42nd Royal Highland Regiment of Foot Uniforms c. 1757-1765

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
Sorry to double post...

@bryanbekk, I am sure you have seen the paintings by Morier as included in Gale's "A Soldier Like Way" describing the material culture of the British Infantry from 1751 to 1768. Those uniforms on page 93 from 1751 have the buff facings. More important they show the lacing of the 42nd Regiment. Lacing is not just a simple stripe of tape. Often it features a "worm" or pattern woven into the tape. The lacing for the 42nd has such a red "worm" woven into the lacing.

Gale also describes the uniforms of the Highlanders.
Here are some more pictures that, according to my research, seem pretty accurate for officers wearing the new 1758 pattern regimental. There doesn't appear to be much if any if the white/red trim, as it's been replaced with gold, but I could be wrong about that.
 

Attachments

Grenadier1758

Cannon
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
6,763
Reaction score
3,623
Location
St. Louis, MO
Note too the different shaping of the lacings. One of the officers has the simply folded facing. The other two have a different pattern of placing the lace on the uniform.

You might want to plan on coming to the alternate Trade Faire (April 10 and 11, 2021) at the Lewis and Clark Wood River Fort (Camp du Bois). You can ask if any of the 42nd will be there.
 

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
Thanks for pointing that out. That probably would have been a difference of the choice of the officer or style of the tailor would it not?

And that sounds like a great plan. I will try to make it out to that!
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
11,288
Reaction score
3,188
I had read a bit about that. Specifically remember an instance of a couple of the men being sent to be "shown off" to the king, both being of fairly low rank I believe. If I remember correctly though, one of them was the son of a chieftain and he was specifically chosen for his skill with a sword and good looks.

That brings me to another issue. What sword to get. I have been looking at a few options. Cold steel I have experience with some of their stuff, which seems to be good quality for the money. That one is the cheapest option. I have also heard Hanwei makes a nice quality one. I fear these two options may be of a slightly later pattern but with some slight modifications could be passable. Then there is the "battlecry culloden" one from museum replicas. Do you have any experience or thoughts on any of these? I think I have found a correct black baldric/shoulder belt as well with a frog for the scabbard here:

Baldric/shoulder belt
Bryan,

More on Baldrics:

Before I go further and forget it, please take a look at this link and scroll down near the bottom to the area of “Ordering Concerns and Sizing.” It has saved me a lot of typing to describe how you should check the length of a Baldric, before you order or make one.

Baldrics and Bandoliers (leatherlore.com)

OK, I had two major concerns with the “double frog” you showed from Godwin. (BTW, I have ordered a LOT of stuff from his Dad going back to the early 1970’s and from him more recently, after he took over.) The first concern, especially for an Officer, is the fact it is a double frog. There is no evidence that even NCO’s or “Other Ranks” used double frogs in The Watch during this period up to the end of the 18th century, let alone Officers. I can’t find an original drawing or portrait of an Officer armed with his “Officer’s Fusil,” but I’m sure the few times he would have worn his Fusil Bayonet, it would have been suspended from a separate frog like the one in the following link. Also, more modern drawings/paintings from accurate sources that show an Officer armed with a fusil, show the bayonet suspended from the waist belt as well. BTW, the original Frogs had Iron Rivets for NCO’s and Other Ranks and when I made a bunch of these, I used stainless steel rivets and hammered them a bit and roughed them up to look like Iron. For an Officer, the Brass rivets would be correct.

Frog Single (thequartermastergeneral.com)

The second concern I have with the Godwin Baldric is it does not have a brass rectangular buckle, brass sliding loop and brass heart or other shaped brass belt tip. Original drawings and paintings invariably show a rectangular buckle for Officers and Enlisteds. Some show the brass sliding loop for Officers and some don’t, so that is optional. Most show the brass heart shaped belt tip, even for Enlisted Ranks. Godwin does sell what he calls a Sword Belt Tip, Brass; though there is no picture of it in the online catalogue to show what shape it is.

Sword Belt Tip, Brass [#339] (3dcartstores.com)

More coming on this subject.

Gus
 
Last edited:

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
Thank you for all of that I'll have a closer look when I get home. And you're right now that I'm looking at pictures they do all seem to have a separate bayonet frog!
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
946
Reaction score
139
Location
Tall Grass Prairie
You're focusing on everything but the most important part of a highland regiment's uniform: the kilt. The 42nd wore an early version of the government sett, or black watch. Today the tartan is referred to as that of the 42nd coarse kilt. It is very much lighter in shade than the modern version. Anyone wearing modern black watch when reenacting is displaying his ignorance, not his knowledge of authentic uniforms.
 

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
You're focusing on everything but the most important part of a highland regiment's uniform: the kilt. The 42nd wore an early version of the government sett, or black watch. Today the tartan is referred to as that of the 42nd coarse kilt. It is very much lighter in shade than the modern version. Anyone wearing modern black watch when reenacting is displaying his ignorance, not his knowledge of authentic uniforms.
No need to worry I have been researching that as well. I'm going to try my best to find the broader, darker set tartan. I wouldn't say it's necessarily always ignorance but rather accessibility. There are many tartans that are hard to find these days. Sometimes you have to work with what's available. But yes I will be trying my best to do it properly. There is also evidence of a red stripe being added to the government set at some point and then later removed, but no real clear evidence when it was added. I'm really hoping to do a full plaid, but they can be really pricey, especially in an obscure, old pattern tartan. So I may have to go with a small kilt/philibeag to start, which honestly will be far more comfortable in midwest summer anyway.

Bryan,

More on Baldrics:

Before I go further and forget it, please take a look at this link and scroll down near the bottom to the area of “Ordering Concerns and Sizing.” It has saved me a lot of typing to describe how you should check the length of a Baldric, before you order or make one.

Baldrics and Bandoliers (leatherlore.com)

OK, I had two major concerns with the “double frog” you showed from Godwin. (BTW, I have ordered a LOT of stuff from his Dad going back to the early 1970’s and from him more recently, after he took over.) The first concern, especially for an Officer, is the fact it is a double frog. There is no evidence that even NCO’s or “Other Ranks” used double frogs in The Watch during this period up to the end of the 18th century, let alone Officers. I can’t find an original drawing or portrait of an Officer armed with his “Officer’s Fusil,” but I’m sure the few times he would have worn his Fusil Bayonet, it would have been suspended from a separate frog like the one in the following link. Also, more modern drawings/paintings from accurate sources that show an Officer armed with a fusil, show the bayonet suspended from the waist belt as well. BTW, the original Frogs had Iron Rivets for NCO’s and Other Ranks and when I made a bunch of these, I used stainless steel rivets and hammered them a bit and roughed them up to look like Iron. For an Officer, the Brass rivets would be correct.

Frog Single (thequartermastergeneral.com)

The second concern I have with the Godwin Baldric is it does not have a brass rectangular buckle, brass sliding loop and brass heart or other shaped brass belt tip. Original drawings and paintings invariably show a rectangular buckle for Officers and Enlisteds. Some show the brass sliding loop for Officers and some don’t, so that is optional. Most show the brass heart shaped belt tip, even for Enlisted Ranks. Godwin does sell what he calls a Sword Belt Tip, Brass; though there is no picture of it in the online catalogue to show what shape it is.

Sword Belt Tip, Brass [#339] (3dcartstores.com)

More coming on this subject.

Gus
Those baldrics look fantastic and appear to be about half the price of what I was looking at even with the added belt tip, so that is much appreciated. I'll probably just worry about the bayonet frog when I ever get around the getting a Bess or officer’s fusil.

I really appreciate all this input. This is one of those things that you can research until you're cross-eyed, but what really saves time and money, is hearing from people that have been through the process. Really appreciate it gents! I think I'm getting a pretty good handle on it all now. Thankfully it looks like the only pieces I will really have to make are the regimental and waistcoat, which is definitely doable.
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
946
Reaction score
139
Location
Tall Grass Prairie
In the attached pic are two samples of the government sett. The lighter is that of the 42nd coarse kilt as would have been worn by the regiment during its
20210224_224927.jpg
service in North America. The sample was researched and woven at the behest of the senior researcher for the Scottish Tartan Authority. He had original samples etc to examine. The sample was woven by the Andrew Elliott mill. Only a few yards were woven, enough for five kilts as I recall, and I have enough for one kilt.

The darker is the modern version as woven in regimental weight ,that is in a heavier weight than usual, by Kenloch Anderson. The modern version is easily found.

A more authentic modern version would be a weathered version of the government sett, which would be lighter in color.
 

Auldjin

36 Cl.
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
144
Location
Scotland
I have often wondered exactly how the pistol was carried. Even in the pictures shown earlier in the string there seems to be variation.
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
11,288
Reaction score
3,188
I have often wondered exactly how the pistol was carried. Even in the pictures shown earlier in the string there seems to be variation.
Seems they used a narrow leather strap to suspend it from the hook on the side opposite the lock.

dc23e4bae392788b283f067ab7604b73.png (318×500) (pinimg.com)

691e2bfc74cc1d90e6635a87e93737ba.jpg (975×1561) (pinimg.com)

8eab4a67619ec7f1379e17883f8d3d6c.jpg (357×500) (pinimg.com)

578fb8ff9239a5606df3c982dcde2810.jpg (600×1073) (pinimg.com)

Gus
 

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
In the attached pic are two samples of the government sett. The lighter is that of the 42nd coarse kilt as would have been worn by the regiment during its View attachment 65908service in North America. The sample was researched and woven at the behest of the senior researcher for the Scottish Tartan Authority. He had original samples etc to examine. The sample was woven by the Andrew Elliott mill. Only a few yards were woven, enough for five kilts as I recall, and I have enough for one kilt.

