First name

Text source

Jacob Clerck was the son of Abraham Clerck. He served as a councillor in Stockholm from the late 1660s until his death in 1679, albeit it took until 1672 for his status to be confirmed. Jacob Clerck more or less forced his way onto the council (along with two Swedes) despite opposition by the king’s administrator for the city, Överståthållare Axel Sparre. May 1669 Clerck is not among those favoured by överståthållaren Axel Sparre, and also Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, for posts in the Stholm Council. Previously, on 6 October 1668, a royal resolution (actually Sparre) had named 10 civil servants (tjänstemmän), incl. Clerck, as being in line to be appointed as rådmän as openings arose. (However, it seems 7 of them, incl Petrie and Bunge, married to a Leijel, also had the mercantile ties or expertise which Sparre favoured, the other 3 incl Clerck, did not. See below; Sparre was trying to get more merchants into the council.) On 24 May 1669 the Magistrates, not really wanting these new men but nevertheless needing new blood, received 7 of the 10 Sparre had proposed, choosing to make them extraordinary councillors (i.e. not receiving a regular councillor's emoluments). CLERCK was among the 3 not made elevated and thus these 3 protested. On 21 July 1669 the king placated the 3 by agreeing that they should become ordinary councillors where such vacancies arose. Sparre was not pleased. His aim was to strengthen the 'borgerlig', or commercial element, in the Råd, and he wanted to have councillors who would support the textile industry. Clerck and the other 2 (Henrik Sparrin, Andreas Holmenius) had no commercial expertise. Their qualifications were academic. Five days later, on 26 July, Sparre managed to get a new royal directive issued which now pulled Clerck & Co. down to the same plane of eligibility as the extraordinary councillors. The men continued to protest throughout the autumn of 1669 and spring of 1670, but this time without Clerck. Nonetheless, he used his new position. In the Summer of 1674 Rådman Clerck was mentioned as being part of a discussion on the city's economic responsibility for building a bridge. Soon after Sweden engaged in wars in Germany (1672 & 1674) and against the Dutch and Denmark-Norway (1675-1679). The expense of these wars caused consternation among the entrepreneurial and civic elite. Indeed between 1677-79 an increasingly forceful Crown faced an ever more self-assertive Stockholm Råd, with Jacob Clerck taking a lead in organising the civic belligerence. In early 1677 Clerck proposed that it would be a wise move by the city to stay one-step ahead of the Crown and create additional ‘extraordinary councillors’ to accommodate the growing tensions between the city and the Crown. He died soon after in 1679. The records of Nikolai Kyrka in Stockholm reveal that in Jacob baptised eight children in the church between 5 July 1663 and 7 August 1675. From the biography of his daughter, Christian (born 1669), he is known to have been married to Catarina Carlsdotter Ekenbom.

Stockholm Stadsarkiv, (Storkyrkan) Nikolai församling dopböker, 1623-1717, I, p.331; C.F. Corin, Självstyre och kunglig maktpolitik inom Stockholms stadsförvaltning, 1668-1697 (Stockholm, 1958), pp.51, 72, 78, 134, 144-145; G. Hellstrom, Stockholms Stads Heradminne, (Stockholm, 1951), pp.498-499.

Service record

Arrived 1663-01-01
Departed 1679-12-31, as COUNCILLOR