Prince George's Regiment

The painting by Simkin shows the regiment on parade on a cliff overlooking the sea in 1689. Behind the officers there are musketeers and pikemen. The pike was discontinued at the beginning of the 18th century when the socket bayonet was introduced. There is no sign of buff facings on the coats but they wear baggy buff breeches. The officers do not wear body armour but have red coats with red sashes around their waists with silver fringes. One carries a long pike or partisan and the other carries a halberd. Most of these details do not tally with the 1684 regulations. A Warrant of 1st Sep 1684 gives us some information on the appearance of the officers in the King's army: 'For the better distinction of Our several officers serving Us in Our companies of Foot, Our Will and Pleasure is that all Captains of Foot wear no other corselet than of the colour of gold, all lieutenants, black corselets studded with gold, & the ensigns corselets of silver. And We do likewise think fit that all lieutenants of foot carry pikes and not partizans, which We do hereby order to be redelivered into the office of Our Ordnance.' A corselet, in military terms, was a cuirass or body armour that covered the chest and back.

The first ever Army List of 1684 gives brief information on the uniform of each regiment, and tells us that the Holland Regiment had 12 companies, without grenadiers (although a company of grenadiers was added in 1685), coated red, lined with a flesh colour. Another description in 1686 says that the coats were red lined with ash, and ash-coloured breeches and stockings.

A regulation of February 1687 states that the pikes be 16 foot long and the musketeers carry matchlock and snaphance muskets, the barrels 3'6" long, and have swords and bandoliers. The grenadiers were to have carbines, slightly shorter, bayonets, grenade pouches and hammer hatchets.

Regimental Details

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by Stephen Luscombe