The Cecile regiment

The Cecile Cavalry Regiment
A.k.a. Alcantara
Farm of Courte le Bois
Alexandre de Cécile lived at La Courte au
Bois near Seneffe, now a venue for
marriages and other parties.
Commanded by:
Jean Francis de Netien19 Feb. 1656
Nicolas Richard du Puis19 Jan. 1675
Don Philippe Gourdin20 July 1692
Alexandro Cécile27 April 1697
Alexandro Cécile25 May 1704

1 Jean François D´Ennetières

The Cécile regiment had been created in the Spanish Netherlands by Don Juan Francisco de Netien1, known in French as Jean François D´Ennetières 1b. Jean d'Ennetieres Seigneur de Herlebois, Member of the Council of State etc. married Françoise van den Berghe. With her he had Jacques d'Ennetieres and Charles-Philippe d'Ennetieres. Jacques d'Ennetieres became Baron de la Berliete in 1664, and member of the Council of State etc. He married Marie Baudequin and died in 1677. Their children were Philippe François d'Ennetieres, later Marquis des Mottes and Jean François d'Ennetieres. This second son Jean François d'Ennetieres seigneur de Harlebois, Grand Bailli de Courtray, married to Catherine Elizabeth de Morrhe seems to be our colonel. That he died in 1674 fits with him getting succeeded in 1675.

2 Regiment du Puis

2.1 Nicolas Richard du Puis

The du Puis family was centered on Mons. Toussaint du Puis first married Philipotte Allou, and with her he had 1) Nicolas-Richard du Puis, our colonel. In 1634 he would enter a second marriage with Antoinette Aublux. From his second marriage he had 2) Philippe-Marius (1637-), who had Thomas du Puis, who had Guillaume de Puis Gouverneur de Rosas in Catalunia and 3) Henri du Puis (1639-1699) raised to the nobility in 1678 by Charles II and ancestor of other Du Puis branches

Our Nicolas-Richard du Puis (< 1634 - ) became a captain in 1659, colonel in 1675 and lieutenant general in 1693. He married Martine Lassineur. With her he had Isabelle Thérèse du Puis (1659 - ?). The extinction of his branch of the family probably makes that he is not easy to find. Another circumstance is that there is no obvious noble territory where they were lords. It seems the Du Puis were something less than true nobility.

2.2 Regiment Du Puis

In 1675 Nicolas Richard du Puis became colonel2. In more detail: that the king had given an old regiment of cavalry to Mr du Puy in stead of the new regiment he had given him a few days before La gazette d'Amsterdam 29 Jan 1675.

In 1676 the 'Du Puis' was in the OOB with two squadrons near Condé and Bouchain Schlachtordnung der niederländischen Truppen zur Verteidigung von Condé und Bouchin, 1676. In April 1677 "Du Puis" left Brussel on patrol, and made some French prisoners OHC 8 April 1677. In 1677 the "de Puis" regiment entered Brussel OHC 11 Nov 1677

In August 1684 the Regiment of Sr. du Puis was sent to restore order in Louvain OHC 10 August 1684

In October 1689 the Dupuy regiment was probably in the OOB near Ateren Schlachtordnung der holländischen Armee gegen die Franzosen bei Ateren den 6. Oktober 1689 as 'De Pay'. In August 1690 the Dupuy regiment was in the OOB near Halle Campement de l'Armée de Confederes d'auprès de Halle, du 13/23 Aoust 1690. In September 1690 the Dupuis regiment was in the OOB near St Quitin Lynnecke Schlachtordnung der holländischen Armee bei St. Quintin Lynnecke, 1690, fielding 2 squadrons.

In 1691 the Du Puy regiment was in the alliance OOB Allliierte Armeen in Braband unter dem Commando Ihro Maiest. König Wilhelm Von Engeland im jahr Christii 1691. In 1691 the 'Du Puy' regiment was in the alliance OOB Front de l'armée, really an untitled OOB of the alliance near Lembeck and Halle, with two squadrons. In 1691 the 'Du Paeij' regiment was in the alliance OOB Bataille, wie solche unter Ihr. König. Maystt. König Wilhelm von Engelland, wieder die Frantzosen in Braband bei Didenhofen, 1691, gestanden, probably an OOB of the alliance near Thionville, with one squadron. In June 1691 the 'Du Puy' regiment was in the alliance OOB Sterckte van de Armee soo als de gecampeert geweest is to Oprebayx den juni 1691, an OOB of the alliance near Oprebayx, with two squadrons.

In 1692 the du Puy regiment was in the alliance OOB L'Armee du roy d'Angleterre commandée par sa Majeste Britanique en l'an 1692 with 1 squadron. In June 1692 the Dupuis regiment was in the alliance OOB Plan der Feldlager der Alliierten und der Franzosen bei Moxha, 8. Juni 1692 with 1 squadron. On 24 June 1692 the Du Puits regiment was in the alliance OOB D'Armé ordert beleijt van sijn conincklijche Majesteijt gecampeert de Mellê den 24. Junii 1692 with 1 squadron. On 24 July 1692 the Du Puij regiment was in the alliance OOB Bataille der Allyrten Armée wieder die Frantzosen vor Namur in Braband den 24. Julii 1692 gestanden near Namur On 2 August 1692 the Dupuis regiment was in the alliance OOB Campement tot Limbeck op den 2 Augustus 1692 near Limbeek.

