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 ...