14th Foot

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Origin and History

The regiment was created on June 22 1685 by Sir Edward Hales. It was one of the nine new regiments of foot, raised to meet the Monmouth rebellion. It assembled at Canterbury (two companies had their rendezvous at Rochester and Chatham, and others at Sittingbourne and Feversham). While the formation of the regiment was in progress, the rebel army was defeated at Sedgemoor, and the Duke of Monmouth was captured and beheaded. The establishment of the regiment was fixed at ten companies of 60 men each. It was known as the “ Sir Edward Hales's Regiment of Foot”. In the middle of August, the regiment went to the training camp on Hounslow-Heath. It afterwards marched to Gravesend and Tilbury, detaching two companies to Jersey, one to Guernsey, and two to Windsor.

Until 1751, the regiment would be known by the names of its successive colonels.

In the Summer of 1687, the regiment was again encamped on Hounslow-Heath, and a grenadier company was added to its establishment. Afterwards, it marched to Plymouth, where it was stationed during the winter.

In June 1688, the regiment marched from Plymouth to London and took the duty at the Tower until mid-August, when it was relieved by the Royal Fusiliers, and marched to Canterbury. In September, it marched to Salisbury. In the mean time the measures adopted by King James II to establish Papacy and arbitrary government had filled the country with alarm. The colonel of the regiment, Sir Edward Hales, had espoused the Roman Catholic religion; he was prosecuted and convicted at Rochester assizes; but he moved the case into the Court of the King's Bench, and had judgement in his behalf; eleven of the twelve judges taking part with the King against the law. Many of the nobility solicited the Prince of Orange to aid them in opposing the measures of the court, and when the Prince arrived with a Dutch army, the King assembled his forces at Salisbury. The English Army refused to fight in the cause of Papacy and arbitrary government; the King, accompanied by Colonel Sir Edward Hales, and Quarter-Master Edward Syng, of this regiment, attempted to escape to France in disguise; but they were apprehended on board of a Custom-house vessel at Feversham, and Sir Edward Hales was afterwards confined in the Tower of London. The King made a second attempt, and arrived in France in safety. The Prince of Orange issued orders for the regiment to occupy quarters at Waltham, in Hampshire. On 31 December, the Prince of Orange conferred the colonelcy of the regiment on William Beveridge, an officer of the English brigade in the Dutch service.

In the Spring of 1689, the accession of William Prince of Orange and his consort to the throne being opposed in Scotland, the regiment was ordered to march towards the north. It was stationed a short time at Berwick. In August, it received orders to march to Edinburgh. In 1690, the regiment was employed in various services in Scotland and the north of England until the insurgent clans had lost all hope of success.

In the spring of 1692, the regiment embarked for Flanders, to take part in the Nine Years' War (1688–97) in which Great Britain was engaged. Scarcely had it arrived at the seat of war, and taken post in one of the fortified towns of West Flanders, when King Louis XIV of France assembled his army near La Hogue and prepared a fleet to convey the troops to England, for the purpose of replacing King James on the throne. The regiment was immediately ordered to return. In the early part of May, it landed at Greenwich and was held in readiness to repel the invaders, should they venture to land. However, the French fleet sustained a decisive defeat off La Hogue, and the danger instantly vanished. The regiment was afterwards encamped near Portsmouth, and it formed part of an expedition under the Duke of Leinster, afterwards Duke Schomberg, against the coast of France; but Louis XIV expected a descent, and had drawn so many troops from the interior to the coast, that the Duke of Leinster did not venture to land. After menacing the French shores at several points, to produce a diversion in favour of the confederate army in the Netherlands, the fleet sailed to the Downs, from whence it proceeded to Ostend, where the troops landed: they took possession of and fortified the towns of Furnes and Dixmude, and several regiments afterwards returned to England. However, the regiment remained in Flanders. On November 14, the colonel of the regiment, William Beveridge, was killed in a duel with one of the captains; and King William afterwards conferred the colonelcy of the regiment on John Tidcomb. In May 1693, the regiment took the field. On July 29, it fought in the Battle of Landen. In the autumn, when the army separated for winter-quarters, the regiment marched into garrison at Bruges; at the same time parties were sent to England to procure recruits, to replace the losses sustained during this campaign. In the Spring of 1694, when the Allied army took the field, the regiment was left, with several other units, under Brigadier-General Sir David Collier, encamped near Ghent, to form a guard for the artillery, which was conveyed by water to Malines. On June 4, the regiment joined the army at the camp near Louvain. The regiment was afterwards employed in several movements and then encamped at Mont Saint-André. The regiment was one of the units which attempted, by a forced march, to pass the French fortified lines and penetrate French Flanders; but the French gained the pass first and thus countered this manoeuvre. The regiment was subsequently encamped near Rousselaer, forming part of the covering army during the siege of Huy. Having to remain in the field during cold and wet weather, the soldiers erected huts of wood and straw. On October 1, the huts of the regiment were accidentally set on fire and destroyed. The fortress of Huy having surrendered, the army separated for winter-quarters. In the second week in October, the regiment returned to Bruges. In May, the regiment marched from Bruges to Dixmude, where it pitched its tents, and remained several days. The Duke of Württemberg took the command of the troops assembled at this point, and advancing to the junction of the Loo and Dixmude canals, encamped before the fortress of Kenogue, upon which an attack was made for the purpose of drawing the French army that way, for the protection of their lines in West Flanders. The regiment took part in this service; its grenadier company was engaged in driving the French from the entrenchments and houses near the Loo canal, and in repulsing the attempts of the enemy to regain possession of them. A redoubt was afterwards taken, and a lodgement effected in the works at the bridge, in which services the regiment had several men killed and wounded. This demonstration having produced the desired effect, the strong fortress of Namur was exposed to an attack from the main army, and it was accordingly invested, and the siege commenced. The attack on Kenoque was then desisted in; the regiment was one of the units withdrawn from West Flanders, and joined the covering army, under the Prince of Vaudémont, at Wouterghem. From there, the regiment marched towards Namur, to take part in the siege. On arriving before Namur the regiment pitched its tents at Templeux, from whence it advanced and took its turn of duty in the trenches. On the evening of July 8, the regiment supported the successful attacks on the covered-way near the hill of Bouge, suffering heavy losses. After these attacks, the regiment was relieved from duty in the trenches and returned to its camp at Templeux. On July 16, the regiment was again on duty in the trenches. On July 17, a detachment of the grenadiers of the regiment was in an attack upon the counterscarp. On July 25, Namur surrendered, the garrison retiring to the castle. After the surrender of the town, the regiment quitted the lines of circumvallation, and joined the covering army under the Prince of Vaudémont. On August 8, this army encamped near the village of Waterloo and afterwards took up a position near Namur. A numerous French army commanded by Maréchal Villeroy advanced to raise the siege of the castle, but the covering army occupied a position which was deemed too formidable to be attacked, and the French Maréchal withdrew without hazarding an engagement. A detachment from the grenadier company of the regiment quitted the covering army, and was engaged in the siege of the Castle of Namur. After the surrender of the Castle of Namur, the regiment remained a short time in the field, and subsequently marched into cantonments in the villages near the Bruges canal. In 1696, the regiment received orders to return to England, threatened by an invasion. On March 22, it landed at Gravesend and proceeded to Canterbury and Feversharn. In November, it was sent to London and took the duty at the Tower.

In 1698, soon after the restoration of peace, the regiment received orders to proceed to Ireland. In March, it landed at Belfast and Cork. At the same time it was placed upon a peace establishment.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment remained in Ireland. In the autumn of 1703, it furnished a draft of 50 men to complete Lord Montjoy's Foot and 50 men to complete Colonel Brudenel's Foot on their embarkation to accompany Archduke Charles of Austria to Portugal. From August 7 to December 31, the regiment was in garrison at Dublin. In the autumn of 1704 and the spring of 1705, additional detachments were sent to Portugal. In August 1705, the regiment furnished a captain, lieutenant, ensign, two sergeants, and 50 rank and file towards completing the regiments of Charlemont and Gorge, on their embarkation for Spain. From March to November 1706, the regiment was quartered at Dublin.

In 1715, the regiment was sent to Scotland to fight the Jacobite Rebellion.

In 1727, the regiment was sent to Gibraltar to defend the place against a besieging Spanish army. It then assumed garrison duty in this fortress until 1742.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Flanders. On May 11 1745, it took part in the Battle of Fontenoy. The same year, it was sent to Scotland to curb a Second Jacobite Rising. On January 17 1746, it fought in the Battle of Falkirk; and, on April 16, in the Battle of Culloden.

In 1751, the regiment was sent once more to Gibraltar where it assumed garrison duty till 1759. On July 1 of the same year, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "14th Regiment of Foot".

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • since 1756 till 1765: Colonel Charles Jefferies

Service during the War

At the beginning of the war, in 1756, the regiment was in garrison duty in Gibraltar.

In 1759, the regiment embarked at Gibraltar for England.

In January 1760 the regiment arrived at Plymouth and marched to Canterbury. In the summer, it was encamped on Barham Downs under Lieutenant-General Campbell. In October, it marched to Dover Castle.

In 1761, the regiment remained at Dover Castle.

In October 1762, the regiment marched to Maidstone, and furnished a guard over French prisoners of war at Sissinghurst. In December, it proceeded to Exeter.

In March 1763, the regiment was transferred from Sissinghurst to Plymouth.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 (regimental lace not illustrated) - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a buff front edged white embroidered with white scroll work and with a white King's cipher surmounted by a crown (gold with crimson cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap edged white with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the white motto "Nec aspera terrent" and with a dark green bottom strip without stripe; red back; a buff headband edged white wearing the number 14 in red in the middle part behind; a buff within white pompom
Neck-stock white
Coat brick red lined buff and laced white (white braid with a red zigzag within 2 blue stripes)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels buff laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets with white laces (same lace as above), each with pewter buttons
Cuffs buff (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above) with 4 pewter buttons and 4 white buttonholes (same lace as above) on the sleeve above each cuff
Turnbacks buff
Waistcoat brick red laced white (same lace as above)
Breeches brick red
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt buff
Waist-belt buff
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Foot gear black shoes


Troopers were armed with with a "Brown Bess" muskets, a bayonet and a sword. They also carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Officers

Officers of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences

  • silver gorget around the neck
  • an aiguilette on the right shoulder
  • silver lace instead of normal lace
  • a crimson sash

Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command; however, officers of the grenadier company wore a more decorated mitre cap.

Officers generally carried a spontoon, however, in battle some carried muskets instead.

Musicians

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment were clothed in buff, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with red, and laced in such manner as the colonel shall think fit for distinction sake, the lace, however, was of the colours of that on the soldiers' coats.
The front or forepart of the drums were painted buff, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XIV” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath surrounding the rank of the regiment "XIV" in gold Roman numerals.

Regimental Colour: buff field with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle on the same stalk surrounding the rank of the regiment "XIV" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.

King's Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

This article is essentially an abridged and adapted version of the following book which is in the public domain:

  • Cannon, Richard: Historical record of the Fourteenth or, The Buckinghamshire Regiment of Foot, London: Parker, Furnivall and Parker, 1845

It also incorporates texts of the following source:

Other sources

Aylor, Ron: British Regimental Drums and Colours

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

George II: The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II, p. 90-103

Mills, T. F.: Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately does not seem to be online any more)

The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989