18th Century Podcast Episode 21 Spycraft

Execution of Nathan Hale

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/cj123/episodes/18th-Century-Podcast-Episode-21-Spycraft-e86oi3/a-auf07g


In today’s episode, we’ll be going over spycraft in the 18th Century. We’ll cover some techniques spies would use to conceal their messages, and some notable spies from the 18th Century like Nathan Hale. We’ll also discuss some spy activity during Benjamin Franklin’s time in Paris. You don’t want to miss this one!



Welcome back to the 18th Century Podcast. I am your host, Cj. In today’s episode, we’ll be going over spycraft in the 18th Century. If you’d like to read the script for this episode and its citations, go to 18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. Let’s kick things off by talking about a general overview of spycraft in the 18th Century.


Robert Townsend, Culper Spy Ring

Spying was frowned upon in the 18th Century. It could lead to a death sentence. There was a view that spying was ungentlemanly. It was an activity that was used but frowned upon. Though States may not openly admit that they used spies, spies were vital in times of war. There were no central intelligence organizations like there are today, but agents or rings were formed when necessary. Perhaps the most famous spy ring in the 18th Century was the Culper Spy Ring, which I did read a few of their letters, however poorly, a couple of episodes ago. I’d recommend checking out the blog post for that episode so you can read the letters yourself. I won’t be going into the Culper Ring today, as that will be a future episode in and of itself. Though spies were used, it was more common for a military to gain intelligence from local sources about their enemy. This could be through local newspapers, rumors, or gossip. People like to talk and information travels. But between spies, they would communicate mainly through letters and coded messages. Ciphers were a popular method of concealing information. Books were sometimes written to decipher the messages. These books would have typically been within the ring only. Another method which also dates back centuries was invisible ink. For example, during the American Revolution, an invisible ink was made by mixing ferrous sulfate and water. The spy would write the hidden message between lines of a letter and then pass it off. To read the message heat or another chemical could be applied. One such chemical which could bring forth the message was sodium carbonate. Now, a British method of transferring information, which could have been used by other States as well, was hidden messages. Hidden messages would be written on small pieces of paper and concealed in an object, which a courier could transfer. One method which I have seen before but I forgot about was masked messages. A masked message was when a message would be concealed in a letter that only could be read if a specially designed shaped template was placed over the letter. Spies have been used for centuries before and centuries after, but I think it’s time we take a look into a small story of spies in France during the second half of the 1770s. 


Benjamin Franklin in Paris with coon skin cap

This section will be covering part of the American Revolution, and I know I’ve talked about doing my American Revolution series on the podcast for a few episodes. It’s coming… eventually. But I do want to share a small tale concerning spies and Paris during this period. Our tale begins in 1776 when the new Congress of the United States sends Benjamin Franklin to France as a diplomat. His mission is to gain French support for the American Cause. I think it goes without saying how famous Benjamin Franklin was in Paris. The French loved him, and I’ll dive deeper into this when I do a bio on Benjamin Franklin. However, there were still some under the table dealings Franklin did while in France. Franklin had amassed a connection of friends in France and Agents working under him. Franklin would launch a series of schemes while also conducting diplomacy. One such instance was a successful piece of propaganda against the British on their turf. One ploy of propaganda was giving false newspaper stories of Britain’s Native American allies which stipulated that the Natives were committing horrendous acts on the frontier. The ploy would pay off as it caused a further division in Parliament. Franklin’s agents would amass a bounty of British Naval movements. I think this goes without saying how well connected he truly was. The British Ambassador to France was quoted as saying about Franklin, quote, “veteran of mischief,” unquote. Franklin was clever, but one thing he never found out during his time in Paris, was that his then Secretary, Edward Bancroft, was an agent for the British. Edward would write the intelligence on Franklin in invisible ink, then he would leave it at a dead drop where Paul Wentworth, the man in charge of British espionage in Paris, would pick it up. The information gathered by Edward would successfully make it’s way to the direct hands of King George III. However, the information collected on Franklin was mostly in vain. King George III, for the most part, dismissed the information collected. Franklin did come to suspect there was a mole in his midst and he would on occasion, send false information as a way to trap the British Agent. He never did figure out it was his own Secretary. Now, the French had their very own well-connected spy ring in their Capitol. The French would spy on citizens and foreigners alike. The French agents would gather their information through a plethora of ways, among which were, gossip, and pillow talk after relations. It goes without saying, the French had spies placed on Franklin. Franklin, of course, was aware he was being watched. He knew both about the British and the French, though he may not have known the exact identity of all the spies placed on him. After the Americans claimed victory of the Battle of Saratoga, the British were considering to find a way to reconcile with the Americans. Franklin became aware of this and hatched a plan which would help encourage the French to support the American cause. Though the French were not in the conflict as of yet, a prolonged conflict could have benefited the French over their most hated adversary, the British. Franklin pretended he was interested in talking with the British. Possibly, he implied opening a dialogue with them. This was discovered by French agents, and the information was passed along. The French panicked. They hastened for a deal giving support to the Americans. Through careful maneuvering, and playing the agents on him, Franklin’s plan was realized. Now, we’re going to take a short break, and when we come back for the second half of this episode, we’re going to take a look at some notable spies in the 18th Century. Don’t go away.


Nathan Hale

Welcome back. We’ll continue the second half of today’s show discussing some of the most prominent spies in the 18th Century. I’m going to start this off with one of the most famous spies in the 18th Century Nathan Hale. Nathan Hale was a graduate of Yale and a schoolteacher from Connecticut. When the American War for Independence broke out Nathan joined the Connecticut regiment in 1775. He would gain the rank of Captain. During the early phases of the War, Washington needed intelligence on the British. Young Nathan volunteered to go and spy on their adversary on September 10th, 1776. He would disguise himself as a Dutch Schoolmaster and sneak past British lines on Long Island. Hale would spend the next few days collecting intelligence on British troop movements. On September 21st, Hale attempted to cross back to American lines, but he was captured by the British. Hale would be interrogated by British General William Howe. General Howe would discover incriminating documents on Hale’s person. General Howe ordered the execution of Hale for the following morning. Nathan Hale would receive no trail. The 21-year-old marched to the gallows, and purportedly his final words were, quote, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country,” unquote. Hale would go down as one of the most famous spies in 18th Century history, even though he failed his mission and had no training or experience in spycraft.

