeps account with [Page 123] them both, and gives Assignments according to the Orders he re­cieves.

The Revenue is supposed at pre­sent to exceed the ordinary Charge of the Crown; and the King ha­ving lately had three several ex­traordinary Contributions, and vast Forfeitures from the Faulty Ministers of State, as also great Advantages in recovering the Debts due to the Crown, would have his Coffers well fill'd, if the Building of Ships, and paying of Debts contracted in the last War, had not drain'd them in some mea­sure. In 1686 it was told the States in the King's Name, That in Six Years time his Majesty had paid Debts to above Two Milli­ons of Pounds (tho many of them were paid with little Money), be­sides the Building of about Thir­ty Ships: And yet 'tis generally [Page 124] believed, the King is not ill provi­ded with Ready Cash; and there is great necessity for such Provisi­on, to supply any pressing occasi­on, since the Credit of Sueden is very low Abroad; and at Home the ordinary Taxes are so high, that the people cannot long fur­nish any Additional and Extraor­dinary Assistances; that as the Crown has resumed all former Liberalities, and with Rigour ex­acted its utmost Right, so it must chiefly depend upon those Funds, little being to be expected from the People, and no Credit from Abroad in case of Extremity, since those that have formerly trusted the Crown, have been so very ill used; and neither the States of the Kingdom, if they should interpose their Engage­ments, are in a condition to make them good; nor can any Depen­dance [Page 125] be made upon the Security either of the Crown-Lands, or any other Branch of the Revenue, since the late Resumption of those Lands, and Revocation of such Securities, have destroy'd all fu­ture Faith.

Of the Forces of Sueden.

THE Reputation gain'd, and the Conquests made by Sueden in this and the last Age, has not so much been owing to its Native Strength, as to Foreign Assistance of Germans, French, Eng­lish, and especially Scots, of whom they have used great Numbers in all their Wars with Moscovy, Po­land, Germany, and Denmark; and by them the Art of War and Mi­litary Discipline has been by de­grees introduced into this Nation, that in former times had only the advantage of Courage and Num­bers; for tho the Original Constitution of the Countrey, and its Division into Hundreds and other larger Portions, that still retain Mili­tary Names, seems to have been [Page 127] the work of Armies, and the fre­quent Expeditions of the Goths, and other Inhabitants of these parts, shew, That in all Ages they were addicted to War and Violence; yet it was in a disorderly and tumultu­ous manner; their Infantry always consisting of unexperienced Pea­sants, raised for the occasion, and disbanded as soon as it was over. The Feudal Laws indeed (which are supposed to have had their Birth a­mongst these people) provided for a competent Number of Cavalry, all Estates of the Nobility and Gen­try being held by Knights Service; and while the Kingdom was Ele­ctive, the Kings were bound to maintain some Forces of Horse out of the Revenues of the Crown; but this Establishment had been in a great measure corrupted, and the Kingdom so shatter'd with Domestick Broils, that it made a [Page 128] very inconsiderable Figure; and was little known in Europe, till the Crown became Hereditary, and the Interest of the Royal Family concerned in the Strength and Prosperity of the Nation: Since that time the Standing Forces of the Kingdom have been augmented, yet not so ef­fectually established as its neces­sities required; for it generally happened, that the Nobility and Gentry were so backward in fit­ting out their Horse, and the Le­vies of Foot not being to be made without the consent of the Peasants in the Assembly of the States, it was so hardly obtain'd, that the Regiments were very thin, and Re­cruits extreme difficult; nor were the Officers Salaries so punctually paid, as to enable them to be in readiness on all occasions.

[Page 129] To remedy these Inconvenien­ces, the present King, on whom the States had conferr'd an Abso­lute Power, to put the Militia into such a Method as he should think fit, has made such Regulations in all the Particulars relating to this Matter; as were requisite to bring it to Perfection.

The new Injunctions he has made about the Cavalry, that the Nobility and Gentry furnish, are so exact, that 'tis not in their pow­er to put either the Man or the Horse that are once Listed, to o­ther Employments than what are there specified, but must have them in a continual Readiness, whenever they are call'd upon, with such Arms and Equipage, as his Majesty hath directed. In de­fault of which, severe Penalties are inflicted, and the Estates they hold by that Service subject to Confiscation.

[Page 130] For the Infantry, the King has taken the like Care; and whereas, formerly no Levies could be made but by Consent of the States, and that but by small parcels at a time, and with such disturbance, that on those occasions 'twas usual for half the Peasants to run into the Woods, and other hiding places to escape being made Soldiers This has been remedied by the King's Commissioners, who have distri­buted the Infantry of each Pro­vince proportionably to the Num­ber of Farms, each of which of the Value of about 60 or 70 l. a Year (not being appropriated to the Officers or other peculiar Ser­vices) is charged with one Foot Soldier, who receives from the Farmer, Dyet, Lodgings, ordi­nary Cloaths, and about Twenty Shillings a Year in Money; or else, a little Wooden House is built for [Page 131] him at the Farmer's Charge, who must also furnish him with as much Hay, as will keep a Cow in Winter, and Pasturage in Sum­mer, and Plow and Sow for him such a parcel of Ground as will afford him Bread; they that are marry'd, (as many of them are,) generally accept this latter Condi­tion; the unmarried Soldiers usu­ally abide with the Farmer, but are not bound to do him any Ser­vice without Wages; when they have once taken the Peasants Mo­ney, and are Listed in the King's Service, they can never quit so long as they are able to serve, and if they desert, are punished with Death: The first Institution of this Method was very burdensome to the Peasants, who were at great Charge to hire their Men, which cost them 10 and sometimes 20 l. apiece, and the same they must [Page 132] do whenever their Soldier dies. This in peaceable times will not be so chargeable, as it is in times of War; when Men will be un­willing to serve, and Recruits more frequently needed; and as this is part of the Project hitherto unexperienced, so most believe it will be found very difficult, if not impracticable.