In June 1692 Du Puis, eldest colonel of the Spanish Cavalry became Lieutenant-General of Cavalry at interim in stead of the Marquis de Grigny, who had moved to Catalunia AC 12 June 1692. Du Puis therefore moved to command one of the regiments for the lt-generals, we'll see him next to his successor in 1693.

3 Regiment Gourdin

3.1 Philippe de Gourdin

Philippe de Gourdin (c. 1630 - 1697) was Seigneur d'Evin, des Hobaux etc. He married Anne Christine de Waty, daughter of Jean de Waty Cavalry colonel and Seigneur d'Evin etc. Provincia Belgica ord. Philippe de Gourdin was raised to the nobility in 1679. He is buried in the Stefanus Church in Gent. The text on his tomb was printed in the Provincia Belgica etc.

3.2 Regiment de Gourdin

In 1692 Don Philippe Gourdin became colonel3. In January 1693 Gourdin was in the garrisson of Veurne Mercurius. There is a regiment of Gourdien with 1 squadron in the OOB near Parck in July 1693 OHC 9 July 1693 (Note that the guards of Du Puis are also in the same OOB). On 29 July 1696 there is a Gourdain regiment in the OOB near Ath Ordre de Bataille de l'Armée en Brabant estant campé proche d'Ath le 29. Julij 1696

4 Regiment de Cécile

4.1 Alexandre de Cécile sr.

For Alexandre de Cécile we have to look at the families of Franche-Comté. According to SAMANIEGO there were two Alexandro de Cecile's. I found mention of: Alejandro de Cecile brigadier-general and second lieutenant of the Flemish company of the Guards. Born in Salins (Burgundy) on 14 March 1651 and dead on 27 August 1720. He married Maria Carolina de Gognies (1653-) in Brunemont on 5 June 1685 and had sons: William Alexander, Juan Francisco José (b. 1698), Enrique Alejandro and Leonor Josefa. He made his will on 27 September 1700. All this in Caballeros de la Orden de Alcántara. I thought this to be so conflicting with other data that it had to be another Cecile branch, but in fact it proved true, except for the dates.

Alexandre de Cécile sr. (1653-1704) was born in Salins (renamed to Salins-les-Bains in 1926). Till 1678 Franche-Comté was part of the Spanish Netherlands. That Alexandre de Cécile stayed loyal to the Spanish side after 1678 points to two things. First that he had a commission in 1678, either as ensign, lieutenant or captain. Second: that this commission had more worth than his own property. In other words: Alexandre sr. was a younger son, or belonged to a cadet branch of the Cécile's. In 1688 Alexandre de Cecile sr. is mentioned as a captain Raad van Brabant. Processen van de adel 1ste reeks. He probably already had that rank in 1684, because it would be a condition for a serious marriage. Alexandre senior's appointment as colonel of the regiment on 27 April 1697 fits the picture.

Alexandre senior's marriage is interesting. It seems that he made a very good match when he married Maria Carolina de Gognies (1653-) in Brünemot on 5 June 1685 because it would make him a lord. If correct, the date of birth of Maria Carolina is typical. She married c. 32 years old, and this points to a either a second marriage or a delayed first marriage. Let's investigate her family:

Robert d'Esclaibes (c. 1576 -1664) was Seigneur de Clairmont, Inchy, Coyegem, Peruwez etc. pair de ville et Chatellenie de Courtray (Kortrijk). He married Marie van der Gracht dame de Clairmont, héritière de Malstède and Vlierden (?-1652). Their fifth child Jeanne d'Esclaibes was married by contract of 22 April 1634 to Louis (or Jean) de Gognies, chevalier, seigneur de Fayt, Brunémont, Lescaille, son of the late Adrien de Gognies (1623+), chevalier, seigneur des susdites terres Mémoires de la Société d'Emulation de Cambrai Vol. 47 and Marguerite le Baron, dame de Brunemont. Louis de Gognies and Jeanne d'Esclaibes had A) Charles de Gongnies Chevalier, Seigneur de Fayt, Brunemont and l'Escailles married to Marie-Florence de Maulde in 1684. In turn these had 1) Emanuel de Gongnies Seigneur de Fayt etc. married to Marie Charlotte de Franeau, this couple had a daughter. 2) Marie Engelbertine de Gongnies who joined the church (?-1775) Histoire chronologique des évêques et du chapitre exemt de l'église cathédrale de S. Bavon à Gand. If we believe the official genealogy, then it seems most later descriptions missed Louis'and Jeanne's daughter B) Maria Carolina de Gognies.

