64th Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 64th Foot

Origin and History

The unit was originally raised at Southhampton as per a resolution of August 25 1756 as a second battalion of the 11th Foot. However, this second battalion was detached from its parent regiment on April 21 1758 to form the “64th Regiment of Foot”.

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

  • since April 21 1758: honourable John Barrington
  • from 1759: Townshend
  • from 1759: Cary

Service during the War

In November 1758, the regiment was under orders for foreign service in the West Indies as part of major-general Peregrine Hopson force destined to the expedition against Martinique and Guadeloupe. On November 12, it was aboard the convoy who sailed from Spithead for the Leeward Islands.

On January 3 1759, the convoy reached Carlisle Bay in Barbados. On January 13, the whole British force sailed for Martinique Island. On January 16, the British infantry landed near Fort Royal. On January 17, the grenadiers of the regiment joined those of the other units and together dislodged a French force entrenched near the British camp. Unable to make any significant progress, Hopson re-embarked. The expeditionary force then redirected its efforts against Guadeloupe Island. On January 23, the British fleet bombarded and almost completely destroyed the town of Basse-Terre. On January 24, the regiment was landed and occupied the town. From then on, it actively took part in the numerous actions which led to the conquest of the island which finally capitulated on May 1. The campaign had been very difficult and the regiment suffered heavy losses. On June 25, Barrington sailed for Great Britain with the remnant of the regiment along with the 3rd Foot and the 61st Foot, under convoy of the Roebuck (44). On August 8, the regiment landed in Portsmouth. By then, it counted only 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 5 captains, 14 lieutenants., 6 ensigns, 1 chaplain, 1 adjutant, 1 quarter-master, 1 surgeon, 31 sergeants, 15 drummers, 2 fifers, 89 troopers fit for duty, and 58 sick. To replenish its ranks, the regiment needed 3 drummers and 787 troopers... From Portsmouth the headquarters and 5 companies were sent to Landguard Fort, 3 other companies were detached at Woodbridge and one at Saxmundham and Wickham.

In 1760, the regiment was transferred to Scotland where its headquarters and 5 companies were stationed at Fort William while 4 other companies garrisoned Fort Augustus.

In 1761, the regiment was quartered at Fort George.

In 1762, the headquarters and 5 companies were once more stationed at Fort William and 4 companies at Fort Augustus.

In 1763, the regiment was transferred to Ireland.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a black front edged white and embroidered with white scroll work and the King's cypher surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; red back; a black headband edged white probably wearing the number 64 in the middle part behind
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined white and laced and edged white (white braid with 1 yellow stripe) with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red and fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels black 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)
Cuffs black (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above) with 4 pewter buttons and 4 white buttonholes (same lace as above) on the sleeve above each the cuff
Turnbacks black (or white since the lining is reported as white)
Waistcoat brick red laced white (same lace as above)
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 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

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

  • silver 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.

Musicians

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment were clothed in black, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with red, and laced in such manner as the colonel shall think fit for distinction sake, the lace, however, was of the colours of that on the soldiers' coats.
The front or fore part of the drums was painted black, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “LXIV” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LXIV" in gold Roman numerals on crimson.

Regimental Colour: red cross of St. George in a black field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "LXIV" in gold Roman numerals on crimson. The Union in the upper left corner.

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

References

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

Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II, p. 90-103

Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the web)

Purdon H. G., An Historical Sketch of the 64th Regiment

Wikipedia 64th Foot

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