The History of a Salamanca Myth

By Garry Wills

Our recent From Reason to Revolution title Glory is Fleeting contains a variety of studies of aspects of the Napoleonic Wars. In his chapter on the Maucune’s division at the Battle of Salamanca, Garry Wills addresses, amongst other things, the question of the various trophies captured by the allies in the battle. Here, he takes a look at the story of the eagle of the 22e Ligne and the vexed question of who actually captured it.

The Lancashire Infantry Museum in Fulwood Barracks, Preston, proudly displays the eagle of the 22e Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne. Alongside the eagle the museum states that it was captured by Ensign John Pratt of the 2nd Battalion 30th Foot, one of the antecedents of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.[1] Unfortunately the eagle of the 22e Ligne was not taken by Ensign Pratt, 2/30th Foot, but by a different regiment altogether, so how was this ‘myth’ created over the last 208 years?

The Battle of Salamanca was fought on 22 July 1812 and the captured trophies were brought to England by Captain Lord Clinton. In August 1812 Orme published a drawing of the trophies which clearly shows the two eagles, those of the 22e Ligne and the 62e Ligne, neither eagle is shown with its flag and while the eagle of 22e Ligne is marked with its number that of the 62e Ligne is not.[2] In his dispatch to Earl Bathurst, Wellington mentions the eagles but not their captors.[3]

Major General Pringle’s correspondence, written in the days immediately following the battle, makes it clear that the light companies of his second brigade of Leith’s 5th Division, including Ensign John Pratt, captured the eagle bearer party of the 62e Ligne.[4]

In October 1816, while in Gibraltar, Colonel Chichester William Crookshank wrote his statement of service, which included his service at Salamanca, commanding Caçadores N.12, in Pakenham’s 3rd Division, and the capture of the eagle of the 22e Ligne by that battalion.[5] As early as 1821, this was in the public domain via the Royal Military Calendar.[6]

In 1829 John Pratt, now a Major in the 27th Foot, recorded his statement of service, which, while describing his service at Salamanca, makes no mention of capturing any trophies let alone a coveted French Eagle.[7]

Napier published volume five of his history in 1836 but made no mention of the capture of the eagles at Salamanca.[8]

In 1844 a letter from John Garland, adjutant of the 2/30th at Salamanca, named Pratt as one of two officers who took eagles to headquarters from Leith’s 5th Division.[9]

In 1864, the history of the 44th Foot was published and included the following account, based on discussions with Pearce:

The eagle, which was that of the 62nd Regiment of the line, was taken by Lieutenant W. Pearce 44th Regiment, and the two standards by Lieut.-Francis Maguire, 4th, and Ensign John Pratt, 30th Regiment. The French were called on to lay down their arms, about which there was some demur; but on the cavalry returning to the charge they gladly did so, craving protection. Ensign Standley was killed carrying one of the colours of the 44th.

The French officer who carried the eagle had just wrenched it from the pole, and when Lieutenant Pearce first saw it, he was endeavouring to conceal it under the grey great-coat, which he wore over his uniform; Private (afterwards Sergeant) Finley aided in the capture, and the French officer making resistance, was assisted by one of his men, who attacking Lieutenant Pearce with his fixed bayonet, was shot dead by Private Bill Murray, of the 44th light company. Privates Blackburn and Devine, of the same company, had also a hand in this affair, and Lieutenant Pearce divided twenty dollars—all the money he had with him—amongst the four, for their gallant exertions. Soon after the capture of the eagle a heavy column of French infantry came in sight, although at a considerable distance; the eagle was at once placed on a sergeant’s halbert, the men giving three cheers. This trophy was kept for the night with the regimental quarter guard, and Lieut.-Colonel Hardinge sent to Major-General Pringle on the following morning, to know what was to be done with the eagle. ‘Send it to the man who took it,’ was the reply: and Lieutenant Pearce carried it on the march the next day and night, and delivered it the following day, the first time a halt was made, at head-quarters, at a village from which Lord Wellington wrote his despatch about the battle.[10]

In the footnotes further details were included;

In order to mark its identity, Lieutenant Pearce scratched his name on the pedestal with a nail. Some years after, he went to see the eagles which had been removed from Whitehall Chapel to Chelsea College. Lieut.-Colonel Le Blanc, then Major of the Hospital, told him there was one that could not be accounted for, which he recognised as that captured by himself at Salamanca. Since the period of this visit it has been ascertained that one was missing, and it is considered it must be the eagle in question. Captain Ford, Captain of Invalids, Chelsea Hospital, in a paper published in. ‘Colburn’s United Service Journal’ for April 1844, states that the two eagles taken at Salamanca were then in the Chapel of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea.[11]

Thus, the eagle was captured without its pole, but it is shown in Orme’s drawing mounted on a pole, which was presumably one of those recovered from the battlefield without eagles, as described by ‘one of Colonel Greville’s brigade’ in 1844.[12]

The history of the 30th Foot was published in 1887, but despite describing Salamanca over two pages, it made no mention of the regiment capturing an eagle.[13]

In 1912 Edward Fraser published The War Drama of the Eagles, in which he repeats Pearce’s description of the capture of the eagle of the 62e Ligne with some differences in detail. The biggest of these details is his description of the capture of the eagle of the 22e Ligne, ‘it was captured by a British officer of the 30th, Ensign Pratt, attached for duty to Major Cruikshank’s [sic] 7th Portuguese a light infantry (or Caçadores) battalion, serving with the Third Division.[14] This account contains several errors and is contradicted by the history of the 44th Foot. Ensign Pratt was never attached to any Portuguese unit, as evidenced by his own statement of service and Challis’s Peninsular Roll Call.[15]

In 1914, Oman published his history in which he stated ‘The 5th Division swept in some 1,500 prisoners from them, as also the eagle of the 22nd Line, which the heavy brigade had broken in their last effort, while five guns were taken by the 4th Dragoons’.[16]

In 1923 Neil Bannatyne published his updated and expanded History of the Thirtieth Regiment, now the First Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, 1689-1881. In his account, Bannatyne describes Pearce taking the eagle of the 62e Ligne but has Pratt and Maguire taking fanions of two other battalions of that regiment rather than the banderoles of the 2e and 3e Porte-aigles as shown by Orme.[17]

On 10 September 1947, the Burnley Express and News reported, next to the cricket scores, that the eagle of the 22e Ligne was to be handed over by the Royal Hospital, Chelsea to the East Lancashire Regiment on 28 September 1947. The eagle was to be kept in the Regimental Museum within the Towneley Hall Museum, in Burnley. On 4 October 1947, The Sphere published a report on the handover ceremony complete with photographs.

