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Elsa Beata Wrede

1734-04-181819-01-24

Horticulturist, writer, pioneer

Elsa Beata Wrede was a keen horticulturalist and the first woman in Sweden to publish a horticultural instruction guide.

Elsa Beata Wrede was born at Peippola farm in Elimäki parish, south-eastern Finland, in 1734. Her father, Fabian Wrede, was a government minister and her mother was Catharina Charlotta Sparre. Elsa Beata Wrede was the youngest of eight children born into the wealthy Wrede family. The fact that chief gardener Jonas Stöörk was already working at Peippola farm by the 1690s probably reflects the great interest in horticultural matters taken there in comparison to elsewhere in the local area.

Elsa Beata Wrede got married in 1761. Her husband was Baron Sven Bunge who was later elevated to the rank of count. Elsa Beata Wrede continued to use her own name although in several contemporary publications her name was given as Elsa Beata Bunge. Despite the fact that she was most likely the first woman in the kingdom (today the separate countries of Sweden and Finland) to publish gardening advice little is actually known of Elsa Beata Wrede’s life.

Sven Bunge purchased Beateberg farm in 1771, situated in Rö parish, 30 kilometres northeast of Stockholm. The name Beateberg is not in any way related to Elsa Beata Wrede’s middlename and today the property is known as Mylnaulle, Målnekulla, and Viraberg. It is said that Elsa Beata Wrede had an English-style park established around Beateberg farm. There is some discrepancy as to the actual size of the estate with some sources giving it as 50 hectares, whilst others state it was 70 hectares. Jonas Carl Linnerhielm gave a laudatory description of the park in 1816.

In 1774 Sven Bunge was elected into the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It was probably thanks to this that Elsa Beata Wrede became familiar with some of the academy’s significant members, including Carl von Linné and Peter Jonas Bergius.

In 1803 Elsa Beata Wrede published an instruction pamphlet on cultivating grapevines: Bref till Eglé, om sättet att med minsta kostnad plantera vinrankor, i Sverige; samt befordra dem till ymnig bördighet, tidig och fullkomlig mognad. At the end of the 52-page pamphlet there are instructions for building a grapevine cultivation box which includes a table to show how the expense of acquiring the necessary materials is already covered by the profits gained from the first harvest. Elsa Beata Wrede’s interests appear to have involved cultivating grapevines and other greenhouse plants - the Beateberg garden, in addition to magnificent grapevines, also had an orangery and a “peach room”.

Elsa Beata Wrede published a pamphlet in 1806 which described how to prune grapevines, entitled Beskrifning om vinrankors beskärande efter sjelfva naturens anvisning jämte ett nytt sätt att updraga deras grenar påfunnit af engelsmanen herr M. W. Forsyth. This 24-page pamphlet contains a single drawing portraying pruned grapevines. The reference is to William Forsyth, related to the well-known Scottish horticulturalist.

Elsa Beata Wrede’s horticultural interests were not just restricted to “finer” cultivation – in 1812 she was elected into the Royal Patriotic Society. The following year she made experimental cultivations of seed potatoes which she had received from the society. Her observations were collated in two articles which were published in 1813. Following the death of her husband, Sven Bunge, Elsa Beata Wrede seemingly moved to a smaller farm called Wijk and the main farm of Beateberg was transferred to her son Mårten Bunge.

The main building at the farm, which had been constructed by Sven Bunge, burned down in 1860 although the plants appear to have survived the fire. Elsa Beata Wrede’s orangery at Beateberg, which is currently in private ownership, has completely vanished and only ruins remain of the original greenhouse. Although the park still remains, it has grown over.

Elsa Beata Wrede died in 1819.


Eeva Ruoff
(Translated by Alexia Grosjean)


Published 2021-03-12



You are welcome to cite this article but always provide the author’s name as follows:

Elsa Beata Wrede, www.skbl.se/sv/artikel/ElsaBeataWrede0, Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon (article by Eeva Ruoff), retrieved 2021-10-24.




Other Names

    Married: Bunge


Family Relationships

Civil Status: Widow
  • Mother: Catharina Charlotta Sparre
  • Father: Fabian Wrede
  • Sister: Gustaviana Brita Wrede
more ...


