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Author Topic: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century  (Read 6093 times)

Offline Stavros

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Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« on: February 09, 2014, 01:51:26 PM »
Hi Guys.

I'm putting together a project for a colonial game set in Brazil circa 1690-1720 and i'm having difficulty sourcing info on Portuguese colonial troops. I'm fine with types like the Bandeirantes, just the regulars.
The little info i do have seems to suggest white coats with red cuffs, (yellow in one case) black hat, white trim and naval troops (marines?) in green coats and trousers, yellow facings.
Any help would be much appreciated  :)

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 03:15:30 PM »
Funnily enough I've recently been doing some more research on Duguay Trouin's 1711 raid on Rio de Janeiro. For a long time I have harboured vague hopes of discovering uniform details for the garrison but not with very high expectations as this period of Portuguese military history is comparatively poorly documented.

Anyway, I was skimming my way through the Portuguese translation of an account by one of the French officers present and discovered 'wargaming gold'. Missed it the first time round.

This lists the three regular battalions making up the garrison as being in

1) Green and yellow
2) Red and yellow
3) Blue and green

The first may be in error, as it is known that there was a large detachment of the Terço da Armada (marines) present as part of the garrison at the time and all other accounts have their uniforms as green with red facings. However that said, I think the earliest form source I can recall is for 1723 so green yellow is possible, I'll need to recheck my sources.

The second seems unusual but then I have seen reproduction red coats for garrison units in Salvador later in the period.

Blue was a traditional colour and features as the coat colour for many later colonial units.

No idea what the militia was wearing and any ordenança type unit would have been more or less civilian clad. Grey-white was the colour in primary use in Portugal at the time, largely ad a matter of economy but bear in mind, Brazil was where all the wealth was being generated, so militia may have been more colourfully attired.

I'll take a look at Condray and Chartrand in the morning and see if they add anything.

Remember that a substantial force of freed slaves were involved in the defence of Rio. The Foundry Cimmaroons would make suitable proxies.

I'd be most interested on your views as to what the paulistas were wearing in the period.

Regards.
Flamengo: Campeões brasileiros 2019, 2020.  Copa Libertadores 2019. Supercopa do Brasil, 2020, 2021

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Offline Kingscarbine

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 06:43:55 PM »
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 06:51:56 PM by Kingscarbine »

Offline Stavros

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 07:52:36 PM »
Fantastic  :o....Many, many thanks Carlos and Kings Carbine for those gems!!

Yes, the Foundry figures do look suitable...Ive ordered a large number of Indians from Copplestone as a starting point and intend to get some suitable figures for Bandeirantes soon. My intention is to start a mini psuedo-historical campaign in the vein of 'Darkest Africa' style games.

Yes the Paulistas are a bit enigmatic lol. As i understand the region around Sao Paulo was not as prosperous as others, lacking the mineral resources and sugar cane which led to a knock on affect of fewer black slaves til the early 19thc. Therefore i guess any militia based there may not have been as well equipped in terms of 'smart' uniforms  ???

Offline Kingscarbine

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 08:54:18 PM »
You're welcome.  Use some Pirates figures for Bandeirantes.

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 11:36:25 PM »
My pleasure.

Green with yellow facings for the Terço da Armada does appear to be correct for the period. I checked against a couple of other sources for the uniform from the formation of the corps and they confirm it.

Although the article mostly deals with a later period, you may find the following article useful in terms of structure and just as importantly the costume details of militia in São Paulo for the period.

http://www.cerescaico.ufrn.br/mneme/pdf/mneme03/001-p.pdf

This passage is instructive.

"Quando de sua nomeação, ao passar por São Paulo a caminho de Minas, Assumar se horrorizou com o aspecto das tropas que o foram recepcionar: (...) eles vinham tão ridículos cada um por seu modo, que era gosto ver a diversidade das modas e das cores tão esquisitas, porque havia casacas verdes com botões encarnados, outras azuis agaloadas por uma forma nunca vista e finalmente todas extravagantes, vinham alguns com as cabeleiras tão em cima dos olhos, que se podia duvidar se tinham frente, traziam então o chapéu caído para trás, que
faziam umas formosas figuras principalmente aqueles que abotoavam as casacas muito
xxx acima.”

