Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« April 2018 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Artillery personnel
Great Embassy
Prisoners of war
Source criticism
The Great Northern War
Sunday, 29 April 2018
Olof Sandberg writes from Lund : part 2

On 2 December 1717 Sandberg wrote his second "coded" letter. There was, he wrote Barck, no indications of dismissals. Gustaf Adam Taube, Governor of Stockholm, had nothing to fear and he should not believe rumours flying around. 

The next letter was sent on 9 December. Goertz could, Sandberg wrote, possibly help himself through a new scheme. Nobody could understand what the Czar was up to. It semmed likely he wanted something in return for helping the neighbour across the river (Danish forces across the Sound?).

No military campaign was likely until next year. Goertz actions were suspicious, but it was uncertain what he was attempting.

Source: Riksarkivet, Ericsbergsarkivet, Autografsamlingen, Vol. 182

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 4:19 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2018 4:20 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Olof Sandberg writes from Lund : part 1
Topic: Archives

The first "coded" letter from Olof Sandberg to Samuel Barck is dated Lund 25 November 1717. Lennart Thanner appears to have considered the code as an attempt to cover the presumably sensitive content. This appears very unlikely as it would probably have taken a contemporary reader only a few seconds to figure out the meaning. It seems more likely that Sandberg tried to amuse Barck. 

Sandberg starts out by saying that the knight "Sankt Jörgen" (Goertz) appears to have lost favour with the King. He then mentions "Pehr Speleman i Gårdarijke" (the Czar), who in Sandberg's opinion has bitten off more than he can chew. Sandberg then goes on to say God bless "Far" (the King) as things will then go well for "ungefar och ungemor" (Frederick of Hesse and Ulrika Eleonora). If "far" dies they will inherit the farm, which has fared poorly lately. They will have to spend time on repairs etc. Pretty standard stuff and certainly not a code that would have been of any use if the intent was to keep the content secret.


Source: Riksarkivet, Ericsbergsarkivet, Autografsamlingen, Vol. 182



Posted by bengt_nilsson at 7:35 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 9 April 2018
The revolution and some odd letters
Topic: Literature
In 1953 Lennart Thanner published a voluminous dissertation called Revolutionen i Sverige efter Karl XII:s död. Thanner concluded, based on his interpretation of events after the King's death, that Charles had likely been murdered. In a footnote on page 366 Thanner mentions a series of rather peculiar letters sent from (mostly) Lund in 1717-1718 by the Chancery official Olof Sandberg (1679-1750). They are written in a peculiar type of "cipher", i.e. the author uses other names for the main characters. The purpose is unclear as it's quite simple to understand who he is thinking of. It's likely they were written like that for amusement rather than for covering up important information or political views. Thanner writes that the archivist Olof Jägerskiöld intended to publish them, but that apprently never happened. So if time permits I will put at least a few summaries online during the next weeks.

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:07 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 1 April 2018
Hugo Hamilton
Topic: Generals

Hugo Hamilton (1655-1724) served in various capacities during the GNW. He is perhaps most known as County Governor in Gävle 1716-1719, but before that he had served in Göteborg and had also taken part in the battle of Helsingborg. In the Ericsberg autograph collection (Riksarkivet) there is a series of letters from him to Magnus Stenbock. The last of them, written as late as 24 March 1714, is very detailed despite the intended recipient being a prisoner of war in Denmark. 

Hamilton starts out by outlining how the Swedish forces were to be used during the coming campaign. Nils Gyllenstierna would be in charge in Scania, supported by Skytte, Örnestedt and Sinclair. General Spens would command near Stockholm, supported by Taube, Palmquist, Köhler and Tschammer. Mörner would be in charge at Göteborg and have a force of 40,000. Hamilton would serve under him. The naval squadron for the Gulf of Finland would be under the command of Admiral Wattrang. 

The Diet had been complicated, Hamilton wrote. There had been too much interest in the peace issue, a matter best left to the Council and Princess Ulrika Eleonora. Hamilton felt very strongly that peace could only be obtained with military means. The matter was most delicate as the absent King could well take issue with the whole thing, i.e. conclude that the Council and the Diet had overstepped their authority. 

All true patriots were very sorry for Stenbock and hoped that he would soon be released. 

Source: Riksarkivet, Ericsbergsarkivet, autografsamlingen, vol. 92 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:32 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 25 March 2018
A false lead
Topic: Factoids

I have just spent a day in Krigsarkivet, in preparation for my May talk about some overlooked sources concerning Armfeldt's campaign in 1718. One of the volumes I looked at contains incoming letters to Lt. General de la Barre. According to Svante Hedin's bibliography Armfeldts fälttåg mot Trondheim 1718-1719 (1986) it should contain no less than ten letters from Charles XII, dated 1 October 1717 to 19 May 1718. 

This sounded rather curiuos to me and turned out to be incorrect. The letters were not signed Carolus but rather C. Feif...

Despite the fact that the field archive of Armfeldt's army appears to have been lost the records from the campaign are very extensive. The documents concerning supply matters are very informative and detailed to the last penny.

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:42 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Johan Palmquist 23 June 1703
Topic: Diplomacy

On 23 June Palmquist reported that Nils Lillieroot had returned to the Hague, but was too fatigued to write himself.

