Mounted Private, 1742

The first good indication of uniform worn by the soldiers of the British Army is to be found in The Cloathing Book of 1742. By this time the regiment was numbered as the 8th Horse but generally called the Black Horse because of the unique black facings worn by the men. The horses were also black but so were the horses of all the cavalry regiments. At this time the tails of the horses were docked. The reasoning behind this unsightly practice was that when a horse's tail became wet and muddy it would flick dirt onto the riders. Regiments of Horse were distinguished by their wide buff leather cross belts, one for the sword and one to support the carbine and powder flask. Regiments of dragoons had only one shoulder belt for the ammunition pouch and flask, their sword was carried from a waist belt. The saddle housings were ornately embroidered. The breeches and waistcoat were buff and the cloak was rolled up behind was red lined with buff cloth. The tricorn hat had a black cockade with brass button and gold lace binding along the rim.

Regiment | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe