Monday, 22 November 2010


Still on the subject of the Glorious Revolution, or more likely the Dutch invasion of England, several photos the author took lately while at Brixham.

View of Brixham harbour from inside the Tor bay

An obelisk erected in 1988 for the tercentenary

And finally the statue of William III of Orange, erected in 1888

Text on the foot of the statue

Monday, 15 November 2010

Invasion of England ~~ Glorious Revolution

Today, November 15th (New Style, November 5th Old Style), some 322 years ago the coast of Devon near Torquay and Brixham witnessed possibly the largest armada since the Spanish of 1588. On that particular day William III of Orange, the Captain-General of the army of the United Provinces, the stadholder of five of its provinces, landed with his army on the south coast of England. The reasons for to mount this invasion are numerous, and still subject to debate. However, for England, for Great Britain, even for the future of Europe, it would be important.

Whatever the reason was for William to cross the Channel, it sure was an invasion of one state by the armed forces of another state with the purpose to intervene in the domestic affairs of that one state.

Friday, 29 October 2010

British mercenaries in Spanish service

It can be assumed that the British isles were a net exporter of soldiers prior to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Spain was amongst the many continental powers to hire regiments of English, Irish and Scottish. Some information be found on the (Spanish language) website LA ÉPOCA DE LOS TERCIOS, the age of the tercios. British tercios / regiments are found here. An impressive list!

A quick, and far from complete, survey of colonels mentioned makes me to believe that most obtained permission by the (Stuart) monarch to raise a regiment. It is perhaps not really surprising that many were Catholics.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Rampjaar 1672 Symposium

Tomorrow, Thursday 28 October, a symposium is held at Utrecht University on the Rampjaar 1672. For the non-Dutch readers, in this year the Dutch Republic was under attack from most of its neighbours: France, England, Munster and Cologne. Allies were scarce, or at least hesitant, and only through great pains and sufferings, the Dutch Republic managed to survive. Eventually, this conflict with France ended in the Peace of Nijmegen in 1678. A good blog on this subject is Anno Domini 1672.

The rising star in 1672 was, I guess of course, William III of Orange. He became stadholder and Captain-General of the Dutch Army, thus holding important positions in the republic. Under his supervision the Dutch Army was re-formed and re-organised, and re-gained some of the prestige it had during the early part of the century. By 1700 Dutch infantry was considered the best in Europe. All in all, William III became the personification of resistance against French aggression.

It is of course pure conjecture and speculation, but without the events of 1672 it may be doubtful there would have been a Glorious Revolution in 1688.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Magazine: Geo Epoche "Der Sonnekönig"

In Germany I found a rather nice series of magazines: Geo Epoche. Amongst these an issue on the Sun King, Louis XIV of France. I browsed it a little, before buying, and noted that the articles are not related to the palaces of Louis, to the grandeur of Louis, or to the mistresses of Louis only.

Besides an article on Versailles, other articles includes on on the Franco-Dutch War of 1672-78, on the persecution of Huguenots, and on the War of the Spanish Succession.

All articles are illustrated with nice images and illustrations. For example on the battle of Malplaquet

I could not identify 'who is who' in this image, but perhaps someone more into colours and uniforms can help here?

Lastly an image from the chapter on the Franco-Dutch War showing French atrocities. War never was, nor is, a nice business. But during this war, it was deliberate French policy to terrorize the civilians in order to subdue them and break resistance in unconquered parts the Dutch Republic.

Quite contrasting to the grandeur and civilized manners displayed at court.

The articles seem well researched. For example, the article on the Franco-Dutch War gives a more than decent narrative of the years before the war (War of Devolution, popularity of house of Orange, etc).

So, when you happen to travel through Germany, check out this magazine.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Carolus II and Philipus V of Spain

In Salamanca one of the main sights is the Plaza Mayor with its shaded arcade (very pleasant in the midst of the afternoon). Above the arcade one will see the portraits of famous and/or notable Spaniards. Amongst them Charles II and Philip V, of interest of course for the period of War of the Spanish Succession. (The above pictures are a bit crappy because of the late afternoon sun in combination with harsh shadows.)

On the opposite side of the plaza a very famous British general who successfully did fight the French in Spain a century later.

Monday, 2 August 2010

The Holland Regiment of Foot Guards

In the historical record of the 3rd Regiment of Foot, the Holland Regiment, compiled by captain Knight in 1904 one can read about certain events surrounding the commission of the 2nd Earl of Chesterfield as colonel of the regiment. In his commission one can read that Chesterfield was to be
Colonell of our Holland Regiment of Foote Guards ...

(dated 6 November 1682).

Unfortunately, Chesterfield crossed the ego of the Duke of York (future King James II) over Chesterfield's wish to appoint the Duke of Monmouth as his successor for Chief Justice of eyre. This was not to the liking of James as he hated Monmouth. So James talked with his elder brother, King Charles II, and in late 1683 it was decided to withdraw the name guards from the regiment. According to Chesterfield under the pretext it was an error that needed to be corrected. Chesterfield wanted to resign his commission, but was promised by the king that his regiment would take precedence over the regiments of Kirke and Dumbarton (the future 2nd and 1st Regiments of Foot) that were about to return from Tangier. Again, reality (or court intrigues) turned out to be not so nice for Chesterfield as his regiment would take rank after these two regiments and the regiment of the Duke of York!

Chesterfield didn't think twice and resigned his commission, effective by 26 January 1684.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Hair fashion in the army

Because of the holiday season an easy to digest subject: hair fashion in the army.

In issue 23 from 1988 of Armentaria, the magazine (actually yearbook) of the Dutch Army museum a rather nice article is found on Haar- en baarddracht (hair and beard styles) in the Dutch army during the last 300 years. The article is unfortunately in Dutch only, and the pdf lacks the images in the paper article, so I made a few scans.

A (very) short summary: In the late 17th century there were no strict regulations: top-left image in above image. This changed during the 18th century and tended to become quite strict and hair was wrapped up in tails with colorful ribbons. Apparently the example of the Prussian army was followed in the second half of the century. Arranging hair in horizontal or vertical (pattes de chien) rolls and powdering it with flour become part of the soldiers morning routine. For grenadiers and sappers different styled were adopted. In the bottom-left figure of the above image we see a grenadier with cadenettes, a sort of braids that were fixed upwards. This, in combination with the moustache, was intended to impress friend and foe.

Roughly speaking the army followed what was fashionable in society. At the same time soldiers had to look as tidy/martial/impressive as possible via these hair regulations. When the rolls and powdering were dropped in early 19th century, we see the appearance of massive sideburns and moustaches, and beards for the pioneers. Again, trends in society were copied in the army, and since the former changed regularly, the army followed suit.

That brings us to the image below, showing Dutch soldiers in the early 1970s clearly depicting civilian influences and closely matching the (absence of) style in the 17th century.

Happy holidays!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Dutch regiments in English service after 1714

On 29 January 1713 as treaty was concluded between the queen of Great Britain and the States General of the United Netherlands to guarantee the protestant succession to the crown of Great Britain, and the barrier of the States General. The treaty was signed at Utrecht.

Article 14 is of particular interest as it details aspects of mutual defense. If the States General would require so, Great Britain would send 10,000 men to their assistance. Vice versa, the States General would furnish 6,000 men (well provided with arms) to assist the her royal majesty and successors. The treaty is, e.g., found in A Complete Collection of Treaties From 1688 to 1771, available from Google Books.