As all the common Soldiers are thus provided for at the Country's Charge, so all Officers both of Horse and Foot are maintained by the King, who hath appropria­ted so much of the Lands lately reunited, or formerly belonging to the Crown, to that purpose. So that every Officer has a con­venient House, and competent Portion of Land to live upon, sci­tuate in that part of the Country, where the Regiment he belongs to is quartered; as also the Rent [Page 133] of so many other Farms as make up his pay, (which tho' it be some­what less than formerly,) yet be­ing punctually paid either in Mo­ney, Corn or other Comodities, they find it more profitable, than when they were to solicite for it at the Treasury.

A Colonel of Foot has, of these Lands the yearly Rent of about 300 l. and the rest proportion­ably, which amounts to about 2500 l. a Year, for all the Offi­cers both upper and under, of one Foot Regiment. And there being in Sweden, Finland and Lief­land 28 Regiments of Foot, un­der this Establishment the Main­tenance of all the Officers belong­ing to them, costs the King about 70000 l. a Year; what Charge the Cloathing of the common Sol­diers once in two or three Years, their Arms and such other Neces­saries [Page 134] may put the King to, can­not be so easily computed.

The Officers of Horse are pro­vided for after the same manner with such large Allowance as is requisite. There are Fifteen Re­giments of Horse thus established, and the Maintenance of their Offi­cers is computed to be about 80000 l. a Year, all which arises from the Rents of Crown Lands, as do also the Wages of Civil Of­ficers in the Country, who have Farms annex'd to their Employ­ments, in the same manner as the Militia.

The Laws the King hath made for maintaining this Constitution are every exact and particular, and provide with great Caution, that neither the Peasants shall be op­press'd, nor the Lands and Houses ruin'd; to which end all such Lands are yearly visited, and the [Page 135] Possessor compell'd to make such Repairs as are found needful; and as every Officer upon his first coming to such an Estate, sub­scribes an Inventory of it, so upon Advancement he cannot take Pos­session of another Charge, till he hath put that Estate into as good a Condition as he found it, and in case of Death his Heirs cannot inherit, till that be done.

In times of Peace, all Trespasses and Crimes comitted by the Sol­diery fall ordinarily under the Cognizance of a Civil Magistrate, who has the same Authority over them, as over the rest of the King's Subjects, except when they are encamped, or in Garrison, or any way under flying Colours; in all which Cases, as also in all Mat­ters that relate solely to their Pro­fession, their Officers have Juris­diction over them, without whose [Page 136] leave a private Soldier is not per­mitted to lodge out of his Quar­ters, nor be absent a day from the Parish he belongs to; the infe­rior Officers cannot be absent from their Charge, but by the Colonel's Permission, nor Captains and those above them without the King's leave; and the good Effect of the Officers constant Residence, upon their respective Charges, appears in the quiet and peace­able Behaviour of the Soldiers, who have not hitherto broke out into any Enormities, nor given the common People any great occasi­on of complaint.

To keep them in Discipline, each Company meets, and is ex­ercised, once a Month, and every Regiment once or twice a Year, at which times only they wear the the Kings's Cloaths, which at their return, are carefully laid up in the Churches.

[Page 137] For their Government in time of War the King hath lately caused the Articles of War to be reviewed and printed, together with a new Establishment of Courts Marshal, and Instructions for the Auditors General, and other Officers con­cern'd in the Ministration of Ju­stice.

And for his Majesty's Informa­tion on all occasions, a Book hath been lately made, specifying the Names of every Military Officer in the King's Army, the time when they first came into the Service, and by what Steps they have risen, by which means at one view, his Majesty knows the Merit and Ser­vices of any Officer.

The Forces in Pomerania and Bremen, as also the Regiment of Foot Guards are not under this Establishment, but are paid in Mo­ney.

[Page 138] The whole Body of the King of Sweden's Forces, according to the best and most exact Account, is as follows:

The establish'd Militia in Sweden, Finland and

  • Liefland are, Men
  • Cavalry 15 Regiments, is 17000
  • Infantry 28 Regiments, is 35000
  • Foot Guards Regiment, 2000
  • Forces in Pomeren and Bre­men 6 Regiments, is 6000
  • In all, 50 Regiments, 6000

Each Regiment ordinarily con­sists of 1200 Men (but some of more) of which 96 are Officers; and such care is taken to keep them compleat, that it very sel­dom happens, that 20 Men at a time are wanting in a Regiment; and as they are always in a readi­ness, so a great Body of them may quickly be brought together, e­specially towards the Borders of [Page 139] Denmark and Norway, where in twenty Days time the King of Sueden can have an Army of 20000 Men.

Above the ordinary Establish­ment the King hath annex'd to each Regiment about twenty su­pernumerary Farms, to answer any extraordinary Accidents of Fire, &c. and to furnish a Subsi­stence for such Officers, as are past Service.

For common Soldiers that Age or Wounds have rendred unfit for War, there is one general Hospi­tal, which has a good Revenue, and besides that, every Officer that is advanced, pays to it a Sum of Money proportionable to the Charge he arises to. A Colonel pays 100 Crowns, and others in proportion.

Besides the Arms in the Hands of the Militia, there is a conside­rable [Page 140] Magazine at Stockholm, and another at the Castle of Ienco­pingh towards the Borders of Den­mark, and these, as occasion serves, are furnish'd from a considerable I­ron-work at Oerbro in Nervia which is continually employed in making Arms of all sorts. In the Castle of Iencopingh a Train of Artillery stand always in readiness. This is the sole Inland Fortress in Sueden, which less needs such Artificial Strengths, as well for other Rea­sons, as because Nature in very many places has provided it with such Passes, as that a handful of Men may defend against a great Army.

On the Borders of Norway, be­side some small Forts, that keep the Passages over the Mountains, there is the Castle of Bahunz sci­tuate upon a Rock in the midst of a deep River, but overlookt by the Rocks near it.

[Page 141] The City of Gottenburgh is a well fortified place, but wholly Commanded by the Neighbour­ing Hills.