Charles Théveneau de Morande

Let’s transition to a successful spy, one over in Europe, a French spy named, Charles Théveneau de Morande. I will hence refer to him as Charles. Charles was a lawyer’s son, and he served in the Seven Years War. After the Seven Years War, Charles made his way to Paris where he would indulge himself in Vice. Things would get heated for him and he fled Paris in 1770 to London to avoid being arrested. In London, he would print pamphlets attacking King Louis XV’s mistress. Louis XV was furious with Charles’s activities. He wanted the man extradited or kidnaped if possible, but his attempts bore no fruit. When initial revenge attempts failed, the King decided to attempt another plan. He plotted to turn Charles into a spy, and he sent Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais to London to recruit Charles. Pierre-Augustin was in disgrace at the time from losing two court cases in the 1770s. Seeking redemption, Pierre-Augustin traveled to London to recruit Charles. The French Foreign Minister, Charles de Vergennes, also saw our Charles as someone worth investing in. Charles had a knack for uncovering secrets and publishing them in pamphlets, and his outspokenness against the French King would add a layer of protection against British suspicion. During the American War of Independence, Charles kept track of ship movements out of British ports, and very successfully at that. He continued his service spying on the British after the war as well. He would go on and recruit high up engineers to his side. Charles became the editor of a prominent French newspaper in London, Courier de l’Europe. This new position would further give him credence for information gathering. The paper was a massive hit across Europe, but not so much in Parliament. The British Parliament viewed it as a sort of open espionage during the American War of Independence. The allegations that the paper was, in fact, a form of espionage were basically true. The British eventually banned the exportation of the paper. But it’s Naval Officer and Enturepenure, Samuel Swinton, smuggled it out. Samuel was a British spy and used the paper as a means to enter France where he would conduct operations on the Americans and French. All the while Charles was printing hidden messages in paragraphs in the paper which were codded for French intelligence. During the American Revolution, The French helped set up a ring with Charles were he would have multiple couriers in a sort of loose network as not to arouse suspicion. The British did suspect Charles as an agent for France, but they never gathered proof. Charles would remain in Great Britain until 1791 when he made his return to France.

Eva Löwen

Our final spy for today comes from Sweden. Eva Löwen was born in 1743 and the daughter of the Governor-General. Her family was well politically connected. When her father was appointed as the Governor-General, the family moved. At their new home, Eva would meet her future husband Fredrik Ribbing. Fredrik was politically well connected himself and was close to the Royal couple. Eva would find herself in the heart of Swedish politics in the mid-1760s. Eva would become popular in Swedish high society. She was characterized as witty, and admirable, but also renowned for her… escapades in the private company of others. I trust you understand what I’m getting at. She became a lover of the French Ambassador to Sweden, Louis Auguste Le Tonnelier de Breteuil. Gustav III attempted to initiate a relationship with Eva, but she rejected his advances. She had other relations with high ranking men in Swedish society, and this may have gained the interest of the French. In the years before Gustav III’s coup, she was on a list of recipients receiving a pension from the French Government. After Gustav III’s successful coup and coronation of 1772, Eva grew closer with him as a friend and they spent their time in grand conversation. Everything would fall apart with the death of Eva’s husband in 1783. Eva would first move in with Gustaf Macklean, a person she previously had a connection to. Gustav III began to fall out of favor. Eva’s son became a part of an assassination plot to kill King Gustav III. Her son had influence from what was occurring in France at the time. After the assassination of Gustav III, he was sentenced to death, but received a pardon and was expelled from Sweden and stripped of nobility. Eva and Gustaf Macklean accompanied her son first to Paris, and then to Switzerland. Eva and Gustaf would marry in 1796 and moved into a Manor in Sweden. Eva died at home in 1813.


This brings us to the end of this week’s episode. Spies and their history is certainly a fascinating topic. I learned a few things this week which I did not expect, and I hope you did as well. The script and citations for this episode and all other episodes can be found at 18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. If you’d like to support the show, please share it and leave a review. I’ve been your host Cj, and thank you for listening to this episode of the 18th Century Podcast.


“Spy Techniques of the Revolutionary War.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon, https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/spying-and-espionage/spy-techniques-of-the-revolutionary-war/.

Crews, Ed. “Spies and Scouts, Secret Writing, and Sympathetic Citizens.” Spies and Scouts, Secret Writing, and Sympathetic Citizens : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site, 2004, https://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Summer04/spies.cfm.

HistoryExtraAdmin. “18th Century Espionage: the French Spy in London.” HistoryExtra, 10 Oct. 2018, https://www.historyextra.com/period/georgian/18th-century-espionage-the-french-spy-in-london/.

“Nathan Hale Is Executed by the British for Spying.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 13 Nov. 2009, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/patriot-executed-for-spying.

Eva Helena Löwen, http://www.skbl.se/sv/artikel/EvaLowen, Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon (article by Brita Planck), retrieved 2019-10-25.

18th Century Podcast Episode 15 Secret Societies

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/cj123/episodes/18th-Century-Podcast-Episode-15-Secret-Societies-e5c7p4/a-anf5ha


In today’s episode, we will be taking a look at secret societies.We’re going to start the episode discussing a brief overview of the topic, then a few societies in particular. Among those discussed will be The Freemasons, The Hell Fire Club, and The Illuminati.



Welcome back to the 18th Century Podcast. I am your host, Cj. In today’s episode, we will be taking a look at secret societies. Secret Societies are a fascinating topic, and they were somewhat prevalent during the 18th Century. We’re going to start the episode discussing a brief overview of the topic, then a few societies in particular. Among those discussed will be The Freemasons, The Hell Fire Club, and The Illuminati. f you’d like to read the script for this episode and its citations, go to 18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. Let’s get into it with, a brief overview of secret societies in the 18th Century.


Perhaps the best way to describe a secret society is to speak of it’s most basic elements. A secret society is a group of people centered around a goal or a group of goals or ideas and espousing them in secrecy. Secret societies could be religious or secular. Ceremony and rituals are often involved, as passed down traditions. A secret society could have certain qualifications for membership, such as being of a particular sex, specific age, social class, your even your job. Traditionally, most secret societies tended to be for adult males. Now let’s look at some examples of secret societies in the 18th Century, beginning with the Freemasons.


