Regiment te Voet van Zijne Majesteit

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Dutch Army >> Regiment te Voet van Zijne Majesteit

Origin and History

The unit can trace its origins to the regiment raised by Ernst Casimir Count van Nassau on 2 January 1599. Until 1674, it was known by the name of its successive colonel-commanders.

In 1672, a guard regiment, the “Regiment Garde te Voet van Zijne Hoogheid” (aka Garde Oranien te Voet) of one battalion was raised. It incorporated the old “Compagnie Garde te Voet”, which had been created in 1573.

In August 1674, the commander of the regiment was killed in action at the Battle of Seneffe. The same year, the regiment was amalgamated with the former Nassau Regiment as its first battalion and the former guard unit as its second.

In 1689, the regiment was transferred to the English service when William of Orange became king of England as William III. It was then known as “His Majesty's Guard Regiment of Foot.”

In 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), elements of the regiment distinguished themselves at the battles of the Boyne and of Fleurus and at the siege of Limerick.

In 1699, the regiment was transferred from the English to the Dutch service (Province of Holland). On 16 June 1701, it was renamed “Regiment te Voet van Zijne Majesteit.”

At the death of William III, in 1702, the regiment was renamed the “Hollandsche Gardes.”

On the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment consisted of 26 companies, each of 80 men (including officers) for a total of 2,080 men.

Since its creation, the successive colonel-commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 2 January 1599: Ernst Casimir, Count van Nassau
  • from 12 May 1631: Hendrik Casimir, Count van Nassau
  • from 21 January 1641: Johan Albrecht, Count van Solms
  • from 17 August 1646: Hendrik Trajectinus, Count van Solms
  • from 1 September 1693: Ferdinand Willem Duke van Würtemberg-Teck (retired on 7 June 1701)
  • from 12 June 1701: Walrad Count van Nassau-Ottweiler(retired on 15 January 1705)
  • from 11 April 1704: [[Nassau-Ouwerkerk, Hendrik van|Hendrik Count van Nassau-Ouwerkerk (died on 18 October 1708)
  • from 18 October 1708 to 20 December 1715: vacant

The regiment was disbanded in 1795.

Service during the War

In 1701, two battalions of the the regiment garrisoned Steenbergen and its third battalion, Delft.

By 7 July 1702, two battalions of the regiment formed part of the Allied Army encamped at Nijmegen. It was attached to Bernsdorff's Brigade. At the end of September, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Roermond. In October, it was at the siege and capture of the Citadel Liège. In December, one battalion was quartered in The Hague.

In 1703, the second and third battalion garrisoned Heusden and The Hague. By 1 December, two battalions of the regiment were quartered in Delft and The Hague.

In 1704, the second battalion garrisoned The Hague, while two battalions were posted on the Meuse River.

By 1705, the regiment consisted of a staff of 15 men and three battalions. Each battalion comprised 11 musketeer companies (each of 66 men) and 1 grenadier company (66 men):

  • Staff
    • 1 colonel
    • 1 lieutenant-colonel
    • 1 major
    • 1 regimental quartermaster
    • 1 chaplain
    • 1 adjudant
    • 1 regimental surgeon
    • 1 regimental drummer
    • 6 oboists
    • 1 provost
    • 1 servant
  • 3 grenadier companies, each of:
    • 1 captain
    • 1 lieutenant
    • 1 ensign
    • 2 sergeants
    • 2 drummers
    • 1 sollicitor
    • 55 grenadiers
    • 3 servants
  • 33 musketeer companies, each of:
    • 1 captain (1 captain-lieutenant in the colonel company)
    • 1 lieutenant
    • 1 ensign
    • 2 sergeants
    • 2 drummers
    • 1 sollicitor
    • 55 musketeers
    • 3 servants

In 1705, one battalion of the regiment took part in the defence of Liège.

On 23 May 1706, the regiment distinguished itself in the Battle of Ramillies where it was deployed on the left wing, under the command of Colonel Wertmuller. During this battle, it stormed two villages occupied by the French. From 7 June to 8 July, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Ostend. From 23 July to 28 August, a battalion of the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Menin. From 20 September to 2 October, the second and third battalions took part in the siege and capture of Ath.

In 1707, the entire regiment spend the campaign in the camps of Lembeck and then Meldert.

On 11 July 1708, the first and second battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. From 12 August to 10 December, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Lille.

On 11 September 1709, the three battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet, where they suffered heavy losses.

In 1711, the regiment garrisoned Breda. It then encamped at Flines.

From 5 August to 12 September 1711, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Bouchain.

By May 1712, the regiment formed part of the army of Prince Eugène de Savoie in Flanders, where it was deployed in the centre of the first line.

In 1713, the first and second battalion garrisoned Heusden.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform circa 1700 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details circa 1700 as per Belaubre
Headgear
Fusilier black felt hat without lace
Grenadier no information available
Neck stock red
Coat blue with pale orange lining and with tin buttons from top to bottom on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with tin buttons (we assumed 3 in our plate)
Cuffs pale orange, each with 2 tin buttons
Turnbacks none (it seems that the basques of the coat could be turned back if needed but this was a rare practice during this period)
Waistcoat pale orange with tin buttons from top to bottom
Breeches pale orange
Stockings pale orange
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather, worn above the coat
Cartridge Pouch natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard natural leather
Scabbard natural leather
Footwear black shoes fastened with a strap and buckle


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet; and a sword.

In 1702, when the regiment was renamed the “Hollandsche Gardes,” its distinctive colour was changed from pale orange to poppy red. The buttonholes of the coat were decorated white lace loops; and the waistcoat and breeches became white.

NCOs

no information available

Officers

Officers wore a uniform similar to the one of the rank and file but of a better quality.

Musicians

no information available

Colours

Colonel Colour: white field, centre device consisting of a red lion passant on a yellow shield surmounted with a golden crown and surrounded by a blue circle carrying the motto “???”; the whole centre device surrounded by a golden laurel wreath; each corner device consisting of bundle of golden arrows tied with a red ribbon and a branch of golden laurels.

References

Anon.: Nederlandse Infanterieuniformen Omstrreks 1700

Belaubre, Jean, Dr. de Wilde-Leyen, and Claus-Peter Goldberg: Die Vereinigten Niederlande, pp. 74, 77

Pelet and François Eugène de Vault: Mémoires militaires relatifs à la Succession d'Espagne sous Louis XIV, Vol. 1 p. 449

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 1. Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986, p. 560.

Wikipedia – Dutch Blue Guards

Acknowledgments

Mathias Kussmann for additional information on this regiment