Tercio de Madrid

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

Origin and History

The tercio was raised in Madrid on 1 May 1703 for the “Maestre de campo” Don Pedro Ronquillo. It consisted of only 600 men.

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

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

  • from 1 May 1703: Don Pedro Ronquillo
  • from 24 May 1704: Don Antonio de Ureta y Ayanz
  • from 1707: Don Juan Antonio de Aranda

On 20 April 1715, the regiment was disbanded and incorporated in the “Regimiento de Guadalajara” as its second battalion.

On 10 February 1718, the former “Regimiento de Osuna” took the name of “Regimiento de Madrid” but it was disbanded a few years later on 22 February 1721.

Service during the War

In 1703, the tercio joined the Army of Extremadura.

In 1704, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Madrid”. This regiment took part in the invasion of Portugal. From 8 May, it participated in the siege and capture of Salvatierra. A detachment attacked Idanha-a-Nova while the rest of the unit took part in the siege and capture of Monsanto. The reunited regiment was then assigned to the garrison of Monsanto. It took part in the assault on the entrenched camp of Sarcedas where two Dutch battalions were taken prisoners. The regiment was then assigned to the corps of the newly promoted Maréchal de camp Don Pedro Ronquillo who made a diversion against Idanha-a-Nova, and Monsanto.

In 1705, the regiment formed part of the army of the Maréchal de Tessé who relieved Badajoz, besieged by the Allies. The regiment then reinforced the garrison of Badajoz.

On the night of 15 to 16 February 1706, the grenadiers and piquets of the regiment formed part of the force of Don Baltasar de Moscoso who attacked a detachment of Portuguese cavalry posted near Albuquerque, capturing two companies. When Archduke Charles of Austria advanced on Madrid with an Allied army, the regiment set off from Badajoz and force marched to join Berwick's army assembling at Atienza. On 19 June, this army arrived at Atienza. In the order of battle, the regiment was posted in the second line in the brigade of Don Tomás de Vicentello. The regiment entered triumphantly into Madrid. It was then attached to the division of Lieutenant-General Geoffreville who attacked Elche. On 21 October, the place opened its gates. Geoffreville then detached Brigadier Medinilla with a force (including the regiment) against Orihuela who capitulated on 27 October. The regiment then garrisoned Cartagena but, when it became necessary to reinforce the corps operating in Castile, it joined this force.

From 20 September 1707, the regiment took part in the siege of Ciudad-Rodrigo who surrendered on 4 October. It then returned to Cartagena to reinforce its garrison.

In 1708, the regiment was sent to the coast of North Africa to defend the places of Oran and Mazalquivir (present-day Mers el Kebir) against the Moors. However, Oran capitulated on 21 January and Mazalquivir on 3 April and the regiment re-embarked for Cartagena.

In 1709, the regiment was reorganised in Cartagena. On 9 July, a second battalion was added to the unit.

In 1710, the regiment reinforced the Army of Catalonia commanded by King Philip V. This army was forced to retire into Aragon. On 20 August, the regiment fought in the disastrous Battle of Saragossa and then retired to Old Castile. It was then reorganised and in mid-October rejoined the king at Plasencia on the frontier of Portugal. On December 9, it took part in the combat of Briguega. On 10 December, it fought in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa where it was deployed in the centre of the second line.

From 1711 to 1713, the regiment assumed garrison duty in several places and protected the lines of communication of the army.

In 1714, the regiment joined the army besieging Barcelona.


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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. 102-114