The treaty would soon become useful. During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, Great Britain had virtually no (trained) army and 6,000 men (in probably 11 battalions) arrived from the Republic to assist. Mostly to relieve British troops in garrisons. The same would happen in 1719, when Dutch troops would even participate in the battle of Glen Shiel.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, and Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Dutch troops would again be shipped to England. A first batch of 6,000 would arrive already somewhere during 1743 and 1744, in lieu of the danger of French attempts to invade England. This danger lapsed by 1744.

In 1745, following outbreak of the '45' rebellion, Dutch troops would again serve on British soil. This time part of the troops originated from the Dutch garrison of Tounai (Doornik). The city had capitulated to the French in May 1745, and the troops were paroled under the condition that they would not fight the French. However, their employment in Scotland was rendered incompatible with this parole, as French troops entered Scotland in December 1745. Hence the Dutch were withdrawn again.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Unofficial lists of the army

Nowadays it may seem that almost anything is being put into print, this was also the case in the late 17th century. Of particular interest are the several almanack type of books, published periodically and giving all sorts of information regarding countries, nobility, geography, clergy, and, of the army. Most will be available via Google Books, and two will be discussed here.

Angliae Notitia: or The Present State of England, written by Edward Chamberlain, doctor of laws. The 12th edition of 1684 is considered here, and the 2nd Volume is of particular interest. From page 131 the author gives a description of the present state of the military government of England. Neatly listed are the regiments with their officers, and, not seen before, their quarters and where they were doing duty. For example, the Royal Regiment of Dragoons was moving up and down near London. Also of interest is a description of the military government of the city (that means London) from page 208 onward.

The New State of England under their majesties King William and Queen Mary. Written by Guy Milege in 1691 it is a big work in three parts. The third part has some lists of officers related to the Household, and the various regiments of guards are found there as well. This starts are page 152 of the third part, being page 808 of the downloadable pdf-file. Unfortunately, it is not complete. In part II, from page 168 (550 in the pdf) there is information on the strength, composition and payment of the guards. Noteworthy to read it that two units of Dutch Guards (the Life Guards and Foot Guards) are explicitly mentioned as forming part of the Household troops.

Monday, 12 July 2010

12 July 1691 - Battle of Aughrim

Today 319 ago the hard fought battle of Aughrim was fought on 12 July 1691 (O.S.). The outcome of this battle was more decisive than that of the much more celebrated Battle of the Boyne fought a year earlier. Though the Williamite Army certainly had the better cards in 1691, there was a real chance that the war in Ireland could, literally, be dragged on well into 1692. This would certainly have had consequences for the operations in the main theater of war, the Spanish Netherlands.

The Williamite Army (composed of Dutch, Danish, Ulster and English regiments) was commanded by the future Earl of Athlone. The Irish were led by the French general Charles Chalmont, marquis de Saint-Ruth. Saint-Ruth would be killed during the battle.

After the battle, and defeat and rout of the Irish army, the city of Galway surrendered without offering resistance ten days later. The 2nd Siege of Limerick followed in August. Here the Jacobite high-brass thought is was better to negotiate profitable terms of surrender, and continue the fight for the Jacobite cause elsewhere. This led to the Treaty of Limerick of September 3rd 1691, and end of the Williamite War in Ireland. Large part of the Irish Army went into exile to France, forming a Jacobite Army in exile for James II. The bulk of the Williamite regiments were almost immediately transferred to the Spanish Netherlands.

An order of battle of the Williamite Army was posted earlier on this blog. Information on the Irish/Jacobite order of battle is not forthcoming unfortunately. Hayes-McCoy discusses the Jacobite army in his paper The Battle of Aughrim 1691 (in: Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. 20, No.1/2 (1942), pp. 1-30), and, more recently, Richard Doherty discussed the battle in The Battle of Aughrim (in: History Ireland, Vol. 3, No. 3 (1995), pp. 35.42).

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Cent Suisses of William of Orange

Many references on he Glorious Revolution of 1688 mention some details regarding the composition of the expeditionary force of the prince of Orange. Notorious is of course the Wikipedia entry for the Glorious Revolution, which contains many errors and urban legends.

One of the issues that kept the author busy is the mentioning of Swiss regiments in this invasion force. The Dutch history of the Republican Army (Het Staatsche Leger by ten Raa en de Bas) states that no Swiss troops were part of the Dutch Army in 1688, let alone part of the invading army. (Swiss regiments were first recruited in the 1690s.) However, the assumption by other, non Dutch, authors that Swiss regiments formed part of the invasion force must have an origin.

In issue 25 of Armentaria, the magazine of the friends of the Dutch Army Museum, an article is found by Dr. F. G. de Wilde on the Cent Suisses, a Swiss bodyguard in service of the stadhouders of the Dutch Republic. A pdf copy is found here.

Since 1672, stadhouder William of Orange had employed a number of Swiss halberdiers in his personal service. Perhaps their role is comparable to that of the Gentlemen Pensioners, and the Yeomen of the Guard in England. As such, these Swiss were never part of the establishment of the army. After the death in 1702 of William of Orange, the Cent Suisses were disbanded on 1 January 1703, the men being drafted into the Swiss regiment in the Dutch Army.

The number Swiss grew to 190, and it may be very likely that they accompanied William of Orange to England in November 1688. Which may have led in turn to the misunderstanding that Swiss regiments formed part of the invading army.

Earl of Dumbarton

In the previous post on the first army list, an image was posted showing the list for the Royal Regiment of Foot. As colonel is listed the Earl of Dumbarton, who, of course was colonel of the regiment until 1688. There is, however, a little caveat. Since Dumbarton was Roman Catholic, he could not subscribe to the Test Act of 1678. Henceforth, he was officially removed from his colonelcy. The vacancy was not filled however. He was only restored to his position in November 1685 by James II.

Dalton, in English Army Lists and Commission Regiments, explicitly mentions this and shows the position of colonel as being vacant. In this Nathan Brooks' Army List, he is mentioned as colonel without any further remark. Perhaps his removal as colonel was not commonly known at that time?

The very first army list (1684)

For enthusiasts (read: aficionados) of regimental lineages like the author, Army Lists form a very important source of information. As these lists are, approximately, a directory of the officers serving in the army at a certain point, the history of the regiments can be derived from it. In particular, studying successive editions of army lists can give a neat impression of the expansion of the army in times of war. For example, studying the army lists prior to August 1914, and those of late 1914 and 1915, clearly shows the growth of the army. (The physical size of the army lists tripled also at least between 1914 and 1918.)

That said, it is unfortunate that army lists started to be published regularly from the 1750s onwards. Thus the period between 1660 and 1750 is relatively obscure. This is best observed in the relative void regarding regiments raised for the duration of a war. The British Library has a pdf document available with some more information on army lists.

The very first army list detailing the post-Restoration army was published in 1684, an is known as Nathan Brooks' Army List. Very fortunate this publication is made available at EEBO! Though only detailing the English Establishment (so troops in Scotland and Ireland are not listed), it gives much contemporary information.

Information includes the establishments of the regiments (i.e., the official size of troops and companies), the colour of uniforms, details of colours carried.

For example, the Holland Regiment, commanded by John, the Earl of Mulgrave consists of twelve companies, but does not have a company of grenadiers. It is coated in red (unsure, the text is faded at this point), and lined with a flesh colour. The colour is a red cross, bordered white in a green field.

The page shown next is for the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, and for the Royal Regiment of Foot (future Royal Scots).

Please contact the author if more information is required or wanted.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Marlborough and the Field Deputies

In 1702, the first year of the War of the Spanish Succession, Allied and French forces were maneuvering in the modern day province of North Brabant in the Netherlands during July and August. The Allies under Marlborough, and the French under Boufflers. Mid July the Allied army was encamped near Nijmegen, the French were lying near Gennep on the Maas. The Allies crossed the Maas river at Grave, in an attempt to block the lines of communications for the French army. As a consequence, the French broke up and headed south via Goch, Cevelaer, Venlo, and reaching Roermond in the last days of July. The Allies had marched via de line Zeeland, Lieshout, Mierlo-Geldrop, and were at Achel - Lille St Hubert on 31 July.

