Some notes about the family Leijel at Älvkarleby works

The strong growth of mining works and industry, characterized by the mid-17th century in our country, was a significant part of the occupation of capital-strong and in the above-mentioned industries, men, such as Louis De Geer, the father of the Swedish industry, Siegroth, Grisbach, members of the family De Besche et al. The immigrant strangers were mostly German and Dutch (Walloons), but many also came from England and Scotland. This was the case with the brothers Leijel, who belonged to a Scottish noble family, which was then naturalized and introduced at the Knight House in 1719. They first settled in Stockholm as merchants, as they still remained, even after they became stakeholders in Älvkarleby works. The eldest of the brothers, Jacob, born 1612, died in 1678, had a son Adam, born 1658, died in 1729, who became a works patron at Hammarby in Örebro County. Because he did not leave any children, the oldest family branch ended with him.

David, born 1621, died in 1676, 26/3, was that of the brothers, whose name is preferably linked to Älvkarleby. Claes Depken, who died in 1702 (ennobled as Anckarström), the actual operator of this works, succeeded in the interest of the Leijel brothers for this company, especially David, who became Depken's companion and participated in the plant's operation and care. For David's descendants, I will explain below.

Henrik, born 1627, died in 1710, the third of the in-coming brothers, had a son Adam, born 1669, died in 1744, who became a master miner, assessor in bergskollegium and finally mining councillor.

Besides these three brothers, who have been taken up in Anrep’s Register of Nobility, I have found another brother named Adam, whose birth year is unknown, as well as the death year, which may not be later than 1688, when his widow is mentioned.

We are now returning to David Leijel's descendant. According to Anrep's register, he must have had 2 sons: David t.y., born 1660 dead 19/4 1727, and Johan, born 1664, dead in 1744. However, documents in the Uppsala country archives reveal that there was a third brother named Petter, probably dead in 1713. In a parish description of Älvkarleby by AN Sandén, I have found that an altarpiece in 1702 was donated to Älvkarleby church by the "brothers Jakob and Petter Leijel". Here, unequivocally, it follows that David Leijel had four (not only two) sons.

Of these David Leijel's sons, the eldest, David t. y., has both been a patron and officer in the mining state, such as miner and finally mining council. Johan became councillor and finally trade mayor in Stockholm. His son Carl, born 1718, died in 1789, became a master of mining, completing the family's traditions to engage in mining, either as a landowner or a mining clerk.

Petter, the works patron at Älvkarleby, would have been that of the brothers, who, however, were all part-owners in the mill, was the true leader of the "family company" from the 1690s to his death. This appears from several letters in Uppsala's country archives to the governor in Uppsala, signed by Petter Leijel »on behalf of Älfkarleby Works Interests». It is also unlikely that the older brother David, with his state service, could reconcile a real leadership for the mill. However, he seems to have done this after his brother's death, when he has signed letters in the same way as the brother. During his last year of life, David Leijel had dismissed his state service and was therefore given the opportunity to spend his remaining days devoted to his care until his death in 1727. His eldest son, also named David, succeeded his father as director of the mill, but died already in 1737 unmarried.

Älvkarleby and Harnäs were still held by members of the Leijel family until 1772, when they were sold to the wholesaler Thomas Tottie in Stockholm.

The fourth of David Leijel's sons, Jakob, who, together with brother Petter, gave the altar piece to Älvkarleby church, even though the owner of the farm, had been carrying out his business in another field. He became a trustee at Ortala Crown Works and owner of Vällnora mill in Knutby parish in Uppland. His birth and death dates are unknown.

David Leijel's empire lived the longest and expired only at the beginning of the 20th century with a great great grandson’s daughter to David Leijel the elder. As noted above, the Leijel family can be rightly referred to as mining men or works family owners, which undoubtedly has made great gains on the development of this industry in our country. From the latter half of the eighteenth century, members of the family have been found to have been in state service, military or civilian, though, without achieving any higher degrees.

After this brief overview of the history of Leijel in Sweden, I could stop; but as some documents in the Uppsala country archives reveal that the relationship between the members of the family has not always been the best, something here must also be given as a contribution to the history of families and times.

These actions show that a vigorous process has been carried out after David Leijel's death in 1676. Of his sons, nobody had ever come to an age of age. Here, the two uncles Adam and Henrik are used to being able to, as it is mentioned in the catechesis, "under the guise of law and rightly acquire the inheritance or the house of the neighbour".

Following the development of the long-standing trial between David Leijel's heirs and the two uncles would certainly be a rather time-consuming and untiring job. After several years of proceeding, when it probably led to the end of the trial, the heirs left a vigorous submission to his Royal Majesty, in which they make the point by point of their complaints.

The impressions of the same must be communicated in their entirety: "As our father’s brothers Adam and Hendrik Leijel have relinquished all natural love between our brother's brother in one and another motto against make and make statutes very ill-treated, in addition, we, God better, have caused us to regret; then we have, along with our most sublime submission, the same in the following deduction and attached allegation's well-liked, most well-known pious, your Royal Majesty of indigenous gentleness, mercy and patience such as hearing and consideration was covered.

"One of the main accusations against the two uncles was undoubtedly that when David Leijel was at his utmost a few days before his death, he used say of his weakness to induuce him to sign a debt to the two brothers, in which the debts have been taken to excessively high levels. A contract by which David Leijel handed out Älvkarleby mill one of his bookkeepers, Anders Holm, had thrown into the fire in order to be able to control and make good use of the mill and to overthrow its assets as a self-guardian of the rude heirs. Most of these, perhaps all, however, became authoritative during the long-term process. The eldest son, David, was at least official not so far after the father's death and could bring his own behalf and his co-workers' behalf.

Then as already mentioned, it would be too long-winded to explain all the charges, I confine myself to that, other than the aforementioned, a leading pleading final, which also contains a great deal of interest.

"Are we thus" called it "," of the greatest need to fall upon our Royal Majesty’s most undesirable support, as covered by this most sublime deduction, was covered how orphaned children and a sorrowful sterling house were handled by our uncle, who ought to guard our right after natural duty, under the pretext of patronage and other authority, , as stated before, we obeyed and participated through every resolution that sought to occur in our right and the rightful property of ours and theirs, before several significant iron posts (as) have been agreed upon time after time that they have yet another part of the solicitor and estate affairs possessed and not really done for which everything they do not want to answer neither in one or the other instance, but excuse themselves for the unilateral resolutions of their kind; for the debt of the deepest submissiveness of the bounty, your Royal Majesty, having power and truth, of its native Kingly gentleness and mercy as well as drawing on the unrestrained race of the holy justice, be us out of our own right to help God and Nature to us desolate. Feel such a high Kongl. grace and promotion, we remain accountable until our death, etc.”

This statement, to which the concept is in the country archives, is undated, but was probably filed around 1685.

However, it is pre-tuned to the benefit of David Leijel’s heirs, who were so badly treated by their uncle, I have, however, considered correct to hear 'an altera pars', if too, like the complaining party, only in the shortest sense. A letter sent to the governor in 1688, signed by Henrik Leijel and his now deceased brother Adam's widow, also contains a detailed examination of the allegations made. In many cases, these are rejected as completely unfounded or at least unexplained. One question about the "self-assumed guardianship" is said, that in 1688 David Leijel himself in life asked his brothers to be the underage children's guardian, but that after a few years, when disputes begun, requested and received the Royal Majesty's release from the draft. The main accusation, that of the brothers' behaviour toward David Leijel when he was on his deathbed become virtually forced to sign the fatal debt obligation, strikes with on-the standing that he was several weeks before his death, had part of it and not found anything to criticize. Nor did David Leijel, at the time of signature, have been so completely without sense and reason as claimed by the complainants.

However, the defendant apparently quite skilfully portray themselves as too innocent in respect of the allegations made, which wittily countered or circumvented, it seems to be inevitable that David Leijel’s brothers availed themselves of his state of weakness to induce him to the often mentioned signature.

How the verdict finally ended, cannot be found in the documents existing in the archives, but by the fact that David Leijel's heirs are still in possession of Älvkarleby Mill, one can conclude that they have at least won the process at least, and that the opposing party failed in its evil intent to force the brother-in-law from the practice, if this really was their intention.

Source: Personhistorisk tidskrift Year 1926, number 3-4. Author: G. O. Berg

Link to Personhistorisk tidskrift

pht  I these magazines are articles or notes about the Leijel family
(In Swedish)
1902 1
1909 2-4
1911 2-3
1916 1-2
1916 4
1926 3-4
1937 1-4
1939-1940 1-4
1961 3-4
1965 3
1966 1-2
1976 1-2
1982 3-4
1983 3-4