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Subject:

Re: Friday (early) morning question

From:

"CARLISLE, Philip" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Issues related to Historic Environment Records <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 27 Jan 2012 11:56:10 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (216 lines)

Dear all,
Considering that between 100,000 and 250,000 French prisoners of war from the Napoleonic Wars were held in Britain during the period (depending on which source you read) I'd think it was highly likely that at least some were put to work on building projects (other than their own prisons). 

Phil


Phil Carlisle

Data Standards Supervisor

Data Standards Unit, Designations Department

English Heritage

The Engine House

Fire Fly Avenue

Swindon

SN2 2EH

Tel: +44 (0)1793 414824

 

http://thesaurus.english-heritage.org.uk/ 

The information contained within this e-mail is confidential and may be privileged. It is intended for the addressee only. If you have received the e-mail in error, please inform the sender and delete it from your system. The contents of this e-mail must not be disclosed to anyone else or copied without the sender's consent.

Any views and opinions expressed in this message are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of English Heritage. English Heritage will not take any responsibility for the views of the author. 

P Please do not print this e-mail unless you really need to


-----Original Message-----
From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chris Wardle
Sent: 27 January 2012 11:25
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Friday (early) morning question

Hugh,

Call me an old cynic if you must, but as a well-known historian once commented, "Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear."

Whilst you can't rule out all tales of French prisoners being used for this kind of engineering project, just how many French prisoners did Britain take in the 1790s and early part of the C18th? 

Britain was not an major land power. For most of the wars with France, the main sources of French prisoners would have been:- a. Those captured in clearing-up operations on land in the West Indies, Egypt and a handful of other places beyond Europe. I doubt whether there would have been too many of these.
b. Captured sailors. Bearing in mind the Royal Navy's chronic shortage of seamen, I suspect that the navy would have tried to use as many of these as possible on British ships.
c. From the Spanish peninsular after 1809.

Could these sources really have been sufficient to carry out all the engineering works attributed to them and to fill the cells in Dartmoor?

Chris       



-----Original Message-----
From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Hugh Winfield
Sent: 27 January 2012 09:33
To: Issues related to Historic Environment Records; Chris Wardle
Subject: Re: Friday (early) morning question

Chris,
 
Surely being post-boom it would make it more likely? I would have thought that engineers desperate to finish off abandoned or over-budget projects would have moved heaven and high water to get their hands on large labour pools that they didn't have to pay! Just a thought, no evidence obviously.
 
Hugh
 
Hugh Winfield
Archaeologist and Historic Environment Record Officer Development Management Origin One, Origin Way Europarc, Grimsby North East Lincolnshire
DN37 9TZ
Tel: (01472) 32 3586 Fax: (01472) 32 4216 

Access maps of the Archaeological and Historic sites, buildings and monuments in North East Lincolnshire here: http://isharemaps.nelincs.gov.uk/mynelcaspx <https://legacy.nelincs.gov.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://isharemaps.nelincs.gov.uk/mynelc.aspx> 


________________________________

From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records on behalf of Chris Wardle
Sent: Fri 27/01/2012 09:28
To: Winfield, Hugh
Subject: Re: Friday (early) morning question



Hi Vince,

I seem to dimly recall, from my days of 'A' level history, that the main era of 'Canal Mania', when investor were eager to put money into making rivers navigable and building canals lasted from the early 1770s into the late 1780s. By the time the French Revolutionary Wars broke out in the 1790s the enthusiasm for canal building was cooling off. Many venues, such as the ill-fated Charnwood Forest Canal here in Leicestershire, having proven to be huge loss makers.

So it seems likely that most  of the stories of the involvement of French prisoners of war in improvements in navigation are probably untrue.        

Chris Wardle
City Archaeologist
Planning & Economic Development
A11, New Walk Centre
Leicester. LE1 6ZG

-----Original Message-----
From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Vince Russett
Sent: 27 January 2012 09:11
To: Issues related to Historic Environment Records; Chris Wardle
Subject: Re: Friday (early) morning question

Morning, chums!

And while we're on this subject, I've often heard stories of major engineering works (river course modification etc) being carried out by Napoleonic prisoners of war - specifically, the story is told of straightening of the Cheddar Yeo by such. Does anyone know if there is any truth in these stories?

Vince

Vince Russett
County Archaeologist
Development Management Group
North Somerset Council

Our Historic Environment Record is now on-line: Go to the North Somerset web site (http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk <http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/> ) then use the tabs Environment / Conservation / Archaeology/ Historic Environment Record. Enjoy!

Landline: 01934 426456
Mobile:    07919 265644

Please note my work hours are usually 8am to 4pm -----Original Message-----
From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nick Boldrini
Sent: 27 January 2012 08:56
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Friday (early) morning question

Hi Chris

I assume you've picked the Civic Trusts collective brain to see where they got the info?

not heard of anything similar up here

best wishes

Nick Boldrini

Historic Environment Record Officer
Durham County Council
Tel: 0191 3708840
Fax: 0191 3708897
[log in to unmask]
VPN 7777 8840


-----Original Message-----
From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chris Webster
Sent: 27 January 2012 08:34
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Friday (early) morning question

In a street in Wells, called Guard House Lane, is a plaque erected by the civic society that reads:

Guardhouse Lane takes its name from its eighteenth-century guardhouse  -
the tall building 50 metres down on the right-hand side.    The
Napoleonic Wars of the late 1790s and early 1800s saw a new warfare of
mass armies and large fleets.   This made necessary the first serious
attempt to house prisoners-of-war in specially built prisons or prison
camps, as on Dartmoor or at Norman Cross near Peterborough.    Captured
French soldiers and sailors were landed at Dorset ports, and marched about 20 miles a day, lodging en route at specially constructed
staging-posts.     Wells Guardhouse was the last overnight stop for
other ranks before reaching the newly enlarged Stapleton Prison at Bristol.

Has anyone else come across these - it suggests a semi-national system - but I can find no other information about it/them.

Chris Webster
Historic Environment Record
Somerset County Council
Somerset Heritage Centre
Brunel Way
Taunton
TA2 6SF

01823 347434

Online HER: www.somerset.gov.uk/her

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