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

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That is a very good idea! I will contact the folks on that website and see if they would prefer I do that, and I also planned to send them some of the reference pictures you had posted earlier, showing the swords in a more horizontal hanging position. If worse comes to worse I could probably always have them send the material for the frog not attached and then cut it to size and attach it myself in the correct position. I'm pretty crafty when it comes to things like that, so I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem!
That's great, as some folks can't do that, though it isn't really that hard to do if you know the basics of saddle stitching.

Sounds like a plan.

Gus
 

BJamesBeck

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So I have continued thinking about and researching what you guys have said about the tartan, and I have yet to dig up any concrete evidence. The best I have found so far is this graphic which I posted a few days ago, which at least appears to show a tartan, dated 1768, that is close to the more "washed out" pallet that you guys have mentioned. Here is the graphic again below:
D59D5950-5ADC-481A-ACAE-BB2095C52D46.jpeg


To me, as much as is shown in this image, it appears to be very similar in color and pattern to the example that @kansas_volunteer posted a while back. The top example pictured below:
20210224_224927.jpg


Now, if you gentlemen are correct, and this is the proper color/pattern of tartan to be wearing for a late 1750's Black Watch representation, I have a dilemma. Having the exact tartan made would be extremely expensive, as @kansas_volunteer previously stated. I have been looking at some of the "weathered" and "ancient" Black Watch patterns available to try to imitate it and all of them just seem a bit off. Below is an example of a "Black Watch Weathered", which to me is showing a tone that is far too brown:
il_1140xN.2684331816_c4yr.jpg


Admittedly, I could be wrong on this and it may just be the lighting of the two pictures making them look that much different. Also, just for reference the above picture is a wool blend available on etsy.

So this all had me thinking. If you guys are correct and I need to go with the more washed out looking tartan, what is my best option here? Do I go with the "weathered" tartan that appears far more olive/brown to me. OR should I go with the standard "full color" Black Watch tartan and then leave it out in the sun to fade to the desired color? It seems to me like fading the standard Black Watch would end up closer to the original example posted than this "weathered" version is. So far these are the only options I have come up with if I decide to go with the tartan you gents have said is correct. Thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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So this all had me thinking. If you guys are correct and I need to go with the more washed out looking tartan, what is my best option here? Do I go with the "weathered" tartan that appears far more olive/brown to me. OR should I go with the standard "full color" Black Watch tartan and then leave it out in the sun to fade to the desired color? It seems to me like fading the standard Black Watch would end up closer to the original example posted than this "weathered" version is. So far these are the only options I have come up with if I decide to go with the tartan you gents have said is correct. Thoughts would be appreciated.
Not sure if this will come up as a photo or link, but here is another view of the "Weathered" Tartan:

blackwatch-weathered.jpg (400×292) (scotchcorner.com)

It came from this site:
Scottish Kilt Tartans - Black Watch Tartan - Scottish Tartans (scotchcorner.com)

And here is a more recent article on the early Tartan,

Black Watch | Scottish Tartans Authority

Gus
 

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Not sure if this will come up as a photo or link, but here is another view of the "Weathered" Tartan:

blackwatch-weathered.jpg (400×292) (scotchcorner.com)

It came from this site:
Scottish Kilt Tartans - Black Watch Tartan - Scottish Tartans (scotchcorner.com)

And here is a more recent article on the early Tartan,

Black Watch | Scottish Tartans Authority

Gus
"We can state with confidence, from the evidence of the Ballindalloch Letters, that by 1733 the six companies were certainly wearing the same pattern and Ballindalloch's tenants were weaving the plaids for all of them. That tartan was identical to, or very similar to, the one which we have long known as "Black Watch", officially termed the Government Tartan."

From that article, talking about the independent companies, before being regimented as the 43rd and later 42nd. Wouldn't that mean the "normal" not weathered tartan? I'm not seeing anything in that article that talks about any color variation from what we commonly know as the "government tartan".

This is just one of those things that, I'm sure you know being a reenactor, everyone that knows even a little about the 42nd will he asking why I'm not wearing what they know as the Black Watch tartan. And I'd really like to be able to defend what I'm wearing and why I'm wearing it, ya know?
 

