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Anna-Maria Vilkuna: Anna-Maria Vilkuna: Kruunun taloudenpito Hämeen linnassa 1500-luvun puolivälissä

Bibliotheca Historica 30.
Nid. Kuv. 224 s.
ISBN 951-710-081-7.

Financial Management at Häme Castle in the Mid-sixteenth Century (from 1539 to about 1570)

Summary

Background

From the early Middle Ages to the beginning of the seventeenth century, political, military and economic power in Sweden, as elsewhere in Europe, was invariably based on the control of castles. The manner in which the castle's administration and economy were organized in each case reflected each period's relationships of power and economic requirements. The castles were the means of achieving political and military objectives as well as control and exploitation of local resources.

The changing role of the state and the growth of the king's power were the central features of European development at the juncture of the late Middle Ages and the modern period. The consolidation of the king's power also caused changes in the position of the nobility and the role of the castles. Independent noblemen became more and more agents of the state and managers of crown estates. Nearly all the fiefs of the upper nobility of the Middle Ages passed directly to control of the Crown. In the early part of the modern period, the castles were thus, in ever greater degree, outposts of the central power and they served the needs of the country's central administration. Technical development changed warfare from the beginning of the fifteenth century on. It required abundant resources, which were often concentrated only in the state. The equipment of large, artillary-resistant fortifications and armies of armed infantry required capital, and the small states and noble families had to give way to the centralized royal power. As late as the end of the 1520's, Gustavus Vasa's army was organized in the manner of the Middle Ages. The main body of the army consisted of the equestrian service of the nobility and conscripted peasants. The army lacked an infantry furnished with heavy, modern hand weapons, which in Central Europe was already an essential part of the armed forces. The Swedish system proved ineffective and unreliable compared to a modern army. In order for the Swedish army to remain on a level with the continental armies, income was needed for the payment of soldiers as well as development of a navy and armament.

In order for the national economy to be able to meet the new requirements imposed by a central administration and a strong army, Gustavus Vasa had to create an effective organization for economic administration. The Crown had, with the help of administrative posts, to obtain the taxes and other financial resources of the realm for its use. In the time of Gustavus Vasa, the kingdom's economic resources were concentrated to a considerable extent in the hands of the Crown. Nearly all the large fiefs of the Middle Ages had been revoked by the year 1540. The administrative districts of the castles were under the management of bailiffs named by Gustavus Vasa, who were responsible to the king for the administration and economy of the districts. Gustavus Vasa's measures indicate his reliance on the castles for the security of his rule. Old castles were fortified to better withstand firearms and in particular in the 1540's new, modern castles such as Vadstena, Kronoberg, Uppsala and Jönköping were built in the motherland. The economy of the state was more dependent on taxes paid in kind in Sweden than in Central Europe, and this affected economic policy and practice in economic decisions. The castles and manors were at that time the Swedish central administration's means of getting to hand the local economic resources and utilizing them in the best possible way. The castles suited very well the economic policy, of which one central purpose was to provide for the army's food supply. The economic practice of the Crown had to ensure sufficient resources in the event of war or crop failure in the kingdom.

The Research Problem

The Swedish conquerors founded Häme Castle in the latter part of the thirteenth century. By the middle of the sixteenth century, the gray-stone fortress-encampment had grown to an imposing brick castle that was the center of the Häme administrative district. Generalizing, one can say that the inhabited interior of Finland during the Middle Ages came under the authority of the castle. Turku Castle and Viipuri Castle, which were border fortifications, had a politically greater importance. The function of Häme Castle was, above all else, to attend to the Crown's administrative and economic arrangements in its area.

Many factors changed the society of Gustavus Vasa's time: the administrative authority of the king grew, an ever greater part of the kingdom's resources were at the king's disposal and a modern army was established for the support of the centrally organized country. The Crown needed craftsmen, merchants and a more efficient agriculture to be able to provide for the needs of the new state. From the 1540's on, in particular, Gustavus Vasa's measures aimed at the development of the economic organization at the disposal of the Crown. Can one discern these changes in the economy of Häme Castle in the mid-sixteenth century? What was the position of Häme Castle when the resources were concentrated in the hands of the king? The subject of this research is the organization of financial management in Häme Castle in the years 1539 to about 1570. By Häme Castle, in this context, is meant the aggregate formed by the medieval, main castle of Häme and the three landed estates in its possession, medieval Ojoinen and Saarinen, and Hätilä founded in the year 1557. The landed estates had neither administrative nor economic independence, and their lands lay within the district assigned to Häme Castle. On these grounds, the landed estates can be regarded as belonging to the same entity as the main castle.

A closer examination begins with the year 1539, when the first castle accounts were rendered at Häme Castle in accordance with Gustavus Vasa's bookkeeping reform. About the year 1570, which was clearly a turning point in Finland's circumstances, has been selected as the terminal point. The latter years of Gustavus Vasa's period of rule (king, 1521-1560) and Erik XIV's nearly decade-long kingship (king, 1560-1569) were a time of peaceful development in Finland. The period of continual war that began in Sweden in the 1560's was not yet felt decisively in Finland's development, although during the years of the Danish War, 1563-1570, additional levies of provisions were assessed in Finland also. The 1560's have been held to be the zenith of the economic growth that began in Finland in the late Middle Ages (Vahtola, 1993). According to Suvanto, in the Sääksmäki jurisdictional district of Häme Castle's administrative area during the 1560's more farms were abandoned and fell into the possession of the nobility than new came into existance or were allotted. He holds the development a sign of beginning stagnation. This was, however, only the prelude to the events of the end of the century (Suvanto, 1995). The Russian war that broke out in the year 1570 brought the war concretely to Finnish territory and the war period, which spanned the end of the century, meant much hardship for the Finns. The additional taxes, conscription, and provisioning of troops, together with a cooling of the climate, strained the peasants' endurance to the limit. The decades selected as the subject of research thus represent a period of relatively peaceful development. The Russian war that occurred in the years 1555-1557 did not spread to the extent that it would have caused overwhelming hardship.

So that it would be possible to examine the financial management of Häme Castle in the mid-sixteenth century and at the same time consider the social and economic development of the period, the management of the finances of the castle has been divided into three sectors, applying Myrdal's and Söderberg's three-sector model for representing sixteenth-century development (Myrdal-Söderberg, 1991). With the aid of this conceptual model, one can perceive the phenomena and circumstances that also had an effect at Häme Castle in the mid-sixteenth century. It is assumed that at that time production, the division of labor and consumption were divided at the castle among the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. At Häme Castle, the following elements belonged in the separate sectors:

1) The primary sector included farming, livestock production and fishing, in other words production of the castle's food stuffs. The labor force, the area under cultivation, the capital in livestock, the meadows, the pastureland, the buildings needed for agriculture and the fishing waters constituted the prerequisites of production. Also, the direction of the agriculture, the implements used and the approach affected production. In the fishing practiced by the castle, attention is paid not merely to the size of the catch, but the fishing practices and the methods of preservation used have also been included in the study.

2) To the secondary sector belonged the follow-up processing of the food stuffs and the handwork. One can divide those employed in the service of this group according to their functions into artisans who made the everyday implements, the food-service staff, storehouse weavers and building-trade professionals. In addition, in their own group are distinguished the so-called guest artisans, who performed certain work of a contract nature on the castle. To them belonged artisans of many trades, such as leather-dressers, tanners, turners, masons and glaziers.

3) In the service of the tertiary sector in Häme Castle were the officials of the Crown, their closest aides, the clergymen and the soldiers. The part of the castles and manors in increasing the efficiency of the Crown's administration and economy was significant. This introduced its own demands on the castles' officials, their aides and the soldiers. The division of labor within the tertiary sector had been carried far. The Crown's stud-farm staff has also been listed in the tertiary sector because the stud farm's principal task was to breed horses for the needs of the administration and the army.

As in all classifications, there are problems in this one, and the sector-divisions must not be construed too strictly. The sector-divisions are to be considered, above all, a technical device, which affords the possibility of examining the peculiarities of the Crown's economy. Sweden-Finland was, in the mid-sixteenth century, primarily an agricultural state, so it is reasonable to question whether one can find a division of labor in the society of its time. People had to be multi-skilled in order to be able to secure a living. For example, at agriculture's busiest time, in the harvesting of hay and crops, time had to be used effectively to good benefit. At that time, much manpower was needed, and even the artisans took part in the meadows and fields. The division into sectors is based on the assumption that, at the castle, each worker's primary task was to work somewhere in one of the three previously mentioned sectors. When needed, they were also transferred with flexibility into the service of the other sectors. Examination by sectors is a productive means of analyzing the castle's economy and its relationship to the developments of the time when one keeps in mind the movement of the workers between the groups.

The Crown's need to develop the state's economy and improve the possibilities of controlling its farms generated account data that is extensive and technically at a high level, and which has been used as the main source of the research. The accounts called the bailiff's accounts include the accounts of the bailiwicks of the castle's administrative district and the central castle. The accounts of Finland's castles have been preserved in an almost unbroken series from the year 1539 (1539/1540) to the end of the century. For the research period (1539-1570), Häme Castle lacks only the accounts for the years 1564, 1567 and 1570. On the part of Sweden, only the account books of Kalmar Castle have been preserved as well as the accounts of the Finnish castles (Odén, 1955).

Agriculture

Engaged in the service of the primary sector, or the castle's agriculture, were the staff of the landed estates (the master, the mistress, the farm-hands and the maids), herdsmen, ox drivers, shepherds, swineherds, warders, farm-hands, maids and fishermen. The landed estates of Saarinen, Ojoinen and Hätilä, situated very close to the main castle, were the centers of the castle's agricultural production. Saarinen and Ojoinen had been attached to the castle already in the Middle Ages soon after the castle's founding. The landed estate of Hätilä was established in the year 1557 from lands seized from the peasants of the villages of Hätilä and Pintiälä. The landed estates of Ojoinen, Saarinen and Hätilä formed, in addition to the main castle and its immediate surroundings, the area belonging to Häme Castle. The landed estates were large farms in which considerable economic resources had been amassed. The peasants performed the greatest part of the agricultural functions of the landed estates on a corvée basis. Animal husbandry was the responsibility of the hired staff.

Farming on the landed estates was mainly field-farming, which was supplemented with slash-and-burn agriculture. In the amount of seeding, Häme Castle reached the group of Finland's largest manors after the founding of the landed estate of Hätilä. At that time, an annual average of 191 Häme pannia 1 of grain, peas and beans were sown in the fields of the castle. For the years under investigation, the field-seeding was about 85% rye. In the years 1546-1562, other grains were not cultivated at all. Instead, peas and beans were sown nearly every spring, being about 6% of the total seeding. For Sweden's part, the share of peas in the total seeding of the king's manors remained at about one percent. The intensive cultivation of legumes was an important feature of the castle's agriculture. Peas and beans were an important nutritional supplement and, in addition, they fertilized the ground by fixing nitrogen in their root systems. Wheat was under cultivation only in the years 1542-1544 when the crops were reasonably good (ratio of yield per unit of seed, 4.5-10). A little wheat was always in reserve in the granary, however, so that wheaten cakes and rolls could be baked for special occasions.

It is interesting that feedgrain needs had in no way influenced the castle's selection of cultivated plants in the mid-sixteenth century: barley and oats were grown in the period under investigation for only a few years. In regard to barley and oats, the castle was completely dependent on the tax deliveries of the peasants. The principal feedgrain at the castle was oats. Barley was also used as feed, but its importance as a feed concentrate was not as great as, for example, in Sweden. In addition, barley was needed for making beer and the baking of the servants' bread. The peasants of Häme, instead, cultivated barley and oats. In the sixteenth century, they did not yet cultivate so much rye that the requirements of the castle's most important breadgrain, that is to say rye, would have been able to rely on their delivery in resources. One can see then a kind of division of labor between the castle and its surroundings in the peasants' being responsible for the feedgrain and the castle's concentrating on the cultivation of rye. Any orders from above that would have directed the production of the peasants cannot, however, be adduced. In any case, Häme's peasants had to cultivate oats for their own needs because they mainly used horses as draft animals. Obviously, the demands of the Crown, however, required a more extensive cultivation of oats than merely for their own needs.

