Fourneau Cavalry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Fourneau Cavalry

Origin and History

The unit was raised in Flanders on 7 March 1649 by the Prince of Hesse-Homburg under the name of “Tercio de corazas del pais”. In 1653, it became Bateville; in 1667, Trautmannsdorf; in 1669, Quincy; in 1675, d'Andignies; in 1676, Bethencourt; and in 1693, Fourneau.

On 12 March 1649, shortly after its creation, the unit was part of the army who entered into France and took position at Badencourt on the Oise River. It took part in the capture of Ypres and in the sieges of Cambrai and La Motte-aux-Bois. In 1650, it participated in the unsuccessful siege of Guise and in the capture of Chapelle and Mouzon; in 1651, in the march on Paris and in the siege of Gravelines; in 1652, in the capture of Gravelines and in the siege and capture of Dunkerque; in 1653, in the siege of Rocroi; in 1654, in the unsuccessful siege of Arras; in 1656, in the relief of Valenciennes and in the siege and capture of Condé; in 1657, in the attack of Ardres; and in 1658, in the Battle of the Dunes.

In 1667, at the beginning of the War of Devolution (1667–68), the unit took part in an attempt to relieve Furnes.

In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the unit took part in the defence of Maastricht. In 1674, it participated in the Battle of Seneffe and in the siege of Oudenarde; in 1675, in the defence of Saint-Omer; in 1676, in the defence of Condé and in an attempt to relieve Bouchain; in 1677, in the Battle of Cassel and in the unsuccessful siege of Charleroi; and in 1678, in the Battle of Saint-Denis.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the unit took part in the Battle of Walcourt and in the defence of the Lines of Montigny; in 1690, in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the defence of Mons; in 1692, in the Battle of Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen; and in 1695, in the siege of Namur.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • since 25 August 1693: Ignace de Fourneau (promoted to maréchal de camp in 1703)
  • from 29 March 1703: Adrien François de Brabant, Comte de Glymes (sent to Spain in 1704 to serve as captain in the Reales Guardias Valonas, promoted to colonel of this regiment in 1746, died in 1754)
  • from 1704: de Fraineau
  • from 19 November 1706: Don Lorenzo de Corral
  • from 25 December 1716: Domenico Acquaviva y Aragon, Duke de Atri

In 1718, the regiment became “Farnesio Cavalry”. The regiment was disbanded in Badajoz on 15 December 1823.

Service during the War

In the Spring of 1701, the 2 squadrons of the tercio were stationed in the Spanish Netherlands.

In February 1702, the tercio was stationed in the Electorate of Cologne. In April 1702, it was reorganised as a regiment with 4 squadrons, each of 4 companies. As of 17 September 1702, the regiment was part of Tallard's Corps which had been detached from Boufflers' Army for an offensive on the Lower Rhine.

By 4 May 1703, the regiment was attached to the field army of Maréchal de Villeroy and Maréchal de Boufflers, in Egmont's Brigade in the second line of the cavalry right wing. By 13 October, the regiment was part of the force posted at Namur.

In 1704, the regiment campaigned in Alsace.

In 1705, the regiment served in the Franco-Spanish army of the Maréchal de Villeroy who laid siege to Huy on the banks of the Meuse. The outworks were stormed by the infantry. During the siege, the regiment acted as grand guard and patrolled around the place until its surrender on June 1.

In 1706, the regiment was posted in the Lines of Stokel.

In 1707, the regiment formed part of the detachment of the Count de Vivans who advanced from Brabant into Swabia.

In 1708, the regiment was sent to Flanders to join the army of the Duc de Bourgogne. The regiment was then attached to La Motte's Corps and, on 28 September, took part in the Engagement of Wijnendale. It later followed the army in its retreat towards Mons.

In 1709, the regiment was attached to Villars' Army and, on 11 September, took part in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1710, the regiment was transferred from Flanders to Catalonia. It was soon allocated to the Army of Extremadura.

In 1711, the regiment campaigned in Portugal.

In 1712, the regiment returned to Spain and took part in the campaign in Catalonia.


Very little is known about the uniform of this regiment to the exception that the uniform was white with blue as its distinctive colour. We don't know the “metal colour” of the regiment.


Uniforms of officers differed from those of privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Their waistcoat, saddle cloth and housings were edged with a wide golden braid. They always wore a tricorne notwithstanding the headgear worn by soldiers.

The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • colonel: a baton with a gold knob
  • lieutenant-colonel: a baton with a silver knob
  • sargento mayor: a baton with a silver topped knob
  • captain: silver or golden epaulettes (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on both shoulders
  • lieutenant: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the right shoulder
  • cornet: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the left shoulder


The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • sergeant : baton without knob and halberd
  • mariscal de logis (quartermaster): small woolen epaulette (red or of the distinctive colour of the regiment)
  • brigadier: swagger stick
  • corporal of squadron: swagger stick
  • second corporal of squadron (rank suppressed in 1706): swagger stick


no information found yet


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. XIV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 277-292

Other sources

Dragonas Magazine

Caballipedia - Regimiento de Caballería Farnesio

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.


Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article.