Cutts' disappeared regiment of foot

John Cutts', disbanded in 1699
Portrait of John Cutts
John Cutts by Willem Wissing
(Portrait also shown at 2nd Foot Guards)
Commanded by:
Ralph Widdrington21675-3aug1676+
Earl of Ossory41678-30jul1680+
Alexander Cannon51680
Earl of Pembroke61685
Henry Sidney71688
John Cutts817 Apr. 1688
William Seymour93 Oct. 1694
Disbanded20 May 1699

1 The Anglo-Dutch brigade

1.1 The old Anglo-Dutch brigade

After10 the Holland regiment had returned to England in 1665 the formal enlistment of regiments of Englishmen in the United Provinces army had ended. That is, apart from the Scottish regiments which continued to serve the States General. The fact that English soldiers were still enlisted in the army of Louis XIV however probably bothered the States General. During the 1673-1674 peace negotiations with England they therefore insisted to be again allowed to levy troops in England.

1.2 The new Anglo-Dutch brigade

Thus Sir Walter Vane became Major-General in the Dutch army with orders to raise a new Anglo-Dutch brigade which was to consist of 3 English and 3 Scottish regiments (2 of the latter already existed). On 12 December 1673 Sir Walter Vane therefore became colonel of a regiment raised for this service. On 11 August 1674 Sir Walter Vane was however mortally wounded figthing as a major-general in the battle of Seneffe. Meanwhile the regiment saw its first fighting in the siege of Grave, which ended on 28 October 1674.

Sir William Ballandyne succeeded Walter Vane as overall commander of the British troops. He was in turn succeeded by John Fenwick. In 1678 Fenwick was replaced by Thomas Butler Earl of Ossory, who died on 30 July 1680, but continued to be listed because of the problems William III faced in appointing a replacement11. As an interim Hugh Mackay commanded the brigade.

1.3 Completing the picture of the Holland regiments

In the winter of 1674-1675 all British troops in the United Provinces were reorganized. In 1675 there were: the 2 old Scottish regiments; a new Scotttish regiment under Colonel Graham; an English regiment under Disney; an 'Irish' regiment under John Fenwick and an English regiment under Lillingston.

Fenwick's would later become the 5th Foot and Lillingston's would become the 6th Foot. Disney's regiment would later become Cutts'. With that the picture of the English regiments of the Anglo-Dutch brigade becomes complete. In order to prove this, we'll Cutt's disappeared regiment is described here.

Names of the Anglo-Dutch regiments at certain events
Later Designation16751676 Maastricht1678 St. Denis1688
Cutts regimentDisneyWiddringtonOssorySidney/Cutts
5 Foot FairfaxFenwickFenwickWesleyTollemache
6 Foot ColumbineLillingstonAstleyBellasisBabington comm.
Dutch LauderBalfour
Dutch MurrayMackey

2 Origins of 'Disney's' regiment of the Anglo-Dutch brigade

The first commander of this regiments was Colonel Disney. He was succeeded by Ralph Widdrington in the winter of 1675. On 3 August 1676 Colonel Widdrington was killed in the failed 1676 siege of Maastricht12. On 1 August 1676 Dolman (the hero of the Medway 1667 or his son), became colonel of the regiment13. Colonel Dolman was killed on 14 August 167614. In 1678 Thomas Butler sixth Earl of Ossory became colonel of the regiment, but he died on 30 July 1680. William III would then have liked to make Henry Sidney, the later Earl of Romney (1641-1704) commander of the whole brigade, but it seems Sidney only became colonel of this regiment.

3 Cutts' regiment during the Nine Years War

Before the regiment crossed to England in 1688 John Cutts became Lieutenant-Colonel of Sidney's regiment15. Others have Lord Cutts as commander of the regiment16, even though this does not have to be at odds with each other. There are however also secondary sources which state that Cutts became colonel of a regiment newly raised in England. In order to prove that Cutts indeed continued as colonel of one of the Anglo-Dutch brigade regiments we can look at some facts. In April 1690 King William III announced his intention to go to Ireland and a list of the troops he would take with him was published. It's remarkable that of the regiments mentioned in this list three have a strength of 1,280 men, these are 'Barlington', 'Cutts' and 'Talmath' while two English regiments have a strength of 1,450 men17.

