Friday, 13 July 2012

Equipping the artillery train for Flanders in 1702

The Journals of the House of Commons are an important source of information for those looking for numbers and financial matters. War needed to be paid, and paid by someone, and the list with annual estimates for the armed forces are very useful.

Volume 13 of this journal gives us some insight in the genesis of the train of artillery that was being prepared for service in Flanders in early 1702. Everything, from the number of sakers, fourteen of them, to the number of horse shoe nails, 18000, is listed. The estimated cost for everything is listed as well (£9 for the nails, £3,075 for the sakers). A list of spare parts for the army carried by the train is given as well. Taken along were, amongst other items, 3000 snaphance muskets, 1000 long pikes and 400000 flints. The total cost for all equipment was a little over £34,806! The officers and men required an additional £10,630 12 0 per year, and the cost for horses amounted to £16,000 for half a year.

Material needed by the mortars (glue-kettels, 2 reams of paper, amongst a few dozen other items).
All in all this list gives a fascinating overview of the amount of stuff needed by a (not so big) train of artillery 300 years ago. It also illustrates the technical nature of the ordnance (lots and lots of tools and nails). I have found no list of stuff that was carried (officially) by, say, a regiment of foot to compare with, unfortunately.

This volume of the Journals of the House of Commons is found at Google Books, with said overview found on pages 690 - 695.


Ray Rousell said...

Some great info! Thanks!

Wienand Drenth said...

Thanks Ray. This gives you wargamers something to do when painting and detailing the artillery :-)