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قراءة كتاب The Journal of Joachim Hane containing his escapes and sufferings during his employment by Oliver Cromwell in France from November 1653 to February 1654

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‏اللغة: English
The Journal of Joachim Hane
containing his escapes and sufferings during his employment
by Oliver Cromwell in France from November 1653 to February

The Journal of Joachim Hane containing his escapes and sufferings during his employment by Oliver Cromwell in France from November 1653 to February 1654

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1




By C. H. FIRTH, M.A.






Joachim Hane, the author of the following journal and the hero of the adventures recorded in it, was a German engineer in the service of the Commonwealth. During the Civil War there were many foreign soldiers in the armies both of the King and the Parliament. Readers of Carlyle's Cromwell will remember 'Dutch Dalbier,' from whom, according to Carlyle, 'Cromwell first of all learned the mechanical part of soldiering'—a soldier who first served the Parliament but met his death at St. Neots in 1648 while heading a royalist rising against it. Another Dutchman in the Parliament's service was Vandruske, who like Dalbier went over to the royalist cause, and ended by seeking his fortune in the service of the Czar. A third of these foreign adventurers was Sir Bernard Gascoyne, or Bernardino Guasconi, a Florentine, condemned to death with Lucas and Lisle at Colchester, but spared to be rewarded by Charles II and to be employed by him as English envoy at Vienna. There were many others of less note in the two armies, but it was not merely as fighting men that the services of foreign soldiers were desired and valued. What made officers bred abroad necessary to both parties was their knowledge of the scientific side of warfare, a subject of which home-made royalist and parliamentary colonels knew little or nothing. Each party found these scientifically trained soldiers indispensable as engineers and commanders of artillery. When the king first established his headquarters at Oxford, and proceeded to fortify the town, he appears to have had no qualified engineer in his army. According to Wood the first fortifications about the city 'were mostly contrived by one Richard Rallingson, Bachelor of Arts of Queen's College,' who was rewarded by Charles with promotion to the rank of M.A. Such amateur engineers might be employed at a pinch, but the chief engineer in the service of Charles I was Sir Bernard de Gomme, another Dutchman, whose career is excellently sketched by Mr. Gordon Goodwin in the Dictionary of National Biography. The plans of the castle at Liverpool and the citadel he designed for Dublin, with his diagrams of the battles of Newbury and Marston Moor, are now in the British Museum.

Dutch and German engineers also abounded on the parliamentary side. One of the best known is Lieutenant-Colonel John Rosworm, who fortified Manchester for the Parliament, helped to capture Liverpool Castle, and wrote a narrative called Good Service hitherto ill-rewarded, setting forth his difficulties in obtaining his pay. In Essex's army Philibert Emmanuel du Boys held the post of Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance, whilst in the New Model Peter Manteau Van Dalem was Engineer-General. The names of Cornelius and Chrystoph Van Bemmell appear in the Parliamentary Army Lists in 1648, and in 1649 Joachim Hane begins to be mentioned.

Fortunately, the English portion of Hane's career can be traced with tolerable fullness. He was born at Frankfort on the Oder, and was therefore by birth a subject of the Elector of Brandenburg. In his army, or in some other foreign army, Hane obtained his military education. Probably he was one of the many soldiers cast adrift by the disbanding which followed the peace of Westphalia, and obliged thereby to seek employment outside Germany. He appeared in England first in 1649, and was employed by the Council of State to report on the fortifications of Weymouth with a view to the building of a citadel there. He was also sent to Yarmouth to consult with the governor and the officers of the garrison on the erection of a fort[1]. In the following year Hane seems to have accompanied Cromwell in his expedition to Scotland, and he remained in Scotland with Monk when Cromwell marched into England. The surrender of Stirling Castle to Monk was mainly due to Hane's skill as an artilleryman. On August 13, says the diary of the siege, 'the morter-pieces were planted, and Mr. Hane, the engineer, plaid with one of the morter-pieces twice. The second shot fell into the middle of the Castle, and did much execution. Afterwards he played with the other great morter-piece and did execution.' On the 14th the garrison, who were not accustomed to shells, mutinied and forced the governor to surrender. Again, a fortnight later, at the siege of Dundee, the same narrative records that 'Mr. Hane, the engineer, plaid the morter-piece.' December following Hane was sent to Inverness to report on its possibilities as a fortress, and returned with the news that it was 'not fortifiable without a great deal of charges, nor tenable without a greater number of men than the town can possibly provide accomodation for.' The result was that instead of fortifying the town itself a fort large enough to hold 2000 men was built close by it. In 1653 Hane was again in England, though Colonel Lilburne, the Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, was writing letter after letter to the Lord-General to demand his return. Many officers, complained Lilburne, have been absent a long time from their charges: 'and in particular Mr. Hane, the Engineer, of whom wee have an exceeding great want, and I doe wonder hee should neglect this duty soe much as hee does, his absence being the losse of some hundreds to the State, and if wee should have any occasion to make use of a morter-piece without Mr. Hane, there is noebody to undertake that businesse that is fitt for itt[2].'

But the Lord-General turned a deaf ear to Lilburne's appeals. He had chosen Hane for a business of much more difficulty than planning forts, and of much greater danger than playing a mortar-piece. He was kept from his professional duties in Scotland to play a part in one of the obscurest and least known episodes of Cromwell's foreign policy. On October 11, 1653, Hane set sail for France on his mysterious mission, and spent the next five months in struggling with the dangers and privations related in this journal.

At that time the relations of France with England were still strained and unfriendly. It was still uncertain whether England would ally itself with Spain against France, or with France against Spain. Charles II was a pensioner at the French Court. In 1649 Louis XIV had prohibited the introduction into France of all woollen stuffs or silks manufactured in England, and the Republic had replied by forbidding the introduction into England of wines, woollen stuffs, and silks from France. French corsairs had made prey of English merchantmen, and English ships armed with letters of reprisal had retaliated on French commerce. At the close of 1651 war with France seemed much more probable than war with Holland. The Dutch war had aggravated the situation still further by leading to the confiscation of many French ships on the ground that they carried Dutch goods or contraband of war. In September, 1652, Blake captured a small French fleet sent to relieve and provision the garrison of Dunkirk, and that place in consequence fell into the hands of the Spaniards. At last, in