Sunday, 17 April 2011

Dixmuide and Deinze 1695

In early July 1695 the (2nd) siege of Namur started. This time the confederate forces under William III were the besiegers, and the French under the Duc de Boufflers were those under siege.

When all this took place, a French army under the Duc de Villeroi proceeded to Flanders with some 80,000 men. The capture of Nieuport failed, but Villeroi was successful in capturing the towns of Dixmuide and Deinze. Both within a few days, and without much resistance from the side of the garrisons. After this Villeroi proceeded towards Brussels, which he subjected to a destructive, and senseless, bombardment.

Despite agreements regarding the exchange of prisoners of war (or a subjective interpretation of them), the prisoners from Dixmuide and Deinze were moved to France. In reaction to this, the Duc de Boufflers was kept as prisoner (hostage) by William when the fortress of Namur surrendered late August 1695. He was exchanged later that year for the Dixmuide and Deinze prisoners.

As expected, William III was 'not amused' by the quick and easy surrender of the garrisons. The commander of the Dixmuide garrison, Johan Anton Ellenberg (also spelled as Ellenberger or Elnberger), who served in the Danish army and commanded a Danish regiments in English pay, was therefor sentenced to death in November. Other regimental commanders were cashiered or temporarily suspended for their part in the quick surrender.

The garrisons consisted of British, Dutch, Danish and German regiments. Literature is, however, a bit unclear on the non-British components; d'Auvergne seems to be most clear and informative. This resulted in the following overview of regiments.

William Lloyd's Regiment of Dragoons; Lloyd was no in Dixmuide
Richard Brewer's Foot (future 12th Foot); Brewer was suspended
Sir James Leslie's Foot (future 15th Foot); Leslie was cashiered
Lord Lorne's Foot (disbanded 1698); Lord Lorne was not present in Dixmuide
Sir Charles Graham's Foot (Of the Scots Brigade); Graham was cashiered
Regiment Auer (Dutch regiment in English pay); Auer was cashiered
Regiment Soutelande or Regiment Saint Amant (Dutch regiment; at present unknown which one was part of the garrison)
Regiment Ellenberg (a battalion detached from the Danish Prinds Christians (later Carls) Regiment, in English pay); Ellenberg was executed
Regiment Holle (a regiment from Brunswick in Dutch pay)

Francis Fergus O'Farrell's Foot (future 21st Foot); O'Farrell was cashiered
Regiment Scheltinga (Dutch regiment); Scheltinga was suspended


Ray Rousell said...

Great info, I didn't know O'Farrells were there and surrendered.

Wienand Drenth said...

Hey Ray,
Literature is sometimes a bit vague/unclear about the regiments. The list I show is therefor a compilation/combination of several sources.

Yes, O'Farrell was governor of Deinze, and his regiment was with him. (In early 1695 it was with the main army, but transferred to Deinze later, apparently)

mekelnborg said...

I have noticed that they do not like to talk about unpleasant things, and so the details are so hard to find that we end up here, and now only we know.

But it is typical of human behavior generally to do that and not only the British.

Wienand Drenth said...

I haven't studied the portrayal in literature of surrenders (of fortresses and cities) without much of a fight in great detail. But I wonder if authors tend to point to 'the other' party in a coalition to find an excuse for the defeat.

Anonymous said...

Great website! I've been updating some Wikipedia sites relating to this; Major Robert Duncanson was in command of Lorne's Regiment and was promoted Colonel in August due to his refusal to sign the terms of surrender (see

I've referenced your website in the article, hope that's ok.

Gooner Tim said...

Lorne's Regiment was commanded by Major Robert Duncanson (see Wikipedia) who refused to sign the Surrender and was promoted Colonel in August by William as a reward. O' Farrell was allegedly reinstated before the War of the Spanish Succession.

Wienand Drenth said...

thanks for your comments.