Zakariah Tiffin's Foot

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

Origin and History

In December 1688, Gustavus Hamilton organised the men of the Irish town of Enniskillen in two companies. At the beginning of January 1689, King William III authorised the formation of one regiment of horse, two regiments of dragoons and three regiments of foot (including the present regiment) among the forces assembled at Enniskillen. By 27 January, the regiment had swelled to ten companies. They relieved the Castle of Crom, burned the Castle of Augher, fought at Ballyshannon, raided Cavan and Meath, captured Omagh but failed to relieve Derry. On June 19, they captured Belturbet. On 26 June, William III appointed Zacharaiah Tiffin as colonel of the regiment (then counting 625 men) which became known as the "Zacharaiah Tiffin's Regiment of Foot". The regiment was defeated by the Duke of Berwick at Cornagrade. It later ambushed the Jacobites at Lisnaskea. On 31 July, it fought at the Battle of Newtownbutler. In 1690, it took part in the Battle of the Boyne; in 1691, in raids on Sligo in the siege and capture of Ballymore, in the storming of Athlone, in the Battle of Aughrim and in the capture of Galway, Castleconnell and Limerick.

Until 1751, the regiment would be known by the names of its successive colonels.

In July 1692, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment took part in an expedition intended against Dunkerque. However, the place being well defended, the expedition was redirected towards Ostend. The regiment probably took part in the Battle of Steenkerque. It then marched to Dixmude to fortify the place and re-embarked for England. In 1694, it returned to Flanders. In 1695, it took part in the siege and capture of Namur. In 1696, it re-embarked for England which was threatened by a French landing but soon returned to Flanders once the French fleet had been defeated.

In 1697, the regiment returned to England and was soon sent back to Ireland. By 1698, it consisted of one battalion of 10 companies for a total of 34 officers and 411 men.

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

  • from 26 June 1689: Zacharaiah Tiffin
  • from 29 August 1702 to 22 March 1725: Thomas Whetham

Service during the War

The regiment was initially stationed in Ireland.

By April 1703, the regiment garrisoned in the Leeward Islands. It took part in the expedition against Guadeloupe.

By mid-1711, the regiment was stationed on the Island of Minorca.

At the end of March 1712, the regiment is reported in Catalonia. By July, it was still campaigning in Spain.


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.

Farmer mentions a scarlet uniform with buff facings in 1689. The following descriptions are based on this assumption.


Uniform in 1702 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Farmer and Lawson
Musketeer black felt tricorne laced white
Grenadier cloth cap with a raised and stiffened front decorated with the embroidered crowned Royal cypher or the colonel's crest; and with an embroidered grenade at the back of the cap
Neck stock knotted white linen neck-cloth with ends hanging or tucked into the top of the coat
Coat red with pewter buttons along the full length of the right side and 1 pewter button on each side in the small of the back

N.B.: the coats of grenadiers had white tufted laced loops ornamenting the buttonholes down to the waist

Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets placed low on the coat, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs buff, each with 3 pewter buttons

N.B.: the cuffs of grenadiers had white tufted laced loops ornamenting the buttonholes

Turnbacks none
Waistcoat long buff waistcoat with pewter buttons
Breeches red
Stockings during campaigns, a first pair of finer stockings was pulled up under the breeches at the knees while a coarser pair of white stockings was worn over them, pulled over the knees and fastened with a leather strap and buckle
Gaiters gaiters were gradually adopted during the campaigns in the Low Countries
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather strap with a brass buckle
Waistbelt natural leather waistbelt with a brass buckle worn above the coat
Cartridge Box natural leather cartouche box hanged at the crossbelt

Grenadiers had a pouch on a shoulder belt to carry grenades

Bayonet Scabbard black leather with a brass tip
Scabbard black leather with a brass tip
Footwear shoes fastened with a strap and buckle

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.


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.


We found no contemporary source describing the colours of the regiment.


This article incorporates texts of the following source:

  • Trimble, William Copeland: The Historical Record of the 27th Inniskilling Regiment, London: WM. Clowes and Sons, 1876

Other sources

Atkinson C.T.: Queen Anne's War in the West Indies: Part I. Jamaica, in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. 24, No.99 (Autumn 1946), pp. 100-109

Dalton, Charles (ed.): English Army List and Commission Registers Vol. V. pp. xvi, ff

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

Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army, Vol. I, MacMillan, London, 1899, p. 398

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

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

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

Walton, Clifford: History of the British Standing Army A.D. 1660 to 1700, London, 1894, pp. 55, 56, 275, 854

Wikipedia - 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot


Jörg Meier for info on the service of the regiment during the war