Famous Spies: Brita Tott

Famous Spies: Brita Tott

Brita Tott, also known as the Lady of Hammersta, was a noblewoman of the 15th century who happened to have ended up in the perfect position to become one of the most effective spies in Danish history.  Born to a wealthy noble family, Tott would eventually become one of the biggest landowners and powerful women in all of Scandinavia.  Though born in Denmark, she would end up marrying an influential Swedish noble and move to Sweden.  For nearly 10 years, she was content to use her vast wealth to manipulate politics in both Sweden and Denmark.  But when these two countries went to war, her loyalties lay with her homeland. 

She acted as a courier, sending information back to Denmark regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the Swedish army as well as their position and movements.  She was also involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the King of Sweden, Charles VIII.  Her actions in Sweden during the brief war with Denmark proved to be highly effective in allowing the Danish military to achieve remarkable success in the struggle against their enemies.  Eventually, however, she would be discovered and tried for high treason.

She was found guilty of her crimes and sentenced to die by being burned at the stake.  Later, this sentence was “lowered,” and she was ordered to be walled-up - a process whereby a person is interred within a hollow space of a wall and allowed to live out their years in darkness and isolation.  In the end, however, she managed to get off without any punishment whatsoever, eventually returning to Denmark to continue her wealthy life.

She ended her days managing her massive estates and controlling the politics of her homeland, one of the wealthiest women in the country.  Brita Tott was a spy who truly managed to survive, despite all odds.  She beat death and ended up coming out well ahead in the end.