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"We can state with confidence, from the evidence of the Ballindalloch Letters, that by 1733 the six companies were certainly wearing the same pattern and Ballindalloch's tenants were weaving the plaids for all of them. That tartan was identical to, or very similar to, the one which we have long known as "Black Watch", officially termed the Government Tartan."

From that article, talking about the independent companies, before being regimented as the 43rd and later 42nd. Wouldn't that mean the "normal" not weathered tartan? I'm not seeing anything in that article that talks about any color variation from what we commonly know as the "government tartan".

This is just one of those things that, I'm sure you know being a reenactor, everyone that knows even a little about the 42nd will he asking why I'm not wearing what they know as the Black Watch tartan. And I'd really like to be able to defend what I'm wearing and why I'm wearing it, ya know?
Bryan,

This is really difficult to advise you on, because I'm not in your neck of the woods and don't know the other 42nd unit/s in your area, that you may wish to fall in with at some reenactments.

When two of us from "The Major's Coy" fell in with "The Hats" or Grenadiers years ago, their tartan was a bit different than ours, but it mattered not to them ours was a bit different.

Also, its been a while since "The Major's Coy" authorized a second tartan, but I don't think it was the "Weathered" Black Watch tartan that was authorized as the second tartan.

Personally if I were in your shoes and before I decided on which tartan to buy, I would contact other 42nd units in your area with which you my want to fall in with, to see what they think. IOW, I would not want to advise you to buy a tartan no one would allow you to fall in with in other units. If they don't care, that frees up your choice/s.

I hope this makes sense.

Gus
 

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Bryan,

This is really difficult to advise you on, because I'm not in your neck of the woods and don't know the other 42nd unit/s in your area, that you may wish to fall in with at some reenactments.

When two of us from "The Major's Coy" fell in with "The Hats" or Grenadiers years ago, their tartan was a bit different than ours, but it mattered not to them ours was a bit different.

Also, its been a while since "The Major's Coy" authorized a second tartan, but I don't think it was the "Weathered" Black Watch tartan that was authorized as the second tartan.

Personally if I were in your shoes and before I decided on which tartan to buy, I would contact other 42nd units in your area with which you my want to fall in with, to see what they think. IOW, I would not want to advise you to buy a tartan no one would allow you to fall in with in other units. If they don't care, that frees up your choice/s.

I hope this makes sense.

Gus
Yeah, that's a good point. I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't care and as we have discussed and I agree with you both on, I'm sure there was some fairly significant color deviation in the ranks with some plaids having been worn in the field for a year or more, some new, and many sourced from different places.

I've only found the two units so far, neither being very local, and both appear to wear the full color Black Watch.

I'll have to keep thinking on this one.
 

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Bryan,

This is really difficult to advise you on, because I'm not in your neck of the woods and don't know the other 42nd unit/s in your area, that you may wish to fall in with at some reenactments.

When two of us from "The Major's Coy" fell in with "The Hats" or Grenadiers years ago, their tartan was a bit different than ours, but it mattered not to them ours was a bit different.

Also, its been a while since "The Major's Coy" authorized a second tartan, but I don't think it was the "Weathered" Black Watch tartan that was authorized as the second tartan.

Personally if I were in your shoes and before I decided on which tartan to buy, I would contact other 42nd units in your area with which you my want to fall in with, to see what they think. IOW, I would not want to advise you to buy a tartan no one would allow you to fall in with in other units. If they don't care, that frees up your choice/s.

I hope this makes sense.

Gus
I am thinking what I may do is try to ride the fence here a bit, so to speak. If I purchase the full color government sett plaid and then leave it out in the sun to fade to about halfway between these two examples, I think it will be close enough to either one that it won't cause issues. It will just look like a well worn and sun faded "full color" but also be close enough to the example that @kansaposted that it will be passable as that. It just looks to me like that example he posted is more a direct fade of the colors in the modern government sett than what the modern "weathered" tartans are. Many of the weathered ones seem to show more brown tones than the greens and blues.
 

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I am thinking what I may do is try to ride the fence here a bit, so to speak. If I purchase the full color government sett plaid and then leave it out in the sun to fade to about halfway between these two examples, I think it will be close enough to either one that it won't cause issues. It will just look like a well worn and sun faded "full color" but also be close enough to the example that @kansaposted that it will be passable as that. It just looks to me like that example he posted is more a direct fade of the colors in the modern government sett than what the modern "weathered" tartans are. Many of the weathered ones seem to show more brown tones than the greens and blues.
Bryan,

I'm not sure how long it would take modern aniline dyes to fade in the sun, but I think you have a good plan there.

