Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Moderator: Moderators

Tiamat
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:29 am

Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Tiamat » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:15 am

Hi everyone,

I'm back with another Napoleonic question! :P Thanks to all your good help & advice, my team managed to set up a small regiment of Red Lancers. Of course, this project is already getting way way out of hand, so now we want appropriate props & encampment and everything as well. So first of all, we're looking at period tents, which is turning out to be more challenging than expected.

Apparently, Prussian cavalry (and possibly British Cavalry as well, according to Tent Smiths) used bell wegde tents, with the rounded backs (to put your saddle, apparently?). While it's tempting to assume this was the same for French/Dutch cavalry, I'd still like to be sure, but I haven't been able to dig up anything about the subject. I was hoping anyone here has some knowledge of period tents? :)



User avatar
Andy R
Post Centurion
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:45 am
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Contact:

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Andy R » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:44 pm

On the odd occasion they got to use them, British cavalry used bell tents with supports on the central pole to hang tack off.

In the period they could sleep 8, as re-enactors we struggle with 4.

Key difference to the bell tents we use is the period ones did not have “walled” sides.


Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing them, but never through riding them: unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die

http://www.16ld.org

User avatar
John Waller
Post Knight
Posts: 1551
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby John Waller » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:40 pm

Andy R wrote:On the odd occasion they got to use them, British cavalry used bell tents with supports on the central pole to hang tack off.

In the period they could sleep 8, as re-enactors we struggle with 4.

Key difference to the bell tents we use is the period ones did not have “walled” sides.


8 men! Luxury. We footsloggers were supposed to have ten to a bell tent.


Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

User avatar
Andy R
Post Centurion
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:45 am
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Contact:

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Andy R » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:06 pm

John Waller wrote:8 men! Luxury. We footsloggers were supposed to have ten to a bell tent.


You didn't have spurs - you give people with spurs more room...!!!!


Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing them, but never through riding them: unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die



http://www.16ld.org

Vic James
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:25 am
Location: A place where they make beer

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Vic James » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:56 pm

For most of the 18thC the British used a vast selection of walled ridge tents and `A` frame tents ,,some flat ended ,some
later showning a `Bell end` one end .
In 1793 Mr Trotter [ of the pack fame] made a walled bell tent for the Duke of Yorks , Flanders campaign .
Known as ,, The Trotter tent , the York tent , the Flanders tent [ `letter` Wellington 1813 ! ] and the privates round tent .
Other tent makers followed suit but with out the wall due to Trotters coypright , untill 1803 when Mr Trotter `gave` the
design to the nation :-) From then it was a `free of all` ,,,
So you can have walled or cone bell tent in different sizes , next to ridge tents and `A` frames ,, depending on
were you are , what issue etc ,, After the 1812 `BIG` issue of Walled Bell tents [ Flanders tents ] the `A` frames
just headed off to North America .



Vic James
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:25 am
Location: A place where they make beer

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Vic James » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:28 am

Just checked the `tentsmiths` website and will say that they make a large range of
tent designs and sizes ,,and are putting names to those`British` tents so they have a name
and not a catalogue number .
Best too say ,, is If you are doing late British Napoleonic , a walled [ 12inches or less ] Bell tent, with no vents ,,or
a ring of small vents in the top cone of the tent . simple over lap door . Like what I make :-)
If its before 1808 [ ish !! ] any tent design as long as it doesn`t have vents and does have a overlap door ,,,
And `yes` , there are mentoins of larger `A` frames with bellends for the horse folk ,,known as `Horse tents`
as they had to store more kit than the foot folk ,,, in their `standard or ordinarie` tents ..

Steps away from the can of worms :-) vic



Tiamat
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:29 am

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Tiamat » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:31 am

Thanks everyone!

Vic, were Trotter's designs used over on the continent as well? My regiment is Dutch, but in service of Napoleon, so would probably have followed French style I guess.

@ Andy and John: 8 to 10, wow! That's a lot of folks for just one tent. With today's luxury, it's going to be just me and my tent (okay, and my saddle and tack). :twisted: May not be period appropriate, hah, but at least it'll be comfy.



Tiamat
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:29 am

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Tiamat » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:32 am

Oh, for extra info, it's for 1811 to 1815, so quite late. :)



User avatar
Andy R
Post Centurion
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:45 am
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Contact:

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Andy R » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:57 am

Hi Vic,

Are there any primary sources for that info?

Everything I have is bell tents (and only a couple of contemporary pictures showing the un walled bell tents). Contemporary memoirs I have read only mention bell tents, but mostly in passing as most of the time it's about sleeping next to a tacked up and picketed horse so you can be in the saddle with 10 minutes notice.

