Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden [1st ed.] 9783030566654, 9783030566661

In this book the emergence of schools in urban Sweden between the seventeenth and the nineteenth century provides the fr

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Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden [1st ed.]
 9783030566654, 9783030566661

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xxiv
Introduction (Bengt Sandin)....Pages 1-26
Education, Childhood, and State-Formation during the Seventeenth-Century Background (Bengt Sandin)....Pages 27-90
Public Education and the School System in Stockholm in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century (Bengt Sandin)....Pages 91-187
Education for All? Changing Childhoods: Education in Swedish Towns in the Eighteenth Century (Bengt Sandin)....Pages 189-242
Childhoods and Education in Towns in the Early Nineteenth Century (Bengt Sandin)....Pages 243-320
Family and School: One Reality and Different Perspectives (Bengt Sandin)....Pages 321-370
Continuity and Change: Social and Political Space for Children and Childhood (Bengt Sandin)....Pages 371-378
Back Matter ....Pages 379-420

Citation preview


Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden Bengt Sandin

Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood Series Editors George Rousseau University of Oxford Oxford, UK Laurence Brockliss University of Oxford Oxford, UK

Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood is the first of its kind to historicise childhood in the English-speaking world; at present no historical series on children/ childhood exists, despite burgeoning areas within Child Studies. The series aims to act both as a forum for publishing works in the history of childhood and a mechanism for consolidating the identity and attraction of the new discipline. Editorial Board Matthew Grenby (Newcastle) Colin Heywood (Nottingham) Heather Montgomery (Open) Hugh Morrison (Otago) Anja Müller (Siegen, Germany) Sïan Pooley (Magdalen, Oxford) Patrick Joseph Ryan (King’s University, Canada) Lucy Underwood (Warwick) Karen Vallgårda (Copenhagen)


More information about this series at




Bengt Sandin

Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden

Bengt Sandin Linköping University Linköping, Sweden

ISSN 2634-6532        ISSN 2634-6540 (electronic) Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood ISBN 978-3-030-56665-4    ISBN 978-3-030-56666-1 (eBook) © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the ­publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and ­institutional affiliations. Cover illustration: Heritage Images / Contributor / GettyImages This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG. The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Family, friends, always.


Governing Childhood, Education, Children, and State-Building in Early Modern Sweden is the product of several different intellectual communities in which I have been fortunate to participate. They are as tangible as a university department and as amorphous a group of scholars with shared interests. Working in these communities over the years I have acquired immense intellectual debts that would take an eternity to repay. The best that I can do is thank them collectively. I started this project as a graduate student at the Department of History at Lund University and a member of a newly formed research group on the history of children. It was far before such history had any international standing, though such studies had begun to emerge in close proximity to women’s history and family history and in relationship to the history of education. All these fields of history had claims to define the nature of the history of childhood. At Lund, our interest in local and regional history, labor history, a general history from below also helped define our intellectual efforts to study the history of children. It was a highly politicized time that saw the birth of the new social history and from it the importance of history from below that underwrote a political perspective on history and social change. At the same time, contemporary discussion about children’s rights and welfare (about schooling, daycare, abuse, integrity, and rights of children that would culminate, in the 1989 United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child) made the study of children’s history highly relevant. Social history when combined with political history and the history of children had to be both about children and about government and vii



politics. For those of us helping to create this new field of history, there was no lack of inspiration in the discussion going in the more theoretical oriented social sciences. The ambition to broaden the intellectual and methodological outlooks was very much encouraged. It was also based in a deep sense of pride in the craft of historians and a determination to relate historical insights to larger theoretical perspectives on the transition of time. It was a fantastic period when being an historian was about much more than getting a degree and a job. It became a way of life filled with discussions, sources, theories, new research fields, and political challenges that inflamed our passion for making the past speak to the present in new ways. The discipline of history was in a moment of transformation and I was fortunate to be part of it. I spent a formative year at University of California, Los Angeles. The notion of history as a social science seemed to be a church big enough to include all kinds of historical scholarship. That became apparent to me at conferences, first in the United States and later in Europe, where I found a community of scholars beyond my group at Lund that in which I found inspiration and new colleagues. Through these interactions, my approach to the history of children was transformed by the new family history and working-class history, labor history, comparative slavery, women’s history, history of education, and history of mentality to mention but a few. The Department of Thematic Studies/Child studies at the University of Linköping became in 1988 a new intellectual community for me. It was a multidisciplinary research unit that sponsored seminars that brought together colleagues, graduate students, and scholars from around the world and all walks of academic life. I learned so much in this community of child and childhood studies scholars and my brilliant colleagues at the department. As I complete this book, I am glad to see that many former graduate students are now my colleagues in a common research community and as comrades in writing. During these, I was also fortunate to meet many colleagues from the Nordic Countries who influenced my path into the still new field of the history of childhood, particularly with research projects on the Century of the Child and different aspects of the Scandinavian welfare systems. I hold this Scandinavian community of scholars in dear memory as they helped me to venture into new fields of studies and comparative analyses of welfare for children. Most importantly, my understanding of the history of



children and childhood took on an identity of its own, independent of the history of education, or history of family and women. While guiding graduate students in the study of different aspects of children and the welfare state I kept returning to the early modern period, which I had studied in my first intellectual community at Lund. I discovered new sources and scholarship that helped me come to grips with problems I had been working in that earlier era. Most importantly for me came the realization that the new sociology of childhood made a long historical perspective highly relevant. In the constructivist social science of childhood, however, historical perspectives were not particularly prominent and nuanced. I do admit that I found the novel discovery of childhood as a construct was self-evident, from an historian’s point of view, but naturally useful in the academic discussion with the positivist social sciences and its critics. And, the scholarship around constructions of childhood in the near and distant past became an intellectual territory that fueled my continued fascination with the early modern period, long-time perspectives, and the complexity of social change. Over the years, the multidisciplinary childhood studies community, internationally and locally at my department, has made me see and understand the world and voice of children differently. As a historian with an interest in a history from below and the voices of historical agents, it was useful to make the distinction between taking a child-perspective and the perspective of children. The interest in the history of childhood, after a slow start, also exploded through the establishments of new journals, encyclopedias, and international organizations. The community of scholars in the Society for the History of Children and Youth as well as in the journal and conferences have been a generous and stimulating meeting places, that also led to sabbaticals and research leaves at Centre for Advance Behavioural Studies in Stanford and at Indiana University. The multidisciplinary community at the Society and these other places alerted me not only to the connections between culture and childhood but, again, also to the importance of educational systems as a yardstick for political and social processes and most of all the importance of legislation, courts, and legal systems as arenas for establishing notions of childhood. In those stimulating environments, I found room for thoughts, got constructive critical advice, and decided to publish this study on the early modern period. My research has been supported by funding from the Swedish Research Council, the Department of Thematic Studies/Child Studies in Linköping, the Centre for Advance Behavioural Studies at Stanford, and IU.



As all readers of this study will understand, I am also indebted to the professionals at a large number of libraries and archives. Without their skills and help, this would simply not have been possible. Most critical for my research were the City Archives in Malmö, Stockholm, and Gothenburg and the National Archive in Stockholm with the Regional archive in Lund. The University Library in Lund, the University Library in Linköping, and the Royal Library in Stockholm have been expedient, competent, and amazingly helpful. I am particularly grateful for the help by the unit of interlibrary loans in Linköping that made the distance to other libraries in Sweden and Europe seem to be only one bookshelf away. I still cherish the memories of being trusted and allowed behind the closed stacks in the library at Lund and the 6th level below ground at the National Archive, where I once was left behind after closing hours. I love the smell of libraries and archives. I still need that fix. I am also indebted to the anonymous reviewers who made me see some of the shortcomings and some of the contributions and made important and constructive suggestions. I am grateful for Alan Croziers skillful and nuanced translation of my Swedish and that of the primary sources as well as his editing of my English texts. Sweden, Linköping, spring and corona times, 30 April 2020.

Book Summary

In this book, the emergence of schools in urban Sweden between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries provides the sources and the framework for a history of children and of childhood. It is a study through the lens of the changes in early modern education and systems of governance in the early modern Swedish state. Educational systems defined the spatial aspects of childhood—where children were supposed to grow up, in the home, the school, the streets and alleys, or the place of work—over a period of about two hundred years. Schools and education represent both a mental and a physical space; an abstract place for children as well as a local and concrete place for them, which stood out against the alternative spatial aspects of the life of children. It is also a study of how different cultural systems influence the definitions of childhood and schools, in the context of church and home instruction, poor relief, policing, surveillance, and the question of why children went to schools. It examines the role of the school as child care and as a provider of food, shelter and welfare, and as governance.


Praise for Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden “This book is an original and carefully researched study on the deep entanglements between childhoods, education and state formation in Sweden from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Bengt Sandin assembles a remarkable archive to foreground the critical role that the regulation of childhoods through the governance of space—ranging from the household and the church to public streets and parks and, of course, schools—played in the country’s political and social development. Sandin’s thoughtful analysis of the intersections between urban towns, church discipline, state formation, poverty, and children’s schooling is an important reminder that these relationships were not one dimensional but evolving and dynamic. This book not only makes a significant contribution to several interrelated fields including the history of childhood and education, but it also, and more importantly perhaps, provides a much needed corrective to the existing inclination to sideline children within scholarship on state formation.” —Sarada Balagopalan, Rutgers University, USA “Bengt Sandin provides us with a sweeping and truly enlightening analysis of the early modern origins and long-term development of Swedish public schools. This is a clear and thoughtfully balanced consideration of governmental motives (disciplinary, religious, economic), subjective experience of children, and broader social impact of a centuries-long process, all expertly situated within the broader European context. The study’s innovative application of spatial analysis is especially welcome, and the implications of the work as a whole deserve a wide audience.” —Joel F. Harrington, Vanderbilt University, USA “A meticulously researched, richly detailed, and finely contextualized piece of work. Especially interesting is its examination of how shifting schemes of education in early modern Sweden responded to changing dynamics of class and turned children into objects of state and church governance. A magnificent contribution to the history of childhood and youth that will stimulate new thinking across historical, educational, and childhood studies.” —John Wall, Rutgers University, USA

“From the preface onwards, the author places the book firmly in the history of childhood, an emphasis which, alongside that on education and social policy, will help it appeal to many audiences beyond academic historians: educators, educationalists, social workers, policymakers, and sociologists.” —Rab Houston, Professor of History, University of St Andrews, UK “Ending where many studies start, with the 1842 School Act that first made primary schooling compulsory in Sweden, and analyzing in some depth the cultural and political context as well as the development of the school system itself over the previous two centuries, this new book from Bengt Sandin provides a thought-­ provoking perspective on the history of childhood. Its underlying argument is that the schools established for the masses were instruments of surveillance, an integral part of Swedish state-building during the early modern period. It contends that the authorities were concerned above all to remove hordes of child beggars from the streets, and to inculcate appropriate values among poor families. The case is made with an impressive documentation and a clear prose style.” —Colin Heywood, University of Nottingham, UK


1 Introduction  1 2 Education, Childhood, and State-Formation during the Seventeenth-Century Background 27 3 Public Education and the School System in Stockholm in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century 91 4 Education for All? Changing Childhoods: Education in Swedish Towns in the Eighteenth Century189 5 Childhoods and Education in Towns in the Early Nineteenth Century243 6 Family and School: One Reality and Different Perspectives321 7 Continuity and Change: Social and Political Space for Children and Childhood371 Sources and Literature379 Index405


About the Author

Bengt  Sandin  is a professor emeritus in the Department of Thematic Studies, Unit of Child Studies, at the University of Linköping, Sweden. Sandin’s research has focused on children and childhood in a historical perspective, spanning the time from the early modern period to the late Swedish welfare state. His research—including studies of early modern education and state-building, child labor, nineteenth-century childhood, street children, educational media politics, welfare politics, and welfare regimes—reflects an engagement in the social and cultural history of children and the construction of childhood. His current research deals with children’s rights regimes in Sweden; voting restrictions and the political representation of children and youth in Sweden, 1900–2000; and the limit of state responsibility, redressing child abuse in out-of-home care. Recent publications include “Child Rights Governance: An Introduction,” with Anna Holzscheiter and Jonathan Josefsson, in Childhood, special issue: Child Rights Governance, ed. Holzscheiter, Josefsson, Sandin, 2019; “Historical Justice through Redress Schemes? The Practice of Interpreting the Law and Physical Child Abuse in Sweden,” with Johanna Sköld and Johanna Schiratzki, in Scandinavian Journal of History 2018.




Göteborgs stadsarkiv, City Archives, Gothenburg Kungliga biblioteket, Royal Library, Stockholm. Lunds landsarkiv, Regional Archives in Lund. Malmö stadsarkiv, City Archives, Malmö. Riksarkivet, Swedish National Archives, Stockholm. Statistikmyndigheten, Statistics Sweden. Stockholms konsistorii acta och protokoll, Vol. I–VII. (copied by B. Hildebrand). Stockholms stadsarkiv, City Archives, Stockholm.


List of Figures

Fig. 2.1

Fig. 3.1

Fig. 3.2

Fig. 3.3 Fig. 3.4

(a) The funeral procession of King Gustavus Adolphus in Wolgast during the transportation of the body back to Sweden in 1633. Note the schoolchildren and the university students in the top right-hand corner. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB HP. Chr.B.4); (b) Children in the funeral procession of Johan III 1594, Contemporary drawing on paper. (Riksarkivet, Delivered to the Royal Archives 1689, by Count Erik Dahlberg. Collection, Utan känd proveniens, nr 629) Funeral procession of Count Carl Gyllenhielm in Strängnäs in 1651. The schoolchildren are walking with the bishop in the top right-hand corner. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB HP. Chr. C.31) Fatherless and motherless children in the Stockholm schools in 1709 when the plague added to the burdens of the poor. Just below the middle one can read: “Introduced 14 May 1709 Johannes Petri, father has been navy boatswain, mother a poor miserable widow, died of the plague.” Schoolchildren in St. Maria Magdalena School 1709. (Catalogus Discentum, Maria Magdalena School 9 November 1709, Maria skolas och lägre elementarläroverks arkiv, SSA) Funeral of Johan Casimir in Strängnäs in 1652, detail with schoolchildren in the top right-hand corner. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB) A different childhood. The journal of the seven-year-old Prince Charles in which he expresses his highest wish: to accompany his father the king on his campaigns. He became King Charles XII at the age of 15. (Kungliga biblioteket, HS D.761:48r)



97 142

156 xxi


List of Figures

Fig. 4.1 Fig. 5.1

Fig. 6.1

Fig. 6.2

(a, b) Working women. Women working as rowers and water carriers in Stockholm impressed the Italian traveler Magalotti (Lorenzo Magalotti, Sverige under år 1674)196 From the eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century, it was mostly women who were responsible for collecting night soil in Stockholm. They worked in pairs, carrying the barrels between them on a pole, or pulling them on a toboggan. Working women might have had problems looking after their children at the same time. (Carl Wilhelm Swedman (1762–1840), Stockholms stadsmuseum F 31574) 263 Funeral of King Charles XIV (Karl XIV Johan), 1844. Schoolchildren did not participate any longer, but children from the Stockholm orphanage appear in the lower left-hand corner. This image stands in stark contrast to the print by Ferdinand Tollin, figure 10. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB HP. CXIV J. A.29) 351 Chaos in the streets during the funeral procession of King Charles XIV, when 2000 memorial coins that could be exchanged for 2 dalers were thrown out to the crowds by the bursar. The newspaper Aftonbladet questioned this ancient expression of royal generosity and suggested that the money be given directly to the poor instead. (Lena Rangström, Dödens teater: Kungliga svenska begravningar genom fem århundraden, Stockholm: Livrustkammaren, 2015, pp. 192f. A contemporary print by Ferdinand Tollin, Kungliga biblioteket) 352

List of Tables

Table 3.1 Table 3.2 Table 3.3 Table 3.4 Table 3.5 Table 3.6 Table 3.7 Table 3.8 Table 3.9 Table 3.10 Table 3.11 Table 3.12 Table 3.13 Table 3.14

Extant lists of schoolchildren in Stockholm, 1684–1702 98 Percentage of children of widows and paupers in Stockholm schools, 1684–1696 102 Recruitment of pupils to schools in Stockholm distributed by different occupational groups, 1684–1696 (percentages) 103 Fatherless children and children of paupers in schools in Stockholm distributed by different occupational groups, 1684–1692104 Number of tutors and pupils in private schools or private tuition in Stockholm, 1684, 1687, and 1694 105 Number of children receiving tuition in Stockholm, c. 1694 107 Distribution of boys and girls in schools in Stockholm in the 1690s108 Length of schooling for boys in the Klara School register for 1690109 Year of enrollment of children registered as pupils in Maria Parish in December 1709 110 Length of schooling for children enrolled in Katarina Church School, 1711–1714 110 Length of schooling for children in Klara School in 1690 who left school between 8 September 1690 and 31 October 1692 112 Pupil turnover in the Ladugårdslandet Church School, 1692–1696 (number of pupils in school) 112 Absolute and relative number of children of widows/paupers in different school classes 113 Percentages of widows among women aged over 15 120



List of Tables

Table 4.1 Table 6.1 Table 6.2

Recruitment of pupils to the church schools in Stockholm distributed by different occupational groups, 1770–1809 (percentages)221 Children as a proportion of factory workers in some cities in the nineteenth century, mean values 328 Child workers as a proportion of all children aged 10–14 in some towns during the nineteenth century 329



Background The year 1842 saw the promulgation of Sweden’s first statute on elementary schooling, or folkskola—a “school for the people.” It was not without a prior history. Since the seventeenth century the Swedish church and government had tried to make literacy general among the lower strata of the population. The history leading up to the introduction of national elementary schooling with the School Act of 1842 involved a recasting, in many ways and several times, of the relationship between public education, orphanages under diverse authorities, church leadership, and local and central political authorities. In Sweden the history of childhood through the lens of educational facilities for children of the lower classes is also a history of political and social reforms and shifting class relations. The history of children is clearly also a history of the governance of society. It is framed by the history of state-formation as well as a history of the economic and social transformation from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Since the seventeenth century the state has been profoundly involved in the teaching and religious instruction of the population. The educational system then was designed in the spirit of Luther and closely associated with the fundamental political and social unit of society: the household. It was incumbent on the head of the household to ensure that the ecclesiastical culture was reproduced, as is clear, for example, from the Church Act of 1686. This culture, built up around the church, was © The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




propagated by the authorities as a shared ideology which was supposed to pervade all levels of society. In urban centers a formal system of grammar and church schools was also established. These schools also played a part in alphabetization, as did the instruction given in the household under church law, but they also educated people for other positions in society, for civil and public service, for commerce, and as a foundation for the academy. It is consequently a complex history that shaped the life of children. In this book the emergence of schools in urban Sweden between the seventeenth and the nineteenth century provides the sources and the framework for a history of children and of childhood. It is a study of children and childhood through the lens of the development of early modern educational provision, as an example of the political and economic transformation that underwrote new systems of governance. The overall problem concerns the relationship between the political and social development, the design and nomenclature of the school system, and the life of children and the understanding of childhood in Swedish towns, in households, in the family, and also in streets, parks, harbors during a period of about two hundred years. In this introductory chapter, a broader research context will be outlined, to delineate the background to the questions asked and provide an analytical framework for this study. This also includes a discussion of some earlier research as well as a presentation of how analyses of the relationship between the historical place and role of children, the space cut out for children, can be understood in the light of the histories of education, family, and state-formation. During the period of time studied in this book, Sweden was established as a military power in Europe from the early seventeenth century to the early eighteenth. Significant territorial gains facilitated economic, social, and cultural integration in Europe. The period as a major player in Europe’s devastating wars and politics had significant consequences for the population both in the scenes of warfare in Europe and at home in Sweden. The toll on the population and the country’s economic resources was significant. It also led to the development of an efficient fiscal and administrative system, which served as a model for others, and an intensified exploitation of the natural resources in Sweden. War spoils and economic subsidies from other major political powers made Sweden a central part of the transformation of politics on the European continent.1 It also reshaped the Swedish capital, Stockholm, into a city better equipped for the role of a great power. The transformation was not all about splendor



and glory, carnivals and jesting, new houses and city plans, it was also about poverty and destitution and the influx of new population groups: workers, soldiers, men, women, and children.2 It was in this environment that the education of the young became an issue. The proximity between rich and poor, between transient and stable groups of the population was augmented by the very density of urban life, the dark alleys, the dirt and disease, the almost ungovernable character of the urban space. Even a military power that could dominate battlefields had difficulties controlling the dark back alleys and streets of its capital and making them safe. The irony is that, at the same time, the city was the very place where the successes of the nation, the power of the Sovereign, the Royal House, and the Nobility were to be displayed and admired. Such public display of power was a part of everyday city life, along with the processions and festivities on special occasions.3 It was in this political setting that the educational initiatives were introduced and established. The eighteenth century entailed a major loss of territories and gave rise to a greater parliamentary influence, a party system and consequently a weaker sovereign power, and an insignificant role in the politics of Europe. The eighteenth century was also characterized by an economic transformation, agricultural reform, proletarization, and the development of manufacturing systems. Toward the end of the century, the political situation again was built around an absolute monarch, a more aggressive foreign policy, but also political mobilization of the middling classes in town and country. During the early nineteenth century a political coup reshaped the political landscape and paved the way for a new constitution that gave greater power to parliament, a new royal house, and a number of political reforms that influenced the life of children.4 The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries show evidence all over Europe of a discussion about how to handle street children, young paupers, and orphans roaming the towns and countryside during the seventeenth century, along with debate about the reform of the educational system. Such discussions led to legislative and institutional changes in Sweden and elsewhere, such as the reform of church and secular laws, street ordinances, policing and poor laws, and the establishment of orphanages and a range of educational institutions. In Sweden the discussion of formal schooling had implications for the question of the orphanages as well as for the system of religious instruction in the home and the poor laws. The household was understood as an educational entity by both the church and the central government and thus also a political unit.



Educational policy and public policy also exposed nation-building processes in their different facets. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries population growth, pauperization, proletarization, and the developing economy constituted a challenge to the system of governance established during the seventeenth century and resulted in its transformation.5

Negotiating Childhood; Home, Street, Work, or School Educational systems were in the process of development from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However, this had no great effect on the life of the majority of children. Childhood in the lower social classes was a time of hard work and sharing of the life experiences of older generations, although concepts of childhood also existed both in popular culture and in social and political theory of the time.6 Only slowly did educational institutions such as schools become important in the everyday lives of larger groups of children. Children’s lives were primarily influenced by other formal system, as apprentices in the crafts and through informal systems of socialization into the roles of farmhands or farmers or in the family and the local community. For children working as apprentices, factory hands, or farm laborers, childhood was not defined by educational institutions organized on a national or regional level. Children were taught at home or occasionally in institutions such as schools, orphanages, and workhouses. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century that schooling became a dominant aspect of the majority of children’s lives in the western world. Many children were also housed in workhouses for adults and in prisons. However, the idea of schooling and education started to define the parameters of childhood and the nature of family life and parenting already during the seventeenth century but primarily from the late eighteenth century.7 Religious household instruction of children, along with the entire household, became a central and defining aspect of the political and religious order in Sweden during the seventeenth century, with long-lasting effects on society. Childhood and the understanding of parenting were defined in this process as it was underwritten and delineated by the political and religious order. Political and religious demands on the population largely merged as they were tied to similar interests associated with



political control. The household was an important political unit for taxation and the place for religious instruction. It was hardly a stable social and permanent phenomenon, however. Many children lost one or both parents and had to seek a living on their own, find a new household to join as servants, if they were not apprehended and placed in orphanages, which consequently also were institutions of education and socialization. Street children became an observable and problematic social phenomenon. Governments, groups of citizens, or religious institutions took on the role of supporting, or controlling, children. Children were also left to fend for themselves on the streets or in the back alleys of towns or on the country roads. This was a time when institutions for children were formed, negotiated, and defined in relation to their different roles in society. Naturally, the difference between schools, workhouses, and orphanages was not always easy to establish and not necessarily clear to the founders in the terms we use today. Their roles spanned several social fields and arenas and could encompass different functions at the same time. As orphanages and workhouses took responsibility for the physical well-being of the children, they also became the religious and moral guardians of children in lieu of another household patron or parent to ensure their education. At the same time, these institutions also represented attempts to maintain order by keeping children off the streets, or simply disciplinary institutions for what understood as disorderly children.8 The educational systems also became instruments for defining and expanding citizenship and nation-building toward the end of the early modern period, but they were also a means to control populations and territories. Borders, populations, and nations were defined at the same time as decisions were made on those who were to be included and excluded from the schools. Educational systems expressed inclusion, equality, and nationhood but also inequalities, exclusion, and marginalization based on gender, ethnic, and religious distinctions, as well as age. Educational systems defined, for example, where children were supposed to grow up: in the home or household, the school, the streets, or the workplace. The place of upbringing was understood to determine the future of children and the kind of educational provisions that were established.9 To the elites, parents at times appeared to be unable to control their own children or other members of their households, unqualified to provide the necessary religious or civil instruction. In the nineteenth century,



and in some cases earlier, a school system was created for the children of the masses of common people throughout Western Europe. This, then, is also a history where education, schooling, was created on the demand of some parts of the population, for whom formal education represented both an instrument of socialization of the new generation and a lever of political change and individual development. Parallel to the establishment of mass education, schools were founded for the middle and upper classes and with different theoretical and practical applications. Education early on took different meanings for different groups of the population.10 It is a complex and contradictory history as these institutions developed in response to many diverse social and political trends. The irony of schooling is that during the late eighteenth century it also tended to tie ideals of freedom and nation-building to the demands of social administration and compulsion. Schools were ordered to reflect the social structure, and consequently they differed from one country to another, as can be demonstrated by a comparison of France, Germany, and Britain. It was basically a matter of reproduction of social and cultural hierarchies.11 The focus in these examples is on the nineteenth century, as in Esbjörn Larsson’s study of the development in Sweden from the 1820s.12 But such processes are also relevant in light of the social reproduction during the period up to the 1820s, as William Marsden points out.13 In the Swedish context, it is relevant to observe the relationship and the role in social reproduction between the early initiatives for, and the politics of, reading instruction and secondary education. The fact that different schools established in England covered partly the same period of the children’s life course reveals the educational order as a segmented, parallel school system that both reproduced social hierarchies and formed new hierarchies and social relationships.14 In this process education, as earlier, also expressed norms for acceptable social spaces for children, but with a new conceptual character and a new content that also reflected new political landscapes. This, in turn, makes it possible to discern the underlying controversies over the role of children and the character of childhood as they were expressed through the organization of institutions and acceptable spaces for children. Childhood consequently also had a spatial quality and as such also an expression of political and cultural power. This culture also defined and characterized childhood in relation to gender, age, sibling, and parental relationships, and for that matter to ethnicity.15



Transforming Systems of Governance; Children, Public Space, and Education in the Early Modern Period Clearly the complex role of educational institutions during the early modern period in Sweden must be understood in light of the fundamental transformation of governance in the western world. Michel Foucault, discussing changes in the structures for the exercise of power in Western Europe that include educational institutions, has introduced a number of concepts and empirical observations which can be useful in the analysis of these changes. He proceeds from the development of prisons and punitive systems but broadens the discussion to a general discussion of governance. Foucault considers the transformation of disciplinary regimes in rather general terms and over a long period. It is futile to look in his study for a clear and differentiated chronology that can be applied universally. However, changes like these are not smooth transitions with the same applicability in all societal sectors, but are uneven and sometimes contradictory, with different expressions in different parts of society. As empirical observations on certain aspects of change, his story has relevance for my analyses. It can in parts be used to shed light on the development of a system of surveillance in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the historically interesting links between governance, education as a system, and individualization, childhood and governance of children.16 In the Middle Ages punishment could be a public spectacle, revenge taken for the crime committed, and an expression of the sovereign’s control over the subject’s body. The punishment was not intended to improve the offender. Torture occurred both before and after a confession was obtained.17 In the eighteenth century, however, the penal system was transformed. The aim was now correction. The important thing was to influence and educate individuals so that they could return to society and function as citizens. The older type of prisons, in which criminals of different kinds were mixed, could not be used for this purpose. The measures had to be specialized and standardized. Each crime required a specific treatment, designed to affect the mind rather than the body. The cell prison replaced the dungeon. The principle of surveillance, important for a new type of governance, shaped not only penal institutions but also institutions such as hospitals, the organization of poor relief, and the governance of public spaces such as prisons, schools, and cities.18



However, when using his broad interpretation, one must furthermore also consider both the counterproductive effect of the exercise of power and the agency of the governed. The outcome was not always the one intended by those in power. Robert Merton classified the different possible systemic causes and their explanations back in the 1930s, and this is also clearly reflected in the thinking of Foucault.19 Disciplinary techniques run the risk of creating major conflict with the populations they were intended to influence. The change of disciplinary techniques can consequently also be a result of opposition to certain types of governance and be caused by the reaction and opposition to the intended regulation. It is a point sometimes made by Foucault when he discusses, for example, the problems with public shaming and executions. Power could not always be displayed in public but had to compromise and change expression.20 Elites or individuals in power cannot grasp the overall long-term effect of their actions. The actions of the different classes, or agents of power, thus do not always express a conscious and precise political intention. And, furthermore, the power of government in most complex societies is distributed among many hands. Such political processes could be understood in terms developed by Gramsci, but also in Weberian terms, as pointed out by the historian Joel Harrington in a study of early modern Nuremberg: “the political authority sought by administrators relied more on popular recognition and utility of domination (Herrschaft) than on brute coercion (Macht). Nor were people outside government either always victims or resistance leaders to governmental hegemony but more often than not collaborators of one sort or another.”21 Thomas Robisheaux convincingly asserts in a study of rural early modern Germany: “Power never flowed simply from the top down; and it did not rest solely on violence or coercion… State power did not simply expand in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; it was often drawn into the village by the villagers themselves. State power was also checked, frustrated, often turned to purposes no ruler completely controlled.”22 In a similar vein, British historians have been interested in the bond between government and people in the early modern state. The formation of the early modern state did not follow just one blueprint and design, as Michael Braddick stresses, and it also varied greatly in character during the long early modern period. The process of centralizing and standardizing governance relied on different sources and sometimes conflicting developments in different embodiments of the state—such as the fiscal and military state, the confessional and the dynastic state—as well as changing



modes for the administration of justice. It was the outcome “of negotiations of legitimate responses to political problems” and also had to rely on compromises and accommodation to different social interests and beliefs. At the same time, state-formation was dependent on negotiation with local authorities with varying degrees of self-governance and popular participation.23 Such considerations are also of central importance for the understanding of the different facets of the formation of the early modern Swedish state, the negation and transformation of the relationship between central and local government and between the central government and the church. It was in the tension between such different and changing processes that educational provisions for children were shaped. Consequently, the changes can be unexpected and complex, and social changes ambiguous. One has to be wary of linking the causes and the function of an institution to intentions. The models for socialization that are forced on a different class can have unexpected consequences. The classical example is that the literacy that was propagated under Lutheran orthodoxy could subsequently be exploited for disseminating Pietist tracts and other kinds of reading. The knowledge and ideas passed on to the next generation can thus scarcely be a linear consequence of the intentions of ruling elites. The lower-class families and children have historically been able to use the apparatus and institutions of governance for their own purposes, other than the ones intended by the government.24 Or they simply protested or avoided being observed. The institutions, schools, penal institutions, orphanages, and the like through which governance was exercised served multiple functions for different social classes, different for those who created the institutions and for those who benefited from them or took advantage of them. It is in this context that we ought to see the development of different kinds of schools, orphanages, workhouses, and penal institutions. Such institutions, according to Foucault, allowed the possibility to organize and regulate time, bodies, and work processes. Time was also organized through detailed scheduling, a model developed in the monasteries. Control was exercised through hierarchical observation, which was supposed to function mechanically and impersonally. The disciplining was made invisible, but it was ever present because it was built into the institution itself. Hierarchical observation was supplemented with standardization, differentiation, and classification of individuals in relation to the demands that had to be met. Performance and failure were sanctioned by moving people up or down in the hierarchy of rewards. Deviance was



defined to include not just outright bad behavior but also various degrees of inability. This led to the creation of a continuous scale from bad to good and a continuous system of punishment and reward, what Foucault designates as “normalization.”25 “The perpetual penalty that traverses all points and supervises every instant in the disciplinary institutions compares, differentiates, hierarchizes, homogenizes, excludes. In short, it normalizes.”26 In theory, that is. It is more of a theoretical model than a social reality that marks the whole of society during the times studied in this book or for that matter the paths of change. Different modes of governance were exercised at the same time and created opposition that needed to be negotiated and government measures were taken advantage of by children and parents for other purposes than intended.27 Examination proceeded from a notion of normalization and hierarchical observation. This made it possible to assess, punish, or reward individuals in an ideal situation. In its broad societal application, examination had additional consequences and uses. It became an instrument to master and control taxable items as well as the manpower available for armies, or people’s religious, moral, and political attitudes and behavior. The subject became an individual case, an object for registration and documentation in many different contexts by the expanding political government powers. When viewed from this perspective, according to Foucault, school became the ideal tool for systematic control: “the school became a sort of apparatus of uninterrupted examination,”28 but it also reflected the establishment of the modes of governance that evolved in different contexts; from the administrative reforms of church registers, taxation records, military rolls, to the liberal reforms of poor relief and public governance from the late eighteenth century onward. Traditionally power in the early modern period was seen and displayed, admired, and feared. As indicated above, such exercise of power could also be opposed or undermined, for example, during the very ceremonies designed to display power. Disciplining was also exercised through the establishment of administrative routines and through identification of the objects of power and disciplining measures against strays, street children, vagrants, and transient social groups. Children did not succumb to regulation and control in all instances, nor was the general populace always easily impressed. The display and administration of power may have had consequences for what social and cultural place was designated for children. In the urban landscape, dark, narrow, winding streets, and crammed living quarters both the display of power and the administration of power posed



special challenges. In the case of children, the spaces to be designed were a matter of negotiation; the practice of disciplining and governance also had a spatial aspect. In this light it is relevant to investigate how childhood was associated not only with certain qualitative and normative values but also how those were associated with certain locations, and behavior. In Marta Gutman’s words, “physical space is not a backdrop for childhood but rather the two, space and childhood, are mutually constitutive.”29 With such ambitions, the past, the history of childhood and that of education, displays an impressive complexity that defies simple generalizations. School does not present itself as a distinct and linear instrument of power. And yet it is an instrument of governing; one that had to accommodate resistance, opposition, incompetence, and unintended consequences of the administration of power. The realization that childhood also reflects systems of governance allows us to appreciate that the complexity of social change also can be parallel to an understanding of the changing and conflicting modes of governance.30 Perhaps the primary finding of other analyses of the growth of the school system in recent research is the complexity of the relationship between social development and school. School establishment and school attendance cannot be treated as a uniform phenomenon of governance. It is perfectly obvious that the growth of the school system’s administrative structures and the governance of schools must be explained in terms of other factors than that explaining pupil attendance, or the ideas behind the creation of educational organizations and systems. Yet school attendance is likewise not a uniform phenomenon; it reflects numerous different types of social and political processes.31 And, as always, social function cannot be linearly related to cause and intentions, as pointed out above. The character of child labor on family farms differed from that of child labor in factory towns and thus had different consequences for school attendance. Attendance in school was influenced by job opportunities, poverty, and specific cultural circumstances among the lower or middling classes, and also by the character of the coercive measures. These in turn were a reflection of the ability of national, regional, and local governments to exercise effective governance, and whether schools were in theory intended for all children or in practice and theory divided according to class, gender, or ethnicity. Consequently, the politics of creating institutions of mass education and the political background to school acts in different countries are multifaceted and express a diverse range of social and political changes, as is illustrated in a recent edited volume.32



The link between education and industrialization, industrial capitalism, democracy, economic growth, and the expansion of the cities was in no way straightforward or linear. As Andy Green has pointed out in a study of the rise of the educational system in England, France, and the USA, there are problems with such explanations based on functionalist, Marxist and whiggish interpretations.33 The development of educational institutions also predated change that can be described in such terms. The proportion of children that passed through city schools was at a relatively high level throughout the first half of the nineteenth century and earlier. Nor was the school system initiated with decisions about compulsory education; it had its roots in the schools of charities and the voluntary organizations and local initiatives in different regions. At the same time, the development may express an ambition to universalize an idea about education and reflect new ways of governing.34 The intention behind making attendance compulsory was to tighten control over the group of children who did not already go to school voluntarily or communities that had lagged in taking the necessary steps to create schools.35 These discussions show that the analysis of the urban school system, during periods when the high attendance rates were built up, can yield interesting findings, without universal compulsion and before such disruptive phenomena as major waves of immigration and large-scale urbanization and industrialization, and for that matter democratization. One can thereby obtain a picture of the social and cultural context of schooling, where the political and institutional paths for the future were formed. Schools are at the same time a childhood institutionalized and may therefore also be scrutinized as a history of children historically situated, but also considering other aspects of the life of children, things that define childhood: work, family and kin networks, and play.

The Cohesion and Adaptability of the Family Scholars who have studied the establishment of early modern orphanages also underline the complex social and political roles of these institutions, such as schools, apprenticeships, penal institutions, social care, etc. and in some instances as precursors to later school institutions. Such studies also indicate how families and children actively used institutions to handle the challenges of their everyday survival.36 Since the 1960s our knowledge of family structure in pre-industrial society has been fundamentally revised. It has demolished a number of general beliefs about families in the past. It



has refuted the view that households in the west always consisted of several generations. It has also criticized the sociological model of different stages, in which the nuclear family is portrayed as a result of industrialization and modernization. Explanations that refer to the breakdown of family socialization as a precondition for the development of schooling and education can consequently also be questioned on such grounds. A characteristic of these analyses of the perseverance of the family is the emphasis of the variation in family patterns and their adaptability, also during the early modern period. The family represented continuity in a society undergoing radical transformations. Although the family lost its role as a unit of production, it continued to influence individual family members’ work patterns. Michael Anderson demonstrates in his survey of research on family history that the family was strengthened rather than weakened in urban settings during early industrialization. Children in the countryside were forced from an early age to leave their parental home. In industrial urban contexts, on the other hand, the increased availability of wage labor made it possible for children to stay at home longer. At the same time, the system of lodgers in towns meant that young people had alternative patterns: they could live at home, take service in other households, or live as lodgers with others.37 Strategies varied in different countries and in different strata depending on the cultural background, but in some cases family ties were even strengthened. Anderson cites a number of examples of family strategies which clearly show this continuity, in his opinion: children accompanied their mothers to the factory as they had formerly done to the fields. Children’s work, as before, contributed to the common economy; recruitment of labor took place through the families; sometimes it also included relatives living at a distance and was then part of these families’ livelihood strategy; women who were dependent on continuous work had fewer children and received help with child care from the older generation.38 An innovative study based on big data analyses of verbs in court cases and diaries during the early modern period in Sweden gives similar evidence. The study focuses on work and shows convincingly that both men and women earned or contributed to the household economy. The study also shows that the two-supporter model, as the authors call it, was crucial in urban environments, but also that household composition was adaptable to different conditions of life but based on the contributions of both men and women. There was a sizeable proportion of small households and few very large ones. At the same time pragmatism, flexibility, and



cooperation between households “were important strategies in making a living.” Households could, if possible, combine several different sources of support.39 “Households themselves were not necessarily closed self-­ sufficient units but rather diversified, flexible, and by necessity ‘open’, even before the onset of industrialization. … early modern households were flexible and diversified entities.”40 Such observations of life in early modern Sweden parallel observations made by Keith Wrightson about the early modern household. Richard Wall has called such strategies “adaptive family economy,” which often meant that household-organized work coexisted with wage labor.41 Such conclusions about the family resonate well with research on parent–child relationships, broadly speaking, during the early modern period that indicate the variability of ways of bringing up children, marked by gender and class, and the early age at which young people were expected to contribute to the family economy or support themselves. Also underscored are the different conceptions of age and notions of developing competence, maturity, and social status. Studies on English youth illuminate their precarious position on the labor market and the uncertainties associated with the different kinds of service available for young people, which instigated disciplinary responses from local authorities that had difficulty accepting “masterless young people.” Young people could in reality “exercise a measure of autonomy and choice even within existing authority structures.”42 Other research shows that coming of age was a long and complex process of transition, with no clear synchronization between different aspects of maturation; in some respects a young person was a child and in others was expected to be able to support him- or herself. In early modern English society, there was also a conflict between incompatible norms, “the one stressed the deference and submission the young owed their parents and masters, and the other encouraged their early independence.”43 Young people were expected to be on their own long before setting up an independent household. Ilana Krausman Ben-Amos sees this conflict between different norms as a partial explanation for the anxiety that adults expressed about the unruly and disorderly youth and servants; particularly during the period of population growth and underemployment, “young people were expected to be submissive yet autonomous, passive and disciplined but also capable of making decisions.”44 If the cohesion, adaptability, and continuity of the working class, lower strata, and family marked the past, during a long and varied transitional period, we must also consider the role of the different educational



provisions during the early modern period with that in mind. In the light of family and household history, it is challenging to consider not only how children and parents adapted to the existence, and coercion in some cases, of educational institutions but also how they chose to use them for a broad variety of strategies to support the family members. We must also consider the possibility that some children exercised their independence, protested, and even deviated from the norms. Ben Amos gives examples of young servants who avoided catechism classes, claiming that they were “too old or too big for this discipline.”45 During this time schoolchildren too demonstrated their autonomous will and independence by closing down schools, “barring” and locking out teachers, and insisting on holidays and seasonal breaks.46 The change of patterns and adaptation to new conditions of support involved taking advantage of such institutions for other purposes than intended by the various political and educational authorities but may also express culturally acceptable or even condoned forms of protests. The barring out of school teachers in England during the early modern period seems to reflect such a culture.47 It is not a process where the agency of families and young people was detached from the political spheres, but a process that involved—or was a reaction to—the political intervention in the lives of the lower classes: the ordering and regulating of their lives both in urban communities and in the transforming countryside. It was consequently also a process that could involve conflicts and protests and deviation from the norms of the institutions as well as support of such institutions. The choice of schools by parents may have influenced how the educational system was configured. The segmentation of the schools as a system during the nineteenth century may well reflect the social stratification during the eighteenth century, particularly in urban centers, and an ambition to mark a social distance to the lower classes.48

Time, Place, and Context—Space: The Construct of Childhood and Governance It is in such contexts the life of children and childhood as a construct becomes interesting. The principles for the upbringing of children, the place, character, and content are formulated by those who control language and the means of communication as well as the political and administrative means to regulate the lives of children and families. The political decisions and ordinances, and the discourses in public arenas—city



councils’ decisions, consistory minutes, parliamentary records, and published papers, discussion in academies of learning, contemporary inquiries, school registers, economic reports and taxation records, church and secular laws, street ordinances, police records, and poor laws—all such material that I have studied during the period 1650–1840 about the role and place of children can be read as an expression of these deliberations. Children’s voices are rarely seen in the sources and naturally never as first-hand accounts. The politics and discourses represent a biased understanding by the elites, of different kinds, by those who left documents and other paper trails. However, they also give some insight into the reasoning and an understanding of childhood; the space children were expected to occupy and the space they actually occupied. The sources contain information about children’s whereabouts and activities, as perceived by those who produced the documents and discourses. Such accounts are subjective, but informative about the time and place that children are associated with and about the cultural norms. The descriptions represent the cultural distance between the observed and the observer, between groups of adults and children, which made the behavior of the other (children and families) stand out as different, strange, perhaps amoral and in need of reform. The early modern period was characterized by such a distinction between the cultures of the elite and the broad masses.49 It is also possible with this kind of material to see the structure behind the interaction between children and adults in different social and political positions as representatives of the church, local, or central governments, police or poor law, and the limits society tried to impose on the spaces which children were expected to occupy and which sometimes were designed particularly for children. The ambition with this study is both to deconstruct notions of childhood as an instrument of governance; to take a child-perspective and attempt to reconstruct the lived world, agency, outlooks, and choices of children, in lieu of children’s own perspectives.50 By defocusing children by bringing in a broader political and social context, it is also possible to give a multifaceted account of how and why childhood evolve. The history of childhood is thus a history of spaces where children exist, spaces culturally charged with meaning and content. That speaks to what was meant by concepts such as household, family, foster family, apprenticeship, work, orphanage, school, etc., but also where institutions for children were physically located: the street, the boulevard, the alley, the home, the park, the church, and the harbor are also concepts that become



loaded with different and sometimes contested meanings when associated with children or adolescents, and for that matter with certain adults, as are such negotiable concepts as childhood and youth.51 At the same time, space is relational to the politics of those who define the spaces of children and young people, to other generations, to adults, to the government, and to the material and physical environment. There is however another aspect of how we must understand such discourses; the meaning of schooling, street processions, examinations, begging, poverty, rights, parenting has to be negotiated, made acceptable, or suppressed. In the long term, agreement is fundamental amongst those who have influence over central societal functions and values, for how they meet the needs of the citizens or control them. One central aspect is normative and prescriptive: where the lived childhoods were supposed to take place. It also had a location, a place around which discussion revolved and influenced the measures taken. One way to achieve unanimity is to consolidate it in ideology; the spatial and social regulation of the life of children thus supports the specific understanding of values inherent in the notions of childhood. Cultural agreement requires political effort and social interaction that therefore can be created, established, and maintained and be perceived as something self-evident, voluntary, or based on acceptable levels of coercion. The specific cultural order consequently expressed in notions of childhood must be seen and felt to be in accordance with the spatial order of society—in my case, where children are allowed, supposed, and expected to be, and what meaning such places are charged with. It must therefore be presumed to include a certain amount of compromise between the interests and needs of the governed and different governing groups and elites or express such conflicts. It is in this light that this book intends to be a history of childhood, using education as a focal point but with an understanding of the broader transformation of society and systems of governance during the early modern period. The study will foreground the political and social context of education in its spatial dimensions.

Space and Childhood A reflection on space is in many ways fundamental to the study of past, though not always made explicit, but can involve attention to materiality, perception, representation, and agency. Understanding of space is not



given or stable but challenged and historically constructed and contingent on specific cultural contexts as well as on physical space. It is not only about culture, ideals, and ideas, but about proximity and tangible materialities. Space here refers to “a set of social circumstances, physical landscapes, and as a set of discourses that reflect, constitute, and at times undermine, the … social order.”52 In this study I will discuss how space is used and conceptualized in relation to children and childhood, by observing both discourses and agency, as perceived by the keepers of records. This history of childhood can be a study of what the historian Paul Stock calls “the relationship between ideas, matter, and activity.”53 There is particular reason to think about this, as the context of this study is an urban setting that was shaped to reflect the state, the dominant political interests, and a national history, successfully and at times less so, with the intention to influence ideological messages, culture, and concepts. It is in this environment that the schooling of children emerges as a part of the system of governance, with different layers of meaning, with different practices and political intentions and contrafactual outcomes. The city itself, with its material artifacts, its social and cultural traditions, its churches, processions, and streets—and people; it was a stage that helped “organize the enactment of social roles” and hence also influenced the possible and acceptable social roles.54 As we shall see, the early modern city contained contested territories and was also a space where identities were negotiated in public.55 Children were a part of this early modern street life as a part of how schooling was organized or not organized, but also as a part of the family or at their places of work. Because church and state authorities from the seventeenth century onward made specific, and changing, demands of households, families, and children, it is possible to investigate how long-term economic and social changes influenced the way the family or the household was able to meet these demands. Schools and education represent both a mental and a physical space; an abstract place for children as well as a local and concrete place for children, which stood out against the alternatives: families, streets, alleys, homes, factories, parks, and harbors. It also had different meanings and expressions depending on gender, ethnicity, and class. This is also a consequence of the varied importance of the content of education and the spaces created for education; the problems identified with other spatial aspects of the life of children, given the instruments of power and systems of governance of society and the different concrete political and social contexts where such spaces for young people were formed. The



development of public education, thus, must be viewed in terms of both the ruling elites and the subordinate social groups in their spatial dimensions.56 This must be understood both as an expression of internal conditions of lower social groups and as a response to measures from authorities. The actions of the latter should be considered in a larger cultural and political context, and in relation to the relationship to subordinate classes. The investigation has been guided by a few overarching questions. How did the organization of schools influence and interact with the life of children and notions of childhood, the larger cultural and political context, and the social and cultural space cut out for children? More concretely I will examine how the early modern system of governance related to the social and cultural role of the schools and the processes of state-­ building, and how the different schools related organizationally to each other and to the lives of children from different social classes? Can one discern how children and young people interacted in relation to the changing system of governance of spaces allowed for children and cultural interaction? And also, the basic question, more succinctly phrased: What made children go to school?

Design of the Study In the introduction to the next chapter, I examine the relationship of the educational system to the changed power relations in seventeenth-century society. First, I look at the general principles for how the emerging nation was governed in relation to public education; what mental and physical space this use of education and teaching could occupy. That section serves as a basis for the later discussion. I then devote a chapter to conditions in Stockholm with the ambition to evaluate how such a system of governance could measure up to the situation in the early modern city. First, I find it necessary to clarify which children attended the existing schools and to discuss the scope of other forms of tuition. I then ask questions intended to ascertain the significance of this schooling for pupils; its spatial ramifications and conflicts. The interest of the upper classes in the school system is also touched upon, against the background of social changes in Stockholm that influenced the exercise of power and control of the urban environment. Finally, I discuss the cultural meaning of this development in a larger European context. In the chapter about the eighteenth century, I examine changes in education in relation to the transformation of the class structure and the new



political situation. First, I look at tendencies toward increased social segregation in the school system after mid-century; the way schools take on different meaning depending on what education children seek, and why, and difficulties governing the urban space through household teaching. The schools founded then are also related to other attempts to incorporate the lower echelons into society and modes of governance. The tendencies in the eighteenth century were reinforced by the demographic and social development and culminated in the opening years of the nineteenth century, with heated conflicts over how, and within which system of governance, the education of children could best be organized. The last chapter consequently deals with attempts to organize a school system for the children, both girls and boys, of the broad masses, with the demands for an educational system adapted to the needs of the middle classes. In the latter case, the ambitions of the government limited its responsibility to boys. The image of conflict between these needs and the proposals for political solutions is described against the background of social development in urban centers and the spaces children occupied in the urban landscape. The chapter ends with a discussion of how the character of the school as a system evolved into a parallel educational system, with different schools for different social classes and genders, which can be understood on the basis of the differing conditions and educational needs of the different social classes but also the different spaces and places of children in urban Sweden. There is thus reason to return to the question of the changing system of governance and its association with the development of schools and the understanding of childhood.

Notes 1. Michael Roberts, The Swedish Imperial Experience, 1560–1718 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979); Michael Roberts, From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). 2. Gustav Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös i Stockholm på 1600- och 1700-­ talen (Umeå: Univ.-bibl., 1978); Per-Johan Ödman and Mats Hayen, Främlingar i vardagen: Liv och pedagogik vid Stora barnhuset i Stockholm på 1700-talet (Stockholm: Stockholmia, 2004). 3. Malin Grundberg, Stormaktens ceremonier (Lund: Historiska Media, 2006); Lena Rangström, Dödens teater: Kungliga svenska begravningar genom fem århundraden (Stockholm: Livrustkammaren, 2015); for a European context see for example J. R. Mulryne, Maria Ines Aliverti, and



Anna Maria Testaverde (eds.), Ceremonial Entries in Early Modern Europe: The Iconography of Power (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2015); P. J. Klemp, The Theatre of Death: Rituals of Justice from the English Civil Wars to the Restoration (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2016); Jennifer Woodward, The Theatre of Death: The Ritual Management of Royal Funerals in Renaissance England, 1570–1625 (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1997). 4. Ingvar Andersson, A History of Sweden (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1968). Roberts, The Swedish Imperial Experience. 5. Robert Jütte, Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Alysa Levene, The Childhood of the Poor: Welfare in Eighteenth-Century London (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Joel F. Harrington, The Unwanted Child: The Fate of Foundlings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009); Bengt Sandin, Hemmet, gatan, fabriken eller skolan: Folkundervisning och barnuppfostran i svenska städer 1600–1850, diss., Lund University (Lund: Arkiv, 1986); Gunnar Wetterberg, Axel Oxenstierna: Makten och klokskapen (Stockholm: Atlantis, 2010); Daniel Lindmark (ed.), Alphabeta varia: Orality, Reading and Writing in the History of Literacy: Festschrift in Honour of Egil Johansson on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, March 24, 1998 (Umeå: Institutionen för religionsvetenskap, Umeå universitet, 1998). 6. Colin Heywood, “Centuries of Childhood: An Anniversary and an Epitaph?” Journal of the History of Children and Youth 3:3 (2010), pp. 341–365; Colin Heywood, A History of Childhood: Children and Childhood in the West from Medieval to Modern Times, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2018); Levene, Childhood of the Poor. 7. Bengt Sandin, “Education,” in Colin Heywood (ed.), A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Age of Empire (Oxford: Berg, 2010). Susanna Hedenborg, Det gåtfulla folket: Barns villkor och uppfattningar av barnet i 1700-talets Stockholm, diss., Stockholm University (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1997); Levene, Childhood of the Poor. 8. Harrington, The Unwanted Child; Levene, Childhood of the Poor; Sandin, Hemmet; Grace E. Coolidge, The Formation of the Child in Early Modern Spain (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2014); Joan Sherwood, Poverty in Eighteenth-Century Spain: The Women and Children of the Inclusa (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988); Valentina K. Tikoff, Assisted Transitions: Children and Adolescents in the Orphanages of Seville at the End of the Old Regime, 1681–1831, thesis (Ph.D.), Indiana University, 2000; Richard B. McKenzie, Home Away from Home: The Forgotten History of Orphanages (New York: Encounter Books, 2009); Ödman and Hayen, Främlingar i vardagen; Ruben Schalk, “From Orphan to Artisan: Apprenticeship Careers and Contract Enforcement in The Netherlands



before and after the Guild Abolition,” Economic History Review 70:3 (2017), pp. 730–757; Juliane Jacobi, “Between Charity and Education: Orphans and Orphanages in Early Modern Times,” Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education 45:1–2 (2009), pp. 51–66; Hanneke van Asperen, “The Gates of Charity: Images of City and Community in the Early Modern Dutch Orphanage,” Journal of Urban History 43:6 (2017), pp. 1001–20. 9. Sandin, “Education.” 10. Paula Fass, Outside In: Minorities and the Transformation of American Education (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). Andy Green, Education and State Formation: The Rise of Education Systems in England, France and the USA (London: Macmillan, 1990); Colin Heywood, Childhood in Nineteenth-Century France: Work, Health and Education among the “Classes Populaires” (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); Stephen Lassonde, Learning to Forget: Schooling and Family Life in New Haven’s Working Class, 1870–1940 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). Mary Jo Maynes, Schooling in Western Europe: A Social History (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1985). 11. Detlef K. Müller, “The Process of Systematisation,” and Fritz Ringer, “On Segmentation in Modern Educational Systems: The Case of French Secondary Education 1870–1920,” both in Detlef K. Müller, Fritz Ringer, and Brian Simon (eds.), The Rise of the Modern Educational System: Structural Change and Social Reproduction 1870–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Margaret S. Archer, Social Origins of Educational Systems (London & New  York: Routledge, 2013); Green, Education and State Formation; William, E. Marsden, “Social Stratification and Nineteenth-Century English Urban Education,” in Roy Lowe (ed.), History of Education, Major Themes, vol. 4, Studies of Educational Systems (London: Routledge, 2000). 12. Esbjörn Larsson, Det svenska utbildningssystemets födelse: Olika perspektiv på den svenska läroverksutbildningens utveckling under 1800-talet (Uppsala: SEC, ILU, Uppsala universitet, 2006). 13. Marsden, “Social Stratification.” 14. Fritz Ringer, “Introduction,” and Brian Simon, “Systematisation and Segmentation in Education: The Case of England,” both in Detlef K.  Müller, Fritz Ringer, and Brian Simon (eds.), The Rise of the Modern Educational System: Structural Change and Social Reproduction 1870–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). 15. Sandin, Hemmet; Paul Stock, “History and the Uses of Space,” and Beat Kümin, “The Uses of Space in Early Modern History—An Afterword,” both in Paul Stock, The Uses of Space in Early Modern History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); Kathryne Beebe and Angela Davis (eds.),



Space, Place and Gendered Identities: Feminist History and the Spatial Turn (London: Routledge, 2015); Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991); Marta Gutman, “The Physical Spaces of Childhood,” in Paula S. Fass, (ed.), The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World (London: Routledge, 2013). 16. Bengt Sandin, “Education, Street Urchins and Surveillance,” in Harvey J.  Graff, Alison Mackinnon, Bengt Sandin, and Ian Winchester (eds.), Understanding Literacy in its Historical Contexts: Socio-Cultural History and the Legacy of Egil Johansson (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2009); Karen M.  Smith, The Government of Childhood: Discourse, Power and Subjectivity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). 17. Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), pp. 3ff. 18. Ibid., pp. 73ff. 19. Robert K. Merton, “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action,” American Sociological Review 1:6 (1936), pp. 894–904; Pamela Reynolds, Olga Nieuwenhuys, and Karl Hanson, “Refractions of Children’s Rights in Development Practice: A View from Anthropology— Introduction,” Childhood 13:3 (2006), p. 294. 20. Foucault, Discipline and Punish; see for example Erik Petersson and Annika Sandén, Mot undergången: Ärkebiskop Angermannus i apokalypsens tid (Stockholm: Norstedt, 2012) and Chaps. 3 and 5 in this study. 21. Joel F. Harrington, “‘Singing for his Supper’: The Reinvention of Juvenile Streetsinging in Early Modern Nuremberg,” Social History 22:1 (1997), p. 28. Antonio Gramsci, A Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916–1935 (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1988); Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, vol. 1 (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1992). We are here basically talking about expressions of hegemony in Gramsci’s sense. This does not eliminate the fundamental economic conflict. The consensus is therefore based on the ruling classes/elites and is thus not consistent with the life world of the subordinates. It can lead to questioning of the hegemony. The consensus is threatened if there is latent discontent. This can lead to the formulation of clear ideological alternatives and the development of oppositional political action. It is necessary for those in control to meet the fundamental needs of the underclass. The possibility to create consensus and build a hegemony depends on the ability to satisfy these needs. The compromise established in this way contributes to explaining the social position and power of the ruling classes. 22. Thomas Robisheaux, Rural Society and the Search for Order in Early Modern Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). 23. Michael J.  Braddick, State Formation in Early Modern England, c. 1550–1700 (Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press, 2000).



Quotation p.  437; Steve Hindle, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, 1550–1640 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000); Paul Griffiths, Adam Fox, & Steve Hindle (eds.), The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996). 24. For example, Linda Gordon, Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence: Boston 1880–1960 (Urbana. Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2002). 25. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, part 3, Chap. 1. 26. Ibid. 27. Robisheaux, Rural Society, p. 258. 28. Foucault, Discipline and Punish. 29. Gutman, “The Physical Spaces of Childhood,” p. 249. 30. Anna Holzscheiter, Jonathan Josefsson, and Bengt Sandin, “Child Rights Governance: An Introduction,” Childhood, 26(3), pp.  271–288; Smith, The Government of Childhood. 31. David Tyack, “Ways of Seeing: An Essay on the History of Compulsory Schooling,” Harvard Educational Review 46:3 (1976), pp. 364ff.; David Tyack, The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974); William M. Landes and Lewis C. Solmon, “Compulsory Schooling Legislation: An Economic Analysis of Law and Social Change in the Nineteenth Century,” The Journal of Economic History 32:1 (1972); John Modell, “The Expansion of State Education: Two New Views,” Journal of Urban History 8:2 (1982), pp. 197ff.; Michael B. Katz, The Irony of Early School Reform: Educational Innovation in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968); Carl F.  Kaestle, The Evolution of an Urban School System: New  York City, 1750–1850 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1973); Carl F. Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780–1860 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1983), pp.  30ff., 62ff.; Stanley K.  Schultz, The Culture Factory: Boston Public Schools, 1789–1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973); Alexander J.  Field, Educational Reform and Manufacturing Development in Mid-­Nineteenth Century Massachusetts, diss. (University of California, Berkeley, 1974), pp. 1–14; Brian Simon, Studies in the History of Education: The Two Nations and the Educational Structure 1780–1870 (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1976), pp. 126ff. 32. Johannes Westberg, Lukas Boser, and Ingrid Brühwiler (eds.), School Acts and the Rise of Mass Schooling: Education Policy in the Long Nineteenth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 1–18; see also John Boli, New Citizens for a New Society: The Institutional Origins of Mass Schooling in Sweden (Oxford: Pergamon, 1989); Carl Kaestle, “Conflict



and Consensus Revisited,” Harvard Educational Review 46 (1976), pp. 390ff. 33. Green, Education and State Formation; see also Lars Petterson, Frihet, jämlikhet, egendom och Bentham: Utvecklingslinjer i svensk folkundervisning mellan feodalism och kapitalism, 1809–1860 (Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 1992). 34. Boli, New Citizens; Karen E.  Mundy, Andy Green, Bob Lingard, and Antoni Verger (eds.), The Handbook of Global Education Policy (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley, 2016); Francisco O.  Ramirez and John Boli, “The Political Construction of Mass Schooling: European Origins and Worldwide Institutionalization,” in Alan R.  Sadovnik (ed.), Sociology of Education: A Critical Reader (New York: Routledge, 2007); Johannes Westberg, “Basic Schools in Each and Every Parish: The School Act of 1842 and the Rise of Mass Schooling in Sweden,” in Westberg, Boser, and Brühwiler, School Acts. 35. See, e.g., Katz, The Irony of Early School Reform; Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic, pp. 36ff. 36. Coolidge, The Formation of the Child; Sherwood, Poverty in Eighteenth-­ Century Spain; Tikoff, Assisted Transitions; McKenzie, Home Away from Home; Ödman and Hayen, Främlingar i vardagen; Schalk, “From Orphan to Artisan”; Jacobi, “Between Charity and Education”; van Asperen, “The Gates of Charity.” 37. The findings of research on family history are presented lucidly in Michael Anderson, Approaches to the History of the Western Family, 1500–1914 (London: Macmillan, 1980); Louise A. Tilly and Joan W. Scott, Women, Work, and Family (New York: Methuen, 1978), pp. 43ff., 104ff. 38. Pavla Miller, Transformations of Patriarchy in the West, 1500–1900 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998); Tamara K. Hareven and Andrejs Plakans (eds.), Family History at the Crossroads: A Journal of Family History Reader (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987). 39. Maria Ågren (ed.), Making a Living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 1–103, quotation p. 68; John Henderson and Richard Wall, Poor Women and Children in the European Past (London: Routledge, 1994). See also Monica Edgren, Tradition och förändring. Könsrelationer, omsorgsarbete och försörjning inom Norrköpings underklass under 1800talet. (Lund: Lund University Press, 1994). 40. Ibid., p. 76. 41. Ibid. 42. Paul Griffiths, Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England, 1560–1640 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), pp. 351ff., quotation p. 389; Ilana Krausman Ben-Amos, Adolescence and Youth in Early Modern England (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 180ff.



43. Ben Amos, Adolescence and Youth, pp.  180ff., 236ff.; Pamela Cox and Heather Shore (eds.), Becoming Delinquent: British and European Youth, 1650–1950 (Aldershot: Ashgate Dartmouth, 2002). 44. Ibid., p. 239. 45. Ibid., The role of educational institutions is not discussed in Ågren, Making a Living, p. 109. 46. Keith Thomas, Rule and Misrule in the Schools of Early Modern England, the Stenton Lecture (Reading: University of Reading, 1976). 47. Ibid. 48. Marsden, Social Stratification. 49. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, pp.  3ff; Ibid., pp.  73ff; Sandin, “Education, Street Urchins and Surveillance”; Smith, The Government of Childhood. 50. Scholarship in Childhood studies have for a long time tried to come to grips with these distinctions. Gunilla Halldén has made an important contribution when she stressed the difference between child-perspectives as a way of problematizing the discourses and contexts of children and perspectives of children. Gunilla Halldén, Barnperspektiv som ideologiskt eller metodologiskt begrepp. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige 2003:8 nr 1–2 pp. 12–23. John Wall has from a philosophical perspective argued for the usage of “Childism” as a way to catch both the deconstructive and reconstructive aspect of childhood studies. John Wall, From childhood studies to childism: reconstructing the scholarly and social imaginations, Children’s Geographies, 2019. pp. 1–12. 51. Griffiths, Youth and Authority, pp. 25, 17ff., 62ff. 52. Stock, “History and the Uses of Space,” pp. 7–10, quotation p. 6; Gutman, “The Physical Spaces of Childhood.” 53. Ibid., p. 8 54. Ibid., p. 10. 55. For a different time period, see Simon Gunn and Robert J. Morris (eds.), Identities in Space: Contested Terrains in the Western City since 1850 (Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2001); Kathleen Ashley and Wim Hüsken (eds.), Moving Subjects: Processional Performance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001); Laura Gowing, “‘The Freedom of the Streets’: Women and Social Space, 1560–1640,” in Mark S. R. Jenner and Paul Griffiths (eds.), Londinopolis: Essays in the Cultural and Social History of Early Modern London (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), pp. 130–151; Hugh Cunningham, The Children of the Poor: Representations of Childhood since the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991). 56. Kümin, “The Uses of Space”; Beebe and Davis, Space, Place and Gendered Identities; Gowing, “The Freedom of the Streets.”


Education, Childhood, and State-Formation during the Seventeenth-Century Background

Philippe Ariès has argued that children of the upper classes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were separated from the adult world through schooling and a conscious, goal-directed upbringing. This development was to lay the foundation for ideas about childhood as a very special period at the transition to the responsibility and work of adult life.1 In Sweden such arguments can be illustrated by Peder Månsson’s Barnabok (“Children’s book”) from the start of the sixteenth century.2 According to this, education was particularly important for the children who would be given responsibility for the kingdom when they attained adulthood. It was a future-oriented understanding of childhood. “Those children who are honorable and of good birth need to be taught good habits early in childhood, as is expected of those who will assist and further all realms.”3 In this respect Sweden was a part of a greater European tradition, and Månsson’s words were nothing more than a translation of Institutio Principis Christiani by Erasmus of Rotterdam, teaching the humanist attitude to children and childhood.4 The same attitude can also be detected in Per Brahe’s Oeconomica eller Hushållsbok för ungt adelsfolk (“Household book for young nobles,” 1585) and in the glimpses preserved of life and upbringing among the nobility in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The education recommended by Per Brahe to young noblemen comprised, besides practical knowledge of agriculture, extensive humanist learning.5 In the seventeenth century, there was also talk about © The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




establishing utilitarian schools for the children of the nobility. The experiments at this were, however, short-lived.6 If childhood was prolonged, and defined as a special period, it also it involved expenses that influenced the outlook on childhood, as is evident from a statement by the clerical estate in 1686. In a discussion of the principles for an extra taxation, the priests in the diet claimed that their children, unlike those of the peasantry, could scarcely be counted as an economic asset. If anything, they were a burden: And if good men grant their children something, it is not because they are children, but inasmuch as they are servants. Priests cannot receive such service from their children, and therefore they cannot be equated to peasants’ children, for they cost more to bring up in schools before they become grown men.7

The children of the clergy, like those of the nobility, constituted a large share of the young men who went to the universities for further education.8 The aspirations of the priests to have their sons succeed them in the pulpit seem to have led the Bishop of Uppsala, Laurentius Petri, to demand certain minimum requirements of education and age. Yet he did not complain about the parents’ ambitions: I do not think that I should censure the fact that some eagerly strive to have their sons succeed them as incumbents of the parish, if only they take such pains to bring them up in book learning and good habits that they are found suitable to deserve such an occupation; otherwise their aspiration is very dangerous both for themselves and for the children. … May the clergy therefore ensure that they properly look after the interests both of themselves and of their children, and not let themselves be succeeded by sons who are either unsuitable or have not reached the legal age.9

In the subsequent century, the education and knowledge required of the clergy became subject to more stringent control.10 In this way, different paths of socialization for children from different estates of society also highlighted the differences between the classes. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the clergy, the nobility, and the burghers stressed their distinctive social and cultural character. These tendencies set their stamp on European society and were manifest in Sweden too.11 The consistory in Strängnäs, for example, issued a series of rules intended in various ways to emphasize the special position of the clergy in



relation to the common people. A regulation from 1583 underlined how important it was that priests behaved with dignity and decorum at feasts, that they avoided coarse language, and that they did not allow peasants to drop titles.12 Similar exhortations about the behavior of priests were heard in 1566 at a synod in Uppsala; the clergy were also urged to choose honorable and honest women as wives and preferably a virgin; for I have heard that some priests act with such poor judgment that they marry the lowest and most disreputable women, which brings dishonor and scorn over their office, for not everything that is permitted is also appropriate. Therefore, if any of you in future will take a wife, may he have in mind not the promptings of thoughtless lust but the demands of decency and clerical dignity.13

These views, which were upheld by the ruling classes in the emerging nation states, entailed a far-reaching regulation of various aspects of human behavior. The new etiquette was also part of the humanist ideology. Erasmus stressed human dignity and “everything that linked man to animals was made taboo, shameful, or intimate. … Human will be divine provided that it was led by reason, that is to say, by Our Lord.”14 At the same time, separation from the people meant that the upper classes began to perceive the broad masses—the people—as alien, bestial, impulsive, and irrational. The masses were similar in character to children. Children’s will and unreason were an expression of the evil of original sin and could only be eradicated by education. Children shared with the masses the property of being uncivilized and outside the control and disciplining of the adult and upper-class world.15 The views on education put forward by the upper classes and formulated in normative pedagogical theories in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries tell us very little about the concrete reality of children’s lives. Our knowledge of the social circumstances of children and their socialization among the lower classes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is deficient, to say the least. It is not until the eighteenth century that it is possible to sketch the world of peasant children. The picture we have is one of boys and girls taking part in the work of the household and gradually learning the necessary skills and attitudes.16 The importance of children’s attachment to the family and the household should not be exaggerated. Not all work was organized with the family as the basic unit, not even in the eighteenth century. Many jobs required extensive



cooperation among villagers. Through this the children were also part of a larger social unit than their own household.17 The peasant economy, moreover, required a delicate balance between production and consumption. A farm could only support a certain number of people, and production simultaneously needed a specific amount of labor. Families without children old enough to take part in the work had to hire servants, while other families with several children of productive age were forced to let one or more of them serve as maids or farmhands in other people’s households.18 In addition, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there were legal restrictions on peasants, who could not let their children of working age stay at home if there were servants in the household.19 Many peasant children therefore worked as servants from an early age. It also happened that several families lived on the same farm without constituting one household, using livestock, implements, and labor in common.20 The family unit or household unit must thus have been much larger than the biological family and adaptable to different social and economic circumstances.21 This is underlined by the demographic circumstances of childhood. The high mortality created the conditions for extensive social mobility in the form of remarriage, migration, and changes in farm ownership. It is therefore highly likely that many children were looked after by relatives of various kinds.22 The high infant mortality probably also meant that the children who did survive had good chances of heading their own farm household, given the right time and place. Within the framework of a relatively static social order, the possibility of large-scale mobility must be contemplated.23 The high infant mortality has been interpreted as a sign that emotional relations between parents and children were not as well developed as in more recent times.24 This conclusion cannot be automatically accepted, however. First of all, mortality varied greatly, which meant that periods of instability must have alternated with more stable times. Second, it is possible to demonstrate the occurrence of a positive evaluation of biological kin in early times. For instance, Le Roy Ladurie’s analysis of inquisition records in southern France shows that there was in fact a strong bond between parents and children,25 also found by Eva Österberg in her study of medieval canonization trials and by other researchers.26 In sixteenth- and seventeenth-century towns, there was likewise no automatic connection between family, production, and the socialization of children. Craftsmen’s households in the towns accounted for a large share of production units, and could also function as a unit for socializing the



next generation of craftsmen, but there were also many crafts and occupations where the work was not done within the framework of a household. Various building crafts, transportation, and unskilled labor are examples of this type of jobs. Officers of the crown and the borough at high and low levels—soldiers, town watchmen, officials—naturally did not combine production and consumption within the household or family.27 The seventeenth century also saw the organization of factory production which broke with a paterfamilias-headed household as the basic unit of production.28 The tightened legislation on servants also made it more difficult to exist without the “legal protection” of a head of household or being subject to a master; a man who lacked a trade or an income of his own could be conscripted for military service or forced labor.29 The examples above show, however, that “legal protection” did not automatically mean being tied to a household as a social unit. That the household was not taken for granted as a basic unit is also evident from a report from the clergy in November 1651 which deplored obligatory guild membership and recommended a freer organization on the continental model. Craftsmen had to be cured of their “sumptuous” lifestyle—which made their products more expensive than they needed to be—by being forced to economize. The report suggested that following the example of other republics where craft flourishes, journeymen should be given a weekly wage sufficient for them to feed themselves, and taverns must be set up for this, with food ready for mealtimes where they can get what they need. Thus they would learn to waste and demand less.30

During the seventeenth century this problem made itself felt in the debate outside Sweden, chiefly in England. The political and constitutional discussion required taking a stance on Hobbes and Locke, whose texts about the ideal structure of society proceeded from the individual—not the family—as the fundamental unit. They also came into conflict with patriarchal ideals. The debate can be linked to the interests of the emerging bourgeoisie and to changing social and economic relations with the establishment of nation states. Ecclesiastical interests and the state held up the family and the household as the fundamental social unit.31 Even though ecclesiastical and secular authorities wished to maintain a social order based on the family and the household, the material and social conditions clearly showed the insufficiency of these units for socialization and livelihood. The high mortality could suddenly leave children without



parents or guardians, while heads of households could suddenly be abruptly deprived of the labor they needed to carry on production. These conditions made it necessary to form new families and households quickly.32 If this was not possible, because of a shortage of marriage partners or vacant posts, no option remained but to support oneself through begging. Changes in production of the type implemented in England in connection with the enclosures or the restructuring of the estates also left many families without a livelihood and naturally affected the number of available posts and, locally, the number of marriage partners able to work for a living. Crop failure and famine had the same effect. In Sweden, as elsewhere in Europe, begging was thus a major social problem at times. Begging was a troublesome fact for the classes who tried in various ways to stress their social and cultural differences vis-à-vis the noisy, untidy, and disorderly masses. Begging by children was particularly awkward because of its frequency. The historian Ronny Ambjörnsson gives a graphic interpretation of the problems in a European setting: Children without support drifted around like hungry jackdaws in large bands of beggars, often joined by gangsters and bandits. Bands of thieves in the towns were mainly recruited among children. In times of social unrest, children were often an instigating element. Children were the guerrilla of the streets, who crawled out of their cellars and back yards at dusk.33

Sweden likewise had such problems with children, which led to the establishment of orphanages, as in other European countries. In 1619 the chancellor, Axel Oxenstierna, proposed a draft statute for urban administration, with measures to reduce the problems of child begging. An orphanage was to be set up in each town, where the children could work until they were old enough to find employment with a craftsman. In the course of the seventeenth century orphanages were established in Stockholm and other towns: Västerås, Strängnäs, Lidköping, Jönköping, and so on.34 According to a report—probably somewhat tendentious—from the inspectorate of the orphanage in Stockholm, the problems of vagrant children were at times overwhelming. In a letter to the archbishop dated 20 May 1653 they asserted that the children’s homes in recent years had admitted some 500 children from the streets of Stockholm, “and yet we have taken in just a share of all those who needed this help.” The intake was restricted by the available funds. There were numerous poor children



in the town, they claimed, left by “sailors, musketeers, watchmen, carpenters, and many other common servants and soldiers of the Crown who seek their livelihood in the town and the parents dead and the children in multitudes on the streets are a burden on the authorities, and have to be admitted to the orphanage.”35 The institution was set up for orphans “who run around in the streets.” It was also to be used to house criminals. The outlook on children was that they could be placed together with common criminals, “rogues, harlots, and villains.” Like criminals, children were sinful, self-willed, and in need of correction and discipline.36 During their stay in the orphanage, however, the intention was that the children should learn a craft so that they could earn their livelihood later on. It was envisaged that this could have a positive effect on Swedish crafts in the towns and the countryside. In this way the orphanage assumed a guardian’s responsibility for the upbringing and socialization of children into working life, which also meant giving the orphans work to do.37 The orphanage also assumed responsibility for correcting the “vices” that “self-­ indulgence” and “wicked habits” had created in the children, “along with the evil that they carry by nature.” Once the children had been corrected, they would also know “how they should behave and conduct themselves toward authorities and superiors and other honorable people.”38 According to Peter Burke, the separation of the upper classes from the increasingly alien popular culture took place simultaneously with attempts by the former to reform the latter. The clergy, in both Protestant and Catholic countries, began to counteract the various expressions of popular culture and tried instead to integrate the population in a common public ecclesiastical culture. In the Lutheran countries, catechetical tuition became a crucial element in these efforts.39

Educating the Population—The Problem The segregation of the classes generated the conditions for an interest in bridging the gap between the cultural traditions. It should be possible to link the design of public education and its impact in Sweden to a specific political and social problem. There is therefore good reason to discuss in more detail how and in what context the issue of children’s upbringing and education became politics. The attitude to public education changed. In the seventeenth century the authorities, both ecclesiastical and secular, deemed it vital that the



population were well versed in the catechism and the household code (Swedish hustavla), a set of biblical quotations in Luther’s Small Catechism illustrating the duties of each person according to their station. The first half of the century saw the development of church tuition through intensive legislation in the different dioceses. Diocesan statutes stressed how important it was that priests did not only preach but also taught and examined the parishioners. A knowledge of the catechism became a condition for access to the services and sacraments of the church and to the parochial community in a broader sense. The priests were moreover expected to document the people’s knowledge of the catechism, later resulting in household examination rolls. Inspection took the form of regular visits to the parishes by the bishop or dean to check the parishioners’ knowledge and the clergy’s tuition. A hierarchical structure was thus created for the control of the population, through which the authorities simultaneously tightened their supervision of the local clergy. This educational system was implemented not only in Sweden proper but also in the provinces acquired in the seventeenth century. The form varied somewhat in the different dioceses. Tuition was a central element in the different proposals for an ecclesiastical act during the seventeenth century, and the Church Act of 1686 broadly ratified the system for public education that had emerged in the dioceses. The Act emphasized the responsibility of the heads of households for the children’s instruction, but it did not rule that children had to attend school. Children’s knowledge was to be tested by catechetical examinations and household examinations. The priests were now given the duty of keeping registers of the population and their knowledge of the catechism.40 What does the organization of public education tell us about the development of society during the seventeenth century? The scholarly literature contains a variety of ideas which are worth discussing. Generally speaking, two perspectives can be distinguished. One is based on the local community and ecclesiastical organization, the other on the relationship between the state and the local community. Egil Johansson’s analysis of literacy campaigns places the emphasis on the agreement between conditions in the local community and the ideology that was propagated. The literacy campaign corresponded to the Lutheran church’s normative demands on the ability of the laity to learn the word of God; it was implemented with the aid of the social control in the parishes.41 Johansson’s account is closely connected to the interpretation of the relationship between society and church that we find in Hilding Pleijel’s works on the ecclesiastical life of



the common people. Pleijel also stresses the correspondence between the societal ideology, the static local community, and the clergy as spokesmen of the people. Similar ideas occur in Hjalmar Holmquist’s history of the Church of Sweden in the first half of the seventeenth century.42 Birgitta Odén, in her critique of Egil Johansson, has claimed that public education should not be related so much to the Lutheran requirements of literacy as to the interests and needs of the state. According to Odén, the growth of public education was closely connected to the control and mobilization of the population by the state, as clearly manifested in the way Skåne and the other provinces acquired from Denmark were Swedified. This made an ideological control of the population necessary, after which the system was adapted to suit conditions in the rest of Sweden.43 In her general thesis she proceeds from Sven A.  Nilsson’s discussion of the relationship between the ecclesiastical registration of the population and the interest of the state government.44 Nilsson claimed that the church’s registration arose because the state administration wanted records against which it could check its own registration of the population. The interest of the state thus chiefly concerned, naturally enough, the registers and rolls through which the size of the population in the parishes could be estimated: registers of deaths and births and records of people’s mobility. This was essential for the conscriptions of the early seventeenth century and for individually levied extra taxes. At times the clergy were also obliged to take part in the work of secular registration, maintaining tax-assessment rolls. To check the data in this registration of the population at a fixed point in the year, it was necessary to use the constantly updated details in the church’s registers.45 The direct involvement of the clergy in government registration of the population ceased in the mid-seventeenth century, when changes were made to the methods of tax collection. There was also clerical opposition to the compulsory participation in the administration of state government. Yet even if the priests no longer took part in the work of tax assessment themselves, there continued to be a close link between the secular and the ecclesiastical registration of the population. The Church Act of 1686 prescribed that the priests should maintain a number of the rolls and registers that the secular authorities needed to check the tax assessment.46 Sven A. Nilsson convincingly demonstrates the link between the state interests and the growth of ecclesiastical registration of births, deaths, and migrations. The Crown’s interests in this respect may be associated with the need to use all available economic and personal resources in the first



half of the seventeenth century. It cannot explain, however, why the church authorities also began to register how much the people knew. Nilsson points out that the church had its own interests in keeping records of the functions for which it could expect income,47 but does this not explain the need to register the level of knowledge among the population. Knowledge was registered in the rolls of catechetical and household examinations. The former were drawn up for each examination while the latter involved continuous registration of the population’s knowledge. Some parishes began to keep catechetical examination rolls at the start of the seventeenth century, while household examination rolls were generally started in the latter half of the century. In the diocese of Västerås these records were made compulsory in the 1620s.48 The explanations suggested in the scholarly literature for the introduction of public education are, as we have seen, Birgitta Odén’s discussion of the need for ideological control and the ecclesiastical perspective represented by Egil Johansson and earlier church historians. Odén’s explanation is closely connected to the problem of the Swedification of the southern provinces, which is why she does not discuss the way in which the need for control grew in Sweden proper.49 This locates the development of this ideological control in a relatively late period during the seventeenth century and fails to demonstrate the origin of the system in church tuition at the start of the seventeenth century. For Egil Johansson, public education was an expression of the church’s own interests, which means that he does not consider the link to the secular state or government. Catechetical and household examinations are regarded as expressions of a specifically ecclesiastical form of education with deep roots in the literacy requirement of Lutheran Protestantism. According to this outlook, the actual form of instruction—home tuition— is a reflection of the close association with social conditions in the peasant households, in the parishes, and in society as a whole. The head of the household taught the people under his guardianship, and the social pressure in the congregation maintained the level of knowledge. Unlike Birgitta Odén’s thesis, Egil Johansson’s concerns Sweden proper, with a more general claim to explain the emergence of the system.50 Without aspiring to find a fundamentally new explanation, there is reason to discuss various structural circumstances for the design of popular education, in order to create the conditions for placing children in this system. It is therefore be appropriate to begin by discussing the ideology



of the household code and then present ideas about the form of tuition and the connection to central and local power structures. The Household Code and Its World Hilding Pleijel has shown that the ideology conveyed by the catechism and the household code had a pervasive effect on the vision of society and the formation of concepts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The catechism and the accompanying explanatory texts were the basic works used in Swedish public education for several centuries. The catechism, which was moreover printed in the hymn book until 1820, was by far the most widely read of all Swedish books. For churchmen of the seventeenth century it was the “core and marrow” of the holy scriptures.51 After the Reformation a doctrine of three estates had been shaped in the Lutheran tradition and expressed in easily understandable terms in the catechism and the household code compiled by Luther. It consisted of a collection of biblical quotations arranged under different headings. The quotations were geared to the different orders of society, which could be neatly translated into Swedish as läroståndet, “the teaching order,” meaning the clergy; näroståndet, “the economic order,” meaning the peasantry and others who provided for society; and värjoståndet, “the order of defense,” meaning the secular or political power. Within each order there were superior and inferior ranks. The clerical order consisted of both teachers and listeners; the secular order consisted of both rulers and subjects; the economic order was represented by the household with its master and mistress on the one hand and servants and children on the other. For this order there were also biblical quotations concerning the behavior, social roles, of husbands and wives.52 All the people of the household order, like the rulers, the sovereigns of the state, were subject to the clergy in the sense that they were listeners, while both the clergy and the household were subjects in the political order. By virtue of the Lutheran idea of a general priesthood of believers, the head of the household was not just master but also teacher.53 Relations in the world of the household code can be described in various ways. Hilding Pleijel and Egil Johansson point out the conflict that was built into the relationship between the secular and the ecclesiastical regime. Both divine and sacred authority were given by God. Yet the king was a mere listener in the ecclesiastical order, albeit the primary one, while the priests were subjects in the secular order. This clearly illustrates the



way in which the reformed church balanced spiritual and temporal power. The household code begins with the quotations concerning the clerical order, followed by those relating to the civil government.54 Egil Johansson underlines the reciprocity of patriarchal relations. “The concept of fatherhood recurs in the home, the congregation, and the national government. The peasant with the members of his household, the pastor with his parishioners, and the sovereign with his subjects entailed the same pattern of mutual responsibility and obligations.”55 The tension that existed between the secular and the ecclesiastical regime ceased to exist in the household order, according to Johansson. “The head of the household was both prince and priest in his home. He had to teach and govern his wards. In doing so he was influenced most of all by the work of the clergy in the congregation.”56 The household code served as a norm for relations within the household and how the members of the household had to act vis-à-vis secular and ecclesiastical power. The categories in the household code were the basic elements in the societal ideology, with which social relations were explained and justified by the church and the authorities.57 Johansson rightly stresses the bonds between the different categories and social groups of the household code. It is doubtful, however, whether these should be described as a reciprocal relationship. The design of the household code was hierarchical rather than symmetrical. This is illustrated both by the alternation between the different social levels in the household code and by the selected biblical quotations. For children, women, and servants among the common people, the alternation meant that they were always in the lowest category as listeners, subjects, and members of the household. Women/Wives could be regarded as heading the household, it is true, but their only authority was in relation to children and servants. Outside the home they were listeners and subjects. The head of the household had the status of teacher and master, but only within his own home. Outside, and in relation to the authorities, the head of the household was reduced to being a listener and subject.58 The selection of biblical quotations in the household code, moreover, underlined the submission of the lower categories to the higher ones. Any offense against the shared obligations entitled the ruler of the land and the head of the household to mete out punishment. If the offense was committed by someone in authority, people had to be silent and suffer since it was up to God to punish an unjust lord. The roles of subjects, children, wives, and servants were clearly stated.59



The catechism was compiled by Luther to be used in the tuition of Saxon peasants and artisans. It was also intended as support for the lower clergy who had to teach peasants and artisans, sometimes without possessing any great knowledge themselves. The collection of biblical quotations in the household code and the explanations of the different parts of the catechism were a carefully thought-out and instructive presentation of what social relations should be like.60 There is reason to discuss to what extent this ideal picture corresponded to the reality that people could recognize. Hilding Pleijel’s account of the world of the household code stresses its hierarchical structure more than Egil Johansson’s. Both emphasize, however, how this ideal picture matched conditions in the patriarchal peasant community.61 Against this background, the role of the catechism and the household code in maintaining traditional norms is seen as a consequence of the correspondences with circumstances in the local community. It cannot be taken for granted, however, that this is where we should look for the authorities’ interest in the household code in the seventeenth century. It has already been pointed out that the household was not always in reality the fundamental unit of society. We shall return to this in connection with the discussion of developments in the towns. A few points may nevertheless be made here against the background of research on population development and settlement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The static categorization of people into different orders in the seventeenth century, as Eva Österberg has shown, concealed both considerable social mobility and economic differences between different strata of peasants. While there is evidence that peasants could occupy their farms for a long time and also pass them on to the next generation, there was probably substantial mobility at times. Sven Lundkvist argues that, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries at least, there was particularly high mobility among farmhands and maids, but also among peasant farmers. This meant increased rotation in farm ownership. This development has been linked to the higher pressure of taxation, conscription, and wars. Not even in stable conditions did peasants occupy their farms for longer than an average 10–15 years. Significant economic differences between different peasants can also be demonstrated from both the beginning and the end of the seventeenth century.62 Regardless of how the various results are evaluated, we may observe that the static presentation of social relations in the household code is scarcely an exact reflection of the social



reality. It should be emphasized, moreover, that the increased involvement of the state and the church in the spread of catechetical knowledge and the concepts of the household code coincided with the period during which research noticed increased mobility. It was in the years after the Uppsala Council of 1593 that the church began to focus its interest on the people’s catechetical knowledge. To all appearances, then, it was not a consequence of agreement between ideology and reality, but rather the opposite. It was also in these years that the church became increasingly involved in the struggle to establish its interpretation of marital and familial relationships in conflict with popular culture and traditions and increasingly stressed the importance of the Ten Commandments as well.63 In other historical contexts it has also been claimed that the patriarchal ideology and societal organization of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was something enforced on the population in an attempt to maintain an authoritarian social system that corresponded to power relations in the emerging nation states, rather than to the indigenous social organization and culture.64 This perspective is also productive when the Swedish development is considered. School and Home Tuition The construction of an educational system in the seventeenth century did not take place without problems. The rules issued in the different dioceses and the decisions taken at diocesan synods show that tuition was implemented despite serious difficulties. The requirement that the people should be taught and examined in the catechism was accompanied in the regulations by prescribed punishments for those who did not attend the examinations, which suggests that the people did not willingly submit themselves to this. In the diocese of Strängnäs, for example, the church threatened in 1618 to exclude those who had “displayed disobedience” by not attending catechetical examinations. If the sinners were sufficiently numerous, entire congregations could be excluded from church services.65 In the 1642 synod in the diocese of Skara, parents who did not let their children come to “learning and examination” were threatened with being denied the sacraments. Similar rules were issued in 1647, this time comprising a warning of far-reaching penalties for priests who did not hold the required examinations.66 Other dioceses issued rules on the punishment of parishioners who did not attend the church examinations.67 Compulsory instruction was a characteristic feature of the church’s relation to



parishioners in the first half of the seventeenth century. The Lutheran tradition attached great importance to catechetical examination in church and tuition by the master of the household. What was learned in church had to be repeated and retained in memory through daily examination of household members. This attitude was expressed by representatives of the church in the seventeenth century. It was the duty of parents to teach their children at home and in addition the whole band of servants entrusted to them, in the first basics of the Christian religion, to exhort them to fear God, to urge them to say their prayers, to take them along to the sermon, to go through what they have heard with them, to give them some chapters to read aloud from the holy scriptures.68

Bishop Johannes Matthiæ Gothus of Strängnäs did not content himself with this. Children had to be drilled in the catechism two days a week by the schoolteacher. School tuition applied to children in the towns but was also supposed to occur “in all parishes, it if has not hitherto been arranged.”69 Other local decisions show that it was considered necessary to supplement parents’ instruction in the home with teaching by the priest, the sexton (klockare), or proper school tuition. From the diocese of Linköping we have a decision from 1619 to set up schools in the parishes; “the inhabitants of the parish shall send their children diligently to school, or let them learn at the home of the sexton or someone else.”70 In Strängnäs it was decided in 1618 that the sexton should preferably be literate “so that one will be better able to ensure the instruction of the young in the catechism.”71 According to Johannes Matthiæ’s ordinance of 1655 in Strängnäs, the chaplain, the sexton, or “another ordinary pedagogue should hold children’s school in every parish.” Children had to learn Christianity from Luther’s catechism. Those who so wished could also learn in school how to “read books and write.” Children were to attend school every Sunday and holiday, Wednesdays and Saturdays, “preferably in the afternoon. In the towns a girl’s school may be held on the same days; but boy children must go to the ordinary town school.”72 This ordinance shows that these schools were not confined to instruction in the catechism, even though that was the main purpose. This also suggests that girls were also expected to attend school. In Västerås in the 1630s, Bishop Rudbeckius established a special school for girls. In the latter case it was mainly intended for the poorest groups of people.73 The same applied to some of the rural schools later founded in the diocese of



Västerås. Together with the hospitals, children’s schools would eliminate the great abuse of begging, as the county governor of Kopparberg declared in 1662.74 The interest in schooling seems to have been continued by Rudbeckius’ successor, Olaus Laurelius. A work published in 1650, the year after he became Bishop of Västerås, records a unanimous decision to set up children’s schools “in every parish, to the extent that this can be done, these shall be maintained throughout the diocese and many … will thus be able to learn the main points of Christianity by themselves.”75 The text probably refers to the decision taken by the synod of 1648, according to which parents should be present when their children were examined by the priest, and they themselves should examine their children and servants in the home. In addition, it was prescribed that children should attend school, because in order for young people to be able to make better progress and for the clergy to be relieved of instruction, it is essential that children’s schools are established in the parish at the sexton’s or whatever is most convenient according to the circumstances and conditions of time, place, and persons.76

A few years later the same bishop, in his draft for a new church ordinance, presumed that the children who would join the first class of the planned trivium school could read, “since in well-provided dioceses there are children’s schools in the parishes almost everywhere.”77 This survey shows that the church in the first half and the middle of the seventeenth century stressed the importance of the moral and religious upbringing of children also outside the home, in schools or by external teachers. Home tuition was not an automatic requirement for the educational system built up during the seventeenth century, despite the importance attached to it by the Lutheran church. It was a noticeable feature of the regulations and decisions concerning public education that the actual teaching of reading and instruction in the catechism had also to be pursued by priests, sextons, or schoolteachers.78 In his introduction to his exegesis of the catechism, Eric Emporagrius, Bishop of Strängnäs 1664–1674, criticized all the catechetical instruction and reading tuition that occurred in peasant homes. He declared that the people’s knowledge was inadequate. Few, according to Emporagrius, knew the prescribed texts by heart.79 Reading them was as problematic for many:



That they cannot understand them simply and by the letter. They dash along in their reading with a racing tongue, mix up the words, pronounce them incorrectly, not infrequently transpose and mix one thing with another without discrimination, either very slight and partial or no understanding at all.80

Moreover, the tuition had taken the children through the texts with far too much haste and no method. Criticism was also leveled against the teachers in the parish schools who, according to Emporagrius, had not paid sufficient attention to the teaching of basic skills.81 In other words, he objected to the superficial, mechanical, and often incorrect way in which the catechism was reeled off, as a consequence of the pedagogical inadequacy of parents and also parish schoolteachers. He nevertheless seems to have believed that school instruction gave opportunities for better learning than home tuition.82 Regardless of the clergy’s ambitions and views of the potential of home tuition, it must have involved considerable difficulty to establish schools in all the parishes. Earlier research into public education has pointed out the occurrence of schools on noble estates, at the mills and ironworks, and in the seventeenth-century schools. The number of permanent schools in the countryside with teachers who had clerical training or had attended the trivium school is estimated at 35, of which 12 were supported by tithes and 12 by local lords, “and the others maintained by the municipalities with or without contributions from collections by schoolboys and fees paid by the children or from the paupers’ fund.”83 According to Wahlfisk’s work on catechetical instruction in Sweden, from which these figures are taken, there also not a few “sextons’ schools and ward schools, especially in the provinces around Mälaren, tuition by the sexton in the diocese of Linköping, Catechetical schools in all the parish in the diocese of Visby, and schools run by parish sexton [degne] in most parishes in Skåne.”84 In the seventeenth-century cities there were not only schools teaching the trivium but also private schools (pedagogier) teaching the catechism.85 Wahlfisk’s work provides no data for a quantitative analysis of the scope of schooling in the countryside. By all appearances, the establishment of schools presupposed that the nobility, the church authorities, or the towns allocated funds. This is also suggested in other sources. According to Bishop Johannes Matthiæ’s ordinance of 1655, schools were to be financed through gratiale from the nobility and through fees paid by parents and the parish. In the towns the teacher was to be fed free by the parents and paid according to the number of children who learned to read.86 In 1642



Bishop Johannes Baazius pointed out that “several schools were established by the aristocracy, where the children of the poor peasantry, both boys and girls, received tuition in the first elements of Luther’s catechism.” The boys could also learn arithmetic and writing if they wished to go on to Latin school.87 The latter information supports the view that schools were chiefly founded where the nobility had the power and the means to implement the decision. On the basis of earlier research, however, it is impossible to obtain a proper picture of the number of schools in the countryside in the seventeenth century. There is also reason to assume that the information about the schools founded and financed with the aid of public funds (taxes) or donations from the church or the nobility has been better preserved than other data. However, there are other statements which make it reasonable to presume that schools were established on the initiative of the upper classes. At the diet of 1682 the peasants handed in a petition requesting the King in Council to set up children’s schools maintained from the tithes or in return for grain.88 The peasants themselves did not think that they could afford to finance the schools that the clergy and the authorities deemed so useful. The Church Act of 1686 contains no provisions about schools or formal schooling but, as in previous statues, there is a sense of distrust of the interest and ability of parents to assist in the tuition of children. Parents must probably be exhorted to let their children be well and assiduously instructed in the main points of Christianity; and those on whom rests their care in the congregation, whether chaplain or sexton, are urged to pursue child tuition with diligence, and teach the children to read.89

Church and state, however, wished as far as possible to base public education on the responsibility of parents and heads of household for home tuition. Their progress was to be inspected by the priests.90 In this way home tuition became the leading principle for Swedish public education, but those who drew up the Church Act evidently did not have complete faith in home tuition; moral upbringing and drilling in the home required tuition by others outside the home.91 The realism of this attitude can be illustrated by the discussions conducted at the synod in Strängnäs in 1679. In the diocese, as we have seen, it had been decided to establish schools in every parish. Judging by the minutes and the resolutions adopted by the synod, however, no



functioning school system had been accomplished. Tuition was carried on partly by teachers, where there were schools, but also by trivium school pupils who made their living as tutors. The synod ruled that this teaching should be encouraged, as should that provided by “wives and widows … as already happens in some places.” The sexton should preferably be able to read and write in order to teach children where there was no school or teacher.92 The wives and widows who taught in the parishes earned their living by teaching and giving sewing lessons to children. The priests were told to encourage this tuition. It is also clear that the sexton could also often teach children for a small fee.93 Examination in the catechism evidently did not take place without problems, since children were seriously exhorted to learn the prescribed knowledge and were reminded of their obligation to attend examinations. The church authorities also threatened to enlist the aid of the secular power: “and when they [the young] will not attend but irreverently absent themselves time after time from the word of God through contumacy, then assistance in enforcing obedience should be sought from the secular authorities.”94 The synodal minutes of 1679 show that the tuition by windows and wives that was esteemed so highly by the clergy could be a burden on the peasant household. “Among common people in the countryside, there tends to be a shortage of food for maintaining such persons.”95 A statement at the Strängnäs synod in 1647 also suggests that the frequent lessons in the catechism should be perceived as yet another burden on top of the heavy work load. The pastor of Tyringe accused a young peasant of insufficient drill in the catechism, to which he replied “in a loud voice” as follows: “When they have worked the whole week on the manor, surely they can rest on Sunday.” He was sent to the consistory for punishment.96 The difficulties of implementing catechetical tuition remained after the Church Act of 1686. In the 1690s more rigorous sanctions were decreed for neglect of catechetical examination. The county governor was also recommended to appoint two people in each parish to help to collect fines for this negligence. The justification cited for this was that young people and servants did not take part in the lessons and that the vestrymen (sexmän) did not exact fines for negligence. At the start of the eighteenth century, the rules were tightened with a decree that those who failed to attend catechetical examination should be set in the stocks.97 These sources show that tuition in the catechism was not particularly well adapted to the needs and social conditions of the peasant community.



