Thursday, February 28, 2013

Regiment de Ligonday

Took me a little longer to get round to these guys, but herewith another unit ready to join the forces of Louis XIV at Blenheim. As per the recent Allied cavalry, when choosing which unit to paint I decided to focus on completing a brigade, though in this case it's a big brigade and I'm some way off, either way welcome a squadron of the Regiment de Ligonday.

The regiment doesn't even feature in Grant, but was 2 squadrons strong at Blenheim numbering about 100 men in total - the following section of the Order of Battle is from Wikipedia, and is what I normally use as my reference..... I now have one squadron from each of the regiments in the brigade (I must have a group photo at some time!)

Marechal de Camp, the Duc d'Humeries Merode-Westerloo's Brigade (Spain)
Comte de Merode-Westerloo
  • Regimiento de Gaetano (two squadrons, 214 men)
  • Regimiento de Acosta (two squadrons, 200 men)
  • Regimiento de Heider (two squadrons, 200 men)
la Valliere's Brigade
Marquis de la Valliere
  • Régiment de Bourgogne (three squadrons, 360 men)
  • Regiment de la Valliere (two squadrons, 136 men)
  • Regiment de Noailles (two squadrons, 200 men)
  • Regiment de Beringhen (three squadrons, 783 men)
Silly's Brigade
Marquis de Silly
  • Regiment de Orleans (three squadrons, 165 men)
  • Regiment de Montreval (two squadrons, 110 men)
  • Regiment de St. Pouanges (two squadrons, 100 men)
  • Regiment de Ligonday (two squadrons, 100 men)

The Franco Bavarian horse ; more horseflesh than a cheap supermarket beef burger!

With no uniform source, the thoroughly knowledgeable chaps over at the Early Linear Warfare Yahoo group agreed that my suggested colour scheme of grey with red cuffs was sound - it seemed a no-brainer given that at least 80% of the French cavalry was similarly accoutred!

So what of Ligonday??  Not much information - but some really interesting original sources gave me the following..... and his name has various spellings; I've seen Lizondez/Ligondes/Ligonday

I like the grey second from the left...  quite pleased with that...

I know his full name was the Chevalier (Sir) Michael de Ligonday (I'll stick with that though I think this is an Anglicized version of his actual French name Ligondès), that he was a Knight of Malta, and a member of the House of Auvergne (the same family as the noted French general the Vicomte de Turenne).

From the Histoire des chevaliers hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem ..., Volume 7 - year 1689

"Michel de Ligondès le 22 juillet: d'azur semé de mollettes d'or, au lion rampant de même. Combraille"

..which is the reference to when he was knighted (22nd July 1689), then his coat of arms, and that he came from Combraille (about as central as you can get on a map of France)

He was captured after Blenheim and sent as prisoner to Britain.

While here it would appear he married the widow of the 5th Viscount Killmorey, Frances (maiden name Fowler); this was her third marriage as she'd also previously been married to Theophilus Earl of Huntington (who died 1701)

"thirdly the Chevalier de Ligonday Colonel or Horse one of the French Prifoners taken with Count Tallard at the Battle of Hockstet (Blenheim)....

I found a reference on-line to an extract from "A brief historical relation of state affairs, from September 1678 to April 1714" as follows:

Gaspard du Ligondes
"April 1706 The following 7 French prisoners of war are come hither from Nottingham, having obtained her majesties leave to goe for France on their parole of honour, to return in 6 months, the chevallier de Ligonday, marquesse de St. Second, marqaesse de Marivaux, marquesse de la Masselir, marquesse de Armigny, marquis de Valsene, and the count de Tallard"

..the marriage was sometime before July 1706 so occurred while he was on parole - there is also the following interesting statement:

"This marriage was regarded by the Government and the Queen as a grave "affront done to her authority." see The Complete Peerage vol. 6 p. 660"

He was the second son of Gaspard du Ligondes
(1633-1709) and according to the only web site I've found that has information on him he was:
  • commisioned as a cornet in the cavalry regiment Mestre de Camp in 1690
  • lieutenant in 1691, 
  • captain in 1692, 
  • major of the regiment Ligondès in 1701
  • colonel of the same regiment in 1703
  • he was given the regiment by his father on May 10, 1704, "after several brilliant actions". 
Ligonday died in 1717, and Frances died December 27th 1723 (while taking the waters at Bath)  so they were married just 11 years before he died - but despite her being 42 when they married, they had two children Jean & Marie Antoinette, but from what I can tell only Antoinette survived.

Figures are 15mm and from Freikorps [clicky](they are actually sold under their Seven years war range but at this scale the later period is hardly noticeable) - simple paint job..  I went with azure blue saddle cloths and pistol covers in homage to the Ligonday coat of arms which has an azure blue background..


  1. Another splendid unit! I can see why people get sucked into this period!

    1. Legatus - all the colour and pageantry of the later black powder periods without the more complex uniforms to paint..... I have to confess I really enjoy it...

  2. Freikorps seem to be overlooked, which is a shame because you have made a terrific job. It would be so easy to get sucked into the "big hair period" as LH says!

    1. Matt - would love to see what you can do with this period...! The Freikorps figures are hugely underated - no one seems to use them which I think is a shame as this figure in particular works really well - they look like they mean business...

  3. Another well written and inforamtive piece. Nice work with the figures too.

    1. Cheers Paul - it was your blog that provided the initial impetus for this project... as for the information, one of the things I most enjoy about this period is the huge characters that walked the stage.... in this case a minor French noble who you can still trace through the web, in original documents, and who almost comes alive the more you read...

  4. I like the name "Marquis de Silly". I've got to use that one some day.

    1. Fritz - Pythonesque in the extreme - and ripe fruit for a walk on part in one of Stokes's stories....

  5. Top job Steve, grey with red cuffs sounds right to me for most French cavalry.

    1. Ray - from what I can tell you're bang on... other than the Royal regiments in blue there were very few that weren't grey/red... it's OK though, I tend to let my imagination go with the saddle cloths and that provides some colour variation....

  6. A fine looking squadron. Part of the Silly Brigade? Some names translate better than others don't they?

  7. Very nice looking regiment, with a great presentation! Good work!