Charles XIV John or Carl John, (Swedish and Norwegian: Karl XIV Johan; 26 January 1763 – 8 March 1844) from 1818 until his death was King of Sweden (as Charles XIV John) and King of Norway (proclaimed as Charles XIV John, but in recent times referred to as Charles III John) and served as de facto regent and head of state from 1810 to 1818. He was also the sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, in south-central Italy, from 1806 until 1810.
He was born Jean Bernadotte in France and served a long career in the French Army. He subsequently acquired the full name of Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte (French: [ʒɑ̃ bapˈtist ʒyl bɛʁˈnadɔt]). He was appointed as a Marshal of France by Napoleon, though the two had a turbulent relationship. Napoleon made him Prince of Pontecorvo on 5 June 1806, but he stopped using that title in 1810 when his service to France ended and he was elected the heir-presumptive to the childless King Charles XIII of Sweden. His candidacy was advocated by Baron Carl Otto Mörner, a Swedish courtier and obscure member of the Riksdag of the Estates. Upon his Swedish adoption, he assumed the name Carl. Since he was a royal prince there, he did not use the surname of Bernadotte in Sweden, but founded the Swedish dynasty by that name.
|Charles XIV John|
Portrait by François Gérard
|King of Sweden and Norway|
|Reign||5 February 1818 – 8 March 1844|
|Coronations||11 May 1818 |
(Stockholm Cathedral, Sweden)
7 September 1818
(Nidaros Cathedral, Norway)
|Predecessor||Charles XIII & II|
|Prince of Pontecorvo|
|Reign||5 June 1806 – 21 August 1810|
|Born||Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte|
26 January 1763
|Died||8 March 1844 (aged 81)|
|Burial||26 April 1844|
Désirée Clary (m. 1798)
|Mother||Jeanne de Saint-Jean|
prev. Roman Catholic
|Allegiance|| Kingdom of France |
Kingdom of France
|Years of service||1780–1810|
|Rank||Marshal of the Empire|
|Commands held||Governor of Hanover|
|Battles/wars||French Revolutionary Wars |
|Awards||Legion of Honour |
Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe
|Other work||Minister of War|
Councillor of State
Bernadotte was born in Pau, France, as the son of Jean Henri Bernadotte (Pau, Béarn, 14 October 1711 – Pau, 31 March 1780), prosecutor at Pau, and his wife (married at Boeil, 20 February 1754) Jeanne de Saint-Jean (Pau, 1 April 1728 – Pau, 8 January 1809), niece of the Lay Abbot of Sireix. The family name was originally du Poey (or de Pouey), but was changed to Bernadotte – a surname of an ancestress at the beginning of the 17th century. Soon after his birth, Baptiste was added to his name, to distinguish him from his elder brother Jean Évangeliste. Bernadotte himself added Jules to his first names as a tribute to the French Empire under Napoleon I.
At the age of 14, he was apprenticed to a local attorney. However, the death of his father when Bernadotte was just 17 stopped the youth from following his father's career.
Bernadotte joined the army as a private in the Régiment Royal–La Marine on 3 September 1780, and first served in the newly conquered territory of Corsica. Subsequently, the Régiment stationed in Besançon, Grenoble, Vienne, Marseille and Ile de Re. He reached to the rank of Sergeant in August 1785 and was nicknamed Sergeant Belle-Jambe, for his smart appearance. In early 1790 he was promoted to Adjudant-Major, the highest rank for noncommissioned officers in the Ancien Régime.
Following the outbreak of the French Revolution, his eminent military qualities brought him speedy promotion. By 1794 he was promoted to brigadier, attached to the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse. After Jourdan's victory at Fleurus (26 June 1794), he then became a divisional general. At the Battle of Theiningen (1796), Bernadotte contributed, more than anyone else, to the successful retreat of the French army over the Rhine after its defeat by the Archduke Charles of Austria.
At the beginning of 1797 he was ordered by the Directory to march with 20,000 men as reinforcements to Napoleon Bonaparte's army in Italy. His successful crossing of the Alps through the storm in midwinter was highly praised but coldly received by the Italian Army. Upon receiving insult from Dominique Martin Dupuy, the commander of Milan, Bernadotte was to arrest him for insubordination. However, Dupuy was a close friend of Louis-Alexandre Berthier and this started a long-lasting feud between Bernadotte and Napoleon's Chief of Staff.
He had his first interview with Napoleon in Mantua and was appointed the commander of the 4th division. During the invasion of Friuli and Istria, Bernadotte distinguished himself greatly at the passage of the Tagliamento where he led the vanguard, and at the capture of the fortress of Gradisca (19 March 1797). After the 18th Fructidor, Napoleon ordered his generals to collect from their respective divisions' addresses in favor of the coup d'état of that day; but Bernadotte sent an address to the directory different from that which Napoleon wished for and without conveying it through Napoleon's hands.
