czwartek, 17 maja 2018

Tolkien's ancestor was a Feuerwercker
or an ordnance technician (1770)!

I have discovered that Christian Tolkien had the same abilities as Gandalf!
Last Wednesday (16 May 2018) I visited National Archive in Gdańsk (for the 4th time) and I discivered something very important! In the document APGd 300,31/109 ("Listen Königl. Preussischen Landeskinder übergeben von dem Königl. Preuss. Herrn Legations Raht und Residenten [with an index]") with a list of Prussian subjects living in Polish Danzig (Gdańsk), in the part devoted to the people born in the region of Kreuzburg, Kingdom of Prussia I have found two Tolkien ("Tolckien") brothers: Christian Tolkien (1706–1791) and Michael Tolkien (1708–1795, a Kürschner or furrier, read about him here):

The moment of the discovery
Christian and Michael Tolkien ("Tolckien"), 1770 living in Gdańsk for 30 years
I know that they came to Gdańsk even earlier, in 1724
Full page with the Prussian subjects from Kreuzburg area in Danzig
Thanks to this record now we can be sure that J. R. R. Tolkien's great-great-great-grandfather Christian Tolkien, father of two brothers who emigrated to London in 1770s was a member of the Danzig Garrison as a Feuerwerker (military pyrotechnician, ordnance technician or specialist, literally 'fire worker'; Latin tormentarius or pyrotechnicus), a specialist responsible for the maintenance of ammunition (in the armed forces of German-speaking countries), From the late Middle Ages until the Early modern period a Feuerwerker was a highly specialised artisan with detail knowledge of the closely guarded secrets of making gunpowder – see Wikipedia (Feuerwerker). Due to special knowledge and skills required for their work, the Feuerwerkers were professionally organized and belonged with the privileged layers of the local army. The Feuerwerkers were the military staff in the rank of subordinate to the artillery. The Feuerwerkers were members of a group of people particularly concerned with the manufacture and use of gunpowder and explosive materials. In Gdańsk in the 18th century a Feuerwerker was also helpful in preparing the fireworks for special occasions like royal visits or holidays.

Gdańsk Great Arsenal where Christian Tolkien produced his "pills" and "fireworks"
This house on the left is where the Tolkiens lived in the 18th and 19th c
It still exists!

Pyrotechnic elements on the front side of "Old Pharmacy"
Christian Tolkien (1706–1791, documents connected with his life are here), son of Christianus Tolkien (1663–1746), a baker from Kreuzburg (see here), Prussia, was a Feuerwerker in Gdańsk (Danzig) Garrison. This is why he lived on Bischofsberg (Biskupia Górka, 'Bishop's Hill') where the Danzig artilery was stationed (on Bischofsberg his older son, Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien, a London furrier was born in 1746). This is why his son-in-law was Johann Carl Bergmann (1743–1813), an artilerist from the same Garrison who also lived on Bischofsberg. This is why the Tolkiens worked and even lived by Great Arsenal (Das Große Zeughaus, Wielka Zbrojownia) in Gdańsk (a small house on the back of the "Old Pharmacy", where the "pills" or amunition was produced. It was a house at Hintergaße No. 120 = Klein Schirrmachersgaße No. 1967 [3] where in the 19th century Christian Tolkien junior had his "Tolkien – Antiquary"; I have got a brick from that house in my collection; see here). This is probably why John Benjamin Tolkien (1788–1859), Christian's London grandson was a member of the Worshipful Company of Loriners (loriner is a maker of metal parts for bridles, harnesses, spurs and other horse apparel, especially for army).
So we can see that a direct Professor's ancestor was like Gandalf. He was able to prepare splendid fireworks for special occasions in Gdańsk. And I will now explore the archival documents connected with Danzig Garrison, its artilery, its role on Bischofsberg and in Petershagen where the Tolkiens lived and where they were buried.

Brak komentarzy:

Publikowanie komentarza