First name
Social status

Text source

Alexander (aka Sanders) Hay was a Scot who served in both Denmark-Norway's and Sweden's armies. Hay may have served in Denmark first, in Colonel Donald Mackay's [SSNE 93] regiment as a lieutenant, and later a captain. His promotion resulted from his own captain having returned to Scotland on a recruiting drive. He was participant with 80 men at the Siege of Stralsund in June-August 1628 directly under the command of Major Robert Monro. Monro sent him, with 50 men, to second a German unit which were wavering.

Hay was reformed and got his reckoning by 4/10/1628. He then migrated to Sweden where he served as a major in Patrick Ruthven's [SSNE 3413] recruited regiment until 1632, and then in Francis Ruthven's [SSNE 3404] recruited regiment in 1633, where he also became lieutenant colonel. In 1636 he was lieutenant colonel and chief of a squadron of recruited dragoons. He was apparently captured at Brandenburg on 8 December 1636. Hay gained his release by paying his ransom of 1736 riksdaler becoming full colonel thereafter. He died in the spring of 1639 at Pernau/Pirna (although some sources say 1641). He was probably the brother of John/Hans Hay [SSNE 4841] who was a master of provisions for the Swedes until 1630. He was married to Dorothea Plessen in Hamburg where he maintained a home. According to Elgenstierna he had a son Henry/Henrik [SSNE 2627] who also entered Swedish service, and was later ennobled. However, according to Svensk Biografisk Lexikon Henrik was in fact the son of the merchant, William Haij/Heij [SSNE 795]. Alexander had two other brothers in Hamburg James Hay [SSNE 7297] and Patrick Hay [SSNE 2631]. 


Sources: Swedish Riksarkiv, P. Sondén, Militärachefer i svenska arméen och deras skrivelser; Swedish Krigsarkiv, Muster Roll, 1629/14,18-20; 1630/22-29; 1631/12,15-21; 1632/10-21; 1633/11-22; 1634/12-23; 1635/20-26,29-31; 1636/17,18; 1637/15; Swedish Riksarkiv, Strödda militiehandlingar före 1631, Armen;  R. Monro, His Expedition with a worthy Scots Regiment called Mac-Keyes (London, 1637), I, pp. 65 and 82 and II, List of the Scottish Officers in Chiefe.


Correspondence from his brothers and widow can be found in: Riksarkivets ämnessamlingar. Personhistoria https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/A0069701_00017#?c=&m=&s=&cv=16&xywh=3117%2C2696%2C2302%2C1327


G. Elgenstierna, Svenska Adelns Ättartavlor, vol. 3, p.416; T. Riis, Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot (Odense, 1988), II, p.122; Otto Donner, A brief sketch of the Scottish families in Finland and Sweden (Helsingfors, 1884), p.28; J. Mackay, 'Mackay's Regiment' in Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, VIII, 1879, p. 186;H. Marryat, One Year in Sweden, including a visit to the isle of Gotland (London, 1862), p.484; E.E. Etzel, 'Notes on Swedo-Scottish Families', Scottish Historical Review, vol.9, 1912, p.270; Curt Haij, 'Skottar i Stockholm under 1600-talet', unpublished list of names, Hintze biblioteket, Genealogiska Föreningen, Sundbyberg, Stockholm. Thanks to Ardis Dreisbach for this information. 


Dr Bernd Warlich kindly provided details from  SCHRÖER, Fritz, Das Havelland im Dreißigjährigen Krieg. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Mark Brandenburg. Mitteldeutsche Forschungen vol. 37. (Köln/Graz 1966), pp. 90f., 290.

Service record

Arrived 1628-01-01, as LIEUTENANT
Departed 1628-10-04, as CAPTAIN
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1629-01-01, as MAJOR
Departed 1635-12-31, as LT. COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1636-01-01, as LT. COLONEL
Departed 1639-05-03, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY