Sunday, 31 May 2009

Battle of Drumclog 1679

This small battle was fought today in Scotland in 1679. Wiki here.
This image - a copy of the Covenanters flag - is painted on the wall of the local Kirk - webpage here

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Artillery of Peter the Great

Zevzda have finally released the 1/72 set of the Great Northern War Russian guns. Apparently the kit consists of 5 unpainted cannons, 3 mounted and 30 foot soldiers. Look forward to seeing them.

Boyd Rankin introduces The Honourable Company of Foot

A great little promotional film from a highly successful group that has been at all the major tercentenary events... places like Ramillies, Almansa, Oudenaarde and Turin.

Battle of Villmergen

I'm not sure when this naive painting was executed - looks like the late 17thc - the battle was in 1655 - wiki on the battle here
It certainly is a great work of art and worth close examination.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Oakapple day

Today is the day that used to be celebrated as Oakapple Day - the birthday of Charles II and the date of his coronation in 1660. Now discontinued as a holiday more's the shame though I say that without any political or Royalist sentiment. Any excuse for a glass of cider should be revived.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Reader Help Needed

I need help from some of our more knowledgeable (or perhaps just older with good memories) readers. The illustration above is taken from a Miniature Figurines (MiniFigs) 25mm catalog published in the early 80's of their available early 18th century "wagons". This particular item was listed as "WAG 12 - Drum Carriage". The rear panel of the carriage was very ornately decorated with the Royal Arms as I recall. These were first introduced (I believe) in the 70's sometime. I believe that Tom Dye at GFI (MiniFigs USA distributor) even found the molds for it some time back when looking for a model of a General's Carriage, but I would have to confirm that with Tom. I know he found this "cut sheet" and the assembly instruction sheet.

I actually painted one of these as a contract job for a collector back in the late 70's or early 80's, and I recall that he provided me with a picture of a larger model of one from either John Garrett's book or Henry Harris' (I think) to use as a reference. I hadn't really thought of it in years, but we've discussed kettle drums quite a bit on here recently, and while browsing the Vinkhuijzen Collection on the NYPL site, I came upon this in the Williamite Dutch collection:

Just coincidence? I don't think so. The style and Royal Arms are too similar, even if the uniforms of the "crew" are different. I would like to find out if this drum coach or carriage existed (I'm assuming it did at some point) and any details on it that I can find. I've spent most of the evening doing Yahoo and Google searches and browsing my own collection of books without success. Which probably just means that I skipped right over it or stopped one page short somewhere!

Why my interest, other than nostalgia and idol curiosity? Well, I'm going to be painting some 15mm Williamite Dutch and English and I like to add some "color" models to my armies. I have General's coaches and carriages for my 15mm French, both the earlier 1640-1660 version and the later 1670-1690 version. I also have ornate General's tents from Baueda and assorted Staff figures, a map table, servants, a wench or two, etc. I think I have the wherewithal to scratchbuild one of these for my Williamite Dutch/English if I can find the sources to prove it's existence and use. So, if you can remember the book I originally saw it in, or even better, have an online source or a historical painting as a source, or even the actual written history of the drum carriage/coach, please pass it along. I could be very wrong, but I believe that when I painted it, the source I used attributed it to the Artillery, but I could be completely mistaken (an old mind is a terrible thing to lose).


Losely Park Monmouth Rebellion Display

Film from last weekend's SK event - part of the display was recreating Sedgemoor by the looks of it. Part 2 is here.

1685 Foot Guards

Legatus has some great photos of the SK's 1685 Foot Guards on his wargames armies blog.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Wargaming With the Regiment Karrer

To follow-on to Ralphus' post for the benefit of our wargamers, this would be an excellent regiment to depict if you are into skirmish gaming, the "Pirate" era, or early colonial actions (either against native forces or foreign troops). And it definitely offers a change from the more usual Compagnies Franches de la Marine that are seen.