Freemasonry is perhaps one of the most popular secret societies in the world. The roots of Freemasonry go back further than that of the 18th Century. Most likely, Freemasonry started as a guild or guilds in the Middle Ages. Yet as time went on, the formed into the group known as the Freemasons. One no longer had to be an actual mason to join. Semblance of Freemasonry slowly came into being during the 17th Century. There were signs of Lodges in the 17th Century as well. I would like to note, that at this point, it was more focused in England. Jumping into the 18th Century, the more modern structure began to take shape. On June 24th, 1717, the first Grand Lodge was established. This Grand Lodge was comprised of four separate Lodges in London coming together. This would be the first Grand Lodge in the entire world. In 1723 the new Grand Lodge published their first rule book. Then in 1725, the Grand Lodge of Ireland was established. The French Grand Lodge opened its doors in 1728. On July 30th, 1733 the first Grand Lodge in America was established. 18 men gathered together in a Tavern in Boston to establish the new Grand Lodge. Which, was also the first Lodge in America. In 1736 the Scottish Grand Lodge was established. Around the 1730s through the 1740s in France, there was an idea of having a mixed-sex form of Freemasonry. This could be referred to as, Rite of Adoption. It wasn’t popular with everyone, but rules for it were eventually adopted in France. One of the key points of Freemasonry is Brotherhood. Some general requirements for joining were being a freeborn Male who believes in some sort of Supreme Being, of good character, and particular minimum age. The term, “Lodge” refers to the meeting of Masons. However, the word “Lodge” can be interpreted as where they meet as well. Grand Lodges issues charters or warrants for the formation of new Lodges. If they do not obtain a charter or warrant they are viewed as irregular and not officially recognized. If they are recognized, they are viewed as regular. This practice of viewing a lodge as regular or irregular is also at the Grand Lodge level as well for the simple fact of mutual recognition. The acts conducted within Freemasonry during the 18th Century were secretive, so I can’t discuss much what they did. I think this is a good spot to move on to the Hellfire Club.


You may have heard of the Hellfire Club, if only for the simple fact of Ben Franklin possibly may have attended. There were a few Hellfire Clubs sprinkled throughout Ireland and England. However, the first Hellfire Club was started in England in 1719 by the First Duke of Wharton. There wasn’t a ton of organizational structure in Hellfire Clubs. The main point of these clubs was in fact, Hedonism. Drunkenness and other debaucherous activities were prevalent. The most famous Hellfire Club was started by Sir Francis Dashwood. However, he would add his branding to the Club dubbing it, the Order of the Knights of St Francis. His Club was founded sometime in the 1730s. About six miles from his home in, West Wycombe, Sir Dashwood would set up shop in an old abandoned Abbey. They would meet usually twice a year. Members could expect good food, much drinking, and to quote from a book from 1779 called, Nocturnal Revels, which was a record of the meetings, quote “cheerful ladies of lively dispositions.” Unquote. In the mid-1760s, Sir Dashwood would change the venue. Eventually, the Club would come to a close. Now, were going to take a short break, and when we come back we’ll finish the episode off by talking about, the Illuminati.


Welcome back. We’ll finish off this week’s episode by discussing one of the most famous secret societies in history, The Illuminati. The real Illuminati was started by a Bavarian man named, Adam Weishaupt. Adam was born in 1748 and attended a Jesuit School in his youth. Adam would go on to become a professor of Natural and Canon Law. He would get married and start a family. He grew up in a Catholic society but read his uncles French Enlightenment books during his youth. His political views tended towards the idea that Monarchy and the Church were repressive organizations. For a time he considered joining the Freemasons but some of his views contrasted with that of the Masons. He decided to form his own society and one of their core beliefs was the abolishment of Monarchy. On May 1st, 1776, the 28-year-old Adam conducted the very first Illuminati meeting. There was a total attendance of five members. They established the rules of their new society that night. Illumination was the main goal of the Illuminati which, to put it another way, was to bring knowledge of true liberty to the people. He added mysticism to their society to make the republican group seem more mysterious. In 1780, Adam attracted the attention of Adolf Francis, a Baron, and an Occultist. The Baron seemed to approve of the Illuminati’s goals and he helped establish chapters across Germany. By 1782 their numbers swelled to around 600 men. The Illuminati attracted doctors, lawyers, politicians, intellectuals and the like. During 1784 their membership would hit about 3000 men. There were 13 degrees a member could attain, and this structure was in part modeled after the Masons. Yet they would meet their downfall between 1784 to 1785. A disillusioned member wrote to the Grand Duchess of Bavaria informing her of the secret societies. The letter was a mixture of truth and falsehoods. The Grand Duchess informed her husband, the Duke-Elector, about this and he would issue an edict effectively banning the formation of societies not prescribed by law. Then in 1785 another edict was passed specifically banning the Illuminati. Police were sent out to arrest members and confiscate anything to do with the Illuminati. In 1787 the Duke-Elector would pass a final edict which officially prohibited the Illuminati and made being a member worthy of a death sentence. Adam was banished and he would spend the rest of his days as a teacher of philosophy at a University in Saxony. Thus, this brings us to the end of the Illuminati.


Secret Societies are an interesting topic. Some of them still exist to this day, such as The Freemasons. I found this as an interesting topic to research and I hope you enjoyed hearing about it as much as I did reading about it. The script and citations for this episode and all other episodes can be found at https://18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. If you’d like to support the show, please share it and leave a review. I’ve been your host Cj, and thank you for listening to this episode of the 18th Century Podcast.


Secret Societies.” Encyclopedia of Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. 3 Sep. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Freemasonry.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 30 Aug. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/topic/order-of-Freemasons.

Freemasonry and Brotherhood, http://www.msana.com/brotherhood.asp.

“History of Freemasonry.” United Grand Lodge of England – History of Freemasonry, https://www.ugle.org.uk/about-freemasonry/history-of-freemasonry.

“Boston Masons Organize First Grand Lodge in America.” John Brown Speaks in Concord, https://www.massmoments.org/moment-details/boston-masons-organize-first-grand-lodge-in-america.html.

Walton, Geri. “Freemasonry and the ‘Masonry of Adoption’ in 18th Century France.” Geri Walton, 23 Apr. 2019, https://www.geriwalton.com/freemasonry-and-the-masonry-of-adoption-in-18th-century-france/.

“Freemasonry.” New World Encyclopedia, . 11 May 2017, 14:33 UTC. 12 Sep 2019, 20:26 <//www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Freemasonry&oldid=1004729>.

“Who Were the Hellfire Club?: The Hellfire Club Archaeological Project.” Abarta Heritage Home, 29 June 2018, https://www.abartaheritage.ie/hellfire-club-archaeological-project/hellfire-club-history/hellfire-club/.&nbsp;

“Hellfire Club History: The Beginnings of the Infamous Secret Society.” Historic Mysteries, 7 Jan. 2017, https://www.historicmysteries.com/hellfire-club/.