This is borne up by the rules on punishment, on regular catechetical examinations, and the express command by the church authorities that children should be taught outside the home, in schools and in other ways.98 The form given to education in Sweden, with catechetical examinations and home examinations, simultaneously entailed a well-developed control of the people’s knowledge. Against this background, it seems not unlikely that the emphasis on these examinations in the Church Act of 1686 can be linked to the difficulty of creating a functioning system for the church’s task of subordinating the people to the political and secular power.99 The church’s tuition involved not only inspection of knowledge and pure teaching work; the examinations also gave the priests good insight into the life of the peasant family and their moral and political attitudes. According to the synodal minutes from Strängnäs in 1679, visits to the home were to be used for examination, through which one could also “gain a better impression of the conduct of each person in the house and the surrounding villages.”100 Complaints about the parents’ instruction and knowledge give us a hint that the potential to build on the homes was not always good. The difficulties, however, were not confined to the inadequate knowledge of the parents themselves. Against this background, there is reason to wonder whether the difficulty of establishing a well-functioning educational system may also have been due to a conscious reaction on the part of the peasants against the authorities’ demands. The young peasant who reacted to the requirement to attend catechism lessons on Sundays evidently wanted to keep a part of his life outside the control of the authorities. It was enough to have to spend six working days a week at the manor.101 The intention hitherto has been to outline and problematize public education in the seventeenth century. The account shows that the state and the church were unable to develop an efficient school system, nor could they just rely on the local population’s interest in participating in the lessons and examinations. Moreover, it seems as if the character of the educational system depended on the extent to which the upper classesand the church could finance schools. It is therefore necessary to discuss in detail how this system looked from the point of view of the local community. At the start of Sweden’s Age of Greatness (1611–1718), many parts of the countryside did not have any representatives of the ruling class—the nobles, state officials, and others. In addition, the peasants exerted considerable political influence over the governance of the parishes.102



Research has also indicated that the state on different occasions adopted a relatively benevolent stance to the peasants’ complaints about various matters. The crown acceded, for example, to their demand for tax relief. In this connection the clergy acted as mediators between the authorities and the subjects. Sometimes they even sided outright with the peasantry.103 It is thus worth sketching seventeenth-century popular education in relation to the system of governance; the relationship between the central state and the local community, and the role of home instruction in the governance of the local community.

Public Education, the Local Community, and the State The seventeenth century was characterized by economic and social polarization. At the same time, education was introduced on a larger scale. It is interesting in this connection that home-based education in Iceland seems to have involved an attempt to strengthen the power of the head of the household in connection with a deterioration in social conditions and an economic crisis in the eighteenth century. Pietism in Iceland, which required Christians to have a high level of knowledge, did not lead to the establishment of schools but instead to the development of a system of home tuition adjusted to the country’s “archaic social structure.” The ecclesiastical tuition in the home strengthened those interacting authorities on the local level—the master of the house, the minister, and the district governor—who all combined to subject youth to all-round domestic discipline, which included learning to read. … In this connection it is symptomatic that it was with reference to inadequate discipline, especially among the poor, and to the nuisance caused to the local authorities by roaming child beggars, that desires to establish children’s schools were expressed. There is thus a great deal to suggest that the Pietist domestic discipline had an integrating function in the old societal order, which was subject to pre-industrial crises several times during the period.104

There is reason to ask whether the introduction of public education in Sweden was a response to similar social conflicts. The intervention of the state in support of the patriarchal rule of a local elite can also reflect social conflicts in the local community. The ecclesiastical rules issued in the seventeenth century included prohibitions indicating a desire to curb



conflicts between the parish authorities—the vestrymen and the priest— and the parishioners. Some of the rules are based on the commandment to “Honor thy father and thy mother” (the fourth commandment in the Lutheran numbering), with punishments for people who assaulted and abused parents, masters, vestrymen, and so on.105 The catechism and the household code enshrine the patriarchal norms and submission to the authorities and the master and mistress of the household. This set of norms emphasizes the importance of the household and “traditional” loyalties. The historian Eva Österberg claims, against the background of research findings showing increased polarization and great mobility within the population, that seventeenth-century society may have seen an increased orientation to the kindred and family. She thus opposes notions of a traditional and “static” peasant society and Börje Hanssen’s argument that the seventeenth century, because of the high mortality, was a time of undeveloped kin loyalties and family solidarity.106 Österberg has studied how different types of crime were handled in Långhundra Hundred 1545–1570 and in Vendel Parish 1615–1645, both areas in Uppland. The latter period saw much harsher penalties for sexual offenses. This change reflected the state’s increased control of the judgments passed by the lower courts, implementing a form of jurisdiction strictly based on the Old Testament. Simultaneously, however, there was an increase in the number of reported and punished sexual offenses.107 Österberg interprets the findings as an expression of the community’s greater interest in reporting crimes against traditional norms and values. The increased mobility and stratification, both economic and cultural, meant that the pillars of society—the peasant farmers and their wives— were interested in maintaining “the sanctity and morality of the family in the face of the threat of immorality and illegitimacy from farmhands, maids, and to a certain extent deviant groups in society, such as soldiers and their widows.”108 The growing social differences and the crimes against community norms and basic social relations explain the eagerness of the local establishment to assert “family loyalty and responsibility, abidance by the law, order, and morality.”109 Eva Österberg’s argument assumes that the discovery and reporting of the offenses resulted from the local community’s interest in voluntarily prosecuting crimes against the values of the “establishment,” even though it risked sending the reported offenders, sometimes neighbors, to the gallows. It was a shared mentality that was expressed in this way.110 The thesis is compatible with the development discussed here. The seventeenth-century population could hear the



orthodox and patriarchal morals and values being preached from the pulpit, and they were expected to know them at the catechetical examinations. The example is thus of some interest for the present study. In another essay on crimes of violence in the period, Eva Österberg noted an increase in the first half of the seventeenth century which she would link in a similar way to the increased mobility among the lower classes and the growing differences between social groups.111 Research in Finland has already considered the problem of sexual offenses and violent crimes. The distribution and changing pattern of crimes has been associated with the intervention of the state and its administrative control of violence in the community and crimes against morality. A concrete link is established between the intervention of the state and the increased local authority of the incoming nobility, while the peasants became increasingly poor.112 It is clear that the growing interest in prosecuting and reporting crime in Sweden in the seventeenth century can be explained in terms of the actions of the state and the church. In Sweden, to begin with, we see that state civil servants became firmly established in the countryside and the clergy were given explicit duties to represent the interests of the central government.113 This process was part of a transition from the open and explicit use of force to subdue the local community to an administrative control of the people’s norms and values. The articulation of patriarchal values was thus scarcely an automatic reflection of the mentality of the people, but rather of the political needs of the authorities. In the following text I will outline these general changes. An extreme example of the intervention of the ecclesiastical authorities in the local community to detect and punish crimes of various kinds was the inquisition (räfst) by Bishop Abraham Angermannus in 1595. According to Duke Charles’s instructions, the zeal and fidelity of the clergy were to be investigated, along with the attitude of the congregation to the crown and the word of God. The inquisition comprised the dioceses of Skara, Linköping, and Växjö. Angermannus was to be assisted by the bishops and priests on the spot and by representatives of the secular authority.114 The mission was implemented in a thorough and brutal way. Duke Charles, who later opposed the inquisition, had nothing against the punishments as such, but mainly objected to the summary procedure and the high-handed way in which the church administered justice.115 According to the instructions issued by Angermannus, the visitation was to follow a set pattern. The parishioners were to assemble at the



church to put forward any complaints that came within the jurisdiction of the cathedral chapter. The priests were expected to have compiled “lists of everyone in the congregation and simultaneously have noted whether ‘any shortcoming or offense could be going on, whether among high or low, without respect for person, whatever it might be in doctrine or behavior.’”116 Priests who concealed anything important were to lose their office if it was revealed. Complaints between priests were also to be put before the inquisition.117 In preparation for the “general visitation” Angermannus issued instructions along the same lines to the clergy in his own diocese. He stressed that priests were supposed to teach their listeners the catechism and that ecclesiastical law and discipline were not to be allowed to weaken. “A list of all crimes and misdemeanors in the parishes was to be drawn up in readiness for a forthcoming visitation.”118 The clergy were expected to register the population and, according to the instructions, also act as informers concerning the crimes the authorities sought to prosecute. The visitation records certainly give the impression of a mighty effort to uphold Lutheran morals and Christian values. Angermannus married huge numbers of unmarried and cohabiting couples and meted out penalties—fines and beatings—for various sexual offenses. He forced betrothed couples to keep their marriage pledges, punished adultery, premarital and extramarital liaisons, and tried to reconcile spouses with fines and the birch.119 Regardless of how the state viewed the forms in which Angermannus acted, the crimes that were now punished seem to have represented behavior that was firmly rooted among the peasantry. Angermannus ran into problems with the pretender to the throne, Duke Charles, later King, who feared that the opposition created by his bishop’s ruthlessness would spoil his political ambitions. He also questioned the legality of the rulings by the church.120 In the subsequent decades, the control of the population was not so violent, although the dividing lines between the jurisdiction of the state and that of the church remained disputed until the Church Act of 1686.121 In the decades before the mid-seventeenth century, the control of the population was made a part of the everyday work of the church, with more routine visitations. The deans were also expected to exercise control over the lower clergy. This control became part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy that was established in the first half of the seventeenth century.122 In the diocese of Västerås, the minutes of the cathedral chapter paint a concrete picture of what the disciplinary measures entailed. Just after



becoming bishop, Rudbeckius ordered the priests to keep lists of all “reported sinners” and send them to the cathedral chapter. These records would then be supplemented during the bishop’s visitations to the parishes. Moreover, the discipline required parishioners to inform on each other. The “general priesthood of believers,” as preached in all parishes, meant that everyone in the parish was obliged to help to correct errors in each other, “and if this is not possible, to report each other’s offenses. The requirement to inform on others was particularly necessary in sparsely populated parishes which were difficult to monitor.”123 Bishop Rudbeckius’s diary provides eloquent evidence of the desire to punish the crimes that had also interested Angermannus a few decades previously.124 The difference was that the moral education was now pursued continuously and parallel to a careful registration of the people’s religious knowledge and moral behavior, and there was constant informing. It was in Rudbeckius’s diocese that the obligation to register the population was first presented.125 New questions are raised by these observations. To what extent was the informing also an expression of the peasantry’s own interest in punishing different kinds of crime, as Eva Österberg argues, and not just an expression of the authorities’ desire for control? Was there an interacting interest between the peasantry and the ecclesiastical authorities? There is good reason to discuss this problem on the basis of developments in the diocese of Uppsala, where Eva Österberg also takes her data on an increase of sexual offenses and the shared mentality. The minutes of the diocesan synods give some opportunity to discuss in rather more detail how parochial discipline was to be maintained. The Diocese of Uppsala—An Example At the diocesan synods, not surprisingly, it was emphasized that people should be examined on their knowledge of the catechism and should know the basics of Christianity when attending communion and other ecclesiastical rites. The duty to attend church was also significant, and the hierarchical structure of the system is evident as early as the synod of 1604: The churches’ vestrymen must observe who is absent and, when after frequent exhortation they refuse to attend, they shall be reported to the dean and then the chapter. In absolution there is no need for any long sermon, but they should be examined well about sin, their faith and the sacrament etc.



On intercession days they shall be assiduously exhorted and must pay a fine … if one person from each farm does not come. The catechism and its explication shall be diligently pursued at all times.126 (my italics)

At the synod of 1608 it was pointed out that registers should be kept of all the children who were baptized, of marriages and betrothals, and so on. The archbishop also issued rules for how the deans should handle their visitations, “which shall take place twice a year.”127 This synod also considered in detail the treatment of a number of questions of ecclesiastical procedure,128 and also how to deal with “sins, fornication, and vices perpetrated in the parishes or other evil deeds.”129 As during the inquisition of Angermannus, it was essential for the local authorities that these sins and vices should be punished by higher church authorities. The church’s penalty was to be a reminder that sin was punished; it was important that the crimes should be found and manifested, that they should be reported diligently to the constables and it is ensured that they appear in court and first receive the sentence of the law and are there absolved. And when they escape the punishment of the authorities (secular) they will be subject to church punishment; so that everyone may see that sin and vice has and receives its proper punishment.130

Evidently it was not possible to rely on the willingness of the bailiffs to report this type of crime. The text continues with a passage according to which the bailiffs were to be urged at least to submit a written report on crimes.131 There was thus some doubt about the extent to which the bailiffs could be expected to take part in attempts to detect and punish sexual offenses. The explanation is probably to be found in the persistent uncertainty about the relationship between ecclesiastical and secular power.132 Another possible interpretation, however, is that representatives of secular authority were not interested in punishing this type of crime. They may have shared the moral and ethical values of the community rather than those of the church. Whatever the community thought about these crimes, it is undeniable that the priests and vestrymen were required to take part in the control of morality. That pastors, each in his town and the whole parish, investigate and be vigilant about the shameful fornication and inform his superior about it without



delay, that such may be punished and lead to repentance. That each one acts with his vestrymen so that they too are careful and concerned about all that has now been said, and assist their pastors in the matter and particularly deal with the contumacious and impenitent, that they may be corrected.133

The latter point shows that relations between the clergy and the people on these matters were not without problems. The demands imposed on the priests by their superiors may have created or exacerbated the difficulties in their dealing with the congregation. Now, as during Angermannus’s inquisition, there were also ambitions to track down “criminals” between parishes, which suggests that moving away may have been one resort for escaping church punishment.134 If anyone is found who tries to escape punishment, whether a man or a woman, when he has done something and hides in other parishes, pastor and parish foremen inquire about him and then let him know in the parish to which he is come what kind of a person he or she is. Item this must be complied with when a murderer … is barred from the Sacrament vsque poenitentiam and kept from baptism etc.135

Nor were the people supposed to be passive as regards the discovery and reporting of crime. It was perceived as a civic duty. “That each and every person discover and announce that error or matter he knows about his neighbor either orally or in writing, if he does not wish otherwise, so that nothing may be hidden from the Chapter, but must be properly addressed to it.”136 The diocesan synod thus made it perfectly clear that the clergy and the people were obliged to report to the chapter. It was evidently considered necessary to draw attention to this and point out the possibility of reporting the crime in writing. At the same time, it is interesting to observe that church attendance and church punishments were not just a manifestation of a religious subordination but were explicitly connected with political subordination. At the diocesan synod of 1611 the archbishop stressed that regular churchgoing and political stance were closely linked to each other. The archbishop pointed out that anyone who neglected church was not just ungodly but also disloyal to his fatherland and His Majesty the King.137 At this and subsequent diocesan synods, the minister of Vendel, a parish studied by Eva Österberg, was one of those who had questions to ask



about the attitudes of parishioners to the church and its requirements. How should one deal with the suffocation of infants and with people who came to services drunk?138 The archbishop’s response on the latter occasion gave a clear hint that he had no great confidence in the way the law was enforced in the parishes. The sinners had not been sufficiently punished there, and the level of tolerance was, to all appearances, quite different from that in the cathedral chapter: The cases of all manner, vices and other coarse things that occur … in the parishes, for which some are given dispensation at home, the archbishop does not wish to tolerate hereafter but send them to the chapter in Uppsala, which has a higher understanding of them than simplioses.139

From the response it is clear that it was the clergy’s duty to report to their superior authorities. We may assume that the dean’s involvement in the problem at the synod also reflected an interest in eliminating local difficulties and that he sought confirmation from his superiors. In the ensuing discussion voices evidently questioned the possibility of getting the sinners to go to the chapter to be punished, which suggests that the church had no real power to enforce this kind of disciplining. The archbishop nevertheless stuck to his demands.140 The minutes of the diocesan synods in the following period 1615–1638 are lost. It is therefore impossible to discuss how the church acted in Uppsala in those years. At the end of the period no synods seem to have been held, judging by a statement in the council in 1636.141 Nor can we ascertain how this affected relations locally. In 1639, however, when synods were resumed under the leadership of a new archbishop, the dean of Vendel proved to be interested in maintaining church discipline and order. He then complained that the Frenchmen at Österbobruk did not come to the parish church or attend the services.142 He was not alone in this interest. At the subsequent diocesan synods, the obligation of the priests to examine people in the catechism was emphasized once again, as was the duty of the deans to visit the parishes and report to the cathedral chapter.143 At the synod in 1641, however, there were complaints about “the great indiligence of the listeners … almost all,” and the meeting ended with threats that disobedient parishes would be barred from further divine service.144 However, such grave consequences did not go down well with the archbishop. In 1644 the archbishop warned against excessive use of such bans. Pastors were urged not to “leave their listeners without a church, the



Last Supper, and at times to excommunicate them” for minor offenses.145 The rules testify, as before, that the church’s educational activities could be perceived differently by the people and the ecclesiastical leadership. The difficulty of maintaining church values on questions of morality were undoubtedly the background to a discussion of premarital liaisons at the 1648 synod. There were lamentations about the abuse of marriage, “especially that boys and maids get betrothed secretly, have children together and then, when they appear before the chapter, usually deny having promised to marry.”146 The consistory demanded that the deans on their annual visitations should deal with masters and maids alike. The dean was to call the masters forward and exhort them not to let their daughters or maids “become betrothed or have dealings with” males; “where such happens and something evil ensues, they too should be reproved for it.”147 The master of the household was held responsible for the morality of his subordinates, but this was done in a way that suggests that they did not automatically and normally side with the church morality. Maids were to be called into the sacristy and urged not to let themselves be deceived. If they did not have two or three witnesses to confirm that they were promised marriage, “they could not expect to have any assistance in the consistory but bear their shame and injury through their own doing for nothing and in vain.”148 This formulation gives the impression that the church was forced in reality to accept premarital liaisons if they were followed by a church marriage. The same synod, however, underlined the rules in the church ordinance concerning fines and other penalties for those who slept together before marriage.149 The minutes from the diocese of Uppsala show how the church authorities aimed, with the aid of priests, vestrymen, bailiffs, and ordinary parishioners, to detect and report actions which were criminal according to the ecclesiastical authorities: premarital and extramarital sex and so on. The very existence of these decrees shows, moreover, that the participation of bailiffs, vestrymen, and parishioners in this informing could not be taken for granted. The cathedral chapter also revealed its hesitation about the local administration of justice in the parishes by requiring that punishment should be left to a higher level and by holding both maids and their masters responsible for sexual offenses. Judging by the complaints, the church’s educational activities seems to have encountered resistance. Under the bishops who followed Bishop Kenecius, the church’s educational work was a central concern. Paulinus Gothus required priests to



keep lists of catechetical examinations which were then to be submitted to the consistory for inspection.150 Given the zeal for public education, the interest in discovering offenders, having them reported to higher authorities, and so on, there is every reason to assume that the clergy in the archdiocese did indeed manage through time to increase their control over life in the parishes. The increase in the number of reported crimes against sexual morality that Eva Österberg observes in the court records from Vendel in the seventeenth century thus cannot be automatically ascribed to the parishioners’ own interest in enforcing the law. On the contrary, a number of formulations in the synodal records suggest that the people reacted against this increased control.151 If anything, the conflicts were between the local community and the church authorities. We are therefore justified in discussing the meaning of this against the background of the political relationship between the state and local self-government during the seventeenth century. State Power and Local Power How were the church’s efforts to instruct and educate related to local power and state governance in seventeenth-century Sweden? The peasants’ self-administration through the parish assembly was significant and a unique feature, in Sweden, but how independent was the parish assembly really? According to K.  H. Johansson, the increased importance of the parish assembly should be sought chiefly in the need to organize the local economic administration of the parish’s common assets. In a later phase, the parish assembly was also given disciplinary and educational measures.152 Ragnar Gullstrand puts more emphasis on the latter. For the church, parochial self-government became an instrument for getting the parish committees to participate in the maintenance of church discipline.153 Both link the development of local self-government to the growing power of the church in the seventeenth century and stress that this development took place partly in conflict with the aspirations of the state government. Local exercise of power is depicted as an independent and alternative local-popular power center—a counter to the upper class and the strong central government.154 It was “popular local government, where the common man had a voice and could make himself heard. Assembled around their clergy, the men of the peasantry had the right and power to settle local matters of various kinds.”155 Johansson also stresses that this local



government developed “in the middle of the period when the nobility achieved its greatest power.”156 Peter Aronsson has also discussed the development of local self-government with a case study in a selection of parishes and stresses, as Eva Österberg and Harald Gustavsson do, the political culture that developed based on negotiations between the state and different branches of local government. It was a political culture which allowed informal and formal participation by local representative that signified the formation of the Swedish early modern state. 157 Sven A.  Nilsson’s discussion of the relationship between the secular power and the church’s registration of people, however, shows how closely the local church authorities were linked to the state. In administrative terms, they were an intermediate link between the state and the people.158 Eva Österberg has highlighted this role for an earlier period, although she rather emphasizes the scope for negotiation that the peasants and the priests enjoyed vis-à-vis the state.159 With this emphasis, her thesis is clearly similar to those propounded by Johansson and Gullstrand. In connection with the discussion of sexual offenses in the seventeenth century, she does not perceive any conflict in the relationship between the local community and the authorities; instead she stresses the conflict between the local peasant elite and marginalized groups. The former tried to maintain local social control in accordance with the patriarchal ideology spread by the church and the authorities. For this purpose, the peasant elite also used the judicial apparatus of the state.160 There is an alternative interpretation, however, which to an extent takes that argument one step further. Local self-government may have been a means by the government to attach the peasants more firmly to the state through the clergy and by making the local government body politically responsible. Both Gullstrand and Johansson believe that local self-­ government continued after the church’s right to try offenders was formally ended with the Church Act of 1686. The state was interested in breaking the formal independence of local administration under the church, but the authority of the priests and the parish assembly was confirmed in later ordinances, even though it was no longer possible to pass judgment on secular crimes.161 Development on this point, an increased state control, was partly paralleled by the professionalization of the judges and the increased state control of the courts. The commoner law readers, with their heavy dependence on the noble district judge, were replaced by noble and commoner district judges pursuing a civil service career.162



Regardless of whether the power of judgment was exercised by state or church, the tough orthodox enforcement of discipline in the seventeenth century involved a combination of religious and political demands for loyalty. It became impossible to oppose religious subordination without simultaneously being in breach of secular and ecclesiastical law. The power of church and state was interwoven so that religious orthodoxy became a “civic duty of obedience.”163 Self-administration and the local ideological control, I shall argue here, were a precondition for the state’s increasingly firm control of social development, and therefore perhaps not an expression of “counter-power” in the true sense. The Church Act, however, smothered the ambitions of the ecclesiastical hierarchy for independence, ambitions which were presumably nourished by the dependence of the state on the church for administrative and juridical purposes in the first half of the seventeenth century. There is reason to ponder over how the combination of self-­government and administration could, at the same time, come to mean stricter control and reduced room to maneuver by the local government. This problem will be discussed here in terms of the relation of the clergy to the state, the church, and the local elites. This will then be put in relation to the system of governance that characterized nation-building during the seventeenth century. The Clergy, the State, and the Local Elites The development of the diocesan system in the seventeenth century entailed a distinctly hierarchical organization of the church. The priests were subjected to control by the diocesan leadership, in the form of visitations and synods. At the same time, education requirements for priests were tightened. They were also given a number of new duties on behalf of the state and the church. Those who did not comply risked dismissal. The priests were made explicitly dependent on the ecclesiastical leadership and the diocesan authorities.164 The attitude of the priests to the new demands was not unambiguously positive. There were protests both against the power of the bishops and against the bonds to the state. An eloquent expression of the latter is a little publication by Erik Othonius, a priest in Östergötland, from the 1620s, with a title meaning “A little instruction in the office of teachers, that they should not implicate themselves in other vocations…”165 Othonius opposes the obligation of priests to take part in the work of



conscription and tax collection. These duties made the clergy (the teaching order, according to the catechism) function as representatives of the secular authorities instead of devoting themselves to their proper task, the care of souls. The attachment of the clergy to the secular power moreover had the consequence that the relationship of the priests to the people deteriorated.166 Othonius observed, however, that not all priests shared his opinion. “Young priests in particular are often willing to let the bailiffs utilize them for all manner of assignments.”167 The complaints hint that a new generation of priests began to be incorporated in the administrative organization of the state. There was in part a purely practical reason for this: the priest was often the only person in a parish who could write. Neither the district constable nor the petty constabe could be expected to be literate.168 In the following decades Othonius’s complaints were carried on by Bishop Johannes Baazius. The clerical estate in the diet also managed to free the priests from their immediate involvement in the compilation of lists for the government. However, they would still be obliged to take part in the proceedings and seal and sign the rolls, “keeping a diligent eye on them so that they are properly and correctly dealt with.”169 The priests were thus still incorporated in the system for controlling the people on behalf of the state. Johannes Baazius’s critique did not question the fundamental relationship between state and church. Instead it meant stressing the supremacy of the state over the government of the church. Since the church itself did not have any external force at its disposal, it needed the secular authority to give church discipline due respect.170 Baazius’s concern is mainly about church discipline. “In dark colors he paints the prevailing situation: the most distinguished members of the congregation refuse to submit to the church’s judgments when the priesthood alone is behind them.”171 In the first half of the seventeenth century, there were priests who saw the care of souls as their primary duty and reacted against attempts to turn the clergy into state officials. This stance, however, did not mean that the priests were critical of the state’s claims or that they showed solidarity with the peasantry.172 The special position of the clergy at the time was also highlighted in a variety of ways. From the end of the sixteenth century, the diocesan leadership had tried to stress the exclusiveness of the clergy in relation to the peasantry. Priests were not supposed to take part in the popular and rustic life of the peasants but should maintain a social distance.173 Yet this probably had to be balanced against the fact that the



priests were able to function in the local peasant community but also befriend the local elites. In the 1660s it was pointed out, for example, that priests should “amicably mix with their listeners and act so that they maintain friendship with the most distinguished members of the congregation [i.e., the local gentry], in order that they may have assistance from them in all necessary matters that pertain to the welfare of the church etc.”174 Marking clerical exclusiveness was not to undermine the foundation for the work of the clergy in the parishes. The clergy were dependent on the local peasant elites in the seventeenth century too, when they were tied more closely to the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. The peasants’ representatives in the parish were also involved. The responsibility of the vestrymen for conditions in the parish is clear from both ecclesiastical and secular rules. They had to ensure that compulsory church attendance was enforced and that the church and the priest received the funds allocated to the church.175 At the same time, the authorities were evidently aware that the social differences in the community were a factor that influenced the priests’ relations to the laity. This is reflected in the stance of the clerical estate on the local application of the Church Act. When the priests in the diocese of Uppsala asked how examinations should be pursued with respect to the different social groups in the peasant community—“not only the youth and servants but also the master and mistress of the household”—the answer was that everyone was obliged to take part, but “the examiner should not deal with the more distinguished parishioners, who assuredly know the main points of Christianity, in the same way as with the youth and servants, who must be taught and examined through energetic diligence.”176 So at the very center of this instrument of control and surveillance of the population, we find children and youth, now visible in eye of government as individuals. The discussion in the Parliament of 1664 about the prohibition of oaths and breaches of the Sabbath reveals the conflicts about the church’s right to try offenders. It also shows the limited popular support in the parishes for measures of this kind. According to the government bill, the district constable and petty constable and “the men representing the interests of the church” would supervise compliance with the rules and notify the church who used oaths. The clergy would only warn the offenders and hand them over for chastisement. In other words, the priests would not take part in the punishment, which would be meted out at a higher level. The nobility thought that the statute was unnecessary since it could not be



implemented and would only lead to confusion and informing and increase the power of the clergy. The burghers pointed out that the priests themselves had a great deal to learn when it came to refraining from cursing and swearing.177 The clergy backed Archbishop Lenaeus, who argued in a pamphlet in favor of the church’s local right of judgment and well-organized system of informing. He emphasized his belief that the statute could achieve more than a multitude of sermons and suggested a system of informants that would make it all work.178 The pamphlet has been summed up as follows by Gullstrand: Even if vice cannot be immediately eradicated, the punishment is likely to bridle the tongues of the ungodly, and the fines, which should be shared between the informer and the prosecutor, will no doubt also attract some people who will volunteer to become informers.179

The following text, however, shows that the attempts in this direction did not work without problems. The consequence of the parishioners’ reluctance to inform on each other, according to Lenaeus, was that the powers of the clergy had to be strengthened. The clergy in particular must nevertheless assume the concern for compliance with the law. In the diocese of Västerås, although it had been agreed in all the parishes that the vestrymen would keep an eye on all misbehavior and report it monthly to the parish hall, an inquiry found that almost no one dared to step forward. The clergy should therefore be authorized in the statute to inform, investigate and judge such cases, with other people appointed for the purpose, and also be given the power to set the undisciplined people in the stocks or otherwise chastise them.180

Even Johannes Baazius, who was so critical of episcopal power but less independent with respect to the power of the state, envisaged enforcing church discipline in a similar manner. According to the statute on vestrymen found in Baazius’s contract, these men were supposed to be loyal to the authorities and “try to prevent harmful ‘practices’ in time.”181 They should also, of course, help the minister with church discipline and together with him punish the disobedient and “contumacious” and collect fines for misdemeanors of various kinds. Moreover, the vestrymen were to be assisted by four men, each with the duty of monitoring one quarter of the parish. This post was to be occupied for four months at a time, and the



statute ruled that it was not possible “to refuse the church this service.”182 Baazius ran into difficulty, however, when he tried to get the system to work. A note in the parish register from Barkeryd shows that the congregation, at a parish assembly in 1645, had agreed that in matters of church discipline they would follow Baazius’s line without regard to person. The role of prosecutor, however, was to be given to the sexton “so that the matter may be given better attention.” He was to inform the pastor immediately if any breach of the statute came to his knowledge and expose the offender to the whole congregation at the next parish assembly. For his trouble the sexton was to receive a quarter of the fines, but if he was negligent or deliberately failed to accuse a sinner, he would pay a fine twice as large as the offender’s.183 The reluctance of the vestrymen to collect the fines imposed when servants and young people neglected the catechism classes and examinations forced the state to take further action. In the 1690s an ordinance required the appointment of special “wardmen” (rotemän) with the exclusive task of collecting fines. In 1691 there were complaints in Uppsala “that those who absent themselves from catechetical examinations not only do not pay the fines specified for that, but also the district constables (länsmän) or petty constables (fjärdingsmän) do not demand them.”184 Judging by these examples, the attempts to engage the vestrymen and the “most distinguished” parishioners on behalf of the state had not been wholly successful. The ordinances and prohibitions on violence against masters, parents, and vestrymen discussed above should thus be interpreted not only as a desire to enforce the fourth commandment and the Mosaic law.185 Instead they should be viewed as an expression of the will to strengthen the local political power—the patriarchal authority of the parish assembly and the master of the household over culture, over women, children, and adolescents—in a period when the central government was establishing closer political ties with these local elites. They were indeed expected to act as tools of the state in the local community, under the auspices of self-­ administration. The efforts ran into problems, as we have seen. A number of factors in seventeenth-century society, moreover, make it questionable whether the traditional authorities—masters and priests—possessed the local political and social power. In some areas, for example, it was evidently the sodality of young people that maintained control over the “marriage trade.”186 The integration of the peasant elite in the cultural



structures of the community, and their reluctance to run errands on behalf of the state does not mean, however, that they could not use the state judicial apparatus for their own interests when handling conflicts in the community.187 And it is also questionable whether the household as a unit in people’s lives was of the same importance and permanence as in the seventeenth-century religious teachings.188 The state needed to create concepts and routines with which the reality could be shaped. In this context, the rule of the master of the household was a natural starting point, irrespective of the extent to which it was a social reality. To be able to ally the master of the household and of the local communities with the central government, the former had to be given responsibility and in some cases influence.189 Parochial self-­ government under the supervision of the state was one solution to the problem of governance, and so were new administrative routines, registration and surveillance of the population. Power, Space, and Bookkeeping The difficulties that the bishops had in establishing an efficient system of informers and collaborators can be connected to the interest in registering the population. The books—the church registers—that were to be kept could be excellent tools for controlling, for example, premarital and extramarital relations.190 Dependence on informers was reduced because of the continuous registration about some of the breaches of norms and morals. The priests and the controlling authorities acquired a knowledge of the people’s way of life which had previously been restricted to the people themselves.191 The same applied to the examinations that the priest conducted in the homes of the peasants. In 1648 the bishop of Västerås expressed the advantages as follows: For one can thus know what progress each house makes and how godly and well-behaved it is, and in this way it is also easier to know which of them can be worthily absolved of their sins and be given the sacrament.192

Because the church authorities created this system whereby individuals were continuously registered, they did not have to depend on more openly repressive measures of the kind taken by Abraham Angermannus in the 1590s. The control, surveillance, became bureaucratic and systematic. The church’s accounts of the parishioners’ catechetical knowledge, of



their births and marriages, meant that the authorities could supervise the parishes, by the books, at the recurrent parish visits by deans and bishops, even without the active participation of the local people in prosecuting certain crimes. In this context it is interesting to note that the church ordinance proposed by the clerical estate in 1682 placed great emphasis on parochial self-government. After this proposal had been scrutinized by his officials, Charles XI issued a Church Act from which the chapter about parochial government had been deleted but which had household examinations and church registration of the population as central elements.193 It was the state that needed this more far-reaching control of the both priests and people; it was not to be religiously based self-government. The registration made it possible, with a more manifest expression of power, to reach the individuals in their homes who did not have the moral standards and knowledge required by the state and the church. In his memoirs, Bishop Jesper Svedberg has left us a detailed description of his work at the Royal Guards, as a young clergyman, which can illustrate this. He stresses there that the tuition was not to be given with “threat” or “pressure,” or with “whip or stake.” The soldiers were coaxed to learn the catechism with the promise of being given a copy of their own. Around half of the 1200 men in the regiment were able to read when they were examined and the promise was to be fulfilled. Svedberg asked the king for money for the catechisms, which was granted. He noted with satisfaction that this was how teaching should be pursued.194 Svedberg’s educational zeal also had other consequences, as it was based on more than the soldiers’ religious interest. This is clear from the subsequent passage in his autobiography: Not with whip or stake, I said. Yet there were stakes enough. And there was occasion for them. The King asked me when His Majesty gave me the money: are they all as diligent and willing to read? And what did I know about their behavior? Now I had recorded since I first came to the regiment everyone’s reading and behavior. I had a large group who were obstinate and refractory, staying away from examination, and those who led a lascivious life. The King took the record from me, and ordered Colonel Fagerschöld to have them all whipped at the stake. The alarm was sounded in the camp. And so many stakes could not be obtained in haste. I thus mitigated the punishment: that they yield up those who were most reluctant, depraved, and negligent. And Pålak Hill was provided with a lot of stakes with a



­ orseman at each stake. After that they became obedient and pious. Vextio h dat intellectum, as the proverb says.195

Through the registration each individual became a “case” that could be scrutinized and inspected, examined and penalized. Those who did not satisfy the norms of behavior had to answer for their disobedience. The bookkeeping made it possible to reach every individual illustrating the use parish records by the government. The process described here of course concerns not only the ideological and cultural development in the outlook on obedience and discipline. It is obvious that there was a link to other changes. The administrative and fiscal organization of the state was reformed. The mobilization of economic resources that took place in the seventeenth century meant, among other things, increased surveillance of individuals as economic objects.196 The drive for public education also meant that individuals’ ideas about politics and religion were subject to the control of the authorities. Instruction and examination meant that every individual was reminded of relations in society, and through the registration they were tied by an individual bond to the political system. The examinations of the parishioners were perceived as a much more efficient way to influence individuals in the parishes than preaching. In his autobiography Jesper Svedberg stressed the advantages of catechetical examinations in this respect: In sermons, which are usually skillfully delivered, many people sit with foreign thoughts, and retain little; and then home they go. But not so with godly and edifying examination in the Catechism.197

He thus emphatically declared that catechetical instruction was one of the most important tasks of the bishops and priests.198 Recurrent examination in church or in the homes made individuals, with a focus on household masters and children and adolescents, visible to the authorities. Both the church and the homes became spaces for public examination. Instruction and testing were individualized, and in this way the authorities broke through the collective order of the peasant community. Obedience to the secular power was simultaneously portrayed as religious submission. The system was maintained through its foundation in the ecclesiastical administration. Its hierarchical structure and elaborate control system enabled continuous and routine observation of the population. Power did



not display itself on occasions as it had before and as exemplified by the “raid” by Angermannus. Now it was ever present. Power became a matter of administering both an ideology and material resources. This did not mean that the authorities’ physical treatment of the subjects was no longer necessary, as is illustrated by Svedberg’s method of catechetical tuition. The use of the stocks and other forms of shaming clearly shows that the physical attributes of power continued to be prominent in Sweden. Yet they were now given a religious form and a moral content.199 The system was not created without resistance from the population and from certain priests. The resistance may be one explanation for the bureaucratization of the control. The way in which the local community was integrated in the state seems to have been due to the lack of other instruments for subordination. On the local level, of course, the nobility, where it existed, maintained a certain degree of control over the population. In some places this control also comprised the religious understanding of the subordinates. It was in these contexts that schools were founded. Where it was not possible to do this, however, other instruments were necessary for control. The Swedish peasants were not affected to any great extent by a local nobility and its estate system at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In many regions the predominant group consisted of freeholders and tenants of the crown. Noble estates were concentrated in fertile areas, where freeholders could be a minority. A large share of the new noble domains, moreover, were not turned into manorial estates. Much of the nobility’s landholdings was scattered among freehold and crown-owned farms. It was only to a limited degree that the development during the seventeenth century, with an initial increase of noble landholding, also entailed a dominance of peasants doing labor on the noble manors.200 Most Swedish peasants thus did not live like the young peasant in Tyringe, mentioned earlier, with the ruling political power within sight and with daily life following the working rhythm of the manor.201 For most people the subordination was not manifested in day-to-day life. The period did, however, see the power of the state making itself visible. New groups of officers and junior state officials settled in the countryside, and the number of nobles settling in the countryside on tax-exempt property also grew. At the end of the seventeenth century, a new link between the central government and the local community was established with the foundation of the military allotment system by which each parish was



obliged to maintain a number of soldiers and provide them with dwellings.202 In due time the central power became visible in the villages. The absence of other institutions and systems for control of the community made the state dependent on the parish and the church as political units. Local self-government was essential for the central government’s ability to influence the local community. Self-government should thus not be perceived as a counter to central rule but as a precondition in a society where the central state initially had a weak local representation.203 It may be noted here that the state acknowledged in 1680 that the peasants’ parish assembly was not intended as a power alongside the local nobility. It was declared instead that the parish assembly should not meet without the local nobility being represented.204 The local self-government, under the surveillance of a growing state administration and political hegemony, and with church control of tuition in the home and of the morals of the people, drew up the framework in which the reading instruction of the young can be understood. The peasants’ resistance was slowly overcome or circumvented by incorporating the clergy in the hierarchy of governance and by the fact that the control system and the registration meant that the state was not wholly dependent on the cooperation of the peasants. In this process, children and servants also became visible to the state as demarcated social categories in the eyes of the government. Before this the interest had been focused on economically important groups, taxpayers and potential solders. At the center of the teaching and at the very bottom of the hierarchical system were children and servants. Their knowledge too acquired a meaning that was politically significant for the future.

The School System Other forms of tuition were created in seventeenth-century Sweden. Both the state and the church claimed that the older “Latin school” did not meet the demands that could be made of the national education system. Education was being modified within the older forms of schooling, and pedagogical development was being eagerly pursued.205 There were recurrent complaints by the state in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that there was a shortage of men with suitable qualifications for work in the administration and government.206 Against this background, the interest of the state in the school system can be regarded as an expression of the need to build up the system of governance



structure that was the very backbone of the state. The actions of the state also reflect a will to encourage indigenous trade and industry. According to a 1619 bill concerning the administration of the towns, arithmetic schools were to be established to satisfy the commercial needs. Representatives of the church also felt that there was a need to reform the school system.207 It is obvious that the differing state and church requirements of the school system could not be combined without problems. They concerned different types of qualifications. The school ordinances that were issued in the seventeenth century revealed clear traces of this conflict between ecclesiastical and secular interests. In 1640 Queen Christina issued a school ordinance intended to replace the old “Latin school” and the rural high schools. There were to be three types of educational establishment in the country: trivialskola, gymnasium, and akademi. The first of these, the “trivium school,” was divided into a lower and a higher stage with different courses. The lower stage of trivium school was also called pedagogi. The gymnasium or “high school” was intended as a continuation of trivium school and as preparation for academic study.208 In 1649 and 1650 a school statute was issued for the whole kingdom, creating the economic foundation for the school system. A trivium school and a high school were set up in Stockholm, besides which pedagogies just outside the city center were included in the school budget. More pedagogies of this kind were opened later in the different parishes, with the curriculum of the lower trivium school and with limited state funding. In reality, they ended up teaching much more than the syllabus of the first class. The other towns in the kingdom also saw the establishment of trivium schools and pedagogies.209 As a type of school, the pedagogy was on a level with the ecclesiastical elementary schooling in the towns and on noble estates. In this first class of trivium school, also called Alfabetica, tuition was mainly geared to reading, writing, and arithmetic. Apart from this, the pupils learned the catechism, selected biblical quotations, and the Sunday gospels. Reading and writing were to comprise both simple Latin and the Swedish mother tongue.210 This basic curriculum did not undergo any major changes with the new school ordinance issued in 1693. It was not until 1724 that boys were expected to be able “to read Swedish before they come to school.”211 The 1649 school ordinance also required a “writing and reckoning class” intended “for those who chiefly wish to practice writing and reckoning and are not willing or able to continue their studies.”212 The pupils in



this class were, however, expected to have acquired the knowledge taught in the first class of school. The arithmetic class was not included in the 1693 ordinance, but the second class in this type of school was supposed to teach certain skills in arithmetic, “some apologista.”213 The 1693 ordinance satisfied more orthodox demands of school and was, according to Sjöstrand, originally written as a chapter of the Church Act from 1686.214 The school system that the state exerted itself to build up in the seventeenth century was not intended only for the most prosperous and privileged people. The crown emphasized on several occasions that artisans and merchants should also give their children good book learning.215 This position was also expressed in the ordinance about parish collections. According to a series of ordinances, for example, from 1624, 1696, 1698, pupils could obtain money to pay for their education by going round the parish asking for contributions. This practice was called sockengång “parish walk” or djäknegång “pupil walk.” A variation of the parish walk was participation in the burial processions. The 1724 ordinance decreed that this money should benefit the “most impecunious” of the promising pupils (Fig.  2.1(a,b)).216 In the preface to the 1693 ordinance the crown also stipulated that only pupils with a thirst and aptitude for studies should be given the opportunity. The others, after having acquired a basic knowledge of Christianity, should devote themselves to military service, commerce, farming, craft, or other “lawful trades.”217 In other words, the school ordinance did not specify that the selection of pupils should be limited by traditional barriers of estate or privilege. Moreover, the various courses led naturally from one to another and had as their ultimate goal higher education at university. The exception was the arithmetic classes according to the 1642 and 1724 school ordinances, which were not comprised by this direct line from first class to university. In the parliamentary debates about the financing of the school system, the clergy also cherished the tradition of the parish collection, since it enabled poor pupils to go to school.218 This underlines the fact that schooling cannot be linked solely to the needs of the upper classes. The school system that was built up during the seventeenth century, albeit tentative and with poor financial resources, seems to have been intended for all boys, regardless of estate and economic status. Moreover, it was possible to some extent for poor pupils to go to school through the organization of parish collections. The linkage of the school system to the increased administration of the seventeenth-century Swedish state at local and central level seems fairly



Fig. 2.1  (a) The funeral procession of King Gustavus Adolphus in Wolgast during the transportation of the body back to Sweden in 1633. Note the schoolchildren and the university students in the top right-hand corner. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB HP.  Chr.B.4); (b) Children in the funeral procession of Johan III 1594, Contemporary drawing on paper. (Riksarkivet, Delivered to the Royal Archives 1689, by Count Erik Dahlberg. Collection, Utan känd proveniens, nr 629)

obvious. The growth of the civil service naturally required an increase in the number of officials at both higher and lower levels. Posts in the administration undoubtedly required the qualification and knowledge that representatives of the state called for on numerous occasions. Sweden’s goal



of being a great power also entailed an immense growth in the country’s armed forces. The noble estate, which could claim preferential right to higher offices, could not possibly fill the positions needed in the army and the civil service. This led to the creation of many new peers and high social mobility.219 Against this background—the express interest of the state in qualified staff and the extensive mobility—we are justified in asking what role the school system played in the transformation. Despite the formally egalitarian character of the school system, it cannot be taken for granted that the intention was to promote individual social mobility. Axel Oxenstierna touched on this in his speech to the burgher estate in the 1640s. He warned those assembled against nourishing any hopes on behalf of their children about a future in the royal court. According to him, there was no place there for hopeful burgher children. They should instead stay in their fathers’ trades and continue that heritage to the benefit of themselves and the kingdom.220 Formal competence was similarly of little relevance for the social mobility in the expanding military power in the seventeenth century. A military career was open by passing through the ranks, with promotion from private to various ranks of officer. The volunteer system also involved a form of “internal” apprenticeship, although the volunteers were mainly recruited from the upper classes. A corresponding state of affairs prevailed in the civil administration. It has been shown, however, that certain theoretical knowledge was important for a career in the army. During the late eighteenth century, education in the war academy was formalized and could begin from the age of 12–14, which most likely presupposed some degree of earlier schooling.221 The significance of the school system for recruitment to the civil service has not been studied in detail. Those scholars who have considered the problem have chiefly been interested in the relationship between higher education and recruitment to senior posts in the administration, the courts, and the church.222 It is uncertain to what extent the educational system after Queen Christina functioned as a coherent education from first class to university. Nor is it possible to determine to what extent university students had followed the long path from the first class of trivium school. Ingvar Elmroth’s study of the recruitment of senior officials between 1720 and 1809, however, gives us some chance to reflect on the role that school may have had in the seventeenth century. The study shows that the



officials were recruited from the social groups that were already rooted in the civil service departments. At least three quarters of the officials had fathers who had been employed in the ecclesiastical, military, or civil administration. At the start of the Age of Liberty (1718–1772), two-thirds were recruited from the civil administration. “In other words, the bureaucracy seems to have recruited itself.”223 Elmroth also draws the conclusion that being connected to the civil service was essential for a career as a top official. It was thus not a man’s degree of education but his social background that determined access to a career as an official. There is nevertheless a certain difference between commoner and noble officials. The educational level of senior officials of noble birth was slightly higher and the tradition of education more accentuated than for commoner officials at the start of the period. The differences leveled out, however, at the end of the period.224 Noble groups also had a certain advantage on other categories through their ability to start pursuing an education and public service from an early age, which likewise affected the final position in their career. Children of the nobility also had a university education to a greater extent than commoners.225 In this light, the education that officials tried to give their children seems to have been a deliberate strategy to improve or at least retain their social position. It also seems to have been an education that was planned with a view to specific posts in the administration.226 In other words, it was not education for a “free” labor market in a traditional sense. Education or equivalent qualifications were nevertheless a condition for access to a career in public administration. The findings also show that it was uncommon to advance immediately to higher posts. The first generation had “attained a status of lesser prominence, for example, as junior officials and parish priests.”227 In the eighteenth century roughly half of the senior officials had started in this way. When classified by the different social groups, it turns out that “peasants/artisans/merchants” throughout the period oscillated around 10%, while “priests/academics” increased from 12% to 23%. The proportion of officers increased, while the percentage of men who came from the homes of senior officials was relatively stable. At the start of the Age of Liberty, the group of “junior officials” was rather large. In 1720 it amounted to 37%, a share that was reduced to 22% by 1750. Initially, the senior officials were to a significant extent recruited from among junior officials.228 The high initial figure and the negative trend suggest that in the preceding Caroline era (1654–1718) there had been opportunities for



commoners to find employment in the administration. Elmroth also makes a point of the fact that it was less frequent for advancement to occur directly from the lowest positions to the highest.229 Against this background, one may ask whether the school system filled the function of qualifying people for positions in the civil service. According to Sten Carlsson, however, the lower bureaucracy was already self-recruiting in the seventeenth century and effectively separated both from the aristocracy and from the lower classes.230 Based on this reasoning, the school system can hardly have enabled social mobility between the classes. On the other hand, it may have fulfilled a function among the lower groups of academics who tried to secure their children’s social position through a school education. At the same time, Elmroth’s findings show that the administration became self-recruiting, which, at least in the long term, must have impaired the chances of the lower classes to assert themselves within the system, whatever their education. The problem nevertheless remains. What part did school play for the seventeenth century’s first generation of junior officials? Research on seventeenth-century English society has touched on these questions. English historians stress that the new educational system above all entailed new possibilities for prosperous and commercially oriented social groups to get ahead in society. The development led to wider gaps between, on the one hand, families who were not literate and those who could not afford to pay for an education and, on the other hand, those who could assert themselves with the aid of an education. The cultural and social gaps tended to increase.231 Kristian Jensen’s study of recruitment to Latin school in Denmark in the first half of the seventeenth century demonstrates that conditions there were similar to those in England. It was already established social groups who took advantage of the possibilities offered by the school system. The majority of children in Latin school were the sons of priests, along with children from the upper strata of the towns and from craftsmen’s families. The author states that “The poor people from the towns do not occur frequently in the sources, nor is possible to confirm the myth that God’s Word was placed on God’s Altar by a peasant hand.”232 Neither peasants nor paupers, then, had their children educated. These tendencies cannot automatically be assumed to apply to Sweden. Carlsson shows in his studies that the peasantry was a significant recruitment base for ecclesiastical posts, even though the sons of priests predominated.233 At the same time the early modern schools in the Danish urban environment displayed a



large variation, with many different types of schools which imply varied functions of schools in late medieval and early modern society. The very meaning of “school” did not only refer to the building, the institution, but also to the mere practice of teaching. In a commercially oriented city with large social differences, schools could involve everything from teaching of modern languages to the teaching of mathematics and Latin. It could also involve the teaching of religious doctrine to poor children.234 This discussion thus indicates a problem. The Swedish school system was opened to all classes in society, and the authorities emphasized the necessity of the accomplishments taught through formal education. At the same time, it cannot be taken for granted that the needs of the administration were satisfied through the school system, or whether it really was possible for all classes in society to take advantage of a school education— or for that matter that the schools were particularly well cut out to serve other functions in society. So what were seventeenth-century schools needed for?

Concluding Comments The system of education and reading instruction of the younger generation was an expression of the formation of an early modern state, given the very specific historical conditions in Sweden. The teaching of the young was an integral part of a system of governance that relied on a developed administration and bureaucracy, on the examination and registration of the population. This development underwrote the emergence of Sweden as a major military and political power in Europe. In this process children and young people became visible as an object of governance in a nation under severe social and economic stress. This also exposed an ongoing tension between secular and religious governance as well as a conflict between popular culture and social organization and Lutheran religious doctrine and culture. It also demonstrated the dependence of the central government on the parish assemblies and local communities parallel to the emerging local and central state administrative structures. The church played an important role in bridging the gap between central and local government, and at the end of the seventeenth century the Church Law of 1686 made the dependence of the church on the secular government clear but also the supremacy of the Lutheran doctrine and culture over popular culture. Teaching and reading instruction of the young generation filled several roles. The schools that we find in the towns at the end of



the seventeenth century can consequently be discussed against the background of a complicated and multifaceted change that involved new qualification requirements and new methods to legitimize the political order and discipline the people. In this process the religious knowledge of individuals comes to the fore. There is every reason to suppose that this complex process influenced the schools that developed in the capital of the great power—Stockholm. The available sources allow us to discuss local decisions and public debates on school policy and the social recruitment to the school system in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Knowledge of these basic factors can provide the conditions for a critical discussion of the role of the school system in the seventeenth century. My discussion seeks to consider both the actions of the authorities and the social situation of the schoolchildren.

Notes 1. Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life (New York: Knopf, 1962); Ronny Ambjörnsson, Familjeporträtt: Essäer om familjen, kvinnan, barnet och kärleken i historien (Stockholm: Gidlund, 1978), pp. 62–107. 2. Peder Månsson, Peder Månssons skrifter på svenska: Efter handskrifter i Stockholm, Uppsala och Linköping (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1913–1915), pp. 655–718. 3. Ibid., pp. 658f. 4. Ibid., pp. xxxviii, 657. 5. Per Brahe, Oeconomia eller Hushållsbok för ungt adelsfolk (Stockholm: Nordiska museet, 1971), pp. XVff., 8ff.; Ellen Fries, Teckningar ur svenska adelns familjelif i gamla tider Stockholm: Norstedt, 1895–1910); B. Rudolf Hall, Adelssöners fostran (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1936); Peter Englund, Det hotade huset: Adliga föreställningar om samhället under stormaktstiden, diss. Uppsala University (Stockholm: Atlantis, 1989), pp. 189–193; Peter Englund, “Barnet med segerhuvan,” in Förflutenhetens landskap: Historiska essäer (Stockholm: Atlantis, 1991), pp. 171–185. 6. Georg Brandell, Svenska undervisningsväsendets och uppfostrans historia 2, Ortodoxiens tidevarv (Lund: Gleerup, 1931), pp.  134ff.; Lars Niléhn, Peregrinatio academica: Det svenska samhället och de utrikes studieresorna under 1600-talet (Lund: Liber/Gleerup, 1983), pp. 90ff. 7. Diet of 1686, 12 October, Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll på Riksdagens uppdrag 4, 1680–1714 (Stockholm, 1962), p. 246. 8. Niléhn, Peregrinatio academica, pp. 280ff.



9. “Prästernas tillbörliga förfaringssätt vid uppfyllandet av sina ämbetsplikter: Riktlinjer framlagda inför ärkestiftets prästerskap på synod nådens år 1566 av Laurentius (Petri Nericus),” Orationer och kyrkostadgar Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1948), p. 74. 10. Brandell, Svenska undervisningsväsendets, pp.  188f.; Ragnar Askmark, Svensk prästutbildning fram till år 1700 (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1943), pp. 140ff. 11. Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe, 3rd ed. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009); also Ariès, Centuries of Childhood. 12. Bengt Ankarloo, “Sine Ordine Vita: The Clergy, the Judiciary and Popular Culture in Early Modern Sweden”, paper prepared for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, presented Paris, 10 November 1982 (Department of History, Lund University, 1982). 13. “Prästernas tillbörliga förfaringssätt,” Orationer, pp.  70ff., quotation p. 73. 14. Ambjörnsson, Familjeporträtt, p. 75. 15. Ibid., pp. 73ff. Burke, Popular Culture, pp. 290ff. The classic work on the civilization process is Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process, new ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). 16. Mats Hellspong and Orvar Löfgren, Land och stad: Svenska samhällstyper och livsformer från medeltid till nutid (Lund: LiberLäromedel, 1976), pp. 248ff. 17. Börje Hanssen, Österlen: En studie över social-antropologiska sammanhang under 1600- och 1700-talen i sydöstra Skåne, diss., Stockholms högskola (Stockholm: LT, 1952), pp. 31ff., 37ff. 18. David Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden (Stockholm: Gidlund, 1983), pp. 85ff.; Bengt Ankarloo, “Hemmabarn och tjänstefolk,” in A.  Grönvall (ed.), Historia och samhälle: Studier tillägnade Jerker Rosén (Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1975), pp.  117ff.; Christer Winberg, Folkökning och proletarisering (Göteborg: E & B, 1975), pp. 51ff. 19. Per Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare före 1800-talet: Bidrag till kännedom om den svenska manufakturindustrien och dess sociala förhållanden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1955), pp.  105ff.; Arthur Montgomery, Svensk socialpolitik under 1800-talet (Stockholm: K F Förlag, 1951), pp. 29ff. 20. Börje Hanssen, “Hushållens sammansättning i österlenska byar under 300 år: En studie i historisk strukturalism” (1976), reprinted in Åter till Österlen: En tidig mikrohistoria: Agrar- och socialhistoriska texter i urval med en inledande biografi av Anders Perlinge (Stockholm: Enheten för de areella näringarnas historia, 2010), pp. 39ff.; Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, pp. 90ff.



21. Maria Ågren (ed.), Making a Living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society (New York: Oxford University Press). 22. Hanssen, “Hushållens sammansättning.” 23. Ibid., pp. 39ff.: Gaunt, Familjelivi Norden, p. 100. 24. Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, p. 99; Ariès, Centuries of Childhood; Elisabeth Badinter, L’amour en plus: Histoire de l’amour maternel (XVIIe–XXe siècle), new ed. (Paris: Flammarion, 1981). 25. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: Cathars and Catholics in a French Village, 1294–1324 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990. 26. Linda Pollock, Forgotten Children: Parent-Child Relations from 1500 to 1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); Eva Österberg, “Människor och mirakler i medeltidens Sverige,” in Robert Sandberg (ed.), Studier i äldre historia (Stockholm: Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, 1985); Eva Österberg, De små då: Perspektiv på barn i historien (Stockholm: Natur & Kultur, 2016). Julia Grant, “ParentChild Relations in Western Europe and North Ameica, 1500–Present,” and Joanne Ferraro, “Childhood in Medieval and Early Modern Times,” both in Paula S.  Fass (ed.), The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World (London: Routledge, 2013). 27. In 1676 the craftsman class comprised 1800 households, of which just over 600 were journeymen’s households. It was chiefly in the building trade that journeymen constituted their own households, meaning that they did not belong to a master’s household; Ernst Söderlund, Stockholms hantverkarklass 1720–1772: Sociala och ekonomiska förhållanden (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1943), p.  20; Ernst Söderlund, Hantverkarna, part 2, Stormaktstiden, frihetstiden och gustavianska tiden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1949) pp. 47, 273ff., 83ff.; Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare, pp. 82ff., 99ff. see also Maria Ågren, The State as Master: Gender, State Formation and Commercialisation in Urban Sweden, 1650–1780 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017), pp.  86–88. Also Ågren, Making a Living. 28. Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare, pp. 82ff., 99ff. 29. Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare, pp. 107ff. 30. “Prästerskapets betänkande av november 1651,” Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll på Riksdagens uppdrag 2, 1660–1664 (Stockholm, 1954), p. 233. 31. Ambjörnsson, Familjeporträtt, pp. 14ff.; Pavla Miller, Transformations of Patriarchy in the West, 1500–1900 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998) and works cited there. 32. Hanssen, “Hushållens sammansättning,” pp.  39ff.; Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, pp. 90ff.



33. Ambjörnsson, Familjeporträtt, p. 76. For a relevant and classic account of the representation of childhood, see Hugh Cunningham, The Children of the Poor: Representations of Childhood since the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991). 34. Viktor Fredriksson and Klas Aquilonius, Svenska folkskolans historia, vol. I (Stockholm, 1942), pp. 150f., 155f.; Olaf Olsen, Christian IVs tugt og børnehus (Copenhagen: Wormianum, 1978); see also Kyrkoordningar och förslag dertill före 1686, II:1 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1881), p. 484, F. 35. Letter to the archbishop, 20 May 1653, cited from Gustav Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös i Stockholm på 1600-och 1700-talen (Umeå: Univ.bibl., 1978), p. 60. 36. Royal letter of 1624, cited from ibid., p. 22. 37. Ibid., pp. 22ff., 103ff., 105f. 38. “Instruction, hwareffter praeceptoren för gåssarne wed Stockholms Barnhuus sig uti sitt ombetrodde embete skall hafwa att regulera och rätta,” Appendix 2, ibid., p. 185. 39. Burke, Popular Culture. 40. Hjalmar Holmquist and Hilding Pleijel (eds.), Svenska kyrkan under Gustav II Adolf, 1611–1632, vol. 4:1 of Svenska kyrkans historia (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1938), pp.  47ff., 52ff., 75ff., 184ff., 221–380; Hilding Pleijel, Karolinsk kyrkofromhet, pietism och herrnhutism 1680–1772, vol. 5. of Svenska kyrkans historia (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1935), pp.  7–115; 1686 års kyrkolag (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1936). 41. Egil Johansson, En studie med kvantitativa metoder av folkundervisningen i Bygdeå socken 1845–1873 (Umeå: Umeå universitet, 1972; Egil Johansson, The History of Literacy in Sweden: In Comparison with Some Other Countries (Umeå: Umeå universitet, 1977); Egil Johansson, “Den kyrkliga lästraditionen i Sverige: En konturteckning,” in Ur nordisk kulturhistoria / XVIII nordiska historikermötet, ed. Mauno Jokipii and Ilkka Nummela (Jyväskylä: Yliopisto, 1981), pp. 193–224; Egil Johansson and Roger S.  Schofield, Literacy and Society in a Historical Perspective: A Conference Report (Umeå, 1973), pp. 193ff. 42. Hilding Pleijel, Katekesen som svensk folkbok: En historisk översikt (Lund: Gleerup, 1942); Hilding Pleijel, Från hustavlans tid: Kyrkohistoriska folklivsstudier (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1951); Pleijel uses the term “the era of the household code” to denote the period c. 1600–1850, ibid., p. 55. His description of rural life in this period stresses the isolation and the internal social control and norms of the villages. Maintaining discipline within the village relieved the community of having to turn to “the supervising and penal authorities of the state or the church.” In other words, Pleijel describes a society where the interven-



tions of the state in the local community were reduced because of the internal self-­discipline. See ibid., pp.  55ff.; Holmquist, Svenska kyrkan under Gustav II Adolf, pp. 209f. 43. Birgitta Odén, “Läskunnighet och samhällsförändring,” Forskning om utbildning, 1975:1, pp. 24ff. 44. Sven A. Nilsson, “Linköpings stifts kyrkoarkivalier till och med år 1800,” Historisk tidskrift, Stockholm, 1949, pp. 84ff. 45. Sven. A.  Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring under svenskt 1600-tal,” Scandia 48 (1982), pp. 5ff. 46. Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” pp. 10ff., 21ff. Nilsson also suggests that the household examination rolls can be perceived in this way, even though the state’s fundamental interests were satisfied through the tax-­ assessment rolls, the removal rolls, and the registers of deaths and births. 47. Ibid., pp. 7ff. 48. Ibid., pp. 9f. 49. Odén, “Läskunnighet och samhällsförändring,” pp. 24ff. 50. Johansson, “Den kyrkliga lästraditionen”; Harvey J.  Graff, Alison Mackinnon, Bengt Sandin, and Ian Winchester (eds.), Understanding Literacy in Its Historical Contexts: Socio-Cultural History and the Legacy of Egil Johansson (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2009); Daniel Lindmark (ed.), Alphabeta varia: Orality, Reading and Writing in the History of Literacy: Festschrift in Honour of Egil Johansson on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, March 24, 1998 (Umeå: Institutionen för religionsvetenskap, Umeå universitet, 1998); Harvey J.  Graff, The Legacies of Literacy: Continuities and Contradictions in Western Culture and Society (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987). 51. Pleijel, Katekesen, pp. 16ff.; Hustavlan, pp. 9ff. 52. Pleijel, Hustavlan, pp. 15ff. 53. Ibid., pp. 24ff.; Johansson, “Den kyrkliga lästraditionen,” pp. 199f. 54. Ibid. 55. Johansson, “Den kyrkliga lästraditionen,” p. 199. 56. Ibid., p. 200. 57. Pleijel, Katekesen, pp. 16ff; Hustavlan, pp. 9ff; Lindmark, Alphabeta Varia. 58. The catechism included in the 1694 hymn book stressed the hierarchical relations in that there were special rubrics for the quotations concerning the superior and subordinate social groups, Then swenska psalm-boken, med the stycker som ther til höra, och på föliande blad opteknade finnas, vppå Kongl. nådigste befallning af thet wyrd. Predikoämbetet åhr MDCXCIII. med flit öfwersedd, förbättrad och förmehrad, och åhr 1694. i Stockholm af trycket vtgången (Stockholm, 1694); also Herman Lundström, Historisk-kritisk utredning angående Luthers Lilla katekes



med särskild hänsyn till frågan om en svensk normaltexts framställande (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1917), pp. 217ff. 59. Then Swenska Psalmboken, pp. 230ff. 60. Pleijel, Katekesen, pp. 16ff. 61. Pleijel, Hustavlan, pp. 34ff., pp. 55ff.; Johansson, “Den kyrkliga lästraditionen,” pp. 199ff. 62. This account is based on Eva Österberg’s summary of the state of research on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century settlement and population development, property, etc., in “‘Den gamla goda tiden’: Bilder och motbilder i ett modernt forskningsläge om det äldre agrarsamhället,” Scandia 48 (1982), pp. 40ff. 63. Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, pp. 66ff. 64. Miller, Transformations of Patriarchy. 65. “Paulini synodalbeslut 1618 (Strängnäs stift),” in B. Rudolf Hall (ed.), Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter 2, Påbud inom det nutida Sveriges gränser (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1932), p. 31. 66. From the 1642 synodal statute, “Puncta ventilata in Synodo anniversaria Scarensi,” 5 July 1642, ibid., p.  19; “Stiftskonstitutioner 1647: Några nyttiga stadgar af Episcopo Scarensi Doct Jona och Consistorio Scarensi författade,” ibid., pp.  19ff.; “Acta synodalia anno 1629 (Vesterås),” in B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Ur den kyrkliga folkdisciplineringens historia: Otryckta acta och spridda undersökningar, vol 2 (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1927), p. 21. 67. Holmquist, Svenska kyrkan under Gustav II Adolf, pp. 254–379; see the statutes for the different dioceses in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter: Växjö 1679, p. 47, Västerås 1648, p. 35, Strängnäs 1655, p. 32, Visby 1679, p.  106, Härnösand 1659, p.  115, Kalmar p.  84, Gothenburg 1663, p. 73. 68. “Förslag till en god kyrkoordning, Strängnäs 1644”, Orationer, pp. 144f. 69. Ibid., p. 145. On school education in general, see Fredriksson, Svenska folkskolans historia, vol. I, pp. 118–191. 70. “Statuter i Ö. Stenby 1619,” in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, p. 8. 71. “Paulini synodalbeslut 1618 (Strängnäs),” ibid., p. 30. 72. “Joh. Matthiæs förordning 1655,” ibid., p. 32. 73. Holmquist, Svenska kyrkan under Gustav II Adolf, pp.  345f. See also “Framsteg och resultat inom den folkliga kristendomsundervisningen,” in B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Till Johannes Dagbokii karakteristik: Hittills otryckta urkunder (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1924), pp. 35f., 38. 74. “Berättelser om förvaltningen af Stora Kopparbergs län, i Konung Carl XI:s tid: Riksrådet Lorentz Creutz berättelse,” 24 September 1662”, Handlingar rörande Skandinaviens historia D. 40 (Stockholm, 1860),



p.  39; also “Landshöfdingen friherre Gustav Duwalls berättelse,” 23 December 1664, ibid., p.  63. See also Johan Wahlfisk, Den kateketiska undervisningen i Sverige ifrån reformationen intill 1811: Bidrag till svenska folkundervisningens historia (Stockholm: Hæggströms, 1889), p. 88. 75. “Parænesis ad ministerium ecclesiasticum, in dioecesi Arosiensi. Hwarvthi föreställes/en nödigh Förmaning och Rettelse/Huru Predikoämbetet/ vthi Lärdom och lefwerne/så ock Församblingennes Öffning skal sigh förhålla, Aff Olavo Laurelio Biskop i Wästerås Anno 1650,” in B. Rudolf Hall (ed.), Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia: 1533–1847 (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1940), p. 6. 76. “Ordninantier gifne Presterskapett 1648,” in “Synodo Mariana,” in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, p. 37. 77. “Biskop Olof Laurelii kyrko-ordningsförslag, Den svenska kyrkoordningen, Översedd och förbättrad och i tvenne delar eller böcker skiftad,” Kyrkoordningar II:1, p. 449. Italics in the original. 78. See Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, and the resolutions and ordinances cited there; Fredriksson, Svenska folkskolans historia, Vol. I, pp. 118–273. 79. Eric Emporagrius, Catechesens eenfaldige Förklaring, Strängnäs, 1669, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 7. 80. Ibid. 81. Ibid., pp. 7f. 82. Ibid., pp. 8f. In 1692 tuition in the Klara parish school was subjected to similar criticism in a letter to the consistory, in which the newly appointed teacher claimed that one of the children recited texts by heart without being able to explain the content. “Relation Sanct Clara Schola,” 8 November 1692, Stockholms konsistorii acta och protokoll, vol. V (B.  Hildebrand, in the Royal Library (Kungliga Biblioteket, KB, Stockholm), abbreviated SKAoP V, pp. 451f. 83. Wahlfisk, Den kateketiska undervisningen, pp. 68–91, quotation p. 89. 84. Ibid. 85. Ibid., pp. 81ff. 86. “Joh. Matthiæs förordning 1655,” in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, p. 33. 87. J. Baazius (1642), quotation från Wahlfisk, Den kateketiska undervisningen, p. 88. 88. Ibid., pp. 80f. 89. 1686 års kyrkolag (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1936), pp. 87f. 90. Ibid., pp. 14ff. 91. The proposal for a church act drafted by the Church Act Committee (1655), bearing the stamp of Eric Emporagrius’s ideas, also proposed



establishing children’s schools at the parish churches; Fredriksson, Svenska folkskolans historia, Vol. I, pp. 189f. The church act proposed by the clerical estate in 1682 also obliged the sexton to run a children’s school; Fredriksson, Svenska folkskolans historia, Vol. I, pp. 211f. 92. “Åhr 1679 den 5 sept. Prestemöthet uthi Wästerås, Blefwe effterskeffne Moment, uthi samptelige tå församblade Presterskapets Nährwaro, föreställe, och af them nyttige ehrekände, at ställas i wärcket, och Hwad the inneholla, practiceras uthi alla Församblingar i samma Stifft,” Synodalsbeslut 1679, in Hall, Ur Den Kyrkliga Folkdisciplineringens, pp. 30ff. 93. Ibid. 94. Ibid., p. 26. 95. Ibid., p. 25. 96. Herman Lundström, Svenska synodalakter efter 1500-talets ingång, Ser. 2, Strängnäs stift (Uppsala, 1909), p. 164. 97. Wahlfisk, Den kateketiska undervisningen, pp. 101f. 98. For a presentation of the different forms of ecclesiastical examination, see ibid., pp. 103–123. 99. This is expressly stated in the “Krigsfolksordning” of Gustavus Adolphus: “Otherwise it is also Christian that the priests help to ensure that the truth in everything is upheld and particularly strengthened in their parishes… They are also obliged to obey their superiors, according to both God’s law and secular law,” Konung Gustaf II Adolfs skrifter (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1861), p.  19. See Sverker Arnoldsson, Krigspropagandan i Sverige före trettioåriga kriget (Göteborg, 1941), pp.  10ff.; Sven A.  Nilsson, Hemlandet och de stora krigen under Gustav II Adolfs tid (Lund, 1974), p. 141; Carl-E. Normann, Prästerskapet och det karolinska enväldet: Studier över det svenska prästerskapets statsuppfattning under stormaktstidens slutskede, diss., Lund, (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag, 1948), ch. I, II. 100. Synodalbeslut, 15 September 1679, in Hall, Ur Den Kyrkliga Folkdisciplineringens, p. 26. This did not mean that household examinations were regarded as sufficient. On the contrary, the parish was to be informed once a week, “for it seems fruitless to examine each of the young people only once a year,” ibid., p. 25. 101. Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, Strängnäs, and “I Prestemöthet uthi Wästerås Åhr,” 5 September 1679, in Hall, Ur Den Kyrkliga Folkdisciplineringens, p.  33; Hans Lundin, Johannes Baazius kyrkliga reformprogram (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag, 1944), p. 272; Arnoldsson, Krigspropagandan, pp. 10ff. 102. K. H. Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse 1686–1862: Studier särskilt med hänsyn till Linköpings stift (Lund: Gleerups, 1937), pp.  22ff.;



R.  Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska sockensjälvstyrelsens historia under 1600-talet (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1923), pp. 41ff. 103. Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse, p.  29; Eva Österberg, Gränsbygd under krig: Ekonomiska, demografiska och administrativa förhållanden i sydvästra Sverige under och efter nordiska sjuårskriget (Lund: Gleerups, 1971); Bengt Ankarloo, “Europe and the Glory of Sweden: The Emergence of a Swedish Self-Image in the Early 17th Century,” in Göran Rystad (ed.), Europe and Scandinavia: Aspects of the Process of Integration in the 17th Century (Solna: Esselte studium, 1983), pp. 241f. 104. Loftur Guttormsson, “Læsefærdighed og folkeuddannelse 1540–1800,” in Mauno Jokipii and Ilkka Nummela (eds.), Ur nordisk kulturhistoria / XVIII nordiska historikermötet (Jyväskylä: Yliopisto, 1981), pp. 166. 105. “Stadga av Sylvester Phrygius,” in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, pp. 13, 16; “Stadga ca 1615 Skara stift,” in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, p. 17; “Sockenstadga från Rinna” (1630) in Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska, §§ 12 and 30. 106. Österberg, “Den gamla goda tiden,” pp. 13–56. 107. Ibid., pp. 46ff. 108. Ibid., p. 53. 109. Ibid., p. 54. 110. Ibid., pp. 50ff. 111. Eva Österberg, “Våld och våldsmentaliteten bland bönder: Jämförande perspektiv på 1500- och 1600-talens Sverige,” Scandia 49 (1983) pp. 5–30. 112. Heikki Ylikangas, “Major Fluctuations in Crimes of Violence in Finland: A Historical Analysis,” Scandinavian Journal of History 1976, pp. 81–103. 113. Ankarloo, “Europe and the Glory of Sweden,” pp.  241f.; Arnoldsson, Krigspropagandan; Elisabeth Reuterswärd, Ett massmedium för folket: Studier i de allmänna kungörelsernas funktion i 1700-talets samhälle, diss., Lund University (Lund: Historiska Media, 2001). 114. Ragnar Ohlsson, Abraham Angermannus: En biografisk studie (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelses förlag, 1946), pp. 268ff. 115. Ibid., pp. 275f.; Sven Kjöllerström, Guds och Sveriges lag under reformationstiden : en kyrkorättslig studie (Lund: Gleerups, 1957), pp.  80f. Charles was as anxious as the clergy to deal more firmly with the rampant crime, but “the controversy concerned whether the clergy or the secular authorities should use the sword and whether the authorities would be the guardian of the tablets of the law in more than name,” ibid., p. 81. 116. Ohlsson, Abraham Angermannus, p. 272, 117. Ibid., pp. 271f. 118. Ibid., pp. 268f.



119. Otto Holmström (ed.), Ärkebiskop Abrahams räfst: Efter originalakterna (Uppsala, 1901); Erik Petersson and Annika Sandén, Mot undergången: ärkebiskop Angermannus i apokalypsens tid (Stockholm: Norstedt, 2012). 120. Petersson and Sandén, Mot undergången. 121. Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska, pp.  122ff.; Bengt Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna i Sverige (Stockholm: Inst. för rättshistorisk forskning, 1984), pp. 76ff.; Kjöllerström, Guds och Sveriges lag, pp. 54ff., 83ff. 122. Holmquist, Svenska kyrkan under Gustav II Adolf, pp.  254–393, 237–254; Nils Friberg, Dalarnas befolkning på 1600-talet: Geografiska ­studier på grundval av kyrkböckerna med särskild hänsyn till folkmängdsförhållandena (Stockholm: Geografiska institutet, Stockholms högskola, 1954), pp. 25ff.; Normann, Prästerskapet, pp. 48ff., 10lff. 123. Pleijel, Karolinsk kyrkofromhet, pp. 367ff., quotation p. 368. 124. Johannes Rudbeckius, Dagbok (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1938), pp. 163ff. 125. Ibid., p.  3; Pleijel, Karolinsk kyrkofromhet, pp.  377ff.; B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Till Johannes Rudbeckii karakteristik: Hittills otryckta urkunder (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1924), pp. 23ff. 126. Herman Lundström (ed.), Svenska synodalakter efter 1500-talets ingång, Ser. 1, Uppsala ärkestift 1526–1800 (Uppsala, 1903–1908), “Stiftsynoden 1604,” p. 9. 127. Ibid., p. 17; “Stiftsynoden 1608.” 128. Ibid., pp. 16ff. 129. Ibid., p. 21. 130. Ibid. 131. Ibid. 132. Kjöllerström, Guds och Sveriges lag, pp.  54ff., 83ff.: Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna, pp. 76ff. 133. Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, Uppsala, “Stiftsynoden 1608,” p. 22. 134. Cf. Sven A.  Nilsson, who points out that the church only occasionally demanded records of migrations; Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” p. 22. It seems, however, as if the maintenance of effective ecclesiastical discipline was based on the control of movement in and out of the parishes. 135. Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, Uppsala, “Stiftssynoden 1608,” p. 22. 136. Ibid., resolution on p. 23. 137. Ibid., “Stiftssynoder under Petrus Kenicius episcopat, Synoden 1611,” p. 25. 138. Ibid., p. 24. 139. Ibid., “Stiftssynoden 1614,” p. 30. 140. Ibid., pp. 30f.



141. In 1628 a synod was probably held in Uppsala but the minutes of this and other diocesan synods and chapter meetings have not survived; ibid., p. 35. Paulinus became archbishop in 1637. In 1636 he complained in the Council that the clergy in the diocese of Uppsala did not confer about church matters or about the welfare of the parishioners, ibid. 142. Ibid., “Stiftssynoden 1639,” p. 46. 143. Ibid., “Stiftssynoden 1641,” pp. 59f.; “Stiftssynoden 1648,” pp. 75f. 144. Ibid.; “Stiftssynoden 1641,” pp. 58ff., points 2 and 14. 145. Ibid.; “Stiftssynoden 1644,” p. 69. 146. Ibid.; “Stiftssynoden 1648,” p. 80. 147. Ibid. 148. Ibid., See also “Biskop Laurelii ordinantier 1648,” in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, p. 41. 149. Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, Uppsala, “Stiftssynoden 1648,” p. 80. 150. On the teaching activity of Paulinus Gothus in the diocese of Strängnäs, see Holmquist, Svenska kyrkan under Gustav II Adolf, pp.  298ff. The work in the archdiocese is described in Herman Lundström, Laurentius Paulinus Gothus: Hans lif och verksamhet 1565–1637 (Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1893), pp. 85ff., 64ff. According to a letter to Axel Oxenstierna from Paulinus, the latter intended to visit Vendel in 1638; ibid., pp. 65f. 151. See also Lundin, Johannes Baazius, p. 199. 152. Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse, pp. 22ff. 153. Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska, pp. 46f., passim. 154. Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse, p.  29; Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska, pp. 102ff. 155. Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse, p. 29. 156. Ibid. 157. Peter Aronsson, Bönder gör politik: Det lokala självstyret som social arena i tre Smålandssocknar, 1680–1850, diss., Lund University (Lund: Lund University Press, 1992), pp. 338–341; Harald Gustafsson, Sockenstugans politiska kultur: Lokal självstyrelse på 1800-talets landsbygd (Stockholm: Stadshistoriska institutet, 1989); Eva Österberg, “Compromise Instead of Conflict? Patterns of Contact between Local Communities and the Early Modern State: Sweden in the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries,” in Mats Lundahl and Thommy Svensson (eds.), Agrarian Society in History: Essays in Honour of Magnus Mörner (London Routledge, 1990), pp.  263–281; for a later period see Ingemar Norrlid, Demokrati, skatterättvisa och ideologisk förändring: den kommunala självstyrelsen och demokratins genombrott i Sverige, diss., Lund University (Lund: Liber/ Gleerup, 1983); for a German context see Joel F. Harrington, “‘Singing for his Supper’: The Reinvention of Juvenile Streetsinging in Early Modern Nuremberg,” Social History 22:1 (1997); compare the English



context see Michael J. Braddick, State formation in early modern England, c. 1550–1700 (Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press 2000); Steve Hindle, The state and social change in early modern England, 1550–1640. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2000; Paul Griffiths, Adam Fox, & Steve Hindle (eds.), The experience of authority in early modern England. Basingstoke: Macmillan 1996. 158. Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” pp. 22f. 159. Österberg, Gränsbygd under krig, pp. 249ff. 160. Österberg, “Den gamla goda tiden.” 161. Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse, pp. 37ff.; Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska, pp. 135ff. 162. Ulla Johansson, Fattiga och tiggare i Stockholm stads och län under 1700-­ talet (Stockholm: Liber Förlag, 1984), pp.  147ff.; Bengt Ankarloo, “Domstolarnas arbetsformer,” in Ulf Teleman (ed.), Det offentliga språkbruket och dess villkor i Sverige under 1700-talet (Lund: Institutionen för nordiska språk, 1985), p. 132. 163. Pleijel, Hustavlan. 164. Holmquist, Svenska kyrkan under Gustav II Adolf, pp. 293ff. The anti-­ hierarchic tendency of the government mainly concerned the bishops’ power claims and the “independent” parish assembly legislation; ibid., pp. 184ff. In the Church Act of 1686 the hierarchic control was finally enshrined, in that the act asserted the secular authority over ecclesiastical affairs; Pleijel, Karolinsk kyrkofromhet pp. 14ff. It could not be demonstrated more clearly that the state’s anti-hierarchic ambitions did not intend any radical change to the ecclesiastical structure; Ragnar Askmark, Svensk prästutbildning fram till år 1700 (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1943), pp. 323ff.; Normann, Prästerskapet, pp. 10lff. 165. Lundin, Johannes Baazius, pp. 232ff.; Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” pp. 17ff. 166. Ibid. 167. Ibid., p. 236. 168. Ibid., p. 224. 169. Ibid., p. 252; Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” pp. 19ff. 170. Lundin, Johannes Baazius p. 114. 171. Ibid., pp. 119f. 172. Ankarloo, “Europe and the Glory of Sweden.” 173. Ankarloo, “Sine Ordine Vita”; “Prästernas tillbörliga förfaringssätt,” Orationer, pp.  70ff. See also, e.g., Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, Uppsala, pp. 27, 69. 174. Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, Uppsala, “Stiftssynoden 1662,” p. 177. See also ibid., p. 22. It was also the better-off peasant groups who sat in the local courts; Jan Lindegren, Utskrivning och utsugning: Produktion



och reproduktion i Bygdeå 1620–1640 (Uppsala, 1980), pp.  137ff.; Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna, p. 283. 175. In the draft of a church ordinance proposed by Laurelius and Emporagrius the vestrymen were consistently described as officials with the duty of reporting any crimes in the parish to the priest; “Biskop Olof Laurelii kyrkoordningsförslag,” Kyrkoordningar och förslag dertill före 1686 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1881), II:1, pp. 407ff.; “Biskop Erik Empogragrii kyrkoordningsförslag,” Kyrkoordningar och förslag dertill före 1686. II:2, pp. 3, 15ff.; Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse, pp. 267ff. 176. Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll 4, 1680–1714, Stockholm, Diet of 1698, pp. 394f. 177. Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska, p. 105. 178. Ibid., pp. 105f. 179. Ibid., p. 105. 180. Ibid., The attitude of Bishop Olof Laurelii to these problems can also be discussed on the basis of his proposed church ordinance, “Biskop Olof Laurelii kyrkoordningsförslag,” Kyrkoordningar II:1, pp. 407ff. The duty to expose “criminals” in the parishes, according to the proposal, would be incumbent on all the parishioners, ibid., p.  212. The emphasis on the special position of the vestrymen is also evident from this statement: “If they themselves are guilty of any negligence or offense it shall be counted twice as serious as others’ faults and punishments,” ibid., p. 408. 181. Lundin, Johannes Baazius p. 272. 182. Ibid. 183. Ibid., p. 273, 184. Wahlfisk, Den kateketiska undervisningen, pp. 101f.; Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, Uppsala, “Stiftssynoden 1691,” p. 174. 185. Kjöllerström, Guds och Sveriges lag, pp. 68ff. 186. It took a long time before the church could assert its view of marriage; Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, pp. 59ff. 187. This is how, for example, the witch trials have been described, see Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna, pp. 310ff., 356ff. 188. Ågren, Making a Living; The State as Master. 189. Compare Thomas Robisheaux, Rural Society and the Search for Order in Early Modern Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Aronsson, Bönder gör politik, pp.  338–341. Gustafsson, Sockenstugans politiska kultur; Österberg, “Compromise Instead of Conflict?”; Braddick, State formation in early modern England, pp. 204–238; Hindle, The state and social change. 190. In the synodal resolution of 5 September 1679 (Västerås): “A church register is established in each parish, in which is recorded for the christening of children whether they are born in wedlock or illegitimate: Item



how many couples are married; and whatever else concerns matters of the churches,” Hall, Ur Den Kyrkliga Folkdisciplineringens, p.  26; Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, pp. 72ff. 191. The control, however, gave the lower clergy scope for their own interpretations of terms like “legitimate” or “illegitimate,” etc.; Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, p. 76; Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” p. 23. 192. “Biskop Olaus Laurelii ordinantier 1648,” in Hall, Folkpedagogiska stiftsstatuter, p. 35. 193. Pleijel, Karolinsk kyrkofromhet, pp.  14ff.; Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” p. 20. 194. Jesper Swedberg, Jesper Swedbergs lefwernes beskrifning, 1, Text (Lund: Gleerup, 1941), pp. 123f. 195. Ibid., p. 124. 196. Nilsson, “Krig och folkbokföring,” pp. 22ff. 197. Swedbergs lefwernes beskrifning, p. 390. 198. Ibid. 199. Arthur Thomson, I stocken: Studier i stockstraffets historia (Lund: Gleerup, 1972), pp. 224ff. 200. Margareta Revera, “1600-tals bönderna och deras herrar: Om jordägande, skatter och samhällsförändring i ljuset av nyare forskning,” in Göran Inger (ed.), Skrifter, vol. 9, Den svenska juridikens uppblomstring i 1600-talets politiska, kulturella och religiösa stormaktssamhälle (Uppsala: Institutet för rättshistoriska studier, 1984), pp. 43ff.; Margareta Revera and Rolf Torstendahl (eds.), Bönder, börd och bördor i 1600-talets Sverige (Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1979), pp. 73ff. A major landholder like Johan Gabriel Stenbock was primarily dependent on rents paid in cash rather than service by farmers, and with the state confiscation of noble estates he became dependent on cash incomes; Anders Kullberg, Johan Gabriel Stenbock och reduktionen: Godspolitik och ekonomiförvaltning 1675–1705 (Stockholm: Esselte studium, 1973), pp. 147ff. 201. See above in this chapter, “School and home tuition.” 202. Ankarloo, “Sine Ordine Vita”, pp. 241ff.; Revera, “1600-tals bönderna.” 203. Ingemar Norrlid considers the relationship of the capitalist government to local self-government in a way that can shed further light on this discussion; Norrlid, Demokrati, skatterättvisa. 204. “That no parish assembly was held in the parish without the communication of the nobility, when they or their servants are present,” quotation från Johansson, Svensk sockensjälvstyrelse, pp. 42f.; Gullstrand, Bidrag till den svenska, pp. 102ff. The reactions of the nobility to the efforts at independence must also surely be associated with the fact that the noble representatives simultaneously represented the state as officials; Sven Kjöllerström, Kyrkolagsproblemet i Sverige 1571–1682 (Stockholm:



Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag, 1944), pp. 366ff. The peasants’ criticism of the clergy’s proposed church ordinance was probably drawn up by government officials; ibid., pp. 370ff. 205. Askmark, Svensk prästutbildning, pp.  89ff.; Brandell, Svenska undervisningsväsendets, part 2, pp. 77ff., 144ff. 206. Wilhelm Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, part 2, Sverige och de nordiska grannländerna till början av 1700-talet (Lund: Gleerup, 1965), pp.  135ff. See also, e.g., Henrik Sandblad, “Om Gustav Vasas tvångsrekrytering av studerat folk: Ett brev från 1559,” Lychnos 1979/1980, pp. 257–259. 207. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, part 2, pp. 133ff., 176ff. From the mid-­ seventeenth century there is evidence in connection with tax assessment (mantal), important records on account of the inadequate qualifications of the lower officials; Lundin, Johannes Baazius, p. 221. 208. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, pp. 192ff. 209. Ibid., pp. 199ff. 210. “1649 års skolordning,” in B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar 1561–1905: 1/3 1561, 1611 och 1649 års skolordningar (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1921), pp. 46f. 211. “1693 års skolordning,” in B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar 1561–1905: 4/6, 1693, 1724 och 1807 års skolordningar (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1922), p. 9; “1724 års skolordning,” ibid., pp. 38f. 212. “1649 års skolordning,” ibid., p.  52; “1724 års skolordning,” ibid., pp. 37f. 213. “1693 års skolordning,” ibid., p. 9. 214. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, part 2, pp. 206ff. 215. See e.g., Sven Edlund, Diskussionen om begåvningsurvalet under reformations- och stormaktstiden, vol. 1, Urskiljandet av begåvningarna och deras understödjande, diss., Lund University (Lund: Gleerup, 1947), pp. 198ff; see also “1649 års skolordning,” in Hall, Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar, 1/3, pp. 46f., p. 57. 216. “1724 års skolordning,” ibid., p. 32, and the ordinances listed there. The various rules concerning parish collections are examined in detail by Gustav Sivgård, Vandrande scholares: Den gamla djäknegångsseden (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1965), pp. 38ff. 217. “1693 års skolordning,” in Hall, Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar, 1/3, pp. 3f. 218. “Prästerskapets påminnelser vid Kongl. Majts förslag till tiggareordning, Riksdagen 1664,” Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll 2, pp. 336ff.; Sjöstrand,



Pedagogikens historia, part 2, p.  205; Sivgård, Vandrande scholares, pp. 64ff. 219. Ingvar Elmroth, För kung och fosterland: Studier i den svenska adelns demografi och offentliga funktioner 1600–1900 (Lund: LiberLäromedel/ Gleerup, 1981), pp. 189ff. On the relationship between the expansion of functionaries in civil and public service and state-building in the early modern period, see Ågren, The State as Master. 220. Severin Bergh, Svenska riksrådets protokoll 9, 1642 (Stockholm: Riksarkivet, 1902), p. 187. 221. Elmroth, För kung och fosterland, pp.  195ff.; David Gaunt, Utbildning till statens tjänst: En kollektivbiografi av stormaktstidens hovrättsauskultanter (Uppsala, 1974); Klas-Richard Böhme, “Officersrekryteringen vid tre landskapsregementen 1626–79,” in Bördor, bönder, börd i 1600-talets Sverige, p.  233; Esbjörn Larsson, Från adlig uppfostran till borgerlig utbildning: Kungl. krigsakademien mellan åren 1792 och 1866, diss. Uppsala University (Uppsala, 2005). 222. Ingvar Elmroth, Nyrekryteringen till de högre ämbetena 1720–1809 (Lund: Gleerup, 1962); Gaunt, Utbildning till statens tjänst; Niléhn, Peregrinatio academica. 223. Elmroth, Nyrekryteringen, pp. 232f. 224. Ibid., pp. 259ff., 244f. 225. Ibid., Cf. Birgitta Odén, “Socialhistoria i blickpunkten,” Historisk tidskrift, Stockholm, 1963:4, pp. 417ff. 226. Elmroth, Nyrekryteringen, pp. 244ff., 259ff. 227. Ibid., p. 233. 228. Ibid., pp. 229ff. 229. Ibid., p. 233; Sten Carlsson, Bonde, präst, ämbetsman: Svensk ståndscirkulation från 1680 till våra dagar (Stockholm: Prisma, 1962), pp. 22f. 230. Carlsson, Bonde, präst, ämbetsman, pp. 20f. 231. Keith Wrightson and David Levine, Poverty and Piety in an English Village: Terling, 1525–1700 (New York: Academic Press, 1979), pp. 142ff., 173ff.; Margaret Spufford, Contrasting Communities: English Villagers in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (London: Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 171ff. 232. Kristian Jensen, Latinskolens dannelse: Latinundervisningens indhold og formål fra reformationen til enevælden (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanums forlag, 1982), pp. 46f. 233. Carlsson, Bonde, präst, ämbetsman, pp. 23ff. 234. Charlotte Appel and Morten Fink-Jensen, Da læreren holdt skole: Tiden for 1780, vol. 1 of Dansk Skolehistore (Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2013), pp. 13–27, passim.


Public Education and the School System in Stockholm in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century

Background When the decision to issue the 1649 School Ordinance was taken, Stockholm already had both a trivium school and a gymnasium. In the 1660s the high school was moved to Gävle, after which the school system in Stockholm consisted of the trivium school and the church schools established in the different parishes. These church schools were not restricted to the first class of the school (pedagogi) but generally had two or three classes. The church schools also went under the name “children’s schools” (barnskolor) or “small schools” (småskolor). The trivium school was consequently called “big school” (storskola); it was located in the Old Town. According to the school statute there were to be three children’s schools besides the trivium school, one each in the suburbs of Östermalm, Västermalm, and Södermalm. Schools were also set up in the parishes of Klara (1949), Jacobus (1649), Maria (1654), and Katarina (1654). Later in the 1670s, schools were founded in the parishes of Kungsholmen and Ladugårdslandet. It was not until 1691 that the schools in Katarina, Kungsholmen, and Ladugårdslandet were comprised by the statute concerning the state schools.1 The school system in Stockholm was subject to a joint inspectorate, “inspectores scholarum,” presided over by a “pastor primarius,” with representation of both the city council and the consistory.2

© The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




The administrative structure of the school system, and the explicit adjustment of the church schools to Queen Christina’s School Ordinance, suggests that the schools were intended to solve the problems expressed in the discussions about school in the first half of the seventeenth century. The school system, as it was structured, represented an attempt to realize the ideas put forward in the educational and political debate.3 At the same time, there was a different reason for the foundation of the schools. Although the first suburban children’s school was established in the same year as the School Ordinance, 1649, it was a consequence of an initiative by the local rector of Klara Parish.4 The school’s charter was issued in the summer of 1649. It paints a somewhat different picture of the need for educational institutions: as we perceive, not without displeasure, how a band of boys and children … there in the parish, beg for their food and subsistence, yet who do not attend any school, or are not made to do so by their parents, but become more accustomed to running the streets, to idleness and several other vices resulting therefrom, this may hereafter be eliminated; … in a proper way forbid all reading singing Ostiatim [from door to door] for the boys who do not attend school, permitting this only for those who frequent the aforementioned school, ordering them to practice such reading and singing at the right times, to learn and use fine religious hymns and not a lot of ballads, as has happened here to the annoyance of many.5

The charter shows that the establishment of the school can be linked to a desire to restrict begging in the streets. The teacher in Maria School reported to the consistory, shortly after the school was opened, that he had acted as diligently as possible, admitting primarily untamed street urchins and unruly boys and then meekly informed them and brought them to order, with both the church and the school ordinance, so that they now knew their times, places, lessons, and so on.6

Earlier research has also been aware that the schools in Stockholm were to a large extent paupers’ schools with poorly functioning tuition in Christianity and Latin, with underpaid teachers and with begging pupils.7 The handbooks in educational history, however, all stress the formal structure of the school system and the background that can be detected in the educational debate.8 The ambition of earlier research was mainly descriptive, and historians have not tried to find explanations for the character of



the system in the power structure of society or in social relations. Viking Rendahl, for example, associates the foundation of schools with the increased population of the parishes.9 David Sjöstrand, in his history of the school in Maria, has emphasized that, despite the new ordinance and the ambitions of the authorities to create orderly conditions, the school ended up as an institution for supporting poor families. It was not possible at once to end the already established practice of children earning money by singing at funerals and in public. Yet it was not only as “a cynical struggle for subsistence, but as an element in a cultural struggle that was waged in the society of the time, where no public school could exist without it … and ceased with increased prosperity and enhanced cultivation. When the suburban schools were founded, the use had already deteriorated into abuse.”10 This cultural struggle will be examined below from a more socially oriented perspective of change. A School for Poor and Rich The school system that was built up in the seventeenth century does not appear to have been frequented to any great extent by the upper classes. Royal letters and instructions to the clergy stressed the necessity of checking all the private tutors the upper classes engaged to teach their children. Exhortations like this were repeated in the school ordinances of 1693 and 1723. This testifies to a lack of interest in the public school system among the upper classes, and also to unease on the part of the church authorities about the lack of control over the religious content of this tuition in the upper-class homes.11 The difficulty of getting the upper classes to send their children to the same schools as the poorest children also led to a proposal in the diet in 1652 that a school should be established for “the children of the rich.” The pastor primarius in Stockholm suggested the idea and declared that he was inclined to establish a special school, where the wealthy who have tutors in their homes could have children etc., the justification being that the pupils in this trivium school are greatly impeded by participating in funerals; and for that reason the most distinguished people in the city do not want to have their children in school.12



Pastor Primarius Erik Emporagrius envisaged a special school open only for children who could support themselves. The foundation of this school would also be accompanied by an ordinance limiting the potential of the better-off to employ private and inexperienced tutors.13 Emporagrius’s ambitions for this school can be plausibly linked to the desire of the clergy to control the religious tendencies of the private tutors. These were regularly summoned for questioning in the consistory, and parish priests were obliged to submit lists of all the private tutors they knew of in the parish.14 Emporagrius’s proposal was relevant at least until 1655, when it was discussed in the consistory, but it encountered stubborn resistance. Among other things, it was pointed out that there was a risk of ending up with a definitive division into schools for the rich and schools for the poor. “The trivium school and the children’s schools would become schools for the poor alone,” and there would be “far too great license for the rich if they acquired a school of their own; it would be better if the rich remained among the poor.” It was suggested as an alternative to the definitive segregation that “fine desks should be made in the school, so that they [the rich] could have their own special room, and that a teacher was kept especially for them.”15 In its final decision the consistory did not accept a division of the school system and thus removed the foundation of a “schola illustrior” from the agenda.16 Schools thereafter were intended for both rich and poor. Attempts to improve conditions in schools in order to attract the children of the upper class nevertheless remained a recurrent topic in discussions of the school system in Stockholm. Jesper Svedberg claimed, for example, that on various occasions in the 1680s he had acted to bring about an improvement in the teachers’ salaries, their social status, and their official position.17 He stated that in 1686 he had suggested to King Charles XI that teachers should be on a par with the mayor of Stockholm and the rectors in the towns and should moreover be given the opportunity to be promoted as clergy to well-endowed parishes after a certain number of years’ teaching. “Then Joh. Lohe. Hildebrand and other rich and distinguished parents would send their children to school and then one would have good schoolteachers.”18 According to Svedberg, the Swedish school system was also inferior by international standards: But since we do not have such schoolmasters, the more distinguished people are obliged to have tutors in their homes, at no little expense, and no less



inconvenience. For nothing but the children of paupers and mostly depraved children attend school. It is said, and I myself have seen it abroad, that in foreign towns, as in England, Holland, France, Frankfurt am Main, Strasbourg etc., there are costly schools and fine teachers and pupils. But not here. The schoolteachers live in wretched and deplorable poverty and scorn: so that no learned, talented, and well-mannered man wants to become a schoolmaster.19

There is a clear tendency in Svedberg’s complaint over the school system and in the consistory’s discussion of the social conditions of teachers and pupils. The clergy had their own interests in improving the economic circumstances of the teachers and young priests involved in the schools, and also in improving the social status of their own work. The interesting thing, however, is not this bias in the description but the way in which the problem is defined by the priests. The problem for Svedberg and for the consistory was not that poor children were attending the schools. This was obviously both necessary and taken for granted.20 Svedberg asserts elsewhere in his memoirs that foreign countries took exemplary care of children and paupers and thus kept the streets free of beggars. In Holland the well-arranged hospitals, spinning-houses, and madhouses maintained “good discipline and order.”21 In England they looked after their poor, and a Christian philanthropy consisting of the social elite—bishops, better men, and so on—ensured that “paupers’ children are admitted and made to learn something useful, for which they have an aptitude. So that one will not be able to see any beggar in the street there, or standing at houses.”22 The proposals put forward by school authorities and the consistory were likewise not designed to exclude poor children from the schools. What concerned the ecclesiastical authorities was that the children of the rich did not go to school (Fig. 3.1). In this context it may be more interesting to ask which children went to school and how parents and authorities perceived the schooling of poor children. How did the education of the poor meet society’s need for people with higher qualifications and how did it serve the interest in disciplining? What was the meaning of schooling from the differing perspectives of authorities and parents? Why did poor children go to school at all? To answer these questions, it is first necessary to ascertain which children attended school. It will then be possible to outline the circumstances that shaped the parents’ attitudes and directed the actions of the authorities.



Fig. 3.1  Funeral procession of Count Carl Gyllenhielm in Strängnäs in 1651. The schoolchildren are walking with the bishop in the top right-hand corner. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB HP. Chr. C.31)

Children’s Social Background and Schooling Social recruitment to schools is a topic that has seen some study. Research in the nineteenth century was interested in demonstrating the development of the school system from lower to higher levels. Historians therefore observed the pauper character of the early schools. A work on the school in Katarina Parish stated that the pupils in the first half of the eighteenth century were almost exclusively the children of laborers or soldiers, or had to have been in government service.23 “According to the register, the fathers are simple craftsmen, very often navy men or guardsmen, otherwise carpenters, iron carriers, sailors, skippers, mates, menservants, dragoons, warehousemen, etc.”24 The data on the pupils in Katarina Parish agree with statements in early literature about conditions at the schools in Maria and Klara. A large number of the children, “in some classes almost half,” are stated to have no mother or no father.25 Most of the discussion



has concerned the eighteenth century, using the matriculation rolls and lists of pupils preserved in the school archives.26 A discussion of the school system in the seventeenth century should not be conducted on the basis only of the evidence from the first decades of the eighteenth century, since the work of the schools was then so obviously affected by the war. Among the pupils there were children from both upper-class and lower-class families who had lost their parents during the war. In the 1710s Stockholm was hit by the plague, which had a noticeable effect on school pupils. Many children are recorded in the rolls as having “died of plague (Fig. 3.2).”27 It cannot be ruled out that recruitment to schools in the first two decades of the eighteenth century was extreme. There is thus good reason to look instead at the period of more than 20 years when Sweden was at peace, between 1679 and 1700. We do have some interesting records for these years.

Fig. 3.2  Fatherless and motherless children in the Stockholm schools in 1709 when the plague added to the burdens of the poor. Just below the middle one can read: “Introduced 14 May 1709 Johannes Petri, father has been navy boatswain, mother a poor miserable widow, died of the plague.” Schoolchildren in St. Maria Magdalena School 1709. (Catalogus Discentum, Maria Magdalena School 9 November 1709, Maria skolas och lägre elementarläroverks arkiv, SSA)



Table 3.1  Extant lists of schoolchildren in Stockholm, 1684–1702 1684 Katarina School Klara School Ladugårdslandet School Trivium School




× × ×






1702 ×




The available material consists of the rolls from the parishes of Jacobus and Johannes for 1691–1702 and the lists of schoolchildren submitted to the cathedral chapter. A number of such lists of children attending the church schools and the trivium school have been identified in the archives of the consistory (Table 3.1).28 The matriculation rolls and lists of pupils for Jacobus and Johannes schools include details of the parents’ occupation and civil status. They also state if the parents are poor, for example, “poor lieutenant,” “impoverished shoe mender,” and so on. There are also examples of the father’s occupation being preceded by a “former,” “reduced,” “decamped,” and so on. In cases where the father is dead, his occupation is generally stated in connection with the mother’s civil status, for example, “widow of a cavalry man,” “widow of an iron carrier,” and so on. Women’s names are never recorded with any details of their own occupation. For certain years the material from Jacobus and Johannes also contains information about the parents’ domicile and the pupil’s age and knowledge on admission, and about the circumstances in which the pupil left school. The data for Jacobus and Johannes are most detailed during the last years of the century. It is not possible, however, to check to what extent all schoolchildren registered in this way actually went to school. For these reasons we ought not to let these sources serve as a foundation for analyzing school recruitment. Lists of children in the different classes, with no details other than the name, occur from the start of the 1690s. The register, however, gives the impression of having been kept more systematically toward the end of the seventeenth century.29 The register from Jacobus and Johannes can nevertheless be used to shed light on the character of the other source material. The registers that have been preserved from Stockholm schools in the eighteenth century have the same basic structure as the one from Jacobus and Johannes, that is to say, relatively ample details about the pupils when they are first registered and in some cases also about what they did after leaving school, and



simple lists of names of the pupils in the different classes. It is only toward the end of the eighteenth century that proper record books on the pupils are kept.30 The lists submitted to the consistory have a very similar form but go under different names—“catalogus frequentatium,” “designatio discentium,” “catalogus discentium puerorum,” “catalogus puerorum”—which means that we may assume that they were not compiled according to any central instructions. The absence of other material from these schools makes it impossible to check the details against other lists, although such lists probably existed. In the lists from the Trivium School and Klara School for 1692 a small number of pupils is recorded with no information apart from the name, and with the addition that they were absent, under the heading “fugitivi.”31 Irrespective of whether or not the list records all the registered pupils for the year, it may be assumed that the recorded names represent all the pupils who could be expected to be at the school during the period. The pupils about whom fuller details are registered were evidently present when the lists were drawn up. These circumstances make it likely that the schools also kept some kind of list of all the enrolled pupils. It cannot be taken for granted, however, that these lists had as many details about the pupils’ background as later became the case. The first years of the register for Jacobus/Johannes and the register of the Trivium School from 1721 state only the pupil’s name. The rolls from Katarina and Maria, starting from 1711 and 1709, respectively, show that, as in the case of the details in the Jacobus/Johannes rolls from the late 1690s, it was possible for the teachers to acquire detailed knowledge of the pupils’ social background.32 There is thus no reason to doubt that the teachers knew enough about the boys to be able to give correct information to the consistory. The teachers may have had an interest in presenting the situation in the schools in the worst possible light in order to underline the need for improvements. At the same time, the office of “inspector scholarum” meant that there was continuous supervision of the work of the school, at examinations and on other occasions.33 Systematic submission of erroneous information would have led to reactions on the part of the consistory, especially in view of the attention focused on the schools by the discussions at the time.34 The lists of pupils in the different schools ought to be a fairly good reflection of the actual recruitment. Grouping the details of occupations raises particular problems. The lower classes were an extremely heterogeneous group of people with



varying relations to the means of production and differing social background. The status of Stockholm as capital of an expanding great power set its stamp on social development, which included personnel in the service of both the civil and the military administration of the central government and the city of Stockholm. In peacetime, soldiers and their families were a noticeable element in the city, where they sought a living through sales and craft. The harbor was another noticeable feature, with the commercial activities connected to it. This presupposed various categories of laborers in private or public employment. In the service of the city, the state, and private individuals, there were also watchmen, servants, and craftsmen of different types.35 Among the craftsmen proper there were radical differences in economic circumstances. Craftsmen with small workshops and few employees predominated; they were also subject to competition from the artisans of the nobility, master craftsmen outside the guilds, and the soldiers who pursued crafts. The extensive construction activity was partly carried on by contractors, with master builders and hired builders and unskilled laborers. Craftsmen, like all the men and women in Stockholm—maids, hawkers, oarswomen, soldiers, laborers, transport workers, harbor workers, builders—were forced to sell their labor, their skills, and their wares on a market of labor and products that was uncontrollable. A stereotyped view of a thoroughly regulated society of estates and guilds, with simple and distinct social categories, shows little correspondence to the historical reality.36 Shades of difference in ways of making a living, relations to the means of production, and mobility between different occupations are not very visible in the occupational designations applied to the pupils’ parents in the lists. As for the women, the only thing we are told about them is when they were widows. It is consequently difficult to establish categories based on relations to the means of production or to contemporary formal legal hierarchies or hierarchies of status and income. This makes the classification of jobs and occupations in collective terms tricky. In this section about the seventeenth century, the term lower class(es) is used rather than underclass, and middling classes rather than middle class, burghers, or bourgeoisie to describe a group of parents that could not be described as an upper class.37 The classification of the parents’ jobs, trade, and social position has been made in order to single out a group that may be assumed to have had an interest in the skills and knowledge taught in the schools and to



distinguish it from the group whose occupations and social conditions ought not to have predestined children for occupations where school learning was useful. A precondition for this line of argument is that the parents’ occupation and education were a determining factor for a decision to invest in an education for their children. If we find large groups with children in school without this career-determining background, there is reason to look for other explanations. Councilors, officers, merchants, clergymen, apothecaries, nobility, and the like can all be expected to have been interested in the knowledge and skills taught in trivium school and church school for reasons of status and the future of the children.38 It is therefore reasonable to treat them as one group. The other group contains the categories among the lower classes that can be envisaged as having a need for certain theoretical knowledge in the pursuit of their own occupation. The different occupations have been separated into small groups. We must assume that child rearing among artisans was dominated by vocational training in the craft. This did not begin formally until the age of 12–14, which left room for schooling before vocational training commenced.39 In their commercial relations, many craftsmen must also have been interested the counting and writing skills taught at school. This also applies to the small-scale dealers, the shopkeepers, and innkeepers. There must also have been some interest in arithmetic and literacy among skippers and junior officers. The administration of the state, the city, the church, and private property also required theoretical skills of its various functionaries in government service—customs inspectors, bookkeepers, chaplains, teachers, bailiffs—which must surely have generated an interest in what the schools could offer.40 A third group contains the occupational categories which, judging by the designation in the lists, cannot be expected to have had any use for what was taught in school. This includes soldiers of various kinds, sailors, craftsmen without a workshop of their own, and journeymen and apprentices. There were also unskilled laborers, transport workers, janitors, gravediggers, bell ringers, outriders, stable boys, and so on.41 At the same time all parents may have had an interest in living up to the demands from the clergy that their children should learn the basics of the catechism. But let us begin with the orphans and the penniless children, about whom details were also noted in the lists. Table 3.2 shows that a large proportion of the pupils were sons of single parents (widows), were orphans, or had parents whose occupational designation is supplemented with adjectives such as “poor,” “reduced,”



Table 3.2  Percentage of children of widows and paupers in Stockholm schools, 1684–1696 1684 Katarina School Klara School Ladugårdslandet School Trivium School







44 84 32





Source: Processed lists of pupils, see note 28 Note: The number of individuals in the different schools varies between 43 and 173. The data from the Trivium School for 1684 give no information on civil status for pupils where details of the father’s occupation are recorded. The category of “children of widows and paupers” mostly consists of sons of widows

“crippled.” In total they accounted for a majority of the pupils. The picture presented above of the early sixteenth-century school system is confirmed and reinforced. The lowest value can be observed in the Trivium School for 1692, when 32% of the total number of pupils were registered as children of widows or paupers. The highest value for this group is that from Ladugårdslandet School for the same year, 84% of all the pupils. The proportion falls in the following years to the levels observed for the parishes of Klara and Katarina, that is, 50%. A certain difference may be noted between the Trivium School and other schools, which suggests that more stable groups went to the former. The Trivium School recruited children from all over Stockholm, as is clear from the addresses noted in the 1692 list.42 However, the children came from the lower classes. An analysis of the fathers’ occupations does not show any great differences between schools as regards social recruitment. The proportion of upper-class children in the Trivium School is only slightly higher than in Klara Parish and is always marginal. The groups among the lower classes who may be expected to have had some interest in the skills and knowledge taught in school were nevertheless represented more in the Trivium School than in the parish church schools, which harmonizes with the lower share of fatherless and penniless children at the Trivium School. The differences, however, were not so large for the children of craftsmen, who accounted for about 32% in the Trivium School as opposed to 27% and 29%, respectively, in the schools of Klara and Ladugårdslandet. Shopkeepers, innkeepers, skippers, junior functionaries, and lower officers accounted for 25% of the fathers with pupils at the



Table 3.3  Recruitment of pupils to schools in Stockholm distributed by different occupational groups, 1684–1696 (percentages)

Group I Upper class Group II   a. Craftsmen   b. Skippers/lower officers   c. Functionaries   d. Shopkeepers/innkeepers Group III Lower class (of which soldiers, sailors) Others, occupation not stated or classified Total numbers

Klara Katarina 1690/1693 1684

Ladugårdslandet Trivium 1694/1696 School 1684/1692





26.5 4.9 9.4 3.9

2.1 4.2 12.5 –

29.3 2.4 8.6 4.3

31.9 6.1 11.0 7.6

45.1 (25.2) 7.0

62.5 (12.5) 12.5

45.7 (8.6)

36.5 (1.9)







Note: More stable groups may have been overestimated slightly since the number of pupils for the different years is totaled, which means that a small number of pupils in Klara and Ladugårdslandet have been counted more than once. See Tables 3.8, 3.10, and 3.11. The category “Others” mainly comprises fatherless children

Trivium School, compared to 18% in Klara School and about 15% in Ladugårdslandet. In relative terms, the lower class was represented somewhat more strongly in the suburban schools than in the Trivium School. In Klara they made up 45% and in Ladugårdslandet 46%, whereas in the Trivium School the share was only 36.5%. The data from Katarina confirm the tendency in the other suburban schools. There 30 of the school’s 48 pupils came from the lower class (see Table 3.3). All in all, the picture obtained is that schoolchildren were mainly recruited from the least privileged groups in society. The sons of craftsmen and soldiers dominated. It must be presumed that pupils of the suburban schools were mainly recruited locally, which may have had a strong influence on the data from Katarina, where craftsmen’s groups were poorly represented. Local recruitment must at least be the explanation for the large number of soldiers’ children in Klara. In the Trivium School, which was in the central parish of Storkyrkan, soldiers’ children are not very well represented. It is not possible to determine to what extent the different occupational categories among parents of schoolchildren actually



corresponded to the group’s share of the population, but the trivium school system was undoubtedly a school for the common people in the sense that the broad strata of the people dominated. The pattern that was established during the short period of peace in the seventeenth century can also be identified in the war years after 1700. This is evident from an analysis of lists concerning the Trivium School in 1702 and Katarina School in 1709.43 The data for Maria School for 1709 have been analyzed by D. Sjöstrand and found to yield the same information.44 Among the pupils at the Trivium School at this time, however, there were also a small number of sons of clergymen (eight) and four sons of peasants.45 These exceptions may be viewed as a confirmation of the general tendency. The Stockholm schools mostly recruited their pupils from the lowest strata of society. This is a very different picture from that found for the Danish trivium schools, which had a much larger share of children from upper-class families and clerical homes. The proportion of fatherless children in the Danish schools, however, was generally high, at least in the mid-eighteenth century.46 This means that it cannot be ruled out that certain occupational categories were genuinely interested in the knowledge taught in school. An interest in knowledge, however, is something different from a need for public schools. Table 3.4 shows that the children from the upper classes Table 3.4  Fatherless children and children of paupers in schools in Stockholm distributed by different occupational groups, 1684–1692

Group I Upper classes Group II   a. Craftsmen   b. Skippers/lower officers   c. Functionaries   d. Shopkeepers/innkeepers Group III Underclass (of which soldiers, sailors)





40.9 43.8 47.1 35.1

183 32 85 37

45.5 (58.1)

299 (167)

Source: The distribution of the occupational groups is calculated on the basis of the material for Klara 1690/1692, Katarina 1684, Ladugårdslandet 1695 and 1696, and the Trivium School 1692. Since the data for Katarina and the Trivium School are available for only one year, the figures have been doubled to give them the same weight as those for the other schools Note: The table comprises only children whose fathers’ occupation is recorded in the list of pupils



who went to public schools almost all came from families with only a woman to support them, or families for which the teacher noted the father’s poverty. The group of lower functionaries—customs inspectors, teachers, measurers, and so on—and skippers/junior officers shared these conditions too, although, like craftsmen and above all the group of shopkeepers/innkeepers, to a lesser extent. For the upper classes the public school system was evidently a last resort. There is good reason to return to the high proportion of children of widows and paupers from the underclass, and also to the fact that the groups with the smallest share of fatherless and penniless children were also those who possessed means of production—shopkeepers, innkeepers, craftsmen—whereas officials and underclass groups had higher proportions. The suspicion that the public schools were a last resort for the upper classes is confirmed by the large number of private tutors in Stockholm during the period. The consistory’s investigations into private tuition in Stockholm have left us material in the form of lists of tutors and the number of pupils being taught. The lists clearly demonstrate that the upper classes had access to other channels of education than the public schools. The analysis of the lists for 1684, 1687, and 1694 reveals a large number of tutors with one or more pupils but also private schools with over 30 children (Table 3.5).

Table 3.5  Number of tutors and pupils in private schools or private tuition in Stockholm, 1684, 1687, and 1694

Teachers Pupils




111 784

138 608

165 1051

Source: SKAoP IV, pp. 366 ff., 610 ff.; V, pp. 600 ff. Note: The number of pupils receiving tuition is not always stated. There are no data for 21 teachers in 1684, for 22 teachers in 1687, and for 3 teachers in 1687. Calculations of the number of pupils in Stockholm are based on the assumption that these schools/teachers had a number of pupils corresponding to the average for other schools which may overvalue the number of pupils On the other hand, the lists were not all completed as expected. It seems as if some of the lists of private teachers in the different parishes were not added to the list compiled by the consistory of schools that had to be inspected or closed. See, for example, SKAoP V, p. 625. It is also evident that the lists can hardly have been complete. On 10 December 1702 it was pointed out that a certain teacher had been working since 1684 but had not previously been under the supervision of the consistory, ibid., VI, p. 297



The tutors were employed by one or more private individuals. Some of the information is so detailed that we can state the occupations of the pupils’ parents. We can identify bookkeepers, assessors, merchants, pastors, mayors, wine waiters, restaurateurs, notaries, cashiers, counts and countesses, excellencies, secretaries, directors, inspectors, judges, chamberlains, councilors, and commissaries.47 These are occupational titles that were rare, or absent, among the parents of children in the Trivium School and the suburban schools, but here, surprisingly, we find among teachers with few pupils and among those with several pupils (or schools?) the titles and social groups that we were able to identify among the schoolchildren (mate, musician, shopkeeper, linen weaver, alderman, master (tailor), stonemason, wood-bailiff, scribe, cook, janitor, customs inspector, corporal, ward-master, miller, journeyman bricklayer, executioner, master builder, cavalryman, crofter, guardsman, skinner, and shoemaker).48 It is not without problems to use these data, since detailed information about occupation and civil status is only provided in some of the lists.49 One conclusion can be drawn, however. The public schools were primarily attended by children from the lower class and groups with little property, as well as sons of lower officials. Some children from the upper class also went to the public schools, mostly sons of widows. Private tuition was the common form of education for upper-class children but also occurred among lower classes. Private instruction seems to have been the preferred option for parents who could afford it, also in the lower classes in society. That the public school system found it difficult to assert itself against the private schools and tutors is clear from the complaints voiced in the consistory.50 A calculation of the volume of tuition at different institutions in Stockholm shows that the private teachers accounted for the majority of the teaching. Since most schoolchildren were boys, their relative share must have been much larger. An estimate is made in Table 3.6; of 1807 children receiving tuition, 1051 (58%) were in private instruction. The next question is: of all the children in Stockholm, how large a share was receiving education? To gain some idea of this, one must use general estimates of population development. According to Gustav Utterström, the population of Stockholm at the end of the seventeenth century did not exceed 60,000.51 He estimated the number of children under 15 to be around 24% of the population,52 which means that there were roughly 14,400 children. On average there were thus about 960 children in annual cohort. Let us assume that the group of children aged 0–4 was as large a proportion of those aged 0–14 in Stockholm in 1690 as in Sweden as a



Table 3.6  Number of children receiving tuition in Stockholm, c. 1694 Trivium School (maximum number of named pupils in 1692) Ladugårdslandet School Maria School (estimate) Katarina 1690 Jacobus 1690 Kungsholmen Private tuition Orphanage (average 1691–1710) Total

174 54 50 35 100 1051 170 1807

Notes: Data for the Trivium School, the Ladugårdslandet School, and Klara School, see note 5. No information from Maria School. The number of pupils is estimated at 50, based on the number attending the school in 1709; D. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, p. 107. The number of pupils at Katarina School in 1690, before the reorganization, was stated as 35 in a letter to the consistory, SKAoP V, p. 272. The number of pupils in the Jacobus School in 1696 is stated in “Jacobi & Johanni Skolas Matrikel 1691–1702, 5,” Vasa realskolas arkiv, SSA. Data on the number of pupils in the Orphanage can be found in Gustav Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös i Stockholm på 1600-och 1700-talen (Umeå: Univ.-bibl., 1978), p. 136. For the calculation of children receiving private tuition, see note 46 above

whole in 1750 (40%).53 This means that 9% of the total population was aged under 5 while those aged 5–14 accounted for 15%. This gives us a population in 1690 of about 9000 aged 5–14, which is about 900 children every year. These figures are based on a maximum estimate of the population, and on the basis of the number of children in school, we can estimate how many children were receiving tuition at the same time in Stockholm in the 1690s. They amounted to just over two whole annual cohorts in the stated ages, or about 33% of six annual cohorts, for example, the age range 7–12 (corresponding to 5400 children). All the children in the public schools were boys (A in Table 3.7). In the orphanage, 87 of the inmates were boys while 83 were girls (B).54 The distribution of boys and girls in the private tuition/schools is stated in some cases in the lists found among the consistory documents55 (for 86 out of 138 schools in 1687 and for 100 out of 165 schools in 1694). In 1687 the share of girls was 21% and in 1694 it was 22% in these schools. It is likely that the girls were noticed when they went to school, and the notes express an observation of deviations from the general pattern. In other schools the pupils must therefore have been boys. At any rate, the number of girls cannot have been very large in other schools. In total, then, the proportion of girls in private schools in 1694 can hardly have been more than 22%, or 231 girls. There would then have been about 745 boys (C).



Table 3.7  Distribution of boys and girls in schools in Stockholm in the 1690s

Boys Girls

A. Public schools

B. Orphanage

C. Private schools


586 0

87 83

745 231

1418 314

In the ages 7–12 there must have been roughly 2700 boys and the same number of girls in Stockholm, according to the calculations cited above. This means that some 53% of boys and 12% of girls were being taught. Distributed by the different forms of school, tuition for boys was as follows. The public schools gave an education to 22% of the boys (25% including those in the orphanage) and 28% received private instruction; together this means that roughly half of a group of children corresponding to six age cohorts (7–12) were being schooled simultaneously. The figures must be treated with great caution, but they do give a rough picture of the extent and structure of schooling. The public and private demand for knowledge is of course confirmed by the extensive private schooling and by the social distribution of pupils in the schools. The large number of pupils in private tuition is a good enough hint that the public schools did not meet the needs. And there is other evidence for this. In 1673 the teacher in Maria School complained about a group of students giving private tuition in the parish. He demanded that this activity be prohibited. The result was that he himself was reprimanded by the consistory because “those who have children in the parish complain that they are obliged to have preceptores privatos for them, since there is neither instruction nor discipline in the school.”56 The new School Ordinance of 1692 reduced the old arithmetic class to “some apologista” (arithmetic). This did not mean that there was no interest in these skills, and the 1694 investigation into private tuition found that there were establishments devoted exclusively to “reckoning and writing.”57 A statement in the register for Jacobus and Johannes for 1696 shows that people in the lower social classes were also discontented with the way the church school organized its education. The teacher noted: here in the school there is no one who teaches the boys arithmetic, yet everyone seems to desire this, I know scarcely anyone here who intends to let their children continue their studies, they only want their children to learn reckoning and writing.58



This attitude is corroborated by statements from these years that pupils enrolled in the school solely to learn arithmetic.59 Slightly later we hear complaints from Klara School that the pupils left school to look for employment once they had learned arithmetic and writing.60 The notes in the list of pupils at Klara School in 1690 and the register for Maria School in 1709 also show that the children could find uses for their theoretical knowledge. When the list was compiled, “the son of Artoll the fodder man’s widow, Joh. Olai Dahlberg,” was “in trial service with a prosecutor” and another widow’s son was “on trial with a secretary.”61 We find similar statements in the Maria School roll for 1709. Magnus Gröndahl, son of a carpenter and his poor widow, “is with the customs master” and yet another boy “is serving with the castle bailiff in Västerås.”62 These examples were exceptions. These pupils are in fact the only ones for whom such information is recorded of the 173 pupils in Klara School in 1690 and of the 55 at Maria School in 1709. It should not surprise us that all these pupils attended school for at least three years,63 which was unusual. There was a high turnover of children in school. The list of pupils at Klara School in 1690 records how long the children had been enrolled.64 The pupils who were at the school on 8 September 1690 had attended it on average for no more than 1.4 years, with a range from one week to seven years. A majority of the children had spent 1.5 years or less in school (Table 3.8). Conditions for longer schooling evidently did not improve in the first decades of the eighteenth century. The children enrolled in Maria School in December 1709 did not have any long schooling behind them. Without regard for the month in which the child was enrolled in the school, Table 3.9 shows the pupils’ year of enrollment.

Table 3.8  Length of schooling for boys in the Klara School register for 1690


No. of children


No. of years

55 65 43 10 173

31.8 37.6 24.9 5.8


Source: Data from the Klara School register, 8 September 1690, SKAoP V, p. 275



Table 3.9  Year of enrollment of children registered as pupils in Maria Parish in December 1709 Year


No. of children %

2 3.6










2 3.6

2 3.6

6 10.9

12 21.8

9 16.4

22 44.9


Source: Register of Maria Magdalena School 1709–1794 (SSA) Note: It is of course possible that pupils enrolled early in the eighteenth century went on to the Trivium School. Evidence against this, however, is that several children who had attended the school for a long time were not transferred and that, of the pupils in 1709, there is no information about any later transfer to the Trivium School

Table 3.10  Length of schooling for children enrolled in Katarina Church School, 1711–1714 No. of years









No data or schooling not started Total

No. of children 38 16 13 7 5 1 2 2 17


Source: Register of St. Katarina School 1711–1714, Katarina realskolas arkiv, SSA Note: Length of schooling is registered as the interval between enrollment and the year of final discharge. Children with long schooling, 4–8 years, were enrolled and discharged on several occasions, which further underlines the sporadic character of school attendance

Comparable tendencies are attested in the school in Katarina Parish. The register began in 1711 but, unlike Maria Parish in 1709, there were no pupils in the school before the registration started. The plague in 1710 had hit the parish very hard and the school was closed. The register has relatively detailed data on the children who were enrolled when teaching resumed. It was noted, for instance, when children left school and in some cases what they went on to do. It is thus possible to ascertain how long a schooling the newly inscribed pupils had. Table  3.10 also shows that attendance in Katarina Parish was relatively brief and irregular. The register also has occasional notes about what happened to the children after they left school. Looking at the first job they found, we see that 7 found unspecified employment while 16 entered service or apprenticeship with craftsmen of various kinds or became soldiers (2). Seven found work with secretaries, scribes, measurers, or burghers. It is of course impossible to decide what these jobs entailed or whether school was of any assistance to them in finding employment. The following case, however, undeniably gives that impression:



4 Febr. 1714 Isacus Isaaci 12 years old born in S. Kath. Parish has read the hymnbook and written according to instructions. Father is a merchant seaman. Left school in April 1714. On 7 Febr. 1716 came back to school. Father wanted him to learn Swedish, Christianity, and writing. 12 April 1717 left school and is now with an ore measurer at the castle.65

The children to whom school gave qualifications for a job do not make up a very high proportion of those in the registers. Of the 101 pupils, there is no information for 52, or it is explicitly stated that they never appeared in school after enrollment, while 6 pupils had died or moved away and 5 had changed to a different school and 8 pupils were engaged in begging of various forms. We shall return to this later. Here I merely conclude that, for a small proportion of the children, schooling was followed by work in which the skills acquired could be put to use, but that there was a high turnover of pupils and attendance was irregular. We can only speculate about the reasons why more details are not recorded for a larger number of children. It seems natural to assume, however, that the lack of information indicates social problems. Of these 52 pupils, there is no data on the length of schooling for 13, and 19 pupils had only attended school for one year or less (27 pupils had attended two years or less). The tendencies are also confirmed in the sources from the 1690s. A check of how many of the pupils in Klara on 31 October 1692 started their schooling on 8 September 1690 gives the following results. Pupils have normally been identified with the aid of their name, father’s occupation, and data on civil status. Of 119 named pupils in 1692, only 34 (including 6 whose identification is doubtful because only the name is stated) had started school on 8 September 1690. This means that 29% of the pupils had started attending at least two years earlier, while 71% were recruited between September 1690 and October 1692. If we start from the other end and investigate how many of the new pupils from 1690 were still enrolled in 1692, we find that only 19.6% remained. No less than 139 of the school’s 173 pupils had ended their schooling before this. This was not a consequence of a normal turnover where older pupils left school to a greater extent than new enrollments. On the contrary, with the aid of the data in the Klara register for 1690 we can see that the pupils who continued their studies and were still at the school in 1692 had a higher average number of years in school than those who left school in the period up to 1692. The average figure for the 34 pupils who stayed on in school was 1.3 years of attendance, while those



who dropped out before 1692 had on average been in school one year in 1690. The latter figure, however, also includes pupils with relatively long schooling behind them, who therefore cannot reasonably be expected to have continued until 1692. It is difficult to state a limit for when one can expect pupils to have learned enough to get a job; it is therefore more appropriate to present the distribution of schooling among the children who left school between 1690 and 1692 (Table 3.11). The table shows that the overwhelming majority of the children who left school in the stated years had spent a very limited time in school. Klara School had four classes and there in no reason to suppose that the pupils went on to the Trivium School for further tuition. Ladugårdslandet School can be studied in a similar way for 1692, 1694, 1695, and 1696 (Table  3.12). Here too we see that there was a Table 3.11 Length of schooling for children in Klara School in 1690 who left school between 8 September 1690 and 31 October 1692

No. of years No. of children

>4 3–3.9 2–2.9 1–1.9 0–0.9



10 10 22 46 51 139

7.2 7.2 15.8 33.1 36.7 100.0

Source: See note 28

Table 3.12  Pupil turnover in the Ladugårdslandet Church School, 1692–1696 (number of pupils in school) Date of register

–1692 1693/94 1695 1696 Total

First year in the register (number in bold), and number of pupils remaining in school (in italics) 1692




63 – – – 63

12 43 – – 55

8 29 40 – 77

2 15 27 (2) 18 (4) 62

Source: Lists of pupils from data from Ladugårdslandet Parish, see note 28 Note: Four of the pupils in 1696 were enrolled in 1694 but cannot be identified in 1695. They have been registered as new enrollments. Two of the pupils have only uncertain identification



considerable turnover. Of the pupils at the school in 1692, only 19% were still there two years later, and of those in the school in 1694 only 30% remained after the same time. Of the new pupils from 1695, only 67% were still enrolled in the school a year later. Comparable tendencies can be seen in other years. Roughly a third of the pupils each year were new enrollments or leavers, but mobility seems to have been greater in the first years of the 1690s. That the mobility in some cases concerned the children of widows and paupers is shown by the decline in the proportion of these children in the senior classes of Klara School. This tendency, however, is not noticeable in the Ladugårdslandet Parish School, where the total share of poor and fatherless children was at a much higher level than in the other schools. The distribution for Klara School and the Trivium School is shown in Table 3.13. The analysis of the school registers allows us to draw a couple of general conclusions on which to base the continued study. The school system that existed in Stockholm in the 1690s had different meanings for different pupils. It is clear from a limited number of school careers that a long schooling was possible and probably involved learning everything that was prescribed in the school ordinances. The vast majority of the pupils, however, spent only a short time in school. A partial explanation for this is that they left when they had learned enough “reckoning and writing.” But this

Table 3.13  Absolute and relative number of children of widows/paupers in different school classes Class


Trivium School

1690 n V IV III

– 11 16

II I Total

25 43 95

Sources: See note 28

1692 %


1692 %


40.7 44.4



58.1 63.2

14 26 48

40.0 48.1






18 36




cannot possibly explain all of the large turnover of pupils in the schools. With the turnover demonstrated above, all the boys in Stockholm in the 1690s could theoretically have spent some time in school. Most of the pupils probably came into contact only with the tuition for beginners that was called “Alfabetica,” which consisted of the catechism and learning to read. This probability is supported by other evidence. The school registers discussed here contain information which gives a completely different picture from that of a goal-directed and beneficial school situation: “Plays truant from both his mother and the school,” “Shirks school,” “Is often absent and plays truant,” “plays truant, being a wicked boy,” and “plays truant out of malice.” The following can be read about the son of the journeyman mason’s widow, Henrikus Johannis, in the Klara register for 1690: “The boy works for the Master Mason in the summer but goes to school in winter.” When this was noted, Henrikus had attended the school for three years. “Mathias Johannis,” who was in the lowest class in the school, was presumably a younger brother; he also had a mother who was a journeyman mason’s widow, and about him we read that he “works in the summer and studies in the winter.” He had only attended the school for one and a half years.66 Other pupils were stated to be sick or had run away. We are also told that some pupils dropped out to work in the tobacco spinning mills or were “learning the trade of coopering.” A boy whose father (also a cooper) was still alive was “learning the trade at home with his father.”67 These notes hint that schooling was not always appreciated by the pupils, but perhaps even more that they were under a certain coercion from authorities and parents. There will be reason to return to the question of why the children of poor widows, soldiers, and iron carriers went to school. This will first be discussed from the perspective of lower-class families and then from the angle of the authorities and the upper classes.

Family, Livelihood, and Schooling We may thus note that, for children in the lower classes, school attendance cannot be discussed only in terms of their interest in and need for the knowledge taught, despite the fact that the schools were dominated by children from these classes. It has already been shown that the founding of schools for poor children was part of the pattern of education established by the church in the first half of the seventeenth century. In the next chapter we shall return to the political problems. Here the question concerns



what school meant for the poorest groups. The discussion also considers the societal framework that influenced the attitudes of parents and children to school. Living conditions in the seventeenth century entailed high general mortality. Many children were left without parents, and not all of them could be looked after by relatives. The draft versions of statutes on the church and on poor relief in the seventeenth century took a stance on how to deal with children whom relatives or neighbors were unwilling to take care of. According to Bishop Laurentii’s proposal for a church ordinance, unwanted children were to be placed in the children’s homes in the towns.68 It was for this reason that so called children’s homes were founded in the towns, where these problems were probably visible in the form of children’s begging.69 The governor of Stockholm in the 1650s, Herman Fleming, ordered the burghers of the city to clear the streets of beggars, declaring that “there are many who send out children to beg and also take in other poor children, using them to collect money for them by begging.”70 The begging in the streets led the watchmen or the police to mount periodical round-ups to apprehend begging children.71 The combined house of correction and orphanage functioned as a collection point for the children assembled by these actions. Begging children could also be placed in the Danviken poorhouse. Gustav Utterström concluded from this that begging children evidently wandered around “alone and in bands even in the coldest winter months.” He found these conclusions confirmed by the wretched physical state in which the children were when captured.72 Utterström has also analyzed the material from the round-up initiated by Herman Fleming at the town council in 1652. The children who were in the care of the children’s home after this action were, not surprisingly, mostly the children of common military men: sailors, soldiers, and musketeers. Among the civilian occupations we again recognize the fathers: carpenters, brick lads, shoemakers, smiths, tailors, coachmen, watchmen, and castle guards.73 At the orphanage there were very thorough investigations to decide which children should be allowed to stay there. In principle it was only those “born here in Stockholm and without parents.” Children from outside Stockholm were to be sent back to where they came from as soon as possible. These principles were not followed consistently. Some poor children with parents or relatives in Stockholm or in the provinces were also allowed to stay in the orphanage.74 Many children from Stockholm were



released conditionally, “the usual condition being that those caught begging a second time would be punished by a fine of 10 dalers, besides which mother and child would be expelled from the town, and in some cases they were threatened with imprisonment on bread and water.”75 The latter half of the seventeenth century saw the establishment of cooperation between the authority responsible for order—the police board (politikollegium)—and the textile factories in Barnängen. The authorities had limited ability to house all the begging children, so they sent them to the textile factories.76 The application documents for the orphanage show that children’s social conditions were harsh even if their parents were alive. Both widows and soldiers’ families could find it difficult to support their children. On 22 September 1676 a widow applied to have her two eldest children, “a girl of eight and a boy of five, admitted to the orphanage or Danviken because of her children’s poor and wretched state. The answer was: since they have both reached an age when they can earn their food, her application cannot be granted this time.”77 Other applications illustrate the difficulties for precisely the same groups that we found in the school registers. The widow of a lieutenant by her first marriage and a farrier by her second was destitute, in the first case after her husband had equipped himself for the military campaign in Skåne and in the second case because the husband had been ill for a long time. According to the application she could not work for a livelihood and simultaneously look after her children. Nor did she want to support herself by begging. The children therefore had to be looked after if the whole family was not to die of starvation.78 The letter must have been worded in such a way as to appeal to the institution that was supposed to keep children off the streets, but it simultaneously illustrates the options available to a widow who had to support herself. Among the applications there was one from the widow of a guardsman who could not feed her four children79 and one from an inmate in the house of correction who pleaded for help for his wife. This man, charged with high treason, argued that his wife could not look after their four children and asked for the youngest child to be admitted to the orphanage.80 A constable who had been ordered overseas in 1706 had similar problems. His wife’s illness meant that he had to support the children in his absence. The letter was addressed to the constable’s regimental officer:



for my wife who has been sick all year, and is still sick, and my two small children whom I must now leave behind me in a dreadful and poor state, I ask most humbly … to be allowed to have my two small sons in the orphanage, the one aged ten years and the other eight, and as I have the good fortune to have been able to have my five children provided for by good and fine people, but are now able to earn their food and have come of age.81

The applications were worded and in many cases penned by professional scribes with the necessary formulae and expressions of submissiveness. Literacy and knowledge of this formulaic language was scarcely widespread.82 It may be noted, for example, that the application by the guardsman’s widow had been composed by a professional military scribe and was addressed to the king. He in turn referred the matter to the borough administration.83 The scribe probably took payment for his services, which must surely have limited the number of applications from totally destitute parents.84 The orphanage evidently recruited children from the streets as well as in response to formal applications.85 It is natural to suppose that the acceptance of children through letters of this kind was influenced by the parents’ contacts in the administration. Conditions among the silent majority cannot have been any better, as is clear from the notes in the minutes of the police from the start of the 1670s. Two small children arrived, Lars and Peer Andersson, who came in yesterday evening to the men and asked to stay the night there with them, since they did not dare go home to their parents because they could not collect as much for the parents as they would be satisfied with. Höök and Frijman will take them home and then summon the parents. Anna Erichzdotter a poor and crippled girl born here in the town at Södermalm, her stepfather is a carpenter at the Castle and the mother is alive. Said that her parents did not want to have anything to do with her since she is crippled and cannot work. Therefore Borough Officer Andersson was ordered to accompany the girl home to her parents and tell them that if the girl should be caught begging again they will be penalized with a fine of 40 marks. Anna Danielsdotter, a poor girl who goes around the houses here in the town singing nasty songs, stated that her mother lives at Träskbacken in the farm of Jästehufwudh. Olof Erichsson was ordered to take the girl and accompany her home to her mother and tell her that if she does not keep her child from begging in the streets she will be seriously punished.86



Stockholm in the seventeenth century enticed groups whose conditions in the big town were difficult to reconcile with looking after children. Stockholm probably had a particular attraction for unmarried women who were pregnant or had illegitimate children. The authorities tightened their control over families, and in the countryside the proportion of children born out of wedlock fell in the course of the century. Illegitimate children were much more common in the towns than in the countryside,87 which can probably be explained in part by women escaping the social control of the countryside for the anonymity of the towns. In Stockholm the consistory was particularly attentive to this immorality in the 1680s. The town courts were urged to punish the fathers of the illegitimate children as well and write to “those places where the fornicators reside, especially when they are within the country.”88 Among the pupils at Ladugårdslandet School there were children between 1692 and 1696 who were stated to be both motherless and fatherless and sometimes only fatherless (see note 28). The authorities themselves were sometimes the direct cause of this immigration to Stockholm. Maria Jonasdotter, a widow with three children, had been sent by the mayor of Örebro to the capital, where she was arrested for begging and threatened with corporal punishment.89 Among the single women we may also reckon the soldiers’ wives who were evicted from their crofts when they were given to new soldiers. At the start of 1676, for example, Graan, county governor of Västerbotten, was ordered to look after the soldiers’ wives who remained in their military allotment homesteads and who were worried about being driven away by the farmers. At the first open water he was to “provide them with a boat to bring them hither to Stockholm, so that they might seek their husbands again, in whatever way or manner they will and can.”90 These women may have been among the “loose women” that the rector of Ladugårdslandet alleged, at the consistory in 1681, to have sneaked into the parish without permission.91 At times the involvement of the authorities took other forms, since they were forced to take a stance on the issue of whether the soldiers’ wives should be allowed to remarry. Life for many soldiers’ wives was complicated by the fact that they did not know whether they were widows or not. It simply was not possible to ascertain whether their husbands had died or not. If there was no sure information about her husband’s death, a woman could not remarry until after a specified time. The Church Act stipulated a waiting period of seven years.92 This became a pressing problem in Stockholm when contact with the army became difficult after military



defeat at Poltava in 170993 and the women’s situation became a matter of interest to the justices of the Supreme Court (Justitierevisionen), the Consistory, and the King in Council.94 We hereby humbly inform you that both the High Court and the Consistories have more than once brought representations about both the restitution of such wives and about the improvement of their conditions, who have not committed fornication, but are nevertheless left with many children whom they cannot support, unless those taken in their husbands’ position claim that they themselves occupy the croft, when these must leave them; that the country has also been greatly stripped of people through the plague, and that some of these women are so aged that they cannot hope within a few years to be relieved through marriage of their state of single provider.95

During his exile in Bender, Turkey, Charles XII made a decision on the matter, ruling that the waiting period could be shortened if the soldiers were not listed as prisoners of war or if no sure report of the men had been received since 1707. The livelihood of these women and their children evidently played a part in the decision.96 These women were among the parents who sent their children to school. In the register for Maria School, for example, there is a note about the pupil Jonas Laurentii Lindquist: “his father is a Guardsman, although it is unknown whether he is alive.” The boy was enrolled in the school on 21 June 1709 but ran away in 1710.97 The wording of Charles XII’s decision hints that the authorities saw a close link between remarriage and the widows’ ability to provide for themselves. There was no doubt an association of this kind. In the countryside there were few households headed by a woman, since widows normally married an able-bodied farmhand or transferred the farm to a younger male relative and received a pension from him through a retirement contract. Remarriage was probably much more common among peasants than in other social classes in the seventeenth century.98 The authorities, the men who collected the military levy, and grown-up children all wanted male heads of households, for different reasons, and encouraged widows to remarry or retire. The high proportion of remarriages among peasants may be viewed as a consequence of the organization of farm work. It was difficult for a single person to manage a farm and support a household. Also for persons in government service a two supporter model gave a better chance of survival. Ownership of a farm was, moreover, an important asset for widows who were willing and able to try their chances on the marriage market.99



Table 3.14 Percentages of widows among women aged over 15

Sweden Stockholm Mora



1750 1769 1666

15.1 18.8 19.5

Note: Utterström, Gustav, Stockholms folkmängd, pp. 255ff.; Historisk statistik för Sverige, Part 1, Table  18, p.  70; Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna, p. 274

Opportunities for remarriage were also influenced by the number of available marriage partners of suitable age. In the seventeenth century there could be a large surplus of women in places because men of productive age had died in the wars, which reduced the chances of remarriage. The large number of widows in Mora in 1666, for example, can be linked to the high excess mortality among men as a consequence of the wars.100 In Stockholm too, the surplus of women was probably large in the first half of the seventeenth century, and widows must have accounted for a large share of women, although we have no reliable data on civil status. There are thus no statistics to compare with the information from Mora, but a comparison with the records from the mid-eighteenth century—that is, under the same demographic regime as in the seventeenth century—suggest that even in “normal” conditions the proportion of widows in the towns was high (Table 3.14). The high frequency of remarriage in the countryside means that “widow status” must generally be associated with a relatively high age. In 1750 only about 11% of the widows in the population were younger than 49.101 It is likely, however, that the share of widows in towns in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was greater than in rural Sweden.102 The possibility for widows to remarry was limited by the surplus of women, and by the fact that these women in the town did not have much property to make them attractive marriage partners. They had to support themselves on their own. In Stockholm at least there were some opportunities for women, both single and married. The textile factories recruited their labor among “widows and loose women.” In Södermalm and Norrmalm and in the blocks around Katarina Church, according to the tax-assessment rolls for 1676, there were “spinning widows, maids, and loose women.”103 The area also accommodated other female practitioners of trades. Stocking knitters and lace makers, on the other hand, were rare, while laundry women and seam-



stresses were more common. Broom makers and old women who made bast bags, wig makers, midwives, and wet-nurses alternated with women in heavy labor. Stamping bark … carrying sand and salt, mixing lime and helping with masonry work, inviting people to funerals and ringing curfew bells.104

Foreign visitors also noted that the women in Stockholm worked as bath attendants and as rowers between the islands.105 The majority of single women were probably maids working in the service sector. Women also pursued trade and sales, as innkeepers, bakers, hawkers, and they worked in eating houses, running them themselves or serving as maids.106 Soldiers’ wives were among the women who competed with each other and other poor people on this labor market. The work done by guardsmen and their wives was a subject of general complaints from other tradesmen, but the grievances intensified after the return of the guards to Stockholm in 1680. After complaints from bakers, brewers, innkeepers, shoemakers, tailors, carters, carpenters, “and other such trades as are liable to pay tax,” soldiers were limited to working as carpenters and unskilled laborers, and “carrying and pulling in the harbor.” Soldiers with training in a trade had to report to masters but would only be offered work when the regular employees were fully occupied. Soldiers’ wives could only maintain “chairs and stalls” on bridges and sell goods from house to house. The ordinance of 1683 prohibited them from “brewing, baking, and slaughtering for sale.” The ban on baking was repeated in 1696, which shows that compliance was not always perfect.107 The reason for this activity on the part of soldiers and their wives was of course their precarious livelihood. Private infantrymen could “barely manage on their pay to support themselves, and with difficulty maintain their families in addition.”108 In other words, it was absolutely essential for soldiers’ wives to work to feed themselves and their children. Complaints about soldiers’ wives and other people infringing commercial rights had a good chance of gaining a hearing from the authorities, whose tax revenues were negatively affected by the illegal trade.109 The ability to regulate the economic activities of lower-class women was limited, however, as is clear from the report of the Governor of Stockholm in 1663: as a consequence of the size of the intractable crowd who make a living by selling out in the country and at the toll gates to make purchases. And as they are all wives of soldiers and sailors, and plead that their husbands do not receive their allowance and that they must thus seek their food through



unlawful trade and theft, one cannot enforce the rules as strictly as one rightly ought without daily brawls and fights, and at the risk of rioting by the common mass.110

It is sometimes obvious from the authorities’ measures that there were not enough opportunities to earn a living. In 1688 the King in Council issued an edict to abolish begging, pointing out the military groups as the culprits. The edict stressed that common soldiers in the guards should not give houseroom to beggars who came from other places, nor should they “allow any of their own to engage in it.” The commanders of the sailors of Roslagen (the islands outside Stockholm) were to ensure that “they or their wives and children” stayed away from Stockholm. They were to seek their livelihood in the countryside, on the crofts allotted to them. The same regulation was used against the disabled soldiers who came to Stockholm to collect their promised allowance and then “take the opportunity together with wives and children to bother people with their begging.” Like other military men, they were to seek their livelihood through work and in future the allowance would be distributed in the countryside.111 The authorities in Stockholm and the rest of the kingdom had long been working to restrict begging, as reflected in the placing of children in the orphanage. Yet it was not only children who begged. In 1663 an ordinance was published, aimed especially at the borough administration in Stockholm, urging that beggars and paupers should be “got out of the way, fed and cared for in certain houses with suitable subsistence.” The large numbers of poor, wretched people justified special measures in Stockholm so that beggars could be removed from the streets and squares. The ordinance ruled that special persons should collect funds for beggars and that begging should cease in the streets, in the houses, and in front of church doors.112 In 1698 an ordinance was issued to establish a spinning house and rasp house for “those who are healthy of limb or not so disabled and handicapped that they can do some work, because it is only out of sloth and self-will that they indulge in begging.” In this establishment the able-bodied women would be put to work, rasping and spinning.113 * * * The repeated ordinances clearly show that the begging resulted from the difficulty that the lower class had in supporting themselves. Against this



background, it is not unlikely that schooling for the children of soldiers, poor craftsmen, sailors, widows, and others was evaluated in relation to the support of the family and the children. Schooling created real opportunities for poor people to earn a living. Queen Christina’s charter for Klara School in 1649 shows that begging and singing in the streets was to be reserved as a right for the boys enrolled in the school. A decree in 1663 prohibited begging but made an exception to permit “pupils … distinguished by badges, to stand in doorways, to acquire some allowance by reading or singing.”114 In the same year the consistory declared that only poor schoolboys were permitted to sing in the streets, “no street urchins or girls.”115 Begging in regulated forms thus became a way for schoolboys to earn a living. Begging girls, on the other hand, still risked being arrested by the town watchmen. The boys’ activities in the streets were a strictly regulated form of begging. This is evident both from the ordinance of 1663 and from the charter for Klara School that the children were not to be allowed to sing anything they liked or whenever they liked, but only “at the right times, and learn beautiful spiritual hymns and not a lot of ballads, as has happened to the annoyance of many people.”116 We shall return to the meaning of this in later chapters. The children in the Trivium School and in the suburban schools took part in a number of activities to support themselves and the teachers and to finance the schools. During a long period of the seventeenth century until 1686, participation in funeral processions and singing on special occasions in church were the cornerstones sustaining schoolchildren. After 1686 the same function was fulfilled by the specially regulated collection of means in the countryside, djäknegång, and by singing at special services and at interments in church. The right of pupils and teachers to sing in different contexts was a topic of debate in the consistory throughout the period studied here. The discussions show that the schools competed for the income from the well-paid singing at noble funerals. There could also be dispute as to which parish the deceased had lived in and hence which school the corpse, so to speak, belonged to. We see from the records of the Trivium School that the foundation of the suburban schools immediately had negative consequences for the school’s income.117 School must thus have been perceived by the parents as a way for their children to provide for themselves. From one of the schools there were complaints in 1657 that the children stayed at home when there was no income from funeral processions. Instead they roamed the streets or went



to the “town school,” that is, the Trivium School, which traditionally sang at the funerals of prosperous people. It was said that the parents complain dreadfully that their children sometime walk in funerals and receive no money for it, to (Salva venia) have their shoes mended for: and therefore they keep their children away from funerals and school and prefer to let them do mischief in the streets or else send them to the town school for the sake of the small payment.118

In 1686 schoolchildren and priests were prohibited from singing in connection with funeral processions, and the custom appears to have declined in the subsequent years, as will be discussed in the next section of this chapter. The protests from the schools about the abolition of this way of earning money underlined the association between the families’ livelihood and school attendance. From Maria School it was pointed out that “the children increase daily, but must leave for lack of provision,” and similar complaints were heard from Klara School.119 The pupils dropped out of school to “serve or learn a trade, indeed, sometimes before they have properly learned their main points of Christianity,” as the headmaster of the Trivium School put it.120 It was not the first nor the last time, however, that pupils were criticized for leaving school without having learned anything.121 The headmasters had unanimously complained earlier that children disappeared from school “without the slightest thanks.” These complaints would be repeated later too, even after a new system had been introduced to provide for schools and pupils.122 The statements hint that parents took their children out of school when other means of livelihood were available, with no regard for the educational mission of the school. There is also evidence to show that the way schoolchildren supported themselves was attractive. Other children competed for the pupils’ “work” in a way that was perceived as a threat. Klara School, according to its own charter, had the right to “sing in the streets and at windows.” There were complaints in 1690 that the pupils were not left in peace by “wicked street urchins who attack them and snatch from them the printed certificates they display from the school.”123 The school’s monopoly on singing and begging was evidently a desirable “utility” for those who did not attend school. In 1691 there was also a complaint that street boys had assisted the singer in the Slott Parish by singing at a funeral. A “band of running boys” had sung without the school having been contacted. The consistory



declared that singing was the task of schoolchildren.124 Clearly the bands of children had a strategy to support themselves. The uniform tendency of the complaints is evidence that poor schoolchildren helped to provide for themselves and their families by going to school. This scarcely invalidates what was said in the previous chapter. School had different meanings for different social classes. The upper classes regarded public school as a makeshift solution to an educational problem. The widows in these classes had no other way to give their children the schooling they considered necessary. The large number of widows among the group of “lower functionaries” gives the same indications. The lower proportion of widows chiefly among shopkeepers/innkeepers suggests that these women, who found themselves in possession of a small amount of capital after the death of their husbands, had better prospects on the marriage market. Yet these groups did not have the same doubts about public school even in cases where families were intact. Nor can it be ruled out that, for simple craftsmen and the widows of craftsmen, shopkeepers, and others, school was a way to provide for children until better opportunities came along. The latter was probably a motive for school attendance among the lower classes, soldiers, sailors, iron carriers, and so on, and widows. The best explanation for the over-representation of widows among parents of schoolchildren is that school or begging were probably among the various means of livelihood open to lower-class families. In that respect the school functioned in many ways like the early modern orphanages.125 Maria Ågren stress in her analyses of the two-supporter model that women’s work was a part of such a strategy. The data presented here indicate that begging as well as going to school was a part of such a strategy, perhaps not only from the point of the adults but also that of the children.126 Families and households in the lower class were forced to secure their subsistence by varied and adaptable strategies, which involved taking advantage of every opportunity: selling fish and vegetables, baking bread, doing spinning and laundry, and so on. A year or two of school for the children—legitimate begging—ought not to have been an unthinkable means of income for mothers and their husbands.127 The decision to send children to school must have been encouraged by the authorities’ negative attitude to unregulated street begging and the fact that the orphanage admitted virtually only orphans from Stockholm. The choice to go to school might have not only given children better qualifications but also contributed to their support and that of the family.



It is now time to examine how this way of providing for the family was viewed by the authorities.

State, Power, and Food During the seventeenth century, as we have seen, families were interested in school as a way of supporting their children and as a place where they could learn practical skills such as writing and arithmetic. But with this we have only discussed parts of the school system that was built up at this time. School taught much more than concrete skills of literacy and numeracy, and many pupils dropped out and were classified as “runaways.” This suggests that not all children had voluntarily chosen to attend school. The heightened interest in the registration of pupils in the 1690s nevertheless arouses suspicions that the authorities had a more fundamental interesting in schooling. We must ask what the schoolchildren’s family background meant to the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. Tuition in reading, like the general discipline and order in society, was based on the rule of the master of the household. But not all related in practice to a household. The early modern state depended on individuals in service, which then included both men and women. It was in practical reality a two-supporter model which clearly involved women participating in such service work for the state or local government and administrations. The historian Maria Ågren asserts that service was at the core of the creation of the early modern state, but “Service was not the only cultural template used by the early modern government; the household, with its gendered division of labor, was another.”128 In addition the large proportion of single-supporter units—as a rule families headed by a woman—shows clearly that having a household head in the normative sense was not a reality for many children. Moreover, the necessity for lone as well as married women to provide for a family must have been difficult to combine with regular reading exercises with the children. The authorities’ interests may be noticed in relation both to the children’s moral upbringing and to the parents’ general ability to feed their children. In this connection it is interesting that the church, the state, and the town were administered by precisely those social groups that chose not to send their children to the schools. What, then, does the development and change of school tell us about the relationship between the social classes in Stockholm and about the view of the character and tasks of public education in society?



As in the rest of the country, rules were issued in Stockholm in the first half of the seventeenth century about examination and tuition in the catechism. Priests were ordered to keep accurate records of their parishioners’ knowledge. The “Ordinanti pro ministerio” issued in Stockholm in 1643 emphasized with regard to Examine catechetico that a special roll be made of the streets, the houses, and the people in each house that they come there in order and allow themselves to be questioned on Sundays and Holidays after evensong, and no one may be tolerated in the congregation until he has presented his testimonial to the Town Hall and in Consistoria.129

In instructions issued to the rectors and pastor primarius in 1668, the King in Council commanded them to draw up a “catalogum” of their regular congregation in order to keep a watchful eye on those who, without the word of God, might be thought capable of leading a godless life, avoiding church and communion. This was clearly directed at alien varieties of Christianity. As we have seen, these suspicions hit at families that employed private tutors.130 The increase in the population of Stockholm in the second half of the seventeenth century also meant that the priests had difficulty in getting to know their parishioners in the way prescribed by the doctrine. In 1648 the priests were criticized by the town administration for not knowing their parishioners, and a more careful registration of the congregation was recommended.131 The president of the clergy defended himself by describing how the size of the population led to difficulties and that the parish organization prevented direct contact between priests and laity. He therefore advised priests to keep a register of their congregation and list those who took communion.132 The clergy’s reaction to this suggestion varied. A Magister Filas believed that it could be implemented without any great problem, while Magister Wagner thought that it was almost impossible in populous parishes where the priest himself did not hear confession.133 The president of the consistory reacted to these opinions by urging the pastors themselves to “go to the altar to confess” and that they should “make a start on the same list.”134 The discussion in the consistory of how to apply the Church Act of 1686 also shows that there had not previously been any requirement on total participation in catechetical examinations.135 In connection with the



talks with the borough administration in June 1688, it was decided that coercion would not be used now either to make people come for examination; priests would continue to rely on exhortations.136 The discussions about the organization of catechetical examinations and compulsory churchgoing considered topics such as the size of congregations and the time and place for the examinations.137 The clergy in Stockholm seems to have had a less ambitious, or simply realistic, understanding of how the examination of the population could be exercised. The new rules were evidently not easy to administer for the consistory, which was faced with new demands from the secular authorities. In 1689 an order concerning the instruction of young people was issued. The master and mistress of the household were commanded to “press their children and servants” to home examinations and “all young people, namely children, menservants, and maids,” to report for tuition, otherwise punishments and fines would be meted out in accordance with the Church Ordinance. The threat also concerned those who prevented others from attending.138 On the same occasion it was decided that “a book should be set up at all churches” in which young people were to be entered.139 In the following year the secular authorities seem to have established more exact control over the registration work of the church. On account of the Governor of Stockholm’s edict about the instruction of children with foreign religions, the sextons in the parishes of Riddarholmen and Katarina were summoned, receiving a stern order, when calling people together for catechetical examination, to go into every house whatever their religion may … be and carefully note all the servants and their children who do not turn up for catechetical examination, and to report them at once to the town court.140

The compilation of examination rolls shows that it was chiefly children and servants that were targeted. It was only for them that literacy and catechetical knowledge were recorded.141 The tight control of the people’s catechetical knowledge also meant increased registration in Stockholm. Here too the authorities focused their attention on servants and children, obviously with some effort visible as through the instruments of surveillance. It is doubtful, however, whether the power of parents and masters was such that children were really made to conform in a way that satisfied the



authorities. The charter for Klara School from 1649 reveals discontent with the manner in which parents handled the upbringing of their children. Children in school were taught order in a completely different way from children in the streets, learning “the order of church and school … time, place, and lessons and more,” as the teacher in Maria School put it.142 It was up to the teachers to ensure that pupils fulfilled their obligations in these respects. Churchgoing was to take place under the strict supervision of teachers, to prevent quarrelling among the schoolchildren.143 The differences between children in the streets and those in school are evident from the decisions taken by the consistory, the mayor, and the town council at a joint meeting in 1682. It was agreed that “town boys” would be barred from church since they caused such mischief. Since during services on Sundays and holidays a multitude of town boys squeeze into the chancel, who annoy and obstruct the congregation from hearing God’s word by causing such a racket and noise, it was decided that some of the town watchmen should stand at the church doors on Sundays and holidays to prevent such boys from forcing their way into the church and running around the chancel.144

This was scarcely a solution to the problem, since the authorities were also interested in regulating order outside the church. It was obvious that the tradition was not particularly good, especially when judged by foreign standards. During his stay in Sweden between 1653 and 1654, the British ambassador Bullstrode Whitelocke noted the lack of respect for the sabbath in Sweden. Shops and markets were open, and work went on as usual. In the streets there was even “disorder and debauchery in the open streets upon the Lord’s Day.”145 When confronted with these observations, the Swedish archbishop admitted that conditions were not quite satisfactory, but he believed that the clergy in Sweden had agreed not to take any measures as yet. The reason is stated to have been that these popular customs were deeply rooted and could not be eradicated immediately: for fear of tumults and insurrections by the rude people, it was not safe to make a sudden change in that which had been by so long custom and continuance confirmed, and whereunto the people generally had so much fondness.146



This “respect,” or rather resignation in the face of traditional habits, is comparable to the attitude expressed by the Governor of Stockholm in 1663 (see the previous chapter). Too much intervention by the authorities could lead to unrest. In this context we may also note that the clergy in Stockholm were attentive to and dissatisfied with the order prevailing in the town. In 1651 they drew up a number of points which they wished to discuss with the borough administration so that measures could be taken. We observe here the things that attracted Whitelocke’s attention, which evidently could not be rectified immediately. The list of breaches of the sabbath is impressive. On Sundays and holidays gambling was pursued at the German Church and in other parts of the town, by soldiers and “noblemen’s servants.” Oaths and other bad habits made it all much worse. The streets rumbled with the noise of brewers’ drays and hauliers’ wagons, and the rattle emanating from the workshops. Women sold their wares during matins and high mass. Beer and spirits were sold and poured in taverns and cellars both before and after services. Jesters used the sabbath to play the fool and give general offense. Banquets were also held on holidays. All of this roused the clergy to indignation.147 Through time, however, the requirement to respect the sabbath was enforced more strictly, especially after the Church Act of 1686. The decree on “oaths and breaches of the sabbath” meant a ban on swearing and loitering in the streets during high mass. Town watchmen were commanded to arrest those who infringed the ordinance. They were then to be fined in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Particular attention was paid to children. It was the duty of parents to ensure that children attended school properly, otherwise “they themselves, as often as the children are found out of school, being rowdy, gambling, and gossiping, shall be obliged to pay fines for them and then let them pay for their errors with their backs.”148 Children who swore were to be beaten or set in the stocks, depending on the extent of their delinquency and the age of the child.149 Among those who broke the prohibition were the group of children previously excluded from the church. Their behavior during the sabbath did not satisfy Charles XI and his Governor, Christian Gyllenstierna. This is evident from a letter from the Governor, which may be cited here in its entirety: As His Majesty … is ever and anon angered by the fact that, during sermons, in contravention of His Majesty’s most gracious Church Ordinance, people



in streets and alleys walk and run just as before from one place to another, without fear, such abuses are particularly and most frequently committed by small boys, as they pass their time with all manner of play and games, even more than otherwise, which undoubtedly seems to arise from the fact that the parents themselves do not care where their children spend their time, going around outside or elsewhere, and it is said to happen seldom in accordance with His Majesty’s Church Ordinance that the parents reward them with a beating, so that they might desist from such misconduct for fear of that; I have therefore from the Reverend and Venerable Consistory kindly wished to ask that the decree in the Church Ordinance about oaths and breach of the sabbath might be proclaimed and read aloud ever and anon to the congregation from the pulpit, both at high mass and at matins, when servant folk are present more than otherwise, lest anyone claim that they do not know of the punishment that exists, established and determined, for those who offend against it; and as regards boys’ infringement of this, may the venerable clergy, besides the monetary penalty stated in the Church Ordinance that parents and masters pay for them when they can be caught, should add the communication when reading [the decree] that if parents and masters neglect to let their mischievous children and servant boys atone for their offenses with their bodies, as is commanded, they shall henceforth pay with a whipping by the Guards, as His Majesty graciously recommended to me orally a short time ago, lest such godless behavior and scorn of God among youth gain the upper hand. And I remain—Stockholm, 4 Jan. anno 1690.150

The King in Council was thus dissatisfied with the way the people violated the Church Ordinance and the observance of the sabbath. This discontent was aimed at small boys and servants, but also at parents and masters who did not exercise enough control over their children and servants. The idea was that a suitable degree of fear should be instilled by means of corporal punishment so that children in future would follow the rules. Parents and masters were not sufficiently strong or loyal to the state to achieve the goal intended by the authorities. The irritation over children in the streets reflected how powerless the authorities felt about the possibility of reaching children through the traditional channels, the family and the household. The difficulties did not only concern the towns; they were more general, which means that we may wonder whether these institutions were particularly well suited to the needs of the authorities. Ordinances were again issued in the 1690s to tighten the requirement to attend catechetical examinations.151



The consistory in Stockholm directed its threats and criticism against parents and masters who did not fulfill their obligations to teach children the order required by society. As His Royal Majesty our most gracious King … has perceived with discontent how negligent and reluctant is the presence of those who ought to attend the explanation and examination of the catechism: and has therefore most graciously commanded that the offenders should, pursuant to the Church Ordinance, be reported and punished; therefore all masters and mistresses and all parents are hereby warned not in any way to prevent their children and servants from catechetical examination when they are told … otherwise such sloth will be punished with due chastisement.152

The children of Stockholm were evidently perceived by the authorities as both a moral problem and a public nuisance, in the church and on the streets. Parents and masters had not loyally disciplined their subordinates. When it came to children of foreign faiths, the authorities were inclined to demand certificates to show that schooling was arranged for them, in order to be sure that the upbringing of the children did not entail any risk to the Lutheran community.153 Poverty and begging were an everyday phenomenon in Stockholm in the seventeenth century. Conditions became even worse in years of crop failure and famine, but even in good years the poor could risk starvation and find it difficult to provide for themselves. The weather during the 1690s was the worst in centuries and resulted in famine in 1697. It was followed by the pestilence in 1710 that had grave consequences for the mortality rates and the overall population of Stockholm that lost ca. 20% of its population.154 We have previously noted that poor parents could benefit from sending their children to school, as a result of the income from funeral singing and the authorized begging. These opportunities deteriorated toward the end of the 1680s. As a consequence of the ban on funeral processions in 1686, the schools no longer served as a source of income.155 Their financial foundation was removed. The discussions in the consistory in the first years of the 1690s and the reports on the state of the schools testify to a system in crisis. The Trivium School and the church schools of Jacobus, Maria, Klara, and Ladugårdslandet all complained about the serious financial loss caused by the ban on funeral singing. “Neither the Docentes nor the Discentes have any maintenance on which to subsist,” according to an appeal from



Jacobus School.156 The letter from Ladugårdslandet pointed out that the school’s services “in the street” took place less frequently and that the school was “mighty near ruin.”157 According to one of the reports from Klara Parish, “among roughly 50 buried bodies, no more than 10 distributed anything to the school class while the others not the slightest sum, since they were not allowed to use the schoolboys’ singing from the houses, as is desired and requested.”158 Another letter asked for help “against the total destruction and devastation of the school” and a regular allowance from the consistory, or else that “freedom to sing at funerals, as in the past, may be recommended for the maintenance of the poor children.”159 All the appeals stress that the children were poor and were to a large extent fatherless or motherless.160 They particularly emphasized that the pupils’ poverty and lack of maintenance meant that they did not stay very long in school. This was true, for example, of the Trivium School, where those to whom God has given some wealth and means will by no means send their children to school, but mostly poor people who cannot feed and support their children at the school until they can make some progress in their studies, but when they have had them there one and a half years, they must take them away on account of poverty and put them in service or to learn a trade, indeed, sometimes before they have even properly learned the main points of Christianity.161

The report from Maria School pointed out that “the children increase daily, but must leave because of lack of maintenance.”162 The sentiments expressed by those in charge of the Trivium School about the standard of tuition are echoed in the complaints from the church school in Klara Parish, from which we learn that the schoolboys still sang “in the streets and at the windows.”163 The information reported to the consistory gives us a clear picture of the difficulty that schools had in keeping the pupils when the activities that brought in the most money were prohibited. The complaints suggest that it was harder to remove children from the streets and place them in school as a consequence of the prohibition of 1686. According to the headmaster of Klara School, the ban on funeral singing meant that the school could no longer continue its work and that the pupils dropped out, “as is already long since known to have happened in St. Jacobus and St. Maria, for it is impossible to subsist.”164 The statement is corroborated by the statistics from Klara School presented above. In the course of one or two years, 139



pupils had left the school. In other words, there is every reason to accept the schools’ assessment of the situation. The schools lost their attraction when they could no longer offer a chance of making a living. Many children therefore left school or did not bother to start attending. It is therefore not unlikely that the children in the streets were perceived as a growing problem after the ban on funeral processions. If nothing else, there were disputes about the ways that still existed of earning an income, as can be exemplified from the schools in the parishes of Klara165 and the parish at the Royal Castle.166 It is against this background that we must understand the reorganization of the schools. The headmaster of the Trivium School drew up a proposal for a new organization with fixed grants to pay the teachers and a new system to provide for poor schoolchildren so that, in the long term, “those to whom God has given means will be equally willing to send their children to school along with the poor.”167 The headmaster’s proposal was that the pupils should each be assigned a house “in front of which to sing at least once or twice a week.” In connection with this, the pupils would have to display a note with the name and seal of the school. This would bring more children to school, the teachers would be more diligent, and the poorer children would get farther than just learning their religious knowledge, and perhaps become better than the children of the rich and distinguished. In addition, poor parents through their prayers would bring God’s blessing on those who with “diligence and concern advance their poor children to godliness, virtue, learning, and improvement.” Finally, it would moreover prevent a great deal of tumult, many inconveniences, and much theft, which other lads, idlers, street urchins and villains, fornicators and thieves display and do, while they run from house to house and sometimes sing, to the annoyance of many people, shameless and nasty songs.168

In the fall of 1690 the consistory presented its complaints about school to the King in Council. The letter described the wretched state of the school system and requested better terms of payment for the teachers.169 The minutes of the consistory for 16 September 1691 show that the new school budget did bring improved salaries. The chairman proposed that new and better teachers should be recruited and the begging by the schoolchildren should be organized. They would now be allocated specific



houses at which to sing, and each child would have a note stating which house had been assigned to him. All “beggar boys” would be forbidden to sing in doorways. The general public were urged not to give alms to anyone but schoolchildren.170 At the same meeting Master Arnell noted “that in this way one will be reasonably free from the many beggar boys running around.”171 The new organization also gave the consistory an opportunity to make school attendance compulsory both for poor children and for those who had private tuition. This at any rate was how it was presented when the chairman of the consistory proposed to the archbishop in 1691 that the consistory is also inclined to have it published from the pulpits that all children must go to school and that the poor should each have a house in which they can sing, which the Archiepiscopus was all the more willing to assent to, since the many private Praeceptores spoil the schools.172

The consistory’s attitude to the private schools had long been hostile, and there is every reason to suppose that they hoped that the new organization would lead pupils from the private schools to switch to the public schools. The new organization would not only mean improved teachers’ salaries and hence better teachers, but also that the pupils would be less occupied with earning an income. Their begging, as we shall soon see, was to be strictly confined to certain times of day. This was probably also why the consistory, in October 1694, felt justified in prohibiting private teachers from taking more pupils than they currently had. The teachers were also encouraged “to send all boys to the public schools sooner or later.”173 At the same time, other schools such as the Kraft School were not permitted to continue after Christmas. It was underlined that all private teachers had to have the approval of the consistory and be under the inspection of the local priest.174 Of 165 teachers or schools, however, only 23 were urged to cease operating. Their pupils were recommended to attend the public schools. The consistory evidently intervened against schools and teachers with many pupils, as they could be considered to compete with the public school system. There was particular vigilance about those who taught religion without first having been examined by the consistory.175 In other words, the consistory did not prohibit private teachers at or immediately after the publication of the rules on compulsory education. In fact, the new order, when it was proclaimed in the churches, was not portrayed as an alternative to the private schools, but rather as a general



decree requiring tuition in the catechism and Christianity. The new order was published on 17 April 1691. Details of the improvement of the school system were announced, and parents who “have boy children in their houses, who have reached the age when they can learn to read, should be diligently sent to school.”176 In school the pupils would learn Christianity and good manners. The tone of the consistory then became slightly more menacing, with threats of both secular and divine punishment: knowing that he who scorns this good opportunity, through which children can be nurtured in a proper knowledge of their Christianity from an early age, have an inescapable responsibility before God on the last day, and can also expect harsh rebukes from their due superiors.177

It was not within the authority of the consistory, however, to organize the begging. After deliberations with the borough administration, a request was sent to the King in Council, to have the houses numbered and allocated to the pupils in the schools. The need for this was explained with reference to the expected influx, especially of poor pupils, in the schools after the proclamation in the churches. These had no other means of subsistence than begging. It was therefore necessary, according to the consistory, to organize begging so that children who did not attend school but lived “without virtue,” and were perhaps exploited by unscrupulous people to beg, would be deprived of any opportunity to receive alms. The aim was thus twofold, “to further the maintenance of schoolchildren and to prevent the feeding of such godless beggar children.”178 In the reply to the consistory and the borough administration, the King in Council concentrated exclusively on the possibility of restricting singing for alms and other noise in the streets. The King also expressed his hope that the begging children would also be attracted to school when they were barred from this way of gaining their subsistence. whereby it will presumably happen that the poor children may be attracted to school and then maintained, when they perceive that they are able to obtain their livelihood not through begging, to which they have been accustomed, but by means of schooling and reading.179

In 1692 a royal edict ruled that the borough administration and the governor in Stockholm should number the houses and ensure that no one evaded maintaining the schoolchildren, and it prohibited singing and



begging by boys who did not attend school.180 The consistory resolved that the new ordinance on begging should be published.181 Organization according to these new guidelines took time, however. In 1694 the consistory felt obliged to write to the borough administration demanding that the decision from 1692 be ratified.182 Even before this, however, they had examined a draft version of the “beggar bills” with which the children were to be issued and had then also decided that these bills should include a statement of “the actual time when they may read or sing, namely, from 10 to 12 and in the afternoon from 5 to 7.”183 The way the church authorities handled the reorganization of the school system was thus centered on two fundamental matters: (1) school was to be ordered in such a way that all children could be taught the necessary religious knowledge; (2) school was to serve the purpose of keeping children off the streets. The willingness of the ecclesiastical authorities to utilize the reorganization to bring about general compulsory schooling should thus be linked to the tightening in the same decade of the obligation to undergo catechetical examination and to register the people’s knowledge. In addition, there was the lack of subsistence for poor children rather than merely a desire to suffocate private tuition and get the more well-to-do parents to send their children to school.184 Through the reorganization of school as an institution for providing subsistence, it was hoped to be able to reach children who otherwise spent their youth begging in the streets. The interest in keeping them off the streets seems to have been an end in itself. It is often cited as a reason in letters to the consistory. The teacher at Klara School probably ensured that his description of his work suited the consistory’s evaluation when he was careful to point out that he taught the children during the summer. “At the time when Docentes in other schools in the kingdom tend to be free from the work of teaching in the dog days, I have taught my class before midday so that the boys might not be left to their own devices.”185 Similarly, a private teacher pointed out that he not only had a number of named pupils but also took charge of their siblings; in this way they were kept off the streets.186 It is possible, moreover, that these conditions, along with the schools’ strict organization of begging at set times and in conjunction with formal compulsory attendance—for boys—in reality mitigated the negative attitude of the consistory to private schools. When these were surveyed in 1694 it was repeatedly pointed out that certain named schools should be closed. Those which were tolerated were evidently schools in which “small



children and girls” were taught. The expression recurs on several other occasions as a reason for accepting private schools and tutors.187 These private schools were thus viewed as a complement to the public schools, which only taught slightly older boys. In 1702, however, the wording of a document gives us a glimpse of a less strict attitude—even to compulsory school attendance as such. A request to the consistory for permission to give private tuition in Ladugårdslandet was granted with the following justification: As Pastor loci Mr. Alcinius gave Törnequist a good testimonial and it was found that one cannot force all men’s children to the public schools when some honorable parents who pay property tax combine to feed and pay a Preceptor for their children, one who intends to remain at studies; it was thus resolved that the consistory adopt J.T. [Törnequist] under its protection.188

The exception for compulsory schooling in this case was occasioned by the parents’ social status. The majority of the teachers were nevertheless left in peace. We are justified in asking, however, whether it was possible to enforce compulsory attendance for the children of the lower classes. Designations in the school registers such as “fugitive” and “runaway” are a clear indication that the ability of the school authorities in this respect was limited. Nonetheless, some of the schools’ pupils must have been recruited with the aid of the coercion that the authorities at least threatened to use. At the same time, the school registers from the parish of Ladugårdslandet show that the immediate effects of the reform were transient. The relative share of fatherless and motherless children fell continuously after 1692, when more than 80% of the children belonged to this category. It does not seem implausible to regard this as an expression of the difficulty of making school sufficiently attractive in relation to other pursuits. It also shows, of course, the difficulty of maintaining effective control of children. In 1720 the teachers in Stockholm claimed, in a joint statement, that the problems in the schools were the old familiar ones. Children left early without having learned enough. They disappeared without even having “grasped the basics of the doctrine of salvation and Christianity.” They also declared that, since funeral processions had been abolished, the economy of the schools had never recovered. This statement is of course tendentious. The teachers’ letter was a part of the preparations for the new



school order, but the information agrees with the pupil statistics we studied in the previous chapter. The teachers also expressed a desire that serious punishment should be used to curb the tendency of pupils to leave school on their own accord. This punishment was to be imposed regardless of whether this misconduct was caused by the parents or the children.189 The teachers’ testimony is corroborated not only by quantitative evidence but also by qualitative. In some cases the school registers give us insight into the human destinies that can also shed light on the character of school as an institution for the poor. Georgius Georgii 10 years old, born in St. Cath. parish has studied Luth. Cat. in private school. His father was a ship’s carpenter. His mother is alive. Left school Anno 1714 at Easter and started begging. Jonas Jonae says he is 15 years old born in L Landet has started Catech. Luth. and Hymnbook, and to write. Father was a sailor … When the boy had been in school for 4 days he became a vagrant … [came back] nevertheless ran off again and became a street crier going around with ballads and shoe wax. Andreas Andrae Mälberg 7 years old born in St. Cath. Par. starts reading the ABC book. His father was a smith in this parish and the mother is married again to a sailor who is in Karlskrona. Left school and started begging at the castle and Norrbro. Nicolaus Nicolai Hakenbeck 7 years old born in St. Cath. Par. starts reading his ABC. Often played truant from school. His father was a cloth maker, died of the plague among with the mother. Anno 1714 [?] from school, was a mischievous child.190

What the children got up to outside school hours, as the quotations show, was still a problem for the authorities after the reorganization in the 1690s. Schools were not enough to end the nuisance of begging. The ordinance published in 1698 on the establishment of “rasp and spinning houses” concerned not only able-bodied women but also children and other beggars. One can recognize the irritation about vagrant children expressed by Charles XI in 1690: “vicious and disobedient children and servant boys, those who show no improvement after prior warnings, shall be punished with work at rasping.”191 Not all children needed to be punished, but they had to be taken into care and put to work. A statute on beggars and paupers was issued at the same time, in which it was pointed out that the orphanage was not sufficient for all the motherless and fatherless children “or those whose parents



and relatives are so poor or depraved that they neither can nor will have them cared for.” The assets of the orphanage were limited, besides which it was chiefly intended for children without parents. It was therefore decided that the other children should be cared for by the poorhouses.192 There the children were not to be kept for any length of time, and “especially the boys, as soon as they reach any age and strength and are taught Christianity” and could earn their own living, had to give up their places to smaller children. According to the ordinance the children should be boarded with skippers and craftsmen. All the skippers in “Wästersjön” (the North Sea) were to undertake to take care of a boy every four years and raise him to be a sailor. Children who lacked the aptitude for a life at sea were to devote themselves to a craft.193 The discussion of the school system in Stockholm and its organization demonstrates that the household and its master were scarcely the tools whereby society could reach children in the poorest urban families and families in different kind of government service. They were unable to fulfill their duty of teaching the public culture and morality of the church in a way that satisfied the authorities. School became a substitute for the household tuition, and this role also applied to the Trivium School. But this did not solve the problem. It remains for us to determine why the discussion was carried on in the terms that were used. The decree about beggars and paupers contains information that allows us a chance to define the problem. It says that the poor were to be supported through the funds donated through Christian generosity in connection with funerals, weddings, christenings, and betrothals. Earlier ordinances from the 1660s were not always observed in this respect, but now the situation was to be improved.194 The decree shows that the authorities perceived these alms as a traditional obligation. Children and poor people were to be supported by the money collected in church and in the poorboxes on occasions such as funerals. It was in these contexts that children had formerly earned their own sustenance by singing. In the new system they were expected to receive alms. Let us pose the problem in the same way as before but in relation to the findings obtained in this chapter. For the perspective of the authorities, the schools evidently fulfilled the function of getting the roaming children off the streets and incorporating them in society in accordance with the rules of the scholastic and ecclesiastical order. The household and the family were not ideal instruments for achieving societal discipline. But why were funeral processions prohibited? Why were schoolchildren not even allowed to be seen in the streets? We are dealing here with a long-term



change in the relationship between the social classes. This calls for a special discussion.