Before the founding of the landed estate of Hätilä (founded in the year 1557), about 30 to 40 hectares of field had been under cultivation annually. After the founding of Hätilä, about 60 to 70 hectares of field were seeded annually. A biennial crop rotation was practiced at the castle, so that the total area of the castle's fields was about 120-140 hectares. At Häme Castle, that is to say on its three landed estates, the field area cultivated annually after the year 1557 was of the same order of magnitude as on Turku Castle's largest landed estate, Iso-Heikkilä, and on eastern Finland's largest crown estate, Kivennapa. On both of these, about 50 hectares were under cultivation at one time. Häme's most extensive areas under cultivation were in the possession of the Crown. The field area of the nobility's farms was about 20 to 25 hectares in sixteenth-century Häme. The area of the peasants' fields remained even considerably smaller. There were only a few peasant farms over ten hectares in Häme. There were 3 to 4 hectares of field in the possession of a peasant farm on an average.

On the basis of seeding information, it would seem that there had been a kind of stage of regression in the castle's field cultivation at the beginning of the 1550's. At that time, 84 pannia of rye, on an average, were sown in the fields annually, while at the beginning of the previous decade, an average of 137 pannia had been sown in a year. Leaning solely on seeding figures, however, would give a distorted picture of the castle's agriculture, for despite the decrease in the amount of seeding, the rye harvests increased. The average rye harvest in the beginning years of the 1550's was nearly 150 pannia greater than ten years earlier.

Beginning at the end of the 1540's, more and more burnt-over land was cultivated at the castle each year, which, in part, explains the increased harvests. At no stage, however, was the clearings' share of the harvest substantial (at its best, 14%), so the increased clearing does not by itself explain the improved production. In the crown estates of Central Sweden, the yield rose from the beginning of the sixteenth century on, reaching its peak at mid century. At that time, the yield varied on the crown estates of Uppland, Västmanland and Södermanland between six and eight (Myrdal-Söderberg, 1991). A similar development is also found at Häme Castle, where the mean yield in the first part of the 1550's was 11. For the entire research period, the productiveness of Häme Castle's fields must be considered good (the mean yield of rye, 9.4). Unfortunately, the peasants' yield for the sixteenth century is not available for Häme. Armas Luukko has estimated that the average yield in Häme in the middle of the sixteenth century would have been 6 (Luukko, 1957). One must remember that the peasants cultivated barley, of which the yield was usually lower than that of rye.

How can one explain the very good rye harvests reaped at Häme Castle in the mid-sixteenth century? The castle's fields had been cleared to a sandy loam, so the soil was very well suited for field cultivation. With the aid of climate research, it has been possible to show that the years 1551-1571 were a particularly warm period in Finland. At the beginning of the 1570's, a period called the Little Ice Age began, which lasted about one hundred years. The good harvests were contributed to, in addition to the natural conditions, by the biennial rotation of crops, which made possible good fallowing as well as field-crop selection.

At Häme Castle, a biennial crop rotation dominated by winter rye was practiced: in alternate years, about one-half the fields were fallow, the other half in growing winter rye. An alternate cultivation centered on winter rye undoubtedly had a positive effect on the yield. The fields being fallow prior to fall sowing, the fallow could be tilled effectively during the summer. The tilling could be done at a time when it did not delay the fall sowing. Effective preparation of the soil and early sowing increased harvests. On the Crown's farms in East-central Sweden, the fallow was changed during the sixteenth century from two cultivation times to three. At Häme Castle, even in the mid-sixteenth century the fallow land was, instead, cultivated only twice before sowing. An increase in the number of plowing implements could be considered a sign of the intensification of cultivation: in the year 1541, there were 2 pairs of plowshares of the wooden plows and twenty years later their number had risen to 11 and 1/2 pairs. One must remember, however, that the peasants presumably had their own implements along when they arrived at the castle for corvée.

A particularly large tillage of rye was a typical characteristic of the Crown's farms in Sweden as well as Finland. The proportion of rye at Häme Castle, however, was remarkably large compared to that of the king's estates in Sweden. Only on Stockholm Castle's landed estates was the tillage of rye in the same category as that of Häme Castle, about 90% of the seeding. There is mention in the castle's account book for the year 1559 that the spring crops wheat, oats or barley did not do well in the castle's fields. A choice of suitable varieties of grain for the growing conditions naturally had an effect on productivity. Rye is not so demanding in regard to the soil as the other varieties of grain. Rye sown in time in the fall had time to ripen in the summer early enough that the end-of-summer frosts had no effect on it. In addition to cold, rye withstands humidity well. The yield of rye at the castle was also generally better than that of barley or oats. At the beginning of the 1540's, the yield of barley at the castle was, on an average, 5.3 and that of rye 6.8. The next time barley was cultivated at the castle, at the end of the 1560's, the yield of barley was, on an average, 5.9 and that of rye 9.3. In the year 1566, the yields at Häme Castle were rye 7.9, barley 5.5 and oats 5.5. Three years later, the corresponding yields were 11.2, 5.6 and 4.3.

The concentration on the cultivation of rye, thus, explains in part Häme Castle's good harvests in the mid-sixteenth century. The supremacy of rye at the castle is an interesting feature also in the sense that the peasants of Häme in the mid-sixteenth century cultivated more barley than rye. The diminishing dominance of barley and the rise of rye as the most important grain was the most significant change at the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the sixteenth century in the economy of Sweden's and Finland's best agricultural regions. In Häme, rye overtook barley at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The castle's cultivation of rye undoubtedly helped rye become prevalent in Häme. In the performance of their corvée in the castle's fields, the peasants noticed that, on well worked land, rye yielded a better harvest than barley.

