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

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BJamesBeck

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Bryan,

I don't know a whole lot about this next pic linked below. However, it seems to be an early FIW Serjeant and 4 "Other Ranks" or "Private Soldiers." Notice the pewter 42nd Button in the center of their cockade?
dff44466ac4810844f0f6bddd9760e97.jpg (900×700) (pinimg.com)

I'm pretty sure you would have some kind of Cockade and button, you would attach the feathers behind on your bonnet.

Gus
That makes total sense! Use the buttons you have plenty of available!


Just looked up Captain Campbell's biography.

" In March 1762 Campbell, now a captain, exchanged into the 27th Foot, with which he served at the siege of Havana, Cuba. From the autumn of 1763 the regiment was stationed at Trois-Rivières (Que.), and in that year Campbell married Marie-Anne, daughter of Luc de La Corne, who had played an important role in French-Indian relations during the Seven Years’ War. The continuing influence of his father-in-law may have been one of the factors in Campbell’s later appointments in the Indian department."

Biography – CAMPBELL, JOHN (1721-95) – Volume IV (1771-1800) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography (biographi.ca)

So it seems that portrait MAY or even HAS to be right for Fort Carillon in 1758, as he transferred from the Highlanders in 1762. May be elegant proof they did use white waist coats and buff accoutrements that early?

Gus
And it definitely looks that way! I wonder if the buff accoutrements were just what was more widely available considering the officers wouldn't have been issued such. Perhaps they just grabbed whatever they could find when they decided to start carrying a fusil.
 

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I wonder if the buff accoutrements were just what was more widely available considering the officers wouldn't have been issued such. Perhaps they just grabbed whatever they could find when they decided to start carrying a fusil.
Officers not only purchased their uniforms, but their arms and leather goods as well. That means the Buff colour accoutrements were both authorized and even "expected" to be worn at that time.

Gus

P.S. Going to have to take a break as I'm a bit woozy/fuzzy from taking my first Corvid shot yesterday, but will come back later.
 

BJamesBeck

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Officers not only purchased their uniforms, but their arms and leather goods as well. That means the Buff colour accoutrements were both authorized and even "expected" to be worn at that time.

Gus

P.S. Going to have to take a break as I'm a bit woozy/fuzzy from taking my first Corvid shot yesterday, but will come back later.
Yeah that's kind of what I was getting at. That they probably just purchased whatever was available to be purchased when they decided to carry a fusil, and considering the black accoutrements appear to be a bit of an anomaly at the time, (other than Highland regiments) I would imagine buff or white accoutrements were more widely available for purchase! Hope you get to feeling better mate!
 

Grenadier1758

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Colors are quite important and usually defined in the uniform warrant. Blue however is reserved for Royal companies. A blue waistcoat would not have been seen until after the 42nd received the Royal designation. I was looking for my copies of uniform warrants, but they are dated for the AWI time period. Stirling's Company of the 42nd tries to get the colors right. The 42nd Company of Music represents the 42nd after receiving the Royal designation.

Part of the problem with buff colored leather is what is buff color. The light yellow-tan color is what we use. This is based on the Morier paintings as much as anything. One concern is the shifting of colors as the paints age under the natural lighting. Whites tend to yellow.
 

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Colors are quite important and usually defined in the uniform warrant. Blue however is reserved for Royal companies. A blue waistcoat would not have been seen until after the 42nd received the Royal designation. I was looking for my copies of uniform warrants, but they are dated for the AWI time period. Stirling's Company of the 42nd tries to get the colors right. The 42nd Company of Music represents the 42nd after receiving the Royal designation.

Part of the problem with buff colored leather is what is buff color. The light yellow-tan color is what we use. This is based on the Morier paintings as much as anything. One concern is the shifting of colors as the paints age under the natural lighting. Whites tend to yellow.
The royal warrant was issued in 1758 the same year Stirling's company was raised. Stirling's commission will likely be dated 1757, as he, Captain Stewart, and Captain Murray (I believe) all three helped recruit their companies. There is a quote on p. 116 in Sons of the Mountains by Ian McCulloch regarding that:

"Initially, the 42nd officers in North America had buff facings, but when King George II granted them the honor of being a Royal Regiment in July 1758, it entitled them to change the facings on their uniforms, and the backing of their regimental color to royal blue. The officers of the Second Battalion of the Royal Highland Regiment raised in Scotland during 1758 therefore arrived in North America wearing their new laced regimental. 'Our dress was a red coat turned up with blue," recalled Lieutenant John Grant, "laced button holes - blue waistcoats…'"

Now that's not to say that this statement is the gospel, but I think it is a very distinct possibility, if not likely, that those three companies that arrived in North America just in time for the Battle of Carillon were issued the new pattern regimentals with blue facings. I also believe, according to the sources, that the entire regiment was issued these over the course of the winter of 1760 while in Montreal.

