Tercio de Jaen

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

Origin and History

The tercio was raised in Jaen in 1694 during the Nine Years' War (1688–97). It was immediately sent to Upper Andalusia and marched by Saragossa to join the Army of Catalonia. It then entrenched on the banks of the Ter River under the command of the Duke of Escalona. On 27 May, it took part in the disastrous Battle of Torroella where it suffered heavy losses and was saved by the cavalry which covered its retreat. In 1695, the tercio campaigned once more in Catalonia under the command of the Marquis de Gastañaga, taking part in the blockade of Palamós. At the end of the war, in 1697, the tercio took its cantonments in Catalonia.

In 1699, the “Tercio de Jaen” was transferred from Catalonia to Jaen. It was in very poor conditions.

On 28 September 1704, this tercio formed the basis of a new regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Jaen”.

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

  • from at least 1699: Do José de Riera
  • from ????: Don Tomás Escovar y Aldana

Service during the War

In 1703, the tercio was reorganised in the Province of Jaen.

In 1704, the tercio was sent to Extremadura where it was entrusted with the defence of Valencia de Alcántara. On 28 September, it formed the basis of a new regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Jaen”.

In 1706, the regiment was attached to the Army of Extremadura under the command of the Marquis de Bay. In January, the lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, Don José Baguer, and its major, Don Marcos Santos, led an expedition against Rosmarinhos. On 5 January, their detachment stormed Rosmarinhos and captured a colour. Later the same year, the regiment was assigned to a force under the Mariscal de Campo Don José Armendariz for another expedition. On the night of 14 to 15 December, this expedition surprised and recaptured Alcántara where the regiment remained as garrison.

In 1707, the regiment was transferred from Extremadura to New Castile. On 25 April, it took part in the Battle of Almansa where it was in the Guadalajara Brigade commanded by Don José de Chaves, posted on the right of the second line.

In 1708, the regiment took part in the pacification of the District of Valencia.

In 1710 and 1711, the regiment was posted in Extremadura on the frontier with Portugal.

In 1713, the regiment garrisoned Badajoz. On 17 August, it received orders to march to the District of Valencia where it was incorporated into the former Tercio auxiliar de Flandes as its second battalion. The entire unit taking the name of “Regimiento de Jaen”.


On 30 December 1706, an Ordenanza de Infantería was published. It stipulated that all regular line infantry uniforms would now be white with the colour of the former uniform becoming the distinctive colour used for cuffs and waistcoat. On 28 February 1707, a royal decree reinforced this ordenanza. The new uniform were made in France, so it is very likely that some regiments had not received their new uniforms for the campaign of 1707. In fact, it seems that the officers and musicians of some regiment were still wearing the old uniform in 1707 at the Battle of Almansa, while the rank and file wore the new uniforms.


Uniform circa 1700 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Musketeer black felt cocked hat laced yellow with a red cockade or broad brimmed hat turned up on one side or another
Grenadier no information found
Neckstock white
Coat light grey with white lining and with tin buttons on the right side and 1 tin button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 tin buttons
Cuffs white, each with 3 tin buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat white with tin buttons
Breeches light grey
Stockings white fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters no information found
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard black
Footwear black shoes with a brass buckle

Rank and file were armed with a sword, a bayonet and a musket

According to the Ordenanza de Infantería, from around 1707, the uniform of the regiment would be quite different with a white coat with light grey lining, light grey cuffs, white breeches and light grey stockings.


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. IX, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 160-187


Joseph O’Neill for the information on the new uniforms issued in 1707.