Origin and History
The regiment was created on July 22, 1715 and raised in Hertfordshire and the adjoining counties by Brigadier-General Humphrey Gore to contain the first Jacobite uprising. It consisted of six troops and ranked as 10th Dragoons. Its headquarters were established at Hertford. When completed it was sent to Marlborough. In 1716, it was stationed at Exeter; in 1718, in Yorkshire; in 1719, in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire; in 1720, in Devonshire and Shropshire; and in 1721, in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.
In 1722, when the Jacobites tried to elevate the Pretender to the throne, the regiment was sent to Marlborough and then to Salisbury Plain. It later encamped near Chippenham and, on October 1, marched to its cantonments at Cirencester. In 1723, it was transferred to Leicestershire. In 1724, it was removed to Yorkshire and in 1725 to Gloucester and Hereford.
In the winter of 1726, the regiment was employed in suppressing riots in Somersetshire and Wiltshire. In 1727, it received three additional troops. In 1728, it was sent to Scotland where it was reduced to six troops.
In 1730, the regiment returned to England where it was stationed in Yorkshire. In 1732, it was removed to Lancashire; in 1733, in Leicestershire; in 1734, in Cheshire; and in 1735, in Yorkshire.
In 1740, on the eve of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was encamped near Newbury. In May 1743, a squadron of the regiment was detached to intercept 150 men of Lord Semphill’s Highlanders, who had deserted with their arms, and were returning in a body towards Scotland. They were intercepted near Oundle and surrendered at discretion. In 1744, the regiment sent a draft of men and horses to join dragoon regiments on foreign service.
In 1745, during the second Jacobite uprising, the regiment proceeded to Edinburgh. On January 17, 1746, it took part in the Battle of Falkirk, retiring to Edinburgh after the defeat. On April 16, it fought in the victorious Battle of Culloden . In 1747, the regiment returned to England. In 1748, after the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, it was reduced to 285 men.
On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British cavalry, the regiment was designated as the "10th Regiment of Dragoons". It consisted of 2 squadrons.
In 1753, the regiment was stationed in Scotland. In 1754, it returned to England. In 1755, it occupied quarters at Romford and other towns in Essex.
On December 25, 1755, a company of light dragoons under Captain Robert Atkinson was added to the regiment. These light dragoons had brass helmets.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from November 1, 1749 to 1780: Sir John Mordaunt
In 1763, the troop of light dragoons was disbanded and the six heavy troops were reduced.
Service during the War
In May 1756, the regiment proceeded from Essex to Dorsetshire. On Passing through London, it was reviewed by King George II in Hyde Park. It then encamped near Blandford under Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Howard. In October, the regiment went into quarters at Dorchester.
In April 1757, the regiment marched to Canterbury and furnished 17 detachments on coast duty in Kent and Sussex.
In the spring of 1758, the light troop of the regiment was ordered to march to the vicinity of Portsmouth, where it was formed in brigade with the light troops of several other regiments under Brigadier-General Eliott and was employed in the expedition against the coast of France, under Charles, Duke of Marlborough. Early in July, the six heavy troops of the regiment were encamped on Hounslow Heath, On July 10, the were reviewed in Hyde Park by King George II. A few days afterwards, the regiment, under its commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Whitley, was among the first British contingent (6,000 men) sent to reinforce the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. The contingent embarked at Gravesend on July 19, arrived at Emden on August 1 and disembarked on August 3. It then encamped on some waste grounds a few km above the town until August 5. It then marched and arrived at Coesfeld on August 17, after marching through a very heavy rain. On August 20, it was reviewed but it was not engaged in any important enterprise this year, It passed the winter in the Bishopric of Paderborn.
On April 6, 1759, Lieutenant-Colonel William Augustus Pitt succeeded to Whitley as commanding officer of the regiment. In June, the regiment was part of the main Allied army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, it was present at the Battle of Minden, where it was deployed in the second line of the right hand column under Lord George Sackville. This cavalry corps did not take part in the battle despite several orders requesting its intervention. Lord Sackville was later court-martialed and lost his command. In November, the regiment went into cantonments in the villages near the river Lahn.
