Tuesday 30 June 2009

Gardes Francaises Uniform Plate

Inspired by my recent discovery of the Susane/Philipoteaux plate, and by the fact that I was already working on them, I decided to complete another in my series of plates, which I hope will be of value to some of you.

The Gardes Francaises were created in 1536 under Charles IX and remained in existence until the French Revolution in 1789. Per various sources (Chartrand, Susane, Boyle) the Gardes had a total strength of 9,000 men in 30 companies of 300 each by 1656. However, at the time of Louis XIV's ascendancy in 1643 they were in 30 companies, but reported at a strength of only 200 men each, or 6,000 men total (Johnson). According to Chartrand, by the early 1670's they had increased to 40 companies of 200, or 8,000 men, but declined back to 32 companies by 1715.

Tactically, the Gardes could be deployed in as many as 6 "battalions" in the field and could be found in multiple army corps (i.e.; under both Turenne and Condé in the later Thirty Years War and in the 1670's).

The challenge to the wargamer trying to depict French from the 1640's through the 1680's (OK, maybe I'm the only one that strange) is that at least three actual battalions will have to be painted; (1) the early Gardes under Condé at Rocroi (when they are reported to be predominantly in blue with red trim, but this could be speculation based on unconfirmed reports and correspondence), (2) the later Gardes of the Dutch Wars in their gray uniform with red trim, officers in scarlet with a lot of individuality allowed, and the drummers in the Royal livery, and (3) the even later Gardes of the Grand Alliance era in the post-1684 uniform of the familiar blue with red facings and small clothes, officers in the same but with individual "touches" added, and the drummers still in the Royal livery.

The only constants throughout this period appear to be the drummers in Royal livery and the standards of the Regiment, which (according to 3 different vexilollogie sites) remained the same from the 1640's through the Seven Years War, with some additional flags being carried during the early Thirty Years War (prior to Rocroi). I actually already have about a third of the battalion painted for the 1640's and will be doing at least one full battalion for our figure review, probably for the Dutch War of the 1670's. Eventually I will do all three variants, but I think I have enough on my plate for now.

As always, feel free to use this painting guide as you wish, for non-commercial use, and enjoy it.


p.s. - I would also highly recommend the plate (or planche) available from Le Cimier and produced by Eugene Leliepvre in his Ancien Régime series. They are available from La Cimier here, and are quite reasonable at € 3,50 each. Be advised though that unless you're ordering a large quantity of printed material, postage can be prohibitive. An order of 6 Leliepvre plates would cost € 20,00 to the United States because they are only shipped in a stiff, protective package and only by premium shipping methods. As La Cimier also produce some other excellent reference plates and some paper cutout soldiers, I intend making myself a Christmas present of a large parcel this year. That is, unless I discover that I have a friend visiting France in the near future with a little room in his travel case (hint, hint). I have reproduced the "thumbnail" image from the La Cimier site below to give you an idea. It covers the Regiment from 1648 through 1765, with many uniform variants shown. There are also plates on the Maison du Roi, the Dragoons, the Marines and others. Caliver Books in the UK carry many of the La Cimier plates, but they do not stock this particular series.

Copplestone news

From a mail out. Thought you might be interested
There are various Glory of the Sun miniatures (mainly cavalry) in varying states
of completion - sorry about the delay. Mark Allen and I have been working on
some simple rules for the period and I have some excellent background articles
which will eventually appear on the website.' Website

Interesting depiction of siege warfare

French troops at Philipsburg 1735.
If you look to the left of the picture you can see the moment the Duke of Berwick was slain.

Carrying on the Dutch theme

Egbert Meesz Kortenaer L. Admirael van Hollandt over het Quartier van de Maes
1665 Helst, Bartholomeus van der (artist)

Monday 29 June 2009

A Response On Dutch Uniforms of the Period

In response to a question from our friend "Motorway" from the "Anno Domini 1672" blog, I felt his question deserved more than just a simple answer, and that others may have some interest as well.

Unfortunately, the Dutch Army of William of Orange's period, specifically during the Franco-Dutch War of 1672, is not very well documented, either in print or online. The French are much better documented, both in artwork and in print, and the British in print, with some online sources as already published here. I can find very little about the warlike Bishop of Münster, except for historical abstracts about his campaign and alliances. Material that you've probably already found.

The plate above is taken from the VAE VICTUS web site's page on the Dutch Wars, a Google translation of which appears here, and does give several flags and uniform details, but many of them are from the later period. Whether they are accurate or not for the 1672 period I cannot say, but they might be a good starting point.

I did find the following two commercial source items on the On Military Matters web site; one in print from Sapherson, the other a CD by Robert Hall and distributed by Dan Schorr:

1-19660 Sapherson, C.A. DUTCH ARMY OF WILLIAM III, THE Covers the Army of the Netherland and subsidiarytroops, b/w illust of flags & standards, biblio.1 vol, 80 pgs 2003 HOPEWELL, OMM PUBLISHING
NEW-softcover ......$12.00

1-74840 Belaube, Jean & Claus-Peter Goldberg, DUTCH ARMY 1701-1714 CD contains text along with b/w & color images.1 vol, 1 pgs 2001 US, DAN SCHORR
NEW-CD ......$25.00

Again, both of these are for a later period but may give good starting points. You might also try the KMLA web site on Dutch History for their page on the Franco-Dutch Wars, which does include some external links, here.

Also, while they deal more with the League of Augsburg, its worth checking out the painted figure galleries on Angus Konstam's Edinburgh Wargamer's site of his LoA Dutch Army, here, Or on Barry Hilton's League of Augsburg site for his painted Dutch, here. They don't share their sources, but I would suspect that Sapherson and Hall were included. Very nice painted troops and a lot of fun viewing them though. Sorry I can't offer more help at this time. Have you contacted the Dutch Royal Army Museum to see if they offer any printed resources?


Sunday 28 June 2009

Yet Another Source For Uniform Plates Online

Many, if not most, regular readers will be aware of Susane's "Histoire de L'Ancienne Regimé" as a source to the history of French Regiments. Some may already be aware of this volume, but I only recently became aware that Google Books also had Susane's illustrated uniform plates online as well, here. The plates above and below are from this series of plates, or planches.

