Castle armoury from 1532

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    Hans Hellinger

    Very interesting inventory of equipment in a relatively small castle (one of two) in the Polish / Silesian town of Opole from 1532:

    These guys certainly weren’t hurting for gear (source)

    “ The castle was the seat of the Opole Piasts dynasty until the death of its last representative, John II the Good in 1532. On this occasion, the imperial commissioners of Ferdinand Habsburg, who then became the owner of Opole, made a list of the castle inventory. According to it, in the armory there were 13 armours, 3 helmets, 28 halberds, 260 landsknechstowskich javelins, 57 old handcannons, 23 new handcannons, 77 large handcannons, 34 new javelins and 14 forms for casting missiles. In addition, in the prince’s bedroom there were two beds with quilts, sheets and pillows, a table, two benches, a trunk and some glowing stone [phosphorous?]. The treasury had 600,000 florins, many valuables, 10 saltpeter stones, 4 powder stones, 2 brass boilers, a vessel for carrying water and a crate with bullets for handcannons, a pantry with a kitchen had: 19 boilers, two iron pans, 14 tin dishes, 12 tin plates, 17 spits, 3 mortars, 4 tin candlesticks. The cellar stored a barrel of old wine, two meads and four barrels of beer from Świdnica. There were 3 forged wagons, a light, horse-drawn carriage and 5 horses with harness in the yard. The Habsburgs seized movable goods to Vienna and gave the duchy in pledge.”


    That is really a lot of money too … if florins were still pure, that is 90,000 good old pre-debasement English pounds or enough to support 30,000 workers in comfort for a year.

    Hans Hellinger

    yeah, it’s an astonishing amount of money, by medieval standards a Florin should actually be a bit more than a pound according to my sources, but there must have been some debasement here. I know currency values fluctuated wildly in the 16th century. 90,000 pounds or marks seems an insanely high amount for one small castle, let alone 900,000 or whatever it works out to. That is literally a king’s ransom. I suspect that currency may have been mistranslated. Usually in Poland it would be Złoty which used to be the equivalent of a gulden, and for Germans they would estimate large figures like that typically in marks or gulden, or sometimes thalers or groschen in that area (Silesia).

    600,000 Groschen should work out to about 7,500 marks which sounds a lot more reasonable.

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