Oxenstierna, Axel, Count
OXENSTIERNA, AXEL, COUNT of (1583-1651), Swedish statesman, was born at Fano in Upland on the 16th of June 1583. He studied theology at Rostock, Wittenberg, and Jena ; and in 1602, having spent sonic time in visiting German courts, he returned to Sweden to take the oath of allegiance to Charles IX., whose service Liitzen, the responsibility for the maintenance of the Protestant cause fell chiefly upon Oxenstierna ; and in one of the greatest crises in the history of the world he displayed splendid courage, discretion, and resource. At a congress held in Heilbronn he was appointed director of the evangelical confederation, and in this capacity he went to France and Holland to secure the aid of these countries against the emperor. On his return he found the Protestants in a very desponding mood. The battle of Nordlingen had been lost ; the allies distrusted one another ; the troops were dissatisfied and resented any attempt to subject them to strict discipline. Oxenstierna laboured indefatigably to restore the confidence of Ins party, and to a large extent he succeeded. He then returned, in 1636, to Sweden, where he resigned his exceptional powers and resumed his place in the senate as chancellor of the kingdom. He acted also as one of five guardians of Queen Christina, whom he carefully instructed in what seemed to him the true methods of administration. Oxenstierna had the reputation of being one of the wisest statesmen of his age, and during his absence from his country he had drawn up the scheme of a system of government which had been accepted in 1634 by the Swedish estates. Abroad he upheld vigorously the honour of Sweden, and at home he maintained strict economy in public expenditure, while encouraging, according to the ideas of his time, the development of industry and the arts. In 1645, when lie went back to Sweden after taking part in the negotiations with Denmark at I3r5msebro, he was raised to the rank of count by the queen. He died on the 28th of August 1654.
See Lundblad, &cask, Plutarch, 1824.