The Regiment Karrer was actually paid by the Compagnie des Indes, not the War Ministry, and was considered a colonial regiment, the French equivalent of a British East India Company or Dutch East Indies regiment. From the official history of the unit: "On 15 December 1719, in Besançon, was formed in the pay of the Compagnie des Indes, a battalion raised in Alsace, by the Chevalier de Karrer, who serves in the colonies and will graduate in 1762."

For those strictly interested in gaming with this regiment, while it's past did include the mutiny at Louisberg, it also participated in garrison duty in many far-flung outposts of the Kingdom and would make a colorful addition to any force. I have taken the liberty of providing the colours of the regiment at the top of the post. These are in a .gif format and can be copied into Paint or similar and scaled with your printer for your use. The size of the colours at this time should be 2.8 meters square, or roughly one and one-half times the size of whatever figures you are using (although slightly larger flags are always colorful and can add to any wargame). Please note that the colours would have been mounted to a plain, spear-topped staff and decorated with gold cords with tassels and the familiar French white cravatte (which became the official decoration after Louis XIV's ascendancy in 1661 to replace the earlier "field signs" used by commanders in earlier wars).

For those with an interest in further reading regarding the Compagnies des Indes, which is actually quite fascinating and will remind you a bit of today's Wall Street scandals, I recommend the following Wiki:

The Company was originally founded at La Salle's request in 1684 as the Compagnie du Mississippi and, among many other things, was responsible for the founding of the city of New Orleans in 1718. I have found geneology records on the internet which show marriages to soldiers from the Regiment Karrer in old New Orleans, so it is likely that at least some portion of the Regiment was also stationed there during its history. At any rate, great post by Ralphus (as usual) and a great subject to add a little color to your colonial-era wargaming.


Addendum: Sharp-eyed reader's will have no doubt noticed a difference between the drapeaux shown in Ralphus' illustration and mine, the text is in opposite directions! I'm not entirely certain I can explain this, but will try. In researching the history and colours of this regiment I came across three illustrations and one written description. The version that I have chosen to picture is from Tom Gregg of the North American Vexillogical Association and is based on written descriptions in "Les Uniformes et les Drapeaux de l'Armée du Roi", Marseilles, 1899. The other version that I found was on a WikiMedia Common illustration by Edwin Lindemann of an amateur German vexillogical group, and is supposedly based on the same written source, but combines elements of both drapeaux into one single illustration, with the fleur de lis now in the cross instead of the cantons (common for a Royal regiment, which Karrer was not). The credit for the illustration even states that it is "revised" but offers no additional details. And finally, Ralphus' illustration, which actually matches Tom Gregg's, but with the text running in opposite directions, almost as if nailed to the staff inproperly, except that the fleur de lis are still in the correct locations and facing the right way. I cannot explain this difference. I have chosen to go with Tom Gregg's NAVA illustration as it most closely matches the text description in the previously mentioned book. So, if you choose to use these for your modelling or gaming purposes, you can at least quote the sources for the colours.

Regiment de Karrer

Flag pic c1725.

An order of battle for the battle of Ackia (see below) is on this lecture here. It seems the French forces in part consisted of Swiss soldiers - presumably of the Regiment de Karrer. Raised in 1719 Karrer were employed as colonial soldiers by the Ministry of Marine from 1721. Most recruits were German speaking. The Colonel's company acted as a depot in Rochefort. Companies served in Haiti, Martinique, and Louisiana and Nova Scotia. Image depicting Karrer in 1732 from here. Karrer mutinied while in Louisbourg - read about it here. Hallwyls from 1752. Drummer's livery here.
Pic The Disembarkation of 50 soldiers from the Karrer Swiss regiment at Louisbourg artprint from here

Battle of Ackia

Today is the anniversary of this obscure battle in the French-Chickasaw war of 1736 in Northeast Mississippi. Wiki here. I thought I was well-read on American history but I'd never heard of this one. An observer called Red Shoes is quoted as saying 'that our troops heavily clad marched with too slow a step and so close together that it was impossible for the Chickasaws to fire without killing some of them and wounding several.' An end to French ambitions in the southeast.
There is a novel Ackia: The Battle to Save the Chickasaw Nation that looks worth getting - funds going to a good cause.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Sealed Knot battle report

Legatus has done a great piece on the weekend's Civil War battle at Losely Park here - lots of photos...excellent stuff.

Attacking a town

Although this picture is a little early for this blog I thought the wargamers among us might enjoy this image. I suppose sieges are difficult to replicate on the tabletop...anyone have any ideas?
Comment il faut ordonner l'artillerie pour la défense d'une ville [Traité 2 - dialogue 11]
Description :
Créé vers 1613 (?) ; planche 10a du "Artillerie, ou Vraye instruction de l'artillerie et de ses appartenances. [...]" de Diego Ufano, Rouen, David du Petit Val, 1628
Author :
Bry Jean Théodore de (1561-1623) (attribué à) Dessinateur et graveur français

Sunday, 24 May 2009

A Tedious and Unpleasant Task

I have delayed doing this post, and debated its merit with myself and others before doing so. But "doing so" I finally am.

During the duration of my brief tenure assisting Ralphus, I have noticed a disquieting trend of comments being written by a "gentleman" with the unusual surname of "Anonymous" who also fails to sign his comments as most "Anonymous" bloggers courteously do. While I both invite and accept criticism of my posts, it is hoped that said criticism will come in the form of useful new sources that contradict my own findings, will support contradictory statements or criticism's with at least some form of authority or source, and will attempt to enrich all of our collective knowledge. For whatever reason, this individual (or perhaps I have a "fan club" all using the cloak of anonymity) feels the need to use phrases like "complete rubbish, shows a superficial knowledge of the period", "How do you know that every drummer in every French infantry regiment carried his drum this way all of the time?", and questioning Ralphus' decision to ask for assistance with this blog.

As I've already stated, I actually welcome constructive criticism and debate. To put to rest any doubts that may linger, no, I am not an "expert" on all things pertaining to the late 17th century, Louis XIV or any of his various opponents. What I am is an enthusiastic individual, very long-winded at times (comes from ruining a literature and journalism background by earning a living doing technical writing and "legalistic" product advisories), who volunteered when Ralphus asked, and who is self-employed and has the time to do research and try and develop articles that you might find of interest.

I am not a Sandhurst or West Point lecturer, I am not multi-lingual, and I don't even have a decent university library with a 17th century history section convenient to me. However, I have, in my brief tenure here, made acquaintances of several people who do meet these "qualifications (including some recognized published authors), all of whom have been very gracious and offered me new sources, both online and physical, and who have assisted me in researching articles. I have tried to credit these individuals whenever and wherever possible as I am very grateful for their acceptance and assistance. I have also received far more positive comments on my efforts than negative, so I probably shouldn't really complain. I have even inspired at least one individual to follow-up one of my articles with his own research and a post on his own blog, surely an ego-boost and gratifying experience for anyone putting their efforts "out there".

And, while perhaps "dogmatic in my criticism" and having only a "superficial knowledge of the period", I am still the individual who acquired, at personal expense, not only the required sample figures but enough for 16 complete battalions so that when I did my figure reviews they would be based on the "real world" experience of having acquired an order that wasn't hand-selected for a "sock puppet" and having cleaned, primed and painted them with every intention of using them, good or bad. Just my ink-washed samples against a common reference grid have already influenced at least two buying decisions that I'm aware of.

My only aspirations in contributing to this blog are to inspire discussion and further research, possibly provide some new material that hasn't seen the "light of day" previously, and ultimately, to entertain and to assist Ralphus in diversifying the content somewhat. At the end of the day, only you, the readers and faithful "followers" of this blog, can decide if I have accomplished any of my goals. I would like for Mr. (or perhaps Ms.) Anonymous to contact me offline via my e-mail when they feel that I have strayed and participate in a two-way discussion that might just benefit both of us. I actually encourage any of our readers to contact me offline for discussion, my e-mail is available on my profile and I do answer them.

