...I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me... Lord Wellington to Lady Richmond as they observed two drunken British soldiers from a window just before the battle of Waterloo.

The Battle of Waterloo, 18th June 1815, was fought thirteen kilometres south of Brussels between the French, under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Allied armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington from Britain and General Blücher from Prussia. The French defeat at Waterloo drew to a close 23 years of war beginning with the French Revolutionary wars in 1792 and continuing with the Napoleonic Wars from 1803. There was a brief eleven-month respite when Napoleon was forced to abdicate, exiled to the island of Elba. However, the unpopularity of Louis XVIII and the economic and social instability of France motivated him to return to Paris in March 1815. The Allies soon declared war once again. Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo marked the end of the Emperor's final bid for power, the so-called '100 Days', and the final chapter in his remarkable career. more...

"...It has been a damned serious business - Blücher and I have lost 30,000 men. It has been a damned nice thing - the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life...By God! I don't think it would have done if I had not been there..." Lord Wellington after the Battle of Waterloo

To read an interesting yet morbid result of Waterloo go here...

An other description of the battle may be found here...

A remarkable book about a newlywed woman Lady Magdalene De Lancey, (wife of Colonel Sir William De Lancey) who tended to her husbands mortal wounds, entitled "Lady De Lancey at Waterloo: A Story of Duty and Devotion" Delanceys father was a loyalist during the American Revolution.

"Waterloo: A Near Run Thing" by David Howarth, a most interesting and engrossing book on the battle.


Jeanne Mance

The early history of French Canada has always fasinated me. The spirit of the explorers of what is now Canada and the United States, Champlain, Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet, and de La Salle are all familure to me from my Catholic school days. These men were my heros, alas now they are only remembered by street names in Chicago, a lake in New York, a college and a prison city. Not many except historians know about the Huguenots (French Protestants) who explored Florida, the Carolinas and eastern seaboard and fought at Fort Caroline....and not only men were instumental in the colony of New France, but women also. Lay women, sisters and nuns came to the new world inspired by the thought of establishing a colony and converting the "Sauvages"* to the true faith. One such and the most famous was...

Jeanne Mance
She was the foundress of the Montreal Hôtel-Dieu, a hospital to care for the colony and the surrounding indians and one of the first women settlers in Canada, she was born at Nogent-le-Roi, Champagne, 1606; and died at Montreal, 19 June,1673.

Born of a family who belonged to the magistracy, she lived with her father, Pierre Mance, procureur du roi (king's attorney) until his death in 1640. In this year she met M. de la Dauversiere, who, with Olier, was actively interested in the foundation of Montreal. For the first time Mlle Mance heard of New France (Canada) and of the women who were going there to consecrate themselves to the spreading of the Faith. She embarked at La Rochelle in June, 1641, with Pere Laplace, a dozen men, and a pious young Dieppe woman. The following (probably 24) August she reached Quebec, and devoted herself during the entire winter to the care of the settlers. They wished to retain her at Quebec, but on 8 May, 1642, she went up the river with M. de Maisonneuve and her early companions, and reached Ville Ste Marie (Montreal) on 17 May. It was she who decorated the altar on which the first Mass was said in Montreal (18 May, 1642). The same year she founded a hospital in her own home, a very humble one, into which she received the sick, settlers or natives. Two years later (1644) she opened a hospital in Rue St-Paul, which cost 6000 francs — a gift of Mme de Bullion to Jeanne on her departure for Canada — and stood for fifty years. For seventeen years she had sole care of this hospital.

In 1650 she visited France in the interests of the colony, and brought back 22,000 livres of the 60,000 set apart by Mme de Bullion for the foundation of the hospital. On her return to Montreal, finding that without reinforcements the colonists must succumb under the attacks of the Iroquois and the many hardships of their position, she lent the hospital money to M. de Maisonneuve, who proceeded to France and organized a band of one hundred men for the defense of the colony. In 1659 Jeanne made a second trip to France to secure religious to assist her in her work. She had for twenty months been suffering from a fractured wrist and was badly reduced, but in Paris, while praying at Saint-Sulpice where M. Olier's heart was preserved, she was suddenly cured (2 Feb., 1659) She was so fortunate as to secure three Hospital Sisters of St. Joseph from the convent of La Fleche in Anjou, Judith Moreau de Bresoles, Catherine Mace, and Marie Maillet. They had a rough passage and the plague broke out on board. On their arrival Mgr. de Laval vainly tried to retain the three sisters at Quebec in the community of the Hospital Sisters of St. Augustine. Every obstacle having been overcome they reached Montreal on 17 or 18 October. Jeanne's good work being now fully established, she lived henceforth a more retired life. On her death after a long and painful illness, she was buried in the church of the Hôtel-Dieu, the burning of which in 1696 destroyed at once the remains of the noble woman and the house that she had built. Her work, however, was continued, and two centuries later the hospital was transferred to the foot of Mount Royal, on the slope which overlooks the city and the river.

It was on this day 18 June 1673 that Jeanne was taken to Heaven.

Vive Le Roi!


Note: The word sauvage (savage) was meant to denote someone or a group who had not reached the point of civilzation or religion as Europeans. This term was also used by the English colonists in Virginia and new England. It was not meant to be derogitory at this time in any sense.


General Juan Almonte

It was on this day in 1863 that the Superior Junta, assembled by General Forey of the French Imperial Army, appointed the noted conservative and Catholic traditionalist General Juan Almonte provisional President of Mexico.

Almonte's government is most known for its restoration of the place of
prominence of the Catholic Church in Mexico and, of course, its formal
invitation for the Archduke Maximilian of Austria-Hungary to become the
Emperor of Mexico.

Viva el Gran Emperador! Viva el Imperio Mexico!

Famille Royale

Messeigneurs les Princes Louis, duc de Bourgogne, Alphonse, duc de Berry, et Princesse Eugenie Madame Royale.

Vive Le Roy! Vive Le Roy! Vive Le Roy!


Étienne de Vignolles, called La Hire ( the Hedgehog)

Of the great battle captains under Jeanne d'Arc, Étienne de Vignolles is one of the toughest and most warlike. A professional soldier of some repute, La Hire was present at the lifting of the Siege of Orleans, and was the primary leader at the Battle of Patay which caused as much damage to the English as Agincourt did to the French.

Étienne de Vignolles, called La Hire, was a Gascon captain (renowned for their short temper) and Bailly of Vermandois. He was born about 1390 and entered the Dauphin's service about 1418 and waged guerilla warfare in the country around Laon and in Vermandois. He was captain of Château Thierry in 1421 and then of Vitry in Champagne in 1422.

He was seriously wounded at Saint Riquier and remained lame. He commanded the Lombard knights at Verneuil (August, 1424) and delivered Vendôme from Suffolk, succored Montargis in 1427, surprised Marchenoir but let the English retake Le Mans. He undertook the reprovisioning of Orléans which he entered on October 25, 1428. At the Battle of the Herrings, La Hire protected the retreat of the French companies; he encountered the Maid at Blois and reëntered Orléans with her on April 29, 1429. He prosecuted the whole campaign of Beauce and commanded the forces that escorted Jeanne and the King on the journey to Reims.

Created Bailly of Vermandois, he installed himself at Laon. But we encounter him shortly afterwards in Normandy, of which he was captain-general after the taking of Louviers (1429). He conducted two mysterious enterprises which appear to have had as their object the deliverance of Jeanne d'Arc from Rouen. But he was captured by the Burgundians who held him for a ransom of 1,500 réaux d'or and kept him prisoner at Dourdan.

In September, 1432, la Hire appeared at Lagny, which was besieged by Bedford, and he ravaged the lands of the Duke of Burgundy around Cambrai the following year. Captain-general of the hither side of the Seine, in December, 1433, he took Ham and Breteuil from the Burgundians and defeated the Earl of Arundel at Gerberoy (1435).

