Charles.H.Smith

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Original J C Stadler lithographs after Charles Hamilton Smith published in 1812 by Colnaghi and Co. and new reproduction of these colored lithographs of British Napoleonic regimental uniforms by J C Stadler after Charles Hamilton Smith now available from Cranston Fine arts and Military art print Company.


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Musketeer, 1st Guards 1660 by P H Smitherman


Musketeer, 1st Guards 1660 by P H Smitherman

This plate shows the dress of a typical musketeer at the time of the Restoration, and comes from a picture of Wentworths regiment, subsequently the 1st Guards, assisting at Charles IIs departure from Holland. The helmet rather different from the pikemans pot, disappeared very shortly after the Restoration, as did the buff coat slung over his shoulders. This coat, similar to the slung pelisse of the hussar in later years, was a common feature of the musketeers dress on the Continent at this time, and was intended to give the wearer the protection of an overcoat, leaving his arms free to handle his weapon, while, of course, being ready to put on in bad weather. His bandolier had twelve cartridges slung from it - sometimes called the Twelve Apostles - and a bullet bag and a priming horn filled with fine powder. It will be seen that his weapon is a matchlock, with a piece of slowmatch in position. In action this match would be burning, and to avoid the necessity of fumbling in his bu.........


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Grenadier Officer, 1st Guards 1688 by P H Smitherman


Grenadier Officer, 1st Guards 1688 by P H Smitherman

In 1677 the hand grenade was introduced into the army as one of its weapons, and a grenadier company was added to each infantry regiment. This company was composed of picked men, of good physique; it took the place of honour on the right of the line, and assumed a dress different from that of the rest of the regiment. In particular the grenadiers wore a characteristic cap. The usual broad-rimmed hat no doubt interfered with the slinging of the flintlock and the throwing of the grenades, and so a brimless hat was worn which soon became very ornamented. The hat shown here is a very early one and is very decorative, its shape being different from that of the more familiar mitre illustrated elsewhere. Grenadiers coats were also laced differently from those of the rest of the regiment in many cases. The song The British Grenadiers, refers to their looped clothes, alluding no doubt to the extra loops of lace, or tassels, with which they were adorned. The coat worn by this officer is .........


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Sergeant Major, 25th Foot 1768 by P H Smitherman


Sergeant Major, 25th Foot 1768 by P H Smitherman

Most of the pictures and portraits upon which we rely for information depict officers or privates, sometimes sergeants, but very rarely sergeant-majors. The details of this print come from a contemporary water-colour of several members of the regiment, of whom one is the sergeant-major. his uniform, with its silver lace and smart cut, resembles that of an officer, as it would today. The arrangement of the brim of the hat is worthy of notice. We have seen it develop from earlier pictures to the tricorne shape. Now the front cock has almost disappeared and it is beginning to resemble the modern version of the cocked hat, worn, for instance, by the quartermasters of the Foot Guards. A turned-down collar rather similar to this is shown on the coats of several privates of the Foot Guards depicted in the Blenheim Tapestries, but it was a fashion which must have been very short lived then, because there is no sign of it subsequently until about this date when it was worn almost univers.........


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Officer, 24th Foot 1755 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 24th Foot 1755 by P H Smitherman

This image shows a mounted officer of the regiment, perhaps the commanding officer or the adjutant, on duty, wearing his crimson sash. The cut of the coat is similar to the others we have seen, but the cuffs in this case are slashed. The slash, the ornamental panel on the cuff, was originally an opening, similar to that on the cuffs of mens coats today, with two or three buttons which could be undone to allow the cuff to be turned back. Cuffs then became larger, and could be turned back without unbuttoning, but often needed some device to hold them up. Often button became part of an elaborate panel, as here. This sort of panel, once worn almost universally, survives today in the full dress tunic of the Foot Guards and could be seen, up to 1939, in the tunic of the Royal Marines. The border here is double, the laced panel with the buttons fitting on to a similar panel on the sleeve. The turned-back cuff of the facing colour is in fact stitched down. This arrangement of two fitt.........


