Friday, May 16, 2014

Farquharson of Monaltrie's Regiment

This regiment completes the royalist Gordon Infantry Brigade which comprises Farquharson of Monaltrie's Regiment, Gordon of Monymore's Regiment and the Strathbogie Regiment. As with Monymore's Regiment, Farquharson's Regiment is believed to have been a 'regular' unit conventionally equipped with pike and shot.

This regiment is modelled and painted in a very similar way to my Gordon of Monymore's Regiment. The figures are mostly Eureka Highland Musketeers and Pikemen from the 17th Century Scots range, but also includes a number of Perry ECW scots in lowland clothing, plus a couple of old Foundry pikemen from the Perry sculpted Elizabethan range.


For the commander of this unit, which could be Donald Farqharson or his successor, James Farqharson, I have used the excellent Montrose on foot model by Eureka. This beautiful sculpt by Alan Marsh, is indistinguishable from the Perry models and has captured a fantastic air of calm and confidence. Perfect for either of these highland colonels.

I requested the Eureka range through the Eureka "100 Club" back in 2006, with the Royalist Gordon highlanders 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.

I have painted Farquharson's Regiment in a similar way to Monymore's Regiment.  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).  

I have to confess this unit almost broke my painting spirit. It was the fourth unit in my army to heavily feature tartans, and despite the patience and time required I did not want to compromise on the look of this unit. As a result painting slowed down to a snail's pace, and this was not helped by a move to a new job in the same period. However I plodded away at it doing a wee bit at a time, and spaced it out by helping my son with his Warhammer armies, and finally it's done. To date I have painted ~170 models with tartan clothing for this army.

The history of this regiment is intertwined with that of Gordon of Monymore's Regiment.  Monaltries's Regiment was raised from the Gordon controlled territories of Upper Deeside, from Aboyne to Braemar, and Strathavan in Speyside, an area known these days for its famous Glen Livet whisky distillery. The regiment was raised and led by Colonel Donald Farquharson of Monaltrie, who had married into the Gordon family, and the original regiment's officers included William Gordon of Monymore and a Lieutenant Colonel James Farqhuarson of Inverey.  Monaltrie is an area of Deeside near Ballater.

First raised in 1639, the regiment was part of Gordon of Huntly's Royalist army and is believed to have fought at the battle of Megray Hill (near Stonheaven) in 1640 where the Royalists were swiftly routed 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 Donald Farquharson was killed at Aberdeen during a surprise attack by Hurry (who had recently changed allegiance and joined the Covenanters). Following the death of Monaltrie the regiment appears to have split into two regiments; the Strathavan men were formed into a new regiment led by Col. William Gordon of Monymore, and leadership of the Deeside contingent was assumed by Colonel James Farqhuarson of Inverey. The Inverey estate is located in Upper Deeside near Braemar.

During the remainder of 1645, Inverey's regiment was present at the battles of Alford and Kilsyth, and may have been present at Auldearn, but this cannot be confirmed. The regiment was not with Montrose at Philiphaugh, but joined Huntly for the infamous storming of Aberdeen in 1646. 

James Farquharson of Inverey appears also to have fought with the Scots Royalist army (which also included many of his former Covenanter adversaries) at the battle of Worcester in 1651, but I am still trying to find more information to confirm this.

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 Alford, suggests much improved discipline and training. 

In keeping with all other foot regiments in this project I have given Inverey's Regt two colours. The white sheet is a Colonel's colour with the Monaltrie coat of arms in the centre. This is a speculative flag and no description of Monaltrie's colours survive.  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.

All of the Gordon regiments in my army carry the 'Spalding' Gordon flag and this helps tie the brigade together. Both flags will be posted on the blog very soon. 

This regiment will be very flexible. It can be deployed as either Monaltrie's or Inverey's Regiments. The figure poses and basing is fully compatible with Monymore's so both regiments could be combined to form a very large regiment of highland regulars, perhaps to march on Worcester!  The figures will also be used to represent the Earl of Sutherland's highland levies at Auldearn, but that regiment will be the subject of later blog post.


GaryA said...

Eye wateringly good!

Phil said...

Outstanding work, I am in awe of this paint job, these subtle colors on the patterns are amazing...BEAUTIFUL!!

Flags of War said...

bloody marvelous :)

Millsy said...

Worth every minute of your effort sir. Absolutely stunning.

Bedford said...

Great painting, great plaid and a treat to see some nice big units from that time period.


Mark said...

Stunning as always, puts my efforts in building Montrose's Army to shame

Neil said...

Impressive and inspirational!

DeanM said...

Superb! Masterful work on the plaids!

Evan Hughes said...

Now I'm as much of a fan of painting tartan as the next man (at least on my dark age SAGA Scots) but this is something special!

I've never seen tartan so beautifully rendered, I can see I still have much to learn. Wonderful work!

Unknown said...


Ubique Matt said...

Tartan-tastic painting. Lovely overall effect.

Monty said...

So I'm just going to say, I've never seen more or better tartan in a single post. Bravo!

Jason Meyers said...

Wow, just amazing! Thanks for sharing all these pics. Very inspirational.