Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Queens Regiment of Horse

The first of the Baccus 6mm Horse for my Oxford Army. When ever you want information on Horse Regiments you come across a frustrating lack of concrete information. Whilst foot regiments and even Dragoons tend to have their Commanding Officer and coat colours regularly given even if not when they changed either, horse so often (especially the Oxford Army) is just listed as numerous regiments in such and such brigade. Part of the problem is that many troops (formations of horse) were never formed into regiments as a permanent unit. So many gentlemen either joined as volunteers or raised a small troop that in itself would have to be joined by another small troop even to make up a feasible troop and after the task that forced these troops into one they often enough split away again. So most of my regiments I will be putting into the field will just be mixed troops and as such the painting of them will often be mixed as well. However I present to you her Majesty Queen Henrietta Marie's regiment of horse.
Whilst the Queen obviously did not command a regiment herself this regiment was born out of the arms, cash and volunteers that she had brought over from the continent (she landed on the 15th February 1643 at Bridlington). Her presence in the north created a upturn in the Kings popularity and so mixed in with fairly large numbers of French, English gentlemen also joined this regiment. The regiments first colonel was Henry Jermyn who had returned from Holland with the Queen. Most of the troops were to be recruited from Lancashire mainly by Major John Cansfield a native of that county.
It is known to have had 4 troops in 1644 but enough evidence suggests that it would at least for part of the war had the regulation 500 man strength. Given the name of the regiment it is not hard to imagine it having few problems in recruiting replacement troopers.
The regiment was part of the escort for the Queen southwards to Oxford where the regiment was absorbed into the Oxford Army and took part in the Newbury Campaign and acquitted itself well and remained in the field till November and quartered the rest of the winter at Oxford.
Took part in Hopton's campaign against Waller and at the defeat at Cheriton was bested after trying to cover the open flank of the foot. However it was mostly rallied and was a major part of the covering horse that saved the foot. The then commanding officer Monsr de Plume had his foot shot off by a cannon ball and died of his wounds. 
In May it was again escorting the Queen, this time to Exeter and then joined Maurice's army  and then onto reinforce the Cornish Army under Grenvile. This was not a happy assignment with numbers down to about 300 and suffering from desertion (possibly for being so far from home, especially at this time the Cornish were almost a separate nation with a strong independent spirit and almost unrecognisable language). Things picked up when they rejoined a main battle army and were at Lostwithiel the major defeat of Essex and the large skirmish with Essex's retreating horse on Braddock Down. From here they rejoined the Kings army and took part in the 2nd Newbury Campaign.
The first we know of the regiments actions of this inglorious year was it's rout by Cromwell at Islip on April 24th. The level of casualties is not known but it is known that it lost at least one standard, this being covered with Fleurs de Lys that was presented by the Queen herself (I cheated and just painted the one!)
By the time the Naseby campaign was under way the regiment numbered no more than 150, typical of most regiments of this time with stand alone troops of as low as twenty. At Naesby it is known to have been in Ruperts front line of regiments but no knowledge of it's deeps or casualties have survived. After the defeat it was left as part of the Leicester Garrison until the cities surrender to the New Model Army. By August it was part of Sir William Vaughan's Brigade of four regiments not totalling more than 400 men.
It was thought to be at Rowton Heath  with Langdale and was again with the King at Newark but suffered the loss of many of it's mounts to a raid from Poyntz. It's last posting was as part of the garrison of Shelford House whose total garrison was 180-200 men. This was stormed on November 3rd and the defenders were put to the sword after ferocious fighting. Sir John Cansfield was still serving in the Oxford Army at the wars end so either he somehow survived the  slaughter at Shelford or simply was not with his regiment at that time.
The regiment will for the Cropredy Campaign be used as a full strength regiment and unusually for the Royalists have some self control when it see's the enemy in flight.
I used a blue palette mainly as I wanted the regiment to stand out as being French. The buff coat being very common amongst wealthy units (a good buff coat cost  more than a metal back and breast and would protect the wearer more). Other regiments will be a mix of buff and armour or even just armour. Ideally I will find some other figures that will not have the lobster pot helmet. I really like how these came out, they are bound to rout every time I use them   ;-)


  1. Nice looking unit and great info too, I like the fact that they had a fleur-de-lys flag.

  2. Very nice! I always like seeing horses of varying colors and shades... nothing more disappointing than seeing a row of identical horses in my opinion. Keep up the awesome work!

  3. @ Ray, well the actual standard would have had a lot more. I just thought one would be fine

    @ Jonathan, yes I hate painting them all the same. My daughter insists on one white at least per unit. It's easy enough to change betweencolours when doing the horses. I really need to pick up a few more horse specific paints though