Ensigns

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Dathi
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Ensigns

Postby Dathi » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:30 am

Spotted by pure chance this quote

"He confidently affirmeth that Sir William Stanley, with his five watchet ensigns and his whole regiment is come to Turnhoult ; that he see them come marching in, knowing Sir William Stanley well, for that he was his drum in Ireland. He ascertaineth me also that there were looked for this night at the camp 3000 Italians newly come, who were marching on within a little of them. "

Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3: April-December 1587 (1929), pp. 380-397.

Now I guess that this means that Sir William Stanley has 5 Foot bands or companies forming his regiment, which sounds about right. And that a colour linked to these enisgns is watchet or a pale blue colour. This is pretty much the first reference I've come across to ensign colours.



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steve stanley
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Re: Ensigns

Postby steve stanley » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:27 pm

Would that be my beloved ancestor who defected to the Spanish?......... :wasntme:


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Merlon.
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Re: Ensigns

Postby Merlon. » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:45 pm

A point to bear in mind is that in the Tudor State Papers the words ensign and company can be interchangeable. So it could be be a reference to the coat colour of his companies.
Sorry to muddy the issue.



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steve stanley
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Re: Ensigns

Postby steve stanley » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:50 pm

"5 ensigns AND his whole regiment"......?


"Give me a tent and a kettle

Snowshoes and axe and gun

Send me up in Grand River

Steering by star and sun".

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Re: Ensigns

Postby Merlon. » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:26 pm

The caveat is still valid.. The quote could mean :-
a regiment with five blue colours
a regiment plus five -blue coated- companies.
The usual "it was obvious to them, but we don't know exactly what they meant" problem



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steve stanley
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Re: Ensigns

Postby steve stanley » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:45 pm

Yep......English Tercios SHOULD have had 12 companies...But I guess the original English organisation was kept for a while.......


"Give me a tent and a kettle

Snowshoes and axe and gun

Send me up in Grand River

Steering by star and sun".

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Dathi
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Re: Ensigns

Postby Dathi » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:36 pm

To add a few details. The letter is from Lord Willoughby to Walsingham and is dated October 24th 1587 and the info comes from a Drummer serving under Lord Willoughby who had been detained at the Spainish camp at Tornhoult. Sir William Stanley had been placed in command of the garrison at Deventer with between 1,200 to 1,400 men. Stanley himself commanded a force of Irish but I'm not sure of the numbers.

An earlier reference dated August 5th 1587 tells us that

"CAPT. ANTHONY WINGFIELD to WALSINGHAM.
One come to me from Deventer says that Stanley is there with five of his companies, and York with commission to raise a cornet of horse."

Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3: April-December 1587 (1929), pp. 218-230

Another quote from January 19th 1587 talking of Stanley's behaviour in Deventer says

"an allowance of 10l. sterling a month over and besides for every company of his regiment, being as he saith ten companies, amounting by the month to 1400 gulderns, besides a pay for his own company, which is more than is allowed to Sir John Norreys by 300 gulderns a month"

Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2: June 1586-March 1587 (1927), pp. 313-326

One Captain's Company refused to join Stanley in his defection and was allowed to march out.

I'd say the the 5 ensigns reference reflect 5 Foot bands of Stanley's regiment. At this time, in English practise there is no formal set structure to a regiment. A regiment is whatever is lumped together and called a regiment. Later forces include 2 regiments raised at the same time with one regiment of 6 Foot bands, 2 of 200 men and 3 of 150 men and 1 regiment of 6 Foot bands of 150 men. The first regiment was that of the senior Colonel of the force. The trip to Cadiz under Essex set regiments of 7 or 8 Foot bands. Lord Mountjoy's army in Ireland in 1600 started off with regiments of 4 Foot bands.

I'm not sure that the colour refered to is that of the coats. I've seen references to red coats and blue coats but always the quote will talk about coats, not that there's more than 3 or 4 references I can think of.



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Bevis Gittens
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Re: Ensigns

Postby Bevis Gittens » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:16 pm

Merlon. wrote:A point to bear in mind is that in the Tudor State Papers the words ensign and company can be interchangeable. So it could be be a reference to the coat colour of his companies.
Sorry to muddy the issue.


"Their Ensignes also they will not call by that name, but by the name of Colours. Which terme is by them so fondly & ignorantly given, as if they should be apposed as yong scholers in their accidens, and should (in stead of Ensignes) be asked how manie Colours of footme [sic] there were in the Armie by Remenen under the Count Boissu against Don Iuan d' Austria, they must then either answere, a hundred, or more or fewer, as white, black, blewe, greene, yellowe, russet, &) or els forsake their newe terme of colours, and say so many ensignes, Bands, or Companies, which in troth is no direct answere to the question."

Sir John Smtyhe, Certain Discourses 1590
Reprinted in Bow Versus Gun, 1973

Just to stir the mud a bit.... :)


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Re: Ensigns

Postby Dathi » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:26 pm

Finally home so I can hunt down this image

http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~mquillig/Si ... 567_15.jpg

Ensign on the far left. Looks like there are stars on the ensign along with a cross in a darker colour. Thro I can't tell if it's St.Andrew or St.George althogh St.George is more likely

The ensign doesn't seem to match any of the ensigns described in JSAHR vol.4 No.116 1925 Surveys of the Muster of the Armed & Trayned Companies in London

Although this one http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~mquillig/Si ... 567_39.jpg looks completely plain....

Images of Ireland seem to show crosses in St.George style here

http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 59_jpg.jpg and here http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 61_jpg.jpg

or plain colours here http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 60_jpg.jpg

although Images of Ireland is a little bit made up.......




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