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"Spanish "Royal Africans'" Topic

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42flanker07 Aug 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

I should be grateful for information on the presence (or not) at the battle of Almanza 1707 of a Spanish regiment referred to in English as the 'Royal African'.

Lilian07 Aug 2017 1:19 p.m. PST

the only «Royal African» I know was the French black West Indies unit of the Neapolitan Army one century later

the non-royal Regimiento de Africa n°43 former Tercio de Espinar was not listed in 3 ORBATs of the French-Spanish Army I have seen

click on «+» for the size

PDF link

42flanker08 Aug 2017 12:07 p.m. PST

Many thanks, Lilian. That is most helpful and pretty much rules the 'Royal Africans' out of the picture.

A number of British regiments have certain traditions (relating to particular dress distinctions) dated in a rather a vague way to the Iberian phase of the WOSS, particularly the debacle of Alamanza in 1707 but also to Almenara or Saragossa.

More familiar as I am with Marlborough's campaigns in the north, might I be able to find a concise, up-to-date account of the fighting in the Peninsula?

WFGamers10 Aug 2017 2:06 a.m. PST

These might help – link



Lilian10 Aug 2017 1:40 p.m. PST

but it is something in relation with the Warwickshire Regiment, isn't it?

The Royal Warwickshire carry the antelope with the crowned red and white rose in the corners, the antelope being from their defeat of the Royal Africans at Saragossa, on August 20th, 1710

so it is the ORBAT of Zaragoza 1710 we need and if there was the Regimiento de Africa

42flanker11 Aug 2017 3:25 a.m. PST

Well spotted. I was trying to keep the enquiry general.

However, a connection between the Antelope of the Sixth and the battle of Saragossa/Zaragossa is speculative, as indicated in this footnote from Cannon's Historical Record of Sixth or 1st Warwickshire Regiment to 1838 (one of the earliest references to be found in print:

'Tradition has connected the badge of the ANTELOPE, borne on the colours of the regiment, with its services in Spain; and as the SIXTH captured several colours at SARAGOSSA, which colours were taken to England by their Colonel, THOMAS HARRISON, and presented to Queen Anne, it is not improbable but that an ANTELOPE was on one of the captured colours, and that Colonel HARRISON obtained her Majesty's permission for his regiment to bear the badge of an ANTELOPE in commemoration of the event. No documentary evidence has, however, been met with to substantiaite the tradition. (pp.52-53)

I was following up an earlier assertion in an anonymous letter that appeared in the journal The Royal Military Chronicle from October 1811:

'I have been informed by the present general Campbell, that they took a stand of colours from a Spanish regiment (the royal African) in the battle of Almanza, which had the Antelope for their badge; since which time they have borne it. The general has been upwards of twenty years in the corps, and is therefore likely to know. Sir G. Nugent the present colonel, has in vain made several researches to discover the true origin of its acquisition.'

The author then offers his own theory that the emblem dated from the formation of the 6th in the late C17th when it was raised for service in the United Provinces.

Although no more authoritative than the Cannon history, this letter is interesting for its early reference to Almanza as the Antelope of the Sixth. It should be said that old colonels are the source of many of the most cherished and hoary regimental myths.

More significantly, perhaps, from the link you provided it appears an antelope did not figure in the badge of Regimiento de Africa. Its presence in the Franco-Spanish OB of Saragossa may well be neither here nor there.

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