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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 53rd Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in Bridgnorth by William Whitmore on December 21 1755. It initially ranked as the "55th Regiment of Foot".

On December 25 1756, when the "50th" and "51st" regiments of foot were disbanded. The "55th" officially became the "53rd Regiment of Foot".

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

  • December 1 1755: lieutenant-general William Whitmore
  • April 5 1759 to February 5 1770: major-general John Toovey

Service during the War

As soon as raised in May 1756, the regiment was sent to Gibraltar as reinforcements. It remained in this fortress for the entire war assuming garrison duty.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756- Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white and a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a red front embroidered with the King's cypher with a crown over it; a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; red back; a red headband probably wearing the number 53 in the middle part behind
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined red and laced white (unknown lace pattern) with 3 pewter buttons and 3 white buttonholes (same lace as above) under the lapel
Collar none
Shoulder Straps brick red (left shoulder only)
Lapels brick red laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets laced white (same lace as above)
Cuffs brick red slashed cuffs laced white (same lace as above) with 4 pewter buttons and 4 white buttonholes (same lace as above) on the sleeve above each the cuff
Turnbacks brick red
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 a “Brown Bess” muskets, a bayonet and a sword.

Officers

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

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

Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command. However, officers of grenadiers wore a more decorated mitre than the privates.

Officers were usually armed with a spontoon. However, in action, some carried a musket rather than the usual spontoon.

Musicians

not yet available

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with the regiment number "LIII" in gold Roman numerals within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.

Regimental Colour: White field with a red cross, Union in the upper left canton, centre decorated with the regiment number "LIII" in gold Roman numerals within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.

King's Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Regimental Colour - Source: PMPdeL

References

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

George II, The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth