Tuesday 31 March 2009


Another interesting drawing by Van der Meulen - the figures in the foreground are worth examining closely - they are presumably French soldiers laden with plunder.
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.

L'attaque d'une ville

By Van der Meulen, Adam Frans (1632-1690). An unusually dynamic study of an assault by Louis XIV's great battle painter.

Monday 30 March 2009

'Crevatts of ffox tailes'

I've been enjoying perusing 'The Origins and services of the Coldstream Guards' on Google books - all manner of documents are reproduced from the Restoration period. One is curious though... for the Grenadiers and ribbons for them... something for the headgear? I don't know...any ideas?
Etymology of cravat is French cravate, Croat, Croatian so applied in French in reference to scarves worn by Croatian soldiers

French troops of the 1660s

Chances are you've seen these pictures before but they're worth posting in case you haven't. Surprising how many images of the French army over the years have small dogs running around.

Sunday 29 March 2009

A Bit of a Teaser

No, its not one of those terrific Table Top Teasers by C.S. Grant or his late Father. As I have mentioned previously, as soon as my 1640 to 1660 French are done, I am beginning a new project to follow-on, 1660 to 1680 French. Why stop at 1680 you ask? With the reforms and reorganisation of the 1680's the pike all but disappeared and the bayonet became more and more prevalent. Slightly different look and tactics. I will probably end up doing the later variant as well eventually, and some of my troops will no doubt "double" in that army as well. But for now, its the earlier boys.

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


Noticed in this month's Wargames Illustrated there is a how-to make a desert fort model. Ideal for anyone wanting to recreate the Tangiers garrison. This image shows soldiers of Kirke's regiment and is from the Queen's Royal Surreys website. Views of the fortifications by Hollar

British troops at the battle of St-Denis 1678

Another instalment from the Historical records of the British army (infantry)
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

Gendarmes Anglais

Interesting elite cavalry unit in the French service in the Franco-Dutch war. From New Monthly Magazine 1855

Louis XIV. had not only Swiss, Germans, Irish, Scotch, Licgeois, Italians, Corsicans, Swedes, Savoisiens, Piedmontese, Spaniards, Flemings, Danes, Poles, Croats, and Hungarians in his service, but also English.
The company, so called, of Gendarmes Anglais, was taken over to France in 1667 by Lord George Hamilton. It was said to be composed of English, Scotch, and Irish Catholics, who had formed part of the guard of Charles II., and whose dismissal had been insisted upon by the English Parliament. Louis XIV., finding that they were "bons hommes et bien faits," after having placed the Scotch in the Gendarmerie Ecossaise, organised a company of English gendarmes of the remainder, reserving to himself the captaincy, and appointing Hamilton captain- lieutenant.
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

An Introduction and an Excellent Reference Work

The Tactical formation of the French Infantry under Louis XIV
Reprinted from "The Spanish 'Tercios' 1525 - 1704"
Dr. Pierre Picouet and Dr. Susana Pombo

Now that Ralphus has "Let open the gates" so to speak, please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste... No, sorry, that's the Rolling Stones. What I am is Sir William the Aged (or other adjectives depending on the wife's mood), AKA Bill McHenry. I reside in that quaint corner of the World known as North Texas, formerly of the Republic of Texas, late of the Confederate States, home to the Kiowa and Comanche, and usually a grudging participant in the United States of America. One would think that the Lace Wars would be about as far from Texas as you could get, but not so! The early history of Tejas, as it was known to the Spanish, is filled with explorers and settlers from Spain, Mexico and France. Early 18th century settlers included Irish and Germans as well. To this day there are still many ethno-centric communities throughout Texas that still honor their heritage with festivals and museums. In 1691 a group of explorers and missionaries arrived at a river and native American village in South Tejas on June 13th, the feast day of St. Anthony, and named the spot and the river in his honor. Later, in 1716, the Spanish Council of War approved establishing a presidio, or fort, on this site and called the fort and resulting settlement San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas today with well over 2 million souls. No Lace Wars in Texas you say?

