|A French mortar c. 1700|
|By New York Public Library|
One would expect the Royal-Artillerie to be an artillery regiment, but it was in fact a unit composed of gunner companies and regular infantry under the commanded of the Grand Maitre de l'artillerie (le Duc de Maine). The regiment Royal-Artillerie was tasked to guard the artillery of France. Its foundation began in 1671 and the first four companies were in fact composed of artisans which we would call engineers. In 1672 22 regular companies were added and the whole formed the regiment of fusiliers of two battalions armed with fusils and bayonets. In 1677 four more battalions with 15 companies each were added, but in 1679 the sixth was disbanded. In 1677 or 1679 six companies of artillerymen were formed and added to the regiment. In 1689 six additional gunner companies and some grenadier units were added. When there was need for an artillery train the Royal-Artillerie fielded one or more battalions with cannon to accompany the field army.
In 1684 the Royal Bombardiers became a regiment of 12 companies. Just like the Royal-Artillerie the regiment was commanded by the Grand Maitre de l'artillerie, even while the king was the colonel of both. The task of the Royal-Bombardiers was the operation of mortars. Apart from the Royal-Artillerie and the Royal-Bombardiers there were also three companies of miners (mineurs), these were also under the command of the Grand Maitre de l'artillerie.