After the treaty of Campo Formio, Napoleon gave Bernadotte a friendly visit at his headquarters at Udine, but immediately after deprived him of half his division of the army of the Rhine, and commanded him to march the other half back to France. Paul Barras, one of five directors, was cautious that Napoleon would overturn the Republic, so he appointed Bernadotte commander-in-chief of the Italian Army in order to offset Napoleon’s power. Bernadotte was pleased with this appointment but Napoleon lobbied Talleyrand-Périgord, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appoint him to the embassy of Vienna instead. Bernadotte was very dissatisfied; he finally accepted the post in Vienna, but had to quit owing to the disturbances caused by his hoisting the tricolour over the embassy.
After returning from Vienna, he resided in Paris. He married Désirée Clary in August 1798, the daughter of a Marseilles merchant and Joseph Bonaparte's sister-in-law. In November of the same year he was made commander of the army of observation on the upper Rhine. Although solicited to do so by Barras and Joseph Bonaparte, he did not take part in the coup d'état of the 30th Prairial. From 2 July to 14 September he was Minister of War, in which capacity he displayed great ability. However, his popularity and contacts with radical Jacobins aroused antipathy towards him in the government. On the morning of 13 September he found his resignation announced in the Moniteur before he was aware that he had tendered it. This was a trick; played upon him by Sieyès and Roger Ducos, the directors allied to Napoleon.
He declined to help Napoleon Bonaparte stage his coup d'état of November 1799 but nevertheless accepted employment from the Consulate, and from April 1800 to 18 August 1801 commanded the army in the Vendée and successfully restored its tranquility.
In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte proposed that Bernadotte head to New France to serve as governor of Louisiana, which was to be transferred back to French control following the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. In accepting the position, Bernadotte requested additional soldiers, settlers, and funding to support the colony, but Napoleon refused. In response, Benadotte, declined the posting and instead was named plenipotentiary ambassador to the United States. His posting was cancelled, however, after the Sale of Louisiana.
On the introduction of the First French Empire, Bernadotte became one of the eighteen Marshals of the Empire, and from June 1804 to September 1805 served as governor of the recently occupied Hanover. In this capacity, as well as during his later command of the army of northern Germany, he created for himself a reputation for independence, moderation, and administrative ability.
During the campaign of 1805, Bernadotte—with an army corps from Hanover—co-operated in the great movement which resulted in the shutting off of Mack in the Battle of Ulm. In the Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805) he was posted with his corps in the center between Soult and Lannes, and contributed to defeating the attempt of the right wing of the allies to outflank the French army. As a reward for his services at Austerlitz, he became the 1st Sovereign Prince of Ponte Corvo (5 June 1806), a district of Naples formerly subject to the Pope.
However, during the campaign against Prussia, in the same year, he was severely reproached by Napoleon for not participating with his army corps in the battles of Jena and Auerstädt (14 October 1806). Napoleon, on the night of 13 October, thinking he had faced the whole Prussian army at Jena, sent orders to Bernadotte and Davout to fall back from Naumburg and get across the Prussian line of retreat. In pursuance of these orders, Bernadotte, separately from Davout, left Naumburg at dawn on the morning of the 14th for Dornburg and marched towards Apolda, which he reached by 16:00. Hampered by the very poor state of the roads, he could not engage in the Battle of Jena, though he effectively compelled the Prussians to retreat from both battlefields by posting his troops on the heights of Apolda. Afterwards, Bernadotte was accused of deliberately refusing to support Davout, who had unexpectedly encountered the Prussian main army at Auerstädt, out of jealousy, and Napoleon, if reminiscences from St. Helena may be believed, once intended to put Bernadotte before a court-martial. In fact, he did what he had been ordered to do, and more fundamental responsibility for his absence rests upon the ambiguous and indirect orders issued by Berthier and Napoleon’s unawareness of the Prussian position.
After the Battle of Jena, Bernadotte crushed the Prussian Reserve Army, all fresh troops fortified behind a marsh and the River Saale, under Duke Eugen of Württemberg at Halle (17 October 1806), though Imperial Headquarters did not much appreciate this victory. When visiting Halle after the battle, and commenting on the degree of difficulty of storming a fortified position accessible only by a single bridge, Napoleon enigmatically commented "Bernadotte stops at nothing. Someday the Gascon will get caught." Subsequently, Bernadotte pursued, conjointly with Soult and Murat (known as the "Pursuit of the Three Marshals"), Prussian general Blücher's Corps to Lübeck, where his troops stormed the Prussian defenses, taking the city and forcing Blücher's capitulation at Radkow (7 November 1806). When the French forced their way to Lübeck, the city became the target of large-scale looting and rampage by the French soldiers. Bernadotte, struggling desperately to prevent his men from sacking, was given six horses from the Council of Lübeck as their appreciation. He also treated captured Swedish soldiers with courtesy and allowed them to return to their home country. The impressed Swedes went home with a tale of Bernadotte’s fairness in maintaining order within the city.
Thereafter he marched to Poland and defeated the Russians at Mohrungen (25 January 1807). Due to the capture of a courier carrying the Emperor's latest orders, Bernadotte was not informed of a change of strategy to move East toward the rest of the French Army. As a consequence, Bernadotte's I Corps was too far away to take part in the Battle of Eylau (7 to 8 February 1807). Napoleon rebuked him for his absence but it became acknowledged that it was not due to Bernadotte, but Berthier’s carelessness in dispatching the orderly.
