59th Foot

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Origin and History

The regiment was created on December 23 1755 by Lieutenant-general Charles Montagu as the “61st Regiment of Foot” in the counties of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. In 1757, it was renumbered “59th Regiment of Foot”.

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

  • from 1755 to 1759: Lieutenant-general Charles Montagu
  • from 1760 to 1763: Colonel Owen

In 1763, the regiment was sent to Nova Scotia where it assumed garrison duty till 1772.

Service during the War

The regiment was sent to Ireland where it assumed garrison duty until 1763.

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and counted 1 battalion for a total of 700 men.

Uniform

Very few information is available about the uniform of this regiment: its distinctive colour was “Pompadour” (purple), the lining of the coat red and its regimental braid yellow. The uniform illustrated below is based on these sole details, other details have been reconstructed based on the hypothesis that the uniform followed the instructions of the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751.

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced yellow and a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a purple front edged yellow embroidered with yellow scroll work and with a yellow King's cypher surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap edged yellow with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; red back; a purple headband edged yellow probably wearing the number 59 in the middle part behind; pompom of an unknown colour
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined red and laced yellow with 3 gilt buttons and 3 yellow buttonholes (same lace as above) under the lapel
Collar none
Shoulder Straps brick red (left shoulder only) fastened with a gilt button
Lapels purple laced yellow (same lace as above) with 7 gilt buttons and 6 yellow buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets laced yellow (same lace as above)
Cuffs purple slashed cuffs laced yellow (same lace as above) with 4 gilt buttons and 4 yellow buttonholes (same lace as above) on the sleeve above each the cuff
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat brick red edged yellow (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 coat as the private soldiers but with the following differences:

  • golden gorget around the neck
  • a golden aiguilette on the right shoulder
  • golden lace instead of the 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 a musket instead.

Musicians

The drummers of the regiment were probably clothed in purple, 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 fore part of the drums was painted purple, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “LIX” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

Once more, if this new regiment abided by the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751, its colours would have looked like those illustrated hereafter.

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LIX" in gold Roman numerals.

Regimental Colour: purple field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LIX" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.

King's Colour - Source: Richard Couture from a template by PMPdeL
Regimental Colour - Source: Richard Couture from a template by PMPdeL

References

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

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)

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

Wikipedia 59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.