Ta,
Andy


Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing them, but never through riding them: unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die



http://www.16ld.org

Tiamat
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:29 am

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Tiamat » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:47 am

Vic, do you have a website? :)



Alexander
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:24 pm
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Alexander » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:48 pm

Tiamat wrote:(...)

@ Andy and John: 8 to 10, wow! That's a lot of folks for just one tent. With today's luxury, it's going to be just me and my tent (okay, and my saddle and tack). :twisted: May not be period appropriate, hah, but at least it'll be comfy.

It will be comfy on a nice summer night but when it's a bit colder I would prefer sharing a tent with some human heaters. Or do you keep your horse inside your tent? Afaik only Arne does that... :roll:



Vic James
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:25 am
Location: A place where they make beer

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Vic James » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:54 pm

Hi Tiamat No I don`t have a website as I am hardly ever out of work ,, :-)
Email me on victortents@tiscali.co.uk and I`ll send you a catalogue .
also am in the Netherlands quite offen ,, last week in fact and will be at Grolle
in a few weeks time .
As for you using Bell or Flanders in the Dutch forces , only if you kept them after 1793
or Walcheren 1809 ,, bet there was a few left behind then !! :-)
Dug out some drawing of British Dragoon/cavalry tents with a bellend, 1731 and 1778 . And
as I said earlier , you pays your money and you get what the sail/tent maker supplies ! The earlier
one is over 7ft wide while the `tecnical drawing` 1778 is 6ft wide . and I was reading a letter from
the 1780s AWI that was complaining that the last tent batch was only 5ft wide !!! Though very well
made :-)
Basicly I can make what you want ,, you could go for the Double ended Dutch army tent ? I`ve always
wanted to make one of those :-)



Vic James
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:25 am
Location: A place where they make beer

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Vic James » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:13 pm

Hi Andy Yes I have primary sources ,,

Up untill 5 years ago I thought that Walled bell tent came in around 1812 , cause thats what people said and what was in
a couple of `easy read` Napoleonic books . But a vist to the National Arry museum turned up a good detailed drawing
watercolour , which you could count the sitches , of the Flanders tent I explain above . 1803 10th Light Dragoons `Prince of Wales own`
which put that type back abit :-)
Chatting to Dr Andrew Bamford came up with the ref for the Trotter/ Duke of Yorks tents 1793 and
it all came together this last May when I got the

Board of Ordance Comission of Enquiry printed 9th Jan 1812 where Mr Maberley explains all :-)
While defending the reason hes been adding 8s 9d to every `Round tent` since 1806 above the agreed price .
It was his patterned ventilator in the top you see :-) The wall bell tent as 5 names to my count in the period !!

Email me and I`ll send you the link , ask Andy Bamford for ther 1793 refs vic



Vic James
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:25 am
Location: A place where they make beer

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Vic James » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:31 pm

I should also say for those that don`t really want to read the 16th Comission of Enquirys which deals with tents and harness.

That Mr Maberley had been making these tents since 1803, when he explains , Mr Trotter gave the design to the nation .
And that the `Bell tents` that `other poeple` made had no wall ,, but by the time of the interveiw [ 19th March 1811 ] All
tents had walls and were called Bell Tents !!!
The Duke of Wellinton was therefore behind the times when he talked about 1500 `Flanders Tents` in a letter 1813 ,,,

vic



User avatar
Andy R
Post Centurion
Posts: 826
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:45 am
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Contact:

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Andy R » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:37 pm

Cheers Vic.

I'll ping Andrew and see what he's got.

Ta,
Andy


Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing them, but never through riding them: unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die



http://www.16ld.org

User avatar
John Waller
Post Knight
Posts: 1551
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby John Waller » Wed May 07, 2014 12:08 pm

A couple of snippets from the archives of John Trotter ref tents:-

Letter

7 April 1809

Treasury states that there are 6353 Flanders tents in the Tower which will afford covering for 76236 men. (that's 12 per tent)

Letter [c1803]

A camp at Bagshot was formed for trying the merits of our private tent which has ever since been universally used to the entire exclusion of those that were in use before that time


Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Mark Griffin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 4234
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:28 pm
Location: Wales. Only just!
Contact:

Re: Napoleonic French Cavalry Tents

Postby Mark Griffin » Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:51 am

Treasury states that there are 6353 Flanders tents in the Tower which will afford covering for 76236 men. (that's 12 per tent)


Is it possible that not all men are in the tent at the same time. Such as the roman tent, where its a 6 man tent for an 8 man unit. Two supposedly being always on duty.

Although I have yet to see any primary evidence for such. Its possible some rotund re-enactors have invented that for their peace of mind...


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.


Return to “1810-1900”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest