Polman, Påhlman, von Pohlmann family
He served under Count Douglas, was knighted by Queen Kristina, and captured in Denmark – Gustaf Påhlman’s ascent to first lieutenant was consistent yet eventful.
Gustaf Polman (knighted Påhlman) was born in 17th century Sweden to Captain Jöran Polman and his wife Christina Lilliesparre. He had two siblings, Johan and Anna Christina. Following in the footsteps of his father and brother, Gustaf served in the military during the height of the Swedish Empire.
In 1647, during the German War, Gustaf was a cavalryman in the regiment of Robert Douglas – a Scottish lieutenant general who fought on behalf of Sweden during the Thirty Years’ War,1A highly destructive religious war in Europe between 1618-1648 that led to millions of deaths. It started within Germany’s Holy Roman Empire, but involved more countries including Sweden in the 1630s. and was later known as Count Douglas.2“1. Douglas, Robert”, Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon, Project Runeberg, http://runeberg.org/sbh/douglrob.html, accessed: 25 May 2023 Gustaf also fought in the Polish War as a corporal and cornet in the Queen’s Life Regiment of Horse.3“Påhlman nr 501”, Adelsvapen-Wiki, https://www.adelsvapen.com/genealogi/Påhlman_nr_501, accessed: 17 March 2022
The long war in Europe came to an end in 1648, and on 16 September 1650, the Polman brothers were knighted by the reigning Queen Kristina at Stockholm Castle.4On 31 July 1650, Queen Kristina directed that their documents to prove old nobility be reviewed by country marshal Svante Sparre, and should they be found satisfactory, to enrol the Polman siblings at the Knight’s House. The documents were not found fully satisfactory but the Queen proceeded to ennoble the brothers. They adopted the Swedish spelling Påhlman for the family line, which was introduced in the third (journeyman) class under No. 501.
After Queen Kristina abdicated the throne in 1654, she was succeeded by her cousin Charles X Gustaf (also known as Carl Gustaf). Under his reign, Gustaf Påhlman continued to lead an eventful life. In 1657, when the King responded to Denmark’s declaration of war with a determination to invade the country, Gustaf was likely among the regiments dispatched. He certainly participated in the decisive battle at Fyen, a Danish island, in 1659, where he was taken prisoner. Though Sweden had started the war with fortune and advantage, these were not sustained.
Yet new misfortunes gathered round [Charles X], the peninsula of Fyen being taken by the allies of Denmark, while the Swedish troops near Nyberg5Nyberg likely refers to Nyborg, the easternmost settlement on Fyen. were attacked and taken prisoners, their commander alone escaping in a small boat.6Charles Morris, “Charles X and the Invasion of Denmark” in Historical Tales: The Romance of Reality – Volume IX, Scandinavian, (Philadelphia and London: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1908), https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/20549/pg20549-images.html#Page_319
In 1660, Gustaf was a cornet in the 2nd Västmanland Company of Uppland’s Horsemen, and was promoted several times over the next 14 years.7Axel Braunerhjelm, Kungl. Lifregementets till häst historia [Royal History of the Life Regiment on Horseback], (Uppsala and Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri) In winter 1661, he was the victim of a break-in at Östbro – several members of the nobility entered his chamber in various states of violent drunkenness, though he was not the intended target. Gustaf was unharmed and did not testify as he claimed to have been drunk himself. Apparently, this behaviour was not uncommon among the nobility.8Hans Kihlström, “Adliga busar” [Noble thugs] in Sysslingen : medlemsblad för Södra Roslagens släktforskarförening, Volume 21 (Åkersberga: Södra Roslagens släktforskarförening, 2014), 6-7
Gustaf married Christina Svenske,9“Svenske”, Roskildes Historie, https://www.roskildehistorie.dk/stamtavler/adel/svenske/Svenske/Svenske.htm, accessed: 25 May 2023 daughter of the cavalry captain Anders Lennartsson Svenske (No. 258)10“Svenske nr 258”, Adelsvapen-Wiki, https://www.adelsvapen.com/genealogi/Svenske_nr_258, accessed: 25 May 2023 and Estrid Hård of Torestorp (No. 60), in 1664. His father-in-law was heavily in debt, and had previously mortgaged several of his own estates. He had been eager to get his daughters married so that these estates could then become the problem of his sons-in-law. Accordingly, Gustaf received a share of the estate Östbro,11Östbro was divided between Gustaf and his sister-in-law Christina’s husband Hans Månsson Svenske. which was partially paid off on 20 November 1666. At this point, Gustaf Börgesson of Karlstad, to whom the estate had been mortgaged, decided to waive off the remaining debt “for the sake of good friendship and kinship.”12Hans Kihlström, “En märklig mans undergång [The downfall of a strange man]”, Värmlandsrötter, Värmlands Släktforskarförening, start.varmlandsrotter.se/varmlandsanor/artiklar/2014_2/., accessed: 2 October 2023
Gustaf became first lieutenant on 12 December 1672, and resigned four years later, receiving a pension in 1691. He died four years later on 12 September 1695 in Gillberga parish, located on the Swedish island of Öland in Kalmar County.13He was buried on 1 December 1695