Etikettarkiv: Hjort

Cecilia’s Album: Axelina Fries (Fock) – A lock of her hair

Axeline Fries was 14 years old in May of 1844. When she sat down to write a card for Cecilia Koch’s memory album, she had already decided on her favorite poem. She knew it by heart.

Måtte nya blommor smycka,
Hvarje dag du möter än.
Intet saknas i din lycka,
Helgad utaf vänskapen.

(Literally translated as:
May new flowers adorn,
every day that greets you
Nothing lacking in your happiness
sanctified by friendship)

She made sure that her letters were perfectly lined up on the card and she underlined friendship (vänskapen).

But she wanted to give Cecilia something more and something personal.

A lock of her hair.

She gathered a few strands of her long, straight, brown hair and then, with her embroidery scissors, made the cut. She twisted the lock into two circles, like a pretzel, and tied it with a strand of red embroidery floss.

Two years later, her friend Cecilia died of measles and Axelina’s message would not bring any personal memories to those who read it. Now, 178 years later, I feel like I am finding a message in a bottle.

Who was Axelina? What did she look like? Did she marry? Did flowers adorn every day that greeted her?

Axelina Maria Magdalena Fries

Axelina was born in Malmö on September 5, 1829. Her father was Bengt Fredrik Fries (b. 1799), a professor of zoology who in 1831 became the curator of the Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. His wife, Axelina’s mother, was Anna Christina Lundberg (b. 1804).

Anna Christina Lundberg (Professor Bengt Fredrik Fries’ wife). Drawing by Maria Röhl, 1846.


Professor Bengt Fredrik Fries

Axelina had two younger sisters, Josefina Helena Gustafva (b. 1831) and Ida Maria Elisabet (b. 1834).

Axelina’s father died suddenly in 1839. In 1842, the family moved to Clara parish and to the house at the corner of Stora Vattugränd and Clara Östra Kyrkogata. It was the same house where Charlotta Lindström’s family lived (Charlotta, who also wrote a card for Cecilia’s album). The situations of the two families, Fries and Lindström, were similar. The fathers in both families were professors who had 3 young daughters when they suddenly died in their 30s.

Josefina and Axelina Fries in 1846. Drawings by Maria Röhl.

Axelina marries Baron Alfred Henrik Edvard Fock

“You probably already know that Axeline Fries is engaged to a Baron Fock, but they will not marry yet. He is awfully much smaller than her, it does not look very nice. When she takes his arm, he disappears right under her red coat.” (Lotten Westman’s letter to Augusta, March 6, 1848)

It was well known that Baron Alfred Henrik Edvard Fock was unusually short in stature. A friend of Alfred Fock, Fritz von Dardel, referred to him as “little Fock”.

“I had been asked to speak, but I instead persuaded little Fock to do it and he succeeded much better than I should have done.” (Fritz von Dardel describing a visit by industrialists and artists to thank Crown Prince Oscar for his support).

Alfred Fock. Drawing by Fritz von Dardel

Alfred Fock was born in 1818 in Bjurbäck, close to Jönköping. When Axelina met him, he was a lieutenant and a teacher of physics in Stockholm. He would later leave the military and become a professor of physics at the Technology Institute in Stockholm; nowadays the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He also became a member of parliament.

Alfred Fock

Axelina and Alfred got married on February 24, 1849. They had five children:

Anna Magdalena ”Malin” (1849-1933), did not marry
Axel Fredrik (1852-1878), did not marry
Carl Alexander (1854-1938), married Huldina Beamish
Gertrud Maria (1856-1856), died in infancy
Ida Lovisa Josefina (1864-1914), married John Edvard Magnus Sager

In the winter of 1858-59, Axelina and her two sisters visited Maria Röhl again. These are the artist’s quick sketches. She focused on the faces at these sessions.

Axelina, Josefina, and Ida Fries. Sketches by Maria Röhl.

A new home at Hantverkargatan 18, Kungsholmen

In 1851, the family moved to Hantverkargatan 18 (block Fikonträdet). They lived there until the end of the year 1856.

The address seems familiar, and in the house examination records, I recognize the names of Augusta’s childhood friends from Krusenhof in Kvillinge parish: the Hjort family. This is the house Augusta visited on her trips to Stockholm in the 1850s. And this is where she lived when she was ill with tuberculosis and was treated by Dr. Pehr Henrik Malmsten, a famous doctor in Stockholm. Augusta must have run into Axelina when she visited the Hjorts and when she stayed with them.

