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Sunday, 27 August 2017
Princes from Chile: part 2
Topic: Miscellaneous

On 4 March 1705 the Swedish envoy in the Netherlands Johan Palmquist sent a long letter to Charles XII. A part of this report dealt with a most curious proposal. A certain Colonel "Schot" had contacted Palmquist and given him this letter:

"To His Excellency Mons:r Palmquist, Envoy Extraordinary to the Sates Generall of the United Provinces

May it please yo: Excellency

There being two very rich cargoes to come from Chile & God willing in the year 1706 to be ship'd on two good ships.

That if His Most Serene Maj:ty of Sweden &a shall be pleas'd to give protection to the said Ships & Goods which Cargoe shall consist in 800000 Peices of Light, 60000 Sterling in value, in Mace, Nutmegs & Cloves, 20000 pound of Amber de Gri, 70000 pound of all Sorts of East India Goods, 100000 pound of fine Wool & a considerable quantity of Estridge Feather, Rich Drugs, Balsam of Peru & the Ships to be Ballas'd with raw hides, for all which Goods the Princes of Chile doe expect for what their Subjects sell to the Subjects of Sweden to pay no Custom or other payments but for what they Trade for with any other Nation. They are Content to pay 3 pro Cent to the Order of His said Maj:ty of Sweden & c if His Serene Maj:ty permits his Subjects to furnish the Subjects of the Princes of Chile with what Copper, Iron, Armes & what Ammunition of Warr & other Merchandize the Occasions require & take of their Spice & other Merchandize at the price Currant. The said Subjects of Chile will Trade with no other Nation, but the Subjects of His Serene Maj:ty of Sweden & c and the 3 places they pitch upon to reside in are Carilsburgh at the Entrance of the River Weser or Stade on the River Elve or in the Island Coster near Fredricks Hall on the Coast of Norway

John Baron Scot of Marnay"

Next week in part III: what to make of this letter?

Source: Riksarkivet, Diplomatica, Hollandica, vol. 230


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 5:58 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 27 August 2017 6:19 PM MEST
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Sunday, 20 August 2017
Princes from Chile: part 1
Topic: Miscellaneous

When I some twenty years ago was researching the naval officer Gustaf von Psilander (1669-1738) and his encounter with Rear Admiral William Whetstone's squadron in late July 1704, I came upon a rather peculiar item. As far as I remember it was like this: a man claiming to represent a number of Chilean princes made contact with the Swedish envoy in the Netherlands. According to this man two heavily loaded ships would be sent from Chile to Europe, preferably to a Swedish port. In return for the valuable cargo the princes wanted to buy guns and ammunition. 

This proposal went quite far (as I recall it). A brief discussion in the Council and longer discussions in the College of Commerce and the Chancery, where the conclusion was that it would be risky to accept because of possible hostile reaction from other European powers, most notably Spain. 

The story seems quite far-fetched. The Spanish never fully subjugated the Mapuche, so it is entirely possible that the latter would have been interested in acquiring weapons from some friendly European power. But how would they have found suitable ships and crews and manage to pull off such a major undertaking? A reasonable explanation would seem to be that they had to go through an intermediary, possibly a European merchant/smuggler who was not afraid to risk men and ships in order to make a profit by selling to a European power not directly involved in the War of the Spanish succession.  

During a recent visit to Riksarkivet I decided to see if I could find the story once more. I had a pretty good idea of where to look, but I was not sure if it happened in 1704 or later. But I did find it again and (if I remember correctly) even one additional item, which gave more information about the man who handed over the proposal. 

So next week: the proposal and the identity of the intermediary. 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 12:01 AM MEST
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Sunday, 25 June 2017
Topic: Miscellaneous
Updates will be a bit sporadic during the coming weeks....

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 7:59 PM MEST
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Sunday, 11 June 2017
28 January 1701
Topic: Miscellaneous

On 28 January 1701 Major General Magnus Stenbock, never one to let an opportunity for showing off his skills pass by, organized a celebration in the King's headquaters at Lais. It was the King's name day, but the event should more be looked at as a celebration of the recent Narva victory. 

According to a contemporary description it started with a hunt and then a dinner. After dinner Stenbock had organized amusements. First a man entered and after him two local musicians with bagpipes. After them came ten beautiful girls, dressed according to local custom. Every girl carried a lamp and after greeting the King and his guests they put these lamps on the walls. The first one had the King's name, the fourth showed a lion who chased two eagles, the fifth a Lion who opened a mouse trap and released all the captive mice, the sixth a lion who rested upon the arms of Denmark, Poland and Russia. On the lamps seven to ten were poetic verses. Then a disguised Stenbock appeared and sang a mass (or an opera) along with several other officers (also in disguise).

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 6:50 PM MEST
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Friday, 30 December 2016
Topic: Miscellaneous

On 8 May 1706 Henrik Falkenberg, deputy president of the Göta appellate court, wrote to Adam Ludvig Lewenhaupt who was in Stockholm on official business. It was, Falkenberg wrote, a great joy to hear that Charles XII had rewarded a member of an old family by promoting L. to Lieutenant General. Perhaps Lewenhaupt's successes in Courland would teach the King the difference between men from old and distinguished families and those who despite very few real accomplishments had risen (or perhaps rather brought up) from the dirt. Hopefully this would lead to changes and and more appreciation for the former category. Falkenberg (from an old German noble family) was particulary pleased that his son Melker (a captain in Lewenhaupt's regiment) had taken part in the campaigns and in some small way contributed to the successes. 

Melker Falkenberg would eventually become colonel of Västmanland's regiment and fell at Moss in 1716. This particulary branch of the family (Falkenberg af Bålby) still exists today. 

Source: Riksarkivet, E 4645 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 5:24 PM CET
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