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Author Topic: Charlie's 15th century - What's next? (July 1st)  (Read 88503 times)

Offline Charlie_

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I've done a detailed post on the blog about re-basing the cavalry, and finding new layouts for the heavy and light units, if anyone is interested!

https://fullharness.blogspot.com/


Offline Charlie_

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - handgunners (24th May)
« Reply #481 on: May 24, 2022, 07:28:15 PM »
https://fullharness.blogspot.com/

Handgunners

Here's another small unit of skirmishers to join my previous crossbowmen and handgunners - this time all handgunners, as this seems more suitable to represent German mercenaries. Have a read of this French article to learn about the German handgunners (les couleuvriniers Allemands) who were hired in quite large numbers by towns on the Franco-Burgundian border in 1477.

These can also easily be used as Swiss, Flemish, Brabantine and other nationalities as required.

These figures are mostly metals - only one is from the familiar Perry plastic sets. Three are converted Perry metals, two are converted from Crusader Miniatures, and the remaining four are from the relatively new Athena Miniatures WOTR range. Two of these have also had headswaps, just because. The one looking down as he loads his gun is my favourite, it's a great pose.









Offline painterman

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - handgunners (May 24th)
« Reply #482 on: May 24, 2022, 09:54:04 PM »
Hi
Another excellent looking unit Charlie!
picking up on our chat in Sunday, i do like the handgunner loading some powder from the flask...lovely pose.
Cheers again, Simon

Offline HappyChappy439

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - handgunners (May 24th)
« Reply #483 on: May 25, 2022, 09:09:21 AM »
Excellent work! Thanks for showing the different ranges in the unit too, it's great to see how compatible they are together!

Offline Atheling

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - handgunners (May 24th)
« Reply #484 on: May 25, 2022, 02:47:30 PM »
Exceptional work Charlie.  :-* :-* :-*


Offline GulKelan

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - handgunners (May 24th)
« Reply #485 on: May 26, 2022, 08:58:24 AM »
awesome stuff Charlie, as always!

Offline Charlie_

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #486 on: May 31, 2022, 06:17:02 PM »
http://fullharness.blogspot.com

The House of Vaudrey

Here are two Burgundian nobles from the Franche-Comté region - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey. They were prominent leaders of the Comtois rebellion that fought the French from 1477 to 1479 under the figurehead of the Prince of Orange, and seem to have been effective leaders with many dramatic victories to their names. Their exact familial connection has been tricky to pin down, but I am fairly confident they were uncle and nephew.





The War in the Franche-Comté

To briefly summarise the situation in the Franche-Comté after the death of Charles the Bold, a French army under Georges de la Trémoille had occupied the region, but it wasn't long before an uprising had begun. The city of Dole evicted its French garrison, and many others followed its example. La Trémoille besieged the town of Vesoul, where Guillaume de Vaudrey commanded. On the night of 17 March Vaudrey led a night-time sortie, supposedly having trumpets sounded from multiple directions which panicked the French camp, making them think they were being attacked by a much larger force. As they retreated Vaudrey attacked and routed them. Claude de Vaudrey meanwhile had defended Auxonne against the French.

By the end of March the French had been mostly driven out of most of the county by the Vaudreys and the Prince of Orange, who now had under their command several thousand Swiss mercenaries. La Trémoille re-gathered his strength and counter-attacked - either one or both Vaudreys were at the Battle of Émagny, which was a costly French victory. Whilst La Trémoille besieged Dole they rode the countryside at will, harassing the French wherever they found them. They then re-captured the town of Gray in remarkable style - again moving at night, they scaled the walls and were able to open the gates to allow their forces in. The French defenders were driven back to the castle as parts of the town were set alight, and Claude de Vaudrey led the assault over the ramparts. The French garrison were mostly all killed, their captain Jean de Salazar only just able to escape, wounded and badly burned.

When La Trémoille was again defeated outside the walls of Dole, the Vaudreys attacked his rearguard as he retreated. The French were driven out of the Franche-Comté and into the duchy of Burgundy. Claude de Vaudrey and the Prince of Orange led an incursion into the duchy which reached the walls of Dijon, before they were turned back by a force led by the recently-wounded Jean de Salazar.

