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The Scots Brigade, also referred to as the Anglo-Dutch Brigade or by Dutch historians as the Anglo-Scots Brigade,[1] was an infantry brigade in the army of the Dutch Republic. First formed in 1586, by the late 17th century it usually comprised six infantry regiments, three recruited primarily from Scotland and three from England.

Scots Brigade
aka Anglo-Dutch Brigade
aka Anglo-Scots Brigade
Droochsloot - Prince Maurice of Orange dismissing the mercenaries in Neude Square in Utrecht on 31 July 1618.jpg
Mercenaries in Dutch service, ca 1618
Activeca 1586-1782
Country Dutch Republic
BranchArmy
TypeInfantry
SizeBrigade; between three to six regiments
Garrison/HQDutch Barrier forts
MarchThe "Scottish March"
EngagementsEighty Years' War
Franco-Dutch War
Nine Years War
War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Earl of Leicester
Lt-General Hugh Mackay

Throughout the 16th and early part of the 17th centuries, units of foreign mercenaries were commonly used by all European powers. Domestic opposition to permanent armies as a result of the 1638-1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms meant British monarchs also used the Brigade to create a pool of trained officers, who could be called on when needed. However, in the early 18th century, increasing demand meant permission to recruit in Britain was restricted on a number of occasions and finally banned after 1757.

The costs of participation in the 1701-1714 War of the Spanish Succession marked the decline of the Dutch Republic as a Great Power. After 1714, the Brigade was reduced to three regiments and primarily used to garrison the Barrier forts.

When it was dissolved in 1782, many officers were British, often from families with a long tradition of service with the Brigade but the vast majority were Dutch-born. It became regiments 22, 23 and 24 of the regular Dutch army and after 1784 ceased to be a separate unit.

Its traditions and battle honours were continued by the 94th Foot, a regiment raised in 1794 for service in India; this ended in 1881, when the 94th became part of the Connaught Rangers.

Contents

Formation in 1586-1648Edit

 
Earl of Leicester as Governor-General, 1586; first commander of the Brigade

The Dutch fight for independence from Spain in the Eighty Years' War of 1568–1648 attracted support from Protestants across Europe, including England and Scotland. After the Treaty of Nonsuch in 1586, the Earl of Leicester formed the Brigade by adding three English regiments to the three Scottish already serving.[2] While Leicester's expedition was largely a political and military disaster, the Brigade existed in various forms until its dissolution in 1782.

 
Scottish mercenaries in the 1630s

Tactical innovations in the 1580s replaced the traditional slow moving infantry squares with smaller more mobile units and introduced the concept of volley fire.[3] This created a preference for professional troops, rather than civilian militia; both James I and Charles I viewed the Brigade as a foreign policy tool, which also provided them with a pool of trained military professionals if needed.

The Thirty Years' War created multiple opportunities to serve in the armies of Protestant nations like Sweden, Norway and Denmark; Dutch service became less attractive, while the Brigade was primarily used on garrison duty.[4] However, strong religious, economic and cultural links between Scotland and the Netherlands meant that by 1632, the Brigade contained three Scottish and three English regiments.[5] When the Wars of the Three Kingdoms broke out in 1638, many returned home but the Brigade continued to serve in the Dutch army until the Peace of Münster ended the war with Spain in 1648.

1648-1697Edit

 
Hugh Mackay (1640-1692), who re-established the Brigade as an elite unit in the 1670s; killed at Steenkerque, 1692

In the late 17th century, the experience of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Protectorate meant strong resistance in both Scotland and England to a standing army.[6] Formations like the Brigade thus provided an outlet for Scots and English who wanted to pursue a military career; professional officers formed a small and tight-knit group, who moved between armies, often regardless of nationality, religion or political belief. States commonly employed other nationalities; in the French army of 1672, 12 out of 58 infantry battalions were recruited outside France, as were 9 of its 87 cavalry regiments.[7]

During the 1665-1667 Second Anglo-Dutch War, officers were required to swear allegiance to the States General but many refused to do so. The English regiments were withdrawn in 1665, reinstated in 1667, then withdrawn again when the Third Anglo-Dutch War began in 1672. The alliance between England and France was deeply unpopular; while the Franco-Dutch War continued until 1678, the two countries made peace with the 1674 Treaty of Westminster.[8]

 
John Graham, Viscount Dundee; one of many late 17th century Scots soldiers who served with the Brigade

Uncertainty and constant changes impacted recruitment and William of Orange complained about its low morale and quality; by 1674, only 13 officers in the three nominally Scottish regiments were Scots.[9] Hugh Mackay was largely responsible for recreating the Brigade by suggesting they re-establish the regiments by recruiting from Scotland and England.[10]

Recruitment for the Brigade was controlled by Charles II and his brother James II; they also appointed the officers but this required negotiation, as shown by the failure of attempts to install the Catholic Earl of Dumbarton as commander.[11] Nevertheless, the Brigade included a number of Catholic officers like Thomas Buchan; during the 1689-92 Jacobite rising in Scotland, senior officers on both sides included former colleagues Buchan, George Ramsay, Hugh Mackay, Alexander Cannon, Viscount Dundee and Sir Thomas Livingstone.

The Brigade was lent to James in June 1685 to suppress simultaneous rebellions in Scotland and England, but both quickly collapsed and it returned to the Netherlands without seeing action.[12] In early 1688, James demanded the repatriation of the entire Brigade but it was clear war with France was imminent and William refused to comply.[13] The Brigade accompanied his invasion of England in November 1688; a small detachment took part in the Wincanton Skirmish on 20 November 1688, one of the few actions fought during the largely bloodless campaign. In March 1689, Hugh Mackay and the three Scottish regiments were sent to Scotland to suppress the Jacobite uprising; the three English regiments were transferred onto the English military establishment.

1701 to dissolution in 1782Edit

 
 
Veurne
 
Knokke
 
Ypres
 
Menen
 
Tournai
 
Mons
 
Dendermonde
 
Namur
The Dutch Barrier forts in the Austrian Netherlands as agreed in 1715, shown on a map of modern Belgium

The expansion of the British military during the War of the Spanish Succession led to restrictions on Dutch recruitment in Scotland and was halted entirely in 1709. Relaxed after 1714, they were re-imposed after the 1745 Jacobite Rising, due to concern rebels might use it to escape. The right to recruit in Scotland was finally ended in 1757.[14]

For most of the 18th century, the Brigade was used to man the Dutch Barrier forts. In the War of the Austrian Succession, detachments fought at Fontenoy, Rocoux and Lauffeld and held Bergen op Zoom during the 1747 siege. After it fell to the French, the garrison withdrew to Steenbergen, which they successfully defended until the war ended in 1748; by then, only 200 officers and men of the original 800 remained.

The war confirmed the decline of the Dutch Republic as a major European power and it did not take part in the Seven Years' War. The Brigade remained a distinct force but long service in the Netherlands meant that by the 1760s the vast majority of recruits either came from Scottish families settled in the Netherlands for generations or were not Scottish at all.[15] Its right to recruit in Scotland finally ended in 1757.[16]

 
The capture of Sint Eustatius by the British led to the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War and the dissolution of the Brigade in 1782

The outbreak of the American War of Independence in 1775 caused tensions with Britain since the Dutch were generally sympathetic towards the colonists. The Dutch island of Sint Eustatius was used for trading with the US, over 2,400 ships clearing the port in 1777 alone and a British request for the 'loan' of the Scots Brigade was rejected due to requirements made by the province of Holland.[17] In September 1780, the British intercepted a draft commercial treaty between the American agent in Aix-la-Chapelle and members of the Amsterdam business community and declared war in December.[18]

Since it was technically a British unit on loan whose officers held commissions from George III, this caused obvious problems when the countries were at war. On 18 November 1782, all officers were required to take an oath to the Stadholder but most refused and returned to Britain; they included a Colonel, 5 Lt-Colonels, 3 Majors, 11 Captains, 3 Lieutenants and 29 Ensigns. Distinctive markers such as red uniforms, British colours and the "Scottish March" were abolished and the units renumbered Dutch infantry Regiments Nrs 22, 23 and 24. When peace came in 1784, a combination of political and cultural changes meant the Brigade was not reformed.[19]

LegacyEdit

 
Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Bradford Colonel, 94th Foot, circa 1825

Those officers who resigned their commissions in 1782 continued to petition the British government for the Brigade to be reconstituted in some form.[20] Finally in October 1794, 23 former Brigade officers joined a new unit raised for service in India, 94th Foot, the Scotch Brigade.[21] The 94th assumed the battle honours and colours of the Brigade until 1881 when it became part of the Connaught Rangers; the regimental colours can now be seen in St Giles', Edinburgh, with copies also in the Netherlands.

Over the years many ex-soldiers settled in the Netherlands, including Hugh Mackay, whose son, nephews and grandsons all served with the Brigade. This branch ultimately became hereditary Chiefs of Clan Mackay and continue to hold the titles of Lord Reay in the Scottish peerage and Lord of Ophemert and Zennewijnen in the Netherlands.[22] Other less distinguished descendants included Dutch Colonial Army Captain Rudolf MacLeod, who in 1895 became the husband of Mata Hari when she responded to his advertisement for a wife.

In his novel The Heart of Mid-Lothian, set in the Porteous Riots of 1736, Sir Walter Scott references the brigade, as the Scotch Dutch;