After the Peace of Tilsit, in 1808, as well-liked governor of the Hanseatic towns, where he once again proved his administrative and diplomatic abilities,  he was to direct the expedition against Sweden, via the Danish islands, but the plan came to naught because of the want of transports and the defection of the Spanish contingent. Pursuant to the projected invasion of Sweden, and by virtue of Denmark becoming an ally of France in 1808, Bernadotte found himself de facto head of a French occupation of Denmark. However, Bernadotte maintained strict discipline amongst his troops and his good treatment of the Danes made him popular with the populace and Danish Royal Family. Upon his departure from Denmark he was one of few Frenchmen of the period to be awarded the Order of the Elephant.
During Bernadotte's time as governor of the Hanseatic cities, the Abdications of Bayonne occurred, an event that triggered the Peninsular War that would play so large a role in Napoleon's defeat. For a time Napoleon considered the notion of placing Bernadotte on the Spanish throne; going so far as to hint at it in a letter to him. However, Bernadotte made it known to Napoleon that he didn't want the Spanish Crown. Joseph Bonaparte, Bernadotte's friend and brother-in-law, was chosen instead. It was not the first, or last time, that Napoleon thought of placing Bernadotte on a foreign throne. Indeed, Napoleon on several occasions, both during his days as First Consul and then as Emperor, thought of naming Bernadotte (Napoleon also considered Murat) as his successor by adoption. Despite their rivalry, Napoleon felt that Bernadotte alone had the popularity, administrative and military skill to safeguard the Empire he had built. However, the birth of the King of Rome put an end to Napoleon's need for an heir.  Ironically, Bernadotte did eventually wear a crown, not through the auspices of Napoleon, but as an enemy of France.
Being recalled to Germany to assist in the new war between France and Austria, he received the command of the 9th Corps, which was mainly composed of Saxons. Further difficulties with Berthier, and inclusion in his corps of the ill-prepared Saxons combined with his illness to make him beg for release from service. Bernadotte wrote to Napoleon that "I see my efforts perpetually paralyzed by a hidden force over which I can not prevail." Napoleon disregarded these appeals and Bernadotte proceeded with the campaign, commanding mostly foreign troops with few French. At the Battle of Wagram (6 July 1809), he commanded this corps, of which the division of Dupas formed part. Having resisted on the left wing for a long time an attack from a superior force, he ordered Dupas forward to his support; the latter replied that he had orders from the emperor to remain where he was. After the battle, Bernadotte complained to Napoleon for having, in violation of all military rules, ordered Dupas to act independently of his command, and for having thereby caused great loss of life to the Saxons, and tendered his resignation. Napoleon accepted after he had become aware of an order of the day issued by Bernadotte in which he gave the Saxons credit for their courage in terms inconsistent with the emperor's official bulletin. However, Bernadotte's praise for the Saxons, as well as his mild and courteous treatment of them while under his command, was never forgotten by the Saxon officers and this would later have disastrous consequences for the French when a whole Saxon division defected to Bernadotte's Army of the North during a key moment of the Battle of Leipzig.
With Bernadotte having returned to Paris, the Walcheren expedition (July 1809) caused the French ministry in the absence of the emperor to entrust him with the defense of Antwerp with both regular French and Dutch troops along with the National Guard. Bernadotte, with his customary skill, took command of a chaotic situation wherein troops from all over the Empire and its vassal states, and raw conscripts, were sent to Holland under divided command. He re-organized and trained his forces, named by the Emperor as the Army of Antwerp, by instilling discipline in old soldiers too long at the depots and teaching raw conscripts their trade. Everywhere he instilled a fighting spirit, making an army out of a mob, and thusly he rapidly brought the defenses of Antwerp to a high order of readiness. With Antwerp bristling with cannon and numerous defenders, and with the Army of Antwerp whipped into fighting shape, the British, vexed by poor leadership and with half the army immobilized with fever thanks to the insalubrious islands upon which they were quartered, realized that it was no longer possible to close the Scheldt, or take Antwerp, and withdraw their forces. In a proclamation issued to his troops at Antwerp he made an implied charge against Napoleon of having neglected to prepare the proper means of defense for the Belgian coast. A displeased Napoleon relieved Bernadotte of command of his ad-hoc army, and ordered his return to Paris to leave for Catalonia and take command of the Army there. Refusing to comply with the order, he was summoned to Vienna, and after an interview with Napoleon at Schönbrunn accepted the general government of the Roman states.
In 1810 Bernadotte was about to enter his new post as governor of Rome when he was unexpectedly elected the heir-presumptive to King Charles XIII of Sweden. The problem of Charles' successor had been acute almost from the time he had ascended the throne a year earlier, as it was apparent that the Swedish branch of the House of Holstein-Gottorp would die with him. He was 61 years old and in poor health. He was also childless; Queen Charlotte had given birth to two children who had died in infancy, and there was no prospect of her bearing another child. The king had adopted a Danish prince, Charles August, as his son soon after his coronation, but he had died just a few months after his arrival. Despite the fact that Napoleon favored his ally Danish King Frederick VI, Danish Prince Frederick Christian initially had the most support to become Swedish Crown Prince as well.
