29th Foot

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Origin and History

The unit was raised in 1694 as the “Thomas Farrington's Regiment of Foot”. It was disbanded in 1698 after the Peace of Ryswick.

At the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, on March 18 1702, the regiment was reformed. It consisted of 12 companies, each of 2 sergeants (1 more in the grenadier company), 3 corporals, 2 drummers and 59 privates (soon reduced to 50). and In August, the regiment was sent to Ireland. In March 1704, the regiment was transferred to the Netherlands where it arrived in June and joined a corps of observation left behind by Marlborough when he departed for Bavaria. In 1705, the regiment took part in the campaign on the Moselle and of the Meuse. On May 23 1706, it took part in the battle of Ramillies against the French and, in June and July, in the siege of Ostend. In August, the regiment returned to St. Helen's in preparation for an expedition to reinforce Portugal. In January 1707, it finally disembarked at Alicante. On February 22, the much depleted regiment was reduced and its troops incorporated into other regiments. In September, the regiment was reformed at Norwich, Swaffham, Harleston, Attleborough and Buckenham. In June 1708, the regiment was stationed on the Isle of Wight and then transferred to the continent in Spetember. In February 1709, it was sent back to England. In July 1710, it was stationed on the Isle of Wight once more. In 1711, the regiment was sent to Gibraltar where it arrived in March. In February 1713, the regiment was disbanded, Chudleigh's Foot, stationed in Ireland, taking its place.

From 1713 to 1727, the new regiment was stationed in Ireland.

In 1727, the regiment was sent to Gibraltar to defend this fortress against a besieging Spanish army.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1742 and 1743, the regiment served aboard the fleet operating in the Mediterranean. In October 1745, the regiment was sent to garrison Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island. After a stop in Virginia, it reached Louisbourg in mid May 1746. On July 11, the regiment took part in the battle of Port-la-Joye against Canadiens and Mi'kmaq warriors, suffering heavy losses. The outcome of the battle led to an order that all officers in the regiment must always be armed, thus earning their first nickname as the “Ever Sworded”.

In 1749, the regiment was stationed at the site of Halifax, Nova Scotia, where its soldiers cleared the land for the new town. In 1750, it returned to Ireland.

From its creation to 1751, the regiment was also known by the name of its successive colonels.

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "29th Regiment of Foot".

In 1752, the quarters of the regiment were as follows:

  • Kinsale (2 coys)
  • Charles Fort (2 coys)
  • Bandon (4 coys)
  • Clonakilty (4 coys)

In 1755, the regiment was stationed at Waterford.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • since June 1748: Colonel Peregrine T. Hopson (transferred to the 40th Foot in 1752)
  • from March 4 1752: Colonel Hon. George Boscawen
  • from January 16 1761: George Lord Forbes

Service during the War

In August 1758, a draft of 150 men from the regiment was ordered to be prepared to strengthen regiments serving in North America.

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland (at Clonmel, Cashel and Athy) and counted 1 battalion for a total of 700 men.

In 1760, the regiment was stationed at Limerick.

In 1762, the regiment left Galway for Londonderry and Belfast. It did not take part in any campaign during the war.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 (regimental lace not illustrated) - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier as per Morier in 1751: British mitre with: a bright yellow front edged white embroidered with white scroll work and with the dark blue King's cipher surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap edged white with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent" and with a dark green bottom strip; red back; a bright yellow headband edged white probably wearing the number 29 in the middle part behind; a white pompom with yellow inner threads
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined bright yellow and laced white (white braid with 2 yellow and blue stripes and a central blue worm) with 3 buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels bright yellow laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets with white laces (same lace as above), each with pewter buttons
Cuffs bright yellow (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above)
Turnbacks bright yellow
Waistcoat brick red laced white (same lace as above)
Breeches brick red
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with with a "Brown Bess" muskets, a bayonet and a sword. They also carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Officers

Officers of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences

  • silver gorget around the neck
  • an aiguilette on the right shoulder
  • silver lace instead of normal lace
  • a crimson sash

Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command; however, officers of the grenadier company wore a more decorated mitre cap.

Officers generally carried a spontoon, however, in battle some carried muskets instead.

Musicians

In 1759, Admiral Lord Edward Boscawen gave to his brother Colonel George Boscawen 10 black youths he had acquired in the capture of Guadeloupe from the French in the same year. These young men were released from slavery and joined the regiment as drummers, a tradition the regiment continued until 1843.

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment were clothed in bright yellow, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with red, and laced in such manner as the colonel shall think fit for distinction sake, the lace, however, was of the colours of that on the soldiers' coats.
The front or forepart of the drums were painted bright yellow, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XXIX” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath surrounding the rank of the regiment "XXIX" in gold Roman numerals.

Regimental Colour: bright yellow field with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle on the same stalk surrounding the rank of the regiment "XXIX" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.

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

References

Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899

Everard, Hugh Edm. E.: History of Thos. Farrington's regiment subsequently designated the 29th (Worcester) Foot 1694 to 1891, Worcester, 1891, pp. 1-56

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, p. 90-103

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989

Wikipedia 29th Foot