Janken Myrdal has pointed out that in the time of Gustavus Vasa, in addition to the normal work functions, a more-than-usual work effort was applied to ditch digging, clearing meadows and slash-and-burn cultivation on the crown farms in Sweden. The lists compiled of the corvée performed at the castle by the peasants give the best picture of the work functions applied to farming, for the castle's farming was handled almost in its entirety through the day labor of the peasants. Of the agricultural day work performed for Häme Castle, 64% was applied to field cultivation annually, 24% to haying and 12% to increasing production. Compared to the other manors, in Sweden as well as Finland, a remarkably great deal of corvée work was applied to the basic tasks of field cultivation at Häme Castle. Threshing, which was a professional function in Sweden, was attended to at the castle entirely by day labor. Instead of the nearly one-half of day labor elsewhere going into haying, the proportion at Häme Castle was only one-fifth. The work effort applied to haymaking was undoubtedly decreased by the fact that the hay meadows were in the immediate vicinity of the main castle on land lying close to the water. In the work increasing productivity are enumerated ditching, burn- beating and the clearing of new meadows, fields and pastures, as well as fertilization, for intensive fertilization was not a matter of course in the sixteenth century. As much attention was paid to fertilization and burn-beating at the castle as, on an average, on the Swedish crown estates. The carting of manure consumed nearly all the productivity-increasing corvée at the castle. Burn-beaten areas were cleared only seven years, when, on an average, 62 work days were used on them per year. On the other hand, there is mention of field clearing from only one year, and there is no mention at all of meadow clearing or ditch digging in the corvée lists. Hoes and spades for ditch digging as for clearing would, of course, have been at the castle. The peasants of Häme did not concern themselves with the Crown's ditching directives on their own fields. The peasants were often fined in court because they had left the ditches undug or let them clog up. The necessity of ditching depended, of course, on the kind of land and its slope.

Considerable burn-beating appears to have been typical for the crown farms in the mid-sixteenth century. At Häme Castle, also, areas were burnt over almost annually in the years 1544-1561. The burn-beat areas were seeded to winter rye and, in some years, to turnips as well. In the evolved method of burn-beat clearing, the trees were felled a year, and even two, before burning so that they had time to dry well. In the mid-sixteenth century, however, the custom at the castle appears to have been to fell the burn-beat area in late winter-early spring and to burn it in the summer following the felling. The quantity of burn-beat seeding varied between 1 and 16 Häme pannia and rye was planted in the same burnt-over ground for at least two successive years. In the 1540's, the seeding of burn-beat rye was 1 to 6% of the field-rye seeding. In the years 1552-1554, when the field seeding was less than in the previous decade, the seeding of burn-beat rye even rose to 17 to 19% of the seeding of field rye. In the last years of burn-beat cultivation, less than 10% of the field-rye seeding was sown to burn-beat areas. The establishment of the third landed estate had, at that time, increased the seeding area of field rye.

The claim generally put forward in agricultural history is that the burn-beat area yielded a better harvest than the field. In the years 1545-1562, the average burn-beat rye yield at Häme Castle was 9.5 and that of field rye 9.7. A nearly equally large harvest was gotten from the fields from one year to the next. A burn-beat harvest, on the other hand, could vary from excellent to poor. For example, a seventeen-fold harvest was reaped from the Kuninkaanniitty burn-beat area the first year (1558). The following year, the yield from Kuninkaanniitty no longer reached two. The burn-beat areas' proportion of the entire rye harvest varied between 0.5 and 14%. There were, certainly, still gaps in the technique of burn-beat clearing: the burnt-land forests were not completely felled, the trees did not have time to dry properly and they were not burned sufficiently well. One purpose of burnt-over clearing probably was, after all, to obtain new pasture. Also, obviously, there was not in use a special variety of burn-beat rye (woodland rye) that, for example, explains the later high yields of the burn-beaters of Savo.

Häme Castle, with its three landed estates, comprised Finland's largest cattle farms in the mid-sixteenth century, and a variety of cattle was raised on the estates for the needs of the Crown. Kuninkaanniitty and Suoniitty, situated on ground near the water surrounding the main castle, were important requisites for the castle's stock breeding. From these meadows, an average of 91 loads of hay for the winter was gathered annually. Hätilänniitty, attached to the castle in connection with the founding of Hätilä, was a truly large meadow, from which was collected an average of 67 loads for the winter annually. Improvement of feeding opportunities was seen in the castle's animal husbandry. The numbers of calves and young stock began to rise with more and more calves surviving. Butter production per cow also increased. Before the founding of Hätilä, barely 2 leiviskä 2 of butter per cow per year in Stockholm leiviskä were produced. Afterwards, the annual production was 3 leiviskä per cow. This was as much as on Finland's foremost estates and the average production on the Crown's farms in Sweden.

During the research period, Häme Castle's livestock capital averaged 461 livestock units annually. Before the founding of Hätilä, the annual average was 435 livestock units and after its founding, 487 livestock units. On the three landed estates of Finland's most notable castle, Turku Castle, for example, there were in all, in the year 1553, 584 livestock units. The Swedish researcher Hans Forssell has calculated the livestock units of the Swedish crown farms for the year 1555 (Forssell, 1884). There was an average of 226 livestock units, including oxen, cows, young stock, sheep and hogs on Sweden's crown farms. In the year 1555, there were 295 livestock units at Häme Castle. The castle was, thus, clearly larger than the average cattle farm in the entire kingdom, but not quite the largest of the lot. There were 82 head of cows at the castle in this year. At the same time, there were ten manors in the kingdom on which the number of cows exceeded one hundred.

A comparison of the livestock capital of the Crown and of the peasants of Häme reveals the Crown's own requirements for stock breeding. In the economy of the Crown as of the peasants, the greatest importance was placed on cattle, and especially on cows. Over one-half the livestock capital of the peasant was cows. The proportion of cows at the castle was 23%. The next most important group to the Crown was the oxen, whose proportion of the livestock averaged 19%. The most significant difference between the cattle breeding of the castle and that of the peasants was the large number of oxen at the castle. First, there was a clear difference between the castle and the peasants in draft-animal culture. Oxen were used as draft animals in the field work of the castle. The peasants, on the other hand, harnessed an ox in front of the plow only in certain West Häme parishes. Second, the peasants, because of a lack of feed, did not have the means to keep an ox merely as a slaughter animal as was done at the castle. The raising of slaughter cattle was, above all, a typical feature of the Crown's livestock production: beef cattle were fed on feed grain delivered by the peasants in payment of taxes. Although Häme Castle had its own weaving mill in which textiles were made for the needs of the kingdom as well as its own, the castle's wool production remained clearly below the national average. Only 1 naula (about 425 grams) of wool per sheep was sheared at the castle annually.

