Origin and History
The regiment was raised on June 20 1689 as the "James Wynne's Regiment of Dragoons". It was the first of two regiments raised in Inniskilling during the war in Ireland. It initially ranked as 6th Dragoons.
During the Williamite War in Ireland, on July 11 1690, the regiment fought in the battle of the Boyne. The same year, it was renumbered 5th Dragoons. On July 22 1691, it took part in the battle of Aughrim.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1704, the regiment became the "Royal Dragoons of Ireland". It took part in several battles: Blenheim (August 13, 1704), Ramillies (May 23, 1706), Oudenarde (July 11, 1708), and Malplaquet (September 11, 1709).
During the War of the Austrian Succession, on May 11 1745, the regiment took part in the battle of Fontenoy.
On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British cavalry, the regiment was designated as the "5th Regiment of Dragoons".
At the end of 1755, a company of light dragoons was added to the Regiments.
In 1756, the regiment was retitled "5th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoons"
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- in 1759: Major-general Mostyn
On April 8 1799, after the troubles in Ireland, the regiment was disbanded on April 8 1799 and its rank remained vacant until 1858.
Service during the War
As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and counted 3 squadrons for a total of 270 men. It was not involved in any campaign during the war.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade|
|Coat||double breasted red lined blue with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes grouped 3 by 3
|Waistcoat||blue with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes|
|Breeches||blue with white knee covers|
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.
Lawson mentions yellow buttons and yellow buttonholes in 1757, even though the warrant of 1751 specifies white.
Funcken mentions that some companies wore a grenadier mitre-cap but no pictorial evidence has been found of this fact.
As per the regulation of 1751, the officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:
- a narrow silver lace at the lapels, cuffs and pockets
- a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
- crimson and gold striped sword knot
- blue housings and holster caps laced silver
Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs and pockets; a silver aiguillette; a blue worsted sash about their waist.
Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the cuffs and shoulder strap; white silk aiguillette.
Drummers rode grey horses. They wore red coats lined and turned up with blue and laced with the royal lace (yellow with a blue stripe). Blue waistcoats and breeches.
Drummers wore a mitre cap similar to the grenadier mitre cap but with a lower crown and the tassel hanging behind. Blue front decorated with a trophy of guidons and drums; little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; red backing, blue headband with a drum and the rank of the regiment (V. D.) in the middle part behind.
The drums were of brass with a blue forepart carrying the rank of the regiment (V. D.) in silver characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.
The guidons were made of silk, fringed and embroidered in gold and silver. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.
King's Guidon: 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 (V. D.) in silver characters on a blue ground.
Regimental Guidon: blue field with its centre decorated with the Harp and Crown. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the rank of the regiment (V. D) on a red ground within a small wreath of Roses and Thistles.
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)
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989
Wikipedia - 5th Royal Irish Lancers
Digby Smith for additional info on the regiment.