Augusta describes her visit to the Hjorts in her diary, March 12, 1851.

“The day after our arrival, we waded through quarter-deep dirt to our friends on Kungsholmen, where we were warmly received, had a pleasant evening and reminisced about our winter evenings at Krusenhof.

Aunt and Nanna have a small sunny and nice home, in the middle of a garden that extends all the way down to the lake shore. In the summer, this little place must be a real paradise where you have flowers and light, fresh air and Lake Mälaren’s blue surface and verdant islets to rest your eyes on, as well as the most magnificent views of Riddarholmen and Söder and, over all, the steamships that from different directions rush to their common goal – Riddarholmsbron.”

Axelina’s Grandchildren

Axelina died on October 9, 1888, in Stockholm. That should probably be the end of this blog entry – one about a young, happy girl who wrote a lovely poem to her friend and gave her a lock of her hair.

But there are at least two of her grandchildren who should be mentioned. Axelina’s son, Carl Alexander, and his wife Huldina had 5 daughters: Fanny, Elsa, Mary, Carin, and Lilly.

My Memory of Axelina’s Granddaughter Mary

I actually have a memory of Axelina’s granddaughter.

I am around 5 years old and we are celebrating midsummer at Rockelstad Castle in Helgesta parish. I only remember two things: my parents dancing in a crowded place, and the old countess, who lived in the castle, giving me a large, shiny coin, maybe a 2-crown or 5-crown coin as a prize in a game organized for the kids. I curtsy politely as expected of me. It feels like a fairy tale, getting a shiny coin from an old countess who lives in a real castle.

Countess Mary von Rosen was Axelina’s granddaughter. She was born in 1886 and married Count Eric von Rosen (b.1879) in 1905. He was a pilot, an ethnographer, and the owner of Rockelstad Castle.

When I was a child, our family spent the summers at Ådö in Helgesta parish not far from Rockelstad Castle. There were lots of stories about Eric von Rosen, of his travels, parties, hunting trophies, etc. That is all I knew.

When I searched for Axelina’s granddaughters, I learned that Eric von Rosen died in 1948 and his wife in 1967. I guess she wasn’t as old as I thought she was when I was little.

Axelina’s Infamous Granddaughter Carin

Mary’s younger sister Carin married nazi-leader Hermann Göring in 1922. He was working as a commercial pilot in Stockholm after World War I and knew Eric von Rosen (also a pilot). Carin was visiting her sister Mary when she met Göring at Rockelstad. The couple moved to Germany in 1922 and became high-profile members of the nazi party. Carin died before World War II in 1931, at the age of 42, from a heart attack. Hermann Göring’s war crimes are well documented.


Axelina’s sisters Josefina and Ida never married.
The poem Axelina copied is an anonymous poem. It was published in a book in 1857.
All drawings by Maria Röhl are available at




The country side is so wonderful at this time of the year

”The country side is so wonderful at this time of the year.”

Augusta described her country surroundings in the spring – the blue sky, the song of the larch, the warmth of the sun – and Kerstin and I decided that after a winter of research, we should do an outing to Augusta’s home.

Loddby. Ink drawing by Sara Azzam.
Loddby as it might have looked in 1847. Ink drawing by Sara Azzam.

Augusta lived at Loddby, an estate located just outside Norrköping. Her brother-in-law, Gustaf Lejdenfrost, was a textile-mill industrialist who had bought the estate in 1832. Our first stop will be Loddby and its surroundings.

Lejdenfrost’s textile manufacturing was in Norrköping, so the next stop will be the old industrial sites and the city museum.

And then there is Krusenhof where Augusta’s best friends lived. We will visit and see what is left of what might have been there in the 1840’s. The house has been rebuilt and maybe only some very old oak trees might still be there. But, we will at least get the feeling of a country walk in spring time.

Further away, close to Söderköping, is where Augusta’s cousins, the Schubert family, lived and where Augusta met her future husband. It will be exciting to see the estate and meet the present owners.


We will also visit Åtvidaberg and find out more about Augusta’s best friends, the family Hjort. And that is one of the most rewarding aspects of Augusta’s Journey so far – new Facebook friends, old friends, and family members who share our excitement about the journey! We are really looking forward to exchanging information about Augusta and her friends with others who have a similar interests and have other archives.

