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.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade|
|Coat||red lined pale blue
|Waistcoat||pale blue with silver buttons and very narrow white buttonholes|
|Breeches||pale blue 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 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
Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs, pockets and shoulder straps; a pale blue worsted sash about their waist.
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.
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.
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)
Digby Smith for additional info on the regiment.