Military Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2017-07-25

Introduction

The Allotment System was a system of organizing and financing the Swedish armed forces in earlier times. Spend enough time tracing your Swedish ancestors and it's likely you will eventually discover someone who served in Sweden’s armed  forces, i.e. been a soldier in an infantry regiment, horseman in a cavalry regiment, artilleryman in an artillery regiment or a seaman in  the Navy. The soldier might have been an allotted soldier or an enlisted soldier. An allotted soldier was a soldier serving within the Allotment System, i.e. in an alloted unit. The purpose of this article is to explain how the allotment system worked. Sweden has had two different periods which have been called the allotment system: 1. The Early Allotment System 1540s - 1682 2. The Late Allotment System 1682 - 1901 Prior to the Allotment System the Swedish armed forces used a system of conscription (Swedish: utskrivning) with involuntary soldiers drafted at times of wars together with enlisted mercenaries. When the conscripted soldiers was disbanded after the wars it was still too expensive to keep the mercenaries. So, at peace times there were only enlisted soldiers serving in garrisons at the nation’s fortresses and in larger cities.

The Early Allotment System (Äldre indelningsverket)

The Early Allotment System was established during the Rule of King Gustav Vasa, i.e. mid-1500s. After the Liberation War (1521 - 1523) King Gustav began building an army manned by foot-soldiers  through conscription (utskrivning) and cavalrymen through a system called rusttjänst. At the parliamentary session in Arboga in 1536 it was decreed that cavalry units was to be established in the different provinces of Sweden. In the parliamentary session in Västerås in 1544 a corresponding decreed was taken about infantry units in the Swedish provinces. The cavary units was called “fanor” and the infantry units was called “fänikor”. The foot-soldiers was enrolled through involuntary conscription (utskrivning). The cavalrymen was enrolled through a voluntary system called “rusttjänst”. The “rusttjänst “was upheld by farmers (freeholders) who provided a cavalryman with a horse to the cavalry unit of the province. The holder of the rustjänst (the freeholder) was in return exempted from taxes. However, it was common that the freeholder himself was the cavalryman, i.e. the freeholder enrolled himself as the cavalryman of his “rusthåll”. The navy sailors (båtsmän) provided in a similar manner as the foot-soldiers. During the Rule of King Gustav II Adolf (1611 - 1632) the Swedish armed forces was modernized both tactically and organizationally. The different military units was reorganized into modern regiments in 1623 and at least one regiment was stationed in each province. These regiments were therefore known as provincial regiments (landskapsregementen). This reorganization of the armed forces was later adopted in the Swedish Constitution Act of 1634. According to the 1634 Constitution Act, 20 infantry regiments (13 in real Sweden and 7 in Finland) and 8 cavalry regiments (5 in real Sweden and 3 in Finland) was to be established. Note: Finland was a part of Sweden until 1809.

The Late Allotment System (Yngre indelningsverket)