The Town of Marstrand, and the Castle of Elfsburgh lie towards the Sea: on that side towards Denmark are Waerburgh, Halmstad, Landscrone and Malmo, places of good defence. Upon the Baltick Shoar are Carlescrone and Calmar, with two small Forts at the en­trance of the River leading to Stockholm. The Northern parts are covered with Lapland, the Bor­ders of Finland towards Russia with vast Woods and Morasses, and in some parts with Castles and Forts. In Liefland, besides Riga, Revell and Narva, which are very strong places, there are several conside­rable Fortresses.

Of the Trade of Sueden.

THO' Sueden has in all Times furnisht Europe with those necessary Comodities it abounds with, yet either the Warlike Tem­per, the Idleness or Ignorance of the Inhabitants, has formerly kept them from being much concern'd in Trade, and given Strangers the Management and Advantage of it, which for a long time, the Hans Towns scituate on the Bal­tick Sea, monopolized, till the Seven Provinces of the Netherlands were Erected into a Republick, and became Sharers with them: Before that time very little Iron was made in Sueden, but the Oar, be­ing [Page 143] run into Pigs, was carried to Dantzick, and other Parts of Prus­sia, and there forged into Bars; for which reason the Country Smiths in England call Foreign I­ron Dansk or Spruce Iron. The Nation owes the greatest Improve­ments it has made in Trade to the Art and Industry of some in­genious Mechanicks, that the Cruel­ty of the Duke de Alva drove into these parts: their Success in­vited great Numbers of Reformed Waloons to transplant thither, whose Language and Religion re­mains in the places they settled in, where they erected Forges and other Conveniences for making of Iron Guns, Wire, and all other Manufactures of Copper, Brass, and Iron which for the most part are still carried on by their Po­sterity.

[Page 144] The Suedish Navigation was very inconsiderable, till Queen Christina at the Conclusion of the War in 1644. obtained from Den­mark a Freedom from Customs for all Ships, and Goods belong­ing to Suedish Subjects, in their Passage thro' the Sound, and esta­blisht in her own Dominions that difference in Customs that still subsists between Suedish and Fo­reign Ships, and is in proportion of 4, 5, 6, the first called Whole­free, the second Half, and the last Vnfree, so that where a whole free Suedish Ship pays 400 Crowns, half free pays 500, and a Foreign Vessel 600.

But as great as this Advantage was, it had but little effect, till the English Art of Navigation bridled the Hollanders, and open­ed the Intercourse between Eng­land and Sueden. Since that time [Page 145] their Commerce has been much augmented, as well as ours that way, and Goods transported by both, or either Party according to the various junctures of Affairs. When Sueden has been engaged in a War, the English Ships have had the whole Employ; but in times of Peace, the Advantage is so great on the Suedish side, and Merchants so much encouraged by Freedom in Customs to employ their Ships, that English Bottoms can­not be used in that Trade, but only while Sueden is unprovided with a number of Ships sufficient for the Transportation of their own Commodities; whether it be feasi­ble to lay a Duty upon Suedish Ships, importing Goods into Eng­land, proportionable to what is laid upon Foreign Vessels there, or whether the Matter be of so great Importance as to merit such a Re­solution, [Page 146] does not belong to this Discourse to determine.

The chief Commodities Sueden vends, are Copper, Iron, Pitch, Tar, Masts, Deals, and Wooden Ware, (besides the Commodities exported from Liefland) to the value of about 700000 l. a Year, in return of which they receive from abroad Salt, Wines, and Brandy, Cloth, Stuffs, Tobacco, Sugar, Spices, Paper, Linnen, and several other sorts of Goods which are supposed commonly to bal­lance their Exportations, and some­times exceed them.

Their Trade to Portugal for Salt is accounted most necessary, as without great quantities of which they cannot subsist. That with England is more beneficial, because it takes off almost half their own Commodities, and brings in near two thirds of Money for one [Page 147] of Goods. The worst is their French Trade, in regard it rather supplies their Vanities, than Ne­cessities, and gives little or no vent to the Commodities of the Country.

The general Direction of their Trade belongs to the Colledge of Commerce, which consists of the President of the Treasury, and Four Councellors, who hear Causes of that nature, and redress any Dis­orders that happen. The Bank at Stockholm is of great benefit to Trade, as well in regard that the King's Customs for that City are paid in there, as also that the Merchants ordinarily make Pay­ments to each other by Bills drawn upon it, which eases them of a great Trouble in Transporting their Money from place to place, that would otherwise be very dif­ficult and chargeable. This Bank [Page 148] is well constituted, and was in very good Credit, whilst it had the States of the Kingdom for its Guarrantees, of which it has now but the Shadow; those States be­ing (and are now stiled) the Kings (not Kingdoms) States so that all its Foundation derives now from the Will and Pleasure of the King, which may on several occasions diminish not only its own Suffi­ciency, but also the Confidence of those that make use of it. The Management of the Trade of Sueden has always in the main been in the Hands of Strangers, most of the Natives wanting either Ca­pacity or Application, and all of them Stocks to drive it; for with­out Credit from abroad, they are not able to keep their Iron-works going: and therefore at the be­ginning of Winter, they usually make Contracts with the English, [Page 149] and other Foreigners, who then advance considerable Sums, and receive Iron in Summer; Were it not for this necessity, Foreign Merchants would have but little Encouragement, or scarcely Per­mission to Live and Trade amongst them, and even as the Case stands, their Treatment of them is as ri­gorous, as in any Country, occa­sioned chiefly by the Envy of the Burghers, who cannot with any Patience see a Stranger thrive a­mong them. This is less sensible to Hollanders and others, many of whom become Burghers, and the rest by their near way of Living are less subject to Envy, but is more especially the Case of the English Merchants, who find it not their Interest to become Bur­ghers, and usually live somewhat too high.

[Page 150] The Interest of England in the Trade of Sueden may be compu­ted, by the Necessity of their Com­modities to us, and the vent of ours there; their Copper, Iron, Tar, Pitch, Masts, &c. cannot be had elsewhere, except from Ame­rica, whence it has been supposed such Supplies may be furnished; and if so, this Consideration ought in reason to have an Influence on the Suedish Councels, and engage them to make the English Trade with them as easie as possible, that the Merchants be not driven upon new Designs.