Education

  • Privatundervisning i hemmet, Elimäki, Finland: Ståndsmässig uppfostran


Activities

  • Profession: Trädgårdsodlare, Beatebergs gård
  • Profession: Skribent


Contacts

  • Colleague: Carl von Linné
  • Colleague: Peter Jonas Bergius


Organisations

  • Kungliga Patriotiska Sällskapet
    Medlem


Residences

  • Birthplace: Elimäki, Finland
  • Elimäki, Finland
  • Norrtälje
  • Place of death: Norrtälje


Sources

Archive
  • Bergianska avskriftssamling. Kungliga vetenskapsakademiens bibliotek

Encyclopaedia
  • Stålberg, Wilhelmina & Berg, P. G. (red.), Anteckningar om svenska qvinnor, Stockholm, 1866

Literature
  • Bloch, Hans Rasmusson, Horticultura Danica.: Hvorledis en zirlig oc nyttig Urte-Hawe i Dannemarck kand anrettis,beprydis oc ved Mact holdis. ..., Peter Hake, Kiöbenhaffn, 1647

  • Coats, Alice Margaret, Garden shrubs and their histories, Vista Books, London, 1963

  • Forsyth, William, Traité de la culture des arbres fruiters, contenant unde nouvelle manière de les tailler, et unne méthode particulière de guérir les maladies qui attaquent les arbres fruiters, avec XIII planches. publié par ordre du gouverement, Bossange, Paris, 1803

  • Forsyth, William & Cobbett, William, A treatise on the culture and management of fruit trees: in which a new method of pruning and training is fully described : together with observations on the diseases, defects and injuries, in all kinds of fruit and forest trees, as also, an account of a particular method of cure, made public by order of the British government, Printed for and sold by D. & S. Whiting, Albany, 1803

  • Forsyth, William, Ueber die Behandlung und Kultur der Obstbäume, Nicolai, Berlin, 1804

  • Gyldenstolpe, Michael Olai Wexionius, Epitome descriptionis Sueciæ, Gothiæ, Fenningiæ, et subjectarum provinciarum. Accuratiùs quàm unquam antehâc editæ, Aboæ, apud Petrum Wald, acad. typog. 1650., 1650

  • Haglund, Anders, Virenområdet: naturinventering, Norrtälje, 2011

  • Kalm, Pehr, En kårt berättelse, om naturliga stället, nyttan, samt skötseln af några wäxter, utaf hwilka frön nyligen blifwit hembragte från norra America, til deras tjenst, som hafwa nöje, at i wårt climat göra försök med de sammas cultiverande.: På kongl. wetenskaps academiens befallning upsatt. =(Rubr.) Anon.= (Stockholm, uplagdt på Lars Salvii kostnad, 1751.), Stockholm, 1751

  • Karling, Sten, Trädgårdskonstens historia i Sverige: intill Le Nôtrestilens genombrott, Bonnier, Diss. Göteborg : Högskola, Stockholm, 1931

  • Le Rougetel, Hazel, The Chelsea gardener: Philip Miller 1691-1770, British Museum, London, 1990

  • Linnerhielm, Jonas Carl, Bref under senare resor i Sverige,, Stockholm, tryckta hos A. Gadelius, 1816

  • Oksanen, Eeva-Liisa, Elimäen historia, [Elimäen kunta], [Elimäki], 1985

  • Olausson, Magnus, Den engelska parken i Sverige under gustaviansk tid, Piper Press, Diss. Uppsala : Univ.,Stockholm, 1993

  • Ruoff, Eeva, 'Mäntsälän Frugårdin kartanon puutarha 1700-luvun puolivälissä', Hortus fennicus, Suomen puutarhataide. Viherympäristöliitto & Suomen puutarhataiteen seura, S. 234-239, 2001

  • Skottsberg, Carl, Pehr Kalm: levnadsteckning, Stockholm, 1951

  • Tuneld, Eric, Erik Tunelds Geografi öfver konungariket Sverige: Bd 1 Innehållande landskaperna Upland och Södermanland, 8. uppl., Ecksteinska tr., Stockholm, 1827

  • Ullgren, Peter (red.), Ur Krapperups historia: människor och minnen, Gyllenstiernska Krapperupstiftelsen, Nyhamnsläge, S. 238-267, 2007

  • Wrede, Elsa Beata, Beskrifning om vinrankors beskärande efter sjelfva naturens anvisning jämte ett nytt sätt att updraga deras grenar påfunnit af engelsmanen herr M.W. Forsyth ... utgifven af Elsa Beata Wrede. Upsala, tryckt hos J.F. Edman, k:gl. acad.: boktr. 1806, Uppsala, 1806

  • Wrede, Elsa Beata, Bref till Eglé, om sättet att med minsta kostnad plantera vinrankor, i Sverige; samt befordra dem till ymnig bördighet, tidig och fullkomlig mognad, Stockholm, tryckta hos Carl Deléen, 1803., Stockholm, 1803

  • Väre, Henry Uolevi, 'Pehr Kalm (1716–1779) ja Pohjois-Amerikan puuvartiset', Sorbifolia, 2016(47):4, s. 147-196



Further References