Origin and History
The regiment was raised on November 14 1757 at Colchester by colonel Draper as the “64th Regiment of Foot”. The regiment was partly formed of companies drafted entire from the 4th Foot, 8th Foot, and 24th Foot. Surprisingly, it was equipped with old-fashioned wooden ramrods good. In 1758, it was renumbered the “79th Regiment of Foot”.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- from November 1757 to ????: colonel William Draper
The regiment was disbanded in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years' War.
Service during the War
In 1758, the regiment was sent to reinforce British troops at Madras (actual Chennai). It arrived there on September 14. It then counted 850 men. The regiment distinguished itself during the siege of Madras from December 1758 to February 1759.
On July 20 1760, the French and Mysorean armies advanced along the bank of the river, threatening to raise the siege of Villenore. Coote immediately moved out with 2 battalions of the Madras European Regiment, the single company of the Bombay European Regiment, their guns, half the Sepoys and half the cavalry to meet them. The French and Mysoreans drew up in position but Draper's 79th Foot and Coote's 84th Foot having marched from the left and threatened their left flank and rear, they at once retired under the boundary hedge of Pondicherry. Around the end of July, 600 men arrived to replace vacancies in the regiment and in Coote's 84th Foot.
In September 1762, the regiment took part to the siege and capture of Manila in the Philippines.
|Coat||brick red lined light buff and laced white (white braid) with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
|Waistcoat||probably linen laced white (same lace as above)|
|Gaiters||white with black buttons|
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Troopers were armed with with a "Brown Bess" muskets, a bayonet and a sword. They also carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.
Officers of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences
- silver gorget around the neck
- an aiguilette on the right shoulder
- silver lace instead of 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 muskets instead.
According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:
- The drummers of the regiment were clothed in light buff, 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 forepart of the drums were painted light buff, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “LXXIX” under it. The rims were red.
King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LXXIX" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: light buff field with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LXXIX" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.
Chichester, Henry Manners; Sir William Draper (1721-1787), 1888
Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899
Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II, p. 95
Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the web)
Yahoo SYW Group Message No. 1174, 2235
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.