The darker is the modern version as woven in regimental weight ,that is in a heavier weight than usual, by Kenloch Anderson. The modern version is easily found.

A more authentic modern version would be a weathered version of the government sett, which would be lighter in color.
That's interesting. How were they sure the surviving example that they were copying for that was what was worn in North America? That looks quite a bit different than what I've seen described. It almost looks to me like a faded version of what is described. Surprised it is that light, considering the "black watch" nickname supposedly came from how dark the tartan was. Not doubting you, just curious. And if only a few yards were woven, how is anyone supposed to be expected to wear the proper tartan as you say...?

It surprises me that they would wear an extra strap specifically for that, when the pistol could be hooked on any belt with the belt hook. That's sure what it looks like they're doing though!
 
Last edited:

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
11,288
Reaction score
3,188
It surprises me that they would wear an extra strap specifically for that, when the pistol could be hooked on any belt with the belt hook. That's sure what it looks like they're doing though!
Though this is only speculation on my part and remembering it is a single shot pistol, in effect the strap was a "period shoulder holster" that they could quickly and securely return the pistol to after firing.

Gus
 

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
Though this is only speculation on my part and remembering it is a single shot pistol, in effect the strap was a "period shoulder holster" that they could quickly and securely return the pistol to after firing.

Gus
Yeah that certainly makes sense. Hanging it high enough on the baldric to be easily accessible, it would likely have to be hung with the lock facing inward against the chest and between the chest and baldric, which I can't imagine being very comfortable. This is due to the angle of the baldric downward from the right shoulder, and the belt hook of the pistol being on the left. Makes total sense now that I'm looking at it again, the extra thin strap allows the pistol to be in a position to be comfortably carried and quickly drawn. Agree with you on that one Gus!
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
11,288
Reaction score
3,188
Yeah that certainly makes sense. Hanging it high enough on the baldric to be easily accessible, it would likely have to be hung with the lock facing inward against the chest and between the chest and baldric, which I can't imagine being very comfortable. This is due to the angle of the baldric downward from the right shoulder, and the belt hook of the pistol being on the left. Makes total sense now that I'm looking at it again, the extra thin strap allows the pistol to be in a position to be comfortably carried and quickly drawn. Agree with you on that one Gus!
Bryan,

Still more on Baldrics:

I believe it is important to know when one cannot document something and, in this case, I cannot document the width of the strap of the Scottish Baldric. There very well may be documentation out there I don’t know about, though.

Godwin’s Scottish Baldric has a strap width of 3 3/8". Is that correct? I don’t know.

The only documentation I personally know of is the 1768 Warrants and I’m not sure if they are too late and not correct for FIW?

The British Royal Warrants of 1768, for the regiments of foot have these regulations for Shoulder Belts and Waist Belts as follows: “The breadth of the shoulder-belts to be two inches and three quarters; that of the waist-belt to be two inches, and those regiments which have buff waistcoats, are to have buff-colored accoutrements. Those which have white waistcoats, are to have white.” [The 42nd was an exception in that they wore accoutrements of black.]

“Shoulder Belts” mean the straps that hold Cartouche (Cartridge) Pouches, which the 42nd did not use. They used Cartouche (Cartridge) Boxes that nowadays we call a "Belly Box," suspended from the waist belt.

Godwin has a British Officers Shoulder Carriage with Buckle (for Swords) that has a strap width of only 1 ¾” width and that is too narrow for a Broad Sword.

Looking at original drawings and paintings, I can’t quite get the feel for how wide the Baldric straps were.

Gus
 
Last edited:

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
Bryan,

Still more on Baldrics:

I believe it is important to know when one cannot document something and, in this case, I cannot document the width of the strap of the Scottish Baldric. There very well may be documentation out there I don’t know about, though.

Godwin’s Scottish Baldric has a strap width of 3 3/8". Is that correct? I don’t know.

The only documentation I personally know of is the 1768 Warrants and I’m not sure if they are too late and not correct for FIW?

The British Royal Warrants of 1768, for the regiments of foot have these regulations for Shoulder Belts and Waist Belts as follows: “The breadth of the shoulder-belts to be two inches and three quarters; that of the waist-belt to be two inches, and those regiments which have buff waistcoats, are to have buff-colored accoutrements. Those which have white waistcoats, are to have white.” [The 42nd was an exception in that they wore accoutrements of black.]