For the campaign of 1760, the regiment was formed in brigade with the 6th Dragoons under Brigadier-General Henry Earl of Pembroke. On July 10, during the Combat of Corbach, the regiment formed part of the Reserve and did not take part in combat. When some 18,000 French troops, under the Chevalier de Muy, crossed the Diemel to cut off the communication of the Allies with Westphalia, the regiment advanced from the camp at Kalle, crossed the Diemel at Liebenau, and took post, on the morning of July 31, behind a wood 8 km from the position occupied by the French at Warburg. In the ensuing Battle of Warburg, the regiment was deployed in the second line of Granby's cavalry. Granby charged and broke the French cavalry right wing then wheeled and hit the French infantry in the flank, winning the day for the Allies. The regiment earned its first Battle Honour there. In this battle, the regiment lost Major Richard Davenport, Cornet Ratcliffe, 1 man, and 4 horses killed; 10 rank and file and 12 horses wounded; 1 private and 5 horses missing. After pursuing the French several km beyond the Diemel, the regiment took post, with the other corps under the Marquis of Granby, on the heights of Wilda. On August 3, it retired to the lines of Warburg where it remained until the beginning of October. On October 2, the regiment was detached under Major-Ceneral Howard, towards the Lower Rhine. After passing the Rhine on a bridge of boats, about 3 km below Wesel, the regiment joined the troops commanded by the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, about 8:00 p.m. on the evening of October 14. The Prince had invested Wesel on October 3, and a French army was advancing to relieve the place. On joining the camp, the regiment was directed to unbridle, to give their horses a feed, and to be ready to march at a moment's notice. On October 16, the regiment was present at the Battle of Clostercamp where it formed part of the rear-guard. In this battle, the regiment lost Colonel William Augustus Pitt, who was wounded and taken prisoner. Furthermore, Lieutenant Charles Erskine, Quarter-Master Dobson, 3 sergeants and 27 rank were taken prisoners; Lieutenant Richard Briscoe, and 4 privates, were killed; Captain-Lieutenant Peter Renouard, and 3 rank and file were wounded. The loss in troop-horses were 33 killed, 7 wounded and 11 missing. On withdrawing from the field of battle, the Hereditary Prince proceeded towards the Rhine, and finding the bridge of boats damaged by the overflowing of the stream, he caused it to be removed a short distance lower down the stream. While the bridge was being removed, the regiment skirmished with the French. On October 18, the Allies passed the Rhine and afterwards encamped at Brunnen, from whence it removed to Klein-Reckum, and subsequently into cantonments for the winter.
In February 1761, the regiment left its quarters and took part in an incursion into the cantonments of the French army. Several fortified towns were captured and extensive magazines seized. In May, the regiment again took the field, and was formed in brigade with the 1st Dragoons and the 6th Dragoons under Major-General Eliott. In July, it encamped on the heights between Illingen and Hohenover near the Asse River in Westphalia. On July 16, it took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was attached to Anhalt's Corps. The regiment was subsequently employed in operations on the Diemel, and other parts of the Bishopric of Paderborn. In November, it was employed in the Electorate of Hanover, where several sharp skirmishes occurred, and it passed the winter in East Friesland.
During the campaign of 1762, the regiment was formed in brigade with the Scots Greys, under the command of the Lieutenant-Colonel William Augustus Pitt. In Mid-May, the regiment took the field and encamped at Brackel and subsequently on the heights of Tissel. At daybreak, on the morning of June 24, it was on the march for the Diemel, and having passed that river, was engaged in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. After this success the regiment was engaged in numerous operations and skirmishes until November, when a suspension of arms took place. It took up cantonments in the Bishopric of Münster.
At the beginning of 1763, the regiment marched to Willemstad in the Dutch Republic where it arrived in February. It then embarked for England. Having landed at Harwich, it marched into quarters at Dorchester and Blandford.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade and white metal loop|
|Coat||double breasted red lined deep yellow with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes arranged in groups of 3, 4 and 5
|Waistcoat||deep yellow with very narrow white buttonholes|
|Breeches||deep yellow with white knee covers|
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.
As per the regulation of 1751, the officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:
- a narrow silver lace at the lapels, cuffs and pockets
- a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
- crimson and gold striped sword knot
- deep yellow housings and holster caps laced silver
Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs and pockets; a silver aiguillette; a deep yellow worsted sash about their waist.
Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the cuffs and shoulder strap; white silk aiguillette.
Drummers rode grey horses. They wore deep yellow coats lined and turned up with red and laced with a white braid with a green stripe. Red waistcoats and breeches.
Drummers wore a mitre cap similar to the grenadier mitre cap but with a lower crown and the tassel hanging behind. Deep yellow front decorated with a trophy of guidons and drums; little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; red backing, deep yellow headband with a drum and the rank of the regiment (X. D.) in the middle part behind.
The drums were of brass with a deep yellow forepart carrying the rank of the regiment (X. D.) in silver characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.
The guidons were made of silk, fringed with silver and green and embroidered with silver. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.
King's Guidon: crimson field decorated with the rose and thistle conjoined surmounted by a crown. Underneath the central decoration: the king's motto “Dieu et mon Droit”. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a compartment. In the second and third corners: the rank of the regiment (X. D.) in silver characters on a deep yellow ground.
Regimental Guidon: deep yellow field with its centre decorated with the rank of the regiment (X. D.) in silver characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the rose and thistle conjoined upon a red ground.
Cannon, Richard: Historical Record of the Tenth, The Prince of Wales Own Royal Regiment of Hussars, London: John W. Parker, 1843
Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899
Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
George II, The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751
Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II
Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately does not seem to be online any more)
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.