For those not aware already, Google Books may be converted and saved as Adobe pdf files, from which you can either simply view the plates as needed, or (if you like to do your own multi-source plates like I do) the images can be selected and then copied into a program like Paint.

The plates cover the early part of our period for some regiments, primarily the Vieux Corps, the Gardes and the Artillery, and go through the Napoleonic period. The WSS and SYW are covered very well. The plates are attributed to "Philipoteaux", which could be at least one of three different artists. Unfortunately, the volume doesn't specify which, or they could have been worked on by various artists of the senior Philipoteaux's studio. Do a Google search on "Philipoteaux" and you come up with three different artists (including the one who did the famous Gettysburg cyclotron and specialized in the panoramas). Definitely a source worth saving or at least bookmarking for most of our readers!


Zvezda Russian Artillery of Peter the Great

For those that have been following the announcement of this set and the posts here, our friend Will was nice enough to give us a couple of photos and a mini-review here.

While he says there are a few minor glitches with the set, its still a solid "9 out of 10" when compared to almost any other artillery set, and does have a ton of useful "spare" figures and bits. The infantrymen with slung muskets manhandling wheels (similar to an old Minifigs pose) and crewing the battalion guns will be especially useful in many Lace Wars armies. Pity there's only the one battery officer though, as he's a splendid dismounted fellow with telescope and swagger stick or cane that would look excellent on a command diorama with your General as an ADC.

Our thanks to Will for the quick review and a couple of good pic's of the contents. I suspect we'll be seeing Will's Austrians and Bavarians with some new ordnance shortly, and he's about to wander off through Hesse-Kassel, which will surely need some as well. Thanks Will!


Clip from The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

This is an interesting sequence in this film about a country house and the tensions and politics that take place. I also like this scene as they mention our home town of Radstock (1:13)which kind of made us fall off our chair when we first saw it. It is the bit where the Dutch gardener is introduced to the Jacobite Mr Neville. Wiki on the film

Преоброженский Марш (Петровский Гимн России)

As I was looking around the web for news of Poltava and its 300th I came across this clip which looks like it combines two segments of Soviet era films about Peter the Great - they look spectacular - worth watching - can't tell you their names as I don't speak Russian. My online translator says 'Преоброженский the March (the Peter Hymn of Russia' . If you are interested in how they celebrated Poltava in 1909 this video shows you.

Figures in the foreground

What I like about these siege engravings is, I must confess, the action in the foreground...usually a military scene of some sort. This one from 1687 is particularly good.

Saturday 27 June 2009

Figure from 1676

Not sure who this person is - interesting portrait though. Is he Swiss?
Herr Johann Rudloph Werdmüller Freÿherr &c. der Röm: Kaÿs: Maÿtt: General &c. uber dero Artigleria. 1676
1676 Engraving by Schneider; full-length portrait in uniform or miltitary costume, baton in right hand, pointing with left, perspective view of battle in background

Mohács 1687?

This unsigned undated image from Anne S K Brown purports to show Bavarian grenadiers at the battle in 1687. Interesting details.

1735 self-propelled gun?

Thought fans of the paukenwagen might like to consider this bad boy from Anne S K Brown. The text reads
Warhaffter Abriss
1735I. W. B. (artist)
Mezzotint by Gabriel Bodenehr after I.W.B,; horseless gun-carriage manned by 4 men, ornamental scrolled border with trophies etc. and description printed below.

Any ideas what it is?

The Blue Guards, Again, Variations On A Theme

Amazing what a couple hours of sleep and a little more digging can accomplish! In case you can't tell, I love a good puzzle. On a guess, I checked the Junior General web site, where I discovered the flag in the lower left, by Daniel Harper, in their "Grand Alliance" section. No source is offered for the presence of the "Royal Crown, Or", but otherwise, this flag closely matches the description in the Great Wardrobe Accounts for 1691. The "trophies" are certainly somewhat "abstract", but then I'm not sure they can be otherwise. If you simply remove the Crown, you get an exact match for the official description, as in the upper left. The depiction of the "garter with star" is certainly much more accurate and has reasonable detail for gaming purposes.

Then, while prowling through various vexilollogie sites, I discovered a footnote describing the standard in the lower right, with "William's Royal Cipher, Or, on all four arms of the cross of St. George". Certainly sounds plausible, even if it doesn't match the Great Wardrobe Accounts description. However, taking this a step further, and more in keeping with conventions for other Royal Regiments (even into much later periods), what if you placed the Crown above and the Cipher below, as in "Crown over Cipher, Or", as I have done in the upper right version? I think any of these could work for a gamer or modeller, but I will probably choose to use the one in the upper left, as it does match official accounts exactly. At any rate, this is at least a part of the fun of being gamer's, modeller's, amateur historians and students of uniforms and vexilollogie. Have fun making your own choice!


p.s. - Thanks to Ralphus for another great post on the Winged Hussars and Vienna! Stirring stuff. Now, if you and Steve and Wayne and I don't stop it, I'm going to have to put aside some of my Dutch Wars and TYW stuff and start on those Poles that I ordered.

"Well, I had a credit with Old Glory 15's you see, and was ordering some more Essex from Wargames already, and if I'm already reviewing Ian Kay's range from Irregular then its only fair to check out his Poles too, and at some point I must try some of those wonderful Poles from Legio Heroica or from that Polish wargames site or maybe Donnington, honest Dear..."

325th anniversary of the Victory at Vienna (Krakow 2008)

'Over 400 knights, including almost 100 on horseback, responded to Krakóws invitation to take part in a battle reconstruction entitled et Deus Vicit in Błonie and in a triumphal parade of the victorious army of Jan III Sobieskiego from Wawel to the Main Market Square. Tens of thousands of local residents and numerous tourists could re-live this event yet again.'http://www.victoria-film.com/

Images of Neuhausel 1685

I don't know much about this siege - I think it was a retaking of a place from the Ottomans but I am not sure. These images have some great details though.

William III's Dutch Blue Guard Regiment

For our friend "Motorway" over on the "Anno Domini 1672" blog (and because it will be a great unit to paint for my figure review) may I present my plate for the "Blue Guard" of William III, or, if you prefer, the "Gardes te Voet" or "de Blauwe Garde".

