Tercio de Lombardia

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

Origin and History

In 1534 , the Spanish troops operating in Lombardy were designated as a tercio even though their organisation differed from the one of regular tercios. The troops of this new tercio saw their pay significantly increased. The Spanish commander seeing no reason to have another tercio of Spanish infantry in Italy, amalgamated all independent companies coming from Spain or elsewhere to this actual unit. It seems that this tercio was the first one to introduce and pay a bodyguard of German halberdiers.

In 1537, these troops were finally organised as the old tercios and designated as the Tercio ordinario del Estado de Milan.

In 1560, the tercio was renamed "Tercio de Lombardía".

In 1633, the "Tercio de Lombardía" gave birth to the Lombardía, Saboya and Nápoles tercios.

In 1704, the tercio was transformed into a regiment which initially counted a single battalion.

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

  • from 1694: Inigo de la Cruz Fernandez Manrique de Lara y Ramirez de Arellano, Count de Aguilar (promoted to General of Cavalry in 1702)
  • from 1702: Prince Don Francisco Pio de Saboya
  • in 1708, 1709 and 1710: Don José Enriquez Sotelo

Service during the War

In 1701, at the outbreak of the war, the quarters of the tercio were in Novara in Northern Italy. It then joined in the Bourbon Army. On 1 September, the tercio took part in the Battle of Chiari where it was deployed in the right wing of the first line.

In 1702, the tercio formed the personal guard of King Philip V when he took command of the Army of Italy. The tercio passed the Po and took position between the Colorno and Sanguigna. It then rejoined the army who effected a junction with Vendôme's Army. On 26 July, the tercio drove back the Imperialist vanguard near Castel Nuovo. On 28 July, it seized the entrenchments that the Imperialists had established on the Crostolo and advanced to Noverala and Testo. In August, after the Battle of Luzzara, the tercio took part in the capture of the Castle of Luzzara. When the sovereign decided to return to Spain, the tercio escorted him to Casalmaggiore, Lodi and Milan.

In 1703, the tercio took part Vendôme's expedition in South Tyrol and then returned to the Lines of the Adda.

In June 1704, the tercio took part in the siege and capture of Vercelli. On 17 September, it was at the surrender of Ivrea. During the siege, a detachment of the tercio under Captain Juan Serrano had successfully escorted a convoy and repulsed an attack of the Imperialist cavalry. The tercio then took part in the siege of Verrua. The same year, it was transformed into a regiment but kept the name of "Lombardia".

On 10 April 1705, the regiment took part in the capture of Verona.

In 1706, the regiment was assigned to the garrison of Milan.

On 24 February 1707, Lieutenant-Colonel Don Antonio de Castro y Cárdenas, Major Don Geronimo Ordoñez, 6 captains and 6 lieutenants left for Spain where they would recruit new soldiers. On 15 March, the regiment was ordered to evacuate Milan. It was then transported to Spain. On 15 September, it arrived at Perales after marching by Valladolid and Salamanca. It then took part in the difficult siege of Ciudad-Rodrigo during which its grenadiers repulsed a sortie

On 25 September 1708, the regiment was at the capture of Barbacena. At the end of November, it then took part in an expedition against Monforte which was reduced to ashes

On 7 January 1709, the regiment fought in the Battle of Gudiña. It then took part in the siege of Olivenza before retiring to Las Brozas.

On 10 April 1710, the regiment was encamped with the main army at Bótoa, charged to protect the bridge of Gévora located on the left. A detachment took part in the expedition against Miranda de Douro, storming the place on 2 July. On 9 December, it was at the Combat of Brihuega and, on 10 December, at the Combat of Villaviciosa.

In 1711, the regiment joined the Spanish army operating in Catalonia.

In 1712, the regiment fought against parties of insurgents in Catalonia.

In 1713, the second battalion was sent to Valencia while the first took part in the blockade of Barcelona.

In 1714, the first battalion of the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Barcelona.



Uniform circa 1700 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Musketeer black felt tricorne laced white with a red cockade
Grenadier no information found
Neckstock white
Coat white with red 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 red, each with 3 tin buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red with tin buttons
Breeches yellow
Stockings red fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters no information found
Leather Equipement
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


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. VII, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 423-477