Origin and History
The regiment was raised on April 28, 1758 from the second battalion of the 31st Foot and designated as the “70th (Glasgow Lowland) Regiment of Foot”. It comprised many men who were natives of Scotland, particularly of Glasgow, and they were commonly called the “Glasgow Greys.” The regiment was under the command of Colonel John Parslow, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Vignoles and Major Robert Pigot.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from 1758: Colonel John Parslow (removed to the 54th Foot in September 1760)
- from September 1760 to 1778: Colonel Cyrus Trapaud
After the peace in 1763, the regiment was reduced and removed to Ireland.
Service during the War
As of May 30, 1759, the regiment was stationed in Scotland and counted 1 battalion for a total of 900 men. The same year, it was removed to South Britain where it remained during the entire war.
Very few information is available about the uniform of this regiment: its distinctive colour was deep grey (Richard Cannon gives the distinctive colour of the regiment as light grey instead of deep grey), the lining of the coat white and its regimental braid white with a blue stripe. 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.
|brick red lined white and laced white (white braid with a blue stripe) with 3 pewter buttons and 3 white buttonholes (same lace as above) under the lapel
|brick red edged white (same lace as above)
|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:
- silver gorget around the neck
- a silver aiguilette on the right shoulder
- silver 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 clothed in deep grey, 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 deep grey, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “LXX” 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 "LXX" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: deep grey field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LXX" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.
Cannon, Richard; Historical Record of the Seventieth, or the Surrey Regiment of Foot; London: Parker, Furnivall and Parker; 1849, pp. 1-2
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
United Services Magazine 1863, Issue 3
Wikipedia 70th (Surrey) Regiment of Foot
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.
Digby Smith for information provided on this junior regiment.