Saturday, 12 May 2012

Battle of Neerwinden 29 July 1693 ~~ British regiments

The English language wiki on the Battle of Neerwinden conveniently gives an order of battle of the British regiments present at that battle. Unfortunately, that order of battle uses (more) modern titles for the regiments, unknown in 1693. The section's title ('English, Scottish and Irish Order of Battle') may make the reader think there were separate English, Scottish and Irish components in the army in Flanders. Though there were English, Scottish and Irish regiments, they were all on the English Establishment. There are some minor inaccuracies as well.

Presented here is a somewhat revised order of battle is given, with 17th century titles (i.e., understandable for contemporaries and EMEMH-ians). A more modern title, usually the territorial designation valid for around 1900, is given between brackets and should be understood by the younger generations.

The corrections were largely made using d'Auvergne's account of the campaign of 1693, and Walton's history of British Standing Army.


- Life Guards - three squadrons: 1st, 3rd and 4th Troops of Life Guards. The latter one was actually the Dutch Garde du Corps. This unit came over to England in 1688, and was on the English Establishment between 1689 and 1699. In England it ranked as the 4th Troop of Life Guards. The regimentation of these three troops may have been for convenience and tactical purposes only. The wiki shows the Royal Horse Guards, which were in England in 1693 and should be considered an error.
- The Queen's Regiment of Horse - 3 sqns (1st Dragoons Guards)
- Lord Berkeley's Regiment - 2 sqns (3rd Dragoons Guards)
- Francis Langston's Regiment - 2 sqns (4th Dragoons Guards)
- Hugh Wyndham's Regiment - 2 sqns (6th Dragoons Guards)
- Earl of Galway's Regiment - 3 sqns (a Huguenot regiment, disbanded in 1699 and not in the wiki)

Lord Fitzharding's Regiment of Dragoons - 3 sqns (4th Dragoons)


- First Regiment of Foot Guards - 2 bns (later Grenadier Guards) 
- Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards - 1 bn (Coldstream Guards)
- Scots Regiment of Foot Guards - 2 bns (Scots Guards)
- Royal Regiment of Foot - 2 bns (Royal Scots)
Remark: it should be remarked that the battalions of the regiments of guards were temporary, tactical, formations, and not necessarily distinctive, ever-present and unchanging administrative formations as we came to know battalions at a later period. The Royal Regiment, however, was really organised into two battalions.
- William Selwyn's Regiment of Foot - 1 bn (Queen's (West Surrey))
- Charles Churchill's Regiment - 1 bn (Buffs (East Kent))
- Henry Trelawney's Regiment - 1 bn (King's Own (Lancaster))
- Royal [Regiment of] Fuziliers - 1 bn (Royal Fusiliers (City of London))
- John Tidcomb's Regiment - 1 bn (West Yorkshire)
- Francis Collingwood's Regiment - 1 bn (disbanded in 1700, not in wiki)
- James Stanley's Regiment - 1 bn (Leicestershire)
- Thomas Erle's Regiment - 1 bn (Green Howards (North Yorkshire))
- Francis O'Farrell's Regiment - 1 bn (Royal Scots Fusiliers (Ayrshire))
- Earl of Leven's Regiment - 1 bn (King's Own Scottish Borderers)
- Andrew Munro's Regiment - 1 bn (Cameronians)

- Sir Charles Graham's Regiment - 1 bn (Scots Brigade)
- Aeneas Mackay's Regiment - 1 bn (idem)
- George Lauder's Regiment - 1 bn (idem)
Remark: the previous three regiments are dubbed as Dutch mercenaries on the aforementioned wiki. In reality this were Scottish regiments in pay of the Dutch Republic. They came over to England in November 1688, and were placed on the English Establishment in early 1689. In 1697 the regiments returned onto the Dutch payroll. The designation 'mercenaries' is not really appropriate, in the author's opinion. Graham's regiment is not mentioned in Walton's overview of infantry officers casualties (p. 270-1), but is found in d'Auvergne's account of the campaign of 1693 (pp. 91-5).


Ray Rousell said...

Great info!!!! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Have you missed out the regiment of Meinhardt Schomberg (Duke of Leinster) or 7th DG? they are in the Auvergne's OdB - Graf Bretlach.

Wienand Drenth said...

@Graf Bretlach
Not forgotten. The regiment was not at the battle of Landen, but busy levying contributions elsehwere in Flanders. See the regimental history by Richard Cannon. It was some weeks before, however, engaged in a skirmish at d'Otignies.

Graf Bretlach (Mark) said...

Thank you, for that, not read the regimental history yet.

Gooner Tim said...

Thanks for this; as a former British Army officer, the problem with tracking regiments is the utter obsession of the Victorian and Edwardian officer class with proving seniority. It's also because the Cardwell reforms caused huge arguments; in reality, it's not that simple.

I've been redoing a lot of the Wikipedia entries on the Nine Years War and I've found your website useful for telling me where to look, which is great; I've linked to it when I can but it's been much more helpful than the number of direct references indicates.

I've redone Landen :), Namur 1695 and added the Capitulation of Diksmuide; if you get a chance to take a look and have any suggestions, just leave them on the Talk page. But this is more to say I appreciate the website - it's not well-covered area.

Wienand Drenth said...

@Gooner Tim
Thanks for your comments, and I am happy my ancient posts are still useful for updating Wikipedia. Yes, the Cardwell reforms created the regiments [regimental families] as "we" got to know them from the 20th century wars.
As to the matter of seniority, that was already giving room for arguments between colonels since Tangier was English.