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...