Alla inlägg av Sara Azzam

Cecilia’s Album: Josefine Stenbock (Uggla) – A 7-year-old in Edgren’s boarding school

In 1840, at the age of 7, Josefine Stenbock was sent to Stockholm to live with Pastor Johan Fredrik Edgren and his wife Lovisa Dethmar and to attend their school. She lived with the Edgren family for four years (1840-1843).

Tack för hvar stund jag med dig delat,
Tack för hvar dag jag haft med dig
Om någon gång jag mot dig felat,
Glöm mina fel, men glöm ej mig.

(Thank you for every moment I shared with you,
Thank you for every day I had with you
If ever I have wronged you,
Forget my faults, but don’t forget me.)

(Similar versions of this poem can also be found in older texts.)

Josefine Stenbock

Josefine belonged to a very old, noble family in Sweden. Her full name was Baroness Josefina Albertina Charlotta Fredrika Lovisa Stenbock. She was born 7 May 1833 at Torsjö estate in Solberga parish in Skåne. Her father, Count Magnus Albert Carl Gustaf Arvid Stenbock, was a chamberlain at the royal court and had also been an adjutant to the crown prince. Her mother was Countess Jeannette Margareta Hamilton. Josefine had five brothers (three of which died young) and one sister.


In 1857, Josefine married Chamberlain, Count Jacob Fredric Theodor Uggla and settled at Sillsjö (Selesjö) manor (close to Rejmyre) in Skedevi parish in Östergötland.

The following year, their daughter, Margareta, was born. For some reason, she was born at Jacob Fredric’s childhood home, Stora Djulö in Stora Malm’s parish in Södermanland).

Then in 1859, Josefine gave birth to a son, Carl Otto Knut Theodor. The young family lived at Sillsjö for 5 years. In 1862, they moved to Näringsberg in Västerhaninge parish. Näringsberg was owned by Josefine’s parents.

Näringsberg (Source)

Two years later, in 1864, at the age of 34, Jacob Fredric made a trip to France.

In Paris, he visited a photographer (Alophe) at 35, Boulevard des Capucines to have his picture taken. Interestingly, it was at this address that another famous photographer, Felix Nadar, also had a studio. In 1874, Nadar lent his studio to the newly formed group of impressionists for their first exhibition.

Count Jacob Fredric Theodor Uggla (1829-1864) at 35 Boulevard des Capucines in Paris . Source

The ultimate destiny for the trip was Dax in south-west France. Dax was famous for its hot springs and was the first established spa in France. Many visited hot springs to cure diseases. Was that the reason for his trip? Did he have tuberculosis? Jacob Fredric died while at Dax, only 34 years old.

Josefine also visited a photo studio – but in Stockholm. Unfortunately, there are no dates on the photos.

Countess Josefine Albertina Charlotta Fredrika Lovisa Uggla (born Stenbock) (1833-1881) Source

Josefine was now a widow at the age of 31 and with two young children, 5 and 6 years old. She would have to move in with some family members. In 1865, the little family moved to Klafreda (Klafreström, Klavreström) in Nottebäck parish. Josefine’s brother, Albert Magnus Olof Abraham Stenbock owned half of Klavreström’s iron mill. Josefine and her two children would live with her brother’s family in the beautiful old manor until 1869 when she moved to Copenhagen.

Klavreström Manor (Source)

Josefine died in Copenhagen in 1881 at the age of 48.

Josefine’s daughter, Margareta Charlotta Johanna Fredrika did not marry and died in 1943.

Margareta Charlotta Johanna Fredrika Uggla (1858-1943) Source

Josefine’s son, Carl Otto Knut Theodor, emigrated to USA and changed his last name to Hamilton (after his maternal grandmother). He married, had 6 children, and died in 1933. According to genealogy sites, he became an artist (painter) and lived in Brooklyn, NY.

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Cecilia’s Album: Augusta Rütterskjöld – A French Poem

Augusta Rütterskjöld was 16 years old when she sat down to copy the following lines on a card for Cecilia Koch’s memory album.


L’amitié vient du ciel habiter ici bas
Elle embellit la vie et survit au trèpas

(Friendship comes from the heavens and dwells below
it embellishes life and survives death)

The poem is actually the last stanza of a longer poem, “Même Sujet” by Desmahis, a famous French poet who lived in the 1700s. It might have been included in a French poetry book that the girls studied in school.