From The Sphere, 4 October 1947. The original caption reads: ‘The Chelsea Pensioners parade with the colours and battle trophies; the veterans lined up before handing the standards and guidons to the Governor of the Royal Hospital, who, in turn, placed them in the keeping of representatives of the ten regiments concerned’

Conclusions

This survey of the literature regarding the capture of the eagle of 22e Ligne, is remarkable in that neither history of the 30th Foot made any claim for the capture of the eagle by Ensign John Pratt, who himself appears never to have claimed it. The ‘myth’ appears to rest on Edward Fraser’s erroneous interpretation of John Garland’s letter, Crookshank’s statement of service and Leith Hay’s ‘Major Birmingham’, although none of these sources are in Fraser’s ‘authorities consulted’.[18]

Having been captured by men of Caçadores N.12, the eagle of the 22e Ligne should be more appropriately displayed in the Museu Militar de Lisboa.

You can order Glory is Fleeting: New Scholarship on the Napoleonic Wars from the Helion and Company website: https://www.helion.co.uk/military-history-books/glory-is-fleeting-new-scholarship-on-the-napoleonic-wars.php


[1] Museum website, available at;<http://www.lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.uk/the-salamanca-eagle/&gt;, accessed 24 October 2020.

[2] The Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 750679, Battle of Salamanca: trophies taken from French. 22 July 1812.

[3] J. Gurwood, The Dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington (London: John Murray, 1852), Vol.V, p.756.

[4] University of Manchester Library (UML), GB 133 Eng MSS 1273: Correspondence of Sir William Henry Pringle.

[5] Arquivo Municipal de Mafra (AMM), PT/AMM/CFLLTV/TT-MNE/091.

[6] J. Philippart, The Royal Military Calendar (London: T.Egerton 1821), Vol.III, p.335.

[7] The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO25/790/93, John Pratt’s 1829 Statement of service.

[8] W.F.B. Napier, History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France from the year 1807 to 1814 (London: Constable, 1993), Vol.V, pp.168–180.

[9] Naval & Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle of the United Service, 22 June 1844.

[10] Thomas Carter, Historical Record of the Forty Fourth or the East Essex Regiment of Foot (London: W.O. Mitchell, 1864), pp.78–80.

[11] Carter, Forty Fourth Foot, pp.78–9.

[12] Naval & Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle of the United Service, 25 May 1844.

[13] Anon., Historical Records of XXX Regiment (London: William Clowes and Sons, 1887), pp.96–98.

[14] Edward Fraser, The War Drama of the Eagles (New York: Dutton and Co., 1912), p.254; however the Historical Record of the 44th Foot is not amongst the ‘authorities consulted’.

[15] TNA, WO25/790/93, John Pratt’s 1829 Statement of service.

[16] Charles Oman, History of the Peninsular War (London: Greenhill, 1996) Vol.V, p.453.

[17] N. Bannatyne, History of the Thirtieth Regiment, now the First Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, 1689-1881 (Liverpool: Littlebury, 1923), p.279.

[18] Edward Fraser, The War Drama of the Eagles (New York: Dutton and Co., 1912), p.xv.

At the Point of the Bayonet

By Robert Griffith

Rowland Hill was perhaps Wellington’s most trusted subordinate. He was nicknamed ‘Daddy Hill’ by his troops because he so evidently cared for their well-being, which perhaps says as much for other generals of his era as it does about him. Historian Charles Oman, near the end of his A History of the Peninsular War, wrote ‘I have never seen a hard word of ‘Daddy Hill’ in any of the hundred Peninsular diaries that I have read’” However, there was much more to him than just compassion and kindness. The battles of Arroyomolinos and Almaraz, in 1811 and 1812 respectively, illustrate that he did not let his concern for his men stop him driving them hard, when needed, or risking their lives when the situation demanded it.

Hill had been a brigade commander during the 1808 campaign to drive the French out of Portugal, had marched with Moore into Spain that winter, and then returned to the Peninsula in the spring of 1809 and played prominent roles in the battles of Oporto and Talavera. When the army was reorganised Hill was given command of the 2nd Division and in December 1809 he was Wellington’s first choice for an independent command covering the southern approaches to Portugal.

Hill became ill in the winter of 1810 to 1811 and returned to Britain to recover. In his absence Beresford took over his command and fought the bloody Battle of Albuera. Hill returned soon afterwards to find his division shattered. He resumed his role covering the southern flank and became engaged in a tedious round of advances and retreats across the Spanish province of Extremadura. In October a French division moved forward to raise contributions from the town of Cáceres, driving Spanish troops back to the Portuguese border. Hill decided to manoeuvre forward to force the French to retreat. It was a dance that he and his French opponents had performed before and he did not seriously expect that the experienced French commander, Général de Division Jean-Baptiste Girard, would allow himself to be brought to battle.

Most Britons now think of Spain as a sunny holiday destination but the winters in the hills and mountains of the interior can be cold and wet. Hill’s British, Portuguese and Spanish force marched through torrential rain and squalls towards Cáceres. The roads were so dreadful that some of the artillery had to turn back. The troops slept in the open and had soon outpaced the commissary carts carrying their rations. After five days they were tired, wet and hungry. Girard had heard of their approach and so, as expected, had begun his withdrawal. However, Hill learnt that he had halted at the village of Arroyomolinos. Despite the fatigue of his troops Hill decided that he would make one last push to try and catch the French, and on the night of the 27th of October the allied army halted just a couple of miles from them. During the night Hill quietly pushed his men forward into position for an attack. The weather was still dire, with the commander of the 92nd Foot, the Gordon Highlanders, referring to the morning of the 28th as ‘one of the most dreadful mornings for wind and rain I ever remembered’ – which is saying something coming from a Scot.

Girard had failed to post adequate pickets, and Hill’s men managed almost complete surprise with many of the enemy’s first inkling of their presence the pipers of the 92nd playing Hey Johnnie Cope are ye waukin’ yet. The highlanders charged into the village while other troops encircled it on the flanks. Girard’s only escape route was across the hills behind the town, and a long pursuit ended with him only saving around 500 men of the two brigades who had been in the village when Hill attacked, one brigade having already marched off before the action.

