Excerpt from ‘Heart’s Dear Brothers’

Klaus Fleming

At Svidja

 

 

 

              Fleming Crest

Svidja was a yellow stone castle, which had been built by Klaus’ father, Erik, when Klaus was about five.  Erik had commissioned a builder named Thomas Thomasson to design and construct it.  Thomasson came from Reval.  Klaus had been close to fifteen by the time the building was completed, and Pappa had died the same year.

Now Klaus spent many a day staring out across the Gulf of Finland, thinking how badly his career had crashed, and wondering how he could have fallen so spectacularly from grace with the King.

250px-Suitia_Manor_2_-_17._dec_2011

Svidja Castle

Erik, his father, must have had some connection to the region across the water, mused Klaus, for Svidja was situated exactly on the opposite shore to Reval at its nearest point.  It must surely have been a spot chosen precisely for its proximity to Reval.  From Siuntio parish, Reval was only ninety miles away or a four to six hour boat ride.  Klaus reminisced about the days when he had led whole armies across a completely frozen gulf.  Most times, he had to travel to Turku, some ninety miles to the west, and away from Reval, on formal voyages, for only Turku harbour was large enough for a fleet.  He wished he had asked his father more questions whilst he was alive.

 

 

The Swedish Empire 1563 – Finland, Livonia and Courland (now modern day Estonia)

His mother’s home at Pargas, Qvidja, had passed on to Joakim when his father died.  It was just twenty miles south-east of Turku, on an island just off its coast.  Now that Joakim, too, had died, the estate would be shared between him and his sister, Filippa.  Being male, he would get twice her share, likewise when their mother passed on.

Erik’s sister Valborg, their aunt, had come to live at Svidja, when the monastery was closed down by the reformists and all the incumbents slowly dispersed away or died.  King Gustav had granted permission for the nuns to carry on living there, but no new members were allowed in.  They were also given enough funds to carry on supporting the convent community.  Valborg had been the Abbess at Nådental and was extremely upset by the reformation.  Now she was in her eighties, and spent much of her time in a rocking chair, looking out of the window.

Heart’s Dear Brothers is available now on Amazon

hearts dear brothers adjusted pic

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