William brought to England with him his regiment of Dutch Guards, who took over the duties of guarding St. James Palace. They arrived with a strength of 2,000 men divided into twenty-five companies, three of which were Grenadiers. They were taken on to the strength of the army and appear in the Great Wardrobe Accounts under the title of the 3rd Foot Guards, the Scots Guards at that time being still on the Scottish establishment. This was important, as it meant that England actually paid the total cost of the Regiment, as an official English Guard Regiment included in the Great Wardrobe Accounts.

The uniform in 1691, as shown in a drawing of that date in the Dutch War Office Library is a dark blue coat with orange-yellow cuffs, waistcoat, breeches and stockings, orange being the colour reserved for Dutch Guards. Their equipment is a bandolier, musket and brass-hilted sword carried in a shoulder belt. The officers wore orange sashes.

Their colours are described in the Wardrobe Accounts, September 1691, as "6 colours of orange silk both sides painted alike with St. George's cross, star and garter and other trophies of war £72; 6 pairs of tassels of silk with gold cawles and fringe; the ensign staves with broad gilt heads and brass nails." Another entry describes the tassels as being orange and gold.

The regiment served at the Boyne, 1690, Steinkirk, 1692, Neerwinden, 1693, where it captured some of the enemy's cavalry standards, and the campaigns of 1694-5 and 6, including Namur. The Regiment returned to Holland in 1699 and, after William III's death in 1702, the regiment changed to blue coats with red cuffs and lining and white stockings (per wagner) or red stockings per the current reenactment group.

Apparently Robert Hall's CD (available from Dan Schorr) depicts William's Dutch Guards in Blue with yellow cuffs and lining, but this Mr. Hall admits this could represent orange faded to yellow, as orange dye was unstable at this period in time. In a thread on TMP, Robert Hall cites the reconstructions of the uniforms of 1688 done in Armamentaria #23, which is said to be based on drawings there as well as contemporary English descriptions of the "yellow guards". Per the same source, Hall also shows the Grenadiers in bearskins, and apparently so does the recent Osprey on the Boyne, even though most other depictions of Dutch Grenadiers show the more common "protestant" soft cap with stiffened front plate.

As usual, feel free to download for personal use and please, if you have any feedback or suggested changes (with sources), let me know.


Friday 26 June 2009

Poltava's 300th

Tomorrow is a red letter day in the calendar - it's the 300th anniversary of this significant victory that was a turning point in the story of Russia's military history.
I'm not sure how it will be celebrated by the great Preobrazhensky Life Guards 1709 - probably involve vodka at some point - this image from their 1709 Live Journal of Russian GNW reenactors is my way of saluting them - also see the webpage - it has been updated and there are many languages accommodated. Well worth spending time there.

Waller's Horse

As it's the Monmouth time of year aka Duking Days (which also coincides with this area getting choked up with people for the Glastonbury pop festival) I thought a couple of posts on the subject wouldn't go amiss. This great photo is from the Waller's Horse (of the Sealed Knot's) page in their 'other periods; Monmouth Rebellion' section.
I think they recreate the Oxford Blues for this era. Excellent stuff.

Philip's Norton 1685

Monmouth was staying here on the 26th June - at the George Inn prior to the battle of Philip's Norton. Here in this inn an attempt was made on Monmouth's life by someone after the price put on his head. Monmouth's artillery were parked in front of this pub which had previously had notables such as Pepys and Henry VIII stay here. Photo from Flickr

Iter Bellicosum

Faithfully set down by Adam Wheeler one of the Drums of his Honors, owne Company. An Chrs" 1685.
This is an interesting memoir of the Monmouth Rebellion by one of the Wiltshire Militia - not engaged in the fighting but still an interesting viewpoint.
Full text here

Thursday 25 June 2009

A Bit More On The Maritime Regiment

A bit more on the Standards and Colours of the Lord High Admiral's Maritime Regiment. I should have "dug" a little deeper into Lawson earlier. This plate depicts the "official" Colours of the Regiment at the time of its founding in 1664, when many of the multi-flag conventions of the pre-Restoration period were still in practice. Each of the Regiment's six companies would have carried a single standard, the Colonel's, the Lieutenant-Colonel's, the Major's, and three companies would have carried the Captain's, or "ordinary", standard of the Regiment. It is significant to note however, that by the Review at Putney Heath in 1684, only the Captain's Colours were displayed by the Maritime Regiment (the single Regimental standard having become the de-facto norm for many regiments). Whether this standard ever saw the Continent (except from the deck of a ship) is a matter for conjecture, per my earlier post.

By 1685 the Lord High Admiral's Maritime Regiment had passed from history and it became the Prince George of Denmark's Regiment and reversed their previous (and famous) uniform colors. By 1689 that regiment also passed into history and former members of the Regiment were drafted into the 2nd Foot Guards Regiment. (Lawson, p54)


Sieges in 1684

1684. Siege & prise de Vicegrad investie le 15 juin par Charles V duc de Lorraine. 1684. 22. juillet. Siege de Bude par le duc de Lorraine
Waldtmann, J. Joseph (artist)

Wednesday 24 June 2009

A Retraction of Earlier Posted Material (Long Post)

In the interest of maintaining the integrity of the material posted on this blog, and of providing its readers with the most accurate information possible, I would like to retract certain statements and conclusions that I posted earlier relating to the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment (The Admiral's Regiment) and in general to the British Expeditionary Force under Charles II that served in France.

After exchanging several e-mails with both Dan Schorr and Curt Johnson, as well as with some members of the French "jeu de Histoiré" Forum, and acquiring my own copies of John Child's "The Army of Charles II" and C.T. Atkinson's "Marlborough and the Rise of the British Army", it is apparent that there is at least enough conflicting information out there, both published and on the web, to prevent me from reaching the conclusions that I did. Here are but some of the major conflicts and problems:

1. Several sources, from "The LIfe of John Churchill" by Field-Marshal, Viscount Wolesely, to Susane's “Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française”, to the official web site of The Royal Marines and the RA Museum at Portsmouth, to conflicting exhibits (one German and one French) within the same sub-section of the Marburg Digital Archive; all describe either (a) John Churchill, (b) John Churchill's Regiment, (c) The Admiral's Maritime Regiment, or (d) some combination of all three, as being present during Turenne's Rhineland Campaign in the fall of 1674.