After the successes of 1477 things turned against the Comtois rebels, as they lost the support of the Swiss and the French moved again under the new leadership of Charles d'Amboise. Guillaume de Vaudrey may have been among the Burgundian leaders who were captured leading an expedition in the French-held duchy - if he was he was clearly released at some point. In 1479 d'Amboise led a second invasion of the Franche-Comté, focusing on the capital of Dole. Claude de Vaudrey defended the castle of Rochefort which was forced to surrender, and he was presumably captured. After the fall and sack of Dole most of the region submitted to the French, though a small group of the Comtois nobility continued their fight, retreating to the mountains - among these was Guillaume de Vaudrey. He was eventually captured in the winter of 1479/80 and was among the few nobles to be summarily executed as a lesson to other would-be rebels.

Claude de Vaudrey survived and was presumably released at some point - in 1481 he was serving Maximilian, campaigning against rebels in Holland. He lived for several more decades, becoming well-known as a tournament fighter, and died in 1518.

The extended House of Vaudrey

Trying to work out some sort of family tree for the Vaudreys has been very difficult, with contradictions cropping up at every turn. As I said I am confident that Guillaume and Claude were uncle and nephew, but various sources have also referred to them as brothers and even father and son. The source that seems to have the answer is Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique by Louis Moreri. Published in the 18th century, this has an extensive list of Vaudrey family members. However it lists Guillaume as the youngest of three sons with apparently no lordship of his own and no children, whereas all other references to him I can find refer to him as the Lord of Courlaou. If we assume that the Grand Dictionnaire Historique has a mistake... then he could be the elder of two brothers, Lord of Courlaou, and father of Lancelot de Vaudrey. I've put together the following family tree to show all the members of the Vaudrey family around during the late 15th century and how they are connected. This is all using the information from the Grand Dictionnaire Historique, the one change being moving Guillaume's position.

[It seems the French author Jean-Marie Thiebaud, who has apparently published many books on the nobility of the region, also lists Guillaume as lord of Courlaou and father of Lancelot, as you can see on his website here. I'd love to have a look at some of his books, but haven't managed to find any of them at an affordable price, and not speaking French translating them will be trickier when on the page rather than the laptop. There are also some recently updated French wikipedia pages on both Guillaume and Claude which seem to mostly agree with my interpretations, with the exception of a few minor details.]



As we can see there were multiple branches of the family, and I've found several references to other Vaudreys who we can locate on the family tree.

  • Herman de Vaudrey defended the castle of Marteroy in the Franche-Comté.
  • Louis de Vaudrey was captain of guards for Maximilian and of the 'archers du corps' of Philip of Castile. He was one of the Burgundian leaders who recaptured Arras in November 1492.
  • Philibert de Vaudrey had been master of the artillery for Philip the Good.
  • Philippe de Vaudrey led a force of 9-10,000 Germans into the Franche-Comté in 1489, and was driven back by Jean de Baudricourt. As seen on the family tree there are two Philippes, and I don't know if this was the father or the son.
    The Grand Dictionnaire Historique lists the elder Philippe as also being "maître de l'artillerie du duc de Bourgogne, dans la guerre de Luxembourg, & gruyer de Franche-Comté." So another 'master of artillery', though it doesn't say for which duke. References to the Luxembourg war suggest it might actually mean Mary & Maximilian? Or did either Philip the Good or Charles the Bold fight a war in Luxembourg I don't know about? And what does "gruyer de Franche-Comté" mean? A quick google suggests gruyer might have been some sort of medieval tax-collector.
  • The younger Philippe was advisor and chamberlain to Emperor Maximilian.
  • Histoire generale et particuliere de Bourgogne (1781) mentions an unspecified Vaudrey leading the re-conquest of the Franche-Comté in 1493, though this doesn’t quite match up with other sources and omits to mention the Battle of Dournon. It also suggests this was the same Vaudrey who had just recaptured Arras.
  • It also interestingly mentions an unspecified Vaudrey negotiating with the Swiss Cantons on behalf of France – could this perhaps have been Claude de Vaudrey during his time as a French prisoner?

