On This Day In History: Sweden Declares War On Its Ally The United Kingdom – On Nov 17, 1810

AncientPages.com - On November 17, 1810, Sweden declared war on its ally, the United Kingdom.

On this day, the Anglo-Swedish War begins, but according to sources, no fighting takes place.

(Charles XIV John (King of Sweden and Norway. (wikipedia) Charles XIV John (King of Sweden and Norway.   The painting ofav François Gérard (1770–1837). Photo by Alexis Daflos - Public Domain

During the Napoleonic Wars until 1810, Sweden and the United Kingdom were allies in the war against Napoleon.

As a result of Sweden's defeat in the Finnish War (1808-1809) and the Pomeranian War (1805-1810), and the following Treaty of Fredrikshamn and the Treaty of Paris, Sweden declared war on the United Kingdom.

However, the bloodless war existed only on paper, and Britain was still not hindered from having its ships on the Swedish island of Hanö and trading with the Baltic states.

The Treaty of Paris, which concluded on January 6, 1810, forced Sweden to join the Continental System, a trade embargo against Great Britain.

However,  Great Britain was Sweden's biggest trade partner, and this caused economic difficulties and trade continued through smuggling.

Klågerup Riots. Memorial for those killed in the riots 1811. Image via Wikipedia Klågerup Riots. Memorial for those killed in the riots 1811. Image credit: Jorchr  - CC BY-SA 3.0

On November 13, 1810, France gave an ultimatum to the Swedish government demanding that within five days, Sweden:

  • Declare war against Great Britain,
  • Confiscate all British ships in Swedish ports,
  • Seize all British products in Sweden.

France and its allies threatened to declare war against Sweden if it did not meet the French demands.

On November 17, the Swedish government declared war against Great Britain. No acts of the war occurred during the conflict, but Britain stationed boats in Hanö, which had been invaded. Sweden didn't try to hinder the occupation as it supported the continued trade.

Nevertheless, fearing the possibility of a British invasion, the Swedish government began to conscript more farmers into military service.

It led to the only bloodshed during the war on June 15, 1811, when Major-General Hampus Mörner, with 140 men, acted to disperse a group of farmers in Klågerup in Scania who objected to the conscription policy.

The rebels also attacked and plundered some estates belonging to the nobility. The name Klågerup Riots is related to the events from the end of the affair: the last forces of the rebel army gathered at Klågerup, refused to surrender, and were attacked by the military on June 15, 1811, leading to some 30 farmers being killed by Mörner's soldiers.

After lengthy negotiations, the Treaty of Örebro was signed on July 18, 1812.

On the same day and at the same place, Britain and Russia signed a peace treaty bringing the Anglo–Russian War of 1807–1812 to an end.


Expand for references


Larsdotter, A. "Karl XIV Johan: Frälsaren från Pau",  Populär historia