It seems to be accepted wisdom that Huguenot regiments in the service of England and Holland did not carry pikes during the period 1688 - 1697.
Before I continue, apart from logic, I have no additional evidence to offer interested parties regarding what is stated in this piece.
Various sources detail that in the recruitment of these Huguenot regiments preference of commissioned rank was given to officers transferring directly from Louis XIV's French army over Huguenot volunteers or officers transferring from other service such as Dutch, English, Prussian etc. This caused huge resentment and frustration amongst the latter two groups.
: many of the regimental officer corps consisted of men who moved directly from French service, a conservative army where the pike featured prominently till the early 18th century.
The Huguenot regiments were raised for English service and paid for by the Crown. The English army fully embraced the pike as a battlefield weapon and continued to do so arguably, for the next 10-15 years. The English fought alongside the Dutch who themselves retained the pike till at least the end of the Nine Years War.
|With Dutch West India Company allies attacking General Kirke and his force of English Caribbeans 1692|
deuxième point: The regiments served in an army where the pike was used by the majority of regiments.
|Toggy's Huguenots in the thick of it at Aughrim 1691|
The Huguenot regiments at the Boyne crossed the river adjacent to Danish regiments which had forsaken the pike. As some debate exists over exactly what uniforms both the Danes and the Huguenots wore, the identification of either nationality in the heat of battle may be uncertain.
During a contested river crossing, pikes were possibly left on the safe bank, ferried over after the men or, company pikemen may have crossed after the musketeers had set up a bridgehead.
Accounts mention the Huguenots suffering badly at the Boyne crossing and a lack of pikes is cited as a contributory factor. Most sources probably just reiterate one primary source thus compounding its validity. The possibility of mis-identification is reasonably high when inaccuracies in other sources relating to the period are taken into account.
|Some Huguenots from Warren Rainey's new range of larger scale collectors models for the Irish campaigns|
troisième point: It is possible that the Danes (by location) were misidentified as Huguenots or, that
one of the more prosaic reasons relating to river crossing (above) resulted in the assumption that
Huguenots did not carry pikes.
|This is the French regiment Navarre - uncharacteristically without pikes for a WI photo shoot|
My conclusion is, despite a long and widely held belief that Huguenot regiments did not carry pikes in Ireland,
that other strong, circumstantial evidence suggests it is very likely that they did.
I am sure there will be some incoming, but I already have my flak jacket zipped up and my foxhole dug.
Currently I am brewing up and await the attack!
|Huguenots painted for LoA's Boyne game at Historicon way back and sold to someone in the USA|
|these never made it back across the Pond either.|
|Still serving in North America|
But, did the Huguenots really look like this?
|Pikes to the rear - Regiment Languedoc but could it easily be Regiment Du Cambon??|