J D Davies

Vanished Empires

My recent trip to Scotland meant that I missed blogging about the 350th anniversary of the conquest of New Amsterdam in 1664, and the subsequent establishment of New York and New Jersey. When I came to think about writing a new post on this, looking at the odd coincidence of the ‘Bedfordshire connection’ behind the foundation of both states, I realised that I’d already presented the material in a post from over two and a half years ago. As a lot of new followers have come on board since, I thought I’d reblog that post now to mark the 350th anniversary. Enjoy!

J D Davies

‘The Journals of Matthew Quinton’ are set principally during what are known as ‘the Anglo-Dutch wars’, but like most generalisations used to describe historical periods, that label actually conceals a much more complex picture. For one thing, the wars were not exclusively Anglo-Dutch: the second, from 1665 to 1667, also involved France, Denmark-Norway and even the Prince-Bishop of Munster, while the third, from 1672-4, was part of a much larger conflict that the Dutch regard as effectively their second war of independence, fought overwhelmingly against the French.

The same is true of the colonial conflicts that form the backdrop of The Mountain of Gold, the second book in the series. Anglocentric sources have sometimes seen the colonial conflicts of the early 1660s as being primarily between the English and the Dutch, especially in West Africa, but in reality many European powers, including some pretty unlikely ones, were scrabbling desperately…

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