Wednesday, 8 July 2009

A Couple of Interesting Dutch Marine Plates

These two plates are again taken from the reconstructions by F. Smits published in "Armamentaria". These two illustrations are of Dutch Marines, the first from the Regiment de St. Amant in 1699. Here is a (probably) poor translation of the Dutch text found with the illustration here. Perhaps Motorway can correct the translation for us?

"Officer and Marine of the Regiment de St. Amant (1699-1711). In the print collection of the Army are two watercolor studies by J. Hoynck of Papendrecht of uniforms worn by the marines regiment St. Amant, named after the colonel of this unit, Philippe Claude Touroud St. Amant. This regiment had the decision on uniform clothing since the States in 1681 were started with the composition of uniforms for the army. Officers of this regiment were used most of the time. The regiment, as an expeditionary corps, participated in the campaign in Spain (a fact stated in the banner of the Marine Corps) and had to survive a bloody battle on December 10, 1710 in Villaviciosa. After return of the survivors from Spain, the regiment returned to full strength, whereupon on September 7, 1711 the regiment was converted to foot."

The second illustration is of the Marines that accompanied De Ruyter's fleet to Fort Sheerness in 1667. Again, the rough translation could probably use Motorway's assistance, the original text being found here.

"Marines or soldiers sent to the conquest of Fort Sheerness (1667). During the famous expedition to Chatham (the oldest event on the standard arms of the Marine Corps), commanded by Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, were around 800 marines, assigned to a landing at the Fort at Sheerness conquer (June 20, 1667) . A painting, probably made by J. Beer Straaten, gives a fairly detailed picture of the clothes, armaments and other equipment worn by the landing forces. Uniform clothing was in fact not evident, although the Captain was already central substance tunics and pants bought. Command (or Sergeants?) were armed with a halberd and a sword, around the body was an orange sash worn. Drummers carried drums with wooden bodies."

So, the obvious question would be, are these typical of the Dutch Marines faced by the Lord High Admiral's Maritime Regiment at Landguard Fort? The dates and their inclusion in De Ruyter's fleet for the campaign would certainly make that a possibility. Newer readers will want to read Ralphus' original post on the action here. If a connection can be established, there is excellent material now for a diorama, or even a game, of the attack on the fort.



Motorway said...

Well Bill, the translation isn't that bad. Some points:

The prints were made after the sketches of Mr J. Hoynck van Papendrecht, whos work can be found in the collection of the Dutch Army Museum.

Since 1681, the regiment was literally 'uniformed', as the States started uniforming in 1681. (That's a rather bold statement BTW)

Officers were 'bereden', meaning they were on horseback.

Actually the regiment ceased to exist after the battle of Villaviciosa and was indeed reformed and put to streght later but now as a 'normal' regiment, not a marine regiment.

'Scheepssoldaten', literally means 'ships soldiers'.

'Uniforme kleding bestond er in feite niet, alhoewel de kapiteins toen al centraal stof voor tunieken en pantalons inkochten. Leidinggevend kader was o.a. bewapend met een hellebaard en een degen, om het lichaam werd een oranje sjerp gedragen. Tamboers voerden trommels met houten ketels.'

The were no uniforms as such, although captains bought cloth for jackets and trousers. Commanding officers were armed with a halber, and around the waist an orange sash was worn. Drummers used a wooden kettle drum.

Nice thing is, yesterday I bought the Armentaria in print with this article in it.

Sir William the Aged said...

Thanks for the help as always my friend. I actually used several different translators and used what looked like the "best" one. Interestingly, I tried BabelFish using their filters for "military science" and "history" and the translations were much worse.

I find it odd that the author refers to the drums as "kettle" drums when the illustration shows what appeasr to be a standard infantry drum with a wooden body.

While browsing the Armamentaria archive listing, I noticed there were several articles available as pdf's. I would be very interested in seeing a translation of the full article on the Marines.


Motorway said...

The Babelfish translation is quite funny. One of the problems is, that a lot of old dutch words are used, which are lost in translation.

I don't mind translating some stuff, but when a lot of long articles will show up on the internet in English, it's the best thing to do, to ask permission of the Dutch Army Museum.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much I was looking for this prents for decades.
Unfortunatly nobody here in Holland is interested in their history anymore so I can't find anything here on the subject of the french wars.

This is realy a great site and I am really glad that you make that many efforts for upkeep.

Sir William the Aged said...

Anonymous - I hope you will visit again and introduce yourself to us, we're always glad to make new friends here! Also, I do hope that you've visited the blog site of our friend Motorway, also in the Netherlands, "Anna Domini 1672". He is a countryman who shares your passion for the Franco-Dutch Wars. You can find him here:

Thank you for the kind comments regarding our efforts, Ralphus created the environment and "sets the stage" and those of us he invited to participate simply try and follow his lead.