Friday, December 19, 2014

Hugh Frasers Dragoons

Originally a dragoon regiment, by the end of its career, the troopers had become hardened enough (and perhaps with sturdier nags) to become traditional cavalry.  Its recruiting area under Hugh Fraser of Kynneries is unknown. All of its senior officers where veterans from the continent.

Arriving in England in May, by the siege of York it was well provisioned and with an impressive compliment of troopers.  Serving with Leven through Northumberland and County Durham it acquitted itself well at the Battle of Corbridge.  When Montrose, before his Highland adventures, attacked Morpeth castle, Fraser and Wheldons Horse pushed the royalist back.

At Marston Moor, they deployed on the allied left, pushing forward to take control of the Sike Beck, a ditch perpendicular to the main deployment. As both forces began to deploy, some of Ruperts' cavalry pushed forward into contact with Frasers Dragoons. They held and prevailed, with the royalist troopers fleeing to York.  

As Cromwell advanced, the dragoons cleared the ditch in front of the main body of horse, allowing the allied line to charge unimpeded.  After briefly resting, the regiment moved forward again in support of the calvalry.

Newcastles' Whitecoats had positioned themselves within the enclosures at White Sikes Close, determined to sell themselves dearly.  Both Cromwell and Leslies Horse had been unable to make an impression, so Fraser's dragoons were moved up.

Firing into the hedgehog of pikes, a gap was made, which their mounted colleaques exploited, breaking then routing the Whitecoats, cementing the allied victory at Marston Moor.

Over the following months, throughout the winter, it crossed and recrossed the Pennines, serving at the siege of Carlisle.

By summer, Montroses' success in Scotland led it being recalled by Leslie to move north.  On September 13th, it was engaged at Philiphaugh, ending Montrose's advance.  However, as the north was still in arms, it moved north with Middletons cavalry.  By October, it received permission to become a regiment of horse and returned to England.

By now, the long campaign and lack of supply/pay began to take its toll.  It continually levied retribution on the area's it was quartered in - running what amounted to little more than extortion on the locals.  Relations soured not only with the local populace but with the constabulary and with the Parliamentary army - who demanded the miscreants be tried under their jurisdiction.  The Scottish officers refused, having held their own court martials.

By the spring of 1647 the regiment left England to be disbanded at Kelso.  Fraser received a commission in the "New Model" army, but although it had an excellent reputation, in England it was forever associated with the depredations of the original.


Phil said...

Gorgeous! Thank you for our eyes, excellent job...

Rodger said...

Fantastic looking unit! Interesting read too.

DeanM said...

Superb brushwork - truly impressive.

Rank Bajin said...

Thanks guys - really appreciate the comments


Dougie said...

Excellent stuff again, loving the bases, may well be copying them for my Arthurian bases!

Rank Bajin said...

Dougie - steps for bases are

1. Elmer's wood filler - "smooths" the finger base to wood base
2. Bit of sand locally applied for stones - stuck with pva then sealed with watered down pva
3. Whole base painted in mix of 2 burnt umber to 1 yellow ochre
4. Dry brush with yellow ochre
5. Stones - black - codex grey - fortress grey- white (dry brushed)
6. Edge bases - black first then scorched brown (rhinos hide)
7. Silflour tufts
8. Static grass - light late summer grass with local patches of darker green
7. Whole figure and base sprayed with dull cote