Svåra tider på Liljeholmen – Erik Alfort och hans barn

Svenska – English


Från bortom havet – Alfortsläktens historia.

Kapitel 5

Svåra tider på Liljeholmen – Erik Alfort och hans barn

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021


Om Erik Alfort kanske inte var någon lämplig man för Maria så är det ingen tvekan om att han hade en hel del gemensamt med sin svärfar Gabriel Gyllenståhl. Båda hade ett hett lynne och en vana att förvänta sig lydnad, och även Erik inlämnade regelbundet stämningar av sina grannar, sitt tjänstefolk och till och med sin dotter Maria Catharina Alfort, som inte fick veta förrän föräldrarna dött att de hade gjort henne arvlös. Erik blev alltmer irritabel, kanske på grund av ekonomiska bekymmer. Det var svåra tider för många, och familjen Alfort på Liljeholmen var inget undantag, men tack vare sonen Gabriel Ahlforts pionjärarbete inom lantbrukseffektiviseringen lyckades de överleva och frodas på de magra jordarna vid Sommen under generationer. Den tredje brodern Carl Henric Ahlfort dog under ett fälttåg i Finland, men innan dess hann han få en oäkta son som adopterades av familjen, så det kan i princip finnas en helt okänd gren av släkten som bara väntar på att upptäckas.

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Envishetens pris – Gabriels döttrar

Svenska – English


Från bortom havet – Alfortsläktens historia.

Kapitel 4

Envishetens pris – Gabriels döttrar

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021

Gabriel Gyllenståhls viljestyrka och vägran att bli motsagd eller åsidosatt var ett drag som ärvdes av hans äldsta dotter Hedevig Margareta Gyllenståhl. Faderns och dotterns vilja var dömda att kolidera förr eller senare, och denna konflikt med dottern påverkade honom överraskande mycket så han försvagades både fysiskt och psykiskt.

En så förmögen man som Gabriel var naturligtvis förberedd på att hans döttrar skulle kunna bli uppvaktade av olämpliga män som endast var ute efter deras förmögenhet, och faktiskt fick ingen av deras tre döttrar okomplicerade giftermål. Hedevig kämpade mot sin pappas vilja, som vi ska få se, och Marias äktenskap med kapten Erik Alfort var allt annat än lyckligt. Erik betedde sig våldsamt och aggressivt mot henne, och deras son Gabriel tvingades mäkla mellan dem när det blev obehagligt. Allt detta var en oerhört stor påfrestning för morfar Gabriels nerver, och han försvagades med åldern. Den tredje dottern Märta hemlighöll sin förlovning medan pappan levde, och det var nog tur det, för han var döende, och fler bekymmer skulle nog ha tagit livet av honom.

Det är högst sannolikt att han var ganska vresig som äldre. Han hade blivit rätt korpulent, och det började hindra honom från att närvara vid möten och delta i viktiga beslut, något som självklart skulle irritera en dominerande man som Gabriel Gyllenståhl och göra hans ålderdom mindre behaglig.

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Difficult times at Liljeholmen – Erik Alfort and his children

Svenska – English


From beyond the seas – A history of the Alfort family.

Chapter 5

Difficult times at Liljeholmen – Erik Alfort and his children

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021


While as we have seen Erik Alfort may not have been a suitable husband for Maria, there is no doubt that he had a lot in common with his father-in-law Gabriel Gyllenståhl. He too had a habit of expecting to be obeyed. He had a hot temper and regularly filed lawsuits with his neighbours, his servants, and even his own daughter Maria Catharina Alfort, who was only told at her parents’ death that they had disinherited her. Erik was growing ever more irritable, possibly because of finansiable troubles. These were difficult times for many, and the Alforts at Liljeholmen were no exception, but thanks to the son Gabriel Ahlfort’s pioneering work in developing more effective farming methods they managed to survive and thrive on the meager soils by the lake Sommen for generations afterwards. The third brother Carl Henric Ahlfort died during a military campaign in Finland, but he had an illegitimate son who was adopted by the family, so in principle there could be an entire unknown branch of the family just waiting to be discovered.


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Life and death on the seven seas – Captain Gabriel Ahlfort

Svenska – English


From beyond the seas – A history of the Alfort family.

Chapter 7

Life and death on the seven seas – Captain Gabriel Ahlfort

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021


Captain Gabriel Ahlfort travelled to Indonesia, India and Mecca, and he knew the shores of Europe better than his home county. He saw some incredible things and had real stories to tell when he returned a wiser and stronger man.


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A self-made investor of the 17th century

Svenska – English


From beyond the seas – A history of the Alfort family.

Chapter 3

A self-made investor of the 17th century – Gabriel Gyllenståhl

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021

Erik Alfort’s father-in-law Gabriel Gyllenståhl is one of the most interesting personalities of his time, and perhaps also a somewhat misunderstood person, as his childhood has recently been shown to have been very different from what had previously been supposed. Indeed, he seems to have been the son of entirely different parents. He married wealth, and had the skill that allowed him to invest cleverly and make more money at a time when money was scarce among the nobility. He eventually achieved nobility for himself, but he never had a surviving son, despite marrying twice, so the line went extinct with his decease. He witnessed some remarkable events, such as an illegal duel which ended in cold-blooded murder and the revenge burning of an entire village during wartime. According to a wide-spread legend he once captured the Danish war chest, which is supposed to have made him immensely rich at a stroke. But are the legends really to be believed?


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The price of wilfulness – Gabriel’s daughters

Svenska – English


From beyond the seas – A history of the Alfort family.

Chapter 4

The price of wilfulness – Gabriel’s daughters

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021

Gabriel Gyllenståhl’s willpower and refusal to be gainsaid or overruled was a personality trait inherited by his eldest daughter Hedevig Margareta Gyllenståhl. The two wills of father and daughter were doomed to eventually clash, and perhaps surprisingly this conflict with his daughter hurt him deeply and weakened him both physically and mentally.

Being such a rich man, Gabriel was naturally aware of the very real risk that his daughters would be courted by a lot of unsuitable men who were only after their money. In fact, none of Gabriel and Maria’s three daughters had uneventful and uncomplicated marriages. Hedevig fought against her father’s wishes, as we shall see presently, and Maria’s marriage to captain Erik Alfort was thoroughly unhappy. Erik became violent and aggressive towards her over the years, and their son Gabriel was forced to act as a mediator between them when things got rough. All of this was an enormous strain on Gabriel’s nerves, and his strength weakened as he grew older. The third daughter, Märta, kept her engagement secret from her family, which was perhaps as well, given that Gabriel was dying at the time, and more worries of that kind might have finished him off on a bad note.

Very likely he was decidedly grumpy in his old age. He had become very stout, and this started to keep him from going to meetings and presiding at important decisions – something which would naturally have annoyed a domineering man like Gabriel Gyllenståhl and made his old age less agreeable.

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