This is a statuette of the Duke of Albanys' Maritime Regiment in 1664. The regiment were ordered to provide protection for the Kings Ships and thus became the first British Marine Regiment. They are the Forebears of the Royal Marines.
King Charles II affixed his seal to this Order in Council drafted at a meeting of the Privy Council held at the Palace of Whitehall, on 28 October 1664.
‘Upon a Report from the Lords, the Committee for the Affayres of his Majesty’s Navy Royall and Admiralty of this Kingdome this day read at the Board; His Majesty was pleased to Order and direct that twelve hundred Land Souldjers be forthwith raysed, to be in readinesse, to be distributed into His Majesty’s Fleets prepared for Sea Service which said twelve hundred Men are to be putt into One Regiment under one Colonell, One Lieutenant Colonell and One Sergeant Major, and to be divided into six Companies, each Company to consist of Two hundred Souldjers; And to have one Captain, one Lieutenant, One Ensigne, One Drume, Fowre Serjeants, and Fowre Corporalls, and all the Souldjers aforesaid to be armed with goof Firelocks; all which Armes, Drumes, and Colours are forthwith to be prepared and furnished out of His Majesty’s Stoares; the care of all which is recommended to the Duke of Abermarle his Grace, Lord General of His Majesty’s Forces’.
The King’s brother, James, Duke of York , was appointed commander of the Regiment , stylishly titled the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, or the Lord High Admiral’s Regiment. Executive command was given to Sir William Killigrew who immediately began recruiting in the City of London.
The Regiment’s early actions afloat took place during the Second Anglo-Dutch War; first at the battle of Lowestoft , 13 June 1665, ten the Four Days’ Battle off Dunkirk, 11-14 June 1666. Marines, were also present on board ships who attacked a Dutch merchant fleet at anchor in the river Vlie on 9 August 1666 and set fire to 150 ships. The following year Dutch Admiral de Ruyter took his revenge by attacking Sheerness and sailing up the Thames as far as Gravesend destroying ships and property as he went. On 2 July 1666, 3000 Dutch troops landed at Harwich and attacked the fort guarding the harbour. In their first land action the Admiral’s Regiment, who had two companies quartered in the fort put up a stout resistance and inflicted so many casualties to the Dutch, that they retired in disorder.
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