Military History |
War of Spanish Succession
Painting Guide for the War of Spanish Succession in the Peninsular
Posted 1 Apr 2006
All details from Condray (1992), which, apparently is hard to get now. .
General painting guide:
|Coat and trousers||
In 1664, the infantry were dressed in blue.
By the early 18th century Alvadia (white grey; described as a dirty white, but often given as simply as "white" in contemporary descriptions) was the most common coat colour. White grey was not universal, and some units retained the blue.
Coat linings and cuffs were in the livery of the colonels (red, blue, green, etc); vermilion (bright scarlet red) was the most common Portuguese livery colour.
|Vest||As coat, or with a border.|
|Hat||Black tri-corn, with optional white ribbon/lace. White green cockade.|
|Stockings||White, although at least one unit had Red.|
|Bandolier, waist belt, cartridge bags, stocking strap||Bright leather|
|Sword and bayonet scabbard||Dark brown|
|Shoes||Black or chestnut brown. Iron buckles|
|Other metal fittings||Iron|
As was typical of the period each Portuguese regiment had distinctive features:
|Regiment||Primary Livery||Secondary Livery|
|Campo Maoir||(formerly blue faced red)|
|Almeida||Vermilion (bright scarlet red)||Silver|
|Castelo de Vide||Vermilion||Silver|
|(Castro) Conde de Cascais||Silver||Blue|
|Faro (Conde de Vimiero)||Silver||Vermilion|
|Junta da Commercio||unknown (probably blue coat)|
|(Silva da) Portalegre||Silver||Purple|
|Nova de Moura||Vermilion||Gold|
|Lisboa||(Light blue coat trimmed white/silver)|
|Bras da Silveira||Silver||Vermilion|
|Conde de Ilha||None listed|
|Silva da Vagos|
|Conde de Areiras||Silver||Purple|
Officers: By 1721 regimental officers were meant to wear the uniform of men but presumably more elaborate. Based on the Tercio de Chaves (see below), the colonel might wear his livery as the main coat colour. In the 17th century sashes were green (most common), blue or red, but in the 18th century red or carmine (dark red) predominated . Senior officers wore any colour they pleased.
Drummers: It seems they wore reversed colours, so the coat and trousers were the livery of the colonel.
Portuguese Royal Guard of Archers ("Green Halberdiers")
Green trimmed with white from about 1640 to 1728.
Tercio (Regiment) de Chaves
This is one of the old infantry units and its uniform at the Battle of Almanza (April 1707) was described by the Mestre de Campo of the time:
Coat. White (presumably the new white grey as opposed to the old blue) with red distinctions (possibly "vermelho", a bright scarlet red).
Decorations. Gold/yellow .
Officer (i.e. himself). Red coat, white cape, gold trimmed hat.
Lisbon (Lisboa) Regiment
Another infantry unit we have specific information about. In 1717 their uniform was:
Coat. Light blue with silver lace.
Braid, feathers, stockings. White.
Coat: blue with red distinctions
An illustration from 1720 has the man in standard infantry uniform with red cuffs and black shoes.
Tercio Da Armada (Marine Infantry)
The marine tercio was as the infantry but
Coat. Green with yellow distinctions. The yellow is described as "dark orange yellow" in original sources but based on a colour illustration Condray (1992) says he wouldn't describe it like that. Another illustration cited by Condray has the lining of a private a lighter shade of yellow to the cuffs. Yellow lace. Buttons yellow metal.
Stockings. White (although had been yellow in an earlier period),
Neck cloth. Black.
Hat: Black. Text says dark feathers in their hat, but rather poor illustration doesn't seem to show any. In the b+w illustration the tri-corn has a ribbon, which is probably white.
Bunting in barrel of the musket (whatever that is). Red and blue.
Officers: Plumes in their hat. Sash in crimson (darkish red) trimmed gold. Buttons, lace and hat lace = Gold. Neck cloth white with black bow.
Prior to the new regulations of 14 Feb 1707, the Portuguese horse basically didn't have a uniform. "some had hats, others caps, and in all colours clad, so one would take them for a band of vagabonds rather than for trained horse" (Francis, 1975, p. 52, cited in Condray, 1992, p. 14).
After the new regulations the white grey uniforms started appearing, along with tri-corns and jack boots. Some units had breastplates.
Dragoon cap: Red turned up with light blue, edged with white fur. (Note, it is likely each man had both the Dragoon cap and a tricorn, as this was the practice in other armies.)
|Regiment||Primary Livery||Secondary Livery|
|Conde de Prado||Silver||Blue|
|(Brito) Conde de Arcos||Vermilion (bright scarlet red)||Silver|
|Dragoons de Mello da Silva||Vermilion||Silver|
|Dragoons de Sousa Carvalho||Blue||Gold|
|Dragoons de Pedro Machado Brito||Vermilion||Silver|
|Joao Dantas da Cunha||Gold||Blue|
|Praca de Moura||Vermilion||Gold|
|Praca de Elvas||Unknown|
|Praca de Braganza||Silver||Vermilion|
|Dragoons de Evora||Unknown|
|Guardias das Minas (Sousa, Marguis das Minas)||Silver||Blue|
|Olivenca (Mello Conde de)||Vermilion||Silver|
The regulations of 1707 mandated two colours for each regiment, both horse and foot.
The pattern on Portuguese standards is controversial, but the most likely option for foot regiments at the Battle of Almanza (1707) is a windmill pattern. The windmill pattern in green and white dates from the Napoleonic wars, and in our period colours probably varied between regiments. Examples:
- Standard of Tercio da Armada. Green and yellow windmill. Border in a triangular pattern, but both in/out are white (I think). Crowned Braganza arms with crossed grey anchors, on a light brown field, superimposed. Sleeve is blue and white. Cord and tassel on staff point also blue and white.
- Possibly standard of Lisbon Regiment, as the colours match. Rectangular. Light blue and white windmill. Border is the reverse.
- Old flag of the City of Lisbon. Green and white windmill.
- Rectangular. Blue and white windmill. Border is the reverse. Arms of Braganza superimposed. Staff in blue and white bands.
- Rectangular. Red and white windmill. Border is reverse.
- Rectangular. Red and blue windmill. Border in a triangular pattern of alternating blue (in) and red (out). Arms of Braganza superimposed.
- Square. Green and white windmill. Border in a triangular pattern, but both in/out are white. Arms of Braganza on crossed sword and scepter superimposed. Silver scroll with blue letter under the arms "IUS DEDIT ET DABIT UIT". Cords silver and blue. Tassels red and silver.
If the windmill pattern was not in fact in wide spread use during our period, then the next most likely standard pattern is four green bands on a white field. Variations on this are known, for example, four white bands on a blue field.
Horse probably didn't use the windmill pattern. Cavalry standards were likely to be a field in the colonel's livery, with his coat of arms super-imposed. The arms of the house of Braganza may have been on one side of the colonel's colour.
Condray, P. (1992). The Portuguese Army During the War of Spanish Succession (1704-1715). Editions Brokaw.
Francis, David. (1975). First Peninsular War, 1702-1713. St. Martin's.