In spite of the peace of Arras he continued to wage guerrilla warfare in Artois, around Caux, but he was taken prisoner by the Lord of Offémont at Beauvais (1437). In the service of René d'Anjou, La Hire led the Écorcheurs (2) in Lorraine (1438-1439). He took part in the sieges of Harfleur and Pontoise, and in the battle of Tartas.

He died, poor and glorious, at Montauban on January 12, 1443.

Le Hire is remembered today as the Jack of Hearts in card decks.


(1)Etienne de Vignolles, dit La Hyre, compagnon de Jeanne d'Arc, capitaine général au nord de la Seine (V.1390-1443)
Auteur : Dassy Jean-Joseph (1796-1865) Versailles, châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon


Battle of Patay, 18 June 1429

">...18 June is the anniversary of the Battle of Patay, which was the most overwhelming victory that Joan of Arc achieved in her military career. After the Battle of Orleans the English military leaders were concerned but still confident they could defeat the French when they engaged in combat. After the overwhelming victory by Jehanne la Pucelle at Patay the English leaders realized they were in serious trouble and that Jehanne was a military commander to be feared....more

Patay is considered by many historians to be the English version of France's Azincourt. Joan's forces were approximately 8000 knights and foot soldiers to 3000 Englishmen. The English lost just less than half their number, 1200 approx. to the French 5! 2 of the 3 English commanders, Talbot and Scales were captured. Sir John Talbot being offended at being captured by a mere squire, knighted the man on the spot, and then allowed himself to be carried away.

Joan was in the rear of the troops during the battle, and as she rode through she was taken aback by the sight of so many Christians, French and English killed or wounded on the battle field. It is reported that she dsmounted and held an English knight in her arms until he died. More on the battle of patay may be found at the Xenophone Group including photos of the battle field today.

Montjoie! St Denis!


Art work by Maurice Boutet de Monvel, and is found in his book Joan of Arc.


An heroic story John Cornwell

"It is not wealth or ancestry but honourable conduct and a noble disposition that maketh men great." Inscription on John Corwell's gravestone.

"England expects that every man will do his duty" Nelson

From the most ancient days of the Royal Navy ships boys have played an heroic roll in the fighting ships of England. From Nippers to Powder Monkeys they have had to grow up too quick and have seen action which caused men to tremble. Here is one such story...

In October 1915 at the height of the First World War, John Travers Cornwell joined the Royal Navy. He was just 15 years old. In those days boys could be drafted into the Royal Navy to serve along side men. While he enlisted without his fathers permission he did have references from his headmaster and employer as his father was currently in the army and was fighting in Flanders as was his older brother. He was posted to the HMS Chester which was part of the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron in the Spring of 1916. He was rated as a sight setter (gunlayer) and assigned to the forward gun mount. The gun mounts of British cruisers during this period were shielded but only to a few feet above the deck. Shell splinters from near misses could and did cause traumatic amputations of the lower limbs of the gun crews.

Six weeks later HMS Chester was heavily involved in the Battle of Jutland during which she sustained 35 killed and a further 42 wounded. Amongst those not long to survive the action was one of the 5.5 inch guns’ sight setter, Boy Cornwell who although mortally wounded early in the engagement and with the rest of his gun’s crew dead around him, had stayed at his post heroically waiting for orders “with just his own brave heart as protection” from the heavy shell damage HMS Chester was continuing to receive.

After the action, ship medics arrived on deck to find Cornwell the sole survivor at his gun, shards of steel penetrating his chest, looking at the gun sights and still waiting for orders. Being incapable of further action, Chester was ordered to the port of Immingham. There Cornwell was transferred to Grimsby General Hospital, although he was clearly dying. He died on the morning of 2 June 1916 before his mother could arrive at the hospital.

