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Rev Alexander White was an episcopalian who fled Aberdeen during the 1639 Covenanting wars in Scotland. He moved forst to England, then the Dutch Republic. Ultimately he petitioned Axel Oxenstierna in Sweden seeking work. His letter tells his whole story.

For his escape see SRA, AOSB, E748, Alexander White to Axel Oxenstierna, n.d., but post 1650. From its contents, the date of this letter can be placed as having been written somewhere between the Treaty of Breda (1650) and the Battle of Worcester (1651); Steve Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006), pp.104-105.

To his Excellency, the most noble Lord Chancellor [Axel Oxenstierna], the humble petition of Alexander White makes him known. After your Excellency’s humble and suppliant servant had happily and tranquilly given nearly fifteen years to the study of sacred theology in the bosom of the Aberdeen Academy, and in that selfsame happiness and tranquility had, against the fateful day, acquired greater master of that subject, with much burning of the midnight oil, that happiness of your Excellency’s humble servant was interrupted by the business of the Scottish treaty. For when the members of that Academy refused their signatures upon the treaty to its authors, being agitators with might and main against not only the authority of the King but also against the nature and purpose of the treaty, and, with perspicacity, offered a balanced defense of their action at the time with solid reasons, and, with the greatest modesty, having showed themselves to be allies not disbanded to this day, they reaped no other harvest of their labours than the greater indignation and turned back of their only father. The Doctors and Students of Most Holy Theology nearly one and all bearing these evils with an equal spirit although they had been unequally inflicted (what could be worse), many of them (amongst others your Excellency’s servant) crossed the border into England, where for quite some time they were supported at the King’s expense, until matters deteriorated, to the point that our most serene King looked with some difficulty even to the Queen and the Royal offspring. Then the flames of insurrections and sedition spread far and wide, carried down even into England—the minds of many veterans in that kingdom having been easily swayed by the cunning of certain men and by the enticements of words to take up the torch of sedition—and in a short time the fire of that turbulent conflagration burned with such heat that the subjects of our most serene King (depending upon their temperament) were either caught up in that rebellion or were reduced to ashes, as it were: at length the sacred person of Charles the First, our most clement King (of blessed memory), perished (O day polluted by death!), executed by barbarous hands. The shepherd having been struck down, the sheep, wandering far and wide, deprived of their fleece, exhausted by cares, afflicted by every manner of calamity, wept as much for their own misfortunes as for the barbarous and abominable parricide of the good shepherd. At that time, your Excellency’s servant, taking thought for his life but throwing away the fortune of his benefice and his possessions, crossed the Channel into Belgium, and committed himself to the service of Charles the Second, our most serene King, for an entire year, sometimes performing the sacred rites, other times executing some other business required by his sacred Majesty, until, in that recent treaty of peace concluded between the sacred Majesty of our King and the Delegates of the Orders of the Realm of Scotland (I pray God that it may be happy and auspicious) the King was required to bid farewell to his ministers and all the wise Anglican priests in service to his Majesty at that time, in order to satisfy certain Calvinists (in whose power the rule of the Church of Scotland now lies), who boldly demanded this. And thus it was done, so that these wretches, the faithful servants of the King’s Majesty, discussing amongst themselves the matter of how they would live in future, each one, as his heart counselled, took to the road, and, owing to the fame of her name, your Excellency’s servant determined to go to the Sacred Majesty of the Queen of Sweden etc., adorned as she is with the jewels of the moral virtues and with the pearls of the supernatural virtues, having been persuaded not only of the political savvy of her advisers (and especially of his most noble Excellency her Lord Chancellor) but also by the all-encompassing erudition of her teachers, and, with no better advice, fleeing to the Realm of Sweden as to a safe haven. Earnestly, therefore, but with all humility and the wonted reverence, your Excellency’s humble and suppliant servant asks that you look upon one buffeted by the storms of adverse fortune, who has suffered even unto the shipwreck of his goods because of his loyalty to the Sacred Majesty, or at least deign that a ray of your Munificence may shine upon him, by entrusting to this scholar some worthy position, in philosophical or theological employments, or in any sort of matter in which your Excellency’s servant can better serve you and relieve his own want, of which grace, if it is granted by your Excellency, your humble and suppliant servant sincerely promises to be mindful, not only in recent and grateful memory, but always: he will also daily offer prayer and supplication to God, that that Patron of immigrants, the Heavenly Light, may bless your Excellency and his noble family, smile upon your counsels, favour your efforts, and preserve unharmed the Excellency of the Lord Chancellor for the divine Queen and Realm of Sweden, and at length crown him with the inexhaustible crown of glory in the life to come. of the humble and suppliant servant of your Excellency Alexander White, student of the most holy Theology and one of the priests of the Anglican Church.

Service record

Arrived 1643-12-31