Friday, 29 October 2010

British mercenaries in Spanish service

It can be assumed that the British isles were a net exporter of soldiers prior to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Spain was amongst the many continental powers to hire regiments of English, Irish and Scottish. Some information be found on the (Spanish language) website LA ÉPOCA DE LOS TERCIOS, the age of the tercios. British tercios / regiments are found here. An impressive list!

A quick, and far from complete, survey of colonels mentioned makes me to believe that most obtained permission by the (Stuart) monarch to raise a regiment. It is perhaps not really surprising that many were Catholics.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Rampjaar 1672 Symposium

Tomorrow, Thursday 28 October, a symposium is held at Utrecht University on the Rampjaar 1672. For the non-Dutch readers, in this year the Dutch Republic was under attack from most of its neighbours: France, England, Munster and Cologne. Allies were scarce, or at least hesitant, and only through great pains and sufferings, the Dutch Republic managed to survive. Eventually, this conflict with France ended in the Peace of Nijmegen in 1678. A good blog on this subject is Anno Domini 1672.

The rising star in 1672 was, I guess of course, William III of Orange. He became stadholder and Captain-General of the Dutch Army, thus holding important positions in the republic. Under his supervision the Dutch Army was re-formed and re-organised, and re-gained some of the prestige it had during the early part of the century. By 1700 Dutch infantry was considered the best in Europe. All in all, William III became the personification of resistance against French aggression.

It is of course pure conjecture and speculation, but without the events of 1672 it may be doubtful there would have been a Glorious Revolution in 1688.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Magazine: Geo Epoche "Der Sonnekönig"

In Germany I found a rather nice series of magazines: Geo Epoche. Amongst these an issue on the Sun King, Louis XIV of France. I browsed it a little, before buying, and noted that the articles are not related to the palaces of Louis, to the grandeur of Louis, or to the mistresses of Louis only.

Besides an article on Versailles, other articles includes on on the Franco-Dutch War of 1672-78, on the persecution of Huguenots, and on the War of the Spanish Succession.

All articles are illustrated with nice images and illustrations. For example on the battle of Malplaquet

I could not identify 'who is who' in this image, but perhaps someone more into colours and uniforms can help here?

Lastly an image from the chapter on the Franco-Dutch War showing French atrocities. War never was, nor is, a nice business. But during this war, it was deliberate French policy to terrorize the civilians in order to subdue them and break resistance in unconquered parts the Dutch Republic.

Quite contrasting to the grandeur and civilized manners displayed at court.

The articles seem well researched. For example, the article on the Franco-Dutch War gives a more than decent narrative of the years before the war (War of Devolution, popularity of house of Orange, etc).

So, when you happen to travel through Germany, check out this magazine.