The 92nd Foot, the Gordon Highlanders, charge into Arroyomolinos on the morning of 28 October 1811 as the Duc d’Arenberg and other officers of 27e Chasseurs à Cheval emerge from their quarters. (Original artwork by Christa Hook (www.christahook.co.uk) © Helion & Co.)

Hill received a knighthood and much praise for the victory. It came at the end of a difficult year for Wellington’s army where, despite winning battles, they had not been able to break the stalemate in the Peninsula. Arroyomolinos earned the 2nd Division the nickname of ‘the surprisers’ and many of the memoirs and journals from the division relate how pleased the officers and men that Hill led were at the praise heaped upon their well-loved commander. Lieutenant Moyle Sherer of the 34th Foot wrote:

One thing in our success at Arroyo de Molinos gratified our division highly; it was a triumph for our General, a triumph all his own. He gained great credit for this well conducted enterprise, and he gained what, to one of his mild, kind, and humane character, was still more valuable, a solid and a bloodless victory; for it is certainly the truest maxim in war, ‘that conquest is twice achieved, where the achiever brings home full numbers.

During the winter of 1811 into 1812 Hill and his men resumed their game of cat and mouse with the French. Wellington captured the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo early in the new year and then came south to tackle Badajoz. With both fortresses that guarded the approaches to Portugal secure he could at last contemplate moving deeper into Spain. However, it was vital that the French forces, that still vastly outnumbered his own troops, were prevented from uniting against him. So, he determined to destroy the main crossing across the river Tagus near Almaraz which would prevent the French armies in the north and south from coming to each other’s aid. He chose Hill for the job.

Hill gathered a mixed British and Portuguese force and marched deep into French territory. The pontoon bridge near Almaraz was protected by several small but formidable fortifications, including one on a vital mountain pass that covered the only route down to the river for artillery. An initial night attack on that fort failed after the French were alerted by an accidental shot. Hill had also been trying to get down to the bridge via a small goat track but the terrain was so difficult that the troops were nowhere near the bridge by morning.

Hill paused and regrouped. He considered another attack on the fort at the pass but that could take time he did not have. The garrison at the crossing would have sent for reinforcements which were only a day’s march away. Instead, he ordered a diversionary attack at the pass while he again led a British brigade, and a Portuguese regiment, plus two companies of the 5/60th Rifles, through the mountains down to the bridge. The paths were so narrow and winding that the scaling ladders had to be cut in half. By daylight Hill’s men were near the bridge, but still spread out.

They formed up behind a low ridge and charged towards the main position overlooking the crossing, Fort Napoleon. The main assault was by two columns of the 50th Foot, and one of the 71st Highland Light Infantry. The rest of the 71st and the 92nd looped around to attack the bridge itself. The strongest part of the fort was assaulted by No.4 Company of the 50th led by Captain Robert Candler, 34 years old, from Colchester in Essex. Candler was first up the ladders and waived his sword, urging his men to push forward. He was quickly hit by several shots and fell dead inside the fort. The 50th and then 71st managed to overpower the French on the walls and the enemy’s resistance crumbled. The French cut the bridge and those on the far side fled, leaving their comrades to drown or be captured trying to swim across the river.

The original plan had called for artillery support and more than two brigades, but Hill had taken the risk to attempt the task with far less and won, although the casualties amongst the 50th especially were severe. The bridge and the forts were destroyed, and Hill retired before the French could react. Hill and his men again gained much credit from their victory. Wellington was convinced it was a key strategic point in the 1812 campaign:

I think we are now in a great situation. The blow which I made Hill strike a few days ago upon the enemy’s establishment at Almaraz has given me the choice of lines of operation for the remainder of the campaign, and do what we will we shall be safe. If I have luck we may do great things; at all events, the campaign is ours, I believe.

Both Arroyomolinos and Almaraz were small victories in the wider sweep of the long Peninsular War but they illustrate that Hill was far more than just ‘Daddy Hill’ and a safe pair of hands. He was also a general of considerable skill and daring.

You can now order At the Point of the Bayonet: The Peninsular War Battles of Arroyomolinos and Almaraz 1811-1812 here.

Hungary 1848: Europe’s Biggest Unknown War

By Chris Pringle

1848 is known as the year of revolution. Yet the Hungarian War of Independence (“the ‘48”), the largest and most violent revolution of that turbulent year, is almost unknown outside its home country. This conflict involved over half a million men and lasted a whole year. It encompassed a dozen major battles, many smaller actions, and some epic sieges, but is largely ignored.

The major focus of my own interest is on European wars of the nineteenth century, and particularly the large battles of the period from the point of view of strategy, generalship and grand tactics. In attempting to learn about the Hungarian battles of 1848­-1849 it became apparent that sources in English were almost non-existent, and those that did exist were limited or flawed. Given the scale of the war, this is a huge and unfortunate gap.

Since 2015 I have been collaborating with Professor Nicholas Murray of the US Naval War College on a series of English editions of previously untranslated military histories by that giant of military theory, Carl von Clausewitz. Consequently, my German translation skills are quite well honed. In addition, for other personal projects over the years, I have learned enough rudimentary Hungarian to use sources in that language as well. In order to learn about the 1848-1849 battles in Hungary, I became very familiar with some of the main Hungarian histories as well as the Austrian ones. Having established myself as a translator by publishing Clausewitz’s history of 1796, it seemed a natural progression to build on that and on my growing knowledge of the ’48 by publishing Hungary 1848: The Winter Campaign – an English edition of the Austrian (semi-)official history of the first half of the war – to fill this void in the English-language literature. Helion was kind enough to oblige.

I was first attracted to the ’48 through a general interest in Eastern Europe and particularly in that period of warfare. I’ve always found it appealing to explore obscure and esoteric corners of history, and this one is certainly well-hidden. Once the quest was begun, it turned out to be incredibly rewarding because the campaigns are so richly complex and varied, there is a colourful cast of characters, and it offers all the fascinating episodes and drama you would expect from a war of this extent and duration. Furthermore, the battles provide some great tabletop challenges for the wargamer.

I was struck by some signal feats of generalship. On the Hungarian side, General Artúr Görgei performed astonishing feats to bamboozle and out-manoeuvre his opponents, both in attack and defence; among the mountains of Transylvania, the veteran Polish revolutionary Józef ‘Papa’ Bem conducted a campaign of lightning manoeuvre and aggressive attacks worthy of the Bonaparte of 1796. For the Austrian monarchy, Field Marshal Windisch-Grätz’s ‘McClellanesque’ caution in the Winter Campaign contrasts strongly with Haynau’s ruthlessly determined and ultimately victorious Summer Campaign.

