Swedish Ambassador in England
1688 - 1741
An imprudent venture fails
In 1716 Count Gyllenborg, Baron Goertz, then Swedish Envoy at the Hague and Baron Sparre in Paris were involved in planning, on behalf of Charles XII, a sequel to the 1715 Jacobite rising. Charles was angered at the purchase by King George I from the King of Denmark of the duchies of Bremen and Verden recently captured from Sweden. The project was to invade Scotland from Gothenburg, with 16,000 men, and place the Pretender on the throne of England.
There was correspondence with the Earl of Mar, now exiled in Paris for his part in the 1715 uprising. It has been claimed that Mar, as adviser to the Pretender, arranged for 6000 “bolls” (barrels) of Scottish oatmeal to be sent to Charles as encouragement, perhaps to feed the troops. In the event the plot was exposed before the invasion could take place, with or without oatmeal. Habeas Corpus temporarily suspended, and irrespective of his diplomatic status, Gyllenborg was arrested by General Wade in London and held under guard at a country house known as Gulliver's, possibly near Plymouth, for some months. In 1717 he was returned to Sweden in exchange for the British Ambassador, detained there in reprisal, as a hostage.
Gyllenborg's subsequent career in Sweden was distinguished: he became High Chancellor of Sweden, Counsellor of the Swedish Empire, Chancellor of the University of Lund and, in 1739, President of Chancery and Chancellor of the University of Uppsala. He died in 1746.
Baron Goertz did not live long; he fell out of favour when Charles XII was killed in 1718. When Queen Ulrika acceded to the throne she had him arrested. Highly unpopular, he was tried for corruption and other misdeeds and executed in 1719.
It is, perhaps, remarkable that Baron Sparre was now appointed Ambassador to the Court of George I, and intriguing that he first took up residence in Twickenham in the house that the Earl of Mar had occupied 10 years earlier.