Villet Cavalry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Villet Cavalry

Origin and History

On 24 September 1701 in Naples, the Prince di Macchia attempted a pro-Habsburg coup. The Imperialists had promised him to land troops as soon as the coup would start. However, the rebellion was rapidly quenched and its leaders imprisoned. This upheaval revealed the poor state of the troops of the Viceroyalty of Naples which was defended by the regiment Fijo de Napoles (35 companies) and by 30 companies of ordinary and newly raised cavalry.

The viceroy asked for urgent reinforcements from the Duchy of Milan, Catalonia and France.

It is in this context that a new cuirassier regiment of 12 companies was raised in Catalonia for immediate departure. An article published in the “Gaceta de Madrid” on 10 November 1701 mentions that the first four companies of the regiment had embarked for Naples.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • from 16 November 1701 to July 1707: Juan Esteban Villet y de Ganso

In July 1707, the regiment was disbanded after its surrender at Pescara.

Service during the War

On 16 November 1701, four companies of the regiment landed at Naples. On 20 December, four other companies sailed from Barcelona. Upon their arrival in Naples, the eight companies were reorganised in six companies.

By June 1702, the regiment had been brought up to its full strength of 12 companies and had assumed garrison duty in Pescara.

In July 1707, Pescara was besieged by an Imperialist corps under the command of FM Daun and surrendered without opposing any resistance. The garrison (the present regiment along with 4 companies of Belvalet Dragoons and 4 companies of Spinola Infantry) was taken prisoners and all of its units disbanded.


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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. They always wore a tricorne notwithstanding the headgear worn by soldiers.

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: silver or golden epaulettes (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on both shoulders
  • lieutenant: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the right shoulder
  • cornet: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the left shoulder


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

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


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Dragonas Magazine

Caballipedia - Regimiento de Caballería Villet


Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article.