Adelsfanan Cavalry

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Origin and History

Presumably the oldest unit in the Army at the time of the 1809 reductions. The regiment was raised in 1280 among the nobility assuming its feudal service. In 1425 it consisted of 300 mounted marksmen. In 1565, it became the "Noble Cavalry" and received its designation of "Adelsfanan" in 1571. By 1640, the regiment counted 3 companies in Sweden and Finland. The same year, it was increased to 4 companies. After the annexation of Scania in 1658, a fifth company was added to the regiment.

In 1680 Karl XI organised the unit in 6 companies of which one was from Finland.

During the Great Northern War, the regiment was sent to the Livland in 1702 and with the King's Army thereafter, the Östgöta-Smålands company with the Lewenhaupt Army and the Finnish company with the Army of Finland. In 1706, it took part in the battle of Fraustadt. In 1709, it was taken prisoner by the Russians at Perevolotjna after Poltava. Rebuilt 1709-10, it took part to the Scanian campaign and the battle of Helsinborg, 1710, with two companies. In the Norwegian campaigns of 1716 and 1718.

After the Great Northern War, the regiment was prohibited to serve outside the territories of Sweden and Finland.

The regiment consisted of 395 cavalrymen in 6 companies. However in peacetime, only the officers were really present. Five of these companies came from Sweden (Uppland, Västergötland, Södermanlands, Östergötland and Skåne) while a sixth was raised in the provinces of Turku and Pori in Finland.

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

  • no information available yet

Service during the War

The regiment did not take part in any campaign during the Seven Years' War.



Uniform in 1757 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1757
Headgear black tricorne without lace and with a brass button on the left side
Neck stock black
Coat medium blue lined white with 12 brass buttons down the front and 2 brass buttons in the small of the back
Collar white
Shoulder strap medium blue fastened with 1 brass button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs white, each with 3 brass buttons
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white
Breeches buckskin or reindeer skin
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather bandolier
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Bayonet scabbard none
Gloves chamois
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings medium blue laced white with 3 small golden crowns in the lower rear corner
Holster caps medium blue laced white with 3 small golden crowns in the upper part
Blanket roll medium blue

Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a carbine. They also wore polished steel breastplates bordered in white under their coat.


The officers wore the same uniform as the troopers with the following exceptions:

  • a gold laced tricorne
  • black breeches (sometimes)
  • housings and holster caps laced gold


The NCOS wore the same uniform as the troopers with the unique distinction of a narrow golden lace on the tricorne.


The musicians wore mediu blue uniforms with white swallow nests laced yellow at the shoulders. The uniform had no additional laces.

The drums were made of brass with white rims. The trumpets were made of brass with a medium blue banner.


The pikes used as staffs to carry the colours were always striped in blue and yellow. The standards had gold finials, and gold and silver cords, tassels and fringe.

Lifstandar (colonel standard): white field; borders heavily embroidered in gold and silver; centre device carried the crowned royal arms of Sweden flanked by 2 crowned golden lions.

Kompanistandar (ordonnance standard): white field; borders heavily embroidered in gold and silver; centre device consisting of the royal cipher “AF” surmounted by gold crown; 2 golden palm branches beneath tied with a red ribbon; the upper inner corner carried a silver elk.

Lifstandar - Source: rf-figuren using elements of a template by Hannoverdidi
Kompanistandar - Source: rf-figuren

The colonel's squadron carried the Lifstandar, each other squadron had a Kompanistandar.


This article contains texts translated from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Großer Generalstab: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen - Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Vol. 6 Leuthen, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher), Berlin 1904, pp.92-107, Annex pp. 11-16

Other sources

Brolin, Gunnar: 18th C. Swedish Military Flags - Part I: Standards and Guidons, 18th Century Military Notes & Queries No. 5

Högman, Hans: Svenska regementen under indelningsverkets dagar (broken link)

Höglund, Lars-Eric and Ake Sallnäs: The Great Northern War 1700-1721, Colours and Uniforms, Acedia Press, Karlstadt, 2000

Pengel, R. D. and G. R. Hurt: Swedish Army in Pomerania – 1757-1763, Birmingham, 1983

Purky, Jim: Swedish Army Organization, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

Schorr, Dan: Uniforms of the Swedish Army, 1757-1762, The Courrier, June-July 1979