En fisk på land – Kapten Erik Alfort

Svenska – English


Från bortom havet – Alfortsläktens historia

Kapitel 2

En fisk på land – Erik Alfort

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021

Kapten Erik Alfort är den förste namngivne medlemmen av den svenska Alfortsläkten som vi känner till, och han är stamfader till alla släktens medlemmar i Sverige. Han hade en mycket händelserik karriär i flottan, där han bidrog – direkt eller indirekt – till flera historiska händelser. Han var med under anfallet på Köpenhamn år 1700 och forslade soldater till det berömda slaget vid Narva senare samma år. En inbjudan till ett barndop förde honom strax därefter till Östergötland, där han träffade sin blivande maka, vars far var en av landets rikaste män. På så sätt säkrades familjens position för de kommande generationerna. Minnet om dopet har bevarats för framtiden i en fascinerande notis där man kan läsa namnen på alla närvarande vittnen. Alla var de framträdande medlemmar av försvarseliten, samlade runt ett litet barn en novemberdag mitt under ett historiskt skede med stora politiska spänningar som skulle bli startskottet för 21 års oavbruten krigföring. Erik avslutade sin militära bana efter att han under en rad år deltagit i ett misslyckat försök att hålla Ryssland borta från Östersjön, då grannlandet i stället lyckats grunda St. Petersburg och erövra stora områden i svenska Ingermanland, som aldrig skulle bli svenskt igen.

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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 fish out of water – Captain Erik Alfort

Svenska – English


From beyond the seas – A history of the Alfort family

Chapter 2

A fish out of water – Captain Erik Alfort

© Esben Alfort 2014-2021

Captain Erik Alfort is the earliest named member of the Swedish Alfort family and ancestor of every Alfort in Sweden. He had an interesting career in the navy where he contributed – directly or indirectly – to several historical moments such as the attack on Copenhagen and the famous battle of Narva. An invitation to a christening brought him to Östergötland where he met his future wife, whose father was one of the richest men in the country, thus securing the Alfort family’s position and fortune for generations. The occasion has been immortalised for us in a fascinating document listing the names of the witnesses, who were all prominent members of the military elite, gathered to celebrate the christening of a child at a historical moment of great tension, which was to be the signal for 21 years of constant warfare. Erik’s military career ended after he participated in a failed attempt at keeping Russia out of the Baltic, leading to the founding of St. Petersburg as well as the loss of a great deal of Swedish territory and of many lives.

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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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