Etikettarkiv: de la Croix

Thou Ancient, Thou Free


The paper, STOCKHOLMS FIGARO, of which the first issue hereby is presented to the public, will be published during the year 1845, every Sunday afternoon, and will be available these days between noon and 2 in the afternoon in Bonnier’s Bookstore at the Bazar, with the entrance on the side.

Well, I thought, what a cool coincident! This year, 1845, was the year when Augusta was a debutante and coming out into society, which meant going to balls, and attending concerts and the theatre. This brand new weekly magazine sold itself as an artistic and belletristic Sunday paper. It would have articles about art, literature, and theatre both in Sweden and abroad. Subscribers could also look forward to a monthly extra insert – a small poster of a famous singer or dancer or of the latest fashion. Or the insert could be musical notes for some new or popular piece of music that one could then learn to play on one’s pianoforte.

The Stockholm Figaro, December 1844

So where could I find copies of this weekly magazine? First I learned that the magazine was short-lived. It was only published in December of 1844 through the end of 1847. But that was perfect; Augusta’s late teenage years. Then I found out that the magazine was only available at Sweden’s Royal Library (Sweden’s library of congress). And you would have to order it and read it at the library.

This morning, I was at the library as soon as they had pulled the books from the archives. It was exciting to open the bound copies of the 175-year-old magazines.

But with a total of 3 years x 52 weeks x about 7 pages each, I would have to look at 1092 pages. That meant looking at, not reading. I decided to quickly scan for interesting topics and also to take pictures of the weekly column called “What’s New?” (Hvad Nytt?). It seemed to be a summary of literary, musical, and theatrical news in Stockholm.

The monthly inserts were also interesting. I can imagine young girls (and guys) framing the portraits of young beautiful actresses, dancers, and singers.  And then there were the music sheets. You could be the first one to learn the Tivoli Gallop or the aria from the opera The Black Domino!

Poster of the top 5 singers in Stockholm in 1845

But there was also a piece of sheet music with the title of Swedish Folksong from Jemtland. The text started with “Thou ancient, thou free” (Swedish:  Du gamla, du fria).

Du gamla, du fria (Thou ancient, Thou free)

What? This is the beginning of the Swedish National Anthem!

I looked at the whole page and both the melody and the text were that of the Swedish National Anthem. Had I missed this in some history class – that our national anthem was actually a Swedish Folksong that got a new text in 1845?

When I got home, I did some research.

The national anthem was written by Richard Dybeck in 1844 to the music of a folk melody that he had heard in his home province and is actually considered to be a ballad from the middle ages. The song with Dybeck’s text was first performed in Stockholm at a soirée at Kirsteinska Huset in De la Croix Salon on the 13th of November 1844. The soirée was advertised by Richard Dybeck as an Evening Entertainment with Nordic Folk Music. It turned out to be a success. It was an almost sold-out performance and the King and the Queen were in attendance. Was Augusta also there? It is possible.

The song became popular, which is probably why it was included as an insert in the Stockholm Figaro a year later (16 November 1845).

Over the years, this song has just become the Swedish national anthem even though it has never formally been declared as such.

This topic was not what I thought I would learn about today, but sometimes research isn’t a straight road – it’s more like taking a scenic bypass.

Princess Lovisa arrives in Stockholm 15 June 1850


“In February 1850, I returned to Stockholm in the company of Mother and Lejdenfrost.

 I was forbidden to dance, and when I did not spend my evenings with Ekström or the Bohemans, which was often the case, one could be sure to find me at some concert at de la Croix Salon or in a lodge at the Grand Opera House.

In the spring, the Bohemans came down to the Kirsteinska Garden in the afternoons with their work. I was usually the lecturer, but often we were interrupted during our lectures by the Royal Secretaries Seippel and Strokirk, nicknamed The Inseparables. We then passed the evenings quite merrily in conversation and laughter.

 After having been completely drenched at Biskopsudden on the 15th of June and viewed all the finery at the engagement ceremonies, I accompanied the Bohemans and Hildegard to the steamer Linköping on a chilly, rainy morning on which they departed for Anneberg. I took a sad farewell of them and, afterwards, prepared myself for my own departure from the capital.”


The engagement and subsequent marriage of Crown Prince Charles (the future King Charles XV) and Princess Louise (Lovisa) of the Netherlands must have been the social event of the year. Princess Louise and her family arrived at Biskopsudden in Stockholm by the steamship Gefle on 15 June 1850. The major newspaper, Post- och Inrikes Tidningar, reported that even before noon, a large number of Stockholm’s inhabitants had gone to the landing site and to other areas through which the royal highness would pass on her way to Haga Palace.

And among those was Augusta. Yet, in the diary, there is only one sentence about the occasion, and it only describes how she got drenched and no other details. There is not even a mention of the 12-carriage cortège making its way to Haga. Nothing about the sounds of canons and of people cheering. How did she get to Biskopsudden, who accompanied her, and how was she dressed for the occasion?

Fortunately, there were 3 lithographs made of the occasion: the arrival of the princess (the feature picture above), the cortège with the prince riding next to the carriage with the princess, and the arrival of the princess at the royal palace in Stockholm for the wedding on 19 June 1850 (all by A. Weidel).

The Royal Family’s cortège from Biskopsudden to Haga the 15th of June 1850 (Lithograph by A. Weidel)
Karl XV and Lovisa’s arrival at the Royal Palace the 19th of June 1850 (Lithograph by A. Weidel)










Footnotes and Sources
Ekström and Bohemans:
Carl Henrik Boheman (1796-1868) was a Swedish professor of entomology. He had five children (age in 1850): Hildegard (24), Hildur Linnea (21), Carl Hjalmar (16), Ernst Henrik Georg (14), and Carl Rudolf Helmer (3). The family resided in Adolf Fredrik’s parish but also had an estate, Anneberg, located in Gränna community and on the northeast shore of Lake Ören. The estate is still in the family.

In 1850, Hildegard Boheman was already married to Carl Henrik Rudolf Ekström who later became a province governor. By the time of this diary entry, they had 3 children: Carl Henric Hjalmar (b. 12 Oct 1847), Anna Karolina Amelie (b. 16 Oct 1848), and Hildegard Sofia Christina (b. 14 Dec 1849).

Kirsteinska Garden (Kirsteinska Trädgården):
The garden was located in front of what is now the Central Train Station in Stockholm. It was popular among young people and provided outdoor concerts and other events.

Seippel and Strokirk:
Augusta misspelled Seippel as Zeipel in her diaries. In published records, Seipel (with one p) is also used although the correct spelling was Seippel. Otto Wilhelm Seippel (1820-1899) was 29 years old at time of the diary entry. He later had the title of ”kansliråd” and married Christina Maria Svensson. One son, Otto Bernhard Seippel (born 04 June 1854) , is listed in the taxation records.

Wilhelm Theodor Strokirk (1823-1895) was 27 years old in 1850. He appears in several places in Augusta’s diary as does his future father-in-law.