Wednesday 16 July 2014

A Real Hussarette?

I'm currently reading Captain Kincaid's memoir "Adventures in the Rifle Brigade" and was astonished to come across this cryptic entry in the diary for early 1811.

Gosh, this gets the artist's juices flowing and all sorts of questions spring to mind. What a dramatic painting it could make having a body of 95th Riflemen, led by a dashing pelisse wearing officer taking prisoner a French uniformed aide-de-camp, and the "Hussarette" wife standing by looking rather shocked but "handsome",....err, well that means sexy to me, and what my Hussarette project started out for.

So does anyone have any more information on this? What kind of uniform would a Portuguese wear who had enlisted as an aide to a French General, and I think we could use a lot of artistic licence for the wife. Does anyone know their names?

Any patron of the arts out there care to commission me, and have a big say in the painting design.

Of course you could read the English differently to mean that it was the ADC dressed in the hussar uniform, but that would rather spoil the vision. I think an ADC would be likely to have a splendid hussar uniform and therefore not so worth remarking on as a woman wearing one.

All comments welcome, but please not anonymous ones.


  1. My first thought was to wonder if it was his uniform that she was wearing.... well parts anyway.

    I have a vague memory of a picture of a French adc somewhere with comments about lack of regulation and tendancies of some generals to invent but I need to check a few books to see if I still have it.

    In some cases they would have worn their regimental uniform, esp if appointed mid campaign.

  2. Ross, thanks for these useful openings for more discussion. On the first point I guess it's likely he could have put his wife in hussar uniform to lessen the chances of her being ravished by the dastardly English! You are right, French Marshal's certainly had aides with specially designed uniforms - such as the artist, Baron Lejeune, designed the famous red and white uniform when he was ADC to Marshal Davout. Agree with your last sentence and that was why I wondered if anyone had a hunch on Portuguese Hussars and which regiment might be described as splendid, it's not an army I'm familiar with