Stay tuned to our travel log next week.

0h! Everything is difficult, everything changes.

Louis Apol
Passing Through a Forest in Winter  Oil Painting by Louis Apol

Loddby, 2 September 1850

This week we have been at Krusenhof and said goodbye to Eric. Our trips to this, my second childhood home, have begun again ever since my friends at Krusenhof [the family Hjort] have once more gathered in their home. How the road is dear to me and how well I know every single rock and every bush; they are all my acquaintances and each could tell me of events from the golden days. The large poplars by the gate still nod a friendly welcome just as they did 14 years ago when they, for the first time, greeted my 9-year-old self.

Even now, I receive the same friendly welcome at my entrance into the great hall with the old clock in the back and I am still met with the same heartfelt welcome. Nothing has changed, except that the former children have now grown up; that one or another frosty night has touched the roses that – 14 years ago – were mere buds on the path of life – some of them have withered and fallen off; and that the shimmer of light that surrounded those present and those forthcoming, for each year has faded and disappeared. But as a whole, all is still familiar. Every year, the large cherry tree still offers us its abundance of cherries. The small benches on the hill still offer us shade, cool, and rest. The small sofa in study, where we in the dim light spent so many an autumn evening in talk and laughter, still invites more of the same pleasures. My God! How long may it remain so!

Loddby, 9 September 1850

Yesterday was a melancholic day, one of those gray, cold, autumn days that so greatly affects one’s spirits. A day when one would like to have wings to fly far, far away, not knowing where to, but to escape the memory of all the bitter and sad moments in one’s life that during such moments feels overwhelming and which, one at a time, march past the eye of the soul.

One of those days when one thinks that the curtain concealing the future is more impenetrable than usual, when it hangs so dark, so heavy, and so cold, in front of events that one envisions as even gloomier and darker, and when one feels cheated of one’s illusions, cheated of the dream of one’s life. And all these gloomy reflections, they arose yesterday from the notification that the scene of my childhood games, the dear old Krusenhof, was sold.

And the friends?

They bid farewell to the old Qvillinge parish, where we together have had so many experiences – both happy and sad moments. Forever they bid farewell to the places that have seen us grow up. No more Sundays will I travel the old, familiar road; never will I expectantly gaze up at Smältgrind and there notice the old, familiar carriage that for 14 years, every other Sunday, turned by Aspdungen and, with its dear content, stopped at Loddby. There is no one left to entrust one’s sorrows and joy to, no one to communicate with. Here will be so empty, so lonely that I don’t even want to think about it, because then I might be ungrateful enough to complain about Providence which, nevertheless, certainly prevails for the sake of good.

Loddby, 20 December 1850

The family Hjort has left. Krusenhof stands empty, and I felt empty, very empty, when I bade the dear friends my farewell. It is as if death has robbed me of a loved one, and the very memory of the 15 happy years we have lived here together is painful, as it only serves to increase my bitter regret. It is so strange to think that yonder, in my second home where I dreamed so many happy childhood dreams, now other indifferent and unknown people will live and think, treading the ”happy fields, where I walked so many times,” and suffer and rejoice in the same places that so often saw our tears and laughter. It is so empty and strange to not be able to travel there and hear some kind words from dear, familiar lips.

Oh! Everything is difficult, everything changes on the earth where we live. Both joy and sorrow accompany us through life and are alternately our guests but, perhaps, the latter is the most faithful, the least erratic, the one we know best, and the one that most often visit us; that is likely how it has to be.

Stockholm, March 12, 1851

Contemporary watercolor of Stockholm by Fritz von Dardel

Since Saturday evening I am here in Stockholm, our Swedish Paris, the dance-hungry’s Eldorado. Our journey here was miserable; unfavorable road conditions for the sleigh and grey, chilly weather. We ate bad food and slept miserably in cold, unpleasant lodgings, chatted with drunk coachmen, drank mulled wine, and finally arrived frozen and exhausted to our nice and beautiful Stockholm where we took in at Hotel Norrköping on Stora Nygatan. The day after our arrival, we waded through deep dirt to get to our friends on Kungsholmen where we became heartily received, had a pleasant evening, and dreamed us back to winter evenings at Krusenhof.

