Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« July 2015 »
S M T W T F S
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 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Archives
Artillery personnel
Battles
Communications
Devastations
Diplomacy
Factoids
Food
Generals
Great Embassy
Interpretations
Judiciary
Literature
Livonia
Miscellaneous
Museums
Musicians
Navy
Newspapers
Prisoners of war
Regiments
Religion
Sieges
Source criticism
Transport
Travels
The Great Northern War
Sunday, 5 July 2015
Ernst Malmberg in Riga
Topic: Archives

I have on a number of occasions mentioned Ernst Malmberg (1867-1960), who as early as in the 1910's started auctioning off documents belonging to the archive of the Livonian Governor General. When I visited Uppsala University Library some weeks ago I had the opportunity to looke at volume Y 92, an autograph book which belonged to him. Although it was far from chronological it was possible to get a fairly good idea of how much time he spent in Riga. In April 1909 Malmberg was in Grisslehamn, in August he met with with the author Karl-Erik Forsslund (likely in Sweden), but in late September Malmberg had reached Riga and in September 1910 he was in Helsinki. It would consequently appear that Malmberg spent close to a year in Riga, which certainly would help explain how he could get hold of such a large number of documents. 

Y 92 contains the signatures of many celebrities, for example Theodore Roosevelt (whom Malmberg apparently encountered in Chicago in 1911) and the opera singer Christina Nilsson. 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:04 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Georg Lybecker and Casten Feif
Topic: Archives

It has been noted by several historians that there seems to have existed a close personal friendship between the Chancery official Casten Feif and Georg Lybecker, commander of the Finnish army 1707-1710 and 1712-1713. However, few letters between them seem to have been preserved. When I some months ago had the opportunity to go through a private archive I came upon item, which likely thus far has escaped the notice of historians. It was written by Lybecker on 8 January 1713 in reply to a couple of letters from Feif, dated 25 July and 21 August 1712.

Lybecker deals with a number of issues in his letter, for example:

1. His proposal to use some of the cavalry as infantry (apparently not approved by the King). Lybecker explains his reasoning: during the winter the deep snow makes movement of cavalry difficult and it's also hard to find fodder.

2. The organization of the tar trade (Tar Company) and the possible establishment of a commercial center at Veckelax (Vehkalahti).

3. The establishment of glassworks in Finland. Lybecker states that he knows very little about the other counties, but it should be possible near Vyborg. 

4. The possibility of using the Finnish forests for making potash.

5. The establishment of manufactories in Finland.

6. The leasing of tolls and customs.

7. The new method of taxation (property tax of 1713). Lybecker states that the idea (taxation according to ability) is certainly fair, but he is not convinced that everyone will give correct figures for their wealth.

8. The chances of recapturing Vyborg and other fortresses (Lybecker says that there is no lack of ambition or heart - only of means).

9. The possibility of finding new recruits and the general situation in Finland.

10. How the clergy has destroyed the country (according to Lybecker an issue too large to cover in a letter).


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 6:41 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Georg Lybecker and Casten Feif
Topic: Archives

It has been noted by several historians that there seems to have existed a close personal friendship between the Chancery official Casten Feif and Georg Lybecker, commander of the Finnish army 1707-1710 and 1712-1713. However, few letters between them seem to have been preserved. When I some months ago had the opportunity to go through a private archive I came upon item, which likely thus far has escaped the notice of historians. It was written by Lybecker on 8 January 1713 in reply to a couple of letters from Feif, dated 25 July and 21 August 1712.

Lybecker deals with a number of issues in his letter, for example:

1. His proposal to use some of the cavalry as infantry (apparently not approved by the King). Lybecker explains his reasoning: during the winter the deep snow makes movement of cavalry difficult and it's also hard to find fodder.

2. The organization of the tar trade (Tar Company) and the possible establishment of a commercial center at Veckelax (Vehkalahti).

3. The establishment of glassworks in Finland. Lybecker states that he knows very little about the other counties, but it should be possible near Vyborg. 

4. The possibility of using the Finnish forests for the making of potash.

5. The establishment of manufactories in Finland.

6. The leasing of tolls and customs.

7. The new method of taxation (property tax of 1713). Lybecker states that the idea (taxation according to ability) is certainly fair, but he is not convinced that everyone will give correct figures for their wealth.

8. The chances of recapturing Vyborg and other fortresses (Lybecker says that there is no lack of ambition or heart - only of means).

