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

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With regards to the buff slings and the Second Battalion Royal Americans, Governor James Murray, in September 1763 wrote (presumably to the commanding officer, but not specifically stated):

"...It is long since I reported the accoutrements of the Second Batt. of your Royal American Regt. unservisible [sic]. I hope you will as soon as possible order your agent to provide a compleat [sic] new set, and I flatter myself you will make choise [sic] of Buff rather than tanned leather accoutrements, which by experience we know to be good for nothing, it is true they are cheaper, and for that reason perhaps were prefer'd [sic] to the Buff when the Regt. was raised, and had no prospect of standing longer than such stuff would last, but the case is now different, and I shall very chearfully [sic] pay for the best set of accoutrements which can be purchased in England." [LAC, W.O. 34, vol. 2, No. 102, dated 2 September 1763].
That is an extremely interesting quote, Jeff. Thank you for providing it.

Though the "tann'd" or "tanned" leather items (dyed black probably by Vinegaroon on the smooth side) provided by British Ordnance were often referred to as "cheap," up until now it always seemed to me this was because they weren't as expensive to procure as Buff Leather. However, this quote seems to suggest the leather or the tanning process was inferior to buff leather. This surprises me as the basic Tanning processes for both leathers seems to have been done in the same manner.

Perhaps the Buff Leather was "stufft" or "stuff'd" as they called it in the period (we call that Oil Tan) and that meant oils and wax were worked into the leather after it was tanned? I'm just guessing here trying to figure out why? Leather that had this additional period treatment would have both been more expensive and lasted longer.

From the above extract, it sounds as though each commanding officer may have had a choice in what they ordered.
When British Ordnance issued Arms, with each came a "tann'd" (black dyed) cartouche box (belly box), waist belt, frog, bayonet scabbard, sling and a bayonet as well. Commanding Officers had to keep these in storage to return with the Arms, even if they didn't use any of the items except the bayonet and paid for Buff Leather accoutrements out of money given to them to outfit their Regiment or their personal pockets. So CO's always had a choice to pay for more expensive Buff Leather items as long as they absorbed the cost in other ways.


Separately, in July 1757, nine additional companies for the three Highland regiments were raised for service. Unfortunately, accoutrements mentioned are (among other things) "side pistols and straps, and cartouche boxes and straps" for all the men. [LAC, W.O. 4, vol. 54, p. 233, dated 21 July 1757].

I will take note of anything "royal" in the 42nd accounting books and let you know.

Regards
Jeff
frasers78th.blogspot.com
I'm not sure about the 78th, but the 42nd continued to use "Tann'd" pistol straps and cartouche box straps (waist belts) throughout the FIW and AWI periods.

Gus
 

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Unfortunately, the 42nd Foot accounting book does not address the addition of colors to their uniforms for the title of a royal regiment. So, it's unclear in this particular source if the new colors were presented before or after the regiment returned home. There is only one line item entry in the book mentioning royal regiment, which is categorized under the "General Recruiting Accompt" section. Clearly there is no specific "general administrative" category outlined in the book.

14 August 1758: To Ditto [cash] paid the one half of the Cost of a Warrt. [sic, warrant] for forming the Regimnt. [sic] into two Battalions with the Title of Royal Highland Regiment. £1. 1s.

Interesting to learn the commanding officer was responsible for half the cost of the written warrant!

Regards,
Jeff
 

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Unfortunately, the 42nd Foot accounting book does not address the addition of colors to their uniforms for the title of a royal regiment. So, it's unclear in this particular source if the new colors were presented before or after the regiment returned home. There is only one line item entry in the book mentioning royal regiment, which is categorized under the "General Recruiting Accompt" section. Clearly there is no specific "general administrative" category outlined in the book.

14 August 1758: To Ditto [cash] paid the one half of the Cost of a Warrt. [sic, warrant] for forming the Regimnt. [sic] into two Battalions with the Title of Royal Highland Regiment. £1. 1s.

Interesting to learn the commanding officer was responsible for half the cost of the written warrant!

Regards,
Jeff
Thank you for having a look! The date of that entry seems to somewhat support my theory at least!
 

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Thank you for having a look! The date of that entry seems to somewhat support my theory at least!
You're welcome.

Three items attached for your records.

I've attached a small snippet from Scots Magazine [vol. 18, dated 1756], discussing the encouragement of the manufacturing of buff leather in Scotland. After reading the article, it's most likely that Edward Smith, supplier of buff slings to the 42nd Foot, was an English merchant.

In consulting the 1759 Kent's U.K. City Directory, there is one listing for Edward Smith, a laceman. Westminster was the city center for the War Office, Admiralty Office, and the offices of the various military agents. So, merchants in the surrounding area would have been ideal suppliers. His facility, perhaps both home and office, was located on Ludgate Hill, in London, which puts him in close proximity to the aforementioned offices. See attached map.