As to our Importations thither, it has already been said, that they scarce amount to one third of what we export from thence, and consist chiefly of Cloth, Stuffs, and other Woollen Manufactures, of which has been formerly vend­ed yearly there to the value of [Page 151] about 50000 l. besides these, To­bacco, New-Castle Coals, Pewter, Lead, Tin, Fruits and Sugar, with several other of our Commodities are sold at this Market; as also good quantities of Herrings from Scotland, with other of their Wares, that in all we are suppo­sed to vend Goods to about 100000 l. a Year, whereof if any more than half be paid for, it is extraordinary. But the making of Cloth in Sueden to supply the Army, &c. which has been for­merly endeavoured without Suc­cess, being now encouraged and assisted by the Publick, and un­dertaken by some Scots and o­thers, has of late, and does now prove a great hindrance to the Vent of our Cloth there. And to favour this Undertaking, Eng­lish Cloth is now, (unless it be such finer Cloths as cannot be [Page 152] made here) clogg'd with such ex­cessive Duties, as render the Impor­tation of it impracticable. These Undertakers have got Workmen from Germany, and some from England, and besides the German Wool they use, they receive great quantities from Scotland (supposed to be practiced out of England) without which they cannot work. Yet as at present, the English Trade in Sueden, is of the Impor­tance above mentioned, notwith­standing the Abatements aforesaid, it is however considerable, and will be so, while their Commodities continue to be necessary, and those that are concern'd in it, will de­serve as they need, Protection and Encouragement.

The last Treaty of Commerce between the Two Nations expired several Years ago; and that of an older Date neither suits the pre­sent [Page 153] State of Things, nor has been thought by the Suedes to sub­sist; tho' now for their own In­terest they insist upon the con­trary, accordingly their Treatment of the English is only in reference to their own convenience. And as the Subject of former Com­plaints still remains, so new Bur­thens are frequently imposed up­on them: Sometimes they have demanded of Merchants that were leaving the Country, a sixth part of the Estate they had got in it, and arrested their Effects on that account. And besides others, that more directly concern their Trade, the quartering of Soldiers, and paying of Contributions has been exacted for some Years, and some­times the English forced to sub­mit to it.

[Page 154] In the Year 1687. upon their Petition to the King, for redress of these Impositions which were than laid very high, upon some above 50 l. upon others 40, 30, &c. besides that such of them as kept House had Soldiers quarter­ed upon them, some 3, 6, or 8. In answer to their Petition, a Pla­caet was publish'd, declaring that they should be exempt from those Payments; but withal, that no Fo­reign Merchant should continue to Trade in Sueden above Two Months in a Year, unless he would become a Burgher. In pursuance of which Resolution their Ware­houses were shut up for some time, and the Suedes seem resolved to proceed to extremity; but have not put that Resolution generally in Execution, tho' they seem to wait for an Opportunity, and now and then they try it upon particu­lar [Page 155] Persons, to see how Foreign Princes will take it.

The Law that exacts the third part of such Foreign Merchants Estate, as die in Sueden, has not in effect been so beneficial to the Suedes, as frightful to the Mer­chants, who (especially the Eng­lish) for that and other reasons, never think of marrying, and settling there, so long as their Affairs are in good order, and they in a Condition to return home with a competent Estate and Cre­dit; upon which account Eng­land seems to be less concern'd to endeavour the repeal of that Law, it being more useful to have Sue­den a Nursery for young Mer­chants, than a place of Settlement for those that have got Estates.

Of the Suedish Conquests.

THE ancient Expeditions of the Goths, and the King­doms they erected in France, Spain, Italy and elsewhere, upon the Ruins of the Roman Empire, have little Connexion with the present State of the Country, and only shews, that their Nation was then much more populous and power­ful, than it has been in latter times, which is generally ascribed to the use of Polygamy among them, while they were Heathens; but the Conquests which continue to be beneficial to Sueden at this day are of a much later Date.

[Page 157] For it was not till the Year 1560. that the Suedes got footing in Liefland, When the Knights Tem­plers, who were Masters of those Parts, being overthrown by the Muscovites, King Erick of Sueden was invited by the Inhabitants of Revell, and the Country adjacent, to take them into his Protection, which he consented to; and the Door being thus opened, the Crown of Sueden has by degrees wrested from the Poles and Mus­covites the greatest part of Lief­land, and some Provinces of Rus­sia adjoyning to it; Countries of inestimable value to Sueden, as, which both cover it from the In­cursions of the Poles and Musco­vites, and furnish it with plentiful Supplies of Corn and other Com­modities; besides the Benefit it reaps by the vast Trade of those Parts. On the side of Denmark, [Page 158] besides Yempterland and Hercadale, Two Northerly Provinces lying opposite to Norway, they have recovered the rich Countries of Schonen, Halland and Blecking, which joyn to the Body of Sueden; and gave the Danes, while they possess'd them, free entrance into the very Heart of the Country. They have also got from the Danes the Territory of Bahnus, which prevents all Inroads from that side of Norway. These, to­gether with the Countries of Po­merania and Bremen, are so consi­derable, that their Writers own, that the present Royal Family hath augmented the Kingdom near one half; only with this Disadvantage, that all the Neighbours of Sueden are thereby disobliged, and watch all opportunities to retrieve their Losses; so that Sueden can never firmly depend upon the Friendship [Page 159] of Denmark, Poland, Muscovy, or any other Neighbouring Princes.

Of the Interest of Sueden.

THE great Domestick In­terest of Sueden has been of late thought to consist in the Advancement of the King's Re­venue, and Authority at home, in order to make him more for­midable abroad; so that the Na­tion has had no Interest distinct from the King's; as the King on the other side would seem to have an inseparable Connexion with the Prosperity of his Subjects in general, and most especially of the Yeomanry, or Peasants, who are accounted the Basis of the [Page 160] Kingdom, rather than the Trading part; therefore tho' the Peasants have not been spared from bear­ing a considerable Share of the common Burthen; yet more care has been taken to make it sit easie upon them, than upon the rest, and they delivered from the Op­pression of the Fellow Subjects, which they formerly laboured un­der: the Encouragement of Trade and Manufactures is also the King's Care, and great Wonders are ex­pected from it; but doubtless there is much more in their Imaginati­ons, than will ever be found in the Effect.

