4th Horse

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 4th Horse

Origin and History

The regiment was created in 1688 as the "Lord Cavendish's Regiment of Horse". In 1690, it ranked as 9th Horse. By 1694, it ranked as 8th Horse, a rank that it reteined until 1746.

In 1746, when 3 regiments of Horse were converted to Dragoon Guards, the "8th Regiment of Horse" became the "4th Regiment of Horse" also known as "Black Horse".

In 1760, its troopers received a breastplate and an iron skull-cap.

The regiment counted 2 squadrons.

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

  • in 1759 and 1760: Honeywood

In 1768, the four last "Regiments of Horse" were converted into "Dragoon Guards". Thus, the "4th Regiment of Horse" became the "7th Dragoon Guards".

Service during the War

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and counted 2 squadrons for a total of 120 men.

In the summer of 1760, the regiment was among the British contingent sent to reinforce the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. The troops were shipped to Bremen on the Weser instead of, as heretofore, to Emden. It joined the Allied Army on July 18. On July 31, the regiment took part to the battle of Warburg, the regiment was in the first line of Granby's cavalry. Granby charged and broke the French cavalry right wing then wheeled and hit the French infantry in the flank, winning the day for the Allies.

In July 1761, the regiment was with Conway's Corps in Germany. On July 16, it took part in the battle of Vellinghausen.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1758
Headgear black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Neck stock white
Coat red lined buff
Collar none
Shoulder strap left shoulder: red fastened with a small yellow button
Lapels long black lapels extending from the collar down to the bottom of the coat with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes grouped 2 by 2
Pockets long vertical pockets with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes
Cuffs black small square cuffs with 4 yellow buttons and 4 very narrow yellow buttonholes
Turnbacks buff
Waistcoat buff with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes
Breeches buff with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box natural leather
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings buff with rounded corners decorated with the rank of the regiment (IV. H.) on a red ground within a wreath of roses and thistles; bordered with a white braid with a black stripe
Holster caps buff with pointed corners decorated with the golden crowned king's cipher and the rank of the regiment (IV. H.) underneath; bordered with a white braid with a black stripe
Blanket roll red and black


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

Officers

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

  • a narrow gold lace at the bindings and buttonholes
  • a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
  • crimson and gold striped sword knot
  • housings and holster caps laced gold

NCOs

Corporals were distinguished by a narrow gold lace on the lapels, cuffs, pockets and shoulder straps; a black worsted sash about their waist.

Musicians

Trumpeters rode grey horses. They wore buff coats lined and turned up with red and laced with a white braid with a black stripe. Hanging sleeves fastened at the waist. Red waistcoats and breeches.

The banners of the kettle drums were black with the rank of the regiment (IV. H.) in its centre. The banners of the trumpets were black carrying the king's cypher and crown with the rank of the regiment (IV. H.) underneath.

Colours

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

King's Standard: crimson field 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 rank of the regiment (IV. H.) in gold characters on a black ground.

Regimental Standard: black field fringed gold with its centre decorated with the rank of the regiment (IV. H.) in gold characters on a crimson 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 red ground.

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

References

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

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

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