If the original narrative history of the events of the war is not fascinating enough, I hope my editorial annotations have enhanced it further. I have added a lot of commentary on and analysis of the operations, both tactical and strategic, which I hope will help readers reflect on the commanders’ decisions and reach their own conclusions.

Biographical notes reveal which Hungarian generals then went on to fight for the Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War, or who found the Hungarian crown jewels at the end of the war, or who got beaten up by angry brewery workers when he visited England. Footnotes include little nuggets like the importance of floating ship-mills on the major rivers, or the Hapsburg salt monopoly.

I am particularly proud of the large set of maps I created for the book. Each of these includes a text panel that summarises the action they portray. The idea is that, simply by reading through the maps and following the action, the reader can get a clear picture of the shape of what was a very complex war on several fronts.

Like any major war, the Hungarian War of Independence has other dimensions than the purely military. There is international great power politics in play; there is also the intense factionalism in the Hungarian camp between the radical revolutionaries and their more conservative, constitutionally minded rivals. The tensions and personality clashes in the Hungarian hierarchy are matched among the Austrian commanders by the entertaining sight of Windisch-Grätz trying to control his subordinates, the excessively aggressive Schlik and the erratic Jellacic. At the socio-economic level, there is the friction among the different ethnic groups in the Kingdom of Hungary, showing itself at its most bitter in the Serb and Vlach (Romanian) insurrections in southern Hungary (now northern Serbia) and Transylvania. For modern military professionals, there is contemporary resonance in the asymmetric nature of the campaign as an exercise in counterinsurgency.

I therefore hope that publishing this book will help the Hungarian War of Independence to be recognised as the epic struggle it was.

Miracles in 6mm! The Hungarian army of 1848-1949 in 1/300 scale.

Figures by Baccus (mostly adapted from Baccus’s American Civil War and Risorgimento ranges); flags by Maverick Models; painting by Richard Morrill. Photos by kind permission of Richard Morrill.

Jägers, Polish Legion, scythe-armed militia, grenadiers, German Legion, Tyrolean Jägers
Assorted honvéds, including the famous 9th battalion in their red kepis.
Colourful national guards flanking former imperial line infantry in their old white tunics.
Various hussar regiments escorting the artillery, including a rocket launch stand and crew.
The high command: Görgei, Bem, Klapka, et al.

***

Hungary 1848: The Winter Campaign will soon be followed by its natural sequel, Hungary 1849: The Summer Campaign (also from Helion). Together these will provide a complete history of the war. At the time of writing this blog post, the translation is finished and the editorial annotations almost complete. The maps will be a substantial task, but the work will be delivered to Helion later this year for publication in 2022.

I am also preparing a Bloody Big BATTLES! campaign volume on the Hungarian War of Independence for publication in 2022. This will include 15 wargame scenarios for the most important battles of the war.

***

Chris Pringle’s previous three books are all Clausewitz translations:

Napoleon’s 1796 Italian Campaign

Napoleon Absent, Coalition Ascendant: The 1799 Campaign in Italy and Switzerland, Volume 1

The Coalition Crumbles, Napoleon Returns: The 1799 Campaign in Italy and Switzerland, Volume 2

He is also responsible for a popular wargames ruleset, Bloody Big BATTLES!, for refighting nineteenth-century battles.

He lives in Oxford, UK, and is an academic publisher. His time as a junior officer in the Territorial Army left him with an abiding interest in the challenge of making soldiers do things they don’t particularly want to do. A lifelong wargamer, his focus is on recreating large historical battles. He maintains the Bloody Big BATTLES Blog to report his exploits in that domain.

Finishing the Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715

By René Chartrand

Volume 4 is in the editing process and will be published this year thus putting the final touch to this series. Like the previous volumes, it is basically divided into two parts, the first chapters being a narrative of the strategic, geopolitical and financial challenges and ambitions that were faced by Louis XIV who reigned and transformed France and the world around it from his accession as an infant in 1643 to his passing in 1715. 

Part One

His young years were shadowed by civil wars as well as near permanent conflicts, with Spain in particular, then a decaying kingdom vainly trying to keep its eminence in Europe. Other countries were vying for that lofty position, but few had the resources, population and capacity as a unified state to fill the post. France with its population of some 20 million souls, well over double the population of its neighbours, situated in a lush and well-exploited land that already had its share of leading scientist, intellectuals, artists, financiers and a large middle class. It could become Europe’s superpower if internal peace was achieved and its vast resources used to build up its untapped might. 

Amongst the characteristics of the young king that assumed autocratic power in 1661 was his passion for order and his determination to impose it so as to realise his aim: the definite elevation of France as the greatest power in Europe. Thus, strategic links on various events that cover wide areas are made in all volume. In that regard, the other great power was the Ottoman Turk Empire and whatever it did in the East had a strategic effect on western Europe, which we observe in our series.

Even today, statesmen, diplomats and senior military officers are always somewhat reserved about the equation that affirms that no nation can be a really influential world power without very large and modern armed forces. Yet, human History since Antiquity confirms the notion. The young Sun King, admirer of Antiquity, strongly believed that the somewhat decrepit French army he inherited had to be transformed and expanded if the vision of a greater France was to be achieved. 

Part Two

This leads us into the second part of each volume, which deals specially with the “nuts and bolt” of the army in its organisation, its command systems, its qualities and faults and its material culture. This last aspect is a most important one to the author, and not only because he spent most of his professional life as curator, but also as a historian. It is important to explain why, which and how weapons and clothes were used by soldiers; it satisfies the basic instinct of curiosity all humanity shares as to what were things like in the past. History is ourselves, and so, how did military men in the days of the Sun King look like and how did they live? 

Of other important aspects on the efficiency of a modern army, the advent of a flow of regulations signed De Par Le Roy (by the King) to bring order and discipline over a force that went from a fairly informal affair dominated by nobles to a centrally managed institution imposed by the Sun King and his ministers from the 1660s. These practices were followed by all other armies. 

The amazing growth of the size of the French regular army, which reached nearly half a million men in arms by the 1690s, put tremendous pressure on its rivals to equal such a force. We found that the French cavalry alone had some 100,000 troopers, by far the highest of any other nation’s cavalry in western Europe. As readers of Vol. 3 know, the author being from a family of horsemen had a great time presenting such things as saddlery. By the late 1680s, however, there were worries that not enough Frenchmen would join the army. The Sun King came up with the first modern system of national military service by an annual draft of young villagers that, by the early 1700s, made up a notable part of the regular army. 

