91st Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 91st Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in Ireland on December 12 1759 by Colonel Cadwallader Lord Blayney.

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

  • from December 1759 to 1763: Colonel Cadwallader Lord Blayney

The regiment was disbanded in 1763. Many of its troopers joined the 3rd Buffs in Minorca.

Service during the War

In 1762, the regiment was sent to Portugal to assist the Portuguese army against a Spanish invasion. It arrived from Ireland in May.

In 1763, the regiment returned to Ireland where it was disbanded.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1760 - 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 91 in the middle part behind
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined white and laced and edged white (no detail available of the regimental braid) 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 no information available, for our plate we have assumed 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
Waistcoat brick red laced white (same lace as above)
Breeches brick red
Gaiters white with black buttons
black during campaigns
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, regiments with black facings dressed their musicians as follows:

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 “XCI” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751, regiments with black facings had colours of the following patterns:

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XCI" 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 "XCI" 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

Kirby, Mike, The British Contingent - Uniform Information, Seven Years War Association Journal, Vol. XII No. 3

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

United Services Magazine 1863, Issue 3

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

Acknowledgements

Digby Smith for the information provided on this junior regiment.