9. The possibility of finding new recruits and the general situation in Finland.

10. How the clergy has destroyed the country (according to Lybecker an issue too large to cover in a letter).


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 6:41 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Uppsala University Library
Topic: Archives

I have just spent a few days in Uppsala, studying some of the manuscripts in the University Library. Many of their catalogues have been scanned and are now available online. The most important as far as the GNW is concerned are:

1. The collection organized by subject

2. The Palmskiöld collection

3. The Nordin collection

The Nordin collection houses the only known manuscript of General Lewenhaupt's memoirs (N 913), which also contain the Poltava accounts by Major Generals Creutz and Roos as well as those of the captains Tisensten and Öller. Also worth noting is a volume of incoming letters to Vice Admiral Gustaf Wattrang during the naval campaign of 1710 (N 208). 

I spent considerable part of my time on trying to understand how much of Lewenhaupt's papers that ended up in famous Cederhielm collection at Bjärka-Säby (many catalogues of it are preserved in Uppsala). My previous impression (that it was very little) was confirmed. Despite the close family relations (one of the General's daughters married into the Cederhielm family) very few items could clearly be linked directly to Lewenhaupt: An order book from 1705 (today in Krigsarkivet) and some documents from his time as prisoner of war in Moscow. So it would seem that most of what came over to Sweden (most likely with his wife in 1709) ended up at Charlottenborg castle and later came to Ryd manor, owned by Lwenhaupt's son in law Carl Gustaf Boije - publisher of the General's memoirs in 1757. In 1951 Hans Villius came to the conclusion that Boije hadn't used N 913 but an earlier version, so a couple of questions remain:

1. What happened to the manuscript used by Boije?

2. If N 913 didn't originate in the Cederhielm collection - from whom did Nordin acquire it in 1799?

When Samuel Bring in the late 1940's prepared the first full publication of N 913 he was convinced that Nordin had obtained the volume from the Cederhielm family, but to me this seems very unlikely. Certain findings I made in another Nordin volume points in an entirely different direction, but it remains to be seen if my hunch can be proved conclusively. Estate inventories from this period often do not list books and manuscripts by title and many potentially interesting collections of letters have been lost. 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:08 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Swedish losses at Narva
Topic: Battles

For some reason Karl XII på slagfältet, vol. 2 does not give a detailed list of Swedish losses in the battle of Narva 1700. At least some of shortcomings can be remedied by a document dated Narva 28 November 1700 and signed by Major General Maydell. The units covered are the participating detachments from the Finnish infantry regiments:

Col. Funcken's (Åbo): 1 captain wounded, 1 NCO missing (presumed dead), 1 NCO wounded, 1 corporal missing (presumed dead), 1 corporal wounded, 3 soldiers wounded and 13 killed.

Col. Creutz (Björneborg): 1 captain wounded,  2 NCOs wounded, 5 soldiers wounded and 50 killed.

Major General Maydell's (Tavastehus): 1 captain dead, 1 lieutenant dead, 1 lieutenant wounded, 3 NCOs wounded, 1 corporal dead, 14 soldiers wounded and 7 killed.

Col. Mellin's (Viborg): 1 captain wounded, 1 corporal dead, 14 soldiers wounded and 7 killed.

Col. Cronman's (Savolax): 1 captain dead, 1 lieutenant dead, 27 soldiers killed.

Col. Budberg's (Nyland): 8 soldiers wounded.

 

Source: Krigsarkivet, Krigshandlingar. Stora nordiska kriget, Avd. 3, vol. 10

 

 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:15 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 7 June 2015
Council of war
Topic: Generals

On 9 September 1701 Col. Wolmar Anton von Schlippenbach held a council of war in his headquarters at Kirrumpäh. The participants were Schlippenbach, Col. Adam Carl de la Gardie, Col. Gustaf Enesköld, Lt. Col. Arvid Johan von Kaulbars, Lt. Col. Hans Henrik von Liewen, the Adjutant general Carl Otto Freijmann, Major Herman Johan von Burghausen, Major Joachim Henrik von Wettberg and Captain Wolmar Gustaf Lauw (an engineer). 

Schlippenbach began by pointing out the difficulties.The troops were poorly clothed and there was a shortage of provisions. Enemy attacks and illnesses were decimating the army and the horses had suffered badly. What to do?

The cavalry commanders Colonel Enesköld (Åbo and Björneborg) and Major Burghausen (Carelian) stated that their was hardly a man (or perhaps horse) fit for real duty in their regiments. Kaulbars (Schlippenbach's dragoons) supported them and said that only about 100 men in his regiment were fit for duty. To march towards the border would likely result in a battle and even if this was won the army would become so weakened that it could not possibly stop further incursions. 

The infantry officers agreed. The situation was very bad and officers who had lost their horses and equipment to the enemy were incapable of replacing what had been lost.

The discussions continued the following day. Schlippenbach began by saying that reports from Pechory suggested that the Russians were preparing a massive invasion. What to do? It was decided to reinforce Dorpat, while the rest of the army should move away from Kirrumpäh and march back and forth as the supply situation allowed.