Into Vol. 4

Vol. 4 is certainly a very rich ground regarding geopolitical strategy in western Europe itself and, in its first part, while reviewing the extraordinary campaigns by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene in Flanders, Germany and Italy, a deeper look into the War of Spanish Succession fought in Spain is given. It was, after all, the object of the struggle as to who would be King of Spain “and the Indies” between the Sun King’s grandson of the Austrian Emperor’s brother. Most of the Spanish people supported the Sun King’s grandson and, led by excellent tacticians Berwick and Vendôme, the renewed Spanish army with many French troops triumphed. Elsewhere, inept marshals and princes were roundly defeated to the point where one can only admire the resilience of the Sun King, his armies and his nation. We have looked into the financing of wars in each volume, but in Vol. 4, we see it as a main factor for Britain’s withdrawal from the allied camp from 1711. This coincided with the advent of the brilliant and daring Marshal Villars whose victory at Denain basically sealed the end of the struggle. 

The second part of Vol. 4 reviews artillery, engineering and explores in some detail two other as yet largely unstudied topics that particularly drew our attention: 1) the militarised constabulary forces and local regular military units throughout the kingdom apart from the regular army. We found many thousands of such militarised armed and uniformed troops not only in Paris, but surely in every city and  town. 2) the militia. Every major city (except Paris) and all towns in France had Bourgeois militia units with elite Privileged Companies that were often uniformed and well armed. The men in all coastal areas were obliged to enlist in the coast-guard militia. Some of these units were in action against the enemy and usually did quite well. There seems to be so far no reliable documents on their numbers, but a conservative estimate would be at least half a million Bourgeois militiamen with up to 200,000 coast-guardsmen. The Sun King sometimes implied the importance of this national reserve and, as with everything else he did seriously, it was no empty bluff.

The French army in trenches during the siege of Tournai in late June 1667. At the right foreground, a royal servant wearing a blue livery coats hold the Sun King’s white horse. The king is hazily seen in the background standing above the trench. Painting by van der Meulen. Musée Magnin, Dijon. Author’s photo.
French attack on Aardenberg, June 1672. A large French force failed to take the town defended by only 40 Dutch soldiers and a few hundred militiamen. It was one of the few successes in an otherwise very difficult year for the Netherlands. Detail from an unsigned contemporary print. Rijksmuseum, Courtesy Amsterdam. RP-P-OB-77.104.
The Dauphin Dragoon Regiment in action on the Rhine front, c. 1712. Print after Maurice Leloir. Private collection. Author’s photo.
Artillery on the march, last third of the 17th century. Print after Molzheim. Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library, Providence, RI, USA. Author’s photo.

You can register interest in The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715 Volume 4 here.

Neglected no longer: Indians on Gallipoli

By Peter Stanley

The Gallipoli campaign is familiar to virtually anyone who has any interest in the Great War. Most people know something of the campaign’s optimistic intent, the disastrous landings in April 1915, the dogged Ottoman defence, the dramatic failure of the evacuation and the surprisingly successful evacuations late in1915 and in January 1916. In Britain, Australia and New Zealand they surely know of episodes in the campaign – the heroic slaughter at Lancashire Landing, the story of ‘Simpson’s donkey’, or the tragic failure of the New Zealanders who in August glimpsed the Dardanelles from Chunuk Bair. Thousands of books have been published on the campaign – the book catalogue alone of the National Library of Australia includes no fewer than 800 books with ‘Gallipoli’ in their titles. In Australia and New Zealand, of course, Gallipoli is so important that 25 April became a national day of remembrance.

Looking down from Gurkha Bluff, which the 1/6th Gurkhas seized in a daring attack in May 1915.

For India the Gallipoli story is very different. While a handful of regimental histories appeared between 1930 and 1948 in which their service on Gallipoli appeared as a chapter, not a single book dealt with the Indian experience of Gallipoli between 1915 and 2015. Until my book Die in Battle, Do not Despair: the Indians on Gallipoli, 1915 was published by Helion, we did not even know how many Indian troops served in the campaign. (Until research for Die in Battle… it was confidently asserted – including by me – that about 5,000 Indians served – in fact the figure was about 16,000: it took a century to establish that.)

The view of the Dardanelles glimpsed briefly by the 1/6th Gurkhas on the morning of 9 August 1915, as seen by Peter Stanley in conducting fieldwork on Gallipoli in 2014.

As an Australian military historian I had often written about Gallipoli. In the course of a career mostly spent either at the Australian War Memorial (Australia’s national military museum, where I had been Principal Historian) and latterly as an academic at UNSW Canberra, I had published half-a-dozen books dealing with Gallipoli – notably Quinn’s Post, Anzac, Gallipoli (2005), the first ‘biography’ of a place on Gallipoli. Having long been interested in the Indian Army, I knew that Indian troops had served there: one of my earliest articles had been on the Indian mountain gunners who had served with the Anzacs. I had planned a book on the subject, notionally called ‘Sahibs and Sepoys on Gallipoli’, long deferred until in 2013 I became Research Professor at UNSW Canberra and was at last able to implement my plan.

Peter Stanley’s laptop, when he was writing the last pages of Die in Battle… on Gallipoli in July 2014. 

The difficulties of researching Indians on Gallipoli partly explained why a book on the subject had taken so long. Military history tends to reflect national agendas (my Quinn’s Post was unusual in spanning the ‘Anzac’ experiences of Gallipoli) and few non-Indians seemed interested in India’s Great War. (Actually, few Indians seemed interested in India’s pre-1947 military history, but that is another story …) But the sources for this book needed to be sought in Britain, India, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. The official records, including the war diaries, were held in the National Archives in Britain, and the Gurkha Museum in Winchester and the National Army Museum in London held vital sources. The National Archives of India held other official records, while the Gurkha Museum in Pokhara, Nepal, was also useful – and it was necessary to visit both Nepal and the Punjab, to see the regions where most ‘Indian’ troops originated. (While the mountain artillery, the supply and transport troops and one of the infantry battalions were Sikhs or Muslims from the Punjab, four ‘Indian’ infantry battalions on Gallipoli were Gurkhas.)

