Hon. Emmanuel Scrope Howe's Foot

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> Hon. Emmanuel Scrope Howe's Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1685 in Nottinghamshire and the adjoining counties and assembled at Nottingham and Sir William Clifton was appointed colonel on 22 June. Earlier the same month, James Duke of Monmouth had erected the standard of rebellion in the west of England, and asserted his pretensions to the throne. While the regiment was completed in numbers, the rebel army was overthrown at Sedgemoor, and the Duke of Monmouth was subsequently captured and beheaded. In August the regiment marched from Nottingham to Hounslow Heath where it was reviewed by the king. In the spring of 1686, it proceeded into Yorkshire. On 12 May, Colonel Sir William Clifton retired from service and was succeeded by Colonel Arthur Herbert. In 1687, the regiment returned to Kingston-upon-Thames and detachments were sent to Windsor to mount guard at the castle. A grenadier company was added to the establishment. On 12 April 1687, Colonel Sackville Tufton assumed command of the regiment. In June, the regiment took part in the training camp on Hounslow Heath.

In the summer of 1688, the regiment once more took part in the camp of Hounslow Heath. In September, it was stationed at Berwick. In November, Prince William of Orange (the future William III) landed in England. The king fled to France. On 31 December, Colonel Tufton was replaced in command of the regiment by Sir James Lesley.

In the spring of 1689, the regiment marched was ordered to Scotland where it took its winter-quarters at Inverness. In April 1690, it fought in an engagement against the Highlanders near Cromdale and later took part in the capture of the Lethindy Castle and in the construction of a fort at Inverlocky. After the submission of the Highlands at the end of 1691, the regiment remained in the northern districts of the kingdom till the end of 1693.

In the spring of 1694, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment embarked from Scotland and landed at Ostend. In the autumn, it formed part of the covering army during the siege of Huy. In 1695, it took part in the attack on Fort Kenoque and in the unsuccessful defence of Dixmude. On 20 November, Emanuel Howe succeeded to Colonel Lesley at the head of the regiment. In 1697, the regiment took part in the campaign in Brabant. At the end of 1697, after the Treaty of Ryswick, the regiment returned to England.

In 1698 the regiment was sent to Ireland where it was stationed until 1701. In 1698, it counted one battalion of ten companies for a total of 34 officers and 411 men.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonel-commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 20 November 1695: Hon. Emanuel Scrope Howe
  • from 23 October 1709 to 8 February 1715: Algernon (Seymour) Earl of Hertford

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment was augmented to 830 officers and soldiers. On 15 June, it embarked from Cork. On 8 July it arrived at Helvoetsluys on the Island of Voorn in South Holland. It was then placed in garrison at Huesden. On 21 September, it was reviewed on Breda-heath by King William III before returning to Huesden for its winter-quarters.

In March 1702, the regiment set of from Huesden and proceeded to Rosendaal, where the British infantry was assembled under Brigadier-General Ingoldsby. There the troops received information of the death of King William III (8 March) and of the accession of Queen Anne. The regiment then marched across the Duchy of Kleve and encamped at Kranenburg to cover the siege of Kaiserswerth. On 10 June, it followed the Allied army in its retreat to Nijmegen. Later, the regiment formed part of the covering army during the siege of Venlo. At the end of September, the regiment took part in the siege of Roermond which surrendered in mid-October. In October, it participated in the capture of the Citadel of Liège which was stormed on 23 October. On 3 November it marched back towards the Dutch Republic to take up its winter-quarters.

At the end of April 1703, the regiment marched to Maastricht. It then took part in the operations leading to the siege and capture of Huy. Which surrendered on 25 August It then participated in the siege of Limbourg which surrendered on 28 September. The regiment then returned to Dutch Brabant. During the severe frosts of winter, a detachment of the regiment proceeded to Bergen-op-Zoom, to join the garrison of that city, while the Dutch soldiers were working at the entrenchments on the heights of Petersberg.

On 5 May 1704, the regiment marched towards the Rhine being joined at Bedburg by the detachment from Maastricht. It then took part in Marlborough's march to the Danube, passing the Moselle and the Rhine at Koblenz and traversing minor German states and effecting a junction with an Imperial army. On 2 July, the regiment took part in the Battle of the Schellenberg where it had 1 sergeant and 9 rank and file killed; Captains Bolton and Lesley, Lieutenant Morris, 3 sergeants and 19 rank and file wounded. The Allied army then entered in Bavaria. The regiment formed part of the covering army during the siege of Ingoldstadt. On 13 August, it took part in the victorious Battle of Blenheim where it lost Major Cornwallis, Captain Tankard, Lieutenants Kerr and Simpson and Ensign Jackson killed; Lieutenant-Colonel Britton, Major Armstrong, Captains Villebonne and Gaston, Lieutenants Barton, Dickenson and Harrison, Ensigns Lesley, Hargrave, Edward, Dean, Patrick and Dawson wounded. In September, the regiment formed part of the army covering the siege of Landau. When the siege drew towards a close, the regiment embarked in boats on the Rhine and took up its winter-quarters in the Netherlands.

In the spring of 1705, the losses of the preceding campaign were replaced by the arrival of 150 recruits from England. The regiment then marched to the vicinity of Maastricht, where it joined the army. It then proceeded by Juliers to the valley of the Moselle, where it encamped near Trier. However, disappointed by the lack of cooperation of Imperial forces, the Duke of Marlborough brought his army back to the Netherlands. During the night of 17 July, the regiment was kept in reserve during the passage of the lines near Helixem and Neer-Hespen. It then returned to the Dutch Republic for winter-quarters.