Augusta Rütterskjöld

Augusta Rütterskjöld was one of Cecilia’s (and our Augusta Söderholm’s) friends. They had been in the same confirmation class and they had just celebrated their first communion (Jacob Parish, May 1844). They all, most likely, also attended Edgren’s school. Augusta was 16 years old and lived in a large house at Regeringsgatan 66. She had lived in the house since she was born. Augusta was the youngest of the Rütterskjöld children. Her older siblings were Lovisa 21, Adelaide 19, Jaquette 18, and Ewert 17.

Her family was well connected in Stockholm but her father had left them after mismanaging his wife’s inheritance. It was Augusta’s mother and her relatives who cared for the children. The family history is documented in an earlier blog entry about Augusta (Augusta Mariana Rütterskjöld and her Absent Father).

Jaquette Rütterskjöld

I was wondering if any of Augusta’s sisters might also have given Cecilia a memory card. Were there any cards that had been signed simply by a first name or initials that might match any of her sisters’ names? There was one. It was a memory card by a friend who had also copied a short French poem and who had signed it using her initials, J…e. It was probably signed by Augusta’s sister Jaquette.

Awhile ago, I also wrote a blog entry about Jaquette and her aunt, Netta Dimander: Who was Mrs. Dimander?

The Poem

The poem from which Augusta copied the last lines can be found in the following book, published in 1835: The French Reader’s Guide; or, Miscellaneous Selections in Prose and Verse from the Best French Authors of the two last Centuries, and from the Most Distinguished Writers of the Present Day.  It is available online.



Visiting Tyresö Palace – the Home of Louise, Emma, and Adèle Rudenschöld

Kerstin and I have been visiting castles this week. There are so many castles we wanted to visit since we were last together, 3 years ago.

One of those castles is Tyresö, a palace built in the 1630s and the childhood home of Augusta’s friends, the Rudenschöld sisters. I wrote about the three sisters, Louise, Emma, and Adèle earlier this spring – imagining them running through the paths of the huge park all the way down to the waters. The palace is located on a hill overlooking an inlet of the Baltic. The blue waters are still, protected by tall trees lining the shores. Ducks swim peacefully around the water reeds and water lilies.

Now we are on our way to Tyresö and we look forward to walking the same paths around the palace and under the old trees in the park.

As soon as I catch a glimpse of the church at Tyresö, I recognize the drawing by Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld (either the sisters’ father or grandfather – they had the same name).

Tyresö Church and Palace. Drawing by Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld.

The palace gardens are as serene as I remember them. We walk down to the waters and over the little bridge to the fishermen’s cottages. On this lovely Sunday afternoon, lots of families are picnicking on the island or just strolling around. I can imagine Louise, Emma and Adèle strolling there with their maids.

We finish the day with a lunch in the palace. The highlight of the lunch is the view of the courtyard from the second-floor windows. I imagine the three sisters sitting by the window and looking down on carriages that pull up in front of the palace entrance, wondering who is arriving…

Kerstin at the palace doors

You can read more about Louise and Adèle Rudenschöld’s lives at the links:

Cecilia’s Album: Louise Rudenschöld (Stenhammar) – A Childhood at Tyresö Castle

Cecilias’s Album: Adèle Rudenschöld – Princess Eugénie’s Maid of Honor

Following Lotten Westman to Skånelaholm

Today, we are finally going to visit Skånelaholm Castle. Two winters ago, before the pandemic, I wrote about Augusta’s friend Lotten Westman’s visit to Skånela parsonage and Skånelaholm Castle:

Lotten Westman’s visit to Skånela parsonage and Skånelaholm Castle

You can get to Stockholm’s international airport either by train or by car. Either way, you will pass Rosersberg, a small community northwest of Stockholm.  In the winter, there will be stretches of snowy fields, small farms in the distance, and dense evergreen forests. It would look like a Christmas card.

If you are going by train from Stockholm, you would get off at Rosersberg and take the connecting bus 577. That is how you get to Skånela Church and Skånelaholm Castle. I have never taken the bus and never visited the places. But now it is on my list for next summer’s excursions! (That was my thought before the pandemic changed all plans)

The reason?

I just can’t let go of an image of a teenage girl, dressed in a warm wool dress with layers of petticoats and shawls, practicing target shooting with a pistol in the castle garden or sledding down some slope, shawls flying. And in the evening, dressed in a silk ballgown, dancing in one of the castle’s halls.

“My dear Augusta!

Thank you, my dear friend, for your long-awaited letter; you will not be angry with me for letting you wait a few mail-days for an answer. I have been thinking of writing to you each mail-day, but as you see, this has not happened. This Christmas has been the nicest one I can remember. First, we spent the Christmas holiday or, rather, the Christmas days as usual with our family. Then we traveled out to the countryside, to Pastor Schröderheim, where we spent 14 days – the most pleasant days you could ever imagine. We went to several balls at the neighbors, we went sledding, and in the evening, when we were at home, we sat in Uncle’s room and read aloud. I learned to shoot with a pistol and to drive a horse. On the way home I drove 10 miles* and then the whole length of Drottninggatan [Queen Street] all the way to our door. (Lotten’s letter to Augusta, Stockholm, February 9, 1847).”

Augusta’s friend, Lotten Westman, was a wealthy city-girl. She was born and raised in Stockholm. Lotten and her sister Clara lived with a foster mother after becoming orphans. But the sisters had many aunts and uncles in Stockholm and distant relatives in the countryside. Those were the families they visited during the holidays.

Pastor Göran Ulric Schröderheim was one of them. He had married his cousin, Anna Charlotta Westman, and both were also Lotten’s father’s cousins. Schröderheim had been a pastor at the Royal Court but was now pastor at Skånela Church north of Stockholm. He and his wife had two sons, Göran and Johan.

“The pastor’s wife is a very decent, but ordinary woman. The sons, the lieutenant and the student, are also decent, especially the latter who was my real favorite. He is the most cheerful and kindest man you can imagine. Because we had had such a happy and fun time there, the first days after my return were so quiet, and I especially missed my favorite.”

Lotten liked Johan who was a student in Uppsala. He would in1858 marry his neighbor at Skånelaholm Castle, Hedvig Lovisa Juliana Jennings.  The same neighbors whose balls Lotten had attended.

Johan Schröderheim later in life
Hedvig Jennings Schröderheim

“Let’s see if we can get back there this summer. Then, with nature in all its splendor, it must be glorious, for even now during the winter it was sincerely pleasant.”

Did Lotten go back in the summer?

Our visit to Skånelaholm

Kerstin and I have picked a glorious day to visit Skånelaholm. We are going by car. Our dresses fill up the entire front seats. I wish Lotten could see us.

We connect my iPhone to the Apple CarPlay in the dashboard and ask Siri for directions. She answers in English even though we are in Sweden. Estimated arrival time is 4 pm. Unfortunately, that is the time that Skånelaholm castle closes for the day. Maybe we can make it before closing?

The winding road through large fields of oats and flax is delightful with their hues of green and blue. Lotten would have loved it. But how would she have described travelling in a car – the comfortable seats, the speed, and the air conditioning?

The last hundred meters of the road to the castle is lined with tall trees. Then we see the most beautiful little pink castle! It is 5 minutes before closing. We park and dash to the office located in one of the wings. Of course, we will not be able to tour the castle this time, but we chat with the women in the gift shop and buy ice creams. We are more than welcome to explore the gardens and the park, and we promise to come back again.

And then we are alone by the castle. We stroll through the park where Lotten would have practices pistol shooting and then find some chairs by the lake where we can sit and eat our ice creams.

Yes, Lotten, with nature in all its splendor, Skånelaholm is a glorious place!

Cecilia’s Album: Louise Rudenschöld (Stenhammar) – A Childhood at Tyresö Castle

In Cecilia’s memory album, there is a beautiful drawing of a chapel by a lake. The drawing is signed, Louise Rudenschöld.

I assume that Louise copied a print, maybe of a chapel in the Dolomites (based on the architecture of the chapel and the mountains in the background).