I have been a figure collector since the late 60's, a wargamer since the early 70's, a painter, contributor to Society journals, occasional figure reviewer, and general bon vivant for way too many years. I did take a hiatus from all things gaming from 1991 until 2006, just got burnt out from the constant traveling, tournaments, conventions, and so on. Also got very tired of feeling like I needed a lawyer (solicitor to the folks across the Pond) present to play a game. Too much stress. My return has been hampered by pesky health problems, the product of my mis-spent youth, no doubt; but I think those are mainly behind me and I'm ready to return with a vengeance!
So, on to the good stuff! As I sit here stewing the chicken (no, that's not a euphemism, I am the commissariot for today and am making my famous stewed chicken with home made noodles), I've been trawling some of my favorite sites and gathering material for my upcoming French army of 1661 to 1680. One of my favorite sites of late was referenced in a comment I made to an earlier post, The Spanish “Tercios” 1525 - 1704. This site was obviously a labor of love for its creator's, Dr. Pierre Picouet and Dr. Susana Pombo. As the name would indicate, the Tercio and its development are the primary focus, and well documented and explained if you're into Spanish armies. After spending the morning re-reading much of the material there, and contemplating opponents for my French, I decided that this site deserved more exposure than a simple comment. The site contains an amazing amount of information, all laid out and presented in a very scholarly and orderly manner. You can not only follow the Spanish development, but click on chapters dealing with the "Combat Tactics" of the era, from which the illustration above is lifted, for all major western nations. You can also click on the chapter for "Foreign Forces of Europe" for a summary of all of the major participants and...the Ottoman Empire! This is an especially welcome chapter as the Ottoman's are not covered in many on-line reference sources. Ottomans and Spanish in the Med or Vienna and 1683?
Here's the link for the site: http://www.geocities.com/ao1617/TercioUK.html

If you are primarily interested in recreating the Spanish of the era, there are, of course, several excellent chapters dealing with them. One of the more useful for gamers would be chapter 3, "Weapons and Uniforms", from which these two plates are derived:

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!
That's enough for now. Hopefully I can provide some bits of useful information from time to time. Like Ralphus, I too have been a re-enactor in the past, but my re-enacting involved a pair of reproduction Colt Richards-Mason conversion 1851 revolvers, a reproduction Winchester M1866 (the Yellow Boy), and playing Cowboy a lot. Probably not the same thing, but it does require the same attention to accuracy and detail if done right.
Until next, vaya con Dios
Sir William the Aged

Duchy of Alzheim fortress project

Pretty soon you will start thinking about fortifications and this is something that goes in any scale - well a blog that impressed me with its how-to articles on making Vauban-style fortress parts from polystyrene and card mostly is the old standby and excellent Duchy of Alzheim blog.
Check his old posts for basic stuff on fortress-building and get bang up to date with his current make - a scale model of Fort Niagara. Recommended.

Request for team members

Due to the success of this blog I want to broaden the input and get more posts from more people so I have decided to request some Team Members. The comments on this blog have often been better than my original posts which tend to be a bit flippant and more involved with the visual side, so if you have posted a comment or two on this blog then I want you to contribute - send your email address to me Ralphjmitchard@aol.com and we can get posting.
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.

Uniform info for 1665-80

In response to Theo who requested uniform info for the new Copplestone range I thought I'd start the ball rolling with this Osprey from Rene Chartrand which is possibly the best place to start your research.
I think as an overview it is safe to say that total uniformity of battalions was an exception at this time.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Cassel, Kassel or Mont-Cassel 1677

Bataille de Cassel, 11 april 1677 painted 1679-1680 by Joseph Parrocel. Notice the horsemen in full armour.

Further adventures of British troops in the Franco-Dutch War

Following on from the posting on the Holland regiment this excerpt from the Historical Records of the British Army (Infantry) continues from the death of Vane at Seneffe illustrating the various actions and formations of the later part of the war as fought by British troops. Apologies if you find it boring...there's only one more part to come on the battle of St-Denis but I think it's useful to chart the history of British involvement in this conflict - particularly as for a good part of the war Brits were fighting on both sides!

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.

Noble 15mms

Website. A few of you mentioned these - I think they are the old Hallmark 15mm League of Augsburg figures which are reviewed here.
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

Copplestone Castings 28mm 'Glory of the Sun'

For the period 1665-80.

I'm feeling the tears well up in my eyes...they're beautiful...I don't usually buy 28mms - being expensive and all that - but these are just what my ideal range should look like in pose, historical detail and flavour - I must have loads of them. Thanks again to Clibinarium for passing this on. Read more here. Buy them from Copplestone Castings.