Infantry - Rotering

In the beginning of the 1680s King Karl XI reorganized the Swedish armed forces. The new Military Act was passed in the Parliament on October 27, 1682 and the new military system was called Indelningsverket or in English the Allotment System. The Allotment System meant that standing army was to be established in Sweden and Finland. This new allotment system known as The Late Allotment System or just The Allotment System was based on the former allotment system, the so-called Early Allotment System. Contracts was drawn up with the Crown and the farmers (freeholders) in each province. The freeholders (farmers) undertook the responsibility to maintain a soldier for the infantry regiment of the province. It was mandatory for the freeholders to participate in the Allotment System. Each infantry regiment numbered 1,200 soldiers which means that the farmers of a province were obliged to raise and maintain 1,200 soldiers for the regiment. To maintain a soldier for the regiment was costly and an extra burden to the farmers. To reduce the burden for individual farmers, each parish (socken) of the provinces was divided into districts (allotments) called “rote” and each rote consisted of 2 - 4 farmers. Thereby the costs was shared equally between the farmers of a rote. So, it was the duty of each “rote” to provide and maintain one soldier for the regiment(s) of the province. It is rote in singular and rotar in plural. So, it took 1,200 rotar to raise 1,200 soldiers for an infantry regiment. Each rote was to maintain a soldier including equipment such as uniform etc. and a soldier croft (soldattorp) for the soldier to live in when he wasn’t serving in the regiment. Croft is a British English term for a small homestead, i.e. cottage. The soldier croft also included some farmland. The soldiers’ wage system was in other words based on the subsistence economy principals. Why did the farmers (freeholders) agree to take on this extra cost to maintain soldiers for the arm? Well, the Early Allotment System was based on involuntary conscription and not only farmhands was drafted but also farmers, farmer’s son etc. This early system was disliked by all parts including the Crown but especially by the farmers. In the new Allotment System the rote farmers was exempted from conscription as long as they provided and maintained soldiers for the army. So, the farmers (freeholders) accepted the extra cost to avoid involuntary military service. The major freeholder of a rote was called stamrote or huvudrote. The other freeholders of the rote were called hjälprotar. One of the freeholders of a rote was appointed (by themselves) rotemästare (Master of the rote). Normally this was the freeholder on who’s land the soldiers croft was located. He was the freeholder in charge of the rote and had the responsibility to make sure that the soldier received the wage and the payments in kind the soldier had the right to from the farmers of the rote. This system of keeping infantry soldiers for an infantry regiment was called “Det ständiga knekthållet” and the principle was called Rotering”.

Navy

The navy seamen (Båtsmän) were provided in a similar manner as the infantry soldiers, i.e. through rotering.

Cavalry - Rusthåll

The horsemen for the cavalry was raised and maintained in a different manner than the foot-solders soldiers of the infantry. The cavalry system was called “Rusthåll”. To keep and maintain a horseman including a horse for the cavalry was voluntary. The freeholder in a cavalry "rusthåll" had a personal contract with the Crown stating that he took on the responsibility to provide a cavalryman, horse and uniform for the cavalry regiment of the province. The contract was a voluntary agreement between the Crown and the freeholder. The holder of a rusthåll was called “Rusthållare”. The rusthållare was exempted from paying taxes (and exempted from the mandatory infantry rotering) as long as he provided a cavalryman. Normally there was only one freeholder in a "rusthåll". However, the holder of the rusthåll could have an extra freeholder to help him cover the expenses. Such a subsidiary freeholder in a rusthåll was called "augument".  Like the infantry soldiers, the cavalrymen were provided with a croft (ryttartorp) and land to farm. A cavalryman was called a "ryttare". In the Early Allotment System it was common that the "rusthållare" and the cavalryman  was the same person. This was not allowed in the Late Allotment System.

Officers - Indelning

Each officer and NCO of the alloted regiments received an official military residence in the countryside as a fringe benefit related to the their employment as military officers. The company officer’s residences were located in the same area as the soldier crofts of the soldiers in respective company. The residence was not a personal property of the officers and when an officer was discharged from the regiment he had to leave the residence. These residences had been withdrawn from the nobility during the second half of the 1600s in the so-called Reduction or the Conflict of the Estates. The system of providing officers and their residences was called “Indelning”. Instead of freeholders paying tax to the Crown and then the Crown paid salaries to the officers, the officers received a residence and salaries paid from locally collected taxes of the rote farmers. The higher rank the better residence and salaries paid from more rote farmers’ taxes. The freeholders who contributed to an officer’s salary was called “fördelshemman”. Read more about the Allotment System and the life of the alloted soldiers by clicking on the navigation bar below:

The Allotment System - Sweden (1)