It is also found the King's In­terest to keep the Nobility and Gentry very low. In Matters of Religion his Majesty has no other Interest than to maintain the pre­sent Establishment, and keep the Clergy to the due Performance of [Page 161] their Duty, which admits of little or no difficulty.

In general the chief Domestick Interest of the King of Sueden is to preserve the Government in its present State, and secure it such to his Successors, it being consti­tuted so much to the Advantage of the Royal Family, that in that regard it can hardly be bettered by any Change.

In relation to Foreign Affairs, it is apparently the Interest of Sue­den to avoid all offensive War, as being already in the quiet Posses­sion of as many conquer'd Pro­vinces on all sides as it can well defend; tho' more would not displease them, if they could be got with safety, to maintain a good Correspondence with Mos­covy by a due Observation of the Treaty lately concluded, and en­deavour to end the Point of Sepa­ration [Page 162] of the Limits, which is the only Matter that can be like to create Trouble on that side with Poland.

Sueden has little occasion of dif­ference, or reason, to apprehend any Quarrel, neither does it seem the Interest of Sueden to aim at any further Enlargements in Germany, but rather to use all good Offices to preserve the Treaty of Munster, as the Foundation of its Right to Pomerania and Bremen; which Provinces are of such Importance to Sueden, as rendring it much more considerable to all Europe than it would otherwise be, that they will never be parted with so long as Sueden is able to defend them.

The Intercourse with Denmark, has seldom been friendly, nor have there ever wanted Grounds of Quarrels, when the Conjunctures were favourable; tho' at present [Page 163] Sueden seems to have little occasi­on of Misintelligence with that Crown, unless on the account of the State of Affairs abroad, and the several Interests they have to mind therein; their Agreement in Point of Trade seems to cement them, but their Emulation in re­gard of a Mediation, and in other Points, is as likely to keep them at a distance; nor is it at all pro­bable they ever will, or can so far surmount their mutual Distrusts, as actually to take part on the same side. But in regard of their own Affairs, Sueden has gained so much from Denmark already, and the Interest of the Trading part of Europe is so much concern'd to hinder it from getting more, that being also inferior to Denmark by Sea it is not probable it will in many Years have any design of enlarging its Territories farther on [Page 164] that side, tho' it has undoubtedly a longing Desire to Norway, which would make it the sole Master of all Naval Stores. And Denmark is so much weaker at Land, that Sueden has no reason to appre­hend it, unless Domestick Con­fusions do happen, which in all times Denmark has been ready to foment, and has frequently pro­fited by them; and it is not very improbable, but it may, in not many Years have an opportunity of doing so again; for which reason especially it is the Interest of Sueden to carry fair, and live at peace with Denmark.

In Point of Alliances the less Sueden can depend upon its Neighbours, the more careful it has been to entertain Friendship further from home, especially with France; which first began about 150 Years ago between Francis [Page 165] the First, and Gustavus the First, and subsisted till of late Years, that the Emperor's Party was thought more agreeable to the Na­tion's Interest, which it has ac­cordingly espoused.

The Friendship of England or Holland, or both, has ever been accounted indispensibly necessary to Sueden, in regard of its Weak­ness by Sea; neither has Sueden hi­therto engaged in any War, where both those Nations were Parties: and if such a Case should happen, 'tis not to be doubted but Sueden would use all possible means to obtain a Peace; for that the Coun­try cannot subsist without a quick Vent of its own Commodities, and continual Supplies of such Neces­saries, as it must receive from a­broad, of which it is very un­usual to make any Provision be­fore-hand, or lay up greater [Page 166] Stores than what one Winter con­sumes.

An Extract of the History of Sueden.

THE Original of the Suedish Nations which their Hi­storians ascribe to Magog, Son of Iaphet, whose Expedition thither they placed in the Year 88, after the Flood, is built upon such un­certain Conjectures, as neither de­serves to be mention'd, nor cre­dited any more than the Names of the Kings supposed to succeed him, invented by the Writers to fill up the Vacuities of those dark Times, of which other Countries, more likely to have been first [Page 167] planted, can give so little account; therefore tho' the Country might possibly have been early inhabited, yet nothing of certainty can be known of it, till the coming of Othinus, or Woden, who was dri­ven out of Asia by Pompey the Great, about Sixty Years before the Birth of Christ. From this Woden, who (as their Histories re­port) conquer'd Moscovy, Saxony, Sueden, Denmark and Norway; all Northern Nations have been ambitious to derive their Extracti­on; with him the Heathenish Re­ligion, that afterwards prevail'd in the North, Witchcraft, and other like Arts were brought in; as also the Custom of raising great heaps of Earth upon the Graves of Per­sons of Note, and Engraving of Funeral Inscriptions upon Rocks and Stones, which yet remain in all Parts of the Country.

[Page 168] To Woden, after his Death, Divine Honours were paid, as the God of War; and as the two first Days of the Week were named after the Sun and Moon, and Tues­day after Tis or Disa, an ancient Idol, so Wednesday had its Name from him, as Thursday from Thor, and Friday from Frigga, which three last were long the chief Ob­jects of the Northern Idolatry. The Succession of the Kings after Woden is full of confusion; the Nation being sometimes parcell'd into several little Kingdoms, some­times into two, Sueden and Go­thia; often subject to Den­mark or Norway, and sometimes Master of those Countries, as also of others more distant, where the Goths, that forsook their Native Soil, happened to plant themselves; but when, or on what particular occasions, they made those Migra­tions, [Page 169] is not certainly known, nor how long they had been abroad when they first began to infest the Roman Empire, about 300 Years after Christ.

That the Saxons, who were cal­led into England about the Year 450, were originally a Colony of Goths is conjectured from the A­greement of their Language, Laws and Customs. But that the Suedes and Goths, joyned with the Danes and Norwegians in their Invasion of England, about the Year 800, we are assured from our own Hi­storians, that expresly mention them, with the Character of Bar­barous and Pagan Nations, as they then were; and the same may be concluded from the many Saxon Coyns, that are frequently found in Sueden, and in greater variety, than in England, which seem to have been the Dane Gilt, or [Page 170] Tribute that the Nation then paid.

