Origin and History
The regiment was raised in Inniskilling in July 1689, during the Williamite War (1689-91) by amalgamating troops from units created in 1688. It was initially known as the "Sir Albert Cunningham's Regiment of Dragoons". The regiment joined the English army of the Duke of Schomberg. In January 1690, the new regiment was placed on the establishment of the regular army. During this campaign, it took part in the capture of Belturbet, in the combat of Cavan, in the capture of the Killeshandra Castle and of the Ballinacargy Castle, in the Battle of the Boyne. In 1691, the regiment took part in the capture of Ballymore and Athlone, in the Battle of Aughrim, in the capture of Galway and in the engagement of Sligo. The same year, the regiment was ranked 6th Dragoons.
In 1702, at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was stationed in Ireland. In 1708, it was sent to England where it was stationed in Yorkshire and Lancashire. In the early part of 1709, the regiment proceeded to Scotland where it would remain for four years.
In 1713, the regiment returned to England where it was stationed in Cumberland. In 1715, it was initially stationed in Lancashire and one squadron was employed in suppressing riots at Manchester. It was then transferred to Scotland where it fought in the Battle of Sheriffmuir. In 1717, the regiment was quartered at Aberdeen before marching to Cumberland and soon returning to Scotland where it was cantonned near Glasgow. In 1725, it was employed in suppressing riots in Glasgow.
In the spring of 1728, the regiment was transferred from Scotland to Berkshire. It was then quartered in Lancashire and Northumberland. In 1729, it returned to Scotland.
In 1733, the regiment was ordered to march for England where it was stationed in Essex. In 1737, it marched to Nottingham and Derby; and in 1738, to Lincolnshire.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment left Lincolnshire and was transported to Ostend. In 1743, it took part in the Battle of Dettingen; in 1745, in the Battle of Fontenoy; in 1746, in the Battle of Rocoux; and in 1747, in the Battle of Lauffeld.
During the winter of 1748, the regiment returned to England. After the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle the establishment was reduced to 285 officers and men.
On July 1, 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British cavalry, the regiment was designated as the "6th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons". It consisted of two squadrons.
At the end of 1755, a company of light dragoons was added to the regiment.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from 1750 to 1775: The Honourable James Cholmondeley
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment was encamped on Salisbury plain.
From May to July 1758, the company of light dragoons of the regiment took part in the first expedition against the French Coasts. In August, it participated in a second expedition against the French Coasts. Meanwhile, during the summer, the six troops of dragoons of the regiment were selected to form part of the first British contingent (6,000 men) sent to reinforce the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. The contingent embarked at Gravesend on July 19, disembarked at Emden on August 3 and arrived at Coesfeld on August 17, after marching through a very heavy rain. The regiment took up its winter quarters in the Bishopric of Paderborn.
In the spring of 1759, the regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Harvey, took the field and was formed in brigade with the Royal Horse Guards and the 1st Dragoon Guards, It was attached to Finckenstein's Division in the second line of the cavalry right wing. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it was deployed in the first column under the command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. In June, the regiment was part of the Allied main army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, it was present at the Battle of Minden in the first line of the cavalry right wing which was not engaged. The regiment formed part of the division commanded by the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, who harassed and attacked the French during their retreat. On August 25, the division arrived at Schönstadt. During the night between August 27 and 28, the regiment, with a detachment of the 1st Dragoon Guards and 1 battalion of British grenadiers, marched in the direction of Wetter to surprise Fischer’s Corps. On August 28 in the morning, the detachment launched a surprise attack on Fischer's Corps (about 2,000 men) at Oberwetter. Most of Fischer's Corps escaped but 50 men were killed and 350 were taken prisoners. The regiment took up its winter quarters in the villages near the river Lahn.
