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.