Monday, January 21, 2008

Le Regt. de St. Vignobles

The flags and uniforms of the Regt. de St. Vignobles.
(Curiously, there are no references to this regiment in the works of Lucien Mouillard-Ed.)

Raised on behalf of King Louis XIV for service in the Palatine campaign in 1688 by my grandfather, Etienne-Germinal Délancé Bouillon-Cantinat, the 8th Marquis de Sangfroid, Prince Ecclesiastical and Bishop of St.Vignobles.

The regiment wears the blue coat of foreign regiments rather than the justeaucorps gris of the bulk of the French troops. It was decided by the Ministry of War that as the Principality of St. Vignobles found itself wedged between the Duchy of Lorraine and the River Rhine, and thus its borders were not contiguous to the lands of France proper, then logic necessitated that it should be raised as a German regiment in the service of the King. This was despite the fact that at that time, the Duchy of Lorraine was in fact occupied by France and not the independant entity it had been in previous times.

This was a decision that went against the wishes of my grandfather and indeed, one which vexed him considerably. The Bouillon-Cantinats have always considered both our estates- and our warriors- in direct service of the Crown, and worthy of inclusion amongst the roll of native French Regiments.

As way of protest of the decision by the War Ministry to classify his regiment as being "foreign", the Marquis declared that its officers and sergeants would wear reversed colours as a sign of their "true" place in the French Army. Likewise, the Marquis (being a proud man) had his drummers clothed in the yellow and blue of the family livery. This also happened to be a combination of colours being detested- perhaps not entirely without intention on grandpére's part- by the then Minister of War, M. Le Tellier fils, the Marquis of Barbezieux.

(NB: it is said that a certain indiscretion on the part of my grandfather regarding an attractive young niece of the Chevalier de Bejart led to some disfavour within close circles of the court at the time; the lady in question being a ward under the care of of Madame Le Tellier, wife of the minister, as well as being a favourite lady-in-waiting of Madame de Maintenon, wife of the King.

The Bouillon-Cantinats, both male and female, have always had a reputation for being somewhat mercurial in temperament, and none more so than my grandfather the 8th Marquis. His passion for beautiful women and for vignt-et-un had often, alas, obscured his otherwise commendable common sense. )

Upon the field of battle and as both besieger and defender in the siege of many a fortress, the Regiment de St. Vignobles has always distinguished itself for it's coolness under fire and the honour of its officers. It has served with distinction in a number of campaigns since its establishment during the Nine-Year's War, in both the Low Countries and the Palatinate. During the War of the Spanish Succession at the beginning of this century it stood steadfast under fire at the great battles of Malplaquet, Oudenaarde and most famously at Denain, where it's gallantry earned praise from the great M. de Villars himself.

One of the proudest moments for the regiment was the refusal of its second battalion, under the command of the Chevalier Ludovici Battisto di Bulgari, to participate in the destruction of the castle at Heidelberg as he considered it to be an action inconsistent with the honour that is expected from an officer in the service of France.

The colours of the regiment feature the motto of the Bouillon-Cantinats, and were designed by the Duchess of Burgundy in 1692. Thus they include the cross of Burgundy, as a reminder both of the origins of St. Vignobles as a part of the estates of Charles the Bold, and of the gracious benevolence shown by the Duchess towards the establishment of the regiment (she being the cousin of my grandmother on the Cantinat branch of our family).

The original uniforms and arms were purchased at her expense as a gift to the family of Bouillon-Cantinat; my grandfather finding himself in somewhat impecunious condition at the time. This is said to have been due to regrettable excesses at the gaming table, during which Mademoiselle Fortune (always a fickle mistress) deserted his cause.

Template courtesy of the invaluable Not By Appointment website (see links)


abdul666 said...

Always a gratifying pleasure to discover a new blog devoted to a fictitious Lace Wars country, and the Bishopric of St. Vignobles with its (toungue-in-the-cheek) French background appears promising in an original and humorous way.

Thanks for giving me my 52nd ‘fict’ link to a blog or website at least partly devoted to a (group of) Lace Wars Imagination!

Of course you already know of the 'Emperor vs Elector' 'Emperor vs Elector' web campaigning group?

aka Louys of Monte-Cristo

abdul666 said...

To have the officers in 'reversed' colors (justified by a few historical precedent) is a great idea. With the drummers in a livery of their own, it will increase the 'visual' diversity on the table-top, pleasantly adding to the 'aesthetical appeal' advocated by C. Grant.


Robert Swan said...

Thank you for you kind comments, Monsieur Louys.

I 'd be more than happy to return the compliment and add a link to your your blog.

David said...

Very good to see my templates in use on a new blog - thanks also for the reference on your blog with its kind comments.

I was beginning to flag rather with my templates (and real life had been getting in the way of late) but now that I see someone else is keen on French templates I shall feel freshly energised to continue with the French cavalry. :-)

Bonne chance and en avant!


Robert Swan said...

Thank YOU, David- I'd love to see more French templates.

It was your templates that inspired me to set up the blog in the first place.

Ever consider flag templates to go with them?

David said...

Hi Robert,

I did reply to this some days ago but presume my post went into cyberlimbo - as, sadly, moderated comments on blogs sometimes seem to do. I much prefer to let anyone post and then delete any spam! I've had only, I think, 2 spam blog comments since I started the templates blog in June last year and they were easily removed - moderation after the fact, I suppose. ;-)

I'm very gratified to see that my templates blog prompted you to start your blog. :-) Things have been slow on the templates for a while for a number of reasons but I'm still slowly working on more. More French cavalry should pop up sometime soon-ish, I hope.

Ah yes, flags - I have actually considered doing some for a while but simply haven't had the time to diversify. The templates eat up about as much spare time as I can find, I'm afraid! One day, perhaps...


Robert Swan said...

Hi, David,

Thanks for the comment, and yes, that posting problem has come up before so I'll change the settings to allow unmoderated comments- and then just delete any spam "with extreme prejudice" should the need arise.

I'm just finishing off a scenario for Seligenstadt which should be posted this weekend if time allows.

Once it is played, and should the Marquis perform creditably, then the cavalry templates may prove useful, as I am thinking of having a grateful King Louis XV granting a commission allowing The Marquis to raise a regiment of horse!

David said...

Hi Robert,

I'm glad you're ditching the moderation thing - I'm sure posting will be much smoother after that!

Look forward to the battle report. Is there any particular cavalry uniform you have in mind?


Bluebear Jeff said...


I just discovered your blog and am liking it very much.

You asked about flag templates. I did a few some time back. Here are the (tiny) links to them:

The first has some infantry templates; the second, mounted templates.

-- Jeff