The Swedish Court initially sounded the Emperor out for his preferences on candidates for Crown Prince; wherein Napoleon made it clear he preferred his son-in-law Eugène de Beauharnais, one of his nephews or one of his brothers. However, Eugène, serving as Viceroy in Italy, did not wish to convert to Lutherism; a prerequisite of accepting the Swedish offer. Moreover, none of Napoleon's brothers were interested in going to Sweden and his nephews were too young as the Swedes did not want the hazards of minority rule in the event King Charles died prematurely . The matter was decided by an obscure Swedish courtier, and son of Baron Gustav Mörner, a commander of the Swedish force captured by Bernadotte at Lübeck, Baron Karl Otto Mörner, who, entirely on his own initiative, offered the succession to the Swedish crown to Bernadotte. Bernadotte communicated Mörner's offer to Napoleon who at first treated the situation as an absurdity, but later came around to the idea and diplomatically and financially supported Bernadotte's candidacy.
Although the Swedish government, amazed at Mörner's effrontery, at once placed him under arrest on his return to Sweden, the candidature of Bernadotte gradually gained favour and on 21 August 1810 he was elected by the Riksdag of the Estates in Örebro to be the new Crown Prince, and was subsequently made Generalissimus of the Swedish Armed Forces by the King. Bernadotte was elected partly because a large part of the Swedish Army, in view of future complications with Russia, were in favour of electing a soldier, and partly because he was also personally popular, owing to the kindness he had shown to the Swedish prisoners in Lübeck. Another factor which was attributed to Bernadotte's election was his (presumed) close ties to French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who had recently defeated Sweden in the Franco-Swedish War.
Before freeing Bernadotte from his allegiance to France, Napoleon asked him to agree never to take up arms against France. Bernadotte refused to make any such agreement, upon the ground that his obligations to Sweden would not allow it; Napoleon exclaimed "Go, and let our destinies be accomplished" and signed the act of emancipation unconditionally. Many were also optimistic that Sweden would capture Finland under Charles John. The Swedish Crown Prince even unsuccessfully sought Napoleon's support to assist Sweden in conquering Norway.
On 2 November 1810 Bernadotte made his solemn entry into Stockholm, and on 5 November he received the homage of the Riksdag of the Estates, and he was adopted by King Charles XIII under the name of "Charles John" (Karl Johan). At the same time, he converted from Roman Catholicism to the Lutheranism of the Swedish court; Swedish law required the monarch to be Lutheran.
The new Crown Prince was very soon the most popular and most powerful man in Sweden and quickly impressed his adoptive father. Following his first meeting with his new heir, Charles XIII (who had initially opposed Bernadotte's candidacy) remarked to his aide-de-camp count Charles de Suremain "My dear Suremain, I have gambled heavily, and I believe that after all I have won." He also made himself well liked by Queen Charlotte, who regarded him a "gentleman in every sense of the word", and established a net of contact within the Swedish aristocracy, befriending in particular the Brahe family through his favorite Magnus Brahe and countess Aurora Wilhelmina Brahe, whose cousin Mariana Koskull became his lover.
The infirmity of the old King and the dissensions in the Privy Council of Sweden placed the government, and especially the control of foreign policy, entirely in his hands. The keynote of his whole policy was the acquisition of Norway as a compensation for the loss of Finland and Bernadotte proved anything but a puppet of France. Many Swedes expected him to reconquer Finland, which had been ceded to Russia; however, the Crown Prince was aware of its difficulty for reasons of the desperate situation of the state finance and the reluctance of the Finnish people to return to Sweden. Even if Finland was regained, he thought, it would put Sweden into a new cycle of conflicts with a powerful neighbor because there was no guarantee Russia would accept the loss as final. Therefore, he made up his mind to make a united Scandinavian peninsula by taking Norway from Denmark and uniting her to Sweden. He tried to divert public opinion from Finland to Norway, by arguing that to create a compact peninsula, with sea for its natural boundary, was to inaugurate an era of peace, and that waging war with Russia would lead to ruinous consequences.
Soon after Charles John’s arrival in Sweden, Napoleon compelled him to accede to the Continental System and declare war against Great Britain; otherwise, Sweden would have to face the determination of France, Denmark and Russia. This demand would mean a hard blow to the national economy and the Swedish population. Sweden reluctantly declared war against Great Britain but it was treated by both countries as being merely nominal, although Swedish imports of British goods decreased from £4,871 million in 1810 to £523 million in the following year.
In January 1812, French troops suddenly invaded Swedish Pomerania and the island of Rügen. The decisive reason was that Napoleon, before marching to Moscow, had to secure his rear and dared not trust a Swedish continental foothold behind him. To render it the more insulting, Napoleon scheduled it for the Crown Prince’s birthday. The initially amicable relationship which Charles John had with Napoleon soon changed because of this invasion. The invasion was a clear violation of international law as well as an act of war so public opinion in Sweden was understandably outraged. Moreover, it antagonized the pro-French faction at the Swedish court. Thereafter, the Crown Prince declared the neutrality of Sweden and opened negotiations with Great Britain and Russia.
In 1813, he allied Sweden with Napoleon's enemies, including Great Britain, Russia and Prussia, in the Sixth Coalition, hoping to secure Norway. After the defeats at Lützen (2 May 1813) and Bautzen (21 May 1813), it was the Swedish Crown Prince who put fresh fighting spirit into the Allies; and at the conference of Trachenberg he drew up the general plan for the campaign which began after the expiration of the Truce of Pläswitz.
Charles John, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Army, successfully defended the approaches to Berlin and was victorious in battle against Oudinot in August and against Ney in September at the Battles of Großbeeren and Dennewitz. Bernadotte's Army of the North would continue to guard Berlin and keep watch on Davout's forces in Hamburg while the Allies, in accordance with the plan conceived at Trachenberg, maneuvered toward Napoleon's army at Leipzig. With the other Allied armies engaged in battle on October 17, Bernadotte's army finally crossed the Elbe and joined in the Battle of Leipzig on October 19. His fresh troops, reinforced by 30,000 Prussians, joined the fray against the already battered French lines where Swedish forces entered battle in numbers for the first time in the campaign. At a critical moment an entire Saxon division went over to his army in response to a proclamation released a week prior where in Bernadotte invited the Saxons to join their old commander in defeating Napoleon. The Army of the North committed the coup de grâce on the already depleted French and Bernadotte was the first of the Allied sovereigns to enter Leipzig.
After the Battle of Leipzig he went his own way, determined at all hazards to cripple Denmark and to secure Norway, defeating the Danes in a relatively quick campaign. His efforts culminated in the favourable Treaty of Kiel, which transferred Norway to Swedish control.
However, the Norwegians were unwilling to accept Swedish control. They declared independence, adopted a liberal constitution and elected Danish crown prince Christian Frederick to the throne. The ensuing war was swiftly won by Sweden under Charles John's generalship. The military operations in 1814 were to be Sweden’s last war to this day. Charles John could have named his terms to Norway, but in a key concession accepted the Norwegian constitution and its own political autonomy. This paved the way for Norway to enter a personal union with Sweden later that year.
During the period of the Allied invasion of France in the winter and spring of 1814, when it was unclear who would rule France after the war, the Russian Tsar Alexander I flirted with the idea of installing Charles John on the French throne in place of Napoleon. Ultimately the British and Austrians vetoed the idea, and the Allies agreed that if Napoleon were to be deposed, the only acceptable alternative was the restoration of the House of Bourbon.
Charles John had been regent and de facto head of state upon his arrival, and took an increasing role in government from 1812 onward, with Charles XIII reduced to a mute witness in government councils.
Upon Charles' death on 5 February 1818, Charles John ascended as the union King, reigning as Charles XIV John in Sweden and Charles III John in Norway. He was initially popular in both countries. The democratic process and forces steadily matured under the King’s restrained executive power.
The foreign policy applied by Charles John in the post-Napoleonic era was characterized by the maintenance of balance between the Great Powers and non-involvement into conflicts that took place outside of the Scandinavian peninsula. It made a sharp contrast with Sweden’s previous hegemonic expansionism resulted in uninterrupted wars with neighboring countries for centuries, and he successfully kept his kingdoms in a state of peace from 1814 until his death. He was especially concerned about the conflict between Great Britain and Russia. In 1834, when the relationship between the two countries strained regarding the Near East Crisis, he sent memoranda to British and Russian governments and proclaimed neutrality in advance. It is pointed out as the origin of Swedish neutrality.
His domestic policy particularly focused on promotion of economy and investment in social overhead capital, and the long peace since 1814 led to an increased prosperity for the country. During his long reign of 26 years, the population of the Kingdom was so increased that the inhabitants of Sweden alone became equal in number to those of Sweden and Finland before the latter province was torn from the former, the national debt was paid off, a civil and a penal code were proposed for promulgation, education was promoted, agriculture, commerce, and manufactures prospered, and the means of internal communication were increased.
On the other hand, radical in his youth, his views had veered steadily rightward over the years, and by the time he ascended the throne he was an ultra-conservative. His autocratic methods, particularly his censorship of the press, were very unpopular, especially after 1823. However, his dynasty never faced serious danger, as the Swedes and the Norwegians alike were proud of a monarch with a good European reputation.
He also faced challenges in Norway. The Norwegian constitution gave the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, more power than any legislature in Europe. While Charles John had the power of absolute veto in Sweden, he only had a suspensive veto in Norway. He demanded that the Storting give him the power of absolute veto, but was forced to back down. Charles John's difficult relationship with Norway was also demonstrated by the Storting’s unwillingness to grant funds for the construction of a Royal Palace in the Norwegian capital Oslo. The construction began in 1825, but the Storting halted the funding after the costly foundation was laid and demanded that the appointed architect, Hans Linstow, construct a simpler palace. This was seen by many as a protest against unnecessary spending and the king's authority. The place itself was not completed until 1849, long after the death of Charles John, and was inaugurated by Oscar I. The main street in Oslo, Slottsgaten, would later be named after Charles John as Karl Johans gate.
