1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Stenbock, Magnus Gustafsson, Count

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

STENBOCK, MAGNUS GUSTAFSSON, Count (1664-1717), Swedish soldier, was educated at Upsala and at Paris, chose the military profession, and spent some years in the service of the United Provinces. Returning to Sweden he entered the army, and in 1688 became major. He served with the Swedes in the Low Countries and on the Rhine, distinguishing himself for skill and courage at Fleurus. During the War of the Grand Alliance he was employed not only in the field but also as a confidential agent in diplomatic missions. Soon afterwards as colonel of the Dalecarlian regiment he led it in the astonishing victory of Narva. He distinguished himself still more at Dünamünde, Klissow and Cracow. In 1703 he fought the successful battle of Pultusk, and three years later, having reached the rank of general of infantry, was made governor general of the province of Scania, which he delivered from the Danish invaders by the decisive victory of Helsingborg. He was a great favourite with Charles XII. in the earlier campaigns, but later the two drifted somewhat apart. It is recorded that the king, before whom General Lagercrona accused Stenbock of drunkenness, replied that “Stenbock drunk was more capable of giving orders than Lagercrona sober.” His activities were not confined to war and diplomacy; the university of Lund was under his care for some years, and he had no mean skill as a painter and a poet. He became councillor in 1710, and Charles gave him his field marshal's bâton in 1712. In the same year he invaded Mecklenburg (with but 9000 men) in order to cover Stralsund. He won the brilliant action of Gadebusch, but numbers prevailed against him in the end. Cut off in Tönning he was forced to surrender after a gallant resistance, and passed into captivity. Five years of harsh treatment in Copenhagen brought his life to a close in 1717.

See Loenbom, Magni Stenbocks lefverne (1757-1765); Lilljestråle, Magnus Stenbock (Helsingborg, 1890).