2. Both John Childs (in his appendix A-The Regiments and appendix D-The English Brigade in the Service of France) and C.T. Atkinson in his "Marlborough and the Rise of the British Army" (also used as a source by Childs), state that the "British Brigade" committed to France included the following: Douglas' Scottish Regiment (later the Royal Scots), which had actually been in and out of French service for many years and under different names, an Irish infantry regiment of 16 companies under the command of Sir George Hamilton, an English regiment of half this strength under the command of Lord Roscommon, and a regiment of horse under the command of Sir Harry Jones. To this establishment was added, in the spring of 1672, a "Royal English Regiment" under the command of the Duke of Monmouth consisting of 16 companies totaling 2,000 men (per Childs and Dalton, Atkinson credits them with 12 companies totaling 2,400 men), drawn from both new recruits and from drafts from the existing "standing" regiments of Charles II. There is no verifiable evidence that John Churchill was present with that regiment when it arrived in Arnheim in June of 1672 or when it marched out of garrison. There is reasonably well-documented evidence that John Churchill was, in fact, still serving with his patron, James, on board ship at the Battle of Solebay in 1672 and could not have been with the army in France.

3. There is detailed (to a degree) documentation that John Churchill's Company of the Admiral's Maritime Regiment received its embarkation orders for France sometime after the Fleet arrived in home port on September 11, 1672. These orders were to travel to France to become a single company of Sir Bevil Skelton's Regiment (8 companies of 100 men each) drafted from the "standing regiments" of the army. It is documented by Childs, Atkinson and Dalton that at least 3 of the companies of this new regiment were drawn from the Guards, 2 from the King's and one from the Coldstream, and that the other 5 companies were drawn from the "other standing regiments of the army". Unfortunately, with the exception of Churchill's Company, none of the other companies are specifically named. We do have a list of the Captain's of the Regiment and their "parent" regiments (per Dalton and Childs), but we also have an acknowledgment that some of these Captains may have been volunteer adventurer's and that their presence does not automatically denote their parent Regiment's company being present. Much like the "breveted" positions held by British officers in Colonial service and service in the BEF during WWI, all officers retained their permanent rank and postings in their respective parent regiments and are documented as such.

4. Upon its creation the new battalion was to become the 2nd battalion of Monmouth's Royal English Regiment. However, upon arrival in France, it was decided that the new Regiment would become the 1st battalion of the Royal English in seniority, since the new battalion was commanded by a Guards officer (Skelton) and contained 3 companies of Guardsmen, it would take the place of seniority over the existing battalion (both Childs and Atkinson describe this as creating a great deal of tension within the Brigade and with the Duke of Monmouth).

5. In early 1674, under pressure from the people and the House of Commons to end his support for a Catholic Monarchy, Charles II agreed to cease support for the Brigade in France and to recall the Guardsmen and Guards officers serving there. As a result, Sir Bevil Skelton, Sir Thomas Daniell and Edward Sackville were recalled to England with their respective companies of the King's and Coldstream Guards.

6. Due to his service at the Siege of Maastricht, several favourable mentions of his service in dispatches from both Turenne and Feversham, and a personal request from Charles II, John Churchill (at the age of 24) was granted a commission in French Service as Lieutenant-Colonel of a "new" Royal English Regiment, or "Churchill's Regiment" (called after the Colonel as was the custom at the time), in April of 1674. This "new" regiment was to consist of the remainder of the other 5 companies of Skelton's original battalion plus the newly arrived battalion originally under the command of the Earl of Peterborough (numbers are not given for this battalion). The Earl of Peterborough resigned over this issue and the French commission of John Churchill is still in the archives of the War Office, signed by Louis XIV and countersigned by Tellier. There is a comment by Wolesely (but unconfirmed by either Childs or Atkinson) that to bring Churchill's Regiment up to strength, drafts of 50 men each from the 3 returning Guard companies were also added to the regiment.

7. The only conflicting report that cannot be attributed to personal motives, scholarly differences, family heritage, etc., is contained in an official report to Parliament by Charles II at the time of the recall that there were "550 men of the Duke of York's Regiment" in service in France. The only "standing regiment" known at that time as The Duke of York's Regiment was the Admiral's Maritime Regiment. If you allow for volunteer officers, this figure could account for the 5 companies over which Churchill assumed command; or not. Charles II was not always completely honest and forthcoming in his dealings with Parliament and there does not appear to be any definitive record of specific troop drafts or deployments.

So, what have we concluded? Damned little with any certainty. Based on a combination of the items above, I feel that the Royal Marines (who trace their lineage to the Admiral's Maritime Regiment) ARE justified in citing the presence of at least some of their number at the battle of Enzheim (or Entzheim in some sources), based on Churchill's Company being part of the original draft of Skelton's Regiment.

There is no record in any English source that I have found, nor that Dan or Curt have made me aware of, to indicate the actual uniform worn by Churchill's Regiment, but it would seem unlikely, as the regiment was commissioned by Louis and that only a minority of Churchill's Regiment consisted of members of his original Company, that they would have worn their distinctive yellow coats.

Curt has indicated that there is a French source, "Histoire des quatre dernieres campagnes du Maréchal de Turenne, en 1672, 1673, 1674 & 1675", Paris: Chez le Chevalier de Beaurain, 1782, by Philippe Henri Grimoard and the Chavlier de Beaurain, that might shed some light on the question of uniforms, specific companies or troops involved, colours carried, etc. However, this book is extremely rare, is not available in the US through Inter Library Loan programs, and Curt is only sure of a copy in the Library of Congress, which he will not be able to access until the end of the summer. For those with "deep pockets" who may wish to pursue this on their own, I did find a copy currently offered for sale by the Librairie Ancienne Les Trois Islets for only €2,300! I have asked my French acquaintances to see if they can locate a copy in French archives and pursue this research, but have not received a positive response as of yet.

Of the available maps and orders of battle available on the Marburg Digital Archive, I feel that the most accurate is probably Document 30, "Les glorieuses conquestes de Louis le Grand roy de France et de Navarre", Blatt 92. Paris 1698, by Sebastion Beaulieu. The biggest differences between this document and others in the Marburg collection are that (a) there are 4 "named" British regiments (split into 7 tactical formations by Turenne) that match the 4 named regiments supported by Childs and Atkinson (Monmouth, Hamilton, Douglas and Churchill), and (b) the approximate positions of the named formations correspond to descriptions of the battle, letters from Churchill to Monmouth after the action, and both Turenne's and Feversham's dispatches following the battle. Unfortunately, there are no indications of the approximate strengths of these formations except for one source that I have seen crediting Churchill with approximately 500 men under his direct command. It is known from his letters to Monmouth that he went into battle with 22 officers of which 11 were wounded or killed. As their ranks ranged from Major to Ensign, this could indicate the presence of 5 companies of 100 men each. Let me emphasize "could".

So, if you wish to use my uniform plate to paint the Admiral's Maritime Regiment (which does contain all verified and correct information), feel free to do so, but be aware that you may be challenged at some point as to its authenticity in a European setting. Much the same can be said for Ralphus' source citing the uniforms of the Royal English Regiment as being gray faced with blue. Does this refer to Monmouth's Regiment in 1672, Skelton's in 1672, Churchill's in 1674, or all? I have been unable to find a definitive source that would answer that question, perhaps the French source cited by Curt will finally answer this, but for now, proceed based upon your own conclusions.

I beg your indulgence for the lengthy post, I know that some do not appreciate them, but I only want to put forth information on this blog that is as accurate as I can verify.


Monday 22 June 2009

WSS Bavarians

On Wills blog are some Zvezda PTG infantry painted as Bavarians. Very nice. Anyone painted any artillery yet?

Conquering the lead mountain

Pics of well painted Copplestones and a review of them on this blog.

Paris Militia 1660

Amazing image from Ann S K Brown showing Paris' Militia in 1660

Disposition de la Milice de Paris lors quelle parut devant leurs Majes, entre le Bois de Vincennes et la dte. ville, le 23e du mois d'Aoust de l'année 1660, trois jours avant l'Entrée
c.1660 Flaman, Albert (creator)

Sunday 21 June 2009

An Update to the 15mm Figure Review

By now some of you may be (or may not be) wondering whatever happened to the 15mm figure review? Well, let us say that, to some extent, “life” and the realities of the industry intruded upon it.

As you know if you followed the earlier posts, my intent was to deliberately NOT solicit samples, but to actually purchase 2 to 4 battalions from each and every maker offering a complete range (number based on available poses, not any favoritism as of yet), review them “raw” against each other in similar poses, then review the finished painted product for style, accuracy, ease of painting, and other factors. That meant that I had to actually be able to buy the figures. See the logic behind that?

Well, this is where the “wheels started falling off” as they say. First I had to explain to some why Minifigs was not included (they don’t actually offer an LoA range, only a few figures that will work buried in their TYW and WSS ranges). Then I forgot Jim Brokaw’s figures and had to add them (apologies to Pat Condray and Jim). Then, I had to drop the Matchlock range made by Caliver, which I’ve heard are wonderful, because after repeated e-mails with both Caliver’s owner, Dave Ryan, and their US distributor, Viking Forge, they declined to produce enough figures for samples, let alone an order (I understand there are numerous production problems at Caliver). Now it appears that I may also have to drop the Hallmark range (which many people consider the most detailed and accurate if you follow the talk on TMP). I have been waiting on some limbers since mid-February and my musketeers since mid-March, and was informed just this last weekend that due to “numerous production problems with Hallmark casting” their distributor, Last Square can’t obtain or cast the figures either. I have made one last ditch effort to entice them to participate, disclosing the review process, and am awaiting a reply indicating whether to drop them or not, but I think they are going to try and deliver. And, to top everything off, I haven’t been able to do any painting lately due to some storm damage here in North Texas (nothing disastrous, but several old growth tree limbs down, power problems and leaking roof) and some minor health problems. All is better now though, so we’ll try to get back on track.

But, lest you think that this has all been simply a collection of frustrations, take heart! As a result of my earlier posts and joining the French forum “Les forums du jeu d'Histoire”, here, I have been made aware of two additional “Sedgemoor” ranges in 15mm. But, once again, we have a “good news, bad news” situation. The first range is from Stronghold Miniatures produced by Mike Thompson in the UK, is a somewhat small range, but still complete for the Rebellion. However, Mike is currently not producing figures due to a move of facilities and doesn’t know when he will be able to resume production. A disappointment, as I had heard that they are close to “true 15mm” and would have been a match (or at least mix) with Hallmark, Editions Brokaw and some Essex. He has declined to participate at this time and I will try and do a separate review of his offerings when he is able to resume operations.

The good news? I was also made aware (on the French forum no less!) of a small range, also in the UK, that is a true “one man band” operation, M.Y. Miniatures owned and operated by Mick Yarrow. Mick also does a Sedgemoor range, a bit more complete than Stronghold’s. After exchanging several pleasant e-mails with Mick, figures were on the way and have only just arrived this weekend. My first impressions are very positive and I will be preparing some new sample boards with Mick’s figures included and posting shortly. I can tell you that they are an excellent mix with both Donnington and Irregular, and even with some of the larger Essex. And, Mick does “Royal (or Government) Foot” and “Rebel Foot”. The Royals are in newer, fitted coats and the Monmouth’s Rebel Foot are in looser, earlier uniforms with slightly higher cuffs. He also offers Rebel foot with open hands and offers scythes and farm implements to fill them. This would be a nice Sedgemoor range simply on those merits, but Mick took it a step further and did Covenanters for the 1679 Rebellion, and again offers both Rebel and Royalist versions of the Lowlanders. All said, this will be a fun range to add to our review. If you want a preview of Mick’s offerings, the pictures at the top of this post are from his site and you can find them on his site here.


'Terror march'd before them' 1685

Carrying on the theme of what happened in the Monmouth Rebellion I thought it might be interesting to see where the forces are now.
Sunday the 21st found Churchill's Dragoons subjected to a lengthy sermon in Chard on the damnation that follows rebellion - also Lieutenant Monoux who was killed at Ashill was buried.
Churchill's patrols were everywhere - 'and there came the Queen's Guards (as they said) under Lord Churchill into the parish and terror march'd before them (for one could hear the horses grind the ground under their feet, almost a mile before they came).' Harrassing the rearguard of the Rebels and ransacking the homes of those 'out' with King Monmouth, the troops did such things as 'cutting and tearing the beds, hangings and furniture to pieces, shaking out the feathers and carrying away the bedsticks and what else they could, letting out the beer, wine and sider, about the cellar, setting fire to the barn'.
The Rebels arrive at Bridgwater where they were well received, camping in the castle grounds. Kirke's footsore infantry arrive at Chard. Feversham is appointed commande in chief in the West.
Monmouth reenactment photo from Loseley Park

Turner's Falls 1676

If the photos of the skirmish known as Wheeler's Surprise has you fancying wargaming King Philip's War then a good scenario is this one. Lots on the page and a gallery including some great Foundry early woodland indians painted up for the period.

Wheeler's surprise event pictures

Thanks to Paul Irish for passing this on - photos of the recent King Philip's War event in Massachussetts. Set in 1675 and recreated on the spot it looks like an excellent weekend.
Photos here

Saturday 20 June 2009

My terrible sculpts

About ten years ago I tried to sculpt some figures for the era of the Glory of the Sun but these were in 40mm and the results were not so glorious but the idea was there and it was to be able to produce infinite numbers so I could have a free source of figures. I realised eventually that I wasn't particularly gifted as a sculptor, but it does help me appreciate the work that goes into designing figures. Nowadays I'd use the Ebob armatures and probably green stuff or sculpey but more likely is I wouldn't bother - there's no room in this medium for rubbish sculptors - unless they want to write a blog.

La putain du roi/The King's Mistress (US title)

I haven't seen this 1990 movie but it has been recommended so I'll post the description from youtube. A scene from Axel Corti's "The Kings Whore" starring Timothy Dalton as King Vittorio Amadeo II and Valeria Golino as his mistress Jeanne de Luynes. The scene demonstrates the dilemma of a king - he's surrounded by courtiers who butter him up and always leave the victory to him.
Review at Rotten Tomatoes from whence this synopsis is from.
In 1663, Jeanne de Luynes leaves her home in France to join her husband Alessandro, Count de Verua, in the Italian court at Piedmont. Their happy marriage is soon threatened by the persistent... In 1663, Jeanne de Luynes leaves her home in France to join her husband Alessandro, Count de Verua, in the Italian court at Piedmont. Their happy marriage is soon threatened by the persistent overtures of the King, who is infatuated with the young bride. By sending Alessandro to Spain, the King isolates Jeanne, who is encouraged by Alessandro's own family and the entire court to submit to the King's desires. When even Alessandro seems to encourage the affair, Jeanne feels betrayed and agrees to become the King's mistress. She uses her influence with the King to exact revenge on her husband, his family, and all who have wronged her, and then to influence the course of the Italian government, resulting in a tragic war between Italy and France

Any battle scenes in it?

Galloping Major Canadian Militia

One of the drawbacks of a lot of F&I ranges tend to be the irregulars - usually the designer has some misplaced idea about coureurs de bois that look like Davey Crockett so it's particularly reassuring to see these Miliciens from Galloping Major looking spot on and in good poses too. Weaponry all correct - I am looking forward to seeing more of what promises to be a range to collect.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Henry Purcell 'Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary'

Just in case you think I've lowered the tone of this blog by posting the Bloody Judge trailer I thought I'd redeem myself with a bit of culture from the great Henry Purcell. Lovely drums in the opening bit.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

La Grande Guerra del Nord

Mostly in Italian this blog is all about wargaming the GNW in 1/72 plastic mostly - though there's also some battle picks using Hallmark's 15mm LoA range. Worth a visit even if it is in Italian.

Monmouth at Ilminster

Thought it might be interesting to see what Monmouth was up to on this day - he landed on the 11th June and the campaign lasted about six weeks.
It seems according to my as yet unpublished day by day account of the Rebellion the Rebels marched into Ilminster camping at Winterhay Green that day. Charles Speke crossed the town square to shake the Duke's hand for which he was later hanged for by Judge Jeffries. They left the next day passing through Horton, Ashill and the Neroche Forest.
James II wrote on this day to William of Orange asking for the return of the Anglo-Dutch brigade - he was evidently worried. Orders were sent to the Duke of Beaufort to occupy Bristol with the Militias of Gloucester, Hereford and Monmouthshire. In Taunton the Somerset Militia forces flee abandoning ammunition and weapons.
John Churchill reaches Axminster with 4 Troops of Horse and 4 Companies of Dragoons. Churchill wrote from his base 'Unless speedy course be taken we are likely to lose this country to the Rebels - one Captain Littleton cried out we are betrayed...so the soldiers immediately looked upon another and fled, leaving their officers and colours behind; half if not the greatest part is gone to the Rebels.'
This is obviously a high point of the Rebellion with Churchill and James II obviously rattled.

Cobham's Dragoons

This UK based regiment, created in 2001 (website here) is very impressive. Reenacting the 10th Dragoons of the 1745 Rebellion on horse and on foot they seem to have exacting standards in all aspects of this difficult recreation.
More photos on the Lace Wars site.

Drabant 40mm

Been on the Drabant website looking at their lovely stuff and wondering if they might be good for the '15. (Not sure why but the link Google has is wrong for this page) but anyway there's some great new stuff, conversions and pieces to enjoy on the site.
I wonder if they might produce a few Highlanders for the period? - I'm not saying I would enjoy painting tartan in this scale but a few poses might complement their WSS figures.
Looking on this miniatures forum the nearest anyone can find of Jacobites in this scale is Irregular 40mms from their ECW range.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

High Germany

This is a great folk song that is thought to originate from the early 18th century - though my guess is its Seven Years War - it was already about by the 1780s for sure. This version I don't really know - I mostly learnt it from Martin Carthy but this is a fine enough ditty.