On 2 August, the Allied and French armies passed each other so closely the Marlborough was tempted to engage the French. The Allied army was a bit larger than the French. However, the earl of Athlone (and probably several subordinate generals) was against this plan, and hence a chance to defeat the French was lost.

In his book Marlborough as military commander, David Chandler, the propagandist of Marlborough, states that it was the fault of the Field Deputies of the States-General that frustrated the attempted battle. This, however, it not correct (see for example van Nimwegen in his De subsistentie van het leger p. 108, or Wijn in Het Staatsche Leger, deel VIII p. 125). Only the Duke of Berwick wrote in his memoirs that the field deputies did not allow Marlborough to start the battle, but he has to be misinformed (Wijn).

However, because Chandler is accusing the field deputies of obstructing Marlborough, they have got a very bad treatment in English literature on the War of the Spanish Succession. In reality the contrary was ofter the case (see also the blog Rampjaar), and these field deputies were capable men well versed in the art of war, and how to run an army.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

the Prince of Orange entering London

To go with the previous post a contemporary print of William of Orange entering London.

Image from the British Museum.

Friday, 18 June 2010

the Prince of Orange's march on London in 1688

In the September 1966 edition of the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research (this being volume XLIV, number 179) an article was published on the march of William of Orange to London. The article details the names of regiments and places where they were billeted from the day after the invasion at Brixham on 15 November (N.S.) up to and including 28 December when the army had reached London. It is based on a manuscript that had belonged to William Blathwayt (Secretary of War under Charles II, James II, William III and Anne) and was edited and annotated by the Marquess of Cambridge.

A map has been created to visualize the route followed by several regiments in the army of the Prince of Orange, as this will tell much more than thousand words. For the Garde du Corps and the Gardes te Voet the complete route is given from the invasion beach near Brixham to London. The route of the Garde Dragonders is picked up mid December, when the army passed Salisbury. Finally, the stations of the Scots Brigade are added for the last week.

Please contact the author for a pdf version of the map.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Colonel Lillingston of the future Warwickshire Regiment

Anyone with a some knowledge of the older regiments of the British Army will know that several regiments started life in service of a foreign power. Famous are of course The Royal Scots in service of France between 1633 and 1678 (except a few years in England), and The Buffs which originate from regiments formerly in service of the Dutch Republic. Others are the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers which were both formed late 1674 for Dutch service. This post will discuss this latter regiment, and one of its first colonels in particular.

The regiment was apparently formed 12 December 1673 in England as a volunteer regiment for Dutch service, under command of Sir Walter Vane. Sir Walter was colonel of a regiment raised in 1667, and hold colonelcy of the Holland Regiment (the future Buffs) between 1668 and 1673. He was killed at the Battle of Seneffe 11 August 1674 and was succeeded by colonel Lillingston.

English sources (Dalton's English Army Lists and Commission Registers, or succession of colonels as found in Army Lists) claim this was Luke Lillingston, the same Lillingston that would raise a regiment in 1705 (eventually becoming the 38th Foot). On the other hand, Dutch sources claim it was a Henry Lillingston that commanded this English regiment in Dutch service. This Henry Lillingston commanded a Cromwellian regiment raised in the late 1650s to serve in Flanders on the French side (during the Franco-Spanish War; Royalist (English) regiments fought on the Spanish side). This claim is supported by C. H. Firth in his article Royalist and Cromwellian Armies in Flanders, 1657-1662 (Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 17, pp. 67-119 (1903)). Firth assumes that Luke was a son of Henry Lillingston, and that Luke served as a junior officer in his father's regiment in 1675. This is supported by an article in De Nederlandsche Leeuw of 1944, (the magazine of the Dutch society for genealogical and arms studies) stating that Luke Lillingston became captain on 19 January 1676, and that he was probably a son of Henry Lillingston who commanded an English regiment entering Dutch service in 1674-75.
Furthermore, a note to Henry Lillingston's commission in Het Staatsche Leger, volume 6, page 255 states he relinquished his command in 1676, and that prince William III awarded him a lifelong pension.

In addition, Luke Lillingston appears as an ensign in the Earl of Mulgrave's Regiment in January 1673. The same regiment in which Henry was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel. This regiment was disbanded in 1674, and it is likely that many officers sought employment on the continent. Luke being an ensign in 1673 makes is not very likely that he became colonel in 1674/75.

Combining all this it appears more likely that it was Henry Lillingston who commanded the English regiment in Dutch service in 1674-75, and not Luke Lillingston as found in many English sources, most notably in histories of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. (This, unless there was another Luke Lillingston not identified yet.)

Addendum: The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography contains an entry on Luke Lillingston written by John Childs. This article by Childs confirms the above.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Book: Regiments and Mergers in the British Army 1907-2007

This time a short diversion to the 20th and 21st centuries. This book, titled Regiments and Mergers in the British Army 1907-2007 is written by Goff Lumly. Interestingly, the book's secondary title is A Cap Badge based Guide, the author's argument being that the cap badge
has always been an emotive and eye-catching regimental identifier.

Thus said, the book presents the mergers of regiments visualised by the respective cap badges, and not by text. All regiments and corps from 1907 are presented. Where necessary the Lumly has provided notes or some introductory text. The book starts with the cavalry, followed by the regular infantry, corps and services, yeomanry, territorial infantry. Then a separate chapter on the London Regiment, and chapters on Training Establishments and OTC and on designs of crowns and emblems.

The reproductions of the cap badges are very clear, though a few seem to be of insufficient resolution and appear a little grainy. With respect to the mergers, Lumly has provided only the year of merger, and not a full date. For such a guide this is perfectly ok.

The text given with the respective chapter is well written, and gives the reader the essential background information for guiding him of her through the web of regimental mergers and title changes.

So, overall a very nice book. The level of detail may not be that great (only years for mergers) but the author did not intend to write a lineage book. His way of dealing with mergers of regiments from a cap badge point of view is fascinating and refreshing in some sense. As a (quick) reference guide this book will be useful for both badge collectors and lineage addicts like me. Recommended.

Full book information:
Regiments and Mergers in the British Army 1907-2007 by Goff Lumly. Published by Military Library Research Service Ltd in Smalldale, England.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Book on Scottish Lowland Regiments

Found at, a book on the Lowland regiments from Scotland. The book appeared in 1918, but the editor has chosen to devote the services of the regiments in the Great War to a separate volume.

A quick examination gives the impression of a well documented and detailed book. Each chapter is written by another author, so quality may differ obviously. Furthermore, a great deal of attention is paid on disbanded regiments, also for the period until 1714, which is good of course.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Running the Staatse Leger

While on the topic of administration and logistics, I have created a chart for the Dutch Army, Het Staatse Leger showing some matters related to administration and control. At the top of the hierarchy is the Staten-General, shortly followed by the provinces. The Raad van State administered the artillery and engineers, whereas horse and foot were administered by the provinces (cf. the three different establishments that made up the British Army). Deputies and field-deputies were appointed to represent the Raad van State in the field, and see whether resolutions etc were carried out properly. Subsistence and transport were done by civilian contractors, though it was the field-deputies task to ensure that bread was delivered in time, that the quality of the bread was good, that magazines were filled, that the horses and wagons used for transport were of good quality, etc etc.

I feel that I have missed some parts, and that I may have misunderstood other parts. So I welcome comments and additions for improvement and discussion.

Administration of the army

And now for something completely different ...

the administration of the army.

In the 17th century the army as we know it today did not exist. Basically, the army consisted of regiments of foot and horse owned by the colonel-proprietor. This colonel was obviously paid by the government, but the regiment was his property so to speak (as were the soldiers in his regiments in some sense).

Other parts that would constitute an army were chiefly operated by civilians, or a mixture of civilians and military. One should think of artillery, engineers, and logistics. Here especially the latter gives an interesting insight in the administration that made the army operate (and probably, but that is the author's opinion, insight in how the society was organized).

Since the army did not possess a corps dedicated to supply and transportation (like the Royal Logistic Corps or Regiment Bevoorradings- en transporttroepen), civilians were contracted to provide food, transport the food, take care of the wounded etc etc. However, there was of course some administrative mechanism that, in theory, had to take care of all this. And here the step it made towards the topic of this article: the administration of the army. In this case the focus is on the British Army (which is an anachronism actually for the period under consideration). The author is very much aware information presented here is far from complete, and will try to provide updates soon.

At the top of the pyramid stood the monarch, being factual and titular head of state, and in command of the army.

Next came several departments and functions, that did not have a clear relation. But all had their voice in matters related to the army.

The deployment of the army was the responsibility of the Secretaries of State; there was a Northern Department for Northern European/Protestant countries, and a Southern Department for Southern European/Catholic and Muslim countries. (This is not the exact division!)

Furthermore, the role of the Secretary-at-War became more and more important towards 1700 and after. He was the administrative head of the army and looked after the day-to-day running of the army.

The Board of Ordnance with its Master-General of the Ordnance was important, as it controlled almost everything that was not foot or horse. However, he was not subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. The Board was actually a civilian organization, and didn't form part of the army.

The Lord High Treasurer at the head of the Treasury was important for obvious reasons. Subordinate was the Paymaster-General who took care of the disbursement of soldiers' wages and money for subsistence. Also subordinate to the Lord High Treasurer was the Commissariat Department. This department was responsible for moving and feeding the army. This was a civilian bureaucratic department, again not part of the army, and had to contract civilians for providing food, transport, etc.

Not least, an important role was played by the General in Chief Command and Captain General. However, that post was not always filled.

Next step will be to identify links between the various departments and their responsibilities with respect to the army. From the above, the author is aware that it will not be a clear and comprehensive chart that makes clear the responsibilities and hierarchy. (An initial investigation of the administration of the Dutch Army of the late 17th Century shows a much more comprehensive business model.)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Tacitus Historical Atlas

Tacitus Historical Atlas

While searching the web for information I came upon this website. The site's content looks solid and I will certainly drop by more often. I was surprised so much information on the Dutch Republic was presented in clear sections. The adds are a bit irritating however.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Dutch Garde du Corps in 1692

This time a nice uniform plate from the The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume showing the guidon of the Dutch Garde du Corps in 1692 (see also this previous posting). This corps served as the nominal 4th Troop of Life Guards on the English Establishment between 1689 and 1699.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Book: Where did that regiment go?

First the author's apologies for the delay in adding articles. Initially I hoped to publish two to three articles a week, but due to other commitments I am happy to reach that number each month.

This time the topic will not be an obscure piece of lineage. Instead, a fairly new book will be subject of discussion:
Where did that regiment go? The lineage of British infantry and cavalry regiments at a glance by Gerry Murphy, and published in 2009 by Spellmount.

The title is promising, and the front cover looks impressive with the Household Cavalry. The main reason for buying this book was the author's interest in reading a recent lineage book, and seeing how it was dealt with. And perhaps something new might pop-up of course. The discussion relates of course only to the early part of the British Army, i.e., the period until 1714.

However, the book proved to be a minor disappointment at least. Whereas the title is boasting about the book's contents, and the back covers reads '... one indispensable volume.', the book is certainly not for those who are studying British regimental lineages seriously. (The comment by the regimental secretary of the Royal Irish Regiments make the author think he didn't read the book at all...)

To start with, the serious works are missing from the list of literature! There is no reference to the lineage bible written by Frederick in 1984; other books seem to be of the coffee table variety. They can be nice, no doubt about that, and full of details and anecdotes. But omitting Frederick is very serious.

Then to the contents. First there is the mistake that the future 19th and 20th Foot (Green Howards and Lancashire Fusiliers, respectively) were raised by James II. This mistake is seen often unfortunately. Next the author (Murphy) is wrong about the countries that made up the Grand Alliance against Louis XIV in 1689. Why listing Russia, but omitting such important members as the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the Elector of Brandenburg?

Further the author writes that the British were defeated at Landen, where it was the Allied Army that was defeated, consisting of an amalgam of regiments. Here the author implicitly blames William III for not having Marlborough in command. That Marlborough's loyalties were at least debatable is omitted. Also, there were far more experiences continental generals.

And it goes on. In 1697 Louis XIV accepted William and Mary as rulers of Britain. Didn't Mary die earlier in 1694? About the disbandment of the army after the Treaty of Rijswijk, Murphy omits the debates on the standing army. Also the events surrounding the death of James II, the self-proclamation by James III as king and the support Louis XIV gave the latter is blurred. The Act of Settlement for ensuring a protestant line of succession to the British throne is also forgotten. Finally, the Treaty of Utrecht is apparently from 1715, and not from 1713 as I always thought ...

So, while I only read the parts related to the Stuarts, I cannot feel but irritated because of the many (small) errors made by the author. Errors that were not necessary with a little bit of research. Now, because of these errors the book made a very conservative and insular impression. Must in the same manner other British historians wrote about the War of the Spanish Succession for example, fought by Marlborough himself and British regiments (almost) only. In 2010, I think that this is not how a military historian should treat events. It is perfectly correct to write about a single army alone, but it is very sad that the same insular view is maintained witnessed in so many other books.

As a final judgment, the book might be nice for those with little knowledge about the British Army and its regiments, and the book it quite full of anecdotes and little details. The author certainly deserved credits for that!

But given the pretentious title of the book, and the mistakes I found while reading a small part, I would not recommend this book to anyone studying the British regiments seriously and looking for context, perspective and nuance. On the coffee table the book would do fine, and the tables the author compiled can be very handy. But for the serious library the book is just not good enough in my opinion.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Battle of the Dunes

Fought 14 June 1658 as part of the Franco-Spanish War, with Royalists fighting in the Spanish army, and a Parliamentarian corps fighting with the French. So, probably this battle can be considered as the last battle of the English Civil War.

In the Digitales Archiv Marburg a nice copper engraving of the battle. The Spanish army is at the top, and the French army at the bottom of the engraving. The English Royalist regiments are on the Spanish right wing in the first line of battle (near 2, who is the Duke of York). Several of the Parliamentarian regiments are on the French left (F, who is Sir William Lockhart), thus facing the Royalists.

Several English regiments fought in this battle, on both sides, which would form the basis of the Restoration Army of 1660-61.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Marlborough redressed

On the Rampjaar blog an interesting post on an article related to the battle of Ramillies putting Marlborough's greatness into perspective.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The battle of Aughrim

This battle was fought on July 12th, 1691 and marked the end of Jacobite resistance in Ireland. Which, eventually, led to the Treaty of Limerick of September 3rd, 1691.

This order of battle is found in the Digitales Archiv Marburg, and shows neatly the English, Dutch and Danish regiments. The author thought the infantry and cavalry were usually separated, and it is interesting to see several battalions of foot in between the cavalry squadrons.

Looking carefully at the bottom row, and the second infantry unit from the left, one will find it is identified as Finlandois. This is one of the mistakes often made with respect to the Danish regiments in English pay, namely suggesting that the Danish contingent contained a Finnish unit! This battalion was actually drawn from the Fynske Regiment, from the island of Funen and had nothing to do with Finland.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Huguenot regiments in Savoyan service ...

but paid by the Maritime Powers ...

While reading through Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancien R&égime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts by Georg Tessin, and of course being pedantic with respect to the chapter on English regiments, the author noted something new to him. These were a number of regiments raised in 1689 and 1690 in Switzerland, formed from French Huguenot refugees, that were in service of the Duke of Savoy but paid for by both the Dutch Republic and England. The regiment of dragoons under Miremont mentioned earlier was also part of this force. (As both powers financed a variety of princes together, they are simply referred to as the Maritime Powers.)

Information is not widely available unfortunately. Some bits can be found in the aforementioned book by Tessin. Also War, Religion and Service. Huguenot Soldiering, 1685 - 1713 by Glozier and Onnekink, and The Army of the Duke of Savoy 1688 - 1713 by Gian Carlo Boeri give some details on this subject. Furthermore, there is a website dedicated to the Army of the Duke of Savoy at the battle of Marsaglia in 1693 in which these regiments took part.

Some more digging in literature will probably result in a future article on this subject with names of colonels.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Standing Army 1685

The university library of Utrecht appears to have the Manuscripts of the House of Lords for the 17th century. In the volumes for 1689-90 and 1695-97 some information about army estimates and regiments to be raised is given (as per references found elsewhere). However, these two volumes appear to have gone AWOL during some reorganization ....

Nevertheless, the volume for 1697-99 has one page showing the state of the army as it was in November 1685. This was delivered to the House of Lords 24 January 1699. Probably this list has to do with the debates going on at that time about the disbandment of the army, and the future size of the standing army.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Hessen-Kassel Regiments

In the previous posting it was mentioned that regiments hired out to the Maritime Powers were sometimes formed as ad-hoc formations by drafting companies from various existing regiments.

This is, to some extend, seen with the regiments that Landgraf Karl from Hessen-Kassel hired to the Dutch Republic in 1688. (Yes, this time not a real British topic.) Studying these regiments, and trying to present a brief and correct lineage, is made a little complicated by the mixture of influences and conflicting information.

During the Nine Years' War Hessen-Kassel hired, as part of a larger contingent, a regiment of cavalry to the Dutch Republic. According to Het Staatsche Leger this was the Regiment Nassau-Weilburg (formed 1686), whereas other sources indicate this was the Leibregiment zu Pferd (formed 1684).

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, and came to the author's notice thanks for Uwe-Peter Böhm:
First, the regiments earmarked for the Netherlands were to be established from men drawn from existing regiments. Because the Landgraf did not want to give away his entire Leibregiment a "composite" regiment was to be formed by taking a company from each regiment of horse.
Secondly, Nassau-Weilburg seems to have been the chosen regimental commander for the regiment of horse that was to go into Dutch pay.
Thirdly, the (original) Nassau-Weilburg regiment was formed from part of the Leibregiment in 1686, creating a link to the Leibregiment.

When the regiments were marching towards the Netherlands in 1688, they were not raised to full strength already. Combined with other troubles the Landgraf had, apart from the treaty with the Dutch he had Imperial obligations on the middle-Rhine, filling the ranks was probably done in any way possible, by taking men from many regiments. This makes it difficult to identify the regiment properly.

More to follow!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

German regiments in English (and Dutch) pay

As said previously, the author wasn't aware very much about the complexity of the German regiments that were in English pay during the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession.
One of the problems is the lack of information, currently available to the author, on these German regiments. A lot has been written about them of course, so a lot of reading needs to be done by the author.

Secondly, the composition of the regiments is sometimes difficult to establish. Not so for the War of the Spanish Succession, luckily. However, during the Nine Years' War is seems that some German states didn't hire out regiments of their establishment as one piece. Instead it seems that a sort of 'foreign service' regiment was formed from a particular regiment by detaching companies, bearing the same name. According to the Dutch Army history (Het Staatsche Leger) several regiments were increased in strength during the war by adding several companies, supporting the 'foreign service' regiment hypothesis. Also, the number of companies of in a regiment could grow beyond the normal 7 - 12 companies. This ad-hoc formation of regiments, and their temporary nature, means it is sometimes problematic to establish a proper lineage.

To conclude this posting an overview of German states that hired out regiments to Great Britain. Information on war and number of regiments is given as well, but is not complete.
Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel NYW 2F
Hanover (and Celle) NYW (only Hanoverians) 4H, 4F; WSS 3H, 3(2)D, 8F
Hessen-Kassel WSS (with Dutch Republic) 4H, 2D, 9F (part remained paid by the Landgrave)
Holstein-Gottorp NYW some 2130 men (lacks further information); WSS (with Dutch Republic) 2D 2F
Liège WSS (with Dutch Republic) 1D 3F
Münster WSS (with Dutch Republic) 3F
East Frisia WSS (with Dutch Republic) 1F
Osnabrück WSS (with Dutch Republic) 1F
Öttingen WSS 1F
Prussia WSS (with Dutch Republic) 2H, 5F
Saxe-Gotha NYW 1H,1D,1F; WSS (with Dutch Republic) 2D, 2F
Saxony WSS (with Dutch Republic) 1H, 2D, 8F
Trier WSS 1F

To be continued ...

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Regiments in English pay -- part 2

When the author started to investigate the subsidy troops in English service during the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession, he wasn't aware very much that he would enter a snake pit. Well, that is perhaps a little exaggerated but it certainly meant a totally new arena of research and study. And new insights!

Let us return to the troops from Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, where the two regiments of foot entering English pay in 1694 are detailed. It turned out that between 1690 and 1692 two other regiments were in English pay as well! And here comes in another tricky part of subsidy troops. These troops don't show up in any of the Army Estimates, but other sources claim these troops were in English pay. Amongst these sources the history of the army of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel by Otto Elster written in 1899. So was happened here? Did the English treasury pay money for these troops, but what were the conditions of this agreement?

Nevertheless, two additional regiments in English pay. Let's have a look as them.

Leibregiment zu Pferd Sachsen-Merseburg
This regiment was formed in 1688 and was in Spanish or Imperial service prior to 1690. After 1692 it went into Dutch pay and was disbanded in 1697. It's first colonel was Philipp, prinz von Sachsen-Merseburg, who fell in the battle of Fleurus in 1690. He was succeeded by Friedrich Ulrich, graf von Ostfriesland who held this post until 1697.

Regiment zu Fuß Lippe
Raised in 1674, this regiment was commanded from 1686 by Simon (or Georg), graf von der Lippe. the author could not find more details on this graf, nor any possible branch of the Lippe dynasty. It was a large regiment, consisting of 11 companies with some 1,200 men in total. Lippe was probably succeeded in 1695 by von Schack, but this is not clear. In literature the regiment is more often referred to by it commandant. Initially this was a von Hering (probably George Albrecht, who commanded a another regiment in English pay in 1694), and from 1694 on it was Werner Bertam Ziegenhirt.

Still, much is unclear about this regiment. In literature, both this regiment and the 1694 regiment of von Hering are listed as being Lippe's before. So, was the 11 company regiment split in 1694 into two battalions/regiments? Also the role of Schack is not clear. From literature it seems he commanded a regiment of foot that remained in Brunswick, and not one in Flanders. Who knows more about this?

Lastly, an addition to the previous post on Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel:

Leibregiment zu Fuß Rudolf August
This regiment (also called battalion) was formed around 1692 by expansion of the existing Leibgarde zu Fuß von Rudolf August, a single company unit. It was disbanded in 1697, though a new Leibregiment for Rudolf August was established between 1697 and 1700 bearing no connection it seems.