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Pikeman 1660 by P H Smitherman


Pikeman 1660 by P H Smitherman

This picture shows the dress of a pikeman of an infantry regiment at the Restoration in 1660, and is based on such contemporary pictures as there are, and on existing armour in the Tower of London. Before 1660 an infantry battalion consisted of pikemen and musketeers in equal numbers, but immediately after the Restoration the pikemen were cut down to one thrid, and eventually dissappeared altogether as fighting soldiers. After 1660 we hear of no case where the pike was used on active service, so presumably pikemen were given muskets to use in action. The sixteen-foot pike was carried on ceremonial parades, however, for many years after it had disappeared as a fighting weapon. The dress shown here was very soon modified. The tassets - the pieces of armour covering the thighs, were soon discarded, and the breastplate and pot helmet retained. These are depicted in various prints for some time afterwards, but a picture painted in 1680 shows the Coldstream Guards on parade with pike.........


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Officer, 6th Foot 1735 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 6th Foot 1735 by P H Smitherman

This image, taken from a contemporary portrait, shows an officer of the 6th Foot. He is wearing neither gorget nor sash, and so is not on duty. His very elegant coat bears little resemblance in design and lacing to those worn by the men of the regiment. This officer is wearing an aiguillette on his right shoulder. This was commonly worn as the mark of a commissioned officer, or non-commissioned officer in the infantry, and was worn by all ranks in some cavalry regiments. The origin of these shoulder knots is obscure and has been the subject of much speculation. they have been said to have been originally, among other things, picketing ropes for horses, no doubt on account of the pegs at their ends, similar to the pegs used today on picketing ropes, and ropes for tying up hay for horses used by foraging parties. Such explanations are hardly satisfactory because it is difficult to see why an infantry officer or N.C.O. should want such things, and in the cavalry one might have exp.........


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Grenadier, 2nd Foot  1715 by P H Smitherman


Grenadier, 2nd Foot 1715 by P H Smitherman

The details for this image come from two contemporary wooden figures, painted in colour, and made for some purpose at which we can now only guess. The hat is of the familiar grenadier shape with a stiff front and the bag behind standing up with its tuft showing. As is usual, the bag in this case was red, and the tuft white. The stiff front was usually of the regimental facing colour, in this case blue, but here the front is red, with an elaborately embroidered design incorporating the Prince of Wales feathers. This badge was displayed because on the accession of King George I in 1692 the regiment became the Prince of Wales Own Regiment of Foot, a title which it retained until the Princess of Wales became Queen, and the regiment became the Queens Own Regiment of Foot. The lamb displayed on the little flap was the family crest of the House of Braganza, to which Charles IIs queen belonged. As part of her dowry she brought the colony of Tangier, to garrison which the 2nd Foot was ra.........


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Officer, 21st Foot, 1751 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 21st Foot, 1751 by P H Smitherman

This image, in which the details are taken from a portrait, shows an officer of the regiment in undress uniform, such as he might have worn in barracks not on duty or on social occasions. As the eighteenth century progressed the wearing of uniform became more popular with officers, and in the many conversation pieces of family groups then painted we often see one or more members of a family wearing uniform, indicating that it was worn at home and away from the regiment - rather a contrast to the custom of previous years. Moreover, probably for this reason the cut and design of the officers coats became more elegant during the second half of the century. The 21st Foot, later the Royal Scots Fusiliers, were raised in 1678, the first fusilier regiment in the army. As firearms gradually replaced the pike as the main infantry weapon it was an obvious development to raise regiments equipped completely with firearms, and several fusilier regiments were raised at this time. They were equi.........


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Officer 1669 by P H Smitherman


Officer 1669 by P H Smitherman

This plate shows an officer wearing the first tropical dress worn in the British army, and is based on drawings made in 1669 in Tangier, where a garrison was maintained for some years. It appears to be made of some light natural linen or cottton, and is cut loosely, as tropical dress is today. The coat, which follows generally the cut of a coat then worn at home has short sleeves decorated with ribbons, allowing the full cut shirt sleeves to be seen, and is worn open - in fact it has no buttons. The usual heavy crimson sash round the waist is replaced by a light cord, and the large, broad brimmed hat by a smaller and lighter version. It is notable that the full bottomed wig was retained. The knot of ribbons on the right shoulder seems to be a rather strange forerunner of the single epaulette or knot of cords worn by officers on the right shoulder fifty years later but which was not as yet worn on military dress at home, as far as we know. We, perhaps, would not regard this early.........


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Officer, Coldstream Guards 1680 by P H Smitherman


Officer, Coldstream Guards 1680 by P H Smitherman

The dress shown here is an undress uniform, similar in use, perhaps, to the blue frock coat commonly worn by officers before 1914 and still worn by officers of the Brigade of Guards. The details are taken from a picture showing a guard mounted by the regiment in the Horse Guards, Whitehall, in which the officers are shown, rather to ones surprise, in this order of dress rather than in ceremonial full dress. the brown coat, in fact, is very little different from the simple brown coats - shown in the same picture - being worn by King Charles II and the members of his court.. Indeed the whole picture is one of delightful informality, with the King and his friends walking along a path, the guard turned out in his honour, cows grazing peacefully on the grass, and the country people going about their business within a few yards of the Monarch. In a setting of this sort a brown undress coat was probably more appropriate than the full dress coat worn today. The crimson sash, which has b.........


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Sergeant 1707   Royal Scots by P H Smitherman


Sergeant 1707 Royal Scots by P H Smitherman

This image, based on a figure in the Blenheim Tapestries, shows a sergeant, possibly of the Royal Scots. The dress is typical of that worn in infantry battalions during the wars of Marlborough, and is smart and workmanlike. The brim of the hat was sometimes pinched up into the familiar three cocks at this time, and soon after this was universally so worn. It is easy to understand that the brim worn as shown could easily interfere with the handling of weapons. The sergeant is identified as such by his halberd, obsolete as a weapon, of course, but carried by sergeants, even in battle, as a badge of rank. The sergeants and corporals were clothed exactly as the men of the regiment but wore, in the words of the Ordnance Board, everything better of its kind. The coats of men of other infantry regiments at this date would have been similar, scarlet in all cases but with differently coloured lapels and cuffs, the colour of the lapels being shown as the facing colour of the regiment. Un.........


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Grenadier, 27th Foot 1751 by P H Smitherman


Grenadier, 27th Foot 1751 by P H Smitherman

In 1751 David Morier, a Swiss artist, produced a series of paintings showing a grenadier of each infantry regiment for the Duke of Cumberland, and this series, together with the Clothing Warrant of 1751, gives us a very clear picture of the dress of the army then. The details of this image are taken from one of these paintings, showing a grenadier typical of that time. The elaborate lace is very striking, and the wings on the shoulders are peculiar to grenadiers, as is the one shoulder strap on the the left shoulder to accommodate the strap of the pouch. Wings were also worn by bandsmen - and they have retained them to the present day - as were mitre caps similar in cut to those of the grenadiers but ornamented with devices of drums and flags instead of the royal cipher or ancient badge of the regiment. The end of this mans ring bayonet is seen under the coat, mounted on a frog with his basket-hilted sword. Swords were retained by the grenadiers after they had been given up by th.........


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Officer, 1st Guards 1775 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 1st Guards 1775 by P H Smitherman

This image, based on actual uniforms, shown an officer of the 1st Guards in ceremonial dress.On parade he would be armed with a spontoon as well as his sword. The officers of the other Guards regiments would have been dressed very similarly. A notable feature are the bastion loops of gold lace on the lapels. These became very popular and were adopted by many regiments. All of these bars and loops of lace, of course, developed from the button-holes originally on the coats. Hitherto the skirts of the coat had been lined with the facing colour, blue in the Foot Guards, but here they are white, and it was now almost universal for skirts to be lined like this. These white turn-backs, fastened with an ornamental device, survived in vestigial form on the tails of the coatee until the Crimean war, after which the whole coatee was replaced by a tunic, cut in modern fashion. The braiding on the mess dress of captains and above in the Royal Navy still shows the outline of the pockets worn.........


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Officer, 49th Foot, 1775 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 49th Foot, 1775 by P H Smitherman

This image is based on a coat in the National Army Museum at Sandhurst. It will be seen that the trends noted earlier have been continued, and the garment shown here is very neat and elegant. The turned-down collar is buttoned on to the lapels, which was the usual practice at this time. The shoulder cords noted in some previous images have now become a fringed strap and have begun to denote rank and function. Officers of grenadier companies, and field officers of all companies, wore an epaulette on each shoulder; officers of battalion companies wore one on the right shoulder only, as this officer is doing. The patterns of epaulettes varied with each regiment, and possibly even varied slightly within the regiment. A portrait exists of an officer of this regiment with a coat exactly like this, but with an epaulette of the same general shape but with its embroidery differing in some respects. The coat and the portrait must be contemporary, so it may be that officers were still all.........


