Dragoons started their existence as mounted infantry and at first used the terms 'Companies' and 'Ensigns' but by the end of the 17th century referred to 'Troops' and 'Cornets'. Although they were supplied with cheaper horses they accompanied the cavalry who needed infantry with them who would not slow them down. They came under the authority of the General of Horse and as time went on they evolved into cavalry proper.
They rode in ranks of eleven and when dismounted, the eleventh man would look after the horses while the ten dragoons would skirmish on foot. They wore red coats and boots suitable for riding but not as rigid as cavalry boots. They either wore lace-edged hats or fur caps with red bags, for-runners of the hussar busby. They responded to the beat of a drum rather than the sound of a trumpet or bugle, and a drummer can be seen in the background of this illustration which is from A History of The Uniforms of The British Army (vol I) by C C P Lawson (1940).
The early uniforms of the 7th Dragoons can only be guessed at but the first coats, while they were serving in Scotland in 1790 may have been of grey cloth. The uniforms worn for the Flanders campaign of 1694-97 were more likely to have been red with white facings.
Uniforms | Regimental details
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