Friday, December 18, 2009

Sir Edward Dering's Regiment of Foot...

This regiment of foot dates from 1689, and was one of the fourteen regiments commissioned by King William following the deposition of James in the bloodless revolution.

William was proclaimed King on 13 February 1689 and almost immediately set out to increase the size of the army in order to protect England against France (James had fled to the protection of Louis so it was fairly inevitable that trouble would follow from that direction).

On 8 March 1689 a commission was issued to Sir Edward Dering of Surrenden,to form 'a regiment of Foot ... for our service'. Sir Edward was a rich and influential baronet (that's him above and to the left). He appointed his younger brother Daniel to be colonel (Daniel had been in the army as a captain of grenadiers for the previous five years, so he had experience).

"The first muster was held on 8 March, the regiment's establishment being thirteen companies each of three sergeants, three corporals, two drummers, and sixty privates, a total of 884 non-commissioned officers and men, with one major, nine captains, nine lieutenants, two ensigns, a chaplain, and a surgeon". At Blenheim the order of battle I have lists them as 524 men, just under two thirds of their original strength.

The regiment was then commanded in very quick succession by:
  • 1691.06.01 Col. Samuel Venner (an interesting man I must try and find a little more about at some time - I believe he led the Duke of Monmouth's cavalry and was shot and wounded by a sniper in Bridport during the glorious revolution, which would have made him a "rebel" - apparently he lived until 1712 so not sure why he gave up command, but I'm even more unsure how he got the command in the first place given his background!)
  • 1695.03.13 Col. Louis James (le Vasseur), Marquis de Puisar
  • 1701.03.01 Lt-Gen. William Seymour - before being passed to the man himself!
  • 1702.02.12 Gen. John (Churchill), 1st Duke of Marlborough, KG - two and a half years later, and a mere 12 days after the battle they got their next colonel..
  • 1704.08.25 Lt-Gen. William Tatton
At the Schellenberg the regiment was in the second line, on the left flank of the main body under Lt General Ingoldsby, in the Wither's Brigade (with three other English battalions).

At Battle of Blenheim they'd been re-organised, and were a part of the column attacking Blenheim village, under the command of Lieutenant General John, 1st Baron Cutts of Gowran (the "Salamander"). They were in Rowe's Brigade, with four other regiments of foot, Howe's, Ingoldsby's, Rowe's & The Earl of Bath's Regiment of Foot.

The regiment went on to win battle honours at all four of the great battles of the war; Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet. Rather interestingly, after many years and some amalgamations, this was the regiment that went on to defend Rorke's Drift - the 24th Regiment of Foot - and as you can see they kept the same facing colour!

Figures are 15mm Minifgs, with the exception of the ruffian waving his sword about and masquerading as their officer; he's a Peter Pig figure from their Pirates range. Just had to paint him!


  1. Steve, I do appreciate the background that you give us on your units. Thank you.

    -- Jeff

  2. "the bloodless revolution".

    *raises eyebrow*

    Hardly, old Rock of my Casbah.

  3. The 24th Foot! Cool! I tend to think of my units (Zule War 24th foot which I am painting at the moment) very much in their time and place so it is good to be reminded of their illustrious history!

    I see you are reading a Dick Francis Book. His son Felix (who now co-writes the books) was my physics teacher. I hope he is a more engaging writer than he was a teacher!

  4. Steve - I'm a bit late with this comment (what with Xmas approaching and all that). But may I just mention that I follow your blogs regularly and, as Jeff says above, always appreciate your explanations (and of course the photographs).


  5. Merry Christmas for you and yours!