35th Foot

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in the northern counties of Ireland in 1701 by Arthur Chichester, 3rd Earl of Donegall at his own expense. It was thus designated as the “Lord Donegall's Regiment of Foot”. The regiment was also known as “The Belfast Regiment” because of its origins.

Until 1751, the regiment would be known by the names of two other colonels.

In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-13), the regiment was brought from Ireland and took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Cádiz. It was later attached to a squadron which sailed for the West Indies. In 1703, it participated in the failed expedition against Guadeloupe before returning to Great Britain. In 1704, it took part in the amphibious expedition which transported Archduke Charles to Spain. In mid-December, it was sent from Portugal to reinforce the troops defending Gibraltar. In 1705, it took part in the defence of Gibraltar and in the siege and capture of Barcelona before assuming garrison duty at the Fortress of Girona. In 1706, it participated in the defence of Barcelona and in the storming of Alicante. In 1707, the regiment was almost annihilated in the Battle of Almansa. In 1708, the remnants of the regiment returned to Ireland.

In 1736, the regiment was quartered in Dublin.

The regiment was not involved into the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48) and remained in Ireland. In 1742, it mustered 800 bayonets and consisted of ten companies. In 1744, it was quartered in Dublin and was no less than 1,154 men. In 1745, it marched to Limerick. The men of the battalion companies ceased to carry swords. By 1746, the regiment was increased to 14 companies and counted 1,614 men.

In 1749, the regiment was reduced to 10 companies in one battalion and was quartered at Galway. Its establishment sank to only 374 men. In 1750, it was transferred to Limerick. In 1751, it went to Athlone where six of its companies were stationed while the four others were detached to Clare Castle. On July 1 of the same year, the regiment officially became the “35th Regiment of Foot”. In 1752, it was stationed at Kinsale. In 1754, it returned to Dublin.

By 1755, as part of the Irish Establishment the regiment had an authorized strength of 374 men with an annual budget of 8,847 pounds (1755). Prior to leaving Ireland, it probably drafted about 150 rank & file from other regiments in the Irish Establishment, bringing its strength up to around 525 men.

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

  • since July 26 1717 to August 10 1764: Colonel Charles Otway

Service during the War

In 1756, it was decided to send the regiment, along with the 42nd Foot, to America at near full strength. On April 11, the regiment arrived from Dublin at Plymouth and recruiting continued. Prisons were scoured looking for men willing to serve in the regiment for life in exchange for release. Impressing the unemployed was also authorized. The regiment was transferred from the Irish Establishment to the British Establishment. On April 15, the first part of the regiment (466 men) sailed from Plymouth for New England. They arrived at New York in mid-June. Immediately, it was redirected to Albany where it joined the assembling army on June 25. In mid-June, the second part of the regiment (120 Irish and 407 impressed men) under Major Fletcher sailed form Plymouth for New England, arriving only in August. On July 23, Loudon finally arrived at New York. He then sailed up the Hudson and, on reaching Albany on July 29, decided to abandon the attempt against Niagara and Frontenac, resolving instead to turn his whole force against Fort Carillon. By the beginning August, he had sent Winslow forward to Lake George with 2,500 men. In mid August, after being informed of the fall of the British forts at Oswego on Lake Ontario, Loudon ordered Winslow to abandon his projects against Fort Carillon but to stay where he was and hold the French in check. In early September, the regiment was finally reunited outside of Albany. By the end of September, the French had some 5,300 men well entrenched at Fort Carillon while Loudon was at the head of some 10,000 men posted from Albany to Lake George. During the month of November, Loudon brought his army into winter-quarters, leaving Fort William-Henry under the command of Major William Eyre of the 44th Foot with a company of Rogers' Rangers and a few other troops.

In January 1757, the regiment counted 905 men, including officers and staff. Of the 818 rank and file, only 654 were fit for duty; a full third to half of them were new to the army, raw and undisciplined. With recent recruitment, the rank and file of the regiment was now consisted of English (51%), Irish (35%) and Scots (10%); but only 17% of the officers were English, 63% of the officers were Irish and 13% Scots. Until March, the regiment remained in the region of Albany for training. In April, six companies of the 35th subsequently relieved the 44th and took over garrison duties at Fort William Henry. Four companies remained at Fort Edward. Since June, the French had been assembling a strong force at Fort Carillon (present-day Ticonderoga). On August 3, the Marquis de Montcalm appeared in front of Fort William Henry with a force of some 8,000 men. The siege of Fort William Henry lasted till August 9 when the unsupported garrison finally capitulated with the honours of war. On August 10, as the British were marching towards Fort Edward, they were assailed by the Indians despite the efforts deployed by Montcalm. They killed 27 of them and captured or maltreated many more. All the refugees and redeemed prisoners were afterwards conducted to the entrenched camp where food and shelter were provided for them and a strong guard set for their protection. On August 15, the British kept in the entrenched camp were finally sent under escort to Fort Edward. After this campaign, the regiment numbered some 627 men.

In 1758, the regiment was selected for the planned expedition against Louisbourg. Sailing from Philadelphia, the 35th Foot arrived at Halifax by mid-May. On May 28, the British Fleet departed Halifax for Louisbourg. On June 8, when Amherst's Army landed near Louisbourg, the regiment was part of the centre brigade under James Wolfe. In June and July, the regiment took part in the Siege of Louisbourg which surrendered on July 27. During the siege, the regiment lost Lieutenants Richard Allen, Thomas Brown, Adjutant Cockburn and Ensign Thomas Armstrong, wounded. After the capture of the fortress, the regiment was assigned to a detachment under Lord Rollo. On September 16, this detachment arrived in Isle Saint-Jean (present-day Prince Edward Island) and tried to remove the inhabitants, with small success; for out of more than 4,000, they could catch but 700. The detachment repaired an old French fort and built a barrack to hold 300 men. The fort was called Fort Frederick. In November, Lieutenant-Colonel Fletcher, with five companies, left for Annapolis-Royal where they arrived on November 24 to relieve the 43rd Foot. Meanwhile, three companies of the regiment remained at Fort Frederick and two companies at Fort Edward.

