History of Anjala Manor - Finnish Home of Kenneth Sutherland - Lord Duffus

Anjala manor is known in the history of Finland as one  of the major centres of social troubles and also as a place of political and military intrigues.

Finnish peasants had always been free farmers and those in Anjala and Elimäki did not agree with the German-Baltic feudal system which the new landowners  tried to bring there. The result was that because the land-owners did not understand the Finnish free peasants and their attitudes, there were several open conflicts between them and the peasants from time to time until the beginning of the present century.

Anjala manor has also seen many wars and other hard times. In 1743 the River Kymi near Anjala became a frontier between Russia and Sweden. During the war between Gustavus III and Catherine the Great the headquarters of the Swedish-Finnish troops was situated in the manor house and the beautiful French-English park was used for a large military camp.

Anjala was, in fact, one of the most important points of the war because it was there that 112 Finnish and Swedish officers in 1788 took a stand against King Gustavus III asking him to finish the war. These officers were the first men to set Finland on the way towards independence.  Anjala Manor belonged to the Wrede family until 1837. In 1842 the government of Finland bought it and then gave it as a gift to General Governor Alexandr Menshikov. In 1907 the ownership was returned to the Finnish State. Most of the land was now divided between the peasants of Anjala.

In Finland, many cultural memories are connected with Anjala manor house. In 1731 Gustaf Filip Creutz, later known as the most famous of the Swedish rococo poets, was born in Anjala. A very human person, Scottish born Regina Duffus, daughter of Vice-Admiral Kenneth- Sutherland, Lord Duffus, also lived in the manor house later. In 1803 her son founded, in accordance with his mother’s will, in Anjala the first free library in Finland. The first Finnish speaking poet Jaakko Juteini was a private tutor in Anjala Manor house from 1810 to 1812. Mathilda Wrede (1864-1928), the famous friend of prisoners, was a frequent visitor.

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