In May 1706, the regiment joined the army assembling at Tongres. On 23 May, it fought in the Battle of Ramillies and later took part in the conquest of Brabant.

In 1707, the regiment did not take part to any serious action.

In mid-March 1708, the regiment was one of the corps ordered home to repel a planned invasion. However, the British Navy fleet chased the French squadron and the regiment returned to Flanders, landing at Ostend on 20 April. At the end of May, it joined the Allied army. On 11 July, it took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. The regiment then formed part of the covering army during the siege of the important fortress of Lille. The grenadier company joined the besieging army and took part in the attacks on the town.

In 1709, during the siege of Tournai, the regiment formed part of the covering army. When the town surrendered, it joined the besieging force and took part in the attacks on the Citadel of Tournai. On 11 September, the regiment took part in the sanguinary Battle of Malplaquet where it was kept in reserve and lost only Brevet Major Leslie killed; and 3 soldiers killed or wounded. The regiment was afterwards employed in covering the siege of Mons, and passed the winter in quarters at Ghent.

On 14 April 1710, the regiment advanced from Ghent and took part in the operations by which the French lines were passed at Pont-à-Vendin. It also took part in the siege and capture of Douai; and formed part of the covering army during the siege of Béthune which surrendered on 29 August. The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Courtrai.

In April 1711, the regiment advanced from Courtrai and joined the army near Douai. On 8 June, it was reviewed by the Duke of Marlborough at the camp of Warde. On 5 August, it took part in the operations by which the boasted impregnable French lines were passed at Arleux. It then took part in the siege of Bouchain where it formed part of a detachment of twenty battalions, commanded by Lieutenant-General the Earl of Orkney, which took post on the north and north-west side of the town and river, and advanced to drive the French from the heights of Wavrechin.

In April 1712, the regiment advanced from Lille and joined other units near Bouchain. A suspension of hostilities took place soon afterwards, and the army withdrew to Ghent. It was then removed to Dunkerque, Louis XIV having agreed to deliver up that fortress until the treaty of peace was concluded.

In 1713, the regiment was stationed at Dunkerque.

In the early part of 1714, the regiment was stationed at Nieuport. In August, it returned to England.


There were still no regulation concerning uniforms and colonels were responsible for the clothing of their soldiers. Therefore, there were wide variations from one regiment to another.

Hairs were worn long in a “long bob”. They were sometimes tied at the back of the neck. The hair bag was also already in use.

Men as well as officers were clean-shaven. Officers sometimes wore small moustaches.

Musketeers were armed with a musket without sling, a bayonet and a sword. Grenadiers were armed with a firelock with a sling, a hatchet, a bayonet and grenades.

Farmer mentions that, at its creation in 1685, the uniform of the regiment was scarlet faced with yellow. The uniform was more probably of the usual brick red used by other regiments.

In 1687, a deserter of the regiment wore a red coat lined red, white stockings and a grenadier cap edged with white with the King's cypher.


NCOs wore uniforms almost identical to those of privates with the following differences:

  • tricorne laced silver
  • silver braids on the seams of the coat

Sergeants initially carried a halberd and corporals a musket. Gradually, all NCOs were equipped with musket.


Officers wore beaver tricornes laced gold (probably reserved to superior officers) or silver (probably reserved to subaltern officers). They also wore the fashionable full flowing curled wigs. On service they usually plaited their wig.

A large gorget was worn around the neck tied with ribbons. The gorget was gilt for captains, black studded with gold for lieutenants and silver for ensigns.

Officers usually wore uniforms somewhat similar to those of privates (even though there were not yet any regulation compelling them to do so), made of finer material. Their coats were decorated with gold or silver braids down the seams and on the sleeves; and with gold or silver embroidered buttonholes. Cuffs were usually of the same colour as the coat instead of the distinctive colour of the regiment.

The waistcoats of officers were often decorated with gold or silver fringes.

A crimson sash (often interwoven with gold or silver and fringed similarly) was worn around the waist.

Breeches were tied with rosettes below the knee.

Officers wore gloves, often decorated with gold or silver fringes.

Officers carried a sword and a half pike or a spontoon.

The cartouche box of officers were often covered in velvet and decorated with gold or silver embroideries.


Drummers and hautboys usually wore coat of the facing colour of the regiment, decorated with lace on the seams of sleeves and back and on the buttonholes. Their coat was decorated with the crowned King's cypher or the Colonel's crest embroidered on the breast and back. Sometimes their coat had hanging sleeves.


The colours of the regiment at its creation are described as follows.

Colonel Colour: deep blueish green field; centre device consisting of the Clifton crest (“a demi-peacock pale argent and sable out of a ducal coronet gules”).

Lieutenant-Colonel Colour: green field with St. George cross bordered white; each quarter decorated with five white cinque-foils

Major Colour: green field with St. George cross bordered white and a pile wavy; each quarter decorated with five white cinque-foils

First Captain Colour: green field with St. George cross bordered white; each quarter decorated with five white cinque-foils; centre device consisting of “a demi-peacock pale argent and sable out of a ducal coronet gules” in the centre of the cross

Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Lieutenant-Colonel Colour- Copyright: Kronoskaf
Major Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
First Captain Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf


This article is essentially an abridged and adapted version of the following book which is in the public domain:

  • Cannon, Richard: Historical Record of the Fifteenth or The Yorkshire East Riding Regiment of Foot, London: Parker, Furnivall and Parker, 1848

Other sources

Farmer, John S.: The Regimental Records of the British Army, London: Grant Richards, 1901

Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army, Vol. 1 From the beginning to 1760, London: Kaye & Ward, pp. 12-54, 137

Walton, Clifford: History of the British Standing Army A.D. 1660 to 1700, London, 1894, pp. 45, 275, 854