Tuesday, 31 March 2009
There's an interesting piece on the battle of Seneffe here which would be useful for wargamers which I recommend you to have a look at giving a fairly detailed order of battle for the forces involved.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Now, I already had a pretty good idea of what figures I would use for this army in 15mm, and a poll I took on TMP pretty much confirmed my opinion. However, there are several choices out there in this scale and period. What would a new gamer, or one new to this period or scale, do?
Therefore I am embarking on a task that I've not done since I did some figure reviews for Society journals "back in the day", I'm evaluating all of them. I will start with the infantry of the period, much of which is labeled "League of Augsburg" and intended to be either somewhat later or "generic" in purpose. I have arranged to acquire sample figures (actually have all but two of the ranges already) from all six manufacturer's for this period. By the way, I did purchase all of these. Even though some of the maker's know that I'm doing a review, and I personally know a couple of them, I don't want to be thought of as a "sock puppet" for anyone. The chart below details how I will be reviewing and scoring the figures. The scores given will represent all of the available castings from the maker, not just selected ones. It would be too easy to select just the figures that I think are appropriate and give them all a 10! I will also write a post on each maker with photos, painted and unpainted, shot against a 4mm X 4mm blue grid to compare size and bulk. In the post I will go into more detail on specific peculiarities of each maker, pros and cons of their product, how well they mix with other's products (if they do), how various painting styles favor one maker over another, and how their figures "measure up" to competition if you will.
If you have any questions over my criteria for rating, or the scoring methodology, please comment. By the way, I will figure out how to make an Excel table into a scalable jpg file before I post the final version with scores! If anyone can share tips on this, I would be grateful (troglodytes need help!) In the meantime, I apologize for making you break out the magnifiers, if you save the image to your desktop and then open as a picture with either Paint or Microsoft Picture Manager (or similar), you can view it better.
I think I've covered all of what I consider to be the important points, but you may think of more. You'll notice that in the sections detailing Anatomy, Uniform and Equipment I've included a rating for "Does it look right?" below the basic rating for accuracy. This is because almost all ranges have the ability to still "look right" when viewed from a wargaming distance, even if they're not technically correct, but not always in all regards, hence the breakdown under three different headings. Essex are a great example of this, without giving too much away. People either love them or hate them generally, but the fact is, they're really pretty good. I will be the first to bemoan the dreaded Essex "spread leg" pose that they use so often, and the fact that all of their infantry would be 18.5mm figures from the coattail to the top of the head, but they all have these abominably short lower legs! However, when viewed from 3 feet back, especially once painted and based, they really look quite good and do look appropriate for the period. I'll have a few surprises in the text reviews for you that I won't spoil now, so stay tuned.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Battle of St-Denis
At the close of the campaign, the ministers of the confederate states pressed King Charles II to recall his troops from the service of France, attributing many of the French monarch's successes to the bravery of the British regiments; and in 1678 the king acceded.
At the same time the gallant Earl of Ossory, eldest son of the Duke of Ormond, was appointed to the command the British brigade; and Sir Henry Bellasis succeeded Colonel Ashley in the command of the regiment which is now the Sixth Foot. Ten thousand English troops were also embarked for Flanders, to take part in the war.
During the early part of the campaign of 1678, the British brigade, under the Earl of Ossory, was employed on detached services in Brabant and Flanders; and on the morning of Sunday, the 14th of August, it moved from its camp near the little river Senne, to attack the French army, commanded by Marshal Luxemburg, before Mons.
