Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Wednesday 12 April 2023 11.00 - 13.00
K-2 ELI02b Manors and Modernity. Ownership, Economy and Landscape c1750 to c1950 II
B44
Network: Elites and Forerunners Chair: Yme Kuiper
Organizers: Martin Dackling, Brita Planck, Göran Ulväng Discussants: -
Moderators: -
Martin Dackling : Nobility, Land and Political Power in Nineteenth Century Sweden
The route to modernity for the nobility and the manors of Sweden began early in the nineteenth century. Two legal reforms in 1810 underline the changes: the right for anyone to possess all kinds of landed property, and the prohibition against new entailments. A third reform may be added: ... (Show more)
The route to modernity for the nobility and the manors of Sweden began early in the nineteenth century. Two legal reforms in 1810 underline the changes: the right for anyone to possess all kinds of landed property, and the prohibition against new entailments. A third reform may be added: the reform of the rules to gain nobility, §37 in the Constitution of 1809, and the political consequences of this decision. Together these three changes created new conditions for the nobility, their capability to possess land and manors, and their political influence. It was in many kinds a presage of the major political reforms of 1866, when the four-estate Diet – in many ways led by the estate of the nobility –was transformed into a modern parliament with two chambers. In this perspective, it is important to note not only that the discussions over the new conditions were sharp within the nobility, but also that the estate of the nobility voted in favor of the new rules of 1810. The proposal to abolish the monopoly on exempt land (frälsejord), making it possible for anyone to possess all kinds of land, was in fact initiated by members of the nobility. At the same time, there were proposals in the opposite directions, as a suggestion in 1829 to establish hereditary family seats for the nobility. In these debates, the question how the nobility should be related to land and manors was crucial.

In my paper, I will discuss the sketched development, how it was debated within the nobility, and how the connection between a landed nobility and political power was reshaped during the 19th century. (Show less)

Brita Planck : Why did Mary have to marry Matthew? Deeds of Entail in 18th Century Sweden
Fee tail have been an important motive in British popular culture for a long time. In many of Jane Austen’s novels, the inheritance of an entail and the lack of male issue is the very center of the conflicts and it is also the preamble for the BBC success series ... (Show more)
Fee tail have been an important motive in British popular culture for a long time. In many of Jane Austen’s novels, the inheritance of an entail and the lack of male issue is the very center of the conflicts and it is also the preamble for the BBC success series Downton Abbey. As a consequence, many Swedes are fairly familiar with fee tail in Britain, while the fact that this is also a Swedish phenomenon and that Sweden is the only country where fee tail still remain in force is less known.
My presentation will focus on the deeds establishing a fee tail. Central questions are of course who established a fee tail and why. According to Wikipedia “The fee tail allowed a patriarch to perpetuate his blood-line, family-name, honour and armorials in the persons of a series of powerful and wealthy male descendants”. This is without question the result of fee tail, but was it also the intention? This is more disputable. It is not unusual with female founders of an entail, and more commonly the husband and wife both signed the deed rather than just the husband. While male primogeniture was by far most common, there were other setups for succession of an entail, and more importantly, it was more the rule than the exception that the testaments stated that in case that there were no male heir, the (eldest) daughter should inherit that estate. Reconnecting to Downton Abbey: In Sweden, Cousin Peter may have been the heir, but since he died at the very beginning of the series, Downton Abbey would probably have gone to Mary, and she would not have had to marry Matthew to keep the estate.
In my presentation I will primarily address three aspects of the Swedish deeds of entail. First: the succession. Who would inherit the fee tail? Secondly: compensations. Swedish inheritance law stated that all issue should inherit; while entailment was permitted (with special regulations), the idea that just one heir should have it all, ran counter to the Swedish sense of justice. Thirdly: regulations. In what ways did the founder(s) try to control the heir and so to speak, “rule beyond the grave”? (Show less)

Göran Ulväng : Entailed Manors in Sweden – Numbers, Owners and Size 1750 to 2020
The aim of this paper is to discuss the role of the entailed manors in Sweden in a long-term perspective. The position of the landed elite has varied between states, but in general they had a strong political and economic position until the early 20th century, based on the ownership ... (Show more)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the role of the entailed manors in Sweden in a long-term perspective. The position of the landed elite has varied between states, but in general they had a strong political and economic position until the early 20th century, based on the ownership of land. Strengthened by the commercialization of agriculture and even industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were forced to gradually share political power with others. The late 19th century became a turning point with the agricultural crises together with the democratization process which brought increased taxes and land reforms, as well as a dissolution of noble privileges such as entailment.

In Sweden entailment of property was made possible by the law of 1686, which can be seen as a compromise to compensate for the loss of land many noble families made when the Crown withdraw land, previously given to them before 1680.

Entailed manors were uncommon until the mid1700s, probably because most aristocratic families still possessed huge estates and had rather few surviving children as well as many childless siblings and cousins, which enabled them to keep the manors in the family. Until 1789 and 1810 the noble families also had the exclusive right to one third of the land, land which was comparatively cheap when sold on the market, since there were few competitors.

In 1789 the noble families` exclusive right to noble land ceased and in 1810 the right to establish new entailments was prohibited, as a result of the actions of the king as well as non-noble merchants, burghers and freehold farmers.

Between c1750 and 1810, nearly 300 entailments were established, an overwhelming part of them in aristocratic families (counts and barons), consisting of around 450 manors and town real estate. In this way nearly 15 per cent of all manors and probably around 20 to 25 per cent of all noble land, were locked-in within the families for generations. It took until 1964 before the government decided to dissolve the entailments, but with the intent to do it gradually. Today seven entailed manors still remain.

Until now the number of entailed manors, their owners and their size have been rather unclear.
In the three year project Entailed Manors in Sweden, data has been collected from all entailments, many of them rather small and unknown until now, and then compared to a wider set of data on all manors in Sweden as well as the changes in the general ownership of land in the country. Preliminary results show on one hand that the role of the entailments shouldn´t be underestimated, as they were the primal reason why the aristocracy could prevail as land owners and keep their position. In areas with no or few entailed manors, noble families owned almost nothing in the early 20th century, while they in entailed-dominated areas could possess half of the land or more. The reason for this was that owners of entailed manors benefited hugely from the fact that they were the sole heirs to the land, and using the surplus to expand the property by buying neighboring manors. On the other hand, many of the smaller entailments, owned by noble or non-noble families, were dissolved already in the 19th century. In times of decline, with low prices on grain or iron, the entailment became a burden. Some of them were divided among the heirs, others moved the entailment to a town real estate. (Show less)



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