Document, signed ‘Marlborough’, appointing a gunner at the Canadian settlement of Annapolis Royal.

[London,] Office of Ordnance, 24 December 1714.

Document on vellum (290 x 395 mm); 17 lines, ruled in plummet, with fine impressed seal and original paper wafer at top left corner; sometime folded, slightly dust-soiled; preserved in a mid-twentieth-century Maggs Bros. autograph folder.

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Document, signed ‘Marlborough’, appointing a gunner at the Canadian settlement of Annapolis Royal.

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A commission appointing the intended recipient (never filled in) ‘to be one of the Gunners belonging to his Ma.ties Guarrison of Annapolis Royall, you are therefore Carefully and Diligently to Discharge the Duty of a Gunner in the said service by doing performing all manner of things thereunto belonging and to observe and follow such Orders and Directions as you shall from time to time Receive from me or the Master Generall of the Ordnance [. . .]’.

Annapolis Royal (formerly Port Royal) in Nova Scotia has been recaptured from the French in 1710. Following the battle of Bloody Creek in 1711, 600 Acadians and native warriors tried but failed to retake the settlement, and it remained a British enclave (surrounded by a largely French population) thereafter.

The document is subscribed ‘By Command of his Grace the Master Generall of the Ordnance Ja. Craggs’ and, in a different hand, ‘1st Feb[rua]ry 1714/5 Ent[er]ed in the Office of his maj[es]ty’s Ordnance’. ‘Ja. Craggs’ is the financier and Whig politician James Craggs the Elder (bap. 1657, d. 1721) who had entered the service of the Duchess of Marlborough and was in business as an army clothier. He amassed a considerable fortune as a result of the South Sea Company.

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