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
|Headgear||black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade|
|Coat||red lined buff
|Waistcoat||buff with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes|
|Breeches||buff with white knee covers|
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.
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
Corporals were distinguished by a narrow gold lace on the lapels, cuffs, pockets and shoulder straps; a black worsted sash about their waist.
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.
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.
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.