Freemasonry in Sweden has a long and intriguing historical background starting as early as 1735.
Freemasonry was brought to Sweden by Count Axel Wrede-Sparre, a Cavalry Officer who during service in Paris had become a Freemason. After returning to Sweden he brought together some friends who like himself had been made Freemasons abroad. In 1735, he inititated and passed his brother-in-law Count Carl Gustaf Tessin in Stockholm. Most of the brethren joining Wrede-Sparre's Lodge belonged to the higher nobility. The meetings appear to have ceased at the end of the 1740s.
At the beginning of the 1750s there were quite a large number of Freemasons in Sweden who had been initiated by Wrede-Sparre or abroad. Count Knut Posse established the Lodge St. Jean Auxiliaire (John the Baptist) in 1752. Wrede-Sparre and most of the brethren in his Lodge joined the Lodge St. Jean. He handed over rituals and other documents of his Lodge to St. Jean.
The Lodge St. Jean was called "Mother-Lodge of Sweden" and considered itself entitled to issue warrants to other Lodges in the country. Count Carl Fredrik Scheffer who had been made a Freemason in Paris in 1737, was elected National Grand Master in 1753. During the 1750s, the Lodges opened their doors to members of other classes of society than the nobility.
In 1756, Carl Fredrik Eckleff together with six brethren formed the Scottish Lodge L'Innocente in Stockholm, working so called Scottish St. Andrew's degrees. The next step in the development of Swedish Freemasonry was taken by Eckleff in 1759, when he established a Grand Chapter in Stockholm.
Eckleff who was an employee of the Swedish Foreign Office, held a foreign patent authorizing him to form Lodges. It has not been possible to ascertain the origin of the patent and of the rituals. The Grand Lodge of Sweden was established in 1760, and it was recognized as a National Grand Lodge in 1770 by the Grand Lodge of England.
Eckleff established a Freemasonry system on a Christian basis. The moral philosophy of the Swedish rite was further developed by Duke Carl, later King Carl XIII who succeded Eckleff as the Swedish Masonic Leader.
By two major ritual revisions in 1780 and 1800 he created a logical Masonic system with ten degrees.
Freemasonry in Sweden has continued to develop under leadership of their Grand Masters, all of them belonging to the Royal House since more than 200 years.