Regiment Infanterie von Hering
Most likely formed in 1694, and probably formed in part from Lippe's regiment as detailed above.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Economizing the army in 1690?

Fresh from the library, the article Fluctuations in the Strength of Forces in English Pay sent to Flanders during the Nine Years' War, 1688 - 1697, by David Chandler, and published in 1983 in War & Society, Vol.1, No. 2 pp.1-20.

As usual, William of Orange had to battle with Parliament each year to get the money he needed to maintain the army at a strength deemed necessary to fight Louis XIV. As a measure to reduce costs, it was suggested by Count Solms to merge three regiments into one single regiment composed of three battalions with eight companies each. This would save a little money, and make available some 4,266 men for new units.

However, the plan fell on stony ground and the idea was never made effective. Probably the opponents of this plan were too deeply involved in the profitable business of the English regimental system...

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Regiments in English pay

Thanks to Dan Schorr of Northern Wars and Daniel Weßelhöft of Immota Fides on the history of the Brunswick army for their help in identifying the two regiments from Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel that entered English pay in 1694. Though the picture is not complete yet...

Leibregiment zu Fuß Rudolf August
Probably formed ca 1692, and may have been called Leibbataillon. There was a Leibgarde zu Fuß from Rudolf August, the duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, but the connection is not known. The battalion/regiment was commanded by a certain Oberstleutenant von Oberg. Probably this is Jobst Aschen von Oberg who saw service in a Brunswick regiment in Dutch pay before. After the war the regiment was most probably disbanded.

Regiment Infanterie von Hering
This regiment was raised ca 1693/94, and probably solely intended to hire out to England. Its colonel was von Hering, most likely Georg Albrecht von Hering, who had served in a regiment in Dutch pay before as well. The regiment was dissolved in 1697.

The man with two wives

And now for something completely different ...

A poem about a man with two wives of different temperament. Well, it is not the Aesop fable I will quote here. Mathew Prior, a poet-diplomatist, who wrote the poem in 1701, drew a parallel between the said poem of Aesop and the then current strife between parties in relation to the eminent war (of the Spanish Succession).

The parties henpecked William are thy wives
The hairs they plucked are thy prerogatives
Tories thy person hate, and Whigs thy power
and much thou yieldest and they tug for more
Till this poor man and thou are shorn
He without hairs and thou without a Crown.

Poor William.

The poem is quoted from England in the War of the Spanish Succession by John B. Hattendorf and published by Garland Publishing, Inc in 1987.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

German regiments in English service - II

In the previous article on German regiments in English service during the Nine Years' War, it has been explained this was new for England. In wars to come, England, and later Great Britain, would make even more use of mercenaries.

As said, four regiments horse and four regiments of foot from Hanover were in English pay, i.e., on the English Establishment, between 1694 and the end of the war in 1697. As was custom with other countires, regiments were known by the names of the colonel. The regiments were:

Regiment Cavallerie von Ohr. Succeeded in 1697 by graf von Royelles
Regiment Cavallerie von Montigny
Regiment Cavallerie von Türck
Regiment Cavallerie von der Schulenberg
The latter three regiments were disbanded in 1697.

1. Garde Bataillon. The Hanoverian Garde zu Fuß consisted of two battalion, the first being in English pay
Regiment Infanterie von Gohr
Regiment Infanterie Graf von Löwenhaupt. Succeeded by Hülsen von Treuenfels in 1695
Regiment Infanterie Chevalier des Cinqvilles. This regiment was disbanded in 1697

It is unfortunate that no information is available regarding the Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel regiments, nor on the Saxe - Gotha regiments of 1692. If any of the readers does know more, the author would be grateful for any bit of information.

Monday, 25 January 2010

British Brigade in Portuguese Service 1662 - 68

Following the Restoration of Charles II as monarch of England and his marriage with Catharina of Braganza, the alliance between England and Portugal was given stature by forming a brigade for
service in Portugal in 1662 to fight in the Portuguese War of Restoration.

The brigade consisted of two infantry regiments, each 1,000 men, and a cavalry regiment, also 1,000 men. The infantry was raised from three New Model regiments in Scotland that still were not disbanded, and the cavalry was raised from volunteers, the Dunkirk garrison and a Cromwellian troop in Scotland. Charles II was to raise and equip the brigade, and they would be paid by the Portuguese crown once in Portugal.

The brigade arrived in Portugal by August 1662. It was broken up by mid 1668, with 1,000 men remaining in total. About half of the men were incorporated in the Tangier garrison, and the remainder was shipped back to England and discarded.

The British regiments proved their worth in the various battles fought during the Portuguese War of Restoration, and made a more serious impression on the Spanish than the other troops in the Portuguese Army. However, the troops suffered terribly because of these battles, and also sickness accounted for a great deal of wastage. To add to this, the Portuguese treated the British with contempt, not the least because of their religion. Nevertheless, as said before, the British were the more reliable component in the army and they fought well.

The lineage of the three regiments is a little complicated to compile. The regiment of horse was usually just designated as the regiment of horse, and not by the name of the colonel. It's first colonel was Murrough O'Brien, 1st Ear of Inchiquin, who also commanded the British Brigade. Late 1662 he was succeeded, as colonel, by the Count of Schomberg, the future 1st Duke of Schomberg; in 1663 Schomberg would also command the brigade. In the field, however, the regiment was commanded by Michael Dongan, and later by Lawrence Dempsey and finally by Meinhardt von Schomberg, a son of the Count of Schomberg.

The first infantry regiment was commanded by Henry Pearson. He was, however, absent most of the time and the regiment was effectively led by the lieutenant-colonel or major.

The second infantry regiment gives rise to some trouble. Some sources indicate that James Apsley was the colonel, whereas other mention Francis Moore as colonel. According to sources claiming Apsley was colonel, he was succeeded in 1665 by the Count of Schomberg, but actual command of the regiment befell to William Sheldon.

Information on the internet is hardly available. One site dedicated to the Portuguese War of Restoration has a page devoted to the English regiments. Other sources consulted so far:
Hardacre (1960): The English Contingent in Portugal, 1662-1668, Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, volume 38 pp.112-125
Childs (1976): The Army of Charles II

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

the Stuart Irish Guards

Unknown to many is the existence of a regiment of Irish Guards under the reigns of Charles II and James II. This regiment has no relation to the modern day Irish Guards.

The Stuart regiment was raised on 24 April 1662 in England as a regiment of guards to be placed on the Irish Establishment. It was recruited in England, and composed of English, as it was thought these were loyal. The regiment consisted of twelve companies, including the King's Company. A grenadier company was added in 1684, and by 1688 the regiment was composed of two battalions. In late 1688 one battalion of the guards was shipped to England in anticipation of the invasion of the Prince of Orange. This battalion was disbanded early 1689.

The regiment in Ireland remained loyal to James II and his Jacobite cause. As such, the regiment participated in the battle of the Boyne. As the treaty of Limerick in 1691 the regiment joined James into exile in France. After the peace of Rijswijk in 1697, when the Jacobite army in exile had to be disbanded, the regiment went over into French service in the Brigade Irlandaise.

The colonels of the regiment until 1688 when it joined James II:
Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Arran, dated 24 April 1662
James Butler, Earl of Ossory (and later 2nd Duke of Ormonde), dated 29 January 1686
William Dorrington, late 1688 when the Earl of Ossory defected to the camp of the Prince of Orange.

Origins of the Grenadier Guards 1656 - 1665

Knowing that the history of the Grenadier Guards is well-paved and that many historians more knowledgeable than the author have shed their light on this subject, it is with great humbleness and care that the author starts this article. However, it seems to the author that there are some parts in the early history that are unclear to him that may need to be recorded for the purpose of discussion and further clarification.

