3rd Foot Guards

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 3rd Foot Guards

Origin and History

The regiment was raised as the "Scots Regiment of Foot Guards" at the restoration of the British monarchy in January 1661. It was initially stationed at Edinburgh and Dunbarton.

In 1685, the regiment was transferred to England to repress Monmouth's rebellion. In 1686, it was incorporated into the English Army and increased to 2 battalions. It took garrison in London.

In 1688, the regiment was renamed "Scots Guards".

In 1712, the regiment was renamed "3rd Regiment of Foot Guards".

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

  • from April 29 1752 to December 16 1767: John Leslie, Earl of Rothes

Service during the War

Throughout the Seven Years' War, a battalion was stationed around London and Windsor.

In May 1758, the 1st battalion was sent to the Isle of Wight in preparation for a raid on the French Coasts. It then embarked on the fleet and took part to the expedition from June 1 to July 1. It also participated in a second expedition on the French Coasts from August to September of the same year. On August 7, this battalion landed in the Bay of Saint-Marais near Cherbourg and gained possession of the rising ground in front of its position. On September 11, after the failed attempt against Saint-Malo, it suffered heavy losses during the re-embarkment at Saint-Cast.

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in England and counted 2 battalions for a total of 1,260 men.

In the Summer of 1760, the 2nd Battalion was sent to Germany to reinforce the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 25, it arrived at Ferdinand's headquarters near Bühne. It was immediately integrated into Ferdinand's Reserve deployed along the Diemel.

In 1761, the 2nd Battalion was part of Conway's Corps in Germany. On July 16, it took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen.

In 1762, the 2nd Battalion was part of Granby's Corps in Germany. On June 24, it took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. The corps fought stubbornly against the flower of the French infantry until Ferdinand managed to turn the rear of the French position with additional troops. A French corps was nearly annihilated. On September 21, the battalion took part in the Combat of Amöneburg. Late in the afternoon, the British Corps came to the relief of the Hanoverians guarding the bridge and repulsed several French attacks, saving the day for the Allies. The battalion suffered more heavily than any other unit engaged.



Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a blue front embroidered with the "Garter Star" and a crown over it; a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; red backing; a blue headband
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined blue and laced white (unknown pattern)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels blue laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets laced white (same lace as above), each with pewter buttons
Cuffs blue (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above)
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat brick red laced white (same lace as above)
Breeches blue
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear 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 of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences

  • gold 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 with a heavily laced (royal lace) red coat and wore blue breeches.
The front or forepart of the drums were painted blue, with the royal arms.


King's Colour: none, only the 1st Foot Guards carried a King's colour.

The 3rd Foot Guards carried three crimson colours: the colonel's, the lieutenant-colonel's and the major's. Finally, each of its 13 companies carried a company colours in the form of the Union flag with differing devices.

As per Lawson and others, company colours were not carried by each company after circa 1751. Thereafter the time-honored practice of rotational use as a regimental colour became routine.

Colonel's Colour: crimson field; centre device consisting of golden escutcheon carrying a red lion rampant within a red circle, surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband), with a golden scroll carrying the motto “En Ferus Hostis” beneath the centre device.

Lieutenant-Colonel's Colour: crimson field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle on the same stalk, surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband), with a golden scroll carrying the motto “Unita Fortior” beneath the centre device. The Union in the upper left corner.

Major's Colour: crimson field; centre device consisting of a star of the Order of the Thistle (silver with St. Andrew's saltire and clusters of rays; in the centre is a green circle bearing the motto “Nemo me impune lacessit ” in gold, inside the circle is a thistle on a gold background), the whole surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband), with a golden scroll carrying the motto “Semper Paratus” beneath the centre device.. The Union in the upper left corner; a golden flame emerging from the Union.

Colonel Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Lieutenant-Colonel Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Major Colour - Source: PMPdeL

Colours of the 13 companies:

1st Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
2nd Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
3rd Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
4th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
5th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
6th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
7th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
8th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
9th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
10th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
11th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
12th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL
13th Company Colour - Source: PMPdeL


Aylor, Ron, British Regimental Drums and Colours

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

Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth

Scottish Military Historical Society

Wikipedia - 3rd Foot Guards

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.


Tim Reese for additional information on the use of colours during the Seven Years' War and on the campaign of 1758