Paymaster General's account book, 1690

Contributed by Schomberg House

Manuscript detailing funds  raised for William of Orange's military campaign in Ireland in 1690 and how they were spent.

Image 1 of 2

This parchment document was written by the Paymaster General, Thomas Coningsby, before and after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Its meticulous accounting gives a fascinating insight into the mechanics and economics of warfare in 17th century Europe.

It shows the payments made to all the various regiments and units of the 35,000 force of King William III when he came to Ireland to defeat the attempt by his uncle and father-in-law, the deposed James II, to regain the thrones of Scotland and England.

It also includes lists of contributions as well as payments for intelligence, goods and supplies and donations to hospitals. Members of Dutch and French regiments are also listed.

The result is a detailed picture of the logistics of the campaign and insight into the political and social circumstances of the time.

This object shows how the equivalent of some £200m was spent in the months before and after the Battle of the Boyne.

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