Cuirassiers du Roy

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Cuirassiers du Roy

Origin and History

The regiment was originally raised on 24 January 1638 by Charles Marquis d'Aumont, during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). As soon as 1656, the regiment was designated as the "Cuirassiers du Roy".

In 1638, the newly raised regiment took part in the siege of Saint-Omer; in 1639, in the siege of Hesdin; in 1640, in the siege of Arras and in the combat of Bapaume; in 1641, in the siege of Aire and Bapaume; in 1643, in the Battle of Rocroi and in the capture of Thionville. At the end of 1643, it was sent to Poitou to quench some troubles. In 1644, it was sent to the Rhine and was at the sieges of Freiburg, Speyer, Philippsburg and Landau.

In 1645, during the Franco-Spanish War (1635-59), the regiment took part in the capture of Cassel, Mardyk, Lencke, Bourbourg, Menin, Béthune and Saint-Venant; in 1645, in the sieges of Courtrai, Bergues and Dunkerque; in 1647, in the sieges of Lens and La Bassée; and in 1648, in the sieges of Arras and Ypres, and in the Battle of Lens.

In 1649, during the Troubles of the Fronde (1648-53), the regiment took part in the blockade of Paris, in the combat of Charenton, and in the sieges of Cambrai and Condé; and in 1650, in the relief of Guise and Mouzon, and in the Battle of Rethel.

In 1651 and 1652, the regiment garrisoned Boulogne. In 1653, it was at the siege of Saint-Ménehould.

In 1654, the regiment took part in the siege of Stenay and Arras; in 1655, in the capture of Landrecies, Condé and Saint-Ghislain; in 1656, in the relief of Valenciennes; and in 1657, in the siege of Montmédy. In 1658, it was at the siege of Dunkerque and at the Battle of the Dunes.

On 18 April 1661, the regiment was reduced to a single company.

On 2 December 1665, the “Cuirassiers du Roy” were re-established as a full-strength regiment.. It was the sole French cavalry regiment to wear the full cuirass over the coat.

In 1666, the regiment was at the camp of Compiègne.

In 1667, at the outbreak of the War of Devolution (1667-68), the regiment took part in the conquest of various places in Flanders; and in 1668, in the conquest of Franche-Comté. At the end of the war, it occupied Lille and Courtrai and was reduced one more time to a single company.

In February 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment was re-established to six companies. In 1672, it took part in the passage of the Rhine at Tholhuys, in the capture of Orsoy and Rheinberg; in 1673, in the siege of Maastricht; and in 1674, in the Battle of Seneffe, where it distinguished itself. In 1675, the regiment covered the sieges of Dinant, Huy and Limbourg; in 1676, the sieges of Condé, Bouchain and Aire. In 1677, it was at the capture of Valenciennes, at the Battle of Cassel and at the capitulation of Saint-Omer and Cambrai. In 1678, it served before Ghent and Ypres and fought in the Battle of Saint-Denis.

In 1680, the regiment was at the camp of Artois; in 1681 and 1682, in Lower Alsace. In 1683 it was at the camp of the Saône

In 1684, it covered the operations at the siege of Luxembourg. In 1685, 1686 and 1687, the regiment was at the camp of the Saône and took part in the sieges of Courtrai and Dixmude. In 1684, it was before Luxembourg. From 1685 to 1688, it was at the camp of the Saône.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment joined the Army of Germany and took part in the siege of Philippsburg, Mannheim, and Frankenthal in Palatinate. From 1689 to 1691, it campaigned on the Rhine; in 1692, on the Moselle and in Flanders, where it took part in the siege of Namur. In 1693, if fought in the Battle of Landen; in 1694 and 1696, it served on the Rhine; and in 1697, it campaigned in Flanders.

In 1698, the regiment was at the camp near Compiègne.

At the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted 3 squadrons.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the king was the nominal Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the successive Mestres de Camp Lieutenants commanding the regiment were:

  • from March 1697: Marquis de Bonneval
  • 4 January 1710 to 25 November 1734: César-Antoine de La Luzerne, Comte de Beuzeville

Service during the War

In 1702, the regiment took part in the campaign in Northern Italy.

On 15 August 1703, according to Susane, the regiment was at the Battle of Luzzara.

On 11 January 1704, the regiment fought at Castelnuovo de Bormia. In June and July, it was at the Siege of Vercelli. In August and September, it took part in the Siege of Ivrea.

From October 1704 to April 1705, the regiment took part in the Siege of Verrua.

In June and July 1705, the regiment was at the siege and capture of Chivasso. On 16 August, it fought in the Battle of Cassano.

On 7 September 1706, the regiment was present at the disastrous Battle of Turin. In this battle, its mestre de camp, the Marquis de Bonneval was taken prisoner while Captain de Rochechouart was killed in action. Lieutenant-Colonel de Langeais took command of the regiment and the French army was forced to retire towards France.

In 1707, the regiment was transferred to the Rhine at the camp of Offenburg. It then served on this theatre of operation until 1712, when it was transferred to Flanders.

In 1713, the regiment took part in the campaign on the Rhine and was at the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform Details as per Susane
Headgear black tricorne laced gold
Neck stock probably a white cravate
Coat blue lined red with gilt buttons
Collar none
Shoulder straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with gilt buttons
Cuffs red cuffs with gilt buttons
Turnbacks none
Gloves buff
Waistcoat none
Breeches kid (goat leather)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black soft boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with a braid at the king's livery
Housings blue bordered with a braid at the king's livery
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre. They wore the full cuirass.

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field embroidered and fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; one golden fleur de lys in each corner.

Tentative Reconstruction
Regimental Standard - Copyright: Kronoskaf


References

Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 328-329

Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 2, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, pp. 65-75