Friday, June 8, 2012

Scottish Archer of the Maison du roi

Above: Scottish Archer, reign of King Henri III (lithograph by Noirmont - NYPL)

According to various chronologies of the Maison du roi, this company of the Garde du corps (royal bodyguard) was created in 1440 or 1445. It was the 1st or Scottish Company and originally was composed of 100 men-at-arms and 100 archers. Three French companies, numbered 2d through 4th, were created subsequently. The company generally had a Scottish or Franco-Scottish captain, at least until 1559, when as we have seen, Montgomery accidentally mortally wounded the king. Apparently, he was the last of the Scots captains. The personnel were originally entirely Scots, but gradually French noblemen came to predominate, and by 1612 approximately two-thirds of the troopers were French.

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