On 16 March 1665 the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards (or the King's Regiment of Foot Guards as it was called then) was formed by the union of two existing regiments of foot guards, both designated as the King's Royal Regiment of Guards.

The first of these was the regiment of guards commanded by John Russell, and was raised 23 November 1660 in London as regiment of guards for the protection of Charles II. It consisted of twelve companies, with 100 men each.

The other regiment was a regiment of guards at Dunkirk commanded by Thomas Wentworth, 5th Lord Wentworth. The origin of this regiment is not very clear. Many sources state that this regiment was formed in 1656 as a bodyguard for Charles II in exile in the Spanish Netherlands. However, in an article on the Royalist and Cromwellian Armies in Flanders 1657 - 1662 by Firth (1903), this should be nuanced a little. The large history of the regiment by Frederick William Hamilton is not very clear on this very early period of the regiment.

According to this source Charles II started to form an army in 1656 after he had signed a treaty with Spain in the latter's war with France. Royalist forces would side with Spain, and Cromwellian forces with France. One of the regiments that started to formed in 1656 was a regiment called the King's Own Regiment and was commanded by Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester. It was to be composed of English only (other regiments were composed exclusively of Scots and Irish). Furthermore, in late 1657 a regiment of guards started to form, to be roled as a bodyguard similar to that of the body of horse guards already in existence. This foot guard was to be given to Thomas Wentworth.

Recruiting for both English regiments did go slowly. Also, the earl of Rochester fell ill, and would die in early 1658. Probably it was by late 1657 that the two English regiments in being were merged into a single regiments of guards commanded by said Wentworth. Other sources say that Wentworth succeeded to the command of Rochester's regiment in 1658.

After the restoration with regiment was retained in Dunkirk, and on 26 August 1660 it was formally placed on the establishment of Dunkirk when Wentworth received his commission as colonel of the King's Regiment of Guards at Dunkirk. This may mark the official entry of the regiment as part of the (new) British Army. In November 1662 the regiment returned to England (when Dunkirk was sold to France), and on 17 November 1662 it was mustered as part of the English Establishment. The strength of the regiment was also twelve companies with 100 men each.

A little more than two years later both regiments were merged into a large regiment of 24 companies, with John Russell assuming command of the regiment.

Friday, 15 January 2010

German regiments in English pay and service

Apart for the Danish regiments and Dutch regiments in English pay, quite a number of regiments from German states were taken into English pay and service during the Nine Years' War. Whereas for the Dutch Republic it was normal practice to hire foreign troops, for Britain this was a new experience. Since, before the Glorious Revolution it were English and Scots (and Irish) regiments that were serving continental powers.

In 1692 three regiments from Saxe - Gotha were taken into service: one each of horse, dragoons and foot. Information on the colonels is not known to the author. Service was to be very short. The regiments suffered heavily at the battle of Steenkirk in 1692, and were discarded from service.

A treaty was signed between England and the Duchy of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel on 15 March 1694, which stipulated that England would take two regiments of foot into pay. (It is interesting to note that the Dutch Republic had a similar treaty with the duchy for hiring troops since 1688.) The troops were discarded in 1697. Unfortunately there is at present no further information on the colonels of the regiments.

Finally, a treaty was signed on 12 August 1694 between England and the Dutch Republic, and the Electorate of Hanover. This required the elector to supply six regiments of horse and six of foot to serve in English and Dutch pay, at a ratio of two-thirds and one-thirds. Thus, four regiments each of horse and foot would enter English pay. Obviously, after the conlusion of the peace in 1697 the regiments returned back to Hanover. Luckily, the large history has been published, af far back as 1866, on the army of Hanover giving details regarding colonels. That will be subject of a future article.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Origins of the Queen's Royal Regiment

The website of the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment is one of the better and more extensive regimental websites. A great deal of the website is devoted to the history of the regiment, and provides a good basis to compile a lineage of the Tangier Regiment, which would later became the 2nd Regiment of Foot and eventually, in 1881, the Queen's Royal Regiment, the county regiment for West Surrey.

The origin of this regiment is found in a variety of regiments with a most varying pedigree:
1. the original Tangier Regiment was raised in 1661 in England after the restoration and was intended to garrison Tangier.
2. former Parliamentary regiments. These regiments were raised in 1657 for service in Flanders alongside France in France's with Spain. Three regiments would eventually merge into the Tangier Regiment mentioned above: the regiments from Lord Rutherford (the later Earl of Teviot), Sir Robert Harley, and Roger Alsop (but in 1661 Viscount Falkland may be colonel). By 1663 these four regiments (the original Tangier Regiment and the three ex-Parliamentary regiments) had merged into one English regiment. In 1668 it would merge with the former Irish regiment at Tangier (see next) as a single regiment.
3. former Royalist Irish regiments. These regiments were raised in the 1650s from Irish regiments already in foreign service (the author has not been able yet to find more on this), which joined Charles II army in the late 1650s. This army would serve alongside Spain. Two of these regiments would go to Tangier in late 1661: the regiments of Lewis Farrell and John Fitzgerald. In 1663 these two merged into one Irish regiment. In 1668 the regiment merged with the English regiment at Tangier (see above).

From the above it become clear that no less than six regiments contributed to the pedigree of the Tangier Regiment of 1668, which would become famous as the Queen's Royal Regiment.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Battalion sent to Virginia

In the previous post two emergency regiments were detailed. Subject of this post is a battalion formed for service in the New World, and which would be known as the battalion sent to Virginia.

The formation of this battalion relates to Bacon's Rebellion of 1676. To quell this rebellion a battalion was formed by taking companies from existing regiments: two companies from the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, and one each from the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, the Duke of York's Regiment, and the Holland Regiment. The battalion was furthermore brought up to strength by drafts from garrision companies, and 500 men were recruited additionally: 1,000 men in total. The battalion may have been called the Virginia Regiment. It was commanded by Herbert Jeffreys, who would become governour of Virginia in 1677, replacing William Berkeley.

The battalion arrived in the James River between February and April 1677, too late to have any part in the conflict. Nevertheless, the battalion remained in Virginia for the greater part of 1677, though Charles II ordered Jeffreys in May 1677 to return to England. It was not before March 1678 that the first elements embarked at Gravesend. Of the initial 1,000 men, approximately 350 show on the muster rolls. However, almost 200 men decided to stay in Virginia, but this still makes an appalling loss of some 450 men without seeing any action.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Emergency regiments 1671 and 1680

While reading Knight's excellent Historical Records of the Buffs the author came across several temporary battalions, or emergency regiments, formed from drafts of existing regiments.

One of these emergency regiments was formed in April 1671. Since a new war with the Dutch Republic was eminent, and the ill-preparedness of 1667 when the Dutch were actually masters of the English waters, it was decided to form a regiment to guard the Medway. It was under command of William Rolleston from the 1st Regiment of Guards (the later Grenadier Guards), and was composed of twelve companies: four from the 1st Regiment of Guards, four from the Admiral's Regiment, three from the Holland Regiment, and one was originally an independent garrison company. As Rolleston fell ill around May 1672, he was succeeded by Sir John Atkins. It appears that the regiment was broken up in 1674.