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Officer, 4th Foot 1743 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 4th Foot 1743 by P H Smitherman

This officer, details of whose dress are taken from a contemporary painting, is shown dressed for duty. On active service he would be armed with a spontoon or a fusil, the latter if he were an officer in a grenadier company. His coat is similar to that worn by private soldiers in the regiment, but theirs had laced button-holes on the lapels and ornamental slashes on the sleeves. His pockets are rather unusual; they were usually cut horizontally, and not vertically as these are, but the pockets of officers coats displayed a very remarkable variety. The three-cornered flaps which remained on the tails of the full dress tunics of most regiments until 1914 were a survival of a pocket such as this. The full-bottomed wig worn hitherto has now been abandoned for a much neater affair, in fact the officers own hair specially treated and powdered. This surprising fashion persisted until about 1808. The hair on top of the head was first cut off, and then made to grow backwards instead of .........


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Officer, 23rd Foot 1790 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 23rd Foot 1790 by P H Smitherman

Contemporary pictures and existing items of clothing have provided the basis for this image, which shows further development of the fusiliers uniform. fusilier caps were to be like the grenadier caps only smaller. The plate with the royal arms in front of the cap has gone, and has been replaced by a badge, and there is an arrangement of gold cords at the back, invisible in the picture, ending in two large tassels. The collar of the coat has now been turned up again and has begun to assume the form which it has since retained. The elaboration of the gold lace on the cuffs and lapels is in sharp contrast with the simplicity noted in the previous image. Being a fusilier, and armed on service with a fusil, he wears a shoulder belt with a pouch as well as a sword belt. Black gaiters have replaced white spatterdashes, except in the Foot guards. The white ones were first replaced by brown - a more suitable colour, obviously, for service - but they were not considered very smart, and s.........


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Officer 1720 by P H Smitherman


Officer 1720 by P H Smitherman

There are several points of interest about the dress of this officer, details of which have come from a portrait. His regiment we do not know, except that it must have been one of those with green facings. From his fusil - a light form of flintlock - we would expect him to belong to a fusilier regiment, but the green facings preclude this. He may belong to a grenadier company, in which case we would expect him to be wearing a grenadiers pouch. As we have seen, a fusil was a weapon of honour, and it may simply be that he possessed a good one - and a good fusil was a very expensive article - and wished therefore to be shown with it in his portrait. His cuffs, it will be seen, are slashed, and are kept in place by a gold chain hooked round one of the buttons on his sleeve. This is very unusual, although many coats have some means or other of keeping the large turned-up cuffs in position. It is also unusual to find officers cuffs of the facing colour of the regiment. In fact, in t.........


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Grenadier, 3rd Foot  1725 by P H Smitherman


Grenadier, 3rd Foot 1725 by P H Smitherman

The armorial bearings of the colonel of the regiment, displayed in Westminster Abbey, provide the details for this image. Here the grenadier cap displays the crest of the colonel himself, which is unusual, and was expressly forbidden later on. However, as it was forbidden no doubt other colonels had done the same. The coat is only single breasted, with no lapels to turn back, the large cuffs being kept up by being buttoned through to the sleeves. This grenadier is armed with a flintlock and has the basket-hilted sword commonly carried at this time. His bayonet cannot be seen, but would be a ring bayonet mounted in a frog over the sword. In 1742 the design to be worn on grenadiers caps was laid down as the royal cipher under a crown, on a cap of the facing colour. An exception was made in the case of the Six Old Corps, which were allowed to retain their old badgess, and among these were the 3rd who retained the dragon, their ancient badge. This dragon is not illustrated on this.........


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Officer, 6th Foot 1780 by P H Smitherman


Officer, 6th Foot 1780 by P H Smitherman

The image, from a contemporary portrait, shows a further tendency to simplicity, which we have noted before. The coat is devoid of lace, and the turn-down collar has developed into something very modern. The front cock of the hat has almost disappeared, and in a few years after this the hat was to begin to disappear from the dress of the army, finally to be seen only on the heads of certain staff officers. This officer is wearing one epaulette, so is of below field rank, and is mounted, and therefore may be either an adjutant or a company commander. It will be noted that he is wearing a black stock with his white cravat, an article of dress which became very unpopular but nevertheless had a long life. It became symbolic of the tight, uncomfortable uniform which soldiers were forced to wear in the first half of the nineteenth century. The 65th were originally raised in 1756 as the second battalion of the 12th, but became a separate regiment on their own two years later. In 1881 .........


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