Louise Rudenschöld

Eva Christina Lovisa (Louise) Rudenschöld was born on October 4, 1828, at Hinderstorp, a large estate south of Lidköping. Her parents were Count Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld and Countess Augusta Charlotta Lovisa Stackelberg. Louise had two younger sisters, Emma Augusta Ottilde, born 1830 (also at Hinderstorp), and Adèle Marina, born 1832 at Tyresö castle.

Louise’s maternal grandparents, Count Carl Adolf Ludvig Stackelberg and Eva Sofia Adelsvärd owned Hinderstorp where the family lived. They then bought a magnificent castle, Tyresö, southeast of Stockholm. Now, the extended family moved to Tyresö, where they attended their first church service in Tyresö parish in May of 1832.

Tyresö Slott

Louise was 3 ½ years old. Her early childhood memories would have been from Tyresö: running through the huge rooms of the castle, maybe being scared of the portraits on the walls, walking under fragrant linden trees in the expansive park, and maybe playing with a little dog.

In May of 1838, the family moved to Stockholm. Why did they give up their opulent lifestyle (yes, the number of servants in the household, listed in the church records, is mind-blowing, as are their titles or tasks) for an apartment in Stockholm? Maybe it was because of Louise’s father’s position as a chamberlain. Maybe they missed social life. Louise was now 10 years old.

The year Louise gave Cecilia the memory card, the family lived in Jacob’s parish at Malmskildnadsgatan 32. That’s where the shopping center Gallerian is located today.

Going to School

Did Louise and her sisters attend Edgren’s school? I know that Louise’s sister Adèle did (she will get her own story told in a separate blog entry). One would assume that all three sisters attended Edgren’s school and were friends with Cecilia and our Augusta.


Louise married architect Per Ulrik Stenhammar (b.1829) in 1858. He designed Ersta Chapel in Stockholm and some other churches. He was also a composer of both sacred and secular music and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. The couple had (at least) 5 children. Two have their own Wikipedia pages – Ernst and Wilhelm.

Ernst Wilhelm Emanuel (1859-1927)
Anna Cecilia Augusta (1860-1909)
Christina Lovisa Gabriella (1862-1934)
Johan Samuel (1867-1872)
Carl Wilhelm Eugen (1871-1927)

Louise Rudenschöld with one of her sons

Wilhelm Stenhammar

The youngest child in the family was Wilhelm. He was musical prodigy.

Dinner with Countess M. Leijohufvud, together with Lieutenant Adolf von Koch, his Baroness, Mrs. L. Stenhammar, and others. In the afternoon music, among others by the young, 7-year-old Vilhelm Stenhammar, who improvised and played so extraordinarily well that those who had not heard him before, must be amazed at what they rightly called him “a prodigy”. Yes, in truth it may be said here – what may become of this child?” (Diary entry on 2 April 1878 by Pastor B. Wadström).

Wilhelm grew up to be a famous composer and pianist. He composed the music for a national anthem – a song called Sverige (Sweden), that is played on Swedish Radio at midnight every New Year’s Eve.


Louise was raised in a deeply religious family. Her father was one of the founding members of The Swedish Evangelical Mission Society (Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen). Pastor Wadström, who wrote the diary entry above, was a spiritual mentor to Louise’s grandfather. In his book From Memories and the Diary – Notes from the years 1848-1898 (Swedish: Ur Minnet och Dagboken – Anteckningar från åren 1849-1898), Wadström also included writings in his memory book by his friends. Lousie, her parents, her sisters, and her husband, all contributed to Pastor Wadström’s memory book and Louise even made a drawing.

Artistic Talent

Louise, her sister Adèle, their father, and their paternal grandfather were all hobby artists. Louise specialized in portraits and made drawings and watercolor paintings. Adèle was a sculpturist. Their  father made landscape drawings and oil paintings while their grandfather made landscape drawings.

Oil Paintings of Tyresö Castle by Louise’s father, Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld 1867. (Source: Uppsala Auktionskammare)

According to Uppsala University Library, the following drawings were made by Louise’s grandfather (who had the same name as her father, Thure Gabriel). These drawings of Tyresö were supposedly made in 1820-1830. Could they actually be drawings by Louise’s father? Nevertheless, they are beautiful drawings.


Louise lived a long life and died in Stockholm in 1902. Her diary from 1884-1899 and some correspondence with her family members can be found in Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Archive.