Rutger Macklean

Rutger Macklean (28 July 1742 – 14 January 1816) also Rutger Macklier II was a Swedish jurist, military officer, politician and land owner. He was a driving figure in the introduction of Swedish agricultural land reforms (Enskiftet) which made possible large-scale farming with its economy of scale.[2][3][4][5][6]

Rutger Macklean
Rutger Macklean engraving.jpg
Born(1742-07-28)July 28, 1742
Ström Manor, Hjärtum parish, Bohuslän, Sweden
DiedJanuary 14, 1816(1816-01-14) (aged 73)
Parent(s)Rutger Macklean
RelativesDavid Makeléer, grandfather[1]
COA family se Macklean (1784).svg


Macklean was born on 28 July 1742 at Ström Manor, Hjärtum parish, Bohuslän to Baron Rutger Macklier (1688–1748) and Vilhelmina Eleonora Coyet (1719-1778).[7][8][9] He became a student at Lund University in 1757 and graduated with a law degree in 1759. After completing his law degree, he served at the High Court in Jönköping. He became a sergeant in the Holstein regiment in 1763, in 1770 quartermaster and a cornet, and in 1771 a lieutenant in the Jämtland cavalry company and in 1776 the captain of the Kalmar regiment and a commander in the Uppvidinge company. In 1782, Macklean was an army Captain in the forces of the Swedish Army. His brother, Baron Gustaf Macklean (1744-1804) was also a senior military officer.[10][11]

In 1782, he inherited Svaneholm Castle and its estate of 8500 acres from his mother’s family. In accordance with feudal procedures of tenant land-right inheritance the manor had been divided, in the course of its existence, into hundreds of narrow strip allotments. Some 40 tenant farmers live in four villages on the manor. Each tenant had the right to farm 60 to 70 strips of land, but only two thirds of a tenant's strips were usually close enough to his village that he had time to farm them; his farther strips went unused. Agriculture on the approximately 7,000 acres was poorly managed, productivity was very low and the subordinate farmers mostly indebted.[4]

Rutger Macklean statue at Svaneholm Castle

Macklean had his land surveyed and divided into 75 farms. A new cottage and barn were built on each farm and roads were built to connect each farm. A tenant farmer moved into the new farmhouse and they found they could raise more crops on half as much land. He introduced new agricultural implements and taught the farmers to grow crops with higher yields. Despite strong resistance from the tenant farmers and considerable financial difficulties, he basically implemented his plans in a few years. Macklean's land redistribution procedures were introduced into law in Scania in 1802, and land reform legislation (Laga skiftet) for all of Sweden followed in 1827.[12][10][3]

In 1812, Macklean was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and became an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. He died at Svaneholm Castle in 1816.[10] He is buried in Skurup Church.[13]

Family surname and originEdit

The family surname was originally spelled "Mackleir". In 1783, one year after Rutger Mackleir inherited Svaneholm Castle in Skåne from his uncle Gustaf Julius Coyet (1717-1782), the name was changed to "Mackeleir" and so remained until Mackeleir and his brother were ennobled, when it became "Macklier" again. During the Anglo-Saxon pre-romantic era it was changed again, to "Macklean".[5] Sources conflict as to whether the Mackleirs were descended from Hector Og Maclean of Scotland or were from Holland.[5][7][14][15]


Baron Rutger Macklean's ancestors in three generations
Baron Rutger Macklean, Father:
Baron Rutger Macklier
Paternal Grandfather:
David Makeléer
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Sir John Maclean, 1st Baronet
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Anna Gubbertz
Paternal Grandmother:
Eleonora Elisabet von Ascheberg
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Rutger von Ascheberg
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Vilhelmina Eleonora Coyet
Maternal Grandfather:
possibly Gustaf Adolf Coyet I
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:
possibly Bernhardine Morass
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-Grandmother:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ James Noël MacKenzie MacLean (1971). The Macleans of Sweden. The Ampersand. ISBN 0-900161-00-0.
  2. ^ "Rutger Macklean". Svaneholms Museum. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Storskifte/enskifte/laga skifte". Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Scott, Franklin D. (1988). Sweden: the nation's history. Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 289–291. ISBN 0-8093-1513-0.
  5. ^ a b c "Rutger Macklean". Svaneholm. Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2009. Rutgers family name was Mackleir until 1783, one year after he had taken over Svaneholm Castle from his uncle Gustaf Adolf Coyet. His grandmother was a daughter of Rutger von Ascheberg, one of king Carl XI's kinsmen, who owned the Ström mansion. His father Rutger Macklier was one of King Karl XII's warriors from Holofzin, Poltava and Tobolsk. ...
  6. ^ "Rutger Macklean". Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). Retrieved 24 December 2009. Macklean [makli:´n] (före 1783 Macklier), Rutger, 1742–1816, friherre, politiker och jordbruksreformator. Macklean kritiserade Gustav III och förvisades till sitt skånska gods Svaneholm. Här samlades från 1783 varje bondgårds ägor i en enhet, enskifte. Macklean upphävde dagsverksskyldigheten samt införde moderna redskap och varierande växtföljd. Han lade grunden för beslut om enskifte 1803–07 och laga skifte 1827.
  7. ^ a b Wieselgren, Oscar Harald (1942). Svenska män och kvinnor (in Swedish). Föräldrar: översten friherre Rutger Makeléer och Vilhelmina Eleonora Coyet. The name Macklean, which is quite un-Swedish, was taken by Rutger and his brother Gustav when they were appointed lords in 1783. The Swedish branch of the family immigrated around 1600. The reason [they] changed their name to Macklean was probably that their father - falsely - got the information that the family was a branch of the Scottish noble family Maclean.
  8. ^ Kenneth Olwig and Michael Jones (2008). Nordic Landscapes. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-3915-1. When he returned to Sweden, he married at the age of over 50 the 20-year-old Vilhelmina Eleonora Coyet, Rutger Macklean's mother.
  9. ^ Bruce A. McAndrew (2006). Scotland's historic heraldry. ISBN 1-84383-261-5. ... continued the line of baronets, his male descendants expiring in 1775, when the baronetcy passed to Baron Rutger ...
  10. ^ a b c "Rutger Macklean". Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  11. ^ Nina Ringbom. "Storskifte/enskifte/laga skifte". Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Rutger Maclean". Electric Scotland. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  13. ^ Wahlöö, Claes (2014). Skånes kyrkor 1050-1949 (in Swedish). Kävlinge: Domus Propria. pp. 266–267. ISBN 978-91-637-5874-4.
  14. ^ Both appear to be correct, his father descends from the Macleans of Scotland and his mother from the Coyets of Holland.
  15. ^ Horace Marryat (1862). One year in Sweden: including a visit to the Isle of Götland. Forty-third in lineal descent from Inghis tuir le Amhir, younger son of an Irish king, came Gilleon, who lived a hundred years before Christ. From him in unbroken genealogy is traced John Maclean (son of the Laird of Dowat), who came to Sweden in 1639 [sic], and, settling in Goteborg, greatly aided in the building of that town. Having rendered some service to the house of Stuart, he was created an English baronet by King Charles II in 1050, during his exile, and ennobled by Queen Christina under the name of Makeleer, with a grant of arms differing from those borne by his ancestors, neither of which were used by his descendants. ...

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