Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2nd Squadron Wyndham's Horse...

Steve the Wargamer is in a veritable painting frenzy this year - seriously, I'm really enjoying it, so I'm pushing it while the painting mojo is still with me...

Either way, here is the next unit to leave the painting table this year - they represent the second of the two squadrons of Wyndham's horse who served in Palmes' Brigade at Blenheim.

The brigade comprised the following - I've put links in for the other squadrons I've already painted:
  • 2nd/Wood's Regiment of Horse [click here] (4th Horse), Major General Cornelius Wood (one squadron, 155 men)
  • The King's Carabiniers (9th Horse) [click here for the 1st Squadron], Lieutenant General Hugh Wyndham (two squadrons, 311 men)
  • The Duke of Schomberg's Regiment of Horse (8th Horse), Meinhardt Schomberg, 3rd Duke of Schomberg, 1st Duke of Leinster (two squadrons, 270 men) (I have one squadron of Schomberg's painted but they must have been one of the first regiments I painted as I never did one of my unit histories - I'll save that for the second squadron..)
Either way - I've already done a unit history for Wyndham's, so I thought that for this post I'd focus on the Brigade commander, Brigadier General Francis Palmes (that's him, top right). Palmes was another one of those really interesting people that this project has continued to throw up as a result of my research..
His career started in 1688 with a captain's commission in Cavendish’s Horse (the 7th Dragoon Guards) who at that time were commanded by the eldest son of the Duke of Devonshire - a supporter of William - which probably means Palmes supported the revolution as well.
  • 1693–4 he was captain in Schomberg’s Horse
  • 1694 he was Lt.-Col. of Wyndham’s Horse (6 Drag. Gds.); and after Wyndhams death he was their colonel from 1706–13 
One report of Blenheim claimed that ‘hardly anyone was more instrumental to the success of that day’ than Palmes, and his endeavours appear to have attracted the attention of the Duke of Marlborough

He quickly became associated with William Cadogan and Thomas Meredyth, two other Irishmen serving in the English army who received rapid promotion in the mid-1700s thanks to Marlborough’s patronage.
  • 1704 promoted brevet Colonel of horse; Brig.-Gen. on Marlborough's recommendation
  • 1707 promoted Major-General. 
  • 1709 promoted Lieutenant General
His advancement was such that it was reported in 1705 that the Dutch allies and ‘others’ were concerned that Marlborough "does not advise so much either with the officers of experience and in the highest characters of his own and the States army as with two or three favourites whom he himself has raised such as Brigadier Cadogan, Brigadier Palmes and Brigadier Meredith". Clearly a go-er...

Though Marlborough was unable in 1705 to secure for Palmes the governorship of Berwick-upon-Tweed (that needs some investigation - I wonder why he was recommended, and why Marlborough was involved?), the following year he was appointed Colonel of Wyndham's and in 1707 was promoted to major-general.

Palmes and Marlborough were clearly close, there was a rumour he was to marry Marlborough's illegitimate daughter but this turned out to be exactly that, and Palmes never married..

He stood for parliament in January 1707, and was returned as the member for West Looe but parliamentary records show that he made no significant contribution..(!) He did not stand for re-election.. instead, his role increasingly became a diplomatic one on behalf of Marlborough..

From February 1708 he travelled extensively, undertaking missions to the United Provinces, Hanover, Prussia, Vienna and Savoy to keep military relations on track.

Clearly he did a good job, as he was promoted in 1709 to Lieutenant-General, but the political thunderstorms were beginning to gather by 1710, with a concerted opposition to Marlborough gaining pace.

Palmes remained in Vienna on diplomatic missions until March 1711; he returned to England in April but received no further diplomatic appointments - Marlborough's star was waning.

In April 1713 he was forced to sell his regiment (broke??)

Palmes again found favour following the Hanoverian succession and in 1715 was chosen to be master of Kilmainham hospital in Ireland; following his arrival in Ireland he was also elected to the Irish parliament and appointed to the Irish privy council.

In 1716 Palmes was given the colonelcy of a new regiment on the Irish establishment (later the 21st Regiment of Light Dragoons) which was disbanded in 1718 when he was appointed envoy to Poland. He arrived at Dresden in October, and died there early in the new year, on 15 January 1719 leaving what little he had to his surviving brother.

Read more here - it's thanks to that short stint as the MP for Looe that we still know so much about him so maybe the contribution was greater than he knew! http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1690-1715/member/palmes-francis-1719 

Figures are 15mm and by Warrior [clicky] from a sample selection I bought right at the beginning of the project - I have to say I was a little dismissive of them in their bear metal, but they've painted up very nicely.. riders are still a little small and hunched though...


  1. Very nice, just finished painting Wyndham's horse myself. I must admit I really like the Warrior Miniatures stuff.

    1. Scotty somehow or another I never knew of your blogs existence... mea culpa.... it's brilliant by the way always good to see what other gamers are painting in one of your favourite periods - I do like the effect of those black horses for your version of Wyndhams, I may nick that idea for my next squadron of Schomberg's! W.r.t figures; for cavalry my absolute favourite figure is Dixon, but they are stupidly expensive... if you're interested, order yourself some of the Freikorps Dragoons from their SYW range.... in infantry, I like two ranges but they are very contrasting styles - either the Black Hat (modern), or Minifigs (trad).... looking forward to your thoughts on the Blue Moon figures though.....

  2. When the painting mood is on you keep going, long may it last

    1. Amen, brother - not something you seem to suffer from though! :o)

  3. You are going well this year! An elegant looking unit!

    1. Legatus, an age when men were not afraid to wear bouffant wigs...

  4. Very nice work on some nice sculpts.