Johan Skytte

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Baron Johan Skytte
Johan Skytte.jpg
Lithography by Johan Cardon
2nd Governor-General of Swedish Livonia
In office
Preceded byJacob De la Gardie
Succeeded byBengt Bengtsson Oxenstierna
Governor-General of Swedish Ingria
In office
Preceded byNils Assersson Mannersköld
Succeeded byBengt Bengtsson Oxenstierna
Governor-General of Swedish Karelia
In office
Personal details
Nyköping, Sweden
Died15 March 1645
Söderåkra, Sweden
ChildrenVendela Skytte

Johan Skytte (1577, in Nyköping – 15 March 1645, in Söderåkra) was a Swedish politician.

Skytte was son of the Mayor of Nyköping, Bengt Nilsson Skräddare. While attending school in his home town and for the nine years he was studying at foreign universities, he used the surname Schroderus, a Latinised form of the German Schröder – his father's surname – which means "tailor".

Already at his return from his foreign studies in 1602, he was hired as tutor of the young Prince Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, the future king, and was ennobled the following year, taking the name Skytte after an extinct noble family from which he claimed descent on the maternal side.

He was sent to London in 1610 on a diplomatic mission, an attempt to seek the hand of Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James I for the young prince. In 1611, he was made governor of Vestmannia, in 1617 a high councillor and in 1622 chancellor of Uppsala University, which he remained until his death. Skytte participated in drafting the 1617 Coronation Oath of king Gustav Adolf.

Having in 1624 been created a baron (friherre), receiving the barony of Tuutarhovi in Ingria, Livonia, which had just been added to the Swedish Realm, and in 1629 appointed Governor-General of Livonia, Ingria and Karelia, he was in 1632 appointed chancellor of the new Academia Gustaviana (University of Tartu), in addition to his Uppsala chancellorship, and made plans for a new appellate court in Tartu (in today Estonia). In 1632, Skytte returned from Livonia and was in 1634 made president of the Göta appellate court (Göta hovrätt) in Jönköping.

The same year he became chancellor of Uppsala University, 1622, Skytte donated the Skyttean professorship of Eloquence and Government to the university. His own house in Uppsala, the originally medieval building called the Skytteanum, is still used by Department of Government; the professor skytteanus/skytteana has his/her residence in an apartment in the house. Since 1995, the Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University awards an annual prize in Political Science (see Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science).

Of the several schools in Sweden named after Skytte, one was actually founded on the initiative of Johan Skytte, the Skyttean school (Skytteanska skolan) which was established in Lycksele in Lapland in 1631, but moved to Tärnaby in 1867. Because of this contribution to education in the relatively under-developed northern Sweden, the Royal Skyttean Society in Umeå was named after him when it was established in 1956. He was parent to Vendela Skytte and Bengt Skytte.


  • Ingemarsdotter, Jenny (2011). Ramism, Rhetoric and Reform: An Intellectual Biography of Johan Skytte (1577–1645). Uppsala Universitet. ISBN 978-91-554-8071-4.