Interesting description of the French army 1671

'Of the French army, the common foot were most set out with cruel ribbons; the horse appeared more gallant, not so much for the richness as variety, all of the same troop being of the same garb, and yet most troops distinguished by a different habit. They observe an exact discipline, and hang by martial law, whereby some have already suffered, among others one of Lord Douglas's regiment'
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

The Holland Regiment

To add further confusion to the situation of English troops on the continent there was the Holland Regiment. Described in 1667 'The men are very handsome and in excellent order; four companies wearing red jackets, lined with yellow'.
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

Seneffe 1674

Image by Joseph Parrocel.
Wiki on Seneffe here
Article on the last combatant in French here
Zoomable engraving of the Battle of Seneffe 1674
and Sintzheim 1674

British brigade book of interest

Captain Henry Herbert's narrative of his journey through France with his regiment, 1671-3
and, Ane account of our regements marches from the winter quarters to ther entrance in France
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
pic depicting a trooper of 1661

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

Royal English Regiment

I've been trying to find out what I can about this regiment commanded by the Duke of Monmouth, (albeit in absence a lot of the time as was the custom), during the Franco-Dutch wars. Also known as Regiment Royal Anglais. Raised in February 1672 it was part of the 6,000 men Charles promised Louis XIV at part of the Treaty of Dover 1670. Initially 1,664 strong 'The Duke of Monmouth is to have a regiment of 24 companies, each company of 100 foot' . (There was also a Royal Irish regiment, under the Earl of Roscommon, that lost so many of its 1,664 men that is was disbanded in '72 and the remnants became Hamilton's Irish regiment). There was a sizeable input from the Guards regiment with men draughted in from that regiment. On 23 August the Regiment arrived at Lille for operations against the Dutch. The commissaire commented that their officers were in the 'best state possible'. The end of the month saw them garrisoning Oudenaarde with the Picardie regiment. Some of the regiment - 3 out of 8 companies of the 2nd battalion returned to England in 1674 but between this date and the close of hostilities in 78 the regiment fought alongside Douglas's regiment - the largest and most senior regiment of the Brigade - Douglas' regiment of 3,432 men in 33 companies.
On the uniform front CCP Lawson states that in the London Gazette of 28th October 1679 it was described as grey coats faced blue - the grenadiers having red loops. It grew to be pretty large - 2400 men in three battalions (the second battalion commanded by Lieutenant-colonel Sir Bevil Skelton) and during its life several understrength regiments including Churchill's (May 1675) were incorporated into it. Churchill was considered for Lieutenant-colonel but he was not really interested - being more interested in courting Sarah Jennings at the time. Louvois stated 'he would give more service to a rich and faded mistress than to a monarch who did not want to have dishonourable and dishonoured carpet knights in his armies'.
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


There isn't a great deal of stuff about the later campaigns of Marshal Turenne on the web, apart from a lot about his death in 1675 and his final words 'I did not mean to die today' when he was hit by a chance cannon ball at Salzbach (Sasbach). The cult of Turenne was at its height in the 19thc when followers such as Napoleon rated him highly and made his campaigns required reading for the aspiring generals of France. Ironically I've just reiterated the same pop facts...but there you go.

Saturday 21 March 2009

English contingent under Turenne

I've been trying to find more out about the English contingent fighting in the 1670s - finding out bits and pieces about the Royal English Regiment and so on. Best thing I've found on the web in the English language is Winston Churchill's 'Marlborough, his life and times, book one' which is on Google books and covers his early career under Turenne. This letter is interesting giving a flavour of the warfare at that time.

Col. John Churchill to the Duke of Monmouth Sept 25/Oct 5 1674
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.
The enemy had a village in their rear and a wood in their front, so M. de Turenne made 8 battalions of us and the dragoons to march out into the wood and push till we came to the head of it, where they had a battery of 5 cannon, which we beat them from and took the cannon and afterwards pushed their foot about 100 yards from the wood's side, so that there was room for squadrons of horse to draw up with us, which being done, we advanced towards them, and beat them out of their at post, which was a very good ditch; which being done M. de Vaubrun, one of the lieutenant-generals, commanded us to guard that, and to advance no forwarder so that we advanced all that day afterward no forwarder. Half of our foot was so posted that they did not fight at all. Your Grace's last battalion was on this attack, and both those of Hamilton and mine, so we have lost a great many officers, Hamilton, his brother and several others of his regiment. In your battalion Captains Cassels and Lee were killed and 2 wounded. I had Captain Dillon killed, Captains Piggott and Tute wounded, Lieutenants Butler and Mordant and Ensign Donmere wounded, and Lieutenants Watts, Howard, Tucker and Field killed. I had with me but 22 officers, of which I have given your Grace account of 11.
Yet your regiment of horse was used much worse than we, for Lieutenant-colonel Littleton, Captain Gremes and Sheldon and 4 cornets with several lieutenants were killed. The Major, Captain Kirke and most of the officers not killed are wounded, and above half the regiment lost with also several of their colours.
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

Book on the armies of 1672-79

If you are wondering how you're going to find out more about the armies of the period of Mark Copplestone's new range of figures don't worry - help is at hand. Dan Schorr who we all know from his excellent Northern Wars site is preparing a book on the uniforms and colours of the armies of the 1672-79 period. I'm really looking forward to it.

Flats for the Siege of Maastricht 1673

Thanks for the tip-off - these are great. They really capture the period well in all its colour.
(Follow: Figurines/30mm/Louis 14/Siege of Maastricht)

Friday 20 March 2009

Duke of Monmouth's Foot/Royal English Regiment

More on the regiment here
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

Battle of St-Denis 1678

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).

New range from Mark Copplestone

Thanks to Clibinarium for alerting me to this...here's the press release...I admit I am pretty excited by these developments...it's a first for this era in this scale...should be something well worth investing in - Mark apparently will be at Salute with these new figures.

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

countermarching files

Document from the 1670s describing the intricacies of countermarching - a way of about facing that preserves the dignity of the files enabling the front rank to be at the front when the unit is turned about - if that makes sense.

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Prussian grenadiers of the 1760s

I know it's SYW but what the hell - it's a fascinating clip depicting Prussian infantry of the time of Frederick the Great on parade in Potsdam presumably using DDR soldiers as extras doing a modern version of the famous parade march. From the East German 1962 film Minna von Barnhelm. This film was remade in 2006 apparently. Synopsis of the play by Lessing
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

28mm hard plastic!

Yes it's true! Thanks to a comment by http://ndcblog.wordpress.com/
These WSS figures are going to have a late 17thc variant too. From http://www.wargamesfactory.com/league
Wargames Factory
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

King Philip's War documentary trailer

It's possible that if you live in say, Europe that you might not have heard of King Philip's War - or Metacom's Rebellion - there's no big Hollywood movie about it and it might seem a little obscure but it was a very significant conflict in the history of early America and very bloody. The best book I've read on the native side of military developments is The Skulking Way of War - review here. The book details how English militiamen had to abandon European concepts of warfare and adopt native tactics in order to survive. One of the first New Englanders to do so was Benjamin Church who is someone who should be at least as famous as Robert Rogers for his groundbreaking approach to warfare. He published his memoirs in 1716 Entertaining passages relating to Philip's War which began in the month of June, 1675. King Philip's war imagery at the NYPG
Osprey titles that deal with this conflict are depicted.

Sunday 15 March 2009

King Philip's War (1675) event

Every now and then I wish I lived in the US. This time it's because of exciting developments in the late 17thc period with a reenactment of Wheeler's Surprise in New Braintree Massachusetts, this June in preparation for bigger things in 2010...organising group is of course Benjamin Church's (includes clothing and equipment guidelines).
I really hope the Native reenacting community get on board with this one...looks like an unmissable opportunity to do something interesting. Check out the webpages even if you ain't a reenactor - it might inspire you to paint some more figures and get skirmishing.

The Plastic pelisse

If you are looking for metal figures to go with your Zvezda GNWs and so on check out this blog which is a great service - comparing yesterday's vintage 20mms (some of which are once again available) with today's 1/72s.

Battle of Poltava - 300 years later

I didn't understand a word of it but still found it enjoyable - contains scenes from an unknown (to me) vintage movie.

Saturday 14 March 2009

9 Years War - a volley and bayonet variant

Page by Ed Mueller - interesting adaptation of the V & B rules as well as photos of 6mm Grand Alliance figs.

Dutch Footsoldiers from 1670

These lovely images from the NYDG are intriguing. Did the Dutch army still use the musket rest and issue pot helmets to its shot or is this a peacetime parade type of thing that would be abandoned in wartime? As I understand it the Dutch only had a very small peacetime army so maybe this is not typical of a wartime appearance. The look is archaic and expensive to say the least. Was the Dutch musket particularly heavy? A lot of this stuff - helmets, tassets, rests, were abandoned by the English during the Civil War...maybe the Dutch hadn't had this experience of protracted warfare to come to these conclusions? Interesting to see the cassock still being worn...I think the Danish army also wore them at this time.

Friday 13 March 2009

Peipp Miniatures of Dresden

Well I never knew these figures existed. Thanks for that tip-off Corporal Trim. Some pleasant personality figures and soldiers for the WSS in 45mm. Website here
Very neat and quite aesthetically pleasing.
There's also some 54mms for Fehrbellin (1675) if that interests you - does me...they could do for Monmouth.... when my ship comes in.
Also of interest is the Herr des Großen Kurfürsten range which has some great 1683 figures (grenadier photo).
Oh to be rich...(part 2)

Siege train

I don't post nearly enough stuff about artillery...probably as it's too technical for my tiny brain but here's a couple of nice images - I am not sure where the siege train one comes from - it looks like a Guerard 1690s image but it could be something else. If you just want the images from Saint Remy's 1697 tome they are here.
There are some fine reconstructions of artillery used in the Irish campaign at the Boyne Heritage Centre site...recommended

Photos of reenactments at Fulda and elsewhere

Reenactment is like a sand painting - very ephemeral. People get old, lose interest, get divorced, move on - all manner of real life intrusions mean that your precious society or regiment is in a constant state of flux. All you can do is hope to capture the moment in photo form to keep a record of all the effort expended. However it's not that easy...most reenactors are too busy reenacting to have a camera around so it's very fortunate that the 18th century scene in Germany has an ace lenswoman in the person of Kersten Kircher who documents the premier event at Fulda (Schloss Fasanerie) and elsewhere with great skill and artistry. Check out her galleries where you can buy photo cds and calendars. No doubt she'll be at this year's big 250th at Minden...hopefully some of you might be inspired by these images to make it there too.

Thursday 12 March 2009

Mémoires d'artillerie - Saint-Remy, 1697...

Mémoires d'artillerie / recueillis par le Sr Surirey de Saint-Remy,...
Date of publication : 1697

All 478 pages of this work on artillery and more. French language.

Del Prado Cavalry though the ages partwork

When I saw the first (at an introductory cheap price) figure - a Marlburian cavalryman of 1704 I thought - I'll buy a dozen - then I found out they were 1/30th - something like 60mm - no use to man nor beast - or wargamers at least. Shame as it looks a good figure - unlike the 'Marshal Turenne at the Battle of the Dunes' which looks a bit naff as we English say and is about 20 quid. Anyone out there buy any? You can still get the Marlburian trooper for about 4 quid on ebay.
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...

Battle of the Dunes 1658

I try to avoid the ECW and SYW as there's plenty of blogs out there for that but occasionally I succumb and as Fraxinus' excellent Victory V blog has got all Civil War on us with the Call to Arms 1/32 and the Warlord Games ECW 28mms I thought I'd throw in my five eggs and suggest that a good battle to recreate might be this one, also known as Dunkirk fought between all manner of troops, English Roundhead and Cavalier, Spanish, French, Frondeurs...ideal for a variety of troops and not too Anglocentric (I am guilty of this by keeping on about the Monmouth Rebellion). And of course it features Condé and Turenne...
Chris Scott did a very good piece on the battle in a recent Miniature Wargames (#310 FEB 2009). This image of the Duke of York's troop in 1661 is the sort of thing I would expect the Royalist horse to look like but what do I know? My favourite ECW reenactment group is the Fairfax Battalia (ECWS). They have a nice photo feature on the army of 1660...worth checking out.

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Malplaquet 2009

This year sees the 300th anniversary of this famous battle. This site in French gives details of the various exhibitions taking place this year.

Boyne Heritage Centre Cannon

Images of the reproduction artillery and associated tools and equipment at the new Boyne Heritage Centre in Co. Meath Ireland.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Charles Wesencraft's With Pike and Musket

I flogged my copy years ago so I can't scan any images but does anyone remember this old hardback wargames tome? Not quite the classic of say 'Charge!' but a milestone book on fighting battles of the 17th century from 1975.

54mm James II figures

Figures from Squadron available from Tradition of London. OK I'm not suggesting anyone uses these figures for wargaming as they're pretty expensive - it's up for eye candy purposes.

Of course table size is kind of irrelevant for this scale as you traditionally use the floor or possibly the garden. Oh to be rich.