His recommendation for a Victoria Cross from Admiral David Beatty said in part, "the instance of devotion to duty by Boy (1st Class) John Travers Cornwell who was mortally wounded early in the action, but nevertheless remained standing alone at a most exposed post, quietly awaiting orders till the end of the action, with the gun's crew dead and wounded around him. He was under 16½ years old. I regret that he has since died, but I recommend his case for special recognition in justice to his memory and as an acknowledgement of the high example set by him."

Endorsed by King George V, his mother received her son John's VC from the hand of the King on the 16th of November 1916.


A poignant and emotive painting currently hangs at the RN Training Establishment HMS Raleigh, in Devon. It may been seen here...


Elizabeth I of England

I have never seen a portait of Elizabeth I like this one and so I post it.

Elisabeth Ière d’Angleterre (école anglaise, XVIIe s., huile sur toile), Musée national du château de Pau, Inv. DP. 53-2-59.

Culture Henri IV


As needed now as it was then...

Malta, Lepanto, Vienna...


The Battle of Naseby, Northamptonshire, 14 June 1645

Still fearing that the Royalists intended to invade East Anglia, the Committee for Both Kingdoms ordered General Fairfax to abandon the siege of Oxford and to march the New Model Army into the Midlands to engage the King's army. Under pressure from Independents in Parliament, the Committee authorised Fairfax to act on his own initiative rather than having to wait for further orders from Westminster. At the request of Fairfax and his officers, Oliver Cromwell was officially appointed Lieutenant-General of Horse, even though this appointment contravened the Self-denying Ordinance. The New Model Army advanced rapidly northwards. By 11 June, Fairfax had arrived at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, twenty miles south-east of the Royalist position at Daventry, where he gathered all available Parliamentarian forces.

By 13 June, the Royalists realised that the New Model Army had advanced to Kislingbury near Northampton only five miles from the Borough Hill encampment. Having heard from Lord Goring that he was still engaged around Taunton and could not come to reinforce the main Royalist army, the King and his advisers decided to fall back on Newark. As the Royalist army withdrew from Daventry to Market Harborough, Fairfax pressed forward, determined to fight. The Parliamentarians were greatly encouraged by the timely arrival from East Anglia of Lieutenant-General Cromwell with six hundred horse and dragoons during the evening of 13 June. Later that night, Colonel Ireton led a daring raid on the quarters of the King's Lifeguard in Naseby village, surprising them while they were at supper and taking a number of prisoners. Realising that the Royalist army could not get away, the King's council of war decided to turn and fight.

The battle began at about 10am. The western edge of the battlefield was flanked by the boundary hedge of Sulby parish running at right angles from Ireton's line towards the Royalist front. From his position on the opposite flank, Cromwell saw an opportunity to disrupt the Royalist right wing of cavalry and sent a force of dragoons commanded by Colonel Okey to take up an ambush position in Sulby Hedges. Although Okey's dragoons came under fire from the supporting musketeers, their appearance on the Royalist right flank to shoot up the cavalry provoked Rupert into making a premature advance onto Broad Moor. The Royalist cavalry paused at the bottom of the slope to regain their formation then advanced steadily up the opposite slope to charge Commissary-General Ireton on the Parliamentarian left flank. Ireton came forward to meet the charge but the Royalists broke through the Parliamentarian centre, putting two regiments to flight and disrupting the rest. Having broken through, Rupert's cavalry continued on to attack the baggage train outside Naseby village, where they were eventually driven back by the musketeers guarding the train.

Simultaneously with Rupert's attack, the Royalist infantry in the centre began to advance. Sir Bernard Astley's tertia on the Royalist right moved first, then Sir Henry Bard in the centre, then George Lisle on the left. The staggered advance was necessary in order to bring the opposing infantry lines into parallel formation. The Royalists crossed Broad Moor and advanced up the slope towards the Parliamentarian front, driving back the forlorn hope of musketeers, while the Parliamentarians moved forward to the crest of the hill to meet the attack. A shallow depression on the face of the hill had the effect of funnelling together the Royalist infantry in the centre so that a powerful wedge formation developed. Two of the frontline Parliamentarian regiments were broken by the initial impact of the Royalist charge and Skippon was wounded under the ribs by a musket ball that splintered his armour. He refused to leave the field, but the Parliamentarian infantry seemed on the point of collapse. As the first line fell back, Fairfax fought at the head of the second line to stabilise the position. Meanwhile on the Parliamentarian left flank, Ireton rallied the cavalry units that had not been broken in Rupert's charge and led an attack on the second line of the advancing Royalist infantry. Although he was wounded and taken prisoner, Ireton's intervention stalled the Royalist advance and gave Colonel Pride time to bring up the Parliamentarian infantry reserve. As superiority of numbers began to tell, the Royalist advance in the centre faltered.

On the Parliamentarian right flank, where the constraints of the terrain allowed only a narrow front, Cromwell's Ironsides advanced to meet Langdale's Northern Horse, with the regiments of Colonel Whalley and Sir Robert Pye bearing the brunt of the fighting. In a fierce struggle, the Northern Horse were steadily driven back by weight of numbers towards Dust Hill, where the Royalist reserve was stationed. Prince Rupert's regiment of foot, the Bluecoats, advanced to cover the retreating cavalry. As his front-line regiments pursued the retreating Royalists, Cromwell seized the opportunity to order his second line to wheel left and attack the exposed flank of the Royalist foot. This proved to be the decisive stroke of the battle. Attacked from three directions at once and with no cavalry support, units of the Royalist infantry began to surrender while the rest fell back across Broad Moor towards Dust Hill.

As the Royalist infantry retreated, the Bluecoats made a gallant stand on the forward slope of Dust Hill, repulsing two Parliamentarian attacks. General Fairfax ordered his regimental commander Colonel D'Oyley to renew the attack on the Bluecoat front while he took his Lifeguard around to attack from the rear. Under attack from all sides, the Bluecoats were finally broken and overwhelmed. The ensign who carried the colours was killed by Fairfax himself.

The defeat of the Bluecoats decided the battle. Pursued by the Parliamentarians, the Royalist infantry made a fighting retreat northwards, with parties of musketeers covering the withdrawal of their comrades before themselves falling back under covering fire. Although Prince Rupert had by this time rejoined the King, the Royalist infantry had no organised cavalry support. King Charles is said to have made a gallant but futile attempt to lead his Lifeguard in a charge on the advancing Roundheads, but the Earl of Carnwath riding next to him seized the bridle of the royal charger and roughly pulled him away. The Royalist infantry made a desperate last stand on Wadborough Hill, two miles north of the main battlefield. In the aftermath of the battle, fleeing Royalists were pursued and slaughtered all along the road to Leicester. The baggage train was plundered and a number of female camp followers murdered or mutilated.

The defeat was a disaster for the Royalists. The King's Oxford army was shattered and all its artillery and stores captured. The King's private papers fell into the hands of the Parliamentarians, revealing the full extent of his negotiations to bring over Irish Catholics to fight against Parliament, and his efforts to secure foreign mercenaries and money from abroad. Parliament lost no time in publishing these papers, which caused further political damage to the tottering Royalist cause. Although the First Civil War dragged on for another year, the Royalists had no realistic chance of victory after the battle of Naseby.

The aftermath of this battle had far reaching consequences not only for England but also for the colonies, and later America. The papers captured by the parlementarian forces, revealing the Kings desire to enlist the Irish, was used as the excuse to murder the king. Cromwell also used this Irish "threat" to invade, conquer and persecute the Irish people, in some cases attempt genocide. It also began the long desent of the English Monarchy to the point at which it currently stands, a mere rubber stamp to the parlement.

Cromwell's excesses had one effect which he could not foresee. His son Richard being unable to equal his father the "Lord Protector" made way for the restoration of the Stuarts.

God save the King.