The regiment de Lyonnais, 2 battalions

Origins of the regiment de Lyonnais

On 13 November 1616 Nicolas de Neufville marquis de Villeroy was commissioned to raise this regiment1). It saw its first action taking Félisan, Non and La Roque in 1617. In 1618 the regiment was reduced to the company of the Mestre de Camp which statyed at Lyon. In 1621 the Lyonnais was brought back to strength and went to the Siege of Montauban. In 1622 the regiment participated in the siege of Sainte Foy, where 5 companies were left in garrison. At the end of the campaign the regiment was again reduced to a company that stayed in Sainte Foy. On 13 August 1624 the regiment was re-established and in 1625 it campaigned in Piemont. In 1626 the last reduction took place and on 26 May it was definitly reinstated with a strength of 10 companies. On 15 September 1635 the regiment got the privilidge of never being disbanded and was named Lyonnais because the De Villeroy's were governors of that province.

The regiment de Lyonnais in the Franco-Dutch War

In 1672 the regiment was in Condé's army, it was then under François de Neufville duc de Villeroy, who had been appointed on 18 January 1664. In June it was in the sieges of Wesel and Emmerich, the passing of the Rhine and the Siege of Nijmegen. In November it participated in the expedition to Bodegraven and Zwammerdam. In 1673 the regiment was in Germany. In 1674 the Lyonnais started with in the sieges of Pesmes and Gray. Later it participated in the sieges of Vesoul, Lons le Saulnier and Besançon. It closed the campaign in Franche-Comté by taking Salins. In 1675 it participated in the sieges of Dinant, Huy and Limbourg and in the Battle of Consaarbrück. In wintered in Schlestadt and then went to Flanders. Here it participated in the sieges of Landrecies and Condé and covered those of Bouchain and Aire. In 1677 it participated in taking Valenciennes and fought in the battle of Mont-Cassel. In 1678 the Lyonnais was in the taking of Gent and Ieper and the Battle of Saint Denis. In 1679 the regiment was in the Battle of Minden. On 28 March 1683 Louis Nicolas de Neufville Marquis d'Alincourt was appointed as colonel of the regiment. Later that year the regiment was in Camp on the Saar and went to the Siege of Courtrai. In 1684 it was in the Siege of Luxembourg

The regiment de Lyonnais in the Nine Years War

In 1688 the Lyonnais participated in the sieges of Philippsbourg, Mannheim and Frankenthal and wintered in Landau. In 1689 it ended the campaign in the defense of Mainz. It then stayed in Germany and in 1692 its two battalions went to the Siege of Namur and fought at Steenkerque. In 1693 the regiment fought at Neerwinden and was in the Siege of Charleroi. In July 1695 the Lyonnais was in the siege of Dixmuiden, later in that of Deynse and in the bombardment of Brussel. In 1698 the regiment was part of the Camp of Compiègne.

The regiment de Lyonnais in the War of the Spanish Succession

At the start of the War of the Spanish Succession one battalion was in Flanders while the other was on the Rhine. The latter then passed to Italy and fought at Chiari. The former also arrived in Italy in January 1702. Both then fought at Santa Vittoria and Luzzara and took part in taking that place and Borgoforte. In December the regiment then took part in taking Bondanella. In 1703 the regiment participated in the expedition to Tyrol and some other fights and wintered in Montferrato. In 1704 the regiment started with the sieges of Vercelli and Ivrea and participated in the long siege of Verrua. In 1705 it then continued with the Siege of Chivasso and the Battle of Cassano. In 1706 it participated in the Battle of Calcinato, the Siege of Turin and the Battle of Turin. When it returned to France it held no more than 374 men.

In 1707 the Lyonnais started with the defense of Antibes and Toulon and then went to Flanders. In 1708 the regiment was at the Battle of Oudenaarde and in 1709 at Malplaquet. In 1711 it was at the affair of Arleux and in 1712 at Denain, where it distinguished itself. After that it participated in taking Douai, Qusnoy and Bouchain. In 1713 it participated in taking Landau and Freibourg. On 25 February 1714 François Louis de Neufville Marquis de Villeroy was appointed as colonel. That same year the regiments Mornac and Charolais were incorporated in the Lyonnais.

Flag of the regiment de Lyonnais


1) See Histoire de la Milice Françoise tome II page 413 and Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie Française by Susane, vol. 4 page 221.