2nd Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 2nd Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on Putney Heath (then in Surrey) in 1661 by Henry Mordaunt, second Earl of Peterborough, the English governor and captain-general in Tangier, to garrison that town. It was originally designated as the "Earl of Peterborough's Regiment of Foot", also known as the "Tangier Regiment". In 1663, it amalgamated elements of the disbanded "Sir Robert Harley's Regiment of Foot" and "Lord Rutherford's Regiment of Foot". By 1680, the regiment still garrisoned Tangier and counted 12 companies for a total of 600 men. In February 1684, when Tangier was evacuated, the regiment returned to England. On its return, it was renamed “Our Most Dear Consort the Queen's Regiment of Foot”.

In 1685, the regiment was renamed the "Queen Dowager's Regiment of Foot". It retained its crest of a Paschal Lamb, a national emblem of Portugal (Queen Catherine was of the Portuguese House of Braganza). During the Monmouth Rebellion, in July 1685, five companies of the regiment took part in the Battle of Sedgemoor where they executed captured rebels. Kirke, the colonel of the regiment, then allowed his men to hang 20 rebel prisoners and to plunder Taunton.

At the outbreak of the Williamite War in Ireland in 1689, the regiment was sent there. It took part in the relief of Londonderry. On July 11 1690, it fought in the Battle of the Boyne. In June 1691, it was present at the Siege of Athlone. Then, from August to October, it took part in the Siege of Limerick. At the beginning of 1692, the regiment returned to England where it guarded Portsmouth.

During the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment served in Flanders. On August 22 1692, the regiment disembarked at Ostend and proceeded to fortify Furnes and Dixmude. On July 29 1693, it took part in the Battle of Landen. In July and August 1695, it was present at the Siege of Namur. In 1696, it temporarily returned to England but was soon sent back to Flanders.

In 1701, an independent company of the regiment was sent to Bermuda, where it remained till 1763.

At the beginning of the War of Spanish Succession, in 1702 the regiment took part in the expedition against Cádiz and, on October 23, in the Battle of Vigo Bay. It then returned to Portsmouth. In April 1703, the regiment was sent to Flanders to serve under the command of the Duke of Marlborough. The same year, it was renamed the "Queen's Royal Regiment of Foot". In 1704, it was transferred to Spain and Portugal. On April 25 1707, it took part in the Battle of Almansa where it suffered very heavy casualties. The regiment was then brought back to full strength. In 1711, it joined the amphibious expedition sent to Canada. At the end of the war, the regiment returned to Great Britain.

In 1715, the regiment became known as the "Princess of Wales's Own Regiment of Foot".

In 1727, the regiment became known once more as the "Queen's Own Regiment of Foot".

Till 1730, the regiment was stationed in England.

In 1747, the regiment became known as the "Queen's Own Royal Regiment of Foot"

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "2nd (The Queen's Royal) Regiment of Foot".

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

  • since November 12 1755: General Honourable John Fitzwilliam
  • from November 27 1760 till August 7 1777: Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Montagu

Service during the War

Throughout the Seven Years' War, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and did not take part in any campaign. As of May 30 1759, it counted 1 battalion for a total of 700 men.

An independent company served in Bermuda from 1701 till 1763.

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 sky blue velvet front edged white with 1 small silver rose on each side above the front flap and decorated with the regimental badge (the Queen's Cypher “CRA” on a red ground within the Garter surmounted by a gold crown with red cushions, a gold cross, gold orb and gold headband, the whole within a silver star, a silver scroll underneath carrying the motto "PRISTIN VIRTUTIS MEMOR" in light blue); a small red front flap edged silver white with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent" in light blue; red back; a sky blue velvet headband edged white probably wearing the number 2 in the middle part behind; white pompom
Neck-stock white
Coat brick red lined sea green and laced white (white braid decorated with oblique sea green stripes)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels sea green 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 sea green (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 sea green
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 white
Waist-belt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Foot gear black shoes


Troopers were armed 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 sea green, 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 sea green, decorated with the regimental badge (the Queen's Cypher “CRA” on a red ground within the Garter surmounted by a crown), and the number “II” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with the regimental badge (the Queen's Cypher "CRA" on a red ground within the Garter surmounted by a crown; the motto "PRISTINAE VIRTUTIS MEMOR" underneath); the number "II" in Roman numeral in a branch of the Union.

Regimental Colour: sea green field with its centre decorated with the regimental badge (the Queen's Cypher "CRA" on a red ground within the Garter surmounted by a crown; the motto "PRISTINAE VIRTUTIS MEMOR" underneath); the Union in the upper left corner with the number "II" in Roman numeral; the Lamb (ancient badge of the regiment) in the three other corners.

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

References

This article incorporates texts of the following source:

Other sources

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)

Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association: History of The Queen’s Royal Regiment 2nd Foot (West Surrey)

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

The Spanish Succession Bellasis regiment of foot