Tuesday, 14 September 2010
It is my opinion that a regiment of Horse, whilst recorded as that of, say, Sir Ralph Hopton, would have in reality been composed of many different units, or 'troops', raised by local magnates, both great and small, in a given area, grouped together, or adopted, by a person whose name and title added prestige to the following. And following his successes in Cornwall, Hopton was a name that held much prestige and royal favour. (The subject of uniforms and identities is one that I find of great interest and one that I will, no doubt return to)
If this was in fact how things worked, the issue of uniforms (coat colours), obscure enough in relation to foot regiments, would become almost impossible when related to the cavalry, where troops raised would be financed by the 'raisee' for whom, I would think, arms and mounts would be more of a priority than uniform requirements. Attempting to pin down coat colours for foot regiments is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, but I have never seen any reference to any uniform worn by Horse.
As a result of my, possibly addled, thinking, I shall be adopting a totally un-uniformed style for my Horse figures. Coats, where visible beneath 'buff coat' or armour, will be of various colours possibly augmented by ribbons or sashes of a regimental colour, no doubt favouring the regimental standard.
For Hopton's I shall be using a red, probably from the field of his coat of arms. However, I shall use this colour sparingly for the above reasons, and since I have no idea of the numbers that made up this regiment, commanded by Lord Digby (not Rupert's number one fan), I shall be starting with two 'squadrons', troops, to be increased as necessary. With this in mind, I await the arrival of my first batch of recruits from Bicorne Miniatures.
In the meantime here is the finished Hopton command base;
Saturday, 11 September 2010
His first achievement was to rally Cornwall to the royal cause by indicting the enemy before the grand jury of the county as disturbers of the peace, and had the posse comitatus called out to expel them; his next, to carry the war from there into Devon. In May 1643 he defeated the Parliamentarian forces in the West Country at Stratton, enabling him to overrun Devon and link up with reinforcements under Prince Maurice. On the 5th July their combined forces clashed indecisively with Sir William Waller at Lansdowne. Hopton was severely wounded there by the explosion of a powder-wagon and soon afterwards he was besieged in Devizes by Waller; he defended himself until relieved by the royalist victory at Roundway Down on 13 July. He was soon afterwards created Baron Hopton of Stratton. These successes in the west enabled the Royalist's to expand their control across southern England as far as the western fringes in late 1643, but a counter-attack led by Waller forced Hopton to fall back on Winchester. Hopton was reinforced by a force under the Earl of Forth, but on the 29 March 1644 he was defeated by Waller at Cheriton and again forced to retreat. After this he served in the western campaign under Charles' own command, and towards the end of the war, after Goring had left England, he succeeded to the command of the royal army. Hopton was defeated at Torrington on 16 February 1646 and surrendered to Thomas Fairfax. (Wikipedia)
To accompany the above, here are a couple of WIP photos of the said gentleman. The figures are Warlord metals, with a their Essex figure used to represent Hopton, so not only has he had a change of identity, but also one of allegiance.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
However, finally Strodes Regiment of Foote is completed, and photographs have been taken. Bad photographs admittedly, but for the moment they will have to suffice.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
‘The Earle having so closely beset the inn, the Marquesse dares not look outside the doores;' (A Perfect Relation, King’s pamphlet E240, No 39)
Hopefully his critical methods of study will, some day, be applied to the smaller campaigns, campaigns which to those involved in, or affected by, them would have proved just as important as, say, Edgehill 1642. One of the points he makes is in reference to ‘eyewitness’ reports or memoirs, suggesting care is needed when using these as they usually reflect the position of the writer, either as a celebration of, or a denial of responsibility, for their exploits. However, there is a lot of thought provoking elements within this book, making it one worth reading.
However, with respect to the above, I thought I might quote a passage from ‘Sir Ralph Hopton’s Narrative’ ed. C. E. H. Chadwyck Healey (Somerset Record Society). I which he details his confrontation with William Strode in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, whilst attempting to publish the King’s Commission of Array in 1642 just prior to the outbreak of war. He, Hopton, along with others, was met on the outskirts of the Town and advised to enter without military support thereby preventing any riot.
“soe in obedience to the present necessity he left his troopes at the Townes end, and himself with the rest of the Gentlemen, and their ordinary retinue, went into the Towne, where they alighted at the high Crosse in the Markett place, and there sate calling the Towne to them, to examine the busines of the Peticion; Where verie shortlie after Mr. William Strode, a great stickler for the other party, and a neighbour to the Towne, with a partie of some eight or ten horse, verie well mounted and arm’d for offensive armes ridd up to the place where they sate, and pressing through the crowde of the people, commanded them in Parliaments name to retire themselves, and forbad the Assemblie; whereupon Sir Ralph Hopton rose from the place where he sate, and tooke Mr. Strode of his horse, tooke away his pistolls , and committed him to a Constable…”
At least that is the way it is remembered in Hopton’s memoirs, differently for others perhaps. The journal is hard to read, written in an age when the rules of grammar and spelling were far different to ours, but it’s, in my opinion, worth the effort. Especially for those interested in the early days of the Civil War.