The Normans also, who about that time settled in France, were in part Natives of this Country, so that England, together with the Miseries that accompanied those Conquests, owes a great part of its Extraction to these People.

But to pass on to Times of more certainty, it was about the Year 830, that the Emperor Ludovicus Pius sent Ansgarius, afterwards Arch-bishop of Hamburgh, to at­tempt the Conversion of the Suedes and Goths, who at first had little or no Success; but in his second Journey, some Years after, he was better received; and baptized the King Olaus, who was after­wards martyred by his Heathen Subjects, and offered in Sacrifice to their Gods; nor did Christiani­ty become the general Religion of [Page 171] Sueden till about a Hundred Years after, when it was planted by the English Bishops formerly mention­ed, sent for thither by another O­laus; in whose time the Kingdom of Sueden, and that of Gothia were united, but became after­wards to be separated again, and continued so near Two Hundred Years; when they were again joyn'd, on Condition that the Two Royal Families should suc­ceed each other by turns, as they did for the space of One Hundred Years, but not without great Dis­orders, and much Blood shed.

This occasion of Quarrel, which ended in the Extirpation of the Gothick Family, was succeeded by another; for Waldemer, Son of Berger, Ierle or Earl, who was descended from the Royal Family of Sueden, being at that time cho­sen King, by his Father's Advice,1250. [Page 172] he created his Three Brothers Dukes of Finland, Sudermanland, and Smaland, with such a degree of Sovereignty in their respective Dukedoms, as enabled them to disturb their Brother's Govern­ment; who was at last forced to resign the Kingdom to his Brother Magnus, 1279. which he left to his Son Berger, 1290. who lived in continual Dissention with his Two Brethren, Erick and Waldemar, till he took them Prisoners, and famish'd them to Death, upon which he was driven ont of the Kingdom, and succeeded by Duke Erick's Son

Magnus, 1319. who was perswaded to suffer his Son Erick to be cho­sen King of Sueden joyntly with himself, as his other Son Haqui­nus was of Norway.

Both these Brothers made War upon their Father, who thereup­on caused the Eldest to be poyson­ed, [Page 173] the other Haquinus, being re­conciled to his Father, married Margaret, the Daughter Walde­mar, King of Denmark, in whose Person the Three Northern King­doms were afterwards United. This Magnus being deposed for his ill Government made place for his Sister's Son

Albert, 1363. Duke of Mechlenburgh, of whom the Suedes were soon weary, and offered the Kingdom to Margaret, whose Husband Ha­quinus had left her Norway, and her Father Denmark. King Albert, therefore being beaten in a pitch'd Battle, was taken Prisoner by this

Margaret, 1388. who succeeded him, and enacted the Vnion of the Three Crowns into a Law; which was ratified by the States of those Kingdoms, but proved much to the Prejudice of Sueden, and to [Page 174] the Advantage of Denmark, which People had always the Art or Luck to get their King's Favour, and render the Suedes and Norwegians suspected; conformable to Queen Margaret's Advice to her Succes­sor.

Sueden shall feed you, Norway shall cloath you, and Denmark shall defend you. At her request the Three Nations chose her young Nephew

Erick of Pomerania, 1396. reserving to her self the Government during his Minority which she out-lived, and had time to repent; at last she died of the Plague, in the Year 1412. This Erick married Phillippa, the Daughter of Henry the 4th. of England: of her their Histories relate, that Copenhagen being besieged, and King Erick in despair retreating to a Monastery, she took the Command of the [Page 175] City, and beat the Besiegers, but afterwards having in the King's ab­sence fitted out a Fleet that was unsuccessful, at his return he so beat and abused her, that she there­by miscarried, and retiring into a Cloyster died soon after.

The Oppression the Suedes lay under from Strangers, and to whom the King committed the Government of Provinces, and the Custody of all Castles, contrary to the Articles of the Vnion, made them at last throw off the Yoke, and renounce their Allegiance to King Erick, in whose place they substituted the General of the Kingdom, Carl Knuteson; with the Title of Protector, which he held about Four Years, till they were perswaded to accept

Christopher of Bavaria, 1440. whom the Danes and Norwegians had al­ready chosen; his short Reign [Page 176] gave the Suedes new Disgusts to the Vnion, so that upon his Death, they divided themselves and chose

Carl Knuteson to be their King,1448. who had before been their Pro­tector, and remains a memorable Example of the Vicissitude of Fortune; for after he had Reign­ed Ten Years he was driven out by a Danish Faction, and retiring to Dantzick was reduced to great want.

Christian of Oldenburg, 1458. King of Denmark and Norway, succeeded him, and renewed the Vnion which was soon dissolved; Christian af­ter a Reign of Five Years being turn'd out,

Carl Knuteson was restored to the Crown,1463. which he held only Three Years, being over-power'd by a Faction of the Clergy; and forced to forswear the Crown, [Page 177] and retire into Finland, where he again fell into want; upon his Deposition his Daughter's Hus­band

Erick Axelton was made Go­vernour of the Kingdom, which was miserably shattered by Facti­ons, of which the Bishops were the greatest Ring-leaders; in Favour of Christian of Denmark, whom they endeavoured to restore, but their Party being worsted,

Carl Knuteson was the third time received King of Sueden, 1468. and con­tinued so till his Death, upon which

Steno Sture, 1471. a Noble Man of ancient Family, was made Pro­tector of the Kingdom, which he defended a long time against King Christian, and his Successor, to the Crowns of Denmark and Nor­way, but was at last forced to give place to

[Page 178] Iohn, 1497. who again restored the Vnion of the Three Crowns, but pursuing his Predecessors steps in oppressing the Nation, and im­ploying of Strangers, he was soon expell'd the Kingdom,