So, I will end this tedious and (once again) long-winded post with apologies for distracting from the historical, artistic and gaming discussions that is this blog's true purpose. Rest assured though, I will continue my efforts until Ralphus asks me to cease them.


Saturday, 23 May 2009

Picture of the battle of St-Denis 1678

There's some great pieces about the Franco-Dutch war and a brilliant St-Denis battle picture on this blog Anno Domini 1672. It is really a new insight to the period coming from someone with local knowledge and also the ability to speak Dutch! I've always felt this blog to be a bit English/French orientated so this perspective from the Netherlands is a welcome resource.

Monsieur l'Dauphin pardonne

As it is the 300th anniversary of that great song Marlbrough s'en va t'en guerre I thought it might be interesting to find some more and came across this great series of youtube videos detailing Historical Songs of France. This one from the 17th and 18th century with its French dragoon theme is first up - the lyrics are on its page. Also known as les trois dragons or nous étions trois dragons.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

By the Sword Divided 'Restoration'

Who remembers this tv series from the mid 80s? Actually I didn't watch it much - saw the odd episode - this scene of Charles II coming to 'Arnescote' is quite pleasing. It's one of those blow-the-budget sequences that you don't need to know what's going on in the series to be able to enjoy - a bit of historical pageantry that's picturesque in the English countryside. If it's your sort of thing - there is the whole series up on youtube. Wiki on the series


I found my old fife today. Been having a go...I can play it a bit. Inspired as much by the blues fife of people like Otha Turner (if you've seen Gangs of New York you would have heard his band). I am hoping to try and capture some of that exhuberance. Fat chance. Othar Turner on youtube.

Bank Holiday reenactments.

I thought it might be interesting to see what the English Civil war reenactors are doing this Bank Holiday weekend. The ECWS are at Caldicott Castle Monmouthshire which looks a very picturesque spot for an event and the Sealed Knot are at Losely Park Surrey with a battle spectacular. So if you have a mind to smell gunpowder, hear the beat of drums and the thunder of hooves then pack a picnic and get along to have a great day out.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Partition De Plusieurs Marches et Batteries De Tambour

This manuscript from 1705 looks worth tracking down. Shame I can't read music

Heidebrecht regiment

Great piece on this regiment in 15mm by Steve the Wargamer with info on the regiment's flag and more here

Dutch camp scene

Unsigned apparently c1700 according to Anne Brown - it certainly is a great image that I've not encountered before

Monday, 18 May 2009

Sergent Bombardier c1725

Naval soldier from Anne S K Brown

Supernatural aspects of the Monmouth Rebellion 2

Signs and Portents
I've been looking for the various bits and pieces that preceded the Monmouth Rebellion in Somerset - below is an excerpt from Magonia - a Fortean magazine's piece on Millenarianism that is well written and contains all the main events.

