First name
Social status

Text source

Johan Ekeblad was born 26 July 1629 at Skog, Wista and was a son of Christoffer Johansson Ekeblad (who had served as commandant at Alvsborg castle in 1632 and in 1633 was charged with keeping an eye on the Scottish and Irish soldiers quartered in the area). Johan, who had accompanied his father to Frankfurt in 1642 to undertake study there, had been in military service since 1644. He was active in the Norwegian campaign in Bohus. In 1646 he accompanied Magnus de la Gardie on embassy to France, remaining there 2 years. Johan travelled through Holland, Germany and Denmark on his return to Sweden where he was employed by Queen Kristina as a court-gentleman. When Kristina abdicated in 1654 he presumably lost his position at court? On 14 June 1655 he left Sweden with Christer Bonde [SSNE 5390](whom he described as very courteous) on his mission to England, and during the course of the journey they were blown into a Norwegian harbour. they arrived at Gravesend by 20 July. On 12 August he wrote from London to his father about his trip to England. They were taken to a special house in London where envoys stayed and apparently enjoyed an audience with the Protector Oliver Cromwell. Johan described how Bonde spoke in Swedish, which was then translated into Latin and Cromwell replied in English, which was again translated into Latin. Apparently Cromwell feared King Karl X was arming against him. Cromwell secretly travelled out to the country each week, and the house Johan was staying in was full of Royalist prisoners. The Swede commented on living conditions in the London of the time: the people were discontent, begging and spoke poorly of Cromwell. The Swedish embassy all avoided meat unless there was a hand's width of iton either side of the bone and they avoided chicken unless it was "swimming" in lemon and other fruit juices - even fish was avoided, an beer and wine were sour unless half of the glass was sugar. Additionally the beds were so wide that you had to shout to our neighbour to be heard, and music was played constantly, at bedtime and at rising time. On one social occasion both Bulstrode Whitelocke [SSNE 4438] and General Fleetwood [SSNE 2208] were present, as were Cromwell's wife and three daughters (all unattractive!). Johan left England in March 1656. He then re-entered the Swedish army as a volunteer during the Polish campaign and in June he wrote from Elbingen noting that his horse had been shot under him. In 1658 he was employed by Queen Hedvig Eleonora as gentleman of the chamber. He married Christina Hogerstjerna in 1663 and was appointed commissioner for the "Reduktionskollegium". Johan served as an envoy to France in 1668 where he remained as resident until 1672. His first wife Christina died in 1692 and Johan remarried to Sara Svebilia in 1694. Johan died in 1697. Johan corresponded daily with his father for 15 years (his father died in 1664). He himself died in 1697.

P. Wieselgren, (ed.), Dela Gardiska Archivet, part 8, (Lund, 1836), pp.170, 193-241.

Service record

Arrived 1646-01-01, as ENVOY
Departed 1646-12-31
Capacity AGENT, purpose DIPLOMACY
Arrived 1655-01-01
Departed 1656-03-31
Capacity AGENT, purpose DIPLOMACY
Arrived 1668-09-02, as ENVOY
Departed 1668-12-31
Capacity AGENT, purpose DIPLOMACY