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Military Images of the 1660s

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InfantryInfantry Musketeer, 1650-60. Dutch
This Dutch musketeer retains the musket rest, which had been discarded in England during the Civil Wars, and wears a kind of pot helmet of a kind rarely seen in England after 1642. His baggy breeches and long cassak, worn over a short doublet, were fashionable in the 1650's and early 1660's. From Memorie der Particuliere Exercitie by Johan Boxel.
Arms and AmmunitionArms and Ammunition Wagon Escorted by Soldiers. French
From the time of the Fronde. Note the lack of uniformity in the several types of polearm; and the rooster on the wagon! This is the sort of force Louis inherited in 1661. Print from Collombon's Trophée d'armes published in Lyon in 1650, reprinted 1660.
Charles II
Charles IICharles II's departure from Scheveningen in Holland in May 1660.
The painting (below) is usually said to show red-coated British Foot Guards. However, the etching of the same scene by Nicolaus Visscher (above) identifies these soldiers as Dutch. The painting copies the engraving. The artist may have chosen to paint the soldiers coats red, the colour he saw being worn in London.
PikemenPikemen of the early 1660's. Dutch
These Dutch pikemen retain their helmets, back and breast plates, with short 'tassets' protecting the thighs. In England armour was discarded during the Civil Wars but there were efforts to reintroduce it during Cromwell's rule. From the Dutch manual Drilkonst by Hendrik van Buren.
Charles II TroopA Troop of the Horse Guards at Charles II's Coronation in 1661. English
An oil painting of the event shows tiny figures of a troop in buffcoats although an account from some years later observed a troop in short red jackets. The buff coats or jackets worn by this troop under their back and breast plates have many tabs or skirts, and are decorated with metal or lace strips on the sleeves.  From an engraving by Wenceslas Hollar.
English SoldiersSoldiers, later 1660's. English
Although in a book published in 1689, the soldiers depicted here are dressed in the style of the late 1660's. The pikemen in the background still wear helmets and full armour. The officers have short coat sleeves reaching to the elbow, and except where constricted by the cuirass, wear their long, knee length coats open. The central officer seems to have a short waistcoat under his coat. From Military Disciplines or the Art of War by J.S.
TournaiThe Siege of Tournai 1667. French
From a print after the painting by Lebrun, showing the French in the trenches before the city. In the foreground is a pikeman, probably from a Swiss unit since he has arm cops and tassets.   Soldiers are mostly in grey and a servant in the royal livery holds the king's horse.
TangierSoldiers in Tangier 1669. English
These tiny figures in an etching by Hollar from sketches made at Tangier in 1669 show that the knee-length French style coat had already been introduced into the English army. The coat has buttons all the way down to the hem, wide turnbacks on the sleeves, and is worn open under a bandolier and sword baldrick, both some four inches wide. From Divers Prospects in and about Tangier, exactly delineated by W. Hollar, His Majesties Designer, AD1669.
TangierSoldiers in Tangier 1669. English
An engraved view of the Tangier Colony made from watercolours painted by Hollar on a visit in 1669. The Two officers wear knee-length coats over short waistcoats with baggy knee-length breeches.  The original Hollar watercolours show officers wearing grey clothing unlike the red of common soldiers. It has been suggested that this was light 'tropical' uniform. Though the cloth may have been lighter in weight, the cut was much the same as that worn in England. From Divers Prospects in and about Tangier, exactly delineated by W. Hollar, His Majesties Designer, AD1669.
TangierSoldiers in Tangier 1669. English
Detail of the previous picture. From Divers Prospects in and about Tangier, exactly delineated by W. Hollar, His Majesties Designer, AD1669.
Officer TangierOfficer in Tangier 1669. English
An officer wearing a knee-length coat over a long waistcoat with baggy knee-length breeches. His clothing is decorated with many ribbons and bows. From Divers Prospects in and about Tangier, exactly delineated by W. Hollar, His Majesties Designer, AD1669.

Justice & Discipline | Tangier Social Life | Raising a Regiment | Soldiers Drill 1660-1715
Battle of Blenheim 1704 | Storming of Schellenberg 1704 | War of the Spanish Succession 1701-14
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Gallery 1660s | Gallery 1670s | Gallery 1680s | Gallery 1690s | Gallery 1700s


Graphics Copyright © N. Kipar 2003.
Contents Copyright © Ben Levick 1998. With permission by the author.