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Sunday, 4 October 2015
Otto Vellingk and the new regiments : part 1
Topic: Regiments

On 14 March 1700 Charles XII wrote to Governor Vellingk about the situation after the Saxon attack on Riga. At the end of the letter the King pointed that out that it would be most welcome if more regiments could be raised. Unfortunately the financial resources were limited and the mobilization of the army and navy meant that there were many needs. If someone from private means would undertake such recruitment the King could promise very good terms. 

Vellingk replied to this letter on 30 March. He wrote that he had already during a visit to Reval made an agreement with Colonel Gustaf Ernst Albedyhl about a dragoon regiment of 600 men to be ready within four months. He had also concluded a similar deal with Captain Hans Henrik von Liewen, who had promised to raise a battalion of infantry (500 men) within four months in exchange for an appointment as Lieutenant Colonel. Vellingk himself promised to recruit a regiment of dragoons in Kexholm.

On 21 April Vellingk again wrote to the King about the situation. Ingria was large and as 5,000 men were needed just for defending Narva and Ivangorod, it was very important to raise more soldiers. Vellingk offered to recruit a dragoon regiment, which would become a permanent part of the province's defenses (in peace and war). To form a trained basis for such a regiment the Governor wished to take five men from each company in six the Finnish regiments that were at hand (240 men in all). The King rejected this part of Vellingk's proposal, but agreed to another part of it - to put 300 men light cavalry which traditionally were raised in the province during wars by the nobility and the leaseholders (these soldiers were not part of the so called "adelsfana"). 

Vellingk also asked permission to raise a regiment of infantry. There were two companies of Skytte's regiment (Dorpat) in the province - one in Nöteborg and the other i Kexholm. The Governor proposed to remove them from Skytte's unit and have them form the basis for the new regiment, but again the King refused. The rest (700 men) would be raised in Kexholm county, where there were both men and a will to contribute to the defense of the province. This part was accepted by Charles XII.

In the same letter Vellingk updated the information about his previous agreements. Lt. Col. Schlippenbach and Lt. Col. Albedyhl hade agreed to reach 600 dragoons each and Captain von Liewen 500 musketeers. They had not yet signed the papers, but were prepared to do everything possible in His Majety's service even though their economic means were rather modest.  

Vellingk gives more details about Liewen's regiment in a letter to Governor General De la Gardie on 10 April.  Liewen had in the agreement been giiven permission to recruit in the districts of Weissenstein, Wesenberg, Hapsal and Leal, but the regiment would rendezvous at Hapsal. Vellingk asked de la Gardie to give all possible assistance to Liewen and his officers during the recruitment phase and find quarters and provisions for the soldiers.



Riksarkivet (Stockholm), Livonica II, vol. 192
EAA (Tartu), EAA 1.2.284


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 12:01 AM MEST
Updated: Saturday, 3 October 2015 9:46 PM MEST
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