Source References - The Allotment System

1. Kungliga Södermanlands regemente under 350 år ,1977 2. Karoliner, Alf Åberg, Göte Göransson, 1976 3. Soldater och soldattorp i Dunkers socken Evert Wahlberg, 1989 4. Soldatnamn vid det indelta Södermanlands regemente, Evert Wahlberg, 1990 5. Svenska knektar, indelta soldater, ryttare och båtsmän i krig och fred, Lars Ericson, 1997 6. Veterinärväsende och krigsmanskassa, Landstinget Sörmland, 1988 7. Historisk roman: Narva, Björn Holm, 1997 8. Många blev borta av upplänningarna, Sivert Svärling, 1994 9. Båtsmän, ryttare och soldater, sid 99+, Agneta Guillemot, 1988 10. Järvsö indelta kompani och Kramstalägret, Olle Olsson-Brink, 1988 11. Kungar och krigare, tre essäer om Karl X Gustav, Karl XI och Karl XII, Anders Florén, Stellan Dahlgren, Jan Lindegren, 1992 12. Närkingar i krig och fred. Närkes militärhistoria, del I. Stiftelsen Nerekies regementen 1989 13. Från Brunkeberg till Nordanvind, 500 år med svenskt infanteri, Bertil Nelsson, 1993 14. Försvarets civilförvaltning 1634 – 1865, Försvarets civilförvaltning, 1994 15. Arméns förband, skolor och staber, Björn Holmberg, 1993 16. Kungl. Artilleriet, Karl XI:s och Karl XII:s tid. Redaktör Hans Ulfhielm, 1993 17. Soldater och soldattorp i Fogdö socken, Evert Wahlberg, 1999 18. Den Karolinska Arméns uniformer under Stora Nordiska Kriget, Lars-Eric Höglund, 1995 19. Skånska kriget 1675 - 79, fanor och uniformer, Lars-Eric Höglund, 1999 20. Hästen i det karolinska rytteriet, Henry Waxberg, 1973 21. Stora Nordiska Kriget 1700 - 1721, Fanor och uniformer, Lars-Eric Höglund, Åke Sälläs, 2000 22. Kungl. Södermanlands regementes historia 1771 – 1915, Karl K:sson Leijonhufvud, 1915
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Military Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2017-07-25

Introduction

The Allotment System was a system of organizing and financing the Swedish armed forces in earlier times. Spend enough time tracing your Swedish ancestors and it's likely you will eventually discover someone who served in Sweden’s armed  forces, i.e. been a soldier in an infantry regiment, horseman in a cavalry regiment, artilleryman in an artillery regiment or a seaman in  the Navy. The soldier might have been an allotted soldier or an enlisted soldier. An allotted soldier was a soldier serving within the Allotment System, i.e. in an alloted unit. The purpose of this article is to explain how the allotment system worked. Sweden has had two different periods which have been called the allotment system: 1. The Early Allotment System 1540s - 1682 2. The Late Allotment System 1682 - 1901 Prior to the Allotment System the Swedish armed forces used a system of conscription (Swedish: utskrivning) with involuntary soldiers drafted at times of wars together with enlisted mercenaries. When the conscripted soldiers was disbanded after the wars it was still too expensive to keep the mercenaries. So, at peace times there were only enlisted soldiers serving in garrisons at the nation’s fortresses and in larger cities.

The Early Allotment System (Äldre

indelningsverket)

