Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt 1757-1814
Although Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt looks a
little bit like Richard Simmons here, he was
in fact very Swedish and a skilled diplomat. His king,
Gustav III of
Sweden, sent him on many diplomatic missions, some of which
introduced him to
of Russia. Gustaf Armfelt became a valued and trusted
counselor to the Swedish king.
Armfelt had his hands full because the
Swedish nobility hated King Gustav's guts and their next move was
predictable as a wet powder keg.
The Russo-Swedish War
of 1788 - 1790
Sweden had declared war on Russia in 1788
and Armfelt represented his country at the peace negotiations and the
signing of the
Värälä in 1790.
Watching Over Gustav
Gustav the king trusted Gustaf the
diplomat immensely. And rightly so because Gustaf Armfelt was a
When in 1792 Gustav the king got himself shot in the
opera house, in took him two weeks to die. The king used this time
to arrange his
affairs. One of his provisions was the appointment of Gustaf Armfelt
as the guardian of his 13-year-old son. The king also promoted Armfelt as
a member of the government council.
Later in 1792, wee Gustav became king
Gustav IV Adolf and his uncle Charles,
the former king's brother,
aka the duke of Södermanland, lead the country in his name.
Furthermore, Charles felt perfectly able to look after the young
king himself and wanted Armfelt out of his sight.
And so it happened that Gustaf Armfelt,
instead of becoming a member of the government council,
was made Swedish ambassador to Naples. A long long way from home.
Not So Sure About
Officially, Charles ruled for King
Gustav IV until the latter would be old enough to take it from
there. But Armfelt was not convinced. He was pretty sure that
Charles had his own set of ambitions and deemed him capable of
wiggling young Gustav completely out of the picture.
Gustaf Armfelt's righteous soul was troubled.
After all, he gave his word to look after the king's son. This would
include fighting for the boy's rightful chair, the throne.
Naples, Italy, the diplomat Armfelt sent a text message to
Catherine II in Russia. He asked her to flex some military
muscle that would scare his people at home back on track and boost
the authority of young King Gustav.
This scheme was discovered and now
Armfelt's life was in danger. The queen of Naples, which was
Napoleon's baby sister Caroline, helped
Armfelt escape to
When Gustav IV finally had enough power, he restored Gustaf Armfelt's status
from wanted dead or alive to trusted diplomat.
In 1802, Armfelt was
assigned a new post. This time he would be the Swedish ambassador to
Vienna, which was a little bit closer to his home country.
In Vienna, Armfelt spoke up against
Austria's foreign policy toward
Bonaparte, which got him fired.
His next job was commander in chief of
all Swedish forces in Pomerania. And here's a map of Pomerania in
POMERANIA IN 1806
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
In 1809, Sweden lost the Russo-Swedish
War of 1808 and Finland to Russia. Consequently, the Swedes provided their
king Gustav IV with a one-way ticket into exile and uncle Charles
became the new ruler, now Charles XIII.
In 1811, Gustaf Armfelt had had it with his fellow countrymen. He went back to
Russia, became Russian Emperor
Alexander I's new BFF, helped the
Russians to organize Finland, and aided the Russians in their fight against
Gustav Mauritz Armfelt
1757, March 31 - Birth in St. Mårtens, Finland
1781 Appointed diplomat to the king
1788 - 1790
Peace of Värälä
1792 Ambassador to Naples
1794 Escapes from Naples to Russia
1802 - 1804 Ambassador to Vienna
1805 - 1807 Commander in chief of the Swedish forces in Pomerania
1811 Back to Russia
1813 Governor-general of Finland
1814, Aug. 19 - Death in Pushkin, Russia