Frisia Dragoons

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Origin and History

This tercio of dragoons was raised in Flanders on February 7 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97) by the Prince of Steenhuysen. In 1690, it took part in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the Battle of Leuze; in 1692, in the Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen, in 1694, in the siege of Huy; in 1695, in the attack on the Fort Kenoque.

On March 31 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), all Spanish dragoon tercios serving in the Spanish Netherlands were reorganised along the lines of the French dragoon regiments at the request of the Maréchal de Boufflers. In 1702, the regiment took part in an engagement near Nijmegen; in 1703, in the sieges of Alt-Breisach and Landau and in the Combat of Speyerbach; in 1705, in the siege and capture of Huy and in the unsuccessful defence of the Lines of Brabant; in 1706, in the Battle of Ramillies; in 1707, in an attack on the Lines of Stollhofen; and in 1709, in the attack of an Austrian camp at Rumersheim. In 1710, the regiment evacuated the Spanish Netherlands and marched through France to Catalonia. The same year, it campaigned against the insurgents in the region of Rivagorza. It then fought in the battles of Almenar, Saragossa, Brihuega and Villaviciosa. In 1711, the regiment campaigned against the insurgents in the mountains of Aragon and Catalonia. In 1712 and 1713, the regiment continued to campaign in Catalonia. In 1714, it took part in the siege and capture of Barcelona. It then sent detachments to fight the insurgents.

In 1717, a detachment of 50 dragoons of the regiment took part in the reconquest of Sardinia.

On February 1 1718, the regiment was renamed “Frisia”. On 19 June, the entire regiment embarked at Barcelona for Sicily where it took part in the occupation of Palermo, in the siege of Messina and in the blockade of Syracuse. In 1719, it fought in the Battle of Francavilla. In 1720, it evacuated Sicily and returned to Catalonia.

In 1732, the regiment contributed 100 dragoons to the expedition against Oran and Mers-el-Kebir.

In 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment was sent to Italy, landing at Naples. It was soon transferred to Sicily where it occupied Palermo and took part in the blockade of Syracuse. It then returned to Naples and took part in the siege and capture of Capua. In 1735, the regiment once more campaigned in Sicily, taking part in the capture of Syracuse. It then returned to Naples to joined the army assembling for the conquest of Lombardy. In 1736, the regiment retired to Tuscany before embarking for Spain.

In 1739, the regiment was stationed in Jeréz de la Frontera in Andalusia.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment marched from Andalusia, through Catalonia and France to join the Franco-Spanish army assembling for the invasion of Piedmont. In 1742, the regiment took part in the attack of the entrenchments of the Maurienne and Modane. In 1743, it retired from Savoy to Dauphiné. In 1744, it occupied Nice and took part in the attack of the Lines of Montalbano and Villefranche, in the sieges of Demont and Coni, and in the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo. In 1745, it took part in the siege of Tortona, in the Battle of Bassignano and in the siege and capture of Alessandria. In 1746, it was at the siege of the Castle of Milan, in the Battle of Piacenza and in the Battle of Rottofreddo before retiring to Provence. In 1747, the regiment occupied Villefranche and Ventimiglia and fought in the action of Castelazzo.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • no information available yet

On October 28 1765, the regiment was renamed “Villaviciosa”.

Service during the War

In 1762, the regiment was selected to form part of the Army of Extremadura for the planned invasion of Portugal. It was employed to cover and escort the convoys and the artillery. It was at the siege of Elvas and Campomaior. At the end of the campaign, it took up its quarters in Andalusia.



Uniform in 1759 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
the Album de Taccoli of 1759
Headgear black tricorne laced gold with a red cockade fastened with a yellow button
Neck stock white
Coat yellow with yellow buttons under the lapels
Collar none
Shoulder straps yellow aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels red, each with 7 yellow buttons and 6 yellow trimmed buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets with yellow buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 yellow buttons and 3 yellow trimmed buttonholes
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat red with yellow buttons
Breeches red
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt none
Waistbelt none
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard n/a
Footgear black shoes
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red laced with a wide yellow braid decorated with a thin red braid
Housings red laced with a wide yellow braid decorated with a thin red braid
Blanket roll n/a


no information available yet


Musicians probably wore a uniform with reversed colours: red coat with yellow facings.


By 1728 and until 1765, the guidons of the regiment had a blue field

  • obverse: central device consisting of the Royal Arms
  • reverse: a silver escutcheon supported by two leopards


This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 347-365

Other sources

Album de Taccoli, 1759


Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counseling provided for this article.