“Shoulder Belts” mean the straps that hold Cartouche (Cartridge) Pouches, which the 42nd did not use. They used Cartouche (Cartridge) Boxes that nowadays we call a "Belly Box," suspended from the waist belt.

Godwin has a British Officers Shoulder Carriage with Buckle (for Swords) that has a strap width of only 1 ¾” width and that is too narrow for a Broad Sword.

Looking at original drawings and paintings, I can’t quite get the feel for how wide the Baldric straps were.

Gus
I believe the 1768 Warrant is the only exact measurement I have seen as well. It looks to me like the link that you sent me to the baldrics you recommended are available in standard widths of 2 1/4" or 3", so likely I will go with 3". As there is no official documentation on the width, I can't justify needlessly spending extra money for a special order belt that is say, 3/8" wider than a standard one. I agree with you, it can be quite difficult to judge the size from the photos, but if we operate under the assumption that the waist belts are of 2" width as stated in the Royal Warrant of 1768, (yes I know what happens sometimes when one assumes...) then I would say just by eyeballing most depictions, that the baldric looks to be at least 50% wider than the waist belt, which would put it at roughly the 3"-3 1/2" range.
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
11,288
Reaction score
3,188
I believe the 1768 Warrant is the only exact measurement I have seen as well. It looks to me like the link that you sent me to the baldrics you recommended are available in standard widths of 2 1/4" or 3", so likely I will go with 3". As there is no official documentation on the width, I can't justify needlessly spending extra money for a special order belt that is say, 3/8" wider than a standard one. I agree with you, it can be quite difficult to judge the size from the photos, but if we operate under the assumption that the waist belts are of 2" width as stated in the Royal Warrant of 1768, (yes I know what happens sometimes when one assumes...) then I would say just by eyeballing most depictions, that the baldric looks to be at least 50% wider than the waist belt, which would put it at roughly the 3"-3 1/2" range.
I've been trying to find a link to David Morier's painting/s of Highland Grenadiers, but with no luck. Since those were painted in the early 1750's, that may give us some better idea.

Gus
 

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
I've been trying to find a link to David Morier's painting/s of Highland Grenadiers, but with no luck. Since those were painted in the early 1750's, that may give us some better idea.

Gus
Is this the one you had in mind? It at least has a grenadier of the 42nd, looks like pre-1760, when the facings for changed for 1st Battalion.

David Morier (1705?-70) - Grenadiers, 40th Regiment of Foot, and Privates, 41st Invalids Regiment and 42nd Highland Regiment, 1751
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
11,288
Reaction score
3,188

BJamesBeck

32 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
291
Reaction score
108
Location
Illinois
Yes indeed. Thank you. The 1751 Date says it all. We can also compare the width to the 3 3/4" width of the Cartouche Pouch straps on the other Grenadiers.

Gus
Yeah, I would say the 42nd baldric definitely looks like it is in the 3-3 3/8" range when compared to the others.
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
946
Reaction score
139
Location
Tall Grass Prairie
"That's interesting. How were they sure the surviving example that they were copying for that was what was worn in North America? That looks quite a bit different than what I've seen described. It almost looks to me like a faded version of what is described. Surprised it is that light, considering the "black watch" nickname supposedly came from how dark the tartan was. Not doubting you, just curious. And if only a few yards were woven, how is anyone supposed to be expected to wear the proper tartan as you say...?"

Bryanbekk, The man who had the 42nd coarse kilt tartan woven, as I said, is the senior researcher for the Scottish Tartan Authority. His knowledge of historic tartans is second to none. He bases his reproductions on surviving samples and extensive knowledge of the dyes used in the old days, before modern chemical dies became known. The reproduction tartan is less "black" than the modern version, but that's authenticity for you. Many tartans are kept in stock by most sellers because there is strong demand for them. Otherwise you have to order a special weaving. I had to do that when I wanted some of my own family tartan that is seldom in demand. It cost me over $1,300 but I got enough for three to five kilts, depending on how much yardage I want to put into each kilt.

For you purposes Black Watch Ancient by Locharron, or Black Watch Muted by House of Edgar would be most nearly authentic. You could have Elliotts weave for you the exact reproduction, of which I posted a sample pic.

To be truly authentic to the era the tartan cloth would need to have what is known as a true kilt selvedge, and only by ordering a custom weave from one of the smaller mills can you get that today. A kilt selvedge is done as a herringbone tweed and is distinctly different from the modern tucked selvedge.

It's my recollection the regiment's men were issued three ells of tartan for their kilts. It would have been the standard 27-inch width, more or less and would have been worn as a small kilt, pleated haphazardly and the pleats unpressed.
 

Latest posts

Top