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The Great Northern War
Sunday, 11 November 2018
Ingria : part 3
Topic: Miscellaneous

Som bits and pieces about the garrisons:

Koporie seems to have had a very small garrison (12 soldiers) when the Russians entered Ingria, but the fortress was apparently abandoned almost immediately - Rullor 1620-1723, , SE/KrA/0022/1700/20 (1700), bildid: A0054479_00344

Nyen: Two companies of Horn's regiment in Narva were stationed there - Rullor 1620-1723, , SE/KrA/0022/1700/20 (1700), bildid: A0054479_00317

Nöteborg: The garrison seems to have consisted of about one company and a compliment of "soldiers' sons". In 1702, before the siege started, the garrison consisted of slightly more than 200 men. 

Additional units:

When Otto Vellingk took over as Governor in 1699 he wrote that three companies of Tiesenhausen's Cavalry regiment were stationed in Ingria (Vellingk to Charles XII, 12 August 1699, Livonica II, vol. 192)

When the news from Riga arrived Vellingk began raising more troops. On 31 March he reported that he was intent on rasing a regiment of dragoons in Kexholm County. He wanted, he wrote on 21 April, to make it a permanent regiment. 

Vellingk also wanted to raise a regiment of infantry (also permanent). He wanted to begin by using two existing companies from Skytte's regiment, one stationed in Kexholm and the other in Nöteborg. This the King rejected, but the regiments were created (1,000 infantry, 600 dragoons), 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:53 PM CET
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Monday, 22 October 2018
Ingria : part 2
Topic: Miscellaneous
Otto Wilhelm von Fersen, Governor General 1691-1698, sent a report on the fortresses of Ingria on 7 June 1697.

Kexholm: Insignificant and poorly built. A small island called Kalasaari nearby dominated the fortress and it should be moved to that island. 

Koporie: Four good towers and walls. A deep valley surrounding the castle. Fersen believed Koporie should be preserved as it was situated between Narva and Nyen. It could serve as protection for the poor peasants who had no other place to go in time of war. It could also serve as a stronpoint for Swedish detachments. 5 or 6 5-pounders and a garrison of 20-30 men would be sufficient. The fortress would be useless for the enemy as it was very small. 

Nöteborg: Mostly as it were, but one tower had been built. Nöteborg ought to be repaired and preserved.

Nyen: The place was beautiful and well chosen and the population was considerable. Many beautiful ships had been built there. Nyen was preferable to Narva, but was poorly fortified. It was a key spot for commmunication between Ladoga and the Baltic sea and the Baltic provinces and Finland. It was absolutely imperative to strengthen Nyen, even if it meant stopping work on other fortresses. In it's present state 1 lieutenant (or possibly a captain) along with 50 men would be sufficient as garrison. At present there were two companies and some artillery.

Narva: The key to Estonia as far as Reval and Livonia as far as Dorpat or Pernau. The present state of Narva was poor. The ongoing work went too slow. 

Ivangorod: It had been strengthened, but much work was still needed. 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 7:42 PM MEST
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Monday, 15 October 2018
Ingria : part 1
Topic: Miscellaneous

In an another forum there came a question about the state of the Swedish provinces Ingria and Estonia in 1700. I have mostly studied Livonia, but I will try and give some details about the others as well. I'll start with Ingria.

The most recent work in Swedish about Ingria is Kasper Kepsu's dissertation Den besvärliga provinsen (2014). He has the following to say:

The province Ingria: About 15,000 square kilometers, population around 60,000 (based on an estimate by Forsström in 1890). It consisted of four counties: Ivangorod, Jama, Koporie and Nöteborg. The province had two towns: Narva and Nyen. The administrative capital was Narva, where the Governor General (later the Governor) resided. Ingria was adminstratively joined with Kexholm county. When war broke out in 1700 General Otto Vellingk (1649-1708) was Governor. Other key military officials were the garrison commanders Henning Rudolf Horn (Narva and Ivangorod), Johan Apollof (Nyen) and Gustaf Wilhelm Schlippenbach (Nöteborg). 