And Steno Sture was again made Protector;1501. and he dying,

Suanto Sture succeeded in the same Quality.1504. He had continual Wars with King Iohn all the time of his Government, which at his Death was conferred on his Son

Steno Sture the younger,1512. who withstood the Danish Faction which the Arch-bishop of Vpsall head­ed; till dying of a Wound he received in a Skirmish against the Danes,

Christiern, or Christian, the II. King of Denmark and Norway, was advanced to the Crown of Sueden, but behaved himself so tyrannical­ly, [Page 179] and shed so much innocent Blood, especially of the Nobility, which he design'd utterly to root out, that his Reign became into­lerable, and the whole Nation conspired against him under the Conduct of

Gustavus the First, 1521. descended from the ancient Kings of Sueden, whose Father had being beheaded, and his Mother had two Sisters imprison'd by Christiern: He was at first received Governour of the Kingdom, and two Years after had the Regal Dignity conferr'd on him; and as the Danes and Norwegians had also expell'd King Christiern, who had married Charles the 5th's Sister, and repaired to the Imperial Court for Succour, which he could not obtain to any purpose, being upon his Landing in Norway defeated, and taken [Page 180] Prisoner; in which State he con­tinued to his Death: Therefore Gustavus was freed from all further trouble, on that account; and at liberty to redress the Disorders of the Kingdom, which were great: His first Contest was with the Clergy, who had been the Authors of much Confusion in former Reigns; to prevent which for the future, he took all occasions to diminish their Revenues, reuniting to the Crown all the Lands that had been given to the Church the last Hundred Years; which together with the Reformation of Religion disquieted the first Ten Years of his Reign, and occasioned frequent Commotions: Which being over, the remainder of his time pass'd without any disturbance at home, or Wars abroad; save only with Lubeck, and sometimes with Mos­covy.

[Page 181] Hitherto the Kingdom of Sue­den had for several hundred Years been Elective, but was at this time made Hereditary to the Male Issue of Gustavus, in a right Line of Succession; with reservation, that in default of such Issue the Right of Election should return to the Estates. Gustavus by his three Wives had four Sons, and several Daughters; his eldest Son, Erick, was to succeed to the Crown; Iohn was made Duke of Finland; Magnus, Duke of Ostrogothia; and Charles, Duke of Sudermanland; whereby those Provinces were in a manner dismembred from the Crown: An Error in Policy that Sueden has so oft smarted for, that they have since made solemn Resolutions never to be guilty of it again; thus having in his Reign of Thirty six Years brought the [Page 182] Kingdom into such a flourishing Condition, as it had not seen in many Ages, and entail'd a Crown upon his Family, in which it still continues: He left it to his Son

Erick, 1559. who was thereby hin­dred from prosecuting his intend­ed Voyage to England, with hopes to marry Queen Elizabeth: He Reigned Nine Years, Five of which he kept his Brother Iohn close Prisoner, upon Suspicion of his designing to supplant him, as he finally did, but not before Erick his making a Peasant's Daughter his Queen, and by several cruel and dishonourable Actions had lost the Affections of all his Subjects; so that he was with­out much difficulty deposed, and condemned to a perpetual Prison, where he ended his Life. Upon [Page 183] his Deposition, the Crown came to

Iohn III.1568. notwithstanding the States of the Kingdom had enga­ged their future Allegiance to King Erick's Son, that he had by the Queen before Marriage. The War with Moscovy, which be­gan in King Erick's time, about Liefland, was carried on by this King with good Success, and se­veral Places taken; to which not only Muscovy, but Poland and Denmark also pretended; for as the Knights Templers had trans­ferr'd their Right to Liefland up­on Poland; so the Muscovites had agreed to deliver it to Magnus, Duke of Holstein, the King of Denmark's Brother; in considera­tion of a small Acknowledgement to the Czar of Muscovy, as the Supream Lord: So that Four [Page 184] great Nations claimed this Coun­try at once, which possibly might facilitate the Suedish Conquests.

This Prince's Reign was disquiet­ed by his Attempt to alter the E­stablish'd Religion, in which he made considerable progress; but was sometimes in doubt, whether he should endeavour an Vnion with the Latin or Greek Church; to the former of which he at last declared himself; but could not prevail with his Subjects to follow his Example. He kept his Bro­ther Erick Ten Years in Prison, and then thought it necessary for Safety to have him poyson'd, ac­cording to the Advice which it is said the States of the Kingdom had given.

His Brother Magnus did not Minister any Cause of Suspicion, being disturbed in his Brain, and [Page 185] uncapable of having any De­sign.

But his Brother Charles gave him sufficient occasion of Jealousie, and it was not without great diffi­culty, that things were kept from coming to an extremity between them.

After a Reign of Thirty six Years King Iohn died by the Fault of an ignorant Apothecary, there being then no Physicians in Sueden; to him succeeded his Son

Sigismund, 1592. whose Mother was Catharine, a Princess of the Ia­gellan Family in Poland: To which Crown, Sigismund had been Elect­ed Five Years before his Father died: His Brother Iohn was in his Minority; so that his Uncle Charles had the Government of the Kingdom, till Sigismund came [Page 186] from Poland to be Crowned in Sueden; which was not till about a Year after his Fathers decease. His Coronation was retarded some Months, by the Difficulties that arose about the Points of Religi­on, and the Confirmation of Pri­viledges: All which were at last accommodated, and the King af­ter a Years stay in Sueden, return­ed to Poland, leaving the Kingdom in great Confusion, which daily encreas'd.

So that at his return some Years after,1598. he was met by his Uncle at the Head of an Army, which defeated the Forces the King brought with him. Whereupon an Accomodation being patched up, he returned to Poland, leaving his Uncle to manage the Go­vernment. Which Post he held, till the States being weary of Sigis­mund, [Page 187] and having in vain brought him to consent to his Son's Ad­vancement to the Crown, which his Brother Iohn also refused: They conferr'd it upon his Uncle Charles the 9th, who thereby be­came engaged in a War with Po­land, as he was already with Mus­covy; 1604. the Scene of both being in Liefland, where the Suedes lost Ground, till the Affairs of Muscovy fell into such Confusion, that they were forced to give Sue­den a Peace, that they might have its Assistance against the Poles and Tartars; which was granted upon Terms very advantageous for Sue­den, and sent under the Conduct of Count Iacob de la Gardie, who did Muscovy great Service; but the Muscovites failing to perform the Conditions stipulated, he broke with them, and took the [Page 188] City of Novogrod, and disposed the Inhabitants, with others of the Neighbouring Provinces, to desire Prince Charles, (Phillip, the King's younger Son) to be their Czar; which was so long in treating about, that the Opportunity was lost.

