Royal Irish Artillery

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> Royal Irish Artillery

Origin and History

In 1755, a detachment of 24 NCOs and men of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, under the command of a 1st lieutenant was sent from Woolwich to Dublin to form the kernel of a new artillery regiment attached to the Irish establishment.

On April 1 1756, this detachment, which had received additional men and had been reorganised, became the “Artillery Company in Ireland” . It consisted of:

  • 1 major
  • 1 captain
  • 1 first lieutenant
  • 1 second lieutenant
  • 3 lieutenant-fireworkers
  • 5 sergeants
  • 5 corporals
  • 106 bombardiers (the large number of bombardiers suggests special service, probably in bomb-vessels)
  • 34 gunners
  • 102 matrosses
  • 2 drummers

In 1760, the company was considerable increased and renamed the >Regiment of Royal Irish Artillery”. It now included:

  • 1 colonel-in-chief
  • 1 colonel-en-second
  • 1 lieutenant-colonel commandant
  • 1 major
  • 4 captains
  • 4 first lieutenants
  • 4 second-lieutenants
  • 4 lieutenant-fireworkers

During the Seven Years' War, the company, and later the regiment, were commanded by:

  • since April 1 1756: Major Brownrigg
  • from 1758: Major D. Chevenix (formerly from the 11th Dragoons)

At the conclusion of peace in 1763, the regiment was reduced.

In 1778, the regiment was augmented from four to six companies.

Service during the War

The regiment does not seem to have participated in any campaign. It probably remained in Ireland during the entire conflict.

Uniform

The uniform seems to have been identical to the uniform of the Royal Regiment of Artillery which is reproduced here.

Privates

Uniform in 1751 - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Matross and gunner black tricorne edged with a narrow gold lace with a black cockade (left side)
Pioneer and miner fusilier style hat
Neckstock white
Coat blue woollen coat lined scarlet and laced and edged yellow (plain yellow worsted braid); 3 yellow buttons and 3 yellow buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above) at the waist; 3 yellow laces at the small of the back
Collar scarlet collar tabs edged yellow (same lace as above), each fastened with a yellow button
Shoulder Straps blue epaulette edged yellow and fastened with a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels scarlet half-lapels edged and laced yellow (same lace as above) with 8 yellow buttons (arranged 2-2-2-2) and 8 yellow looping around the buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets vertical pockets edged yellow with 6 yellow laces (same lace as above) in a chevron pattern, each with a yellow button
Cuffs scarlet (slashed in the British pattern) edged yellow (same lace as above) with 6 yellow buttons and 6 yellow buttonholes (same lace as above) in a chevron pattern on the sleeve above each the cuff
Turnbacks scarlet
Waistcoat blue edged yellow with 12 yellow buttons (arranged by pair) and 12 yellow buttonholes (same lace as above) with horizontal pockets edged yellow, each with 6 yellow buttons and 6 yellow buttonholes (same lace as above)
Breeches blue
Gaiters black with black buttons (white for parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


N.B.: from 1758, the yellow lace on the waistcoat was discontinued.

Fusiliers were armed with a musket and a brass-hilted sword. They also carried a dark brown haversack.

Gunners carried linstocks.

Officers

Royal Regiment of Artillery Officer in 1760 - Source: R. J. Macdonald, The History of the dress of the royal regiment of artillery 1645-1897 from the collection of Dr Marco Pagan

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

  • gold lace instead of normal lace
  • red waistcoat
  • red breeches
  • soft-topped jockey boots

Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command but with a gold lace.

Officers of this regiment never carried spontoons. Instead, they carried fusils in the field. In the 1760s, the sword gradually replaced the fusil.

NCOs

Sergeants had a broad gold lace on their tricorne and gold looping around the buttonholes of their coat and waistcoat. They also wore a gold worsted shoulder-knot, corporals two yellow worsted knots, and bombardiers one.

Until 1754, all NCOs carried halberds. From 1754, only sergeants retained the halberd, the corporals and bombardiers were equipped with carbines.

Musicians

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment wore the royal livery. They were clothed in red, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with blue, and laced with the royal lace (golden braid with two thin purple central stripes).

The front or fore part of the drums was painted blue, with the arms of Great Britain. The rims were red.

Colours

The various detachments of the regiment did not carry colours. Their guns played the role of colours.

References

This article is mostly an abridged and adapted excerpts from the following book now in the public domain: