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Colonel Alexander MacDonnell’s Regiment of Foot

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Alexander MacDonnell was the brother of Randal MacDonnell, 1st Marquis of Antrim. The family was a branch (technically called a sept) of the Clan Donald, an historic clan with claims to the title Lord of the Isles. Randal would die without producing an heir and Alexander would go on to become the 3rd Earl of Antrim (Randal was 1st Marquis, 2nd Earl in case you are wondering why it seems as though I have poor numeracy skills). The good thing about taking pictures of 15mm figures and looking at them on a big screen is noticing mistakes - the errant pike (back row, left hand side as we view it) has now been repaired. Alexander had been travelling around Europe on his Grand Tour (think seventeenth century Inter-Railing) and returned to Ireland as the Irish Rebellion was beginning to gather pace. He sided with the Confederate rebels and was given command of a Regiment in 1642 by Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill. When the Regiment was sent to Scotland in 1644, as part of the Irish Brigade, Alexander

Colonel James MacDonnell’s Regiment of Foot

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Written histories of the Irish Brigade tend to have been fabricated by the Victorians who littered this history with romantic frilly nonsense.  Little is actually known about the 1,500 men of the Brigade. The Irish Brigade were sent to Scotland in order to support Montrose by the Earl of Antrim. Three regiments made up the Brigade, this regiment was commanded by Colonel James MacDonald. Not much is known about James, he is quite possibly the illegitimate son of the Earl of Antrim, but that is by no means definite. The Earl had three sons prior to getting officially married - James is most likely the youngest of the three. Raised in 1644 they were shipped over to Scotland and almost immediately took to the field at Tippermuir where they mustered 400 men; they then fought at Aberdeen; by February 1645 at Inverlochy their numbers had halved to 200; they fought at Auldearn, Alford and finally Kilsyth. What remained of the regiment is unknown, but we do know that James returned to Ireland w

Chirk Castle

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The ECW Travelogue made a flask up, packed a face mask, and headed over the border into Welsh Wales. Wrexham to be precise. Chirk Castle is in the care of the National Trust and has limited open hours: check the website before travelling, particularly as opening and access is even more limited due to the current pandemic. I managed to sneak a visit in during the seven days that it was open late September, before it fell victim to local lockdown regulations. Built in the late thirteenth century, Chirk was part of Edward Longshanks chain of castles across North Wales. From a Civil War point of view we'll fast forward to 1593 when the Myddleton family bought the property. Sir Thomas Myddelton II was an MP having represented Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in the 1620s, before he represented Denbighshire in 1625, then again 1640-1648. Sir Thomas Myddleton II He was made Sergeant Major General of the Parliamentary forces in North Wales. In the summer of 1642 he returned to Wales to 'use

Painting Guide - Artillery

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 So I have pontificated about clothing colours (in general)... What Colours To Use? What Colours To Use Part 2: Paint ...regimental coat colours (or not)... Coat Colours Part 1: Parliamentarian Regiments of Foot Coat Colours Part 2: Royalist Regiments of Foot Coat Colours Part 3: The Scots Coat Colours Part 4: Others - NMA, Dragoons & Horse The Trained Bands ...and equipment... Painting Guide - Equipment Only time before I looked at artillery. So here it is. A re-enactors' cannon ready to be fired Artillery pieces were expensive to produce, heavy and difficult to move around. The idea of using artillery in battle (rather than in a siege) was still in it's infancy. Guns were placed before the battle and pretty much stayed there win, lose or draw. Gunners were highly skilled individuals, many having learned their art on the continent during the Thirty Years War, and were often described as mercenaries employed by whomsoever paid the most rather than whose cause their hearts s

Lord Fairfax’s Lifeguard of Horse

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The final Parliamentarian harquebusiers for some time leave the painting table. Lord Ferdinando Fairfax's Lifeguard of Horse: raised in 1643 they were present at the capture of Leeds, and the Battle of Adwalton Moor. 1644 saw them besiege York, fight at Marston Moor, skirmish at Halton before skirmishing a Leeds. 1645 saw the regiment venture a little further afield after a skirmish at Skipton: they were sent to Cheshire to join Brereton's army - they didn't really do much apart from besieging High Ercall and joining the march into Wales (for which the regiment got paid £200). After service with Brereton they returned to Yorkshire after spending a couple of months in Derbyshire. Their final engagement was the Battle of Sherburn in Elmet. The Regiment carried an a cornet with interesting imagery -a Papal crown impaled upon a sword topped off by a royal crown. It carries a motto in Spanish which translates as "no hurt to the King, but to his evil Government" which s

