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Military Images of the 1690s

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DragoonDragoon, 1690's. French
This French dragoon is distinguished from a regular cavalryman by the musket with its butt lodged in a 'bucket'.
BoyneBattle of the Boyne, 1690. English
Most artillery remained too cumbersome to be moved during a battle; but during the reign of James II mobile 3-pounder cannons were attached to foot regiments and were served by soldiers drawn from their ranks. Detail from The Battle of the Boyne, 1690 by Jan Wyck.
Grenadier MitreGreanadier Officer's Mitre Cap of c. 1690.
Officers still had a large degree of freedom in their choice of uniform, and grenadier company officers seem to have copied the unusual styles of dress of their men. The grenadier cap appeared in various styles: with hanging bags or hoods, high conical points with tassels, or as decorated caps. This example is some 8" tall and decorated with thistles, denoting Scottish origins.
Soldiers William IIIFour Soldiers of William III's Army, 1690's.
One has a soft, fur-trimmed cap, another a leather cap which may resemble that worn by English fusiliers. Plug bayonets and powder flasks are worn on a waistbelt. The musket locks are hard to identify, and have anyway been drawn incorrectly, fitted on the left hand side. Pen and watercolour by an unknown artist.
CavalryCavalry and Dragoons, 1695. French
The dragoons had caps, leather gaiters and muskets with slings, whereas the cavalrymen wore hats, reinforced boots and carried carbines. Dragoons had colourful uniforms, but most cavalry had grey with red cuffs. Engraving after Guérard.
Soldiers GauntletSoldier Running the Gauntlet, 1695. French
This was the usual punishment for stealing from fellow-soldiers. While exemplary punishment could be extremely severe, harsh practices such as floggings were considered 'inhumane' as normal punishment. Engraving after Guérard.
French SoldiersSoldiers, 1690's. French
French soldiers near the town of Grey in Franche Comté, during the Dutch War. Note the details of equipment - like the haversacks either slung over a shoulder or held by two straps.  Detail of a print after Van der Meulen
VaubanSébastien Le Preste, Seigneur de Vauban, late 1690's.
One of the greatest military engineers in history.  He was made a marshal in 1703, conducted 53 sieges, built 33 strongholds and had nearly 300 others upgraded. He also wrote many works and his treatises on the fortification, attack and defense of cities are still considered classics in the literature of the art of war.
Garde FrancaiseMusketeer of the Gardes Francaises, 1696. French
He wears the uniform introduced in 1685 - blue lined with red, with white buttons and lace. Note the equipment, showing the bullet bag and powder horn hanging from a buff shoulder belt.   The leather flap covering the bag was usually in reddish-brown leather, decorated with the royal arms. Figure from Giffart's Art Militaire Francais (1696) which featured drill for musketeers, fusiliers and pikemen. From 1703, a new drill was introduced dealing with flintlock muskets only, as the use of pikes and matchlocks had been abolished.

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
Military Galleries
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.