Monday, 27 February 2012

Colonel Blackader's Psalm of the Day








Psalm 127. Nisi Dominus.
EXCEPT the LORD build the house, * their labour is but lost that build it.
2 Except the LORD keep the city, * the watchman waketh but in vain.
3 It is but lost labour that ye haste to rise up early, and so late take rest, and eat the bread of carefulness; * for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
4 Lo, children, and the fruit of the womb, * are an heritage and gift that cometh of the LORD.
5 Like as the arrows in the hand of the giant, * even so are the young children.
6 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; * they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.





THE LIFE AND DIARY OF

LIEUT. COL. J. BLACKADER

OF THE CAMERONIAN REGIMENT

AND DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF STIRLING CASTLE

WHO SERVED WITH DISTINGUISHED HONOUR IN THE WARS UNDER

KING WILLIAM AND THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH,
AND AFTERWARDS IN THE REBELLIONS OF 1715 IN SCOTLAND
BY ANDREW CRICHTON,
AUTHOR OF THE MEMOIRS OF THE REV. JOHN BLACKADER
EDINBURGH:
PUBLISHED BY H. S. BAYNES,
15, UNION PLACE, AND 17, PICARDY PLACE.

W. BAYNES & SON, LONDON.

1824



Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lace Wars - in a 54 mm manner - Mitres

'I beseech thee, Eugenius, quoth Yorick, taking off his night-cap as well as he could with his left hand,—his right being still grasped close in that of Eugenius,—I beseech thee to take a view of my head.—I see nothing that ails it, replied Eugenius. Then, alas! my friend, said Yorick, let me tell you, that ’tis so bruised and mis-shapened with the blows which. . .and. . ., and some others have so unhandsomely given me in the dark, that I might say with Sancho Panca, that should I recover, and ’Mitres thereupon be suffered to rain down from heaven as thick as hail, not one of them would fit it.’


In the Shandean Garden Wargame the English regiments of Foot (with one exception) wear the Mitre Cap*.


This gives them a truly 'British' feel, and here are some of the varieties of figures that make up the two Brigades of Infantry.  


The one regimental exception is the Huguenot volunteer regiment of Foot - those stalwarts of Francois du Cambon - who would be killed at Landen. 






Courtesy of the Guards Museum






C H A P. IV.

WAS it Makay's regiment, quoth
my uncle Toby, where the poor
grenadier was so unmercifully whipp'd at
Bruges about the ducats. -- O Christ ! he
was innocent ! cried Trim with a deep
sigh. ---- And he was whipp'd, may it
please your honour, almost to death's
                          door


 -- They had better have shot him
outright, as he begg'd, and he had gone
directly to heaven, for he was as innocent
as your honour.



*please note: the author (like the good Parson Yorick) will not be over-much troubled in this manner

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lace Wars - in a 54 mm manner

William and Mary
When recreating the Campaigns of Uncle Toby there is a problem with figure availability in 54 mm.  












The 'Tradition' Marlburian figures here are pretty much spot on...




The delightful world of Funcken - a pleasure for nearly five decades
but building armies for the garden with this type of figure would prove to be ruinously expensive...

So the solution has been to use plastic figures from the general 'horse and musket' era.  As the spirit of the 'Shandean' game is one of pastoral pleasures - where old boots filled with pipe smoke can become cannons - then this seems to be perfectly in keeping.  

With thanks to Gary at the Guards Museum

'I wish', quoth my Uncle Toby, 'you had seen what prodigious armies we had in Flanders'

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Corporal Trim and the battle of Landen (Neerwinden) - a winter journey

Corporal Trim's halberd - a story of the battle of Landen


that this servant of my uncle Toby ‘s, who went by the name of Trim, had been a Corporal in my uncle's own company, ---- his real name was James Butler, -- but having got the nick-name of Trim in the regiment, […] had been disabled for the service, by a wound on his left knee by a musket-bullet, at the battle of Landen, which was two years before the affair of Namur; -- and as the fellow was well beloved in the regiment, and a handy fellow into the bargain, my uncle Toby took him for his servant, and of excellent use was he, attending my uncle Toby in the camp and in his quarters as valet, groom, barber, cook, sempster, and nurse;




The village today
The Allied centre

An approximate position of King William's ditch/trench

The view towards Neerwinden

The battle described
Walking the battlefield is a curious experience in winter, as the battle itself was fought on a bright summers day, 29thJuly 1693 (OS).  The battle is beautifully described in Colonel Walton's 'History of the Standing Army' and 'The Life and Diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader'.


Voltaire played tribute to the Huguenot refugee 'Gentleman's regiment' of Ruvigni (the good Lord Galway) that played such an important role in the battle and the saving of the Confederate Army.



The few short lines in 'Tristram Shandy' and the theme of 'Trim's' wounding are a remembrance of the violent and dogged defence of the villages by the British and Dutch infantry - led by King William in person on two occasions.  


And had it not been for Landen...


'Trim, I assure you, was the best scholar in my company; and should have had the next halberd,but for the poor fellows misfortune'.*






*  Halberd - to be promoted Serjeant