17th Light Horse
Origin and History
The regiment was created on December 19, 1759, by Lord Aberdour. It was raised in Scotland. The unit was originally designated as the “17th Light Dragoons” although it was more commonly known as the “Aberdour's Light Horse”.
The regiment never consisted of more than two troops and was disbanded in 1763, at the end of the Seven Years War.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- from December 19, 1759 to 1763: Captain Commandant James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton, Lord Aberdour
Service during the War
Lord Aberdour was one of the Lords of Police from 1760 till his death in 1774. The regiment was therefore used to monitor and guard prisoners while on the move. Otherwise, the regiment saw no action during the war.
We have not found any primary source describing the uniform of this regiment. Several parts of our description are assumptions based on the uniforms of the regiments of dragoons.
|Headgear||black boiled leather helmet; the front plate edged white and decorated with a crowned GR cypher in white; red horsehair tail; yellow band round the base of the helmet; white metal fittings|
|Coat||short double breasted red lined yellow with gold buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes
|Waistcoat||white with very narrow yellow buttonholes|
|Breeches||white with white knee covers|
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of shortened pistols and shortened musket and, probably, a bayonet.
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 silver striped sword knot
- ?deep green? housings and holster caps laced silver
Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs and pockets; a silver aiguillette; a black 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 ?colour? coats lined and turned up with ?colour? and laced with the regimental braid (unknown). 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. ?colour? front decorated with a trophy of guidons and drums; little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; ?colour? backing, ?colour? headband with a drum and the initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in the middle part behind.
The drums were of brass with a white forepart carrying the initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in silver characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.
We have not found any primary source describing the colours of this regiment. Several part of our description are assumptions based on the colours of the regiments of dragoons.
The guidons were made of silk, fringed in silver and embroidered with silver. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.
King's Guidon: crimson 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 initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in silver characters on a yellow ground.
Regimental Guidon: yellow field with its centre decorated with the initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in silver characters on a red 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 yellow ground.
This article incorporates texts of the following source:
- Cannon, Richard: Historical Record of the Seventeenth Regiment of Light Dragoons – Lancers, London: John W. Parker, 1841