Gus
 

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As I look at your, @bryanbekk, print of the 42nd uniforms, I see two different tartan (weathered) plaids. One for the enlisted and another for officers which differs only by having a red stripe instead of the black stripe. Needing a plaid with the red stipe could make your task even more daunting.

Gus, I did a right click on the link with the picture, selected copy image and pasted the image here and let the site's software deal with the image:

1614779122427.png


Yup, more brown/tan in the image.
 

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As I look at your, @bryanbekk, print of the 42nd uniforms, I see two different tartan (weathered) plaids. One for the enlisted and another for officers which differs only by having a red stripe instead of the black stripe.

Gus, I did a right click on the link with the picture, selected copy image and pasted the image here and let the site's software deal with the image:

View attachment 66966

Yup, more brown/tan in the image.
In the graphic I posted they have the tartan with the red stripe listed as a "grenadier tartan". I have heard references to this red stripe but I haven't read anything to suggest it was definitely for grenadiers.

I think, as I stated above, I am going to get the full color "modern" government tartan and try to fade it with either sun or salt water or both, to a point somewhere between the two examples posted by @kansas_volunteer which are these:
20210224_224927.jpg


I feel like doing this will give me a bit of "the best of both worlds and would still be considered correct. I have not seen any of the government sett with the red stripe available so that will most likely be out of the question even if it wasn't just for grenadiers.
 

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Since most of us wouldn't know the difference between the Government sett or the Grenadier sett and would think the weathered sett too light for the Black Watch, your plan is good. I wouldn't tell. You would be welcome in the First of Foot's camp.
 

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Since most of us wouldn't know the difference between the Government sett or the Grenadier sett and would think the weathered sett too light for the Black Watch, your plan is good. I wouldn't tell. You would be welcome in the First of Foot's camp.
I certainly appreciate that sentiment mate! Just trying to do it as properly as I can within my budget, while also keeping myself as available as possible to fall in with other units when the opportunities arise! This is, I'm sure, the way many if not most reenactors go about it!
 

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In the graphic I posted they have the tartan with the red stripe listed as a "grenadier tartan". I have heard references to this red stripe but I haven't read anything to suggest it was definitely for grenadiers.
I've been trying to remember the AWI period Grenadier Tartan the "Hats" wore when we fell in with them. I think they had a red stripe and if I'm not mistaken, a bit of yellow in their tartan. I honestly did not know there was a slightly different tartan for Grenadiers.

FWIW the 1751 David Morier painting of the Grenadier looks like a dark government sett and I'm not sure if the reddish brown blotches are supposed to be sunlight reflecting off it, as it doesn't appear to be part of the sett?

42nd Royal Highland Regiment: Black Watch (britishempire.co.uk)

Gus
 

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I've been trying to remember the AWI period Grenadier Tartan the "Hats" wore when we fell in with them. I think they had a red stripe and if I'm not mistaken, a bit of yellow in their tartan. I honestly did not know there was a slightly different tartan for Grenadiers.

FWIW the 1751 David Morier painting of the Grenadier looks like a dark government sett and I'm not sure what the reddish brown blotches are supposed to be sunlight reflecting off it, as it doesn't appear to be part of the sett?

42nd Royal Highland Regiment: Black Watch (britishempire.co.uk)

Gus
There is a lot of talk about that red splotchyness in that drawing and whether or not it confirms the "grenadier red stripe". Personally, I have not seen anything to confirm that a separate tartan was worn by the grenadier companies, other than that graphic which I posted. The only mention I have seen of possibly different tartan variations being worn is of the possibility slight variations in the tartan of each company shortly after the independent companies were regimented, but this didn't look like much more than a theory in my opinion. Can't remember exactly which book that was in.

Regardless, the grenadier tartan, as interesting as it is to theorise, won't be applying to the outfit I'm assembling.
 

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Hey Grenadier 1758, thanks for the tip! Looks like I muddied my way through it. Grin.

OK, want to talk about the Cyphers on the Officer's vs the Enlisted Cartouche boxes? Also it seems the Officer's has gold lace or banding around the border?

