Burned soldier croft

Ahontie 1 Räyrinki Veteli


In autumn 1775, Rönnberg’s soldier croft was destroyed as a result of arson. A penniless soldier named Erkki Silversmed bludgeoned the farmer and his wife to death and left their baby Maria crying in her cradle inside the burning building. Silversmed also robbed the family’s money. The day after he left for Kokkola with his fiancée Kaisa, who knew nothing about the crime, and made expensive engagement purchases for their future wedding. Rumours started to circulate in the parish and Silversmed became a prime suspect. He was finally arrested and brought to trial.


Vicar Anders Chydenius (“Birch-bark Anders”) managed to make Silversmed give up lying and finally confess his crime. He was sentenced to lose his right hand and to public execution by torturing. First he was brought to the cold and draughty Korsholma castle to wait for the execution of his sentence. In spring 1776, the offender was transported to the marketplace of Kokkola and attached with neck irons to a whipping post for the public to see. There he was also whipped. Above the post, there was a plate describing the crime in question. Chydenius was also there to give a speech. On the execution day, Silversmed was brought to the executioner.