Thursday 18 February 2021

Flags of French Regiment Horion

Raised 25th March 1757 by the Comte de Horion. This was a Walloon regiment from Liège, now in Belgium. 2 battalions strong. Ranked 120th in the 1759 État Militaire. The regiment was disbanded in 1762.

The perron or column of Liège illustrated in the centre of the flags is depicted in various ways; I have chosen to show it as it appears on the flags of the Walloon regiment Vierzet in the French MS of 1757, as the closest we have to an authentic contemporary depiction.

There does not seem to be a readily available and comprehensive account of the regiment's history in the Seven Years War. Kronoskaf recounts its activity from 1757-1760 only. To sum up the Kronoskaf account, the regiment was in garrison in Philippeville by August 1757. By the beginning of August 1758 the regiment was part of the garrison of Cherbourg along with Clare, defending against British attacks on the French coasts. By May 1760 it was part of Broglie's army in Germany and on July 10th took part in the battle of Corbach where it was part of Broglie's vanguard. In October it went as part of a detachment sent towards the Lower Rhine. On October the 16th the regiment was involved in the battle of Clostercamp, on the far right of the first line where it was brigaded with La Couronne regiment. In support was a brigade consisting of Bouillon (see previous post for the uniform and flags of Bouillon) and Vierzet, another Liégoise regiment.

After that I do not know what happened to Horion, except that in 1762 the regiment passed into the service of the Austrians. If anyone has more information, please let me know!

And this is the uniform in 1757:

Simon Modaff kindly posted the following helpful and informative information in the comments:

SimonModaff said...Fastes militaries du Pays de Liege, Musee de l’Art Wallon, 24 oct. – 29 nov. 1970
p. 163 exh. 261. Liège regiments of Vierset and Horion, 1758.

On March 25, 1757, a royal order created two infantry regiments of Liège, at the time when, engaged in the Seven Years' War, he was forced to increase his infantry. Durand d'Aubigny, resident of France in Liége, was responsible for negotiating with Jean-Théodore de Baviére the authorization to recruit these regiments in the country of Liége, which was not without difficulty. The two colonels chosen were, on the one hand Charles-Albert de Billehé, Baron de Vierset, lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Bavarian Regiment, and on the other Charles-François-Joseph de Horion, chamberlain of the Prince-Bishop. The two corps were organized on the foot of German regiments in the service of France (in two battalions, each comprising 8 companies of 85 men), and first held garrison in Philippville and Givet. Very many members of the Liège nobility, including the future mayor Jean-Rémy de Chestret enrolled there. Sent to the coasts of the Atlantic, the two regiments fought the English incusions, Horion received the baptism of fire in Cherbourg in August 1758 and Vierset in Saint-Cast on September 1, transferred to the army of Marshal de Broglie in 1760, and forming a brigade with the Regiment of Bouillon, raised in part in the Principality, Horion and Vierset fought in Weswel, transferred to the army of the Bas-Rhin, they took their winter quarters in the country of Liège then joined the army de Soubise in March 1761. On August 30, attacked in Dorsten, the 1st Battalion of Vierset commanded by its colonel had to capitulate after heavy losses (176 killed and wounded). It was exchanged on September 12, Vierset and Horion were then separated, the first being in the army of the Rhine and the second in the region of Osnabruck. On November 20, 1762, Vierset was withdrawn from Germany by order of the King and licensed on January 10, 1763, to go into the pay of Austria. As for Horion, the "extraordinary dissipation in the finances" of which it was reached and the administrative carelessness of its officers caused its suppression on November 30, 1761. It remained until the end of 1762 and was reformed a month before Vierset.