GARDEN, ALEXANDER [SSNE 2571]

Surname
GARDEN, GAIRDEN, GORDON, GAIRDYNE
First name
ALEXANDER

Text source

Alexander Garden served in Swedish service. According to a letter from Karl Gustav [later Karl X of Sweden] he must have joined the Swedish army in 1631, as he signed a passport in 1649 thanking him for 18 years faithful service. Garden was present at the Battle of Lützen in 1632 but little is known of this period in his life [This information comes from a cover note to the papers within the National Records of Scotland, but is not mentioned on the papers themselves]. 

While serving as a Captain in the Lifeguard and Dragoons of Karl Gustav Wrangel, Garden became the garrison commander of Brüx in Bohemia in January 1646. Wrangel gave Garden an 18 point set of instructions as commandant which ordered him to defend Brüx to the last man. He was also to dismiss the burgesses from the castle, with-holding from them 1/3 of their wine. In addition he was instructed to protect all ecclesiastical property and recruit more soldiers at any time he saw fit. Garden had to order the locals to make repairs to the castle but was to avoid recruiting too many of the Emperor's subjects in case they took the castle from within. From the surviving correspondence it appears that Brüx town must have been occupied by the Imperialists, though the castle appears to have held. On 7 July 1647, Garden, in consideration of the hardships he had undergone at the siege of Brüx, recieved compensation including the governorship of the region of Brüx and Governorship of the town of Troppau (Opava). Wrangel also emphasised that Garden would continue at all times to be accorded respect as Governor of Brüx and the surrounding countryside and that the walls of the town should be raised in order to  prevent the Imperialists from re-occupying it. The very next day, Wrangel wrote to Garden that the Imperialists had quit Brüx. He received a grant of 500 rixdaler to recruit for his company to re-occupy the castle. The citizens of Troppau were also to be financially levied in order that the castle of Brüx could be repaired to prevent its recaptire by the enemy. Garden remained Governor of his territories until the war ended. Wrangel wrote to him on 7 December 1648 ordering him to sell all the corn supplies he had and to keep the proceeds for himself. The inhabitants of Brüx were also ordered to have their obligations to the garrison reduced by 1000 rixdaler. Despite this, the citizens felt they were harshly treated but Major General Arvid Wittenberg (aka Wirtenberger von Derben) intervened and told Garden to address any further complaints directly to him. Garden received a passport to travel on 9 October 1649 from Duke Karl Gustav (later Karl X). A further passport was signed on his behalf on 22 October by General Wittenberg. This letter is important in that it makes clear that Garden's duties in Brüx included both the Civil and Military Governorships. 

It is unclear if these passports marked the end of Garden's Swedish service, though by this period it was clear he was heading to Hamburg for a while and had attained the rank of major. Two remaining letters survive which show he perhaps remained in Swedish service in Germany until 1653. They are mainly concerned with Garden's London based trading partners and a loan of £1 sterling from Henry Chrispe, London to Garden's brother "to healpe him over into Germany not being able otherwayes to gett away". From this letter we can surmise that Garden was probably not a Cromwellian sympathiser. He returned to Scotland in 1654 and purchased the lands of Troup in Aberdeenshire 

Sources: National Records of Scotland, Garden of Troup Papers, GD57/336/1-11. Papers on Major Alexander Garden's service with the Swedish army, 1635-1653; Beda Franziskus Dudík, Schweden in Böhmen und Mähren 1640-1650 (Vienna, 1879), p.217. We thank Dr Bernd Warlich for the reference from Dudik.

A Captain Gairdyne, native of Aberdeen, was noted as a citizen in Germany in 1637. That year he was supplied with a birthbrieve from Aberdeen Council. It may have been this man.

Source: T. Fischer, The Scots in Germany (Edinburgh, 1902), p.243.

Service record

SWEDEN, SCOTTISH TROOPS, GUSTAV WRANGEL'S LIFEGUARD & DRAGOONS
Departed 1646-01-14, as CAPTAIN
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
SWEDEN, BOHEMIA [Brüx] and SILESIA [Troppau]]
Departed 1649-10-22, as MAJOR
Capacity COMMANDANT AND GOVERNOR, purpose MILITARY
SWEDEN, HAMBURG
Departed 1653-12-31, as MAJOR
Purpose MILITARY