 

Source: Krigsarkivet, Krigshandlingar. Stora nordiska kriget, Avd. 3, vol.  10

 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:12 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Travellers
Topic: Livonia

Among Schirren's papers in Riksarkivet there are two lists of travellers to and from Russia who passed the border post at Neuhausen (Vastseliina) during the period 1 January 1698 to 30 June 1699. Some examples:

8 January 1698: Lt. Col. Rohr and two servants from Köningsberg to Moscow.

10 January 1698: The wife of Colonel Blumbergh and her people & Lieutenant Johan Rickman.

30 May 1698: Lieutenant Johan Gordon and a servant from England to Moscow.

23 June 1698: The theology student Tobias Renner from Thuringia to Moscow.

7 July 1698: Johan Gordon, son of General Gordon, and his wife along with a captain and four servants from Scotland to Moscow. 

Those travelling the other way were fewer in 1698, but one notable example:

21 October 1698: Guillaume Felle, a Doctor of Theology of the Franciscan Order from Persia to Mitau and France. (Felle was a noted traveller). 

 

Source: Riksarkivet, Schirrens samling originalhandlingar, vol. 13 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:11 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 23 May 2015
Schlippenbach's order of battle

On 18 August 1701 Col. Wolmar Anton von Schlippenbach wrote to Charles XII from his camp at Kirrumpäh. The letter was accompanied by an order of battle:

Schlippenbach explained that is was unusual, but this was due to the fact that the Russians way of fighting was unorthodox. They preferred to attack flanks, so Schlippenbach had decided to place a few small detachments in a second line behind these. 

The text below the drawing explains that each battalion and squadron in the first lane consisted of 100 men and the small detachments in the second line of 20 men each. Not all units were included as some of his own regiment and Brandt's dragoons were positioned at Marienburg and Major de Molin's dragoons near Peipus.

 

Source: Riksarkivet, Skrivelser till Konungen. Karl XII:s tid, vol. 23 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:25 PM MEST
Updated: Saturday, 23 May 2015 8:41 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 17 May 2015
In the wrong place
Topic: Archives

 

The image above is from LVVA, fond 7349, op. 2, vol. 177, which contains letters mostly to the Estonian Governor General Bengt Horn (dated 1658). Why are they preserved in the archive of the Livonian Governor General. In the top left corner there is an inscription (A-138) which sheds light on the matter. This was a type of marking used by the Estonian State Archive when the archive of the Estonian Governor General was catalogued in the early 1930's. The idea was to show where the item was kept before the documents were rearranged according to modern principles. Based on the catalogue produced as a result of this work it seems likely that this letter should today be in EAA 1.2.225, but it's obviously not. Why? Most likely because of events during WWII, when several archives were evacuated (in some cases as far as Troppau). As some volumes from the archive of the Livonian Governor General are missing today it's tempting to think that they were mixed up with something else and have ended up in other Eastern European archives (documents from the archive of the Dukes of Courland have long after the war been found both in the Czech Republic and in Ukraine). And: if items which should be in Tartu are found in Riga - perhaps the opposite can be true as well? EAA 1. (the archive of the Estonian Governor General) is large and I don't yet know how closely the volumes have been examined after 1945.


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 6:46 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 10 May 2015
Schirren's collection
Topic: Archives

Some weeks ago I photographed most of the original documents in Carl Schirren's collection in Riksarkivet (15 volumes). At this point I have managed to make inventories of vol. 3-6 and 9-11. The content of these volumes is fairly typical of Schirren, i.e. a focus on Patkul and the struggle of the Livonian nobility against Swedish absolutism as well as on the intrigues leading up to the formation of the big anti-Swedish coalition in the late 1690's. Schirren's keen interest in the latter issue seems to have resulted in him pracitically cleaning out the collection of  letters from the Swedish representatives in Poland to the Governor General in Riga. In the abovementioned volumes I have for examples found almost 30 letters from Georg Wachschlager and nearly 25 by Per Cuypercrona in Danzig (in the archive of the Livonian Governor General I have up til now only found two letters from Wachschlager). 

Schirren also "took care" of some of the Russian correspondence (20 letters from Thomas Kniper in Moscow, 8 from Thomas Herbers in Pskov, 3 from Philip Vinhagen in Novgorod) as well as from Florian Thilo von Thilau at the borrder post of Neuhausen (Vastseliina). The collection also contains a few letters from the Swedish embassy to Moscow in 1699 as well as material pertaining to the Great Embassy and various other Swedish-Russian issues. 

A couple of odd items (vol. 11) are copies of Steinau's and Paykul's explanations of the reasons behind the Saxon defeat at Düna in July 1701. The fomer's is dated Warsaw 20 September 1701 and numbers about 60 pages, while the latter is dated Berlin 14 July 1702. 

 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:05 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older