French King's Musketeers (engraving)

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Athos1660
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French King's Musketeers (engraving)

Post by Athos1660 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:08 pm

I wanted to share with you one of the very few period pictures of the early King's Musketeers (lately named 'Musketeers of the Guard’), those of the first company that served Louis XIII then the young Louis XIV between 1622 and 1646. Recognizable with the silver cross on their blue tabard :

Image

Artist : S. della Bella, 'Mounted Musketeer galloping towards the left', in Various cavalry exercices, ca. 1642-45.
Public domain, no copyright. Source : Met (with high res)

Part of the mounted military household of the King (‘Maison à cheval’), the King's cavalry, this small elite company of 100 then 150 men fought on foot and mounted as well. They took part of the rescue of the fort of the island of Ré (1627), participated in the siege de La Rochelle (1627-1628), led the Enfants perdus during the storming of the Pas de Suse on 9 March 1629, routed two Lorrain regiments at Rouvroi (1632), etc.

And, of course, became famous thanks to Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers :-)

Source : R. Masson, Défendre le Roi, 2017.

Athos1660
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Re: French King's Musketeers (engraving)

Post by Athos1660 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:06 pm

Another interesting engraving, this time concerning the King's Musketeers of the second period (from 1657 on).

It relates to the battle of Cassel in 1677 where the now two companies of King's Musketeers charged the enemy, while being on foot.

Here is the complete map of the battle : (Source with zoom, download...)

We'll focus on the red rectangle.

Image

The first company of King's Musketeers (details) :

Image

Image

- in red : behind a hedge, the horses and horse-holders of the 1st Company of King's Musketeers
- in blue : the 1st Company of King's Musketeers charging the enemy with the musket and the sword, led by the Chevalier de Fourbin
(the words 'Mr de Fourbin' and 'Mousquetaires du Roy, Pre Compagnie' are written on the map)

The second company of King's Musketeers (details) :

Image

- in red : horses and horse holders of the 2nd Company of King's Musketeers
- in blue : the 2nd Company of King's Musketeers led by Marquis de Jonvelle
(the words 'Mr de Jonvel' and 'Seconde Compagnie' are written on the map inside the bleu rectangle)

______

(edit) Later, the Musketeers mounted their horses and fought on horseback till the end of the battle.

Source : Ph. J. E. de Smyttère, La bataille du Val-de-Cassel de 1677, ses préludes et ses suites, 1865

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