A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 23 February 2018

ECW - General Wm Baillie - Ox-Droppings Dept.

This follows on smartish from my previous post, since I was keen to get Baillie painted up ready for Marston Moor (next weekend). Still vaguely apprehensive about the political correctness thing, I decided not to use the camped-up conversion with the clown boots etc (not sure why, something to do with a feeling that using a contrived figure might be potentially more offensive), and instead used an Irregular Miniatures general officer (a bit small by normal 20mm standards) and mounted him on a 20mm scale SHQ horse.

Good - pleased with the result. A respectful depiction of a small man, at which no-one could possibly take offence.


Looking a little like a Hobbit-General, Wee Willie Baillie poses next to a nifty
pond I got for a knock-down price at the York Wargame Show.
Then I received an email from Prof De Vries. He asked me where I got the idea that the little man on the right-hand end of Van der Helst's painting (as shown in my previous post) was William Baillie. I replied that there are at least three blogs/websites that use it as a portrait for Baillie. One in particular goes into some interesting detail on how the site owner actually was William Baillie in a former life, which explains why he recognised himself in the Van der Helst painting, why he has always been able to speak Dutch, why he recalls a lot of what happened to Baillie during his lifetime and so on. It also explains why he has a special bond with a close friend of his, who looks very like the figure of (Baillie's friend and colleague) James Lumsden (next to Baillie in the big painting) and who may have been Lumsden in a previous life. If you are getting a little giddy at this point, and if you would like to see how General Baillie's later alter ego improvised his own ECW costume from motor cycle clothing, I recommend you have a quick look here.

Since I have experienced enough drive-by flamings to learn not to criticise anyone else's internet presence, I offer no judgement of these claims. The Professor, though, was less tactful. He reckons that the three websites which offer the Puss in Boots picture as a likeness of William Baillie have misled each other - what De Vries describes as the classic internet closed-circle of mutual confirmation. He also reckons that a person who spoke Dutch and had even a slight familiarity with Google would not have taken very long to learn the truth of the De Schuttersmajltid painting. The date, the event, and - especially - the people in the picture are known. 


The bad news? Too late; wrong people. Is that a klaxon I hear...?


In fact, the event depicted was a lunch in celebration of the Peace of Münster, 18 June 1648, held in the headquarters of the Amsterdam Crossbowmen's Guild (St George's Guard). 


The people portrayed are actually recorded as being: (right, with silver horn) captain Cornelis Jansz. Witsen, (shakes hand of previous) lieutenant Johan Oetgens van Waveren, (seated behind the drum, with flag) reserve officer candidate Jacob Banning, sergeants Dirck Claesz. Thoveling and Thomas Hartog. Additionally: Pieter van Hoorn, Willem Pietersz. van der Voort, Adriaen Dirck Sparwer, Hendrick Calaber, Govert van der Mij, Johannes Calaber, Benedictus Schaesk, Jam Maes, Jacob van Diemen, Jan van Ommeren, Isaac Ooyens, Gerrit Pietersz. van Anstenraadt, Herman Teunisz. de Kluyter, Andries van Anstenraadt, Christoffel Poock, Hendrick Dommer Wz., Paulus Hennekijn, Lambregt van den Bos and Willem the drummer.


Not a bloody Scotsman in sight.


Sorry about all that. I am left with the mystery of where Nigel Tranter got his information about Baillie. Frankly, I'm not bothered - Baillie, it is well known, was a small man with a squeaky voice - here's a squeaky model of him - do you have a problem with this?

 

16 comments:

  1. The best things come in small packages , but so does rat poison my dad used to say (I'm only 5'4" Baillie material)

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    1. Tony, you are still a giant to me. How's the walking going, by the way?

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    2. Steadily away approaching the first 100 miles in about a couple of days , the fine weather is incouraging me , however 'winter is coming!'

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    3. Stout fellow - I'm supposed to have started on a bit of a fitness programme, but lost a month with a chest infection. Must get cracking!

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  2. Well, that chap's blog explains everything if you read a little further. What a fascinating insight. I feel particularly enlightened by the revelation that Angela Merkel is, in fact, Hitler's daughter and that the nine year gap between his death and her birth was contrived using mirrors. Or was it magnets?

    Great character figure, and given the lack of any definite proof that Baillie wasn't a small man with a squeaky voice, it could be a perfect likeness. Well done!

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    1. I found that blog gave me a remarkable thirst for beer. One thing that was not explained was how you can achieve the promised download of his book, "Covenanter General". I may risk another visit, but I'm definitely writing my name and address on the soles of my slippers before I do.

      The bloggist is good value - he has been a lot of very interesting people in past lives. I don't know if he has also been a few uninteresting people, but I don't think he mentioned them. Identifying with the wrong portrait of Bill Baillie is a bit awkward, I think.

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    2. I downloaded the book. I've had a little peek. I'll have another one later.

      In the meantime, you'll get a lot more insight from this video - but you have to promise to stop it after a few minutes. Leave it on long enough to learn that matter is actually a Slinky vibrating end to end, though. This could be the Merkel magnets?

      https://youtu.be/J4ryJEgwlFY

      It's a wonderful, wonderful world.

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    3. Oh my word. You didn't warn us about the doughnuts. We are all linked by a cosmic doughnut.
      Made me think of Terry Pratchett, for some reason.
      I'm agog for what the book might reveal.

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  3. OMG - as I believe the "yoof" say. Love his belief that the repro helmet was actually Baillie's.

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    1. Unlikely though it may seem, there is a theory that Baillie's original helmet was a Kangol "Santana Mk V" bought from Halford's in 1972.

      All of this is absolutely fine with me, by the way.

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  4. I'm Napoleon III's pet dog.

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    1. Now you're being silly. It's a well-known fact that his dog couldn't ride a bike.

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    2. Neither can I! I have the scars to prove it!

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  5. I’m Bill Baillie and so’s my wife.

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    1. That's more like it - excellent.


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