Origin and History
The regiment was raised in 1685 under the name of "Queen Dowager's Regiment of Horse". It then ranked as 9th Horse. In 1690, it ranked as 8th Horse. In 1691, the regiment became the "King's Regiment of Carabineers" and served in the campaign in Ireland.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1713, the regiment was renumbered 7th Horse.
On the eve of the War of the Austrian Succession, the name of the regiment was changed once more to "His Majesty's 1st Regiment of Carabiniers". In 1742, it became known as the "7th Regiment of Horse" or alternatively as the "Irish Horse". In 1746, when three Regiments of Horse were converted to Dragoon Guards, the "7th Regiment of Horse" became the "3rd Regiment of Horse".
This regiment had 2 squadrons as it was usual for heavy cavalry regiments.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- Major-General Dejean
In 1768, the four last "Regiments of Horse" were converted into "Dragoon Guards". Thus, the "3rd Regiment of Horse" became the "6th Dragoon Guards".
N.B.: In his "A History of the British Army", Fortescue refers to this regiment as the 6th Dragoon Guards. However, it was not yet renamed this way. In fact the regiment was only renamed in 1768.
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.
In the summer of 1760, the regiment was among the British contingent sent to reinforce the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. For the coming campaign, each of its cavalrymen received a cuirass and an iron skull-cap. The troops were shipped to the Weser instead of, as heretofore, to Emden, and seem to have been despatched with commendable promptitude since some regiments were reviewed by Ferdinand in his camp at Fritzlar on June 17. On July 31, the regiment took part to the battle of Warburg, the regiment was in the first line of Granby's cavalry. Granby charged and broke the French cavalry right wing then wheeled and hit the French infantry in the flank, winning the day for the Allies.
In July 1761, the regiment was with Conway's Corps in Germany. On July 16, it took part in the battle of Vellinghausen.
To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762
|Headgear||black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade|
|Coat||red lined pale yellow
|Waistcoat||pale yellow with silver buttons and very narrow white buttonholes|
|Breeches||pale yellow 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 silver
Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs, pockets and shoulder straps; a pale yellow worsted sash about their waist.
Trumpeters rode grey horses. They wore pale yellow 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 yellow with the rank of the regiment (III. 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 yellow carrying the king's cypher and crown with the rank of the regiment (III. H.) underneath.
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 (III. H.) in silver characters on a pale yellow ground.
Regimental Standard: pale yellow field fringed gold and silver with its centre decorated with the rank of the regiment (III. H.) in gold characters on a crimson 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 red ground.
Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899
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)
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.