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men to be added to the Holland regiment, under the command of Captain John Bristoe, to be armed with those explosives, and to be styled Grenadiers. A similar company was soon added to every other corps in both countries. These soldiers carried fusils with bayonets, hatchets and swords. Their uniform was different from that of the musketeer and pikeman; the two latter had round hats with broad brims turned up on one side; the former a fur cap with a lofty crown; they also wore cravats "of fox tailes."
"In 1678," says Evelyn in his Diary, "were brought into the service a new sort of soldiers called Grenadiers, who were dextrous at flinging hand-grenades, every one having a pouch full; they wore furred caps with coped crowns like Janizaries, which made them look very fierce, and some had hoods hanging down behind. Their clothing being pybald, yellow and red." Such was the origin of our British Grenadiers' of immortal memory!
According to Fosbroke, after throwing the grenade, on receiving the words Fall on,' they rushed on the enemy with hatchets, which they wore in addition to muskets, slings, swords and daggers.
The Scottish government, in 1702, raised a corps of Horse Grenadier Guards, afterwards incorporated with the United forces, and now represented by the Life Guards.
Towards the close of the seventeenth century, the clothing of the British troops varied; hence, we find, that in the year 1685, when the North Lincolnshire (now 10th) Regiment of Foot was raised by John, Earl of Bath, it wore blue coats, which were lined with red, and the men had waistcoats, breeches and stockings all of red, and round Cavalier hats with broad brims which were turned up on one side, and ornamented with red ribbons. The companies of pikemen* alone wore red worsted sashes. Shortly after the Revolution in 1688, the 10th Foot were clothed in scarlet, like the rest of the British Infantry.
In 1687, the old Tangier Regiment,' or, Queen's Own Foot (now the 2nd Regiment) which was raised in 1661, for the defence of that portion of Africa which was ceded to Britain as the dowry of the Infanta of Portugal, wore a red frock coat with skirts turned back, loose green knickerbockers, white stockings, black broadbrimmed hats, looped up on one side, and shoes with rosettes. In the buff belts were long rapiers and fixing daggers, while a collar of bandoliers was worn across the chest.
William III. ordained in 1698, "that no person whatsoever should presume to wear scarlet or red cloth for livery, except such as are in His Majesty's service, or the Guards," yet for all that, scarlet was, and is still, the livery of more than one noble family. in Scotland.
* The last pike perhaps used in the British Service we, ourselves, saw carried by a sergeant of Captain Wyatt's Company of the Royal Artillery in 1835 when marching for embarkation for Britain, out of Signal Hill Barracks in Newfoundland.
The 3rd, or Kentish Buffs, were so called from the circumstance of their being the first corps whose accoutrements were made of leather prepared from the hide of the buffalo. Their waistcoats, breeches and facings were, however, all of the same buff colour in 1665, according to Captain Grose. For nearly the same reason, the 31st or Huntingdonshire Foot, raised in 1702, call themselves the "Young Buffs." In the Army List, the 78th Highlanders are styled the Ross-shire Buffs; and in some old lists, the 56th, or West Essex Regiment, raised in 1755, figure by their pet name of Pompadours, their facings being then, as now, purple, the favourite colour of Madame's gown and fontange. While on the subject of uuiform and equipment, we may mention that in the Memoirs of Sergeant Donald Macleod, "who having returned wounded, with the corpse of General Wolfe, was admitted an outpensioner of Chelsea in 1759, and is now* in his 103rd year," we have an absurd statement to the effect, that when he enlisted in the 1st Royal Scots, "as a boy in the Scottish service under King William III;" they were accoutred with steel caps, bows and arrows.(?) He might as well have added scalp locks and war paint. Singular to say, this nonsense has been reproduced by Miss Strickland in her Life of Queen Anne. Long prior to the time given, the regiment wore its orthodox red coat, faced and lined with blue, and was armed with good match-lock muskets, the "cocked lunts" of which revealed their whereabouts, in the dark, to Monmouth's cavalry on the night before the battle of Sedgemoor.
Of old, the London militia, though all dressed in scarlet, were known by their facings, and not by numbers.
