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  • ID: I1622
  • Name: Sven SKUTE
  • Prefix: Captain
  • Given Name: Sven
  • Surname: SKUTE
  • Sex: M
  • _UID: D121B9D734444F4CADE65D046F99D29AFDDF
  • Change Date: 30 Jan 2004
  • Note:

    Lieutenant Schwenn Schute (Sven Skute) is listed in a 1648
    document as one who came to New Sweden with Gov. Printz in 1643.

    Lt. Sven Skute was placed in command at Fort Elfsborg. (A
    footnote in Dr. Johnson's book says his name in Swedish was Swann

    In 1650 Skute was sent to Sweden and Holland with letters and
    reports. In 1651 he reported to the Queen of Sweden in Council
    Chamber. Lt. Sven Skute reported that as a whole the colony of New
    Sweden was prosperous, but that there were too few colonists. In 1653
    Lt. Skute was appointed to hire soldiers and laborers and to prevail
    on others to go as settlers on this, the Tenth Expedition. He
    returned with these people on the ship, the Orn. He was appointed
    "captain of the landspeople." When Rising took over leadership of the
    colony, Skute was named his assistant to rule "under the authority of
    Her Royal Majesty and the Crown of Sweden."

    In 1654 Skute was officially commissioned commander of fort and
    military affairs. The budget lists Commandant Sven Skute.

    Between 1653-1654 Skute received a donation of land in New
    Sweden from the Crown: "Passayunk . . . (and part?) of Kinsessing.
    Skute worked all summer to superintendent strengthening of old and
    building of new ramparts. Work was delayed by the illness of Skute
    and others. When he was forced to surrender the fort to the Dutch,
    charges were brought against Skute as commandant by the Swedes.
    However he was found to have acted honorably. The Dutch allowed the
    officers to remain after swearing a new oath of allegiance to Holland,
    and Skute's deed from Queen Christiana was confirmed by the Dutch.

    Sven Skute and Jacob Svensson appear on a list of "undesirable
    citizens" as they held "secret conferences" with Indians, being looked
    on with suspicion "because the Indians often came to the homes of the
    Swedes, and were, as usual, well received.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Notes from Caroline Cook:
    There are several references to a Schute, Schuter, Skute, or
    Shute family with several Svens in Delaware Co., Pa during the time of
    the Swedes. The records can be found at the Swedish Museum in
    Philadelphia and at Gloria Dei Church.
    THE HISTORY OF DELAWARE COUNTY by George Smith, M.D. says (p54):
    1649: Passayunk was given by the crown to the Commandant Swen Shute.
    At that place there was a fort called Kersholm. After Gov. Printz's
    departure for Sweden, it was abandoned and afterwards destroyed by the
    Ibid. p. 59: On the 20th of Aug. Queen Christina granetd to the
    "Brave and courageous Lieutenant Swen Schute and to his wife and to
    his heirs a tract of country in New Sweden viz. Mockorhutleykyl as far
    as the river together with the small island belonging thereto, viz.
    the island Karinge and Kensessing Comprehending also Passumning.
    Another listed source: The 1693 Census of Swedes on the
    Delaware, "Family histories of the Swedish Lutheran Church Members
    Residing in Pa., De, West NJ and Cecil County, Md. 1638-1693" by Peter
    Stebbings Craig. J. D. Fellow, Am. Soc. of Genealogists (SAG
    Publishers, Winter Park, Fl, 1993). This reference has a description
    of the "mutiny" at the forts, and what happened under Gov. Rising when
    Gov. Stuyvesant brought ships up the Delaware. It also includes
    history of Ft. Triniton, Ft. Christina, and Ft. Casimire at Newcastle,
    Delaware. (This is the source that Caroline Cook gives for the vital
    statistics on Sven, his wife and children, and Anna's parent.)
    In 1656 Sven Skute was Capt. of the Militia. He died about 1665,
    survived by his son John and 3 known daughters.

    * * * * * * *

    Notes from Bill Holt:
    Sven's parents were not of the upper class. His commission as
    Captain calls him "noble and brave" in contrast to Gov. Rising's
    commission issued the same day, but using the adjectives "noble and
    Sven must have been far better educated than Peter Rambo or Peter
    Cock, since his instructions for the voyage back to New Sweden (issued
    Dec. 13, 1653) included: "to keep a diary of the journey" and to
    "make an inventory of the goods, provisions and the mail matter,"
    submitting both in multiple "signed" copies.

    Notes from Dr. Craig:
    Sven Svensson Skute, a veteran of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648),
    was the highest-ranking official to remain in New Sweden after its
    surrender to the Ditch in 1655. Prior to his coming to New Sweden
    with Governor Printz in 1643, Sven Skute had served as a lieutenant
    with the Abo and Bjorneborg County cavalry. Of Swedish parentage, he
    came from Kronoby in Finland and was married to Anna Johansdotter in
    Sweden. On his first trip to New Sweden, Skute left his bride behind.
    She took residence at Nasby in Dingtuna parish, Vastmanland, and,
    with his brother Jacob Svensson, is reported to have collected money
    from his wages while he was in America. Lt. Sven Skute's salary was
    substantial by contemporary standards. He earned 40 guilders per
    month, four times the wage of common soldiers and company workers.