His popularity decreased for a time in the 1830s, culminating in the Rabulist riots after the Lèse-majesté conviction of the journalist Magnus Jacob Crusenstolpe, and some calls for his abdication. Charles John survived the abdication controversy and he went on to have his silver jubilee, which was celebrated with great enthusiasm on 18 February 1843. He reigned as King of Sweden and Norway from 5 February 1818 until his death in 1844.
On 26 January 1844, his 81st birthday, Charles John was found unconscious in his chambers having suffered a stroke. While he regained consciousness, he never fully recovered and died on the afternoon of 8 March. On his deathbed, he was heard to say:
"Nobody has had a career in life like mine. I could perhaps have been able to agree to become Napoleon’s ally: but when he attacked the country that had placed its fate in my hands, he could find in me no other than an opponent. The events that shook Europe and that gave her back her freedom are known. It is also known which part I played in that."
His full title upon his accession to the Swedish and Norwegian thrones was: His Majesty Charles John, by the grace of God, King of Sweden, Norway, the Goths and the Wends.
Louis-Émile Vanderburch and Ferdinand Langlé's 1833 play Le Camarade de lit ("The Bedfellow") depicts Bernadotte as King of Sweden; an old grenadier claims that, as a young man, Bernadotte received a tattoo of a scandalous republican motto: either Mort aux Rois ("Death to kings"), or Mort aux tyrans ("Death to tyrants"), or Mort au Roi ("Death to the king"). The tattoo is finally revealed to read Vive la république ("Long live the Republic") and a Phrygian cap: a highly ironic image and text for the skin of a king. This play was so popular that the idea that King Charles XIV John had a tattoo reading "Death to kings" is often repeated as fact, although there is no basis to it. However, it is true that Bernadotte wrote in 1797, "Being a republican both by principle and by conviction, I want to fight all royalists to my death."
The love triangle between Napoleon, Bernadotte, and Désirée Clary was the subject of the novel Désirée by Annemarie Selinko.
Bernadotte appears in a series of side missions in the video game Assassin's Creed Unity, again concerning the love triangle.
Charles XIV/III JohnBorn: 26 January 1763 Died: 8 March 1844
| King of Sweden and Norway
5 February 1818 – 8 March 1844
|New title|| Prince of Pontecorvo
5 June 1806 – 21 August 1810
Title next held byLucien Murat
Louis de Mureau
| Minister of War of France
2 July 1799 – 14 September 1799
Events from the year 1818 in Sweden1844 in France
Events from the year 1844 in France.1844 in Sweden
Events from the year 1844 in SwedenAdelswärd (comital family)
The comital family Adelswärd is descended from the Baronial family Adelswärd. Baron Eric Reinhold Adelswärd (1778-1840) was created a Swedish Count 19 June 1823 at Stockholm Palace by King Charles XIV John of Sweden, in accordance with the 37th paragraph of the instrument of government of 1809, meaning only the head of the family would be a Count. He was introduced at Riddarhuset 1 June 1825 as comital family number 138. His son Eric August Adolph Adelswärd (1817-1853), who became a Count at the death of his father, abandoned the title with royal permission 30 November 1840 for him and his issue, thus making the comital family extinct.Battle of the Square
The Battle of the Square (Norwegian: Torvslaget) was a skirmish between Norwegian demonstrators and forces of the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway that took place in Christiania (now Oslo, Norway) in the evening of 17 May 1829.
The demonstrators were participating in the annual celebration of the Constitution of Norway, which was outlawed by Charles XIV John of Sweden, King of Sweden and Norway, the previous year. The intervention by police and troops roused civic outrage in Norway, and forced Charles XIV to lift the prohibition.Bernadotte Township, Nicollet County, Minnesota
Bernadotte Township is a township in Nicollet County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 346 at the 2000 census. There is an unincorporated community named Bernadotte that is located in the northern part of the township.
Bernadotte Township was organized in 1869, and named for Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, a French Jacobines leader, later French Marshal, later King Charles XIV John of Sweden and founder of the House of Bernadotte.Crown of Norway
The Crown of Norway is the crown of the King of Norway and was made in Stockholm in 1818 by goldsmith Olof Wihlborg. The crown is a corona clausa (closed model) consisting of a ring carrying eight hoops made of gold and surmounted by a globe of blue enamel and an amethyst cross on top of it. The crown is decorated with many pearls and gemstones including amethysts, chrysoprases, a topaz and an alexandrite. Its front is adorned with a huge green tourmaline, a gift of the Brazilian consul in Stockholm to King Charles III Johan. Its splendid colours and its richly elaborated ornaments make the crown typical of the Empire period. Although the goldsmith work was carried out by Olof Wihlborg, it is not known who designed the crown.
The Crown has a height of 24,5 cm, a diameter of 18,5 cm by 20,7 cm and a weight of 1500 grams.
The Crown has been used at four coronations and has had a prominent place at two benedictions. It has also been placed on the coffin of the deceased monarch since King Carl Johan's death in 1844.