Despite the return of ‘Anti-Christ’ however the West Country, and Somerset in particular, remained a hot-bed of sedition. Astrologers, prophets and non-conformists were unceasingly brought to trial, imprisoned, or whipped round the town on market day. For twenty years the whole West Country was coming to the boil of the Monmouth Rebellion, when once more Civil War radicals and millenarians would rise.
In May 1683, only two years before Monmouth landed, there were large scale outbreaks of possession and witchcraft in villages like Spreyton and towns like Barnstaple, amongst the Nonconformist weavers. At Spreyton a man was hounded by spirits and thrown from his horse in front of witnesses by invisible beings and propelled through the air. There were hags and apparitions which came and haunted the entire village, and poltergeist activity.
Some idea of the millenarian atmosphere in the West Country just before the Monmouth Rebellion can be gauged by the letters Andrew Paschal, the Rector of Chedzoy in Somerset - a parish contiguous to Sedgemoor - wrote to the antiquary John Aubrey:
“Before our troubles (the Rebellion) came on we had such signs as used to be deemed forerunners of such things. In May 1680 there was that monstrous birth at Isle Brewers, a parish in Somerset, which at that time was much taken note of - two female children joined in their bodies from the breast down. They were born May 19th, and christened Aquila and Priscilla. May 29th I saw them well and likely to live. About at the same time, reports went of divers others in the inferior sorts of animals, both the oviparous and viviparous kinds. But perhaps many of these, and the other odd things then talked of, owed, if not their being, yet their dress, to superstition and fancy. In the January following, Monday the 3rd, at seven in the morning, we had an earthquake, which I myself felt here It came with a whizzing gust of wind from the west end of my house which shook it. This motion was observed in Bridgewater, Taunton, Wells and other places, and near some caverns in the Mendip Hills and was said to be accompanied by thundering noises.
“In the end of the year 1684, 12 Dec., were seen from this place, at sun rising, parahelii, and this when in a clear, sharp, frosty morning there were no clouds to make the reflection. It was probably from the thickness of the atmosphere. The place of the fight (Sedgemoor) which was in the following summer, was near a line drawn from the eyes of the spectators to these mock suns.”

To flaunt

Great image from the 1720s I think. Somewhere around this time colours ceased to have short poles so they could be flaunted and instead were carried rather more statically. Anyone have any ideas why this happened?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Louisbourg fife and drums

There is a fair bit of camera wobble on this clip but I think it's worth watching. Shot from the perspective of being alongside them as they march about these immaculately dressed performers recreating the French of the 1740s are some of the best in the Americas. A lot of colonial fife and drum corps tend to be a little cheesey but not this lot. The drummers lace is a very difficult thing to reproduce these days and you get a nice close-up view of that too.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

fife and drums

One thing I wish I could start in the UK is an 18th century fife and drum group. Not sure why it hasn't happened much - the Guild of Ancient Fife and Drums used to wear 18thc kit of sorts - someone will probably say 'we have one' but as far as I know there isn't a fife and drum group for the 18th century in Britain. Where do you start? Research-wise this site has a Chronological list of fife and drum sources that is useful and you can see that a lot of it is late 18thc.
Most of the interest in the English language on field drums and fifes is in the Americas where there has been a lot of research and practical work. This Field Drums blog is a good place to start.
Given the cost of decent drums at somewhere like Marcus Music - it's a relatively inexpensive instrument...finding fifers is probably the hard part.

Over the Hills and Far Away

A song that does come from the early 1700s is this song - here done by Laurence Olivier in John Gay's Beggars Opera written in 1728. My piece is done for Lord Orkney's Regiment is from the play The Recruiting Officer (1706). I'm not going to even mention the horrible guitar version on a popular tv series of the Napoleonic wars.

Blenheim article

Fraxinus on his blog has a nice article on wargaming Blenheim - and he along the way invents a word that I like - 'tricornitis' - I've been suffering an attack of this recently, and for that I apologise. He also quotes the lyrics to the song Rochester Recruiting Sergeant which is an interesting case in that it was written by modern folk musicians Strawhead and has gradually slipped into the consciousness of reenactors and folkies as an original folk song. If you want to read about this bizarre mix-up check out the Strawhead wiki entry. It reads
Strawhead fueled some controversy when it made a derivate work from an old ballad entitled The Bold Fusilier.[8] The Bold Fusilier is a British song in which some argue predates the 1903 tune to Waltzing Matilda.[9][10] Waltzing Matilda is Australia's most widely known folk song, and has been referred to as 'the unofficial national anthem of Australia.[11] There are similarities between Waltzing Matilda and The Bold Fusilier, making for argument that one of the songs is based on the other song.[12] There is no evidence that The Bold Fusilier is older than Waltzing Matilda and Australia and most sources reject the idea that a British song serves as a parent work for the Australian Waltzing Matilda.[13]
In the 1970s, Strawhead wrote four more verses for The Bold Fusilier and called their resulting song, The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant.[8] The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant was adopted by a generation of folkies and battle re-enactors.[8] The four additional verses called to mind the Marlborough's Wars of 1702 to 1713.[8] In addition, the Strawhead creation sounded so like a relic of Marlborough's wars that many of the folkies and battle re-enactors came to believe that Strawhead's The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant was from the early 1700s.[8] As a result, folkies and battle re-enactors came to mistakenly believe that the 1903 tune of Waltzing Matilda was borrowed from the 1970s The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant, rather than the reverse, even though the sleeve notes to Strawhead's 1978 record features an explanation of how they developed the The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant.[8]

