Letters from Charles XIV, King of Sweden and Norway

Scope and Content

Copies of two letters from Charles John, later Charles XIV, King of Sweden and Norway, dated at Stralsund on 10 Jun 1813, to Alexander I, Tsar of Russia. The first letter was copied from an original in which only the signature was in Charles XIV's hand, and concerns negotiations for a concerted attack on Napoleon, giving details of Prussian and Russian troops ready to serve under Charles XIV. The second latter was copied from a letter written in Charles XIV's hand, and assures Alexander of the need to save Europe by a Russo-Swedish alliance. The copies are possibly in the hand of Alleyne Fitzherbert, Baron St Helens.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte (1763-1844) was a French soldier who rose through the ranks to serve under Napoleon in the Italian Campaign (1796-1797). He was French Ambassador at Vienna (1798) and Minister of War (1799), and played a prominent part in the victory of Austerlitz in 1805. Napoleon created him Marshal of the Empire (1804) and Prince of Ponte Corvo (1806). In 1809, Gustavus IV of Sweden abdicated and was succeeded by his aged and childless uncle Charles XIII. In the search for a successor, the Swedes approached Bernadotte, who, with the support of Napoleon, was elected crown prince and adopted (1810) by Charles XIII as Charles John. Taking control of the government, Charles John, who desired the acquisition of Norway from Denmark, threw in his lot with England and Russia against France and Denmark, and played an important part in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig (1813). In 1814, the Danes ceded Norway in the Treaty of Kiel. Charles John succeeded to a joint kingdom in 1818 as Charles XIV.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

The volume was given to the University of London Library in May 1942 by R. Quinault.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

237 x 186 mm

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

Enclosed in an annotated copy of Charles de Martens' Manuel diplomatique (Paris, 1822), which has pasted into it a slip bearing the name of Alleyne FitzHerbert, Baron St Helens (1753-1839), and includes a transcript, possibly in his hand.

Related Material

University of London MS 831 is bound in the same volume.