The view of Riddarholmen and the Old Town as seen from Kungsholmen. Augusta would have walked across the bridge; however, it was still March, so the lakes would have been frozen and the trees would have been bare.

Tante and Nanna have a small, sunny, and agreeable dwelling in the midst of a garden that extends right down to the lakeshore. In the summer, this little place might be a real paradise with flowers and light, fresh air and the view of Lake Mälaren’s blue surface, lush islands, and beaches to soothe the eyes, and glorious views of Riddarholmen and Södermalm and all the steamers that from different directions are rushing to their common goal at Riddarholmen’s quay.

Monday morning I went to visit Ribbingens and Bohemans. They were overly astonished to see me so unexpectedly in the capital city, and in the evening we saw the great opera, ”A Tale of the Queen of Navarre.” There I met Count Figge Schwerin who escorted me home and was quite himself, much disposed to let his lady alone carry on the conversation and himself look like he was sleepwalking.

Mother and I were visiting Ribbingens today where, marvelously, Baron Fredrik happened to keep company and was as decent and agreeable as he can be when he wants to. We departed early, for I had a premonition that Lieutenant Wahlfelt could get the idea to transport his insipid personality to Clara {where Ribbingens lived}, which definitely would not have been pleasant.

We have left Lejdenfrost in the care of Wallenberg and we now traverse to the island of the poppy-crowned god.


The family that Augusta visited at Kungsholmen was the family Hjort. The family had been Augusta’s closest neighbor and the children her best friends throughout childhood. In 1850, the family sold their estate, Krusenhof, and moved to Kungsholmen in Stockholm. The family members were Major Georg Leonard Hjort and his wife, Fredrika Elisabet Älf (referred to as Tante), and their children Aurora, Johanna (Nanna), Axel, and Erik.

Count Figge Schwerin is likely Fredrik Bogislaus (Fritz) von Schwerin who was born in Norrköping in 1825 (close in age to Augusta and from the same town). He was a captain in the army. Later in life, he became a banker, married, and had 2 daughters.

The family Ribbing and Boheman were good friends of the family.

Lejdenfrost was Augusta’s brother-in-law and benefactor.

The island of the poppy-crowned god is a poetic term for sleep – may be alluding to the effect of opium.

The Illumination of Stockholm 9 February 1853

Stockholm, 9 February 1853    

My Dear Adolf:

It is evening and on top of all it is the large and remarkable illumination evening. For the last three days, I have missed my Adolf and in vain waited for you at the usual time; in vain longed, in vain complained, but this evening, yes this evening, there are no limits to my sense of loss and my disappointment. Tonight I am all alone in the house, completely alone with myself, my memories, and a large number of lit candles. Their clear flames do not harmonize with my mood at the moment….

Wood engraving by Edward Gurden Dalziel 1862

I have with resentful glances viewed the artificial sea of light that surrounds me from all directions, been ready to blow out every candle, and sit in the dark….

The family just got home from their outing around town, frozen and frightened by the commotion and crowds. A great many of the displays had failed and they had not managed to see some of the most beautiful illuminations like the Bourse.

Adieu for today, my Adolf, more another time.




During the summer of 1852, King Oscar I was ill. For that reason, the King and the Queen spent time at a spa in Bavaria. Two of their children, Eugenie (age 22) and Gustaf (age 25), visited them. On the family’s return trip to Sweden, Prince Gustaf died from typhoid fever and the King had also contracted the disease. Swedes worried that the King might not survive. When in February the King started to recover, the elders of Stockholm decided to arrange a public celebration in the form of an “illumination”. During this event, voluntary contributions to various charities were also encouraged.

The illumination evening on the 9th of February 1853 started at 6:30 pm with a monumental firework display to the music of Svea Artillery’s Band. Small torches had already been lit to illuminate public buildings and places around town. Many private residences were also illuminated. The most elaborate display was the Bourse while another fascinating display was a pyramid made of 80 stacked barrels of tar. The display attracted a huge crowd of spectators when lit. The illumination displays ended at 10 pm at which time many social banquets started.

But Augusta missed it all. She was seriously ill with tuberculosis and couldn’t go out and see the amazing illumination with the family Hjort.

We are just grateful that she mentioned the illumination in her letter, and that our family kept those letters for future generations. A piece of forgotten history rediscovered.


The Bourse