Scots and the Swedish state : diplomacy, military service and ennoblement 1611-1660
This thesis re-evaluates the nature and impact of seventeenth-century Scottish-Swedish relations, as regards military, diplomatic and noble involvement during the Thirty Years' War and in terms of Scottish domestic political developments between 1638 and 1660. The innovative Scotland, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, 1580-1707 database forms an integral part of the statistical analysis comparing the significant Scottish military presence in both the Swedish army and navy to the paucity of English and Irish involvement. Sweden's re-emergence as an independent nation capable of militarily subduing and economically influencing Europe in the seventeenth century is traced from its early sixteenth century role as a minor northern dependent of the Scandinavian Kalmar union. This is contrasted with Scotland's gradual merging with England in a regal union where opportunities for social advancement, particularly through ennoblement, were reduced and new positions were sought abroad. Scottish success in entering the highest ranks of Swedish society is linked to the development of a strong and influential Scottish network in Sweden. With the waning of royal authority experienced in Sweden and Scotland during the second half of the 1630s, the nobility of both states grew very powerful. Scottish officers such as Alexander Leslie, Patrick Ruthven and John Cochrane returned to Scotland during the British civil wars and became linchpins of Scottish-Swedish contacts. The Gothenburg-based Scot John Maclean also helped to organise military support for various campaigns, from the Covenanters through to the later Stuart fight to re-instate Charles II to his British kingdoms. The return of monarchic power under Kristina in Sweden, and the rise of Cromwell and the power of the English Parliament in the Stuart kingdoms, had a detrimental impact on Scottish-Swedish relations. Despite this the Scottish network retained a pro-Stuart bias, and even in the region of Karl X, when direct Swedish relations with Scotland were restricted largely to military recruitment, Stuart support was still a motivating factor. However, by the restoration of Charles II the major characters involved in the heyday of Scottish-Swedish diplomatic relations had died or retired from political activities, and Sweden's attention remained firmly focused on the London-based power source of the Stuart kingdoms.