First name
Social status

Text source

Hans Hansson Clerck was born on 3/6/1639 in Stockholm, a son of Hans Williamson Clerck [SSNE 4160] and Brita Swan.

In 1647 Hans Hansson Clerck was a matriculated student at Uppsala. Little is known of his movements for the ensuing period.

In 1661 Hans Hansson Clerck accompanied the Riksrad Nils Brahe, as gentleman of the court, on Brahe's embassy to the Stuart Kingdoms (Charles II) that year. Hans Hansson Clerck also used this time to continue his studies at Oxford, although he also appears registered as a student in Leiden shortly after this.

Hans Hansson Clerck then entered Dutch naval service, participating in many naval campaigns(albeit Etzel erroneously has Clerck serving under Admiral Tromp who died in 1653).

Hans Hansson Clerck returned to Sweden and on 25/11/1663 was appointed "över lieutenant" (or lieutenant colonel according to one source). Three years later, on 17/7/1666, Hans Hansson Clerck was serving as a captain and subsequently as a shipbuilding inspector in Lubeck from 1667-1669.

Hans Hansson Clerck was appointed holm major on 3/6/1671 in Stockholm. Just shy of two years later, Hans Hansson Clerck was appointed commandant at Vaxholm, on 29/4/1673.

Hans Hansson Clerck was raised to the rank of lieutenant-admiral on 17/9/1674 (although one source says it was 1675) and from 1674 until 1694 he served as a member of the admiralty college, apart from 1680-83.

Hans Hansson Clerck's successful naval career continued, with promotion to vice-admiral on 1/10/1675 and then full admiral on 13/6/1676. This meant that from June 1676 until November 1679 there were two men named Hans Clerck both serving at the rank of admiral in the Swedish navy. Indeed, in 1677, Hans Hansson Clerck was appointed adjutant to his father, admiral Hans Clerck [SSNE 4160]. Hans Hansson Clerck was in charge of defending the Stockholm archipelago during war with Denmark-Norway and has been described as the admiralty's leading force during this period. Hans Hansson Clerck also served with Henrik Horn's fleet that year, and at the battle of Stevn-Falsterbro in July of the same year.

Throughout 1677-8 Hans Hansson Clerck was commander over the fleet in Dalarö. In September 1679 Hans Hansson Clerck was sent on a mission to the king, Karl XI. It seems trouble arose in the form of rivalry with Admiral Wachtmeister, resulting in Hans Hansson Clerck being appointed governor of Västerbotten and Lappmarken (modernday Sapmi) on 7/1/1680, apparently as a means of removing him from the admiralty.

Later, in August 1683, Hans Hansson Clerck held the same status in Kalmar district and on Öland. However, in February 1683, as the Swedes were expecting a French attack on Karlskrona, Hans Hansson Clerck was recalled to lead the third squadron of the navy.

Hans Hansson Clerck was elevated to the noble rank of baron on 24/12/1687.

In 1689 Clerck became "eskaderchef" of Sweden. However the king soon pressed Clerck to choose between the admiralty and being governor and Clerck eventually settled for governor of Sodermanland in June 1693. In 1710 he was appointed "landtmarskalk" at the 1710 Riksdag. He was also appointed to the royal council and president of Gota court.

Hans Hansson Clerck was married to Anna Kristina Bure

Hans Hansson Clerck died in Arboga either 18/4/1711 or 11/4/1718.

 Sources: Swedish Riksarkiv, P. Sondén, Militärachefer I svenska arméen och deras skrivelser; Biografiska Anteckningar om Officerare vid Orlogsflottan 1600-1699, p.108; H. Marryat, One Year in Sweden, including a visit to the isle of Gotland (London, 1862), p.480; J. Kleberg, Amiralitetskollegium - Marinförvaltningen Biografiska Anteckningar 1634-1934 (Stockholm, 1934), p.17; Andersson et al, Uppsala Universitets Matrikel, (Uppsala, 1900-1911); T. Fischer, The Scots in Sweden (Edinburgh, 1907), pp.215-267; E.E.Etzel, 'Notes on Swedo-Scottish families', Scottish Historical Review, vol.9, no.35, April 1912, p.269; E. Wendt, Amiralitetskollegiets historia, part 1 1634-1695, (Stockholm, 1950), p.221, 252, 270, 276, 281, 289, 294, 302, 312, 314, 367, 424, 427; A. Zettersten, Svenska Flottans historia, aren 1635-1680, (Norrtelje, 1903), p.598.

Service record

Arrived 1647-01-01
Capacity STUDENT, purpose ACADEMIC
Arrived 1661-01-01
Departed 1661-12-31
Capacity ENVOY, purpose DIPLOMACY
Arrived 1663-11-25, as LIEUTENANT
Departed 1711-12-29, as ADMIRAL
Capacity ADMIRAL, purpose NAVAL
Arrived 1667-01-01
Departed 1669-12-31
Capacity SHIP INSPECTOR, purpose NAVAL
Arrived 1673-04-29, as COMMANDANT
Departed 1674-12-31, as COMMANDANT
Capacity COMMANDANT, purpose NAVAL
Arrived 1680-01-07, as GOVERNOR
Departed 1683-08-27, as GOVERNOR
Capacity GOVERNOR, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1683-08-28, as GOVERNOR
Departed 1711-04-18, as GOVERNOR
Capacity GOVERNOR, purpose MILITARY