In April 1759, the headquarters of the regiment were relieved at Annapolis-Royal by 250 Provincials. The entire regiment then proceeded to Halifax to form part of the army under Major-General James Wolfe. The regiment (27 officers, 600 men) then took part in the amphibious expedition against Québec. It belonged to Colonel Murray's Brigade. On June 27, the army landed on Isle-d'Orléans and were drawn up on the beach near the village of Saint-Laurent. On July 31, the grenadiers of the regiment took part in the failed attack on the shores of Beauport, suffering heavy losses in the fight (25 officers and men killed and 3 missing). On September 13, the regiment took part in the victorious Battle on the Plains of Abraham where it was deployed on the right flank. It faced the II./Royal Roussillon Infanterie which it charged at bayonet point, broke and captured its colours. The regiment lost 6 dead and 35 wounded. Québec finally surrendered on September 18. At the end of October, when Vice-Admiral Saunders left with his fleet for Great Britain, the regiment, whose ranks had been replenished to about 475 men by drafts from the 62nd Foot and 69th Foot, remained as garrison in Québec along with 9 other battalions.

On April 28 1760, at the defeat of Sainte-Foy, the regiment was kept in reserve in rear of the centre. It intervened to prevent a French flanking movement and lost 13 dead and 48 wounded. On July 12, Murray reorganised his army. The grenadiers of the regiment were converged with other into a Grenadier Battalion while 4 fusilier companies were converged with four companies of the 60th Foot into a distinct unit. These units embarked on bateaux and moved upstream on the Saint-Laurent River "pacifying the villages" on their way. The whole force was part of a three pronged attack against Montréal under General Amherst (the other two being via Oswego and Ticonderoga/Crown Point/Lake Champlain). On September 8, in face of vastly superior forces, the remains of the French army capitulated at Montréal.

In 1761, the regiment remained inactive in North America for most of the year. In August, it was at Staten Island near New York. In November, it was among the British army which left New York under command of General Monckton to join the expedition against the French islands of the the West Indies. On December 24 1761, this force arrived in Carlisle Bay in Barbados.

On January 5, 1762, the entire British amphibious expedition left Barbados and sailed for the intended expedition against Martinique island where it landed on January 16 near Fort Royal. A few days later, on January 20, the "flank" companies of the regiment took part in an action against the French who finally retreated into the town. The regiment lost 4 dead and 17 wounded. On January 27, the French entrenched at Morne Grenier suddenly debouched in 3 columns and launched an attack upon Haviland's Brigade and the light infantry of the army, on Monckton's left. The grenadiers of the regiment were among the converged grenadier units who repulsed the attack and counter-attacked, penetrating the French positions. The regiment lost 4 wounded in this action. Fort Royal surrendered on February 3. By February 12, the rest of the Island had been reduced. In March, Monckton was ordered to launch an expedition against Cuba. On April 25, a fleet from Great Britain reached Fort Royal on the recently conquered island of Martinique where it picked up the remainder of Major-General Robert Monckton's Army still numbering 8,461 men. On June 6, the British force came into sight of Havana. On June 7, the British troops were landed to the northward of Havana. On June 22, 4 British batteries totaling 12 heavy guns and 38 mortars opened fire on Fort Morro from La Cabana. The fort resisted until July 30 when the 90th Regiment of Foot along with 4 companies of the 35th Regiment of Foot stormed the crumbling fort. On August 13, Havana capitulated. During the siege of Havana, the regiment lost 21 all ranks killed, 28 wounded while 17 died of disease.

In 1763, after the peace, the regiment was transferred to Pensacola in Florida.



Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Musketeer black tricorne laced white and a black cockade (left side)
35th Foot Grenadier Mitre Cap (as per Morier in 1751) - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
British mitre with: an orange front edged white embroidered with white scroll work and with a 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 and yellow bottom strip; red back; an orange headband edged white probably wearing the number 35 in the middle part behind; a white pompom with orange inner threads
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined orange and laced white (white with a thin yellow line on one side, a red line in the middle and a yellow zigzagged line between the previous two lines) with 3 pewter buttons and 3 white buttonholes (same lace as above) under the lapel
Collar none
Shoulder Straps brick red (left shoulder only)
Lapels orange 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 orange slashed cuffs laced white (same lace as above) with 3 pewter buttons and 3 white buttonholes arranged in a “fish bone pattern” (same lace as above) on the sleeve above each cuff
Turnbacks orange
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 a “Brown Bess” muskets, a bayonet and a sword.


not yet available


The front of the drums was painted orange, with the King's cypher and crown, and the number of the regiment under it.


King's Colour: British ensign, rose wreath around the Roman numerals of the regiment (XXXV).

Regimental Colour: Orange field, rose wreath around the Roman numerals of the regiment (XXXV).

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


This article is essentially an abridged and adapted version of the following book which is in the public domain:

  • Trimen, Richard: An Historical Memoir of the 35th Royal Sussex Regiment of Foot, Southampton Times, 1873

Other sources

Aylor, Ron: British Regimental Drums and Colours

Boscawen, Hugh: The Capture of Louisbourg, 1758, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2011

Dunne, Kenneth P.: The 35th Regiment of Foot and the British Artillery at the Siege of Fort William Henry and the Role of Lord Loudoun, James Campbell, August 1757, pp. 6-7

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