Heraldry

The Vaudrey arms were easy enough to find, but as for all the myriad of different family members, there is no hope of finding their personal heraldry. Unfortunately none of them were made Knights of the Golden Fleece, which would have made things easier! I was able however to find what I believe to be the coat of arms of Claude de Vaudrey - the Vaudrey arms differenced with a label. For Guillaume I've decided to use the undifferenced arms - if he was indeed Lord of Courlaou then he was of the senior line, and presumably the head of the family.



As Guillaume's heraldry is quite simple, I took the opportunity to use a figure with a heraldic surcoat for him and have a go at painting it freehand. No way was I going to attempt this with any of the much more complex heraldry I've come across, not both on the front and the back but in miniature on both sleeves..... all respect to those who manage to do this effectively! I'm very pleased with the results, but don't expects to see much more freehand heraldry from me any time soon.

The miniatures themselves are a mix of Perry and Steel Fist parts.




Offline Griefbringer

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #487 on: May 31, 2022, 08:46:48 PM »
That's some simple but impressive looking heraldry on the figures. I particularly like the dark, muted red (is that actually murray?).

Also lovely conversion work on the figures. After a bit of searching, I think I can recognise where all of the bodies come, but it took me a while to spot that all of the metal figures seem to have head swaps on them, while the plastic rider seems to have an interesting feather somehow stuck to the top of helmet (and his horse has bits from the Perry HYW cavalry set).

Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #488 on: May 31, 2022, 11:35:38 PM »
Those are wonderfulopulace!  :-*

Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #489 on: June 01, 2022, 05:23:41 AM »
Very well done, and lots of useful information.
"Peace" is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

- Anonymous

Offline glenning

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #490 on: June 01, 2022, 11:30:06 AM »
Looking great as usual!

Offline Captain Blood

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #491 on: June 01, 2022, 12:13:56 PM »
Very nice Charlie  8)

Offline Atheling

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #492 on: June 01, 2022, 04:53:41 PM »
Fab work Charlie  :-* :-* :-*

Offline Griefbringer

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #493 on: June 01, 2022, 06:16:34 PM »
And thanks also for the information about the military conflict taking place in Franche-Comte, I did not really know any details about that. Burgundians supported by Swiss mercenaries versus French ordonnance invaders - sounds like this could make for some interesting games. Any idea how many participants there were in the field battles that took place - a few thousand per side?

Offline Charlie_

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - Guillaume and Claude de Vaudrey (May 31st)
« Reply #494 on: June 01, 2022, 08:14:48 PM »
Thanks all.

That's some simple but impressive looking heraldry on the figures. I particularly like the dark, muted red (is that actually murray?).

Also lovely conversion work on the figures. After a bit of searching, I think I can recognise where all of the bodies come, but it took me a while to spot that all of the metal figures seem to have head swaps on them, while the plastic rider seems to have an interesting feather somehow stuck to the top of helmet (and his horse has bits from the Perry HYW cavalry set).

It's just supposed to be red, and that's how it turned out! I did do the flags first so I could try to match the figure's tabard to it, rather than the other way round, and was surprised at the amount of white I had to add for the highlights, which were much lighter than I usually do - full on pink actually.

You are right about the conversions. I ALWAYS do headswaps on the metal figures pretty much, it's so easy and completely transforms the figure.

And thanks also for the information about the military conflict taking place in Franche-Comte, I did not really know any details about that. Burgundians supported by Swiss mercenaries versus French ordonnance invaders - sounds like this could make for some interesting games. Any idea how many participants there were in the field battles that took place - a few thousand per side?

Yes it is quite jarring at first to read about the Swiss fighting for the Burgundians - and really soon after the battle of Nancy in January 1477. Apparently they were actually the very same soldiers from that campaign! And in '78 and '79 they switches sides and fought for the French.
To be honest the big mystery is who the 'Burgundians' were in terms of military organisation..... I mean we know the names of their leaders, and the fact that they hired German and Swiss mercenaries.... but what proportion of their forces in this conflict would be made up of 'true' Burgundian soldiers?
Would these be soldiers from Charles the Bold's army organised in a similar way, or a much more informal gathering of whatever local troops were available - a mix of ex-Ordonnance troops/survivors, the personal retinues of the nobles, hastily raised militias and random mercenaries? I've gone for the latter option.
It's also not entirely clear if the Germans/Swiss were the main strength of their forces or just a significant part of it working alongside the 'locals'.

