Queen's Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> Queen's Dragoons

Origin and History

Early in 1685, five independent troops of dragoons were raised in Berkshire, Middlesex, Herts, and Essex to curb Monmouth Rebellion. They were initially attached to the Royal Dragoons. On 2 August, these independent troops were formed in a regiment known as the “Queen Consort's Own Regiment of Dragoons” which ranked 3rd. The Duke of Somerset was its first colonel. The regiment assembled at Acton. In 1686 and 1687, it took part in the training camps of Hounslow Heath

In November 1688, when the Prince of Orange landed in England, part of the regiment defected and joined the ranks of his army.

In August 1689, during the Williamite War, the regiment was transported to Ireland. On 27 October, a detachment of the regiment took part in a raid on Ardee. On 1 July 1690, the regiment took part in the Battle of the Boyne. It was also present at the failed siege of Limerick. On 22 July 1691, it fought in the Battle of Aughrim. On 2 September, the regiment ambushed and routed two regiments of Catholic cavalry and, several days later, subdued a number of Catholic garrisons between Cork and Limerick. In the spring of 1692, the regiment returned to England.

In 1692 and 1693, the regiment was stationed in the southern and western counties of England.

In March 1694, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was transported to the Netherlands. In 1695, the establishment of the regiment was augmented to eight troops for a total of 38 officers, 72 NCOs and 480 privates. It then occupied Diksmuide where it surrendered as prisoners of war on 18 July. It was exchanged later the same year. At the end of 1697, the regiment returned to England where it was reduced to six troops for a total of 286 privates.

The regiment remained in England until the summer of 1702

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • from February 1695: William Lloyd
  • from 31 December 1703 to 1732: George Carpenter

In 1714, the regiment was honoured with the distinguished title of “The King’s Own Regiment of Dragoons.”

Service during the War

In 1702, part of the regiment (3 field-officers, 3 captains, 4 lieutenants, 5 cornets, 2 staff-officers, 5 quartermasters, 5 sergeants, 14 corporals, 8 drummers, and 186 privates)took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Cádiz in Spain. The regiment, being the only cavalry with the expedition, was almost constantly employed on piquet and outpost duty. After the failed siege of Cadiz, it returned to England. On October 12, on its way to England, it took part in a raid in Vigo Bay.

In 1706, another detachment of about 240 officers and men embarked on board the fleet of Sir Cloudesley Shovel forming part of a force of 10,000 men commanded by the Earl Rivers, and designed to invade the coast of France, on a plan suggested by the Marquis de Guiscard. The descent was, however, rendered impracticable by contrary winds, and the troops were ordered to Lisbon. In the meantime the British forces in Spain had retired from Madrid to Valencia and Catalonia, and the troops under the Earl Rivers were directed to proceed thither. The detachment of the regiment, and other forces, were accordingly re-embarked.

In the early part of January 1707, Rivers’ forces left Portugal. On 11 February, they landed at Alicante in Valencia. They then marched to join the forces under the Earl of Galway. On 30 March, they effected a junction with Galway’s army at Caudete. The army soon afterwards destroyed several of the enemy’s magazines, and besieged Villena in Murcia. On 25 April, the detachment of the regiment took part in the Battle of Almansa where it was virtually annihilated before retiring with the remains of the British and Dutch cavalry to Alceira. In this battle, the regiment lost Lieutenant-Colonel Lawrence, Captain Smith and Cornet Petty, killed. After this disaster, the few troops which remained were employed in defensive operations for the preservation of Catalonia. The remains of the detachment were stationed a short time at Manresa on the river Cardener, to refresh their horses. After the fall of Lérida, the army went into winter quarters.

In March 1708, the officers of the detachment were sent to England where the regiment was ordered to be recruited to 60 men per troop.

In 1709, the regiment in England mustered 443 men.

In October 1712, the regiment was reduced of 10 men per troop.

In 1713, the regiment was quartered in North Britain and mustered 339 men.


A plate in Rubio’s work (‘’see the Reference section for details’’) depicts the following uniform: black tricorne laced yellow; red coat with yellow buttons; blue cuffs, each with three yellow buttons; blue waistcoat; blue breeches; black boots. There is no description of the saddle cloth and holsters, which were probably blue with a yellow braid.


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This article incorporates texts of the following source:

  • Cannon, Richard: Historical Record of the Third, or the King’s own Regiment of Light Dragoons, London: Parker, Furnivall, & Parker, 1847

Other sources

Rubio, Xavier, and Francesc Cecília Conesa, Francesc Riart Jou, María del Carmen Rojo Ariza and Maria Yubero Gómez: God save Catalonia! England’s intervention in Catalonia during the War of the Spanish Succession (1705-1711), Barcelona: Xavier Rubio Campillo, 2010, p. 38