Naval officer by N Guerard

Interesting study from around 1700.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Battle of Taniers

It seems that once the battle of Malplaquet (or Mall-placket) - celebrating its 300th anniversary this year was once called the Battle of Taniers. Interesting description of the battle on page 335 of de la Colonie's memoirs where he describes the woods fighting with the English soldiers attacking in a drunken rage.

Compagnies franches 1718 Rochefort

Sergeant and soldier with 9 hole gargoussier or belly-box. Note the small collar on the soldier's coat. Blue cuffs and linings etc.
This takes me back to the 90s when I used to run a Marine group and we made many such belly-boxes - it was important to have the wood insert curved as otherwise it was very uncomfortable. My New France past

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Military Artifacts of Spanish Florida

This site is fascinating...all manner of buttons and buckles associated with the Spanish Military.

Amiable Renegade - the memoirs of Capt Peter Drake

Looking for accounts of Malplaquet I came across this interesting book which covers that time period - I'd never heard of it before but it looks worth reading.

Cavalry c1670

It must be getting near the time when the cavalry get released for Glory of the Sun... in the meantime we can look at this pic - though I'm not convinced it's by Van der Meulen.

Meulen, Adam Frans van der (artist)
Original ink drawing (by van der Meulen); perspective view, cavalrymen and trumpeters in foreground, troops on plain in distance

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

A Final (I Hope) Word on The Morados Viejos

In the interest of accuracy, and not meaning to bore anyone to death, I have encountered additional information of the Morados Viejos from Spanish sources that would indicate that it did not become the Regiment de Sevilla as I previously indicated.

In fact, I found a wonderful regimental history from a Spanish source that traces the unit from its origins under Philip IV in 1632 (although not sanctioned by Royal decree until September 10, 1634) until far beyond our time period, in the later 18th century.

According to this history, which is well annotated and appears well-supported, the Morados Viejos became instead the Regiment de Castilla in 1707 due to their association with the Kings of Castille, their seniority, and their use by Philip V as the "core" unit in his new infantry organization. In fact, later in their history, their name was changed several times and included "The King's Regiment of Castille" and "The 1st, or Immemorial Regiment of the King". Even later it is referred to officially as the "1st Regiment of Foot, The King's Regiment"

Much like the Regiment de Picardie in France and the 1st Regiment of Foot, the Royal Scots, in England, this regiment holds official "pride of place" as the "birthplace of the Ancient Spanish Army" in writings attributed directly to King Carlos III in the mid-18th century.

I would highly recommend that anyone wishing to further research the various Infantry Regiments of Spain peruse the following web site (I have provided a link to the Google translation) and follow the links to specific unit histories. Very well done effort.


Spanish and Indian War?

While on the subject of Spanish reenactment I thought this clip of American reenactors might be of interest to some of you. It's a great fort and the reenactment looks good with that as a backdrop.
'Watch as Spanish reenactors from St. Augustine, Florida joined by their allies, Muscogee-Creek Indian reenactors, launch a surprise attack on the British at Fort King George in Darien, Georgia'
Video here


This is interesting. A new blog dedicated to the period 1672 - the Rampjaar - disaster year for the Dutch - and 'A blog dedicated to the Anglo-Dutch and French-Dutch wars of the 17th and 18th century' lots of information on this site - and it's in English as well as Dutch. Recommended

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Almansa 1707-2009

Part 1 of footage from the recent reenactment in Spain.

