33rd Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 33rd Foot

Origin and History

The unit was raised on February 12 1702 as the "Earl of Huntingdon's Regiment of Foot". From its creation to 1751, the regiment was known by the name of its successive colonels.

From 1702 to 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713), the regiment served on the continent, in the Netherlands and Germany. From 1704, it campaigned in Spain. In 1705, it distinguished itself at Valencia d'Alcantara. In 1707, it fought in the Battle of Almansa. In 1710, it in the Battle of Almenar and in the Battle of Brihuega and surrendered a few days later. It later returned to Great Britain.

In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment took part to the battle of Dettingen. In 1745, it fought in the Battle of Fontenoy before being recalled to Great Britain to quench the Jacobite rising. It then returned to Flanders. In 1746, it fought in the Battle of Rocoux. In 1747, it took part in the Battle of Lauffeld.

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "33rd Regiment of Foot".

As per a resolution of September 20 1756, a second battalion was exceptionally added to the regiment. However, this second battalion was detached from its parent regiment in April 1758 to form the 72nd Foot.

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

  • since November 20 1753: Charles Hay
  • from May 5 1760 to March 21 1766: John Griffin (Whitwell), Lord Howard de Walden

Service during the War

In May 1758, the regiment was at the Isle of Wight in preparation for a raid on the French Coasts. It then embarked on the fleet and took part in the first expedition from June 1 to July 1. It also took part in a second expedition on the French Coasts from August to September of the same year. Its grenadiers suffered heavy losses during the re-embarkment at Saint-Cast.

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in England and counted 1 battalion for a total of 900 men.

In May 1760, the regiment was part of a reinforcement of six battalions and two regiments of Highlanders promised to Ferdinand of Brunswick. The troops were shipped to the Weser instead of, as heretofore, to Emden, and seem to have been despatched with commendable promptitude; for the six regiments of foot, though only warned for service on May 1, were actually reviewed by Ferdinand in his camp at Fritzlar on June 17, and were declared by him to be in a most satisfactory condition. On October 16, the regiment fought in the battle of Clostercamp where it formed part of the 4th division under Howard which was kept in reserve.

On July 16, 1761, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was deployed in the centre in Howard's corps.

By May 23, 1762, the regiment was attached to Conway's Division. On June 24, it took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was part of the second column.



Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
33rd Foot Grenadier Mitre Cap (as per Morier in 1751) - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
British mitre with: a red front edged white embroidered with white scroll work and with the white King's cipher surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap edged white with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent" and with a dark green bottom strip with yellow stripes; red back; a red headband edged white (probably wearing a grenade in the middle part behind); a white pompom with red inner threads
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined white and laced white (unknown pattern) with brick red shoulder wing laced white (same lace as above) and with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels brick red laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets with white laces (same lace as above), each with pewter buttons
Cuffs brick red (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above)
Turnbacks 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 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.


According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment were clothed in white, 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 forepart of the drums were painted red, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XXXIII” under it. The rims were red.


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

Regimental Colour: red cross of St. George in a white field with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XXXIII" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.

N.B.: since this regiment exceptionally counted 2 battalions, the colours of the 2nd Battalion were distinguished by a flaming ray superposed to the upper left branch of the saltire.

King's Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Regimental Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf


Farmer, John S.: The Regimental Records of the British Army, London: Grant Richards, 1901

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

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

George II, The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth through the Way Back Machine

Wikipedia - 33rd Foot

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