A second emergency regiment was formed 31 May 1680 for service in Tangier. The situation was quite bad there for the British, and a large force was sent from England as reinforcements. Amongst these said regiment, composed of five companies and under command of Edward Sackville. The regiment was formed by taking 10 men from each company in each regiment in England, i.e., the 1st Foot Guards, the Coldstream Regiment of Guards, the Duke of York's Regiment, and the Holland Regiment. It was dubbed the King's Battalion and took precedence of the forces in Tangier.
(The drafts from the future Royal Scots would rank next, and the regiment formed from the garrison of Tangier, the future Queen's Royal Regiment, would take rank after the Scots.)
The battalion returned to England in April 1684 and was broken up with men returning to their former regiments.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Precedence - commentaries on the 1694 Warrant

With some comments on the previous post on the 1694 Warrant on precedence in mind, the author thought it necessary to publish a supporting article with additional comments and remarks.

In the said warrant the Queen's Regt of Foot is mentioned, after which the three English Regt's previously serving in Holland should take precedence. As there were various regiments known as the Queen's Regt, or some other form, in the late 17th century, this may give rise to confusion.

The Queen's Regiment mentioned here is what would later become the 4th (the King's Own) Regiment of Foot, and eventually the King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). Raised on 13 July 1680 as the 2nd Tangier Regiment, it was named in 1684 after the future Queen Mary (of Modena), the wife of the duke of York and Albany, the future James II. In 1688 the regiment was renamed as the Queen's Consort's after Queen Mary II, consort of William III. It appears from literature that the designation Consort was omitted; see, e.g., the regiment's historical record by Richard Cannon. In 1702 it was renamed the Queen's Regiment. This changed to Queen's Own Regiment later, probably to avoid confusion with the other Queen's Regiment, the future King's Regiment.

The other regiment in 1694 with Queen in its title was the Queen Dowager's Regiment, named after Queen Catherine, widow of Charles II. This regiment was raised in 1661 as the Tangier Regiment. The title "Royal" was conferred upon the regiment in 1703 for gallant duty in Flanders. It is unclear whether the regiment was redesignated the Queen's Royal in 1705, after the demise of the late Queen Catherine, or that this happened later (see, e.g., the regimental timeline on the Queen's Royal Surrey's website).

Now to the three English Regiments from Holland. These three regiments were part of the Anglo - Dutch Brigade, which additionally contained three Scots Regiments. The English regiments all date from 1674, when, after the Treaty of Westminster, England was opened again as recruiting ground for the Dutch. (In 1665 the English regiments in Dutch service were recalled; see the Holland Regiment for information on this.) Actually one regiment was known as the Irish Regiment, but that was omitted in 1675.

In 1674/75 the regiments were:
Viscount Clare's, this being Daniel O'Brien, the 3rd viscount
Henry Lillingston's, being most likely the father of the later Luke Lillingston. Often these two are confused.
William Molyneux - Disney's

In 1685 the regiments were recalled to England by James II because of Monmouth's rebellion, and were placed on the English establishment for the period 5 June - 3 August. In November 1688 the regiments would return with William of Orange's invasion force, and be placed on the English establishment subsequently. In 1688 the regiments were known as:
Thomas Tollemache's
Philip Babbignton's
John Cutt's

Only the first two regiments would be retained after the Treaty of Rijswijk in 1697, and would become known as the 5th Regiment of Foot and 6th Regiment of Foot, respectively, and much later as the Northumberland Fusiliers and Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
As has been illustrated, the third regiment was disbanded, despite attempts saving it by placing the regiment on the Naval establishment. The reason for this is unclear, as the regiment held precedence over several regiments that were retained.

Finally the author want to point at a possible writing error in the document in the previous post: it says that in 1668 the earl of Ossory made a capitulation of the regiments in Holland. However, the earl of Ossory assumed command of the Anglo - Dutch Brigade in 1678. So probably it should be 1678 and not 1668.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Precedence - the 1694 Royal Warrant

For those interested, here is the full text of the Royal Warrant of 10 June 1694 laying down rules for establishing rank and seniority. Besides the rules, which clearly state that English regiments (i.e., regiments on the English establishment) take precedence over Scots and Irish, there is a list of regiments in Flanders.

(Page comes from the National Archives, reference WO 71/2 p.106 (and was dug up and copied by mr Mike Shingleton).)

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Marine regiments -- converted foot

Besides the regiment of the Anglo - Dutch Brigade that was converted to marines, there were two other regiments of foot that saw conversion into marines in 1698. Like for Seymour's Regiment, this was probably an attempt to save them from disbandment by placing them on the Naval Establishment. And like Seymour's, these two were also disbanded on 20 May 1699. These regiments were those of Edward Dutton Colt and Henry Mordaunt.

The first was formed 10 March 1688 under James II and was chiefly officered by those that had left the British regiments in service of the Dutch United - Provinces and was commanded by John Hales. He was succeeded on 26 September 1692 by Robert Goodwyn, and Colt became colonel on 31 October 1693.

The second regiment was formed 10 November 1688 and was one of the embryonic English regiments that was part of William of Orange's invasion force. Viscount Mordaunt was the first colonel of the regiment. He was succeeded 25 April 1694 by his younger brother Henry or Harry Mordaunt. Though his regiment was disbanded in 1699, Henry Mordaunt became colonel of a newly raised regiment of marines in 1702. He would remain colonel until the regiment was disbanded in July 1713.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Marine regiments -- an Anglo - Dutch connection

First of all: happy 2010 and all best wishes!!

In a series of future articles it is the intention to discuss the various regiments of marines in the British Army during the reign of the Stuarts. The Royal Marines date from 1755, and before that time it was customary that army regiments were re-roled as marines and were operating aboard ships. Especially in times of war, like the Anglo - Dutch Wars, an increase of marine regiments is observed. Though these regiments remained part of the army, they were paid for by the naval treasury.

The subject of this first article is a regiment of the famous Anglo - Dutch Brigade that became a marine regiment in 1698. This was William Seymour's Regiment of Foot, which was formed in 1674 and of which Seymour became colonel on 3 October 1694. This regiment was converted to marines 1 August 1698 during the great disbandment after the Nine Years' War, and the debate on the size of the standing army to be retained. This regiment, together with several other foot regiments, was converted to marines, and thus placed on the Navy Establishment, in order to save it from disbandment. However, this could not save the regiment and it was disbanded anyway on 20 May 1699.

Since this regiment did not survive into the 20th Century like the other two regiments of the Anglo - Dutch Brigade (the future Northumberland Fusiliers and Warwickshire Regiment), its early history is better studied from Dutch sources than English. For example, Dalton does not provide a clear lineage.

The regiment was raised in 1674 at Bois-le-Duc from English troops in Dutch service and designated as the 2nd English Regiment. It's first colonel was William Molyneux - Disney whose commission dates from 1 January 1675. Following colonels were: Ralph Widdrington (or Roger Warington) on 1 January 1676, Thomas Dolman (see also the Holland Regiment) 1 August 1676. Later that year William MacDowell succeeded him. On 31 January 1678 Thomas Butler, Earl of Ossory, became colonel of the regiment and commander of all English regiments in Dutch service. After his death in 1680 Alexander Canan (or Canon, Cannon) became colonel on 30 July 1680. In 1689 Canan would command some Jacobite forces in Scotland. In 1685 Thomas Herbert, the 8th Earl of Pembroke and 5th Earl of Montgomery, succeeded Canan. On 17 April 1688 the colonelcy was bestowed on Henry Sydney, the future 1st Earl of Romney, and John Cutts was given command as colonel-commandant. The regiment, however, became known as Cutt's Regiment and is designated as such in, e.g., the calendar of state papers domestic from early 1689 on.

As stated above, William Seymour became colonel in 1694, until the regiment's disbandment in 1699. Later Seymour would be colonel of the future 24th Regiment of Foot (1701 - 02) and future 4th Regiment of Foot (1702 - 17). This latter regiment was converted into a marine regiment in 1703, and in 1702 Seymour was appointed as Brigadier-General of the Marine Forces.