The Early Allotment System was established during the Rule of King Gustav Vasa, i.e. mid-1500s. After the Liberation War (1521 - 1523) King Gustav began building an army manned by foot-soldiers  through conscription (utskrivning) and cavalrymen through a system called rusttjänst. At the parliamentary session in Arboga in 1536 it was decreed that cavalry units was to be established in the different provinces of Sweden. In the parliamentary session in Västerås in 1544 a corresponding decreed was taken about infantry units in the Swedish provinces. The cavary units was called “fanor” and the infantry units was called fänikor”. The foot-soldiers was enrolled through involuntary conscription (utskrivning). The cavalrymen was enrolled through a voluntary system called rusttjänst”. The “rusttjänst “was upheld by farmers (freeholders) who provided a cavalryman with a horse to the cavalry unit of the province. The holder of the rustjänst (the freeholder) was in return exempted from taxes. However, it was common that the freeholder himself was the cavalryman, i.e. the freeholder enrolled himself as the cavalryman of his “rusthåll”. The navy sailors (båtsmän) provided in a similar manner as the foot-soldiers. During the Rule of King Gustav II Adolf (1611 - 1632) the Swedish armed forces was modernized both tactically and organizationally. The different military units was reorganized into modern regiments in 1623 and at least one regiment was stationed in each province. These regiments were therefore known as provincial regiments (landskapsregementen). This reorganization of the armed forces was later adopted in the Swedish Constitution Act of 1634. According to the 1634 Constitution Act, 20 infantry regiments (13 in real Sweden and 7 in Finland) and 8 cavalry regiments (5 in real Sweden and 3 in Finland) was to be established. Note: Finland was a part of Sweden until 1809.

The Late Allotment System (Yngre

indelningsverket)

Infantry - Rotering

In the beginning of the 1680s King Karl XI reorganized the Swedish armed forces. The new Military Act was passed in the Parliament on October 27, 1682 and the new military system was called Indelningsverket or in English the Allotment System. The Allotment System meant that standing army was to be established in Sweden and Finland. This new allotment system known as The Late Allotment System or just The Allotment System  was based on the former allotment system, the so- called Early Allotment System. Contracts was drawn up with the Crown and the farmers (freeholders) in each province. The freeholders (farmers) undertook the responsibility to maintain a soldier for the infantry regiment of the province. It was mandatory for the freeholders to participate in the Allotment System. Each infantry regiment numbered 1,200 soldiers which means that the farmers of a province were obliged to raise and maintain 1,200 soldiers for the regiment. To maintain a soldier for the regiment was costly and an extra burden to the farmers. To reduce the burden for individual farmers, each parish (socken) of the provinces was divided into districts (allotments) called “rote” and each rote consisted of 2 - 4 farmers. Thereby the costs was shared equally between the farmers of a rote. So, it was the duty of each “rote” to provide and maintain one soldier for the regiment(s) of the province. It is rote in singular and rotar in plural. So, it took 1,200 rotar to raise 1,200 soldiers for an infantry regiment. Each rote was to maintain a soldier including equipment such as uniform etc. and a soldier croft (soldattorp) for the soldier to live in when he wasn’t serving in the regiment. Croft is a British English term for a small homestead, i.e. cottage. The soldier croft also included some farmland. The soldiers’ wage system was in other words based on the subsistence economy principals. Why did the farmers (freeholders) agree to take on this extra cost to maintain soldiers for the arm? Well, the Early Allotment System was based on involuntary conscription and not only farmhands was drafted but also farmers, farmer’s son etc. This early system was disliked by all parts including the Crown but especially by the farmers. In the new Allotment System the rote farmers was  exempted from conscription as long as they provided and maintained soldiers for the army. So, the farmers (freeholders) accepted the extra cost to avoid involuntary military service. The major freeholder of a rote was called stamrote or huvudrote. The other freeholders of the rote were called hjälprotar. One of the freeholders of a rote was appointed (by themselves) rotemästare (Master of the rote). Normally this was the freeholder on who’s land the soldiers croft was located. He was the freeholder in charge of the rote and had the responsibility to make sure that the soldier received the wage and the payments in kind the soldier had the right to from the farmers of the rote. This system of keeping infantry soldiers for an infantry regiment was called “Det ständiga knekthållet” and the principle was called Rotering”.

Navy

The navy seamen (Båtsmän) were provided in a similar manner as the infantry soldiers, i.e. through rotering.