The Illuminati.” Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Fotostock, Maria Breuer/ImageBroker/Age, and Karger-Decker/Age Fotostock. “Meet the Man Who Started the Illuminati.” National Geographic, 3 Sept. 2019, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/magazine/2016/07-08/profile-adam-weishaupt-illuminati-secret-society/.

18th Century Podcast Episode 10 The Enlightenment

Painting of The Enlightenment

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/cj123/episodes/18th-Century-Podcast-Episode-10-The-Enlightenment-e4qupp/a-ak3oke


The Enlightenment is perhaps one of the most important philosophical and scientific movements in history. In today’s episode we cover a brief history of The Enlightenment, we go over some of it’s core ideas, and we’ll do a mini bio for John Locke.



Welcome back to the 18th Century Podcast, I am your host Cj. In today’s episode, we’ll be covering one of the most important topics of the 18th Century, The Enlightenment. We’ll be going over a brief history and some of the Philosophers and their ideas in this episode. If you’d like to read the script for this episode and its citations, go to 18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. Let’s begin with a brief history of, The Englightenment.


The Englightenment, also known as, The Age Of Reason, began in the 17th Century. The ideas brought forth during this time will be carried over into the 18th Century and hold great influence. The Enlightenment would hold sway over many different aspects of life, such as philosophy, politics, science, etc… During my research for this episode, I found many contesting points declaring when the enlightenment began. The earliest of which started with Francis Bacon in 1620, with his publication of Novum Organum. In 1651, Thomas Hobbes would publish his book, Leviathan. In the book, he would argue, in simplest terms, for absolute monarchy. The idea of social contract theory would find its root’s with Hobbes as well. Then jumping forward to the 1680s we see two important texts published. The fist is Principia Mathematica, by Isiac Newton in 1686. The second is, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, by John Locke in 1689. A year later John Locke would publish arguably his most important contribution to The Enlightenment, his Second Treatise On Government. Then from the 1730s-1780s, we get a bulk of Enlightenment texts. We’ll see the writings of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Smith, Kant, and many others as well. In 1748, Montesquieu would put forth his political work, The Spirit of the Laws. Then in 1762, Rousseau would publish his work, On the Social Contract. On March 9th of 1776, Adam Smith’s, The Wealth of Nations is published. This would mark one of the most interesting economic texts was only a few months off from the Declaration of Independence. Then heading towards the 1780s, we get the work of Immanuel Kant. What’s interesting about The Englightenment is the fact that it’s pretty much a decades-long conversation between philosophers. The Enlightenment would span across Europe and the Americas. Now that I’ve covered a very brief history, I think it’s time that we take a closer look into some of the ideas of, Then Enlightenment.


Let’s kick things off with arguably the most influential ideas of The Enlightenment, politics. When The Enlightenment begins, we see absolute monarchy being espoused by philosophers. Yet as the decades start moving forward, they begin to tend towards Republicanism. In Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, he purposed the idea of the divine right of kings. The basic idea of this is, Kings are appointed by God and thus are justified to rule over others. I think it’s obvious to say that this type of doctrine would be popular with absolute monarchs. Yet, when John Locke came in with his two treatises on government, it was basically a refutation of the idea of the divine right of kings. Also from Locke, we get more development in the area of Natural Rights. Locke would come to argue for the Natural Rights of life, liberty, and property. Locke was also a proponent of Natural Law. Then with Montesquieu, we get the idea of a few different forms of government which he lists as Republics, Monarchies, and Despotisms. I would like to note that we get more of the modern view of Republicanism from Montesquieu, which in the modern vernacular would be a Representative Democracy. If you went to school in the United States, you were probably taught about this idea. Yet as a fun fact, this idea of Republicanism as presented by Montesquieu clashes with a more classical approach as presented by Cicero. Cicero would have described a Republic as a mixed form of government which combines aspects of monarchy, democracy, and aristocracy into one system which balances itself. I thought it would be interesting to share how definitions and ideas change over time, and this was one great example. Now with Rousseau, he presents the idea of The Social Contract. The Social contract was introduced before, but he refined the idea. He would contrast with Locke’s view more so, by being in favor of direct democracy as his view on the best way to govern society. The political works of The Enlightenment influenced the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Now moving forward to the field of economics, I think it’s safe to say, Adam Smith’s, The Wealth of Nations, is perhaps the most influential economic work out of the 18th Century. It introduced the world to the economic idea of Capitalism. From then on, it revolutionized the world. Many schools of thought on economics have sprung up since Smith’s work. On the scientific side of things, we saw many advancements. The basis of the modern Scientific Method began to form. Newton made advancements in mathematics and the study of gravity. The discovery of the planet Uranus by William Herschel occurred. Also, the mass of the Sun was calculated. You would also see Benjamin Franklin’s work with electricity. Now regarding the religious side of, The Enlightenment, there were many developments too. The most prominent view associated with this period would probably be, Deism. The Deistic view is that there is God, and God did create the universe but does not interfere with the going on’s of it. The other idea of Deism was that God could be known through reason. I might make an episode in the future of Deism since it’s a pretty fascinating topic. But also during, The Enlightenment was a greater sense of religious tolerance. You see an expansion of Protestantism during the period as well. I believe what I presented here covers some of the most basic and widespread views of, The Enlightenment. Now, I’m going to take a short break, and when I come back we’ll take a brief look into the life of John Locke.

PART 3:A Brief Bio of John Locke

Welcome back to the 18th Century Podcast. We’ll continue our second half of the show by taking a brief look into the life of John Locke. John Locke was born on August 29th, 1632. He was born in Wrington, Somerset, England, and grew up in Pensford, which was close to Bristol. John’s father was a lawyer and a Calvery Capitan during the English Civil Wars. After the first Civil War, John’s father secured a spot for his son at Westminster School, in London. John would attend the school when he was only 14 years old. Though John was gifted in academics and elected as a King’s Scholar in 1650, he would come to despise the school system. He disapproved of corporal punishment, and some of the behavior of the students as well. In 1693 he would put pen to paper and give his thoughts on education, arguing for a private tutor over boarding schools. When he was 20 years old, he attended Christ Church, at Oxford. In 1663, John was appointed senior censor in Christ Church, which among his duties were to oversee undergraduates and give lectures. Locke eventually became a member of the Royal Society and began to study medicine. In 1675 Locke traveled to France after losing favor with King Charles II. By the time he left for France, John had earned his bachelors degree in medicine from Oxford. During his time in France, he would befriend the intellectuals and protestants. He would head home in 1679. In September of 1683, Locke would make his way to Holland. The reason being was that John’s friend a few years prior was being closely watched by the English Government and fled to Holland, which the friend died in 1683. John himself was being closely watched by the English government at the time too. John would stay in Holland for the next serval years. He returned to England in February of 1689. He became more involved in politics under the newly crowned Queen Mary II. John would assist in writing the English Bill of Rights. He spent his final years with friends and continuing with his writing. John Locke died on October 28th, 1704.


The Enlightenment was probably one of the greatest philosophical movements in history. I would have liked to have made this episode a bit longer, but I didn’t have enough time this week, my apologies. The script and citations for this episode and all other episodes can be found at https://18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. If you’d like to support the show, please share it and leave a review. I’ve been your host Cj, and thank you for listening to this episode of the 18th Century Podcast.


Duignan, Brian. “Enlightenment.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 Mar. 2019, http://www.britannica.com/event/Enlightenment-European-history.

Bristow, William, “Enlightenment”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2017/entries/enlightenment/.

“Age of Enlightenment.” New World Encyclopedia, . 8 Feb 2019, 17:14 UTC. 29 Jul 2019, 22:22 .

Editors, History.com. “Enlightenment.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 16 Dec. 2009, http://www.history.com/topics/british-history/enlightenment.

Szalay, Jessie. “What Was the Enlightenment?” LiveScience, Purch, 7 July 2016, http://www.livescience.com/55327-the-enlightenment.html.

Blenman, Joy. “Adam Smith and ‘The Wealth of Nations.’” Investopedia, Investopedia, 26 July 2019, http://www.investopedia.com/updates/adam-smith-wealth-of-nations/.

Tuckness, Alex, “Locke’s Political Philosophy”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2018/entries/locke-political/.

“Charles De Secondat, Baron De Montesquieu.” Charles De Secondat, Baron De Montesquieu – New World Encyclopedia, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Charles_de_Secondat,_baron_de_Montesquieu.

Clayton, Edward. “Cicero (106—43 B.C.E.).” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/cicero/#SH7c.

“Experiments with Electricity.” Benjamin Franklin Historical Society, http://www.benjamin-franklin-history.org/experiments-with-electricity/.

Rogers, Graham A.J. “John Locke.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 June 2019, http://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Locke.

18th Century Podcast: Episode 7 Games & Gambling

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/cj123/episodes/18th-Century-Podcast-Episode-7-Games–Gambling-e4jt59/a-aiono7


In this episode We’ll be taking a look at games and gambling during the 18th Century. Many games they played in the 18th Century are still played today, but some have fallen out of fashion. Gambling was somewhat looked down upon, yet it was still very popular during the time. This was very interesting to research and I hope you enjoy this episode.



Welcome back to the 18th Century Podcast, I’m your host Cj. In today’s episode, we’ll take a step back from the weaponry and warfare of the time and look at something a little more lighthearted depending upon your view, games, and gambling during the 18th Century. If you’d like to read the script for this episode and its citations, go to https://18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. The first half of the show today will be about the games, which will include board and card games, but I’ll also throw in a section for sports too, and the second half will be about gambling. Alright, let’s get into it!


I think it’s safe to say games have been popular throughout most of human history. The 18th Century is no exception. You would find people playing games very familiar to us such as Chess, Backgammon, a verity of Card Games, also Checkers but at the time it was referred to as Draughts. Another game which you might have heard of was Nine Men’s Morris. If you play video games, you may have come across Nine Men’s Morris in the game Assassins Creed 3. One children’s game which we still play today is Horseshoes. Though I would say it was more popular back in the 18th Century rather than the 21st Century. A popular card game of the time was Whist. You could find the game of Whist being played at upper society. Now unlike how I was just rattling off games to start this segment, I’m going to explain how to Whist as best as I can, so you can try it at home if you’d like. To play this game you’ll need a standard 52 card deck, and four players. The game is played in teams of two. Aces are high in this game. The person across from you is your teammate. If you’d like you could choose your own partner, or let the cards decide. If you’d like for the cards to decide your partner, cut the cards and have each player draw a card. The two highest cards will be paired together. Start off by having a dealer shuffle the cards. Once the shuffle is complete, the player to his right will cut the cards. After which the dealer will distribute the cards to his or her left going clockwise facedown. Each player should receive 13 cards. When the dealer comes to the last card, which he would deal to himself, the dealer turns over the last card for everyone to see. What every the suit of the card is, becomes what is known as the trump. After everyone has seen the card, the dealer places it in his hand. Each round of play is called a trick. Play occurs clockwise, and the person to the dealers left lays the first card. Continuing clockwise, each player lays one card of the same suit as the first card played. Whoever played the highest card, wins the trick. If you do not have a card matching the suit played, only then can you play a card of a different suit. However, if you play a card which was the trump’s suit, and no other player played a trump, then you would win the trick. In the event that two or more players play a card from the trump suit, the trick would go to the highest valued trump card. After all thirteen tricks of the deck are played, the team with the most number of combined tricks, scores one point. You can use a token or a chip to keep track of points. Now the dealer would repeat the shuffle and thirteen tricks would be played once more. Before the game begins, have the players select a certain number of points for a team to win the game. For example, the winning score could be, 5 points, 7 points, or whatever score your heart desires. There are a couple of additional rules which you should be aware of, and after I provide them, I’ll run through two tricks just to give the gist of the game. There are two additional ways to change the score of the game. The first way is to receive honor points. If you and your teammate both have a combination of the Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the trump suit, you would call honors before the play of the next hand. If you and your teammate have three of the four cards, you receive two points, and if you have all four, you receive four points. The final thing which you should be aware of is, Revokes. Let’s say one of your opponents has played the wrong suit and they still have cards for the suit played if you or your teammate notices this and it’s not corrected by the end of the trick, you call Revoke, at that point one of two things happens, you could either add three points to your score, or remove three points from theirs. Let’s run through two sample hands. The trump suit is hearts. The first player plays a Jack of Clubs, then as you go around, what’s played is King of Clubs, two of Clubs, six of Clubs. The person who played the King of Clubs would win the trick and set the played cars aside. Then the winner would start the next trick. Let’s say they played the eight of spades, then going around the ten of spades is played, then the four of hearts, and then the seven of spades. The person who played the four of hearts would win since they played a card from the trump suit, so long as they didn’t have any spades to play. That’s how you play Whist. Long winded I know. If you listened to this on the podcast I highly encourage you to go to the link in the episode description and read the script to review the rules of the game for when you play. There’s one more thing I’d like to mention about these types of games in the 18th Century, and that’s Game Tables. Compared to modern game tables, the game tables of the 18th Century were quite different. There were multiple layers to these tables. They would be extended by being folded out to play games such as chess, cards, or even backgammon. Each layer of such a table was specifically designed for certain games. Such tables could be found across Europe and in parts of the Americas. When I went on my trip to Virginia I saw a few tables specifically designed for games, and it was quite interesting. From what I remember typically these kinds of tables would be used when you’d have guests over, or if you were hosting somebody. It’s interesting how compact they could be. If memory serves me correctly, they could be folded up and placed in a trunk for travel too. There are many games which carried over from the 18th Century, but Sports is another story.


How we view sports today, and how sports were viewed in the 18th Century were quite similar in some instances, and quite different in others. If you’re from the United States or if you love horse racing, you’re probably heard of the Kentucky Derby. No, they did not have the Kentucky Derby in the 18th Century, but horse racing was popular in England and the Colonies. During the 18th Century, we could find wealthy Aristocrats breeding horses specifically for racing. Boxing was starting to come more into form during the 18th Century as well. As one could imagine, this was a sport more reserved for the lower classes of society at the time. Boxing didn’t have the modern rules of today, but the roots of them can be seen in parts of the 18th Century. One sport I was surprised to learn about was that they had bowling. Yes, bowling was in the 18th Century and turns out its origins date back earlier. We could find fishing clubs in the Americas during the early half of the Century. Though sport fishing was being popularized in England the Century prior. One of the most synonymous sports with the 18th Century would probably be fox hunting. It could be said it was most popular among the upper classes in England, but it also caught on in the Americas for a time. The basic overview of a fox hunt is as follows, horseback riders follow their hounds as the dogs hunt down a fox. In the Americas, the fox hunting season began in the Fall. Men such as George Washington participated. I’ll delve into this topic more in an episode dedicated to hunting and fishing during the 18th Century. Another modern sport, but with different rules, you could find is Tennis. Tennis would be played across Europe in countries such as England or France for example. The sport was played by both men and women. It was at its height in popularity during the middle of the Century. If a player got good at Tennis, they could gain notoriety and a certain level of fame along with some decent pay. Now, I’m going to take a short break, and when I come back, we’ll get into a very interesting topic for the time, gambling.


Welcome back. For our final section today, let’s discuss gambling. I’ll jump right into it. For the lower classes gambling could be found at places like taverns or coffeehouses. In some taverns cockfights were popular. This would be were two chickens would fight either to the death or until one of them could go no further. The spectators would bet on the outcome. Gambling could have also occurred over boxing matches as mentioned earlier. Other tavern games were most likely gambled upon as well. Such as some card or dice games. During the 18th Century, we start to see an expansion of casinos. At the beginning of the Century, many places had outlawed gambling, but as time marched on, these sorts of laws would be revoked. In 1762 Spa, Belgium the second oldest casino opened its doors. The Redoute casino in Belgium is still open to this day, but it operates under a different name. During the 1770s, two additional casinos opened in Europe. One of which was in France, and another in Belgium. One of the classic casino games, roulette, can find it’s more modern origins in the late 1790s. It wasn’t how we would picture the wheel today, but more or less, this is when the modern game got started. During the 1790s in France, there was a boom in gambling. Though gambling had been popular earlier in the Century for France. Under the reign of King Louis XV who reigned officially from 1723 until his death in 1774, gambling found a small home at Salons. A Salon was very different from the modern place where women get their hair cut. Back in 18th Century France, it was a place for often the nobility to come and have intellectual discussions. For the wealthy French, gambling was an outlet to flaunt their wealth. What’s ironic about flaunting their wealth gambling away their money was this, they did not like people who gloated. You could say it was viewed in poor taste. Gambling in Paris was luxury. Now crossing the channel and heading over to England there was a slightly different approach to gambling and some hypocrisy. The English loved to bet. If there was a conflict of any sort whether it be backgammon or a battle, there probably was a bet at some point. Here’s where the hypocrisy came in, in London gambling was being pushed out of traditional places such as taverns and coffeehouses. See the conflict in attitude? But then special gambling houses or clubs would be opened instead, I guess it works itself out in the end. The famous John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, opened one such establishment called, White’s. If the name John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, sounds familiar it’s because he was said to have invented the delicious food we know today. Again, these casinos were more geared towards the wealthy and the nobility, the same as in France. Moving forward to the British Colonies in the Americas, gambling was very popular. However, casinos didn’t open, due to the fact that there wasn’t a large enough base of people yet to support them. Gambling occurred in the American Revolution in both Militaries. George Washington and some British Officers both had complaints in turn about their men gambling. The attitude was very mixed in the 18th Century. Gambling was somewhat looked down upon, but at the same time, it was very popular.


This brings us to the end on our dive into Games & Gambling during the 18th Century. I found this a fascinating topic to research. The script and citations for this episode and all other episodes can be found at https://18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, t h, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. If you’d like to support the show, please share it and leave a review. I’ve been your host Cj, and thank you for listening to this episode of the 18th Century Podcast.


Grace, Maria. “A Salon Guest… Toys and Games of the Long 18th Century.” A Salon Guest… Toys and Games of the Long 18th Century, 16 Jan. 2014, http://www.madamegilflurt.com/2014/01/toys-and-games-of-long-18th-century.html.

Smith, Cynthia. “Children’s Games in the 18th Century.” Synonym, 3 Oct. 2017, classroom.synonym.com/childrens-games-in-the-18th-century-13583117.html.

Walton, Geri. “Whist in the Georgian and Regency Eras.” Geri Walton, 30 May 2019, http://www.geriwalton.com/georgian-and-regency-whis/.

“Eighteenth Century Resources.” Whist – Eighteenth Century Resources, http://www.eighteenthcentury.net/whist.

“Game Table.” Metmuseum.org, http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/232203.

“1754-1783: Sports and Recreation: Overview.” American Eras. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Jul. 2019 https://www.encyclopedia.com.

Smucker, Philip G. “Foxhunting.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon, http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/facts/athleticism/foxhunting/.

Murden, Sarah. “Anyone for 18th Century Tennis?” All Things Georgian, 3 July 2018, georgianera.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/anyone-for-18th-century-tennis/.

Guy, History. “The History of Casinos in Europe.” The History Guy: 25 June 2016, historyguy.com/history_casinos_in_europe.html.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Louis XV.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 6 May 2019, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-XV.

“Salons.” Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Jul. 2019 https://www.encyclopedia.com.

Portner, Jessica. “Paris Gamblers: Gaming in 18th-Century France.” The Getty Iris, 27 June 2017, blogs.getty.edu/iris/paris-gamblers-gaming-in-18th-century-france/.

Crews, Ed. “Gambling.” Gambling : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site, http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Autumn08/gamble.cfm.

18TH CENTURY PODCAST: Episode 3 Muskets And Rifles

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/cj123/episodes/18th-Century-Podcast-Episode-3-Muskets-and-Rifles-e44t9e/a-ag2946


In this episode of the 18th Century Podcast we take a basic overview of 18th Century Muskets and Rifles. I threw in a little bonus segment too. Topics covered in this episode include: The Flintlock Mechanism, Brown Bess Musket, French Charleville Musket, The American Long Rifle, and our Bonus segment.



Welcome back to the 18th Century Podcast, I’m your host Cj. Today’s episode will be the foundation for many future episodes. We’ll be going over some of the Muskets and Rifles of the 18th Century. I’ll be going over the basics of the Flintlock mechanism, the Brown Bess Musket, the Charleville Musket, and the Long Rifle. As a bonus, I’ll also be covering the bayonet. Pistols and Artillery will be described at a later episode. If you’d like to read the transcript for this episode and its citations, go to https://18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, th, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into the Flintlock mechanism!

PART 1: Flintlock Mechanism

I think the most important part of learning about the Flintlock, is to understand where and when it came from. The first real Flintlock has its origins in early 17th Century France. Though there are earlier models. The Flintlock Mechanism would become more popular over earlier models of firearms, such as the matchlock. Personally, out of the early firearms, the Flintlock is my favorite. I haven’t been fortunate enough to fire one yet however. Now I think the best way to describe the mechanism would be to go through a dry run of its operation. Just a quick warning, don’t take my description of this mechanism as instructions on firing it, learn from a real professional. Now, the mechanism begins as being uncocked. The first part would be to put it in a half-cocked position. To do this the hammer of the mechanism, which contains a small piece of flint, would be to a half-cock position. Essentially the hammer would be standing up and you’d hear a click. At this position, you would not be able to fire the weapon yet. Then a small amount of gunpowder would be poured into the pan, after which it would be closed. Then once the weapon is finished being loaded down its muzzle, the hammer would be brought to full-cock. To do this, it would be pulled all the way back, and now the trigger is able to be pulled. Now when the trigger is pulled, the hammer will fly forward and strike the frizzen. The frizzen is the piece of steel which stands once the pan was closed. The flint on the hammer will strike the steel frizzen creating a spark. When the spark drops down into the pan, it ignites the gunpowder resting inside. The ignited gunpowder will light the powder in the barrel of the firearm through a small hole, thus the gun has been fired. It’s a fascinating process, truly. And it’s no wonder that it remained so popular for over a century. There where different variations in the Flintlock firearms, hence different kinds of muskets in the 18th Century. We’ll first go over one of these muskets next, the British Brown Bess Musket.

PART 2: Brown Bess Musket

The Brown Bess Musket was standardized into the British Military in 1730. The Musket is a .75 Caliber Smoothbore Flintlock. Since this firearm was mostly used by the British military, I’ll be discussing it in that context. Before the standardization of the Brown Bess, each regiment’s colonel would obtain firearms for his troops. The barrel of the Brown Bess was 46 inches long. The stock was crafted from walnut wood. It came equipped with a 17-inch long bayonet, but as said before, bayonets will be discussed later in this episode. Though as decades went on, the design of the Brown Bess would change from its 1730 design. For example, the steel ramrod was introduced in 1756, and before that, it was wooden. Then only a year later there was another update. The barrel of the firearm was shortened to two different sizes, 42-inches, and 37-inches. Though the British Military chose to issue the 42-inch barrel, and it was issued to the infantry in 1769. As stated earlier, the firearm was .75 Caliber, the weight of the bullet, however, was approximately one ounce. The .75 Caliber was the standard throughout the Brown Bess’s history. Now, remember the 1768, 42-inch barrel I talked about? That version of the musket was called the Short Land Pattern, and it did make an early appearance in the 1740s, however, it was not initially intended for infantry. The original intent was for the British Dragoons. If you don’t know what a Dragoon is, all you need to know for now is that it was a type of cavalry unit. I find it as an interesting fun fact, that a weapon intended for cavalry, became the standard for the infantry. There was another model which began being issued in 1793, and it was designed by the British East India Company. This model would be called, the India Pattern. This version of the firearm had a shorter, 39-inch barrel. It was also considered to be of poorer quality. The actual name of Brown Bess is not the official name of the musket. It is, however, a nickname and it’s been more commonly referred to as a Brown Bess ever since. The Brown Bess would see action in the Seven Years War and The American Revolution. It remained in use into the 19th Century. Though it is an interesting weapon, now let’s turn our attention to the opposing sides own Musket. The French Charleville Musket.

PART 3: French Charleville Musket

A quick note before I do a deep dive into this musket, it was surprisingly difficult to find information on this musket. Take what I say about this one with a grain of salt, and I encourage you to do your own research on this one. Now then, the French Charleville Musket was initially standardized in 1717. The Musket was a .69 Caliber smoothbore flintlock. I should give a note about a smoothbore barrel. The smoothbore was less accurate than that of a rifle, so you had less of an idea where your musket ball was going to go. Like the Brown Bess, the stock was constructed from walnut. But here’s a difference, the Charleville’s butt was rounded a bit, so it could be used as a club in close quarters. The firearm was also equipped with a bayonet. Then in 1728, the firearm was improved upon it gained three barrel bands to help support the long barrel. You see the Charleville’s barrel was 46 and 3/4 inch long. In 1743, the steel ramrod was standardized. The firearm was then improved upon in 1746 and the 1746 model would be used in the French and Indian War. Then in 1763, the barrel of the Charleville was shortened. The muskets themselves were officially were called the French Infantry Muskets. They became known as the Charleville due to the American use of the firearm. The Charleville was used during the American Revolution. When the French allied themselves with the Americans during the war, a large quantity was shipped under the influence of the Marquis de Lafayette. Again I would encourage you, dear listener, to do some research on this firearm yourself. When I did research on this topic, many of the pages which came up were selling replicas and contained little information on the history of the weapon. My apologies for the shorter section. I’m going to take a short break here, and when I come back, we’ll continue our conversation with the American Long Rifle. Don’t go away.

PART 4: The American Long Rifle

Welcome back to the show, and we’ll be continuing with the American Long Rifle. The American Long Rifle has its origins with Germanic immigrants. The rifles brought over by these immigrants were .45 to .60 Caliber, however as time went on, the rifles in America changed to .40 to .45 Caliber. The models which the immigrants brought were larger and heavier. But yet again as time went on, they became smaller and lighter. Around 1750 the American Rifle was very accurate for its time. The rifle was approximately five to six feet long. Since it was manufactured in many different areas, it received regional names. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Kentucky Long Rifle. On the frontier, these Rifles were primarily used for hunting game and defense. During combat, as stated previously, the British favored the Brown Bess musket, it was quicker to reload, but far less accurate. The American Long Rifle was way more accurate, but it had a slower reload time. Due to its accuracy, it’s easy to deduce that the Riflemen during the American Revolution were essentially snipers. Early on, it was clear that Riflemen would be important to the coming American Revolution. In the Summer of 1775, The Continental Congress established ten companies of riflemen. The positions were filled quickly and Congress had to create two more companies to keep up with volunteers. Though the majority of the Military would consist of infantry using muskets, Riflemen had their fair share of action too. During the battle of Saratoga, Sergeant Timothy Murphy was tasked with sniping a British Brigadier General Simon Fraser. To get a better shot, Sergeant Murphy was perched up in a tree, and visible, approximately 300 yards away from General Fraser. The General was perched on top of his horse, practically a sitting duck. Sergeant Murphy took aim and fired. He missed his target, only grazing the General’s horse. Now it would have taken a while to reload, but Sergeant Murphy was firing no ordinary rifle, no it was a rare double barrel rifle. The Sergeant lined up his second shot and fired… again he grazed the horse. Sergeant Murphy began the process of reloading his rifle, which took about half a minute at best. He lined up his third shot and squeezed the trigger. The bullet flew across the field. And this time, found it’s mark. General Fraser was hit in his gut. When the British General fell on the field, his men broke ranks and retreated. This action would help the Americans gain victory at Saratoga. The American Long Rifle is truly an exciting firearm. Now that I’ve covered the Brown Bess, the Charleville, and the American Long Rifle, I think it’s time we get to our bonus segment, the bayonet.

PART 5: The Bayonet

Getting on with our final segment for today, the Bayonet. The Bayonet has a bit of an interesting history. It originates from 17th Century France. The earliest bayonets were described as having a double edge, and being about a foot long. The early designs would be inserted into the musket’s muzzle. I think it’s obvious enough to say, you’d have a bit of a hard time firing your weapon. This 17th Century design is called a Plug Bayonet. Then during the latter half of the 17th Century, a new type of Bayonet arose. This new Bayonet would also have its origins in France. This newer and improved model would be called, The Socket Bayonet. The difference arises here, with the Plug Bayonet being jammed down the muzzle of the musket, you were unable to fire, but with the Socket Bayonet, it had a 3-4 inch long tube which could be locked onto the muzzle instead of being shoved down it. So, with the Socket Bayonet, it was still possible to fire your musket. Around 1715 the design changed once more, it went from its double edge to a more triangular shape. The triangular shape of the Socket Bayonet is what we would most likely recognize as a bayonet today. The Socket Bayonet was the standard for infantry across Europe and the Americas during the 18th Century. So you would have seen the Bayonet in action during the French and Indian War, The American Revolution, The War of Austrian Succession, or the Great Northern War, and among many other conflicts which will be covered in future episodes.


Alright guys, this brings us to the end of the episode. Like I said at the beginning, the transcript and citations for this episode, and all other episodes can be found at https://18thcentury.home.blog that’s 1, 8, th, century dot home dot blog. Type the numbers don’t spell them. This episode again was just a basic overview of some of the Muskets and Rifles of the 18th Century. I know these first few episodes are a bit on the shorter side, but as this series continues, I have a feeling some of these episodes will start increasing in length. If you’d like to support the show, please share it. I’ve been your host Cj, and thank you for listening to this episode of the 18th Century Podcast.


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Brain, Marshall. “How Flintlock Guns Work.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 28 June 2018, science.howstuffworks.com/flintlock2.htm.

F., Brandon. “How Do You Load a Musket?” YouTube, YouTube, 12 Mar. 2019, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YleUgqTFHHQ.

“Brown Bess.” Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 May. 2019 https://www.encyclopedia.com.

“Site Navigation.” Warfare History Network, warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/military-history/revolutionary-war-weapons-the-brown-bess-musket/.

Hickman, Kennedy. “American Revolution: Brown Bess Musket.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 2 Jan. 2019, http://www.thoughtco.com/american-revolution-brown-bess-musket-2361240.

“The French Charleville .” French Charleville Musket, web.archive.org/web/20090216063113/http://11thpa.org/charleville.html.
Editor, The. “The Charleville Musket.” The Charleville Musket, 2 Apr. 2013, firearmshistory.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-charleville-musket.html.

“Site Navigation.” Warfare History Network, 10 Oct. 2018, warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/military-history/revolutionary-war-weapons-the-american-long-rifle/.

“How Did WE Win the Revolution and the Freedom to Invent That Wonderful Institution Called The United States of America? And for That Matter, Just Who Were WE, an Unlikely Crew to Take on the Armed Might of the Greatest Military Power on Earth. Most of Us Were Tradesmen and Farmers, with a Few Trained Soldiers Who Had Served in Colonial Regiments. And the WE Has to Include Our French Friends Who Supplied Us with Arms and Equipment and Manpower without Which We Could Not Have Won.” Revolutionary War – Longrifles, http://www.revolutionarywararchives.org/longrifle.html.

“The American Longrifle.” American Rifleman, 19 June 2013, http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2013/6/19/the-american-longrifle/.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Bayonet.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 23 Jan. 2015, http://www.britannica.com/technology/bayonet.

Whittle, John. “History & Evolution of the Bayonet.” Bayonet History, thearmouryonline.co.uk/BayonetHistory.htm.