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Military History/Swedish soldier's regiment?


QUESTION: Hello. I have a Swedish soldier in my ancestry. He was in the Svea Lifgardes Livbataljon between 1770-1792.
He then served as the regimental music director of the Kinnevald regiment from 1792 until his death in 1814.
I am curious what regiment of King Gustav III was the assassin Captain Jacob Johan Anchorstrom in from 1778 to 1783?
I believe there were also Norra & Sodra Bataljons in addition to the one my soldier belonged to.
My soldier was: Sergeant Lars Bredberg (1750-1814).
Don Olsson
Louisville, KY USA

ANSWER: Nice to see that he was in my regiment where I have been chief medical officer for 15 years. The Royal Guards is a mixed infanty (mechanised) & cavalry regiment (1 batallion each) and it is at present the oldest still existing regiment in the world. Not even the Swiss Guard of the Pope can break that record since that guard does not have an uninterrupted history. My regiment was founded on the 14th of January 1521, the same year Cortez conquered Mexico and 255 years before the Declaration of Independence. In less than 7 years I hope to participate in its 500 years of history celebration. It has always been a regiment that guards the security of the King. But it does other things too. For several years now it has participated in the NATO led operations in Afghanistan. To help you with this I will consult with my friend Lt. Col. S. Bojerud. Col. Bojerud is a well known military historian and knows the history of the regiment - and other things - very well. He has also been both company commander and batallion commander in the regiment. After I have discussed this with him I will come back to you. OK? I am also glad that you spell your family name the correct way wit 2 s meaning the son of Ol(e). So the first s is the same as 's in English. We will also check out Capt. JJ Ankarstroem's (Ankarstroem = Anchorstream) history.

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have learned from another source that Anckarstrom was in the Svea Lifgarde in 1782 but in a different company than Sergant Lars Bredberg.
From a book on Sweden by Franklin Scott, he wrote that some 40 people were arrested as co-conspirators. Were those names ever made public? If so, any source?

Some were made public not all. Only Ankarstroem was punished (executed by hanging, had his right hand hacked off and his body quartered) but many others - not all - had to flee the country (which at that time included both modern Sweden & modern Finland - they were one single country for around 700 years from early 12th century to 1809). King Gustav III did not die at once from his gun shot wound. He lived on for 2 weeks and died of a wound infection. Today he would probably have survived. During these 2 weeks the crime was vigorously investigated by the Royal Police Comissioner of Stockholm Lilliesparre. He used surprisingly modern methods. The killer had dropped 2 handguns on the crime scene. Both had been fired and 2 shots had been heard. It was obvious that one of the guns had recently been repaired. So Lilliesparre brought in ALL gun smiths of Stockholm and and asked who of them had done the repairwork. One of them recognized his work and could tell that it was Captain J. J. Ankarstroem who had ordered the work and paid for it. But the investigation found a big conspiracy where many prominent people were involved. Ankarstroem was a rather minor figure in it. More or less a willing tool. The king's son was a minor so the king's younger brother Prince/Duke Carl stepped in as a caretaker when the king died. He immediately put an end to any further investigations. Why is a mystery. We can speculate that maybe he himself too was involved in the conspiracy or at least had sympathy for it. What is known is that he did have different political opinions from his brother the king. The conspiracy members were mostly members of the higher nobility (barons & counts) who opposed the king's political power position. The king's position was more accepted by the gentry but above all by the priests, the city burghers and the peasantry, the groups that together with the House of Lords (Riddarhuset) which represented the nobility formed the parliament. Ankarstroem was indeed an officer of the Royal Guards (at that time called His Majesty's Guards on Foot (Hans Majestaets Lifgarde till fots, the name was changed in 1792 to Svea Lifgarde)). However Ankarstroem married a very wealthy lady in 1783 and immediately left the Guards as a captain (company commander). To learn more about the murder of king Gustav III make a Google search of it!

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THANKS! It was common that the regiments got a large number of recruits with the same names (Andersson, Karlsson, Svensson etc) which made it difficult to single them out. In those times these names were patronymic ones, meaning that their fathers' names were Anders, Karl & Sven). The British Royal Navy had the same problem. There numbers were added to the names to keep them apart. In Sweden instead "military" names were handed out in the Army, Navy & Marines like Svaerd (= Sword), Skoeld (= Shield), Tapper or Modig (both mean brave) or Rask or Kvick (both mean Quick). Bredberg (= Broad/Wide Mountain) is decidedly more uncommon. Recruitment was done on provincial level uner the command of the governor of the province as the representative of the king. So that process was actually outside the Army. In these papers only his birth name would appear since his military name was given to him in the army regiment not earlier. Later both names (birth & military) would appear in the earliest military documents but probably not at this time. But they should exist on province level. Today I visited the Royal Defence Academy where I have studied military history after I retired. I discussed your question with professor Lars Ericson Wolke, Ph.D. who was my military history professor. He suggested that you should ask for help of the archive of the province of Västergötland (Länsarkivet), it is located in the second city of Sweden Gothenburg (Göteborg). I do suggest that you ask for help of the Swedish embassy in Washington D.C. The embassy has a home page of its own and Google can quickly find it for you. There you should ask the military attaché and/or the cultural attaché for help to search for your ancestor's birth name in "Länsarkivet i Göteborg". You have so much information on him so they should be successful! Good luck!

You can also reach me at:
There is no limit to the number of questions there. Please note: NEW SITE!

Donations are also always welcome! No amount is too small, no amount is too big!

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.


I`m a retired Swedish military physician-surgeon with a big interest in military history - mainly European and especially of the Nordic-Scandinavian area. This also includes the history of military medicine.


A very long and intense personal interest.

Doctor of Medicine. You can also find me here on under these categories: I also answer questions in other categories: Oncology (General Cancer), General History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer

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