News from the War of the Spanish Succession spoke of disaster having struck the Dutch commander Opdam during the battle of Ekeren. An official report from the Dutch camp suggested that Opdam had been captured, but news from Breda claimed that he had arrived there accompanied only by one man. The Dutch army had escaped, but the losses seemed to have been severe. The first reports arriving in the Hague had spoken of disaster, so the States General had been relieved to hear that the army had been saved. 

Some French privateers had reportedly captured one hundred Dutch fishing boats. 

The English had raided an island just off La Rochelle. 

Palmquist had through the envoy Friesendorff in Lüneburg received copies of Cardinal Radziejowski's letter to Charles XII, dated 2 June 1703 and the King's answer. Palmquist had sent a copy to Leijoncrona in London and promised he would make every effort to use these letters advantageously.

Source: Riksarkivet, Diplomatica, Hollandica, vol.  229.


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:34 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 11 March 2018
Topic: Miscellaneous

During the last few weeks I have had the flu and then moved to a new flat. Very hard work to pack about 2,500 of my 4,000 volume library (the rest is still in my office at work) and all other stuff...

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that I will appear at the yearly "Jämt-trønderska historiedagarna", this year held at Vaektarstua in Tydal, Norway. I will get an hour on Saturday 26 May to speak about about a completely overlooked collection of letters from Armfeldt's campaign in 1718 - a rather amazing discovery considering the huge amount of literature on the topic.

Apparently a conference about 1718 is planned for Stockholm some time in the autumn. My intention is to present a paper on the same subject then. And then of course this.  



Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:36 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 12 February 2018
Johan Palmquist 12 June 1703
Topic: Diplomacy

On 12 June Palmquist wrote that he had met with Heinsius. The Grand Pensionary told the Swedish envoy that he had spoken with the Russian ambassador abolut the Swedish complaints. The latter had said that the ships being built in Arkhangelsk were not for use in war, with the exception of the frigate. This vessel was however very small. One captain of infantry, who had served in the Russian army before, had been recruited. Heinsius told Palmquist that he knew the man and he was quite pitiful. Others had attempted to join, but they were of similar poor quality. The Russian ambassador had admitted that ships were being built at Nöteborg, but they were too small for use in the Baltic. Heinsius told Palmquist that it was important to keep the Czar from the Baltic and the North Sea. The Swedish envoy replied that he had received information from the Swedish Admiralty about a privateer equipped in Copenhagen, which had received a letter of marque from the Russian ambassador. Heinsius said the ship could be viewed as a pirate and its crew hanged as such a letter was invalid.


Source: Riksarkivet, Diplomatica, Hollandica, vol. 229

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:34 PM CET
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 4 February 2018
Johan Palmquist 9 June 1703
Topic: Diplomacy

In his next letter Palmquist returned to the issue of the Swedish actions in Poland. There was in the Netherlands great concern and the feeling was that England didn't do enough to stop the war. Palmquist had again emphasized that Danzig was in no danger as Charles XII only pursued the war against his enemies. The King saw no other way to reach a lasting peace than by forcing Augustus to abdicate. The Polish nation should unite with him for that purpose. 

Opdam (Jacob II van Wassenaer Obdam) had visited Palmquist the preceding evening and spoken about the problems the war in Poland caused the Dutch and their allies. It would be better, Opdam felt, if Charles left Poland and joined the War of the Spanish Succession. The Dutch were in a tough spot as their allies did not do their part, i.e. only wanted money. 

As for the Russian recruitment effort Palmquist had received more news and had made efforts to put a stop to any attempts by the Czar. Palmquist included a report from Arkhangelsk, which stated that the Russians were building ships and also possessed one vessel of 24 guns which William III had given to the Czar. They were reportedly also equipping privateers. 


Source: Riksarkivet, Diplomatica, Hollandica, vol. 229

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 7:38 PM CET
Updated: Monday, 12 February 2018 9:35 PM CET
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 22 January 2018
More Johan Palmquist
Topic: Diplomacy

On 6 June 1703 the Swedish envoy Johan Palmqvist sent his next report from the Hague. In this letter he told the King that he had not spoken with Heinsius during the last few days, but the Grand Pensionary hade reportedly said to the Hannoverian diplomat Bothmer that news from Poland suggested that Charles XII could be planning an attack on Danzig. Heinsius had said that such a development would not please the English and the Dutch. Palmquist had strongly denied such rumours, saying that the attack on Thorn was solely aimed at the Saxon garrison.

The news from the War of the Spanish succession were few. Recent reports of a battle between the French and Dutch navies had not been confirmed.

Before finishing his letter Palmquist had a talk with Heinsius. The Grand Pensionary said that he had spoken to the Admiralty of Amsterdam as well as the mayor about the Russian recruiting efforts. The Czar certainly tried to hire both artisans and seamen, but the authorities would make sure than he remained unsuccessful. Heinsius had also directly expressed his concern over events in Poland and the risk of dragging Prussia into the war. The English and Dutch feared that the Prussian King would recall units he had lent them. Palmquist had replied that there was absolutely no risk to Danzig. Thorn had been attacked simply because of the Saxon garrison and there were no Saxons units in Danzig.


Source: Riksarkivet, Diplomatica, Hollandica, vol. 229 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 6:13 PM CET
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older