The castle's fishing was very professional. From one to seven fishermen were engaged full-time for fishing. They wove the seines, nets and rope. Salmon, whitefish, pike and bream fishing had their own specialized nets. Boats were tarred and repaired. Sometimes, also, a boat was even built. From Häme's northern and eastern parts, an enormous quantity of fish levies was delivered to the castle as taxes, so the 10 to 20 barrels of fish caught in nearby waters did not have a great significance in the food management of the castle. The castle had salmon fisheries at Kymijoki's Ankkapurha and Valkeakoski and an eel fishery at Vääksy. At the end of the 1560's, Konnekoski's whitefish fishery was also acquired. The catching of choice fish was the most significant part of their own fishing.

Professionals of the Many Trades

In the secondary sector belongs, first of all, the food-management staff: the major-domo, the cellarer, the cook, the brewer, the malt maker, the baker, the slaughterer, the miller and the hired girls and men of these professionals. The manufacture of implements necessary in the day-to-day life of the castle was taken care of by a large group of craftsmen of different trades, to which also belonged experts in specialized trades: the blacksmith, the gunsmith, the tailor, the shoemaker, the leatherdresser, the saddle maker, the fuller, the potter, the joiner, the turner, the cooper, the mason, the brickmaker, the glazier, the carpenter, the limeburner and the charcoal maker. Also, many of them had hired men assisting and learning the trade. In the castle's storehouse, or fatabuuri, the spinsters, weavers and servant girls worked under the charge of a mistress. Other workers of this sector were the mistress of the quarters and the coachman, as well as the hired men and maids. The guest artisans working temporarily at the castle, who were hired for the execution of a particular contract, are also listed in this group. Up to the end of the 1550's, about 25 artisans were always in the service of the secondary sector. At the end of the decade, their number began to rise, and in the 1560's, forty regularly employed artisans worked at the castle in most years.

The castle's everyday craftsmen and servants were, for the most part, natives of Häme from the castle's immediate surroundings. There was not, in mid-sixteenth century Häme, a large landless group from which it would have been possible to engage servants. The domestic staff were in largest part freeholders and their descendants, who temporarily pursued handwork or other employment in the service of the Crown. The short terms of employment also testify to the temporary nature of the work: the menials generally worked at the castle one year. When new servants were needed, some men were sent from the castle into the province, engaging workers for the castle. Fines imposed in court reveal the peasants' sometimes getting into fights with the men of the castle fetching workers to come with them. The violent behavior in the course of engagement is testimony that going to the castle to work was not always to one's liking. The fights in the course of engagement, however, were rare enough (5 fights in the years 1548-1571) that there was not a question of continual rebellion against the Crown's men.

The blacksmith, the shoemaker and the cooper were included in the castle's artisan staff nearly every year. The manufacture of weapons and construction consumed the greatest part of the iron stock. One can assume these trades, however, also serving other functions. In the first place, iron was much in use at the castle, and in order that even the most demanding work could manage, the smithy's level of equipment was improved in the mid-sixteenth century. More bars, pliers, sledge-hammers, hammers and drills were in the shop at the beginning of the 1560's than a couple of decades earlier. The iron supplies and blacksmith's tools also served the castle's workday matters, for plow shares, scythes, axes, gridirons, stew-pot rings and kettle tripods were made in the shop.

In food management was steadily employed its own special staff, whose total complement varied on either side of ten persons. Certain functions were fulfilled from one year to the next. On the payroll were one major-domo, one cellarer, one or two cooks and one miller. The number of bakers and brewers, who had responsibility for the most significant part of the food management, could even rise to four. About thirty barrels of new beer was brewed weekly. The daily consumption of beer per person was 2.4 to 3.8 liters. The abundant consumption of beer is explained by the salty and, perhaps, even slightly spoiled food, which was easier to swallow with plentiful drinking. The significance of the beer, however, was manifold. Grain was the most important source of nourishment, and it was more pleasant to drink part of the grain as beer than to eat it all as bread or porridge.

Bread was the main food of the castle folk, so as much as seventeen barrels of bread could be baked in the baking cottage in the course of a week. The food management of the castle could even be called a rye-bread culture. The background to the preparation of the enormous quantities of bread and beer, however, was not only the castle folk's own needs. In the rye-bread culture was also the castle's so-called storehouse-economy basis. A great store of rye was continuously maintained in the castle: on an average, 1931 and 1/2 pannia of rye were in store annually. The reserves of rye were obviously drained in time of war, when detachments quartered at the castle were fed and food was sent to other crown castles and manors. With the aid of an agriculture concentrated on the cultivation of rye, it was possible to maintain large reserves. A very non-perishable rye bread was baked in the ovens. The reserves of rye bread gave prestige to the castle and the possibility of preparing for warfare to the Crown. The castle's stores of provisions were the support of the army.

The proportion of women among the castle's artisans and servants was one-third. About 16 women lived and worked regularly in the castle. They had their own functions in the economy. The women sweetened the malt needed in the manufacture of beer, baked the bread, cleaned the rooms. They were also responsible for the storehouse, fatabuuri, and tended the cows and pigs. The castle's significance as an employer was particularly great for women, for, besides the manors, it offered them the only public work opportunity in Häme. The mistress responsible for the storehouse was the castle's most influential woman, who in regard to her position was comparable to the major-domo and the cellarer. In addition to the mistress, from two to six helpers worked in the storehouse. The storehouse, in which textiles and threads were kept and prepared, was general in all the Crown's households. The most valuable metal objects were also kept in the storehouse.

