2nd Horse

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 2nd Horse

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1685 as the "Duke of Shrewsbury's Regiment of Horse" to curb Monmouth's rebellion. It later became known as the "Duke of Hamilton's Regiment of Cuirassiers". In 1685, it ranked as 7th Horse then in 1691, when then old 5th Horse was disbanded, it was renumbered 6th Horse.

On December 25 1746, when three Regiments of Horse were converted to Dragoon Guards, the "6th Regiment of Horse" became the "2nd Regiment of Horse" also known as Green Horse and was transferred to the Irish establishment.

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

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

  • since December 22 1747: Lieutenant-General Thomas Bligh
  • from October 23 1758: General John Waldegrave, 3rd Earl Waldegrave
  • from November 27 1760 till August 27 1789: General Hon. John Fitzwilliam

In 1788, the four last "Regiments of Horse" were converted into "Dragoon Guards". Thus, the "2nd Regiment of Horse" became the "5th 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 Lawson
Headgear black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Neck stock white
Coat red lined full green
Collar none
Shoulder strap left shoulder: red fastened with a small yellow button
Lapels long full green lapels extending from the collar down to the bottom of the coat with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes grouped 2 by 2
Pockets long vertical pockets with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes
Cuffs full green small square cuffs with 4 yellow buttons and 4 very narrow yellow buttonholes
Turnbacks full green
Waistcoat full green with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes
Breeches full green 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 full green with rounded corners decorated with the rank of the regiment (II. H.) in yellow on a red ground within a wreath of roses and thistles; bordered with a white braid with a red stripe
Holster caps full green with pointed corners decorated with the golden crowned king's cipher and the rank of the regiment (II. H.) underneath in yellow; bordered with a white braid with a red stripe
Blanket roll red and full green


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

NCOs

Corporals were distinguished by a narrow gold lace on the lapels, cuffs, pockets and shoulder straps; a full green worsted sash about their waist.

Musicians

They wore full green 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 full green with the rank of the regiment (II. 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 full green carrying the king's cypher and crown with the rank of the regiment (II. H.) underneath.

Colours

The standards were made of damask, fringed with gold and embroidered with gold. 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 (II. H.) in gold characters on a full green ground.

Regimental Standard: full green field fringed gold with its centre decorated with the rank of the regiment (II. H.) in gold characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk. Underneath the central decoration: the regimental motto “VESTIGIA NULLA RETRORSUM”. 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.

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.