17th Light Horse

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 17th Light Horse

Origin and History

The regiment was created the 19th of December 1759 by Lord Aberdour. It was raised in Scotland. The unit was originally designated as the “17th Light Dragoons” although it was more commonly known as the “Aberdour's Light Horse”.

The regiment never consisted of more than two troops and was disbanded in 1763, at the end of the Seven Years War.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • Captain Commandant James Douglas, 14th earl of Morton, Lord Aberdour

Lord Aberdour was one of the Lords of Police from 1760 till his death in 1774. The regiment was therefore used to monitor and guard prisoners while on the move.

Service during the War

No action during the war.

Uniform

We have not found any primary source describing the uniform of this regiment. Several parts of our description are assumptions based on the uniforms of the regiments of dragoons.

Privates

Uniform in 1760 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1760
Headgear black boiled leather helmet; the front plate edged white and decorated with a crowned GR cypher in white; red horsehair tail; yellow band round the base of the helmet; white metal fittings
Neck stock black
Coat short double breasted red lined yellow with gold buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes
Collar yellow (without lace or buttons)
Shoulder strap left shoulder: white epaulet with fringes
Lapels yellow edged white with 6 gold buttons with double white lace for the buttonholes (buttonholes arranged 2-2-2)
Pockets vertical pockets with gold buttons and 3 chevrons of doubled white lace, pointing downwards below each pocket
Cuffs yellow (slashed in the British pattern) edged white with gold buttons and 3 chevrons of doubled white lace, pointing downwards, on each sleeve above the cuff
Turnbacks yellow
Waistcoat white with very narrow yellow buttonholes
Breeches white with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff leather slung over the left shoulder
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box buff leather pouch
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear light calf-length black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings yellow with rounded corners decorated with the designation of the regiment “XVII LD” (for light dragoons) on a red ground within a small wreath of roses and thistles
Holster caps yellow decorated with the yellow crowned royal cypher
n/a


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of shortened pistols and shortened musket and, probably, a bayonet.

Officers

As per the regulation of 1751, the officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • a narrow silver lace at the lapels, cuffs and pockets
  • a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
  • crimson and silver striped sword knot
  • ?deep green? housings and holster caps laced silver

NCOs

Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs and pockets; a silver aiguillette; a black worsted sash about their waist.

Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the cuffs and shoulder strap; white silk aiguillette.

Musicians

Drummers rode grey horses. They wore ?colour? coats lined and turned up with ?colour? and laced with the regimental braid (unknown). Red waistcoats and breeches.

Drummers wore a mitre cap similar to the grenadier mitre cap but with a lower crown and the tassel hanging behind. ?colour? front decorated with a trophy of guidons and drums; little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; ?colour? backing, ?colour? headband with a drum and the initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in the middle part behind.

The drums were of brass with a white forepart carrying the initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in silver characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.

Colours

We have not found any primary source describing the colours of this regiment. Several part of our description are assumptions based on the colours of the regiments of dragoons.

The guidons were made of silk, fringed in silver and embroidered with silver. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.

King's Guidon: crimson decorated with the rose and thistle conjoined surmounted by a crown. Underneath the central decoration: the king's motto “Dieu et mon Droit”. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a compartment. In the second and third corners: the initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in silver characters on a yellow ground.

Regimental Guidon: yellow field with its centre decorated with the initials of the regiment (XVII LD) in silver characters on a red ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the Rose and Thistle conjoined upon a yellow ground.

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

References

To do: enumerate sources