As for numbers.... I take all references to numbers in medieval battles with a HUGE pinch of salt, so much so that I find it kind of irrelevant. I recently read some of the recent series on the Italian Wars published by Helion, and so much time is given over to the numbers apparently involved, with so many wildly different sources, it all seems a bit pointless.

There weren't many field battles in the War of Burgundian Succession (covering both t Burgundy/Franche Comtois and the Low Countries) -the only well known was in Guinegate in 1479. This certainly seemed to feature numbers in the tens of thousands - Wikipedia right now has between 16,000 and 23,000 per side.

There are three other events we could interpret as large battles I've come across.
- Emagny, 1477 - The French forced a river crossing against the Burgundians with their German/Swiss mercenaries, in the Franche-Comtois. This was probably in the thousands, off the top of my head I think the numbers of the Swiss employed were 3-4000. Glancing at the French wikipedia page it lists 10,000-12,000 for the French, but if that was the actually size of the French army on campaign the number actively involved crossing the bridge must be significantly smaller!
- Bethune, 1487 - The French defeated a Burgundian army in the Low Countries and captured some important nobles. There seems to be absolutely NO concrete information about what happened and the numbers involved, but I think I've read a few mentions of it that suggest it was a French ambush of some sort.
- Dournon, 1493 - A French army was soundly defeated by a Burgundian/German force during the reconquest of the Franche-Comte. The French wikipedia page puts the numbers at 7,100 French and 3,000 Burgundians/Germans.

So yeah all numbers taken with huge pinches of salt, but I think its safe to say these battles featured thousands and possibly up to and beyond ten thousand troops a side in some cases. Not massive, but big enough to call real battles.

The numbers of troops actually on campaign at certain times (in the Low Countries especially) were certainly in the tens of thousands. At certain points between '77 and '79 both Louis XI of France and Maximilian themselves were in the field at the heads of their armies. It's just they only actually came to face each other once, at Guinegate (Louis XI wasn't there though by that point).
One thing that I've learned from this is that raising a BIG army for a campaign cost a LOT of money and was absolutely CRIPPLING financially for Maximilian. If you're going to raise a force of 10,000+ troops you sure better do something worthwhile with it, or it is a complete waste of money you may never recover from.

Most of the fighting you find accounts of of course are sieges - lots of interesting accounts of castles and towns being bombarded, assaulted, captured by stealth, and besieging forces being attacked and routed. But there's always constant references to raids and skirmishes between both sides,  various accounts of quite large forces going on raids / incursions into enemy territory and being turned back / repulsed. So a perfect setting for small-scale mobile warfare.
But then again, how many troops fight in these small 'skirmishes'? Is it dozens, hundred, or thousands?

A few more interesting encounters come to mind - not pitched battles, but probably quite large affairs which would make great gaming scenarios.

- During the siege of Arras in 1477 a force of Burgundians lead by Guillaume de Vergy was gathered together by nearby towns and marched to reinforce Arras. However they left during daylight and the French knew they were coming - they set up an ambush, soundly defeated them and captured their leaders.

- A large army of Flemish (20,000) led by the Duke of Guelders marched to attack the French-held town of Tournai in 1477 - an apparently small force of French sallied out to fight them, the Duke was killed in a skirmish and the Flemish army fell apart and was routed.

- Battle of Brouwershaven in 1490 - rebels from the anti-Burgundian 'hook' faction were raiding along the coast of Zeeland when they were attacked by a fleet led by John of Egmont. Several ships ran aground and their occupants continued the fight on the shore, where they were defeated and killed. Their leader, Franz van Brederode, was captured but died of his wounds.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2022, 08:22:43 PM by Charlie_ »

 

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