Alexander Erskein and Scottish Networks in the duchiers of Bremen and Verden after 1648

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Abstract

After the Peace of Westphalia (1648) a number of Scottish officers and soldiers continued in their important roles in Swedish military, administrative and diplomatic service. It is therefore not surprising that we find some Scottish commandants and administrators in the duchy of Bremen, a territory formally acquired by Sweden through the stipulations of the Westphalian peace treaty. This contribution analyses their activities within the Swedish military and administrative apparatus. In particular, it seeks to evaluate to what extent the Bremen Scots remained interested in the turbulent political events in the British Isles of the late 1640s and early 1650s and poses the question if they were directly or indirectly attached to a network of Stuart supporters that operatered in Northern Europe. The high-ranking commissioner and later president of the Swedish government in Bremen, Alexander Erskein, constitues a very interesting case in this context. Born to Scottish parents in Greifswald (Pommerania), Erskein spent most of his life within Swedish service. Although he did almost certainly not visit the country of his parents it is possible to demonstrate that his Scottish origin mattered to him at certain times. The following survey not only analyses Erskeins Scottish roots but also examines his links to men like Patrick Ruthven who sought support for the Stuart monarchs Charles I. and Charles II. In doing so it contributes to our understanding of the role of Scots within the Swedish military and civil administration, their identity and the strength of the Stuart network in Northern Europe.
Original languageGerman/Deutsch
Title of host publicationFriedensordnung und Machtpolitische Rivalitäten
Subtitle of host publicationDie schwedischen Besitzungen im europäischen Kontext 1648 bis 1721
EditorsBeate-Christine Fiedler
PublisherNiedersächsisches Landesarchiv
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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    Zickermann, K. (2019). Alexander Erskein und die schottischen Netzwerke in den Herzogtümern Bremen und Verden nach 1648. In B-C. Fiedler (Ed.), Friedensordnung und Machtpolitische Rivalitäten: Die schwedischen Besitzungen im europäischen Kontext 1648 bis 1721 Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv. https://www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-7591