Ruler of Sweden
He was abroad at the time of the king’s death, but a summons from his friend, now duke regent, speedily recalled him, and in 1793 he was made a member of the Privy Council and one of the “lords of the realm.” At first he seemed inclined to adopt a liberal system, and reintroduced the freedom of the press. He did this solely, however, to reverse the Gustavian system, and persecuted the stalwarts of the late king (e.g. G. M. Armfelt, J. K. Toll) with a petty vindictiveness which excited general disgust. Towards the end of the regency, Reuterholm inclined towards an alliance with Russia on the basis of a marriage between the young king, Gustav IV, and the empress Catherine II’s granddaughter, Alexandra Pavlovna, an alliance frustrated by the bigotry of the intended groom. At home the Swedish government ended as ultra-reactionary, owing to an insignificant riot in Stockholm which so alarmed Reuterholm that he threatened all printers who printed anything relating to the constitutions of the French republic or the United States of America with the loss of their privileges. In March 1795 he closed the Swedish Academy because A. G. Silfverstolpe in his inaugural address had ventured to disapprove of the coup d’etat of 1789.
On the accession of Gustav IV of Sweden on November 1, 1796 Reuterholm was expelled from Stockholm. For the next twelve years he lived abroad under the name of Tempelcrantz. After the revolution of 1809 he returned to Sweden, but was denied all access to Charles XIII, and quitted his country for good. He died in Schleswig on December 27, 1813.
See also: List of Swedish politicians