From Funeral Procession to Poorhouse and Schools The participation of pupils in funeral processions was an element in the grandiose ceremony associated with burials in earlier church customs. The forms of burial in Sweden were regulated in the Church Ordinance of 1571, according to which, When the body is borne out, there may be ringing, singing, and other things that are not unchristian, in accordance with customary practice.195

The duties of schoolboys and priests included singing when the deceased was transported from the home to the church and singing at the funeral service. The procession was headed by priests and schoolboys, walking before the coffin, while the mourners came after. The priests and schoolboys were paid in relation to the scope of their services—the number of hymns they sang—and the size of the school (whole or half). The income from funerals was important not only for the priests and schoolboys but also for the church. In some years during the 1630s and 1640s the children at the Trivium School took part in between 150 and 300 funerals per year, besides which they served as choirboys in return for payment. In the late fall before Christmas the pupils collected money by “playing and singing. … Going ostiatim then was not only a beggar’s round but a festive procession.”196 A French traveler in northern Sweden, Jean-François Regnard, was fascinated by the ceremony surrounding burials, the drinking and the long speeches, and not least of all the expense. If one can say that the Turks ruin themselves through marriages, the Jews through circumcisions, and the Christians through lawsuits, one could add that the Swedes ruin themselves through funerals.197

These processions can be associated with the cultural and spatial environment that typified relations between the classes in early modern Scandinavian and European society. The street and the church were the places where classes met. People took part in processions in connection with funerals, betrothals, and weddings. These could assemble large numbers of people and took place in shared public spaces. In the countryside the social intimacy could be



manifested during such events by the upper classes—the nobility—taking part in traditional festivities.198 At the same time processions were important in the display of power. During medieval and early modern times, ceremonial entries into cities were important events where the governing classes displayed a shared cultural language. It was a transnational iconography of power with common elements all over Europe, but it adapted its expressions to specific historical circumstances. At the same time the processions were a part of the theater of the streets where the cities offered an opportunity to show off to a local audience and with the intention to instill social consent in the common people. The ceremonies created bonds, and did not merely reflect them, between the sovereign and the population, and they were of major political significance (Fig. 3.3).199 It

Fig. 3.3  Funeral of Johan Casimir in Strängnäs in 1652, detail with schoolchildren in the top right-hand corner. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB)



Fig. 3.3  (continued)

was an interaction that forces us also to look at how the ritual actually worked and was meaningful for the different participants.200 A handbook on the topic with a collection of examples was published at the start of the eighteenth century; it stresses the political utility of these processions to visual political power and lead to reverence and submission.201 Entering a city could also be associated with carnivals and triumphant festivities, as for example when the former Swedish Protestant regent Christina was welcomed in Rome after her acceptance of the Catholic faith.202 It is this cultural context, the iconography of power, the city as a theater and the communication of consent that we also can understand the burial processions in early modern Europe. The burials are in turn a part of a wider cultural context of a specific “theater of death,” and an instrument for political propaganda,203 but also a part of the



transformation of attitudes and behavior relating to death during the Reformation.204 The burial processions also most likely expressed a universal European language of ceremonies that was adapted to the specific occasion. The rise of the Sweden to a major European power instigated the political interest in communicating images of the grandeur.205 These pageants were no doubt intended to impress, which may lead us to investigate the everyday street processions and funerals and the role of children in the procession, an aspect neglected in earlier research on burial processions, with some exceptions.206 But participation was important. As Jennifer Woodward points out, “taking part in a ritual, even for the lower social groups, always involves the conferment of status and identity, increasing its attraction for participants. Ritual thus has a strong collective dimension and function by linking the individual to society in a process that generates order.”207 The ambition in this chapter is to focus on the contemporary critique of the procession and their final prohibition, and consequently not so much on what made them a culturally viable phenomenon but rather on what social changes undercut their longevity. The focus will be on the social conflict around the participation of schools in the burial processions, a conflict that indicates changes associated with state-formation. The processes that are described in this section have parallels elsewhere in Europe, as indicated in some earlier research.208 The most thorough analysis is Joel Harrington’s study of the transformation of children’s and paupers’ street singing in the imperial city of Nuremberg. The street singing was transformed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from a festivity to a highly regulated urban support system for a specific group of children. He points out that this is a transformation of relevance in other parts of early modern Europe.209 The story in Sweden has similar facets, but it is also founded in a Swedish political and social reality. Cultural intimacy characterized the frolics in the urban streets, where the social order could be subjected to merciless mockery. At carnivals in Europe it was permissible to utter truths that could not otherwise be voiced, and a topsy-turvy world was enacted in the shared arenas. These were a playground for all classes in society, where social conflict was manifested in symbolic form. Scholars have viewed the carnival as a way to relieve pressure and divert protests.210 Processions were likewise a communicative event. Yet this was not always without risk. It was evident at times that the street could be a dangerous place in the hands of the masses or conflicting elites. The protests were perhaps not diverted but were



channeled into political action, as at Romans in 1580. The masses could not be controlled. Their independent actions were a threat to the established order and an expression of a critical distance to it. In other instances, “processions could become vehicles for asserting or negotiating social control.”211 Changes of this kind, according to Peter Burke, laid the foundation for the critical attitude to popular culture in both the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the elites strove to cut themselves off from the life of the streets and from popular culture.212 At the same time, festivities of this kind, with participants from different strata of society, had an economic content. When major feasts were held, it was presumed that those in power would foot the bill and distribute money to the poor.213 School and church, as we have seen, were dependent on the money earned by “service in the street.” In the Swedish Church Ordinance of 1571, which was in force until 1686, the distribution of alms at funerals was described as a good and Christian act.214 This economic redistribution was deeply embedded in the cultural forms that characterized the relations of the social classes to each other. The relationship was direct and personal. Philippe Ariès, in his study of death in Western Europe, says that the presence of poor people at funerals was regarded as desirable. It was not sufficient to donate money to the asylums. The more rich and powerful the deceased was considered to be, the more priests, monks, and paupers took part in the cortège; as the paupers were multiplied, so were the masses and prayers. … To the last journey of the favored one, wealth or power thus invited poverty in two forms, one suffered, the other voluntary. Poverty had to be present, not only to be aided and somewhat alleviated, but on the contrary to be highly visible, as the spectacle of a necessary compensation.215

The funeral procession, according to Ariès, took over some of the manifestations of mourning previously displayed by the family. The expressive grief for a close relative in previous centuries was replaced by ritual and professional mourning performed by priests, monks, and poor people, and in some places also by professional wailers. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries funeral processions consisted of a crew of extras: mendicant monks, paupers, and orphanage children. The latter were dressed up for the occasion and paid “a helping of bread and a bit of money.” At the



same time, Ariès says, the upper classes began to avoid funerals. Families were enjoined a period of seclusion, which meant that they did not take part in the funeral. Their place was taken by professionals of various kinds or by “mere extras drawn by the prospect of alms.” The seclusion served the purpose of giving the bereaved a chance to “conceal their grief from the outside world,” and to prevent the survivors from returning too quickly to social life and worldly pleasures. It was not until the nineteenth century, under the influence of romanticism, that the degree of seclusion was relaxed.216 In England before the Reformation, funerals could be elaborate and expensive, comprising a procession and sometimes a long journey to the burial place. The composition of the procession varied according to rank but could include clergy and a group of paupers, but also gentlemen from the household of the dead. Examples of women participating can be noted from London, and children at some seventeenth-century funerals.217 The historian Ralph Houlbrooke emphasizes the somber character of the procession, the dark clothing, but also the candles, the pomp, and the colorful of banners and standards that we also can identify in the images of processions in Sweden. A central element was the distribution of alms to the poor. Great crowds of indigent people, old, ill, or maimed, or handicapped, many doubtless undernourished and emaciated, ragged, dirty, and smelling strongly, were drawn to the most lavish funerals by the hope of alms.218

Another important aspect was the ostentatious funeral dinners with drink and food, the lavish “hospitable largesse on behalf of the deceased,” a safety-valve from mourning and perhaps a celebration of life over death.219 Such funeral traditions caused serious concern already during the late Middle Ages, and after the Reformation funeral traditions were curtailed and papist traditions questioned or forbidden; the processions were made shorter and burials were frequently held in private. The latter changes cannot be directly explained by reference to the Reformation, but the donating of alms to the poor lost the association with a hoped-for redemption of the soul, and funeral charity declined on account of a better organized system of poor relief. Many burials were still tremendously expensive.220 In Sweden, we can see in the seventeenth century how the upper classes tended to mark their social distance and avoid places where they were confronted with “the people.” The clergy fought a losing battle to make



the nobility attend church and give up their private chaplains.221 The nobility also expressed their scornful and condescending attitude to popular aberrations and habits.222 We have also noted that the upper strata of society did not send their children to school, preferring private tutors instead. The prohibition of funeral processions in Sweden can be interpreted as a repudiation of the street and the social and economic relations maintained there; this represented a somewhat different pattern from that described by Ariès and the behavior in England. In Sweden, the changes in the processions took place almost a century after the changes in England. There was already a critical attitude among the authorities to the marching of the schools in the streets. The instructions issued by the King in Council to the inspectors of schools in 1652 were redolent of a negative perception of funeral processions. It was stressed that the task of the inspectors included observing anything that obstructed efficient tuition, “whether it be funeral processions, going round singing descant, or other things…”223 The discussions in the consistory in the 1650s concerned the possibility of achieving a school for more prosperous children, financed through school fees, and thus not wasting any time on funerals. The project collapsed because the members of the consistory were not prepared to accept the separation of the social classes in different types of school.224 One of the points of the new organization after 1690 was, as we have seen, to restrict the scope of activities intended to collect money. Tuition would thus become better adapted to the needs of the upper classes. There is already a hint of this in the School Ordinance of 1649, according to which the pupils in the arithmetic class should not be “forced to accompany corpses.”225 The minutes of the consistory between 1650 and 1686 are full of evidence that singing at funerals and the marching of both priests and children in the streets were occasions that caused conflict and disorder. There are recurrent complaints that the schools tried to force each other out or that “itinerant priests” wormed their way into processions. There could also be brawls when the money was to be distributed. Priests and schoolboys were accused of giving wretched service once they had been paid, or having refused to sing if the fee was not high enough. Sometimes the bereaved family were asked to pay more than the agreed amount. Judging by the complaints, it also happened that uninvited or itinerant priests joined the procession and expected payment for funeral poems.226 The position adopted by the consistory on these issues testifies to a desire to suppress disputes while also protecting their own economic interests: the priests’ income from the funeral processions.227



During the deliberations between the borough administration and the consistory in 1656 and 1657 there were complaints about the abuses. The representatives of the administration suggested that the method of payment should be simplified. The money should no longer be paid in the street or in the doorway; this should be replaced by an annual fee or sent to the home of the person who had the right to demand payment.228 A wish was also expressed that it should be possible to choose the school and the preacher. At a later meeting it was noted that it had been prepared “privatim … to avoid all conflict.”229 The issue was obviously controversial. The consistory seems to have been unresponsive to these proposals. They were wary two months later when the governor summoned the chairman of the consistory and curtly suggested that singing at funerals should cease. The consistory declared that a question like this had to be decided by the diet. The discussion shows, however, that there was concern that the governor would unilaterally issue a ban on funeral processions. It was decided to protest against any such decision.230 The arguments put forward by the consistory in the discussion with the borough administration were primarily of an economic nature. The priests and the church in Stockholm would suffer serious destitution if funeral processions were prohibited and the schools could not be maintained. There was a willingness for reform, however, with reference to Emporagrius’s proposal for a Church Ordinance, which was expected to “temper” conditions.231 The proposal included a prohibition on any “outside uninvited priest, student or schoolboy” taking part in funeral processions. In addition it is hinted that there should be limits to the size of the procession. If there were many family members, that would be sufficient. Money could nevertheless be distributed at the door to priests, schoolteachers, and pupils before the procession set off, but this was not to be obligatory: “Those who wish…”232 The burghers in Stockholm did not content themselves with this desire for reform among leading members of the town clergy. Their appendix to the governor’s report for 1663 mentioned the abuse of funerals. They suggested restricting the number of priests, students, and schoolboys and declared that those who were not invited could not demand any payment. The dead should be honored out of Christian love and not out of a desire for gain. In addition, the many funeral processions caused problems in school because so much time was wasted. Apart from this, the burghers demanded that the schoolboys should at least come in time to the ceremonies, and that “funeral verses” that had not been



ordered should not have to be paid for.233 The ordinances issued in 1664 concerning excesses in connection with the church ceremonies among nobles and burghers also give a hint of criticism directed against the economic interests of the priests in the funeral processions. Since it has happened occasionally at funerals that a multitude of priests assemble to march in front of the body, thereby causing great nuisance for the house of mourning, this shall be thus moderated, whether in town or country, that he who is not invited, or listed as such, shall not receive any money whether he marches or not.234

In the ordinance issued in the same year concerning burgher funerals there was a more explicit limit to the amount of money the priests could be given in relation to what the school received.235 A later ordinance from 1668, this time on noble funerals, imposed other restrictions. It ruled that “no school shall be requested and accepted other than the school of the town or parish in which the funeral takes place.” Nor was it obligatory to have more priests than the regular town clergy, and in the countryside it was not necessary to have more than 10–12 priests in the procession. This time too it was stressed that there was no need to pay those who were not invited. The ordinance also declared that those who were summoned should provide the singing in a proper manner, both in the street and in the church, and should stay until the entire ceremony was over.236 This was a critique of the way the priests handled the singing and against the use of funeral processions as a way for priests and the pupils to earn money. The ordinances reflected different attitudes to funeral processions in the different estates of the parliament. When the processions were discussed in the diet in 1668, the supplication of the clergy on the matter shows that they were desperately fighting against a prohibition. They referred to old customs, Lutheran traditions, the Augsburg Confession, and so on, and argued that any abuses could be curbed by measures other than changing the ceremonies, so that certain people are nominated and summoned to march in front of the body, and no one who is not invited shall intrude, on pain of serious punishment, let alone receive any gift, whoever he may be, whether schoolboy, student, or priest, that those invited shall content themselves with what is given of good and free will, … that no one … will be so thoughtless, coarse, and wicked that he dares to demand something shameless for his trouble and work.237



The willingness of the clergy to stem the abuses, and their negative attitude to prohibition, can be interpreted as a defense of their financial interests and a recognition of the problem. Itinerant and “irregular” priests who participated in the processions not only caused vexation but also damaged the vital economic interests of the regular priests.238 There were complaints at the same time about a priest from Brunkeberg who marched without permission in processions in the parishes of Jacobus and Klara.239 The attitude among the burghers of Stockholm is evident from the proposals put forward in connection with the deliberations between the borough administration and the consistory in the 1650s. The burghers seem to have been interested in finding other ways to finance the institutions that traditionally received funding through the processions.240 At the diet of 1668 the problem was still a matter of concern for the burghers; they complained that priests tried to “coerce each person to give as much as the priests want.” The burgher estate resolved that, if there was no improvement, they would take their grievances to the consistory and the King in Council.241 The drafting committee of the nobility could envisage accepting 24 priests in a procession, but only with great doubt. The best thing, they said, would be not to have any priest, “but only the school should have money; if it should happen, never more than 24 priests.”242 In a later debate it became clear that the different classes among the nobility had different stances. The gentry wished to abolish funeral processions completely, and called for a special committee to be set up; its task would be to refute anything the clergy might say on the matter. The second class among the nobility agreed on the abolition of funeral processions, while the aristocracy wished to retain a small procession.243 In the nobles’ continued discussion it was made clear that they were not interested in paying more than a fee to the priest who delivered the funeral sermon, an amount according to their “discretion and means, 5, 10, 15, … and correspondingly up to 50 riksdalers but not above.” The number of priests would be confined to 10–15. The school was to be paid in accordance with the custom.244 The attitude to the singing followed the same argumentation, namely, that “it is proper and Christian that they should sing, but out of Christian love and not for gain or reward.”245 Both the noble and the burgher estates objected to the expenses and had also found the priests to be indecently avaricious. According to the details provided by Conrad Gyllenstierna to the nobles after discussing the matter with the burghers and the peasants, the burghers had hesitated



about a total prohibition, whereas the peasants had declared vociferously that they wished to stick to the old customs and follow older rules.246 The desire of the nobility to limit the number of priests and hence the expenses was achieved in the ordinance of 1668, which did not comprise the burghers. The nobles and burghers, however, did not content themselves with the ordinances issued in 1664 and 1668 and brought up the question of a prohibition at the start of the 1680s. The nobility requested permission from the King in Council to bury their dead without funeral processions, and this was granted despite the protests of the clergy. The priests cited the same arguments as before, about maintaining the unity of the faith, about ancient traditions, and about the possibility of curbing abuses and limiting the number of priests and schoolboys to those who were invited.247 With reference to the permit granted to the nobility, the mayor and council of Stockholm also successfully applied to be allowed to have funerals without processions.248 The request of the Stockholm burghers is understandable in view of the lack of interest shown by the consistory in extending to them the freedom granted to the nobility. In December 1680 the consistory took action when a non-noble chamber-man of the queen mother was buried without a funeral procession. Such people were to be buried in the same way as before.249 A few days later a “Master Baltazar Kock” was permitted to bury his 18-month-old son without a procession on condition that he paid what would have been due to the church and the school (the usual sum) and to the poor (36 dalers).250 On 9 February 1681 two councilors in Stockholm were refused permission to act in the same way for the funeral of their somewhat older children. The consistory justified its decision with reference to the stand of the clergy and the risk of setting a precedent.251 It is interesting in this context that both councilors declared themselves willing to pay “school, priests, sextons, the church, if only they could thus avoid having to invite many people, which they would otherwise be forced to do on account of their large kin.”252 The latter statement suggests that people wanted to limit not only the fees to be paid to the church and school, but perhaps even more the costs associated with a large assembly of relatives and other mourners. The same attitude was expressed by the nobles in the deliberations about the processions in the diet’s committee. It was considered that the number of guests should be “unassailably” limited to 12 men and the same number of women, over and above parents and siblings.253



A couple of weeks later, the burghers of Stockholm, like the nobility, were relieved of the obligation to engage schools and priests for their funerals. The subsequent years brought complaints from the schools about falling revenues.254 The rest of the population received no such exemption, but their capacity to reward the schools must have been much lower than that of the more prosperous groups who were no longer forced to hold processions.255 The days of the funeral procession were numbered. In the drafts for a Church Act formulated by the clerical estate and a royal commission of civil servants in the 1680s, there is little mention of the topic. The clergy’s proposal states only that “the procession begins with those related by blood and marriage following immediately after the body.”256 Nothing is said about priests or about schoolboys singing. The civil servants’ proposal was more explicitly negative. It pointed out that, in the countryside, “bodies shall be conveyed to the churchyard without song or departure sermon,” that is, a sermon delivered when the body was to be taken from the home to the church. Burials of people of foreign faith were likewise not to have “school song or funeral sermon.” No comment was made on the situation in the towns.257 The Church Act of 1686 settled the matter: At funerals and burials … at which henceforth only a few of the immediate family and no others shall be used and invited. When bodies are buried it shall take place quietly without any procession or expense, and no more shall accompany than those who carry and otherwise those who necessarily have anything to do with it.258

At the same time, the Act stressed that funerals should be modest in form, without expensive coffins or shrouds.259 We have previously discussed the consequences this decision had for schoolchildren and the maintenance of the schools. No provision was made to compensate for the lost income. The historical consequences of the regulations were not confined to their immediate effects. The crucial thing here is that funerals, at least formally, were no longer intended as events for a large audience. The burghers and nobles, in this respect too, had now withdrawn from participation in the life of the street and from contacts with poor schoolchildren, itinerant priests, and all manner of distant relatives. It did not take long before the nobility once again expressed a desire to further limit the ceremonies. In the appeal of 1693 they asked for



permission to hold funeral services immediately after death in connection with the burial, “with no to-do, confectionary, meals, or other expenses, so that no one apart from the immediate family may be invited and no one may follow them back to the house from the church.”260 It was pointed out at the same time that the intention was not to deprive the clergy and the churches of their rights.261 The appeal gained a positive response from the king, although he thought that the wishes were already contained to some extent within the rules on burials and funerals in the Church Act. On certain points he was unwilling to adjust current regulations. For example, he wanted funeral sermons to be retained. On the other hand, he was favorably inclined to the idea of stating exactly which relatives were included in “the immediate family”: parents, parents-in-law, whole and half siblings, children and grandchildren, sons- and daughters-­ in-­law, and “the closest brothers- and sisters-in-law.”262 Yet this did not mean that the problem was out of the way. A few years later it was evident that more and more funerals were being held quietly, which led to vehement reactions from the church in Stockholm. It was claimed that such funerals were against the word of God and would in the long term ruin the churches. As later discussions show, the consistory wanted to keep funeral sermons compulsory. At the start of the eighteenth century the king declared that individuals were free to choose on this matter.263 These far-reaching restrictions on the ceremonies held at funerals can of course be viewed as an expression of an interest in restricting expenses of various kinds. But they also had another, more important meaning. The nobility no longer wanted to take part in the unruly popular life of the streets. They also evidently wished to draw a line between close and distant relatives and to limit their retinues. It was not just a matter of cost, then, but of a changed relationship between the social classes and their cultural expressions. This interpretation receives support from other regulations issued in conjunction with and just after the restrictions on the participation of priests and schoolboys in funeral processions. On 4 May 1664 a decree was published “against the numerous and undue excesses and doings performed in Stockholm and its suburbs, on many occasions, with screaming, shouting, defamation, and other wrongs.”264 The authorities reacted against a whole series of nuisances perpetrated in the town by a “crowd of self-willed people, especially of the common class,” who molested people in the streets with their shouts and insults, and were also accused of damaging the stalls and shops of the burghers.265 The regulations were



supposed to ensure order in the capital. The first point prohibited “screaming, shouting, exposing swords and weapons … in streets, alleys, squares” around the clock.266 The ban on this behavior applied whether or not anyone was injured by the disturbance. Imprisonment on bread and water was the punishment not only for the individual who started the trouble but also for “those who have been in the accompanying crowd, and assisted in the unrest.”267 Imprisonment on bread and water also threatened the “dissolute company committing misdeeds against passers-by, throwing things after them, or accosting them with insults, or in any other way wronging people.”268 On this and subsequent points it was also plainly stated that the punishments concerned both those who were caught red-handed and those who were arrested later. The ensuing ordinances also prohibited more violent assaults on persons, “out of arrogance, and without any given cause, attacks, wounds him, strikes, and throws stones, draws blood,” and against property, “alone, or with others, does violence to someone’s property, whether shop, stall, or other, movable or immovable.”269 In the latter case the punishment could also be imposed on those who had been in the crowd. These rules are followed by a long description of the problems that arose in connection with processions of various kinds, which the authorities now intended to stem. Special attention was paid to funeral processions. Since at processions, funerals, and other occasions there tends to be great disorder, by servants and common people, in that they either join the actual procession or occasion inconvenience to those who may be in it, thereby causing nuisance and confusion: Then all lords, ladies, masters, and mistresses who know that they have any of these under their rule, are hereby urged to warn their people against such bad habits, and also seriously to punish those who can be caught doing such things… Otherwise a not insignificant insolence is caused by many, with excessive riding and driving in the streets, either with carts or in the winter with sleighs, causing danger and injury to many… It also happens that someone of ill will, by riding or driving, disperses, annoys, and discommodes some procession, or one or more persons, thereby suffers insult … a severe and discretionary punishment shall be imposed.270

Apart from these rules, the decree forbids firing muskets or canons on festive occasions.271 More interesting in this context, perhaps, is the warning that the guards whose duty it was to act against breaches of the law should



not be molested or assaulted and that they, like judges and other officers of the law, as well as plaintiffs, were protected by the law.272 The prohibition on excesses and disruptions was issued on 4 May 1664. The year before this, a special ordinance on begging was drawn up for Stockholm, according to which beggars were to be removed from “streets and squares” and placed in special institutions. Alms for the poor were to be collected by people specially dressed for the purpose.273 On 30 August 1664 the ordinance, discussed above, on disorder in connection with noble betrothals, feasts, christenings, and funerals was issued. Already here people were urged to limit the number of guests at betrothals and weddings to the immediate family and friends. Banquets and feasts were prohibited at betrothals, and weddings were evidently no longer considered compatible with “bath-house evenings … with processions and banquets.”274 In connection with funerals, as we have seen, the number of priests in the processions was limited to those invited. The size of the procession was restricted, and in towns after the funeral no large meals were permitted in the house of mourning.275 The more popular elements of these events were simultaneously forbidden: No one shall be so bold as to write any funeral verses unless he is asked to … Concerning bridal verses, New Year verses, all other begging verses, and the begging that takes place with collection books, and begging by all kinds of people, such as drummers, pipers, singers, coachmen, cooks, and common people …, the same applies.276

These rules recur, with other expressions to suit the social stratum, in the ordinance on disorder among the burgher estate. The number of wedding guests was restricted, for instance. Nor was the bridal house to be encumbered with “servant lads, boys, girls, and other such company, for the sake of overcrowding, theft, and other exorbitance.”277 The authorities also took the opportunity to point out that the nobility should limit the number of servants attending on them, since they were responsible for what these servants could get up to.278 This ordinance says nothing about limiting the amount of begging in connection with processions, but there is another link to the poor. It was suggested that the money saved through this ordinance should benefit the poor by being donated to churches, schools, and asylums.279 In 1668 the ordinance specified certain sums for the ecclesiastical services performed for nobles. In addition, the expenses saved from the surplus at funerals and other church ceremonies was to be given to the poor, to the school, church, asylum, and orphanage.280 Here,



Fig. 3.4  A different childhood. The journal of the seven-year-old Prince Charles in which he expresses his highest wish: to accompany his father the king on his campaigns. He became King Charles XII at the age of 15. (Kungliga biblioteket, HS D.761:48r)

then, is the link we have been looking for. When children and paupers could no longer receive alms from the well-off in connection with common festivities, a corresponding amount was to be distributed through formal institutions of various kinds. The direct and personal relationship between poor and rich was to be broken, as institutions became intermediaries (Fig. 3.4). These changes were simultaneously an expression of the altered relationship between central and local government, which also had an effect on the towns. In the seventeenth century the crown took a firmer grip on local administration, one device for this being the appointment of royal mayors. In Stockholm the state control was tightened while administration was simultaneously decentralized in the second half of the seventeenth century. The ordinance by the King in Council on the government of Stockholm contained detailed instructions on the enforcement of law and order. The organization was to involve ward-masters and block-­ masters to keep an eye on the people in every house. A special police mayor was appointed with the task of monitoring compliance with the ordinances on weddings, feasts, funerals, and the like. He was also to restrict drunkenness and begging and be responsible for the asylums, the school, church, and poorhouses.281 These texts about excesses and



disorder are therefore more a matter of educating the population—a civilizing process, to use Norbert Elias’s term.282 They were intended as a defense of people’s physical and mental integrity, guaranteeing protection of private property and hence also defending the juridical and physical power exercised by the state. The threat came from the crude and undifferentiated masses, from a “herd” that it was necessary to break down and punish as individuals. Of course, it was a matter of defending the interests of those with property. They were no longer willing to tolerate having the lower class so close to them at funerals and feasts, a menace to the way of life of their betters, a threat to public order, property, life, and dignity. With a different perspective, the development entailed a demarcation between the social classes and a manifestation of the difference between public and private. This was also seen when the second and third classes of the nobility failed in 1668 to force through their views of the processions. The aristocratic regency government followed the same line as the first class of the nobility and aimed at limiting the processions. A new question arose when the diet was informed of this; the issue concerned the participation of women in the processions. Then a question occurred, whether women might not be allowed to accompany the procession, and if it would not be better for the sake of an occasional inconvenience, that they might not join the procession. Tertia classis cum prima et secunda decided that women should drive or walk ahead to church and no more follow the procession.283

No record was made of what the actual inconveniences were, nor is it clear what the scope of the decision was in relation to the proposal by the King in Council.284 However, the inconveniences that occurred to at least some members of the House of the Nobility are stated in the list of reasons for abolishing funeral processions, appended to the minutes of the diet. With reference to the fact that the Church Ordinance of 1571 had an uncertain legal status, and to the right of the diet to decide on such matters, the processions were questioned. As before, the expense was cited, but also that fact that “godliness” was scarcely “stimulated by the procession,” for when one considers that a large share and the majority of those who gather in streets, alleys, and at houses do so more out of curiosity, to see and experience the pomp and finery displayed there, indeed so many that they



sometimes squeeze some to death and push some into the water; as recently happened and is still fresh in memory; also note carefully what errors might occur, observe an explanation or censure for someone or other.285

The ordinances on excess thus aim to mark a social distance and display power and influence rather than to limit excess in an absolute sense. We also glimpse protectionist motives.286 What has been highlighted is the attempts to demarcate the prosperous people from the lower class, from the crowd, the street, and popular culture. It is evident that the ambition was to replace these popular events, these countless pipers, drummers, verse makers, and beggars, with more dignified occasions centered on the closest relatives: the family. Given these aspirations, schoolboys were obviously not the most appropriate participants. In a royal letter of 13 November 1673 the mayor and council of Stockholm were asked to do something about the poor clothing of the schoolboys, which was unsuitable for funeral processions. If not, the borough authorities were to make sure that the boys left school for other pursuits. We [Charles] … have perceived how a large share of the youth who attend schools in this town and in the suburbs are badly and deplorably dressed, and since not only we ourselves, but you too will, in a suitable way, urge and enjoin on the children’s parents or other relatives, that they provide them with serviceable clothes or else, if they are so poor that they say they cannot clothe them by themselves, you will see in what way they can either be given some other livelihood or else, if [they have] any ingenio inclined for studies … may then be provided with some support and assisted.287

It was this attitude to schoolchildren and the poor that must, in the long term, have laid the foundation for the decision taken when the Church Act of 1686 was passed. Schoolboys disappeared from the funeral processions but not from the streets. Nor did their relatives. Charles XI found reason to complain that children were not cared for or supervised by their parents. In the difficult years of the 1690s there were complains that the poor had become increasingly uncivilized. Poor people roamed around begging, getting into mischief, and they stood in droves outside the church, “troubling many people outside houses and doors with their abuse.”288 The solution to the problem of poverty in the 1690s was a stricter ordinance concerning the funds that were to be paid for ecclesiastical services



in connection with funerals, weddings, and the like, and proposals for the institutionalization of poor relief.289 Charity was to be distributed in a formal and bureaucratic manner. The reasons for this cannot be sought in an attitude but must be related to the changed class structure that supported the new state power. The nobles recruited in the seventeenth century to the government positions and armies generally did not have a long, traditional relationship to the poor of the local community. In the case of Sweden we may also assume that the high social mobility demonstrated by Ingvar Elmroth must have undermined all such traditions. The new civil officials and officers were closely linked to the state through which they earned their elevation. This also applied to part of the higher aristocracy.290 The status of the nobility and their position in society were confirmed by their position as employed by the government, with cash salaries, rather than as landed estate owner with capacity for conspicuous consumption and lavish, individual charity.291 It was also the gentry, the third class of the nobility, that, together with the second class, argued most forcefully for the abolition of the processions.292 Margareta Revera argues that the period after 1650 was characterized by heavy increases in costs for luxury consumption, while the positive trend in the nobility’s income development was simultaneously reversed; according to her, however, the burghers strengthened their economic position at the same time.293 In Sweden the well-to-do burghers merged largely with the aristocracy. The formation of the state also downplayed the feudal aspects in favor of emerging groups of the bourgeoisie and bureaucracy that sought to strengthen the state economy by reducing the property and power of the old noble families and supporting commercial interests.294 The British historian Lawrence Stone has observed similar changes among the English aristocracy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He states that the expressive, grandiose, and expensive lifestyle of the nobility at this time gave way to more family-oriented and partly individualistic behavior. This meant, among other things, that lavish funerals were avoided. Stone mainly views the change as an expression of a new mentality, and he does not discuss how it was related to the economic and social transformation. He does note, however, that the aristocracy also reduced the number295 of servants and attendants, and all the expenses associated with this.296 Clare Gittings’ analysis of the decline of expensive burials is based on a similar argument about an increased family orientation and an



individualistic culture. However, the notion of individualism is anachronistic given the meaning of the term later in history. With this reservation, there is reason to ponder over the transformation of the aristocracy as well as the influence of a prosperous middle class. In Sweden the newly ennobled aristocracy tended to have roots in commerce and industry and shared such outlooks on society. Peter Englund observes tendencies toward a more bourgeois ideology in the nobility as a result of this transformation.297 A certain family orientation can be detected in the decision in 1686 that make sure that noble estates could be inherited undivided by the eldest son. The estates and the family name were thus protected as an entailed estate. Philippe Ariès’s theses about the changed attitude to death298 can only be confirmed in part by the Swedish material. There were evidently tendencies here too toward increased family orientation, but in Sweden the public space—the street—was not abandoned to professional mourners. The withdrawal of the upper classes instead took place, parallel to attempts to discipline the underclass more strictly and to avoid the streets parallel to a description of the vice and problems associated with the participation in burials. It is thus not so much a matter of a changed perception of death, but more of a way for the nobility to distance itself from popular culture and the crowd. The upper classes were no longer prepared to share the same cultural and social space as the lower classes. In this way the changes in Sweden was different from the development in England where burial processions were abandoned a century earlier. The cultural conflicts around the burials seem to have had a different focus, and the participation of children and schools was less pronounced.299 In parts of England there is evidence of other cultural conflicts over teachers’ authority and the relationship between the local community and pupils. The records available for this study, however, do not indicate that the funeral processions were associated with youthful criticism by schoolchildren and protest against authority in the schools. The banning of uninvited verse reading at burials and weddings, along with the regulation of singing at doors, indicates a cultural conflict about the content of the verses, but there is no direct evidence of any “charivaris” that also had a moral and political ambition in their critique.300 The social distancing of the upper classes did not necessarily mean that they avoided the streets altogether. By all appearances, processions of various kinds remained a significant element in society. The difference was



that women, clergy, and schoolchildren were not allowed to take part in funerals and the like. This type of procession was a way to display political power, and it differed in essence from the processions in which all social classes and both sexes took part. These processions were for, not with, the masses.301 The handbook on the topic published at the start of the eighteenth century, with a collection of examples, referred to at the beginning of this chapter, was an indication of these attitudes, stressing the utility of such processions as representing power and obedience.302 Experience teaches us that outdoor ceremonies give rise to admiration in the citizens, from which is nurtured a conception of the political power, and this then engenders reverence, which first has submission as its daughter and obedience as granddaughter. This admiration makes a much deeper impression on people’s senses in this time of decay than the sacred commandments of the divine and natural laws and of the revelation. For sensory displays have much greater effect on ordinary people—which must be deplored!— than the language which appeals to the intellect and reason.303

The separation of the elite and popular culture gives a rough frame for these processes. This involved serious efforts to support the ambitions of the Lutheran church to create a uniform Lutheran culture with the presence of all social strata in the same churches. The separation of cultures was countered with the support of the unifying elements of the Lutheran congregation and social discipline. The state tried new means to bridge the cultural gap between the classes and to instill social and cultural discipline. We can recognize the transformation of governance that Robert Muchambled described in his analyses of the repression of popular culture in France during a somewhat earlier period.304

Concluding Comments The schools in Stockholm at the end of the seventeenth century reflected a complicated and multifaceted transformation of Sweden from a local military power to a major player on the European political scene. It was a central period in the formation of the Swedish state, with Stockholm as its capital. The transformation involved new qualification requirements and new methods to legitimize the political order. In this process the religious knowledge of individuals became important in the system of governance, as did the household and the local community in ensuring compliance.



The new administrative system that formed the backbone of state-formation also needed personnel with an adequate educational background. The system of literacy teaching did not rest exclusively on household instruction but also on parish schools which at the same time filled the role of elementary and secondary educational institutions. The decisions of the local and central authorities in Stockholm and the social situation of the schoolchildren, as this can be understood from the political and policy discussions, demonstrate the complex fabric of urban culture, politics, family, and the life of children. The households were not the tools whereby church could reach children in the poorest urban families and two-supporter families, but it was clearly also difficult to achieve a well-functioning system of schooling. Schooling had different meanings for children of different backgrounds. Long school careers were possible. There are examples of after-school employment that seem to be based on educational skills, but a large majority of children spent only short periods in school, and people of better standing avoided schools if possible and preferred private instructors for their children. The over-representation of widows and lowerclass parents indicates that sending children to school was a means of material support. Families were forced to secure their subsistence by varied and adaptable strategies. Sending children to school could fill such a role for somewhat younger boys, while older ones could seek employment from the age of 12–14. Only orphans from Stockholm were to be placed in the orphanages, which left widows in-migrating parents in a difficult situation. Schoolchildren could beg on various occasions organized by the schools. They participated for example in burial processions, which were among the means of livelihood open as the children were paid, together with their teachers and the parish clergy. Schooling for most children was irregular and seemed dependent on other avenues of support, independent begging, or work. Authorities strove to make begging in different forms an exclusive privilege for schoolchildren (boys) and ban other children from begging as a way of controlling urban streets and alleys. That was clearly not always possible. Begging, playing and singing rude songs in the streets, and running around in churches could be a recurrent source of irritation to the authorities, as was the parents’ and household masters’ apparent lack of control of their children. The urban authorities struggled to make the dark alleys safe for citizens and claimed respect for the constables and wardens. The



population of Stockholm grew during the seventeenth century through large in-migration but stagnated during the 1680s and from the 1690s as the cold climate, war, and famine made the situation of the poor even worse. Processions were an important way to display political power and social standing and also to create a symbolic and cultural bond with the urban audience. They obviously also had an economic significance for some of the participants, as schoolchildren were paid for their services. The local clergy argued for their exclusive right to the revenues from the processions, and there are examples of conflicts when the schoolchildren were dissatisfied with the returns. Local clergy and teachers came into conflict with other participants and children sneaking into the procession in the hope of sharing the profits. It was dirty and dangerous as crowds tussled to gain access to the money that was distributed. The processions most likely did not look like the ideals reproduced in the prints distributed to propagate and commemorate the events. Burials and wedding feasts were also cultural events with music and reading of occasional poetry by students. The processions and feasts were a part of popular culture where different social groups shared social space and cultural expressions. The economic and symbolic redistribution of money and specially made coins or medals probably also made the events difficult to question. But the processions were questioned with reference to the lack of order, the dirt, and the conflicts, and not the least of all the expense. Such complaints were expressed by groups of relatively recent nobles and those in the lower nobility and the burgher class, the very foundation of the absolutist regime that took power in the late seventeenth century; this also ensured their willingness to take the cost of burials through ordinary taxes. The direct relationship in the processions between poverty and wealth was to be replaced by an institutional relationship. The ban on burial processions undermined the system of support for schools and pupils, which had to be reorganized. The authorities strove to regulate the time, place, and the content of street singing by schoolchildren, while banning other children from such support. The agency of children was important in the shaping of responses from the government. The social distancing of the upper classes did not necessarily mean that they avoided the streets altogether, but it was a sign of the transformation of the cultural relationship between elite and popular culture and a new system of governance. The transformation was characterized by the state-formation processes in



Sweden and the changing class structure and was largely expressed in spatial terms. It mattered where children were seen and what they were doing. The banning of funeral processions in Sweden consequently had a character and timing that was marked by the transformation of the system of governance of the population and public urban space, including spaces occupied by children. An instrument for this was the school, when home instruction did not suffice, as in the cities, but other instruments were orphanages and workhouses. Begging by the poor, including children, in public was now tolerated less. Local and central representatives of government acted to maintain order and discipline urban space, to maintain church discipline and order during public performances, and to reach the children in towns in their homes and in the streets in the same way as they could be reached in the rural households.

Notes 1. Viking Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet i Stockholm 1649–1724: En översikt (Stockholm, 1966), pp.  181ff.; David Sjöstrand, Maria skola: Ett bidrag till Stockholms skolhistoria (Stockholm, 1882), pp.  15f.; Carl Björling, Katarina skola: Bidrag till kännedomen om Stockholms läroverk (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1913), pp. 6ff. 2. “Kongl. Majt:tz Instruction för them, som skola inspectera Gymnasium och Scholarna i Stockholms Stadh och på Malmerna,” Handlingar rörande Skandinaviens historia, part 33, Nya handlingar rörande Skandinaviens historia 23 (Stockholm, 1852), pp. 291ff. 3. This is how the schools in Stockholm, for example, are portrayed by Georg Brandell, Svenska undervisningsväsendets och uppfostrans historia, 2, Ortodoxiens tidevarv (Lund: Gleerup, 1931), part II, pp. 359ff., and Wilhelm Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 2, Sverige och de nordiska grannländerna till början av 1700-talet (Lund: Gleerup, 1965), pp. 192ff., 198ff. 4. Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, pp. 184f. 5. “Kungliga instiftelsebrevet 1649,” in B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia: 1419–1840 (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1939), p. 199. 6. Quoted from Sjöstrand, Maria skola, p. 25; exact times are not stated. 7. Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, p. 223; Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 20ff. This applies not only to the schools in Stockholm but also to rural schools; see Nils Torpson, Svenska folkundervisningens utveckling från reformationen till 1842 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1888), pp. 90f.



8. Brandell, Svenska undervisningsväsendets 2, pp.  359ff., and Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia 2, pp. 192ff., 198ff. 9. Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, p. 223. 10. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 65ff., quotation p. 66. Nor is it sufficient as an explanation to claim that funeral processions “faded away,” Gustav Sivgård, Vandrande scholares: Den gamla djäknegångsseden (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1965), p. 128. 11. Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, pp. 192f., 211; “1693 & 1724 års skolordningar,” in B. Rudolf Hall (ed.), Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar 1561–1905: 1/3 1561, 1611 och 1649 års skolordningar (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1921), pp.  5f. and 24f., respectively; Nils Staf, De främmande trosbekännarna i Stockholm under karolinsk tid: Studier och handlingar rörande Stockholms historia, vol. 3 (Stockholm: Stadsarkivet, 1966), pp. 9ff. 12. “1652 års riksdag,” Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll på Riksdagens uppdrag 1, 1642–1660 (Stockholm, 1949), pp.  240f. See also “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 12 October 1655, and “Emporagrius Memorial” in B. Rudolf Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1939), pp.  30ff. Also “Memorial om Scholestaten”, Skol- och undervisningsväsende, vol. 4, Smärre ämnesserier, Riksarkivet (National Archives), Stockholm. 13. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 10f.; “Emporagrius Memorial,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, pp. 30ff. 14. Staf, De främmande trosbekännarna, pp. 25ff. 15. Consistory minutes cited from Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 13f. 16. Ibid., p. 14. In 1669 a private school was established corresponding to the gymnasium that had been moved to Gävle the year before. This “Collegium Claramontanum” was founded by the rector of Klara Parish. The school was financed with fees and recruited its pupils from the upper classes. In 1684 the school was stated to be “run down.” It ceased to operate in 1693; Brandell, Svenska undervisningsväsendets 2, p. 365. 17. Jesper Swedberg, Jesper Swedbergs lefwernes beskrifning, 1, Text (Lund: Gleerup, 1941), pp. 126ff. 18. Ibid., p. 133. 19. Ibid. 20. This is also evident from the charter for Klara School (above, note 5) and from the discussion in connection with the reorganization of the school system at the start of the 1690s (below). The school in Kungsholmen Parish was also founded for poor people who could not themselves afford teachers for their children; see Lars Wikström, Kungsholmen intill 1700-talets början: Studier i en stadsdels förhistoria, uppkomst och tidigaste utveckling (Stockholm: Stockholmia förlag, 1975), pp. 187ff.



21. Swedbergs lefwernes beskrifning, p. 110. 22. Ibid., p. 73. 23. For an interesting discussion of the implications of government service as a pillar on which the early modern state was built, see Maria Ågren, The State as Master: Gender, State Formation and Commercialisation in Urban Sweden, 1650–1780 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017). 24. Björling, Katarina skola, pp. 168f. 25. Torpson, Svenska folkundervisningens, p.  90; Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 106ff. 26. Björling, Katarina skola, pp. 167f.; Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 107ff. 27. Björling, Katarina skola, pp. 167, 169; Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 107ff.; Maria Magdalena Skolas Matrikel (SSA). See also the introduction in St Katarina Skolas Gamla Matrikel (SSA). 28. “Elevförteckning för trivialskolan 1684, Skrivelser till magistraten,” Jacobi & Johanni Skolas Matrikel 1691–1702, Vasa realskolas arkiv, Stockholms Stads Arkiv, hereafter SSA, also printed in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 38. I have been unable to find the original in SSA; “Catalogus docentium et discentium scholae Santae Catarinae 1684, Consistorie Acta 1684,” printed in Björling, Katarina skola, p. 321, and transcribed in Stockholm Konsistorii Acta och Protokoll, vol. IV (transcribed by B. Hildebrand, Kungliga Biblioteket), pp. 373f. (references to this manuscript are henceforth abbreviated SKAoP). “Catalogus Puerorum in Schola Clarensi,” 8 September 1690, SKAoP V, pp. 273ff. “Designatio Discentium” (Trivialskolan 1692), ibid., pp. 441ff. “Catalogus puerorum 1692” (Sankta Klara School); the lists of pupils in the different classes are signed with the teacher’s name and on different dates from 31 October to 8 November, ibid., pp.  448ff. “Catalogus Scholae Ladugårz Landensis anno 1692,” 23 November, ibid., pp. 453ff. “Catalogus Frequentantium Scholam Ladugardzlandensem” 1694, 1695, 1696, Stockholms Domkapitel E 111:44 (1696), no. 209, Lärjungeförteckningar (SSA). The latter documents are not transcribed in SKAoP. 29. According to a note made in the roll on 14 May 1696 there were “just over a hundred” boys in the school. From 1 January 1694 to 14 May 1699 a hundred pupils were enrolled in the school. On 1 April 1699 the first note was made of the boys’ social circumstances; Jacobi & Johanni Skolas Matrikel 1691–1702 5, Vasa realskolas arkiv, SSA. The suspicions about the enrollment details are confirmed by the roll of Katarina School, from which we see that certain children turned up virtually only once in school and then disappeared. Data on parents and the like are supplemented there with a laconic “this boy never came to the school,” 26 April 1714, St Katarina Skolas Gamla Matrikel 2, Katarina realskolas arkiv, SSA.



30. See, e.g., “Stockholms Stads Trivialskolas Matrikel 1721–1731,” Stockholms stads trivialskolas arkiv, SSA. According to this, the enrollment register begins in 1724, but it is not until 1728 that there are data on the parents’ occupation and civil status. See also “Maria Magdalena Skolas Matrikel,” Maria skolas och lägre elementarläroverks arkiv, 1709–1792 SSA. The first list of pupils is from 9 November 1709, with details of their enrollment date. For data on the roll from Katarina Parish, see Björling, Katarina skola, pp. 167f. 31. “Designatio Discentium,” Trivialskolan 1692, SKAoP V, pp.  442f. “Catalogus puerorum 1692 (Sanct Klara skola),” ibid., pp. 449ff. 32. The rolls also include details of the children’s domicile and sometimes of their guardian; see above, notes 27 and 29. The list of pupils in the Trivium School for 1692 contains, e.g., data on the part of Stockholm the children came from: “lives here in the town,” “Norrmalm,” etc. 33. “Kongl. Majt:tz Instruction,” Handlingar rörande, pp.  291ff; see also “Jacobi & Johanni Skolas Matrikel 1691–1702,” in which the minutes from one such examination are recorded on 14 March 1696. 5, Vasa realskolas arkiv, SSA. 34. In fact, the lists in the archives of the cathedral chapter and the meticulous notes in the school rolls probably reflect an increased control over the work of the schools. This tighter control can be directly related to the reorganization of the school system in the 1690s. See, e.g., “Koncept till Stockholms kons. skrivelse, dr 23/1690 till Ärkebiskop ang. St Jakobs skola”: “As during this time, when the Cons[istory] together with the Borough Administration have inspected the school system here in the town and in the suburbs,” SKAoP V, pp. 254f. The lists of pupils from 1684 probably result from the consistory’s request for lists of the schoolchildren, “in order to be better able to ascertain whether they have any of foreign religion under their instruction,” “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 16 July 1684, SKAoP IV, p. 320. 35. Ernst Söderlund, Stockholms hantverkarklass 1720–1772: Sociala och ekonomiska förhållanden (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1943), pp.  7–25; Ernst Söderlund, Hantverkarna, part 2, Stormaktstiden, frihetstiden och gustavianska tiden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1949), pp.  7–49; Åke Meyerson, Befolkningen på Södermalm år 1676 (Stockholm, 1943), pp.  73–106; Nils Ahnlund and Simon Skoglund, Ladugårdslandet: Till Hedvig Eleonora kyrkas 200-årsminne 1737–1937 (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1937), pp. 51–62; Evabritta Personne, Artillerimanskapet 1794–1885 (Uppsala, 1965), pp. 103ff. 36. Ibid.



37. For a discussion of this problem in urban environments, see Johan Söderberg, “Teorier om klass i stadshistoria,” Scandia, 1984, pp. 19–38. 38. For the titles in Swedish assigned to this group see Bengt Sandin, Hemmet, gatan, fabriken eller skolan: Folkundervisning och barnuppfostran i svenska städer 1600–1850 (Lund: Arkiv, 1986), Appendix 1. 39. “Ordning och Skrå för Handwärckare i Swerige och Finland,” June 1720, states 14 as a minimum age for accepting apprentices, Söderlund, Hantverkarna, p. 408. Craftsmen must have begun training, at least their own children, much earlier, generally in the early teens, ibid., pp. 397ff. 40. Sandin, Hemmet, Appendix 1. 41. Ibid. 42. “Skolkatalog för Trivialskolan,” SKAoP V, pp. 441ff. 43. “Catalogus discentium in Schola Triviali Holmiensi,” 1702, “Lärjungeförtreckningar 1702–1849,” Stockholms domkapitels arkiv DV II, SSA. “Skolkatalog 1709 för St Katarina skola,” SKAoP VII, pp. 47ff. The latter has also been published in Björling, Katarina skola, p. 323. 44. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, p. 107. “The examination list for 1709 contains 55 pupils, of whom no fewer than 28 are fatherless children; as regards the father’s estate or occupation the following are stated: 17 journeymen, laborers, tower watchmen and the like, 19 guardsmen and sailors, 15 tradesmen, most of them of the lowest kind, 2 janitors, 1 non-commissioned officer, and 1 school colleague.” 45. See above, note 42. 46. Jette Hellesen Jensen and Ole Tuxen, “Fattige Børns Antagelse i de publique Latinske Skoler og Forsendelse till Academiet i det 18 århundradet,” in G.  Christensen (ed.), Tradition og kritik: Festskrift till Svend Ellehoj den 8 september 1984 (Copenhagen: Den danske fistoriske Forening, 1984), pp.  46f., 345f; Charlotte Appel and Morten FinkJensen, Da læreren holdt skole: Tiden for 1780, vol. 1 of Dansk Skolehistore (Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2013), pp. 81–86. 47. “Lista på privata lärare i ‘staden,’ norr- och södermalm,” SKAoP V, pp. 600ff. 48. Ibid., pp. 600ff., 622. 49. In SKAoP V there are only summary details in some of the lists, but a check of the original documents shows that details of occupation and civil status are not recorded with sufficient consistency to allow a quantitative analysis; Akt no. 260, Stockholms domkapitels arkiv, E 111:43, SSA. 50. See, e.g., the complaints about competition from private schools from the headmaster of Klara School. He said that the effect of this was that only the poorest children attended public school. He complained especially about Isac Kraft, who was alleged to recruit pupils actively; SKAoP V,



p. 616. The data on the pupils at Kraft’s school indicate that these pupils came from well-to-do families. The registered occupations reflect a different world from Klara School: 6 merchants, 25 accountants, 1 assessor, 1 hatter (deceased), 1 councilor (deceased), 2 bookkeepers (1 deceased), 1 rector. “Lista över elever vid Isac Krafts skola,” 16 October 1694, SKAoP V, p. 618. 51. Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, p.  272; Befolkningen i Stockholm 1252–2005, Utrednings- och statistikkontoret), p. 7. 52. Gustav Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd 1663–1763 (Stockholm, 1949), p. 258. There is a slightly higher figure for 1850 in Historisk statistik för Sverige: Befolkningen 1720–1967 (Örebro: Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB), 1969), Part 1, Table 19. 53. Ibid., Part 1, Table 16. 54. Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, p. 136. 55. See above, notes 46 and 50. 56. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 26 February 1673, SKAoP III, p. 100; Wikström, Kungsholmen, pp. 203f. 57. “Lista på privata lärare i ‘staden,’ norr- och södermalm,” SKAoP V, pp. 603, 614. 58. 14 May 1696, “Morbi oliqvot particulares Schola Holmensium Jacobiana,” point 5, ”Jacobi & Johanni Skolas Matrikel 1691–1702,” Vasa realskolas arkiv, SSA. 59. “Catalogus pueros introductos in Scholam Jacobian Holmensium, 1691,” ibid. (SSA). 60. “Skrivelse till kons. från rektor i S Klara skola” (undated, among the documents for 1694), SKAoP V, p. 617. 61. “Catalogum Puerorum in Schola Clarensi,” SKAoP V, p. 275. 62. Maria Magdalena Skolas Matrikel 1709–1793, “Catalogum Discentum,” 9 November 1709, Maria skolas och lägre elementarläroverks arkiv, SSA. 63. See notes 61 and 62. According to Björling, Katarina skola, p. 169, the children in Katarina, after irregular attendance, usually went on to “the trades.” 64. “Catalogum Puerorum in Schola Clarensi,” 1690, SKAoP V, pp. 276ff. 65. ”St Katarina Skolas Gamla Matrikel,” Katarina realskolas arkiv, SSA, p. 9. 66. “Catalogum Puerorum Clarensi 1690,” SKAoP V, pp. 276ff. See also St Katarina Skolas Gamla Matrikel 1711–1714. Katarina realskolas arkiv, SSA. An analysis of the register for the church school in Katarina Parish also shows that the children’s schooling was roughly the same no matter when they started attending: 2–3 years. Since the register states the age, enrollment year, and leaving year for about 50% of the children for 1711–1714, the length of attendance in relation to these variables can be estimated.



67. Maria Magdalena Skolas Matrikel, 1709, Maria skolas och lägre elementarläroverks arkiv, SSA. 68. “Biskop Olof Laurelii kyrko-ordningsförslag,” Kyrkoordningar och förslag dertill före 1686, part 2:1 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1881), pp.  484f.; “Kongl. förordning ang. Tiggeri 1642,” Sven Wilskman, Swea rikes ecclesiastiqve werk, 1 (Örebro, 1781), p. 39. 69. Among the children rounded up from the streets of Stockholm in 1652 there was a large group from the provinces around Lake Mälaren and Östergötland; Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, pp. 58f. In the 1650s the archbishop declared that the orphanage should accept children from areas that paid tithes to it. The practice of the orphanage, however, was to turn away children from the countryside, following the decision by the diet that each parish should provide for its own paupers, and with reference to its own limited resources. The needs of Stockholm were to be satisfied first; ibid., p. 60. 70. Statement in the council house, 11 January 1651, quotation från Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, p. 55. 71. Ibid., pp. 52ff., 112ff. 72. Ibid., pp. 52ff., quotation p. 55. 73. Ibid., p. 58. Gudrun Utterström has analyzed social recruitment to the orphanage for 1672–1711. Children of craftsmen and of military personnel accounted for a large majority of the children for whom occupation details were recorded; Gudrun Utterström, Tillnamn i den karolinska tidens Stockholm (Umeå: Umeå univ.-bibl., 1976), pp. 93f. 74. Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, pp.  56f. When other children were admitted to the orphanage, up to 1785, it was “to be regarded as a dispensation from the rule that the orphanage was reserved for children from Stockholm,” ibid., p. 60. 75. Ibid., p. 58. 76. Ibid., pp. 112f. Utterström claims that the orphanage children after the 1670s were privileged in comparison with other groups of paupers. 77. ”Politiekollegiets Protokoll,” 22 September 1677, cited from Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, p. 114. 78. Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, Akt 14, pp. 170f. 79. Ibid., pp. 171f. 80. Ibid., Akt 15, p. 173 and Akt 20, pp. 180f. 81. Ibid., Akt 19, p. 179. 82. Ibid., p. 125. 83. Ibid., p. 173. 84. Ibid., p. 49. 85. Ibid., p. 44.



86. “Politiekollegiets Protokoll,” 1687, quotation from Joseph Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm från äldre till nyare tid: Jämte beskrifning af Stockholms stads arbetsinrättningar med anledning af den nya arbetsinrättningens fullbordan: en historisk öfversikt (Stockholm, 1906), p. 56. 87. David Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden (Stockholm: Gidlund, 1983), pp. 72ff.; Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös, p.  18; Stockholms folkmängd, pp. 245, 272f. 88. “Koncept till Stockholms kons. skrivelse dat. 17 December 1684 till Magistraten, ang. löskonors och manfolks kyrkoplikt,” SKAoP IV, p. 390. 89. Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm, p. 58. 90. “Kungl. Maj:t to Graan,” 8 January 1675, cited from Bengt Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna i Sverige (Stockholm: Inst. för rättshistorisk forskning, 1984), p. 310. 91. Meeting of 23 March 1681. The consistory thought that their landladies should inform on these women so that they could receive “secular and ecclesiastical punishment,” SKAoP IV, p. 26. 92. 1686 års kyrkolag (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1936), ch. 16, § 9, p. 52. 93. The Swedish army was defeated at the Battle of Poltava by Peter I and many soldiers were held in captivity in Russia and Siberia, The king escaped to Turkey with a part of the army. 94. For letters on this matter, see SKAoP VII, pp. 442ff. 95. “Vidimerade kopia af K. Majts Brev (Bender 13 sept 1712) ang. Ryttare och Knektehustrurs äktenskap,” SKAoP VII, p. 444. 96. Ibid. 97. “St Maria Matrikel 1709,” Maria skolas och lägre elementarläroverks arkiv, SSA, listed among the pupils attending the school on 9 November 1709. 98. Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, pp.  174ff.; Sten Carlsson, Fröknar, mamseller, jungfrur och pigor: Ogifta kvinnor i det svenska ståndssamhället (Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 1977), pp.  109ff. Maria Ågren (ed.), Making a Living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society (New York: Oxford University Press). 99. Gaunt, Familjeliv i Norden, pp.  178ff.; Carlsson, Fröknar, pp.  109ff.; Lars Edgren, “Hantverkaränkor på äktenskapsmarknaden: ‘Änkekonservering’ inom Malmöhantverket 1816–1840,” Ale 1983:4, pp. 1–17. Ågren, Making a Living; The State as Master. Lindström Jonas, Jansson Karin Hassan, Fiebranz Rosemarie, Jacobsson Benny, Ågren Maria, Mistress or maid: the structure of women’s work in Sweden, 1550–1800. Continuity and Change Cambridge University Press 2017:32. pp. 225–252.



100. Nils Friberg, Dalarnas befolkning på 1600-talet: geografiska studier på grundval av kyrkböckerna med särskild hänsyn till folkmängdsförhållandena (Stockholm: Geografiska institutet, Stockholms högskola, 1954), pp.  85ff.; Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna, pp.  270ff.; Jan Lindegren, “Knektänkornas land,” in David Gaunt and Ronny Ambjörnsson (eds.), Den dolda historien: 27 uppsatser om vårt okända förflutna (Stockholm: Författareförlaget, 1984), pp. 363–375. 101. Historisk statistik för Sverige, Part 1, Table 18, p. 70. 102. Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd, pp. 254f. See also data on seventeenth-­ century towns in England in Richard Wall, “Woman Alone in English Society,” Annales de démographie historique 1981, pp.  303–317; John Henderson and Richard Wall, Poor Women and Children in the European Past (London: Routledge, 1994); Alysia Levene, The Childhood of the Poor: Welfare in Eighteenth-Century London (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). 103. Meyerson, Befolkningen på Södermalm, pp. 97, 100. 104. Ibid., pp. 105f.; Kekke Stadin, “Den gömda och glömda arbetskraften: Stadskvinnor i produktionen under 1600- och 1700-talen,” Historisk tidskrift, Stockholm, 1980:3, pp. 310f. 105. Lorenzo Magalotti, Sverige under år 1674: Från italienskan med 23 samtida bilder (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1912), pp. 10f. 106. Stadin, Den gömda och glömda, pp.  306ff.; Meyerson, Befolkningen på Södermalm, p. 97; Ågren, The State as Master. 107. Folke Wernstedt, Kungl. Svea livgardes historia, vol. 4, 1660–1718 (Stockholm: Stift. för Svea livgardes historia, 1954), pp. 289f. The complaints also concerned the billeting of the soldiers (the guard had increased from a maximum of 400 men to 1960 private soldiers) and the townspeople had to provide rooms, beds, firewood, etc. for them and their wives and children. See also Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd, p. 261. 108. Wernstedt, Kungl. Svea lifgardes historia, p. 289. 109. See, e.g., Göran Rystad, “Den borgerliga staden under 1500- och 1600-­ talen,” in Arne Sträng (ed.), Skara, 1, Före 1700: Staden i stiftet (Skara: Historiekommitté, 1986), pp. 707ff. 110. “Överståthållaren Frih. Schering Rosenhanes berättelse år 1663,” Handlingar rörande Skandinaviens historia, part 31, Nya handlingar rörande Skandinaviens historia 21 (Stockholm, 1850), pp. 35f. 111. “Kongl. Majt nådige resolution … Wälborne Hr Grefwe Christoffer Gyllenstiernas inkomna berättelse, och wid handen gifne förslag till det mykne Tiggeriets afskaffande på Gaturne och huset,” Stockholm, 14 June 1688, And. Anton von Stiernman, Samling utaf Kongl. bref, Stadgar och Förordningar, part 4 (Stockholm, 1747–75), pp. 102ff. See also “Till Amiralitetet, angående Tigger,” ibid., p.  1026, and “Till någre



Gouverneurer och Landshöfdingar om Tiggarne,” ibid., p.  1027. The history of the Royal Life Guards also cites statements that eight cases of begging had occurred and sixteen cases where “beggars have lodged with guardsmen,” Wernstedt, Kungl. Svea lifgardes historia, p. 213, note 3. 112. “Förordning om Tiggare och Allmosehion i Stockholms Stad,” Stockholm 4 April 1663, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, pp. 155f. 113. “Kongl. Maj:ts nådige Stadga och Förordning, angående ett Rasp- och Spinnehus inrättande i Stockholm,” 21 October 1698, Stiernman, Samling, part 5, p. 732. 114. “Förordning om tiggare,” 1663, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, pp. 155f. 115. Consistory minutes for 8 April 1663, from Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, p. 190. 116. “Kungliga instiftelsebrevet” 1649, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p.  199. The consistory’s regulation in 1663 of singing by schoolboys pointed out that the children should sing “hymns and not ballads … beautifully and somewhat slowly,” cited from Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, p. 190. 117. Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, pp.  189ff., 190 note 7, works cited there and printed sources; Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp.  17ff., 30f., 58ff., 73ff. 118. “Hemställan hos pastor primarius,” 13 May 1657, by A.  L. Molin, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 316. 119. “Rektor Abraham Alms berättelse om S. Maria skola” (undated), SKAoP V, p.  271. Undated “Supplik till Stockholms kons. från Rektor Petrus Wästling ang. S. Klara skolas usla tilstånd,” ibid., p. 270; “Skolbetjänternas i S.  Klara berättelse,” 21 May 1690 to the consistory in Stockholm, ibid., p. 268. 120. “Relation rörande Trivialskolan i Stockholm afgifven av Rektor N. Clewberg,” 2 September 1690, ibid., pp. 262f. 121. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 6 February 1681. “Then all the headmasters united in their unanimous complaint about the thoughtless parents who remove their children from school without the knowledge of the Preceptores, without the slightest thanks for the great effort expended on their education,” SKAoP IV, p. 14. 122. “Konsistorii Acta, 1720,” no. 130, “Konsistorii Protokoll,” Stockholms domkapitels arkiv, SSA; (undated) letter from the headmaster of Sankta Klara; “and when the children have learned to read and write, they leave school to enter service,” SKAoP V, p. 617. 123. “Kommentar till katalogen över skolbarn i Klara skola av Wästling,” SKAoP V, p. 279. 124. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” Stockholms domkapitels arkiv, SSA, 19 August 1691, ibid., pp. 322f.



125. Joel F. Harrington, The Unwanted Child: The Fate of Foundlings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009); Grace E. Coolidge, The Formation of the Child in Early Modern Spain (Farnham, Surrey,: Ashgate, 2014); Joan Sherwood, Poverty in Eighteenth-Century Spain: The Women and Children of the Inclusa (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988); Valentina K. Tikoff, Assisted Transitions: Children and Adolescents in the Orphanages of Seville at the End of the Old Regime, 1681–1831, thesis (Ph.D.), Indiana University, 2000; Richard B.  McKenzie, Home Away from Home: The Forgotten History of Orphanages (New York: Encounter Books, 2009); Ruben Schalk, “From Orphan to Artisan: Apprenticeship Careers and Contract Enforcement in The Netherlands before and after the Guild Abolition,” Economic History Review 70:3 (2017), pp. 730–757; Juliane Jacobi, “Between Charity and Education: Orphans and Orphanages in Early Modern Times,” Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education 45:1–2 (2009), pp.  51–66; Hanneke van Asperen, “The Gates of Charity: Images of City and Community in the Early Modern Dutch Orphanage,” Journal of Urban History 43:6 (2017), p. 1001–20. 126. We do not always acknowledge such agency for children in the past or today, but new research indicates such possibilities; for a later period compare Tobias Hecht, At Home in the Street: Street Children of Northeast Brazil (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 127. Compare Ågren, The State as Master. 128. Ibid., p. 140 and passim. 129. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 24 November 1643, “PP Laurelii pro ministerio Stockholm 1643,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 10. 130. “Kongl. Maij: Instruction. För primario Pastore och Praeside ordinarie i Stockholm Consistorio Stockholm slott,” 16 December 1668, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p.  15; also “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 27 March 1667, 10 & 17 February 1669, ibid., pp. 13f. 131. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 4 June 1684, SKAoP IV, p. 318. 132. Ibid. 133. Ibid. 134. Ibid., p. 319. 135. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 19 March 1688, SKAoP V, pp. 17ff. Examination was not always pursued with “any fruit,” “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 18 June 1679, SKAoP IV, p. 424. 136. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 11 June 1688, SKAoP V, p. 42.



137. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 19 March 1688, SKAoP V, pp. 17ff.; “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 11 June 1688, ibid., pp. 42ff. 138. “Publication om katekesförhör,” 9 January 1698, SKAoP V, p. 142. 139. “Till Stockholms kyrkoherdar om katekesförhör,” 9 January 1698, SKAoP V, pp. 141f. 140. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 23 May 1694, SKAoP V, pp.  490f. Here the consistory also declared that those who absented themselves from the annual catechetical examination would be reported to the clerks of the treasurer’s court. It was lamented, however, that it took about a year to come “around the circle” with the examinations. The examinations seem to have been a blunt instrument of control. 141. See the rolls for Riddarholmen 1667–1695, Jacobus and Johannes 1672–1702, Storkyrkan 1670–1750, Adolf Fredrik 1693–1695, Katarina 1707–1718, Kungsholmen 1689–1725. Parish school archives for the different parishes, SSA. 142. Quoted from Sjöstrand, Maria skola, p. 25. 143. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 15 October 1679, SKAoP III, p.  466; also “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 12 November 1706, SKAoP VI, pp. 517ff., and “Kons. utslag i tvisten mellan lärare Törnbom och kyrkoherde Lysing,” 11 December 1707, SKAoP VI, pp. 586ff. 144. “Anno 1682 den 24 mars närvarandes Borgmästare och Råd uppå Stockholms Rådhus,” SKAoP IV, p. 171. The problem with the schoolchildren was evidently that they themselves were noisy and got up to mischief, but also that “strangers turn up to make a noise and cause a nuisance,” “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 15 October 1679, SKAoP III, p. 466. 145. Bulstrode Whitelocke, A Journal of the Swedish Embassy 1653 and 1654, new ed. (London: Longman, 1855), p. 401. 146. Ibid., pp. 401ff., quotation from pp. 402f. See also the views of the nobility about the possibilities of enacting a ban on oaths and swear words, “Tvenne utlåtanden ang. stadgan om eder och sabbatsbrott,” Appendix 7, Sveriges ridderskaps- och adels riksdagsprotokoll 10 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1893), p. 503. 147. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 23 July 1651, SKAoP I, pp. 394ff. 148. “Till Stockholms kyrkoherdar 19/1 1689 ang. Plakatet om eder och sabbatsbrott,” SKAoP V, p.  143; “ Kungl. Maj:tz stadga om sabbatsbrott 1687,” in Wilskman, Swea rikes ecclesiastiqve werk 1, p. 41. 149. Ibid. 150. “Öfverståthållaren Gyllenstiernas bref, dat. 4/1 1690 till kons. i Stockholm ang. löpande på gatorna under gudstjänsten,” SKAoP V, pp. 243f.



151. “Öfverståthållare Gyllenstiernas bref 10/1 1694 till Stockholms kons. ang. katekesförhören” and “Kungl. Maj:ts Bref 3/1 1694 till Öfwerståthållaren ang. katekesförhören,” SKAoP V, pp. 515ff. 152. “Kons. publikation ang. katekesförhören, uppläst af predikstolarna den 28/1 1649,” SKAoP V, p. 517. 153. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 23 May 1694, SKAoP V, p. 490; “Öfverståthållare Gyllenstiernas bref 11/5 1694,” ibid., pp. 524f. 154. Gustav Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd 1663–1763 (Stockholm, 1949), pp. 253ff.; Historisk statistik för Sverige. Befolkning 1720–1967 (Örebro: Statistiska centralbyrån, 1969), part 1, Table 12. Sven Lilja, Tjuvehål och stolta städer: urbaniseringens kronologi och geografi i Sverige (med Finland) ca 1570-tal till 1810-tal. (Stockholm: Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet 2000); Sven Lilja, Urban death—perceptions and realities: urban mortality in the early modern Baltic region. Baltic towns and their inhabitants: aspects on early modern towns in the baltic area. Ed Kekke Stadin (Södertörns Högskola, Research reports 2, 2003) p. 109ff. 155. 1686 års kyrkolag, p. 58. 156. “Stockholm kons. skrivelse 23/9 1690 till ärkebiskopen om förhållandena vid S. Jakobs skola,” SKAoP V, p. 260. 157. “Johannes Wanerbergs berättelse,” 21 May 1690, ibid., p. 273. 158. “Suplik till Stockholms kons. från Rektor Petrus Wästling ang. Klara skolas usla tillstånd,” ibid., p. 270. 159. “Skolbetjänternas i S. Klara berättelse,” 21 May 1690, ibid., p. 269. 160. “Mathias Dufvas berättelse om Katarina skola,” 21 May 1690, ibid., p. 272; “Johannes Wanerbergs berättelse,” 21 May 1690, ibid., p. 273; “Rektorns kommentar till skolkatalogen för Klara skola 1690,” ibid., p. 278; “Skolbetjänternas i S. Klara berättelse,” 21 May 1690, ibid., p. 269. 161. “Relation rörande Trivialskolan i Stockholm, afg. af Rektor Niculaus Clewberg,” 2 September 1690, ibid., pp. 262f. 162. “Rektor Abraham Alms berättelse om S. Maria skola,” ibid., p. 271. 163. “Rektorns kommentar till skolkatalogen för Klara skola 1690,” ibid., pp. 278f. 164. “Suplik till Stockholms kons. från Rektor Petrus Wästling ang. S. Klara skolas usla tillstånd” (undated), ibid., p. 270. 165. “Rektorns kommentar till skolkatalogen för Klara skola 1690,” ibid., p. 279. 166. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 19 August 1691, ibid., 322f. 167. “Relation rörande Trivialskolan i Stockholm,” 2 September 1690, “II, Remedia eller Bot emot förtecknade fel,” ibid., p. 265. 168. Ibid. 169. “Koncept till Stockholm kons, skrivelse 24/9 1690 till K Mt ang. underhåll för skolbetjänter i Stockholm,” ibid., pp. 280ff.



170. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 16 September 1691, ibid., pp. 326f. 171. Ibid., p. 327. 172. Ibid., 5 October 1691, p. 330. 173. Ibid., 17 October 1694, p. 506. 174. Ibid. 175. “Lista på privata lärare i ‘staden,’ norr- och södermalm,” SKAoP V, pp. 600ff. Note the letter from the headmaster of Klara School concerning the competition from Kraft’s school, ibid., p. 617. 176. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 17 April 1692, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 123. 177. Ibid. 178. Ibid., 18 April 1692, “Skrivelse till Kungl. Maj:t,” 23 April 1629, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, pp. 123ff. 179. “Kungl. Maj:t till Stockholms kons,” 22 June 1692, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, pp. 126f. 180. ”Konsistorii Protokoll,” 13 July 1692, SKAoP V, p. 374. 181. Ibid. 182. Ibid., 17 January 1694, p. 476. 183. Ibid., 21 February 1694, p. 480; 28 February 1694, p. 481. In 1699 the times at Ladugårdslandet were changed so that “during the meal break at 12 o’clock they can most conveniently seek their alms, the singing hour will be held between 10 and 11. However, they must be in school again at 1 o’clock precisely,” 11 January 1699, ibid., VI, p. 137. 184. Both Rendahl and before him Sjöstrand perceived the introduction of “general” school attendance as a way to get the better-off, above all, not to send their children to the schools; Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, p. 211; Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 103ff. 185. “Relation från S. Klara skola av Nicolus Widhammar,” 8 November 1692, SKAoP V, p. 452. 186. “Förteckning över Jonas Fogelboms elever,” among lists from Ladugårdslandet, Stockholms Domkapitel E III: 43, Akt no. 260, Stockholms domkapitels arkiv, SSA. According to the consistory’s notes in the inventory of schools, Fogelbom had about 30 pupils. 187. See, e.g., the list of preceptors from 1694, SKAoP V, p.  613, no. 27; “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 10 December 1702, SKAoP VI, pp.  297f. See also SKAoP V, pp. 600ff. 188. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 5 February 1702, SKAoP VI, pp. 272f. 189. “Ödmjukt memorial,” Stockholm, 19 March 1720, Stockholms Domkapitel E 111:68, Akt no. 130, Stockholms domkapitels arkiv, SSA. 190. ”St Katarina Skolas Gamla Matrikel 1711–1714,” Katarina realskolas arkiv, SSA.



191. “Kongl. Maj:ts nådige Stadga och Förordning, angående ett Rasp- och Spinnehus inrättande i Stockholm,” 21 October 1698, Stiernman, Samling, part 5, p. 731. 192. “Kongl. Majt:ts förnyade stadga och förordning, huru med tiggare och fattige, som rätt allmosso behöfwa, så ock med Landsstrykare och lättingar, förhållas skall,” Stockholm, 21 October 1698, ibid., p. 729. 193. Ibid., pp. 729f. 194. Ibid., pp. 727f. 195. Emil Färnström (ed.), Laurentius Petris Kyrkoordning av år 1571 (Stockholm: Diakonistyrelsen, 1932), p. 135. 196. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp.  76, 68ff.; Rendahl, Undervisningsväsendet, pp.  189ff.; see especially p.  190, note 7, and works cited there; Troels Frederik Troels-Lund, Dagligt Liv i Norden i det l6. Aarhundrede, Book 14, Livsafslutning (Copenhagen, 1901), pp. 165ff.; Severin Solders and Albert Wiberg (eds.), Stockholms storskolas journal (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1951), pp.  74ff.; Sivgård, Vandrande scholares (1965), pp.  115ff.; Sigurd Schartau, Malmö högre allmänna läroverk under den danska tiden: Festskrift. (Malmö: Falkmans bokh., 1929), pp. 143ff. 197. Jean-François Regnard, Resa i Lappland (Stockholm, 1946), p. 125; see also the Italian traveler Larenzo Magalotti, who visited Sweden in 1676, Sverige under år 1674 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1912), p. 77. 198. Troels-Lund, Danmarks og Norges historie, book 14, pp.  165ff.; Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe, 3rd ed. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 28ff.; Karen Schousboe, “Culture and History: The Social Dynamic of Cultural Signification in Denmark,” Ethnologia Scandinavica 1980, pp. 11ff. 199. J.  R. Mulryne, Maria Ines Aliverti, and Anna Maria Testaverde (eds.), Ceremonial Entries in Early Modern Europe: The Iconography of Power (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2015); Kathleen Ashley and Wim Hüsken (eds.), Moving Subjects: Processional Performance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001); Marie-France Wagner and Daniel Vaillancourt (eds.), Le roi dans la ville: Anthologie des entrées royales dans les villes françaises de provinces (1615–1660) (Paris: Champion, 2001); Jennifer Woodward, The Theatre of Death: The Ritual Management of Royal Funerals in Renaissance England, 1570–1625 (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1997); Peter Burke, The Fabrication of Louis XIV (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992). 200. Woodward, The Theatre of Death, pp. 9ff. 201. Johann Christian Lünig, Theatrum Ceremoniale (1719–1720), translated by Johan Ihre, De usu ceremoniarum civile (Uppsala, 1748), cited from



Kurt Johannesson, “Bellman och ceremonierna,” in Horace Engdahl (ed.), Tio forskare om Bellman: Föredrag vid Vitterhetsakademiens symposium 15–17 September 1976 (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1977), p. 99.. 202. Per Bjurström, Feast and Theatre in Queen Christina’s Rome (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, 1966). 203. Lena Rangström, Dödens teater: Kungliga svenska begravningar genom fem århundraden (Stockholm: Livrustkammaren, 2015); P. J. Klemp, The Theatre of Death: Rituals of Justice from the English Civil Wars to the Restoration (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2016). 204. Ralph Houlbrooke, Death, Religion and the Family in England 1480–1750 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998); Ralph Houlbrooke (ed.), Death, Ritual and Bereavement (London and New York: Routledge, 1989). 205. Göran Rystad, Kriegsnachrichten und Propaganda während des dreissigjährigen Krieges: Die Schlacht bei Nördlingen in den gleichzeitigen, gedruckten Kriegsberichten (Lund, 1960). 206. Sandin, Hemmet; Houlbrooke, Death, Religion and the Family, pp. 255–294. 207. Woodward, The Theatre of Death, p. 13; Houldbrook, Death, ritual and bereavement. 208. Harrington, The Unwanted Child, pp. 27–45. 209. Joel F. Harrington, “‘Singing for his Supper’: The Reinvention of Juvenile Streetsinging in Early Modern Nuremberg,” Social History 22:1 (1997). 210. Burke, Popular Culture. 211. Ashley, Moving Subjects, p 16; Woodward, The Theatre of Death. 212. Burke, Popular Culture, pp. 230f., 253ff.; Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Le carnaval de Romans: De la Chandeleur au mercredi des Cendres 1579–1580 (Paris: Gallimard, 1979); Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991). 213. Burke, Popular Culture, p.  302; Schousboe, “Culture and History,” pp. 16ff. 214. Laurentius Petris Kyrkoordning, p. 135. At the funeral of Johan III’s first wife, 400 dalers were given to the schoolboys of Stockholm and 62.5 dalers to the paupers in the streets. In addition, money was given to the poor in Uppsala and to the hospital, as well as to the nuns in Skokloster. In this way a total of roughly 600 dalers was spent; Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 9. 215. Philippe Ariès, Essais sur l’histoire de la mort en Occident du Moyen Age à nos jours (Paris: Seuil, 1975), p.  94; see also “Culture and History,” pp. 8ff. 216. Ariès, Essais, pp. 177f.



217. Houlbrooke, Death, Religion and the Family, pp. 255ff. 218. Ibid., p. 264 219. Ibid. 220. Ibid. pp. 264ff., 294. 221. See, e.g., “Tvenne utlåtande ang. stadgan om eder och sabbatsbrott,” Sveriges ridderskaps- och adels riksdagsprotokoll 10, p. 503. 222. Bengt Ankarloo, “Europe and the Glory of Sweden: The Emergence of a Swedish Self-Image in the Early 17th Century,” in Göran Rystad (ed.), Europe and Scandinavia: Aspects of the Process of Integration in the 17th Century (Solna: Esselte studium, 1983), pp.  241ff.; Ankarloo, Trolldomsprocesserna, p. 195. 223. “Kongl. Maj:tz instruktion,” Handlingar rörande Skandinaviens historia, part 33, p. 302. 224. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 13ff.; Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll 1, diet of 1652 (Stockholm, 1949), pp. 240f. 225. “1649 års skolordning,” in Hall, Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar, p. 75. 226. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 66ff.; SKAoP I, pp. 338, 374f., 398f., 395, 424, 551; SKAoP II, pp. 8, 57, 60: SKAoP III, IV. See “likprocession” passim. The fixity of purpose shown by the priests in their participation in funerals in the 1680s has been described in a French account of a voyage in Sweden; their financial interest in the ceremonies and speeches in praise of the deceased is also evident, Regnard, Resa i Lappland, pp. 125ff. 227. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 30 January 1656, SKAoP I, p. 338; 25 March 1643, ibid., p.  495; 28 September 1653, ibid., p.  505; 18 May 1655, ibid., p. 559. 228. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp.  69f.; “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 30 January 1656, SKAoP II, pp. 8f., 15 May 1657, pp. 57, 60ff. 229. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 15 May 1657, SKAoP II, pp. 57ff. 230. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 19 August 1657, SKAoP II, pp. 72ff. 231. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 15 May 1657, ibid., pp. 60f.; 19 August 1657, ibid., p. 73; Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 69f. 232. “Biskop Erik Emporagrii kyrkoordningsförslag,” Kyrkoordningar II, pp. 172f. 233. “Borgmästare och Råådz påminnelser,” Handlingar rörande Skandinaviens historia part 31, p. 72. 234. “Kongl. May:tz Stadga och Påbud, öfwer åtskillige Excesser och Oordningars affskaffande widh Adelige Troloffningar, Gästebud, Barndoop och Begrafningar,” Stockholm, 30 August 1664, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, p. 240.



235. “Kongl. May:tz Stadga och Påbud … widh Rijkens Borgerskaps … samt Klädesdrächter,” Stockholm, 5 October 1664, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, p. 284. 236. “Kongl. May:tz Stadga och Påbud öfwer åthskillige Missbruks och Oordningars affskaffande widh Ridderskapets och Adelns Trolofningar, Bröllop, Gästebud, Barndop och Begrafningar,” Stockholm, 19 December 1668, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, p. 730. 237. “Prästerskapets supplik angående ceremonier vid begravningar,” Appendix 16, diet of 1668, Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll 3, p. 46. 238. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 26 March 1673, SKAoP III, p.  103. See also note 205 above. 239. Ibid. 240. See above, note 206. At the diet in 1676 the clergy in Kalmar complained that the borough administration did not permit the teachers’ annual singing in the streets, Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll 3, p. 80. 241. 23 June 1668, Nils Ahnlund and Nils Staf, Borgarståndets riksdagsprotokoll före frihetstiden (Uppsala, 1933), p. 53. 242. 13 August 1668, Sveriges ridderskaps- och adels riksdagsprotokoll 10, p. 338. See also the discussion on 9 September 1668, ibid., pp. 392f. 243. 12 September 1668, ibid., p. 420; “Skiähl, hvarföre man förmenar well kunna afskaffas det solenne marcherande och bärande …,” Appendix 30, ibid., pp. 599f. 244. 14 September 1668, ibid., pp. 426f. 245. Ibid., p. 427. 246. Ibid., p. 424. 247. 4 December 1680, Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll 4, 1680–1714 (Stockholm, 1962), p. 107; “Förslag till prästerskapets utlåtande om processioner vid adliga begravningar,” Appendix 12, ibid., pp.  154ff.; “Prästerskapets skrivelse till Kungl. Maj:t angående processioner vid adliga begravningar,” Appendix 13, ibid., pp. 156f. In 1678 people were inclined to restrict processions at the funerals of small children to one priest and a couple of schoolboys: “Expenses can thereby be saved,” 7 February 1678, Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll 3, p. 318; “Kongl. Maj:ts Nådigaste Resolution … uppå The besvärspunkter, hwilke Riiksens Ridderskap och Adel …,” 29 November 1880, Stiernman, Samling, part 2, p. 1857. 248. “Karl XI:s resolution på Stockholms borgerskaps begäran att få begrafva sina döda utan ‘processer på gatan’,” Kungsorden, 27 February 1681, Urkunder rörande Stockholms historia (Stockholm, 1900–13), p. 462. 249. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 15 December 1689, SKAoP III, p. 611.