The largest part of the storehouse's textiles was bedclothes: ryas, bedcovers, underblankets, mattresses, pillows, sheets and pillowcases. The number of ryas, which were considered the most valuable of the bedclothes, remained in the neighborhood of 40 from one year to the next. Particularly from the end of the 1540's on, a great many bedcovers and blankets were made in the storehouse. At the beginning of the 1540's, there were about 30 bedcovers and about 30 blankets in stock. In the following decade, there were, on an average, 81 bedcovers and 74 blankets. The new bedclothes were needed for the soldiers quartered at the castle. Also, bedclothes had to be always in stock so that a comfortable bed could be offered to visitors. It was necessary, also, to be in readiness in time of need to send ryas, bedcovers and blankets to other centers. From Häme Castle, indeed, were sent loads of textile to, among others, Stockholm Castle, the king's estates at Helsinki and Rääveli Castle in Tallinn.

In addition to the full-time tradesmen, the castle offered work also to visiting craftsmen. The masons, the carpenters, the leather-dressers, the tanners and the potsmiths were frequently-seen visitors in the castle. The greatest part of them was Häme peasants, who made extra income in handiwork. The masters of specialized trades, such as the gunsmiths, the tiled-stove masons and the glaziers commanded, in their time, new and sought-after skills. They circulated around the the country in the service of the Crown, and the artisans of the specialized trades generally arrived in Häme from Turku, where the new fashions had first become established in Finland.

The construction of the gun tower is a good example of how the requirements of the tertiary sector brought work to the secondary sector and furthered the specialization of the trades. Also, Häme Castle had to be fortified to withstand powerful firearms, so in the spring of 1559, bricklaying for the round tower was begun. Henrik von C`llen arrived as superintendent of the work, having served in corresponding functions at Kalmar and Turku Castle, among others. There were 10 to 13 masons on the construction site at a time, with their mortar mixers and their helpers. The tower's masonry also brought brickmakers, joiners and carpenters to the place. The construction site meant pressure for the smiths of the castle, for 2 lime-mixing irons and 15 mason's hoes, among other things, were made in the shop in the course of a year. The construction of defences continued, even in the following decade. At that time, in addition to the visiting craftsmen, masons, carpenters, a joiner, a glazier, brickmakers and limeburners were hired for steady employment. Beginning in the year 1559 to the end of the following decade, 32 masons worked at Häme Castle, of whom 12 worked additional years at the castle. Of these masons, the largest part was undoubtedly local artisans. The fundamentals of brick-making, as well as stove and chimney masonry, were known in the Häme region.

In the tertiary sector, a bailiff, a scribe, an underbailiff, a chaplain, a head stableman, an assistant scribe, a copyist, a warder, the bailiff's attendants, the squires, the underbailiff's valet, the porter and the executioner worked regularly. There were considerably more people in the tertiary sector at the castle, however, than the number of regular staff implies. Foot soldiers (nihti), soini (svenni) belonging to the cavalry, fusiliers, as well as these groups' aides and stable boys of the Crown's army could be quartered at the castle. Also, the guests, the bailiffs arriving on business matters from the bailiwicks of the province, as well as the prisoners, belonged in the tertiary sector.

The realization of Gustavus Vasa's administrative reform was the responsibility of the castle's officials, their assistants and the soldiers. As an inland fortification, Häme Castle's political significance was not comparable to that of the large border fortifications, so nationally prominent persons were not appointed commandant of Häme Castle. Generally, the bailiffs belonged to the lower nobility, and the proportion of domestic nobles was great. The letters sent by Gustavus Vasa to Häme Castle show that the castle's management of finances was followed closely and that the demands for economic development were heavy. Häme Castle's accounts were generally inspected in Stockholm less than a year after the end of the fiscal year. Ordinarily the bailiff went on the inspection trip, but the scribe also accompanied him to Stockholm to look after the accounts and the receipts attached to them. The accounts of Häme Castle are almost entirely in the Stockholm Royal Accounting-chamber in copied versions. It is hard to determine to what degree the scribes of Häme Castle finished the accounts before leaving for Stockholm. There are very few entries in the accounts that one can identify with certainty as having been made at Häme Castle. In any case, the scribe had continually to make very detailed lists, for example, of persons who ate meals in the castle during the week, so the compiling of the accounts to the king's required exactitude would be possible. All of the most routine paper work belonged to the assistant scribe and the copyist.

The supervision of the internal order of the castle was the function of the underbailiff. The position does not seem to have been particularly sought after in the castle, for the underbailiffs changed often and the terms of office were short. Often, the underbailiff came to his job from the group of the bailiff's closest assistants, the bailiff's attendants and the squires. In giving up his job, the underbailiff did not necessarily leave the castle. He could still be in the service of the bailiff for several years as a bailiff's attendant or squire. It was also possible to return to the underbailiff's position. In Olavinlinna, for example, the underbailiff was, in regard to his position, comparable to the castle's scribe. In Häme Castle, the underbailiff was not in as significant a position. The salary of the castle's scribe was clearly better than that of the underbailiff, and the scribes' long terms of service (7 years in Häme Castle during the research period) vouched for their having a better position than the underbailiffs.

The bailiff's attendants and the squires were the closest aides of the castle's bailiff. The bailiff's attendants followed their commandant on the tours of inspection made in the administrative district of the castle. They were also heads of different transport and envoy functions. The squires formed the castle's regular garrison. In addition to daily guard duty, they were assigned other tasks. The squires delivered tax monies, tax grain and workers to Stockholm. They acted as foremen in the castle's fisheries. It was mentioned before that the bailiff's attendants came from the group of squires, and, also, the copyists were the most capable group of the squires.

From the beginning of the 1540's on, Gustavus Vasa began to replace foreign mercenaries with domestic infantry troop-detachments. Political changes, also, were soon felt in the life of Häme Castle. Ever more each year, the castle received, in addition to cavalry troops, foot soldiers belonging to the infantry. Also quartered were fusiliers, soldiers' attendants known as pikkurenki (or pages) and stable boys belonging to the light cavalry. From the 1550's on, altogether on an average, about one hundred cavalrymen and infantrymen, who did not belong to the castle's regular garrison, that is, to the squires, were quartered at the castle camp. In the last week of October in the year 1561, a troop of 269 just-recruited infantry stayed at the castle for a week. A longer stay at the castle of such a large troop of infantry was more rare. Instead, a detachment of 30 to 40 infantrymen could quarter for up to a couple of years. In the 1540's, mainly infantrymen from SmDland were quartered at Häme Castle. On the basis of surnames, a troop of forty-nine infantrymen lodged at the castle in the year 1552 was composed of men enlisted from Hälsingland, Nyköping, Götaland, Dalarna, Uusimaa, Häme and Porvoo.

