Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« August 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, 16 August 2015
Order of precedence
Topic: Archives
On 26 January 1647 an order of precedence for the towns of Sweden and Finland was published. A handwritten copy of it is preserved in the archive of the Livonian Governor, so despite the fact that it is outside of the GNW period it could perhaps merit some attention. The beginning of list looks like this:
 
1. Stockholm
2. Uppsala
3. Norrköping
4. Göteborg
5. Kalmar
6. Åbo
7. Vyborg
8. Nyköping
9. Västervik
10. Gävle
11. Visby
12. Falun
13. Västerås
14. Arboga
15. Örebro
16. Jönköping
17. Köping
18. Helsingfors
19. Hudiksvall
20. Vasa
21. Lidköping
22. Mariestad
23. Karlstad
24. Linköping
25. Strängnäs
 
The list contains 72 towns. It should be remembered that this was before the conquest of the southern provinces in 1658 (Malmö, Kristianstad etc.) and the subsequent establishment of Karlshamn and in particular Karlskrona in Blekinge. The highest ranked towns were generally those who had been given the right to trade with foreign countries (so called stapelstäder). The regulation stated that if new such towns were acquired or established they would be placed after Falun, while others would be placed after no 72 and ranked according to their age.

Source: LVVA, fond 7349, op. 3, vol. 3


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:16 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Order of precedence
Topic: Archives
On 26 January 1647 an order of precedence for the towns of Sweden and Finland was published. A handwritten copy of it is preserved in the archive of the Livonian Governor, so despite the fact that it is outside of the GNW period it could perhaps merit some attention. The beginning of list looks like this:
 
1. Stockholm
2. Uppsala
3. Norrköping
4. Göteborg
5. Kalmar
6. Åbo
7. Vyborg
8. Nyköping
9. Västervik
10. Gävle
11. Visby
12. Falun
13. Västerås
14. Arboga
15. Örebro
16. Jönköping
17. Köping
18. Helsingfors
19. Hudiksvall
20. Vasa
21. Lidköping
22. Mariestad
23. Karlstad
24. Linköping
25. Strängnäs
 
The list contains 72 towns. It should be remembered that this was before the conquest of the southern provinces in 1658 (Malmö, Kristianstad etc.) and the subsequent establishment of Karlshamn and in particular Karlskrona in Blekinge. The highest ranked towns were generally those who had been given the right to trade with foreign countries (so called stapelstäder). The regulation stated that if new such towns were acquired or established they would be placed after Falun, while others would be placed after no 72 and ranked according to their age.

Source: LVVA, fond 7349, op. 3, vol. 3


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:14 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
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, 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
Sunday, 26 April 2015
An engineer regiment
Topic: Archives

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit a little known private archive which contains a significant number of items from the time of the Great Northern War. One of the more interesting ones is an undated proposal by the fortification officer Lorentz Christoffer Stobée (1676-1756) for the creation of an engineer regiment. It is from the content possible to conclude that it must be from the final years of Charles XII's reign, i.e. after his return to Sweden in late 1715. 

In the proposal Stobée outlines his plan. The regiment should consist of 1,500 men and be used during sieges, landings and transports. The personnel would also be adept at building all sorts of bridges, ships, barges and rafts. However, the regiment could also be used as a standard infantry regiment if the circumstances called for this. So how would the necessary manpower be found in a situation where it was difficult to muster enough men for the existing regiments? Well, Stobée had an idea: there was in Sweden a large number of jobs which were filled by men, but could just as well be handled by women:

1. Wigmaker 

2. Linen weaver

3. Tailor

4. Baker 

5. Brewer

6. Button maker

7. Lace-maker

8. Spirit distiller

9. Tea or coffee-maker

10. Confectioner

11. Soap-maker

12. Dyer

Stobée suggested that it would be entirely sufficient to leave one or two male experts in each town and these could then start factories manned by women, which would produce everything needed.

Another unnecessary occupation for men was the making of saltpetre. It was simple enough and could be learned by anyone. By leaving some old and infirm saltpetre-makers as teachers it would be possible to mobilize another 3-4,000 men for the army. 

Stobées engineer regiment would be divided in three battalions, each battalion made up by four companies of 125 men. To each company would be added about 20-30 craftsmen (carpenters, blacksmiths, bricklayers etc.). Each company would also have its own baggage train with all necessary equipment. If the King accepted the proposal, Stobée stated, the regiment would be ready in four months. To make serving in the regiment more appealing to officers Stobée suggested that it should take precedence over both the artillery and the fortification - engineering being a science which contained parts of many other sciences. 

 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 3:12 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 18 January 2015
Indexes: additional notes
Topic: Archives

Last week I gave a rough estimate of the number of documents for each month. This time I am going to take this one step further, starting with 1700:

January:  69 letters and other documents

February:  63

March: 92

April: 102

May: 131

June: 136

July: 90

August: 50

September: 58

October: 75

November: 94

December: 112

 

It should of course be remembered that several volumes remain and that this list only concerns incoming correspondence. However, despite losses I believe it does indicate a few things. Notable is first the increased volume after the Saxon attack on Riga and the subsequent arrival of Vellingk's relief army and later the decrease after Vellingk's retreat. The landing of the main army in October and the focus on Livonia after the battle of Narva also manifests itself. It should be noted that the archive of the Livonian Governor General appears to contain very little about the battle of Narva itself, but much regarding the subsequent efforts to keep the army supplied during the winter. Now 1701: 

January:  115

February: 129

March: 148

April: 121

May: 161

June: 182

July: 152

August: 122

September: 216

October: 182

November: 218

December: 233 

 

I think this is also fairly indicative of developments - many letters during the period leading up to the Düna crossing in early July, a brief interlude and then an increase as King's army moved further away and Russian forces began attacking eastern Livonia.  

 

 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 10:04 PM CET
Updated: Sunday, 18 January 2015 10:04 PM CET
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older