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ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:39 pm
by IagotheHungry
Hi all,

I've been tentatively thinking about making some kit for a French (or maybe Dutch) mercenary having fun earning some half-crowns in the ECW period.

So I know the French had simplified their fashions a little before in the 1630s, but I've found a good few pictures, contemporary and later, of French musketeers in fairly big, ungathered breeches, with boots, various hats, and rather snazzy looking coats.

Anyway, what I really wanted to know, was what sort of guys were these men? I know there were regiments of the guys over here, and I also know they turned up in dribs and drabs, but would they have been the sort of gang of eclectically clothed ne'er do wells one associated with pirate films of the '50s? Or were they just regular regiments of normal lads, with a toff at the top promising pay? Were all French soldiers dressed a bit flamboyantly? How did the Dutch dress in their armies? I haven't found very much on them I'm afraid...

Thanks!

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:25 pm
by Merlon.
To my knowledge, no Fench or Dutch regiments served anywhere in the Three kingdoms during the civil wars. You get occasional French and German noblemen in it for the glory, apart from that a small number of continental Engineers, but that’s it.
Both sides had enough trouble paying the troops they did have without introducing mercenaries into the equation.
So unless you are capable of representing a nobleman or an engineer with all the resources that entails, I suggest you bury these ideas somewhere deep and concentrate on one good solid portrayal to start.
Portrayal of French Musketeers is best left to M. Alexandre Dumas

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:53 pm
by Dathi
Wot He says.

You are far more likely to see Welsh, Scots or English gentry with experience of fighting in Europe than any French or other foreigners floating around. There are odd references to the odd Dutch officer in Hull at the start of the war, the odd Engineer or 2, the odd Master Gunner or 2. But not many.

On the other hand, damm close to every senior officer on both sides had served, briefly or not so briefly, in Europe at some point.

Sir William Waller, Ralph Hopton, 1st Baron Hopton, Ferdinando Fairfax, 2nd Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Sir John Hotham and Capt.John Hotham, Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, Sydnam Poyntz, Philip Skippon, John Meldrum, Lawrence Crawford, George Monck, Thomas Morgan, George Goring, Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley, Sir Arthur Aston, Sir Thomas Tyldesley ,Sir Nicholas Slanning,Sir Thomas Glemham, James King, 1st Lord Eythin, Sir Richard Grenville,Sir Marmaduke Langdale,Sir George Lisle, Sir John Hurry, Sir Joseph Wagstaffe, Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, Daniel O'Neill, John Colepeper, 1st Baron Colepeper, Sir William Balfour, Sir Charles Lucas, Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, Patrick Ruthven, Lord Forth, Charles Gerard, 1st Earl of Macclesfield, Sir James Ramsey

That's just some of the various Officers from both sides that served in Europe.

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:23 am
by Andy R
My favourite continental type was Captain Augustine who ran a troop of irregular horse in Scotland during the 3rd war and Glencairn uprising.

I think there is more a case for continentals in the cavalry from what I have read - but at the same time I am not sure how much stock to put in that as the books are quite general and more for wargamers.

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:26 am
by Dathi
Colonel Jonas Vandruske: German and commanded a Horse Regiment under Essex
Col.Bartholomew Vermuyden: Dutch and commanded a Horse Regiment under Manchester
Capt.John Dalbier Possibly German and commanded a Troop of Horse under Essex

There are more

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:35 pm
by Merlon.
You then cannot assume that nationality of the commander dictates the nationality of the troops.
I suspect IagotheHungry has been reading the old Haythornthwaite book with that dire picture of musketeers in it.

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:41 pm
by John Waller
Capt Carlo Fantom, Croat, served under Sir Robert Pye in Essex's army.
That Prince Rupert chap, Bohemian I think. And his brother.
Sir Bernhard de Gomme, Dutch, chief engineer and quartermaster general of the Royalist Army.

I agree that there were no known mercenary regiments but there were probably several hundreds of experienced foreigners serving, particularly in the early part of the war, and especially in 'technical' branches like engineers, artillerists, fireworkers etc. Didn't Henrietta Maria have a 200 strong lifeguard of french cavalry?

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:24 pm
by Merlon.
The Queen lifeguard contained a number of French 'volunteers' after she landed at Bridlington in 1643.
The trooops were absorbed into the Oxford army, as such they clothed in Thomas Bushell's red and blue uniforms. Hence would look no different from any other infantry in the Oxford army.

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:47 pm
by Tod
Some years ago (Andy R would remember) there as an idea to set up a lifeguard or bodyguard of mercenary soldiers for Skippon. As far as I was told then it never existed in history and was an idea so people could wear different kit and have a different role. It wasn't thought of as a good idea by many including me and it failed at the first fence. Best to stick to the people that were there rather than play the mercanary who wasn't.

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:58 pm
by steve stanley
Skippon's foot lifeguard were grey-cassacked Halbardiers as I recall..........Yes,While I don't attach such motives to Iago,the mercenary thing can lead to kit more apprropriate to SCA impressions......Do remember one guy who attributed his cossack sword to service in the Polish army.............

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:02 pm
by Andy R
steve stanley wrote:Do remember one guy who attributed his cossack sword to service in the Polish army.............
That wasn't Bill was it?

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:11 pm
by steve stanley
Can't remember.......It's going back a few years!

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:16 pm
by Andy R
Tod wrote:Some years ago (Andy R would remember) there as an idea to set up a lifeguard or bodyguard of mercenary soldiers for Skippon. As far as I was told then it never existed in history and was an idea so people could wear different kit and have a different role. It wasn't thought of as a good idea by many including me and it failed at the first fence. Best to stick to the people that were there rather than play the mercanary who wasn't.
I had reached between my legs, pulled the handle, and shouted "eject, eject, eject" by then.

