Fife and Drummer, 1745

This detail is taken from Hogarth's March to Finchley which shows the Guards marching north to oppose the Jacobite Rebellion. The drummer is drunk but still manages to beat the drum. His flask is visible under his right arm. He has ginger hair like the boy tugging tearfully at his hanging false sleeve who must be his son.

We cannot be sure which Guards regiment they belong to as both regiments were involved. In the same way there is no way of telling which regiment is depicted in Fifer and Drummer, Foot Guards 1751 There are interesting differences between the two paintings. The caps are similar except that here the flap at the front with the white horse on, is blue. This changed to red in 1749. In this painting we have a view of the white tuft at the back of the cap. The figuring and grenade badge on the back look as if they are yellow or gold instead of white as we would expect. The coat is basically red with blue cuffs and ornamented on each side with a gold and blue wide stripe. The sleeves are blue down the front and red at the back with gold chevrons on the upper part and a buttoned flap on the fore-arm. The blue cuff is laced with gold.

They are armed with swords that are hung from blue and gold waistbelts. The fifer's fife case is brass and slung from a blue and gold shoulder belt and a red, white and blue cord.

Regimental details | Regimental Band


by Stephen Luscombe