It would be interesting to learn if Smith wore both shoes, and it would be a longer shot to find any surviving business records. I've attached his city page listing from the Directory as well.

Edit: Smith's map photo did not compress well as a jpeg, so I reformatted it to pdf.

Regards,
Jeff
 

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The 1758 Painting of Captain John Campbell and it seems his Fusil Sling, Waist Belt, Cartouche Pouch, and Frog are made of Buff Leather?
1616732914973.png



Gus
 

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The 1758 Painting of Captain John Campbell and it seems his Fusil Sling, Waist Belt, Cartouche Pouch, and Frog are made of Buff Leather?
1616732914973.png



Gus
I have seen other pictures of officers wearing buff waist belts and cartouche boxes as well. But it seems a bit hit or miss if they are or arent.
 

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The 1758 Painting of Captain John Campbell and it seems his Fusil Sling, Waist Belt, Cartouche Pouch, and Frog are made of Buff Leather?
1616732914973.png



Gus
It certainly does look that way! Unfortunately, my other documents do not specify.
 

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I've attached two additional pdf files addressing a number of accoutrements procured for the later companies of the 42nd Foot.

Pistol & Drum Account:
In 1759, many pistols were purchased from William Sandeman, a Perthshire, Scotland linen manufacturer. In fact it was his company that provided tartan to both the 42nd and 77th Foot. I'm still trying to prove he provided tartan for the 78th, but that is another story for another day. Sandeman had his hands in many different regimental accounts, and as a gentleman named John Calcraft was the 42nd Foot's English military agent through 1758 (he sold his agency by 1759), Sandeman appears to have acted as the Scottish agent for the regiment.

The debit side of the account book indicates Sandeman charged £0.11sh per pistol unit, but the credit side shows the 42nd drew cash at the Tower {London/Edinburgh?] at the rate of £0.16.6 per unit. Not only does this entry indicate a per-unit profit, but also that these later pistols were purchased locally in Scotland. There is a later 1761 entry (not included) showing pistols being shipped from Ayr to Greenock, Scotland, then Greenock to New York.

Clothing Account:
1 November 1759 entry shows the purchase of buff slings from Edward Smith, which we previously discussed. But it the subsequent entries to follow that captured my interest.

8 November: Smith's package is insured for £500 on the Neptune transport commanded by Capt. Rose for New York.

24 November: Not only is Sandeman's bill for bonnets and shoulder belts paid, but Lt. Tolmie paid Samuel Bourdette and John Mallet for a number of cartouche boxes and sword belts. This suggests, for any number of reasons, the lieutenant purchased the boxes and belts locally in New York. Perhaps Britain's stock of these items had been depleted?

Regards,
Jeff
 

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I've attached two additional pdf files addressing a number of accoutrements procured for the later companies of the 42nd Foot.

Pistol & Drum Account:
In 1759, many pistols were purchased from William Sandeman, a Perthshire, Scotland linen manufacturer. In fact it was his company that provided tartan to both the 42nd and 77th Foot. I'm still trying to prove he provided tartan for the 78th, but that is another story for another day. Sandeman had his hands in many different regimental accounts, and as a gentleman named John Calcraft was the 42nd Foot's English military agent through 1758 (he sold his agency by 1759), Sandeman appears to have acted as the Scottish agent for the regiment.

The debit side of the account book indicates Sandeman charged £0.11sh per pistol unit, but the credit side shows the 42nd drew cash at the Tower {London/Edinburgh?] at the rate of £0.16.6 per unit. Not only does this entry indicate a per-unit profit, but also that these later pistols were purchased locally in Scotland. There is a later 1761 entry (not included) showing pistols being shipped from Ayr to Greenock, Scotland, then Greenock to New York.

Clothing Account:
1 November 1759 entry shows the purchase of buff slings from Edward Smith, which we previously discussed. But it the subsequent entries to follow that captured my interest.

8 November: Smith's package is insured for £500 on the Neptune transport commanded by Capt. Rose for New York.

24 November: Not only is Sandeman's bill for bonnets and shoulder belts paid, but Lt. Tolmie paid Samuel Bourdette and John Mallet for a number of cartouche boxes and sword belts. This suggests, for any number of reasons, the lieutenant purchased the boxes and belts locally in New York. Perhaps Britain's stock of these items had been depleted?

Regards,
Jeff
Excellent information as always! There is mention in the sources I have of purchasing some equipment locally but they aren't exactly clear what equipment it was or why.
 

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Had a little fun over the weekend messing around with some pieces for the 42nd uniform, some modern pieces, and other historical pieces. Mainly threw it all together for some people I know that are Outlander fans. Progress is being made, hoping to have the waistcoat and regimental for the 42nd uniform done by October 10-11 for a local event.