Skippon's Lifeguard as was, was more a dismounted cavalry, special forces with wee muskets (as in small, sub-standard, less than 42" barrel with no reason to be on God's green earth muskets - not that it's a pet hate of mine or anything or that I like 46" barrels m'self)

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:20 pm
by Andy R
steve stanley wrote:Can't remember.......It's going back a few years!
Bill (Kane) has a Bailiffe Forge c17th sabre that he used on the field (and indeed at pots'n'pans in '95) - only one I know.

I have a Bailiffe forge "fantasy" Pallasch which bears no resemblance to a pallasch........

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:23 pm
by steve stanley
Must be then.......Probably when he did a sword school for me at Leicester in '95...............

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:15 pm
by Dathi
Shame we don't do English in the Low Countries 1585 to 1610. It's a fine excuse for pretty clothes, shiny armour, odd weapons and funny accents

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:17 pm
by Andy R
80 years War is big in Holland, so they cover that sort of thing, and there is growing interest from this side of the North Sea now

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:26 pm
by Dathi
That's interesting. Theres' s some interesting stuff out there, I've sorted out the English soldier's clothing, got the back and breast sorted out, need to source a basket hilt and I'm fighting shy of a caliver and a target...!

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:27 pm
by John Waller
Andy R wrote:80 years War is big in Holland, so they cover that sort of thing, and there is growing interest from this side of the North Sea now
Indeed. The Seige of Grolle is on this October, sadly they were fuly booked up with 800 re-enactors by May. http://www.slagomgrolle.nl/uk/index.html Looks like a good bash.

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:37 pm
by Andy R
Pictures from de Slag om Grolle 2008 http://www.storageinloughborough.com/gr ... /index.php (edit - URL fixed)

Pictures from Bourtange 2007 http://www.storageinloughborough.com/bo ... /index.php

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:46 pm
by Phil the Grips
ooh- lots of "The last Valley" action

"Hurry up! I lost patience twelve years ago!"

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 am
by CFury
If you are wanting to look all flamboyant and European, there's far more scope for being a 'dandy' in an English regiment. John Lambert was well known for his outre style of dress, and while in Scotland after Dunbar requested several hats including 'a good French hat of the best sort', Spanish leather shoes and a Dutch coat 'such as is most in fashion' (quoted in Fraser, Cromwell Our Chief of Men pp477). Of course, if you just wanted to do the Dutch accent I am sure it will get a laugh :D

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:40 pm
by Foxe
For what it's worth, Captain Jan van Haesdonck commanded a squadron of seven privateers for the Royalists around 1645, manned with a mix of English and Flemish.

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:39 am
by Dathi
Got it

From Soldiers and Strangers:An Ethnic History of the English Civil War by Mark Stoyle

He's identified 105 men from overseas who served as Officers, Engineers or Master Gunners. They're mostly French and Dutch with Flemish and Walloon thrown in. There's some Germans, Danes, Swedes, Italian, Bohemeian, a Pole, and a Greek.

There are 3 units with a high "Outlander" contingent, The Queen's Regiment of Horse, reportedly all French or Walloon. John Dalbier had a large number of Dutch and Flemish Troopers and Hans Behr's Germans in his regiment of Horse. At the most, no more than 1,000 men serving as Troopers of Horse from France, the Low Countries and Germany.


So, if you want to do Mercenary it has to be a either a Trooper or Officer of Horse or an Officer of Foot. In which case, as an Officer, you have to be a named person...:-)

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:30 am
by Nigel
Merlon. wrote:You then cannot assume that nationality of the commander dictates the nationality of the troops.
I suspect IagotheHungry has been reading the old Haythornthwaite book with that dire picture of musketeers in it.
which were based on reenactors do you feel a never ending circle coming around

Sabres are very sweet I know the one that Bill had started off with a nasty basket hilt on it when he took that off it became a lovely sword

A sabre is still very much on my wish list for both early and 17th and seeing the one in ediburgh reinforced this

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:11 pm
by IagotheHungry
O.o

So...that's a no for now then? :p

I've only just read Haythornthwaite, and I now know what picture you mean (that post confused me for a while!) and I must say that no, I definitely didn't base it on that, I was using contemporary images of French musketeers. Promise! :)

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:30 pm
by IagotheHungry
Sorry to revive the deadness of the thread. BUT:

I was reading last night, and found a (very) brief mention of Montrose taking some Danes to the Orkneys in 1645 (I think) and then, just when I was thinking "nah, like I could do Danes in the ECW" I found another (very) brief mention of Lorrainers with Byron at Chester. Were these guys real? And did they wear foreign kit, or ECW issued bits, or both, or what?

I thought after doing some more research that there would be scope for wearing some foreign cavalry and officers kit and maybe some Scottish looking gear in some instances, but now there are supposed Europeans flying at me from everywhere :(

What's goin' on?

Edit: and were there not Continental gunners wandering about? Thought there were a few in the Royalist army at least?

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:59 pm
by steve stanley
If you assume most individual 'Soldiers of Fortune' wore pretty normal kit for whatever their military role was...Why,in the name of Cromwell's warts would they look noticeably different to normal British types.........?

Steve

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:10 pm
by Merlon.
Have you checked with your society that you would be allowed to wear this type of kit.?
European Gunners equal Officers in terms of clothing etc. Do you have the money to acquire the relevant clothing and equipment to represent this type of persona?
Sorry to inform you that in the main "Scottish looking gear" is very much like "English looking gear"

Re: ECW Mercenary role

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:28 pm
by IagotheHungry
Fair enough, no, probably not and oh, in that order!



Cool ,just asking, I am very much in the dark C17th wise, so I know I'm a pain with all my silly questions, but if I didn't ask them I'd probably make some horrible mistakes in front of people who know better.