Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Troops of the Maison de Condé

L'Entrée de Monseigneur le Prince de Condé dans la ville de Ipre [i.e., Ypres] : [estampe]
Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, RESERVE FOL-QB-201 (39)

A recent post by the Baró de Claramunt on his blog, “La Guerra dels Segadors,” focused on the entry of the small French auxiliary corps commanded by Roger de Bossost, comte d’Espenan, into Barcelona in support of the Catalan republicans (winter 1640). This little-known episode of the Thirty Years’ War (or Franco-Spanish sub-war thereof) reminded me of the connection of Espenan and two of the three infantry regiments he brought with him to the Maison de Condé. The princes of Condé were princes of the Blood Royal. These royal “cousins,” who would occasionally oppose or rebel against royal policies or authority (typically as represented by a minister), had immense power in the France of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, and many military units were owned by them either directly or through what we might term as patronage. In effect, these units constituted a private army within (and occasionally without) the royal army. Here is a list showing the troops associated with the Maison de Condé:

In Volume 3 of his Histoire des princes de Condé, the duc d’Aumale provides an interesting “Note on the Troops of the House of Condé.” The statement below is based on the note, which names the various infantry and cavalry units associated with the powerful noble house.


     July 1630 Anguien-cavalerie; 6 cos.

     1634 Gendarmes de Condé; 1 co.

     1636.  Gendarmes d'Anguien; 1 co.

     1627.  Chevau-légers de Condé; 1 co. (40 men).

     ?.  Chevau-légers d'Anguien; 1 co. (40 men).

     Others. Not mentioned here are the carabins, the guards of the governments of Berry and Burgundy, the arquebusiers à cheval, the troops of the chateau de Dijon, the archers of Montrond, and other troops--provincial, frontier, and garrison.

Infantry Regiments

     1622 - dissolved “immediately” Anguien [Enghien] > reestablished 8 July 1635 > dissolved 1650 or 13 September 1651, according to Belhomme > reestablished 1667 > 1686 Bourbon.

     25 January 1636 Conti > 1698 (4 June 1649, according to Belhomme).

     1644 Condé > 1650 > reestablished 7 November 1659. This was the duc d’Albret’s regiment.

     In addition, the regiments of Persan, Espenan, and Bourgogne were associated with the House of Condé, though not as proprietary regiments.

     Companies in infantry regiments: Anguien: 30; Conti: 30; Condé: ?; Persan: 30; Espenan: 20; Bourgogne: 20.

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