First name

Text source

David Feif was the son of Alexander Fife, merchant of Montrose, and his wife Jeannetta Rind. He, like his brothers, James [SSNE 4779], Donald/Donat [SSNE 782] and possibly Solomon [SSNE 6679], migrated to Sweden and became a merchant in Stockholm, seemingly first appearing in Swedish records in 1618. In August 1633 he became embroiled in a legal dispute with a widow named Elizabeth Wilshusen regarding an amount of iron he had confiscated in Hamburg seemingly in relation to a deal over 14 barrels of herring, revealing that he was active as a trader. However, it was not until 26 August 1633 that he became a burgess of Stockholm.

By 1635 however he was accused of trying to cheat the Crown of 700 daler. He hired a booth from the Nicholas church, noted as under the belltower, for 20 daler on 31 December 1638. In 1639 a request from David for a signature from the Stockholm town "signete", presumably with regard to the case against him.

In 1640 he, along with four other Scotsmen (James Maclean [SSNE 5433], Andrew Boy [SSNE 4344], and Albert Rind), formed part of a delegation of burgesses to the Riksrad. Further, in November 1641 it was noted by the Riksrad that David had certificates for goods in a ship arrived from England, revealing that he maintained contact with the British Isles despite having emigrated. The Swedes on the other hand complained that England did not accept their Swedish merchandise.

David was a litigious man - in 1641 he had a case against Henry Sinclair, in 1645 he sued a fellow Scot, skipper Robert Wood, for not delivering his shipment of iron in Leith and Dundee, but to Crail instead costing him 555 daler. He was not as successful as his brothers however as in 1647 he was arrested for debt and his stall was closed.

In 1646 David Feif is named on the list of individuals required to fix holes in the walls in Gamla Stan. His house is registered as on Styrmansgränden, but no number is given.

This may be the same David Pfeiff who in 1647 was involved in a legal case with William Davidson [SSNE 5382], the outcome of which and the source for which are unknown. He appears to have died in 1648.

It was probably this David, noted as a burgess, whose wife was buried in Södermalm church (probably Maria church) on 15 January 1645. They had two sons called Henry [SSNE 7276] and David [SSNE 4931]. the Storkyrka records from Nicolai reveal that David baptised four sons in that church in Stockholm between 1630 and 1644: David, Henrik, Alexander and another David. The records of Maria Kyrka show that a son of David Fife was buried by James Maistertoun on 30 October 1661 while other members of his family used the same grave well into the 1670s. David also buried Planck Jonas in 1672 and his own baby son in May 1678. A David "Pfeif" was enrolled at Uppsala university in 1642 and it has not been determined what relationship he had, if any, to this David.

Sources: Stockholm Stadsarkiv: Borgare i Stockholm, Register 1601-1650, p.22; Stockholm Stadsarkiv, Nikolai Församling döda 1627-1680, p.235; Stockholms Stadsarkivet, Maria Församling, Register över döda, 1656-1680, p.146; Stockholm Stadsarkiv, (Storkyrkan) Nikolai församling dopböker, 1623-1717, I, p.148; Andersson et al, Uppsala Universitets Matrikel, (Uppsala, 1900-1911); Svenska Riksradets Protokoll, vol. VIII, pp. 544, 739; Stockholmsstads Tänkeböcker 1633 (Stockholm, 2006), p.37, p.171, p 176, p.189; T. Fischer, The Scots In Sweden, (Edinburgh, 1907), pp. 26, 28, 257; T. C. Smout, Scottish Trade on the Eve of Union (Edinburgh & London, 1963), p.96; F.U. Wrangel, Stockholmiana I-IV, (Stockholm, 1912), p.376, p.391; Svensk Biografisk Lexicon, vol.15, pp.507-511. See Curt Haij, 'Skottar i Stockholm under 1600-talet', unpublished list of names, Hintze biblioteket, Genealogiska Föreningen, Sundbyberg, Stockholm for unsourced reference to David Pfeiff in 1647. Thanks to Ardis Dreisbach for this information.


Service record

Departed 1670-12-31
Departed 1642-12-31
Capacity STUDENT, purpose ACADEMIC