Huguenot Red & Blue Dragoons

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Glorfindel
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Huguenot Red & Blue Dragoons

Post by Glorfindel » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:44 am

In his book 'The Huguenot Soldiers of William of Orange', Matthew Glozier mentions the above two Dragoon Regiments (which, I assume, are named for their coat colours).

I don't suppose anyone has any further information about these two Regiments ?



Phil
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Re: Huguenot Red & Blue Dragoons

Post by wdrenth » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:23 am

hi Phil,

These are indeed two mystery regiments.
As many will know, many Huguenots had fled to the Dutch Republic after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. What could happen with the refugees with military ambitions, is that they were attached (incorporated) in Dutch regiments. In principle that means they served as (gentlemen) volunteers -- one can also see the term 'en second' in literature. Should a vacancy occur in the regiment (in the established officers), then such a volunteer could get this established position, etc.
As an aside, the Irish regiments in French service after 1692 were also well supplied with such officers 'en second'.

For the Blue and Red Dragoons, information is a bit confusing. Also be aware that Glazier's book has some flaws regarding regimental information.

In the memoirs of Isaac Dumont de Bostaquet (edited by Dianne Ressinger), the Blue Dragoons are nothing but the Regiment Garde Dragonders, commanded by Eppinger, and the Red Dragoons are the Regiment of Marwitz. Both were part of William III's invasion army in November 1688. That many Huguenots were attached to these regiments is not unrealistic.

Another explanation is that the Red and Blue Dragoons were regiments in their own right, and raised prior to the journey to England. In England, the regiments were broken up with many of the officers joining Schomberg's newly raised regiment of horse. However, nothing is seen of this in the lists of expenditures for the journey.

I think the truth is somewhat in the middle. So yes, the Huguenots (officers) were attached to existing regiments taking part in the journey to England. I think this had at least two benefits: it gave William a pool of officers that could be used to staff new regiments to be formed in England, and second, it gave the officers also career perspective. One can see this also as (embryonic) regiments on their own, though not very official, and somewhat loosely linked to an existing regiment.

Hope this helps a bit.

kind regards, Wienand
Glorfindel
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Re: Huguenot Red & Blue Dragoons

Post by Glorfindel » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:29 pm

Thanks Wienand,

I'd not heard of them before so I am sure you are right - either short-lived formations or a result of mis-identification. Of course, it doesn't help that the some Regiments were sometimes referred to by various different names further obscuring an already murky picture).

Thanks again,


Phil
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Re: Huguenot Red & Blue Dragoons

Post by wdrenth » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:27 pm

hi Phil,

You are welcome.

If there is mis-identification, then that is mostly due to our moderners misunderstanding of that period. From the Dutch perspective, these Huguenot officers were probably just incorporated (attached to) in established regiments (the Garde Dragonders and Marwitz' Regiment). However, the Huguenot perspective may be different. It was a distinct group, with their own cultural background; and being regimented together, even as incorpores, could feel for them as belonging to a distinct regiment. But that is probably a totally different subject.

cheers, Wienand
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