Robert de St Clair
Sovereign Grand Commander 1585-1595
In the rolls of the Order a Robert de St Clair appears as a man-at-arms from 1500-1507. Unfortunately, our musters rolls for 1507-1515 are missing. In 1583 another Robert de St Clair maybe his son appears in the rolls of the Garde de Corps du Roi but then not again and in 1585 a Robert de St. Clair becomes Sovereign Grand Commander of the Order of the Fleur de Lys The Garde Écossaise survived until the end of the Bourbon monarchy as the senior or Scottish Company of the Gardes du Corps (Body Guards). There were four companies of Body Guards and a detachment of them accompanied the French King wherever he went, posted guards on his sleeping place and even escorted his food from kitchen to table.
During the reign of Francis, I the garde were held up by blizzards near the Simplon Pass after a defeat at the Battle of Pavia in 1525. Some of the men reputedly settled there and their descendants became known as the "Lost Clan".
From the 16th century onwards recruitment of the unit was primarily from Frenchmen and the Scottish element gradually died out. The name was retained as were certain words of command which had originated in Scots.
The Order has in its possession Revue and Muster Rolls for the Order’s Companies in France for the period 1413 (before the Order was officially founded) until 1652. Some are complete whilst others are only partially so.
For some 200 years (1572-1782), the Scots Mercenary companies were employed by a variety of States including the Dutch Republic though it seems that the ‘French Company’ as Order’s Company became known, because of its Fleur de Lys badge, did not form part of the establishment of the Dutch Army. Nevertheless, the same families sent by their local Chapters can be found taking part in the various wars time and time again.