Death Mask of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1682-1718)
The death mask of Charles XII, King of Sweden from 1682 to 1718.
King of Sweden (1697-1718), military adventurer, born Stockholm, Sweden, June 17th 1682. Soon after Charles' accession in 1697, Sweden, with its extensive possessions in the Baltic, was threatened by a coalition of Frederick IV, King of Denmark, Aug ...more
King of Sweden (1697-1718), military adventurer, born Stockholm, Sweden, June 17th 1682. Soon after Charles' accession in 1697, Sweden, with its extensive possessions in the Baltic, was threatened by a coalition of Frederick IV, King of Denmark, Augustus II, King of Poland, and Peter I, Tsar of Russia, which resulted in the Great Northern War (1700-1721). When Denmark and Saxony invaded Swedish territory Charles counter-attacked by invading Denmark forcing Frederick to sign the Peace of Travendal. In November 1700 his army of only 8000 routed an army of 40,000 Russians at Narva in Estonia. Swedish troops next overran Poland and Augustus was forced to flee to Saxony. Charles obtained the election of his ally Stanislaw Leszczynski as King of Poland in 1705. Charles next marched into Saxony and Augustus was forced to recognise Stanislaw by the treaty of Altranstadt in 1706. Charles invaded Russia in 1707 penetrating into the interior and nearly capturing the Tsar, Peter I, but the Russian army and two severe winters weakened his forces and he was defeated at Poltava in the Ukraine in 1709. Charles escaped to Turkey but was imprisoned for defying Turkish power after years of plotting to induce Turkey to attack Russia. He managed to escape in 1714 and reached Stralsund, a Swedish possession in Pomerania, having covered 1250 miles on horseback in just 15 days. The City was besieged for a year by a combined force of Danes, Prussians, and Saxons and eventually surrendered. Charles escaped, again, to Sweden and raised another army. In 1717 he began an invasion of Norway but was killed at Fredrikshald on November 30th 1718. By the time of his death much of Sweden?s lands in the Baltic had been lost and Sweden?s period of absolute monarchy had come to an end. less