Origin and History
This tercio of cavalry was raised on 9 March 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), for the Baron of Verloo. It consisted of 22 companies of 50 men each. The year of its creation, it fought in the Battle of Seneffe and took part in the siege of Oudenarde. In 1675, it participated in the Battle of Konzer Brücke where it captured two pairs of kettle-drums from the French Garde du Corps. In 1677, it took part in the unsuccessful siege of Charleroi; and in 1678, in the Battle of Saint-Denis.
On 13 April 1701, the Marquis de Bedmar, at the request of Maréchal Boufflers, reorganised the tercio to follow the organisation of French dragoon regiments. It kept its old guidon carrying the arms of the Count de Monterey.
In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), the tercio initially had its quarters in Namur. It later took part in the occupation of Guelderland and in the engagement near Nijmegen, and was present at the cannonade near Peer. In 1703, it fought in the Battle of Ekeren. In 1704, it was part of reinforcements which did not reached Tallrd's Army in time for the Battle of Blenheim. It then retired to Haguenau and then to the Spanish Netherlands. In 1706, it took part in the Battle of Ramillies; in the engagement of Wijnendale. In 1710, the regiment evacuated the Spanish Netherlands and marched through France to Catalonia where it fought against the insurgents and took part in the siege of Gerona. In 1711, it took part in the capture of Gerona and of the Castle of Arenys, in the unsuccessful siege of Cardona; in 1713, in the blockade of Barcelona; and in 1714, in the siege and capture of Barcelona.
In 1717, 50 dragoons of the regiment took part in the expedition in Sardinia.
According to the regulation of February 10 1718, the regiment was renamed “Belgia” and each of its squadrons received a guidon.
In 1719, the entire regiment joined the army assembling on the French border.
In 1720, the regiment was sent to defend Ceuta on the coasts of North Africa. It returned to Spain in 1721.
According to the regulation of July 12 1728, the guidons of the regiment were made of red silk with the royal arms on their obverse and the Belgian Lion on their reverse with the motto “Ab unque leonis Belgiae regis regaliae.”
On May 16 1729, the privilege of the regiment to have a kettle-drummer, in recognition of its conduct at the Battle of Konzer Brücke, was confirmed.
In 1732, the regiment was once more sent to North Africa for the reconquest of Oran and Mers El Kébir. It returned to Spain in 1734.
In 1735, the regiment joined the “Army of Observation of Extremadura” on the Portuguese border.
In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment marched across France to join the army assembling on the border of the Kingdom of Savoy. In 1742, the regiment took part in the capture of the Castle of Aspremont; in 1743, in the attack of Château Dauphin; in 1744, in the occupation of Nice, in the attack of the lines of Montalban and Villefranche, in the capture of Demont, in the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo; in 1745, in the Battle of Bassignano; and in 1746, in the battles of Piacenza and Rottofreddo. In 1748, the regiment returned to Spain.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from March 1 1749: Don Miguel de Irrumberry y Valoma
- from July 22 1760: Don Hugo de Urries
On September 20 1765, the regiment was renamed “Rey.”
Service during the War
On May 7 1762, the regiment received orders to join the army assembling in Extremadura for the planned invasion of Portugal. Detachments were posted in Villafranca, Acebuchal and Almendralejo. On August 27, a company of the regiment was captured when the Anglo-Portuguese launched a surprise attack on Alcántara. At the end of the campaign, the regiment took up quarters at Jeréz de la Frontera.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced silver with a red cockade fastened with a white button|
|Coat||yellow laced white with 9 white buttonholes with white tassels
|Waistcoat||red laced white with white buttons and white buttonholes, horizontal pockets laced white|
no information available yet
Musicians probably wore a uniform with reversed colours: red coat with yellow facings.
The guidons were made of damask or silk, fringed and embroidered with silver. The cords and tassels were mixed of black and silver.
Obverse: black field, the border embroidered with a vegetal pattern; centre device consisting of the Royal Spanish Arms surrounded by the necklace of the Order of the Golden Fleece; all embroideries of silver.
Reverse: black field, the border emdroidered with a vegetal pattern; centre device consisting of the regimental emblem, a golden lion (the Belgian heraldic animal), surmounted by a silver scroll with an unknown motto; all embroideries (excluding the lion) were made of silver.
This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 214-233
Album de Taccoli, 1759
Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counselling provided for this article.
Volker Scholz for the information on the guidons.