Gradually, the proportion of Finns in the troop grew and their own fusilier and cavalry detachments were formed from them.

The castle had a particularly great significance to the army during the seven-year war of the Nordic nations in the 1560's, when the troops going between Turku, Tammisaari, Helsinki, Tallinna, Viipuri and Olavinlinna used the castle as their quartering and supply point. The castle, where large quantities of grain, meat, fish and feed were stored up, suited this purpose perfectly. As the army grew, its upkeep consumed an ever greater part of the castle's economic resources. The dispute between the peasants of Häme and the Crown over the hay tax is an indication of how the peasants had to adjust to the maintenance of ever greater troops at the castle. The peasants' grumbling had already begun at the end of the 1530's (Suvanto, 1995). The dispute came to a head at the juncture of the 1550's and 1560's, when fines were issued in the courts in large numbers, sometimes to almost entire communities, for shirking the hay taxes. Since the reason for the recalcitrance was not poor harvest years, poverty or complete indifference to social responsibility, there had to be a greater matter of principle in the background. In question was, in fact, the increasing stringency of the Crown's demands, for more cavalrymen than before were quartered at the castle. It was not easy for the peasants to accept a change in the old basis for paying taxes.

For the needs of the administration and the army, there was at the castle an important stud-farm from the point of view of the whole kingdom. During the years 1552-1571, an average of 60 horses was raised at the stud-farm, of which 59% were mounts and 41% workhorses. Häme Castle's stud-farm was almost as big as Finland's largest horse-breeding centers at Rauma and Pori. The Crown's horse breeding was well organized nationally. Most commonly, mares were sent from the castle to other crown farms for the establishment of the stock of horses of new manors and increasing the the numbers of horses at already existing stud-farms.

The Numbers of People at the Castle

Every day about one hundred officials, soldiers, craftsmen and servants lived and worked regularly at the castle. In addition to the permanent staff, other persons also stayed at the castle temporarily. Shepherds and herdsmen were hired for the summer; officials traveling on crown business and their assistants had the right to spend the night at the castle. Soldiers could be quartered at the castle for several months, and the visiting craftsmen worked for weeks performing particular jobs. All in all, a couple of hundred persons usually stayed at the castle and the number of people could rise temporarily to closer to three hundred. In all at the end of the 1540's, 100-150 regular and temporary persons were quartered at the castle. Ten years later, the number of persons had risen to 200-250. The increase in the number of people is explained, above all, by the armed forces quartered at the castle.

Of the castle's regularly employed staff, about one-fourth or one-fifth was in the service of the tertiary sector. Of the people staying at the castle on a day-to-day basis, however, over one-half belonged to the tertiary sector. The soldiers and their attendants quartered at the castle, above all, raised the proportion of this sector. In the service of the primary as well as the secondary sector, about 20 to 40 persons were engaged annually. One must remember, however, that the proportion of the primary sector's staff out of the castle's total work force does not give an accurate picture of this sector's importance to the economy. The agricultural work-functions were, in the main, attended to by the peasants as corvée. The numbers of workers in the primary and secondary sectors began to increase at the end of the 1550's. More agricultural workers were needed, for with the establishment of Hätilä's landed estate in the year 1557 the castle's agriculture was extended considerably. In the year 1559, construction of the gun tower was begun, which brought work opportunities to the craftsmen of the secondary sector. In this year, 65 craftsmen from different trades were employed at the castle and 47 persons worked in the agricultural service. The construction activity continued in the next decade, and the number of craftsmen remained high.

Food Consumption as a Measure

Eating, in the castle, was a closely regulated social activity, with the help of which the hierarchy of the community and the position of those in power was indicated. The social position of each person on the staff determined the kind of food he or she was permitted to eat. So that dining was easy to control, and to prevent abuse, the dining was divided between the bailiff's table and the servants' table. Each week, inventories were prepared of the food consumed as well as of the diners at the tables. The concept table thus signifies an economic unit, that is to say kitchen, that attended to the maintenance of a group defined on a particular social basis. The bailiff and other top officials, the bailiff's attendants, the squires and professional people dined at the bailiff's table. The number of persons could become very large, for the visitors to the castle participated in the dining at this table. The servants of the castle and the staff of the landed estates took their meals at the servants' table. Grain products were the basis of the meals at both tables, but different meat and fish dishes were available in greater abundance at the bailiff's table than at the servants' meals.

It is impossible for us to compare the living conditions, the clothing or the health of those living at the castle in the sixteenth century, so the examination of food consumption is one means of delineating the social differences between the people of the castle. Social differences have been examined on the basis of the composition of the nourishment and its energy content. In the evaluation of food consumption, how much energy the food consumed daily by one person contained has been calculated. Kilogram calories are used in the calculation, although kilogram calories as a unit of measure are already outdated. In this way, comparison of the results with the kilogram-calorie calculations presented by other researchers is as exact as possible.

On an average, diners at the bailiff's table took 5204 (3903) kcal per day, and at the servants' table, the food contained 3583 (2688) kcal per person on an average. An energy reduction of 25% has been made in the consumption figures in parentheses, so that, among other things, the effects of preservation methods and long storage on the energy content would be taken into account. The numbers of calories taken at Häme Castle correspond well with the consumption figures at other crown castles in which a 25% reduction has been made. At the royal estate at Upsala, 3964 kcal per person were consumed in the year 1557, which was almost as much as the average consumption at the bailiff's table at Häme Castle. The servants at the manor at Främby ate 2982 kcal daily, and the corresponding consumption at the ironworks at Noraskog was 3375 kcal.

