Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M = Musketeers of the Guard, French Faves - A to Z Challenge 2015

A King needs men he can trust. . .

Mousquetaires de la Garde, France - 17th century

M = Musketeers

The Musketeers of the Guard, or Mousquetaires de la garde; or royal musketeers, were a fighting company of the military branch of the Maison du Roi; they were the Royal household guard for the king while he was outside of the royal residences.

The Musketeers were founded in 1622 when Louis XIII furnished a company of light cavalry with muskets. The carabins were created by Louis' father Henry IV. The Musketeers fought in battle as infantry and as cavalry (on horseback).



Uniforms of Musketeers of the Guard, 1660-1814


The Musketeers were among the most prestigious of the military companies of the Ancien Régime, and in principle, membership in the companies was reserved for nobles. With the reforms of Michel le Tellier – which mandated a certain number of years of military service before nobles could attain the rank of officer – many nobles sought to do this service in the privileged Musketeer companies.

In 1776, the Musketeers were disbanded by Louis XVI for budgetary reasons.  Reformed in 1789, they were disbanded again during the French Revolution. They were reformed again and finally were permanently disbanded on January 1, 1816.


***

Musketeer of the Guard


Musketeer of the Guard, c. 1660 - illustration

***

Notable Musketeers of the Guard

The following are some of the notable Musketeers:

  • Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan (The historical basis of Dumas's character d'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers)
  • Armand d'Athos (The historical basis of Dumas's character Athos in The Three Musketeers)
  • Henri d'Aramitz (The historical basis of Dumas's character Aramis in The Three Musketeers)
  • Isaac de Porthau (The historical basis of Dumas's character Porthos in The Three Musketeers)
See also D = D'Artagnan in the A to Z Challenge for more Musketeer information

***

Did you like The Three Musketeers? Would you like to be adept with a sword (just for fun of course)?

Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, and if you are part of the A to Z Challenge. I'll be sure to check your blog, and reciprocate. If you're not in the challenge, thanks for stopping by to visit! I try to reply to all comments.

***

The A to Z Blog Challenge is brainchild of Lee, at Tossing It Out.  Please visit the A to Z blog site to find out more information and the participant list.  There are also Twitter and Facebook presences if you want to check those!




***
References

Uniforms of Musketeers of the Guard, 1660-1814 (before 1887)

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.


Musketeer of the Guard, c. 1660 - illustration
PD-OLD; This image is in the public domain due to its age.

***

Mousquetaires de la Garde. La fin du XVII siècle

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.

***

17 comments:

  1. Looking at their 17th century uniform, I wonder how much time it took for them to be battle ready :) very elaborate.

    I have read the Three Musketeers in abridged translation way back as a child, in fact even The Count of Monte Cristo, time to read the unabridged versions, I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they were expected to be battle ready at all times, when the king was out and about, but the fighting could be done without the tabards and hats, as long as the weapons were near (swords and muskets). I think I'd like to read the original Dumas too, translated of course.

      Delete
  2. Hi DG - it's the Musketeers that will keep the Royal contingent alive .. we've just had another BBC series on them ... totally fictitious - but the name is there and it's all good swashbuckling stuff ...

    If I'd done sword fighting or fencing .. my hip would have gone earlier in life?! But I'd have like to have known how to do it .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw that BBC info when I was doing my research, Hilary! I would like to watch that. I thought I saw Orlando Bloom in one of those promo photos. I planned to take fencing, but didn't.

      Delete
  3. Wow so they were real, not just a story? Who knew!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, interesting men they were based on, I'd say. Smart guy, Dumas, to write about them. (or to base his stories on them).

      Delete
  4. I always thought the Musketeers were cool. But I didn't know their history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why didn't they teach us about history by including things like this in school? I liked history anyway, but these sort of facts would have made it much more interesting.

      Delete
  5. When I was in college, I read the unabridged version of the THREE MUSKETEERS and TWENTY YEARS LATER which incorporated THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK. That added up to a stack of volumes when put together! I enjoyed Disney's version because it veered so much away from the original that I didn't know what to expect. and Tim Curry obviously had so much fun chewing the scenery as Cardinal Richelieu!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did see the latest version and the older version of the Man in the Iron Mask (latest with diCapprio) it was excellent. I think Charleton Heston suited the Richelieu character well. . .yes from Errol Flynn onwards, I do like the lighter type of swordfights that are not just hack and slash.

      Delete
  6. Very cool! I'm a fan of history, but I seriously thought the most famous four musketeers were fiction. Ha. Cool to find out they're not :)
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it great when we find out our fave fiction characters are based on a real person? Thanks for stopping by Guille!

      Delete
  7. I recently attempted to read The Three Musketeers, but got bored with it in a hurry. Sorry I didn't read it when I was younger. I do like the Three Musketeers candy bar, though...

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pity, but everyone is entitled to their own preference. I don't eat candy bars, only protein bars. . .sometimes the older style of writing can be ponderous.

      Delete
  8. I have several swords and yes, I'd like to really know how to use them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very interesting, Alex. It would be interesting to know what types they are (Sabres, Broadsword, Rapiers, Katanas?)

      Delete
  9. As I'm reading this post, I'm thinking; someone used D'Artagnan as their 'D' post. Imagine that, it was YOU. In that comment I stated that I have read Dumas and enjoyed the stories, but never knew that they were based on real people. I knew the Musketeers themselves were real, just not the individual characters.

    Another informative posts were I learned something.

    Oh and, no I've never been interested to learn swordsmanship or fencing, but I do enjoy watching it, both in person, and on the silver screen.

    ReplyDelete

Comments will be reviewed before they appear.