1st Horse

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 1st Horse

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1685 as the "Earl of Arran's Regiment of Cuirassiers" to curb Monmouth's rebellion. It later became known as the "Duke of Hamilton's Regiment of Cuirassiers". In 1685, it ranked as 6th Horse then in 1691, when then old 5th Horse was disbanded, it took the rank of this regiment.

In 1746, when three Regiments of Horse were converted to Dragoon Guards, the "5th Regiment of Horse" became the "1st Regiment of Horse". The same year, it was transferred to the Irish regiments establishment.

This regiment had 2 squadrons as usual for heavy cavalry regiments.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • lieutenant-general Browne

In 1768, the four last "Regiments of Horse" were converted into "Dragoon Guards". Thus, the "1st Regiment of Horse" became the "4th Dragoon Guards".

Service during the War

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and counted 2 squadrons for a total of 120 men. It was not involved in any campaign during the war.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Ibrahim90 from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1758 as per Morier and Lawson
Headgear black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Neck stock white
Coat red lined pale blue
Collar none
Shoulder strap left shoulder: red fastened with a small silver button
Lapels long pale blue lapels extending from the collar down to the bottom of the coat with silver buttons and very narrow white buttonholes grouped 2 by 2
Pockets long vertical pockets with silver buttons and very narrow white buttonholes
Cuffs pale blue small square cuffs with 4 silver buttons and 4 very narrow white buttonholes
Turnbacks pale blue
Waistcoat pale blue with silver buttons and very narrow white buttonholes
Breeches pale blue with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box natural leather
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings pale blue with rounded corners decorated with the rank of the regiment (I. H.) in white on a red ground within a wreath of roses and thistles; bordered with a white braid with a red stripe
Holster caps pale blue with pointed corners decorated with the golden crowned king's cipher and the rank of the regiment (I. H.) underneath in white; bordered with a white braid with a red stripe
Blanket roll red and pale blue


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.

Officers

As per the regulation of 1751, the officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • a narrow silver lace at the bindings and buttonholes
  • a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
  • crimson and silver striped sword knot
  • housings and holster caps laced gold and silver

NCOs

Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs, pockets and shoulder straps; a pale blue worsted sash about their waist.

Musicians

They wore pale blue coats lined and turned up with red and laced with a white braid with a red stripe. Hanging sleeves fastened at the waist. Red waistcoats and breeches.

The banners of the kettle drums were pale blue with the rank of the regiment (I. H.) in gold characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk in its centre . The banners of the trumpets were pale blue carrying the king's cypher and crown with the rank of the regiment (I. H.) underneath.

Colours

The standards were made of damask, fringed with gold and embroidered with gold and silver. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.

King's Standard: 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 (I. H.) in silver characters on a pale blue ground.

Regimental Standard: pale blue field fringed gold and silver with its centre decorated with the crest of England within the Garter. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: rank of the regiment (I. H.) in silver characters on a red ground within a wreath of roses and thistles.

King's Standard - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Standard - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

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)

Acknowledgements

Digby Smith for additional info on the regiment.