The Year before this King's Death a War broke out with Denmark; in which State he left the Kingdom to his Son

Gustavus Adolphus, 1611. who ha­ving ended the War with Den­mark, by the Mediation of Iames the 1st, of England, applied him­self to that in Leifland and Mus­covy: To the Borders of which he sent his Brother, not with an In­tention to procure his Establish­ment in that Throne, which he ra­ther aimed at for himself; But to in­duce the fortified Places adjacent to [Page 189] Finland and Liefland, to accept of Suedish Garisons in Prince Charles Phillip's Name, which succeeded in a great measure, till another was chosen Czar; with whom, af­ter various Success on both sides, a Peace was concluded by the Me­diation of England and Holland; by which Sueden, besides part of Liefland, got the Country of Inger­manland, and the Province of Kex­holm, with several fortified Places, and wholly shut out the Muscovites from the East Sea.

The Polish War, that had some short Intervals of Truces, was of a longer continuance, and no less beneficial to Sueden; which, in the Course of it, took Riga, and all other Places the Poles had in Liefland, except only one Fort, and thence carried the War into Prussia with the like Success, till [Page 190] at last by the Interposition of England, France, &c. a Truce was concluded for six Years.

This gave Gustavus leisure to engage in the German War, to which he was both provoked by the Emperour, and encouraged by others. The Year following he began that Expedition, and on Iune 24. arriving in the Mouth of the Odor, he Landed his little Army that consisted of Sixteen Troops of Horse, and Ninety two Companies of Foot, making a­bout Eight Thousand Men, which, besides other Additions, was aug­mented by Six Regiments of Eng­lish and Scotch under Duke Hamil­ton, but more by the King's incre­dible Success.

[Page 191] Upon his first approach Stetin and all Pomerania fell into his Hands.Sept. 7. 1631. The Year following ha­ving joyned the Elector of Saxony, he gave the Emperour's Army under General Tilly, a total Overthrow near Liepsig: Whence he traver­sed Franconia, the Palatinate, Ba­varia, &c. till the next Year at the Battle of Lutzen (where his Army was again victorious) he was treacherously kill'd, (as 'tis believed) by Francis Albert, Duke of Saxon Lawemburgh; not only to the great Joy of the Imperia­lists, but of France and other his Friends, who envied and feared the farther Encrease of his Great­ness. By his Death the Crown fell to his Daughter,

[Page 192] Christina, a Princess of Five Years old, in whose Favour her Father had gained the States of the Kingdom to alter the Heredi­tary Vnion, as 'tis stiled, which restrained the Succession to the Male Line. In her Minority the Chancellor Axel Oxenstiern had the Direction of the Suedish Af­fairs in Germany; where the War was prosecuted with variety of Success, but much to the Advan­tage of Sueden; which was possest of above a Hundred fortified Places, and had an Army exceed­ing 100000 Men, when Prince Charles Gustave was Generalissimo. A little before the Conclusion of the Treaty of Munster, by which Sueden obtained for its Satisfacti­on, the Dukedoms of Pomerania, Bremen and Verdeu, with the City of Wismar, and a Right of Session, [Page 193] to Vote in the Diets of the Empire, and Circle of Lower Saxony, as al­so the Sum of five Millions of Crowns. The Queen had for se­veral years entertained a Resolu­tion to quit the Crown, which she at last effected, and after ha­ving procured Prince Charles Gu­stavus, to be declared Hereditary Prince (whom the States would gladly have had the Queen mar­ried, but neither he nor she were inclined to it) with much Solem­nity she divested her self of the Crown, and released her Subjects from their Allegiance, which the same day was conferred up­onJan 6. 1654.

Charles' Gustavus, who the year following made War upon Poland, to revenge the Affront done to him, in protesting against his Ad­mission to the Crown; his Pro­gress at first surprized not only [Page 194] Poland, but alarm'd all Europe; for in three Months time he had taken all Prussia, except Dantzick; a great part of Lithuania, the Ci­ties of Warsaw, Cracaw, and other places in the Greater and Lesser Poland. Most of the People of those Provinces swearing Allegi­ance to him, as being Deserted by King Casimir, who was fled into Silesia, but this Career of Prosperity did not long conti­nue; the first Consternation be­ing over, the Poles were as ready to fall from him, as they had been to embrace his Party; besides, the Emperour, Moscovy, and Hol­land, became his Enemies, as also Denmark; which gave the King of Sueden an honourable Occasi­on of quitting Poland, where he could not long have subsisted; having therefore left his Brother, Prince Adolph, Governour of Prussia, [Page 195] he hastened to Denmark, which he soon reduced to a necessity of Buy­ing Peace at the price of the Pro­vinces of Schonen, Halland, and Bleaking, which was concluded in the following Spring, but broke out again in few Months.

The King of Sueden unexpect­edly Landing an Army the fol­lowing Summer in Seelandt, 1658. where he took the Castle of Cronenburgh at the Entrance of the Sound, but had not the like Success at Copen­hagen, which was besieged and stormed in vain; and being the following Summer relieved by a Fleet from Holland, the Siege was turn'd into a Blockade, and con­tinued so till Charles Gustave, having by his bold and successful Attempts in six years time drawn upon Sue­den the Enmity of almost all Europe, was taken away by a Feaver, and left the Crown to his Son

[Page 196] Charles XI. the present King,1660. whose Ministers obtain'd Peace with Poland, Moscovy, the Emperour, Brandenburgh, Holland, and Den­mark, upon Honourable Condi­tions, which continued till it was interrupted by the late War; of which an Account has been given already.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.