Major 1813

The new uniform was of better quality cloth for officers and had broad gold train lace down the front and around the base of the jacket. The short coat-tail had turnbacks also edged in this lace. The lace had a black and gold silk middle stripe. The collar, cuffs and turnbacks were of black velvet. The cuffs were gauntlet style for Dragoon Guards and edged in the same gold train lace. The shoulders had thin twisted gold cords with a small button. Other ranks had a black epaulette edged in yellow. Around the major's waist is a red and gold striped sash which was worn for dress and levee occasions. On parade or on campaign a crimson silk sash was worn. His sword belt is of black leather decorated with thin gold wire along the edges and a wavy line along its length. The pouchbelt in full dress was black leather covered with the same train lace, but here the belt looks very flimsy as if the sitter has mislaid his belt and simply draped a length of gold lace over his shoulder.

The portrait is by Sir Henry Raeburn painted in 1813 when the sitter, William Mansfield Morrison had been promoted to major. He had been in the army since 1799 and served in the regiment from June 1804 to August 1822. The painting was sold at auction by Christies in 1934 for 4,620 pounds, and came up at auction again in 1981. It featured in the Journal of the Society Army Historical Research no. 243 in Autumn 1982.

Regiment | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe