Tercio de Guipúzcoa

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Tercio de Guipúzcoa

Origin and History

On 29 December 1702, King Philip V asked the Province of Guipúzcoa to raise a tercio. This tercio was raised on 19 January 1703 for the “Maestre de campo” Don Tomás Idiaquez. It was designated as the “Tercio de Guipúzcoa” and consisted of 60 men in twelve companies.

In February 1704, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Guipúzcoa”.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the tercio was under the command of:

  • from 1703: Don Tomás Idiaquez y Peñarica (formerly colonel of a cavalry regiment in Flanders)
  • from at least 1707: Don Carlos de Areizaga
  • from 12 April 1712: Don Luis de Guendica

On 20 April 1715, the regiment incorporated troops of the disbanded “Regimiento de Vizcaya” and the “Regimiento de Alava”. The regiment was then renamed “Regimiento de Cantabria”.

Service during the War

On 16 May 1703, the new tercio was reviewed for the first time at Salinas. From 16 to 22 May, it marched to Madrid in three columns. On 11 June, it was reviewed by the king on the Plaza del Retiro. Afterwards, the regiment marched to Cádiz.

In 1704, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Guipúzcoa”. It joined the Army of Extremadura for the planned invasion of Portugal. On 7 May, this army laid siege to Salvatierra. The regiment took part in the capture of Segura where it was allocated to the division of General Marquis de Risbourg. It was later transferred, at Penha-Garcia, into the division of the Count de Aguilar. At Idanha-a-Nova, it was incorporated in the column of Don José Salazar who captured Monsanto and attacked Castelo Branco on 22 May. On 28 May, it stormed the entrenched camp of Sárcedas. On 8 June, the regiment marched to Portalegre to participate in the siege of the place. On 12 June, it was at the siege of Castelo de Vide.

In 1705, a detachment of the regiment took part in the defence of Albuquerque who capitulated on 22 May. The detachment was allowed to rejoin the main army in Extremadura. It was thrown into Badajoz. On 2 October, the Allies invested Badajoz but were forced to abandon the siege when the Maréchal de Tessé arrived with a relief force. They retired on Olivenza. The regiment was immediately sent to reinforce the troops operating in the Kingdom of Valencia and was stationed in Játiva. On 12 December, Játiva was attacked by Basset and Ramos and the regiment was forced to retire to Extremadura.

On 15 December 1706, the regiment was part of the corps of General Armendariz who surprised and captured the town of Alcántara

In February 1707, the tercio was renamed “Regimiento de Cantabria”. The same year, it formed part of the army who laid siege to Ciudad-Rodrigo in mid-September. On 4 October, it took part in the storming of the place where 2,000 Allied soldiers were taken prisoners. The regiment was then allocated to the garrison of Ciudad-Rodrigo.

In 1709, the regiment was attached to the Army of Extremadura where it was brigaded under Don Feliciano Bracamonte in the first line. On 7 May, it took part in the Battle of La Gudiña. It then went to the blockade of Olivenza.

In 1710, the regiment took part in the storming of Carvajales. However after the disastrous Battle of Saragossa (20 August), it received orders to rejoin the army in Aragon to fight the insurgents.

In 1711, the regiment entered into Catalonia and garrisoned Mequinenza. From this place, it marched to Lérida. In Aragon as well as in Catalonia, it escorted convoys, a gruelling and difficult service that it performed with singular courage. The regiment was then ordered to join the Army of Extremadura. In June, it was at the bombardment of Elvas. Its grenadiers were attached to the corps of Lieutenant-General Don Domingo Recco to intercept Portuguese couriers in the region of Villaviciosa and Borba.

In 1712, the regiment took part in the siege of Campo Mayor. On 28 September, it opened the trenches. When the siege was abandoned, it took up cantonments in Plasencia.

On 17 August 1713, the king ordered the regiment to leave its cantonments at Plasencia and to join the Army of Aragon. Soon afterwards, the regiment was transferred to the Army of Catalonia to escort convoys between Barcelona and the camps of Tarragona, Cervera and Igualada.

In 1714, the regiment took part in the blockades of Oliana and Solsona. On 3 May, the grenadier company was part of the force of the General Marquis de Thoy who drove the insurgents from a height near Solsona. The regiment then occupied Solsona where it was blockaded for four months by the insurgents until the surrender of Barcelona.


At its first review, on 16 May 1703, the uniform of the regiment is described as: yellow laced hat with a red and blue cord at the basis of the crown; linen neck stock; blue coat lined red with red cuffs and copper buttons with blue silk loops; blue and red ribbons on the right shoulder; red waistcoat; red breeches; blue stockings fastened with a red strap with a buckle; leather waist belt to carry the sword and bayonet; shoulder belt with a cartridge pouch; leather buckle shoes. The grenadiers carried a sabre instead of a sword.


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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.

In the infantry, officers wore a silver or gold gorget and a spontoon.

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: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • lieutenant: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • sub-lieutenant: baton with a horn band and a silver ring


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

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


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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. XI, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 58-66