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.