Gus


1614801847710.png


I THINK the Officer's Cypher doesn't have the Crown over it to indicate it is not government property, but still has the King's initials to show loyalty to the sovereign.

Gus

P.S. I have NO idea why the Enlisted Slings are Buff, because they should be plain "Tann'd" or black leather.
 
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Also wanted to see if I could get these excellent pictures of a repro period bayonet frog.

1614803876877.png







1614803984992.png



The originals found at Fort Loudon in PA all had Iron washers/rivets, but copper ones as shown here are good for Officers.

When I made mine, I couldn't figure out the special stitch that did X stitches in front and standard looking stitches in the rear, so I just did X stitches on both sides.

Gus
 
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OK, back to the Cartouche Box for an Officer.

It seems to me I remember the ones worn by Officers was usually only one row of 7 or 9 holes, as the Officers were not expected to fire that much. Of course the holes would have been smaller for "Carbine Bore" of Officer's Fusils.

It also seems to me the wooden blocks on Officers Boxes were slightly rounded to better fit the belly.

Grenadier 1758, does that sound right?

However, I have no idea where one could get the correct Cypher for it.

Gus
 

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I might be way out in left field on this one, but I was thinking one might get the below Cypher, cut off the Crown and use it for an Officer's Cartouche Box, even though it is actually for a Cartouche Pouch.


1614805937995.png


Cypher British (thequartermastergeneral.com)

Oh, and since King George III didn't ascend to the throne until 1760, the "2" on this Cypher would be correct for Bryan's Officer's impression.

But this may be too far out of bounds?

Gus
 

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I might be way out in left field on this one, but I was thinking one might get the below Cypher, cut off the Crown and use it for an Officer's Cartouche Box, even though it is actually for a Cartouche Pouch.


View attachment 67082

Cypher British (thequartermastergeneral.com)

Oh, and since King George III didn't ascend to the throne until 1760, the "2" on this Cypher would be correct for Bryan's Officer's impression.

But this may be too far out of bounds?

Gus
I think you're absolutely correct about the cartouche box as well as the cypher on it. My first question would be, is should I get one and wear it even before I have a fusil (that could be a while, as I'd prefer to build it myself as I did with my long rifle)? And second question is, do you think this was a normal occurrence for officers, or do you think some of them would have had a fairly standard black cartouche box similar to the enlisted men?

Also while we have the higher quality of the image of the officer up there and are discussing it, what sort of gold trim do you suppose is used around the facings on his coat? I have seen the gold lace/tape that would normally be seen around button holes for sale, but I can't quite picture what the trim around the facings would be. More of a chord possibly?
 

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I think you're absolutely correct about the cartouche box as well as the cypher on it. My first question would be, is should I get one and wear it even before I have a fusil (that could be a while, as I'd prefer to build it myself as I did with my long rifle)? And second question is, do you think this was a normal occurrence for officers, or do you think some of them would have had a fairly standard black cartouche box similar to the enlisted men?

Also while we have the higher quality of the image of the officer up there and are discussing it, what sort of gold trim do you suppose is used around the facings on his coat? I have seen the gold lace/tape that would normally be seen around button holes for sale, but I can't quite picture what the trim around the facings would be. More of a chord possibly?
Bryan,

Actually, I don't think you should worry about the cartouche box and bayonet w/scabbard and frog until you actually get your fusil. As an Officer, you would not have worn them in combat unless you had a fusil. In that case (without a fusil), you would have had your broadsword in one hand and when in close combat, pulled your pistol with your other hand.

As to your second question, that gets more complicated. By the time your ancestor came over, I'm SURE the word had gotten back to Scotland that Officers better have a fusil when they got here. Yet, there are other things to consider. Do you know if your ancestor had been a commissioned officer for some time before he came over, or did he get his commission shortly before he left? If the latter, it is possible he ordered the fusil, but didn't receive it until after he got here. What if his fusil broke or got damaged? It is possible he might have borrowed one of the new P1756 carbines that arrived here in 1758 and thus would have needed to also borrow the "Enlisted" Cartouche Pouch, Bayonet w/scabbard and frog. But, I don't believe he would have used the standard black cartouche box, if not.

I think the gold around the lapels, etc. is also gold tape. To my knowledge and with the caveat I'm not a duty super expert on Officers' Uniforms, Gold Cord or "piping" did not come into usage for many decades later.

Gus
 
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