Augustin Ehrensvärd was born on September 25th in 1710 in Fullerö mansion, Västmänlann, Sweden, where he spent his first ten years. His parents were Anna Margareta Mannerheim and Jacob Johan Scheffer, who wasraised to nobility in 1717 by the name Ehrensvärd. In 1739 Augustin Ehrensvärd was married to Catarina Elisabet Adlerheim who gave birth to their eldest son Carl Augustin in 1745.
The location of Sveaborg had been chosen with the naval base in mind. The construction works of the galley-dock begun in 1750 and in 1764 the first frigate Hämeemaa Oden could be launched. The Army Fleet was independent from the rest of the Swedish fleet and lead by Augustin Ehrensvärd.
Ehrensvärd was also a talented artist and many drawings and paintings by him have survived to our days. In addition to military schools he maintained an art school for the officers’ sons. The young artist Elias Martin (1739-1818) taught art at the fortress and was later sent to Europe to study further. Today Elias Martin’s works belong to the most outstanding paintings of the 18th century, especially amongst landscape-painting. Also Ehrensvärd’s own son, Carl August, got attention as an artist in addition to his military career.
After the Pomeranian War the fortification works of Sveaborg and the construction of the Army fleet continued. In 1764 Ehrensvärd was elevated into the rank of a baron. He also spent time in Stockholm speaking for Sveaborg: ” What good do honorary titles and fine bands bring me. If the King wants to show me mercy, let Him give funds for the fleet and the fortification works. Everything else is useless”, he wrote at the time. As the result of the power-struggles between the two political parties, the hats and the caps, Ehrensvärd was dismissed in 1765 from his office. Nonetheless, he returned in 1769, when the hats regained control in Stockholm. The following year he received the honours of the Majestic order and was knighted to a Seraphim knight and promoted to the commander-in-chief for all troops in Finland.
Literature: Gardberg C.J. 1998. Viapori Suomenlinna.Keuruu, Otava Kirjapaino.