Cavalry - Rusthåll

The horsemen for the cavalry was raised and maintained in a different manner than the foot- solders soldiers of the infantry. The cavalry system was called “Rusthåll”. To keep and maintain a horseman including a horse for the cavalry was voluntary. The freeholder in a cavalry "rusthåll" had a personal contract with the Crown stating that he took on the responsibility to provide a cavalryman, horse and uniform for the cavalry regiment of the province. The contract was a voluntary agreement between the Crown and the freeholder. The holder of a rusthåll was called “Rusthållare”. The rusthållare was exempted from paying taxes (and exempted from the mandatory infantry rotering) as long as he provided a cavalryman. Normally there was only one freeholder in a "rusthåll". However, the holder of the rusthåll could have an extra freeholder to help him cover the expenses. Such a subsidiary freeholder in a rusthåll was called "augument".  Like the infantry soldiers, the cavalrymen were provided with a croft (ryttartorp) and land to farm. A cavalryman was called a "ryttare". In the Early Allotment System it was common that the "rusthållare" and the cavalryman  was the same person. This was not allowed in the Late Allotment System.

Officers - Indelning

Each officer and NCO of the alloted regiments received an official military residence in the countryside as a fringe benefit related to the their employment as military officers. The company officer’s residences were located in the same area as the soldier crofts of the soldiers in respective company. The residence was not a personal property of the officers and when an officer was discharged from the regiment he had to leave the residence. These residences had been withdrawn from the nobility during the second half of the 1600s in the so-called Reduction or the Conflict of the Estates. The system of providing officers and their residences was called “Indelning”. Instead of freeholders paying tax to the Crown and then the Crown paid salaries to the officers, the officers received a residence and salaries paid from locally collected taxes of the rote farmers. The higher rank the better residence and salaries paid from more rote farmers’ taxes. The freeholders who contributed to an officer’s salary was called “fördelshemman”. Read more about the Allotment System and the life of the alloted soldiers by clicking on the navigation bar below:

The Allotment System -

Sweden (1)

Source References - The

Allotment System

1. Kungliga Södermanlands regemente under 350 år ,1977 2. Karoliner, Alf Åberg, Göte Göransson, 1976 3. Soldater och soldattorp i Dunkers socken Evert Wahlberg, 1989 4. Soldatnamn vid det indelta Södermanlands regemente, Evert Wahlberg, 1990 5. Svenska knektar, indelta soldater, ryttare och båtsmän i krig och fred, Lars Ericson, 1997 6. Veterinärväsende och krigsmanskassa, Landstinget Sörmland, 1988 7. Historisk roman: Narva, Björn Holm, 1997 8. Många blev borta av upplänningarna, Sivert Svärling, 1994 9. Båtsmän, ryttare och soldater, sid 99+, Agneta Guillemot, 1988 10. Järvsö indelta kompani och Kramstalägret, Olle Olsson-Brink, 1988 11. Kungar och krigare, tre essäer om Karl X Gustav, Karl XI och Karl XII, Anders Florén, Stellan Dahlgren, Jan Lindegren, 1992 12. Närkingar i krig och fred. Närkes militärhistoria, del I. Stiftelsen Nerekies regementen 1989 13. Från Brunkeberg till Nordanvind, 500 år med svenskt infanteri, Bertil Nelsson, 1993 14. Försvarets civilförvaltning 1634 – 1865, Försvarets civilförvaltning, 1994 15. Arméns förband, skolor och staber, Björn Holmberg, 1993 16. Kungl. Artilleriet, Karl XI:s och Karl XII:s tid. Redaktör Hans Ulfhielm, 1993 17. Soldater och soldattorp i Fogdö socken, Evert Wahlberg, 1999 18. Den Karolinska Arméns uniformer under Stora Nordiska Kriget, Lars-Eric Höglund, 1995 19. Skånska kriget 1675 - 79, fanor och uniformer, Lars-Eric Höglund, 1999 20. Hästen i det karolinska rytteriet, Henry Waxberg, 1973 21. Stora Nordiska Kriget 1700 - 1721, Fanor och uniformer, Lars-Eric Höglund, Åke Sälläs, 2000 22. Kungl. Södermanlands regementes historia 1771 – 1915, Karl K:sson Leijonhufvud, 1915