250. Ibid., 22 December, SKAoP IV, p. 613. 251. Ibid., 9 February 1681, SKAoP IV, p. 12. 252. Ibid. 253. 13 August 1686, Sveriges ridderskaps- och adels riksdagsprotokoll 10, p. 337. 254. See above, note 226. On 22 February 1682 and 12 December 1683 there were complaints about the abolition of funeral processions and about reduced income as a consequence of “the new way of burying the dead,” quotation from Sjöstrand, Maria skola, p. 75. 255. In an undated letter to the consistory, the churchwardens in the parishes of Klara, Jacobus, and Maria claim that the “common, old, and poor people in the suburbs,” who had previously used bells and ringing, now no longer maintained this custom since they had been forbidden “school and singing from the houses” and equated with the dead “of foreign religion,” which meant that the churches’ former small income from ringing and the like “is withdrawn and the schools downright destroyed,” SKAoP V, pp. 261f. 256. “Prästeståndets förslag till kyrkoordning 1682,” Kyrkoordningar III, p. 106. 257. “Ridderskapets författade projekt till kyrkoordning anno 1684,” Kyrkoordningar III, p. 297. 258. 1686 års kyrkolag, p. 58. 259. Ibid. The law was unclear, however. Funeral ceremonies in the towns are not specifically mentioned, which was interpreted as meaning that processions were permitted in Stockholm. In 1688 the King in Council declared that the law also regulated matters in Stockholm; Sven Baelter, Historiska anmärkningar (1783), pp. 611f. 260. “Adelns besvär,” 1693, Appendix 6, Sveriges ridderskaps- och adels riksdagsprotokoll vol. 16 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1900), p. 81. 261. Ibid. 262. “Kongl. Maj:ts nådiga resolution och förklaringar uppå ridderskapets och adelns wid denne rijksdagen öfwerlefwererade beswärspunkter och angelägenheter,” Stockholm, 18 November 1693, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, p. 2083. In his own will Charles XI asked that his shroud and coffin should be without “splendor and finery … The coffin plain and simple,” Göran Rystad, Karl XI: En biografi (Lund: Historiska Media, 2001). 263. Sven Bælter, Historiska anmärkningar om kyrkoceremonierna, så wäl wid den offenteliga gudstjensten, som andra tilfällen hos de första christna, och i Swea rike; i synnerhet efter reformationen til närwarande tid (Stockholm, 1783), pp. 618ff.; “Skrivelse från kons. i Stockholm till ärkebiskopen,” 9 March 1700, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 113.



264. “Kongl. Maj:tz placat och förhold emoot de åtskillige otillbörlige excesser och bedrifter, som föröfwas i Stockholm och dess förstäder, widh mångehanda tillfällen, medh skrijkande, ropande, smädande och flere oförrätter,” Stockholm, 4 May 1664, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, pp. 191ff. 265. Ibid., pp. 191f. 266. Ibid., p. 192. 267. Ibid. 268. Ibid., pp. 192f. 269. Ibid., pp. 193f. 270. Ibid., p. 194. The disorder surrounding funeral processions was used by the nobility as an excuse to reject the arguments of the clergy; Appendix 30, Ridderskapets och adelns riksdagsprotokoll 10, Stockholm, pp. 599f. 271. “Kongl. Maj:tz placat och förhold …,” 4 May 1664, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, p. 195. 272. Ibid., pp. 196f. 273. “Förordning om tiggare och almosehion i Stockholms stad,” Stockholm, 4 April 1663, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, pp. 155f. 274. “Kongl. Maj:ts stadga … Adeliga …,” Stockholm, 1664, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, pp. 233ff., quotation p. 223. 275. Ibid., pp. 239f. 276. Ibid., pp. 240f. 277. “Kongl. Maj:ts stadga … borgerliga …,” Stockholm, 1664, ibid., pp. 276f. 278. Ibid., p. 277. 279. Ibid., p. 284. 280. “Kongl. Maj:tz stadga … Adeliga …,” Stockholm, 1668, ibid., pp. 731f. 281. Göran Rystad, “Jönköpings stads historia,” in Birger Sallnäs, Göran Rystad, and Lars Wessman (eds.), Jönköpings stads historia, vol. 2, Från stadens brand 1612 till kommunalreformen 1862 (Jönköping: Kulturnämnden, 1965), pp.  46ff.; Rystad, “Den borgerliga staden,” pp.  720f.; Carl-Fredrick Corin, Självstyre och kunglig maktpolitik inom Stockholms stadsförvaltning 1668–1697, diss. Stockholms högskola (Stockholm: Stadsarkivet, 1958), pp. 107ff.; “Kongl. Maj:tz förordning öfwer Stockholms stads styrelse,” 12 December 1672, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, pp. 1053ff. 282. Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process, new ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994); Henrik Elmgren, Trivialskolan i Jönköping 1649–1820 (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1975). 283. Sveriges ridderskaps- och adels riksdagsprotokoll 10, pp. 430f. 284. Ibid. 285. Ibid., “Skiähl …,” Appendix 30, pp. 599ff.



286. “Kongl. Maj:tz stadga … borgerliga …,” 1664, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, pp.  276f., “Kongl. Maj:tz stadga … adliga …,” ibid., pp.  327ff. In earlier research the ordinances prohibiting excessive luxury were studied mainly for their economic significance. Gunnar Artéus has used the eighteenth-­century ordinances as indicators of the status and relations of different social classes; Gunnar Artéus, “Lysande undantag: Antilyxförordningarna som indikator på officerskårens status i frihetstidens Sverige,” Meddelande/Armémuseum 38 (1977/78), pp. 159–167, and works cited there. Note also Margareta Revera’s thesis about the association between luxury consumption and the market, likewise based on class status and a need to mark distinctions, “1600-tals bönderna och deras herrar: Om jordägande, skatter och samhällsförändring i ljuset av nyare forskning,” in Göran Inger (ed.), Skrifter, vol. 9, Den svenska juridikens uppblomstring i 1600-talets politiska, kulturella och religiösa stormaktssamhälle (Uppsala: Institutet för rättshistoriska studier, 1984), pp. 39ff. As a predecessor of later funeral ceremonies, these processions are discussed by Nils-Arvid Bringéus, Jordafärdens sjungande föregångare (Lund, 1948). On eighteenth-­century burial practices in Sweden, see Mårten Liljegren, Stormaktstidens gravkor, diss., Lund University (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1947). An orientation in the international literature about funerals and processions can be found in Robert Darnton, “The History of Mentalities: Recent Writings on Revolution, Criminality and Death in France,” in Richard Harvey Brown and Stanford M. Lyman (eds.), Structure, Consciousness and History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978). See also Erling Ladewig Petersen, “Conspicuous Consumption: The Danish Nobility of the Seventeenth Century,” Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej 1982:1, and the literature cited in notes 200 and 204 above. 287. “Till borgmästare och rådh i Stockholm om scholae-poikars upklädande,” Stockholm, 13 November 1673, Stiernman, Samling, part 3, p. 1049. In connection with the funeral of Gustavus Adolphus, “the poor people in the streets [were] banished to a special room and received 200 dalers and some barrels of ale,” Johan Grönstedt, Konung Gustav II Adolfs död och likbegängelse (Stockholm, 1912), p. 78. 288. “Skrivelse till Stockholms kons. från kyrkoherden i S.  Klara församling ang. fattigvården” (undated), SKAoP V, pp. 685f. 289. “Kongl. Maj:tz förnyade stadga och förordning, huru med tiggare och fattige, som rätt allmoso behöfwa …,” Stockholm, 21 October 1698, Stiernman, Samling, part 5, pp. 727f. 290. Ingvar Elmroth, “Family Planning as a Diffusion Phenomenon during the l’ancien Régime,” in Göran Rystad (ed.), Europe and Scandinavia: Aspects of the Process of Integration in the 17th Century (Solna: Esselte



studium, 1983), pp.  185ff., 236ff.; Göran Rystad, “The King, the Nobility, and the Growth of Bureaucracy in 17th-Century Sweden,” in Göran Rystad (ed.), Europe and Scandinavia: Aspects of the Process of Integration in the 17th Century (Solna: Esselte studium, 1983), pp. 59ff. Also for major landholders like Johan Gabriel Stenbock, cash incomes were a significant part of their private economy, particularly after the confiscation of their estates; Anders Kullberg, Johan Gabriel Stenbock och reduktionen: Godspolitik och ekonomiförvaltning 1675–1705 (Stockholm: Esselte studium, 1973), pp. 133ff., 147ff. 291. Ibid., p. 229. 292. According to contemporary records, the funeral of Svante Sparre and his two sons in 1662 cost at least 5000 copper dalers, Liljegren, Stormaktstidens gravkor, pp. 22f. Three copper dalers was roughly equivalent to one silver daler (Sten Carlsson and Jerker Rosén, Svensk historia, vol. 1, Tiden före 1718 (Stockholm: Esselte studium, 1978), pp. 566f.), which gives a cost of 1666 silver dalers. This sum may be compared with the annual cash wage paid to employees in the army and civil service departments. In the mid-­seventeenth century regimental commanders were paid 1500 silver dalers in cash and rent equivalent to 100. The officers immediately under them, lieutenant generals, received 750 silver dalers and 100  in rent; Klaus-Richard Böhme, “Officersrekryteringen vid tre landskapsregementen 1626–1682,” in Margareta Revera and Rolf Torstendahl (eds.), Bönder, börd och bördor i 1600-talets Sverige (Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1979), p. 221f. The highest-­paid civil servant earned 1800 silver dalers according to the budget that applied from 1696, Ingvar Elmroth, Nyrekryteringen till de högre ämbetena 1720–1809 (Lund: Gleerup, 1962), pp. 9ff. 293. Revera, “1600-tals bönderna,” p. 40. 294. Peter Englund, Det hotade huset: Adliga föreställningar om samhället under stormaktstiden, diss. Uppsala University (Stockholm: Atlantis, 1989), pp. 241 ff. 295. Clare Gittings, Death, Burial and the Individual in Early Modern England (London: Croom Helm, 1984); Woodward, The Theatre of Death. pp. 1–14. 296. Lawrence Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558–1641 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1965), pp. 178ff.; Gittings, Death, Burial and the Individual. 297. Englund, Det hotade huset, pp. 235 ff. 298. See note 215. 299. See earlier research on this topic, Houlbrooke, Death, Religion and the Family, pp.  255–294; Lawrence Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558–1641 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1965), pp.  178ff.; Gittings, Death, Burial and the Individual.



300. Keith Thomas, Rule and Misrule in the Schools of Early Modern England, the Stenton Lecture (Reading: University of Reading, 1976), pp. 14ff.; Natalie Zemon Davis, “The Reasons of Misrule: Youth Groups and Charivaris in Sixteenth-Century France,” Past & Present, no. 50, pp. 41–75. 301. There were striking differences between the funerals of Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XI. Participating in the former were priests, schoolboys, the women of the court, along with countesses, baronesses, councilors’ wives, “and noblewomen … They were accompanied by selected burghers’ wives and daughters from Stockholm and various other places,” Grönstedt, Konung Gustav II Adolf, pp. 84ff., quotation p. 100. See also the illustration of the funeral procession in Wolgast on 16 July 1633, ibid., pp. 48–49. Charles XI’s funeral procession through the capital was totally dominated by military pomp. The nobility and the court took part in the procession from the royal palace to Riddarholmen Church, while the civil burghers and clergy, along with other countesses, ladies, mademoiselles, and maidens went directly to the church; Johann Georg Rüdling, Supplement til Thet i flor stående Stockholm (Stockholm, 1740), pp. 384ff. See also Lünig, Theatrum Ceremoniale, and compare the ceremonies at the funeral of Charles X Gustavus in 1660, ibid., pp. 575f., and General Torstensson’s in 1651, p.  561, with, e.g., that of General Wrangel in 1707, p. 684. There is no reason to assume, however, that the ordinances issued led to a total transformation of later funeral processions; Bringéus, Jordafärdens sjungande föregångare, e.g., shows similarities in the form of the processions. It should be underlined, however, that the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century funeral processions discussed in ethnological literature did not follow the deceased all the way between the home and the church; they assembled just outside the church; Louise Hagberg, När döden gästar: Svenska folkseder och svensk folktro i samband med död och begravning (Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 1937), pp.  382ff. By all appearances, women took part in these processions among the common people, but there are also reports of women being absent. It is recorded by Linnaeus and others as a curiosity that women took part in the processions, which suggests that female participation may have had a class background and may have varied regionally. In Denmark it began to be customary around 1730 for women not to take part in funerals, ibid., pp. 386f. See also Darnton, “The History of Mentalities,” pp. 117ff., for data on the development in France. Royal funerals continued to be associated with processions up to the funeral of King Charles XIV (Karl XIV Johan) in 1844, when the custom was severely criticized after the chaos in the streets; Rangström, Dödens teater, pp. 192ff.



302. Lünig, Theatrum Ceremoniale, p. 99. 303. Johannesson, “Bellman och ceremonierna,” pp. 98ff., has a very interesting discussion of the “language” of the ceremonies, without considering the social problems that were ventilated. 304. Robert Muchembled, Popular Culture and Elite Culture in France: 1400–1750 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985).


Education for All? Changing Childhoods: Education in Swedish Towns in the Eighteenth Century

The development in the seventeenth century shows that the ability of the state to maintain careful control over religion and norms was probably limited both by the cultural distance between the classes and by the difficulty in creating instruments to reach people in the countryside and the lower classes in the towns. With the coming of what was called “the Age of Liberty” after the fall of absolutism in 1718, government seems to have been less uniform and less able to uphold central control, but it is still possible to carry on the discussion about childhood and education in the similar terms used during the seventeenth century. The changed social structure, however, led to different class relations, and we must begin by outlining these. The end of absolutism allowed a more open discussion. This was partly a result of the ability to conduct political debate in the diet once again, without direct restrictions. Discussions were also carried on in other forums. The press, the cafés, and the bourgeois societies were important arenas for a new type of debate. The public debate engaged and mobilized the new economic interests that gradually grew strong during the eighteenth century. The groups that took part in the public discussion also demanded better insight into state administration and government and also represented competing political interests in the government. According to the “ideal” image of this process of change, the bourgeois public sphere was borne up by the groups from which the nineteenth-­ century bourgeois class was created. In eighteenth-century Sweden, © The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




however, it is most likely difficult to draw clear social dividing lines between the social groups involved in the transformation. There was probably a close connection between the emerging middle class and the older state-­ bearing classes. In the Age of Liberty, there was nevertheless talk of a new “middle estate” (medelstånd). There were probably also groups who took advantage of the public sphere in the political struggle for their own purposes, without belonging to the bourgeoisie. The crucial thing in this context is only that space was created in the eighteenth century for civil political action outside the sphere controlled and organized by the state.1 The political dynamite in the public sphere that began to emerge in the eighteenth century rested in the questioning of an authoritarian and closed government. The public sphere became a tool for political radicalism, for which “public opinion” or “the voice of the general public” were more important than state edicts. In the nineteenth century, the bourgeois sphere was incorporated in the state through the reform of the political system.2 The groups which had previously been engaged in the public sphere marked a critical attitude not only to the state but also to subordinate classes. The broad masses in the eighteenth century were a tempting but dangerous ally for the oppositional bourgeoisie in their struggle with the king and the state administration. Experiences in France proved that. In fact, however, public action was largely a matter of educating and socializing the lower class. The new political sphere gave room for civic action aimed at the moral and cultural elevation of the lower classes and intended as a criticism of the state authorities. Against these new interests, which only slowly influenced the cultural and social foundation of society, were the groups in the upper classes who represented the state established during the seventeenth century. Military officers and civil officials were the framework of a state apparatus that changed very slowly; within the system, they had ample opportunity to safeguard their own interests.3 In a similar way, the clergy who were the cornerstone of the ideological apparatus in the seventeenth century probably retained their integrative role in the eighteenth century by clinging to their privileges and their social and ideological task in the state. The new social relations and reduced control, however, allowed scope for new ideologies. In the countryside, the development entailed polarization in economic and cultural senses between the part of the peasant class who could benefit from the economic transformation and those who could not, the proletarianized strata. The downward social mobility and the rapid population



growth created a stratified society in rural Sweden, a division into those with and those without property. This was expressed in both cultural and political ways. The new class of big farmers became an increasingly powerful political force in the diet and local authorities in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At the same time, the lower class was regarded in a growing number of contexts as a social and political problem. There was, of course, a close link between the new interests in the towns and the transformation of the countryside. The urban merchant houses and the bourgeois class, like the merchant farmers, grew prosperous from the produce of the commercially oriented farming class, and the rural populace increased in significance as a market for the products of urban craftsmen and factories. In the long term, the proletarianized groups would become factory workers in the towns and the countryside.4 Manufacture increased in scope under state protection in the eighteenth century, more or less successfully in towns like Norrköping and Stockholm. In Norrköping the manufactory employees gave the town its social character. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, they accounted at their peak for almost 30% of the population. In Stockholm, by contrast, the factory workers were never more than about 13%–15% of the population, even during the period when production was most intense. Stockholm’s factories declined in the second half of the eighteenth century and the industry was virtually wiped out in the first decade of the nineteenth century. It was a stagnating metropolis.5 The towns exerted a powerful attraction on groups who found it difficult to support themselves in the countryside. Small and medium size towns like Norrkoping and Gothenburg expanded on account of both natural growth and high in-migration. In Stockholm, the urban population did not grow in pace with the in-migration as a result of the high mortality rate. The population of Stockholm rose from about 55,000 to 75,000 between 1700 and 1820, with a distinct drop because of the plague between 1710 and 1720. Between 1760 and 1840, the population oscillated between 65,000 and 75,000 despite large-scale in-migration.6 Interest in public education and school in the eighteenth century must be viewed in association with existing systems of home instruction that was created during the seventeenth century, and with the new class society that developed from the start of the nineteenth century. The debate in the eighteenth century was about the interest in maintaining traditional systems for integration and about new methods of governance, through poor law and street regulations. At times there was considerable concern about



the social and moral conditions of the lower classes. The educational debate in the eighteenth century was also increasingly about how the children of the upper classes could be schooled to become something other than priests and civil servants. Demands were voiced for a bourgeois school—a school for the middle class.7 At the same time, according to a study by Susanna Hedenborg, “a more empathic conception of children and childhood developed.” She argues that it was basically a result of a mental change, although the expansion of education played a role, rather than an effect of the ongoing social transformation. It was a notion of childhood that did not really make a distinction between children of different social classes and gender. Such differences that indeed existed were a consequence of social processes in the labor market or a result of the declining marriage rates. The negative understanding of children who did not go to school did not influence the basic understanding of the universal affective and cognitive capacities now associated with children.8 In this chapter, the focus will be on the change of the system of schooling in Stockholm. The situation in other towns will also be considered. The idea, as before, is to investigate the development of school and public education in relation to social development in urban environments, the physical spaces children inhabited. In this chapter, we will look into the household examinations in Stockholm, church discipline and its challenges, as well as the challenges of containing children from different social strata in the same educational space. This will at the same time be a story about the challenges of urban governance during the seventeenth century.

Examination of Poor and Rich in Stockholm in the Mid-Eighteenth Century In a proposal put forward in 1742 by the cathedral chapter in Lund to improve the educational system, there was an introductory remark that conditions in the towns were different from the countryside and therefore required special measures. In big towns, at least one school was needed for each church. Children should attend this school until “they can read books well and know the catechism by heart; and rehearse the most essential Christian articles according to their age.”9 When it came to the maintenance of the school, the poor children were to be borne in mind particularly, “the children of the destitute, who otherwise go around



begging in the town.” Provision should be arranged so that more prosperous people contributed to a poor box on various occasions, and by having the schoolteacher go around from house to house with the children on Saturdays, reading the epistle and gospel for the following Sunday. After the children had been withdrawn from school to earn their living, in service or in some workshop, they should “without fail” turn up for catechetical examination when their ward of the parish was summoned. Children of better-off people were to be examined once or twice in their homes, that is, “if they do not wish them to attend school together with the children of the poor.”10 This wording suggests that more prosperous people were expected to send their children to the same catechetical school as the children of “the destitute.” The problems are familiar from the debate during the seventeenth century. Church Discipline—A Faulty System of Examination Judging by the statute of 1735, the urban environment was not the best place for a well-functioning system of household examination. The statute underlines the obligation of all members of a household to be examined in the catechism, with instructions on punishment for both unwilling children and unwilling masters. Moreover, catechetical examinations in the big towns were to be divided between rectors and chaplains, so that each was responsible for one district of the parish, “which should however be swapped annually so that as much as possible can be ascertained about how diligent each person has been.”11 The statute also included rules that masters (except those who were well known for their good conduct) and teachers, merchants’ boys, journeymen, apprentices, and servants, when moving away, should apply to the priest to be examined once again and issued with a certificate of their good behavior and knowledge of Christianity. The certificate would then be presented to the priest in the new parish. If a person did not bring this document, the priest was supposed to contact the old parish to find out about the newcomer. The statute also included rules about warnings and fines for clergymen who neglected this. It was the duty of the deans to keep an eye on the clergy and report to the cathedral chapter.12 The wording of this crucial statute shows that the strictness of catechetical examination, in accordance with the clerical charter of 1723,13 could not be applied without problems in big towns. One difficulty was the size of the population; another was the attitude of the people to the work of the clergy. Even the priests needed to



be reminded of their obligations and the hierarchical control had to be revived. By the 1740s, there were already complaints in Stockholm that many people missed catechetical examinations and some never turned up. To counteract this deplorable trend, priests were urged to visit their parishioners in their homes and to examine those who came to receive communion.14 One priest in the town, Bergmarck, noted in his official report for 1753 the measures he had taken because of complaints about the poor knowledge of Christianity. He reported that he held special catechetical examinations to satisfy the requirements of the edict issued by the King in Council that year. In addition, he had begun holding “communion examinations” on account of the circular of 21 May 1745 from the consistory. He then described how he had divided up the parish into different wards which were summoned by turns for examination. He noted that some people, for example, “the old asylum people,” came dutifully to the examinations, while “sometimes rather few, sometimes no one, comes when the ward is summoned, and far fewer on other days,” which he was “forced to view with great discontent.” The problems concerned the island of Sickla, where the only exception was the leaseholder of Hammarby, who turned up with all his servants. The others did not show up. However, the problems did not end with this. Visiting people in their homes was not always satisfactory, as not all the parishioners submitted to examination: I have held household examinations every year, all over the parish, except for one year when I was ill. And not many people have been able to evade this, but there is an inn here not far from Danviken called Tappet. The people who were and are there I have never been able to manage, neither at household examinations nor at examinations in church.… This year I have summoned them twice to examination, but no one came either time, instead replying the second time that they do not belong to the congregation.15

Problems of this kind were not confined to this priest’s parish. The year before, a letter had gone out from the clerical estate to the “brethren at home with some reminders.” The estate urged all the priests in the kingdom to keep the parish registers, and above all lists of catechetical examination, in a “sure, appropriate, and everywhere uniform manner,” so that the people who moved from one parish to another



in whatsoever place they may come to, because of the certificate they were given from the said rolls when moving away, may immediately be tested by their new teachers in all the progress that have already made individually, to then be taught such things as they still require to learn.16

The consistory was asked to submit suitable proposals to this effect to the next diet.17 The following year the consistory in Stockholm decided to follow the recommendation to start keeping examination records according to a standard form. These registers would state not only the parishioners’ age and how much they knew about Christianity, but also, according to their content, certain notes should be issued to servants and workers, which they would be obliged to show to the clergy in whatever parish they might be, as a certificate of the stage at which they were found to be at the last examination and whether they have been able to improve since then.18

Having negotiated with the priests in the town, the consistory thought that each certificate should contain certain information about Christian knowledge. Three classes were to be distinguished: (1) those who were in a state of melancholy and therefore needed care from the clergy; (2) those who “for whatever reason” needed the clergy’s “supervision and inspection of their behavior”; and (3) those who seemed “particularly hopeful.”19 These rather remarkable measures reflected widespread discontent with the religiosity of certain parishioners. It was not only the rector of Danviken who complained. Later the same year, there was discussion of a letter to the governor with complaints about the town’s journeymen. The consistory declared that the clergy were currently encountering serious difficulties in household examinations. Many journeymen not only failed to turn up at the examinations; when the vicar or his assistant visited them in the workshops, “instead of letting themselves be persuaded, they reply that they would have nothing to do with such examinations, and neither would nor could be obliged to attend.”20 In their complaint to the consistory, the clergy stated that this attitude not only made it difficult for priests in their day-to-day work in the parish. It was also clearly a breach of the statute of 1735, which enshrined the obligation of “parents, masters, and mistresses, with all their household, whether children, merchants’ boys, journeymen, or servants,” to attend household examination. Those who failed to do so without just cause were to be punished. The consistory, it



was said, had now arranged to have the 1735 statute read aloud in the parishes. Those refractory individuals who nevertheless continued “refusing to attend examination should answer to the law.” The Stockholm clergy, however, did not consider it possible to enforce punishment. They therefore appealed to the governor to make all the journeymen in the town aware of their “duty and obligation” and moreover, if anyone displayed contumaciousness and aversion, the aldermen should be obliged— when asked by the clergy—to collect the fines stipulated in the law.21 In other words, the consistory deplored the disobedience of both journeymen and masters, but they lacked the means to deal with the problem. Work was nevertheless in progress to find new solutions adapted to conditions in the towns (Fig. 4.1). In their letter to the consistories in 1752, the clergy had asked for suggestions as to how to cope with the problem of the poor Christian

Fig. 4.1  (a, b) Working women. Women working as rowers and water carriers in Stockholm impressed the Italian traveler Magalotti (Lorenzo Magalotti, Sverige under år 1674)



Fig. 4.1  (continued)

knowledge of migrants.22 The consistory in Stockholm had a proposal ready for the next diet. In 1756, they asked their representative in the diet to pursue two points in connection with the debate about the ordinance on servants. First, it was essential to ensure that servants should be obliged to show a discharge note and a priest’s certificate. The care of souls in the parishes was fraught with difficulty, it was said, because these papers were not handed in, came in very late, or did not exist. “And for the same reason it happens that many unknown people live permanently in a parish, claiming that they belong to a different parish from which they have not taken or will not take a priest’s certificate.”23 The second point that the representatives of the clergy were to monitor was that “some measure should be added [to the ordinance on servants] so that numerous people of lower class here in the town will not obstinately refrain from examination.”24 The problem of getting people from the lower classes to attend examination was still acute two years later, in 1758, when the consistory



addressed an inquiry to the archbishop, asking whether the stocks could be used by the parish council as a punishment “against those who for the third time fail to present themselves to catechetical examination or live bad lives in the parish.” Once again reference was made to the statutes of 1723 and 1735. The archbishop felt that this was entitled if the parish council deemed it warranted. His opinion, however, was that it should not be necessary in the town, where assistance could be obtained from the treasurer’s court (kämnärsrätt). He remembered other, better times, for the Lord Archbishop could still recollect that, during the time when he was rector of Saint Clara’s Parish, he did not need to do more than report to the court the misdeeds committed by one or other member of the congregation; whereupon the punishment imposed was either prison or the stocks when so requested by the clergy.25

The desire to maintain the strict church discipline of the seventeenth century could scarcely be described with greater clarity. At the same time, the discussion also reveals the difficulties faced by the clergy on account of the social conditions in Stockholm. Let us consider other examples. In 1758, the same year that the archbishop recorded the statement quoted above in the minutes of the consistory, a priest in the Artillery Parish, named Ruthström, accused the inhabitants of Stockholm of ignorance. He claimed that the congregation in Stockholm, especially the Storkyrkan Parish, was ignorant of crucial elements of the religious message. He claimed that he had met many people who did not understand the first letters in the Word of God, did not know the name of the Savior, and “hundreds” who did not know why they should attend communion. He declared that Christianity was no more than a name for these people and therefore thought that they must be required to convert before they were given communion.26 Ruthström’s accusation had a strong Pietist touch, so we cannot accept his words as a correct description of conditions in Stockholm. Yet his criticism did provoke debate and responses. The vicars repudiated the charges. In some parishes, there were complaints that the servants of the gentry were not given the opportunity to attend examination or tuition. In other parishes the servants were said to be able to take part in church life and were even zealously encouraged to do so. The clergy, however, had certain interests to defend, and the accusations of ignorance among parishioners were indignantly denied by the priests, who resented imputations against



the way they exercised their office, although they could admit that there were serious defects.27 Some priests gave detailed accounts of how they went about examining their parishioners. They declared, for example, that those who proved particularly weak at examination were later visited by the priest, who went through the catechism with them. The priest could visit other people to inspect their behavior.28 Some priests did feel, however, that Christian knowledge was in many respects unsatisfactory but that a certain positive trend could be observed. There was one group of parishioners, however, with whom the clergy were generally discontented: As various members of the town clergy … have informed the Consistory that they have great difficulty at catechetical examinations in keeping track of sailors and factory workers who deliberately stay away time after time, it was decided that letters should be sent both to the Seamen’s Office and to the Royal Chamber of Commerce, that no merchant seamen should be employed, nor should apprentices or journeymen be signed on, unless they can show a proper certificate from the clergy attesting to their knowledge of Christianity.29

The discussions by the clergy and the consistory in the 1750s hint that social conditions had changed since the end of the seventeenth century. The tuition of journeymen, servants, factory workers, and sailors could not be organized as easily within the framework of the household. As for the masters of households, they failed to meet the requirements as much as the servants. Of course, the attitude of the clergy reflects a romanticization of the past, but their arguments show that it was difficult for them to maintain the established system. The means at their disposal were not sufficiently effective in an urban setting.  hurch Discipline—Child Poverty, Street Children, and Manufacturing C Social development in Stockholm gives grounds for claiming that the alleged difficulties were real. The population of Stockholm grew rapidly after the 1720s. By 1760, the population had risen from about 45,000 to 69,000.30 The increase of people of reproductive age was greatest in the 1740s as a consequence of the high mortality and the heavy in-­migration,31 which must have affected the number of children and young adults who needed tuition in the household. The support given to the factories by the Hat Party also meant that the number of workers employed in Stockholm



culminated at the start of the 1760s. They then numbered around 8000, not counting those working at home.32 Social conditions in the crafts also changed dramatically in the mid-eighteenth century. In many cases, the living conditions of journeymen and their families were no better than those of factory workers, casual laborers, and soldiers. The margin between income and expenses, according to Ernst Söderlund’s calculations, was “very narrow.” The number of married journeymen (outside the building trade) increased greatly between 1740 and 1770. Söderlund described this change as “one of the most important and most radical in the social structure of the artisan class in the whole of the eighteenth century.”33 The period was characterized by a serious deterioration in the social conditions of the journeymen. The journeymen in Stockholm had limited chance of becoming masters, and together with the workers in the manufactories they made up a labor proletariat.34 In the mid-eighteenth century, there was consequently an increase in the social groups who had formerly been subordinated to masters, at least in formal terms. The status of craft workers vis-à-vis the masters was weakened, yet this did not mean that the masters’ interest in the moral upbringing of their subordinates was strengthened.35 If anything, the clergy’s complaints show that the control was neglected. Soldiers also had difficult conditions. Wages in the 1760s were still paid according to the budget of 1696. In 1756, it was pointed out that inflation and other circumstances had reduced the value of the pay to about a quarter. It also became increasingly difficult to obtain extra income by performing services for private persons.36 Carl August Ehrensvärd pointed out that poverty and destitution made it impossible to achieve “a decent and useful troop of soldiers.”37 Ehrensvärd’s view of the soldiers’ conditions was shared by the rector of Hedvig Eleonora Parish, who wrote a proposal for the reorganization of poor relief in 1747, in which he argued that soldiers’ pay was not sufficient to provide for a family. Those soldiers who were unable to work extra on account of extended duty or lack of work had to “suffer need with their family, if their circumstances are such that they are seldom or never granted leave from serving the Crown without the slightest increase in pay.”38 The situation of families became disastrous. Destitution drove women to beg in the streets—alone or together with their children. The children who did not accompany their mothers in the streets were left “crying so much as to lose their health and perhaps their lives too.” As soon as



children could walk, they went around the streets in crowds to beg. The priest deplored the sight of “children small from hunger, cold, and lack of care, blackly pale, and emaciated.” In the streets they attacked people with “begging and shouting” and never learned any “virtue,” only swearing, drinking, smoking, devilry, fighting, roguery, etc. In the home, they see bad examples in their godless parents, “who bite like pigs at an empty trough.”39 These horrific visions recur in other contemporary descriptions. The social conditions as described by paupers’ doctors and priests are merely variations on the same theme.40 The accounts can be confirmed in other ways. Mortality in Stockholm in the mid-eighteenth century was roughly twice as high as in the countryside. According to calculations from 1770, the share of the population in outright destitution was about 12% and stand out in comparison with the mortality rates in other urban centers.41 Certain measures were taken on behalf of orphans. An orphanage was established for small children under the auspices of the police board in 1755, and the public orphanage increased its intake thanks to improved resources in the second half of the eighteenth century. At the start of the 1750s, the diet allocated funds to establish a home for soldiers’ children. In the 1750s, special money was also granted for the starving children of poor factory workers and others.42 The solutions that were adopted did not always proceed from the family as the basic unit. From a mercantilist perspective, child labor was an excellent way to solve the poverty problem. The rector of Hedvig Eleonora Parish, for example, declared that to prevent this evil [begging], our factories are the most proper and best means, for it is known that work is available there, some heavy, some light, indeed work of such a kind that children aged 8 and 9, and old people aged 60 and 70, can easily perform it and thus earn their bread.43

This optimistic view was shared by the manufacturer Erik Salander, who expressed similar ideas in 1754.44 In 1765, the factory deputation informed the diet that it was pleased at “the uncommon skill in spinning wool and cotton displayed by all the small children of only five years here in the town.”45 In reality, however, it was not so common for such young children to work in the factories.46 The general social conditions among the working population of Stockholm probably did not create ideal conditions for carrying on home tuition in the Lutheran faith. It was the social destitution that was the



background to the consistory’s complaints rather than a romantic notion of the past. Discussions during the diet of 1765–1766 also attest that both the desire and the ability of the authorities to enforce church discipline according to the old model had been undermined by social changes. Church Discipline—New Regulations In a detailed report the rector of Klara Parish, J. C. Hauswolff, criticized the decline in Christianity and the deplorable church discipline. He lamented that it was so difficult to get catechetical examinations to work “in their proper order.” Assistance failed to come from the authorities even though they had been provided with long lists of people who had been abusive to priests.47 Nor was any action taken against crimes committed by people who scorned the sabbath, adulterous men and women, or drinkers, let alone neglect of catechetical examinations. The secular authorities—both high and low—did not make themselves available when the priests were obstructed in their work.48 The complaints were referred to an ecclesiastical deputation. This discussed the matter on two occasions but concluded that the problems could not be dealt with immediately since they had developed over a long time. The matter was dismissed. The discussion mainly focused on the negative attitude of the upper classes to public worship. An improvement on this point would also lead the lower classes to attend services.49 At the end of the second meeting, conditions in Stockholm were discussed. Johan Iverius, assistant rector of Klara Parish,50 suggested that a special education commission should be set up to “investigate and examine how both parents and masters fulfill their duties in this.” In addition, the commission should lend the clergy a helping hand so that the “statutes on religion” would be “duly observed and executed” by courts and officials. The assistant rector requested permission to present a more detailed proposal at the next meeting.51 From the fact that Iverius and Hauswolff served together at Klara Church, and from the way in which the proposal was formulated, it is clear that the two proposals are closely related.52 The following meeting was presented with a proposal to establish a “Consistorium mixtum” which would have the duty of managing education. This new body would appoint quartermen with the duty of reporting on the behavior and child rearing, etc. of those who live in their quarter and district: whereby it may



be supposed that competition in diligence and propriety could be achieved among youth but also [?] and the statute of religion would be observed with the due sanctity that has hitherto been lacking.53

The proposal did not provoke any immediate enthusiasm. The members decided to reflect on it and return at a later meeting. The discussion was resumed on 3 July, when it mainly concerned the importance of diligent instruction in the catechism. It was pointed out that the Church Act of 1686 had actually given wise recommendations on this but that the clergy in practice had devoted more time to preaching than to explaining the catechism and examining people on it. Sermons without examinations had no effect. It was pointed out that it was desirable in the towns to assemble “the meaner people” after service to examine them.54 Doubts were expressed, however, about the proposal to appoint quartermen since their duties would be far too extensive, and the idea of a commission was alien to the priests, since the care of the parish was the task of the clergy alone. Despite their negative views, there was indirect recognition for Iverius’s perception of the problems. In the countryside, it was pointed out, parents could be informed in connection with the household examinations that they had obligations toward their children and servants, whereas in the towns, “where it is accepted by the more high-born that they do not present themselves at such examinations, the matter cannot be so easily helped.”55 It has not been possible to follow the discussion in the diet on these problems. The opinion that existed among the clergy in Klara Parish in favor of a system of quartermen to supervise behavior had no immediate consequences. Later we can see the result of the opinion. However, the King in Council did issue an ordinance in December 1765, showing that the criticism did not pass unheard. The ordinance concerned “castigation and punishment for those who neglect to attend catechetical examinations” and began with a retrospective look at the current ordinances from 1723 and 1735. The King in Council had “learned with displeasure that, when the clergy turn up to conduct such examinations,” many of the parishioners fail to come, despite having been told two or three times before. Moreover, they avoided “all occasions the preacher could have to give them necessary reminders.” The King in Council therefore decided that parents, masters, and mistresses who failed to attend household examinations should pay a fine of eight öre and half that sum for each child or servant. That sum applied to offenses in Stockholm. In other towns and in



the countryside, the fines were half that level. Fines were doubled everywhere for the second and third offense. If this did not help, the parish council was to impose further fines or the stocks “on one or more Sundays” after a decision by the church council. If they persisted in their recalcitrance, the next stage was to report them to the court. Children who did not obey orders to attend examination and “acquisition of their Christian knowledge” would first be warned and then “be beaten by the parents in the presence of the parish vestrymen.”56 The rules were given a traditional form but must be perceived as responses to the complaints in the diet, where conditions in Stockholm were highlighted. The statute chiefly concerned the towns. On another point the Stockholm clergy gained a hearing for their views, albeit only in the text of the law. According to the renewed factory ordinance of 1770, “all tradesmen and masters” were urged to keep their apprentices and workers in the fear of God and Christian behavior, “and have them enjoy due tuition in reading and Christian knowledge when it can most appropriately be given. Anyone who hinders them from attending the ordinary household examinations shall be fined two dalers. If a worker neglects he shall pay as much.”57 In addition, the apprentice had to be able to show a priest’s certificate that he had sufficient Christian knowledge before he could be issued with a journeyman’s diploma.58 The link between a journeyman’s diploma and Christian knowledge had been discussed by the consistory at the end of the 1750s. * * * The conclusion that can be drawn from the discussions in the consistory and in the diet, from the ordinances, and from social development in Stockholm in the mid-eighteenth century is that the education problem was increasingly assuming the character of a class issue. It was clearly not a matter of shared social environments with catechetical and home examination of craftsmen’s households; all the groups from which a working class would later emerge were perceived as problematic. In other words, it was no longer just widows’ children and street urchins who had to be brought into the system, but journeymen, sailors, apprentices, and laborers, and all the social groups that were in service under the local and central government. Nor could the new groups be reached through the households and



masters. Neither masters nor parents seemed interested in maintaining the control systems. The integration of adults in production and in the societal ideology are beyond the scope of this work.59 However, the changes in the ability or desire of households and families to pass on the ideology legitimated by society is relevant to the problems discussed here. The difficulty in which the seventeenth-century model for domestic tuition found itself in the mid-eighteenth century means that there is reason to look once again at the design of the schools and other measures for integrating lower-class children in society. In the mid-eighteenth century, the problems of organizing household instruction also led to the establishment of schools for working children as well as a discussion about the content and role of the church schools and the trivium school. Schools for Working Children in Stockholm The school system in Stockholm was affected by population growth and an increase in the proletariat. The geographical concentration of poor people outside parish boundaries, along with the rising numbers of factory workers, would necessitate the foundation of new schools in Stockholm. Earlier literature on the schools of Stockholm cites sources which show that there is no reason to question the picture of the schools as institutions for the poor.60 The social recruitment of the schools will be discussed later in this chapter. The stance of the consistory on a new school ordinance for Stockholm in the 1750s suggests that the tasks and social character of the school were perceived as problematic. That discussion will round off this chapter, but let us begin with the tuition of the children who were working. The attitude of the consistory to child labor is evident from its correspondence with Eric Salander at Barnängen. In a letter from 1753, the consistory describes conditions at the Barnängen factories. They had previously drawn attention to conditions among the children who were in training at the factories and whose parents also worked there. For the consistory, it was not sufficient that the children worked. These children were not being taught how to read and they could not learn anything about Christianity “since they cannot attend any school on account of the work by which they must earn their living daily.” Nor was it possible for the school staff in Katarina Parish to teach the children “at precisely those times when the children might be free.” Some of the children could not even understand Swedish “so that the



Factory Commissioner Salander, who was questioned about this by the Consistory, had to attest with anxiety that the whole lot, the foreigners and the natives, grow up scarcely better than pagans.”61 The letter from the consistory resulted in a demand that public funding was essential to employ a teacher to instruct the working people, someone with the personal qualifications to teach both “the older and the young working people, for their edification and improvement in Christian knowledge and fear of God.” The teacher should moreover have a command of the German language. In support of its appeal, the consistory stated that the laborers had declared themselves willing to contribute part of the money, and they complained that their children, who had to number eighty at the said factory, as regards Christianity grow up like wild trees in the forest, thus declaring how little use it is to learn how to earn their bread if it is to be feared that they suffer damage to their souls.62

The consistory did not achieve much with this letter, and it is evident from a later one that neither the factory office nor other bodies felt that they could afford to employ a teacher. The consistory, however, had appointed a priest to teach the children, although without pay.63 The consistory, according to the letter, felt compelled to take this measure after Eric Salander had informed them that children at the above-mentioned factories who were born of Evangelical parents really learn improper and superstitious opinions from their daily intercourse with the Catholics, unless a suitable teacher is appointed in time, through whose care it may be possible to implant virtue and honor in the children.64

The letter resulted in yet another request that the factory office pay for a teacher.65 The King in Council responded harshly to this. The teacher who had evidently already been appointed relieved the town’s church schools of the children who would otherwise have gone there. The teachers at these schools should thus help the teacher at Hammarby and share his burden. It was not until the next diet that it was possible to make a decision as to whether to pay a wage to the teacher at Hammarby.66 After all these setbacks, the teacher who worked at Hammarby found it necessary to remind the consistory the following year about his lamentable



situation. He requested a salary through the agency of the consistory, with reference to all the work he had expended without getting anything in return. He evidently thought that this would be an advance on the salary that it was hoped the diet would grant. The picture of the interior in which he worked is worth quoting, despite its tendentious content: With four hundred silver dalers in salary, as the factory commissioner Salander has proposed, I would be more than content: but in consideration of the fact that I sweat daily with a crowd of children of both sexes, stinking of train oil, slovenly and mostly laden with vermin, whom I must teach the a,b,c,d book, either wild or sheepish, on account of their poor former education, and with daily home visits to the largely coarse working people, of all three major religions, for which high costs for clothes cannot be avoided, to say nothing of these expensive times, and my absence from the town itself, which also causes great trouble and expense.67

The teacher requested a sum of 2000 copper dalers, which he said was half of what the teachers at the church schools were paid.68 That same year, a deputation from the consistory inspected conditions at the school. Those present, apart from the two representatives of the consistory, were the factory commissioner Salander and the children’s teacher Anders Molander. The inspection, however, was far too superficial. The children were not examined, since the closest responsible parish priest was indisposed and could not be present. Nor did they speak with the parents “because Mr. Commissioner Salander was thoroughly familiar with all the circumstances serving as information.”69 The members of the consistory, however, were much more interested in the extent to which Molander absented himself from his teaching duties, in whether boys and girls were taught together, whether they were left alone at times, and so on. Molander himself was given an opportunity to voice his complaints. According to the report, his income was uncertain and small, and many children only turned up infrequently. For this reason, the level of knowledge was rather low. The latter could be corrected, in Molander’s opinion, if he was permitted to hold “examina catecetica” in connection with home visits. He complained, moreover, about the difficulty of instructing the Catholic children in the pure doctrine.70 Salander was also interested in the tuition carried on at the factory. This is evident from his earlier actions. In 1754, he had been firmly opposed to a proposal from the Board of Trade that the children of the German



spinning women should be placed in the orphanage so that the women would not be hindered in their work. Salander wanted to keep the 95 children at the factory, but with instruction in Christianity. Children who were raised for “work and misery” would only be spoiled at the orphanage, besides which the mothers, who now worked diligently to provide for their children, would risk becoming “lazy and dissolute” as a result of this freedom. Like other factory owners and masters, he wished to give the mothers cash support when needed so that they could have the children with them.71 Since the children could only attend school at times when they were working for their living, there was probably also a material interest in having the children with their mothers. This did not prevent Salander from expressing a positive opinion of tuition and schooling at the consistory’s inspection in 1755. His argument is a fairly clear illustration of a factory owner’s interest in offering opportunities for tuition at the factory, and of the way he saw the association between school, religion, and factory production. Salander expressed his hope that a public school could be built at the factory. It could then be used for morning and evening prayers for all the workers. This would moreover give proper dignity to the school since “in the Commissioner’s opinion it would be the surest way to give the loose-living factory workers a taste for religion, order, and fear of God.”72 Salander was willing to contribute money and day labor on condition that the owners of the adjacent factories also took part in the project.73 Salander’s positive attitude in connection with the visit by the consistory may not have been fully genuine, but occasioned by the criticism of conditions at the factories. In 1758, there were still complaints at the consistory meetings about the poor Christian knowledge of the factory workers. This was also discussed in general terms in the ordinance of 1765. The factory ordinance of 1770, as we have seen, meant that the workers could not be prevented from visiting household examinations and that journeymen had to show a priest’s certificate.74 The employment of a teacher at Barnängen was evidently due to the inability of the workers to teach their children the correct evangelical doctrine, and the reluctance of the factory owners to fulfill their “moral” obligations. At the end of the 1750s, a new school was founded in Djurgården. This can be directly associated with the growth of a poor population unable to give their children the necessary tuition. In a letter to the governor, the consistory justified the need for the school with reference to the parents’ poverty and the distance to the church school in Ladugårdslandet. If the



distance had been smaller, it would evidently have been taken for granted that these poor children should attend the church school in Ladugårdslandet.75 The schoolteacher was to answer to the consistory. Parents who could not pay for tuition, as certified by the priest, would have their children taught free of charge.76 The statutes of the school show that the children’s schooling here too presupposed a positive interest on the part of the parents. If the children were absent without leave they were to be punished with “a reasonable school beating and finally, if such occurs more frequently, with the approval and knowledge of the rector they are to be expelled completely from the school.”77 The school in Djurgården differed in certain respects from the ordinary church schools. Both boys and girls were admitted. Tuition did not go beyond what was required for pupils who, according to the consistory’s school ordinance, intended to “earn their bread by a trade.” However, the children had to follow the same course: apart from the religious texts they studied “Latin, the ABC book, and reading, writing, and arithmetic.”78 The consistory’s school ordinance from 1752 evidently served as the model for the school established in Djurgården (see the next chapter), but it was not considered necessary to teach the extra courses stipulated in the same ordinance.79 Children who learned the catechism were also to be told by the teacher “to attend the household examinations held at Djurgården at half past ten on the apostles’ days.”80 The teachers’ tasks were very closely connected to the clerical and ecclesiastical functions. It is clear, however, that the school, despite this, was initially perceived as part of the “ordinary” educational system. In correspondence about the appointment of a suitable teacher for the Djurgården school it was referred to as a pedagogi.81 In an 1814 report to the education committee, it was called “the Djurgården poor school.”82 Teaching the poor, or to use the vocabulary of the consistory, “those who do not seek anything other than eventually to earn their living through some trade,” was of a different type from what was formally offered pupils in the church schools.83 Population growth also had consequences in other parishes. Another school was founded in 1764, this time in the parish of Johannes, “to be more convenient for the poor children who live around here and have a long and troublesome way down to St Jacobus, especially in autumn and spring.”84 The schools in Djurgården and Johannes would in future



occupy a special position among the public schools in that they did not offer instruction in the higher courses of the school ordinance.85 There was no compulsion to attend the church schools or the Djurgården school. Schooling was based on the voluntary participation of parents and pupils. This voluntary attendance was not always sufficient, despite the material advantages that school could bring.86 In 1776, the consistory published an announcement criticizing the schoolchildren’s negligence. It denounced all the “hindrances and disorder” that arose because the children neglected their schooling, and the parents then stated that the children had been absent with their approval, “even though the children’s own self-will is often enough the major reason.”87 In other words, the consistory questioned whether the children’s absence really was justified, and doubted whether it could rely on the parents’ support in the disciplining of the children. In addition, the consistory did not approve of the children leaving the school without having received a statement of their progress and character from their teachers. They should have a certificate which could likewise serve as necessary information no less for the parents themselves or those in charge of the children than for the clergy at the first communion for such youths, and for those by whom the children may subsequently be taken into service.88

The consistory’s complaints in 1776 were seemingly occasioned by difficulties in getting the pupils to stay on in school. The children and their parents did not have the same attitude to school as the teachers and the priests. The consistory urged parents to ensure that the pupils attended school diligently and without interruption. Only in extreme emergencies could they neglect school, and then only with permission from the teachers. Otherwise the teachers would be obliged to “order children to comply with their duty through reasonable chastisement and corporal punishment.” If their behavior did not change, the teachers would be entitled to expel “such depraved” pupils from further tuition. Moreover, the children would not be allowed to return to the school unless a new school fee was paid.89 The consistory thus tried to introduce the disciplinary rules already discussed in the school ordinance of 1752.90 It is worth noting in this context that the consistory explicitly associated school with the preparations for first communion. Here, then, as at the end of the seventeenth century, we can see a hint of conflicting interests between the parents and the church authorities.



Schools for Children of the Busy Official, the Industrious and Prosperous Merchant, the Diligent Artisan—Or the Thugs of the Streets? The education was also affected by another conflict, that between the character of school as a place teaching only literacy and the catechism, a school teaching the trivium or the skills needed for commercial activities. This conflict had its roots in the seventeenth-century school system, where there was no clear organizational sign of the difference between urban public education and the trivium school. They were parts of the same system.91 The 1724 school ordinance meant changes in this respect, however. It reintroduced “the reckoning class” as a separate unit in the trivium school, and it formulated distinct entrance requirements for the first class of trivium school. In the words of the statute, “the boys should be able to read Swedish before they come to school.” The first class had thereby lost the name it had in the 1693 school ordinance, alfabetica.92 The wording in the school ordinance does not give the impression that the requirement of literacy was absolute; the pupils should be able to read on admission. Other regulations in the school ordinance, however, show that the first instruction in reading ought to take place somewhere other than the trivium school. In the section about the pupils’ parish collections, it was clear that the financing of the primary schools in the towns was not really equated with the financing of the trivium schools, high schools, and bigger schools. It was the duty of the consistory to ensure that the funds from the parish collections that the trivium schools had formerly lost should now be restored to them, but the towns should support their primary schools themselves.93 The 1724 school ordinance stated clearly that primary school tuition should be separate from trivium school and financed in other—less clear—forms. The rules are fully compatible with the changed entrance requirements and with the orientation of the established public education to teaching reading and the catechism. The discussions in the 1750s reveal that people questioned the large number of poor children and the school’s dual character of ABC school and trivium school. It was argued that school should no longer devote itself to the “abecedarians,” as the learners were called. In Stockholm, as we have seen, the school system consisted of a trivium school and the suburban schools. The latter continued to consist of three or four classes, the first of which was devoted to teaching reading and the catechism. It was run by a pedagogus according to the 1690 budget for the school system in



Stockholm. In the eighteenth century, unlike the case in some smaller places, primary tuition there was also integrated in the same school as the trivium school. Until 1819/1820, schooling in Stockholm was regulated by the 1690 budget.94 In Gävle, Hudiksvall, and Jönköping the distinction between the different forms of education was maintained throughout the eighteenth century, but not entirely and not without debate. In Gävle, the post of pedagogue which had been established by Svebilius in 1699 was abolished in 1716.95 In the following decades, the school continued to recruit children without the skills in reading required by the 1724 ordinance. These children occasioned a conflict between the school and the town government. The headmaster of the trivium school demanded in a couple of letters that the town should establish a post of pedagogue so that the lowest class of the trivium school could avoid having the abecedarians and those who could not read Swedish. The idea was simultaneously that the funds reserved for the trivium school’s pedagogue should be divided among the other teachers.96 The borough administration and the county governor of Gävle thought that it was mainly children from the countryside that would use the services of a pedagogi and felt that the town could not finance a school of this kind.97 The cathedral chapter expressed its support for the trivium school’s proposal,98 but the King in Council resolved the problem through a decision in May 1735 to distribute the funds for the salary between the school’s other teachers without simultaneously forcing the town to establish a school.99 The consequence of the decision was that the cathedral chapter in October of the same year declared in a letter to the headmaster that, in keeping with the school ordinance, he should not accept any of the town children until “they can read Swedish.” The other children were not to be obstructed in their studies.100 The consistory also brought up the matter at the next meeting of the clergy in 1736, where it was decided that the priests should diligently ensure that the children were taught by the sexton and that the parents should be urged not to send their children to school with no knowledge, so that they “are not too troublesome for the docenti in the school and do not obstruct the other schoolchildren.”101 The consistory returned to these problems ten years later. Because of the complaints that the pupils from Uppsala were said to run around with beggars’ certificates which they claimed had been issued by the headmaster, the appeal to the parish priests was repeated: they were to refuse if any of their



parishioners asked to send their children to the school unless the children were unusually gifted.102 A few years later, the dean of Hudiksvall asked that rectors who sent children from their parishes to school should ensure that they were taught by competent persons so that the abecedarians or pupils with poor spelling skills did not encumber the teachers and hinder the other pupils. The problems were considered from a more distinct social perspective with a linkage to family circumstances. The priests in the parishes, who best know the circumstances of the parents who send their boys to the trivium school, must advise the penniless to give up books, especially those with little talent, and adopt “vitae genus” in time, so that the school and the town may not be burdened with penniless schoolboys, especially when their mothers appear with more children, looking for food through begging.103

Evidently not all the country children who came to the schools in the towns did so solely with ambitions to pursue a career. It is against this background that we should understand the complaints about begging schoolboys. Rules on the supervision of beggars in the parish were tightened, and pupils were obliged to attend school at the proper times.104 The school was obviously attractive as a potential way of earning an income. The cathedral chapter sustained the complaints with reference to the school ordinance and to earlier decisions by the synod. The schools were not to be overloaded with “useless” pupils; those who were “destitute” and “incompetent” should do something other than “bungle” studies.105 In Jönköping, the borough administration discussed in 1770 how a “crowd of pauper’s children run around the streets of the town and spend their time in idling and other annoying behavior, whereby they have increasing occasion to grow up in vice.”106 The mayor consulted the headmaster of the trivium school about suitable measures. He was not wholly opposed to the idea of looking after the children in his school, hinting that a new teaching post was necessary. The school had not had a pedagogue since 1675. He was prepared to provide the premises and be responsible for discipline, but the tuition was not to be regarded as an integral part of the trivium school. In Jönköping too, the rules of the school ordinance were repeated, that pupils had to be able to read on admission to school.107 These requirements tell us nothing about the extent to which poor children really were excluded from the trivium schools. We may suppose



that the reality did not conform to the ambitions. There were complaints in Gävle in 1762 about the lack of schools for the children of the poor.108 The headmaster of the trivium school pointed out that the poor parents could not keep their children in school long enough to be able to read “whatever Swedish book is set before them, except the Hymn Book.” By all appearances the headmaster was not content with the literacy of the pupils but sometimes had to admit children who could not read properly, since this was the message of a previous ruling in the consistory. Now he wished that it were possible to require “of everyone, without distinction, complete skill in Swedish.”109 The consistory made a declaration in accordance with the wishes of the trivium school. According to its stance on 30 September 1763, “no one should be admitted to the Trivium School except those who, besides knowing the main points of the Catechism by heart, can spell correctly and read Swedish well, from whatever book is put before them, and who also are exercised in reading Latin.”110 We could scarcely find a clearer expression of the insufficiency of the church’s reading tradition, as measured by school standards. The differences with respect to public education appear even more clearly than before when we see that the cathedral chapter, after less than a month, spoke in favor of establishing a children’s school where the children of the poor inhabitants of the town, “of both sexes,” could be instructed in “the main points of Christianity.”111 The cited school authorities were thus expressly interested in marking the dividing line vis-à-vis public education and hence the poorer and more ignorant pupils. This development was also seen in Stockholm in the middle of the century. In 1752, the consistory there took a position on a new school ordinance, according to which the aim of schooling depended on the expected career of the pupils. The threefold mission of the schools— public education, equipping children for “the trades,” and preparing them for higher education—is clearly distinguishable: Children admitted to the church schools can be classified in three ways according to the way of life they choose. . those who seek no more than to earn their living through some craft; 1 2. those who intend to apply themselves to commerce and for that reason wish to go somewhat farther than the others in arithmetic; 3. those who intend to go to the trivium school and from there to the academy.112



The Stockholm school ordinance satisfied some of the views expressed about the school system by the headmaster of the trivium school a few months earlier. The headmaster had stressed the right of the authorities to promote the general welfare of society through the instruction and upbringing of the young. With this purpose in mind, it was necessary to distinguish three categories of children. The students proper were to be taught the learned sciences in order to become teachers in the parishes or to work “in higher and lower seats of learning” in the kingdom. The political or state youths were to be taught the subjects necessary for the civil service, the armed forces, the court, and for public office in the towns and counties. The third class comprised “simple citizens”, farmers, craftsmen, and “the like in the body of the state.”113 The division of the young into different classes also required a division of education. All categories of children had to acquire the “general” education and then acquire different knowledge separately. The latter was not specified, but the general education was stated to comprise Christian knowledge, knowledge of the human body and soul, nature, enough morality so that the pupils could abide by the laws, fear God, and honor and obey their superiors. A central purpose of this school was to identify the gifted children, who were to be separated from the others after all the pupils had received their general education. This was a crucial point, “for otherwise all the youths will be unhappy, at least less happy, who are taken away from the goal that nature itself has set up for them.” The consequences were also difficult from another point of view. Society and science would suffer irreparable harm if the authorities neglected to sort out the geniuses.114 The organizational consequences of these views were of course stricter regulation of everyday school activities, the governance of the schools—timetables and planning—and closer control of the pupils’ upbringing and discipline. It was also important to mark in different ways which pupils were suited for different tasks. It was the duty of the authorities to regulate all this.115 These views of education, which had consequences for Stockholm’s schools, were fully in line with the tendencies we noted in the discussion in Gävle. According to the proposal, funds were to be transferred from the church schools to the trivium school, which would thus be better equipped to provide the special education, while the remaining church schools would be geared exclusively to general education. Selection of the pupils suitable for promotion to the trivium school would then take place in the church schools.116 No express distinction was made between poor and



well-off pupils, and the general education for all children comprised more than just religious knowledge. None the less, these discussions can be linked to the interest in regulating relations between different types of education, an interest that reflected the contemporary demands for education adjusted to civic needs.117 With this purpose, the school system in the capital had to make a clear distinction between different schools with different recruitment and different purposes. According to the proposal, private education was to be restricted in the interests of the state and society.118 The 1752 school ordinance in Stockholm corresponded in some respects to the proposal. A clear formal distinction was made between the different “ends” of school. In the first class, children were to learn how to read Swedish and Latin and “know the Lutheran catechism by heart and also have some idea of how to understand and explain it.” In the reality that was Stockholm, this was to be the tuition that would be offered to “all children, without distinction, who have not previously had a tutor.”119 The other extensive changes discussed by the headmaster of the trivium school were not implemented in the school organization. The distinction between the different types of tuition was, however, noted in the school ordinance. Judging by the subsequent discussion, the changes did not correspond to the ambitions expressed by the schools and others interested in reform. A headmaster at the trivium school later returned to the problems in a memo and a draft school ordinance from 1779. The aim of these documents was that school should be reorganized so that “not only the children of the simple people but also those of the middle estate and those of more distinguished rank could there be sure to receive an education corresponding and adjusted to their need and destination.”120 The town’s educational institutions should consist of a “Pedagogical Children’s School, a Trivium School, a Gymnasium, and a Mathematical Class or Realskola [a kind of junior secondary school].”121 For the school system to be organized according to this plan required major changes. A new primary school had to be founded, since the parish of St Nicolai, Riddarholmen, and the Finnish parish had hitherto sent their children to the trivium school in the city of Stockholm. The new primary school would be a common institution “to which the children of less prosperous parents living within the bridges could be admitted as soon as they can read Swedish books without difficulty.” In the trivium school proper no children would be accepted who, in addition to this ability, had not learned Luther’s catechism and the explanations and some Latin grammar.122 The proposals for the



reorganization of the Stockholm school system had a progressive character that was highly geared to bourgeois interests. The focus was on civic education for the new middle class.123 The interesting thing about the discussions is the willingness to mark the need for a school for better-off groups, at a distance from public education. In this respect, there were needs in Stockholm too. According to information in connection with headmaster Murbeck’s proposal in 1752, prosperous parents had sent these children to provincial schools to avoid the Stockholm schools. Private tuition in Stockholm and other places, however, tended to be too expensive, and therefore a higher school was needed in Stockholm.124 It seems as if the conflict between public education and higher education in the provincial towns was partially resolved in the course of the eighteenth century through a demarcation between the pedagogi as a form of tuition attached to public education and the trivium school proper. Despite the discussions, the structure in Stockholm was not altered. Public education continued to be integrated in the trivium school through the church schools. The problems identified in Stockholm may also be relevant to Gothenburg. In the first half of the eighteenth century, the consistory there tried to get well-off people to send their children to the public school system. The teachers at the school did extensive private tutoring, and together with the other private schools, they were serious competition for the trivium school. In the 1760s, the cathedral chapter tried to curb private tutoring through an offer that pupils could receive private tuition as a class within the class.125 Pupils at the school were mainly recruited from among the poorest people in the town, accounting for well over half of the pupils at the end of the eighteenth century. The work of the school was mainly confined to elementary instruction, since the vast majority of the pupils attended only the lowest of the school’s four classes and the “writing class.”126 It is therefore unlikely to be a coincidence that the school was described in the newspaper Den Götheborgske Spionen in 1770 as “a schola pauperum, because finding one wealthy man’s son among the 70 or perhaps more children would be a miracle.”127 The information about the Gothenburg school system hints that the possibility of demarcating the trivium school from public education differed at different places in Sweden. A more exhaustive discussion would require closer examination of the school system in other towns; that cannot be attempted here, but the conditions evidently existed in Gothenburg,



as in other towns, for social distancing from the pauper character of the trivium school.128 A study of the social origin of all schoolchildren in Sweden, conducted in 1747 by the Education Committee, is of some value for our purposes. According to it, 31 children were noble, 632 were children of clergymen, 841 were burgher children, 1019 children of peasants, and 1727 were children of nonnoble persons of rank and officials, “of estate owners, mill owners, public and private servants, workers, day laborers, enlisted soldiers, and others, who are not normally classified in the Estates of the Realm.”129 This division into estates chiefly shows that the schools recruited a large share of their pupils outside the traditional social boundaries of the established nomenclature. The classification does not allow us to draw any conclusions, but according to Wilhelm Sjöstrand the “intermediate social strata” strengthened their position in the educational system toward the end of the eighteenth century. In 1780, the custom of the parish collection was prohibited, which probably had the consequence that poor pupils had less chance of utilizing the school system to earn a living. After 1790, the crown tax collectors collected the “pupils’ money” (dieknepenningar) that was supposed to finance the school system, which meant that the pupils lost this source of revenue, the “food tax.”130 The statement that pupils in the trivium school in Stockholm were issued “parish certificates” was noted for the last time in the school journal in 1780.131 Yet this did not mean that it was no longer possible to support oneself by attending school. According to a decision in the Maria Parish in 1783 and a letter from the consistory in 1805, schoolboys were to receive their share of the money from singing at funerals in church; in the latter case, they received half of the takings. Until the 1850s it was still possible for penniless children to earn a certain income from singing at funerals in the church.132 In Stockholm, however, the questioning of the practice must have entailed worsened conditions for the poorest schoolchildren. The discussion that was carried on about the design of the school system must thus have reflected a change in recruitment to schools in Stockholm too. It is evident from statements in the literature that social condition in the schools were stabilized in comparison with the seventeenth century in some respects. At the same time, the willingness of better-­off groups to the send their children to the public schools was limited and had become a political issue. This is also corroborated by the fact that the general educational discussion about “talent selection” largely concerned how to demarcate higher from lower forms of school. The



debate was apparently not just about the stricter application of mercantilist ideas but also about the social reality of the schools where the children of the lower classes dominated.133 Within the scope of this work, it is also possible to take a closer look at how the social recruitment to the schools changed toward the end of the eighteenth century, with the help of a card register of schoolchildren in Stockholm 1772–1809 and unpublished manuscripts by the politician and school reformer Stellan Arvidsson.134 The proportion of widows’ children declined, and the better-off social groups were represented to a greater extent, that is, parents from the commercial branches and more prosperous crafts, as well as children from families in the service of the state or local government.135 The classification of social groups follows the characterization that was outlined in the previous chapter. The volume of different occupations denoting different kinds of manual work has expanded and changed significantly, reflecting the industrial development (manufacturing) and construction in Stockholm.136 The commercial development is also mirrored in the large number of tradesmen, shop- and barkeepers as well as professions in government service, controlling weights and customs and the like. Persons in service at the royal court and in higher social circles can now be identified as a group of the parents of children in schools and, as before, parents with a background in crafts, at different levels and positions, are very significant. Any conclusion based on this material must take into account that professions and positions changed over the life course, and sometimes individuals had more than one occupation, which may be reflected in the different records. Typically solders and military personal could also be occupied with a trade. Social status may also differ depending on where work took place, and the position at the place of work. It is worth noting that the proportion of children with dead parents or parents who had been noted as “retired, pensioned, former” is now significantly lower than during the seventeenth century and the early eighteenth, but may still be between 12% and 25% of all children in the different church schools.137 These figures must naturally be read as a reflection of the fact that the orphanages and so-called “poor schools” in Stockholm attracted some of these children. It is also evident in the list of pupils that in a couple of schools a significant proportion of orphaned schoolchildren was cared for by others, relatives or former employers of their fathers.138 The majority of the parents have a background in crafts and manual work, military service, and in household services and trade. A very small proportion of children in all social groups spend a significant



time in school, up to 6–8 years, and are sometimes noted as having employment in government service after finishing school or having been accepted as university students. The vast majority of the children spend 1.5 years or less in school, while a significant proportion spent 2–5 years. In the cases when the after-school carers are noted, they are primarily journeymen in the crafts. Schooling can be very irregular and interrupted, as the registration indicates, with children coming and leaving. After 3.5 years in school, 75%–90% of children in the different social groups had terminated their participation in the public schools. The social groups that have medium-long periods of schooling were groups associated with the crafts as well as those in personal service, while the ones in government service and military personnel had shorter periods of schooling. Generally, the fatherless children and those whose parents were noted as “retired, former,” and the like had shorter periods of schooling. The highest social circles are characterized by a significantly shorter duration of schooling. This can clearly be a sign that better-off groups might have avoided the public schools if possible. Stellan Arvidsson, who has analyzed the frequency of private instructors in the tax records, found that the better-off social groups seem to have hired private instructors for their children, with only a few pupils per instructor. There was, however, no real expansion of private schools during this period, even if there examples of such schools. Better-off children could also be taught by the teachers in the church schools as private students, while professionals such as teachers and clergymen could be expected to have taught their own children at home, which may also be the case for shopkeepers and others.139 These observations corroborate that better-off parents sent their children to the public schools as a last resort, as the complaint from mid-century indicates (Table 4.1). The overall impression of these figures is that the school primary curricula lay within the framework of elementary schooling. Even though the number and proportion of parentless children (lacking father, mother, or both) was significantly lower during the eighteenth century than during the seventeenth, it is clear that lower-class children were the ones with very short periods of schooling, while groups that one may assume to have had some use for reading and writing skills stayed a little longer. Stellan Arvidsson’s analyses of the courses taken by pupils also indicate that children with a short education could only have acquired a minimum of knowledge in reading and writing.140 Long periods of schooling were also tied to the fact that these children began early, from seven or eight



Table 4.1  Recruitment of pupils to the church schools in Stockholm distributed by different occupational groups, 1770–1809 (percentages) Social Group

Upper class In service Crafts Military (lower) Government service Commercial Journeymen/craft Crafts/laborers Soldiers n

Years in school 1.5 or less




66% 55% 51% 59% 57% 58% 49% 46% 58% 53% 3361

24% 18% 26% 21% 25% 22% 28% 27% 26% 26% 1678

5% 8% 12% 11% 8% 11% 11% 14% 9% 12% 749

5% 18% 11% 9% 11% 9% 11% 12% 7% 11% 688



100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

264 76 1554 381 579 313 816 1994 499 6476

Notes: “Kartotek över elever,” Stellan Arvidsson handlingar, SSA. Schools in Ulrika Eleonora, Hedvig Eleonora, St Katarina, St Jacobus, St Maria, St Klara, and St Johannes parishes are included in this database, while information from the schools in Adolf Fredrik, the school in Djurgården, and the orphanages is missing

years of age, while the majority of children began a little later, around 10–12, and had a short period of schooling, the same pattern as during the seventeenth century. His analyses of the overall participation in schools by children as a proportion of the population in 1800, based on the tax records, also support this conclusion. The better-off groups in Stockholm shunned the public educational system, while some of the middling groups took advantage of the educational offer, while the vast majority of children either received no education or a very short one.141 We must also take into account that the church stressed the importance of being able to read and explain the catechism. The large turnover of children from the lower groups in the schools could in part reflect an interest in acquiring skills that were necessary to take communion (confirmation at the age of 14 became compulsory from 1810, but was practiced in many parishes before) and to acquire a marriage certificate. On the other hand, marriage rates fell during this period, and the proportion of illegitimate children was about 33% of all children born 1800 according to church records. There had been a steady increase of illegitimacy from the mid-eighteenth century.142



Similar transformations can be noted in a neighboring country, but they follow a somewhat different path. In Denmark, the poor children were excluded as a result of an ordinance was passed in 1756 to establish a Latin school in which pupils would be sorted from the start according to their economic means. The decisive criterion was that they could support themselves. Those who could not be kept at school without public assistance would be excluded through stricter requirements of prior knowledge and through restrictions in scholarships. According to the preamble to the ordinance, pupils who were excluded were characterized by “lewdness, baseness, and meanness.”143 In the latter half of the eighteenth century, there was also a change in the recruitment pattern to schools in Denmark. There was already a high proportion of pupils from the upper classes, but this dominance was further strengthened toward the end of the eighteenth century. Sons of lower officials and the “lower population” of the towns had been a significant group for recruitment to the small Latin schools and the higher schools. After 1756, their proportion fell in favor of the children of merchants, higher officials, priests, and similar prosperous groups. There was a general decline in the number of fatherless children in the various types of school.144 This development excluded children who had used school as a source of livelihood.145 It is not necessary to perform any profound social-history analyses to understand the problem that evidently prevailed in Sweden in this period in relation to the questions considered in this study. We have been able to see how the school system was discussed in the eighteenth century in a way that corresponded to the changed conditions and relations of the social classes. Poor children were perceived to be a problem when frequenting the available church schools and the trivium school in Stockholm, as well as when they did not go to school. This meant increasing difficulties in finding room for both poor and rich within the same school system. The problem in Sweden would not be solved in the eighteenth century, as poor children continued to dominate the schools. On an everyday level, the problems were also clear to those who had responsibility for planning the daily timetable: this had to be adjusted to suit different patterns of life in different social classes. In 1789, the headmaster of the trivium school felt obliged to suggest adjusting the school’s dinner hour, not to the children’s begging as at the end of the seventeenth century, but now to the midday meal of the bourgeois family.



Since the dinner hour in all estates has been gradually moved from 11 to 12, 1, 1.30, and 2 o’clock, the schoolchildren must either eat by themselves, before their parents, which is not always convenient, or if they are able to sit down with them have to get up before they have eaten half; or else, as usually happens, come to school at 3 o’clock. Among working people and the poorest portion of the towns’ inhabitants the midday meal does not hinder the children from attending school; but the busy official, the industrious and prosperous merchant, and the diligent artisan has no more convenient time to spend with his children than at table; there he can acquaint himself with their condition, studies, and needs.146

It would be necessary to found schools for the poorer class of urban children, outside the framework of the trivium school and the church schools. A new society was being shaped and the school system faced a radical transformation. But before looking at that, let us also consider the character and role of the schools created directly for the children of the poor.

Targeting Family Environment or Keeping Children Off the Streets? Schools for the Children of the Lower Class Poor Schools and Soldiers’ Schools In the second half of the eighteenth century, other initiatives than those we have already considered were taken to found schools with a more distinct social demarcation. These were either explicitly intended to look after the children of soldiers or, rather more vaguely, “poor” children. In Malmö, Gothenburg, Norrköping, Stockholm, and a number of other towns, schools were founded in the period up to the end of the century, with a general orientation to “poor children.” The poor school in Malmö was founded in 1753 by a nobleman—von Conow—who donated a building “for appointment as a poor school.” With the aid of other donations, this school provided education to a small number of boys and girls.147 In Gothenburg a clergyman, Willin, who had served at the poorhouse in 1765, established a school for paupers’ children beside the poorhouse. Other poor schools were founded in Örgryte and Majorna, in the latter case called a free school.148 That designation was also given to the school founded by Swart, an industrialist in Norrköping: den Swartziska Friskolan.149 In Stockholm, a great many “poor” children were able to have tuition in the church schools,



but there too yet another school was established, specifically geared to poor children. In the Storkyrkan Parish, a school was founded in 1796 in order to give “the children of the poor common people an opportunity to obtain elementary Christian knowledge and tuition in reckoning and writing along with something about the geography and history of the fatherland.”150 These initiatives were partly supported by authorities of various kinds, but also by people whose work was among the lower strata of the population. In a strikingly large number of cases, these people were guided by the religious ideals of Pietism or Herrnhutism. It is a characteristic of the new society with its public sphere that emerged in the eighteenth century that these initiatives did not only have the character of individual contributions; societies of various kinds were formed to promote special interests or to carry on a particular debate. One of these societies, to which I shall return in the next chapter, was Samfundet Pro Fide et Christianismo. For this society, the inadequate catechetical knowledge of the lower classes was a reason for initiating the foundation of schools.151 It is not possible here to discuss the motives for all these individual initiatives.152 Some general features may nevertheless be highlighted. The background to the schools should not only be sought in the changed religious attitudes. There was also a clearly expressed interest in preventing disorders such as begging and vagrancy. Children were to be stopped from running around the streets. Unlike the church schools, the poor schools also taught girls. However, these did not admit large numbers of pupils, since their economy was mainly based on donations and voluntary contributions. The schools were also combined with measures for the physical well-being of the children. The Willin School in Gothenburg provided meals for a large share of the children, and in the Storkyrkan Parish in Stockholm, the children paid only a small sum for their schooling.153 The state likewise took initiatives to found schools, mainly for soldiers’ children. Many of the poor children in the towns were still the children of soldiers, although children of factory workers began to be visible in the streets in the eighteenth century.154 In Stockholm, schools were founded at the Svea Artillery Regiment (1750) and the Royal Svea Life Guards (1773). In 1792, a poor school was opened for children belonging to navy crewmen, with the grandiose name The Royal Army, Navy, and Skeppsholmen Poor School.155 In Malmö too, a school was founded at the garrison. The discussion in Malmö showed that there could be differing perceptions of the role of the school and the necessity for it. It is worth summarizing this discussion



before looking at how the schools were established at the Stockholm garrisons. It was in the early 1770s that a suggestion was made to establish a school at the Malmö garrison. The original proposal from the regimental chaplain was revised by Björkman, commander of the regiment, who suggested establishing 2 schools with 24 children in each. The children would be admitted in proportion to the number of soldiers in the different corps and companies, and—the crucial point—there would be discharge and admission four times a year. With a quick turnover like this, a large number of the garrison children would receive the tuition they did not get at home. The dean of Caroli Parish was critical of the suggestion, arguing that the children should go to school all day instead of running the streets. They would thereby complete their studies faster and find employment. The children should also receive some maintenance.156 The school established in Malmö was a compromise between these positions. It mainly followed the design outlined by the commander, but “that the school was to be an instrument to prevent the children from running around the streets is particularly evident from Dean Munthe’s suggestion of a long school day; by keeping the children in school both morning and afternoon he intended to prevent the children’s vagabondism.”157 Thunander argues that these efforts should be viewed in the context of the widespread begging in the town and the fact that “the beggars largely consisted of soldiers’ widows and children.”158 However, the garrison school took in children from other social groups, partly because the orphanage school had been closed. This had provided tuition to the children of burghers and beggars alike. Moreover, the children in the soldiers’ school were taught not only reading and the catechism but also writing and arithmetic.159 The discussion about the school in Malmö involved two opposing principles. School could be a means to give children the education that parents were unable to give them. Soldiers’ children had not previously been taught by anyone but their parents. In this case it was, of course, important that all the children, or as many as possible, were taught in the school. Yet school could also be perceived as a means to prevent children from vagrancy and begging. In this case, it was, of course, important that the children were kept in school for as much of the day as possible until they found permanent work of some kind. This made it necessary to contribute to the maintenance of the children.



This dual purpose was reflected in the statutes and aims of other poor schools, for example, in the instructions for the Life Guard School in Stockholm. This school, however, was also supposed to teach adult soldiers; it had been established for “the children of poor soldiers and for the instruction of the men who are ignorant in Christianity.” After the annual household examinations, the regimental chaplain was supposed to send the commander a list of the men who needed tuition in Christianity, and the commander was to ensure that the schoolmaster received sufficient assistance to get the soldiers to school. For instance, every Saturday there was to be a check of which men had been free yet neglected to attend school. Tuition had to take into consideration the soldiers’ need to work to earn their living. It was therefore supposed to begin “at 4 o’clock in the morning, in the season when this can take place in daylight, since they must be allowed to go by 7 o’clock to be able to earn something when they have the opportunity to do so.”160 The children were to be examined twice a year. When they knew both catechisms by heart they had to give up their places to new pupils.161 According to the consistory minutes from 1773, school was to devote itself to teaching the catechism and Christianity to the older men and “the less advanced children who are to be prepared for their first Holy Communion.”162 The school’s ties to church instruction and its role in compensating for inadequate parental education can scarcely be expressed more clearly. The last paragraph of the instruction shows that a certain importance was attached to the children’s knowledge while there was simultaneously doubt about the willingness of parents to let their children attend school: The unthinking parents who either do not themselves teach their children to write adequately, or do not keep them in school when they have demonstrably been told to do so by pastors and the schoolmaster, but instead let the children roam the streets in laziness and begging, shall be dealt with in accordance with the King in Council’s ordinance, without mercy, by being put in the stocks, no matter what objection they may make.163

According to these rules, the children were to learn the catechism above all, and following a familiar pattern, this tuition was particularly important in preparation for first communion. In 1792, there was change in the school hours and the courses were broadened. This also changed the orientation of school. The reasons stated in the minutes of the court



consistory suggest that the social problems in Stockholm were similar to those in Malmö. The task of school was not just to give the children satisfactory Christian knowledge but also to keep them occupied until they could work. In addition, more advanced courses could evidently serve the latter purpose: As the Church Council deemed it necessary to amend section 6 of the School Regulations to the effect that, although that children can read from a book and Luther’s Catechism, and know by heart Svebilius’ explanation and scriptural quotations pertaining thereto, they must nevertheless remain in school until they have become somewhat older, and the parents have a means for them to earn their living, so that they may not forget too quickly what they have learned, or are spoiled by idleness. And since the schoolmaster, as a consequence of an order by the Commander of the Regiment and with an increase in his salary, also teaches the children to write and reckon without any separate fee, the older ones could thereby be occupied.164

These instructions, however, do not state what times of the day the children were to be in school. We shall return to these schools and the inquiry of the Education Committee in 1813; here it is enough to note that we have been able to establish the differences between the soldiers’ schools and the other poor schools. The soldiers were subject to military discipline and could be punished for disobedience and breaches of the rules that applied to the men and their families. The soldiers’ schools could also be used to some extent to compensate for deficiencies in the soldiers’ own Christian knowledge. The poor schools were based on a higher degree of voluntariness, which was also the case with schools like that at Djurgården and the other church schools. Schools were also founded to restrict begging and vagrancy, and in some cases to look after children until they could find jobs. Unlike the church schools, this was the explicit purpose of the new schools. Their aim was not to regulate begging but to reduce it. The authorities were not insensitive to the problem of providing for children, as is clear from the measures taken at schools to assist in the maintenance of the children.



Catechetical Schools The Pro Fide et Christianismo society was interested in teaching the catechism, above all to such persons that cannot enjoy education in the public church schools on account of their age and sex or because they have gone into service: and also for those whose parents are known to be in such circumstances that they are unable to supply the children with education in any other way.165

The society had a broad range of activities in the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century. It was founded at the start of the 1770s. One of the central missions was to achieve efficient teaching of the catechism, as it was feared that Christian knowledge was declining. The majority of the founders were priests in Stockholm.166 The society established cooperation with the consistory and contributed money to create posts for two catechism teachers. In this way, two catechetical schools were established in which both younger and older people who were ignorant of Christianity could receive instruction. More catechetical schools were subsequently founded, and by the end of the century, there was one in every parish in Stockholm.167 The idea behind the schools was that the priests, when they discovered deficiencies in knowledge at household examinations, should send the ignorant ones to a teacher. The catechetical schools were intended to compensate for inadequacies in parents’ teaching, as hinted at in the quotation above from the instructions. When the priests discovered the deficiencies, the sexton had to note the name, age, and other details of each person and pass this information on to the teacher. If the pupil did not attend the tuition the teachers had to inform the priest once again, who in turn contacted the parents and masters.168 The catechetical schools were intended for children and servants. Through instruction in the catechism, the clergy wished to bind people more tightly to the church and also to strengthen contacts with heads of households. In this context, we should also remember how the Stockholm clergy acted at the diet of 1765–1766, when they suggested closer cooperation between authorities and priests and the organization of parishes into wards where it would be easier to supervise morals. In 1784, Pro Fide et Christianismo presented control systems and a referral procedure, since the earlier system had not been efficient enough. The new statute also enjoined on masters and parents to ensure the attendance of their children



and servants.169 Complaints and continued discussions about inadequate knowledge show that it was not always easy to get pupils to come to the lessons. In 1801, a catechism teacher put forward the suggestion that those who neglected school and used the time for less useful purposes “should be chastised with the stocks” (if they were aged over 15). The discussion was provoked again in 1807 by the negligence of the young, but it was deemed that the stocks were “less suitable.”170 This assessment was evidently made with the inappropriate consequences of the stocks in mind, for if the stocks in several respects, and especially for this particular purpose, should perhaps be found less suitable, then some other punishment, the loss of some important benefit, a few days’ imprisonment, and other such less conspicuous means, which would not entail the risk of offensive behavior, could instead be used to the desired effect.171

The society was thus not inclined to recommend the severe punishment that the stocks represented. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the Stockholm clergy had been unsure about how the stocks should be used in the capital. It was recorded in the minutes that attendance at catechetical examinations had improved after the governor had invoked the threat of the stocks, but attendance had subsequently fallen again. The society therefore advocated a gentler line. Through conversations with parents and masters, it could be ensured that children and servants really did attend the examinations. However, the society considered, “after the most mature deliberation, in future to take some appropriate and forceful measure to achieve this purpose.”172 In the following year, measures were taken to get young people to attend examinations. The royal edict of 12 November 1808 ruled that examination after matins would cease and that catechetical examinations of the parishioners would instead be held ward by ward “with the same obligation on them to attend as is stipulated for household examinations through royal ordinances of 20 March 1735 and 4 December 1765, and these household examinations should be administered with the greatest care in the prescribed manner.” The consistory followed this exhortation. The decision was implemented in different ways in the different parishes, depending on variation in previous practice. Summons to examination were announced in church and bills were distributed by church officers. In 1811, the consistory evaluated the experiment with this type of



examination and noted that attendance declined after the first year but that it was still higher than before, when examination took place at matins.173

Church Discipline, Street Regulation, Child Care, Norms, and Skills—Conflicting Paths Development in the eighteenth century did not involve a total transformation of the educational system created during the seventeenth century. However, social development accentuated the challenges in the way the education was organized. The inadequacy of home instruction as a means to reach the lower class in the towns was confirmed. On the one hand, there was no active support from lower authorities and heads of household, and the material conditions among the lower classes meant that they could hardly live up to what was expected of them. Certain groups in the church tried to counteract a deterioration by proposing new compulsory systems and new ways to maintain control over the morals and knowledge of the population. In the course of the eighteenth century, it also became clear to the growing middle class that education did not satisfy their needs and interests. Schools were dominated not only by traditional education oriented to the church; they were also to a large extent geared to the needs and support of poor children. Discussions of the school system partly began to revolve around how to demarcate public education from what was perceived as the trivium school proper. The aim was to exclude the poor children from the latter. School was not to be a repository for the children of the lower class. It had to be seized from the lower class and become a “citizens’ school,” teaching a wider range of subjects than before. Measures were also taken to mark the differences between literacy instruction by the clergy, parish church schools, and the trivium school, but tendencies to the systematic exclusion of pupils from lower classes were not pursued to the full. On the other hand, special schools were established for these pupils. The emergence of new types of school was based on two circumstances: the difficulty of getting home tuition to work, and the demands made of the public-school system by the better-off people. The poor school was intended solely for the education of poor children, both boys and girls, and also some adults. These schools reflect urban parents’ lack of interest and ability to teach their children at home. The schools thus show that, from a societal perspective, children could not



be properly imprinted by the family. The reasons explicitly stated for the foundation of schools were the need to counteract vagrancy and begging and the need to improve the children’s knowledge. Schools would make the children share society’s common values and keep them occupied until they could work to earn their living. The need to occupy children also seems to have been the reason for the expansion of subjects taught in some schools, in order to prolong the children’s attendance. Parents’ inability to ensure their children’s physical welfare is underlined by the fact that the schools in many places also served food and issued clothes, or even paid some money for attendance. The catechetical schools mainly concentrated on teaching children who were working, which shows that the demands for education were not determined by the children’s ability to support themselves through work. When better-off heads of household showed little interest in the moral upbringing of children in their ward, catechetical schools were a new alternative. Many children during the seventeenth century were born into two-supporter families that also may have had difficulties living up to such government demands. These children worked, but the ecclesiastical authorities considered it necessary to ensure their moral and religious education. Schools like these give us a hint that work in craftsmen’s workshops and elsewhere was not deemed capable of giving children sufficient moral education, and that the traditionally organized public education was inadequate. Schooling, however, had a limited ability as a means to maintain societal integration. It also presupposed the participation of the parents. The evidence shows that parents and children did not always regard school—the church schools and poor schools—from the same perspective as the churchmen. Schools seem to have been perceived by some parents as a way to look after their children while awaiting other means to support them. Children left school regardless of the level of their knowledge. In the next chapter, we shall see how these tendencies developed. In the debate about education, the different schools (including the instruction in their homes) were characterized and labeled separately with reference to their stated or expected function, but we may also note how they are increasingly regarded as a system of schools related to each other.174 That too will be a theme of the following discussion.



Notes 1. Arne Melberg, Realitet och utopi: Utkast till en dialektisk förståelse av litteraturens roll i det borgerliga samhällets genombrott (Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren, 1978), discusses the emergence of the bourgeois public sphere in Sweden in a way that links Swedish development to their international counterparts. In the introduction to the Swedish edition of Habermas’s The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, Mats Dahlkvist underlines that Habermas depicts an ideal type. The character of the public sphere varied in different concrete social and historical circumstances. The central thing in the eighteenth century was the creation of a political area outside the representative public sphere; Mats Dahlkvist, “Jurgen Habermas’ teori om privat och ‘offentligt’,” in Jürgen Habermas, Borgerlig offentlighet: Kategorierna “privat” och “offentligt” i det moderna samhälle (Lund: Arkiv, 1984). For a discussion of the emergence of the middle class, see Tom Söderberg, Två sekel svensk medelklass: Från gustaviansk tid till nutid (Stockholm: Bonnier, 1972); Sten Carlsson, Byråkrati och borgarstånd under frihetstiden (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1963). 2. Melberg, Realitet och utopi, pp.  50ff.; Dahlkvist, “Jurgen Habermas’ teori,” pp. XVIIff. 3. Gunnar Artéus, Krigsmakt och samhälle i frihetstidens Sverige (Stockholm: Militärhistoriska förlag, 1982); Ingvar Elmroth, Nyrekryteringen till de högre ämbetena 1720–1809 (Lund: Gleerup, 1962). 4. For a survey, see Merike Fridholm, Lars Magnusson and Maths Isacson, Industrialismens rötter: Om förutsättningarna för den industriella revolutionen i Sverige (Stockholm: Prisma, 1976); Nils Holmberg, Medelklassen och proletariatet: Studier rörande 1840–1841 års riksdag och dess förutsättningar i svenskt samhällsliv (Lund: Lindstedt, 1934). 5. Johan Söderberg, Ulf Jonsson, and Christer Persson, Stagnating Metropolis: Economy and Demography in Stockholm, 1750–1850 (Stockholm, 1984). 6. Gösta Walldén, “Manufakturarbetarnas sociala förhållanden,” in Per Nyström (ed.), Stadsindustriens arbetare före 1800-talet: Bidrag till kännedom om den svenska manufakturindustrien och dess sociala förhållanden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1955), pp. 315f.; Gustav Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd 1663–1763 (Stockholm, 1949), pp. 253ff.; Historisk statistik för Sverige. Befolkning 1720–1967 (Örebro: Statistiska centralbyrån, 1969), part 1, Table 12. Sven Lilja, Tjuvehål och stolta städer: Urbaniseringens kronologi och geografi i Sverige (med Finland) ca 1570-tal till 1810-tal (Stockholm: Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet, 2000); Sven Lilja, “Urban Death—Perceptions and Realities: Urban Mortality in the Early



Modern Baltic Region,” in Baltic Towns and Their Inhabitants: Aspects on Early Modern Towns in the Baltic Area, ed. Kekke Stadin (Södertörns Högskola, Research Reports 2, 2003), pp. 109ff. 7. Wilhelm Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, Sverige och de nordiska grannländerna under frihetstiden och gustavianska tiden (Lund: Gleerup, 1961), pp. 70ff.; Dahlkvist, “Jurgen Habermas’ teori,” p. XVII. 8. Susanna Hedenborg, Det gåtfulla folket: Barns villkor och uppfattningar av barnet i 1700-talets Stockholm, diss., Stockholm University (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1997). 9. “Underdånigt betänkande ang. undervisningsverket,” Lund, 5 August 1742, in B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Folkpedagogiska utlåtanden (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1935), p. 9. 10. Ibid., p. 10. 11. “Kungl. Maj:ts Stadga,” 20 March 1735, in R. G. Modée, H. E. Lindhielm, and E. Fougt, Utdrag utur alle ifrån den 7. decemb. 1718./1791 utkomne publique handlingar, 1–15 (Stockholm, 1756), part 2, p. 1229. 12. Ibid., p. 1230. 13. “Prästerskapets privilegier år 1723,” Sven Wilskman, Swea rikes ecclesiastiqve werk, 1 (Örebro, 1781), part I, pp. 116ff.; “Prästerskapets allmänna besvär 1726,” Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll på Riksdagens uppdrag 6, pp. 508ff.; “Memorial av prästeståndet angående olovliga sammankomster,” ibid., pp. 508ff. 14. Karl Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation och förvaltning åren 1842–1861: Studier i den svenska folkskolans historia (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1914), p. 23; Johan Wahlfisk, Den kateketiska undervisningen i Sverige ifrån reformationen intill slutet af sjuttonde århundradet: Historisk framställning (Örebro, 1876), pp. 104ff. 15. “Bergmarks redogörelse” in “Konsistorii Acta,” 9 December 1753, no. 116, in B. Rudolf Hall (ed.), Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia: 1419–1840 (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1939), p. 100. 16. “Skrivelse från Cleri. Com. till konsistoriet,” 4 June 1752, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 19. 17. Ibid. 18. “Konsistorii Acta 1753,” no. 61, ibid., p. 23. 19. Ibid., “Protokoll undertecknat Olof Gråberg 5 maj 1753 över överläggning med stadens prästerskap, Konsistorii Protokoll,” 15 May 1753, ibid., pp. 24f. 20. “Skrivelse till överståthållaren,” 13 November 1753, ibid., p. 20. 21. Ibid., pp. 20f. 22. See above, note 16.



23. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 30 March 1756, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 25. 24. Ibid. 25. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 28 November 1758, ibid., p. 21. 26. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 17 February 1758, ibid., pp. 27ff. 27. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 21 February 1758, ibid., pp. 29ff.; 28 February 1758, ibid., pp. 30f.; 7 March 1758, ibid., p. 32. 28. Ibid. 29. Ibid.; “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 4 April 1758, ibid., p. 32. 30. Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd, pp. 273ff. 31. Ibid., p. 264. 32. Walldén, “Manufakturarbetarnas sociala förhållanden,” p. 315; Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare före 1800-talet, pp. 138f.; see also appendix II and diagram I in ibid. 33. Ernst Söderlund, Stockholms hantverkarklass 1720–1772: Sociala och ekonomiska förhållanden (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1943), pp. 276ff., 271ff. 34. Ibid., pp. 278ff. 35. Ibid.; Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare, p. 266. 36. Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd, p. 262. 37. “Carl Ehrensvärds Defensionsdeputation,” Protokoll 17 June 1756, quotation from Utterström, Stockholms folkmängd, p. 262. 38. J.  B. Hallman, Betänkande om fattighusinrättningen (Stockholm, 1745), p. 4. 39. Ibid., p. 5. 40. Walldén, “Manufakturarbetarnas sociala förhållanden,” pp. 324ff. 41. Ibid., pp. 316ff. On the difficulty that spinners and other groups had in supporting themselves on their wages, see ibid., pp.  341ff. See also Chap. 6. 42. Joseph Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm från äldre till nyare tid: Jämte beskrifning af Stockholms stads arbetsinrättningar med anledning af den nya arbetsinrättningens fullbordan: en historisk öfversikt (Stockholm, 1906), pp. 41f.; Gustav Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös i Stockholm på 1600- och 1700-talen (Umeå: Univ.-bibl., 1978), pp.  136ff.; Modée, Utdrag utur alle, part 6, p. 1488; “Kongl. förordning,” 12 September 1758, Wilskman, Swea rikes ecclesiastiqve werk, part 2, p.  45; Ulla Johanson, Fattiga och tiggare i Stockholms stad och län under 1700-talet: Studier kring den offentliga fattigvården under frihetstiden (Stockholm: Liber Förlag, 1984), pp. 114ff. see also fotnote 6. 43. Hallman, Betänkande, pp. 10f. 44. Erik Salander, Genväg till slöjder (Stockholm, 1754). 45. Quotation from Viktor Fredriksson (ed.); Svenska folkskolans historia 1 (Stockholm, 1940), pp. 346f. It was also the duty of the police board in



the eighteenth century to send fatherless and motherless children to either the orphanage or the factories, Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm, pp. 84f. 46. Walldén, “Manufakturarbetarnas sociala förhållanden,” pp. 350f. 47. Hauswolff, memo 29 January 1765, “Prästeståndets Protokoll, 1765–1766” (RA), p. 71. 48. Ibid., p. 65; see also Svenska folkskolans historia 1, pp. 364ff. 49. “Eckl. Deputationens sammanträde,” 1 February and 9 April 1765, pp. 284ff.; “Prästeståndets Enskilda Handlingar, 1765–1766” (RA); also Svenska folkskolans historia 1, p. 366. 50. The information about Ereus and Hauswolff comes from Gunnar Hellström, Stockholms stads herdaminne från reformationen intill tillkomsten av Stockholms stift: Biografisk matrikel (Stockholm: Stockholms kommunförvaltning, 1951). 51. “Eckl. Deputationens sammanträde,” 9 April 1765; “Prästeståndets Enskilda Handlingar” (RA). 52. Warne’s discussion of the negotiations chiefly concerns ideological differences. He does not put the issues in a social context and does not mention the proposal to appoint “quartermen,” Svenska folkskolans historia 1, pp. 365ff. 53. “Eckl. Deputationens sammanträde,” 19 May 1765; “Prästeståndets Enskilda Handlingar” (RA). 54. “Eckl. Deputationens sammanträde,” 3 July 1765; “Prästeståndets Enskilda Handlingar” (RA). 55. Ibid. 56. “Kongl. Maj:ts förordning om plikt och straff för dem som försumma biwistandet af Catechismi förhör,” 4 December 1765, Modée, Utdrag utur alle, part 8, pp. 31f. 57. “Kongl. Maj:ts förnyade Hallordning,” 2 April, ibid., part 9, p. 342. 58. Ibid. 59. Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare, pp.  258ff., 220ff.; Söderlund, Stockholms hantverkarklass, pp.  85ff., 252ff.; Lars Ekdahl, Arbete mot kapital: Typografer och ny teknik—studier av Stockholms tryckeriindustri under det industriella genombrottet (Lund: Arkiv, 1983), pp. 138ff., especially p. 140. 60. Carl Björling, Katarina skola: Bidrag till kännedomen om Stockholms läroverk (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1913), Appendix 33, “förteckning uppå Disciplarna uti St Catharinae skola 1748,” p.  355; David Sjöstrand, Maria skola: Ett bidrag till Stockholms skolhistoria (Stockholm, 1882), pp. 108ff., data on Maria School for 1752, 1763, 1778, 1784, 1807, 1813. 61. “Skrivelse från kons.,” 6 March 1753, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 132f.



62. Ibid. 63. “Skrivelse från kons.,” 30 April 1754, Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 133ff. 64. Ibid., p. 143. 65. Ibid., p. 135. 66. “Skrivelse från Kongl. Maj:t,” 6 December 1754, Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 136. 67. “Skrivelse till konsistoriet,” undated 1755, Anders Molander, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 137f. 68. Ibid. 69. “Konsistorii Acta 1755,” no. 8, Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 141ff; quotation p. 142. 70. Ibid. 71. Ibid.; Walldén, “Manufakturarbetarnas sociala förhållanden,” p. 350; also Lars Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma: Om arbetsdelning, barnarbete och teknologiska förändringar i några svenska industrier under 1800- och början av 1900-talet (Stockholm: Tiden, 1980), p. 103. 72. “Konsistorii Acta, 1755,” no. 8, Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 143f. 73. Ibid. 74. See Chap. 3. 75. “Till öfwerståthållaren ang:de någon löns anslående til en Scholae Mästare för Barnen på Djurgården,” 16 May 1759, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 207f. 76. Ibid., See also “Journalanteckningarna av rektor i Katarina församling,” 1755, in B. Rudolf Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1939), p. 386. 77. “Instruction för den, enligt Kongl. Maj:ts Nådiga Resolution den 16 maji 1759, tillförordnade Scholaemästaren på Kongl. Djurgården,” 4 September 1759, Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 206. 78. Ibid., pp. 204f. 79. “Ordning, föreskrefwen af Stockholms Stads Consistorio, om Lectionernas indelning med mera som bör iaktagas wid Kyrko-Scholarne här i Staden,” 21 August 1753, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia. pp. 131ff. 80. “Instruction för … Djurgården,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 205ff. 81. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 27 June 1758, 3 July 1759, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 208.



82. “Uppgifter till svar på föreskrifvna frågor angående Kongl. Djurgårdens Fattigskola,” 1814, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 208f. 83. “Ordning … Kyrko-Scholarne här i Staden,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 131ff. 84. Karl Linge, Folkundervisningen i Stockholm före 1842 (Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 1912), p. 18. 85. Viking Rendahl, Grunddragen av skolväsendets organisation i Stockholm under 1800-talet (Stockholm, 1974), pp. 20f.; Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, p. 18. 86. “Ordning … Kyrko-Scholarne här i Staden,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p.  134. “As those children who have once been admitted to the School should also enjoy constant and diligent instruction there, it is the duty of the school staff to exercise due supervision thereof, so that the children are not allowed to absent themselves of their own will for one or more days, unless prior notification of this has previously been given by the children’s parents or relatives to the tutor or schoolmaster: it is appropriate, if the children’s self-will is in breach of this, that they receive a reasonable school beating, and finally, if such occurs more often, with the consent and knowledge of the rector, are totally expelled from the school,” ibid., See also “Instruction för … Djurgården,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p.  206, and “Ordning som tils widar kommer at efterföljas wid Ungdomens underwisning uti Hedvig Eleonora KyrkoSchola,” “Konsistorii Acta 1758,” Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, pp.  405ff. On choral singing and funeral singing, see Gustav Sivgård, Vandrande scholares: Den gamla djäknegångsseden (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1965), pp. 118ff., 126ff. 87. “Konsistorii Acta,” 16 January 1776, no. 9, “Publication om Församlingarnes Scholar här i Staden,” also published as a proclamation on 16 January 1776, Stockholm, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, pp. 515f., quotation p. 516. 88. Ibid., p. 515. 89. Ibid. 90. See above, note 83. 91. See the section on the seventeenth century and the school ordinances of 1647 and 1693 in B. Rudolf Hall (ed.), Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar 1561–1905, 1/3 (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1921). On the 1690 budget, see Björling, Katarina skola, pp. 148ff. 92. “Hans Kongl. Maj:tz förnyade Schole-ordning af år 1724,” in B. Rudolf Hall, Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar 1561–1905, 4/6 (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1921), p. 38.



93. Ibid., p. 32. 94. Björling, Katarina skola, pp. 148ff. 95. Letter of Olaus Svebilius, Uppsala, 5 April 1699, in B. Rudolf Hall, Till Gefle läroverks historia 1557–1850: Urkunder (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1944), p. 31. 96. Letter of Headmaster Gris, 1734, ibid., pp. 39f. 97. “Wällof. Magistraten i Gefle utlåtande om Pedagogin,” 11 November 1734, ibid., p.  37. “Länsstyrelsens utlåtande,” 28 March 1734, ibid., p. 36. 98. “Domkapitlets Protokoll,” 6 March, ibid., p. 36. 99. “Kongl. Maj:ts resolution,” 17 May 1735, ibid., p. 40. 100. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” Uppsala, 8 October 1735, ibid., p. 41. 101. Diocesan synod, 17–19 February 1736, Archdiocese of Uppsala, Herman Lundström, (ed.), Svenska synodalakter efter 1500-talets ingång, Ser. 1, Synodalakter från Uppsala ärkestift 1526–1800 (Uppsala, 1903–1908), part I, p. 337. 102. Diocesan synod, 7 February 1746, ibid., pp. 355f. 103. Diocesan synod, 18 January 1750, ibid., p.  373; see also Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, pp. 272f. 104. See above, note 100, the 1724 school ordinance on “driftedjäknar,” Hall, Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar 4–6, p. 30. 105. Diocesan synod, 18 January 1750, Lundström, Svenska synodalakter, part I, pp. 373f. 106. Quoted from Elmgren, Henrik’, Trivialskolan i Jönköping 1649–1820. Stockholm: Fören. för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1975. p. 158. 107. Ibid., pp. 158f. 108. Konsistorii Protokoll, 20 October 1762, also 30 September, Hall, Till Gefle läroverks historia, p. 43. 109. Letter of 2 September 1762, ibid., p. 42. 110. Konsistorii Protokoll, 30 September 1762, ibid., p. 43. 111. Konsistorii Protokoll, 20 October 1762, ibid., p. 43; see also Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, p. 272. 112. Björling, Katarina skola, Appendix 24, p. 357; Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, p. 150. 113. “Oskyldige och wälmente tankar, upstälde efter Ven. Consistorii Holmensis Höggunstiga befalning,” 23 July 1751, Olof Muren, Stockholms Domkapitel E III: 100 Akt 29, Domkapitlets arkiv, Stockholms Stads Arkiv, hereafter SSA. Here the social role as being in service rather than under household regime is clearly marked as an organizing principle. Compare Ågren, Maria, The state as master: gender, state formation and commercialisation in urban Sweden, 1650–1780. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017.



114. “Oskyldige och wälmente tankar, upstälde efter Ven. Consistorii Holmensis Höggunstiga befalning,” 23 July 1751, Olof Muren, Stockholms Domkapitel E III: 100 Akt 29, Domkapitlets arkiv, SSA. 115. Ibid. 116. Ibid. 117. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, pp.  89ff., 98ff. Hedenborg, Det gåtfulla folket, pp. 93ff. 118. “Oskyldige och wälmente tankar,” SSA. 119. Björling, Katarina skola, Appendix 24, p. 258. 120. “Ödmjukt Memorial” by John Murbeck, 18 May 1779, in Hall, Till Gefle läroverks historia, p. 294. 121. Ibid. 122. “Utkast till inrättning af Luceum Gustav Adolphium i Stockholm,” in Hall, Till Gefle läroverks historia, pp. 308ff. For a more detailed presentation of Murbeck’s suggestion, see Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, pp. 99ff. 123. On the aristocratic reaction, see Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, pp. 101ff. 124. “Memorial till Hs Excellence Riksrådet och Öfwerståthållaren Baron Carl Sparre,” July 1784, in Hall, Till Gefle läroverks historia, pp. 304ff. 125. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, pp. 185f.; see also Gösta Lext, Bok och samhälle i Göteborg 1720–1809 (Gothenburg, 1950), pp. 45f. 126. Lext, Bok och samhälle, pp.  44f. Lext’s analysis of the schools’ social recruitment proceeds from the categories “officials, tradesmen, craftsmen, and others,” with the last two dominating. Among the group of tradesmen, Lext points out, the majority were probably poor shopkeepers and manservants, ibid., p. 45. 127. Götheborgske Spionen, 30 June 1770, quoted from Lext, Bok och samhälle, p. 45. 128. For Nyköping, Växjö, Örebro, Skara, see Sivgård, Vandrande scholares, p.  41. On the trivium school in Malmö, Artur Evers, Malmö högre allmänna läroverk för gossar under den svenska tiden, 1, 1658–1820: Minnesskrift (Lund: Berling, 1958), pp. 198ff. 129. Olof Wallquist, Ecclesiastique samlingar, 1–7, 1788–95 (Växjö, 1788), part VII, pp. 567ff. 130. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:1, pp. 146, 142ff.; see also Sjöstrand, Maria skola. Other sources of income—street singing etc.—also disappeared at this time, without compensation, Evers, Malmö högre allmänna läroverk, pp. 210ff. 131. “Stockholms storskolas journal,” in Hall, Till Gefle läroverks historia, pp. 284ff. 132. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, p. 170; Sivgård, Vandrande scholares, pp. 118ff.



133. See also Evers, Malmö högre allmänna läroverk, p.  202, whose way of grouping the schoolchildren socially makes it tricky to draw firm conclusions; Nils G. Ohlson, Det pedagogiska problemet i Sverige under frihetstiden och gustavianska tiden (till omkring år 1805): En översikt (Stockholm, 1939), pp. 50ff. Hedenborg, Det gåtfulla folket, pp. 93ff. 134. “Kartotek över elever vid Stockholms skolor 1770–1809,” Stellan Arvidssons Handlingar, SSA.  I have analyzed the social background of these 8414 students based on these records. Stellan Arvidsson never completed his decade-long, meticulous analyses of schooling in Stockholm 1770–1809. His archive also includes rough drafts of a number of chapters on the different schools and tabulations based on the different school and tax records and the raw tables, as well as newspaper excerpts. I have used material from Vols. 1–2, 10. 135. Sjöstrand, Maria skola, pp. 170ff. 136. Söderberg, Stagnating Metropolis. 137. After the long period of war that formally ended in 1721, the number of pupils with dead parents declined significantly. In 1720, 52% of the pupils had lost one or both of their parents. In 1730 the proportion with dead parents was 28%. Hedenborg, Det gåtfulla folket, p. 119. 138. Utterström, Fattig och föräldralös; Per-Johan Ödman and Mats Hayen, Främlingar i vardagen: Liv och pedagogik vid Stora barnhuset i Stockholm på 1700-talet (Stockholm: Stockholmia, 2004). 139. “Informatorer,” vol. 10, Stellan Arvidssons samling, SSA. 140. Manuscript on parish schools in Ulrika Eleonora, Hedvig Eleonora, St Katarina, St Jacobus, St Maria parish, vol. 1, Trivialskolan (Trivium School), vol. 2, Stellan Arvidssons samling, SSA. 141. Ibid. 142. David Schultze von Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården i hänseende till folkets seder och helsa samt de fattigas livsbergning (Stockholm, 1801), pp. 39f., bilaga 17, ibid. 143. Jette Hellesen Jensen and Ole Tuxen, “Fattige Børns Antagelse i de publique Latinske Skoler og Forsendelse till Academiet i det 18 århundradet,” in G.  Christensen (ed.), Tradition og kritik: Festskrift till Svend Ellehoj den 8 september 1984 (Copenhagen: Den Danske Historiska Förening, 1984), pp. 338f. 144. Ibid., p. 347. 145. Ibid., p. 339. 146. “Stockholms storskolas journal,” in Hall, Till Gefle läroverks historia, pp. 369f. 147. Gunnar Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola: Studier i den svenska folkskolans historia med särskild hänsyn till Malmö (Malmö: C.A. Andersson & Co., 1946), pp. 289ff.



148. Johannes Ohlander, Göteborgs folkskoleväsen i gamla dagar och i våra: En skolhistorik i anledning av Göteborgs stads 300-årsjubiluem (Gothenburg: Wettergren & Kerber, 1923), pp. 16ff. 149. Albin Warne, Swartziska friskolan i Norrrköping och dess grundare: En skolhistorisk undersökning med anledning av friskolans 150-årsjubileum (Linköping, 1923). 150. Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, pp.  25f.; Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, p. 291. 151. Sven Nilson, Samfundet Pro fide et christianismo: Minnesskrift med anledning av dess etthundrafemtioårsjubileum (Stockholm, 1921). 152. For a presentation of schools of this kind, see, e.g., Svenska folkskolans historia, vol. 1, pp.  432ff.; Nils Torpson, Svenska folkundervisningens utveckling från reformationen till 1842 (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1888); Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, pp. 21ff. 153. Svenska folkskolans historia, 1, pp. 433ff.; Götheborgske spionen, 14 June 1771, pp. 187f., 3 October 1772, pp. 317f.; “Storkyrkoförsamlingens Fri och fattigskola 1814,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 165. 154. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 296ff. In Norrköping the majority of the children in the poor school were fatherless and children of factory workers, Petter Swartz and Johan Benjamin Blume, Handlingar angående Swartziska fri-scholan i Norrköping (Norrköping, 1775), pp. 129ff. 155. Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, pp. 24f. 156. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 297ff. 157. Ibid., p. 299. 158. Ibid., The lists preserved from von Conow’s School show that the children were now from the lower class, “Förteckning uppå fattiga Scholae-­ barnen,” 7 May 1765 and 16 November 1765; “Rådhusrättens och Magistratens dombok,” Rådhusrättens och magistratens arkiv, Malmö Stads Arkiv, MSA (Malmö City Archive). 159. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 300ff. 160. “Instruction för Scholae-betjeningen vid vårt Lif-garde,” 1773, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp.  224f. See also, the 1792 instructions för the teacher at the Royal Army, Navy, and Skeppsholmen Poor School, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 262f. 161. Ibid. 162. “Utdrag af protokollet hållet å Kongl. Hof Consistoriet,” 30 March 1773, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p.  226; these minutes and the instructions were appended to the school’s report to the 1813 to Education Committee; “Uppgifter om folkskolorna



1826–1827,” Comiten til öfverseende af rikets allmlinna undervisningsverk 1825. 163. “Instruction för … Lif-Gardet,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 226. 164. “Utdrag af Protokollet hållit uti Kongl. Svea Lifgardets Församlings KyrkoRåd,” 21 December 1792, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 227. 165. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 24 February 1784, quotation från Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, p. 23, note 2. 166. Nilson, Samfundet Pro fide, pp. 9ff. 167. Ibid., pp. 34ff. 168. “Stockholms Consistorii Instruction för Catecheterne i Stockholm,” 9 November 1784, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 81ff., quotation p. 82. 169. Ibid., p. 85. 170. Nilson, Samfundet Pro fide, pp. 39f. 171. Ibid., p. 40. 172. Ibid. 173. Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, pp.  23f.; quotation from “Kongl. brev,” 12 November 1808, ibid., p. 23, note 3. 174. Esbjörn Larsson, “Det svenska utbildningssystemets födelse: Olika perspektiv på den svenska läroverksutbildningens utveckling under 1800talet.” In Forskningsfronten flyttas fram: Utbildningskultur och maktkultur. (SEC Report, Uppsala 2003).


Childhoods and Education in Towns in the Early Nineteenth Century

Background In the decades after 1800, the educational provisions changed radically. The existing schools faced fundamental challenges in the urban political and social environments, and serious discussion of the form of public education began. This was not only linked to the church but also became the responsibility of the poor-relief authorities in the nineteenth century. The discussion of the organization of grammar school and other types of school mainly concerned the relationship to the interests of commerce and the needs of the civil service. There was heavy criticism of the ecclesiastical interests and influence over educational institutions.1 This change in the first decades of the nineteenth century naturally had its roots in social development in the eighteenth century. Groups among the townspeople, chiefly merchants but also some craftsmen, formed a bourgeoisie at the same time that state officials were identified as a special social group. The peasants identified themselves as a class, and those without property made up the majority of the emerging rural proletariat.2 The discussions of school concerned the education that was necessary for the different social classes, old and new. In these circumstances, the need to transform the schools was accentuated in the first decades of the nineteenth century. In the political debate, education of all sorts was basically conceived, and discussed, as interrelated to each other, a school system.3 That also underwrote the political conflicts about which authority the © The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




schools could be organized under, and how they related to each other. The lack of political coherence and governance of education gave an impetus to a differentiated and parallel school system, as Archer has described for France and England.4 It was also expressed in the evolution of notions of gender- and class-specific childhoods. The political structure at the end of the eighteenth century and the start of the nineteenth century enabled political and public action, although the state tried on various occasions to limit the exchange of opinion. The significance of the public sphere is clear, for example, from the debate about the educational system after the 1807 school reform. It was the criticism in the newspapers and other public forums that forced a new inquiry into the organization of the school system.5 The same observations can be made in other spheres. In connection with the discussion of poor relief, one debater made a major point of its exemplary organization in one of the parishes in the capital, welcoming all those who were interested in examining its establishments and also its accounts.6 In this context, the general public was invited to take part in a competition. The governor of Stockholm, Samuel af Ugglas, had promised a reward to whoever proposed a “project for public relief of such a nature that it is not solely deemed to fit the purpose but is also most appropriate and capable of implementation.”7 The announcement was published in the newspaper Daglig Allehanda on 9 April, and proposals were to be submitted to the governor.8 This later led to the appointment of a committee to draw up a new proposal for poor relief in Stockholm, in which the education problem would also be considered.9 The growing middling class (“the middle estate”), along with groups connected to the central government, influenced political development not only through official assignments on committees and the like, but also through charity associations. Educational issues were intimately connected with each other and with the outlook on various burning social and political problems. It may be noted that it was the same groups that were committed to the reform of the bourgeois school as to the improvement of poor relief, the prison system, and public education.10 These problems reflected different sides of the same process: the transformation of the older society’s social relations and the widening social gaps. In the new society, there was evidently a need for schools for the new bourgeois strata, the groups of civil servants, and the lower classes alike. The discussion about the schools was clearly also an issue of schools as a social space and a matter of the geography of children. This chapter will



discuss the relationship between higher education and public education in that light. When it comes to primary school, we must again observe that it was affected by the families’ social circumstances and the link to the church-controlled home tuition. To begin with, however, it is necessary to present the school reforms and the reshaping of poor relief and public education. Redesigning the School Ordinance—A School of Trade and a School of Learning and a School for Children of the Poor? A new school ordinance was issued in 1807. It gave much more space to living languages than the old one from 1724. In addition, it now comprised subjects such as geography, geometry, and natural science. This confirmed changes which had already been introduced in part within the framework of the earlier school ordinance, and some of the demands of “bourgeois” opinion were satisfied. Ecclesiastical interests no longer dominated the new school legislation. Above all, the apologist class was focused on practical subjects, whereas the gymnasium and the trivium school mostly retained its humanist character.11 The 1724 ordinance required pupils to be able to read on admission. In 1807, these requirements were considerably tightened. New pupils had to be able to read both Swedish and Latin handwriting without hindrance. Moreover, they had to “recite Luther’s Small Catechism by heart, be able to count figures and numbers and the multiplication table, and to write legibly and join the letters of the alphabet.” The school authority would, as before, supervise children’s schools and pedagogies, but these requirements increased control over admission, at least formally.12 The school ordinance was issued for only a limited time, and it did not take long before it was subject to thorough critical scrutiny. In the diet G. A. Silverstolpe, among others, suggested a total reworking. He claimed that the school system needed to be arranged in accordance with the needs of the different social classes. Schools were required for public officials, for the peasantry, and for the bourgeoisie. Primary school should be an elementary school, common to all pupils. The spirit of the new constitution could thereby reach all classes of society. Silverstolpe received support for his opinions from C. A. Broocman, while Erik Gustaf Geijer and others criticized their suggestions. Geijer argued that the only education that should be publicly funded was the training of public officials in the



government. For this purpose, the grammar school needed to be improved, but other education must be left to private interests.13 In 1812, a committee was set up, at the instigation of Silverstolpe and others, to inquire into the design of the school system. It tackled the school system as a whole and also requested information about the state of public education. The 1815 diet, however, rejected a motion to establish elementary schools. The committee did not analyze the material collected about primary education in the towns and the countryside. The final proposal was limited to higher schools, attempting to satisfy the interests of business and the church alike, with “a compromise as regards the learned school between neo-humanist and ecclesiastical views. Those in favor of practical education, on the other hand, had in no small measure managed to make themselves heard on the matter of the trade school and its organization.”14 The proposal was that grammar school should be divided into two parts, a “school of trade” (näringsskola) and a humanistic “school of learning” (lärdomsskola). The latter was to train priests and officials, leading to university studies, while the school of trade was an independent unit, not linked to the school of learning, and with a much clearer orientation to practical and technical subjects. This structure also set its stamp on the final school ordinance in 1820. The division of grammar school was immediately criticized by the liberals and a new committee was set up to examine the relationship between the types of school. In mid-century, the apologist school (the trade school) was once again connected to the school of learning, thus creating the grammar school (läroverk) that existed well into the twentieth century.15 In 1816, the Education Committee was also given the task of suggesting a reorganization of the Stockholm school system based on the proposal for a national school ordinance. In accordance with the committee’s suggestion, the church schools were transformed into schools of trade or schools of learning,16 which had major consequences for public education in Stockholm. This too faced a transformation at the start of the nineteenth century. Redesigning Poor Relief in Cities and Elementary Schooling of Poor Boys and Girls In the first decades of the nineteenth century, poor relief in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö underwent a reorganization.17 The different



poor-relief projects drawn up in the first decades of the nineteenth century were all originally based on voluntary subscriptions donating money to poor relief.18 The 1809 diet set up a committee to investigate the problems of poor relief. The only result it achieved was the statute of 1811, which declared that everyone who was not personally in need of help was obliged to contribute to the support of the poor, and that the fees calculated at the parish assembly were compulsory even for those who had voted against the proposal or who were absent.19 In view of the organization of poor relief on a voluntary basis during the years just after the turn of the century, this statute should not be underestimated. In 1810, it was perfectly clear that poor relief in Stockholm faced yet another reorganization, but now on a more stable economic foundation. After 1811, a majority at the parish assembly or the town council could levy poor-relief fees in a way that had not previously been possible. The same later happened in all the big towns when voluntary subscription was no longer sufficient. In Gothenburg, this problem had already been raised in 1801, with the result that the King in Council decided on a general levy.20 Since the second half of the eighteenth century, poor relief had been a constantly growing problem. All the towns tried various means to reduce begging and social destitution. The first poorhouses were built in the parishes of Stockholm, and there, as in the other towns, workhouses and spinning houses were set up for the unemployed. The main clientele of poor relief, however, consisted of the sick, the elderly, and children. In years of famine and depression, however, it was necessary to offer employment to adult men and women in workhouses of various kinds. These measures were intended to curb begging. Those who were caught begging were punished. The authorities also tried to limit the migration of poor people into the towns (Stockholm 1805, Gothenburg 1806, and Malmö 1808).21 These bans were especially intended to prevent the entry of groups which the authorities feared would be a burden on poor relief. Those who were regarded as not being qualified to enter were sick, disabled, incapable of working, persons over the age of 50 with no means of support, certain servants, and a particular group of families, namely, “those who have a wife and several children, but who have for their sustenance only the income that can be obtained by the man’s annual earnings or other temporary work.”22 In other words, the poor-relief authorities doubted that a family with a single breadwinner could earn enough for them all in Stockholm at the start of the nineteenth century. The ordinance sheds



some light on the living standards of the underclass, and also on the repeated prohibitions and complaints about begging women and children. We hear these complaints in all the towns of Sweden in this period.23 By all appearances, begging was a major problem for the bourgeoisie, who were interested in projects for maintaining the poor by means of voluntary subscriptions. Thunander says that poor relief in Malmö was organized when the bourgeoisie was experiencing some good years and noticed that begging was nevertheless increasing. They signed their names on subscription lists with the express reservation that “all begging in the streets and at houses ceases.”24 The struggle of the poor-relief authorities against begging in the eighteenth century simultaneously meant that it was difficult to maintain the boundaries with other types of police measures. The organization of poor relief at the start of the nineteenth century had the consequence of more explicit statements as to which duties were incumbent on the poor relief and which should be the responsibility of the police and other authorities.25 This new organization based on voluntary contributions, however, did not only comprise support for the poor. The education of paupers’ children was also regarded as an important task.26 The construction of a system for educating the poor, together with the actions of the church authorities, determined development during the period up to the passing of the School Act of 1842. In Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö, schools were founded both at the poorhouses and workhouses and as autonomous units. Tuition in these schools was not limited to children who were inmates of institutions or whose parents received poor relief; it was also aimed at children whose parents could afford to provide for them but who were unable to manage their education.27 This meant, among other things, that the poor-relief authority in Stockholm collided with other interests, on the matter of which children should attend the schools already built in the capital. For the rest of the school system was also on the eve of a reform.



Poor Relief in Stockholm and the Education of Paupers’ Children The committee of inquiry into poor relief in Stockholm was set up in 1805 on the initiative of the governor, Samuel af Ugglas, who also chaired it. The members were appointed by the King in Council, and each of Stockholm’s parishes was represented by two members.28 The first initiative of the committee was to suggest a prohibition on movement into the town, and an ordinance to this effect was issued the same year. The committee’s main proposal for the organization of poor relief was approved in 1807, to apply for a trial period of three years.29 The plan meant that Stockholm would be given a central directorate for poor relief, with all the institutions subordinate to it. The work was divided into four departments: The 1st department will deal with provision, the 2nd with institutions of work and correction, the 3rd with education and tuition, and the 4th with the care of the sick.30

The board of directors was composed of members of the different parishes and various boards and foundations under the poor-relief authorities. In addition, “the commercial and artisan class,” the elders of the town, and others were to be represented. The members also sat in one of the departments, with the exception of the chairman and deputy chairman of the board and the president of the Collegium Medicum. The departmental chairmen reported to the board on the matters for which their departments were responsible.31 Education was considered such a central element of poor relief that a special department was necessary. This was to supervise the schools and pupils, and to some extent the teachers too. It was also to supervise “everything to do with the education and teaching of the poor children.”32 Also subordinate to the department were the different school institutions and their headmasters. It was their duty to ensure that the children belonging to each school attend regularly and punctually, that the teachers observe their duties, that the school regulations are closely followed, and that due order is observed in the tuition of the poor youths.33



This new order was justified with reference to the frightening conditions exposed by the inquiry into education. It was stated that there were places for only 800 pupils. Very few of these were reserved for girls, who were refused admission to church schools and garrison schools. It was argued that the educational institutions were inadequate, especially with regard to “the amount of children whose parents can support them but cannot afford to pay for their education.”34 According to the plan outlined for the school system, the church schools would be made “more beneficial for those who already make up the major part of the children attending these schools.”35 It was further suggested that the lowest class in the church schools should be reserved for teaching girls and that the school in Djurgården and the garrison schools should be opened for the same purpose. The expected influx of pupils would be catered to by expanding the existing schools and, depending on needs, through the foundation of new poor schools. The latter would be under the supervision of the poor-relief authorities, while the schools already subordinate to the consistory would remain so.36 Fully in keeping with this, the proposed school ordinance or statute drawn up by the committee recommended that all the children of both the male and the female sex whose education their parents, whether enrolled paupers or not, cannot afford to finance, should enjoy through the auspices of the poor relief the education that is considered necessary for them, and which comprises not merely knowledge but equally and principally handicrafts.37

In other words, it was a rather radical expansion of the school system for children of the lower classes that was proposed by the committee and adopted with the Poor Relief Ordinance of 1807. The committee believed that a central reason for poverty and misery was the neglect of upbringing in poor families. The children grew up in an inadequate environment no matter where they spent their time: in the home, on the street, or in the factory. The way proletarian families reared their children failed to satisfy the members of the committee. The parents were criticized on a number of points. One passage is worth quoting: As child rearing is today, it cannot but spoil the children of the poor. … Sometimes four or five are crammed together with their parents in a single room, where unhealthy air and untidiness begin to drain their physical and



mental strength at an early age. Future wretchedness is grounded in childhood, the children grow up amidst their parents’ quarrels, fights, and oaths, see their immoral way of life, and are not infrequently beaten, perhaps cursed as being a burden on their parents. From the very first years they are brought along to beg in the streets and are introduced to all the deceits and excesses associated with that. If they cannot be brought along they are either locked in or they are allowed to roam the streets without supervision and freely perform all the misdeeds they can think of. If they are finally sent to some school, this happens highly negligently and often rather late. Schooling is regarded as a side issue if work is offered at a factory or elsewhere. They are forced to this by their parents, often from their ninth or tenth year, and all further schooling ceases at a time when it would be most necessary. Although neither properly educated in mind nor body they grow up with no desire or no skill for any beneficial undertaking, and later become a burden on the State. One of the most effective means for reducing future misery will therefore be to offer the children of the poor ample opportunities for education in useful knowledge and spiritual formation whereby they can sometime become beneficial to themselves and to others.38

The committee also reacted strongly to the fact that girls were not taught in the public school system. It was a disgrace to the times and to humanity that half of the human race was excluded, above all since girls were to be the next generation of mothers. uneducated and immoral girls cannot become anything but unskilled ever to fulfill the duties of a servant, much less those of a wife and mother. The children’s upbringing in the first years is chiefly managed by their mothers, and the influences that the receptive and impressionable children acquire then strike deep roots, to the future benefit or harm of the child and society.39

The teaching of girls was viewed in a totally different way from that of boys in the long term. The education of girls was evidently of special importance precisely because the schools could not take the place of the first years’ parental care, specifically maternal care. For this reason, it was necessary for society to extend its care in equal measure to both sexes. The committee found that, although poor girls had not entirely lacked schooling, through the new organization and through the foundation of new schools, girls would not need to be abused and spoiled in schools without proper supervision from the authorities.40



According to the curriculum, tuition was to be geared to both knowledge and skills. Children were to learn to read, write, count, and they were to be taught religion, morals, general knowledge about nature, the statutes of the fatherland, civic institutions, duties, etc. The skills were to include handwork: “sewing, carding, knitting, spinning.” The curriculum does not state the precise distribution of the subjects.41 The budget calculations for the new poor-relief organization showed that the tuition was envisaged to some extent to be self-financing through income from the children’s labor. It would thus be possible to offer teaching to pupils whom the parents could support but not teach.42 The calculations allow us to suspect the educational motives for the handicraft tuition. That too had an economic bias. According to the curriculum, the aim of craft teaching was to give schoolchildren practical skills and the possibility of earning their own living. This would reduce the burden on the parents. The surplus that children could produce through their labor would go to the children, after the poor relief had recovered its costs for providing the education.43 The handicraft tuition also shows that school was scarcely intended as a means for social mobility, despite the extensive book studies. Craft tuition is further justified in the report through the need to train children for their future life, so that, in the absence of other work, they could later support themselves through these skills. However, the work was not to be so hard that it suffocated “the cheerfulness of childhood years”; body and mind were to be developed alternately. The committee believed that the two aims of the education, “knowledge and handicrafts, were equally important, the former for the cultivation of the mind and the institutions of state that make them essential, the latter to be able to earn a decent living and to benefit society in special trades.” The conclusion drawn reflected a fixed opinion of the families’ inability to give their children knowledge that was useful for society. “To provide an education in both for children who could not acquire it in any other way is thus a merciful solicitude for future poor relief.”44 The education and the justifications for it show that there was an ambition to make it as cheap as possible. This aim was directly linked to the desire to reach all children who were not properly educated by their parents. The argumentation also shows that the committee did not consider the parents capable of giving the children the necessary practical or theoretical knowledge necessary for the lower classes.45



The educational system outlined in the poor-relief plan for Stockholm did not just mean economic sacrifices for the prosperous classes who financed it, but was also an attempt to limit the voluntary use of school. The arguments and opinions can easily be associated with the problems tackled by the consistory back in 1776. The committee now suggested harder measures. According to the statute, the conditions for attending education would be that children continued their education without interruption and that both they and their parents obeyed the terms stated in the school regulations, “and submit to the penalty which ensues from offenses against them, and which should be stated in the same regulations, along with everything to do with study and work, except for holidays that have been deemed necessary. Exemption from school attendance for some time may nevertheless be granted, but only when extremely necessary, and never without the permission of the Education Department.”46 Bureaucratic supervision was to be improved. This rule was explained by the fact that it was not possible, in the committee’s opinion, to give the parents the freedom “to send their children there as they see fit, to let them remain absent for a long time or to leave completely. They should therefore be obliged by law and strictly compelled to send their children properly to school and only keep them from it in cases of extreme need, but never without due permission.”47 The internal improvements in the school system would otherwise not have the intended effect or exert all their beneficial influence.48 According to the curriculum, children were to be exposed to this influence between their sixth and twelfth or thirteenth year. No pedagogical reasons were stated for this duration of schooling, but it was put in a much more concrete context. Children were to go to school until “they can generally be considered competent to enter into apprenticeship or service, but if there is no opportunity for this, they shall be occupied at the workhouses of the poor relief. In both cases, however, they shall be under the supervision of the poor relief as long as is deemed necessary, as it could be hazardous to leave them to themselves at once.”49 The ambitions of poor relief were twofold: to occupy children until they could find a job, preferably in a way that simultaneously contributed to the family’s economy and to the costs of education; and to channel the children without problems into working life. The poor-relief authorities were thus to keep a vigilant eye on the children after they finished school. A further step in this direction was that children should maintain their knowledge and preferably expand it by attending Sunday school.50



Tuition in Sunday school was to take place in the form of public lectures after services, “chiefly in religion and morality, as well as civic duties.”51 In this connection, the society Pro Fide et Christianismo was held up as an example. Although the society taught only Christian knowledge, the committee hoped that this teaching could be broadened once the suggested educational institutions had “achieved their effect.” In other words, the committee envisaged a development toward increased knowledge of Christianity thanks to the establishment of schools, after which the society’s activity could be expanded into more general education.52 The new school would replace earlier attempts to compensate for inadequate parental instruction. Moreover, poor relief was to take over some of the traditional responsibility of parents and masters, to ensure that children found work and that they were brought up to embrace the accepted norms of society. This was also underlined by the high frequency of examinations; children were to be examined publicly twice a year.53 The school system and the poor-relief institutions were also supposed to rest on a series of rules on the policing of poor relief. These rules show that school had been established chiefly to curb begging. To give tools to enforce the ban on begging, poor-relief bailiffs were employed, with powers comparable to those of the police. In addition, strict instructions were issued for dealing with people caught or reported begging, and a ban was imposed on almsgiving by private individuals, a ban on protecting beggars against the bailiff’s raids, and so on.54 These rules were naturally also aimed at parents or foster-parents who “ordered or permitted or did not prevent their children from begging when it was in their power to do so.” Parents would be punished as if it were they themselves who had been begging.55 Other rules tightened the demands on an orderly family life and regular school attendance, and enjoined on parents to put their children into apprenticeship when they were old enough. The committee deemed it important to stress the necessity of parents fulfilling their duties. In the committee’s view, begging reflected the inability of families to socialize their children. Other offenses against the order that should be observed by the poor who enjoy public support … [are] drunkenness, dissension, reluctance to work, unwarranted behavior of parents against children and children against parents, the neglect of the latter to send their children to school or to put them in apprenticeship or other work when they have attained the age and



strength for this, children’s bad habit of not accepting service or finding an occupation, or running away from the craft or the apprenticeship in which they have been placed.56

The committee submitted its report and a plan for the organization of poor relief on 4 April 1807, and this was ratified and passed by the King in Council on 12 August the same year. Through this statute Stockholm acquired a poor-relief organization that comprised the whole city. It meant that the school system would be managed according to the principles suggested by the inquiry. The character of the church schools as a place for the poorest classes was confirmed, and they were now also to teach girls. According to the statute of 1807, however, the organization established for poor relief was to have a duration of three years.57 The documents and minutes of the education department have not been preserved, which makes it difficult to analyze how the school system was organized during the three trial years.58 The consistory minutes from 1808 show that serious attempts were made to realize parts of the school plan drawn up by the poor-relief committee. The consistory met the different teachers to discuss the changes brought about by the new organization. They listed the schools that would be open in future for the teaching of girls. The point in the school plan that generated some discontent among teachers was the decision that pupils should also be taught during vacations. Apart from the limited vacations around church holidays, the children were only to be “free for 8 days after Midsummer,” which required a great deal of extra work from the teachers. The consistory flattered the teachers as much as possible when presenting the new rule: “The Doctor and the President believed that it would be superfluous to demonstrate to such enlightened and experienced men to me it makes good sense the argument is that is the schoolteachers need not be told how dangerous the holydays, now customary, are. It a pretty literate translation of a text in Swedish.”59 Vacations had previously been restricted at schools in the Storkyrkan Parish and at the Trivium School, and now they were to be restricted at other schools. After some discussion, the majority of the teachers agreed to teach children during the vacations.60 The church schools had likewise reduced the length of vacations before this. In 1792, the teachers at the public poor-relief institutions and the church schools were paid for teaching during the summer and winter vacations.61 In other words, the model for study during vacation had been practiced even before the school plan of the poor-relief committee was implemented.



The minutes from 1808 also show that the industrial schools that were supposed to be linked to the education department had not been set up. The sandwiching of study and work had to be postponed until some time in the future.62 The poor-relief authorities also drew up rules for the relationship between parents, children, and the school. Great importance was attached to regular attendance, and parents were expected to help send their children to school in accordance with the intentions. At the same time, these rules clearly show that the parents were not viewed as a positive example for the children. If anything, it was hoped that the positive effect of school would also reach the parents through the children. The parental declaration below demonstrates that public education had definitively abandoned the pedagogical foundation of home instruction: N:1. I … who receive education for … child … in the Schools of the Royal Directorate, hereby pledge: 1. To rear my children in the fear of God and with a Christian disposition, always encourage them to do good, and in my domestic behavior never show them anything but good examples. 2. To send the children to school during the time when tuition should be pursued, in accordance with the Poor Relief Statute of the King in Council, on every workday, so early that they can be present in the summer at 7.45 and in the winter at 8.45 in the morning, and both summer and winter at 2 in the afternoon, never without due cause allow them to neglect any lesson, much less any day, and if sickness should arise, to inform the teacher of this at once. 3. To maintain my children in order and cleanliness all the time, to send them to school as clean and tidy as circumstances allow, and to ensure that they also study or work at home, as far as is possible, with what they have been assigned to do. 4. To present myself unerringly and immediately as soon as the teacher summons me for consultation about a child’s behavior or other matters; and 5. To inform the teacher if I should find reason to request leave of absence for the child, and to await authorization or refusal, and comply with the decision. I shall remind myself daily of all that I have pledged here, and if I should fail in the fulfillment of any of these duties, I submit to the punishment deemed reasonable by the Royal Directorate.63



When it comes to other parts of the poor-relief plan for children’s education and the efforts to make them function, we are safe in assuming that they could not be implemented during the short period when the plan was in force.64 However, other measures were taken during the period to increase control, at least over catechetical knowledge. In 1808, the King in Council ordered catechetical examinations ward by ward, with reference to the ordinances of 1735 and 1765, and household examinations, bearing in mind that the examinations would “contribute significantly to the instruction of the young in Christianity.”65 When the three-year period was over, the poor-relief organization was heavily criticized when the activities were assessed. The finances of the administration were in a wretched state and large debts had been incurred, which could not be paid within the planned budget. Nor had the problems of poor relief been solved adequately, and criticism of the central administration was harsh.66 The economic crisis that struck the factories of Stockholm in 1809 probably led to serious problems, with repercussions on the whole city, and the poor-relief plan that was launched had the inherent weakness that it did not comprise the most vulnerable and poverty-stricken groups in Stockholm.67 The factories were expected to solve their own poor-relief problems.68 Since they assumed no responsibility in reality for all the workers—men, women, and children—they employed, the consequences of the crisis from 1809 onward revealed the defects in the organization of poor relief. The statement of the parishes about the organization of poor relief served as a basis for a report presented on 19 February 1812. This suggested that poor relief should be organized by parish, and that the paupers of the garrisons should be looked after in their respective parishes. This had great advantages, according to the report. There would be better control over expenses and it would be easier to estimate the actual needs of poor relief. However, it was considered desirable to level out the costs among the different parishes; this was the only sense in which poor relief was to be a shared concern.69 In another respect, however, the ideas in the earlier poor-relief plan were followed. Based on the declaration on poor relief from the parishes of Jacobus and Johannes, which had won the approval of the committee, it was believed that the first constituent of good poor relief was “the education of poor children.” The only long-term way to curb the increase in poor-relief expenses was to attack them at the root. It was essential to



counteract the immorality and the careless child rearing of the lower classes.70 All those children who could not be cared for in the public children’s home had to be given the opportunity for instruction in “Christianity and good customs, and other knowledge of benefit to them.”71 Boys were to be taught in the church schools, which according to the committee were designed as pedagogies and thus suited to the teaching of poor children. This meant that other children were referred to the trivium school. If it were implemented, the proposal entailed that church schools would be wholly devoted to teaching the poorest children. At the same time, the committee believed that, since the teachers at the church schools could count double years of service, when applying for promotion to better financed positions, and were moreover well paid, they should continue to teach children during vacations. Otherwise the children “would mostly forget what they had learned during term and be left without supervision of their behavior.” This was also a condition if the teachers were to receive an additional salary from the poor-relief authorities.72 The committee evidently thought that girls should not in future be taught in the church schools, and it was proposed that special schools should be set up for the poor among them, schools which along with the tuition in reading and Christian knowledge, and in moral and orderly behavior, can teach them to sew, knit, spin, and so on, so that they are educated, not to become young ladies and mamselles, but chiefly to become modest and demure maids and through time good wives in the working class.73

Girls were to be reared for reproductive tasks in the home. On yet another point the new proposal agreed with the earlier education plan. In future it would remain an important “part of the supervision at these schools that children, according to their age, are accustomed and urged to attend public services and not go idle or hang around in the streets and other places where bad habits are learned.”74 The report also expressed a desire that schools should be established as and when money became available. The financing of poor relief in future would not be based on voluntary contributions but preferably be covered by a certain percentage of the tax revenue. A hope was also expressed that people who were not liable to pay tax in Stockholm, but who nevertheless owned houses and lived there, would show solidarity with the poor and



contribute as well. It was pointed out that these property owners utilized poor relief through the measures provided for former employees.75 The statute issued on 18 March 1812 followed some of the recommendations of the report. The most important departure from the previous organization was that poor relief was to be organized by parish and financed by a special tax. The aim of poor relief would be to ensure “the support, maintenance, and education of poor children to diligence, industriousness, and morality.” The new statute ruled that only boys should be taught in the church schools, the garrison schools, and the Djurgården school. These schools would also be open to poor boys “insofar as space and other circumstances permitted.” However, the schools were on no account to be altered without “the consultation and approval of those concerned.”76 It was obvious that the church schools would not function solely as a school for the poorest children. It was stated that they should “not only serve as places of education for those whose indigence or inclination seems to destine them for the lowest occupations among the working class but also, as hitherto, serve as elementary schools for those who wish to acquire more knowledge than the most indispensable.”77 The city ordinance thus underlined the link of the church schools to the higher education system, and probably also meant a recognition of the contemporary demands of bourgeois educational institutions. These were to meet the increasing need for elementary knowledge that existed among the bourgeoisie.78 The new ordinance, however, admitted that there was also a certain need for educational institutions for girls. It pointed out that, assets permitting, schools should be opened to girls for “necessary instruction,” “managed by competent persons, also of the female sex.” The King in Council simultaneously consented to the use of poor-relief funds to improve teachers’ salaries “in order to continue teaching during the vacations and thereby prevent idleness among the children, with its usually harmful consequences.”79 It also meant, just like the 1807 plan, a recognition that the socialization of children was not solely the concern of parents and priests. Teachers and the general public were given real responsibility, even outside the school walls. Careful supervision should also be exerted over children’s manners and behavior, so that they would not be allowed to roam the streets and alleys, visit eating houses, or indulge in objectionable habits. This supervision was the duty of the clergy, the teachers, and the poor-law directorates of the



parishes, and should also be expected of other zealous members of the congregations and, as far as the girls were concerned, by married women.80

The ordinance was a departure from the fixed organization of control that the former directorate had wished to establish over the socialization of poor children through schooling and other educational activities, through restrictions on leisure time, and so on. At the same time, it meant a recognition of the necessity of the measures outlined by the poor-relief committee, although it preferred a different way to finance and administer the school system. The decision also meant that attempts to prioritize the teaching of poor children at the church schools had failed. The result had been a clear statement that the schools were intended for both the poorest boys and the children who wanted to pursue a longer education. This was thus a recognition of the needs of both the poor school and the bourgeois educational institute. Hardly one summer passed before the consistory missed the old poor-­ relief organization. On 8 September 1812, they wrote to the governor of Stockholm, stating that it was necessary to take certain measures in view of the new poor-relief ordinance. This had underlined the necessity of providing education for the poor children. According to the letter, the church schools in most places were not sufficient even for the boys of the parish. For this reason the consistory wanted the governor and the poor relief to arrange things so that ways are found for poor girls to learn the necessary Christian knowledge and for their training in occupations and jobs which could be beneficial to them. Convinced that a special benefit could be expected if funds could be acquired to pay and encourage the schoolteachers, who in general have scanty salaries, they should hereafter undertake vacation studies in the church schools, which are open for the children of poor and prosperous alike.81

In the subsequent years a whole series of poor schools and free schools were opened in the different parishes of Stockholm, both through the auspices of the poor relief and through voluntary contributions. In March 1813, the poor-relief directorate of Hedvig Eleonora Parish stated at a meeting that a new girls’ school had been arranged in the parish. The priest was to inform the congregation about this from the pulpit in order to “give poor parents an opportunity to let their small daughters benefit from this institution.” On the same occasion, it was also announced that



funds had been acquired for yet another school class, for all the poor children for whom there was no room in the other schools. The school was intended for “small boys and girls, to learn to spell and read books, free of charge.” Money for this would be obtained through the wholesaler Philipsson.82 According to the details submitted to the Education Committee, in 1813–1814 there were poor schools in all the parishes of Stockholm. In 1818, a report on poor relief in Stockholm was published, attesting to the expansion of educational institutions. It lists all the schools of different types for poor children under the authority of the poor relief. The report states that the educational needs were fairly well satisfied.83 In the next chapter, I shall discuss the different schools in detail. Reports to the 1812 Education Committee show that the church schools continued to accept poor pupils. The report from the consistory points out that they were mainly attended by poor children. The responses from the different schools give the same impression. The rectors of Adolf Fredrik Parish pointed out that poor boys received free education in the parish’s church school,84 while the rector of Hedvig Eleonora briefly stated that the aim of the parish’s church school was “to communicate necessary insights into Christianity to less well-off boys, and what they should learn, through reading, writing, and arithmetic, to be of use to society.”85 The poor children, however, were not the only pupils in these schools, as is clear from the answers from some other parishes. Tuition in the Johannes church school, for example, had a different content for the poor “public” boys than for the others: for the public boys the Catechism is the general subject of instruction, followed by the little religious history, biblical history, the smaller geography, the tables in Swedish history and grammar, along with writing and arithmetic. Some of them have started German. The private pupils study mathematics, French, Latin, and German alongside the above exercises.86

The report from Katarina Parish church school shows that the differing background of the pupils led to different patterns of occupation in leisure time. “The poor help their parents. At times they are employed and earn something by plaiting straw or making carders. The more prosperous, when they are not doing something for their parents, or doing their homework, play and amuse themselves.”87



The headmaster also complained about the growing number of children in the lowest class, which made it difficult to follow any pattern of advancement from one class to another. The church schools still had the traditional problem of pupils leaving school prematurely. The headmaster expressed a wish that would no doubt have pleased the architects of the 1807–1810 experiment. “That children could be prevailed upon through some statute not to leave school prematurely. Now the majority leave the lower classes, or when they have just been moved up to the Headmaster’s class, leaving no information as to where they have gone.”88 The social reality did not always make it possible to pursue studies in a way that took advantage of the potential of the education. It was reported from the church school in Hedvig Eleonora Parish that homework did not always give the desired effect. The children “are always given lessons to study at home, but are often prevented by their poor parents, who always have something to busy them with.”(Fig. 5.1)89 Parents and children did not live in social circumstances which allowed school to be used otherwise than as a place where they could spend the day until other opportunities came up. At the same time, the church schools theoretically allowed poor children to pursue more advanced studies. Yet the number of poor children made it difficult even to lay on adequate teaching for those with the social and economic circumstances to have a longer schooling. The interest in developing a school for the intermediate stratum of society would soon change this. The headmaster of the church school in Katarina Parish described the situation as follows: If school is to achieve its purpose as a borgarskola [an intermediate school teaching practical subjects], we should be freed from having to accept children other than those who can read with any ability beforehand. Spelling and reading should be learned either from the parents themselves, or in private schools … and in children’s schools established for the purpose.90

The problem that became relevant during the eighteenth century was nearing its solution. The doors had to be closed for some and opened for others. That is the subject of the next section.



Fig. 5.1  From the eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century, it was mostly women who were responsible for collecting night soil in Stockholm. They worked in pairs, carrying the barrels between them on a pole, or pulling them on a toboggan. Working women might have had problems looking after their children at the same time. (Carl Wilhelm Swedman (1762–1840), Stockholms stadsmuseum F 31574)



One School for the Poor and One School for the Rich—the Emergence of a Parallel School System The church schools in Stockholm were open to all children, regardless of social circumstances and class, and they could proceed from these schools to higher stages of education as part of a continuous structure. Although pupils had to pass an examination in order to advance, the courses were designed to fit a common system. The proposed school ordinance entailed creating a parallel school system in which the arithmetic class/practical school/commercial school ran alongside the grammar school and was intended for “tradesmen.” In November 1816, the Education Committee was given the task of reviewing the education system in the city of Stockholm and making suggestions for improvement.91 The unclear status of the church schools was evidently a major reason why it was considered necessary to investigate how the new proposal could be adapted to the special conditions prevailing in Stockholm. The Poor Relief Ordinance of 1812 had made it evident that the church schools should not be designed exclusively for the needs of poor boys and girls. The Education Committee went much farther in the proposal that was presented in 1817. This began by pointing out that the educational system in Stockholm was of an indeterminate character, and this also applied in large measure to the church schools there. They were run as a kind of mixture of “pedagogy, commercial school, and school of learning,” and there were complaints that they were poorly adapted to the “true” needs of the young people and the requirements of the times. For this reason, the schools had failed to win the confidence of the parents and the public. The children of the upper classes instead attended private boarding schools and institutions. The committee therefore felt obliged to make radical changes to the school system in Stockholm. It suggested establishing a high school (gymnasium), one higher and one lower school of learning, and two higher and three lower schools of commerce.92 According to this suggestion, then, the church schools faced a transformation into “proper schools of learning and commerce at a higher level.” This metamorphosis, naturally, had major consequence for the management of the schools, the teacher’s terms of service, salary, calculation of years of service, and so on, but also for the recruitment of pupils. According to the proposal, the school ordinance was to regulate the conditions for admission to grammar school. Admission normally required a certain level of knowledge. These recommendations, however, were not sufficient.



At Stockholm Grammar School even stricter care will be necessary, especially for admission to the schools of commerce. The intention can never be to fill these with such poor children as are clearly destined, by virtue of their natural aptitude and other circumstances, to seek their livelihood from manual work in mature age. For this numerous class of Stockholm children there is already in the capital a significant number, and still rising almost every year, of poor schools and craft schools in which they receive all the education for their future trades as can be considered useful and necessary.93

The committee found it very important that children should not be drawn away from useful occupations to become a burden on society. The responsible authorities were urged to keep a close eye on the selection of pupils, but this was not to be done at the cost of excluding poor but gifted children.94 The committee’s proposal did not go without criticism. The Stockholm consistory wrote a vehement reply protesting against the way in which the city’s educational system was described, and objecting to the suggested organization and management. The consistory argued that the church schools, without ceasing to function according to their original plan, had gradually acquired the role of preparing pupils for higher education. They also claimed that the schools could continue in the future, given better resources, to provide the general education necessary for all classes of society and sufficient for “the great mass.” The consistory also objected to the third kind of school that the committee suggested establishing. The schools of commerce would achieve only a pernicious semi-education and an increase in the classes consuming society’s resources. There was also criticism of the suggested management of the schools; the consistory felt that it was best suited to supervising the educational system.95 The consistory’s view represented an outlook on education that was diametrically opposed to that expressed in the committee’s proposal. Moreover, it reflected something much more crucial for our problem, namely, a completely different view of the value of the church schools. According to the consistory, the foundation of schools of commerce, which would in future educate persons of rank in the capital, would have serious consequences. This did away with the church schools “and left it to private charity, and thus to uncertain chance, to provide a scant education to the broad masses.”96 It was necessary instead to reinforce the church schools so that they could function better as public institutions and as places of higher



education for those who did not enter trade. According to the consistory, the committee’s proposal meant that, in the superfluity of new seats of learning that was to be established, “not one was intended for the benefit of those who, constituting the most numerous subjects of Your Majesty, thus make up the marrow and strength of our society.”97 On this basis, the consistory questioned the rules for admission and the criteria by which pupils were to be selected. They argued that the future school staff could not possess the appropriate qualifications to decide which of the poor children should be admitted. Nor could the consistory understand why those pupils who were “disadvantaged by nature and circumstances” should be excluded from schooling. This rule affected only the poorest pupils. Moreover, the committee had said in a different context that poor children with excellent natural aptitude should be given access to schooling. The consistory’s verdict on the proposal was merciless and categorical: it was without counterpart in the whole of Europe. Comparable educational principles could only be found, as far as was known, in China, where they had “acted consistently and systematically to kill the disadvantaged immediately after birth.”98 The consistory received no support for its views from either the archbishop or the committee which it attacked. The archbishop said that the schools of commerce were obviously needed to satisfy those youths who wished to enter “the military, trade, factories, and other occupations.” They needed a knowledge of modern languages, mathematics, geography, and history, which could scarcely be achieved with the present design of the church schools. The archbishop also thought that the admission requirements were reasonable. In his view it was quite natural to exclude those who could not become useful citizens other than as members of the tradesmen’s class.99 In his definition of who should be excluded, he virtually mocked the consistory’s criticism: Disadvantaged by nature and circumstances are those without natural aptitude, deaf, dumb, and unable to speak properly, half-idiotic, afflicted with falling sickness and infectious diseases, so poor that they do not own clothes to cover the body, able-bodied ones who have run away from masters, from the flail and the plow, arriving from other dioceses without valid reasons…100

In other words, the archbishop had little understanding for the need to arrange schooling for the poorest of the poor, or for those who liberated themselves from the old order of society and from their superiors. He did



not say a word about the crucial point in the consistory’s statement, that is, about providing “a scant education to the broad masses,” but he did have a more understanding attitude to the consistory’s stance on the management of the school system. Although he believed that it was not against current charters or laws, he felt that there was no good reason to alter the current management. The poor state of the schools was a result of inadequate organization and poor supervision by the clergy.101 The major part of the response from the Education Committee was devoted to a justification of the proposal and a critique of the consistory’s reply. When it came to ensuring the clerical influence and making minor adjustments to the administration and localization, there was evidently sufficient maneuvering space. However, the Education Committee could not see any justification in the consistory’s defense of the church schools, and it pointed out the inconsistency in some of the argumentation concerning the present and future character of the church schools.102 Unlike the archbishop, the committee did not avoid the issue of the education of the poor children, but it did not agree with the consistory that these children needed teaching in schools. The committee returned to its criticism of the church schools and asserted once again that they could not be developed. There was no way to forbid private institutions through coercive measures, as the consistory had suggested, irrespective of their poor condition and content. That would have been against “civic and personal freedom.” The current recruitment of pupils to the church schools underlined the need to implement the intended curriculum. Occupying and educating the children of the poor was not compatible with tuition geared to bourgeois trades. The committee maintained that since the other schools (with the exception of Stockholm Cathedral School) are hardly ever attended by any but those from the lower classes, without plans for their future occupation, who are propelled by the needs of the moment, this further demonstrates the importance and urgency of the proposed improvement.103

It was thus necessary to separate the education of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This conviction was of course closely connected to the committee’s view of upbringing and education. The duties of the state with respect to general education did not arise until



parents have discharged the duties toward their children that nature has imposed on them, insofar as they can best be fulfilled within the household. And if, on the one hand, poverty, and, on the other hand, negligence, along with the disorder that may arise in the capital, where a larger multitude of people is assembled, should hinder the general and careful fulfillment of these duties, then the cure for this ill is not among the concerns incumbent on the Education Committee, but rests with the Police Board, pastoral care, and poor relief.104

The committee did not think it had any reason to believe that public education was neglected in Stockholm. Apart from the seven church schools which, according to the proposal, were to be exempted from teaching the poor, there were a great many other institutions for educating these children. Since the committee had received details of these in 1814, more schools had been established under the auspices of the improved poor relief.105 The decision of the King in Council on 29 January 1819 followed the latest proposal of the Education Committee, which was modified to some extent to give better balance to the influence of the church.106 Poor children were excluded from tuition in the church schools. They were thus banished to the home, the street, or the poor schools, if there were no jobs available for them. This also created a system with parallel schools and different forms of socialization for children from different classes. It was not possible, however, to implement in full all the decisions taken in 1819. The directorate of the education board found that poor schools and craft schools were not sufficient for all the paupers’ children who turned up for lessons. It was therefore suggested that three “public children’s schools” should be established, and this was passed on 14 June 1820. These schools were intended for poor children “whose circumstances and disposition did not permit or require any literary education.” Instruction was to be given in reading, writing, and arithmetic. This was to be done using the method of alternating teaching, so that as many children as possible could be taught by one teacher. Public children’s schools were established in Norrmalm, Södermalm, and in the Town between the Bridges. In 1827, the Djurgården School was converted into a public children’s school and placed under the directorate of the education board. The schools were regarded as a kind of primary schools and not as grammar schools.107



Decentralized Poor Relief and the Education of Poor Children How did the school system function as it emerged in the first decades of the nineteenth century, and what form did schools take after the collapse of the great poor-relief plan? The inquiry into poor relief and the debate about the school system gave some idea about what people wanted to achieve through the expansion of school. At the same time, the weakness of the public discussion is that it reflected the intentions of the school system rather than its actual appearance. The reorganization of poor relief in the period 1807–1810 clearly shows this. The organization of the school system can be described with slightly greater accuracy using the reports, statutes, etc. submitted in response to the Education Committee’s inquiry of 1813. It may be of value to examine the concrete form of the schools as a contrast to the visionary plans enshrined in the major reform proposals. The poor-relief authority’s program for teaching the poorest children was driven by a desire to reduce begging. It was no longer, as in the seventeenth century, a matter of regulating begging but of eradicating it. The measures proposed were intended to keep children off the streets and find reliable means to ensure that they were given work. In the view of the poor-relief authority, families could not ensure that children observed prevailing norms or acquired sufficient practical knowledge. The Garrison Schools Soldiers’ children were among those for whom schools were organized earliest, both in Stockholm and at most of the other garrisons in Sweden. The debate in Malmö revealed that there were some doubts about the design of the school. Opinions were divided as to whether it was needed in order to occupy the children during the daytime or was only necessary to compensate for the inadequate family education. This background can be glimpsed once again in the draft and the amendment of the statutes for the Life Guard’s school in 1792. It is hardly surprising in view of the social circumstances of the soldiers’ families.108 The reports from the garrison parishes, however, do not fully match this gloomy picture of social misery and poorly functioning family education. In Stockholm in 1813, there were schools at the Royal Svea Life Guard, at the Artillery Regiments’ children’s home, and at the Royal Army’s Fleet and the Skeppsholmen Parish Poor School. The rectors of the respective



parishes tendered reports on these schools to the Education Committee, and in some cases, they appended extracts from statutes, instructions, consistory decisions, and the like. The rectors of the Mounted Life Guard and the Royal Second Guard also provided data on the state of elementary education in their parishes. According to the rector of the latter, the children were scattered all over the town. It was therefore impossible for them to attend the same school. In the present conditions, most children were taught by their parents, and according to the rector, their reading skills and memorization of the catechism were rather “modest.”109 Despite this positive verdict the rector thought that the safest and best thing would be if the children had the opportunity to attend the public schools free of change. It is possible that the rector’s explanation as to why the parents preferred to teach the children themselves may perhaps give us grounds to suspect that the tuition was not always impeccable. He reported that many found it most convenient “to teach them the most essential knowledge themselves, while they were forced on account of their poverty to let the children earn their own bread; they then urge them to study when they have a moment to spare.”110 The priest examined and encouraged the children at special reading tests in his home. In his view, then, school was not absolutely essential, neither to occupy nor to educate children. However, he would not totally reject the idea that organized school tuition could fulfill a certain function. The parents’ need for their children’s labor could evidently be an obstacle to this type of solution.111 The chaplain of the Mounted Life Guard took the opportunity to emphasize the need for a school because the regiment would in future be stationed in one place and it numbered 300 men. The number of marriages had multiplied, and it was important that the teaching of the children was not neglected. Until schooling could be introduced at the regiment, it was appropriate that the children were given an opportunity to use the city schools.112 The data cited in these two responses are, of course, difficult to assess. The priest had an obvious interest in presenting his own work in as favorable a light as possible, showing that if anything was wrong it was due to circumstances beyond his control. The statements about the children’s labor, the parents’ teaching, and the priest’s own efforts are therefore of little value as evidence. The details that can nevertheless be used are the priests’ statements that the children were only taught in the home and that the priest, despite his own good endeavors, thought that a school might be needed. Moreover, these statements must have been influenced by the



fact that schools had been established for the poor children at three garrisons. Against this background, it is not easy to claim that the parishioners’ knowledge of Christianity was impeccable. The statement of the chaplain of the Second Guard, however, is corroborated to some extent by more reliable evidence. The schools of the Life Guard, the Artillery, and the Navy/Skeppsholmen submitted not only reports but also transcripts of previously established regulations and school statutes. This material was thus not produced on behalf of the Education Committee but to regulate the day-to-day work of the schools. The information from the Svea Life Guard is interesting, moreover, because the appended documents cover several changes to the school statutes after it was founded in 1772. It turns out, for example, that the school could not entirely take the place of parental tuition. At all three schools, the children had to be able to read books, or at least know the alphabet and be able to spell, before they were allowed to start school. Yet the schools were prepared to give elementary tuition. The chaplain of the Life Guard was able to allow exemptions to the requirement of literacy. The Artillery congregation accepted 12 children without prior knowledge— each company demanded one place—to be taught from the age of 6.113 It is not wholly improbable that the close social contact that could occur at the regiments also meant that the men’s knowledge was maintained at such a level that they were able to teach their children, despite all their work and their poverty. The schools at both the Life Guard and Skeppsholmen, according to the instructions at the end of the eighteenth century, were also geared for a period to teaching the men who needed it. The statutes of the Life Guard from 1811, however, say nothing about teaching uneducated men,114 and at the Navy/Skeppsholmen school, the men ceased to receive tuition after the poor school was amalgamated with the Ship’s Boys’ School. According to a report from 1813, the lack of space made it necessary for the chaplains to assume sole responsibility for teaching the men. At the latter school, tuition of the men was reintroduced when the Ship’s Boys’ School was separated from the poor school. The reason stated was that, according to a new ordinance, it was now permitted to recruit younger men who did not have sufficient Christian knowledge.115 This worried the city consistory too, as is evident from its reply to the Education Committee.116 It is not unlikely that the soldiers’ knowledge could be maintained at a high level through these measures. This could explain why the schools could largely be based on a degree of



parental tuition. In 1818 and 1821, however, schools were founded at the Mounted Life Guard and the Second Guard as well.117 The regulations of the Life Guard had been established at the congregation’s church council in January 1811. According to the minutes of the council, it was no longer possible to follow the old rules from 1792.118 The differences were extensive. It has already been mentioned that the school was no longer intended for the adult men of the regiment but only for children in the parish. Children of soldiers were given priority over other children in the parish. In 1792, the reason stated for expanding the courses in school was to occupy the children until the parents could find work for them. In 1811, the syllabus was just as large, but there were evidently other factors in the children’s lives that affected schooling. The children’s schooling, according to the ordinance, was not to comprise more than three hours in the morning and two in the afternoon, since the pupils were mainly “poor Guards’ children, who have to be at home while the parents are out trying to earn a common living.” Children who had the opportunity to study longer could take school work home with them.119 The instructions for the Navy/Skeppsholmen school for 1807 had a passage formulated in very similar terms.120 The statements are far too brief to permit a more definitive assessment of the underlying reality. It may be assumed with some justification that the children were needed for some kind of work in the home, for example, looking after younger siblings, even though they had not finished school. They obviously did not have any full-time employment.121 The children’s courses were on a much larger scale in the new instructions than in 1773 and 1792, when the emphasis had been on reading the catechism and the Law of God.122 In the response to the Education Committee in 1813 it was pointed out that the children practiced reading “Christianity, which is the most essential thing a poor child should learn, and then, in accordance with the needs of the time and the school’s new regulations, Swedish, Geography, the History of the Fatherland …”123 The extended syllabus was believed to open more unlimited prospects for the boys’ future, and the greater cultivation of the intellect would lighten the burdens of “poor men’s children.”124 More interesting, however, is the fact that the emphasis was not on the same elements in religious instruction. Once children had learned how to read they could start to learn by heart from the catechism or some other textbook chosen by the authorities. However, when following Luther’s Catechism, “the household code, the Athan. Symbolum, and the passages on confession



should be passed over.” In the Bible, pupils read the New Testament. The same veiled criticism was leveled against the Catechism of Svebilius, of which it was said that “as long as the Catechism of Svebilius is retained, the regimental chaplain should mark for memorization those passages which are suitable for the children; but the others which may be thought obscure, superfluous, unsuitable, improper should be deleted.”125 Other elements had been changed in the instructions and statutes. In the 1772, statutes the parents were threatened with the stocks if their children did not attend school and roamed the streets instead. The new instructions for 1811 stressed the importance of setting a good example, serious but not severe; children’s diligence was to be stimulated by encouragement rather than the rod. For example, “a diligent pupil can be given the honor of examining the young in the teacher’s stead. He may sit higher up, be given an occasional rest period, etc.” The children should also be divided into classes (läxlag) according to their progress, being moved up or down in the classroom as they deserved.126 If encouragement did not help, punishment had to be meted out. This would follow familiar models, such as “sitting in the dunce’s chair, being moved down below the classmates, etc.” Only when mild punishments had been in vain could the teacher use the rod. This was to be administered to “hardier places” on the body, and “the more severe beating shall be administered more seldom, and then in the presence of everyone.”127 Shaming was also central in the Skeppsholmen school, following the pattern whereby the offender was singled out, isolated, and finally expelled from school. The latter was in accordance with the principle that “it is better to lose one than many.” The punishments permitted in school are the following: The public pronouncement of the name of the offender in the classroom along with reproach and warning—segregation from fellow pupils in a special place— major or minor loss or rewards—demotion from a higher to a lower room, public apology—Concilium aveundi; then after parents and pastor have been informed thereof: expulsion from school—in addition to severe and mild corporal punishment with the rod, and in certain cases a fine…128

It was the teacher’s duty not only to instruct the children in the different subjects on the syllabus, but also to ensure that they were clean and tidy and supervise their morals. Pupils had to turn up



at the exact time … neat and tidy as befits their means and substance; but always clean clothes and face, take up their places and remain there in silence. 4. Since fear of God, good manners, virtue, and utility are the greatest purposes that should be attained through school work, the school should be like a temple, from which ungodly, unsuitable, and illegal behavior is to be forever banned.129

According to the instructions, the Skeppsholmen and Life Guard schools were to be open to both boys and girls, while the Artillery school was for boys only. The decisions made about the new poor relief in 1812 meant that the garrison schools could only teach boys. The reports submitted to the 1812 Education Committee show that both girls and boys were still taught at the Svea Life Guard school and the Skeppsholmen Parish poor school.130 The other three regiments had no educational institution for girls, which the court consistory deplored in its letter to the committee. This letter also hints at some criticism of the fact that the existing schools were not arranged in the most appropriate way. The girls needed instruction in handicraft and better tuition in Christianity, writing, and arithmetic.131 The consistory underlined the need to set up schools for the children at the other regiments, once they had been stationed in barracks and expressed an interest in changing the regulations. They wished to abolish severe corporal punishment because it spoiled the true sense of honor and offended modesty. Although it was still necessary to employ serious punishments for “malice, stubbornness, and evil and delinquent tendencies,” it was desirable that “moderation, tenderness, and concern for the children’s future welfare should always wield the scourge.”132 It should be noted that the severe form of corporal punishment was retained in the regulations for the Life Guard school in 1811, but was made more lenient in the 1813 instructions for teachers. Beatings were now to be administered in private.133 The court consistory also emphasized the importance of limiting school vacations as much as possible, since it took away precious time for learning and “ruined all the fruits of study.” Thanks to the school inspectors, vacations had already been increasingly restricted, and all that was left now was to abolish them “through formal legislation.”134 Statutes, instructions, and reports give no specific information about the ages when children were supposed to or actually did attend school. At the Svea Life Guard school, it was expressly stated that schooling was open “without regard for age or sex until they have taken Holy Communion,



after which a large portion of the intention of this education ought to have been achieved.”135 The statement underlines the ultimate goal the priests considered important. The chaplain of the Artillery pointed out that there were no set ages during which children were to attend school, but that no one should “enjoy board beyond the age of 15, since a youth is then considered to have reached the age required to enter some craft as an apprentice.” At the same age he could also be accepted for service in the regimental band. The responses also stress that none of the children went on to grammar school. They were generally taken into service in craft, at the regiment, or in private employment.136 The instructions from the garrisons in Stockholm suggest that tuition could partly be based on the parents’ teaching their children to read. The material also shows that the adult soldiers were taught as needed, although the later statements place greater emphasis on the teaching of the children. The most important subject was Christianity. However, the content of this tuition was different from what it had been, and other subjects of a more civic character were also taught. The rules and statutes also testify that there was a new outlook on the education of lower-class children. Schooling was adapted to the parents’ need for the children’s help in the home, and continued until the significant goal—first communion—at the age of fourteen. Children left school to start learning a craft or go into service. Factory work is not mentioned. Schooling in 1813 was evidently as dependent as before on the participation of the parents. Now, however, the patents did not face the threat of the stocks if they failed to fulfill their obligations. The Poor Schools Poor schools began to be founded at the start of the eighteenth century. The segment of the poor population at which they were aimed was not as clearly defined as in the garrison schools, and they differed partly in form. We should begin by reminding ourselves that the poor schools were largely founded as a result of the reform of poor relief after the great experiment of 1807–1810. Poor girls were no longer admitted to the church schools, but at the same time, the parishes were still to have the duty of finding ways to occupy the young. As a consequence, schools were founded in all the parishes.137 It is against this background that we should look more closely at how the schools were organized.



The poor schools generally expected no prior knowledge of the children. According to information provided to the Education Committee, the poor schools mostly concentrated on teaching pupils primary knowledge of reading, Christianity, writing, and arithmetic. Occasional schools also taught history and geography.138 The girls’ education was otherwise geared to various practical skills. The children in Klara Parish had to learn to sew, knit, spin, and so on, as well as reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, Christianity, and history.139 In the reports from the Storkyrkan Parish, school was linked directly to the insufficient ability of families to educate their children. The real purpose of the Poor School is to give opportunities for instruction in the subjects listed below for children of both sexes whose parents have either died in poverty or else, although living, are unable, on account of poverty or incompetence, to pay for their children’s education, so that they can enter the state as servants, laborers, artisans, etc.140

Teaching in practical subjects was mainly a part of a girl’s education. In a donation school, the Free Institution of Learning and Work in the parish of Maria Magdalena, however, the boys as well were taught crafts through which they could earn a living, such as cobbling and tailoring. In this school too, the girls’ tuition was mainly connected to work in the home. One absolute condition was that children of both sexes in this school should be taught so that “every single child, both boys and girls, should learn to sew a patch on their torn clothes, to darn a hole in their stockings, and to mend their shoes.”141 The donor obviously believed that certain basic skills could be important for both boys and girls. Otherwise, the boys’ education was intended to prepare them for work outside the home. In the poor schools we can see the same tendency to a division of the teaching matter. In his reply to the Education Committee, the teacher of the lowest class in the Storkyrkan Parish poor school expressed his discontent that the teaching of the girls was far too comprehensive. The girls’ activities should be domestic, and too much study was harmful both to themselves and to society. He therefore suggested that certain school subjects should be reduced for the girls and that their sewing lessons should be expanded. At this time the education in the Storkyrkan school comprised, besides the basic subjects, history and geography. After two years’ schooling, the girls were supposed to have completed the study courses,



after which they were sent to sewing school, although even here there was recurrent revision of what they had learned.142 The division of the schools in the Storkyrkan Parish had been implemented in other parishes. The Free Institution of Learning and Work in the parish of Maria Magdalena required some prior knowledge of the pupils admitted to the work department.143 The parish poor school was intended to prepare the pupils so that they could go on to the Free Institution or to the church school.144 The poor schools were divided in a similar way in other parishes. In the junior school the boys and girls studied together, after which their ways parted. It was reported from Ladugårdslandet that “30 small boys and girls have learned to spell correctly and read books, and have learned the small Catechism by heart; whereafter the boys are sent to the Church School and the girls to the senior Girls’ School for further tuition.”145 The 1807 School Ordinance presupposed that the children were literate on admission to the Trivium School. The junior poor school was arranged as a preparatory course for boys. Girls were sent to the Girls’ School, where they learned female crafts as well as reading, writing, and arithmetic.146 According to the information in the same report, however, the teaching for boys was not more comprehensive than this in the Ladugårdslandet church school. It comprised only Christianity, reading, writing, and arithmetic.147 The account of the poorhouses presented in the report on poor relief for 1818 shows that the tendency to divide the poor schools into junior and senior was implemented consistently. The junior schools served as preparation for the girls’ more craft-oriented tuition in the senior poor schools, and for the boys’ continued studies in the church schools. The poor-relief board estimated in 1818 that the city had enough institutions to teach poor children.148 Through the establishment of ABC schools and junior poor schools it was possible to avoid the exclusion of boys from the church schools entailed by the 1807 School Ordinance. Education in the poor schools consequently was not based on parental tuition. The data on age in the sources for the free schools and poor schools are somewhat more precise that those from the garrison schools. The poor girls’ school in Klara Parish recommended that “having reached the age of 13 the children should be discharged from school, to seek and accept posts and jobs suited to their condition.” The poor girls’ school in Katarina Parish did not discharge girls until they were fifteen.149 The report on the poor school in Storkyrkan Parish argued that children should be given the



opportunity for longer schooling than up to the age of 12. Although children at this age had sufficient knowledge to start some trade, they evidently were not given a chance to do so.150 The possibilities for children to gain employment before the age of 14 seem to have been limited, while at the same time not all children were able to continue their studies at the church schools or in the Trivium School. In an appeal published in the newspaper Stockholms Dagligt Allehanda the year before the replies to the inquiry by the Education Committee, similar views were aired. The article, published on 17 March 1813, called for contributions to an educational establishment for poor and defenseless children. The views expressed underline that delinquency among children was considered to be a result of a poor environment and bad upbringing. Delinquency undoubtedly led to more serious criminality. It was therefore important to give children care and a chance to become industrious citizens. One of the reasons why an educational institution was needed was, according to the author, a shortage of properly functioning schools for the poorest children in society. There was a gap between school and work. The little tuition to the lowest degree of education, interrupted early because of poverty or carelessness, that such children acquire in the city’s free schools, is lost again before the children’s age and bodily strength allow them to be used in a gainful trade. During this interval, often lasting several years, which they mostly spend in idleness or harmful pursuits, whether treated tyrannically or totally unbridled, but constantly surrounded by all manner of immorality, they imbibe tendencies to all vices and are lost to society long before the age at which they can enter it as useful members.151

The author of this appeal then went on to describe the bad behavior of apprentice boys and journeymen that was the ineluctable consequence of these conditions.152 The church schools also complained about the way pupils left school. According to the headmaster of the church school in Katarina Parish, a statute was needed that could prevent the pupils from leaving school early, “without our having the slightest knowledge of where they have gone.”153 The report on the Institution of Learning and Work in Maria Magdalena Parish also states the jobs the children found after leaving school in 1811 and 1812. All ten girls left the school to work in “diverse services” while the boys went to “diverse trades” and craft apprenticeships. Only 3 of 25



boys left to do factory work. These data are not representative for any other school, but they confirm other information about the children’s schooling.154 It should also be pointed out that, according to the Guild Ordinance of 1720, apprentices could not be taken on until the age of fourteen. In factories children could start working at the age of ten to fourteen.155 No definitive data can be given about the conditions in which children left school, but there is a great deal to suggest that children in some cases left school at the age of 12 without having a job to go to. The poor-relief system did not achieve the ambition of channeling children into working life as stated in the 1805 inquiry. Education at the different schools was free of charge. To some extent, there was also charity, issuing clothes and shoes to needy children. The items produced at the different handicraft schools could also go to the children. In some schools, the girls knitted stockings both for themselves and for the boys.156 The report on poor relief in Stockholm for 1811 stated that linen cloth and stockings were issued to some children sent to the school by the poor-relief authorities. This charity was also partly bestowed as a reward for diligence and progress.157 The rewards, for example, in Katarina Parish were explicitly associated with the pupils’ diligence. “At examinations small awards of clothing are given to those who have distinguished themselves.”158 In the Free Institution of Learning and Work in the parish of Maria Magdalena, however, the prizes were partly of a different kind; diligence was rewarded with bibles and hymn books.159 If the children did not satisfy the requirement of proper attendance, there was a corrective in the form of expulsion from further schooling. In the first instance, however, children were to be exhorted and encouraged. The information is scanty; in Klara Parish reference was made to school regulations and no answer was elaborated.160 Those in charge of the Free Institution of Learning and Work stressed that no corporal punishment occurred. Everything is based on their own concern for their own welfare and their sense of honor. The teachers have thus endeavored, through Christianity, common sense, and experience, to give increased strength to the truth that virtue is its own reward, and that properly fulfilled duties pave the way for personal satisfaction, future prosperity, and the respect and trust of one’s equals. Nor do we omit, through the children’s own decision, to declare the negligent or depraved pupil unworthy to take part in the pleasures of the well-behaved until they improve.161



The report also pointed out that the children’s faults and merits were noted daily in a journal; according to the writer, this made a much more powerful impression on the children than the severest beating, especially when “they have experienced the consequences thereof” in examination results and rewards. The rewards, apart from bibles and hymn books, also included articles produced at the school. The writer judged this upbringing to be very effective, functioning well “even on temperaments of the least promising kind, albeit the children came from the very poorest class.”162 Both private schools and those run by the poor relief seem to have tried to foster internal disciplining and schooling with the aid of charity in various forms. The free and poor school in Storkyrkan Parish allocated “32 shillings per month for each child, for shoes and clothes.” The idea was “to eliminate obstacles preventing the children from availing themselves of the education.”163 The details in the reports are too brief, however, to allow us to draw any conclusions about the extent of this charity. In an earlier chapter, I pointed out that the poor-relief authorities, after the new statute of 1812, were supposed to work to occupy the children in their spare time. In the immediately ensuing period, it is said that special funds were paid to teach the children in the church schools during the vacations. This was not discussed in the responses to the Education Committee. What is clear is that the children’s vacations were restricted to church holidays and in some cases to the days around Midsummer. “Tuition … goes on the whole year round, without vacations, except for 8 days’ holiday at Christmas.” 164 There was evidently a desire, both in the poor schools and in the church schools, to keep the children in school throughout the year. This applied to boys and girls alike. The analysis of the evidence about the poor schools and free schools reveals a slightly different perspective from that emerging from the discussion of the garrison schools. The schools run by the poor relief were not based on any kind of parental tuition. Schooling mostly consisted of religious instruction, although boys were offered a wider syllabus. It should be emphasized, however, that the minimum requirements seem to have included writing and arithmetic. Different types of schools were developed as part of the system of poor schools. The junior poor schools were focused on giving the boys sufficient knowledge for broader (and longer) education in the church schools. The senior poor schools were mainly oriented to practical tuition, especially for girls. In this way, the poor schools developed a system that partly



corresponded to the later primary school (småskola) and elementary school (folkskola), although for the girls the latter had a much more practical orientation. For the boys, the church schools functioned as a superstructure to the preparatory poor school. At the same time we may note that the school system did not cover the whole period up to the child’s transition from school to work. The poor-­ relief authorities never managed to achieve the ideas for this expressed in the poor-relief plan of 1807. It is against this background that we must interpret the discussions of the need for other institutions to look after children aged over 12. The poor-relief plan of 1807 proposed compulsory schooling up to the end of the thirteenth year. However, the school system that was built up in the years following the great plan fulfilled some of the other ambitions expressed in the poor-relief plan. Poor relief created institutions for teaching girls on a scale previously unknown, and efforts were continued to reduce children’s spare time. Schools for girls was more specifically geared to teaching various domestic crafts. These comprised both skills that were useful in the home and those that could be employed in a factory: weaving and spinning. In cases where boys were taught practical skills, they were for trades involving simple craftwork. The school system was based on the parents’ and the children’s interest in education. The idea of using legislation to enforce better schooling was not realized. Education and disciplining in school were instead associated with the material advantages that diligent school attendance could bring to poor schoolchildren. At the same time, the education in the poor schools, as in the garrison schools, took on a different meaning. In a situation where children were enticed to school by material benefits, corporal punishment was hardly the best disciplinary method. Internalization was the solution advocated by the new pedagogy and by the new content of schooling. The lack of possible disciplinary measures must have been one of the social factors behind this change. Catechetical Schools and Craft Schools There were also schools for working children. The society Pro Fide et Christianismo, as we have seen, was interested in teaching the catechism to young people who for various reasons had inadequate knowledge when they were to take their first communion. The first years of the nineteenth century saw the foundation of schools for apprentices, which gives us a



hint that those interested in national education wished to reach young people taking part in production. Pastor Primarius Gustav Murray, who was also involved in Pro Fide et Christianismo, applied in 1806 to establish a school among journeymen and apprentice craftsmen in an attempt to “avert the pastimes pursued by many of them during their spare time on Sundays and holidays, which are harmful to decency and morality, and which often have a pernicious effect on their occupation for several successive days.”165 The school was intended to give this class of people knowledge adapted to their work in handicraft and essential for law-abiding Christian subjects and useful citizens.166 The regulations established in September 1806 defined this knowledge in more detail. It was a generally known truth that journeymen and apprentices, while learning their trades, had no opportunity to acquire certain practical and useful knowledge. By this knowledge we mean first and foremost practical religious knowledge, as well as writing, reading, composing letters and accounts, and the geography and history of the native land, to teach them the most important knowledge in all these subjects.167

Apart from the knowledge of religious character that the household was normally expected to impart, journeymen and apprentices would also be taught subjects that could be useful in their future occupational life. The rules also hint, like the original application, that the conveyance of knowledge was not the only reason for establishing the school; there was also an interest in reducing the number of apprentices on the streets. Therefore this tuition shall be given on those days and at those times when journeymen and apprentices have the most leisure, which many have hitherto used for pastimes which are harmful to themselves, dishonorable to the sanctity of these days, and often a danger to the general peace.168

The school was subject to the parish’s poor relief and its pastor. The teaching, which was to be given between four and seven o’clock on Sundays and holidays, presupposed that the 25 pupils could read Swedish and that they could display certificates of good character, that they obeyed their masters and attended regularly. Otherwise their right to tuition would be withdrawn.169



The material collected for the inquiry of the Education Committee in 1813 shows that several craft schools of this kind were founded in Stockholm. It is important, however, to distinguish these schools from those established to teach craft skills to poor and “idle” children. At the Free Institution of Learning and Work in the parish of Maria Magdalena, there was also a craft school with the task of providing tuition on Sunday afternoons to roughly 30 journeymen and apprentices, teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic “and thus putting them in a better state to run a future craft business.”170 The teaching was thus limited to the same basic skills taught to the children in the Free Institution. In Hedvig Eleonora Parish, a school was likewise founded for journeymen and apprentices in 1815, although it was also to admit “poor boys.” The condition for admission, here as in other schools, was that the children “can read tolerably well from a book” and for the poor boys that they had reached the age of 12.171 In Hedvig Eleonora at this time, there was no poor school for bigger boys, only a church school.172 The lack of other schools may possibly explain the large intake of children (50) and that the school for journeymen and apprentices was also open for boys over 12 who were not journeymen or apprentices.173 This could also be the reason for the emphasis on instruction in preparation for confirmation.174 According to the report on poor relief in Stockholm for 1818, there was a craft school in Katarina Parish for 30 journeymen and apprentices with teaching at the normal times, four to seven o’clock on Sunday afternoons. There was also a craft school in the parishes of Jacobus and Johannes for 25 pupils. Both these schools taught only reading, writing, and arithmetic.175 According to the information submitted to the Education Committee, the craft schools were designed not only to teach practical skills. In form, they were very similar to the catechetical schools. Another justification for them was that they satisfied the need to occupy the young men usefully on Sundays. Attendance at the craft schools was likewise voluntary. The statutes give no information about coercive measures employed to get the pupils to attend the schools, but rewards were promised, as at the poor schools. All the schools that provided information to the Education Committee had prizes. Journeymen and apprentices were rewarded with money. The statutes of the Storkyrkan Parish have the following recommendations:



Prizes are awarded to those who attend this school, and these prizes are determined after completed examinations by the Rector and the Poor Relief, namely, three prizes of three riksdaler to the three who distinguish themselves most through diligence and ability, and six other prizes of two riskdaler each, 1: for morality and good behavior, 2: for diligence in the trade or craft, and 3: for actions or enterprises of great moral value.176

The useful knowledge taught in school was not sufficient to promote good attendance. The school also had the task of giving a general moral upbringing, which agrees well with the emphasis on religious knowledge. The evidence from Stockholm alone, however, does not give us sufficient grounds for a detailed discussion of the form of these schools. The society Pro Fide et Christianismo reported to the Education Committee that it had set up 5 catechetical schools in Stockholm with between 50 and 100 pupils in each. The pupils were supposed to be old enough to work as servants or apprentices, but “either lack all knowledge of reading or know so little that they cannot be admitted to communion.” The clergy sent them to receive instruction from a special catechism teacher, which comprised “spelling, reading, and the truths and doctrines of Christianity according to the accepted Catechism.” Older persons would only be taught Christianity if they were totally “unable to learn to read.”177 The report clearly shows that the society was chiefly interested in younger and ignorant persons whom it would be undesirable to admit to communion. No prior knowledge was expected. Toward the end of the 1830s, the society even felt obliged to establish special “spelling classes” to teach religious knowledge. The new instructions for catechetical students issued in 1836 clearly stated the social affiliation of the pupils. Catechetical schools were to provide tuition for people over the age of 15 who do not have adequate Christian knowledge, and for children who, employed in service, in factories or crafts, or for whatever reason, lack the opportunity for daily schooling. No others may be admitted to these schools.178

The craft schools and catechetical schools continued earlier efforts to integrate children who were working. The craft schools can be explained in part by the interest in supervising the leisure pursuits of the young craftsmen. Yet they were also, like the catechetical schools, an expression of a



desire to provide the instruction on religious matters that had had formerly been the duty of the households, but which had in reality been given by the schools even before this. The broader general education that was also to be provided could be perceived as a way to interest journeymen and apprentices, and their masters, in education, or as a response to a real need for knowledge. The catechetical schools were needed, if for nothing else then to compensate for deficiencies in literacy among young people about to take their first communion; according to Broocman, of the children who registered for first communion in Katarina Parish, “almost one in ten cannot read properly.”179 Conclusion The school system that was developed in Stockholm after the great reform of 1807–1810 meant that poor relief and voluntary measures achieved some of the intentions expressed in the poor-relief school plan of 1807. The school system assumed crucial parts of the educational role that had formally rested with the family and the household. The schools were regarded as a means to counteract the consequences of the families’ insufficient morality and inability to teach their children. Opinions as to what education was most suitable for the lower classes underwent a radical change even in cases where more civically oriented subjects were included in the timetable. Orthodox Lutheran works were replaced by those with a more pietist view of Christianity. At the same time, educational methods were changed. The emphasis was now on an internalization of norms and values rather external submission and disciplining. Internalization took the place of the rod as the chief way to reach the children. Tuition continued to be based mainly on the parents’ interest in sending their children to school without statutory coercion. The new schools were aimed not only at unemployed children but also at children in work. The strict control of children’s transition to working life to which the poor-relief authorities aspired could not be achieved, however. The details of the age of the schoolchildren and the complaints about the gap between school and work suggest that conditions were not particularly good for employing children early in life. We shall return to this. The organization of the poor schools meant that they functioned as preparatory schools for the church schools. The stricter requirements



from 1807 of knowledge for admission to the trivium school could thus be circumvented. The new school ordinance of 1820, however, meant that the boundary between elementary education and the higher schools was emphasized. In reality, however, the grammar school organization in Stockholm would continue to include a considerable amount of elementary tuition.180 It is therefore doubtful to what extent the recruitment of pupils to the schools of Stockholm was really changed by the new school ordinance of 1820. The apologist school in Ladugårdslandet still found its pupils among the lower working class. The majority of the pupils had received their preparatory education in the poor school. Around 1840, according to Nils Ahnlund, one can detect a tendency to recruitment of higher social classes in the Ladugårdslandet school. It is not until the introduction of the five-year grammar school in 1866, however, that any essential change can be observed.181 There is reason to assume that the situation was not radically different at other Stockholm schools.