Not saying anyone is wrong here, just putting my information out there. I am of the opinion, based on what I've read, that 1st Battalion was issued the jackets with buff facings, which they possibly still had as late as the winter of 1760. I believe that the 3 companies raised in 1757-58, that would become part of 2nd Battalion once it was raised, were issued jackets with the blue facings before their departure to N. America, and if they weren't were also issued them by the end of 1760. And I am almost positive that the remaining companies of 2nd Battalion were initially issued blue faced jackets.

As I said, this is just my two cents based on the sources I've read.
 

Grenadier1758

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Typically the regimental coat was replaced every two years. The old regimental was often cut down to be the new waistcoat. So, by 1760, the regimental coats should have been replaced by coats with the Royal blue facings.
 

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I guess mainly what I'm saying is, I believe with a higher percentage of certainty that, at some point in his time with the 42nd, Captain Stewart had a jacket with blue facings, and while it's possible he had a jacket with buff facings from 1757-58 to maybe as late as spring of 1761, I am far less certain about that.
 

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Typically the regimental coat was replaced every two years. The old regimental was often cut down to be the new waistcoat. So, by 1760, the regimental coats should have been replaced by coats with the Royal blue facings.
There is also a quote about this in Highland Furies by Schofield, referring to winter of 1760-61 in Montreal.

The new waistecoats... "according to the pattern of last year... but being longer in the body and the button holes broader in order to correspond the better with the lace on the new clothing" and that if a man had no waistcoat to be altered he would have to wait until the arrival of the new clothing "in order to have their old coats converted into wistecoats".

The entire regiment was in Montreal that winter and it appears to me that they were all issued new jackets and many with waistcoats.
 

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Yeah that's kind of what I was getting at. That they probably just purchased whatever was available to be purchased when they decided to carry a fusil, and considering the black accoutrements appear to be a bit of an anomaly at the time, (other than Highland regiments) I would imagine buff or white accoutrements were more widely available for purchase! Hope you get to feeling better mate!
Bryan,

That wasn't how it was done. OK, let me try explaining a different way.

When British Ordnance issued a "Stand of Arms" for "Regiments of Foot;" that meant it was a musket or carbine with fitted Bayonet along with "Tann'd" or Black coloured Leather Sling, Bayonet Scabbard, Waist Belt, Frog, and Cartouche Box (Belly Box). IOW, there was a "basic issue" with every firelock with which the weapon could be used. It didn't matter if the receiving Regiment the Arms were sent to wore only some or ANY of those "Tann'd" leather items, they got the "Tann'd" leather items anyway. If they didn't use some or all of the "Tann'd" items, they put them in storage and had to turn in all the old "Tann'd" leather items when they received the next issue of arms. (If they didn't turn all the old leather items in, the Colonel of the Regiment had to PAY for them.) "Tann'd" or Black colour leather was the CHEAPEST leather that the British Military used and thus the most common, because everyone got their "basic issue" in that leather.

Now, if the Colonels of the Regiments wanted their soldiers to have Cartouche Pouches (what was called Cartridge Boxes in the 19th century with shoulder straps) and/or any other colour of leather items, the Colonels had to pay for them out of the funds given to the Colonels to clothe and outfit their Regiment OR from their private funds. Some Colonels dipped into their personal funds rather heavily to pay for more fancy uniforms and items for their soldiers, as it was a matter of personal and professional pride to show they could afford it.

I have never seen period documentation the Enlisted Soldiers of the Black Watch EVER used Cartouche Pouches or any colour other than black for their other leather gear in period drawings, paintings, or any written material I've ever seen. This from the David Morier painting of the Grenadier and all later information through the AWI. There may be some I've never seen or heard of, but nothing I personally have ever run across.

