The wealthy Skeel

From when Jytte Brock and Jørgen Skeel took over Gammel Estrup in 1625, up until 1926, there was a Scheel at the manor.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Scheel family was one of Denmark’s wealthiest. It was said of Jørgen Skeel’s son Christen (1623-88) – who had the byname ‘the wealthy’ – that he could ride from Grenaa to Viborg across his own lands. This was not completely true, but even so the family’s wealth was truly astronomical. In 1725, the family founded the county of Scheel with Sostrup Manor, near Grenaa, at its centre. Gammel Estrup was however not a part of this, because prior to this it had been declared the entailed estate for the family. An entailed estate had to be inherited intact by the eldest son and was exempt from taxation. On the other hand, it could not be sold.

Never again did the family have such an influence on national politics as under War Minister Jørgen Skeel, but both Crown Equerry Jørgen Scheel (1718-86), who administered Queen Dowager Juliane Marie and Crown Prince Frederik’s court for a time, and his son Christen Scheel (1743-71), who was envoy to Russia in the period 1765-71, played significant roles in the history of Denmark.