Poor Relief in Gothenburg and Malmö and the Education of Paupers’ Children Gothenburg At the end of the 1790s, begging was perceived as a serious problem in Gothenburg, as reflected in a series of newspaper articles in Göteborgs Tidningar. The consequence of the press debate was that a committee was set up to suggest improved ways to provide for the poor. The committee’s project for a poorhouse was published in 1797 (cf. Stockholm) and ratified with minor amendments after being circulated for comment.182 The statute placed great emphasis on the children’s education. The committee believed that education was a way to counteract begging, both short-term and long-term. For that reason the committee felt obliged to present a plan for the eradication of begging, a plan that involved not just a workhouse but also “extending the supportive measures to such feeble paupers’ and beggars’ children as the Poorhouse and Orphanage cannot accept.”183 The committee also suggested that the poor relief should assume responsibility for a relatively large group of children. Those whose parents were “lost, incapable or unsuitable to rear and teach labor and the fear of



God” should be obliged by the poor relief to find a place where they could be educated in an orphanage, a free school, or with “poor but virtuous, industrious and cleanly foster-mothers.”184 The education and maintenance of the children would be undertaken in such a way that the children’s work later paid for their care. This care was to be given under patriarchal responsibility, and the directorate exercised “all paternal rights and authority” until the children came of age.185 This was an expression in a more concentrated form of the ideas elaborated by the Stockholm poor relief a few years later. Poor relief would take over parental responsibility not only for those who lacked means to provide for themselves but also for those who lacked a proper education. The institution was to be organized in such a way as to minimize the tuition costs. The more detailed justification cited for the proposal highlights the need for education and support as a logical consequence of the family life of the poor. The parents, according to the committee, were fully occupied with ensuring their own survival. Children who are born in poverty and brought up in misery go without any guidance or care because of the parents’ concern for their own persons, and if they remain alive in such wretchedness, what example are they given to emulate for their future? They must remain incompetent for any useful enterprise, virtue and work are unknown to them because idleness and begging have been their educators.186

The consequence would be that these children became a burden on the state as they grew older. Those who grew up in the city could not be expelled from it either, without the risk that they would later support themselves through “begging, lechery, fraud, or theft.”187 The committee believed that this required careful consideration, and continued its argumentation by claiming that the problem was more political and civic than religious.188 The arguments were cited as a justification for the poor-relief plan, and in their description of social conditions they may be suspected as being exaggerated. Yet they show that education was perceived as a political rather than a religious matter, and the problem was linked to the inability of families to reproduce in a way that did not have negative consequences for society. The plan for an institution, however, did not specify the type of schooling the children should receive, or at what age. Unlike the



Stockholm plan, there was no emphasis on the necessity of statutory coercion to get the children to attend school. It was initially envisaged that poor relief in Gothenburg should be financed with the aid of voluntary contributions from the general public. In the very first year, however, the management had to take a loan to pay for the running of the institution, since insufficient funds had been received from the public. In 1801, the city council assumed responsibility for the deficit, dividing the cost among the burghers. It was also decided that “poor relief shall continue with the support of general subscription.” This was to be financed by measures such as taxation of “each and every person who does not himself need support.” Appeals were lodged against the council’s decision, but it was ratified by the King in Council. After the first year’s deficit, the economy was stabilized and yielded a slight surplus. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, then, poor relief was supported by the burghers of Gothenburg through donations and taxation.189 A great deal of the poor-relief work was aimed at children of all ages. Infants were boarded in the countryside, while slightly older children from difficult homes were placed as apprentices, sent to sea, or to the mines in Höganäs in Southern Sweden. The problem of finding places for girls made it necessary to establish schools for them, for example, in Haga. Girls were also taught handicraft in the “Scottish spinning school.”190 Not long afterwards, the poor relief also established schools for boys, where they were taught crafts and Christianity, arithmetic and writing. The practice of fostering was discontinued. During the good years of the continental blockade, a major expansion of the school system was planned. However, the tuition of children was mainly based on a link between poor relief and voluntary measures of various kinds. Poor relief cooperated closely with the Willin School and with the garrison school at the Artillery Regiment, which accounted for most of the tuition. Moreover, poor relief financed the fairly large-scale work with school meals at the Willin School and at Prince Oscar’s School.191 The favorable economic conditions up to 1815 turned unfavorable in the subsequent years. In 1830, the poor-relief authority closed its own school, placing the children in rural foster-homes. Despite this, according to Fallström, tuition costs for poor relief steadily increased, while other costs fluctuated with the financial resources. In total, the poor-relief system’s costs for the care of children and adolescents increased by about 260% between 1800 and 1830. In the mid-1820s about a thousand



children were taught in the city’s poor schools and orphanage schools, while around 800 children received other forms of support from poor relief. In 1825, there were some 2600 children of school age, which meant that almost half of them attended school, while roughly 30% of the children of school age received support of some kind from the poor-relief institution in the period 1825–1835. Infants were a much smaller burden on poor relief.192 The report of the poor-relief authorities for 1803 sheds interesting light on the free school meals. If children could not be forced to go to school, there were other, gentler methods. The main problem seems to have concerned those parents who normally had no contact with poor relief, but who did not bring up their children satisfactorily at home: [Since] the aim is to eradicate begging, the care must be extended to children who cannot properly demand the care of the Institution, but who nevertheless, on account of the parents’ indigence or carelessness, are prevented from receiving the instruction that they should receive in their younger years as a foundation for their future livelihood. Free schools have long since been established here for such children through the generosity of citizens; the oldest of these, the Willin School, by giving dinner to a considerable number of children, both to support the poorest and to benefit parents, has enticed the less sensible parents to make their children attend school diligently so that they themselves avoid the worry of feeding them.193

In the subsequent years, the poor-relief authorities continued the tradition of serving meals as a way to get children to attend school. The scope of the free meals at the Willin School and Prince Oscar’s School was only to a small extent dependent on the financial situation of the poor-relief system.194 Children whose parents were inmates of poorhouses or recipients of poor relief were treated with stricter methods. According to the information provided to the Education Committee in 1813, parents were required to exercise better control of their children’s attendance. If children between the ages of six and eight were not made “to diligently attend the school designated for them,” parents risked having the children removed from their care.195 The school system continued to be regarded as a means to reduce begging. In the prospering economy around 1810, the poor-relief directorate considered a major expansion of the courses taught to schoolchildren. According to the details submitted to the Education Committee, the



poor-relief board was inclined to establish several new junior schools and a senior school. In the latter, children would not only acquire “more complete Christian knowledge” but also be taught geography and history along with a range of subjects such as domestic and craft chemistry, bookkeeping, drawing, and so on.196 In the thirteenth year of operations, the board also acquired a building in which to set up an “elementary school for craft and domestic economy.” According to the information provided to the Education Committee, boys in 1813 were taught tailoring and shoemaking and girls learned various domestic crafts. Smaller children were employed in weaveries. The poor-relief system maintained three schools of learning, a sewing school, and a work school.197 The Willin School had 340 children in 11 classes (185 boys and 155 girls). Five teachers and six instructresses taught reading, Christianity, biblical history, writing, arithmetic, and sewing.198 During this period the poor-relief board was evidently interested both in developing the pedagogical side of the school system and in keeping them occupied. In the economic boom that followed the continental blockade, it was noted with satisfaction that the young people could be “used earlier.”199 The data submitted to the Education Committee, however, show that schooling at the poor-relief system’s educational institutions was not tied to a specific course of study but determined more by the labor market. The children left the institutions “with varying degrees of education and at various ages when the directorate finds a decent and acceptable offer, whether in commerce, shipping, craft, or domestic service.”200 The children were discharged to employers in accordance with a contract in which the recipient pledged to ensure the child’s material welfare and knowledge. The recipient was urged to teach the children a trade, to increase their knowledge, and to ensure that they attended the annual examinations at the institutions. The agreement was valid until the child reached the age of eighteen.201 The directorate of poor relief evidently tried to influence the children’s potential to find work in a way similar to that chosen by the poor-relief directorate in Stockholm between 1807 and 1810. As in Stockholm and at the garrison schools, the board tried to reduce the long vacations, so that “no vacations are permitted more than ten to twelve days at holidays; leave is also granted on market days, otherwise study is pursued the whole year round.”202 In 1814, a work school was also established for “the tuition of schoolchildren during the hours over the summer when they are free from school.”203 The poor-relief authority also served free meals to the children



at the Willin School and its own school during the summer months, which should be interpreted in the same light. Apart from being the responsibility of parents or guardians (in the case of orphans), supervision of children in their spare time was the duty of the poor-relief bailiffs and the trustees.204 It cannot have been wholly impossible to persuade the children to attend school. All the children in the city’s schools were given a midday meal and in some cases also an “evening bite” when they left school in the afternoon. Needy children at the poor-relief schools also received clothes. The poor-relief directorate wholeheartedly supported a new form of pedagogy. Corporal punishment was permitted only in exceptional cases; instead there was a complex system of rewards.205 Information from the Willin School shows that it was not as receptive to these principles: self-will, laziness, arbitrary absence from school and similar offenses were punished with a caning. Clothes were also issued to children at the Willin School, both to children in need and as a reward for diligence and good behavior.206 Teaching at the Willin School was geared to the primary subjects: reading and Christianity. If children stayed longer in school, they were also taught mathematics, handwriting, and biblical history. Instead of arithmetic and writing, girls were taught to sew and mark clothes. The scope of the courses was determined by the age and intelligence of the children and how long they stayed in schools.207 In other words, the extent of the syllabus was dependent on the children being admitted to school “not until around the 4th year” and staying in school for different lengths of time. Schooling was said to last four to five years; no specific duration was stipulated.208 Children at the Willin School seem to have started attending at an early age. They left school for clearly defined employment, and “of the leavers a small number enter the city’s public schools, a larger number go to factories and crafts, the majority into private service, and some engage in shipping.”209 The schoolchildren’s relationship to the Willin School involved less control than in the case of the children taught at the poor-relief schools, but here too the vacations were reduced to a minimum: three weeks around Christmas and eight days at Easter, Whitsun, Midsummer, and Michaelmas.210 The school management also claimed to have the task of maintaining morality and order through exhortations and punishments of the “evil” that was reported outside school. Proper supervision of the children was also exercised at meals in the soup kitchen and especially after



the children left school for the day. The children leaving the school had to go straight home under the supervision of a teacher.211 In his reply to the Education Committee, the superintendent regretted that he had not yet arranged any craft teaching at the school, but he hoped to be able to expand the number of subjects taught. This would serve several different purposes, one of which was to keep the children occupied. There were plans to build a school in Haga as a relief for the children in this part of the city, when a place could be found somewhere or other for teaching some craft or other useful exercise, combined with longer engagement of the children in school, thereby doubly facilitating their employment after school.212

The school at the Artillery Regiment in Gothenburg was established in 1810 through an advance from the officers’ corps and with funds from the treasury of the soldiers’ orphanage in Stockholm. The range of courses was much greater than at the Willin school: reading, Christianity, handwriting, spelling, mathematics, biblical history, geography, and history. In the reply to the Education Committee, there were complaints that it had not yet been possible to have craft lessons other than for girls. Children were admitted to the school at the age of six, with no prior knowledge required.213 Both boys and girls were divided into two classes. The boys’ classes studied theoretical subjects and in the first class Swedish and Christianity. The boys’ second class continued with the same subjects, while the girls in the second class learned not only Christianity, handwriting, and spelling but also “the most common female crafts, sewing, spinning, and knitting.”214 The much wider range of courses corresponds to the statement that children “remain at the institution until they reach the age of sixteen,” and also to the statement by the poor-relief authorities that the school had the effect of preventing begging among soldiers’ children.215 The significant benefit has thus been gained that one no longer finds begging children in the houses and they are kept off the streets in general, and especially from the warehouses and other unloading places, where they are trained by older persons in petty theft and other disorderly behavior.216

In the subsequent years, poor relief paid for the soup kitchen set up at the school.217 According to the information reported to the Education



Committee, it was the teachers’ duty to supervise the children in their spare time. The school management also drew up contracts with masters who took the children into their service. In other words, the garrison school seems to have aspired to keep a firm grasp on the children. They were taught both morning and afternoon, and “teaching goes on all the year round without interruption, except at the major holidays and markets, when a few days’ leave is granted.”218 The colonel of the regiment, who responded to the Education Committee’s inquiry on behalf of the management of Prince Oscar’s School, described a punitive system with a military character: Discipline is military. A warning is given at the first offense, then arrest for a number of hours depending on the nature of the crime. Continued malice is punished with the rod or the lash, and if this does not work, with expulsion. Rewards consist of promotion within the class, in the award of corporal distinction insignia or tokens of diligence which are worn on a yellow silk ribbon on the chest.219

Despite all this, the poor-relief institution in Gothenburg and the voluntary measures did not solve the problems of poor relief or eradicate begging. In-migration and population growth created difficulties which could not be mastered in the given conditions. The problems became acute with the downturn in the economy after 1815. This meant that revenues fell while the need for poor relief rose.220 According to the poor-relief board, the system was also used illegally by people from adjacent districts who moved into the city and after a while were regarded as “domesticated,” that is, with the right of domicile and support in the city. In 1815/1816, there were complaints, for example, that all kinds of people were flooding to the city together with their children so that they could report to the workhouse before half the winter was passed, in order to get work “or to have free schooling for their children and thus have them receive dinners.”221 Free school meals continued to be regarded as a way to get children to school and keep them off the streets. The poor-relief authority had previously established a spinning school, which was taken over in 1823 by the Chalmers crafts school. Through useful occupation the school was supposed to



prevent those children who enjoy dinners on study days and also mostly receive clothing, from roaming the streets after school hours in the lighter part of the year; and of those who have reached the age of around 9, some 250 have been enticed into this institution through small rewards, and successfully taught to pick and clean wool and cotton, and to card and spin.222

The work here filled the same function as that discussed for the planned expansion of the Willin School in Haga. It is clear from the complaints to the poor-relief board that the schools did not always succeed in their task of occupying the children in a profitable way. In the future, there would be continued complaints about begging children on the streets, even though truancy meant losing one’s right to school meals.223 “The begging that is practiced by children in bands, extremely openly, without prosecution by the police or bailiffs on the streets, against people coming from the Avenue, is bold and impudent beyond all description.”224 The potential of the authorities to curb begging among school-aged children was evidently limited to attempts to entice the children to attend school. In cases where parents were inmates or recipients of poor relief, however, stronger measures could be used. An example from 1821 shows that the poor-relief authority intervened to maintain the right of the school and the teacher to discipline the children. A mother who tried to prevent the teacher from beating her truant son “was given an hour in the stocks at the workhouse.”225 Conclusion The school system in Gothenburg differed in certain respects from that in Stockholm. Gothenburg was a much smaller town, able to create a more uniform school system. The poor-relief schools and the soldiers’ school strove to exercise strict control over the children’s transition to working life. The reason was that parents were unable to reach their children and teach them the desired norms in a way that satisfied the authorities. All three schools tried in different ways to minimize the children’s spare time. It also seems that the scope of the children’s studies, both the breadth of subjects and the duration of schooling, was intended to prolong the amount of time in school more than to instill knowledge, and the aim was that children should leave school to work. This is particularly evident from the information from the Willin School and the poor-relief establishments. The length of schooling depended on prospects on the labor market. The



school system was deliberately designed to support a large proportion of the poor children, which probably explains the large number of children attending the schools. It was not just a means to teach norms to compensate for the way parents reared and occupied their children. Compulsory attendance applied only to children of the “clients” of poor relief. The foundation of a craft school shows, however, that there was also some interest in the instruction of young working people.226 Malmö Toward the end of the eighteenth century, the burghers of Malmö were grappling with the problems created by begging, which was a highly troublesome complaint at times. In 1799, there was also unrest among the poor, who could not afford to buy the expensive food on the market. The authorities and charitable institutions distributed alms, expelled beggars, and set up a spinning house. It was in this context that von Conow’s School and the garrison school were founded. A poorhouse was built in 1803, mainly for the elderly and infirm. At this point, discussions also began about introducing other measures to curb begging. In 1805, the city administration suggested raising the poor tax, but the craft and commercial societies refused to accept this unless the authorities put a stop to begging at doors. A plan for poor relief in the city was drawn up in 1806, involving a new order according to the guidelines established for poor relief in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The plan has not survived, however. The poor-relief system was now expanded; a workhouse and a school were added to the existing poorhouse. An inventory of paupers was compiled and subscription lists circulated among the burghers.227 The poor school was closely linked to the workhouse. “They not only had a shared economy and board and were housed in the same property. The poor-relief bailiffs whose task was to keep an eye on vagrancy and send all vagrants to the workhouse also supervised the children’s schooling.”228 In 1807, the poor-relief directorate decided that its members should check once a month whether the able-bodied paupers were occupied and made sure that “their children utilized the educational institutions available for them.”229 Just over a month after this decision it was reported that certain children neglected school. “The children received a warning and the police officers were ordered to keep an eye on them.”230 According to a report the acting preacher of St. Petri Parish tendered to the Education Committee, there were two poor schools in Malmö. The



von Conow School had not been sufficient to counteract the “ignorance” that existed among children in the “inferior and poorer class of people.” None of the schools required any prior knowledge or imposed any age limits. Tuition concentrated on Christianity, reading, and writing, but the poor-relief school also taught mathematics.231 The scope of tuition was evidently not determined by the teaching matter but by the length of schooling, since “in arithmetic the boys not infrequently get as far as quatuor species [the four rules of arithmetic] in fractions.”232 The children were not taught all day but, the pastor assured, “in those times when they are not occupied in school, they are engaged in working for a small payment in the Hoppet (Hope) cloth factory.”233 Nor were there any rules that the children should spend a particular number of years at school. Moreover, the children’s attendance was on their own initiative. They had to report to the pastor if they wanted education.234 Their departure from school was not problematic. The pastor said that it sometimes happened that boys from the school could go on to the city’s trivium school, “but most of them enter craft or factory work.”235 No information was provided about girls. Attendance at the poor school in Malmö was thus poorly regulated. The only express complaint that emerged was against the poor tuition in the suburbs.236 Schooling at the garrison likewise seems to have been poorly regulated. Children were admitted with no prior knowledge at the age of six. Tuition mainly concerned reading and religious knowledge. Besides this, the boys learned to write, while the girls were taught “knitting and plain stitching.” Pupils were discharged when they had learned to read and knew the catechism by heart, and boys also had to be able to write legibly. According to other information in the report, the children stayed in school until the parents felt that they could read fairly well, or until they had achieved the specified degree of knowledge. Boys could evidently leave school and enter factory or craft work at a relatively early age. For the girls, however, this was not a matter of course. No specific time is prescribed for the pupils’ attendance at the school; as soon as the parents think that the children can read tolerably well, or else have attained the knowledge stated in point 2, they are removed from school and placed either in a craft or in a factory—occasionally it happens that girls enter service as nursemaids, otherwise they are kept with their parents until a more mature age.237



The regimental chaplain was not particularly critical of the tuition in the soldiers’ homes as a whole. The school functioned parallel to parental education in some homes. There was therefore no need for any more schools, in his opinion. Children who needed tuition were sent to the school by the priest.238 This information shows that parental education could function in some families, at least among the soldiers. The reports also suggest that the schools were scarcely intended to occupy the children for any length of time and that the boys could find employment in factories or craft workshops. The girls’ labor market seems to have been confined to domestic service. The findings about child labor in Malmö corroborate the picture conveyed by the reports from the Malmö schools. Child labor at Suell’s tobacco factory occupied children from the poorest stratum of the population, mostly soldiers’ children. All the children working in the tobacco factory were boys, which means that girls were excluded from parts of the labor market, although jobs may have been available in the textile factories. One of these burned down in 1810, however, and the other was closed.239 The agreement between these reports and the labor market in Malmö means that there is reason to judge the reports to the Education Committee in a positive light. The priests in Malmö did not yield to the temptation to portray the schools in a way that is not confirmed by other data. The garrison chaplain’s statement about home tuition among the soldiers agrees with the findings for the Stockholm garrison schools.240 In the first years of the school, the children worked for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon at the Hoppet textile factory. The owner of Hoppet was also chairman of the poor-relief board. Work at the textile factory was discontinued, according to Thunander, since it did not make attendance at the school any more attractive, nor did it have any positive effect on school work. The number of children was initially 24 but gradually grew much larger. In 1822, according to Thunander, there were 150 children in the school.241 The children working at Suell’s tobacco factory also attended a factory school where they were taught, with varying degrees of success, after work. Frans Suell’s brother, Georg, was heavily involved in educational matters, with an interest in Pestalozzi’s pedagogy.242 The pupils in the poor school were at first recruited from the clientele of poor relief, but according to Thunander, other poor children later attended the school. With the destruction of the textile factory by fire, the children’s labor market was worsened. In 1819, it was decided that



applications to the poor school should be means-tested, and in 1825 a fee was charged for children whose parents were judged capable of paying for their children’s schooling.243 According to the information provided to the Education Committee, courses at the school mainly concerned basic knowledge of reading, Christianity, writing, and arithmetic. The courses were significantly expanded in the subsequent years, with subjects such as geography, history, bookkeeping, etc.244 In this respect, earlier traditions were being followed. At the end of the eighteenth century, both the orphanage school and the garrison school had at times given tuition in subjects over and above the minimum education and had also been attended by children from the upper classes.245 The need for a school for the burghers was highlighted a few times in the first decades of the nineteenth century.246 When a new teacher was to be employed in 1825, the education was radically changed. It was decided in 1826 that the school should admit only poor children. A few days before the school was reserved for the poorest children, a decision was also taken about the comprehensive education that was given. The courses had to be restricted. The directorate thought that a school for poor children from “the serving and working class” should not teach other knowledge than what was absolutely necessary for every member of society: it is important not to extend education beyond this, whereby the children’s minds are often distracted from their destination to remain indigent among the working class, from which no exception should be made other than for a few individuals with an outstanding natural aptitude.247

The knowledge to be taught in the school was thus not intended to be a means for social mobility. According to the directorate, the school’s teaching should be confined to instilling the necessary knowledge of reading, writing, Christianity, and arithmetic, namely, quatuor species in whole numbers and sorts, and regula de tri, and for boys also reckoning fractions according to the simplified teaching method.248

This limited syllabus was evidently considered necessary for “every member” of society, without creating the conditions for social advancement.



The change in the school system in Malmö meant that a clear distinction was made between the education of poor children and that of other children who could be expected to go to school. This was a small-scale reflection of the change that had just taken place in Stockholm. The education of the different social classes was segregated. There were other respects in which this paralleled the change in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The reservation of the poor school for the children of the poor went hand in hand with the reduced need for the children’s labor. As a result of cutbacks in production at Suell’s tobacco factory in Malmö after 1818, begging children had once again become a social problem. It is likely that the school had to look after children who could no longer find work at the tobacco factory at the start of the 1820s.249 Yet the school was inadequate to take charge of all these children, as is evident from a letter sent by Mayor Kjellander to the directorate of poor relief on 18 June 1823. He claimed that hundreds of children had formerly worked for Frans Suell and thereby been kept from begging and made accustomed to labor. Now a workhouse was needed for children as well. They should be cared for by the workhouse to prevent begging and they should be kept busy there under expert guidance, “picking, carding, and spinning wool and cotton, knitting stockings, and the like.” When they had attained a certain skill they should then be able to receive a certain payment for the work done for the cloth merchants. The children should be taught by pupils from the poor school, and when they had learned how to read “they should have the right to be admitted to the poor school.”250 In other words, Kjellander suggested that poor children should be given priority of admission to the poor school. Kjellander was outraged by the inadequate education of the begging children. He claimed to have met children of six, seven, or eight who hardly knew a single letter of the alphabet. Children should be taught an hour a day in the workhouse until they could be admitted to the poor school.251 The workhouse for children should thus be regarded as a complement to the poor school in its usual task of teaching children the basic skills and keeping them occupied. When child labor was discontinued, socialization at Suell’s school stopped too. This was probably why the poor school was reserved for the poorest children and tuition was reduced to a scale more appropriate for the children of the proletariat.252 Kjellander’s suggestion for a children’s workhouse came to nothing, but his ideas were fulfilled in a different school founded for defenseless girls. In 1826, an appeal to “philanthropists in the city of Malmö” was



published, with a discussion in concrete terms of the education of children, especially girls, and the need for a school for them. Kjellander had not signed the appeal, but his earlier suggestion for a workhouse was mentioned in the text.253 The appeal began with a complaint that “the decay in morality is increasing rather than diminishing,” although social institutions otherwise seemed to be progressing toward higher levels of evolution. The decay was especially rife “wherever ignorance in combination with indigence leaves the growing children without education, without enlightenment, and without preparation for future work.”254 The real core of the appeal concerned the morality of parents and above all women, and their ability to rear children. The text goes on: in our city, among many other signs that morality among the poor and serving class has also declined significantly, we may cite only the many women who, instead of taking a year’s service, live in illicit liaisons, the multitude of illegitimate children born annually, the vanity and splendor in dress that does not correspond in the slightest to the wages of a servant maid, the instability that leads to a change in servants almost every year, and finally this ignorance, this incompetence in the most common domestic crafts that characterizes servants among the female sex. That children who have grown up with parents who have themselves sunk in moral decay, and who are themselves ignorant of useful occupations, leaving them to idleness or begging, that such children almost always become incompetent for society and prefer lazy wretchedness to arduous perseverance for subsistence and self-­ sufficiency, is one of the truths far too often confirmed by experience.255

In other words, the argumentation followed a now familiar pattern. This text not only stressed the inability of families to rear their children and prepare them for their future, but also pointed out that there were family relationships that had not been legalized. The appeal had the consequence that a handicraft school was founded for girls. This began its work in 1827 and was later given the name Josefina’s Craft School. It was regarded as an ordinary part of the work of poor relief, for premises were made available in the workhouse. The teacher from the poor school taught the girls Christianity and reading. Some of the pupils in the craft school also received food in the poorhouse.256 The complaints about the pupils’ attendance, however, showed that the school was not suited in every respect to the social needs of the families. Attendance was casual and the children left early for various reasons. Some children were said to have contributed to the family livelihood



by begging, while others in the early 1840s neglected school because of factory work. The tobacco factory was back on its feet again, employing a large number of children. The board particularly deplored the girls’ work in the factories, since their “half-educated” state did not allow them to find work when they were forced to leave the factory. The factory environment was not considered suitable for girls and their prospects for the future. Education was neglected for other reasons as well. Children left school early to help their parents “look after younger siblings when the mothers were away working.” In 1836, the school governors suggested that a children’s school should be set up to reduce the need to use older siblings to look after children. This school was not established until 1843.257 That the schools really were considered capable of improving morality and compensating for inadequate education in the home is also clear from a letter written to the borough administration in 1837. Dean Angelin reported a number of people for their inadequate reading skills, poor church attendance, and bad morals. A number of deficiencies had been detected by household examinations, and according to Dean Angelin, the matter could no longer go unheeded.258 Dean Angelin’s complaint shows that the appeal for the craft school was not an isolated occurrence. At the same time, the text reveals that not even employees in the households of burghers and craftsmen—the maids and journeymen—could be compelled to live morally or taught to read. According to the official report from Malmö, household examinations were chiefly attended by mothers, children, and servants, and there were also complaints that many people stayed away from communion. On a later occasion, however, this was perceived as something positive; the priest did not need to turn away so many people from the sacrament. At the start of the 1850s, he complained about the difficulty of conducting examinations in the available premises, given the increasing population of workers—with poor knowledge and poor morals.259 There is good reason to assume that the priest’s list of reported persons represented the limited group of people who were nevertheless noticed through the examinations in the burgher households. It is in this light that we should view the foundation in 1831 of a Sunday school for apprentices and journeymen in commerce and crafts. The pupils were originally taught “reading, handwriting, and arithmetic.” In 1832, the school board decided that sons of artisans who were not registered in their fathers’ crafts should also be given places in the school. In the course



of the 1830s, a considerable number of pupils were also taught subjects such as history and geography, and some received tuition in bookkeeping and writing from dictation. The school’s original character of a poor school was lessened, according to Thunander, in that it was opened to other pupils than apprentices and journeymen.260 In the year before Dean Angelin reported some apprentices for inadequate knowledge, the school introduced a system of reports sent between the school and masters so that the latter really knew that their employees were attending school. This took place in 1836, and Thunander claims that schooling was only formally voluntary, and in fact the masters forced their apprentices to attend the school.”261 However, it is also possible that the extension of the school’s curriculum met a need felt by businesses, since the poor school had not been open to the children of tradesmen since 1826. The Sunday school for craft apprentices and journeymen later changed its name, becoming more occupationally oriented; after 1853, it was called the Burgher School.262 At that time elementary school education provided all the minimum knowledge originally taught in the Sunday school for artisans’ children. Conclusion Development in Malmö partly represented a different tendency from the more large-scale experiments in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The interest of burgher tradesmen in having a school was noticeable in the expanded curriculum in the different poor schools in Malmö, while schooling was simultaneously affected by the change in the labor market for children. The school system was built up in a situation where the children could largely find employment at the existing places of work. A school was also established at one of these, due to the need to take the place of parental tuition. Education depended on parents’ participation, although the clientele of poor relief could not be forced to send their children to school. The poor school was reserved for the poorest children in connection with the increasing complaints about child begging, and the content of the tuition was changed at the same time. Child begging was directly associated with the reduction in child labor at Suell’s factory. Girls probably had much poorer chances than boys of finding employment at the factories. This may explain the investment in a handicraft school. The data on school attendance suggest that the use of the school was in proportion to other social needs. In some cases, the families gave priority to factory work, begging,



or work in the home, for example, looking after younger children. Child labor increased in scope again after 1825, which can probably explain the complaints about the girls’ schooling, and it may be the reason why boys were of no interest to the charities.263 In Malmö too, a distinction was made between education for the proletariat and education for the children of tradesmen.

Concluding Discussion: Education—A Matter of Community Policing—Physical, Cultural, and Educational Spaces? In the emerging society, there was evidently a need for schools for the new bourgeois strata, the groups of civil servants, and the lower classes alike. Obviously, some social strata were looking for skills useful for commercial or administrative careers but also for participation in the political arenas. Primary school had to address the problematic situation of the lower-class families’ social circumstances and the traditional organization of the church-controlled home tuition. The inquiry into poor relief and the debate about the school system gave some idea about what people wanted to achieve through the expansion of schooling and different schools. The poor-relief authority’s program for teaching the poorest children was driven by a desire to reduce begging. It was no longer, as in the seventeenth century, a matter of regulating begging but of eradicating it. The measures proposed were intended to keep children off the streets and find reliable means to ensure that they were given work. In the view of the poor-relief authority, parents could not ensure that children observed prevailing norms or acquired sufficient practical knowledge. The problem was clearly defined in relationship to spaces children occupied: the quays, the parks, and the streets and their control of their own leisure times The school system intended to occupy crucial parts of the educational role that had formally rested with the household according to the Lutheran tradition. The schools were regarded as a means to counteract the consequences of the parent’s insufficient morality and inability to teach their children and keep children away from the streets and alleys. The organization of the poor schools meant that they functioned as preparatory schools for the church schools. The stricter requirements from 1807 of knowledge for admission to the higher-level schools (grammar schools) could thus be circumvented. The new school ordinance of 1820, however, meant that



the boundary between elementary education and the higher schools was emphasized at least in theory. The public discussion reflected the intentions of the school system rather than its actual appearance. The significance of the processes, however, rests not in the inability to separate the different social classes in the educational system but in the establishment of a novel understanding—different from the communal Lutheran tradition. Education was a different matter for children of the poor and the middling classes. The education of the poor was fundamentally a matter of policing of communities (moral education, keeping children off the streets) and providing social support (food, clothing, protection) while for other social classes it was a matter of education. A legacy for the future debates on education was formed. The Swedish historical experience of urban schooling was a combination of liberalism and authoritarian governance and varied consequently from an ambition to create a common basic school to the creation of separate educational streams, to control the population and to create avenues for individual careers. The discourses about the usage of educational provisions by different social groups were not readily compatible. There was an almost instantaneous reaction and critical discourse against this system from liberal positions as well as form traditional religious positions. It was partly a result of, and a reaction to, a radical experiment that lasted for three years, when the church schools, open to children of all classes and both sexes, administered by the poor relief authority, were terminated. This chapter has dealt with a period in history, a formative moment, when decisions were made that shaped the paths to the organization of the national system. The policies developed in the capital of the nation cleared the path for a parallel educational system, with different schools for different social classes, that in a sense was finally formalized with the introduction of compulsory schooling through the School Act of 1842. The experiment with a school for all classes was discontinued and shaped the ideological basis, as a legacy for the educational institutions in Sweden. In the following chapter, the focus will be on the schools for the lower strata of society.

Notes 1. Wilhelm Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, vol. 3:2, Utvecklingen i Sverige under tiden 1809–1920 (Lund: Gleerup, 1965), pp.  52ff.; Wilhelm Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, vol. 3:1, Sverige och de nordiska



g­ rannländerna under frihetstiden och gustavianska tiden (Lund: Gleerup, 1961), pp. 257ff. 2. Arne Melberg, Realitet och utopi: Utkast till en dialektisk förståelse av litteraturens roll i det borgerliga samhällets genombrott (Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren, 1978), pp.  27ff.; Merike Fridholm, Lars Magnusson and Maths Isacson, Industrialismens rötter: Om förutsättningarna för den industriella revolutionen i Sverige (Stockholm: Prisma, 1976). 3. For a definition of school system see, Margret S. Archer, Social Origins of Educational Systems. (London & New  York: Routledge, 2013); and in Detlef K.  Müller, The Process of Systematisation. In D.  K. Müller, F. Ringer, and B. Simon (eds.), The Rise of the Modern Educational System: Structural Change and Social Reproduction 1870–1920. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1987); Esbjörn Larsson, “Det svenska utbildningssystemets födelse: Olika perspektiv på den svenska läroverksutbildningens utveckling under 1800-talet.” In Forskningsfronten flyttas fram: Utbildningskultur och maktkultur. (SEC Report, Uppsala 2003). 4. Archer, Social Origins of Educational. 5. Jan Agrell, “Den pedagogiska debatten i Sverige 1807–1820,” Pedagogisk tidskrift 1960, pp. 14ff. 6. David Schultze von Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården i hänseende till folkets seder och helsa samt de fattigas livsbergning (Stockholm, 1801), p. 101: “as the poor relief in the parishes of Jacobus and Johannes in Stockholm always keeps its books open for everyone’s knowledge and inspection.” 7. Ibid., Appendices, p. 285; Joseph Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm från äldre till nyare tid: Jämte beskrifning af Stockholms stads arbetsinrättningar med anledning af den nya arbetsinrättningens fullbordan: en historisk öfversikt (Stockholm, 1906), pp. 7f. 8. Schultze von Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården, p. 285. 9. Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm, pp. 95f. 10. See, e.g., Schultze von Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården, and the work of Pastor Primarius Gustav Murray in different matters concerning education and poor relief; also Gunnar Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola: Studier i den svenska folkskolans historia med särskild hänsyn till Malmö (Malmö: C.A.  Andersson & Co., 1946), pp.  313ff., 339ff.; Carl-Emil Hagdahl, Rapport om fängelserna i Tyskland, Schweiz, Frankrike, Belgien och England (Stockholm, 1845); Bengt Sandin, “Ordning, Makt och Samvete: C E Hagdahl och fängelsereformerna under det tidiga 1800-talet,” in Gunnar Lindqvist and Viveka Adelswärd (eds.), I Hagdahls smak (Stockholm: Carlsson, 2009). 11. Agrell, “Den pedagogiska debatten,” pp. 11ff.



12. The 1724 and 1807 school ordinances, B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Sveriges allmänna läroverksstadgar 1561–1905: 4/6, 1693, 1724 och 1807 års skolordningar (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1922), pp.  38 and 93 respectively. The 1807 ordinance also stated rules for admission. No pupil would be admitted before the headmaster had made sure of his ability to follow the education, ibid., p. 77. 13. Agrell, “Den pedagogiska debatten”; Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:2, pp. 53ff. 14. Agrell, “Den pedagogiska debatten,” p. 20; Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:2, pp. 53ff. 15. Agrell, “Den pedagogiska debatten,” pp. 19ff.; Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:2, pp. 66ff. 16. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:2, pp. 70ff. 17. Anne-Marie Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård från 1800 till 1840: Att för all tid utrota tiggerier och utöver Göteborgs råmärken förvisa eländet och uselheten (Gothenburg, 1974), p. 3. 18. Ibid., pp. 16ff.; Kongl. Commitens till öfverseende och förbättring af fattigvården i Stockholm: Underdånig skrifwelse (Stockholm, 1807), pp. 111f.; Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 311f. 19. Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, p. 3; Arthur Montgomery, Svensk socialpolitik under 1800-talet (Stockholm: K F Förlag, 1951), pp. 40f.; Göran B.  Nilsson, “Svensk fattigvårdslagstiftning 1853–1871,” in Håkan Berggren and Göran B.  Nilsson, Liberal socialpolitik 1853–1884: Två studier (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1965). 20. Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, pp. 3, 16ff. 21. Ibid., pp. 3f. 22. Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm, pp. 84ff., quotation pp. 96f. from the proclamation of 22 October 1805. 23. Ibid. 24. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 312ff. 25. Schultze von Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården; Kongl. Commitens, pp. 47ff.; Carl Fredric Ungberg, Projekt till förändrad organisation af polisvården inom hufvudstaden äfvensom till instruktion för de till den nya polis-styrelsen föreslagne tjenstemän och betjente (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1840), pp. 3f. 26. Kongl. Commitens, pp. 48, 70ff.; Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, pp. 9ff. passim; “Committerades betänkade om möjeligheterna utaf tiggeriets utrotande i Götheborg genom förbättrande arbetshus- och fattigförsörjningsanstalter” (1797). 27. Kongl. Commitens, appendices, p. 25. 28. Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm, pp. 95ff. 29. Ibid.



30. Kongl. Commitens, p. 13. 31. Ibid., pp. 11ff. 32. Ibid., p. 14 33. Ibid., p. 18. 34. Ibid., pp. 40f., quotation p. 41. 35. Ibid., p. 41. 36. Ibid., pp. 38f. 37. Ibid., p. 38. 38. Ibid., p. 71. 39. Ibid., pp. 71f. 40. Ibid., pp. 72f. 41. Ibid., p. 38. 42. Ibid., pp. 98f. 43. Ibid., p. 39. 44. Ibid., pp. 73f. 45. “So it is precisely the combination of appropriate work with education that makes the latter useful for children who have never been trained in working with the mind in their parents’ cottage. Manual work, on the other hand, which also gives dexterity and gradually arouses increasing reflection, should not only be able to occupy children the greater part of the day and be a charitable deed for the parents, but also relieve and enliven the school tuition and greatly improve these children’s future destiny,” ibid., p. 74. 46. Ibid., pp. 39f. Parents “should therefore be legally obliged and strictly urged to send their children properly to school,” ibid., p. 75. 47. Ibid., p. 75. 48. Ibid. 49. Ibid., p. 40, see also p. 75. 50. Ibid., p. 41. 51. Ibid. 52. Ibid., p. 76. 53. Ibid., pp. 40f. 54. Ibid., pp. 50ff. 55. Ibid., p. 53. 56. Ibid., pp. 53f. 57. Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm, p. 97. 58. Ibid., p. 112 note. The limited parts of the archive that have survived are kept in the Swedish National Archives (Riksarkivet, RA), but this does not include any material which can shed light on the problem discussed here; Fattigvårdsutredningen 1805 arkiv, Riksarkivet. 59. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 7 and 13 June 1808, in B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia: 1533–1847 (Stockholm:



Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1940), pp.  68ff., quotation p. 69. 60. Ibid. 61. “Uppgifter om skolan 1649–1793 (Klara),” ibid., p. 318. This is the continuation of a text about Klara School published in B. Rudolf Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1939), pp. 200f. 62. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” 13 June 1808, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 71. 63. “Formulär till målsmansförbindelse i avseende på riktig hemfostran och de växandes ordentliga skolgång,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 66. 64. The report for 1811 stated that the plans for industrial schools had been abandoned in view of the economic situation, Berättelse om fattigwården i Stockholm från 1 April 1810 till samma tid 1811 (Stockholm, 1811), p. 3. 65. Karl Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation och förvaltning åren 1842–1861: Studier i den svenska folkskolans historia (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1914), pp. 23ff. In 1828 there was a return to the old order, the justification being that very few people attended the examinations and that nothing could be gained by coercive measures. It was also noted that the penalties stated in the statutes could only be applied with difficulty, ibid., p. 25. 66. Müller, Fattigvården i Stockholm, pp. 1313ff. 67. Gunnar Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige 1809–1846: Studier rörande kvinnans näringsfrihet inom de borgerliga yrkena (Gothenburg, 1960), pp. 89f., 325ff.; Per Nyström, Stadsindustriens arbetare före 1800-talet: Bidrag till kännedom om den svenska manufakturindustrien och dess sociala förhållanden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1955), Appendix II, p. 160. 68. Kongl. Commitens, pp. 92f. 69. Betänkande om inrättningen av Stockholms fattigvård, församlingsvis ingifvet till Herr Öfwer Ståthållaren och samtelige Församlingars Deputarande, af deras Utskott, samt K: Maj:ts Nödiga pröfning i underdånighet underställt (Stockholm, 1812), pp. 3ff., passim. 70. Ibid., pp. 4f. 71. Ibid., pp. 4f., quotation p. 5. 72. Ibid., p. 5. 73. Ibid. 74. Ibid. 75. Ibid., p. 7. 76. Underdånigt betänkande med dertill hörande handlingar angående fattigvården i Stockholms stad (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1839), p. 37. 77. Ibid.



78. See, e.g., Carl U. Broocman, Magasin för föräldrar och lärare (Stockholm, 1810), pp. 75ff. 79. Underdånigt betänkade … ang fattigvården i Stockholms stad, p. 37. 80. Ibid. 81. “Konsistorii Protokoll,” “Konsistorium till överståthållaren,” 8 September 1812, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 318f. 82. “Fattighusdirektionens Protokoll,” 6 March, 16 July, 8 September 1813, ibid., pp. 198ff. 83. Berättelse om allmänna fattigvårdens i Stockholm tillstånd under de efter inrättningens nya organisation 1812 nästförflutne år 1818 (Stockholm, 1818), p. 4. 84. Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar E II b:1 p. 1401, Riksarkivet. 85. Ibid., p. 1397. 86. Ibid., p. 1143. 87. “Rapport till Uppfostringskommittén,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 376. 88. Ibid. 89. Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:1 (RA) p. 1269. 90. “Rektors reformkrav och redogörelse 1813,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, pp. 375f. 91. Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:2, pp.  70f.; Folke Sleman, “Kungl. direktionen över Stockholms stads undervisningsverk,” Årsberättelse, Stockholms stads arkivnämnd och stadsarkiv 1948, pp.  17–40; Viking Rendahl, Grunddragen av skolväsendets organisation i Stockholm under 1800-talet (Stockholm, 1974). 92. “Uppfostringskommitténs organisations och gymnasieförslag,” 17 April 1817, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, pp. 147ff. 93. Ibid., pp. 153ff. 94. Ibid., p. 154. 95. “Skrivelse från konsistoriet till Kungl. Majt,” 9 September 1817, ibid., pp. 157ff. 96. Ibid., p. 160. 97. Ibid., p. 161. 98. Ibid., p. 162. 99. “Ärkebiskopens skrivelse med anledning av konsistoriets inlaga till Kongl. Majt” (Lindblom, 16 October 1817), ibid., pp. 170ff. 100. Ibid., p. 171. 101. Ibid., pp. 172ff. 102. “Uppfostringskommitténs svar,” 14 November 1818, ibid., pp. 176ff. 103. Ibid., p. 183. 104. Ibid., pp. 186ff. 105. Ibid., p. 187.



106. “Handlingar rörande den nya organisationen av Stockholms stads undervisningsverk” (1819), pp.  1ff., Sjöstrand, Pedagogikens historia, 3:2, p. 71. Sjöstrand sees no social problem in the reform of the school system in Stockholm, describing it solely as an administrative reform and a struggle between “ecclesiastical conservatism and modern aspirations for practical education with a view to the needs of business,” ibid. 107. Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, pp. 32f.; Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, “Brev till K. M.,” 9 May 1820 (RA). 108. Lars Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma: Om arbetsdelning, barnarbete och teknologiska förändringar i några svenska industrier under 1800- och början av 1900-talet (Stockholm: Tiden, 1980), pp.  96ff.; Kongl. Commitens, p. 93. 109. “Uppgifter till Upfostrings Comitéen ifrån Kongl. Andra Gardets Församling,” 3 December 1813, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 235. 110. Ibid. 111. Ibid. 112. “Uppgifter till Kongl. Uppfostrings Comitéen rörande Kongl. Lif-­ Gardets till Häst Församling,” December 1813, ibid., 235f. 113. “Instruction för Läraren vid Kongl. Svea Lifgardes Schola,” 21 February 1813, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p.  233. “The regimental chaplain may not send any child to school before it can spell and construe the words in the ABC book,” ibid., “Skolestadga för Kongl. Svea Lifgardes Församlings FattigSkola,” 5 January 1811, ibid., p. 229. “Instruction för Skolmästaren wid Kongl. Swea-Artillerie-SoldatBarnhus-Skola, uprättad af Kongl. Artillerie-Barnhus-Direction Den 7:de December 1805,” ibid., p.  241. “Instruction för läraren vid kongl. Arméens Flottas och Sheppsholms Församlings FattigSchola,” 7 December 1807, ibid., p. 265. “The pupil should however know the letters before he is accepted for schooling,” ibid. 114. “Skolstadga Svea lifgardes församl.,” ibid., p. 229. 115. “Historik över Kongl. Arméns Flottas och Sheppsholms Församlings Fattigskola,” 1 December 1813, ibid., pp. 261f. 116. “Stadskonsistoriets redogörelse och önskemål,” 1814, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 146. 117. Nils Lundequist, Stockholms stads historia från stadens anläggning till närvarande tid (1829), p. 348. 118. “Utdrag af Protocollet, hållet i Svea LifGardes Församlings Kyrko-Råd,” 15 January 1811, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 227.



119. “Utdrag ur Protocollet hållit uti Kongl. Svea LifGardes Församlings Kyrko Råd,” 21 December 1792, ibid., p.  227. “LäsOrdning innom Kongl. Svea LifGardes Schola,” 21 February 1813, ibid., p. 234. 120. “Historik över Arméns Flottas,” ibid., p. 265. 121. Cf. also “Berättelse rörande Kongl. Svea Lifgardes Barn-Schola.” “As regards the supervision of the pupils’ behavior, it cannot take place except during those hours when they are assembled with the teacher, since the children in their free hours must participate in their parents’ work for their livelihood, or assist them in some other way, by which the common bread is earned; however, the children are always given homework, so that any spare time may be usefully employed,” ibid., p. 223. 122. “Historik,” ibid., p. 263. “Instruction för Scholae-betjäning vid vårt Lif-­ Garde bilagd Utdrag af Protokollet hållet å Kongl. Hof Consistorio,” 30 March 1773, ibid., pp. 224ff. “If any children are found by examination to know both Catechisms by heart, they should no longer stay on as an impediment to the others, but should be discharged from the school with a certificate of their knowledge,” ibid. 123. “Inberättelse rörande Kongl. Svea LifGardes Barn-Schola,” 1813, ibid., p. 221. 124. Ibid. 125. “Skole-Stadga för Kongl. Svea LifGardes Församlings FattigSkola bilagd kyrkorådets protokoll,” 15 January 1811, ibid., p. 229; also “Instruction för Skolmästaren wid Kongl. Swea-Artilleria …,” December 1807, ibid., p. 242. 126. “Skolestadga för … LifGardet,” ibid., pp. 229f., quotation p. 230. 127. Ibid., quotation p. 231. In the instructions for the teacher in 1813, however, a different way of administering punishment is described. Punishment was to be given in private; “he is not permitted to administer any corporal punishment; during the lesson, since that would be to injure the ambition that he seeks to arouse in the children. On the other hand, he is free, when he notices omissions or depravities, to summon the offender for a private interview, and, after expostulations, allow him to experience the consequences of his disobedience,” “Instruction för Läraren vid Kongl. Svea LifGardes Schola,” 21 February 1813, ibid., p. 232. 128. “Scholae Ordning 1807” in “Historik över … Arméns Flottas,” ibid., p.  269. In addition, it was decreed that the pupils should be chastised with a beating in cases of offense or indecency in school or church, and in cases when children damaged books, maps, or other school material. However, a verbal warning was to be tried first, ibid., p. 268. 129. Also “Instruction för Läraren vid Kongl. Svea Lif-Gardes Scholae,” ibid., p. 232.



130. “Inberättelse rörande Kongl. Svea Lif-Gardes Barns-Schola,” ibid., pp.  223ff. “Uppgifter beträffande Kongl. Arméens Flottas och Sheppsholms Församlings FattigSchola,” 19 April 1814, ibid., pp. 244ff. “Redogörelser för artilleriregementenas barnhusskola,” 1814, ibid., pp. 236f. 131. “Hovkonsistoriets kortfattade önskemål,” 14 May 1814, ibid., pp. 218f. 132. Ibid. 133. See above, note 124. 134. “Hovkonsistoriets kortfattade önskemål,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 218f. 135. “Inberättelse,” ibid., p. 221. 136. Ibid., p.  223. “Redogörelse för artilleriregementenas barnhusskola,” 1814, ibid., p. 240. 137. Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, pp. 21ff. 138. “Uppgift rörande den yngre Classen af Storkyrkoförsamlingens här i Staden inrättade Fri- och Fattig-schola … gifven af Classens nuvarande Lärare Per Aron Simberg,” 19 April 1814, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 166f. 139. Ibid., pp. 167ff; “Upgift til Kongl. UppfostringsComitten i anledning af Dess meddelade Frågor … Clara Församling … Fattig Flick-Schola,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E IIb:1 (RA), p.  1389. “Uppgifter om Flickeskolan på fattigförsörjningens bekostnad i Adolf Fredricks församling,” 26 April 1814, Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E IIb:1 (RA), p. 1401, also the poor-relief school in Maria Magdalena Parish, Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p.  195, “Ladugårdslands Flick-Scholan,” 1814, Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, EIIb:e (RA), p. 1398. 140. “Svar rörande de inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen instiftade 2:ne Scholor,” 18 April 1814, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 162. 141. “Uppgifter i avseende på Maria Magdalena Församlings Fria Läro- och Arbetsinrättning,” 1814, ibid., p. 185. 142. “Uppgift rörande den yngre Classen af Storkyrkoförsamlingens här i Staden inrättade Fri- och Fattig-Schola,” 19 April 1814, ibid., pp. 166ff. 143. “Uppgifter i avseende på Maria Magdalena Församling Fria Läro- och Arbetsinrättning,” 1814, ibid., p. 188. 144. “Maria Magdalena Församlings Fatigvårds Schola,” ibid., p. 195. 145. “Uppgifter i anledning af Kongl. UppfostringsCommittens frågor … i Hedvig Eleonora församling,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:1 (RA), p. 1399. 146. Ibid., p. 1398.



147. Ibid., p. 1397. 148. Berättelse om allmänna fattigvårdens i Stockholm, passim. This estimate also included the church schools. “Apart from public church schools there are sufficient and adequate special school establishments for the children of the poor in most parishes,” ibid., p. 4. 149. “Clara församling … Fattig Flick-Schola,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, EII b:1 (RA), p.  1392. “Upgift till UpfostringsComitéen rörande Skolinrättningar som finnas inom St Catharina Församling,” ibid., p. 1295. The information from the Free Institution of Learning and Work in the parish of Maria Magdalena was vaguer. The children left the institution after achieving the prescribed skills. According to the text, however, this meant that those who started late perhaps accomplished this after just one year, whereas those who started earlier needed two or three years to acquire the expected skills; “Upgifter i afseende på … Maria Magdalena Församling … Fria Läro- och Arbetsinrättning,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 192. 150. “Svar rörande de inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen stiftade … fri och fattigSchola,” ibid., p. 165. 151. “Utur inledning till en Projekterad Förbättrings och UppfostringsAnstalt ur Stockholms Dagligt Allehanda, Onsdagen den 17 mars 1813,” ibid., p. 149. 152. Ibid. 153. “Rektorns reformkrav och redogörelse,” 1813, ibid., pp. 375ff. 154. “Upgifter i afseende på … Maria Magdalena Församling … Fria Lärooch Arbetsinrättning,” ibid., p. 192. 155. “Boys who are accepted and enrolled should be at least 14 years old,” “Bilaga Ordning och Skrå för Handwärckare i Swerige och Finland,” 27 June 1720, Ernst Söderlund, Hantverkarna, part 2, Stormaktstiden, frihetstiden och gustavianska tiden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1949), p. 408. 156. “Upgifter i afseende på … Maria Magdalena Församling … Fria Lärooch Arbetsinrättning dito Fattigvårdskola,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp.  191, 195. “Upgift till Upfostrings Comiteen rörande de Skolinrättningar som finnas inom St Catharina Församling,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:1 (RA), p.  1396. “Uppgifter i anledning af Kongl. UppfostringsCommitteens frågor Hedvig Eleonora Församling,” ibid., pp.  1399f., pp. 1285–1412, passim. 157. Berättelse om fattigvården i Stockholm (1811), p. 3. 158. “St Catharina församling,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:1 (RA), p. 1396.



159. “Upgifter i afseende … Maria Magdalena … Fria Läro- och Arbetsinrättning,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 191. 160. “Upgift til Kongl. Upfostrings-Comitten … Clara församling,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:1 (RA), p. 1392. 161. “Upgifter i afseende … Maria Magdalena … Fria Läro- och Arbetsinrättning,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 191. 162. Ibid. 163. “Storkyrkoförsamlingens Fri- och fattig-Schola,” April 1814, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 165. “Moral ideas are used to the maximum, and the most diligent children have been rewarded with stockings and shoes through private benefactors,” “Upgifter i afseende… Maria Magdalena … FattigvårdsSchola,” ibid., p.  195. See also note 155. Berättelse om allmänna fattigvårdens i Stockholm, pp. 7ff., passim. 164. Ibid., pp.  7, 10, 17. See also the headmaster’s report from Katarina School, 21 October 1813, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia, p. 377; “Upgifter i afseende … Maria Magdalena … Fattigvårds Schola,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 195; “Upgifter til Kongl. Clara församling … Fattig Flick-Schola,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:1 (RA), p.  1391; “Upgifter i afseende … Maria Magdalena … Fria Läro- och Arbetsinrättning,” in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 191. 165. “Skrivelse från Gustaf Murray till Kongl. Majt,” 15 July 1806, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, p. 158. 166. Ibid. 167. “Reglemente för en Schola för HandverksGesäller och Lärlingar inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen: Gifven Högqvarteret Greifswald,” 10 September 1806, ibid., pp. 158f., quotation p. 159. 168. Ibid., p. 159. 169. Ibid., p. 160. 170. “Upgifter i afseende på … Maria Magdalena … HandtverksSchola,” “Reglemente för en Schola för HandverksGesäller och Lärlingar inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen: Gifven Högqvarteret Greifswald,” 10 September 1806, ibid., pp. 158f. quotations p. 159, p. 193. 171. “Hedv. Eleonora fattighusdirektions protokoll,” 5 June 1815, “Reglemente för en Schola för HandverksGesäller och Lärlingar inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen: Gifven Högqvarteret Greifswald,” 10 September 1806, ibid., pp. 158f. quotations p. 159, p. 201. 172. Berättelse om allmänna fattigvårdens i Stockholm, p. 18.



173. “Hedv. Eleonora fattighusdirektions protokoll,” “Reglemente för en Schola för HandverksGesäller och Lärlingar inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen: Gifven Högqvarteret Greifswald,” 10 September 1806, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 158f. quotations p. 159, p. 201. 174. Ibid. 175. Berättelse om allmänna fattigvårdens i Stockholm, pp. 9, 13. 176. “Upgifter i afseende på … Maria Magdalena … HandtverksSchola.“Reglemente för en Schola för HandverksGesäller och Lärlingar inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen: Gifven Högqvarteret Greifswald,” 10 September 1806, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 158f. quotations p. 159, p. 194. “Hedv. Eleonora fattighusdirektions protokoll,” ibid., p. 201, quotation from “Reglemente för en Schola för Handtverks Gesäller och Lärlingar inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen,” ibid., p. 161. 177. “Uppgifter till K. uppfostrings-Committéen om de i Stockholm varande fem Catechet Scholor,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, EII b:7 (RA), pp. 1369ff. 178. “Stockholms Stads Consistorii Instruction för Catecheterna i Stockholm,” 30 August 1836, “Reglemente för en Schola för HandverksGesäller och Lärlingar inom Storkyrkoförsamlingen: Gifven Högqvarteret Greifswald,” 10 September 1806, in Hall, Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia, pp. 158f. quotation p. 159, p. 87. 179. Broocman, Magasin för föräldrar och lärare (112), p. 41. 180. Linge, Stockholms folkskolors organisation, p.  32, note 5; Rendahl, Grunddragen av skolväsendets organisation, pp. 39ff. 181. Nils Ahnlund and Simon Skoglund, Ladugårdslandet: Till Hedvig Eleonora kyrkas 200-årsminne 1737–1937 (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelse, 1937), pp. 151f. 182. Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, pp. 7ff. 183. “Utdrag af protocollet, hållit hos Committeen öfwer Arbetshus och Fattig-Anstalternes förbättrande i Göteborg,” 9 March 1997, in “Committerades betänkande om möjeligheten utaf Tiggeriets utrotande uti Götheborg genom förbättrade Arbetshus och FattigförsörjningsAnstalter”, Götheborg, printed by Lars Wahlström. 1797. pp. 3f. 184. Ibid., p. 21. 185. Ibid., p. 22. 186. Ibid., p. 25. 187. Ibid. 188. Ibid., pp. 25f. 189. Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, pp. 9f., 16f. 190. Ibid., p. 14.



191. Ibid., pp. 14, 21. During the years of the continental blockade the practice of boarding children out was discontinued, “Götheborgs Allmänna Fattig Försörjnings Directions Berättelse om dess Upfostrings- och Undervisnings Anstalter” Göteborg, Fattigvårdförvaltnings Berättelse, Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), pp. 596f. 192. Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, pp. 23ff., 28ff., 48ff., 56f. 193. “1803, eller de 4:de årets redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs förbättrade Arbetshus och Fattigsförsörjningsanstalt” 1804, unpaginated; Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs förbättrade arbetshus- och fattigförsörjnings-anstalt (Gothenburg, 1803–1827). The poor-relief minutes also show that parents received support for their children but that this was withdrawn when the children received food in school; Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AIa:1, 13 February 1801, p. 22 (GSA). 194. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1803–1828. In 1828 it was deplored that it was not possible to restrict the number of school meals to less than 400 a day, despite the strained financial situation, since the children would thus lose their chances of schooling, Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1828. In 1830, however, there was great reluctance to further expand the provision of meals in order to prevent begging, as the headmaster of the Willin School had requested, Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AIa:4, 1 June 1830. 195. “Fattigvårdförvaltningens Berättelse Göteborg,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II B:5 (RA), p. 597. 196. Ibid., p. 599. 197. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1813; “Fattigvårdförvaltningens Berättelse, Göteborg,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), pp. 596f. The report contains an interesting account of the upbringing of the smaller children in the workhouse, ibid., pp. 597f. 198. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1811. 199. Ibid. 200. “Fattigvårdförvaltningens Berättelse, Göteborg,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), p. 599. In 1801 the opinion was that girls should not stay under the supervision of poor relief beyond the age of fifteen. They were then to be transferred to a job appropriate to their age, Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AIa:1, 4 August 1801, p. 8 (GSA). 201. “Fattigvårdförvaltningens Berättelse, Göteborg,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b: 5 (RA), p. 599. 202. Ibid., p. 598. 203. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1813. 204. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1801–1828; “Fattigvårdförvaltningens Berättelse, Göteborg,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, EII b:5



(RA), p. 599. See also for later periods Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AI a:3, 3 July 1828 (GSA). 205. “Fattigvårdförvaltningens Berättelse, Göteborg,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), pp. 596ff. See Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, p. 65, note 71, for an account of the costs. 206. “Svar av Willinska skolan,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), p. 592. 207. Ibid., pp. 589, 591f. 208. Ibid., pp. 589, 593. 209. Ibid., p. 594. 210. Ibid., p. 592. 211. Ibid., pp.  592f. Correspondingly for the spinning school in 1827, Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AIa:3, 1 May 1827, p. 3 (GSA). 212. “Svar av Willinska skolan,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), pp. 589f. 213. “Berättelse om prins Oscars skola,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), pp. 579ff. 214. Ibid. 215. Ibid., p. 581. See also note 199 above about the provision of poor relief. 216. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1809 and 1810. 217. Ibid., Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1827. 218. “Berättelse om prins Oscars skola,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E II b:5 (RA), p. 581. 219. Ibid., p. 581. 220. Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, pp. 50ff. 221. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1815 and 1816. As usual, the problems were dominated by soldiers’ families and groups of in-migrants. See also Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1813 and 1814. See also the complaints that parents and siblings tried to “benefit” from a child receiving food on study days, Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll A Ia:3, 1 May 1827, p. 20 (GSA). 222. Redogörelse öfwer Götheborgs, 1822 and 1823. 223. Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AIa:3, 4 December 1827, p. 4; also AIa:4, 3 April 1830, p. 2 (GSA). On the latter occasion it was decided that the children who did not receive food because the school had burned down would be fed even though no schooling could be provided for them, ibid., p. 7. See also Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård 1, p. 68, note 150. 224. Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AIa:3, 3 July 1827, Appendix 5/6, p. 9 (GSA); Anne-Marie Fällström, Pauperismen och samhällsutvecklingen: Sociala problem i Göteborg före, under och efter konti-



nentalblockadens tid (Gothenburg, 1974), p. 70, note 223. According to the headmaster of the Willin School, begging was mainly practiced by the children who had left the school because there were not enough places for them. In this letter to the poor-relief board he also declared that the children generally came to school despite severe weather, since the school offered them what they could not get at home; “at home we lack food and heat so we eagerly run to school.” In this letter he also claimed that the begging in the streets was not done by children from the Willin School, which means that the information should be handled with critical caution, Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AI a:4, 6 April 1830 (GSA). 225. Fattigvårdsförvaltningens Arkiv, Styrelseprotokoll AIa:3, 6 November 1821, p. 5; Fällström, Pauperismen, p. 68, note 150. 226. Olof Emanuel Olsson, Göteborgs folkskolor 1858–1958: Historik i anledning av Göteborgs allmänna skolstyrelses 100-årsjubileum (Gothenburg, 1958). The archives of the craft school have not been preserved in the Provincial Archives in Gothenburg. In the district of Majorna, a poor school was established during the eighteenth century, and also one in Örgryte; pp. 20ff. 227. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp.  303ff.; Oscar Bjurling, Stadens fattiga: En studie över fattigdom och fattigvård i Malmö (Malmö, 1956), pp. 13ff. 228. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, p. 316. 229. “Fattighusdirektionens Protokoll,” 20 April 1807, quotation from Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, p. 316, note 1. 230. “Fattighusdirektionens Protokoll,” 25 May 1807, ibid. 231. “Svar och uppgifter som UppfostringsComiteen i Stockholm infordrar … från Malmö St Petri församling,” Uppfostringskommittén 1812, Handlingar, E IIb:4 (RA), pp. 491ff. 232. Ibid., p. 497. In von Conow’s School, however, the pupils did not get beyond writing, ibid., p. 493. 233. Ibid., p. 499. The chaplain expressed a desire that the children should be relieved of work and taught full-time, ibid., p. 500. 234. Ibid., p. 496. The school was open to all children, regardless of whether they were enrolled recipients of poor relief. 235. According to this source, the children in the suburbs did not need education. Tuition for the children of prosperous people, that is, those who intended to engage in trade and other business, also needed improvement, ibid., pp. 500f. 236. “Uppgift avseende Malmö garnisonsskola,” ibid., pp. 503ff. 237. Ibid. 238. Ibid.



239. Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma, pp.  80ff.; Oscar Bjurling, Lennart Tomner, Hans Ersgård, and Olle Helander, Malmö stads historia, vol. 2 (Malmö: Malmö stad, 1977), pp. 433f. 240. The priests’ information, however, differed from that provided by the director of the town’s poor relief in connection with an inquiry into the organization of poor relief. The director declared that all the children in the garrison parish were taught in schools; “Berättelse om fattigvården, fattigscholorne och arbetshuset i Malmö 1811,” Domkapitlets Arkiv, F IIja:29 (LLA). Provincial Archives, Lund. 241. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 316ff. 242. Ibid., p. 315. The children were taught between 7 and 9 o’clock in the evening, and according to a teacher’s memoirs they were “old, sluggish, and tainted with many bad habits and vices,” Henrik Reuterdahl, Ärkebiskop Henrik Reuterdahls memoarer (Lund: Gleerup, 1920), pp. 23f. 243. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, p. 317. 244. Ibid., pp. 320ff. 245. Ibid., pp. 285f., 301f. 246. Ibid., p. 340. 247. “Fattighusdirektionens Protokoll,” 18 August 1826, quotation from Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, p. 323. On 28 August 1826 it had been decided to confine the intake to the poorest children, ibid., p. 318, note 9. 248. Ibid. 249. Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma, p. 85; Bjurling, Stadens fattiga, p. 54. 250. Bjurling, Stadens fattiga, pp. 55, 68ff., quotation p. 69. 251. Ibid., p. 70. 252. In 1823 the same mayor said that the poor school provided a “perhaps more intellectual education than necessary,” “Fattighusdirektionens Protokoll,” 18 June 1823, quotation from Thunander, Fattigskola— medborgarskola, p. 323. 253. Ibid., pp. 327ff. 254. “Till menniskowännen inom Malmö stad,” Thunander, Fattigskola— medborgarskola, Excursus, p. 406. 255. Ibid. 256. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 329ff. 257. Ibid., pp. 333ff. Under Kockum’s management and with child labor, the tobacco factory expanded after 1825, Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma, p. 85. 258. “Till Magistraten, Skrivelse av Angelin, Prost i Caroli församling,” 28 August 1827, “Rådhusrättens och Magistratens dombok,” 30 August 1837, Rådhusrättens och magistratens arkiv, Malmö Stads Arkiv (MSA).



259. “Ämbetsberättelser Malmö Caroli,” 1930, Domkapitlets Arkiv, F IIgb:3; Malmö Caroli 1844, 1850; see also 1858 F IIgb:15 (LLA). 260. Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 342ff. 261. Ibid., p. 343. 262. Ibid., pp. 343f. 263. Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma, p.  85; Kommerskollegii Arkiv, Årsberättelser, Hantverk Fabriker, Series 2 (RA). The proportion of children in factory work increased up to 1835, after which it decreased. See the following chapter.


Family and School: One Reality and Different Perspectives

In the first decades of the nineteenth century, as we have seen, an extensive school system was created in the cities of Sweden. To answer the questions posed at the start of this work, it is important to discuss in a more systematic way some different perspectives on this process. How did school appear from the point of view of the lower class, and what did it mean for the upper classes? What kind of place can the school have been for children of the lower classes, and what kind of place and space were schools perceived as by the educated elites.

The Lower Class and School: Homes, Street, Factory, or School—A Reconstruction of the Bottom-Up Perspective Why was the lower class interested in having these schools? The problem is that we do not have any explicit statement from the lower class about their stance on these schools. Nor has it been possible to conduct any individual-oriented study to clarify the circumstances in which the relationship of families to the schools was formed. Despite this, there is good reason to ask how the design of the schools can be related to the social circumstances of the lower-class families, using available literature and primary sources to answer that question.

© The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




Perceptions of the lower-class family are not unambiguous in international research. As pointed out above, there has been a tendency in recent years to paint a more positive picture of the family. Older research findings and notions of a family under extreme pressure, finding great difficulty in looking after its members, have been questioned. Instead there has been a desire to emphasize that the family functioned relatively well in the prevailing conditions. It was an economically and socially integrated unit. Everyone worked and contributed to the sustenance of the family, according to their individual capabilities. These conditions also applied to the family in preindustrial urban environments. When school was introduced, this was a problem for families where all the members, both adults and children, worked.1 In Sweden, the public inquiries into poor relief at the start of the nineteenth century took a very negative view of the lower-class family as a unit for rearing children. It was felt that the parents’ quarrelling and “immoral way of life” left an imprint on the children, who were beaten or “cursed” as a burden on their parents. Childhood was portrayed as a harsh, loveless life, without supervision or education. If children were incorporated in a broader social context by their parents, it was when they were brought along “begging in the streets and introduced into all the deceits and excesses associated therewith.”2 In 1807, there were also complaints that the parents, when they had the opportunity, were eager to send their children to work in the factories rather than attend school.3 In the 1840s, a conservative debater and member of the diet, S. L. Theorell, noted that factory work, by both children and parents, could not be combined with the care of children and their moral incorporation in society. His conclusion was unhesitating: factory workers should never become parents. “They cannot do so in a moral sense; they are able to fulfill hardly any of a parent’s duties.”4 This attitude to the family conditions of the lower class was far from unique, recurring in various public statements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.5 The negative assessment of the lower-­ class families’ social and moral circumstances was also an argument for letting girls benefit from school tuition. The moral upbringing of girls was especially important, since they would be the mothers of the next generation, but the problem was essentially the same for boys.6 Clearly the issue is both of the family as a place for upbringing and the street as a place for socialization. The descriptions of lower-class family life and child care were naturally based on the values of the upper classes and what they themselves



considered a good environment for children. It is also interesting to note the breakthrough of a new notion of the child as fundamentally innocent7 was parallel in time with a greater stress on the evaluation of the family as a unit of socialization. These descriptions cannot automatically be used as evidence for the actual circumstances of the working class or the educational practices of the lower class. They are clear expressions of cultural distance. In Margareta Matovic’s dissertation about family formation in Stockholm in the period 1850–1890, there is also evidence that families were constituted in radically different ways in the different social classes. Among the lower classes, it was common for men to marry slightly older women, while the reverse was the case among the upper classes. Marriages were made to correspond to different social conditions and opportunities for earning a living. A characteristic feature of lower-class families was the frequency of nonlegalized relationships, which explains the large number of illegitimate children.8 The distance to lower-class conditions expressed in the discussions thus has a real foundation in different cultural and social patterns. Matovic’s views of the lower-class family fit well into a series of studies that try in various ways to give a positive assessment of the lower-class and working-­ class family. Concealed behind the large number of illegitimate children was a type of family formation with a different character from that of the “bourgeois” family. The primary reason for not legalizing these families, according to Matovic, was that the women would have lost their independent authority and control over their income from work. Matovic finds that it was chiefly the women’s economic independence that gave them the opportunity to refrain from marriage, with its subsequent subordination. The norm system in the lower class differed from that in the higher classes, and relations between men and women were more equal. The special conditions among the lower class were reinforced by the heavy in-migration, the housing shortage, and the anonymity—the lack of social control on the part of the authorities.9 Matovic does not discuss in detail the children’s conditions in these nonlegalized families, but she notes in connection with an analysis of the life situation of betrothed couples that the situation of children was highly insecure. Illegitimate children were often given away, and mortality was higher among them than among other children. A.-S. Kälvemark argues that it is precisely the “expansion phase” that must be examined if one is to find relevant explanations for the increase of illegitimacy. In the countryside, as in Stockholm, the great increase in the number of illegitimate



children took place at the end of the eighteenth century. In Stockholm, the proportion of illegitimate children rose until the middle of the century, after which it declined, while the proportion of illegitimate children continued to rise in the country as a whole up to the start of the twentieth century.10 In these respects, the children’s conditions reflected the difficulty families had in providing for themselves, with varying annual incomes and frequent changes of housing.11 At the end of the eighteenth century, conditions for factory production underwent a dramatic decline and the number of workers fell. The factories in Stockholm were particularly hard hit by this. According to Gunnar Qvist’s calculations, the number of women in the textile factories fell from 2400 to 700 between 1805 and 1845. Between 1805 and 1809, about 1100 women lost their jobs in the textile industry. This decline marked the end of a development that led Norrköping to take over Stockholm’s position as the leading factory town. The declining trend was already noticeable in the 1760s, although it was interrupted by temporary upswings. For example, the textile factories flourished around 1830, but between 1835 and 1845 the number of female textile workers fell once again by about 500. Qvist also concludes that it was not until after mid-century that “the effects of the catastrophe were mitigated to some extent through increased demand for female labor in other branches of industry.”12 In the country as a whole, the number of women looking for work increased, while the job market shrank. This development was most noticeable in Stockholm. Nor was it compensated by the fact that nonindustrial sectors were opened to women. The temperance drive meant that the number of places serving alcohol was reduced, and the urban craftsmen succeeded in preventing women from encroaching on their trades. The jobs that were open to women were in the traditional service sector along with parts of the commercial sector.13 The development of the labor market and the position of women in the period before 1847 described here are relevant for Matovic’s argumentation. Up until 1847, the labor market for women was strictly limited by legal impediments. In 1860, the main form of employment for women was still in domestic service. This accounted for about 60% of all gainfully employed women’s work, while only 12% were working in trade/innkeeping and 17% in industry and craft. The latter group was expansive in the subsequent decades, despite the reduction in the numbers of women working in the textile industry. According to Gustavsson’s calculations, women as a proportion of factory workers increased from 10% in 1870 to



30% in 1910. The increase was heavy in the 1870s and 1890s. It was thus in a bad and deteriorating labor market for women from the start of the nineteenth century that the high proportion of illegitimate children began to be noticeable. This development can therefore scarcely be related to a strong position for women on the labor market. The proportion of illegitimate children rose most vigorously in the last decades of the eighteenth century and then continued to rise until the mid-nineteenth century. Around 1800, some 30% of all children in Stockholm were born out of wedlock.14 According to Qvist, the conditions of lower-class women also deteriorated in trade. His analysis of trade permits shows that groups without property dominated among female innkeepers and hawkers in the period up to the introduction of freedom of trade. The middle class dominated trade in trinkets, tobacco, drapery, and among women running eating houses and selling milk, butter, cakes, etc. Groups without property tended to decrease in favor of the middle class in the period up to 1847.15 Their improved position in commerce, according to Qvist, was a result of a policy through which middle-class interests favored women who did not belong to “the working class” by giving them priority when permits were issued.16 After 1846, the procedure that had enabled the protection of class and group interests was replaced by a test of age and majority which functioned neutrally. The middle-class women, according to Qvist, could retain their position and also to some extent strengthen it. They ensured that they had “a greater share of shop trade, while street and market sales were the main lot of lower-class women.”17 In Malmö in 1820, the prosperous group of craftsmen were a minority. Just over a third of the craftsmen paid more than the minimum tax stipulated in the appropriation ordinance. A sixth of the masters possessed 66% of the total property value in the group of craftsmen. It should also be pointed out that 25% of the craftsmen could not afford to pay even the minimum sum.18 The broad middle stratum of craftsmen probably did not have a strong economic position. It is hardly reasonable to assign more than a small fraction of the Stockholm craftsmen to the middle class. It should be noted, for example, that 32% of the master craftsmen in Stockholm in 1850 were recorded as poor by the taxation authorities.19 However, as there is reason to believe that the expansion of the craft groups was mainly due to a tendency to proletarianization among craftsmen, the interpretation of the unmarried women’s social position must be different. Unmarried women



increased in numbers where the lower class and the lower craftsmen strengthened their position.20 This corresponds well to the demographic development in Stockholm, where the category of “persons of rank” scarcely had a heavy surplus of unmarried women. The rise in the number of unmarried women above all affected the category of “others,” who constituted about 70% of the population of Stockholm. In this category, the share of unmarried women rose by some 10% in the years between 1825 and 1845 alone.21 The division in the population statistics into persons of rank and burghers is a matter where source criticism may be exercised, but it is worth noting that the tendencies in these two groups were different. The proportion of unmarried women among persons of rank fell between 1825 and 1855, while it increased among the burgers. The latter group also includes poor craftsmen.22 Against this background, we should tone down the association between the need for middle-class women in Stockholm to earn their own living and the relaxed legislation on the pursuit of trade. In Stockholm, it was probably a question of how the women and families of the lower classes could reproduce. Qvist ascribes great significance to the development in Stockholm for the change in the legislation. He also emphasizes that considerations of poor relief were very important in connection with the stance of the diet on freedom of trade after 1810. The large and growing numbers of unmarried and unsupported women among the lower classes were perceived as a threat to morality and order. It was feared that the restrictions on the pursuit of trade by women would lead to increased poverty.23 This anxiety must surely have concerned the women and families of the poor majority, even though the genuine middle class was under economic pressure. It is also clear from Qvist’s study that there was extensive illegal trade in breach of the state regulations, although the extent of this is difficult to estimate. Qvist does not discuss the scope of this trade, but its existence is a clear hint that the legal means of earning a living were limited.24 Christin Bladh has made a detailed analysis of women’s street commerce in Stockholm 1819–1846. She finds that the women were predominantly poor, but there was also large variation in social background and success over the years. Many were widows or single mothers or unmarried. They clearly had good reasons not to marry and were thus able to control their own incomes.25 Regardless of the exact conclusions about lower-class family formation to which this could lead, it may be noted that their potential to provide for



themselves, especially in the case of the women, was at times limited, and regulated, and indeed worsened in the first half of the nineteenth century. It was obviously this that led the poor relief inquiry to discuss the need to restrict the in-migration of soldiers’ families. Soldiers should not be permitted to have families in Stockholm unless their ability to earn an income had been demonstrated to the authorities or guarantees for their support had been given by the company commanders.26 In 1805, a regulation was issued, restricting the right of families with just one provider to move in.27 According to the poor relief inquiry and other contemporary data, workers’ wages were not sufficient to maintain a family. The situation seems to have been particularly tricky for female spinners.28 In Gothenburg, the widows were the only group to increase their relative share of the population. Their proportion of the total households rose by more than 10 percentage points between 1800 and 1840. At the same time, more women were brought to court charged with theft; this was probably not just a reflection of a tougher attitude on the part of the authorities. Lars Olsson has noted that some of the workers at the tobacco factory in Malmö were dependent on poor relief for their families’ sustenance.29 In the mid-­eighteenth century, Salander expressed himself in a way that mirrors similar conditions. He argued that the state should subsidize wages so that women could afford to have their children with them at work instead of at the orphanage.30 Other later information points in the same direction. In 1850, the proportion of households with female heads in Stockholm was about 40%. Of these, more than half were recorded as being poor, while among households with male heads only a third were poor.31 Johan Söderberg, who has compiled these statistics, goes on to note that it was not possible for lower-­ class families to keep children at home for any length of time and that new families often ended up below the poverty line, which was a significant feature in the cycle of poverty in poor families.32 The strikingly higher mortality among illegitimate children also suggests that their conditions were not the same as those of other children.33 The high mortality must have had other consequences. In a study of family cohesion in Västerås in the early nineteenth century, Sten Carlsson observed that 62% of a studied group of girls at the age of 15 lacked one parent and that around 15% of them were orphans. This mortality seems to have hit the towns harder. The children in Stockholm in particular, because of excess male mortality, must have risked being left with their mother as the only provider.34 In a critical contemporary discussion of the social conditions of unmarried mothers in Stockholm in the 1820s, we see the difficulty of combining the



care of children and earning a living in the city. According to the account, it was necessary for a lone woman with children to receive help to take care of them. Since the children’s home accepted only orphans or required a redemption fee beyond the means of the mother, the situation was often a tragic end for the child or the mother. The money that the orphanage could pay as an annual child-rearing subsidy was not sufficient.35 The factories did not offer work to large numbers of children at the start of the nineteenth century in cities like Gothenburg and Stockholm.36 In Malmö, the amount of child labor fell drastically when the textile factories were closed and when the tobacco factory reduced production, but it increased again in the 1820s and 1830s.37 In Gothenburg, industrial child labor was also marginal in the first decades of the nineteenth century, not increasing until after 1840. In Stockholm, industrial child labor was consistently at a low level, which moreover showed a tendency to sink. It was only in Norrköping that children made up a significant share of the total workforce and of the group of children between 10 and 14. The latter figures are of crucial significance for the problem discussed here.38 Child workers were only a marginal share of the total “potential” child workers, except in Norrköping (Tables 6.1 and 6.2). The calculation of child workers as a proportion of the total number of children is based on discretionary assessments of the population aged 10–14, that is, the children among whom these workers were recruited. It is likely that not all the workers at the factory were registered, but the data should give a reasonable picture of the scope of child labor and the tendencies to change. In these urban environments, child labor in the Table 6.1  Children as a proportion of factory workers in some cities in the nineteenth century, mean values

1829–1831 1834–1836 1839–1841 1844–1846 1849–1851 1854–1856 1859–1861





8.7 9.8 8.8 7.6 5.2 7.5 4.6

5.1 5.1 4.3 13.1 21.6 14.2 11.5

20.1a 21.1 22.6 23.7 22.9 19.6 15.6

29.4 40.4 40.1 47.2 25.9 18.7 17.0

Source: Kommerskollegii Årsberättelser Ser. 2, 3 Städerna. Kammararkivet (RA) Norrköping 1830–1832




Table 6.2  Child workers as a proportion of all children aged 10–14  in some towns during the nineteenth century

Stockholm Gothenburg Norrköping Malmö

% n % n % n % n





6.4 5775 0.6 1830 41.9 873 4.8 754

5.9 5731 1.1 1878 60.0 1116 12.2 888

3.5 6044 17.0 2269 72.3 1472 12.3 1139

2.9 6954 6.4 3223 43.1 1736 12.3 1646

Source: Historisk statistik för Sverige, Del I, pp. 61f.; Kommerskollegii Årsberättelser Ser. 2, 3 Städerna; Statistisk Årsbok för Stockholms Stad 1917, tables 14, 23. The population aged 10–14 in Stockholm is calculated for the years 1830, 1840, and 1860 on the basis of the proportion of these ages of the population in 1850. According to BiSOS A, 1851–1855, Del II (Stockholm, 1859), the age category 0–14 years accounted for 27% in the towns, except Stockholm. Distributed over 15 years, each year amounted to 1.8% of the total population. Consequently, the age group 10–14 should not be more than 9.2% of the total population. In fact, however, the 10–14 age group is much smaller than the groups aged 0–9. To compensate for this, the proportion of children aged 10–14 is estimated at 6.5% of the total population and for other towns at 8.7% of the total population

factories was on a limited scale for most of the first half of the nineteenth century. It is this concrete background which gives us reason to doubt whether development in the towns in general made it possible to keep families together for any length of time. Family members sought to earn their living in the towns, it is true, but if the thesis is to be plausible, it presupposes that there was work and subsistence for everyone. This has been questioned in the debate. The conditions must surely have differed in different periods and places. Michael Anderson indeed admits in his summary of modern research on the history of the family that the findings about family stability seem to be associated with industrially well-developed contexts. Josef Ehmer, who has studied family structure and work organization in Vienna, resolutely declares that the conditions for family cohesion were not particularly good in certain large European cities. The discontinuity in these settings he views as a result of the craft organization being undermined without being replaced by a social order based on industrial production, and also a consequence of a decline in manufacture. In these settings, industrialization was a relatively late phenomenon in the nineteenth century. A characteristic of the period before industrialization was



a declining share of married people in the population, a higher age at marriage, and a growing proportion of illegitimate children.39 Industrialization then led to a reverse in these trends, as the conditions for family cohesion improved as a result of the greater number of jobs. Moreover, development was not the same for all groups of workers. The worker aristocracy could provide for a wife and children on one wage. This rescued the family from the crisis that otherwise followed when the wife could not work because she was bearing and rearing children. For unschooled groups, the difficulties remained much the same as before.40 The general deterioration in the economy in the first half of the nineteenth century in Stockholm, and changes in women’s and children’s labor give a clear hint that the conditions for a functioning “family-wage economy” scarcely existed. From the discussion in the earlier chapters in this study, it is clear that many families in urban environments who worked in different kinds of public or private services were dependent on two incomes. The families’ potential to feed all their members must surely have influenced the number of children who stayed at home, the age at which people married, and so on. The general material and social conditions, the lack of work, and—when there were jobs—the low wages and the long working days made it difficult for the family to take care of children. The bourgeois idea of what characterized a well-functioning family life set the framework for the discussion. It reflected in its own special way a concrete reality that cannot have seemed wholly positive even from the point of view of the lower class with its different norms. It was the bourgeois values, however, that determined what should be perceived as politically interesting and the way in which the problem was defined. It is therefore warranted in this discussion to consider a couple of opinions on the ability of working-class families to socialize their children as it was understood by those writing about the lower-class childhood. The aim is still to detect a pattern that can give us a picture of the attitudes of the lower class to the institutions that were founded. In the 1840s, S. L. Theorell conducted a fairly detailed examination of social and “moral” conditions in connection with the agrarian revolution and the factory system. His analysis, however, does not proceed from a discussion of specific factory settings. He was critical of the fact that children under the age of 12 were permitted to work. Theorell wanted to prohibit this; if it were not possible to achieve a prohibition, he argued that certain concrete measures should be taken to improve the children’s conditions. It was necessary to confine the children’s daily work to “a



small number of hours, with a longer break between each, and also that the children are fed, tended, and sent to school.”41 The problem, according to Theorell, was that absent parents were unable to look after their children. “How is that to be done?” he asked, “when the children’s parents are not around or when they are factory workers, who scarcely have a free moment to themselves that is not used for necessary sleep, or to consume their scanty food; these questions must surely be among the most troublesome of the kind that can arise. Some consideration of this could confirm the idea that has already been expressed, that factory workers should never become parents.”42