Colonel Patrick Graham of Inchbrackie’s Atholl Highlanders

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Colonel Patrick Graham of Inchbrackie was a cousin of the Marquis of Montrose, and was known as Black Pate because he had been facially disfigured in a gunpowder explosion.  Inchbrackie was an ardent supporter of Montrose and Charles I, and raised a small regiment of Highlanders from the Atholl area -  the regiment were also known as the Perthshire Levies.  The regiment was raised  from the Atholl estates and were in the main Stewarts, Robertsons, Camerons and Murrays.  One of these men, Alexander Robertson was later given a pension by Charles II in recognition of his services. The Robertsons carried a standard at the point of which was a small stone known as the Clan-Nan-Brattich that apparently made them invincible in battle.  They fielded 500 men at Tippermuir, were present at Fyvie, fielding 500 men again this time at Inverlochy, fought at Auldearn, possibly fought at Alford, fielded 200 men at Kilsyth, then besieged Inverness. They finished off  by routing Campbell of Ardkinglas a

Coat Colours Part 3b: The Army of Montrose

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I suppose this post was inevitable; I started wondering what colour palette I would need to use to paint my forthcoming Montrose army. I've already investigated coat colours , general dye colours and how that roughly translates to paint codes , but I needed a rough idea of tartan colours, shirts and in particular those colours favoured by the Irish. Just as there is a wargamer fact™  that 'the London Trained Bands all wore red coats' so there are also quite a number of well established wargamer facts™  concerning the clothing of the Irish and Highlanders. But how factual are these facts? Highlanders Wargamer Fact™: the Highlanders wore yellow shirts .  Highlanders did wear shirts, and some, at least were dyed yellow. Highlander's shirts were made from coarse linen, they certainly didn't lace up at the front (in an Adam and The Ants style). James Gordon's History of Scots Affairs 1637-1641 (written 1841) has this description “As for their apparel; next the skin,

Sir Horatio Cary's Regiment of Horse

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You probably don't know much, or have even heard of Sir Horatio's Regiment of Horse but you will, no doubt, be aware of their cornets; nor may you now the story behind their less than subtle message. Cary's Cornet - original artwork by Tony Barton, from a Military Modelling series on ECW flags available to download via BCW Regimental Wiki Sir Horatio was originally a Parliamentarian, fighting as colonel of foot in Waller's Southern Association: Cary defected to the Royalist cause shortly before the Siege of Bristol in 1643. The history of the regiment is confused by Symonds's mistaken suggestion that the regiment was taken over by the Earl of Cleveland, and that Cary would raise a second regiment in the West Country. The details that we can  attribute to Cary's are: possibly skirmishing at Westbourne, possibly at Cheriton, Storming of Leicester (where they numbered 200), Naseby, besieged at Bristol (the karmic circle catching up with Sir Horatio?), pos

The Army of Montrose Part 2

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The Army of Montrose: and so it begins... But first some housekeeping (so to speak).  My armies have custom casualty markers from Warbases with suitable messages around the rim of the markers - Parliament's have "for God and Parliament", the King's have "pro Deo Rege et Patria", the Covenanters "Couenant for Religion King and Kingdomes", and  clubmen "Repel all plunderers!". After much deliberation a number of slogans were thought up, but nothing really leapt out at me. "To Win or Lose It All", a line from Montrose's poetry was the leading contender for quite some time, until I started researching flags. Then I saw the slogan on the Strathbogie Regimental flag "for God the King against all traitouris". A few characters longer than any of my other slogans, would it fit? Thankfully Warbases tested it out and it fits! Ladies and gentlemen - we have a winner. Flags were always going to be a bit of an issue. The True

Painting Guide - Equipment

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Having spent quite a bit of time, not to mention a few thousand words, prattling on about the colours (and paint codes) that I use to paint my toy soldiers, it is probably only right and proper that I discuss the hardware carried, and worn, by soldiers. This is an excuse to share lots of little bits of information that I have come across whilst researching my armies, and wider questions such as coat colours. Don't be surprised if there is a digression or three. For those of you new to the blog here are the other posts: What Colours To Use? What Colours To Use Part 2: Paint Coat Colours Part 1: Parliamentarian Regiments of Foot Coat Colours Part 2: Royalist Regiments of Foot Coat Colours Part 3: The Scots Coat Colours Part 4: Others - NMA, Dragoons & Horse The Trained Bands Caveat: these are my observations, with a smattering of references thrown in for good measure, they are in no way definitive. They could never be. The best we can ever aspire to, when modelling soldiers of th