VideoCapture_20210913-141546.jpg

VideoCapture_20210913-141034.jpg
 

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Had a little fun over the weekend messing around with some pieces for the 42nd uniform, some modern pieces, and other historical pieces. Mainly threw it all together for some people I know that are Outlander fans. Progress is being made, hoping to have the waistcoat and regimental for the 42nd uniform done by October 10-11 for a local event.

View attachment 94200
View attachment 94201
A fine set of "Manly Clotheing" to wear to a social function, as long as you remember to take your sword and sword belt off before you sit down to dinner. ;) :thumb:

Are you right or left handed, btw?

Gus
 

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A fine set of "Manly Clotheing" to wear to a social function, as long as you remember to take your sword and sword belt off before you sit down to dinner. ;) :thumb:

Are you right or left handed, btw?

Gus
I am right handed. The second picture was just taken mirrored because it was the front facing camera on my phone. I always forget to flip them before posting. 😆
 

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I am right handed. The second picture was just taken mirrored because it was the front facing camera on my phone. I always forget to flip them before posting. 😆
I was wondering. A person now and especially back then, who was ambidextrous, would have been a terror in a close in fight.

Sort of a side bar: My comment about taking off your sword came from many years ago when we were doing a War of 1812 event at Historic Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN.

Our "guests" was a re-enactment unit from Canada made up of over 40 full time paid volunteer British Soldiers, the youngest of which were college students. WOW, were they good with drill and carrying off their personae!!

Anyway, the American Commander of the Fort, Major Whistler, invited the Officers and Senior NCO's to dine with them when the period meal of beef stew was served. The British CO graciously accepted. (I wasn't there as I was doing a Private Soldier Impression, but my best friend Mike did attend.) I was informed they did set an appropriate fine period table.

When I asked how the Dinner went, Mike began to laugh. Major Whistler and he knew not to wear their swords, but Brian Dunnigan as the American XO and the American junior Lt. had not thought to take theirs off. The British CO and Officers stopped shortly after being received with facial expressions of both surprise and unease. Their CO whispered to his XO and he came over to Brian and whispered, "Are we expected to kill our meat before dining, my good sir?" Brian was very puzzled and asked why? The British XO replied, "Roast Beef is best served Rare, but do you gentlemen slaughter it at the table with your swords?" Mike said Brian turned beet red, and as he removed his sword belt, ordered his Junior Officer to do the same. He did laugh about it later that they were given a lesson on being a gentlemen from the younger British Officers.

Gus
 

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I was wondering. A person now and especially back then, who was ambidextrous, would have been a terror in a close in fight.

Sort of a side bar: My comment about taking off your sword came from many years ago when we were doing a War of 1812 event at Historic Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN.

Our "guests" was a re-enactment unit from Canada made up of over 40 full time paid volunteer British Soldiers, the youngest of which were college students. WOW, were they good with drill and carrying off their personae!!

Anyway, the American Commander of the Fort, Major Whistler, invited the Officers and Senior NCO's to dine with them when the period meal of beef stew was served. The British CO graciously accepted. (I wasn't there as I was doing a Private Soldier Impression, but my best friend Mike did attend.) I was informed they did set an appropriate fine period table.

When I asked how the Dinner went, Mike began to laugh. Major Whistler and he knew not to wear their swords, but Brian Dunnigan as the American XO and the American junior Lt. had not thought to take theirs off. The British CO and Officers stopped shortly after being received with facial expressions of both surprise and unease. Their CO whispered to his XO and he came over to Brian and whispered, "Are we expected to kill our meat before dining, my good sir?" Brian was very puzzled and asked why? The British XO replied, "Roast Beef is best served Rare, but do you gentlemen slaughter it at the table with your swords?" Mike said Brian turned beet red, and as he removed his sword belt, ordered his Junior Officer to do the same. He did laugh about it later that they were given a lesson on being a gentlemen from the younger British Officers.

Gus
That's what a sgian-dubh tucked in the sock is for. In case any English Officers start getting lippy. 😜
 

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That's what a sgian-dubh tucked in the sock is for. In case any English Officers start getting lippy. 😜
Uh, you do know that even when being received in Clan lands other than your own, the Sgian-dubh was held in the hand by the blade and offered to the host, as a sign of non hostile intent?

Of course they usually didn't offer the Sgian Achlais (concealed Armpit Dagger) in case their host had bad ulterior motives.

Gus
 

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Uh, you do know that even when being received in Clan lands other than your own, the Sgian-dubh was held in the hand by the blade and offered to the host, as a sign of non hostile intent?

Of course they usually didn't offer the Sgian Achlais (concealed Armpit Dagger) in case their host had bad ulterior motives.

Gus
Yes, I know, just a joke. ;)
 
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