Name: Sven SKUTE
Given Name: Sven
Change Date: 30 Jan 2004
Death: ABT 1665 in Schuylkill plantation 1 2
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
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.
BET NOV 1650 AND FEB 1654
in Sweden 3
- Sven SKUTE b: 1653 in Sweden
- Johan SKUTE b: 4 SEP 1654 in Fort Trinity (New Castle)
- Christina SKUTE
- Magdalena SKUTE b: 25 MAR 1660 in New Sweden (Pennsylvania)
- **Gertrude GARRETSSON
- Abbrev: Caroline Cook
Title: Caroline Cook, Email CarBurCo
- 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).
- Abbrev: Bill Holt
Title: Research of Bill Holt.