Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Dutch regiments in English service: Guards

Following an earlier posting on Dutch regiments on the English Establishment, this post will discuss the Dutch regiments of guards (cavalry and infantry) that were in English service.

For each regiment a short lineage is given, mostly focusing on the period it was on the English Establishment. As Dutch regiments were maintained by different provinces (comparable to the different establishments of England, Scotland and Wales), this has been given as well. Dutch titles and names have been used for the regiments, with an English translation given between brackets.

Gardes du Corps van Zijne Majesteit (Life Guards)
This corps was raised on 30 April 1599 as a Troop of Horse (vaan (guidon) in Dutch). In 1665 it was redesignated as Gardes du Corps van Zijne Majesteit. In 1705 the troop was converted into a normal troop of horse. The corps was in English pay between 21 December 1688 and 25 March 1699; in the Dutch Republic it was maintained by the province of Zeeland. The colonel of the corps during its service in English pay was Hendrik, Graaf (Count) van Nassau - Ouwerkerk (since 11 March 1672, until 18 October 1708).

When on the English Establishment the corps was ranked as the 4th Troop of Life Guards.

Regiment Gardes te Paard (Horse Guards)
This regiment was raised 16 August 1672, and was maintained by Holland. It was in English pay between 21 December 1688 and 25 March 1699. Though normally not known by the name of colonel, like other corps of guards, in English accounts the regiment is often referred to as Portland's Horse after the colonel Hans Willem, Baron Bentinck, Earl of Portland (since 5 Augustus 1674). On 7 August 1701 Henry de Massue, Marquis de Ruvigny, Earl of Galway became colonel.

Regiment Gardes Dragonders van Zijne Majesteit (Dragoon Guards)
Raised 8 February 1672, and most likely maintained by Holland. Initially raised as a normal regiment of dragoons, the regiment was renamed as Regiment Gardes Dragonders in 1676. It was in English pay between 1 January 1689 and 11 October 1698. During the period of interest the colonel of the regiment was William III, Prince of Orange, but it was of course not known by that name. However, like the Regiment Gardes te Paard, the regiment was known between 1689 and 1698 as Eppinger's Dragoons, after its colonel - commandant Abraham van Eppinger (since 2 April 1679).

Regiment Gardes te Voet van Zijne Majesteit (Foot Guards)
This regiment consisted during the Nine Years' War of three battalions. The first battalion was raised 2 January 1599 as Regiment van Nassau. The second battalion was formed 19 August 1672 as Regiment Gardes te Voet. On 12 June 1674 the two regiments were combined as Regiment Gardes te Voet, with Hendrik Trajectinus, Count of Solms as colonel. A third battalion was formed at the same time as well. In 1702 the regiment was re-designated as Regiment Hollandsche Gardes. Other colonels were Ferdinand Willem, Duke of Würtemberg - Teck (1 September 1693) and Walrad, Count of Nassau - Ottweiler (12 June 1701).

The regiment was in English pay between 1 January 1689 and 25 March 1699, and in the republic maintained by Holland. In England the regiment was known as Blue Guards, because of the uniform. On the English Establishment, the regiment was ranked as the 3rd regiment of foot guards.

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