Monday, 9 March 2009

1st Captain's Troop, the Royal Regiment of Dragoons


In December 1983 Military Modelling is an interesting article by S Ede-Borrett on the Cornets, Colours and Guidons of the Army of JamesII, 1685-88. Above is the guidon of the 1st captains Troop, the Royal Regiment of Dragoons. The Colonel's troop bore a guidon with CharlesII's cypher (two interlaced'c's) on it; The other seven troops used various royal badges, each under a gold crown.

Although Dragoons were mounted infantry their guidons had closer similarity to horse's cornets than to the foot's colours. Dragoons guidons were fringed and tasselled & often made of damask. Following the lead of the Horse, Colonels of dragoons usually added a personal device to their own guidon but left the others of their regiment plain. Guidons were about two feet by three and a half feet and carried on a pole.

Dragoons first made their appearance in the English Civil War, and were raised again in the early 1670's.

Little pictoral evidence of what Dragoons looked like remains but some documentary evidence from clothing lists etc have given some idea. When the Tangier Horse was converted into the Royal Dragoons in 1684 the regiment was 'coated and cloaked red lined blue with the holster caps and housings 'embroidered with blue and yellow upon red with the royal cypher. Dragoons had caps as well as hats, the former probably being a bag cap with fur surround.

Dragoon boots were cheaper than the cavalry variety being probably shorter with the need to fight on foot. In addition to carrying pistols a dragoon was armed with snaphance musket fitted with a sling a waistbelt with frogs for a sword and bayonet, a cartouch box slung from a shoulder belt, and a hammer hatchet. All belts were buff leather. Amazingly sergeants still carried halberds and in the Royal Dragoons corporals had partizans. Officers coats were paid for privatly and were prbably ostentatious with gold braid and laced waistcoats they did wear the same gorgets as the foot with captains being gilt, lieutenants black with gilt studs and cornets silver. the other main mark of an officer was the scarf or sash of crimson silkand gold orsilver fringe worn around the waist.

Note: A snaphance musket (not knowing my muskets this is all a voyage of discovery!) is a musket with a snaphance lock. This lock consisted of a flint and steel but the pan cover was separate to the steel unlike the flintlock'

A detail from a painting by Harry payne of the Kings Dragoon Guards being reviewd by James II on Hounslow Heath.

To Depict Dragoons of the period one of the sources could be Parkfield Miniatures who list:

GRC 70 General officer
GRC 71 Dragoon
GRC 72 Cavalry officer, wearing cuirass
GRC 73 Ensign
GRC 74 Trumpeter
GRE17 Dismounted Dragoon

I aim sometime to provide a summary page for figure sources for this period in the different scales shouldn't be to long!!

No comments: