Sigrid Gustafsdotter Banér was the daughter of a privy councillor, and a donor.
Sigrid Gustafsdotter Banér was born at Djursholm castle in Uppland into one of the kingdom’s oldest families, whose noble roots date back to the Middle Ages. She was the daughter of privy councillor and regional governor Gustav Axelsson Banér and Kristina Sture. Sigrid Banér was the ninth of fourteen children. Two of her sisters and two of her brothers died in infancy.
The Banér family was closely entwined with the political elite of the era. Her father, Gustav Banér, was one of five noblemen who were condemned to death and executed at what became known as the Linköping Bloodbath on 20 March 1600. At the time, Sigrid Banér was only eight years old. It has sometimes been claimed, and often cited, that Sigrid Banér wrote the sole eyewitness account of how some of those who were condemned to die spent their last night before the execution in Linköping. However, it is more likely that the author was her older sister Anna Banér, who was fifteen at the time of the event. Sigrid Banér is said to have been an avid reader, who took a great interest in her family history and was dedicated to ensuring that her nephews and nieces would receive a good education.
In 1653 Sigrid Banér donated two “frälsehemman” (tax-exempt farms) in order to establish a scholarship for students of theology at Uppsala academy. The fund, known as the Banér scholarship, is still available and awarded annually.
Sigrid Banér never married. She was financially supported by her mother, Kristina Sture. After her mother’s death in 1618, Sigrid Banér lived with relatives, mainly with her sister Anna Banér. Anna Banér died in 1656 and at that time Sigrid Banér appears to have been living in Stockholm. It is probable that Jungfrugata (Maiden Street) on Östermalm in Stockholm was named after Sigrid Banér. The street name first appears in 1655 as Jungfrugrenden (Maiden Close). The year before she died, Sigrid Banér was listed as a plot owner in the Jungfru quarter, which lay between what is today Jungfrugata and Sibyllegata, and Linnégata and Komendörsgata on Östermalm in Stockholm. She also owned a garden near the square and the Hedvig Eleonora church, known as “Noblewoman Miss Sigrid Banér’s garden”.
Toward the end of her life, Sigrid Banér lived with her niece Margareta, daughter of her brother Per Banér, at Biby castle in Gillberga parish, now Eskilstuna commune, where she died in October 1669.