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, secrecy managed a pirate ship, by which he attacked and plundered ships in the Baltic sea. Christina Anna and her fiancé, baron Gustaf Drake (1634-1684), were also initiated in this activity and became his partners. She married Drake 18 January 1662. She and Drake reportedly had one of their partners killed, likely because he had wished to withdraw from the business.

Christina Anna was no passive partner to her brother and spouse. She was reportedly herself present in person in 1662, when they attacked a Dutch merchant ship, murdered its crew and sunk the ship somewhere between Öland and Bornholm. This attack exposed them, because the wreck of the ship was flushed up on the beach of Öland in August of that same year. This attracted attention, and there were 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 was not 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. However, he was pardoned. He and Christina Anna thereafter settled on Edeby Manor outside Nyköping.

In fiction[edit]

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

References[edit]