Battle of Rocroi
The Abbé Fleuriots research into the life of André de Roland was clearly a labour of years, and I have used little more than the first three boxes of manuscripts in compiling Honour and the Sword and In the Name of the King. His original sources are also intact, and I have what appears to be the whole of Annes diary in a collection of decidedly battered volumes, as well as journals in different hands whose owners I have yet to identify.
What lies ahead of me I do not yet know. In browsing the stacks of papers I have seen dates as late as 1652, which suggests at least that de Rolands story continues through the civil warfare of both Frondes, while the name of Louis II de Bourbon, the Great Condé himself, recurs with increasing frequency as the papers go on. Given that he was the greatest French general of the age, it seems likely André de Roland did indeed follow in his ancestors footsteps and fight for his country in some of the most important battles of his time. That he was present at the Battle of Rocroi I know from the material I have used in In the Name of the King, but it looks as if there may have been many others.
But this is to speculate. Only further research will unravel the whole story, and I suspect it will furnish the material for several more volumes to come...
Image of quill pen © iStock