Christina Anna Skytte

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Christina Anna Skytte af Dudenhof (Stockholm, 9 November 1643 –21 January 1677, Hagelsrum), was a Swedish baroness and pirate.

Life[edit]

Christina Anna Skytte was born to baron Jacob Skytte of Duderhof and Anna Bielkenstjerna, and as such the granddaughter of the politician Johan Skytte, the niece of the poet Vendela Skytte and the cousin of the notorious Maria Skytte.

Piracy[edit]

From 1657 onward her brother, Baron Gustav Skytte, secretly managed a pirate ship, attacking and plundering ships in the Baltic sea. Christina Anna and her fiancé, Baron Gustaf Drake (1634-84), were also initiated in this activity and became his partners. She married Drake in 18 January, 1662. They reportedly had one of their partners killed, likely due to him wanting to withdraw from the business.

Christina Anna was no passive partner to her male companions. In 1662 she was reportedly present when they attacked a Dutch 0llmerchant ship, murdered its crew and sunk the ship somewhere between Öland and Bornholm. This attack exposed them, after the shipwreck washed up on the beach of Öland, August of that same year. Leading to rumors circulating in the capital pointing them out as responsible. The Dutch envoy in Stockholm demanded action from the Swedish authorities.

Later life[edit]

Christina Anna and Gustaf Drake managed to escape to Denmark to avoid arrest. Her brother did not manage to flee; he was arrested, put on trial for piracy, judged guilty as charged and executed in April 1663. Being a married woman and therefore a minor in contemporary law, Christina Anna wasn't personally prosecuted, but her spouse Gustaf Drake was charged in his absence and sentenced to confiscation of his property. In 1668, they returned to Sweden. Gustaf Drake was tried in Gothenburg, but was pardoned. Thereafter, the couple settled on Edeby Manor outside Nyköping.

In fiction[edit]

Skytte was portrayed in the novel Fribytaren på Östersjön by Viktor Rydberg.

References[edit]