    After arriving in New Sweden, Lt. Sven Skute was assigned the task of
    supervising construction of Fort Elfsborg in present Salem County, NJ.
    He was still there in 1644 when he fired on, and boarded, Governor
    Winthrop's ship from New England. In 1648, his name was prominent in
    leading the Swedish soldiers who barred Dutch settlement near Fort
    Beversreede on the Schuylkill River. In the summer of 1650, Governor
    Printz ordered Sven Skute to return to Sweden with letters to plea for
    more assistance for the colony. He arrived in Stockholm in early
    November 1650. In March 1651he secured an audience with Queen
    Christina and reported that there were only 70 men remaining in New
    Sweden and that more settlers and supplies were desperately needed.
    Queen Christina was slow in responding to this plea. Finally, in
    August 1653, instructions were issued to Sven Skute to find 250 new
    settlers for the colony. Skute was also well rewarded for his past
    services. She promoted him to be a captain and on 20 August 1653, she
    issued him a patent for extensive lands in present South and West
    Philadelphia. Skute immediately left on an extensive recruiting trip
    through Vasteras, Varmland and Dalsland and recruited more settlers
    than the next ship, the Eagle, could carry. The ship, under the
    command of the new Governor, Johan Rising, left Gothenberg 2 Feb. 1654
    and arrived at St. Christopher in the West Indies on 16 April 1654
    when Skute went ashore to obtain fresh fruit and water. On 20 May
    1654 the ship reached Fort Elfsborg, which was found ruined and
    deserted. On the next day, the ship reached Fort Casimir (present New
    Castle). Skute led three squads of musketeers ashore and they easily
    captured the fort, without resistance from the Dutch who were out of
    gunpowder. In June 1654 Skute presented Queen Christiana's land
    patent to Governor Rising for confirmation. Rising, however, was
    unwilling to allow Skute to occupy land which had been previously
    settled and developed by freemen for the previous decade and
    ultimately ruled that it was dependent on his confirmation, which he
    never gave.

    Many historians, beginning with John F. Watson, have erroneously
    assumed that the patent issued by William Penn to the three Swanson
    brothers at Wicaco was a confirmation of land owned by their father,
    Sven Skute, under Queen Christina's 1653 patent. These Swanson
    brothers were the sons of Swan Gunnarsson, not Sven Skute. Sven Skute
    and his wife, Anna Johansdotter, made their home at the former Dutch
    Fort Casimir which had been renamed Fort Trinity after its capture.
    Here Skute assumed the difficult task of rebuilding the
    fort. He also served on Governor Rising's Council which governed the
    colony and heard court cases. On 30 August 1655, Governor Peter
    Stuyvesant of New Netherland appeared in the Delaware with seven armed
    ships and 317 soldiers. The outnumbered Swedish forces recognized
    that fighting was useless. Their 50 soldiers were divided between two
    forts. Captain Sven Skute surrendered Fort Trinity on 1 Sept. 1655
    and Governor Rising surrendered Fort Christina two weeks later. After
    the surrender of New Sweden, Governor Stuyvesant agreed to allow the
    Swedes to retain their lands north of the Christina River and to
    establish their own government. This new "Swedish Nation," later
    known as the Upland Court, was established in 1656. Remaining at Fort
    Casimir (New Castle) under Dutch rule became intolerable for the Skute
    family. They sold their lots and grain in the spring of 1656 and
    moved to the west bank of the Schuylkill River, on the northeast side
    of Kvarn Kill (Mill Creek), adjacent to Hans Mansson's Aronameck
    plantation, in the vicinity of present Woodlands Cemetery. There is a
    1658 Dutch reference to "Sven the miller," which is probably a
    reference to Sven Skute's occupation in his forced retirement. He
    also, however, was captain of the militia for the new "Swedish
    nation." Captain Sven Skute died at his Schuylkill plantation c.
    1 2
  • Death: ABT 1665 in Schuylkill plantation 1 2

    Marriage 1 Anna JOHANSDOTTER
    • Married: BET NOV 1650 AND FEB 1654 in Sweden 3
    1. Has No Children Sven SKUTE b: 1653 in Sweden
    2. Has Children Johan SKUTE b: 4 SEP 1654 in Fort Trinity (New Castle)
    3. Has Children Christina SKUTE
    4. Has Children Magdalena SKUTE b: 25 MAR 1660 in New Sweden (Pennsylvania)
    5. Has No Children **Gertrude GARRETSSON

    1. Abbrev: Caroline Cook
      Title: Caroline Cook, Email CarBurCo
    2. Abbrev: Sven Skute by Craig
      Title: Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig, Captain Sven Skute SWEDISH COLONIAL NEWS, Volume 1, Number 8 (Fall 1993)lume 1, Number 8 (Fall 1993).
    3. Abbrev: Bill Holt
      Title: Research of Bill Holt.
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