For the campaign of 1760, the regiment was formed in brigade with the 10th Dragoons under Brigadier-General Henry Earl of Pembroke. On July 10, 1760, the regiment was part of Lieutenant-General Waldegrave's Reserve at the Combat of Corbach. This reserve did not take part in the engagement. When some 18,000 French troops, under the Chevalier de Muy, crossed the Diemel to cut off the communication of the Allies with Westphalia, the regiment advanced from the camp at Kalle, crossed the Diemel at Liebenau, and took post, on the morning of July 31, behind a wood 8 km from the position occupied by the French at Warburg. In the ensuing Battle of Warburg, the regiment was deployed in the second 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 this affair, the regiment lost 2 men and 2 horses killed; 3 men and 1 horse wounded; and 3 horses missing. On August 22, the Hereditary Prince crossed the Diemel with 12,000 men (including this regiment) and advanced on Broglie's left flank, his vanguard reaching Zierenberg. His light troops engaged a French detachment (Royal Dragons, Thianges Dragons and part of the Chasseurs de Fischer) under M. de Travers, which had been left at Oberelsungen to observe the Allies' movements. The Allied light troops were soon supported by the Hereditary Prince at the head of the 2nd North British Dragoons (Scot Greys) and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons and the British grenadiers. The French were finally driven back with considerable loss and took refuge into Zierenberg. During the night of September 5 to 6, the regiment took part in a surprise attack on Zierenberg. For the attack, it was posted at the entrance of a large wood, near Malsburg. On October 1, Ferdinand sent a British division (including this regiment) under General Waldegrave as reinforcements to the Hereditary Prince, who was operating on the Lower Rhine. On October 16, the regiment fought in the Battle of Clostercamp where it formed part of the advanced guard. In this affair, the regiment lost 2 men and 4 horses killed; Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey, Major Hepburn, Cornet Sayer, 5 men and 1 horse wounded; and 1 men and 1 horse taken by the enemy. On withdrawing from the field of battle, the Hereditary Prince proceeded towards the Rhine, and finding the bridge of boats damaged by the overflowing of the stream, he caused it to be removed a short distance lower down the stream. On October 18, the Allies passed the Rhine and afterwards encamped at Brunnen, from whence it removed to Klein-Reckum, and subsequently into cantonments for the winter.
In February 1761, the regiment left its quarters and took part in an incursion into the cantonments of the French army. Several fortified towns were captured and extensive magazines seized. For the campaign of 1761, the regiment was brigaded with the Royal Horse Guards and the 10th Dragoons, commanded by Major-General Eliott. In July, it encamped on the heights between Illingen and Hohenover near the Asse River in Westphalia. On July 16, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it belonged to Anhalt's Corps. The regiment was subsequently employed in operations on the Diemel, and other parts of the Bishopric of Paderborn. In November, it was employed in the Electorate of Hanover, where several sharp skirmishes occurred, and it passed the winter in East Friesland.
In May 1762, the regiment was again in the field. It was formed in brigade with the 15th Light Horse, under Colonel Harvey. It was encamped at Brakel in the Bishopric of Paderborn. On June 24, the regiment was engaged in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. A cessation of hostilities took place in the middle of November, and the British troops went into quarters in the Bishopric of Münster.
In January 1763, the regiment marched to Willemstad in the Dutch Republic where it arrived in February. It then embarked for England. After landing, it was stationed in South Britain. The light troop of the regiment was disbanded.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced silver, ornamented with a white metal loop and a black
|Coat||double breasted red lined yellow with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes grouped 2 by 2
|Waistcoat||yellow with very narrow white buttonholes|
|Breeches||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 lapels, cuffs and pockets
- a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
- crimson and gold striped sword knot
- yellow housings and holster caps laced silver
Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the cuffs, pockets and shoulder-straps; a silver aiguillette; a yellow and white worsted sash about their waist.
Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the cuffs and shoulder strap; white silk aiguillette.
Drummers rode grey horses. They wore yellow coats lined and turned up with scarlet and laced with a silver braid with a blue stripe. Red waistcoats and breeches.
Drummers wore a mitre cap similar to the grenadier mitre cap but with a lower crown and the tassel hanging behind. Yellow front decorated with the regimental badge (the castle of Inniskilling within a wreath); little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; red backing, yellow headband with a drum and the rank of the regiment (VI. D.) in the middle part behind.
The drums were of brass with a yellow forepart carrying the regimental badge (the castle of Inniskilling within a wreath).
The guidons were made of silk, fringed with silver and blue and embroidered with silver. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.
King's Guidon: 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 (VI. D.) in silver characters on a yellow ground.
Regimental Guidon: yellow field with its centre decorated with the regimental badge (the castle of Inniskilling on a blue field) within a wreath. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the rank of the regiment (VI. D.) on a red ground within a small wreath of roses and thistles.
This article incorporates texts of the following source:
- Cannon, Richard: Historical Record of the Sixth, or Inniskilling Regiment of Dragoon, London: Parker, Furnivall & Parker, 1847
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)
Mollo, John and Malcom McGregor: Uniforms of the Seven Years War 1756-63, Blandford Press Ltd., 1977
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.
Volker Scholz for additional details on the company of light dragoons of the regiment