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.

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