In the list of officers, commissioned for the city, on the 21th December 1698, we have those of the orange, yellow, white, red green, and blue regiments; and concerning these corps the following interesting proclamation was pasted up throughout London, when the Highlanders under Prince Charles were advancing on Derby.
"Notice is hereby given, that every officer and soldier in the six regiments of militia, without waiting for beat of drum, or any other notice, do, immediately on hearing the said signals, repair with their arins and the usual quantity of powder and ball, to their respective rendezvous; the red regiment upon Tower-hill, the green regiment in Guildhall-yard, the yellow in St. Paul's Churchyard, the white at the Royal Exchange, the blue in Old Fish-street, and the orange in West Smithfield."+
It is hence that in Foote's humourous farce, the Mayor of Garratt,' Major Sturgeon is made to say that he had served under Jeffery Dunstable, knight, Lord Mayor of London, and Colonel of the yellow
Prince Charles Edward was partial to the national uniform, and * 1791. Published by Sewell, Cornhill.
In 1759 this corps was ordered by its Colonel to adopt blue-clothing.
frequently wore it. One of his scarlet coats is now preserved at Inzievar House, Fifeshire. He is represented in red, in the miniature which he gave to his secretary, Murray of Broughton, one of nine painted on copper, as gifts to his principal adherents. His Life-Guards, under Lord Elcho, wore blue faced with red; but, in his small and gallant army, the Duke of Perth's regiment, wore scarlet uniforms. (Vide Spalding, Club Miscell., vol. 1.)
Like the light cavalry, most of the militia corps would seem to have been originally dressed in blue. According to an old ballad, the Lothian regiment were so clad at the Battle of Bothwell-bridge in 1679.
The uniform of the first-named force has frequently varied. In 1784, the clothing of the 17th, and similar corps, was changed from scarlet to blue. They wore blue in the Peninsula, and in 1830 were clad in scarlet again, when the moustache, which they and other corps had adopted, was ordered to be shaved off. (Records of the 17th Lancers.)
The old Scottish Guard of the French kings wore hoquetons of white, “in token of their unspotted fidelity," but the other Scottish troops in the French service, the Gendarmes Ecossais, who took precedence of all the household troops, and the Infanterie Ecossais, which took rank after the 12th regiment of the old French line, wore scarlet, like the Irish brigades of the Louis' in later years.
Our Chasseurs Brittaniques, a foreign corps, consisting, in some instances, of deserters from every army in Europe, wore the national uniform, and thus, when on duty, frequently caused confusion and mistakes by their ignorance of the English language.
In 1742, the coats and breeches of the line were tightened and the hats were looped up on three sides, and in that year, the 7th, or South British, and the 21st, or North British Fusiliers, figured in the high conical cap which came into vogue with the Prussian tactics. Their coats had collars, the skirts were buttoned back and faced with blue. Numbers were first put on the coat buttons in 1767.
Red and yellow being, as we have stated, the royal livery of Scotland, the facings of Scottish regiments have generally been of the latter colour, and many that now use blue, had yellow when first embodied.
The whole infantry of the East India Company wore the national colour, and it is greatly to be regretted that, on the commencement of our Volunteer movement, the Government did not enforce the adoption of scarlet, instead of permitting the endless varieties of silly colours and costumes now worn by many corps throughout the United Kingdom.
The statistics of European wars show us that the French, who are clad in blue, suffered a greater loss in proportion than the British, who wear red, when under fire. An old Peninsula officer, whose letter is before us, mentions, "When our Light Company, and the
company of the 60th Rifles (green), attached to our brigade, were skirmishing on the same ground (against the enemy) the latter lost more men than we did, although composed chiefly of Germans who are proverbially cautious skirmishers. This is an important subject. 1 saw, at the Battle of Vittoria, the wonderful effect of the imposing appearance of the British line on the enemy. After they had been driven from their position and completely scattered, many glorious attempts were made by their officers to rally them on some heights behind the ridge on which our line was advancing. It became an object with the officer commanding the Light Companies, which were scattered in pursuit, to get them arrayed for the attack of a column which formed on one of those heights at some distance in our front, and thus became a rallying point to the thousands who were flying from the ridge in helpless confusion.
"Before we had a sufficient number of the pursuers collected to attack this formidable column, it broke and bolted, its soldiers disappearing among the racing mobs who threw away their arms and fled towards the Pyrenees. While wondering what had caused so sudden a panic among men who, but a moment before, seemed ready to adhere until death to their officers, we-the skirmishers-looked back to the ridge, and saw a sight which I shall never forget. The whole British line crowned the mountains, from wing to wing, looking like a wall of fire, their bayonets glittering in the sun, as they moved steadily, silently, and presenting a glorious picture of power and order. This sight it was which struck the enemy to the heart, and made him fly from his new position in sudden panic. No army, although double the number, if clad in sombre uniform, could ever make such an appearance, or produce such an effect as this."*
We have had the pleasure of knowing more than one brave veteran officer, who treasured affectionately "the old red rag," in which he had followed Picton, Grahame, or the Iron Duke, and in which he had been wounded on the glorious fields of Spain or in the crowning victory of Waterloo; and in every age there has been some eccentric enthusiast who stuck manfully to fashions that had departed.
In 1808, many an old officer would as soon have cut off his head as his pigtail, when the Horse Guards ordered the army to be shorn of that remarkable appendage. Old Sir Thomas Dalyell, of Binns, (first Colonel of the Scots Greys), who rode yearly to London to kiss the hand of King Charles II, adhered to the close-sleeved doublet of the days of James VI. This, with his portentous vow. beard (which he had sworn never to cut after the execution of Charles 1), "when he was in London never failed to draw after him a great crowd of boys, who constantly attended him at his
* At the commencement of the Volunteer movement, this letter was addressed to the author of this paper, who was then actively engaged in the formation of a corps now wearing grey.
lodgings, and followed him with huzzas, as he went to Court and returned from it. As he was a man of humour, he would always thank them for their civilities when he left them at the door to go to the King, and would let them know exactly at what hour he intended to come out again and return to his lodgings." (Memoirs of Captain Crichton, the Cavalier Trooper.)
General Preston, who commanded the same regiment in the Seven Years' War, and who died colonel of it, at Bath in 1785, was the last British officer who wore a buff coat. An officer who served with him, records, that at the capture of Zerenberg, Preston received more than a dozen of sword-cuts, which fell harmlessly on his "buff-jerkin."
Old Colonel Charles Donellan, who commanded the 48th, and was wounded at Talavera (mortally, we believe), was the last officer who adhered to the antique three-cornered Ninernois hat, and there was a General Cameron, in the same campaign, who adhered to the Highland bonnet like the late Lord Clyde, of gallant memory.
At Dettingen, George II. appeared in the same red coat which he had worn when serving under Marlborough. Thackeray says, "On public occasions he always displayed the hat and coat he wore on the famous day of Oudenarde, and the people laughed, but kindly, at the odd old garment, for bravery never never goes out of fashion." At Minden, in 1759, we find the luckless Lord George Sackville leading the cavalry in the same red coat which he had worn as a youth at Fontenoy; and the same sentiment has prevailed in the humbler ranks of the service.
An aged soldier, named Robert Ferguson, who died at Paisley in 1811, in his ninety-seventh year, preserved to the last, as a precious relic, the old red coat of the 22nd Foot (Handysides, wherein Sterne's father was a captain), in which he had been wounded at the battles of Dettingen and Fontenoy, just as future years may see some veteran preserving the faded and perhaps blood-stained tunic which he wore with Raglan at Sebastopol, or with Havelock at Lucknow.
We have thus attempted to trace the history of that scarlet uniform, which is so inseparably connected with the past, the present, and the future glory of the British Isles. It is the garb which first fires the enthusiasm and ambition of our youth, and is ever kindly and affectionately remembered by our white-haired veterans in old age, for there is something almost filial in the emotion with which an old soldier recals the uniform, the facings and badges of his regiment, whatever its number might have been, from the 1st Royal Scots to the Rifle Brigade. There is not a battle field, honourable to Britain, or a portion of the globe where our drums have beaten, but where it has formed the shroud of many a noble and gallant heart-so all honour, say we, to "the old Red Coat, that tells the tale of England's glory!"