The French commander imagined himself safe in inaccessible entrenchments; but he was surprised by a party of Dutch dragoons while at dinner in the Abbey of St. Denis, near the village of that name, and his army was unexpectedly attacked, with great fury, about three o'clock in the afternoon. The Dutch, under Count Waldeck, assaulted and carried the abbey; the Spaniards, commanded by the Duke of Villa Hermosa, advanced by the village of Castehau ; and the Dutch foot-guards, with the Earl of Ossory's brigade, prolonged the attack on the heights of Castehau, where the action was maintained with particular obstinacy. The Earl of Ossory drew his sword, and, pointing to the dark masses of the enemy, whose polished arms gleamed on the distant heights, led his British bands to the attack with signal intrepidity: his gallant mien and lofty bearing infused a noble ardour into the breasts of his officers and men, who urged, with resolute tread, their way through every difficulty to encounter their adversaries. The grenadiers of Bellasis's regiment (now Sixth Foot) headed by Major William Babington, led the attack on a body of French troops, posted in a hop-garden, with a spirit and resolution which were imitated by the musketeers and pikemen, and a vehement struggle ensued among the trees and umbrageous foliage which adorned the scene of conflict. Sir Henry Bellasis and Lieutenant-Colonel Monk were wounded, Major Babington was also wounded and taken prisoner, and the contest was fierce and sanguinary; but British valour prevailed, and the French were driven from among the hop-poles with great slaughter. Another stand was made by the enemy beyond the enclosure, and the storm of battle was renewed with additional fury. The Scots, under Major-General Kirkpatrick, Sir Alexander Colyear, and Colonel Mackay, vied with the English in their gallant efforts, and the Prince of Orange and Duke of Monmouth arriving at that part of the field, witnessed their heroic behaviour. Attack succeeded attack, and as the shades of evening gathered over the scene of conflict, the blaze of musketry and showers of hand-grenades indicated the fury of the opposing ranks of war. At length darkness put an end to the fight; and the French forsook their entrenchments and retreated. The excellent conduct of the British troops was appreciated by the Prince of Orange and the States-General; and in the narratives of the battle, published at the time, they received their meed of praise : in one account it was stated,—" the Earl of Ossory and his troops performed wonders;" in another,—" the English and Scots regiments did things to the admiration of those that beheld them;" and in a third,—"they behaved themselves with that courage and bravery which are so natural to them." The regiment which forms the subject of this memoir (the Holland Regiment) lost many non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, and had the following officers killed and wounded:—Captains Richardson and Vanderstraet, Lieutenants Price, Paul, and Lepingault, and Ensign Drury, killed : Colonel Sir Henry Bellasis, Lieutenant-Colonel Monk, Captain Penford, Lieutenant Lunnemon, and Ensign Nelson, wounded. Major Babington was wounded and taken prisoner: he was, in the first instance, included in the list of the slain.
Preliminary articles for a treaty of peace had, in the mean time, been agreed upon at Nimeguen ; and the aspect of affairs was suddenly changed, the spot of ground where fury and bloodshed raged a few hours before was transformed, by the news of peace, to a scene of hilarity and jocund mirth, which was only alloyed by the remembrance of the loss of so many companions in arms, whose blood had stained the grassy fields.
Friday, 27 March 2009
The regimental colours bore a sun and eight eaglets flying towards it, the whole worked in gold, as was also the device—Tuus ad te nos vocat ardor. The king had adopted the sun as an emblem. The device of the English gendarmes was therefore a flattery to the great monarch.
The uniform of both companies was—coat, lining and facings of red cloth, bordered with silver throughout, the sleeves of the coat laced with silver ; scarlet waistcoat, red breeches, top boots, hat bordered with silver, black cockade, buttons silvered. The first company wore a sash of yellow silk, the second one of violet. The arms were the mousqueton— a short musket or blunderbuss—a sword, and pistols. The horse-cloths were also red, bordered with silver.
The French got gradually admitted into this guard of honour, and finished by depriving it entirely of its national character. When it was disbanded, in 1788, the name had for a long time previously been a misnomer.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Musketeer and the colours of the Morados Viejo Regiment of Seville in the later part of the 17th century. Excellent reference for the budding painter of a Spanish Army! There is also a color matrix showing the uniform colors and location of all of the Spanish regiments of foot, in Europe and Colonial, at the close of the century. Good stuff! I have a copy of James Hinde's book, "Spanish Army of Phillip V" published by Editions Brokaw on the way, which should "dovetail" nicely with this site to let me do a possible Spanish army when my French are finished. Wars of the Devolution anyone? Spanish can be very colorful!
You might think this blog needs less posts than more but the way I look at it we don't have to post this out - no trees are being chopped down for paper so why edit it? People can always scroll down if it doesn't interest them.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
1674 The interests of the United Provinces and those of the reformed religion being intimately connected, their cause was popular in England; and when the king disbanded a great part of his army on the settlement of the peace in 1674, many officers and men voluntarily entered the Dutch service, particularly from the old Holland Regiment, which was reduced on that occasion from eighteen to ten companies. Among the most zealous in his service were Captains Sir Henry Bellasis, Thomas Monk, John Morgan, Philip Savage, Roger M'Eligott, Alexander Cannon, and four others, who arrived at the Uriel during the summer of 1674 with a number of men, who were formed into ten companies.