Aetas Rationis

I am really impressed by the Spanish WSS scene. This newish group recreating the Regimiento Aragón in 1711 are excellent. Their website has all manner of interesting items including videos. Website here

Follow Up To "El Morados Viejos"

The plate above is of my own construction, used as a painting guide, and derived from several sources. The standards may be scaled to correct size and printed for your personal use. The field sign, or distinctive cravatte on the standards would have been solid red at this period, and similar to the French white cravatte in design.

The Morados Viejos, or "Old Purples", originated in 1632 as the Tercio de Sevilla, or Regiment of Seville, and was the oldest "standing" Tercio in service during our time period. According to most of the sources I can find, the uniform shown above would have remained correct through at least 1707 with the following changes: (1) sometime after 1682 the distinctive Spanish "false lapel" would have disappeared and the coat would have appeared as the reenactor's shown in Ralphus' earlier post, although how soon this change took effect is not known; (2) also after 1682 the breeches would have changed to red in color, again as shown by the reenactors, and; (3) again after 1682, the cuffs would have been lowered to slightly above the wrist, in "the French Fashion".

In 1701 the Morados Viejos, now officially known as the "Tercio Viejo de los Morados", was summoned to Barcelona by Philip V to become the core of a new permanent division of 6,000 Spanish "modern" infantry. In 1707, by Royal decree, their uniforms were changed to the later Spanish "white" coats and breeches with red distinctions (pockets, cuffs), and the name was changed to the Regiment de Castilla. Their standards would have changed at that time as well to the "new" pattern decreed by Philip V.

Sources for this article include: "The Spanish 'Tercios' 1525-1700" by Dr. Pierre Picouet, "The Spanish Army of Philip V", 2nd edition, by James Hinds and published and edited by Pat Condray (Editions Brokaw), and the web site "Historia de la Infanteria de Española".


New France

A series of documents pertaining to the history of Canada during the French regime. Many hours of interesting reading here on various subjects including warfare. Recommended.

Tercio de Morados Viejos

Photo from Flickr
Someone asked about this colourful Spanish reenactment regiment - I can't find their webpage but you can read all the up to date reenactment stuff from Spain on this blog
There's all sorts of interesting stuff here including a piece on a new Catalan unit Regimiento de la Diputación de la Generalitat
Also another blog for the period is
for an excellent painting of the battle here

Monday, 11 May 2009

Patrice Menguy

If you have an interest in the French army and you haven't been to this site you are in for a treat. All manner of ordonnances, regulations, drill, uniform research and so on from the late 17thc up to the War of Austrian Succession on the French army. Patrice is a reenactor of the Royal Ecossais but also used to produce some excellent figures for the Fontenoy era, which sadly don't seem to be available any more. There's all manner of gems to be found there - the illustrations from Institutions militaires pour la cavalerie et les dragons par M. de la Porterie show French equipment and tents of the period - ideal for reenactors of the French Royal army everywhere. Recommended.

Battle of Fontenoy

Not really within the timeline of this blog but today is the anniversary of that famous battle so it's an excuse to post this clip. It's quite impressive but also a little ludicrous - is it a comedy? Anyway it's worth watching - there's obviously been a fair bit of money spent on it...maybe someone could explain it. It looks like a send-up of the Sovereign's Servant but it can't be that. OK I've worked it out - it's from the 2003 remake of Fanfan la Tulipe - a French comedy starring Penelope Cruz that did really badly at the box office. So I suppose it is meant to be funny. Phew.

Dirck Tulp by Paulus Potter

Thanks to a comment by Motorway here's the other Dutch civic horseman picture this time from 1653

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Fusil for the period of the plates below would be the M1717 - this repro from Middlesex Village Trading looks excellent quality and value. There are only two originals of this gun if I'm not mistaken - the French Revolution probably saw to it that anything that could shoot was probably pressed into service.

plates of Delaistre

There's a lot of information to be gleaned from the work of Delaistre. Unfortunately it's of an era when not much happened - the 1720s - but in terms of the general history of the French army in the period it's probably the most useful single source depicting drill, formations, uniforms and so on. All here at the RMN

Horse Grenadiers

I must admit to really liking these 1720s images of the French army by Delaistre Jacques-Antoine. I think they'd make excellent paper soldiers.

Dutch Horseman 1660 by Rembrandt

Frederick Rihel (1621 - 1681) came from Strasbourg and was a successful Merchant in Amsterdam. As an official of the civic guard he took part in the procession which welcomed the Prince of Orange into Amsterdam in 1660. Frederick Rihel is wearing an ornate dress and there are glimpses of the procession winding along behind him.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Seven Years War

If you have an interest in recreating cavalry or dragoons and you live in the Americas you might be well advised to check out the Seven Years War group - they portray the European theatre - and have a number of cavalry groups already in existence. Some of the organisers are friends of mine so I know they take their equitation seriously. Website here

Souvenir of the war of the Quadruple alliance

Article by Gilles Sigro (in French on pdf) here on the finding in 1990 of a dragoon sword (M1680 forte epee) in a garden and its history.

Day of the Dragons

Items of equipment of the French dragoons. If I was French, could ride a horse, and was rich I'd start a late 17thc dragoon reenactment regiment.

French dragoon musket

Préréglementaire de dragons
Fabriqué entre 1689 et 1714
musée de l'Armée
Period :
reign of Louis XIV (1661-1715)
0.190 m.
Length :
1.475 m.

French dragoon sword

Forte-épée dite "1680-1695", régiment de Tessé Dragons
Made 1680-1690

Friday, 8 May 2009

1699 Well? Ish blog

This blog is good - lots of painted 15mm figs from around the late 17thc. including some Spanish. Well worth a visit.

War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20)

This is a pretty obscure war - wiki here - fought between Spain on the one hand and France, Britain, Austria and the Dutch Republic on another. There was an American dimension too with the French taking Pensacola in Florida. Also it was the era of the Battle of Glen shiel in Scotland.
This battle had some 250 Spanish Marines under Don Nicolás Bolaño - anyone have a picture of this regiment? Scotswars has a fairly detailed description...
The Battle of Glenshiel 1719 by Peter Tillemans (1719)
Below is an introduction to the topography of the battle.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Something I will always associate with William Britain's is the sentry-box. Probably when I was a kid I thought soldiers lived in them thanks to the toys I owned. When did they come into practice? You see stone ones that are round on fortresses but wooden ones? This Prussian example from c1720 is one of the earliest I've seen. Search Anne Brown collection for sentry-box. It would be a nice touch if 18thc reenactment groups had these as props - be useful at a garrison type event. Probably impractical to cart around unless you could flat pack them. You can get ones made of wood for your garden.
In Music
Luke Kelly and the Dubliners perform the traditional song 'Gentleman soldier' a song that features a sentry-box tryst.
Image search sentry-box

Figure in the corner

Interesting corner figure of what looks like a soldier - not sure when from - could be 1680s?
Colbert présente à Louis XIV les membres de l'Académie Royale des Sciences crée en 1667
En présence de Martin Cureau et des abbés Edme Maroitte, Jean Picard
Testelin Henri (1616-1695

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


A pair of interesting images from Saxony from the early 18thc. The right hand picture is a recruiting scene.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Britain's F&I range

While talking to Colin Spicer about the new 60th (see below) he said they didn't want to look like Britain's soldiers. So I thought, in humourous mode that maybe that was a little cruel as they aren't that bad - judge for yourself here.
The range is called Redcoats and Bluecoats. Here's a 60th foot light infantryman.

troops in review

Been vaguely looking for period illustrations that could be adapted to make paper armies from. This series of images by Delaistre are good.

Gardes de la Porte de la Maison du Roy : troupe en revue
Planche 69 du tome III de "Infanterie et Gardes françaises" vers 1721
Delaistre Jacques-Antoine