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Jacob De la Gardie
Count Jacob Pontusson De la Gardie of Läckö (1583-1652) was a Swedish statesman and soldier , appointed Privy Councilor in 1613, Governor General of Livonia in 1621, and Lord High Constable in 1628. He introduced advanced Dutch military doctrines into the Swedish Army. He commanded the Swedish forces in Muscovy and against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He also served as one of the five regents jointly ruling Sweden during the minority of Queen Christina.
Born on June 20 in Reval, or Tallinn, Estonia, as a son of Pontus De la Gardie and Sofia Johansdotter Gyllenhielm . Together with Ebba Brahe, whom he married in 1618, he had 14 children and among them Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie born in 1622. Jacob died on August 22 1652 in Stockholm. The city of Jakobstad is named after him.
Between 1606 and 1608 Jacob De la Gardie served under the Dutch general Maurice of Nassau, prince of Orange. This experience made him one of the Swedish officers most familiar with moder Dutch stategies, and thus on his return to the service of Sweden he begun introducing those new strategies and tactics.
During the conflict between Muscovy and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Dymitriad wars, Sweden signed an alliance with tsar Vasili Shuisky in 1609. Swedish King Charles IX ordered Jacob to command Swedish expeditionary forces in Muscovy (1608-13) (The De la Gardie Campaign 1609-1610, Ingrian War 1610-1617). In the quickly changing allegiances and alliances during the Muscovy civil war, the Time of Troubles, Sweden fought against both Muscovy and the Commonwealth. De la Gardie captured Moscow in 1610 and large areas in northwestern Russia but was disastrously defeated by Commonwealth hussar cavalry at Battle of Kluszyn in 1610. This marked the failure of Charles IX to place his son, Gustavus Adolphus on the Russian throne. However Sweden was able to secure important teritorial concessions from weakened Muscovy. De la Gardie was the chief Swedish negotiator in the Peace of Stolbova . He gained for Sweden a continuous territorial base extending from Finland to Estonia, which protected the Finnish frontier and blocked Russia from access to the Baltic Sea.
After 1621 De la Gardie took part in the war against Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in Livonia, but he was recalled after serving as commander in chief (1626-28). De la Gardie was an advocate of peace with Poland and acted as one of the Swedish negotiators at the Truce of Stuhmsdorf with Poland in 1635 by which Sweden, then weakened by its involvement in the Thirty Years' War, withdrew from Polish Royal Prussia and sacrificed the tolls it had levied in Prussian harbours since 1627.
De la Gardie was member of the state council from 1613. In 1620 he became marshal and one of the five regents ruling Sweden during Queen Christina's minority (1632-44). His pacifist and pro-French and pro-Polish attitudes often put him against chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, who directed Sweden's forces in the Thirty Years' War after the death of Gustav II Adolf in 1632. As De la Gardie supported many other Oxenstierna policies, eventually the two leaders reconciled after Oxenstierna's return to Sweden in 1636. Although the marshal's office came under criticism that year, De la Gardie continued to operate effectively, making large profits from leasing royal revenues and from loans to the crown.
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