Thursday, 18 September 2014

The First Colonial Soldiers ~~ progressive insights on tackling a large subject

In a previous blog the pending publication of The First Colonial Soldiers was announced. This work, a true Anglo-Dutch joint operation, was scheduled for this autumn.

However, given the lack of existing publications in this area that tackle the subject of colonial soldiering, we ended up with a lot of new information digested into our planned book. Initially the book was thought to number about 400 pages. That became soon 500, and this broke the 600 boundary. With the end only marginally visible.

So, instead of lumping all information into a big volume we decided to split the subject into two volumes:

Volume 1: the British Isles, Europe, Asia and Africa
this volume deals with the several of British possessions in Europe like Dunkirk, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands. It also tackles the beginnings of the British  empire in India and touches on the West African Gold Coast. This volume is to be published in November 2014.

Volume 2: the Americas and the Caribbean
this volumes deals with the colonies in the New World and the temporary holdings in that part of the world. Discussed are the militias of those colonies, the expeditions and battles, the regular forces sent from England, and much more. This volume is to be published in March 2015.

Though designated "Volume 1" and "Volume 2", the volumes can be read independent of each other as each comes with its own introduction, list of references, indices, illustrations and maps.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Paymaster General's Account Book 1690

A few years ago the Account Book of the Paymaster General of the army of William III for the year 1690 was discovered in the Belfast City Hall. See for example
http://www.boyneobelisklol1690.com/paymaster_general.php and
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/tIt6bsYHTNOVlszDIKd-lg

This Account Book by Paymaster General Thomas Coningsby lists the payments made to the regiments in William III's army, and those made to hospitals, intelligence, etc.

It is a bit unfortunate and strange that this document is kept by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland in Belfast, and not by an institution like the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.

Nevertheless, this Orange Lodge made a rather nice workbook based on this Account Book. Though aimed at children, it will be nice for adults too: paymaster-general-workbook.pdf. Unfortunately there is no further information regarding accessibility of this Account Book for researchers. I truly hope this document is not abused for pursuing a political agenda.

Contrary to rumours and gossip, this Account Book does not contain the names of all men in William III's army. It does, however, contain the names of about 400 officers. With about 40 officers in a regiment of foot, this means that this Account Book does neither contain all officers in William III's.

But anyway, let's hope that the information in this document will become available soon!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The First Colonial Soldiers ~~ a glimpse of what is to come this summer!


After more than one year of editing, formatting, reading, more editing, sending and receiving more emails to my co-author, re-shuffling, and quite a bit of editing ahead, the project The First Colonial Soldiers is nearing completion! Stay tuned!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Colonial Records ~~ New Haven

New Haven was founded in 1638 as a ``new haven'' for orthodox Puritans, who found that Massachusetts Bay had become to much of a Sodom and Gomorrah.

The colony, lying west of the Connecticut River, never received a Charter. When the much larger Connecticut Colony was grated a Royal Charter in 1662, this encompassed the towns of New Haven. In January 1665 the colony was finally absorbed into Connecticut.

Two records exist (the years between 1649 and 1653 are missing):

Volume 1: 1638 - 1649 (Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven)
Volume 2: 1653 - 1664 (Records of the Colony and Jurisdiction of New Haven)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Map of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth Bay and Rhode Island

Maps tell so much more than words. So, maps will be an important part of a forthcoming publication.

Here a sneak preview of a map for part of New England. Boundaries of provinces (dashed) and counties (dotted) are approximate, and reflect the division of circa 1700.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

Musical intermezzo ~~ Jean Baptiste Lully


Jean Baptiste Lully (1632 - 1687)  was the composer of choice for Louis XIV. The above selection of his work is rather nice, and gives an idea what Louis was listening to, and perhaps trying a new dance, whilst relaxing from his ambitions to conquer Europe. Though some of the pieces sounds rather martial.