Jonas Berntsson

Swedish Corsair

Born: c. 1665

Died: c. 1732

Jonas Berntsson Lambert-Wenman was born in Ume, Vsterbotten, Sweden in approximately 1665. He was the son of Bernt Johan Lambert and Brita Jonsdotter Wenman, as one of at least 7 children.

For unclear reasons, Jonas left Ume while in his 20's for parts unknown. No-one in the family knew where he had disappeared to until after his death in approximately 1732, when his will was sent to Sweden for probate.

After some investigation, the family was able to determine that after leaving Ume, Jonas had signed up with a group of Corsairs (Click here for information on Corsairs) who held a letter of Marque with the Netherlands. In return for services rendered to the Netherlands government he was rewarded with a huge land grant over an area of land in what was then Demerara in Dutch Guiana, which later became part of British Guiana. He established a plantation in Demerara and lived there until his death in 1732.

The will advised the family that they were entitled to inherit a small fortune - all of Jonasí land in Demerara and several barrels of gold and silver held in a Dutch bank.

Somehow, between the time that the will was received in Uppsala (then the capital of Sweden) and when the family arrived in Uppsala from Ume to claim their inheritance, the will went missing and could not be found. The family sent many emissaries to the Netherlands to try to find the family fortune, but without the will they had great legal difficulty in claiming possession of it.

Eventually a member of the family by the name of Huss, accompanied by a family friend, journeyed to Demerara with a family pedigree proving the family lineage and legal authority to claim the fortune. The claim was validated, but as soon as Huss and his friend claimed the fortune and received the land grant, they immediately absconded to Guiana and disappeared - The family never heard from them again.

It is now known that Huss's widow, Sally, sold the plantation to a British company after his death.

NOTE: Many books have been written about the lost Lambert inheritance, but unfortunately these are all in Swedish so my information on Jonas Berntsson Lambert-Wenman has been largely compiled from the few English sources I could find.

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