William Bretton's Foot

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> William Bretton's Foot

Origin and History

This regiment was raised in 1705.

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

  • from 25 March 1705: William Bretton (aka Breton)
  • from 15 April 1711 to 1712: James Butler

The regiment was disbanded in 1712.

Service during the War

In April 1706, the regiment took part in the defence of Barcelona.

On 25 April 1707, the regiment took part in the Battle of Almansa, where it was deployed in the second line as part of Bretton’s Brigade.

By mid-1711, the regiment was at Gibraltar.

The regiment was disbanded in 1712.


Uniform in 1705 - Copyright Kronoskaf

Black tricorne (edged yellow), white neck stock, red coat, light willow green cuffs, waistcoat, breeches and stockings.

Grenadiers wore a green mitre cap with a red bag.

Drummers wore uniforms in reverse colours with red lace.

N.B.: from 1707 stockings were white for all men.

Curiously, in July 1705, a deserter from the regiment is depicted with a dark grey coat trimmed with black. However, a general undress or fatigue coat of grey cloth had been authorised for all arms. It was tailored close-bodied. Usually these fatigue coats had facings of black or some shade of grey and black buttons. (Sumner, 1934, p. 83). This fatigue coat fits exactly the coat described here.


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Dalton, Charles (ed.): English Army List and Commission Registers

  • Vol. V. p. 11
  • Vol. VI. p. 166

Campillo, Xavier Rubio: God Save Catalonia! England’s intervention in Catalonia during the War of the Spanish Succession, p. 48

Linney-Drouet, C.A.: 1692-1799: Extracts from the Notebook of the Late Revd Percy Sumner, In: Journal of the the Society for Army Research, Vol. 78, No. 314 (Summer 2000), pp. 93, 94

Sumner, Percy: Uniforms and equipment of the cavalry regiments, from 1685 to 1811, In: Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. 13, No. 50 (Summer 1934)

Tunath, Andrew: The British army in Catalonia after the battle of Brihuega, 1710-1712, in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. 91, No. 367 (Autumn 2013), pp. 182-205


Jörg Meier for the initial version of this article