Tuesday, 12 May 2009

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".



Dave Hudson said...

Again thank you for posting more info on this regiment, i will definately be raising a unit for my25mm wargames army as we are branching out into the Iberian theatre of WSS. Do you have any info on the actions fought by this unit during the WSS? Or even better could you direct me to any sources for order of battles etc for the Iberian operations? thanks again for an informative and stimulating blog. Dave.

Corporal_Trim said...

Good stuff, Bill. Always nice to see more on the neglected Spanish.


Sir William the Aged said...


If you will see my revised post on the Old Purples, re: the Regiment Castilla, and follow the link it will take you to a Google translation of the "History of the Spanish Infantry". I warn you now, you will have to go through about 3 layers of "pop-ups" to get to the actual unit history, but you can do this for each of the Spanish Infantry regiments on the 1707 list by clicking on the regiment's "new" name (the "old" name is also shown for reference).

Once you get to the individual unit's history, near the bottom of the page is a list, by historical period, of the unit's major actions. In the case of the Morados Viejos, or Regiment de Castilla, we find the following for the period :

"War with France" (1674-1694); Victoria Petrus, action Espolla, Camprodón, site Rosas, Ter battle and surrender of Gerona.

"War in Africa" (1695-1697), emphasizes the defense of Ceuta.

"War of Succession" (1704-1714); Action Porto, Valencia defense acanthus, site Elche, battle of Almansa sites Alcira, Játiva, Denia. Battle Balanguer, Peñalba, Saragossa and Brihuega. Miravete blockade and siege of Barcelona.

No doubt the english translations are a bit "off", but by moving your cursor over the selected text you can also see the original spanish text, which may be better in some cases. Except for their brief 2-year stint in "Africa", they appear to have been quite active throughout the period with some very prominent battles and sieges mentioned.

I'm still "digging" through sites suggested by Dr. Picouet to find better OoB's for the major actions. Unfortunately, my local library isn't the most reliable at getting me foreign texts like those mentioned in the bibliography (and with my poor spanish, I'd be lost anyways), so I'm somewhat dependant on the net.


Anonymous said...

Can you activate the trackback, please? I would like to link this post from my blog. Thank you.

member of Catalonia General Deputation Line Inf. Reg., 1705-1714

Sir William the Aged said...


Bienvenudo amigo. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "activate the trackback"? You can always click on the title of my post, which brings it up as a separate page URL, then copy and paste this link into the Links section of your blog. By the way, what is the name of your blog? I would very much like to follow it if it offers more sources on the Spanish of this era.


Anonymous said...


The trackback lets you see which blogs are linked with your post (I think so).
In your blog panel, in the settings, menu comments, you can activate the trackback (perhaps "entrant links"?).
I just do it you say and I can link your post. Thank you.
"My" blog belongs to association Miquelets de Catalunya and is started two weeks ago. It is very poor at this moment, as my english, in fact. The blog presents in catalan, but you can use the Google tranlater in the side bar.
URL: http://altacorn.blogspot.com