9th Foot

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised as per a royal warrants dated June 22 1685 in Gloucestershire by King James II to quench the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion. Henry Cornwall, appointed on June 19 1685, was the first colonel of the regiment which was accordingly designated as the “Henry Cornwall's Regiment of Foot” and consisted of 11 companies of pikemen and musketeers, each of 3 officers, 3 sergeants, 3 corporals, 2 drummers, and 100 privates. Until 1751, it was known by the names of its successive colonels.

Before the regiment was complete and prepared to take the field, the rebel army was overthrown at Sedgemoor, and the Duke of Monmouth was captured and executed. The rebellion was thus suppressed, but the King resolved to retain many of the newly raised corps in his service, and Colonel Cornwall was directed to reduce his regiment to 10 companies of 60 men each, and assemble the whole at the city of Gloucester, from whence he marched to the vicinity of London. Towards the end of August, the regiment was encamped on Hounslow-heath, where it was reviewed by the King. In September, the regiment marched to the north of England and passed the winter at Berwick.

In May 1686, the regiment returned to Hounslow-heath in the south of England. In June, it marched to Portsmouth where it was stationed. In the summer of 1687, it marched from Portsmouth to the camp of Hounslow-heath where it received a company of grenadiers. In August, it was ordered to march to York.

In November 1688, when the Prince of Orange landed in England, the regiment was recalled from York. Colonel Cornwall was removed from the colonelcy, and succeeded by Oliver Nicholas, formerly Lieutenant-Colonel of the Prince George of Denmark's Regiment of Foot. When King James II fled to France, the Prince of Orange, assuming the reins of government, ordered the regiment to march to Worcester. Colonel Nicholas refused to take the prescribed oath, was replaced by John Cunningham as colonel of the regiment.

On April 3 1689, during the Williamite War, the regiment along with Richards' Regiment of Foot embarked at Liverpool and sailed for Londonderry, under convoy of the Swallow frigate. They were driven by contrary winds to Highlake. On April 10, they again put to sea. On April 15, they arrived in sight of the besieged fortress of Londonderry. After a council of war hold in Londonderry, it was decided that it would be imprudent to land the two regiments who were sent back to England. King William III was so displeased with Colonel Cunningham that he deprived him of his commission and conferred the colonelcy of the regiment to William Stewart. Towards the end of May the regiment embarked at Highlake with two other regiments of foot under Major-General Kirke, to make a second attempt for the relief of Londonderry. On May 31, the expeditionary force sailed from Highlake. On June 15, after having experienced severe weather, it finally arrived in the Lough. Both banks of the river were found entrenched by the enemy, with batteries of 24-pdrs at the narrowest part, and a boom of cables, chains, and timber was stretched across. Colonel Stewart landed with 600 men on the island of Inch, which communicated with the main land by a ford. On July 18, the Duke of Berwick advanced against Stewart's positions but was repulsed after a two hours fight. The provisions in Londonderry being exhausted, preparations were made to throw a relief into the town by water, and a detachment of musketeers of the regiment was put or board the vessels designed for this service. On July 28, this relief force managed to reach Londonderry. Soon afterwards, the siege was raised. The regiment remained a short time at Londonderry, and afterwards marched to Dundalk. On September 8, it joined the army at Dundalk. Being encamped on low wet ground, the regiment lost many men from disease. At the beginning of November, it marched into quarters at Newry.

In January 1690, a detachment of the regiment was engaged in an excursion into the cantonments of King James's forces and captured much cattle. In February, another party of the regiment was employed in an enterprise to Dundalk. In June, King William arrived in Ireland and assumed command of the army. On July 12, the regiment took part in the Battle of the Boyne. From there, the regiment advanced with the army to the vicinity of Dublin. In August, the regiment participated in the unsuccessful siege of Limerick. It then escorted to train to Cullen and from thence to Tipperary. On September 7, the regiment marched for the north of Ireland where it passed the winter.

In April, 1691, the regiment was stationed at Belturbet On April 9, 50 musketeers, accompanied by 20 dragoons, advanced to scour the county of Leitrim, fighting an engagement near Mollhill. In May, the regiment left its quarter. On June 6, it joined the army under Lieutenant-General De Ginkell and then took part in the capture of Ballymore and in the siege and storming of Athlone. On July 23, the regiment fought at the Battle of Aughrim. Then, from August to September, it took part in the second siege of Limerick.

At the end of the Williamite War, the regiment was left to assume garrison duty in Ireland.

At the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), in 1701, the regiment was one of the first corps selected to proceed on foreign service and sent to the Dutch Republic. In 1702, it covered the siege of Kayserswerth on the Lower Rhine but was forced to fall back upon Nijmegen; it later formed part of the covering army during the sieges of Venlo. Roermond and Stevensweert; and took part in the siege of Liège. In 1703, the regiment took part in the sieges and capture of Huy and Limbourg. It was then selected to accompany the Archduke Charles of Austria to Portugal and to take part in the attempt to place him on the throne of Spain. In 1704, it took part in the defence of Castelo de Vide where it was made prisoners. In 1705, it was exchanged and joined the army who invaded Spanish Extremadura, taking part in the sieges and capture of Valencia de Alcántara and Albuquerque and in the unsuccessful siege of Badajoz. In 1706, the regiment was engaged in the sieges and capture of Alcántara and Ciudad Rodrigo. On June 27, the army arrived at Madrid and Archduke Charles was proclaimed king of Spain with great solemnity but the Allies were soon forced to evacuate Madrid. In 1707, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of the castle of Villena and in the Battle of Almansa where it surrendered prisoners of war. In 1708, the regiment was re-raised in England and stationed at Worcester and Hereford. In 1709, it was transferred to Ireland where it remained stationed during the remainder of the war.

On July 1 1751, the regiment officially became the “9th Regiment of Foot”.

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

  • from March 18 1755: Sir Joseph Yorke, 1st Lord Dover
  • from October 23 1758 till August 8 1771: William Whitmore

After the Seven Years War, the regiment garrisoned St. Augustine in the newly acquired Florida.

Service during the War

In 1755, the regiment, who was stationed in Ireland, had its establishment augmented.

In 1756, the regiment proceeded to Scotland where it remained until 1758.

In 1758, the regiment returned to Ireland.

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was still stationed in Ireland and counted 1 battalion for a total of 700 men. Later during the year, it returned to England.

In 1760, the regiment was encamped at Chatham under Major-General Kerr.

In 1761, the regiment left Chatham and proceeded to Portsmouth. In March it embarked with the force under Major-General Studholme Hodgson for the expedition against Belle-Isle, a French island off the coast of Brittany. On April 8, the regiment took part in a landing where Major Lewis Thomas of the regiment was wounded and taken prisoner; two sergeants and nine rank and file were killed; Lieutenants Samuel Surnam, William Ryder, one sergeant and forty rank and file, having ascended higher than the other men, were intercepted by the French and made prisoners. The British troops returned to their boats and proceeded back to their several ships. On April 25, the British finally managed to land and invested the Citadel of Palais which surrendered on June 8. The regiment was then joined by a body of recruits. It now mustered a thousand officers and soldiers.

In 1762, the regiment was selected to participate in the expedition against Cuba under George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle. On March 5, the expedition sailed from Spithead. On its way, the fleet was separated by a storm, but was reunited at Barbadoes. On June 6, the fleet was in view of Havana. On June 9, troops were landed and took up a position between Coximar and Moro. The regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Rowland Phillips, mustered 977 men and formed part of the Second Brigade under Brigadier General Hunt Walsh. Some 100 men of various regiments were mounted on horses procured in the country, and formed a troop of cavalry under the command of Captain James Sutlie of the regiment. The regiment took part in the siege of the Moro fort, enduring great hardship. On July 22, 1,500 Spaniards passed the harbour in boats and attacked the British line, but were repulsed; the light and grenadier companies of the regiment were engaged on this occasion. On July 30, a detachment of the regiment was engaged when the Moro fort was captured by storm, and Lieutenant Nugent distinguished himself. Havana finally surrendered on August 13. By the end of the campaign, the strength of the regiment was reported as less than 300 from an initial total of 977 men. Out of these only 20 had been killed in action - the remainder of casualties being caused by malaria and yellow fever which were so common in the West Indies at the time.

In 1763, the remnants of the regiment were removed from Havana to take possession of Florida where it would remain until 1769.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier
9th Foot Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
British mitre with: a yellow front edged white and embroidered with white scroll work and the King's cypher surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; green and yellow bottom strip; red back; a yellow headband edged white probably wearing the number 9 in the middle part behind; yellow within white pompom
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined yellow and laced and edged white (white braid with 2 thin purple stripes) with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red, fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels yellow 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 yellow (slashed in the British pattern) 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 yellow
Waistcoat brick red laced white (same lace as above)
Breeches brick red
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown, grey or black during campaigns
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a "Brown Bess" musket, a bayonet and a sword. They also carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Officers

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

  • silver gorget around the neck
  • a silver aiguilette on the right shoulder
  • silver lace instead of 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 muskets instead.

Musicians

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751, the drummers of the regiment were clothed with a yellow coat, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with red, and decorated with the regimental lace in such manner as the colonel shall think fit for distinction sake.

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The front or fore part of the drums was painted yellow, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “IX” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

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

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

King's Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

This article incorporates texts of the following source:

  • Cannon, Richard: Historical record of the Ninth, or The East Norfolk Regiment of Foot, London: Parker, Furnivall and Parker, 1848

Other sources

Aylor, Ron: British Regimental Drums and Colours

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

Greentree, D.: Raid 15 – Havana, Osprey publications

Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II, p. 90-103

Mills, T. F.: Website - Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the web)

Morier, David: paintings in the Royal Collection, 1748-1751

Reid, Stuart: King George's Army 1740-93, Vol. 2; Osprey Publishing

Royal Norfolk Regiment museum

Wikipedia 9thth Foot

Acknowledgement

Andy Francis for his research on this regiment.