The Royal Regalia of Norway is a collective term for three crowns, two orb and sceptres, the sword of state, the anointment horn and a marshal's baton. When Carl III Johan of Norway (Charles XIV John of Sweden) came to the throne in 1818, it was clear he would be crowned in Trondheim as prescribed by the Norwegian Constitution. None of the medieval Norwegian crowns or other regalia had survived, so the King himself ordered and paid for the items. The coronation of King Haakon VII and Queen Maud in 1906 was the last to be held before the coronation requirement was removed from the Constitution. However, both the King's Crown and the Queen's Crown were placed on the altar during the Service of Consecration and Blessing for King Harald V and Queen Sonja in 1991.
The Regalia are kept in Nidaros Cathedral and are on display there.Erik Gustaf Göthe
Erik Gustaf Göthe (July 26, 1779 – November 29, 1838) was a Swedish sculptor.
Göthe had initially planned to become an architect, but went on to train as a sculptor for, among others, Johan Tobias Sergel. After completing training at the Academy of Arts in 1803 he traveled to Italy and studied under Antonio Canova. Returning to Sweden in 1810, he completed a monument to the murdered Axel von Fersen the Younger, but did not attract any major success.
He completed Seated Bacchus outside Rosendal Palace on Djurgården in Stockholm. Other works were Charles XIII of Sweden's statue in the King's Garden which was unveiled in November 1821 on the anniversary of Crown Prince Charles XIV John of Sweden adoption, and the pulpit in St. Jacob's Church in 1828. He was appointed in 1812 to the Academy as a member, and became a professor in 1837. After a stay in Saint Petersburg, where he executed a seated colossal statue of Catherine the Great, he was appointed member of the city's art academy. His last work was the new spire of cast iron for the Riddarholm Church.Gustafva Björklund
Gustafva Björklund (1794–1862) was a Swedish cookery book-author and restaurant owner.
Björklund was originally from Finland, but moved to Sweden as a child, and worked as a domestic and waitress on several locations. In 1833, she was employed as a waitress at the Gentlemen's club Lilla Sällskapet in Stockholm, and when it was dissolved in 1840, she took it over and managed it herself until 1851, during which time it was one of the most popular restaurants for the capital's upper classes. After 1851, she managed more humble establishments, and supported herself by renting out rooms.
In 1847, she published her cookery book Kokbok, which became a success and was reprinted in several editions and was followed by additional works in cookery, such as the Kok-bok för tjenare och tarfliga hushåll (1851). She was referred to as an authority by others in the same field of knowledge in Sweden in the same century.
Björklund was described as a beauty. She never married, but had a son, Gustav Reinhold (1817-?) with her employer Otto Reinhold Hammerfeldt, as well as two daughters by unknown fathers: Lovisa Elisabeth (1824-?) and Henrietta Gustava (1825-1886), with the patronymic Karlsson (Issue of Charles). There are indications, such as funds given to her from the royal court, that her daughters biological father were Charles XIV John of Sweden.Hans Michelsen
Hans Michelsen (1789 – 20 June 1859) was a Norwegian sculptor.
He was born in Melhus; the son of farmer Michel Sørensen Hægstad and Abel Jonsdatter. He studied sculpture with Erik Gustaf Göthe in Stockholm from 1815, and from 1820 to 1826 with Bertel Thorvaldsen in Rome. Among his works are busts of Prime Minister Peder Anker, Charles XIII of Sweden, Charles XIV John of Sweden, Crown Prince Oscar and Thomas Angell.House of Bernadotte
The House of Bernadotte (UK: BUR-nə-DOT, US: -DAWT, BUR-nə-dot) is the royal house of Sweden, which has reigned since 1818. Between 1818 and 1905, it was also the royal house of Norway. Its founder Charles XIV John of Sweden, born a Frenchman as Jean Bernadotte, was adopted by the elderly King Charles XIII of Sweden, who had no other heir and whose Holstein-Gottorp branch of the House of Oldenburg thus was soon to be extinct.Jacob Munch
Jacob Edvardsson Munch (Christiania, 9 August 1776 – 10 June 1839) was a Norwegian military officer and painter. His teacher was French Neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David.
Jacob is famous for his painting of the coronation of King Charles XIV John of Sweden. He also helped the founding of Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry.Magnus Brahe (1790–1844)
Count Nils Magnus Brahe (1790–1844) was a Swedish statesman and soldier, known as the influential favorite of king Charles XIV John of Sweden.
Nils Magnus Brahe was the son of Swedish Count Magnus Fredrik Brahe (1756-1826) in his first marriage with Baroness Ulrika Katarina Koskull (1759-1805), and thus a member of the Brahe comital family. He was also a descendant of Swedish statesman Per Brahe. After studying in the University of Uppsala, he began his professional military career. He fought in the War against Napoleon (1813–1814) under Jean Bernadotte who later ascended to the throne as Charles XIV John of Sweden (Swedish: Karl XIV Johan). He was in high favour with the French born king who had a poor command of the Swedish language. He became Marshal of the Realm, and especially from 1828 onwards, exercised an influence in public affairs. As a politician, he reportedly remained close to his stepmother, Countess Aurora Wilhelmina Koskull, who was active within Stockholm aristocratic circles and also related to the king's mistress Mariana Koskull. In 1837, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.Peter Collett (judge)
Peter Collett (8 August 1766 – 27 July 1836) was a Norwegian judge, businessman and property owner.
