57th Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 57th Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was created at Manchester on December 27 1755. One company from the 3rd Foot and another from the 20th Foot were drafted to the new regiment to form its basis. In March 1756, the regiment was transferred to Gloucester and most of the recruits came from Gloucestershire and Somerset. It initially ranked as the "59th Regiment of Foot".

On December 25 1756, when the "50th" and "51st" regiments of foot were disbanded. The "59th" officially became the "57th Regiment of Foot".

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

  • since December 27 1755 to February 16 1757: colonel John Arabin
  • from March 22 1757 to November 4 1767: David Cunynhame

Service during the War

By the end of April 1756, the regiment was at Exeter. At the beginning of June, it sailed from Plymouth to reinforce Gibraltar where it arrived about the end of the same month. In July, after Byng's failed attempt to rescue Minorca six weeks earlier, Hawke organised a second relief expedition. A few companies of the regiment were part of the troops embarked aboard his fleet. However, Hawke arrived to late to prevent the capitulation of Fort St. Philip and the loss of Minorca. Nevertheless, he cruised in the area until the beginning of October when he returned to Gibraltar. Late during the same year, part of the regiment took part to a minor raid against Algeciras

From 1757 to 1763, the regiment remained at Gibraltar, assuming garrison duty, and occasionally serving as marines aboard the fleet.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced yellow and a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a lemon yellow front embroidered with the King's cypher with a crown over it; a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; red back; a lemon yellow headband probably wearing the number 57 in the middle part behind
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined lemon yellow and laced lemon yellow with 3 pewter (???) buttons and 3 lemon yellow buttonholes under the lapel
Collar none
Shoulder Straps brick red (left shoulder only)
Lapels lemon yellow laced lemon yellow with 7 pewter (???) buttons and 6 lemon yellow buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets laced lemon yellow
Cuffs lemon yellow slashed cuffs laced lemon yellow with 4 pewter (???) buttons and 4 lemon yellow buttonholes on the sleeve above each the cuff
Turnbacks lemon yellow
Waistcoat brick red laced lemon yellow
Breeches brick red
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a “Brown Bess” muskets, a bayonet and a sword.

Officers

Officers of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences:

  • a gold gorget around the neck
  • a gold aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • gold lace instead of the normal white lace
  • a crimson sash

Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command. However, officers of grenadiers wore a more decorated mitre than the privates.

Officers were usually armed with a spontoon. However, in action, some carried a musket rather than the usual spontoon.

Musicians

Musicians wore lemon yellow coats lined red and a mitre cap decorated with a trophy of drums and flags rather than the King's cypher.

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with the regiment number "LVII" in gold Roman numerals within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.

Regimental Colour: Lemon yellow field, Union in the upper left canton, centre decorated with the regiment number "LVII" in gold Roman numerals within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.

King's Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Regimental Colour - Source: PMPdeL

References

Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899

George II, The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

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

Wyatt, J. W., A Gloucestershire Regiment in the Seven Years' War , Transactions, Vol. 96, Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society: 1978, pp. 60-68