The main fortress was Narva, which had been substantially expanded during the 1690's. Nyen was significantly weaker and Nöteborg quite neglected. The two minor fortresses Jama and Koporie were insignificant. 

In february 1698 Erik Dahlbergh gave the following estimate:

Nöteborg was basically as it had been, but one tower had been added. 

Nyen was a town of major importance, but the existing fort was useless. The Russians had a great appetite for a Baltic port and wanted to recapture Ingria. A stronger fortification hade been planned and work begun in 1672, but it had never been finished. It was of vital importance to strengthen Nyen. 

Narva and Ivangorod had been in a terrible state in 1682 and Charles XI had decided that something had to be done. He had asked Dahlbergh to submit ideas and one of the designs had been approved. Much work had been done, but it was still insufficient. Ivangorod was in a reasonable state, but also needed strengthening. 

Jama was basically a ruin. 

Koporie was worth preserving.

Wasknarva was an old, almost ruined castle on the shore of the Peipus where the Narva river began. It was a place that need a strong fort as ships based there could dominate the entire lake and keep communications with Dorpat open. 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 5:20 PM MEST
Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2018 6:05 PM MEST
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Sunday, 29 July 2018
Topic: Miscellaneous
I have been a bit slow to update recently, but I'll be back around 10 August with something new. 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:03 AM MEST
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Sunday, 20 May 2018
To Norway
Topic: Miscellaneous

On Thursday I will go to Östersund for the "Jämt-trönderska historiedagarna" 2018 in Stugudal, Norway. On Saturday I will speak about previously unknown sources for Armfeldt's campaign, which I came across when browsing the catalogue of the Estonian National Archives. These records should, I believe, change quite a few perceptions of this campaign and most notably how the events leading up to the disastrous retreat at the beginning of January 1719 are interpreted. 

I have also spent some time going over the debate in 2005-2006 about the death of Charles XII and the "grapeshot theories" brought forward by Svante Ståhl and his Norwegian colleague Odd T. Fjeld. I found them completely untenable then and after going through the same sources once more (and adding some more) I remain convinced that they are both easily disproven. Time will tell if the 300th anniversary reignites the debate. 


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:19 PM MEST
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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
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Sunday, 14 January 2018
More tomorrow
Topic: Miscellaneous
Due on an ongoing vacation I will post tomorrow instead of today.

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 7:02 PM CET
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Sunday, 24 September 2017
My journey
Topic: Miscellaneous

From 9 September to 20 September I was away on a trip to Romania, passing through cities like Prague, Brno, Bratislava and Budapest. In the latter city I did of course not fail to visit Váci utca 43:

















Posted by bengt_nilsson at 7:14 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 24 September 2017 7:48 PM MEST
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Sunday, 10 September 2017
Topic: Miscellaneous
There will be no posts until the 24th because of a trip to Romania.

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 12:01 AM MEST
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Sunday, 3 September 2017
Princes from Chile: part 3
Topic: Miscellaneous

I originally thought that on one had discovered this peculiar story before, but Google books helped me to discover Axel Paulin's Svenska öden i Sydamerika (1951). Paulin's list of sources is very impressive, but he is often short on specific references. The story of the Chilean princes is described like this:

When going through some documents from the Swedish Field Chancery during the Polish period a letter from the Swedish envoy in the Hague was following letter was found. Paulin then goes on to quote from Palmquist's letter dated 4 March 1705 as well as from a the translated summary of Colonel Scott's letter attached to this report. Paulin apparently never looked among Palmquist's drafts and so he never found Scott's original proposal. 

Paulin's conclusion was that there must have been some real basis for the proposal. He suggests that some of the cargo was coming from the East Indies, but finds no reasonable explanation for the 27 princes. 

Paulin tried to follow the story and noted that Charles XII ordered Palmquist to keep the authorities in Stockholm updated. The King also instructed the Chancery College and the College of Commerce to discuss the matter and send their views to him. 

Oddly enough Paulin concludes  by saying that no further traces of the story could be found beyond the fact that the King's letters did reach Stockholm. My distinct memory is that there was in fact plenty of evidence, especially in the archive of the Chancery College. If I can find my old notes on the matter I'll add a part 4.

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 1:08 PM MEST
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