Origin and History
A regiment of pikemen and musketeers, with a grenadier company was raised in 1689 by Henry Duke of Norfolk to assist King William III in his campaign against the Stuart in Ireland. Until 1751, it would be known by the names of its successive colonels.
In early August 1689, the completed, equipped and disciplined new regiment was encamped near Chester. It then embarked for Ireland as part of an English force led by General Schomberg. It then took part in the capture of Carrickfergus. In 1690, it took part in the Battle of the Boyne. It was then detached against Athlone but the place was well defended and the regiment rejoined the main army. It then took part in the unsuccessful siege of Limerick. In 1691, it took part in the capture of the Fortress of Ballymore, in the siege and capture of Athlone, in the Battle of Aghrim, in the capture of Galway and Limerick.
In 1692, the regiment returned to England where it was employed in garrison and other duties of home-service until 1695.
In 1695, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was sent to the Spanish Netherlands. In 1696, it was recalled to England.
In 1698, the regiment was sent to Ireland where it was stationed until 1701.
In 1702, the regiment was sent to Jamaica where it served until 1714. On May 31 1714, an order was issued for the men of the regiment fit for duty to be formed into two independent companies for service at Jamaica while the officers and staff returned to Europe to recruit. The two independent companies thus formed from the regiment were the nucleus of the 49th Foot which was formed of independent companies at Jamaica in 1743.
In 1715, the officers and sergeants not required for the independent companies, having arrived in England, were actively employed in recruiting.
In 1718, the regiment proceeded to Ireland where it was stationed until 1726.
In the spring of 1726, the regiment was sent to Minorca to assume garrison duty.
At the beginning of 1727, a detachment of the regiment was sent to reinforce the garrison of Gibraltar, besieged by the Spaniards, and took part in the successful defence of that important fortress. When the Spaniards raised the siege, the detachment rejoined the regiment at Minorca.
The regiment remained in this island of Minorca until 1749 when it was transferred to Ireland.
On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "22nd Regiment of Foot".
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- from August 12 1741: Richard O'Farrell
- from July 11 1757 to December 11 1761: Edward Whitmore
- from March 29 1762 to April 18 1782: Thomas Gage
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment embarked from Ireland for North America, arriving in New York late in the year.
In 1757, the regiment initially garrisoned places in the area of New York. It was selected for the planned Campaign against Louisbourg or Québec. In early June, the transport fleet carrying the 22nd Foot sailed from New York, arriving at Halifax on June 30. Three French Naval Squadrons reinforced Louisbourg that summer and the expedition was cancelled. Major-General O'Farrell died in the summer. Lack of winter quarters at Halifax forced the relocation of the regiment to the area around Albany.
In Spring 1758, the regiment returned to Halifax. On May 28, it was aboard the British Fleet who departed Halifax for a second attempt against the Fortress of Louisbourg in Canada. On June 8, when Amherst's Army landed near Louisbourg, the regiment was part of the right brigade under Whitmore. During the landing, the regiment had Lieutenants Pierce Butler, John Jermyn, and William Hamilton wounded; also several private soldiers killed and wounded. In June and July, the regiment took part in the Siege of Louisbourg which surrendered on July 27. After the capture of the fortress, the regiment remained there as part of the garrison while its commander, Brigadier-General Whitmore was made governor of Cape Breton and of the Island of Saint-Jean (present-day Prince Edward Island).
In 1759, the grenadiers of the regiment were part of the expeditionary force sent against Québec. They formed a combined battalion known as "Louisbourg Grenadiers" with the grenadiers of the 40th Foot and 45th Foot. On July 31, they took part in the failed attack on the shores of Beauport, suffering heavy losses in the fight. On September 13, the grenadiers took part in the victorious Battle of the Plain of Abraham near Québec where they were deployed on the right flank, taking a prominent part in the glorious victory. General Wolfe died in the arms of Ensign Henry Browne of the 22nd Foot. Québec finally surrendered on September 18. At the end of October, Vice-Admiral Saunders fired his farewell salute and dropped down the Saint-Laurent River with his fleet. The grenadiers of the regiment who had formed part of the “Louisbourg Grenadiers” during this campaign, embarked aboard the fleet and returned to Louisbourg.
In March 1760, the regiment which was garrisoning Louisbourg was ordered to sail to Québec to reinforce Murray's Army. Later the same year, it was involved in the expedition against Montréal. In September, the regiment was present for the surrender of Montréal.
In 1761, the regiment was removed to Albany. In April, it proceeded to New York. Part of the regiment was sent to Guadeloupe where a British expeditionary force was gathering for the expedition against Dominica. On June 6, the regiment landed on the island. It then took part in the assault of the French entrenchments which led to the rapid surrender of the island. The grenadiers of the regiment particularly distinguished themselves on this occasion. In December, Amherst ordered Whitmore, the commander of the regiment, to return to Great Britain to take care of his health. On December 11, during his travel from Louisbourg to Boston, Whitmore was swept overboard and drowned.
At the beginning of 1762, the regiment proceeded from Dominica to Carlisle Bay, Barbados. In January and February 1762, part of the regiment took part in the expedition against Martinique, besieging Fort Royal and conquering the island. Then from March to August, it participated in the siege and capture of Havana. At the start of the expedition, it counted 602 rank and file under the command of Major Loftus. After the surrender of Havana, it suffered heavy losses from sickness during the following months.
In 1763, the regiment was transferred to the newly acquired West Florida where it remained until 1765 when it returned to Great Britain.
|Coat||brick red lined pale buff and laced and edged white (white braid with two scarlet stripes) with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above) and laced swallow nests at the shoulders
|Waistcoat||brick red laced white (same lace as above)|
|Gaiters||white with black buttons|
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
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 of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences
- gilt 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.
According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:
- The drummers of the regiment were clothed in reddish 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 fore part of the drums was painted reddish buff, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XXII” under it. The rims were red.
King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XXII" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: reddish buff field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XXII" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Cannon, Richard: Historical Record of the Twenty-Second or The Cheshire Regiment of Foot, London: Parker, Furnivall & Parker, 1849
Aylor, Ron: British Regimental Drums and Colours
Boscawen, Hugh: The Capture of Louisbourg, 1758, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2011
Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899
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 seems to have disappeared from the web)
Morier, David: Paintings of the British Grenadiers in 1751
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.