Peter Collett was born at Modum in Buskerud, Norway. He was the eldest son of landowner Peter Collett (1740–1786) and his first wife Kirstine Holmboe (1745–1768). He was a brother of Christian Ancher Collett. He grew up on his father's estate at Buskerud Manor (Buskerud Hovedgård). From 1784-1785, Collett attended the Christiania Cathedral School. During 1788, he studied law at the University of Copenhagen.In August 1794 he married vicar's daughter Eilertine Severine Bendeke (1777–1857). They were the parents of eleven children. Peter Collett was the grandfather of Albert Collett and great-grandfather of Emil Collett.Peter Collett was an assessor in the diocesan court of Akershus from 1802 to 1814. He served as a judge on the bench of the Supreme Court of Norway from 1814 to 1830. In 1818, Collett was the delegate from Buskerud at the coronation of King Charles XIV John of Sweden. In 1800, he took over Buskerud Manor from his stepmother, Johanne Henrikke Ancher (1750-1818). In 1809, he bought Hassel Iron Works (Hassel Jernværk) at Skotselv in Øvre Eiker. Collett stopped iron production in 1835.Rabulist riots
The Rabulist riots or Crusenstolpe riots (Swedish: Crusenstolpe-kravallerna) took place in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1838 following the Lèse-majesté conviction of the journalist Magnus Jacob Crusenstolpe. "Rabulist" was a derogatory term for political radicals in Sweden at the time. There were some calls for the abdication of King Charles XIV John of Sweden but he survived the controversy and he went on to have his silver jubilee, which was celebrated with great enthusiasm on 18 February 1843.Silver jubilee
Silver jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 25th anniversary. The anniversary celebrations can be of a wedding anniversary, the 25th year of a monarch's reign or anything that has completed a 25-year mark.Skarhult Castle
Skarhults Castle (Swedish: Skarhults slott) is a castle in Eslöv Municipality, Scania, in southern Sweden.
The present castle was constructed in the 1560s in the then Danish province of Scania by Danish riksråd Sten Rosensparre, though certain parts of the castle are presumed to be older.
The estate was originally called Skarholta or Skarolt. From at least the 14th century until 1624, it belonged to the Rosensparre family, who also called themselves Skarholt, and then to the Ruud family and the Trolle family.
In 1658, Scania became a Swedish province, and in 1661, it was bought by the Swedish count Pontus Fredrik De la Gardie. In reality, however, it was bought by the funds of his rich wife, Beata Elisabet von Königsmarck who, as a married woman and thereby a minor, could not formally be listed as its buyer and owner until after she was widowed in 1692. In practice, Beata Elisabet von Königsmarck managed the estate alone from 1661 until her death in 1723, when it was inherited by the grandson of her daughter, count Erik Brahe. His son, Magnus Fredrik Brahe, sold Skarholt to Charles XIV John of Sweden in 1826.
Skarholt was sold to baron Jules von Schwerin by Oscar I of Sweden and is still privately owned.Yngvar Hauge
Yngvar Hauge (6 April 1899 – 7 March 1977) was a Norwegian novelist and non-fiction writer.
Yngvar Hauge was born in Oslo, Norway. Hauge was a student at Christiania Blind Institute from 1908-1915 and attended a school for the blind in Trondheim from 1915-1918. He passed the matriculation examination in 1922, and then studied history and art history at the University of Oslo.
He debuted in 1925 with the novel Ulv av Lauvnes, a saga from the time of King Sverre of Norway. He principally wrote novels with biographical and documentary features. His trilogy set in the time of King Charles XIV John of Sweden was one of his major works. He wrote books on the estate and manor house at Bogstad and on the iron foundry at Ulefos Jernværk. He also worked as a journalist for the newspaper Morgenbladet. He was awarded the Mads Wiel Nygaards Endowment in 1964.Älvdalen
Älvdalen (literally means River Valley) is a locality and the seat of Älvdalen Municipality in Dalarna County, Sweden, with 1,810 inhabitants in 2010.The parish is widely known for being the place of manufacturing, in 1839, of the 4-meter granite vase (called Älvdalen Vase), installed in the Summer Garden in Saint Petersburg (a gift from Charles XIV John of Sweden to Nicholas I of Russia).
Nearby is the Hykjebergets Nature Reserve, inaugurated by Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia in 2016.It is also known for its language called Elfdalian, which along with innovations also preserves some Old Norse traits not preserved in most (other) North Germanic languages.
** also prince/princess of Norway
^ lost his title due to an unequal marriage
*** Prince/Princess of Sweden by marriage only
**** Maternally a member of the House of Bernadotte
1 Also prince of Norway
2 Also prince of Poland and Lithuania
3 Lost his title due to an unequal marriage
4 Not Swedish prince by birth, but created prince of Sweden
|I. Independent Norway|
Foreign and non-royal
rulers in italics, disputed
monarchs in brackets
|II. Independent Norway|
|Union with Sweden|
|III. Independent Norway|
|Sverker · Eric|
|Kalmar Union |
French Directory (2 November 1795 to 10 November 1799)
Recipients of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross
|1813 Grand Cross|
|1870 Grand Cross|
|1914 Grand Cross|
|1939 Grand Cross|