Now when Enlisted Soldiers got sick or died, their "Tann'd" leather goods were saved/stored by their Company Commanders. Those items could be issued to replace damaged or lost goods of other soldiers, though normally they were just saved to be turned in when the Regiment was re-armed. So IF an Officer needed to use a Cartouche Box or Frog in an emergency and borrowed any of those items, it would have been "Tann'd" or black colour leather.

All and I emphasize ALL Buff or other Colored leather items were purchased through Military Factors or Agents, either by the Colonels for their Regiments or by the Officers for their own use. IOW, these were all "Bespoke work" or what we would today call "Custom Orders." The Buff or other colour leather items were then made for the Military Factors by leather workers in the type and exact numbers ordered. So they did not have "extra's" on hand.

Now for the Officers, the Colonel's desires were made known to them on what to buy for their uniforms/equipment and quite often other Officers in the Regiment introduced a new Officer to a particular Military Factor who was used to delivering the "approved" items for each Regiment, so the Officer would receive ONLY approved items and not something different or not approved. These Factors or Agents also often had Officer's Fusils made for them, to sell to the Officers or the Officers could order one from a gunsmith they knew. No matter how they got their Fusil, the leather goods for it had to be "custom ordered and custom made" and had to comply with the Colonel's wishes.

To sum up, the ONLY way an Officer would have had a Buff Colour Cartouche Box and Frog, was when it was authorized by his Regimental CO and custom made for him. It was NEVER a case of "they purchased what was available to be purchased."

So when we see portraits with Buff Colored Cartouche Boxes, Frogs and Waist Belts, we KNOW they were according to the Regimental CO's permission/direction and custom ordered and custom made for the Officers.

Gus
 

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There is also a quote about this in Highland Furies by Schofield, referring to winter of 1760-61 in Montreal.

The new waistecoats... "according to the pattern of last year... but being longer in the body and the button holes broader in order to correspond the better with the lace on the new clothing" and that if a man had no waistcoat to be altered he would have to wait until the arrival of the new clothing "in order to have their old coats converted into wistecoats".

The entire regiment was in Montreal that winter and it appears to me that they were all issued new jackets and many with waistcoats.
Bryan,

I've been chewing on the difference between original portrait/s of Officers that show different waist coats compared to either regulations or original written documentation from some period Officers. When we see an entry from an original letter, or document or diary; we have to remember it is only a "snap shot" in time when it was written. Things could well have changed shortly afterwards and we may never know it, if those documented changes were lost to history.

This is only speculation on my part, but it is from period documented things British Regiments actually did here during the FIW. From the EXCELLENT book " A Soldier-Like Way, the Material Culture of the British Infantry 1751-1768" there is documentation one Regiment before they went off to capture Fort Pitt, had plain LINEN waist coats and breeches made to replace their wool waist coats and breeches, due to the HEAT they expected to endure on their journey. If one never read or knew of that quote, they would not know the Regiment ever did that, from just examining the uniform regulations or most information about the Regiment. By the way, if you don't have this book, I cannot recommend it more highly.

A Soldier-Like Way, the Material Culture of the British Infantry 1751-1768, the French & Indian War era, by R. R. Gale - Track of the Wolf

Also, things aren't all of a sudden changed for a long time out of a vacuum. Normally, something was tried to see if it worked before a permanent change was done.

Though again this is speculation on my part, I wonder if the Regimental CO of the 42nd authorized White Waist Coats for the Officers due to the summer heat here in America and before the change was made permanent?

OK, I may be way off base, but I think it a possible explanation for the period evidence we have that Captain Campbell was wearing a White Waist Coat in the portrait around the time he was wounded at Fort Carillon in 1758.

Gus
 

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While I don't profess to have studied the uniforms in any great detail I have made & worn a steel Scots issue pistol on a thin leather strap , I soon found the weight made it too readily inclined to swivel ' cockeyed' . It was copied from my drawings of originals I doubt the butt section was much heavier than the original but weighed neither so I improvised a broader region that I stitched with two strips to form in effect a holster like grouve then it kept as handy as such a pistol might sit. I had a back sword blade made having examined an Orginal issue Sword thouth never made the thin ribbon like hilt .And as for the Fieiimore I had 60'' by 4 & a half yards of a plaid described as 'Er generic Welsh ". Good enough for this would be Jacobite re enactor though the Government pistol & sword where for 'doing' 78th Frazers ..& wore a filibeg of a dark Govt sett ( Unaware of any other option ) .I found the Fieimore perfectly suited for normal wear and served as a blanket on later hunting trips in these mountains the front folds serving to carry my light camera & the dogs leed .You could call it' Historical trecking' but ' living arciologie might better fit. Few hunts where less than 7 days so I think I figured it out well enough .I did not wear a pistol on these trips if I carried a little flint 50 cal rifle & later a 45 Snaphance of early 17th c sort ..Accordingly I add this not to question any ones notions so much as to add my small experimental insight to the subject . Regards Rudyard
 
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BJamesBeck

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Bryan,

I've been chewing on the difference between original portrait/s of Officers that show different waist coats compared to either regulations or original written documentation from some period Officers. When we see an entry from an original letter, or document or diary; we have to remember it is only a "snap shot" in time when it was written. Things could well have changed shortly afterwards and we may never know it, if those documented changes were lost to history.

This is only speculation on my part, but it is from period documented things British Regiments actually did here during the FIW. From the EXCELLENT book " A Soldier-Like Way, the Material Culture of the British Infantry 1751-1768" there is documentation one Regiment before they went off to capture Fort Pitt, had plain LINEN waist coats and breeches made to replace their wool waist coats and breeches, due to the HEAT they expected to endure on their journey. If one never read or knew of that quote, they would not know the Regiment ever did that, from just examining the uniform regulations or most information about the Regiment. By the way, if you don't have this book, I cannot recommend it more highly.

A Soldier-Like Way, the Material Culture of the British Infantry 1751-1768, the French & Indian War era, by R. R. Gale - Track of the Wolf

Also, things aren't all of a sudden changed for a long time out of a vacuum. Normally, something was tried to see if it worked before a permanent change was done.

Though again this is speculation on my part, I wonder if the Regimental CO of the 42nd authorized White Waist Coats for the Officers due to the summer heat here in America and before the change was made permanent?

OK, I may be way off base, but I think it a possible explanation for the period evidence we have that Captain Campbell was wearing a White Waist Coat in the portrait around the time he was wounded at Fort Carillon in 1758.

Gus
I think you might he quite right there. There are multiple instances of alterations to the uniform being made to better deal with the heat, both in North America and in the Caribbean.

I think there is a very good possibility that I will go with a waistcoat of white or off white linen and line the regimental with the same.

Thanks for explaining the accoutrements more thoroughly. While I did know that colonels purchased much of the additional equipment for the regiment, I didn't realize that all of the muskets would have been initially issued with accoutrements, though it definitely makes sense. I think when/if the time comes for me to purchase a cartouche box, I will probably just stick with black as it is more the "standard" for the 42nd until later.

I've seen evidence that their sporrans were switched to white or buff leather in 1769 along with an official switch of the waistcoat to white and then am official switch to the buff accoutrements is first officially made in the 1790's as far as I can tell, neither of which would have applied to Captain Stewart, who sold his commission in 1763. As you say though I think there is a very realistic possibility that white/off white linen waistcoats had been authorized earlier as a way to deal with heat or simply to replace worn out ones.

As a matter of function, I think a white linen waistcoat will be far more comfortable in the Midwest summer heat here.

Yet again, thanks for all that info! I'm thoroughly enjoying this discussion!
 

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While I don't profess to have studied the uniforms in any great detail I have made & worn a steel Scots issue pistol on a thin leather strap , I soon found the weight made it too readily inclined to swivel ' cockeyed' . It was copied from my drawings of originals I doubt the butt section was much heavier than the original but weighed neither so I improvised a broader region that I stitched with two strips to form in effect a holster like grouve then it kept as handy as such a pistol might sit. I had a back sword blade made having examined an Orginal issue Sword thouth never made the thin ribbon like hilt .And as for the Fieiimore I had 60'' by 4 & a half yards of a plaid described as 'Er generic Welsh ". Good enough for this would be Jacobite re enactor though the Government pistol & sword where for 'doing' 78th Frazers ..& wore a filibeg of a dark Govt sett ( Unaware of any other option ) .I found the Fieimore perfectly suited for normal wear and served as a blanket on later hunting trips in these mountains the front folds serving to carry my light camera & the dogs leed .You could call it' Historical trecking' but ' living arciologie might better fit. Few hunts where less than 7 days so I think I figured it out well enough .I did not wear a pistol on these trips if I carried a little flint 50 cal rifle & later a 45 Snaphance of early 17th c sort ..Accordingly I add this not to question any ones notions so much as to add my small experimental insight to the subject . Regards Rudyard
Interesting stuff. I always find this sort of experience insightful as I'm sure these men we are discussing went through a similar process. They will have found what worked and what was comfortable and made modifications accordingly as long as it remained within regulations.
 

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I think I am going to order the JP Ryan Waistcoat pattern and JP Ryan 1750's regimental coat patterns from William Booth Draper shortly. I think having the patterns in hand will help with getting the ball rolling and thankfully Wm. Booth gives estimates for the amount of material needed for theses patterns. Pictures of these patterns are attached below. It looks to me like the center waistcoat option and left regimental option will work nicely with some slight modification. I've done business with them before and like to support them, and I'm going to order a couple better brass buckles for my shoes from them as well. Sadly, it doesn't appear that they have the correct wool that I will need for the coat, but I've found a different retailer for that. I will likely get the linen for the waistcoat and lining the regimental from Wm. Booth. I will likely get the wool from the link below, going with the "mock scarlet" and "British royal blue" (also pictured below):

Najecki Reproductions (Wool Cloth)

JPRyanWaistcoat.jpeg

JPR_M010.gif

Cloth-Reds2.jpg

Cloth-Blue-Black.jpg
 

BJamesBeck

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then it would become AN INDIAN WAR BONNET? NO? they had a lot of feathers.
There was an instance of a highlander (I believe 42nd) being shot by an English sentry shortly after they had arrived in North America because of his strange dress and replying to the sentry's challenge in Gaelic. Best to not add any more feathers than necessary me thinks... :oops:
 

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ROGER THAT!! I guess to a NUBEE, in AMERICA, he would have looked like an INDIAN, speaking a foreign tongue!!
 

BJamesBeck

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@bryanbekk, I am sure you are aware that the 42nd regimental coats were much shorter than the full length regimental coats worn by other British batalions during the F&I War.
Yep, I'm aware! Sadly there doesn't seem to be a specific pattern for the "Highland coatee" that I've found. In discussions with Stirling's company they said they basically just have to alter standard regimental coats. Shouldn't be too difficult to alter it to stop at roughly the waist, with the bonus of using less material!
 

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As a matter of function, I think a white linen waistcoat will be far more comfortable in the Midwest summer heat here.

Yet again, thanks for all that info! I'm thoroughly enjoying this discussion!
I grew up just across the Mississippi from you and our small town is right on the Mississippi River. We used to joke in summer you had to CUT a chunk of air, squeeze the water out of it, before you could breathe it. So I completely understand about Mid West heat.

Here in Virginia, we have even higher heat and about the same humidity as we had near the Mississippi River.

The first time I participated at Colonial Williamsburg Event "Under the Red Coat" as a Private Soldier, the Major's Coy, 42nd RHR (AWI) I was well used to wearing wool uniforms from my UnCivil War reenacting days. However, I guess I forget we only wore the wool over a shirt when it was very hot/humid and even in May around here.

As we set up camp, all of us worked in only shirts and Philabeags and that was no problem. When I put my White WOOL Waist Coat on after the more strenuous work was done, I was still OK. Then we had to add the Regimental as we "escorted" (read that like herding cats) the tourist crowd to The Capitol Building where a Major read Cornwallis' Proclamation. Still OK. Then we came back and stayed in our Regimentals in the middle of an open lot by the Court House and in the sun, greeting and talking to the tourists. After a couple hours of that, I did begin to experience some heat exhaustion. Long story short, I was NEVER so glad to later on get a White unlined LINEN Waist Coat to wear when it got hot, especially when we had our Regimentals on over them.

Gus

P.S. Are you interested in information on making your baldric more period correct?
 

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