Origin and History
The regiment was created on December 23, 1755 by Lieutenant-general Charles Montagu as the “61st Regiment of Foot” in the counties of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. In 1757, it was renumbered “59th Regiment of Foot”.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from 1755 to 1759: Lieutenant-general Charles Montagu
- from 1760 to 1763: Colonel Owen
In 1763, the regiment was sent to Nova Scotia where it assumed garrison duty till 1772.
Service during the War
The regiment was sent to Ireland where it assumed garrison duty until 1763.
As of May 30, 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and counted 1 battalion for a total of 700 men.
Very few information is available about the uniform of this regiment: its distinctive colour was “Pompadour” (purple), the lining of the coat red and its regimental braid yellow. The uniform illustrated below is based on these sole details, other details have been reconstructed based on the hypothesis that the uniform followed the instructions of the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751.
|Coat||brick red lined red and laced yellow with 3 gilt buttons and 3 yellow buttonholes (same lace as above) under the lapel
|Waistcoat||brick red edged yellow (same lace as above)|
|Gaiters||white with black buttons|
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Troopers were armed with a “Brown Bess” muskets, a bayonet and a sword.
Officers of the regiment wore the same coat as the private soldiers but with the following differences:
- golden gorget around the neck
- a golden aiguilette on the right shoulder
- golden lace instead of the normal lace
- a crimson sash
Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command; however, officers of the grenadier company wore a more decorated mitre cap.
Officers generally carried a spontoon; however, in battle some carried a musket instead.
The drummers of the regiment were probably clothed in purple, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with red, and laced in such manner as the colonel shall think fit for distinction sake, the lace, however, was of the colours of that on the soldiers' coats.
The front or fore part of the drums was painted purple, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “LIX” under it. The rims were red.
Once more, if this new regiment abided by the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751, its colours would have looked like those illustrated hereafter.
King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LIX" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: purple field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LIX" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.
Fortescue J. W., A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899
George II, The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751
Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II
Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth through the Way Back Machine
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.