Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gordon of Monymore's Regiment

Last week I put the finishing touches on Monymore's Regiment. The figures are mostly Eureka Highland Musketeers and Pikemen from the 17th Century Scots range. The unit includes a handful of Perry ECW scots in lowland clothing and a couple of Old Glory figures, most notably Col. Wm Gordon himself in full belted plaid with claymore.

I requested the Eureka range through the Eureka "100 Club" back in 2006, with Montrose's highland troops in mind. They were sculpted by Alan Marsh to be compatible with Perry ECW Scots and were finally produced in Jan 2008. Primary reference provided was the 17th century Stettin print

Col. William Gordon in full highland attire comes from the Old Glory ECW Highland Command bag. The figure comes modelled with an anachronistic philabeg (or small kilt), a late 18th century fashion development. I added the full belted plaid, as worn in the 17th century, using greenstuff. The unpainted conversion can be seen in an earlier WIP blog post.

To give the unit a strong highland flavour I have painted almost every model with some tartan. The highlanders have belted plaids, and tartan long coats, and those in lowland clothing typically have tartan breeks (breeches).  Several folks have asked how I paint the plaids, so I have prepared a short step-by-step which I will publish here shortly. It's quite straightforward though, the main ingredient being a steady hand.

This regiment was raised in the Gordon controlled territory of Strathavan in the Speyside area of Scotland. This area is famous for its ubiquitous whiskey distilleries, and the small town of Monymore (also written as Minimore) from where the regiment gets it's name, was very close to the modern distillery town of Glen Livet. I used to pass through this area every year on our annual family pilgrimage to Aviemore and the Cairngorm mountains, and as well as the great malts, the scenery is really beautiful. 

The men were initially raised by William Gordon to form part of Donald Farquarson of Monaltrie's regiment, together with troops raised on Deeside in support of Gordon Chieftan and overlord, the Marquis of Huntly's 1639 Royalist resistance in the Northeast. Monaltrie's regiment, in which William Gordon was an officer, is thought to have been at the battle of Megray Hill (near Stonheaven) in 1640 where the Royalists were roundly defeated and the regiment subsequently disbanded. 

The regiment was raised again in early 1644, once again in support of an uprising sponsored by the Marquis of Huntly. The unit fought at Fyvie, and Inverary in 1644, but in March 1645 Monaltrie was killed at Aberdeen during a surprise attack by Hurry (now with the Covenanters). At around this time the Strathavan men were formed into a regiment of their own led by Col. William Gordon.

During the remainder of 1645, Monymore's regiment were present at the battles of Auldearn, Alford and Kilsyth, and at Auldearn were instrumental in helping to drive back the covenanter attack, pouring continuous volleys of musketry into the advancing government troops. The were not at Montrose's defeat at Philiphaugh, and the regiment fought on after Montrose's campaigning was over, taking part in Huntly's infamous storming of Aberdeen in 1646. 


The regiment was disbanded later in 1646 after the Royalists were defeated in Scotland, however William Gordon, a staunch Catholic, never ceased to resist the Covenanter government and never abandoned the Royalist cause. He was an active and unwavering supporter of the Stuarts his whole life and unlike many of his Royalist contemporaries, he was fortunate enough to die peacefully of old age in 1674. 

When the regiment was raised in 1639 they were described as being equipped with bow and firelock. This means they were probably as poorly equipped as any highland levy of the times. At Megray Hill in 1640 they are described as a 'standing regiment' and are thought to have been conventionally armed with pike and shot. They were not however very disciplined at this point, as their less than impressive performance during this defeat suggests.

The regiment is considered to have been conventionally armed and drilled for the entire duration of the 1644-1646 campaign, and their performance under Montrose, especially at Auldearn and Alford, suggests much improved discipline and training. 

In keeping with all other foot regiments in this project I have given Monymore's Regt two colours. The white sheet is a Colonel's colour with the Gordon coat of arms in the centre. This is based on the colour carried by Gordons of Strathavan in the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745. 

The yellow sheet is a speculative company colour based on a description of a set of colours ordered by Huntly in early 1644. The text and device is described by Spalding but the field colour is speculative (yellow seems likely for a rampant lion).

"Upon Monday the 15th of April he [Huntley] returned about six hours at even to Aberdeen he caused make some ensigns where upon ilk side was drawn a red rampant lion having a crown of gold above his head a 'CR' for Charles Rex having the motto 'For God the king and against all traitors' and beneath 'God save the king'. There were diverse others made for the barons. The marquis and his followers wore a black taffeta about their craig whilk was a sign to fight to the death but it proved otherwise"



There is one curious line in this quote; "There were diverse other made for the barons". Spalding could be saying here that a range of different flags were made for "the barons" (which I assume refers to all the nobles that fought under Huntly) . However I have interpreted this to mean that a number of similar sheets were provided to all Gordon regiments of 1644. This would include the Strathbogie Regt and Monaltrie's Regt, which later split into Inverey's Regt and Monymore's Regt in early 1645.

The yellow sheet has already been shared in earlier blog post, but I will post both flags together on the blog soon. I have already made good progress with the Marquis of Huntly's Strathbogie regiment and that will be the next new Royalist unit to appear on the blog. I will try and get a WIP post up soon.

An excellent resource for further information on this regiment is the website of "Colonel William Gordon's Company of Foot", a group of (mainly british) re-enactors dedicated to bringing this regiment back to life. The photos of re-enactors on this site are terrific painting resource. I have added another set of links to the side bar which will take you to this and other great re-enactment websites for the period.


Flags of War said...

Bloody great work on these mate

PanzerKaput said...

Great painting skills there and a wonderfully looking regiment you have.The flags set and finish off a great looking regiment

The Wilde Goose said...

Really Impressive! I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the units as you paint them up. You really should put up a tartan painting guide to help the rest of us :-)

Rank Bajin said...

Looks great Walter, getting close to being over the "hump" - looking forward to seeing the Strathbogie!

Jonathan said...

All I can say is wow. This is inspiring work!

Dr Evil said...

Just delightful work &very inspiring - am really enjoying your Blog & your SCW projects

Hendrid said...

Great work. Outstanding looking unit.

Vada said...

This is cool!

Unknown said...

I like the guy with his sword in the ground and the man in almost solid plaid next to him. Are they from Warlord Games? Where'd you get the hovels?

Rank Bajin said...


the officer is Old Glory, and his buddy is from Eureka. Most of our guys are Eureka and Perry. Walter will need to fill you in on the houses.


elcid1099 said...

Hi Adam,

The houses are from Hudson & Allen's old range. They are still sold by Vatican Enterprises here...

Ebob sells them in the UK...


Captain Nolan said...

I would love to see a demo of your you paint your plaids.

Charles II

Captain Nolan said...

Have you made any progress on your project lately?

Captain Nolan said...

I have linked your blog at: