Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Scottish brigade in the service of the Dutch Republic, 1689 to 1782

A rather wild search on the WWW returned a rather nice article from the hand of professor John Childs on the Scots (Scottish) brigade in service of the Dutch Republic during the 18th Century. The article is of additional interest as it gives sufficient introductory and contextual details on the genesis of the brigade.
The article can be found under the following link:

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Keeping track of accounts

Working with a non-decimal system can be problematic and confusing. This might be the case when one tries to study financial topics during the early 18th century. In those days, a English pound was divided into 20 shillings, and each shilling numbered 12 pence.

Two tools were created to ease working with this non-decimal system. One is designed to convert a daily payment into its yearly equivalent. In documents on, for example, half-pay officers, the sums paid to these officers is given in daily or  yearly sums. The second tool is a simple calculator, to enable addition and subtraction.

The tools can be found at

Monday, 3 September 2012

The pity of war

The Calendar of Treasury Books are a real goldmine for all kinds of detail on regiments, their movements, payments due to regiments, etc etc. One will also find many details related to individuals. Sometimes in the form of a petition, when officers from a regiment reduced long ago demanded payment of arrears. In this post the example of a pension granted to a captain who had to leave active service because of illness. This captain had to wait, and suffer, for more than four years for his pension, because of some mistake in the bureaucratic machinery.
Royal warrant dated St. James's [to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland] to insert on the list of French pensioners on the Establishment of Ireland the name of Moses Caries with 3s. a day pension as from Sept. 29 last, he having been Capt. of a Company in the late Foot Regiment of Col. Charles Dubourgay, and being by sickness and other infirmities contracted in the service rendered unable to repair to his post in Spain, whereupon the late Queen granted him a pension of 3s. a day on the Establishment of Ireland in lieu of his Company, but the said Queen's warrant for that purpose to the Marquess of Wharton, then Lieutenant General of Ireland, being by mistake countersigned by Robert Walpole, then Secretary at War, whereby said Caries could never obtain any benefit of the said pension, whereby he has been there 4½ years in a starving condition, being now bedridden and almost blind. Out Letters (Ireland) IX, p. 622.
This makes one wonder about the fate to ordinary soldiers, who had fallen ill during service. (Excerpt taken from Warrant Books, February 1715, Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 29.)

new book: Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat

The author was recently notified on a new publication on the Duke of Marlborough: Marlborough: Soldier and Diplomat. Other than previous publications, in which Marlborough is typically seen by, through and for British perspective, this publication places Marlborough in a much wider, European, context. A dozen specialists have written on the Duke, each from a different perspective.

The book is edited by John B. Hattendorf, Augustus J. Veenendaal, and Rolof van Hövell tot Westerflier. Contributing authors include David Onnekink from the Netherlands, John Hattendorf, Jamel Ostwald, and John Stapleton from the United States, and Alan Guy and Tony Claydon from the United Kingdom.

The book is published by Karwansaray Publishers, and more information on the book is found here. Judging from the topics covered, the book looks like a 'must-read' and one will eventually find its way to the author's library.