Klaus Fleming

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Klaus Fleming
1st Lord High Admiral of Sweden
In office
1571?[1] 1588?[2] – 1591?
Succeeded byAxel Nilsson Ryning [sv]
Lord High Constable of Sweden
In office
1591? – ?
Preceded byGustaf Olofsson Stenbock [sv]
Succeeded byMagnus Brahe
1st Governor-General of Finland
In office
1594 – ?
Personal details
Clas Eriksson Fleming

Pargas, Sweden (now in Finland)
Died13 April 1597
Pojo, Sweden (now part of Raseborg in Finland)
Spouse(s)Ebba Stenbock
ChildrenJohan Fleming

Baron Klaus Eriksson Fleming (Swedish: Clas Eriksson Fleming; 1535 in Pargas – 13 April 1597 in Pohja) was a Finnish-born member of the Swedish nobility and admiral, who played an important role in Finnish and Swedish history during the rise of Sweden as a Great Power. He was a trustee of kings John III and Sigismund Vasa. His wife was Ebba Stenbock.[3]


Fleming's father – a grandson of Björn Ragvaldsson – was the Councilor of State Erik Fleming (1487–1548), also a remarkable man and King Gustav Vasa's favourite.[3]

In 1569 Fleming became a member of the Privy Council, in 1571 he was made Lord High Admiral and in 1590 Lord High Constable. As the Governor of Finland and Estonia he carried the duties of the highest authority of Finland and Estonia for the Swedish realm, next only to the king. He was a strong supporter of the legitimate king of Sweden and Poland Sigismund Vasa and therefore an enemy of Sigismund's paternal uncle, duke Charles of Sudermania, who had also laid claim to the Swedish throne. He subdued rebels of the Cudgel War in 1596–97. A civil war against Charles was however on the horizon.[3]

While his fleet was being prepared at Siuntio in April 1597, he suddenly fell sick. Nevertheless choosing to travel to meet his wife at Perniö, he died somewhere near the church of Pohja during the night between April 12 and 13.[3][4] His body was taken to Turku, which Charles IX conquered that August.[3] Fleming's sons were executed in the Åbo Bloodbath of 1599.[3]

Duke Karl Insulting the Corpse of Klaus Fleming, Albert Edelfelt, 1878, Fleming's wife Ebba Stenbock on the right

When studying Swedish history of the time it is noteworthy to know there were many persons in similar position with the name Clas Fleming at the time. Clas Eriksson Flemming should not be confused with Clas Larsson Fleming (1592–1644), admiral and advisor to the king, or Klas Fleming (1649–1685), nobleman and politician.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nordisk Familjebok - Riksamiral". Nordisk Familjebok at runeberg.org (in Swedish). 1916. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  2. ^ Hofberg, Herman; Frithiof Heurlin; Viktor Millqvist; Olof Rubenson (1906). "Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon - Klas Fleming". Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon at runeberg.org (in Swedish). Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Tarkiainen, Kari (30 November 2011). "Fleming, Klaus (noin 1535 - 1597)". Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  4. ^ Mäkelä-Alitalo, Anneli (12 November 2014). "Stenbock, Ebba (K 1614)". Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 6 June 2020.