Oh Polly love, oh Polly, the rout has now begun
We must go a-marching to the beating of the drum
Dress yourself all in your best and come along with me
I'll take you to the war, my love, in High Germany

Oh Willie love, oh Willie, come list what I do say
My feet they are so tender I cannot march away
And besides my dearest Willie I am with child by thee
Not fitted for the war, my love, in High Germany

I'll buy for you a horse, my love, and on it you shall ride
And all my delight shall be in riding by your side
We'll stop at every ale-house and drink when we are dry
We'll be true to one another, get married by and by

Cursed be them cruel wars that ever they should rise
And out of merry England press many a man likewise
They pressed my true love from me likewise my brothers three
And sent them to the war, my love, in High Germany

My friends I do not value nor my foes I do not fear
Now my love has left me I wander far and near
And when my baby it is born and a-smiling on my knee
I'll think of lovely Willie in High Germany

Queen Anne musket

I was looking on the web to see if there was much about this precursor to the Long Land and if anyone was making a reasonably priced facsimile, as this must have been the weapon of choice for the Government side in the '15. Well not much out there at the moment...the Rifle Shoppe do parts. That's all I can find.

Huffel's Dutch Regiment

At the battle of Glen Shiel in 1719 this regiment fought on the Government side. Anyone know anything about it?

Bagot's Hussars

A Jacobite unit from the '45 that I've always liked is Bagot's Hussars - this sketch from the Pencuick drawings is the only contemporary illustration.
This unit was recreated in 1998 as a Living History project by artist Jeffrey Burn - check out the webpage for some images of the group in action.
More 1745 reenactment regiments on the Lace Wars page.

Monday 15 June 2009

Rob Roy

While on the subject of the '15 I thought I'd post the trailer to this 1995 movie. I liked this film even though I am not inclined to romanticising Scottish history - but the cast and the look of it is quite believable and it must rank as one of the best mainstream movies about the early 18th century. It's not set in the 15 but it's around that time and Rob Roy was around at that time - he fought in the 15 and he was later badly wounded at Glen Shiel in 1719. The brief glimpses of redcoats in this trailer will give you a taste of what could happen in 2015 when we celebrate the 300th anniversary of the rising - well when I say 'we' I mean whoever might still be reenacting in 2015. Rob Roy MacGregor wiki
Watch the Discovery channel's light-hearted documentary with Vic Reeves - Rob Roy; The True Story
Part 2 here, 3 here

Jacobite Highlanders

Couldn't really find any decent Jacobite Highlander images on the web so I went through my box of old photos and found this one of the Atholl Brigade. These were pals at the time and this photo brings back happy memories. What I like about this lot is that they mostly have firelocks and they arent charging. Anyone who makes Highlander figures take note.

Battle of Preston 1715

Inspired by the Over the Hills Blog I started looking at this battle which is a contender for last battle on English soil and found this educational site which is very interesting on the '15 uprising. More here on 1715.
Also some useful stuff on the Scotswars site.

Over the Hills Blog

This http://andy-overthehills.blogspot.com/ is a great blog based around the WSS and the Jacobite '15 uprising, with lots of well painted miniatures up for your appreciation. I think it's time we considered the 15 uprising as it won't be long before the 300th anniversary is upon us.

Sunday 14 June 2009

A Mystery to Answer a Mystery, For Ralphus

In several previous posts our benevolent Host, Ralphus, has asked about the English Expeditionary Force that fought under Turenne's command in French service in the Palatine campaign in 1674. He has even located, and provided, links and illustrations for a few specific regiments. I was intrigued enough to devote some time to this and, frankly, have gone about as far as I can go. I am hoping that regular readers and contributors Dan Schorr or Dur Ecu can possibly resolve some of the conflicting information and even fill in some gaps (standards and uniforms would be great guys!).

In order to not drive casual readers "mad" with a mountain of minutia, I have re-activated an old blog of mine, Sir William's World of Wargaming, here, to provide the sources and full detail. Basically, here's our mystery and problem:

We Know that the regiment which would become the Royal Scots, then known as Douglas' or Dumbarton's Regiment, was in France (and had been since 1633 as Hepburn's or Hebron's). We also know that the Duke of Monmouth was there with his regiment. And we know that John Churchill went there with the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment and ended up commanding what became known as Churchill's Regiment. We also know that there was a Royal Anglais regiment in French service. And we know that at least some portion of the 1st and 2nd Guards were there as well (at least in 1672). My, we do "know" a lot, don't we?

Here are some of the problems or mysteries:

Charles II had negotiated a "gentleman's agreement" with Louis XIV in 1672 to take all of the expeditionary force temporarily into French service and, in effect, to be the "paymaster". By 1674 Charles was under intense pressure from both the people and Parliament to withdraw the English forces from Louis (a Catholic monarch), and to provide support to the Dutch United Provinces (which were Protestant). As a compromise, Charles agreed to withdraw support and funding (which he actually wasn't paying himself anyways) from the troops in French Service and to allow the Dutch to actively recruit, train and equip "English" regiments for service in their army (this actually included English, Scots and Irish). To demonstrate his willingness to satisfy Parliament, Charles also officially withdrew the Guards and the Irish in French service.

However, Charles again reached an agreement with Louis to establish and fund a "new" Royal Anglais Regiment, the core of which was made up of 50 men each from 3 companies of the Guards, and volunteers from other returning regiments. Charles also allowed them, somewhat discreetly, to continue recruiting in England. Susane even notes that there are two accepted dates for the formation of a "Regiment de Royal Anglais", with Churchill as the Colonel of the "new" regiment.

So, here's where we are at: Not counting the Regiment de Royal Irlandais (almost wiped out and the survivors were incorporated into the Maritime Regiment), Susane lists 6 "English" regiments in French service beginning in 1672, some of multiple battalions, Douglas (or Dumbarton's), Hamilton's, Monmouth's, Churchill's, Carlisle's, and the Royal Anglais. Even though Susane credits Carlisle's with service in all of the same battles and campaigns as the others, I can find no other map, OoB or letter confirming that, so they might have been incorporated into another regiment or served garrison duty. According to Wolesely's "Life of John Churchill", after 1674 only Monmouth's Horse, Douglas, Hamilton, Churchill and Monmouth's Foot were left and were formed in two brigades of multiple battalions. Wolesely also notes that Monmouth's Foot was commanded in the field by a colonel N. Littleton.

We also have three very good maps or illustrations of the French positions and Order of Battle near Strasbourg in late September 1674 and at the Battle of Enzheim on October 4, 1674, all taken from the Marburg Digital Archive. The two most detailed of these clearly show a total of 7 "English" battalions present, with slightly different brigade structures. Monmouth's regiment is shown with 3 battalions, Hamilton's with 2, and both Douglas and Churchill with 1 each.

