The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Fersen, Fredrik Axel von

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FERSEN, fĕr'sĕn, Fredrik Axel von, Swedish statesman: b. Stockholm, 1719; d. 1794. He was descended from a Scottish family named McPherson, entered the Swedish Life Guards in 1740 and from 1743 to 1748 was in the French army, in which he rose to the rank of brigadier-general. He was in the Swedish service in the Seven Years' War in which he won signal successes over the Prussians. He became field marshal in 1770. His later years were occupied with politics; he was one of the leaders of the “Hats” and for several years obstructed the measures of Gustavus III, whom he treated with colossal insolence. He was arrested in 1789 and thereafter remained aloof from politics. His ‘Historiska Skrifter’ is mainly autobiographical, but its historical accounts are often biased. Consult Bain, R. N., ‘Gustavus III’ (London 1895).