We then have a list from November 169118 which has the English troops and then the Dutch troops to be paid by England and there Darmstadt's (later Columbine), Lloyd's (later Fairfax) and Cutts are mentioned in succession, a pattern that continues till 1696. On the 1692 list these three regiments had then moved to the last places among the English regiments. On 3 August 1692 Cutts' regiment participated in the Battle of Steenkerque, were it lost 97 killed and 90 wounded19. On 3 October 1694 John Cutts became colonel of the second Foot Guards

4 William Seymour's regiment during the Nine Years War

On 3 October 1694 William Seymour was appointed as colonel. William III did however have a problem with parliament on account of the bill for the speedy and effectual disbanding of the Forces in England and Ireland. In order to evade its effects he tried to save the regiment on the navy establishment. This eventually failed and the regiment was effectively disbanded on 20 May 169920. That this was indeed the faith of the disappeared English regiment of the Anglo-Dutch brigade can be seen in a May 1699 remark by Luttrell, stating that: An order is gone to disband the old Holland regiment of Colonel William Seymour...21

5 Notes

1) English Army Lists and Commission Registers, 1661-1714, Vol. IV London 1898, page 5 has 1674 as year of Disney's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
2) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 1675 as year of Ralph Widdrington's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
3) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 1676 as year of Dolman's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
4) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 1678 as year of Thomas Earl of Ossory's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
5) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 1680 as year of Alexander Cannon's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
6) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 1685 as year of Thomas Earl of Pembroke's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
7) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 1688 as year of Henry Sidney's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
8) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 17 April 1688 as date of John Cutts' appointment (present in the commission entry books)
9) English Army Lists Vol. IV, page 5 has 3 October 1694 as date of William Seymour's appointment (present in the commission entry books)
10) For a generic work about the Scottish part of the Anglo-Dutch brigade see XXXXXXXXX
11) E.g. Histoire de Guillaume I , avec les actions les plus remarquables de Guillaume III Amsterdam 1689 page 287 lists: Le regiment qui étoit autrefois du Comte d'Osserie
12) La Mercure Hollandois for August 1676 page 411 for Widdrington getting killed at Maastricht
13) Journaal gedurende de veldtochten der jaren 1673, 1675, 1676, 1677 en 1678 by Constantijn Huijgens den zoon, Kemink & zoon, Utrecht 1888, under 1 August 1676: Dolman eut le regiment de Widdrington, decedé de sa blessure.
14) Huijgens jr. under 14 August 1676: Le matin le Coronel Dolman fut tué d'un coup de canon dans un sortie que firent les ennemys sur l'attaque de Hornes.
15) According to 'the House of Commons, 1690 - 1715 by D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks and S. Handley, Cambridge 2002. Cutts became Lieutenant-colonel of Sidney's regiment in 1688, and colonel of a regiment in 1689. In: 'An exact diary of the late expedition of his illustrious highness the Prince of Orange printed London 1689' we have the statement: 'The regiment of the Right Honourable Colonel Sidney, commanded by the Honourable Colonel Cutts'
16) E.g. Redefining William III by Esther Mijers and David Onnekink Ashgate Publishing, 2007 and other works have a note that states that Talmash (Tollemache), Babington, Cutts, Lauder and Mackay and Ramsay were the colonels when the six regiments crossed to England in 1688.
17) Europische Mercurius 1690 tweede deel Amsterdam 1690, page 6 for William's forces crossing to Ireland
18) House of Commons Journal volume 10 9 November 1691.
19) Wilhelm III von Oranien und Georg Friedrich von Waldeck by P.L. Müller, The Hague 1873 v. 2 page 238 has the appendix G: Verluste der Alliierten bei Steenkerken. 3 Aug. 1692, it has Cutts' regiment with its losses.
20) Calendar of Treasury Books 1705-1706, Volume 10 (1952) by William Shaw 1952 can be found at the abovementioned site British History Online
21) Luttrells diary for 13 May 1699, designates it as the old Holland regiment.