There are also numerous personal letters from Churchill, Turenne, Littleton, Hamilton, Vauban, Tilliers and others that support the deployment and numbers shown on these illustrations. Now, here is but one of our "mysteries", one of the maps shows the Maritime Regiment, which Churchill was still commanding, not receiving his appointment from Louis until the late winter of 1674. So, can we assume that the other references to "Churchill's Regiment" were also to the Maritime Regiment? I am inclined to think that we can, but I've been wrong before.

And with regard to the Royal Anglais regiment, we have a description of uniforms of gray coats with blue facings. Is this the "old" regiment established in 1671 or the "new" regiment under Churchill in late 1674 or 1675? And what of the "volunteers" from the Guards? Were they immediately issued new uniforms? And to further complicate matters, Churchill returned to England in 1678 and was placed in commend of the 3rd Foot, "Churchill's Regiment", which fought through the WSS. Were these the returning expatriates or an entirely new regiment? Would their notorious black standards have migrated with them from France? Their pre-1707 regimental colour bears a striking resemblance to a foreign unit in French service, even to having Louis' "Sun King" emblem at the center of the cross.

So, mystery upon mystery, without many clear answers. And aren't you glad this was the "short" version without all the sources, citations and maps that I placed here? If you can add to this, with sources, please do! I would like to paint the 7 battalions of the English Expeditionary Force for Turenne's Palatinate Campaign, or at least some of them (right now I can do Douglas and the Maritime Regiment with confidence). And I think Ralphus really, really wants some answers ;-)


Friday 12 June 2009

Glorious Empires: Siege of Maastricht Part 2

While we're on the subject of the Dutch Wars, here are well-painted (not by my own hand) examples of Jacques Vullingh's newly released group of excellent flats for Louis XIV's siege of Maastricht in 1672. These latest figures depict skirmishing cavalry during the opening phases of the siege.

Subsequent groups will cover Louis' royal encampment (Jacques has promised some female camp followers as well), the opening of the trenches, infantry and the siting of the guns. These excellent 30mm castings can be obtained directly from Glorious Empires. http://www.gloriousempires.com/ Not inexpensive at 2.95 euros, but they'll look quite marvellous together in a small grouping or vignette.

Aftermath of the Sheerness raid

Article here on the Medway raid and its aftermath.

Medway Map

Here's a map of the late June Medway raids from Wikimedia Commons.

Dutch pikemen

Been thinking about the Dutch troops at the time of the de Ruyter raids, what they might have looked like and so on.
Not sure what the date is for this image but it might be from around that time.

Thursday 11 June 2009

Better Medway image

Thanks to Motorway (whose blog I heartily recommend for anyone interested in the Franco-Dutch wars from a Netherlandish perspective and more) we have a better picture of some of the Medway events.

Painting Worksheet for the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot

Well, I'm satisfied with my research on the "Maritime Regiment". Thanks to Dan Schorr's help and some additional research that I did, I'm now satisfied with the standards for the Regiment.

I have borrowed a few illustrations from Ralphus's original post and the Essex Militia's web site, as well as details from the 1678 Clothing Warrant from the American site, and have prepared this painting guide that I can simply print out and use when I get ready to do this regiment, which I will be doing as part of the English Brigade that served under Turenne in Flanders.

I don't know if anyone else does this, but when I first started painting large-scale collector's figures, I often worked from le Plumet plates, or those from the Company of Military Historians, or the plates from le Cimier or Knötel. These painting guides are simply my way of replicating that experience, one simple and quick reference that I can tack up right on my painting desk. Really not too difficult with programs like Paint or similar. Anyone who wishes to print this out or download it for their own use (non-commercial only, please) may feel free to do so. The same applies to the plate I posted for the Spanish regiment, "El Morados Viejos", and any future plates that I may post.


Wednesday 10 June 2009

Allegorie op visserij

Interesting look at Dutch fashions from the late 60s early 70s. I see de Ruyter is there.
Attributed to Willem Eversdijck
Allegory on the flourishing of the Dutch fishery after the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-67).
Year 1667-1671

Admiral de Ruyter

By Ferdinand Bol. Wikipedia entry on this national hero of the Netherlands here
It says
De Ruyter was highly respected by his sailors and soldiers, who used the term of endearment Bestevaêr ("Granddad") for him, both because of his disregard for hierarchy (he was himself of humble origin) and his refusal to back away from risky and bold undertakings despite his usually cautious nature.
Also see

Attack on Sheerness 1667

From the NMM collection
Bastiaan Stoopendael; after Willem Schellinks.
Schellinks was in England at the time and may even have been a Dutch spy.

More Dutch in the Medway images

Frustratingly small I'm afraid - like to see bigger if anyone out there can find them...these are from here.
This poem from here (and much more on Shellinck and the taking of Chatham) is interesting - from Andrew Marvell a satirical 17th century poet
"Black day accursed!............
When agèd Thames was bound with fetters base,
And Medway chaste ravished before his face,
And their dear offspring murdered in their sight,
Thou and thy fellows held'st the odious light.
Sad change since first that happy pair was wed,
When all the rivers graced their nuptial bed,
And Father Neptune promised to resign
His empire old to their immortal line!

Now in the ravisher De Ruyter's hand,
The Thames roared, swooning Medway turned her tide,
and were they mortal, both for grief had died

Dutch in the Medway 1667

Interesting image from Willem Schellinks.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Follow-up To Ralphus' Post on the Maritime Regiment

As a quick follow-up to Ralphus' earlier post on the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot, I'm hoping someone can help with a bit of a mystery.

Following the link provided to the Essex Militia, and then going to their "Portraits" page here, there is a shot of the Maritime detachment with their colours, which they unfortunately don't display well for us "painter-gamer" types. However, the colours shown appear to be almost identical to a flag shown on Barry Hilton's LoA site in the Gallery being carried by Trelawney's Regiment, shown here.

I have done some searching today, but without much success, except that I found several other versions of a standard for Trelawney's at a later date that bears no resemblance to this flag on Barry's site. I would love to get something close to an authoritative answer, with sources, for the Maritime Regiment carrying this flag. They did fight as part of the English contingent under Turenne, so would make an excellent "change of pace" unit for my Franco-Dutch Wars forces.

Any assistance will be appreciated.