A rather motley appearance but unsurprising. Last time I was in sampa my eyes beheld the rather curious sight of a rather effete looking youth lounging on the footpath in Jardins dressed from head to toe in black, save for a pair of pink, sparkly combat boots. It was about 30C. Only in São Paulo..... o_o

You may also find the following piece of use.

http://www.revistanavigator.com.br/navig15/dossie/N15_dossie4.pdf

That is a nice little summary pamphlet by Rene Chartrand, that has a couple of uniform plates at the end (not specific to the Rio garrison) as well as some info on the composition of the garrison.

Fragoso's 'Os Franceses no Rio de Janeiro' has a detailed Portuguese orbat if you are interested,  I have yet to finish unpacking but I can dig it out if you are interested.





Offline Kingscarbine

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 07:51:33 AM »
These illustrations of Terço da Armada uniforms are from O Uniforme Militar na Armada, Alberto Cutileiro, 1983. They seem to have been the first truly uniformed Portuguese unit of the late XVII century.

Offline Matakakea

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2014, 05:34:10 PM »
I love this forum. I was planning to build a small force of Portugese Marines as a counterpart to the Spaniards I've already made for this period (thanks again to all the members who put me on the right track for figures and uniform details), and now my questions have been answered before I could even ask them! :D
Now all I need to do is visit Front Rank and see if they have the appropriate figures for the job. Good luck with your figures Stavros, and thanks for starting this subject off.
I'm not a mercenary. Killing's more of a hobby for me.

Offline Stavros

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 06:40:08 PM »
lol...just one of my many madcap schemes for world domination in miniature..hats off to Carlos and Kingscarbine for their time and effort in sourcing the info for me...and yes Carlos, the detailed Portuguese orbat would be great but in your own time mate, have a cuppa and unpack first  :D

Offline Lowtardog

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 07:57:32 PM »
I game 16th Century Brazil and a good set of rules is This very Ground, easily transferable too. Get yourself a copy of the mission, a bit later but worth the eye candy :D

Offline Stavros

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 06:52:54 PM »
Good flick....ending rather depressing though but predictable given the odds

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 07:35:44 PM »
Get yourself a copy of Brava Gente Brasileira, an even later setting but an excellent film that should provide some inspiration for your setting.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0uM6-6oYbp4

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2014, 08:26:53 PM »
As promised, the garrison of Rio de Janeiro in 1711. Taken from Augusto Tasso Fragoso's Os Franceses no Rio de Janeiro.

Regular troops:

1) The two regiments of Rio (permanent garrison) made up of the old and new regiments (Terço Velho and Terço Novo) with a combined total 590. We know that the Regular battalions were commanded by Coronel Francisco de Castro Morais. As French sources attribute the red and yellow uniformed troops as being under his command it's reasonable to assume that this is the uniform of at least one of the Rio battalions. Alas, elsewhere the French sources place the green and yellow coated troops (marines) under Coronel João de Paiva. Paiva was in fact the commander of the reinforcements from Colônia do Sacramento. However as this was a reinforcement brought by sea, it's a  possible explanation for the confusion.

2) The regiment of Colônia do Sacramento (Terço da Colônia), 300 men.

3) Four hundred members of the Terço da Armada and the Companhia do Comércio

Militia:

1) Regimento da nobreza e privilegiados (essentially the well to do of Rio), 550 men. Whilst there is no information available to me as to their uniform it's likely these would have been well turned out and equipped.

2) Two ordenança regiments of 780 men. These would almost certainly have worn civilian dress as was the pattern with these troops elsewhere. I'd suggest the Dixon Sedgemoor range as a possible source of figures, many are in shirtsleeves.

3) The Companhia de Moedeiros, fifty men. These were the employees of the treasury and formed a sort of financial or treasury guard.

In addition to this there were at least thirteen forts and batteries ringing the city with about 160 cannon.  There was also a levee of slaves utilised in the defence that featured in both the 1710 and 1711 attacks.

Hope that helps.


Offline Kingscarbine

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2014, 08:27:12 PM »
I'm thinking about using Perry AWI figures for the late 18th C. wars for some time. There's a lot of good stuff not only in Brazil but also in African from the late 17th to the end of the 18th centuries.

Check out the Biblioteca Nacional Digital do Brasil at http://bndigital.bn.br/ . It's a goldmine of information.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 08:29:42 PM by Kingscarbine »

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Portuguese colonial uniforms early 18th century
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2014, 08:41:01 PM »
The Perry AWI figures are ideal for the 1760s-1780s, the only thing they are lacking are epaulettes, which were universal. Nothing that a bit of green stuff won't fix. The book you want for the period is Cláudio Moreira Bento's ' A Guerra da Restauração', probably the most comprehensive account of the late 18th C wars against the Spanish.

 

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