Thursday, May 06, 2004

The French intelligence sources

Perhaps as long as twenty years ago, Jan Glete found several very interesting documents in France. They contained intelligence information about Dutch ships in the 1670's. The transcription and partial analysis of these is available on The sources are:

1. Jan Glete's notes from Melanges de Colbert 84, fol. 533-538, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris: "the list prepared by the marquis de Seignelay (Colbert's son) during his visit to the Netherlands in 1671" ) as noted on p.334, note 23, from Jan Glete's book, Navies and Nations: Warships, Navies and State Building in Europe and America, 1500-1860, Vol. One, Stockholm, 1993. This document actually contains two lists, as some ships are duplicated between two parts.

2. Undated list, from copies supplied by Jan Glete, from around 1676, from the Archives Nationales, Paris, Marine B7 477, starting with folio 5.

The latter is probably from about 1676. Prof. Glete kindly supplied me with a copy of his notes and the manuscript pages. The pages are significant, because they have ship data that is not available from surviving Dutch sources. We are greatly the worse for the loss of information from the fire at the Netherlands Ministry of Marine in 1844. There is some of that information published in J.C. De Jonge's Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen, 5 Vols., Haarlem, 1858-1862. This was the second edition. The first edition had been compiled prior to the fire.

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