Thursday, December 11, 2008

15th Foot - Howe's Regiment

...and it is with some trepidation that I now introduce you to the newest unit in the forces of Queen Anne - namely Howe's Regiment of Foot.

"Trepidation" you ask??? Purely because I think this may be the best painting that I've done in terms of Marlburian units to date... I know I've been quite happy with some of the cavalry (I like painting horses!), but I'm not in any doubt as to my painting talents on infantry...

This regiment is made up from the new Black Hat figures that I picked up at Warfare, and they are so easy to paint... no modification of my normal style (black undercoat, white damp brush, block colours, no highlights, a suitable colour wash at the end) but the end result is far superior to previous efforts ... well... in my eyes anyway! Either way, I'm dead chuffed with them....

So without further ado here is the regiment in its glory

The regiment was one of the last of the tranche of regiments raised by James II following his accession. It came into being on the 22nd June 1685 (so just two weeks before the battle of Sedgemoor), and was raised by Sir William Clifton from troops recruited in Nottingham and surrounding area's.

As was usual in this period the regiment was known by the name of it's colonel until 1751, when in the army ordinances the regiment became the 15th Regiment of Foot. It ended up following various reorganisations and amalgamations as "The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire" in 1958 (that's their badge at the top of the page).

...and here's a close up - do those little guys have character or what??

At the time of Blenheim and the Schellenberg they were commanded by the rather splendidly named Emanuel Scrope Howe (that's him to the left), and yet again he's another interesting character (within limits!)

Howe was the son of John Grubham Howe, his mother however, was the illegitimate daughter of Prince Rupert of the Rhine (and a Drury Lane actress known as Margaret "Peg" Hughes). These were interesting and more accepting times..

Either way, Howe was not without influence:

  • He was appointed a Groom of the Bedchamber in 1689 as reward for his support for William of Orange, and held the office throughout William's reign.
  • He was also given a commission in the 1st Foot Guards, and served in Flanders where he was wounded at the Siege of Namur.
  • He purchased his colonelcy of this regiment in 1695, and was their colonel until his death in 1709.
  • He was promoted to Brigadier-General in 1704, Major-General in 1707 and Lieutenant-General in the year of his death.
  • He was also the First Commissioner of Prizes from 1703 to 1705, and envoy-extraordinary to the Elector of Hanover between 1705 and 1709, where he was instrumental in improving the strained relations between the English and Hanoverian reigning families to keep Hanover in the Grand Alliance.
  • He entered Parliament in 1701 but is only recorded as having taken part in a debate once.

As an interesting side note however, and something of a crossover with another wargaming interest of mine, he was great uncle via his younger brother of two other Howe's, namely Admiral Sir Richard Howe, and Sir William Howe, of American War of Independence fame..

He died on September 26th, 1709 - it's not specifically noted but I think it possible that he may have been wounded either at the siege of Tournay (which ended on the 3rd), or Malplaquet which was fought on September 11th?? Certainly the regiment was present at both, so I would suspect he was as well..

The regiment carried honours for all four major engagements; Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde & Malplaquet but despite my best efforts I was unable to find any information on the regimental colours (which is why they're missing from the picture). In the end I went with a speculative effort based on the colour of their facings:

The heraldic image in the middle of the flag is that of the city of Nottingham, given the regiment originally came from their (as did the Howe's) I thought it was a reasonable guess...

At the Schellenberg they were in the reserve, in Hamilton's Brigade under the command of Orkney, at Blenheim however they had a harder time of it as they were in the Blenheim assault column commanded by Lieutenant General John "Salamander" Cutts (1st Baron Cutts of Gowran), in Brigadier General Archibald Rowe's Brigade.

For an excellent history of the regiment, try this site - very interesting:


  1. Steve,

    I do know from prior reading . . . and your various posts . . . that ranks and even regiments were purchased.

    Can you shed any light on what various ranks cost? And, yes, I know that the social importance of regiments affected the cost of commissions.

    -- Jeff

    PS, Yes, this unit looks very good.

  2. Steve,

    This was the posting I've been fearing since Black Hat announced their new line of WSS figures. They seem to have more detail with good proportions than other lines and the detail suits my painting style far more.

    I guess now I will need to take the plunge into yet another wargaming era.

    Thanks for your WSS topics and great job all around.


  3. No wonder the Americans struggle with English geogrpahy. A regiment raised in Nottingham but ending up in Yorkshire (East Yorkshire at that!).

    Good looking figures well presented.

  4. Nice post, painting, figures,and history all in one.

    I started to think the uniforms were interesting then I realised you had not finished. I shall not comment as I always say something along the lines of ' they will be nice when they are done' and then find the are done. Still they look very nice to me.


  5. Paul - it is a confusion isn't it! Reading on that web link I gave, it seems that very early on (ie. same year they were formed) they were moved to Yorkshire so I guess the link was forged then...

    John - very good... :o)) With some trepidation (there's that word again) I'm going to say they are finished (flag apart)... what do you think is missing?? Don't say hat lace as my resources show they didn't have any... which is one of the reasons I liked them, as that is the *worst* thing to have to paint! :o)

  6. Oh God! This is why I should never be allowed to say anything. Still at least its not TMP or you'd be round to kick my head in.

    So to be honest and at the risk of exposing my ignorance rather than yours...

    I wasn't sure if they were finished, at first I thought that they were done and had a very plain uniform. Then I looked at the grenadiers and thought red facings, no lacing on coats, no decoration to the grenadiers hat fronts, no lacing on the hats. I know this is not a garrison or militia regt it just seems too plain.

    So I thought why not open your mouth and put your foot securely in it!

    But I do like them Honest!!

    Yours GrovelJohningly

  7. Ha! Mr. Preece goveling??? Who'd have thought it... :o)

    No need John as you are entirely correct, they should have lace and the rest. In mitigation however, in 15mm I've never managed to do it to look convincing, so I have adopted the "less is more" approach...

    ....which in other words, and to echo Andy Mitchell's comments on his breathtaking Stadden/Suren Cuirassiers post, means... I'm a chicken (too) :o))

  8. >I've been quite happy with some of >the cavalry (I like painting >horses!),

    Argh. Damn you Steve.

    Damn you!!!

    Also, well done on the 15th, they look very dapper. I always enjoy your history posts.