Monday, 3 May 2010
‘They stood as upon the eaves of an house for steepness, but as unmovable as a rock’ (Richard Atkyns, Grenville’s at Lansdown, 5th July 1643 )
I’ve added the extra stand of pikes simply to please the eye (my eye), it has no bearing on combat, the rules being based on a three, 60x60mm, stand system. I’m also considering changes to musketeer stands in order to make them more adaptable, two 30x60 stands replacing the single 60x60 suggested in the rules. The rules has ‘commanded shot’ as a separate formation, personally I would rather have them as being ‘drawn off’ from the regiments on the field and replacing two 60x60 stands with four 30x60 would, I hope, allow for this.
I also completed my first command base, Sir Bevil Grenville and a drummer.
I have chosen to clothe this regiment in green, why? Simple, I like green.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
‘I cannot contain myself when the King of England’s standard waves in the field upon so just an occasion.’ (Sir Bevil Grenville)
Anyway, gripe over, here’s a short bit about Sir Bevil Grenville;
Sir Bevil Grenville (1596 -1643). MP, first for Cornwall, then for Launceston, member of the committee set up to investigate ‘Ship Money’ in 1640, during the so called ‘long parliament’. Friend to Sir William Waller, he like Ralph Hopton, whom he served during his 1643 western campaign, seemed to have more in common with the Parliamentary cause, but, like many others, chose loyalty to the King as his primary duty. Was killed, some say needlessly, at the head of his regiment at Lansdown, after which it is said that his regiment refused to take further part in the war, and returned to Cornwall bearing his body to bury it in Kilkhampton Church.
He, along with three other Cornish royalists, was celebrated in a seventeenth century poem, “Gone the four wheels of Charles’ wain, Grenville, Godolphin, Slanning, Trevannion slain”.
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Next up will be the musketeers, two stands of six figures. However these, like the flags, are also eagerly awaited.
I have in the words of a TV favourite “A cunning plan”, one that like all great plans will potentially end in disaster. Yet, doomed or not, it seems reasonable to formulate a plan, however rough, to enable someone, like me, who has the attention span of a goldfish to stay on track.
As circumstances have deemed that I create both sides, possibly a foolish undertaking, it seems logical to follow a tit-for-tat system, a Royalist regiment followed by a Parliamentarian, then a Royalist and so on.
It is my ambition to complete a foot regiment in a month (24 figs), so one stand per week (stand = 6 figs). Simple and this plan of action extends to the horse thus, a regiment of horse consists of between 2 and 4 squadrons, a squadron of horse requires 2 stands of 3 figs (+ mounts), so it should be possible to complete a minimum of 2 squadrons per month (4 stands). Markers, supernumeraries and artillery will have to fit in somewhere, sounds simple, although just writing this has produced a cold sweat.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
‘When a hundred and ten slew five thousand men, with the help of lightning and thunder? (Sir John Denham)
Still a ‘work in progress’, they have given me the chance to try different shading/highlighting techniques. I have tried the ‘dip’ method, or washing with the ‘Army Painter’ shader, the finish seems good, but I can’t get used to the solvent based system. The Cote d’Arms ‘Super Shader’ seems better, being acrylic, but is harder to apply and fussier. The best, so far, is Games Workshop’s wash, ‘Devlan Mud’ to be precise. However whichever chosen, the best method, it seems, is to ‘wash’ the figure then final-highlight before varnishing, the effect is, IMHO, stunning. But don’t take my word for it, take a look at David Imrie’s site (Saxon dog) amongst others.
I am going to base for Clarence Harrison’s ‘Victory Without Quarter’ (available from his website - Quindia), with slight variation. I find it difficult to come to terms with a stand of three or four pikemen representing a regiment, so, taking a leaf from Barry Hilton’s ‘Beneath the Lily Banners’ ruleset, I am going to include an extra stand of pike which have no bearing on the game other than to make a regiment look more ‘beefy’. This ‘extra’ stand will simply butt up to the central command stand, allowing a formation of nine pike to the rules three. More work? Yes, but worth it.
Sunday, 4 April 2010
'Before the flame of war broke out in the top of the chimneys, the smoke ascended in every country'. (Lucy Hutchinson)
My intention is to concentrate on smaller armies, probably those of Hopton and Waller and the west country in particular. No, big battles, no Edgehills, no Marston Moors etc, just small do-able events - hopefully.