The problem with the d'Esclaibes / Gongnies story so far, is that there are too many conflicting names and missing dates. And yet there is a claim that: At the start of the Eightteenth century Count Alexandre de Cécile took possession of the Fortified Farm La Court au Bois in Manage. His three children having died without issue, in about 1760, the inheritance came back Emmanuel de Gongies, cousin of preceding three, Seigneur de Fayt, de l'Escaille and other places. Later gouverneur prévôt of Binche and a close ally of Charles of Lorraine Belgiumview.

About Alexander senior's children we might speculate a bit. Is seems strange that William Alexander was known as Alexander. He should have been born shortly after the marriage in 1685 in order to let him succeed to the regiment. Juan Francisco José (b. 1698), became known after the War of the Spanish Succession. Enrique Alejandro and Leonor Josefa were probably even younger. In March 1704 Alexandre sr. died, shortly after arriving in spain OHC 22 March 1704.

4.2 Alexandre de Cécile jr.

According to SAMANIEGO Alexandre jr succeeded his fater as colonel of this regiment on 25 May 1704. In April 1729 he became a count of Castilia De Nederlandse maandelyke post-ryder. In November 1734 Alexandre de Cecil jr was made a Lieutenant-General 's Gravenhaegse courant 24 Nov 1734. Later in November he was to lead 4 squadrons to Lombardy Leydse courant 6 Dec 1734.

4.3 Juan Francisco de Cécile jr.

Juan Francisco José de Cécile was born in 1698 in Seneffe, very close to La Court au Bois in Manage. He became a member of the order of Alcantara, colonel of the infantry regiment later named 'Amberes', and governor of Mayorga. Juan Francisco would command the Army of Genoa.

4.4 Regiment de Cécile

The oldest specific mention I have of the cavalry regiment De Cécile is of 1701 when it had 2 squadrons4. In January 1702 it was to move to Mons AC 26 Jan 1702. In April 1702 the Cécile regiment was in camp between Antwerp and Lier and designated as 'Sicile' 5. In 1702 it was spotted by the Dutch6. In September 1702 the Sicile was in Boufflers'army7. In early February 1703 it was ordered to move from Nivelle8. On 17 June 1703 the Cecile regiment was with the main force9. On 11 November 1703 Dangeau noted that Cécile passed through Versailles on his way to serve in Spain as Brigadier-general of cavalry. On 29 February 1704 the Cécile was near or ordered to Nivelle10.

On 24 July 1709 the Cecile regiment was in camp at Denain with 2 squadron 11. SAMANIEGO has that Cécile jr. brought the regiment to Spain in 1710. This is not correct. I found a reference that the '12 infantry regiments and the cavalry of Cecil and Los Rios, that had been ordered to Girona, where countermanded' OHC 4 November 1713. Judging by the orders of battle, most Spanish cavalry regiments probably went to Spain in 1710, but the Cecile regiment probably got there only in 1714

5 Sources

The primary source for the succession in the Cecile regiment is SAMANIEGO: Disertacion sobre la Antiguedad de los Regimientos by Dr. Juan Antonio Samaniego, Madrid 1738.

For the d'Ennetiers family Dictionnaire Généalogique, Héraldique, Chronologique Et Historique vol 5

For the du Puis family Dictionnaire généalogique et héraldique des familles nobles du Vol IV

6 Notes

1) SAMANIEGO for 'Don Juan Francisco de Netien' appointed on 19 February 1656.
1b) SANCHEZ for 'Don Juan Francisco de Netien' being Jean François D´Ennetières.
2) SAMANIEGO for Dupuy succeeding Netien in 1675.
3) SAMANIEGO for Don Philippe Gourdin becoming colonel in 1692.
4) Pelet Tome 1 page 462, Etat des régiments de cavalerie et de dragons espagnols
5) Pelet Tome 2 page 480, Etat des troupes, tant d'infanterie que de cavalerie ...aux ordres de M. Marquis de Bedmar mentions the 'Sicile' with 2 squadrons.
6) A letter of 11 May 1702 by Noyelles to Heinsius from Bergen op Zoom mentions the 'Sisile' cavalry as camped near Lier
7) Pelet Tome 2 page 588, Etat des troupes qui composent l'armée 28 September 1702 mentions the Sicile regiment
8) Pelet Tome 3 page 724, Etat des troupes qui s'avancent a la tête.. mentions the Cécile regiment as ordered to move from Nivelle.
9) Pelet Tome 3 page 757 Etat des troupes de Campagne et de Garnison, depuis la mer jusqu'a Luxembourg. 17 Juin 1703 has Cecile with 2 squadrons.
10) Pelet Tome 4 page 678 Etat des troupes destinées a marcher dans des Quartiers avancés; 29 Février 1704 mentions the Cécile.
11) Pelet Tome 9 page 320 Etat de la Cavalerie et des lieux qu'elle occupe mentions the Cécile.