After the death of Sir Walter Vane at Seneffe Sir William Ballandyne was next appointed to command the British division, and the ten companies marched from the Briel to Bois-le-duc ; from whence they were suddenly called to join the army and take part in the siege of Grave. They were commanded, while on this service, by Captain Hugh Mackay (afterwards lieutenant-general and commandant of the Scots brigade), who had transferred his services a few weeks previously from the French to the Dutch army; and was appointed major-commandant of the ten companies pro tempore. On the second day after their arrival before Grave, the ten companies were on duty in the trenches; and such was the fervour and eagerness of some of the officers and soldiers to signalize themselves, that Captain Savage and a few men stormed the counterscarp in the night without orders: they evinced great bravery, and gained some advantage, but were eventually repulsed, and Captain Savage was put in arrest, and reprimanded for his over-heated valour.
After the surrender of Grave on the 28th of October, the ten companies returned to Bois-le-duc, where four British regiments were formed during the winter;— two English, commanded by Colonels Lillingston and Disney;—one Scots, commanded by Colonel Graham ;—and one Irish, of which the Viscount of Clare was colonel. Two old Scots regiments in the Dutch service were purged of foreigners and added to the above four: the six regiments formed as fine a body of troops as any in Europe, and they soon had opportunities of proving that they possessed the same heroic spirit and contempt of danger as their predecessors in the war of independence, and as the valiant English and Scots who so highly distinguished themselves under the great Gustavus Adolphus. Its commanding officer was Colonel Luke Lillingston, whose appointment was dated in August, 1674.
1675 The campaign of 1675 was passed in marching, manoeuvring, and watching the operations of the enemy. During the winter the regiment was in garrison in Holland, and the colonelcy was conferred on Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Ashley ; the command of the second English regiment was conferred on Colonel Ralph Widdrington ; and the Irish regiment having previously been given to Colonel John Fenwick, it lost its designation of Irish, and the three were accounted English regiments.
1676 In the summer of 1676 the regiment marched to Bois-le-duc, where, in the early part of July it was suddenly aroused about midnight by the drums beating to arms; and assembling on its parade ground, it immediately proceeded towards the province of Limburg. After several days' march it arrived in the vicinity of Maestricht, and, the Prince of Orange having joined the army, the siege of this celebrated city was commenced.
The three English regiments were commanded by Brigadier-General John Fenwick. Being proud of their national character, and jealous of their fame, they obtained permission to act separately, and to have a particular point of attack allotted them ; " and they made " it appear, by their fierce attacks, that they deserved " this distinction." They signalized themselves by the spirit with which they beat back the sallies of the garrison ; and on the 30th of July they furnished two hundred men, in equal proportions from each regiment, to storm the Dauphin Bastion. A lodgment was effected; but the troops afterwards lost their ground, and they had one hundred and fifty men killed and wounded out of the two hundred. Colonel Widdrington was killed, and the command of his regiment was given to Lieut.-Colonel Dolman. The brigade was again on duty in the trenches on the 2nd of August, when Brigadier-General Fenwick was wounded.
At three o'clock on the morning of the 4th of August, a storming party of one hundred and eighty-three officers and men, with a support of sixty men, furnished in equal proportions from each of the three regiments, paraded at the head of the brigade; a similar detachment of the blue Dutch foot-guards was also in readiness, and at five this little band rushed forward in the face of a storm of fire, and made a second attack on the Dauphin Bastion with signal gallantry. The English, being emulous of fame, gained the lead of the Dutch, and throwing forward a shower of hand-grenades, assaulted the breach sword in hand, and effected a lodgment. Suddenly the ground under the soldiers' feet was agitated, a tremendous explosion blew a number of men into the air, and the bursting of the mine being succeeded by a fierce attack of the enemy, the storming party was driven back. Instantly rallying, and being exasperated by this repulse, the English and Dutch returned to the charge breathing vengeance and slaughter, by a powerful effort drove back their antagonists, and re-established themselves on the bastion, but with the loss of more than half their numbers killed and wounded. English valour shone conspicuously on this occasion, and the Dutch authorities acknowledged the superior gallantry of the brigade. In the Hague Gazette it was stated " the English gained very great " honour;" and in the Brussels Gazette it was stated, " the Prince of Orange having resolved to retake the " Dauphin Bastion, appointed two hundred English, " and as many of his guards, to make the attack, which " they did with great courage and resolution, and with " very great honour to the English, who first entered " the breach." Sir William Temple, Harris, Boyer, Carleton, Bernardi, and other authors, bore ample testimony to the native valour of the English soldiers. A Scots regiment, commanded by Sir Alexander Colyear, also distinguished itself at this siege.
A desperate sally was made from the town, on the morning of the 6th of August, by three hundred Swiss infantry, who, owing to the neglect of a sentry, surprised and made prisoners the English guard on the bastion ; but a reinforcement coming forward, the Swiss were overpowered and destroyed, except about twenty men, who escaped into the town. The Prince of Orange complimented the English on their bravery : and being desirous of conferring on merit a special mark of his approbation, and of inciting other corps to emulate the English brigade, he made each of the three regiments a present of a fat ox and six sheep, which, however, occasioned some murmuring among the Dutch.
A strong horn-work was afterwards captured by the Dutch, and preparations were made for a general storm of the main breach ; but Marshal de Schomberg advancing at the head of a powerful French army to relieve the town, the siege was raised, and the three English regiments, having sustained a severe loss, were sent into quarters in Holland.
The French monarch commenced the campaign of 1677 with great vigour; and the advantage derived from an army being under the sole direction of, and conducted by immediate orders from one head, over a confederate force, which meets with delays and obstructions from different interests, councils, negligences, and tempers, was very conspicuous,—the feeble preparations of the Dutch, and the apathy of the Spaniards, having left the Prince of Orange without a force capable of contending with the immense army of the enemy. Colonel Ashley's regiment, after replacing its losses with recruits from England, quitted Holland, and advanced with the remainder of the brigade to West Flanders. It formed part of the army, under the Prince of Orange, employed in the attempt to relieve the town of St. Omer ; and was engaged on the 11th of April at the battle of Mont-Cassel, which was fought under great disadvantages in numbers and the nature of the ground. Two newly-raised regiments of Dutch marines, posted between the Prince's foot-guards and the English brigade, gave way at the first onset, and, confusion ensuing, the Prince retreated with the loss of his baggage and artillery.
For the 1660s and 70s I really rate the Donnington Wars of Louis XIV range in 15mm - there's not many of them but they're spot on. I've got some but I can't really photograph them properly but I recommend them - not so keen on their Late 17th range though. If anyone can photograph 15s I'd be happy to send them to you.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Newsletter to Robert Aldworth 11-18 May 1671
Scottish soldiers in France in the reign of the Sun King: nursery for men of honour
By Matthew Glozier
Monday, 23 March 2009
During the winter of 1673-4, the States General pressed King Charles II. to recall his troops from the service of France, and solicited permission again to employ in their army a British division. The king refused to recall his regiments from France; but his majesty engaged not to permit any additional British corps to be levied for the service of Louis XIV., and to prevent the others being recruited: at the same time permission was given to the States to raise for their service a body of troops in England and Scotland, to be commanded by the colonel of the old Holland Regiment, Sir Walter Vane, who was promoted to the rank of major-general in the Dutch army, and appointed colonel of one of the regiments to be raised for this service, now the Sixth Regiment Of Foot, his commission bearing date the 12th of December, 1673. He was killed in 74 after wounds received while acting as a volunteer at Seneffe being buried at the Hague.
And while repelling, in the midst of his troops, with a brave hand, but with a braver soul, a furious attack of the enemy, at the battle of Seneffe, was struck with a blind, but inevitable blow, and in the town of Montium, which is a town of Hannonia,
In the year of our Lord 1674 In the 55th year of his own age
Further reading Historical records of the British army Infantry
and, Ane account of our regements marches from the winter quarters to ther entrance in France by Henry Herbert Published in 1990, Royal Historical Society (London)
Herbert was a troop commander in Sir Henry Jones's Regiment of Light Horse, aka
the English Regiment of Volunteer Light Horse - a 505 strong regiment - the colonelcy of which transferred to the Duke of Monmouth in 1673 on Jones' death at Monmouth's side in the action around the half-moon at Maastricht.
Sir Henry (Harry) Jones, of Farmington Manor in Gloucesterhsire was formerly a lieutenant and captain in the Earl of Oxford's regiment of Horse Guards
I dined at the Treasurer's, where I had discourse with Sir Henry Jones (now come over to raise a regiment of horse), concerning the French conquests in concerning the French Conquests in Lorraine: He told me the King sold all things to the Souldiers even to a handful of Hay
John Evelyns Diary 1671 Aug 22
It would seem the rank and file were not always English - though there are references to officers come over from France to raise horse and the need for transports for them.
Sir Henry Jones is gone towards Germany (as he pretends) in order to the raising most of his regiment, though the officers are all to be English & I believe old ones that served in the old times
The Despatches of William Perwich: English Agent in Paris, 1669-1677,
Preserved in the Foreign State Papers of the Public Record Office, London
The rank-and-file must have been pretty poor - a description of 14 soldiers captured by the Dutch states 'They are so poor that not one in ten has a penny, so that the burden is greater to this town than all our own poor, which the town has desired me to pray your help in' (letter from Thomas Langley to the Secretary of State). John Childs states that the regiment was poorly equipped and badly treated by their masters the French especially after 1674 when the English withdrew from the French side. Monmouth is said to have been considerate in looking after the soldiers of his regiment made infirm and so on and and he also encouraged the regiment's captains to recruit for their own companies. Several luminaries of James II's army like Kirke, and Trelawney were learning their trade in this regiment.
Anyone having any more information please let me know.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Saturday, 21 March 2009
The 4th of this month M. de Turenne proffered battle to the enemies' army, but they would not advance out of their post to fight us, though they were much stronger, so we were forced to attack them as well as we could.
I durst not brag much of our victory, but it is certain they left the field as soon as we. We have three of their cannon and several of their colours and some prisoners. The village where the battle was fought is called Waldheim
Friday, 20 March 2009
Has anyone tried to download this article by John Childs THE BRITISH BRIGADE IN FRANCE, 1672–1678? I've tried to sign up to read it but I don't like buying something I don't know the price of. Be interested if anyone else has tried. Image of Monmouth is from 1672/3 by an unknown artist
Of course the English weren't allied to the French for the whole of the period of Mark Copplestone's new range of figures.
The battle of St-Denis, fought on the 14th August after the peace treaty was signed, saw the Duke of Monmouth leading the Anglo-Dutch contingent against the French. Bataille de Saint-Denis (Mons) wiki (French)
This interesting image shows William of Orange in the foreground from here which gives a description of the action (French language).
Maybe it`s my early childhood memories of the creaky, but charming, Tales of Rubovia puppet series (http://telegoons.org/rubovia/index2.htm) but the Early Periwig period has always appealed to me. And so a small, but comely, 1665-1680 range - named the Glory of the Sun in honour of Louis XIV, The Sun King, the chief hero/villain of the age. It`s a colourful transitional period - with larger armies in very varied uniforms led by the Great Conde, Turenne and Montecuccoli amongst others. There`s a campaign in Tangiers, an English brigade fighting alongside the French, the rise of Prussia and oddities like the perfidious career of the warlike Prince-Bishop of Munster (whose army included Frankenstein`s regiment). More info and some pics as soon as possible.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
I notice Zvezda have Prussian SYW grenadiers on their list of 'in production' figures in 1/72 - hopefully this is a tip of the iceberg thing...
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
These WSS figures are going to have a late 17thc variant too. From http://www.wargamesfactory.com/league
Read more at
I must admit this is a very exciting development. Never say never eh?
Get into the action and book now...or I'll come round your house and dragonnade you!
Monday, 16 March 2009
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Friday, 13 March 2009
Very neat and quite aesthetically pleasing.
There are some fine reconstructions of artillery used in the Irish campaign at the Boyne Heritage Centre site...recommended
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Date of publication : 1697
All 478 pages of this work on artillery and more. French language.
There was an inn in my old home town of Frome called 'the Trooper Inn' whose landlord was an old Marlburian cavalryman...you can imagine the stories he might have told...