Particularly in the dining at the bailiff's table, festivals were observed with larger and better servings than normal. About 4700 kcal per person were taken daily at the table during Christmas holidays in 1549, which was about a thousand kilogram calories more than the everyday consumption figures to which a 25% reduction has been made. The servants' Christmas meals contained about 500 kcal more than the everyday food. Christmas, however, did not entail special delicacies for the servants. Compared to the well-assorted setting of the bailiff's table, their Christmas-week food was simple: blood sausage, dried and salted fry and fresh-caught fish. Only smoked beef, which was seldom served to the servants in the everyday routine, brought variety to the Christmastime meals. Although the Reformation had been carried out in the Kingdom of Sweden at the beginning of the sixteenth century already, fasting was practiced at the castle in the late winter-early spring of 1550 according to the Catholic tradition. Meat was not eaten at meals at that time. Only butter was consumed more than was normally the case at the bailiff's table and a greater variety of fish than usual was available.

The servants got, on an average, 86% of their daily energy from the vegetable kingdom, that is to say from bread grains, beer malt, peas and beans. Beer's percentage of this was 16%. Calories from the animal kingdom were divided between meat and fish. At the bailiff's table also, the greatest part of the calories came from the vegetable kingdom (72%). The proportion of beer was even more remarkable than that of the servants, for one-half the energy from the vegetable kingdom came from beer. Of the energy obtained from the animal kingdom, the proportion from meat was 46%, from fish 34% and from butter, altogether, 20%. According to Heckscher, the animal kingdom's proportion of daily consumption was 30 to 40% in the Crown's economy in Sweden. The figures are too high for Häme Castle, where the proportion of energy from animal products was 18 to 38% at the bailiff's table and 10 to 25% at the servants' table.

Beef, mostly, was consumed at the castle. A closer examination of meat consumption also reveals clear social differences. The servants' meat meals were considerably simpler than those at the bailiff's table: in addition to beef, sausage, headcheese, and lard. Mutton and game-birds were seldom-served delicacies for them. More mutton was eaten at the bailiff's table than pork. The opportunity to consume fresh meat the year around was a sign of a high standard of living. In the year 1550, 15% of the meat eaten at the castle's bailiff's table was prepared fresh. At that time, the servants were served only salted and smoked meat. At the same time, the consumption habits of the upper class included eating meat in abundance and variety. In the mid-sixteenth century, more meat even than fish was consumed at the castle's bailiff's table. Unfortunately, it is not possible to calculate how the consumption at the bailiff's table was distributed. The greatest part of the diners at the bailiff's table undoubtedly also ate mainly salted and smoked beef. The best quality and most varied meat dishes were surely served to the bailiff and his immediate circle.

The castle's division of labor and production was treated by sectors earlier. There is reason to discuss also the consumption of the sectors. It is possible to do this sort of comparison, as far as source materials are concerned, for the year 1559, from which are preserved the food-consumption lists prepared weekly as well as the information on those lodged at the castle during these weeks. Interesting peculiarities are found in the consumption habits that delineate differences between the different groups still more clearly than the division into the bailiff's table and the servants' table. The best flour, that is to say the refined rye flour, the wheat flour and the barley grain were reserved for the tertiary sector. The primary sector, for its part, consumed, almost in its entirety, the barley flour. It is surprising that the greatest part of the peas and beans was reserved for the meals of the primary sector. This meant a valuable vitamin addition for the people of the primary sector. On the basis of consumption habits, one can say that the secondary sector was between the primary and the tertiary socially. Both meat and fish were available in greater variety in the secondary sector than in the primary. The small differences, such as the lack of wheat flour in the diet and the great proportion of sausage in the meat fare, reveal the secondary sector's being, however, socially below the third. With the aid of a calorie calculation, one can also assess the importance of the castle's own production to the consumption: how large a part of the food stuffs consumed at the castle it was able to produce itself. It was able to supply 40 to 50% of the daily energy requirements with its own production. The cultivation of bread grain, that is to say rye, had a great importance for the food management, for nearly one-half the calories from their own production were gotten from rye. At the bailiff's table, the proportion of butter out of their own production's calories was, on an average, 10%. Because the proportion of beef remained clearly smaller (on an average, 6% at the bailiff's table and 3% at the servants' table), this would reveal dairy farming's being more important to the food management of the castle than the breeding of beef cattle. On an average, 5% of the servant staff's calories were gotten at the castle from the cultivation of peas and beans, so the growing of these had an importance, above all, in the food of the castle's servants.

The division into sectors proves to be a fruitful means for analyzing the economy of Häme Castle, because the specific demands imposed on the economy by the Crown and the changes of the time are brought out well by that means. At the same time, it is possible, with the aid of a division into sectors, to examine the social differences between the people of the castle. The assumption presented at the beginning, that the Crown needed a more developed agriculture, skilled craftsmen and a capable administrative staff for the realization of its demands, proves correct. The workers of each trade had to be concentrated and specialized in the functions of their own trade so that the objective could be attained. More military troops than before were quartered at the castle. Additional food stuffs, bedding and accommodations were needed for their maintenance. The concentration of the castle's agriculture on the cultivation of rye and beef-cattle breeding was a specialization for the needs of the Crown. It was necessary for ensuring the food supply to extend the castle's agriculture by appropriating the lands of the castle's neighboring villages for the Crown. The defences and armament had to be developed in accordance with changes in military technology. At that time, there was work for masons, carpenters and armorers. The reform of the administration and the new bookkeeping system required that the bailiffs and the scribes apply themselves to their tasks. The more specialized they became in administration and the crafts, the less time remained for agriculture. A division of labor ensued. One must confine the sector-division in a sixteenth-century agricultural society, however, to only the Crown's economic management. One must also keep in mind the temporary movement of the workers between groups at harvest, for example, and in other seasonal functions.

The detailed going-over of the economy of Häme Castle in the mid-sixteenth century reveals an administrative center in Häme that was far along in the specialization required by the Crown. The Crown needed a center from which the administration could organize effectively and where large armies could be maintained as needed. The economy of Häme Castle, like that of the other crown castles, was organized to serve the needs of a centralized nation. Castle administration could be called the central administration's method of financial management.

1 A unit of grain measurement that is impossible to translate, largely because of a lack of uniformity in measurement standards among the various communities. An approximate equivalent in modern units of measure is 90 liters. (Back)

2 About 6,6-6,8 kg. (Back)

Translation: Rodger Juntunen

Back/Paluu
Back/Paluu