Balbir Singh Banwait, the son of a Sikh who served on Gallipoli, introduced himself to Peter Stanley in a Gurudwara in Sydney, providing invaluable family stories for Die in Battle…

Almost no sources had been created by Indian other ranks (though their British officers had written prolifically); a problem common to those trying to understand the non-European experience of war. But as an Australian historian, I knew that valuable insights into the Indian experience of Gallipoli could be found in the letters, diaries, memoirs and photographs of the Australian and New Zealand citizen soldiers who had served alongside them, and the archives and libraries in both countries provided crucial evidence.

Finally, having written about battles (and indeed published a guide to battlefield research – A Stout Pair of Boots, 2008) I knew that another visit to Gallipoli was necessary. In August 2014 I was able to spend several days re-visiting Gully Ravine, Mule Gully, Hill 971 and Hill 60, checking the sources and what I’d made of them against the ground. No wonder it had taken so long to be able to tell this story!

Peter Stanley greeted by senior staff of the Gurkha Museum in Pokhara, Nepal, while researching Die in Battle… in Janary 2014.

Now Helion is re-issuing Die in Battle, Do Not Despair as a paperback. I was already delighted that in 2017 an Indian edition appeared in association with Primus Books of New Delhi, and now the paperback will, I hope, bring the story of Indians on Gallipoli to yet more readers, wherever they may be.

Prof. Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra has published 40 books, mostly in military history. Three of them have been published by Helion: A Welch Calypso (ed., with Tom Stevens, 2014); Die in Battle, Do Not Despair and ‘Terriers’ in India: British Territorials 1914-19 (2019) He is now working on John Company’s Armies: the Military History of British India 1824-57

The Secret Expedition. The Anglo-Russian Invasion of Holland 1799

By Geert van Uythoven

North Holland, 10 September 1799:

At daybreak the English spotted our advance guard, setting fire to the windmill in front of St. Maarten and opening fire on us with their batteries. On this spot, where the dragoon detachment had to remain in place, we were greeted by the fire of a howitzer of the enemy, which killed four of our horses. A dragoon’s cartridge-box was ignited and this set his uniform on fire. Only his presence of mind saved him, jumping quickly into a ditch filled with water, and the fire was extinguished. In the meanwhile the 1st Lieutenant Hoevenaar ordered his dragoons to close up, at which moment the detachment was hit by a 12-pdr cannon ball, which wounded a horse badly: the horse lost his complete forehead between the eyes and the nose, and it was necessary to shoot the animal. After this had taken place, two guns from the horse artillery arrived, commanded by Captain d’Anguerand. He deployed in front of the dragoons, and the accompanying caisson was placed at the same spot the dragoons were. The dragoons had no other option as to deploy in a new position, left of the road, close to the caisson and a small house, because there was not enough room to deploy properly.

After a short while a shell from a howitzer fell amidst of the horse-team of the caisson and three of the horses were killed instantly. Because we were so close near this caisson, it was lucky that the exploding shell did not hit the caisson itself, because when this would have happened surely the whole dragoon detachment and everyone near it would have been killed. It is commonly known that the terrain, where we fight on in Holland, has narrow roads and is intersected by many ditches and canals, which makes fighting very difficult.

Thus, Lieutenant Hoevenaar of the Batavian Dragoon Regiment describes his participation in the attack on the English positions in the Zijpe on 10 September 1799. His account illustrates that, contrary to the British and Orangist beliefs, the Batavian army was willing to fight for their country and did not run or defect at the first sight of the British. At a certain moment, the British Lieutenant General Abercromby even doubted the outcome of the battle and prepared for re-embarkation. Yet the common British expectation of an easy and victorious campaign was not surprising: years of polarisation between the Patriots and Orangists had divided the Dutch to the bone, not unlike the Democrats and Republicans in today’s USA. These divisions were also the main reason that the French were able to overrun the Dutch Republic easily in 1795, creating the French puppet state called the Batavian Republic. Hearing about the allegedly growing resentment of the Dutch against their French oppressors, a rising en masse of the Dutch population was to be expected.

The campaign had started well enough for the British: although their beach landing was opposed and fiercely contested, the swift capture of Den Helder provided a safe port. The subsequent capture of the Batavian fleet at the Vlieter, without a shot being fired, strengthened their belief that the Batavian Republic was ripe for capture and the reinstatement of the House of Orange. With the British army reinforced by a substantial contingent of the formidable Russian army, the capture of Amsterdam would be a matter of time. As so often, the situation under the surface proved to be much more complex and challenging.

In writing The Secret Expedition I tried to provide the reader with a thorough insight in all this. Treating all nations and armies participating, sketching the political situation and the events leading up to this remarkable campaign, where British and Russians joined forces in an effort to turn the tide against the French rule of a large part of Europe, I studied the battles that were fought, which are described in detail, leading often to a fresh insight contrary to those of previous historians, who often copied supposed facts without challenging them. The text further includes many quotes and accounts to provide the reader with a ‘look and feel’ of how the participants experienced the events during these memorable months, in a campaign during which the reputation of many participants was built or came to an abrupt end.

The new paperback edition of Geert van Uythoven’s The Secret Expedition: The Anglo-Russian Invasion of Holland 1799 is available to order from the Helion website: https://www.helion.co.uk/military-history-books/the-secret-expedition-the-anglo-russian-invasion-of-holland-1799.php

Defeat of a British outpost near Schoorldam
Zijpe polder seen from the Westfriesche Zeedijk between Eenigenburg and St Maarten
Zijpe Sluices

Into the Iron Triangle

By Arrigo Velicogna

‘One side could move quickly, could almost disappear at will, controlled large areas of the countryside. The other side had overwhelming firepower but were always going to be “strangers in a strange land”.’[i]

These two sentences encapsulated our common understanding of the Vietnam War. They are simple, effective, but hopelessly misleading. Yet they are entrenched deep not only in the common understanding, but also in plenty of academic analyses. But a repeated lie is still a lie, despite its popularity. Wars in Vietnam, either the French ‘Indochina War’ or the American ‘Vietnam War’, are misunderstood, misremembered and misrepresented. Few years ago historian Dale Andrade wrote that the understanding the US Army had of the Vietnam war came ‘in spite of its own official history, which provides a balanced and detailed account of the war.’[ii]

The war the United States, the Republic of Vietnam and their allies faced in Vietnam was at the same time a conventional war and an insurgency. Diminishing the former to emphasise the latter, has had been recently fashionable is wrong. In writing Into the Iron Triangle I wanted to provide the readers with a counter to the constant rehashing of myths and stereotypes. The book looks at one year of clashes between Saigon and the Cambodian border culminating in the first multidivisional American operation of the war, ATTLEBORO.  These clashes chiefly involved the US 1st Infantry Division, the famed Big Red One, and the Peoples Armed Forces 9th Division. Battles alone were just a single component of a complex war so I have put them into their strategic context, showing large clashes were an integral part of both sides’ strategy. Beside chronicling the battles, Into the Iron Triangle looks at the units involved, their organisation, their doctrine and their equipment. The reader will discover how both sides were in reality strangers in a strange land, and were constantly trying to bring overwhelming firepower on their opponent.  