Captain John Porteous, a name memorable in the traditions of Edinburgh, as well as in the records of criminal jurisprudence, was the son of a citizen of Edinburgh, who endeavoured to breed him up to his own mechanical trade of a tailor. The youth, however, had a wild and irreclaimable propensity to dissipation, which finally sent him to serve in the corps long maintained in the service of the States of Holland, and called the Scotch Dutch. Here he learned military discipline; and, returning afterwards, in the course of an idle and wandering life, to his native city.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ede-Borrett, Stephen (2011). "Casualties in the Anglo-Dutch Brigade at St Denis, 1678". Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. 81 (237): 278.
  2. ^ Glozier, Mathew (2001). Scotland and the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648; Steve Murdoch et al. Brill. p. 126. ISBN 978-9004120860.
  3. ^ Messenger, Charles (2001). Reader's Guide to Military History. Routledge. p. 370. ISBN 978-1579582418.
  4. ^ Glozier, 2001, P.128.
  5. ^ Unknown (1795). An Historical Account of the British Regiments Employed Since the Reign of Queen Elizabeth and King James I In the Formation and Defence of the Dutch Republic Particularly of the Scotch Brigade (2009 ed.). University of Michigan Library. p. 22.
  6. ^ Chandler David, Beckett Ian (1996). The Oxford History Of The British Army (2002 ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-0192803115.
  7. ^ Childs, John (1984). "The British Brigade in France 1672-1678". History. 69 (227): 386. JSTOR 24419689.
  8. ^ Davenport, Frances Gardiner (1917). European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies. Washington, D.C. Carnegie Institution of Washington. p. 238.
  9. ^ Unknown (1795). An Historical Account of the British Regiments Employed Since the Reign of Queen Elizabeth and King James I In the Formation and Defence of the Dutch Republic Particularly of the Scotch Brigade (2009 ed.). University of Michigan Library. p. 49.
  10. ^ Miggelbrink Joachim, McKilliop, Andrew (ed) & Murdoch, Steve (ed) (2002). Fighting for Identity: Scottish Military Experiences c.1550-1900. Brill. pp. 91–92. ISBN 978-9004128231.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Glozier, Mathew (2004). Scottish Soldiers in France in the Reign of the Sun King: Nursery for Men of Honour. Brill. p. 192. ISBN 978-9004138650.
  12. ^ Childs, John (2014). General Percy Kirke and the Later Stuart Army (2015 ed.). Bloomsbury Academic. p. 72. ISBN 978-1474255141.
  13. ^ Childs, John (1984). "The Scottish brigade in the service of the Dutch Republic, 1689 to 1782". Documentatieblad Werkgroep Achttiende Eeuw.: 61. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  14. ^ Henshaw, Victoria (2011). "Scotland and the British Army; 1700-1750" (PDF). PHD Thesis, University of Birmingham: 53. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  15. ^ Conway, Stephen (2010). "The Scots Brigade in the 18th Century". Northern Scotland. Volume 1 (No 1): 30–31. doi:10.3366/nor.2010.0004.
  16. ^ Henshaw, p. 54
  17. ^ Miggelbrink, McKilliop & Murdoch, 2002, p.86-88.
  18. ^ Miller, Daniel (1970). Sir Joseph Yorke and Anglo-Dutch Relations 1774-1780 (2010 ed.). Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 98–100. ISBN 978-3111002286.
  19. ^ Miggelbrink, McKilliop & Murdoch, 2002, p.92.
  20. ^ Colyear Robertson, LT-Colonel, WP (June 1790). Letter (Bundle 1711-1712 ed.). PRO no 89.
  21. ^ Miggelbrink, McKilliop & Murdoch, 2002, p.88.
  22. ^ Steven, Alasdair (20 May 2013). "Obituary: Hugh Mackay, 14th Lord Reay and Chief of Clan Mackay". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 February 2018.

SourcesEdit

  • Chandler David, Beckett Ian (1996). The Oxford History Of The British Army. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0192803115.
  • Childs, John (2014). General Percy Kirke and the Later Stuart Army. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1474255141.
  • Childs, John (1984). "The British Brigade in France 1672-1678". History. 69 (227).
  • Childs, John (1984). "The Scottish brigade in the service of the Dutch Republic, 1689 to 1782". Documentatieblad Werkgroep Achttiende Eeuw.
  • Colyear Robertson, LT-Colonel, WP (June 1790). Letter (Bundle 1711-1712 ed.). PRO no 89.
  • Conway, Stephen (2010). "The Scots Brigade in the 18th Century". Northern Scotland. Volume 1 (No 1).
  • Davenport, Frances Gardiner (1917). European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies. Washington, D.C. Carnegie Institution of Washington. p. 238.
  • Ede-Borrett, Stephen (2011). "Casualties in the Anglo-Dutch Brigade at St Denis, 1678". Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. 81 (237).
  • Glozier, Mathew (2004). Scottish Soldiers in France in the Reign of the Sun King: Nursery for Men of Honour. Brill. ISBN 978-9004138650.
  • Glozier, Mathew (2001). Scotland and the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648; Steve Murdoch et al. Brill. ISBN 978-9004120860.
  • Henshaw, Victoria (2011). "Scotland and the British Army; 1700-1750". PHD Thesis, University of Birmingham.;
  • McKilliop, Andrew & Murdoch, Steve (ed); Fighting for Identity: Scottish Military Experiences c.1550-1900; 2002;
  • Messenger, Charles (2001). Reader's Guide to Military History. Routledge. ISBN 978-1579582418.
  • Miller, Daniel (1970). Sir Joseph Yorke and Anglo-Dutch Relations 1774-1780. Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3111002286.
  • Unknown (1795). An Historical Account of the British Regiments Employed Since the Reign of Queen Elizabeth and King James I In the Formation and Defence of the Dutch Republic Particularly of the Scotch Brigade (2009 ed.). University of Michigan Library.

External linksEdit