Theorell thought it necessary for poor relief to intervene to ensure the children’s physical and moral welfare. Children who lacked parents in the town had to be cared for through comprehensive institutional arrangements.43 Another category consisted of children whose parents were nearby but who “were not capable of rearing their children without support.”44 The necessary conditions also included being married, working in factories, and “dwelling in such a way that they have houseroom for their children, but lack of time for their care and education.”45 Here Theorell was evidently referring to the more stable groups of factory workers. He went on: The first need is to create free time, especially for the mother, so that she can fulfill her maternal duties. Poor relief could thus compensate the mother for the daily wage, or some part thereof, depending on the number of children, on condition that she looked after the children and to the same extent reduced her work in the factory, or completely abstained from it. Of two mothers who do not have more children than that they can be looked after by one of them, the better suited of them could be governess for the children of both and the other could continue factory work.46

Here Theorell suggested a form of child allowance to make it possible for parents to take part in the education of their children. He evidently preferred this solution, which was much less costly and had a more maternal touch than the more extensive institutional arrangements that would be required. The cheaper solution, whereby mothers were redeemed from working, also had to be combined with education of the children. The



time when the mother was freed from work could not suffice for her to look after the children, supervise them during their leisure time, and moreover teach them reading, writing, and handicraft. In addition, “even in this situation support must also be given for the children’s food and clothes, which cannot be paid for by parents from what the children earn when their factory work is restricted to a short time.”47 The reduction in the children’s work also had to be compensated for. The interesting thing about Theorell’s stance is not only that he noted the impossibility of providing for the child—both physically and morally— when all the family members were working, but also that he suggested public allowances to compensate for the loss of the mother’s and children’s income. Theorell’s work was published in the 1840s by the scientific society in Gothenburg. He himself worked in Stockholm, where he was an important figure in the conservative camp.48 Suggestions of a similar kind had been made before. A publication in the 1790s had presented a “Proposal for the Maintenance of Poor Parents Here in Stockholm to Enable Them to Give Their Children a Modicum of Education.” The anonymous author was critical of the children’s homes since they encouraged extramarital liaisons and since poor parents too lightly gave up their responsibility for their children. The author also noted that the best thing for the children was that they were brought up by their parents, but “not all parents have a sufficient income to maintain their children with food, clothes, and other necessities, however much they wish to do so.”49 It was therefore suggested that individuals with “Christian generosity” undertook “the support of children of someone known to them in the parents’ own house.”50 In Stockholm the support should be organized as follows: 300 copper dalers or 16 riksdalers and 32 shillings annually could be a fine subsidy for poor parents, when they receive such a sum for each child up to and including the age of 15, after which they ought to be able to be useful in some craft or other livelihood according to the circumstances. The distribution of the money could be arranged in such a way that at the start of each month 24 copper dalers or 1 riksdaler and 16 shillings is given to the parents for each child, so that 12 dalers or 32 shillings is still left, which could be given to the children at Christmas time for books, materials, or tools, in proportion to the diligence they have displayed, and material for suitable work for them.51



Depending on the children’s age, they could be employed for gardening work of various kinds by “those who have gardens or plantations.” In addition, the children could be occupied with weaving or knitting and simple assistance jobs.52 The parents would be selected by the parish teachers, and the subsidy would, of course, be conditional on morality, sobriety, and a god-fearing way of life.53 This program from 1797 thus likewise suggested a form of child allowance. Samuel Ödmann had expressed similar ideas in a text published the year before. He emphasized that poor relief should assume responsibility for such parents “as have more children than they can reasonably provide for,”54 and suggested that “the parents receive some annual support for the children they have given to the state, appropriate to the circumstances.” The support should at least embrace fathers with four children.55 He stressed the importance of occupying the children in a suitable way. The poor-relief authorities should perceive themselves as “fathers; share in the children’s destinies as if they were their own; invite them to assist in cleaning gardens, in shipping, etc.”56 He also pointed out that a man with a wife and four children could scarcely feed them on his own. Since the wife was busy looking after the children, it was problematic to provide for them.57 These three texts illustrate the inability of the proletarian family to look after its children. We also see the difficulty of combining the family wage and the individual wage labor with the socialization of children. The solution that occurred to Theorell comprised compensation for both the mother’s and the children’s lost income. The care and education of children in the lower class required the involvement of society. The education that was considered necessary presupposed that the family was recompensed for “lost income” from work or begging. Children had to be freed from the need to support themselves. This idea is expressed unambiguously in a work about poor relief in Hamburg which was translated into Swedish in 1800, in which the author pointed out the difficulty that women, in particular, had in earning their livelihood. It shed light on conditions similar to those in Stockholm: many poor women with children, low wages for women, widows with difficulty supporting themselves, large-scale in-migration, and insecurity in the economic cycle.58 For example, a large family was “a rather heavy burden, not only for a poor person with a small income, but also for many hard-­ working servants in better circumstances; but most difficult for widows.”59



In Hamburg, a much more radical approach had been chosen to tackle the problems than in Stockholm. According to the author there were two alternatives. Either the needy children could be taken into some poorhouse or the mothers had to be given “some amount in cash.”60 The former was inappropriate for various reasons, but the latter was not wholly unproblematic, since the wretchedness and drunkenness, “especially among poor people of the male sex, can quite easily cause neglect and carelessness in the care of their unfortunate children.”61 Some children had therefore been handed over to foster-parents, and in other cases, the mother had been given 4–8 shillings a week per child. In addition, there were plans, in some cases implemented, to set up “a warm room, and allocate in addition a sufficient stock of bread, milk, and potatoes, so that parents who work outside the home for a daily wage could leave their children here during the day.”62 Apart from this infant school, compulsory schooling was arranged for children between the ages of six and sixteen. When a child moved to school the support to the parents ceased, but this was compensated in that the children were paid for their work, besides which “if they displayed excellent attendance, dignified behavior, and consistent diligence they could expect a reward of 8 to 10 shillings a week (not counting other encouragements).”63 The children worked for two-thirds of their school hours and spent the rest of the time “studying reading, writing, arithmetic, Christianity, and church singing.” Through these arrangements, according to the author, the children ceased to be a burden on their parents. Instead, they became “a real help; for the greater the number of members a family had, who all had their share of the income, the better and more easily could their subsistence be managed.”64 Parents who did not send their children to school were naturally refused other subsidies. It was regarded as synonymous with refusal to work.65 The school sketched here was based on the children’s potential income from work or begging being replaced by compensation from poor relief. Through schooling they would become, if anything, a financial asset to the family. The long and large deficit in the family’s income balance during the child-rearing years would be made up. The model is interesting not just because Theorell and other authors contemporary with the Hamburg experiment ventilated ideas of a similar kind, but also because the school system that was built up by voluntary forces and municipal bodies so evidently functioned in a similar way. In the



schools, the children were provided with food, clothes, or money. Attendance and good behavior were conditions for these rewards.66 The county governor’s report from Stockholm for 1832 pointed out that “support was issued to the children in cash or clothes and foodstuffs,” according to the circumstances of the different schools.67 From the parents’ point of view, school was able to fulfill a significant need, namely, to provide the children wholly or partly with food and clothes when it was difficult to find any other source of income. Of course, not all children could be attracted to school by these means. It required that the parents had the necessary interest and ambition to provide for their children in this way and could get them to attend school. In the county governor’s report from Stockholm and in reports from other places, there were complaints about begging children.68 Begging may have been an alternative after all. We shall return to this problem. Other motives of a similar character may have influenced attitudes to the schools. The need for child care is also expressed in a statement by the rector of Klara Parish in connection with the discussions of the age limits for the Elementary School Statute of 1840, in which he argued that schools for small children aged 3–7 would best suit the needs of parents for child care.69 The inquiry into the Stockholm school system by Siljeström and Richter in 1855 showed that no less than 15.3% of all children aged 3–6 attended different voluntary schools. In their report, they deplored the diffuse character and ambitions of these schools and nurseries, and their uncertain relationship to the compulsory school system, which generally required children to start at the age of 7. It was desirable to place greater emphasis on the pedagogical tasks of these schools and also to tone down their character of child care establishments. Stockholm needed preparatory institutions that could teach children to read before they started school. Where there were preparatory departments, they had far too many pupils; where they did not exist, there were enormous problems.70 In other words, poor parents could not teach their children the basic reading skills required for school. The inquiry not only shows the difficulties that lower-class families had in instilling the necessary literacy but also reveals that schooling was partly justified as a way to keep the children occupied. For working parents, school was a means to ensure care for the children in the daytime, as well as a way to support them. Naturally, this influenced the children’s schooling. When the children could be useful at home or by working for others, they left school.71



It goes without saying that this does not exhaust the possible explanations for voluntary schooling. Women’s work outside the home chiefly consisted of domestic service. We may assume that the interest in sending children to places like Josefina’s craft school was an expression of a desire to give the knowledge and skills that could be used when they looked for jobs. Since these schools were established by groups from the bourgeoisie, there was scope for functioning as a patriarchal employment agency. In Malmö, judging by the complaints from school management, these possibilities were not important for many girls and their families, when work was offered in the factories at the end of the 1830s.72 In Stockholm in the first half of the nineteenth century, technical schools (borgarskolor, literally “burgher schools”) taught the kind of knowledge considered necessary for trade and craftwork. However, these mainly recruited slightly older children who were expected to have acquired the minimum ability to read and write.73 Yet the schools must have been useful for the women who wished to pursue trade in the streets of Stockholm. The need to know at least how to read and write may have made the schools attractive for these women from the lower classes.74 The arguments of the poor-relief boards and statements from the schools show that the practical tuition was supposed to be useful for the pupils. We have no evidence, however, to suggest that the skills acquired in school, whether theoretical or practical, were adapted to the new requirements of working life. What is clear, on the other hand, is that they were intended to improve the competitiveness of the children on the labor market.75 Yet there is evidence that technical development undermined the value of skills in spinning and the like. The 1807 inquiry into poor relief noted that the introduction of machines meant that it was no longer warranted to teach unemployed children and women how to spin, because there was a declining market for homespun products. Poor people were recommended instead to devote themselves to needlework.76 In the Stockholm press, it is true, there were advertisements for children “able to write and count,” but only for commercial trades and waiting jobs.77 According to a priest in Ladugårdslandet Parish in the mid-eighteenth century, the advantage of technical development was the far-reaching division of labor, so that small children and old people could be employed.78 It is also possible, of course, that the parents’ interest in the schools was connected to the compulsion or the desire to comply with the authorities’ demands for a knowledge of the catechism. The Swedish church service book for 1811 prescribed confirmation before first communion. The



public examinations significantly tightened the formal supervision of the parishioners’ knowledge. A knowledge of Christianity was also a requirement for marriage.79 However, we are justified in doubting whether the regulations had the desired effect. The large number of children born out of wedlock shows that many people could avoid the control exerted by the church. The schools had been one of the alternatives for supporting and occupying the children of lower-class families in the towns. The large turnover of pupils in the schools, as reported by Siljeström and Richter, also corroborates the idea that a majority of the pupils went to school at some point in their lives. They noted that about 50% of children aged 7–14 attended school in Stockholm in 1852 but there was a considerable turnover, with roughly a third of the pupils each year being new and a third leaving. The figures include some movement between schools.80 Siljeström and Richter’s conclusions about the efficiency of the school system in conveying the necessary knowledge were disheartening. The short schooling and irregular attendance, the large classes, and so on meant that the children, no matter how long they went to school, scarcely went beyond the minimum curriculum. Although they had not investigated the matter closely, they questioned how effective the schools were in teaching even the minimum skills of reading and arithmetic. They doubted the usefulness of the mutual-instruction method in elementary education.81 Against this background, we should not over-value the ability of the schools to teach “useful” knowledge. Consequently, there is no reason to assume that families primarily chose voluntary schooling so that their children would acquire knowledge. Nor can we rule out that this aspect was of some significance for families, since it gave the minimum skills required of a citizen—confirmation—and necessary for earning a living as a maid, street seller, and so on. There is, however, reason to discuss the connection between the growth of the schools and the need for disciplining in the new factories. E. P. Thompson has emphasized that the various poor schools of the nineteenth century fostered children in accordance with the norms and requirements of material production. Children had to learn to come in time, and they had to be kept busy so that they understood the value of hard work and diligence, cleanliness and virtue.82 These goals can also be identified in the schools established in Swedish towns.83 The similarities between the division of labor in the factories and the mutual-instruction method introduced in Swedish schools in the first decades of the



nineteenth century were obvious even to people at the time. Hans Järta was critical of the elementary schools but he believed that they could be necessary in certain circumstances, when the morality and education of the people were threatened. When the need was great and there was a shortage of teachers and funding, mutual instruction was the solution: Tuition and upbringing must then be separated; the former is pursued mechanically with the use of the division of labor that speeds up all factory manufacture; the latter is restricted to the negative good, as strict school discipline, and might perhaps manage to arouse in some of the pupils a desire to distinguish themselves on occasion. Then the Bell Lancaster elementary schools should be the most appropriate among the hitherto devised means for a society threatened, like Britain, by a steadily growing mob with its incessantly increasing moral decay.84

The factory-like teaching technique was thus justified by internal reasons, that is, the ratio of available teachers and the number of pupils who had to attend school.85 However, there is scarcely any direct causal connection between the factories and the growth of the schools. If anything, the establishment of the schools coincided with a decline in the factories. In Gothenburg, there was no large-scale factory production, and although the creation of poor schools in Malmö was simultaneous with the flourishing of the factories, there too the authorities’ interest in schools increased when the number of children employed in the factories fell.86 The fact that the schools took in both small children and bigger children, whether occupied in production or “idle,” is also evidence against arguments that relate schools directly to the skills needed for production, or even that factory production created this need. The problem was of a more general character. In his work on the factory system, Theorell also discussed the relationship between school and production. He claimed that the work restricted the children’s scope for development. Tuition in crafts was needed, if anything, to free them from factory work. Children were to be taught “normal handicrafts, without the monotonous concentration on one craft which they are obliged to pursue in the factory; for this is not sufficient to make them useful in the most general tasks in life, or to develop their bodies.”87



Theorell believed that, to be able to talk about true education, it was necessary “that children should be formed into members of society, useful even outside the factory.”88 His critical attitude to the factory system shines through later in the text, where he argues in favor of a school system and an upbringing that can make the children understand that they were destined to do more than look after machines. The world was to be opened not only for the child’s “understanding” but also for its “hope.”89 Theorell’s attitude to the school system cannot be dismissed as an expression of a critique of the emerging capitalist order of production. Factory owners like Frans Suell, F.  H. Kockum, and P.  Swartz set up schools for children of their factory workers, but this was not because they were looking for ways to instill work- and time-discipline. After a day’s work in the factory, a couple of hours’ schooling could not have contributed much to the cementing of this kind of discipline. The need for this type of school must instead have been based on an idea that the children needed “moral” education which could not be provided by work or by the parents. It is thus difficult to claim that the schools emerged to prepare children for factory work. Nor was the urban environment perceived as being more “complicated” and thus requiring a broader education. In connection with the discussion of elementary school, the committee that had originally suggested a longer curriculum for urban schools admitted that there were no good reasons for this: Although the Committee, by means of the statute introduced at the end, intended to make schooling longer … for children in the towns, for whom it is much easier to attend school and for whom the need to do so is greatest, not only in order to learn useful knowledge but also to avoid as long as possible the injurious education obtained from an idle life in the streets, the Committee willingly admits that there is no longer any reason to expect of them a raised minimum of knowledge compared to that prescribed for children in the countryside.90

Factory work or other work was not regarded as an adequate means of child rearing. The foundation of schools is also testimony to that. Even defenders of the factory system were aware of that. According to Adam Smith, the factory system had great advantages as a consequence of the division of labor and the mechanization of production. There were serious moral problems, however. In a modern production system, the knowledge



required was so little that the work was reduced to the lowest moral and intellectual level possible in human society. The ability of parents to maintain their children was also restricted, as was the time the young could devote to education. The children had to start working early to earn their living.91 As a consequence of this, both Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham considered that public education of lower-class children was essential. They should even be forced to acquire certain basic knowledge. Schooling could also be encouraged by the award of prizes and merit badges. The responsibility of the state comprised school because the eradication of ignorance and superstition was a guarantee against “the most dreadful disorders” and “wanton or unnecessary opposition to the measures of government,” according to Smith, and Bentham devoted many of his works to this problem.92 These ideas were followed up by John Stuart Mill, who also thought that the state had the right to enforce compulsory school attendance. Education was far too important a matter for the survival of society to be left to individual families.93 These views will be discussed below from a Swedish perspective. School and its development cannot be automatically associated with the qualifications required for factory production or the need for disciplining. Those people in the upper classes who wanted to found schools for poor children had concrete and immediate problems in mind. It was a matter of the spaces children occupied in the urban environments. From the point of view of the upper classes, schools served the function of keeping children off the streets and away from domestic environments with low morals. The family was not a good place for an innocent child to grow up. In the absence of compulsory attendance, children could be enticed to go to school by promises of food, clothes, and money. Bourgeois charity satisfied a concrete need, whereby children could be kept off the streets at least part of the time. Some schools also gave servants with suitable attitudes and behavior the education required for work in the salons of the bourgeoisie. More importantly, however, schools can be connected with the need for child care in the lower class. They had problems looking after their offspring because it was difficult to combine child care and wage labor. From this angle, the growth of school is best understood in relation to a social problem facing families that needed two incomes. The schools were a compromise based on the relationship between the lower classes and propertied and middling groups and elites. The school system clearly met some of the subsistence needs of lower-class families



and satisfied the desire of the upper classes to get beggars out of the way, and securing the morals of the lower-class children. In urban contexts the lower-class family was looked upon as a problematic environment to grow up in. A romantic notion of childhood, stressing the vulnerability and innocence of children, may have helped to put the focus on family socialization and environment, but clearly also the problems of children roaming the quays, the streets, and the parks, seemingly beyond the control of the families. The consequences for the design of the school system are obvious. Schools were based on extensive charity, which must be related to the difficulty of enforcing attendance, and could not be based on physical disciplining of children. Poor children were to be lured to school by material rewards of various kinds, as we have seen in earlier chapters. Parents may also have looked to the schools for help with the religious instruction that was needed for the children to be confirmed and for basic child care. And it also had consequences for schooling as a system. As we saw in earlier chapters, schools had to be designed for the needs and social situations of different social classes and genders. These different schools also represented different notions of educational space for children of different social backgrounds. This is not the end of the discussion. Further questions must be answered. From the point of view of the upper classes, what exactly was the “moral” problem behind the need for mass education? Was it more than a problem of urban order and family subsistence? What political interests appeared to be at stake during the early nineteenth century?

Top-Down Perspective—Educated Citizens, Mobs, and Surveillance It is difficult to determine to what extent certain groups in the upper classes were more involved than others in public education. The details we have do not give any clear indications. Among the school founders, there were middle-class groups such as wholesalers, merchants, and burghers, but also military officers, clergymen, and civil servants. The involvement of the burghers and the clergy is rather natural in view of their position in the local community, where they represented the authorities. The officers, moreover, were in close contact with the misery of their soldiers.94 Nor was 1809 a clear watershed as regards the willingness to found schools. The initiative had been taken in the towns even before the



upheavals of 1809, and among the interested parties were both representatives of the ancien régime and the men of 1809. The desire to link educational undertakings to poor relief remained in Stockholm even after the reorganization in 1812. For many founders of schools, the Pietist influence was significant, but the interest cannot be reduced solely to a religious mobilization among the upper classes. There were also more traditionally oriented people who were involved in founding schools.95 As we saw in an earlier chapter, some of the clergy appreciated the idea of an educational system that included schools for the poor and without social division—a conservative position at the time, but egalitarian in its nature and consequence. Since it is not possible within the scope of this book to study in detail how the support for schools for mass education was established, there is no reason to list the professions that occur in the sources. That would require a special study of the structure of charity and local politics. Despite this, attitudes to public education in the first half of the nineteenth century differed greatly between representatives of different political outlooks. On the national level and in the public debate, the idea of a need for school-based public education was promoted chiefly by the liberals, who also called for a freer constitution and a more democratic form of government.96 Conservatives, in contrast, declared that schools were only necessary as a last resort when home tuition did not work. Otherwise, they claimed, public education could continue to be handled by the priest in connection with the household examinations.97 The conservative opinion, naturally, proceeded from a desire to preserve the central institutions of the patriarchal order. The stance of the liberals is more problematic. How did it relate to the demand for a change in the political structure? What was their intention in providing schools for the people? The problem was discussed in Sweden in the first years of the nineteenth century, partly on the basis of works from abroad. Christian Garve’s Ueber den Character der Bauern und ihr Verhältniß gegen die Gutsherrn und gegen die Regierung was translated from German, with its eloquently elaborated ideas about the close link between enlightenment and a rational social order. Enlightenment was definitely not associated with disorder and upheaval but with stability.98 Johan Lutterman, rector in Norrköping, translated another German text on “Public Enlightenment, its Limits and Advantages,” in which similar arguments were put forward. Enlightenment was intended to make a person better equipped for his destiny as a human being, a subject, a farmer, or a craftsman within his given “circle.”99 On



the other hand, enlightenment was not supposed to encourage people to reflect on the respective rights of the king and his subjects, to express religious doubt, or to brood about “the grounds for the rights of the powers that be and debate among themselves whether there is any right to property on rational grounds.”100 The advantages of enlightenment, according to the author, are chiefly in the economic sphere. In countries where enlightenment prevailed, industry flourished and people were prosperous.101 Knowledge did not lead to unrest, but rather tended to have a stabilizing effect on society. True calm could in fact only be achieved through enlightenment.102 It is worth taking a closer look at some of the Swedish advocates of public education. The most famous and important in the opening years of the nineteenth century were C. U. Broocman and the brothers A. G. and G. A. Silverstolpe. The latter belonged to oppositional circles in 1809. His attitude had previously cost him his position at the university.103 This man, who spearheaded the movement for a change in the political structure, simultaneously marked his distance from the masses while proclaiming the need for public education based on equality. In many of the schools founded in the nineteenth century, tuition was to comprise morality, the constitution, civic institutions and duties, and so on. This applied in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and elsewhere.104 Both Silverstolpe and Broocman show how this education was to be perceived. Both men stressed how important it is that everyone in society learn to understand its laws, and that this insight can only be acquired through education.105 It is a universal and equal right, Silverstolpe declared. General education is the only occasion when the citizen is in the natural state of equality and can properly learn to what extent this equality should be restricted by society, learn to value the natural right of precedence, and distinguish it from the artificial one that is the creation of society. Do I need to repeat that social life, which is based on law, requires much inequality between people; do I need to repeat that society’s statutes must be venerated and obeyed?106

Silverstolpe then went on to examine moral education based on complete equality, that is, “the feeling in the mind” of equal rights in rational beings, which was of a different character from “wanting to let the body enjoy external equality in the world of the senses.” Silverstolpe believed that it was good to achieve such equality, but national freedom, prosperity, and



calm depended on “abidance by the law, and abidance by the law lasts only through the sense of equality in support of the equal rights of reason. This sense of equality, if properly developed, is the surest support for social coercion.”107 Silverstolpe also believed that the scorn of the growing generation for laws and the ensuing dissolution of social bonds was one of the most terrifying dangers threatening society.108 He summed up the importance and the purpose of general education: A willingness to obey the law, practice in correctly and quickly understanding commands, a sense of duty not to misconstrue them, accustomedness in implementing them, however distasteful they may be, obeying first and complaining afterwards, that is the aim of general education, in which it would be vain to educate the young mind in solitude, and here, as in everything, ability depends on concerted practice.109

This text in itself contains sufficient reasons why even lower-class children should learn the state’s laws and morals. By all appearances, there were also more concrete images in Silverstolpe’s mind when he wrote this: the French Revolution and Napoleon. The security of society depended on education. It is, he declared, the spirit of the times to shake the mainstays of the State edifice, everywhere we meet menacing omens of upheaval. Our salvation at any moment seems to depend solely on the few powerful geniuses who rule the world: it is rich in objects for our admiration, but this admiration does not bring a sense of security, and when we look around we fear that the flame will flare up, without knowing whether any hand is powerful enough to quench it. But this constant need for vigilance in the masters of the world should lead to the creation of institutions to establish lasting calm.110

G. A. Silverstolpe wrote this in 1813.111 A few years later the headmaster of Stockholm High School, L. M. Enberg, formulated similar ideas in a work about education for citizenship. He claimed that it was necessary to create a common national sentiment and patriotic citizens. Education was a sure way to achieve this, besides which it meant that progress came “unnoticed, without violent shakes.” Any government with ambitions for the future should attend to this in order to “promote the refinement of the human race and preserve calm in society.”112 The degree of education should be different for each social class, depending on its special needs. Yet



everyone should share in enlightenment and patriotic virtue, and learn through education the duties that had to be fulfilled in society.113 The sense of national liberty, which experience had taught, could have serious negative consequences if it were not channeled the right way. The national spirit had made its presence felt through “volcanic eruptions” and given the people and the kings terrible and bloody experiences.114 Now “the lasting calm and prosperity of society” had to be based on a different foundation. The advantages were obvious. Intellectual forces were to be aroused and “obedience, the regulations of order and universal justice” were to be instilled, ability and national sentiment were to be enhanced.115 It was ideas of this type that were the basis for the calls for general public education as an alternative to the clerical and patriarchal outlook on education cherished by Geijer, Järta, and others.116 For the liberal groups as much as for the conservatives, public education was a way to ensure the survival of society. The French Revolution and other disturbances were significant in this conceptual world, in which the lower classes were constant reminders of future revolutions. Eruptions against the state had to be prevented. Enlightenment and insight regarding the “rationality” of the social order, or regarding the common national identity of the social order, were another means to achieve this. Crown Prince Oscar’s statements in 1839 about the need for ordered public education, following examples from other countries, were derived from these debates on the issue. It was in this context that the United States was presented as a model, since public education there had been found to be an excellent way to secure the nation’s wealth “against the crude desires of the masses.”117 Did Silverstolpe and others have any reason to worry about social development in Sweden? After analyzing crime in southern Sweden in the 1860s and the debate about the social issue in the 1840s, Birgit Petterson claims that the image of the threatening lower class had no foundation in reality. The crimes committed were no threat to life, property, or the state. They were committed out of necessity, a reflection of the growing poverty. Petterson concludes that they were no real menace to the prevailing order. The anxious discussions among the upper classes were therefore groundless. Moreover, the lack of an industrial working class meant that revolutionary ideals could scarcely gain a foothold in Sweden at this time. The unrest was consequently a kind of psychosis that was conjured up when people extrapolated the social development and the tendencies that could be seen or imagined. The experiences of members of the same classes on the continent were merely a deterrent backdrop to the proletarianization



in Sweden. In such terms, the School Act of 1842 can clearly not be an effect of a real revolutionary threat. It could be labelled a moral panic in a sense and a response to the fear of the underclass.118 However, such fears could be founded in experiences. Birgit Petterson’s findings, however, also show that a category of professional criminal was being created. Of the inmates in Malmö County Jail in 1865–1869 who had been sentenced for serious crimes, no less than 34.4% were former convicted prisoners or inmates of a workhouse or poorhouse. More important, however, is that the group of craftsmen, workers, sailors, menservants, maids, and soldiers accounted for 48.3% of the prisoners.119 In other words, almost half of the criminals were recruited from groups that had not previously been in trouble with the law. In addition, it was precisely these groups that took part in hunger riots and strikes in the late eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. Rolf Karlbom’s analysis of press material and court records from this period shows clearly that the disturbances were a serious concern for the authorities. They led to military intervention and to the distribution of supplies on various occasions in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Norrköping, and Malmö.120 In the same period, the country was shaken by political unrest which cannot have failed to leave its marks. In the “Fersen riots,” when Axel von Fersen lost his life, massacred by the Stockholm mob, the true lower class—day laborers and workers—did not take part; those responsible were craftsmen and apprentices along with minor officials.121 The same applied during the “Crusenstolpe riots” in the 1830s, when journeymen and apprentices ran amok in the streets of Stockholm.122 These disturbances cannot be regarded as isolated phenomena. They should be perceived as expressions of the readiness to use violence in the towns, chiefly among the younger people.123 In connection with the conscription of reinforcements for the army in 1811, there were also disturbances that should be mentioned here. The most serious developments occurred in Skåne and Södermanland. Yet these were no ordinary peasant revolts. The most active rebels were the rural lower classes: farmhands, cottiers, and manorial tenants. In Skåne, the revolt sparked off frantic activity. Nobles left their estates and soldiers were mobilized. With the massacre in Klågerup in June, when about 30 farmhands were killed and a large number captured, calm was restored in Skåne.124 The readiness to use violence among the urban lower class was sometimes exploited by the authorities. During the Gustavian era the police



controlled what went on, but they also acted to establish support for the monarchy.125 During the diet of 1789, journeymen and vagrants were provided with food in the inns and were then urged to defend the king against the nobility.126 After the victory at Fredrikshamn and Svensksund, demonstrations and riots were likewise organized by the police.127 More characteristic, however, is the desire to limit the mobility of the lower class—and the difficulty of doing so. In 1798, Stockholm imposed a curfew for journeymen, apprentices, sailors, and others, who were forbidden to be outdoors after ten o’clock. This was in fact merely a renewal of an older regulation, but it triggered serious riots which continued the next year. In November 1799, there was a riot at the poorhouse in Maria Parish, during which youths from the artisan class, journeymen, and apprentices were prominent.128 In the towns, then, journeymen, craftsmen, apprentices, along with vagrants, women, and children, were a potential source of unrest. In this connection, we should remember that the society Pro Fide et Christianismo decided at the start of the nineteenth century not to suggest the stocks for people who failed to attend catechetical examinations, in view of the risk of disorder.129 For the upper classes, the mobilization among the lower class was a palpable menace. The tanner Westin is mentioned in an appeal to revolt against high food prices in Stockholm in 1798. Together with some supervisors he was threatened by “the wage-earning, working, and poorer part of the public,” who were to be assembled in order to “totally destroy the aforementioned leeches who cause a food shortage through high prices. Hang them up and tear down their houses.” People were urged to bring iron bars and axes. “Starving soldiers should also present themselves.”130 The same tanner, Westin, and two of the wholesalers can be found among the signatories of the report from the poor-relief committee and its proposal for a school ordinance.131 In Malmö in 1799, there was also unrest directed against merchants in the town because of a shortage of work and the general high prices. Peace could only be restored after military intervention.132 In nearby Lund, the young Esaias Tegnér left a graphic account of the disturbances. His letter paints an interesting picture of the mood among the educated bourgeoisie: The rabble in Malmö, incensed at the fleecing by the wholesalers and shopkeepers and the high price of grain, have risen en masse, smashed the windows of the wealthy, plundered and spoiled their houses and stores, and even tried to set fire to them. A large share of the militia stationed in Malmö,



discontented with their miserable pay, consisting of 8 sh. a day, have joined the mob; and the remainder of the soldiers is far too small to curb the rebels. The gates of Malmö are closed, the drawbridges raised, and nobody can come either in or out. Several of the more prosperous shopkeepers, uncertain of their lives, have fled hither to Lund; and their houses and their property are the spoils of the raging mob. Such is the situation in Malmö at present; and so too it is reported to be or to have been in Karlskrona, Stralsund, Vadstena, and several other places. The uproar in Gothenburg, which preceded and seemingly gave life to all the others, is already known in Värmland. The most desirable thing would have been if the government, in this general crop failure that is ravaging the kingdom, had not given the people a reasonable cause for discontent through the unreasonable distilleries; but as it seems this would have conflicted with the government’s wisdom, I believe it would be best, or at least most cautious, with weapons in hand to try to silence the people, who cannot be disciplined in any other way.133

Tegnér’s account can, of course, be critically questioned as a source. It is obvious, however, that the authorities had difficulties maintaining order and enforcing the law. Poor people had made physically palpable demands for fair prices and access to food. On these occasions, the soldiers had not always been considered trustworthy. Craft apprentices were another tricky group for the urban authorities to control, as was shown by the example from Stockholm. This can be further illuminated from Malmö. In an essay on the culture of apprentices, Lars Edgren demonstrates how the borough administration at the end of the eighteenth century and the start of the nineteenth century issued a number of ordinances to prevent disorder in which apprentices were the protagonists. Between 1791 and 1837, no fewer than seven ordinances with similar wording were issued. In 1798, the boys were prohibited from hanging around outside their masters’ houses on Sundays and on the evenings before church holidays. They were not to gather in groups of more than three, let alone to hold hands and block the narrow alleys of the town.134 In 1805, a riot broke out in connection with a customs inspection, which had the consequence that Governor General Toll threatened to station more soldiers in the town to maintain order. The events were far from being unique. In 1799, hunger riots in the town had forced the authorities to intervene, and Toll explained to the borough administration that he did not want a repetition of this. The authorities imposed an evening curfew on apprentices, which was extended in the summer to nine o’clock. After



this time, the apprentices could only be outdoors when running errands for their masters.135 The rules applied to all servants, but in reality it was only apprentices who were punished. In later ordinances, the restrictions specifically concerned only apprentices. In 1830, their curfew times were changed but the aim was the same. The mobility of the apprentices had to be curbed through the authority of their masters. However, this turned out to be rather ineffective. To begin with, it was compulsory to convict apprentices who were seen in the streets. Moreover, the master craftsmen also protested against the rules.136 The fighting and disturbances caused by the apprentices in the streets were aimed at other groups among the lower classes. According to Edgren, they were part of a pattern of culture among urban youth. This also included pranks in connection with weddings and markets and deliberate “quarreling” with other youth groups.137 There were complaints in 1816, for example, that “apprentices, schoolboys, and servant boys had gathered in the castle square … fully intent on fighting among each other.”138 We may suppose that these conflicts were perceived as troublesome for the authorities, especially since they evidently could not avoid becoming involved. Mayor Nordhlindh, a factory owner, had to go out into the streets himself in 1817 to avert a fight between apprentices.139 A group of students from Lund, walking through the streets singing, were molested when the apprentices started to sing along with them and later threw stones at them.140 The conflicts in the streets meant that authority was questioned. Those in charge were not always able to enforce their authority. At times they had to give in to demands or tacitly accept that people took over the street and looted shops, liberated prisoners, or quite simply beat up representatives of the authorities.141 It is also evident from the court records in Malmö that “apprentices when questioned … often know strikingly little about what happened. It seems clear that they remain silent about what really happened, out of solidarity.”142 Also from Malmö, there are examples of deliberate questioning of the status of the upper classes and their minions. The district governor Abraham Ekerholm’s diary from 1792 may be cited. 30 [September] Sunday. There was a dreadful spectacle in the square this evening involving some guardsmen from Stockholm, who are recruiting



here, and apprentice boys, who fought with might and main. Four or five patrols were sent to control the frenzy, but they were all beaten up. October 7 Sunday … The apprentice boys this evening, as on Sunday, have been downright mad and wanted to whip all those with the name of gentlemen, but they did not dare fulfill their purpose since they had been told that the hussars were lying in wait.143

Anne-Marie Fällström, in a study of crime in Gothenburg between 1800 and 1840, noted that craftsmen and groups of workers were charged above all with crimes of violence and offenses against public order. The former category comprises everything from “shoving,” slaps on the ear, and fighting in a public place, to assault and a few cases of manslaughter and murder. The latter category included breaches of local ordinances and decrees issued by the borough administration and the county governor. Fällström noted that “working people were most prone to crimes of violence” and that “apprentices and servant men … perhaps got into fights easily.”144 Westin, Hebbe, Suell, and other burghers in the towns probably felt palpable physical discomfort from the lower class, who were viewed as an outright threat at times. This threat must have been sufficiently real to cause concern about the authorities’ inadequate control over streets and alleys. The calls for order may have been uttered in a new way by the educated bourgeoisie. They expected to be able to frequent public places without being confronted with an importunate lower class. An example of the inconvenience a burgher could feel in the streets may be found in a letter to the Gothenburg poor-relief board in 1827. The writer complained about the beggar children who gathered in flocks, especially in the evenings, quite openly, without any action being taken by the police or bailiffs, in the streets, against people coming from the avenue … bold and impudent beyond all description … as if all the begging children were sent out in the evenings by their parents, with their loot bags, for the streets are swarming with such, as are the roads with terrible vagrants, like bandits.145

On top of everything, lower-class children could not be reached through the family or the household. The educational system that was maintained with the household as the formal foundation was thus crumbling. Schools were the solution required by the new times. It was also



noted in connection with the establishment of schools in Stockholm that the children’s schooling was a way to reach parents and influence families, while also keeping children off the streets. Schooling was intended to internalize society’s values as there were no other patriarchal systems for subordination. In its report in 1829, the Education Committee expressed its view of the need for a school, doing so in a way that confirms this interpretation. According to the committee, it was precisely in the towns, where differences in wealth were greatest, that schools were needed (Figs. 6.1 and 6.2), especially in the bigger towns where the worker lives for the day, often has no master or does not belong to any household, and where in any case luxurious living, the cash wage, and all manner of circumstances deriving from the division of labor, the comfort, or indifference all have an effect on morality, spouses support themselves separately, the children are parted from their parents’ table and house, the servant from the head of the household, the apprentice from the master, everyone is left to himself, without any other support than his own virtue and his intellect, to maintain equilibrium against the surrounding temptations. The capacity for this is limited to the same extent as the worker’s employment, especially in the factories, restricted in scope and independence, and becomes mechanically uniform and unhealthy for the body, without requiring any reflection. Thus weakened of both moral and physical strength, the worker is incapable of upholding himself, with the support of religion alone, as is deplorably evidenced by the growth of a depraved mob, even where religious instruction is not lacking, … and it is demonstrated by recent experience that the state even among us will be forced some time to treat public education as a police measure.146

Fig. 6.1  Funeral of King Charles XIV (Karl XIV Johan), 1844. Schoolchildren did not participate any longer, but children from the Stockholm orphanage appear in the lower left-hand corner. This image stands in stark contrast to the print by Ferdinand Tollin, figure 10. (Kungliga biblioteket, KoB HP. CXIV J. A.29)



Fig. 6.2  Chaos in the streets during the funeral procession of King Charles XIV, when 2000 memorial coins that could be exchanged for 2 dalers were thrown out to the crowds by the bursar. The newspaper Aftonbladet questioned this ancient expression of royal generosity and suggested that the money be given directly to the poor instead. (Lena Rangström, Dödens teater: Kungliga svenska begravningar genom fem århundraden, Stockholm: Livrustkammaren, 2015, pp. 192f. A contemporary print by Ferdinand Tollin, Kungliga biblioteket)

Schools established for the broad masses were clearly understood as instruments of surveillance that were linked to other institutional changes and represented the breakthrough for a new system of governance. The public debate was full of suggestions for better supervision of the population in various spheres. Samuel Ödmann noted that population registration through the parish registers was clearly insufficient on account of the growth in numbers of the urban poor. A system was needed for a more accurate classification of the poor in different categories, so that poor relief would function satisfactorily.147 The police system and the prisons also faced a reorganization in both Stockholm and Gothenburg. The changes were intended to achieve continual control and supervision of public



places, through patrolling constables and other measures.148 A pamphlet about the need for a better police system in Stockholm began by declaring that it was only through public education that the social order could be improved in the long term. The improved police organization could only be responsible for certain parts of the maintenance of order.149 The prison system was also due for a transformation. Different categories of criminal were to be separated from each other and treated in a way that allowed them to improve. The criminal would be handled as an individual. According to David Schultz von Schulzenheim, the idea was that the physical structure of the institutions would have an improving effect on individuals and simultaneously make it easier to supervise them.150 The ultimate form of this can be seen in Jeremy Bentham’s vision of the ideal prison, in which there was total control and surveillance, administered from the center. This idea—the panopticon—caught on in the planning of both prisons and cities in the course of the nineteenth century. When used in an urban environment, it was closely connected to the need of the state to exercise control over unrest.151 The thoughts presented in 1799 by David Schulzenheim about “public care with respect to people’s morals and health and the livelihood of the poor” were less visionary, but they had the same ambition at bottom. Social development made it necessary to change the institutional framework of society to achieve “a beneficial social order, or what is called police.” Among other things, he suggested reforms of the prison system, the police force, poor relief, and schools. The latter were to be organized on the model of Hamburg and Berlin.152 In this context, it should be mentioned that the care of the physically and mentally ill was changed in a similar way to the prisons and poor relief. Medical care was separated from poor relief, and systematic classification began of the clientele in need of medical care.153 The development of the school system was part of the process of change whereby society began a thoroughgoing regulation of life for individuals from the lower classes. In order to be observed, people had to have an individual relationship to the institutions and there had to be a way to educate the lower class. It therefore also became necessary to govern the lower class through a network of public institutions. When the need for increased control was expressed thus, children’s schooling could obviously not be left to the free choice of the parents. Theorell remarked in his discussion that, even if the parents were at the factory it was necessary to have some special person keeping an eye on them. Children in groups were a larger problem here than children on



their own. Urban children were a greater source of concern than children in the countryside, where even poor children could become capable individuals: it is all right if something is lacking for the individual, but it is not all right to allow this to be lacking for a multitude of children brought together. A single child does not become depraved from lack of supervision in leisure time; but twenty together without supervision become depraved. A single child can be quick to learn without reminders—a whole flock cannot. … In the crofter’s cottage and the laborer’s cabin, seduction by the example of older immoral persons is often alien, but if the crowd of children are in one place, as the issue presupposes, the infection from each immoral individual among the older ones must be passed on primarily to the children.154

In urban environments, then, it was essential to have strict surveillance of groups of children. The contexts are, as we see clearly, the emergence of a new system of governance, and it is equally clear that the new system of governance did not penetrate the whole of society and influence the lives of all children. We can now combine the top-down perspective with the bottom-up perspective and discuss the design of public education in urban environments before the School Act of 1842. In this connection, there is also reason to ask what this new law added to the previous development in the cities.

Urban Mass Schooling Before the School Act of 1842 The discussion above has proceeded from the material gathered, above all, from the documents of the 1812 Education Committee and from attempts to organize schools as part of poor relief in Stockholm, Malmö, and Gothenburg. This account does not cover all of the evidence. There were other schools and institutions in the towns which have not been considered, since my analysis is confined to schools where the children, at least formally, were in the care of their parents; this means that reformatories and orphanages are omitted. The schools in the towns have not been examined in a uniform or complete manner, as sources are not available to the same extent everywhere. This makes it impossible to attempt precise comparisons between different



urban contexts. Yet these deficiencies do not mean that we must refrain from trying to see certain general trends in development after 1800. We may observe, to begin with, that the schools for “the people” were singled out as a separate and different form of school, carefully distinguished from the schools intended for “the trades” and from “schools of learning.” The ideas in the early nineteenth century about the need for a shared moral and national education did not presuppose a shared school. On the contrary, it was stressed that the children of the lower class should be separated from other children, and that it would be inappropriate to have schools in which the upper and lower classes were mixed; their needs were too different for that. The struggle waged over the schools in Stockholm led to a victory for the groups that advocated a better school separate from other schooling. The tendency toward separation of public education from other education was clearly marked in the Stockholm school system and in that in Malmö. In reality, it was to prove difficult in Stockholm to maintain the administrative distinction and exclude pupils from the schools. It was not until near the middle of the century that the parallel school seems to have become a reality and public education was separated from other forms of education.155 The reason cited for severing public education from higher forms of tuition was that the former was closely related to policing and poor relief. It therefore had a different character from the system intended for the upper classes. The first half of the nineteenth century, then, saw the implementation of tendencies which had their origin in the change of class structure since the seventeenth century. The schools for the children of the people in the first half of the nineteenth century were not organized under uniform management, if one ignores the ambitious efforts in Stockholm 1807–1810. They were a mixture of measures by municipal authorities, private individuals, and charity organizations of various kinds. They nevertheless corresponded to different phases in children’s growth, in a way that gives an impression of some form of set age for school attendance. The catechetical schools in Stockholm run by Pro Fide et Christianismo were intended for children and adolescents working in factories and craft workshops, whose knowledge was insufficient for confirmation. Schools were also organized at the factories where children were employed in Malmö, Gothenburg, Jönköping, and other towns.156 Craft apprentices were also taught the catechism at Sunday schools in Stockholm and smaller towns. The vast majority of the schools—poor schools, garrison schools,



crafts schools, etc.—were intended for children who were not working, which meant those aged between six and fourteen. Younger children than this had also attended some schools. There is clear evidence that the authorities involved tried to place the children in schools for as long as possible during their childhood. They were also interested in limiting the children’s spare time. Various means were used for this purpose. Tuition was expanded with both practical and theoretical subjects, with the express aim of keeping the children busy for more of the day. The children’s move to proper employment was also to be ensured. In Stockholm, the poor schools were divided up into “larger” and “smaller” schools after the failure of the poor-relief plan. In the smaller poor schools, both boys and girls were taught the catechism, writing, and arithmetic. The larger poor schools were mainly geared to practical crafts, both male and female. Boys could proceed from the smaller poor school to a craft school or a larger poor school, or to a church school (until 1820), since the smaller poor schools taught what was needed for admission to higher schools.157 Special schools were also established for even smaller children. In the 1830s, the younger children aged 3–6 became the object of private charity. The Society for the Foundation of Schools for Small Children created schools with the support of poor relief in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, and several other towns.158 Through these initiatives, the conditions existed in the first half of the nineteenth century to provide institutions covering all the phases of a child’s growth except infancy, although the schools were not under the same management. The outlines of a comprehensive system for public education can be discerned. However, the different parts did not meet the same concrete needs, even though all of them can in some way be traced back to the function of the household and the family. In certain respects, the schools were needed to replace the means of control formerly connected to workplaces in the craftsmen’s households, and in other situations, the schools were needed because urban children could not be fed in their own homes. The latter aspects seem to have predominated for schools that recruited younger children. It was not possible for lower-class families to combine reproduction and production. The difficulties concerned both the maintenance of the children—the standard of living—and their day-­ to-­day care. This system emerged locally, without any central control, but in the attempts to affect the conditions in which children grew up we can



identify these shared features. As it is described here, the system differs considerably from the 1842 statute on general public education. According to this statute, to begin with, school attendance claimed very little of the children’s early years. They were supposed to have started school before the end of their ninth year. Schooling ended with confirmation. It was left to the local authorities, however, to decide on more detailed regulations.159 Nothing was said about instruction in practical subjects. The minimum school curriculum was carefully specified, but the maximum curriculum was quite simply whatever the teacher could be expected to master. The minimum requirements comprised writing and the four rules of arithmetic, reading both Latin and Swedish, along with religious knowledge and biblical history “to the degree required to begin the ordinary communion studies with the clergy.”160 The crucial thing, then, was that the pupils were expected to learn certain things, not that they were supposed to be present in school between set times. This is also evident from the fact that children who could be taught satisfactorily in the home did not need to attend school.161 In reality, however, the knowledge requirements could be set even lower. Children who had a long way to school or who were prevented by an “inclement season” needed to attend only once or twice a week. Before this, however, they had to have acquired “skill in reading” and the parents had to be known for their good morals and child rearing.162 The School Act also contained a passage that gave the opportunity to make other demands of girls than of boys: “The school board has the right to determine the distinction that may suitably be made between boys and girls with respect to the required knowledge.”163 The system of schools previously built up in Stockholm, Malmö, and Gothenburg had a different character from the national School Act of 1842. Tuition was extended over many more years of childhood, and besides minimum theoretical requirements, it also had practical elements. The Poor Relief Statute for Stockholm outlined a continuous schooling from the child’s sixth to the twelfth or thirteenth year. A distinct desire was expressed to prolong attendance until the child found work, and there was also an interest in children who were already working. Great importance was attached to teaching girls and giving them a secure upbringing in urban environments.164 All these characteristics made the town schools different from the school system outlined on the basis of the Act of 1842. Although the town schools were, in principle, voluntary, parents did send their children to them to a great extent. The governor of Stockholm,



in his five-year report for 1828–1832, surveyed the school system. In 46 public institutions of different kinds, there were no fewer than 4010 children and in private schools there were 224. In addition to this, the report listed higher specialized schools of different types. A total of 3698 pupils were enrolled in the catechetical schools and children’s schools, the German school, and the trade school. The majority of these children were probably aged 7–13. Among the pupils in private schools, there were probably some in the same age group, but the character of the schools is not clear from the presentation in the governor’s report. It is not likely that all the schools in Stockholm submitted data for the report.165 Nor does the information tell us anything about the scope or regularity of schooling. There is no reason to exaggerate it. In Stockholm at this time, there were at least 7800 individuals aged 7–13.166 The number of schoolchildren is no less than 47% of the city population in this age group. If we subtract the 520 pupils who were registered for Sunday tuition at the catechetical school,167 the number of children registered for daily school instruction corresponds to 40.5% of the children of this age in Stockholm. It goes without saying that these data should be treated with great caution. Some 20 years later, however, there was a thorough analysis of school attendance in Stockholm, which revealed similar conditions, as regards both the length of enrollment and suspicions about the irregularity of schooling. At the end of spring term 1852 it was found that of all children aged between 7 and 14, only about 50 percent—less rather than more—are even enrolled in the schools; and that, if one also calculates the mean number present as 5/6 of the number of those enrolled, only about 40 percent of the children of the abovementioned age really attend school every day.168

The authors of the report—Siljeström and Richter—deplored the poor attendance. Let us reverse the argument, however. The fact that half of the children aged 7–4 did not attend school means that the other half did, and the turnover of at least one-third of the pupils per year meant that most children must have spent some time in school.169 Moreover, these children attended school even though attendance was not compulsory.170 In other words, all these children went to school voluntarily. It is interesting to note that the proportion of children in schools does not seem to have changed dramatically during the years that passed between 1830 and



1850. The actual school attendance was established with the school system founded in the opening decades of the nineteenth century. There is similar evidence from Gothenburg and Malmö.171 It is therefore an important insight that schooling was relatively comprehensive. In this respect too, the 1842 statute did not entail a radical change in the townscapes. These findings agree well with international research, which has emphasized the increase in literacy and the high level of schooling before the central legislation, industrialization, and various state measures.172 After the introduction of compulsory education with the School Act of 1842, the number of schools in Stockholm was clearly sufficient to live up to the requirements. Between 1839 and 1862, the number of schools for elementary education had only increased from 40 to 44, which supports the interpretation. There were also plenty of schools in the countryside, but in many respects, there was room for improvement. In 1839, every other parish in Sweden had a school, although they were unevenly distributed. In Skåne, virtually every parish had a school when the Act was passed.173 The findings of international research can be confirmed in yet another respect. The school legislation seems in large measure to have satisfied an interest in tightening control over families that did not send their children to school. In one respect, the regulation of the school system in 1842 was an innovation in relation to the prevailing reality. Attendance became compulsory. The poor relief was also obliged to ensure that no children stayed away from school on account of material destitution. All children had to be able to display at least the minimum of required knowledge. In cases where parents were refractory and failed to heed warnings from the priest, it was to be possible to separate children from their parents.174 This rule must be read against the background of the already extensive but irregular schooling. It was the deviants who were to be made to attend school.175 This problem was also palpable in Stockholm. The inquiry mentioned above was set up after complaints that school had not been made compulsory in the different parishes. No control was there for the children who did not attend school, nor was there any real idea of which children ought to be in school. The poor relief did not fulfill its obligations. The inquiry showed that supervision of attendance was non-existent and consequently suggested that control of the children who did not attend school should be tightened.176



There is no reason to discuss here the extent to which the Stockholm authorities were actually successful in their efforts. Here it is sufficient to observe that the obligation imposed on the parents followed a tradition that ultimately concerned the authorities’ lack of confidence in the lower-­ class families as a unit for caring for and bringing up children. Internalization presupposed coercion on the part of society.

Notes 1. See the research presented in Chap. 1. 2. Kongl. Commitens till öfverseende och förbättring af fattigvården i Stockholm: Underdånig skrifwelse (Stockholm, 1807), p. 71. 3. Ibid. 4. Sven L.  Theorell, Fabriksväsendets inflytande på arbetares bergning och deras barns uppfostra: Försök öfver tvenne av Kongl. Vitterhets- och Vetenskaps-­Samhället i Götheborg till samfäldt besvarande uppgifna frågor (Stockholm, 1843), p. 82. 5. See, e.g., Landshöfdingens i Kristianstads län femårsberättelse 1843–1838, pp.  9f.; Underdånigt betänkande med dertill hörande handlingar angående fattigvården i Stockholms stad (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1839); Gösta Walldén, “Manufakturarbetarnas sociala förhållanden,” in Per Nyström (ed.), Stadsindustriens arbetare före 1800-talet: Bidrag till kännedom om den svenska manufakturindustrien och dess sociala förhållanden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1955); J.  B. Hallman, Betänkande om fattighusinrättningen (Stockholm, 1745). 6. Kongl. Commitens, pp.  71f.; Carl U.  Broocman, Magasin för föräldrar och lärare (Stockholm, 1810), p. 40. 7. Susanna Hedenborg, Det gåtfulla folket: Barns villkor och uppfattningar av barnet i 1700-talets Stockholm, diss., Stockholm University (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1997). 8. Margareta Matović, Stockholmsäktenskap: Familjebildning och partnerval i Stockholm 1850–1890 (Stockholm: LiberFörlag, 1984), pp. 160ff., 184ff. 9. Ibid., pp. 171f., 189ff., 256, 266. 10. Ibid., p.  256.; Ann-Sofi Kälvemark, “Hotet mot familjen: Den ogifta modern i det svenska bondesamhället,” Historisk tidskrift 1978, pp. 94f.; Statistisk årsbok för Stockholms stad, 1917 (Stockholm: Stockholms stads statistiska kontor, 1918), II, Table 29. 11. Ibid. 12. Gunnar Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige 1809–1846: Studier rörande kvinnans näringsfrihet inom de borgerliga yrkena (Gothenburg, 1960), p.  257, also the excursus, pp.  319ff.; Per Nyström, Stadsindustriens



arbetare före 1800-talet: Bidrag till kännedom om den svenska manufakturindustrien och dess sociala förhållanden (Stockholm: Tiden, 1955), pp. 156ff. 13. Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige, p. 264. 14. Ingrid Hammarström, Stockholm i svensk ekonomi 1850–1914 (Stockholm: Stadsarkivet, 1970), pp.  10ff.; Matović, Stockholmsäktenskap, pp.  67ff.; Uno Gustafson, Industrialismens storstad: Studier rörande Stockholms sociala, ekonomiska och demografiska struktur 1860–1910 (Stockholm, 1976), pp.  67ff., 73ff., diagram 13, p.  207, table 8, p.  235; Statistisk årsbok för Stockholms stad 1917, III, tables 22 and 29. 15. Ibid., pp. 276ff., table 24, pp. 360f. 16. Ibid., pp. 250f., 278f. 17. Ibid., pp. 306ff., quotation p. 307. For a discussion of Qvist, see Bengt Sandin, Hemmet, gatan, fabriken eller skolan: Folkundervisning och barnuppfostran i svenska städer 1600–1850, diss., Lund University (Lund: Arkiv, 1986), pp. 228ff. 18. Lars Edgren, “Crafts in Transformation?”, Continuity and Change 1 (1986), pp. 363–383; Lars Edgren, Lärling—gesäll—mästare: Hantverk och hantverkare i Malmö 1750–1847 (Lund: Dialogos, 1987). 19. Johan Söderberg, Poverty and Social Structure in Stockholm in 1850 (Stockholm, 1982), p. 14. 20. A check of the data for Malmö shows that the women engaged in trade scarcely had a middle-class background; “Förteckning över de personer i Malmö stad som under året 1860 idkat den … 22 dec 1846 tillåtna handel,” Kommerskollegii arkiv, Kommerskollegii Årsberättelser Fabriker, ser. 3, Städer 1860 (RA). 21. Sten Carlsson, Fröknar, mamseller, jungfrur och pigor: Ogifta kvinnor i det svenska ståndssamhället (Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 1977), pp.  28f.; Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige, p. 339, table 8. 22. Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige, p. 339, table 8. 23. Ibid., pp. 88ff., 115ff., 155ff., 268ff. 24. In 1810, for example, it was stated in a debate in the diet that over a thousand women in Stockholm were pursuing illicit trade, ibid., p. 84; see also Per Hultquist’s review of Qvist in Historisk Tidskrift 1962, pp. 90f. 25. Christiene Bladh, Månglerskor: Att sälja från korg och bod i Stockholm 1819–1846 (Stockholm: Komm. för Stockholmsforskning, 1991). 26. Kongl. Commitens, pp. 93f. 27. Anne-Marie Fällström, Konjunktur och kriminalitet: Studier i Göteborgs sociala historia 1800–1840 (Gothenburg, 1974), pp. 3f.



28. Kongl. Commitens, pp. 57ff.; Almqvist, Anmärkningar i anledning af en nyligen tryckt afhandling: Några ord om fabriker (Stockholm, 1809), pp. 6ff. 29. Lars Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma: Om arbetsdelning, barnarbete och teknologiska förändringar i några svenska industrier under 1800- och början av 1900-talet (Stockholm: Tiden, 1980), pp.  99ff.; Anne-Marie Fällström, Befolkningens sociala och ekonomiska struktur i Göteborg 1800–1840 (Stockholm, 1974), pp.  187f.; Fällström, Konjunktur och kriminalitet, p. 140. See also Monica Edgren, Tradition och förändring. Könsrelationer, omsorgsarbete och försörjning inom Norrköpings underklass under 1800-talet. (Lund: Lund University Press, 1994). 30. Walldén, “Manufakturarbetarnas sociala förhållanden,” p. 350. 31. Söderberg, Poverty and Social Structure, p. 15, also table 3, p. 14. 32. Ibid., p. 15; Robert Jütte, Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp 36f. 33. Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige, p. 119, especially note 4. 34. Sten Carlsson, Kvinnoöden i Mälardalen under 1800-talet: En jämförelse mellan stad och land (Uppsala, 1978), pp. 92ff. 35. Nils Lundequist, Stockholms stads historia från stadens anläggning till närvarande tid, vol. 3, Tillägg och anmärkningar (Stockholm, 1829), pp. 46ff., note y. 36. Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige, p.  326; Bertil Andersson, “Hantverk i Göteborg: Ekonomiska förhållanden för hantverkarna i Göteborg 1806–25,” Historisk tidskrift 1976, p. 421. 37. Olsson, Då barn var lönsamma; Sven T. Kjellberg, Ull och ylle: Bidrag till den svenska yllemanufakturens historia (Lund, 1943), pp. 702ff. 38. Qvist, Kvinnofrågan i Sverige, p. 326; Edgren, Tradition och förändring, pp. 149ff., 161ff. and the tables in the text. 39. Michael Anderson, Family Structure in Nineteenth Century Lancashire (London: Cambridge University Press, 1971), p.  82; Josef Ehmer, Familienstruktur und Arbeitsorganisation im frühindustriellen Wien (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1980); Josef Ehmer, “Vaterlandslose Gesellen und respektable Familienväter: Entwicklungsformen der Arbeiterfamilie in internationalem Vergleich 1850–1930,” in Helmut Konrad (ed.), Die deutsche und die österreichische Arbeiterbewegung zur Zeit der Zweiten Internationale (Vienna: Europaverlag, 1982), pp. 117ff.; Rudolf Braun, Industrialisierung und Volksleben: Die Veränderungen der Lebensformen in einem ländlichen Industriegebiet vor 1800 (Zürcher Oberland) (Erlenbach: Rentsch, 1960); Jütte, Poverty and Deviance, pp. 36ff. 40. Ehmer, “Vaterlandslose Gesellen,” pp. 127ff. 41. Theorell, Fabriksväsendets inflytande, pp. 81f. 42. Ibid., p. 82. 43. Ibid., pp. 82ff. 44. Ibid., p. 85.



45. Ibid. 46. Ibid., pp. 85f. 47. Ibid., p. 86. 48. Torsten Dahl and Nils Bohman (eds.), Svenska män och kvinnor: Biografisk uppslagsbok (Stockholm: Bonnier, 1954). 49. Förslag til understöd för fattiga föräldrar här i Stockholm at nödtorftigt kunna uppfostra sina barn (Stockholm, 1798), pp. 7ff. 50. Ibid. 51. Ibid., p. 11. 52. Ibid., p. 12. 53. Ibid., p. 14. See also Lundequist, who thought that there was a definite need for a “Society of women for the encouragement of tender and moral maternal care among poor mothers with many children,” Stockholms stads historia, p. 55. 54. Samuel Ödmann, “Tankar om sättet, at förekomma tiggerier i Städer, utan at åsidosätta den Christeliga kärlekens pligter,” Kongl. götheborgska wetenskaps och witterhets samhällets handlingar 1788, pp. 44, 62. 55. Ibid. 56. Ibid. 57. Ibid. 58. Voght, Om fattigvärden uti Hamburg (Stockholm, 1800), pp. 10ff. 59. Ibid., p. 22. 60. Ibid. 61. Ibid., p. 23. 62. Ibid., p. 24. 63. Ibid. 64. Ibid., pp. 24f. 65. Ibid. 66. See above, Chap. 5. 67. Kongl Maj:ts öfverståthållarens uti Stockholms stads femårsberättelser 1828–1832, p. 29. 68. Ibid., p. 12. 69. Rector Bergvall, “Prästeståndets Protokoll” 13, pp. 233ff. He underlined that schools for small children were needed in towns with a large working-­ class population. The parents had no benefit from their children’s “assistance” and a great need for help with children aged under six. The national poor-relief committee was favorably inclined toward small children’s schools “as a refuge” but did not want to make them compulsory for the municipalities; Underdånigt betänkande med dertil hörande handlingar angående fattigvården i riket utom Stockholms stad (1839), p. 114. 70. P.  A. Siljeström and F.  Richter, Komitébetänkande (Stockholm, 1855), pp.  6ff. Of the pupils enrolled in 1852  in the elementary school in Katarina Parish, 50 out of 75 lacked “all knowledge even of the letters of



the alphabet. … During the other years since 1847, usually at least half of the enrolled children have consisted of abecedarians, a situation which cannot but have a paralyzing effect on tuition in this school. This is sufficient demonstration of the need for a preparatory school.” See also Lundequist, Stockholms stads historia, on the inadequate literacy, ibid., p. 41. 71. Ibid., p. 33. 72. See above, Chap. 5. At the same time, it was emphasized how disciplined the children from the poor school were; for this reason they were exceedingly suited for service, Götheborgske spionen, 14 June 1771, p. 188. 73. Karl Linge, Folkundervisningen i Stockholm före 1842 (Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 1912), pp. 30f.; Årsberättelse om Stockholms borgareskola 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880. The craft schools were developed into borgareskolor in the second half of the nineteenth century, ibid. Judging by the advertisements published in Jöran Wibling, Opinioner och stämningar i Sverige 1809–1810 (Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1954), workers serving in shops and other sales jobs were expected to be able to write and count, ibid., pp. 36ff. 74. See, e.g., the advertisements, ibid., p. 36. Lundequist was worried that too much schooling would give girls “an education or so-called skills above their station, whereby they become unsuited to serve and most of them seldom choose the means of livelihood offered by an unmarried life, honestly earning their living within their station and becoming mothers of children who do not lack a father’s name and parental care,” Lundequist, Stockholms stads historia, p. 42. 75. See above, Chap. 5. 76. Kongl. Commitens, pp. 61f. 77. Wibling, Opinioner och stämningar, pp. 36ff.; the selection of advertisements is not stated. 78. Hallman, Betänkande om fattighusinrättningen, p. 10. 79. Judging by a statement in 1839 by Bishop Faxe of Lund, there was an association between the demands of confirmation and marriage on the one hand and the interest that the peasantry showed in school. “Faxe utlåtande om folkundervisningen,” 20 August 1839, Lunds Domkapitels Arkiv, Ämbetsberättelser, B 11:6 (LLA). 80. Siljeström and Richter, Komitébetänkande, pp. 25ff. 81. Ibid., pp. 27ff. See also the interview that elementary school inspector G. Thunander conducted in 1944 with the former seaman Karl Bengtsson, whose recollection of schools in Malmö went back to the 1860s. Record entitled “Uppgifter ang. Östra skolan lämnade i aug. 1944 till folkskoleinsp. G. G. Thunander,” Malmö skolrådsprotokoll A 1:3 Malmö skolrådsarkiv, MSA.



82. E.  P. Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism,” Past and Present 38 (1967), p. 56–97. See also the works cited in Chap. l. 83. See, e.g., the school instructions presented in Chap. 5, in the section “Decentralized poor relief and the education of poor children.” 84. Hans Järta, Om Sveriges läroverk: Stycken ur en afbruten skrift (Uppsala, 1832), pp. 38f. 85. The introduction of mutual instruction in Sweden has been discussed in detail by Thor Nordin, Växelundervisningens allmänna utveckling och dess utformning i Sverige till omkring 1830 (Stockholm, 1973). See also Uppfostringskommitténs 1812, “Brev, Skrivelse till K.  M.,” 9 May 1820 (RA). 86. See above, Chap. 5, “Poor relief in Gothenburg and Malmö and the education of paupers’ children.” 87. Theorell, Fabriksväsendets inflytande, p. 83. 88. Ibid., pp. 87f., quotation p. 88. 89. Ibid., pp. 88f. 90. Statement no. 128, p. 26, Bihang till rikets ständers protokoll 1840, 4. Samling 2. Afdelning (Stockholm, 1840). 91. Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations 2 vols. (London, 1776). 92. Ibid.; John Annette, “Bentham’s Fear of Hobgoblins: Law, Political Economy and Social Discipline,” in Bob Fine, Richard Kinsey, John Lea, Sol Picciotto, and Jock Young (eds.), Capitalism and the Rule of Law (London: Hutchinson, 1979), pp.  65ff. For the Swedish debate see Betänkande af comitén till öfverseende af rikets allmänna undervisningsverk (1829) i underdånighet afgifvet den 20 december 1828 (Stockholm, 1829), pp. 10ff.. 93. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (London: John W. Parker & Son, 1859); See also Charles Dickson, Arbetsklassens i Danmark, Norge och Sverige närvarande ställning i intellektuelt, moraliskt och ekonomiskt hänseende: rapport afgifven till Jury spécial du nouvel ordre de récompenses vid verldsexpositionen i Paris år 1867 (Gothenburg: Beijer, 1867), pp. 8f. 94. See, e.g., Linge, Folkundervisningen i Stockholm; Gunnar Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola: Studier i den svenska folkskolans historia med särskild hänsyn till Malmö (Malmö: C.A.  Andersson & Co., 1946); B.  Rudolf Hall, Acta till Stockholms större latinläroverks historia (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1939); B.  Rudolf Hall (ed.), Acta till Stockholms folkundervisnings historia: 1533–1847 (Stockholm: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1940). 95. Ibid., and Chap. 5 above.



96. Viktor Fredriksson and Klas Aquilonius, Svenska folkskolans historia, vol. II (Stockholm, 1942), pp. 3ff. 97. Ibid., pp. 22ff. 98. Christian Garve, Om menige mans upfostran och uplysning (Stockholm, 1799). 99. J. L. Ewald, Öfwer folkupplysning, des gränsor och fördelar (Lund, 1792). pp. 25f. 100. Ibid., pp. 17ff. 101. Ibid., pp. 35f., 48ff. 102. Ibid., pp. 65ff. 103. Fredriksson and Aquilonius, Svenska folkskolans historia, pp. 6ff. 104. See above, Chap. 5. 105. See, e.g., Gustav A.  Silverstolpe, Pædagogiska handlingar, part 2 (Norrköping, 1813); Broocman, Magasin, 1810. 106. Silverstolpe, Pædagogiska handlingar, pp. 32f. 107. Ibid., pp. 33f. 108. Ibid., p. 35. 109. Ibid., p. 36. 110. Ibid., p. 38. 111. “Can a person love the state, who in his dark ignorance does not have the faintest idea of the advantages granted to him by society? Who regards the beneficial coercion of the laws as a tyrannical yoke, every burden, however insignificant, as a dreadful repression? And is it not thus the unenlightened mass constantly thinks? Was this belief not always found among the people to the same extent that they were ignorant? O what incomprehensible blindness, to hope for genuine patriotism where, buried deep in bestial ignorance, it does not have the slightest knowledge of either its rights or its obligations!” Broocman, Magasin I, pp. 42f., passim. 112. Lars Magnus Enberg, Om uppfostran till medborglighet (Stockholm, 1823); see also Broocman, Magasin I–II, 113. Enberg, Om uppfostran, pp. 5f., quotation p. 9. 114. Ibid., pp. 8f. 115. Ibid., pp. 38f., passim. 116. Fredriksson and Aquilonius, Svenska folkskolans historia, pp. 4f. 117. For elementary schools see Tidiga enhetsskoletankar: Oscar I, Geijer, Wallin, Cederschjöld (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1927), pp. 108ff. 118. Birgit Petersson, “Den farliga underklassen”: Studier i fattigdom och brottslighet i 1800-talets Sverige (Umeå: Universitet, 1983), pp. 259–268. Sandin, Hemmet; Lars Petterson, Frihet, jämlikhet, egendom och Bentham: Utvecklingslinjer i svensk folkundervisning mellan feodalism och kapitalism, 1809–1860 (Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 1992). 119. Ibid., pp. 177ff.



120. Rolf Karlbom, Hungerupplopp och strejker 1793–1867: En studie i den svenska arbetarrörelsens uppkomst (Lund: Gleerup, 1967), pp. 31ff. 121. Rune Hedman, “Konskriptionsfrågan och allmogeoroligheterna år 1811,” diss., Uppsala University, Department of History (1969), pp. 2ff. 122. Ture Nerman, Crusenstolpes kravaller: Historiskt reportage från Stockholm sommaren 1838 (Stockholm: Saxon & Lindström), 1938. 123. Karlbom, Hungerupplopp, pp. 48, 57, 75, 80, 83. Those charged by the authorities were mostly apprentices. 124. Hedman, “Konskriptionsfrågan.” 125. Nils Staf, Polisväsendet i Stockholm 1776–1850 (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1950), pp. 144ff. 126. Ibid., pp. 151ff. 127. Ibid., pp. 166ff. 128. Ibid., pp. 286f. 129. Sven Nilson, Samfundet Pro fide et christianismo: Minnesskrift med anledning av dess etthundrafemtioårsjubileum (Stockholm, 1921), p. 40. 130. Karlbom, Hungerupplopp, p. 42. The appeal was also aimed against the wholesalers Arfvedsson and Hebbe. 131. Kongl. Commitens, p. 116. 132. Karlbom, Hungerupplopp, p. 60. 133. Esaias Tegnér, Brev i urval (Stockholm: AWE/Geber, 1982), p. 25. 134. Lars Edgren, “Lärlingar som ungdomsproblem: En ‘ungdomskultur’ i Malmö under 1800-talets första hälft,” Elbogen: Malmö fornminnesförenings tidskrift 1985:3, pp.  129ff. This regulation of apprentices’ behavior in the streets had a parallel in the cessation of singing by schoolboys; in 1797 the boys stopped this practice because the burghers refused to pay their schooling in this way, Artur Evers, Malmö högre allmänna läroverk för gossar under den svenska tiden, 1, 1658–1820: Minnesskrift (Lund: Berling, 1958), p. 211. 135. Edgren, “Lärlingar som ungdomsproblem,” p. 129. 136. Ibid., pp. 129ff. 137. Ibid., pp. 132ff. 138. Quoted from ibid., p. 133. 139. Ibid., pp. 128ff., 130, 136ff. 140. Ibid., p. 137. 141. Karlbom, Hungerupplopp, pp. 31–89, and e.g. pp. 58ff., 70. 142. Edgren, “Lärlingar som ungdomsproblem,” p. 48. 143. Quoted from ibid., p. 136; see also ibid., p. 133. 144. Fällström, Konjunktur och kriminalitet, pp.  106ff., 115ff., quotation p. 116. 145. Fattigvårdförvaltningens Arkiv, Protokoll 1827 3/7, A I a:3 (GSA); the letter is dated 11 June 1827. 146. Betänkande af Comiten (1828), pp. 10ff.



147. Ödmann, “Tankar om sättet, at förekomma tiggerier,” pp. 46ff., on the registration of criminals. See David Schultze von Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården i hänseende till folkets seder och helsa samt de fattigas livsbergning (Stockholm, 1801), p. 55. 148. Staf, Polisväsendet i Stockholm; Fällström, Konjunktur och kriminalitet, pp. 90ff.; Kongl. Commitens, pp. 88ff.; Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården, pp. 53ff. 149. Carl Fredric Ungberg, Projekt till förändrad organisation af polisvården inom hufvudstaden äfvensom till instruktion för de till den nya polisstyrelsen föreslagne tjenstemän och betjente (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1840), pp. 1f. 150. Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården, pp. 61ff. 151. Annette, “Bentham’s Fear of Hobgoblins,” pp.  70f.; Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Vintage Books, 1979). 152. Schultzenheim, Tal om den offentliga vården, pp. 61ff. 153. Ibid., pp.  83ff.; Roger Qvarsell, Ordning och behandling: Psykiatri och sinnessjukvård i Sverige under 1800-talets första hälft (Umeå: Universitet, 1982), pp. 45ff. 154. Theorell, Fabriksväsendets inflytande, p. 84. 155. See above, Chap. 5, 156. See above, Chap. 5, “Malmö.” According to the information provided by the seaman Karl Bengtsson, school attendance was compulsory for the children of factory workers. His experiences reflected conditions during the 1860s. Record entitled “Uppgifter ang. Östra skolan lämnade i aug. 1944 till folkskoleinsp. G. G. Thunander,” Malmö skolrådsprotokoll A 1:3 (MSA). 157. See above, Chap. 5, “Decentralized poor relief and the education of poor children.” 158. Kongl Maj:ts öfverståthållarens uti Stockholms stadsfemårsberättelser, 1833–1837 (Stockholm, 1840), p. 85; Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 333ff.; Albin Warne, Förskoleåldern som pedagogiskt problem: En historisk översikt (Stockholm: Diakonistyrelsens bokförlag, 1951); Johannes Westberg, Förskolepedagogikens framväxt: Pedagogisk förändring och dess förutsättningar, ca 1835–1945 (Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008). 159. “Stadga ang. folkundervisningen i riket 1842,” Sveriges allmänna folkskolestadgar 1842–1921 (Lund: Föreningen för svensk undervisningshistoria, 1924), p. 11. 160. Ibid., p. 10. 161. Ibid., pp. 11f. 162. Ibid.



163. Ibid. 164. See above, Chap. 5. 165. Kongl Maj:ts öfverståthållarens uti Stockholms stads femårsberättelser 1828–1832 (Stockholm, 1833), pp. 65ff., 74. A check against the information submitted by the consistory to the Education Committee in 1829 demonstrates that the county governor’s information shows no discrepancy that can lead to any reduction in the value of the material. There is no uniform tendency in the deviations for the different schools, which differ by ±10–20 pupils; this probably reflects variations in the number of pupils enrolled in the schools; “Folkskolor i Stockholm 1828,” Table I, Uppgifter om folkskolorna 1826–1827, Comiten til öfverseende af rikets allmänna undervisningsverk 1825 (RA). According to the study conducted in 1825 by Siljeström and Richter, on the other hand, the number of schools in the county governors’ reports was underestimated; Komitébetänkande, pp. 13f. 166. Statistisk årsbok för Stockholms stad 1917, III (Stockholm: Stockholms stads statistiska kontor, 1918), tables 14 and 23. 167. Kongl Maj:ts öfverståthållarens uti Stockholms stads femårsberättelser 1828–1832, p.69. 168. Siljeström and Richter, Komitébetänkande, p. 12; see also the discussions of material and methods, pp. 5ff. 169. Siljeström and Richter, Komitébetänkande, pp. 24ff. 170. See below note 185 171. Siljeström and Richter, Komitébetänkande, pp. 24ff.; Fällström, Göteborgs fattigvård, pp. 56f.; Thunander, Fattigskola—medborgarskola, pp. 324ff.; Sandin, Hemmet, Johannes Westberg, “Basic Schools in Each and Every Parish: The School Act of 1842 and the Rise of Mass Schooling in Sweden,” in Johannes Westberg, Lukas Boser, and Ingrid Brühwiler (eds.), School Acts and the Rise of Mass Schooling: Education Policy in the Long Nineteenth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). 172. See the survey of research in Chap. l. 173. Fredriksson and Aquilonius, Svenska folkskolans historia, p. 266., 174. “Skolstadga 1842,” Sveriges allmänna folkskolestadgar 1842–1921, p. 12. 175. The debate about school and compulsory attendance deserves a thorough analysis, but that would be beyond the scope of this study. For views of the coercion from different ideological perspectives, see Dickson, Arbetsklassens, pp.  6ff.; Faxe’s statement about public education, 20 August 1839, Lunds Domkapitels Arkiv, Ämbetsberättelser B II:6 (LLA). See also Agardh’s reservation, Bihang till samtlige riks-ståndens protocoll vid lagtima riksdagen i Stockholm åren 1840 och 1841, Andra samlingen. 1sta afdelningen: Rikets ständers revisorers samt justitiæ-ombudsmans m.fl:s till rikets ständer afgifne berättelser, vol. 4 (Stockholm, 1840), pp. 4ff.;



also Heurlin, Prästeståndets riksdagsprotokoll på Riksdagens uppdrag 13, 1840–1841 (Stockholm, 1841), pp. 239f.; Westberg, “Basic Schools in Each and Every Parish,”, pp. 209f. 176. “Berättelse af revisorerna till granskning af Stockholms Stads fattigvårdsförvaltning år 1851,” pp.  8ff; also Siljeström and Richter, Komitébetänkande, and the report Ytterligare upplysningar om förwaltningen af hufwudstadens folkskolewäsende och om förhållandet med dess styrelse (Stockholm, 1851).


Continuity and Change: Social and Political Space for Children and Childhood

The study of children and childhood through the lens of the development of early modern educational provisions demonstrates how the political and economic transformation accentuated the importance of schools in changing systems of governance. After this analysis of two centuries of Swedish school policy, we are now better equipped to answer the opening questions. How did the organization of schools influence and interact with the life of children and notions of childhood, the larger cultural and political context, and the social and cultural space cut out for children? I have studied how the early modern system of governance related to the social and cultural role of the schools and the processes of state-formation. How did the organization of the different schools relate to each other and to the lives of children from different social classes, and how did children and young people interact in relation to the changing system of governance of spaces allowed for children and cultural interaction? Simply put, I have been interested in answering the question: What made children go to school? The analyses also show the complexity and multilayered meanings of school institutions in relationship to the life of children, families, and different social classes. Education in urban Sweden was clearly shaped by spatial dimensions where the life of children and childhood was negotiated between alternative locations and livelihoods and reflected both the everyday grind of the lower classes and a response to measures by the authorities to create order in urban environments. The actions of elites of different © The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




kinds represented multilayered responses to the life of the subordinate classes but were also a consequence of the reaction to processes in larger cultural and political contexts and the transformation of governance. The processes of state-formation and changing class structure clearly determined the discussion about education as well as how schools were organized, and related to the lives of children from different social classes: the social and cultural space cut out for children. During the entire period discussed here, the lower classes had serious difficulties in providing for their children. The measures taken expose the classic problem of the family cycle. The conflict between an increased need for consumption and a decreased ability to provide as the number of children rose severely afflicted groups in the urban lower class who lived on wage labor or small-scale craft. These groups were large and probably underemployed at times. Children had to contribute to the family income at an early age, and—like their parents—they were forced to compete in a cramped labor market. The high mortality and the growing number of extramarital liaisons also left many children to fend for themselves, on their own or together with a single parent. This acute state of necessity in the families’ life cycle was one of the basic conditions of life in towns at the time. In this respect, not much changed during the two centuries and more covered by this study. It is also against this background that we should understand the unceasing interest shown by the authorities in organizing children’s lives. This interest can largely be understood in spatial terms; it was a matter of where in the city children’s lives took place, but also what characterized those locations in the eyes of the elites. Childhood was spatially defined and also related to the moral and cultural nature of the environments in which children interacted. The ambition to develop schools was significant as large groups of people and children in the pre-industrial towns were outside the traditional households and thus were not reached by the disciplining that was supposed to be ensured by the head of the household, in the spirit of Luther’s code. Nor were all heads of household willing, or even able, to act as the tools of the authorities. Since lower-class families at times had serious difficulties in reproducing themselves in material terms, they also appeared to lack the ability to convey the norms and values that the secular and religious elites considered crucial. The way households and families looked after their children was sometimes a source of vexation and anxiety among the ruling classes.



* * * The seventeenth-century schools reflected the cultural transformation that took place at the transition to a more state-centered society during the early modern period. At the beginning and the middle of the seventeenth century, children, paupers, and beggars took take part in public festivities and social rites. It was a culture that revealed the relationship between the classes. Cultural closeness and distance were highlighted in different ways. It was taken for granted that schoolboys should take part in processions. At the same time, they were socialized into a specific occupational role, that of priest. Like the schoolboys, the clergy took part in funeral processions, albeit one step ahead of children and university students. In this way, the processions also reflected the life course of a fraction of the boys, as it could turn out in favorable circumstances. Few children had a long period of schooling, and the turnover of children in the schools was large; the children seemed to have used the schools and its access to legitimate street begging as a means of support. Participation was significant since the church, the school, and the poor were maintained economically to varying extents by this means. It was also a direct and concrete demonstration of the relationship between the rulers and their subjects. The pomp and splendor revealed those on whom God had bestowed his grace, but in their gratitude they also let the poor share in the abundance. In the seventeenth century, the exercise of power underwent a change, being built into the administrative system, the set of rules that regulated the relationship between the sovereign, the elite, and the population. Control of the population became more systematic and continuous. Public education, aiming at creating a religious and political literacy, became one of the central parts of this system. Government also became visible in the local community, through the presence of the church, of conscription bailiffs and tax agents, but also through visits to the households by the clergy checking on the knowledge of the whole household but primarily the young ones. These visits now made the young, their knowledge of the social and political order and morals, visible in the gaze of power. The administrative apparatus strove for bureaucratic control, which also required new types of knowledge which could not be acquired as naturally in processions or at other social and religious ceremonies. A new type of school replaced the old Latin schools. Functionaries of the church and the state had to be given qualifications adapted to the new needs of the secular and religious government, it was claimed. Ecclesiastical and



civil officials were thereby incorporated in a notion of a hierarchical system of governance. The way in which the schools and the pupils supported themselves by performing church ceremonies was not compatible with this new order. It also conflicted increasingly with the attitude among the newly ennobled groups of the aristocracy and the burgher groups who were the pillars of the late seventeenth-century state. Processions were prohibited in an attempt to create a distance to the urban streets, the lack of order and the social interaction with the poor and dirty. A new bureaucratic upper class no longer wanted to uphold the older patriarchal relations externally; they chose instead to favor the family and the immediate kindred. The upper class thus distanced itself from the people and from the chaos prevailing in the streets. This had negative consequences for those who lived off charity in the public sphere. The aversion to begging forced a strict regulation of provision for schoolchildren, for which an institutional solution was found. The regulation of begging meant that they could not be wholly removed from the streets, but it became the school’s task, alongside the orphanages, to ensure that their begging was kept within the terms of the church and school ordinances, as well as city regulations. The poor children’s (boys’) dependence on this regulated way of earning their livelihood meant that they were compelled to attend school. Even if such compulsion could not be upheld, the schools thereby acquired, or retained, the character of institutions for the poor, which repelled the higher classes. They chose private tuition rather than send their children to the public schools. The educational system thus perpetuated the cultural segregation of the social classes. These tendencies became even more pronounced in the eighteenth century. Above all, the new middle-class groups had a negative view of the inefficient and low quality of the public school system. They demanded education that was better adapted to their own interests. Better-off families avoided the public school system if possible. One suggestion in this direction was to exclude children from church schools and trivium schools by setting higher thresholds for required knowledge. This marked a distinction between public education and the higher forms of education. At the same time, schools—poor schools, work schools, and catechism schools— were founded in order to end begging and to strengthen, or perhaps enable, ecclesiastical control of moral conditions in lower-class families. It was no longer sufficient to regulate begging. It now had to be eradicated. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, djäknegång, the custom



of going round the parish asking for contributions, was abolished, and schoolboys could no longer earn money from singing at special services and funerals in church. The foundation of these new schools can also be traced back to the inability and unwillingness of families and households to exercise control over their children and servants of both sexes. The schools also had an organizational design to keep schoolchildren away from the harbors, markets, alleys, and parks by reducing their time outside the control of schools and teachers. To attract pupils, these schools offered material rewards, food, clothing, and shelter, but consequently stressed the need to use an internalizing pedagogy, stressing the use of rewards rather than, for example, physical punishment, indicating a transformation of the mode of governance that was to be based on a lower level of coercion. The understanding of children as being essentially good seems to have further problematized the poor and lower-class family as a place of upbringing and became an essential argument for the need to reach all children with educational efforts. This development ran parallel to an ambition to reorganize the public governance of the urban space. At the start of the nineteenth century, the upper classes made increasingly loud calls for an improvement of the schools for the middling social groups. At the same time, the growing poverty and other social problems became more insistent and underwrote the demand for a total reform of urban governance, poor relief, policing, and education. The poor relief system was also to include the teaching of the lower social classes, girls and boys. The teaching of girls, the future mothers, was central to these ambitions of blocking the development of a spiral of crime and social decay. The ambitions to reform both the system of mass education and the urban schools that were attractive to middling social groups conflicted directly and concretely. Both ambitions entailed using the same school buildings and teachers, under the administrative control of the church and the city governments. It also indicated that mass education and the education of the middling classes might be different in nature. Systems for mass education were created in the towns, with rather grand ambitions, but were soon questioned. The political process reversed the priorities and made clear that the public educational schools were not to be used for mass education; such education was to take place in poor schools and philanthropic schools and was to be regarded as a matter of policing urban space. The public schools, the church schools, and the grammar school were partly adapted to the demands of the burghers and other upper-class groups. Mass education was conceptually placed alongside policing and



poor relief also as an elementary education and included teaching of girls. The boundary between the two systems was made sharper. Entrance requirements for the higher schools were to be tightened, as was the control of those who applied to them. The success was most likely rather limited but represented a novel idea about governance and societal organization. The foundation was laid for a parallel educational system, with different schools for children of different social classes and genders. * * * In this way, the present study concerns two fundamental cultural systems and systems of governance, one that evolved during the seventeenth century and one that was reflected in the educational reforms of the early nineteenth century. The seventeenth century was initially characterized by a degree of shared social environments and cultural behaviors, and direct and visible exercise of power. It began to change with the separation of the popular culture and the elite cultural traditions, parallel to an administrative control of taxation, recruitment of soldiers, and control of literacy in the homes. Children became visible in the eyes of the government. In the towns of Sweden, a school system was created to supply the government and church with staff equipped with basic skills. These schools were incorporated in a traditional system by which children supported themselves through begging and choir singing and burial processions, signifying a shared cultural space in the street processions and in the churches. That was questioned by the social groups that supported the late seventeenth-­ century state, which led to a stricter, but not always successful, control of the urban space and the place and agency of children. As the elites separated themselves from the popular culture, detailed regulation of society expanded, and children were confined to schools and orphanages, at least in theory. At the same time, the religious emphasis of the Lutheran church represented the ideal of a common cultural framework, to be shared by all. The creation of separate paths of education for the different classes in the nineteenth century, the later of the cultural systems studied in this book, was a consistent expression of the ambition to create a total separation of social and partly geographical space of children from different social backgrounds. The ambition was to detach the children from the influence of the home and ignorant and amoral parents, groups of children, adults, and children in the street and in the factories. The ideas in the early nineteenth century about the need for a shared moral and



national education did not presuppose shared educational facilities. On the contrary, it was stressed that the children of the urban lower class should be segregated from other children, and that it would be inappropriate to have schools in which the upper and lower classes were mixed; their social destines were too different for that. It has been plausibly argued that urban lower-class families also actively took a stance in favor of sending their children to schools but based on other needs and values than those cherished by the upper classes. For the lower classes, school was one of several ways to maintain and support their children, with material contributions or as childcare, but most likely also to live up to the increased control of catechetical knowledge. The turnover of children in schools suggests that school attendance could fill a gap until they were able to find employment; schooling thus functioned as childcare on terms defined by working-class parents. Parents and children often showed little respect for the demands for regular attendance and supervision of all children between specific ages. This explains the calls in the towns for schooling to be made compulsory. Demands like this had been made long before this, but the political circumstances to implement them had not existed. A parallel school system was also a consequence of this culture, as the development of compulsory attendance was a process partly parallel to the development of schools better designed to meet the needs of better-off social groups. * * * The development of the school system and its relationship to the social conditions of the children has thus been viewed as a consequence of the permanent social misery in the towns. On a different analytical level, this misery has been described as a cyclically recurring supply crisis during the family’s reproductive period. Equally important, however, is the fundamental change in the class structure and character of the state. This provided the framework for the organization of the system of governance. Moreover, it has been shown that school reflected a slow process of change whereby children were separated from each other, in terms of age, gender, and social class. The development ended with the foundation of different schools for each social class. Children of different social classes and gender had fundamentally different relationships to educational provisions. This idea gave birth to an ongoing conflict over the role of education in the Swedish national narrative that lasted for 150 years, as it made visible



injustices that were unacceptable to large sections of the Swedish political establishment, yet proved resistant to change for many years. The history demonstrates that a commitment to an egalitarian social system, the creation of equal opportunities for children of all social classes, and social trust, consensus, and egalitarianism, for which Sweden is known, may also contain a history of segregation, conflict, and a conviction that children of different classes were of different social value and could expect different futures. It also demonstrates that such cultures can be reversed and indeed nurture democratic values and reflect changing systems of governance.

Sources and Literature

Unpublished Sources Göteborgs stadsarkiv (GSA) City Archives, Gothenburg 1. Fattigvårdsförvaltningens arkiv Styrelseprotokoll Kungliga biblioteket (KB) Royal Library, Stockholm 1. Handskriftsavdelningen  Stockholms konsistorii acta och protokoll. Vols. I–VII (SKAoP copied by B. Hildebrand) Lunds landsarkiv (LLA) Regional Archives in Lund 1. Domkapitlets arkiv Ämbetsberättelser Koncept till skrivelser Malmö stadsarkiv (MSA) City Archives, Malmö 1. Rådhusrättens och magistratens arkiv Rådhusrättens och magistratens dombok 2. Malmö skolrådsarkiv Skolrådsprotokoll 3. Malmö yrkesskolorsarkiv Styrelseprotokoll Elevmatrikel

© The Author(s) 2020 B. Sandin, Schooling and State Formation in Early Modern Sweden, Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood,




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