Hopefully I have brought a convincing alternative to our common understanding and one that brings to the fore what was really happening on the ground rather than generic theories of conflict.

Into the Iron Triangle is now available to buy on the Helion & Company Ltd website here: https://www.helion.co.uk/military-history-books/into-the-iron-triangle-operation-attleboro-and-the-battles-north-of-saigon-1966.php


[i] Eoghan Kelly, Nam the Way it Was, Wargames Soldier and Strategy, 113, 2021, p.78

[ii] Dale Andrade, Westmoreland was Right, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 19-2, 2008, p.149

The Anglo-Spanish War 1655-1660

By Paul Sutton

The Anglo-Spanish War 1655-1660, the subject of a two-volume set written by me and to be published by Helion and Company this year, dramatically altered the balance of power in Europe. The upstart English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, buoyed by its victory in the First Dutch War and egged on by France, had the temerity to challenge the might of the King Philip IV’s Spanish Empire at its economic heart in the Americas. The result propelled England onto the world stage, making it a colonial power and a diplomatic and military force to be reckoned with, whilst at the same time humiliating the Spaniards and accelerating the decline of its international power and prestige, which further encouraged the expansionist King Louis XIV to challenge Spanish domination in Europe. These two books examine both the causes and consequences of this war, whilst also explaining in detail the fighting that occurred across the Caribbean during this five-year period.

Portrait of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England c. 1653-1664
(Jan van de Velde (after Robert Walker), The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, RP-P-1890-A-16095)

The war highlighted the inherent weakness of the Spanish empire at the time. Despite ample warning of an English attack Spanish diplomacy was unable to halt it. In the West Indies it had no navy to protect its vast possessions and so the English fleet was able to roam at will. Despite a defeat in Hispaniola the English occupied Jamaica and for five years the Spanish could do little to resist the occupation; what few forces it could muster from its nearby colonies were poorly equipped and even poorer led and were quickly defeated. Despite rumours to the contrary the Spanish lacked the resources to dispatch a relief force from Europe as it was engaged in a prolonged struggle with France, which the English soon joined in. Spain had claimed the Americas for itself and denied entry to all other nations but was powerless to stop even this poorly equipped English encroachment. The last Jamaican-based Spanish forces were harried off the island in 1660 but even after this humiliation they lacked the capacity to defend themselves elsewhere. The English sack of Santiago de Cuba in 1662 was but the forerunner of the pirate attacks of Henry Morgan in the years to follow and to which the Spanish were to offer no resistance. The ultimate indignity came at the Treaty of Madrid in 1670 when Spain formally ceded English possessions in the West Indies and the myth that the Americas were perpetually Spanish was shattered. These events, coupled with defeats against France, spelt the end of Spanish dominance in Europe and so the known world. But…as one power fell, so another arose.

Portrait of Philip IV, King of Spain c.1615-1657
(Jacob Louys, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, 51.501.7557)

Cromwell’s attack was the English state’s first attempt at colonial expansion. With this state enterprise came the responsibility to pay for and maintain the colony, a responsibility that proved initially to be too overwhelming for the London government. However, in time the bureaucrats learnt to administer far away colonies and established specific government apparatus to enable this and that ultimately provided the mechanism to control a global British empire. The subsequent administration of faraway colonies made it imperative that an adequate state navy was available, but it was also one that could be equally used for defence and expansion and so there is a clear line between the occupation of Jamaica and the development of a truly global state naval capacity. Over the coming decades the English developed a Caribbean empire with Jamaica at its hub, built upon privateers, sugar and slaves, which generated enormous wealth for the mother-country, and which help propel its colonial, diplomatic, and commercial ambitions upon a truly world stage. Despite the shambolic nature of the English campaign Cromwell was clearly perceived in Europe to have humbled Spain, an act that immensely increased English prestige in the continent’s capital cities. England became almost instantly a major power and influencer on the continent at the expense of Spain, but this would also lead to friction with France that would simmer for decades to come and often explode into open conflict.

It might have taken a century or more after the humbling of Spain before England gained dominance over the French and later the world but the roots of this were established because of Cromwell’s war in the West Indies. The Lord Protector’s intrepid scheme to steal South America from Spain might not have been fully (or even partially) realised but his desire to place England at the forefront of world power politics was and later generations expanded on this dream. Cromwell would surely have approved of what followed. The Anglo-Spanish War truly shifted the balance of power in Europe and contributed to both the rise of Britain and France and the demise of Spain.

The Siege of Fort Augustus

By Jonathan Oates

275 years ago on this day, 5 March 1746, Major Hugh Wentworth, deputy governor of Fort Augustus (built 1729-1742, at the south-western end of Loch Ness), surrendered his fort to the Jacobite besiegers. Guided by artilleryman Major James Grant, the Jacobites made the best use of their few small calibre guns; or maybe they were plain lucky: ‘For while the walls were being bombarded by the artillery, a shot fell into the powder magazine. The powder ignited, and large pieces of masonry being blown up, a breach was made in the fort on this side’.

The fort’s Master Gunner later stated that the Jacobite guns blew up the powder barrels and cartridges on the turret of Wade’s Bastion. There had also been a shell on the court room and damage to the roof on the north side. No one had been injured, though, and the well was undamaged.

Fort Augustus (Map by George Anderson © Helion and Company)

Was Wentworth right in surrendering? His Master Gunner thought not. He argued ‘That the major and the other officers of the Garrison were mistaken in their assertion when they say there was no place of safety for the men to retire to or to boil their pots, for it appears that besides the vaults their common barracks were proof against any shells the rebels had to throw into the fort’. He concluded that it was ‘ignorance and panick that seized them all’.

How long they could have continued such resistance is a moot point. Cumberland did not think it was a strong point and the Board of Enquiry into the fort’s surrender later found, after studying the plans of the fort and having read statements from witnesses, ‘that the fort was defenceless. But do think that they ought to have delayed capitulating until the batteries had been playing upon them’.

