Thursday, January 30, 2020

Lord Grandison’s Regiment of Horse

The Lydiard portrait of Grandison,
school of Anthony van Dyck, c. 1640
The sixth regiment of horse to join the project as a whole, the third for the Royalists, and these guys will bring parity back between the two sides...  welcome return to the glorious Peter Pig figures for this unit, who represent Lord Grandison's Regiment of Horse at Edgehill..

Both Young ("Edgehill"), and Scott, Turton and Gruber ("Edgehill: The Battle Reinterpreted") say the regiment was about 200 men strong in 4 troops at the battle, the ECW Wiki site [clicky] agrees with them all - but I suspect they are all going with Young..

The Colonel of the regiment was William Villiers, Second Viscount Grandison; by all accounts something of a veteran having already led a troop of horse in the First and Second Bishops' War.

He raised this regiment for the King in August 1642, and it had already seen action at Nantwich [clicky] where, with an additional regiment of Dragoons, Grandison had managed to capture the town from the Parliamentary garrison. He abandoned the town in order to join the King at Edgehill.

The Regiment was in the front line of the Royalist left wing at the battle, under the overall command of Wilmot. That wing of cavalry had charged at the same time as Rupert on the other wing and with the same results..  the Parliamentary troops were outnumbered and quickly gave way. Wilmot's cavalry then proceeded to chase them all the way to Kineton, where they then started looting the Parliamentarian baggage. In their favour Grandison and Lucas rallied about 200 men, but when they tried to charge the Parliamentarian rear, they were distracted by fugitives from Charles Essex's routed brigade (which we've heard of already).

One other story of note - during the battle the Kings standard bearer Sir Edward Verney was killed and the Royal standard captured - a Captain John Smith along with two others (Welch was one, don't know the other) managed to recapture it and for that service he was knighted on the field. Smith served in Grandison's, and following the battle Grandison gave him his own troop, and promoted him major.

After Edgehill, the regiment was sent as part of the garrison of Winchester, but in December 1643 Sir William Waller surprised Lord Grandison’s regiment in Winchester (on his advance to Chichester), and captured most of its men, Grandison and a few of his officers managing to escape.  

"....Lord Grandison by the miscarriage of orders was exposed at too great a distance from the army with his single regiment of horse consisting of three hundred and a regiment of two hundred dragoons to the unequal encounter of a party of the enemy of five thousand horse and dragoons and so was himself after a retreat made to Winchester there taken with all his party which was the first loss of that kind the King sustained but without the smallest fault of the commander and the misfortune was much lessened by his making an escape himself with two or three of his principal officers who were very welcome to Oxford ..." from 'Portraits of Illustrious Personages of Great Britain Volume 6'
By Edmund Lodge (published 1835)

After his escape he was made Colonel General of Foot in the Oxford Army under Lord Forth, but was mortally wounded leading an infantry brigade at the storm of Bristol - he died a couple of months later from a fever related to the injury.

Clearly a brave and dedicated man to the cause of the King, but as Bonaparte was to say "was he lucky"?

One last interesting story - his daughter, Barbara (Villiers), was to become mistress to Chales II...

Eight Peter Pig cavalry - 15mm - painted January 2020

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The French Army of the Orient 1798-1801 "Napoleon's Beloved Egyptians" - a review..

Bought this at Warfare as I have had a prolonged fascination with this theatre of the Napoleonic wars for years, but have never really delved into the history.

A superb book, so good in fact that I thought it deserved a full review rather than just losing it among the book reviews over there to the left..

Yves Martin is not a professional historian or author (in fact it sounds like in his real work he's in the same line of business as I am), but nonetheless this is absolutely stunning..  the level of detail and research is second to none..

The subject of the book is the French army that Napoleon took to Egypt, and which was subsequently stranded there by the Royal Navy's victory at the Nile under Nelson.

He describes the make up of the army through the 3 main periods of the occupation, the Bonaparte period, the Kleber period (after Bonaparte abandoned them to return to Europe to pursue political goals on the main stage), and the post Kleber period under (who seems to me to be) the largely inept Menou before the army was repatriated to Europe by of all organisations, the Royal Navy following the capitulation by Menou after the Battle of Alexandria..

He has detailed orders of battles for all campaigns and stages of the occupation; details on the organisation of all the arms of service including the auxiliary forces The French recruited (the Greek Legion, the Coptic Legion, the Guides, and most intriguing of all the Dromedaires (the picture on the front of the book,  above, is of them) a forerunner of Kitchener's Camel Corps, and the Foreign Legion forces of similar tactical role..

What Martin especially does well on though is detail on the uniforms - being stranded the wrong side of the Mediterranean from their usual clothing supplies/sources, the French army resorted to local materials in whatever colour was available and the result is stunning. Martin has included lots of colour plates depicting the various regiments, and the level of research is such that the French even kept samples of the cloth in their archives so that he could reconstruct them more accurately!

Found this on Pinterest - one army, every uniform colour under the rainbow...
.. huge amounts of detail, lots and lots of colourful uniform detail, orders of battle, and interesting snippets on how the French army was organised and fought in Egypt and Syria. very much recommended.. Steve the Wargamer rates this one as 9 out of 10 ...  

Sunday, January 12, 2020

RIP Neil

...another one gone far too early..

Heard through the media that Neil Peart had died...  Neil was the drummer with rock band Rush who were a hugely formative, and important part pf the younger Steve the Wargamers life...  I remember to this day getting the vinyl copy of 2112 from my friends at school for my 16th birthday (and I still have it)...   never met him or any of the band personally, had the great fortune to see them play a few times, but they were an integral part of mine and my friends lives for a good number of years, and it feels like someone you knew well has gone...  😢

Best wishes and thoughts to the rest of the band, and Neil's family, and thanks Neil (wherever you are now..) for all the musical shivers down the spine, the moments when basically your/their music just made you want to jump up and down for the joy of it, or just sitting in a darkened room nodding your head along with a huge smile.. 


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Lord Mandeville’s Regiment of Foot..

Edward Montagu, Viscount Mandeville, the
2nd Earl of Manchester by Sir Peter Lely,
circa 1661-1665
'though his Lordship beseeched them, yea cudgelled them'.. 

Lord Wharton's speech to Parliament 
following the  battle

These represent the third regiment from the ill fated Charles Essex's brigade.. 

The regiment was raised by Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, Viscount Mandeville, but distinguished itself (according to  Young in "Edgehill 1642") only by the speed with which it quit the field in the face of the advancing Royalist infantry at Edgehill despite the efforts of the aforesaid, as quoted by Wharton above..!

Mandeville went on to form another regiment of foot in the Eastern Association (Cromwell's boys) in 1643.

He was also, by the way, one of the five members of Parliament that the King attempted to arrest in the preceding January ("the birds have flown")

Returns show that in October 1642 (after Edgehill) they numbered 705 rank and file, but in "Edgehill 1642: The Battle Reinterpreted" (Eric Gruber von Arni, Christopher L. Scott, Alan Turton) they have the regiment numbering 600. I suspect the latter rather than the former...

The regiment was then, present (for a while ) at Edgehill, and  was also present at Turnham Green in the November, but it was disbanded after Turnham Green - Young reasons that it could have been because of their poor showing at Edgehill but as we have already seen there were plenty of other Parliamentary foot regiments that performed as badly, or worse, and weren't disbanded..

The figures are mostly Minifigs (all the pike, the firing muskets, and the officers) with a leavening of Peter Pig (second rank of muskets - they were left over dismounted dragoons but with a paint conversion job they do) - painted late December '19/January '20..  the Minifigs were nice, they scale well (as you can see) but the pikes are stupidly long and bendy so I trimmed them down to scale with the Pigs...  I think going forward I will focus on building further units with the Peter Pigs - they are unbeatable for character, sculpt, and they also benefit from being one of the newer/later ranges so uniform detail is more accurate (amazing how many ranges have musketeers in helm for example)

Cavalry next..


Sunday, January 05, 2020

...and yet more terrain...

Second one, this one is 15S-EAW-105 [clicky] - another semi detached 2 story...  no mods to speak of except that I mixed the right colour to paint in the edges of the tabs on the roof edges and ridge, but again I left the walls as I like the effect of the interlocked bricks...

Says it's a two story but in effect you get three floors ..  the only "issue" I had was that the fit of the eaves of the black roof (on the right following) is tight on the layer below...

Lovely..  one more to go and the job is largely done and I can probably scrap the venerable old terraces that I built the Lord only knows how long ago...