Coehorn Mortar, as used in many of the sieges during 1745 and 1746 (Collection at Kedleston Hall, Photo by Brian Stone)

The result of that surrender was that part of the Jacobite army, including Grant and his guns, would go on to besiege Fort William, which was rather more strongly defended and guided by a more resolute defender. Not only did Fort William hold out, in a siege that lasted from 20 March to 3 April 1746, but the Jacobites were then decisively defeated at Culloden on 16 April. The capture of Fort Augustus, as things turned out, was the last major Jacobite military success.

Dr Jonathan Oates tells the story of this and the surprisingly large number of other sieges that took place in Scotland and England during 1745 and 1746, in his book The Sieges of the ’45: Siege Warfare during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-1746, which is available from the Helion and Company website: https://www.helion.co.uk/military-history-books/the-sieges-of-the-45-siege-warfare-during-the-jacobite-rebellion-of-1745-1746.php

You may read it in the ruins of this place…

By Richard Israel

In my first book for Helion Cannon Played from the Great Fort’ Sieges in the Severn Valley during the English Civil War 1642-1646, I have examined the towns of Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester, Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury. All of these towns had medieval walls, albeit in a variety of conditions.

However, the focus of this short article is Taunton in Somerset.  Unlike any of our case studies, it began the war with no earthworks surrounding it.[1] Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper noted that any defences were “but pales and hedges and no line about the town”.[2] The town does have a stone castle, of which construction was commenced around 1107 AD by William Gifford[3] near the bank of the River Tone.

Taunton experienced three sieges during the Civil War. The first siege began September 1644 and was a Royalist plan to retake the town from Parliament. After two failed attempts to storm the town, the Royalists tried to blockade the town with a perimeter of one to two miles (1.60-3.21 kilometres), and established garrisons at Chideock, Cokum, Wellington and Wycraft houses. They were unsuccessful.[4] The siege ended on 15 December 1644.[5]  

On 11 April 1645, Goring under directions from Prince Rupert sent the artillery and foot of Sir Joseph Wagstaff towards Taunton; whilst the horse went east to watch for any Parliamentary reinforcements approaching.[6]

Having around 4,200 foot and 2,000 horse, the Royalists began to increase their attacks. However, the town defences had been improved–illustrating how quickly preparations were made. The first defensive line consisted of two forts; whilst a second line inside the town was of fortified houses, barricades and entrenchments. The Royalists attack had three approach lines, which were covered by artillery. A night assault at 07:00 p.m. on 8 May 1645, captured the two forts.[7]

Inside the defenders’ line, houses were on fire. On 9 May 1645, the town was attacked at 11:00 a.m. By 06:00 p.m., the castle, church and Muyden’s Fort were still held by the besieged; although 20 houses were burnt by grenades and mortar fire. The town did not have enough fodder for horses and people were starving.[8]

A relief force, containing some 6,000 men, under the command of Weldon approached the town and drove off the Royalists.[9] After 94-days, the siege had left 150 garrison soldiers dead, another 200 hundred wounded, two-thirds of the houses destroyed and people starving. Bed cords were used as matches for musketeers, and to keep the horses alive, thatch from the roofs had been taken down to feed them.[10]

The third siege was a brief affair. By July, Fairfax was able to manoeuvre the New Model Army into Somerset, and face the Royalists under the command of Goring at the Battle of Langport on 10 July 1645.[11]

Evidence of the Civil War can be seen in the archaeological record in the form of defensive ditches, with one on Canon Street measuring 1.5m in depth and 5m in width. A siegework with banks of earth 3m in height near the north-east side of the castle has also been examined.[12] Further research, including the role of the castle in the war, is necessary.

“You may read it in the ruins of this place…her heaps of rubbish, her consumed houses, a multitude of which are raked in their own ashes. Here a poor forsaken chimney, and there a little fragment of a wall that have escaped to tell what barbarous and monstrous wretches there have been”.[13]

The words of the Minister of Taunton, George Newton in 1646 illustrates that the town of Taunton was a microcosm of the Civil War. The evidence of despair, destruction–the effects of siege warfare is clearly seen in the historical and archaeological records.  

Preliminary research for my second book for Helion, involving an examination of the castles during the Civil War is underway. Like ‘Cannon Played from the Great Fort’ Sieges in the Severn Valley during the English Civil War 1642-1646 it will involve an examination of the geology, topography, cartographic, historical and archaeological evidence available.

A copy of ‘Cannon Played from the Great Fort’ Sieges in the Severn Valley during the English Civil War 1642-1646 can be purchased here.

Bibliography

Gathercole, Clare, Somerset Extensive Urban Survey – Taunton Archaeological Assessment (Taunton: Somerset County Council, 2002).

Morris, Robert, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645 (Bristol: Stuart Press, 1995).

Prior, Stuart, A few well–positioned castles: The Norman Art of War (Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd, 2006)

Underdown, David Somerset in the Civil War and Interregnum (Newton Abbot: David & Charles (Holdings Ltd, 1973).

Turton, Alan, Civil War in Wessex (Salisbury: Wessex Books, 2015).

Wroughton, John, An Unhappy Civil War: The Experiences of Ordinary People in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, 1642-1646 (Bath: The Lansdown Press, 1999).


[1] Robert Morris, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645 (Bristol: Stuart Press, 1995), pp.5-6.

[2] David Underdown, Somerset in the Civil War and Interregnum (Newton Abbot: David & Charles (Holdings Ltd, 1973), p.80.

[3] Stuart Prior, A few well–positioned castles: The Norman Art of War (Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd, 2006), p.71.

[4] Morris, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645, p.6.

[5] Alan Turton, Civil War in Wessex (Salisbury: Wessex Books, 2015), p.22.

[6] Morris, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645, p.7.

[7] Morris, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645, p.7.

[8] Morris, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645, pp.7-8.

[9] Morris, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645, p.8.

[10] John Wroughton, An Unhappy Civil War: The Experiences of Ordinary People in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, 1642-1646 (Bath: The Lansdown Press, 1999), p.227.

[11] Morris, The Sieges of Taunton 1644-1645, p.11.

[12] Clare Gathercole, Somerset Extensive Urban Survey – Taunton Archaeological Assessment (Taunton: Somerset County Council, 2002), p.28.

[13] Wroughton, An Unhappy Civil War, p.195.