Grenadier Guards - Early History

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SpudUk
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Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby SpudUk » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:34 am

Hello all,

I'm looking to find out more information on the earliest history of the Grenadier Guards, specifically around 1656 and Lord Wentworth's Regiment up to 1665. I am specifically interested in coat colours, ensigns etc. but general history is important too. I've spoken with the Guards Museum and they have helped me as far as I can, but wondered if my fellow history buffs out there would know more.

Many thanks

Chris Auckland



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steve stanley
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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby steve stanley » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:58 pm

AFAIK,There's no evidence for coats/colours before the Restoration...Whether they were uniformed at all in the 1650's is an interesting point..........The painting long thought to show them in 1660 is now generally thought to show Dutch Militia.........


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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby Stuart Quayle » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:29 am

Hi SpudUK

I am reading from my copy of 'British Infantyry Uniforms since 1660', which tells me that:

During the British Civil War there were regiments on both sides in red, but it was not until the formation by Parliament in 1645 of Britain's first standing army, the New Model, that red clothing became uniform for all. The basic dress of the New Model infantryman consisted of a short red coat or doublet with white linen collar, tied with strings, falling over it at the neck, loose breeches gathered at the knee with ribbons, stockings (two pairs occassionally being worn at the same time) and shoes fastened with laces or ribbons. The Musketeer wore a broad brimmed, tall felt hat, the Pikeman an iron 'pot' or helmet. The means of distinguishing the regiments was found in the facings and lining of the coats, as in when the cuffs were turned back or the insides of the skirts became visible.

With the Restoration of Charles II Cromwell's army ceased to exist, with the exception of General George Monck's regiment, which he presented to the king having restored him to the throne. As the "Lord General's Regiment" and within ten years being called "The Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards" this ancient corps provides the link between the New Model Army and the Sovereign's Army from 1660 to the present.

Apparently King Charles II brought his own "Royal Regiment of Guards" over from Holland, which like Monck's "New Model Army", were also clad in red coats.

The Grenadier Guards Officer of the 1st Foot albeit later in 1685, would wear a dark red satin coat with dark blue facings to the cuffs, waistbelt, pouches, shoulder-strap and short Mitre-Cap, all blue items edged in gold lacing. Dark blue stocking would be worn and black shoes.

Hope this is of some help to you.



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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby Merlon. » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:14 am

I think I can safely say that that description of NMA clothing dating from 1982 is driven more by reenactor clothing of the time rather than any hard facts.
As Steve said there is little hard evidence of was actually worn, especially by the lifeguard whilst Charles II was in exile.



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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby SpudUk » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:01 pm

steve stanley wrote:The painting long thought to show them in 1660 is now generally thought to show Dutch Militia


Do you know what the name of the painting is Steve?

I realise that there is little information to go by, but hoped that the earliest histories of the Grenadiers might shed some light. In the past we always went with dark blue coats with red facings



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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby steve stanley » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:07 pm

Not off-hand...It's one showing Charlie leaving Holland for England...Shows Musketeers in Buff Coats and rather strange Helmets..I Think it's in the Houses of Parliament.


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Snowshoes and axe and gun

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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby Dathi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:24 pm

Coats in the NMA during the 1650's
24 coats to be provided for the marshal's men, to be of blue cloth and marked with white daggers.

From: 'Volume 9: April 1650', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1650 (1876), pp. 72-135.

2. The committee which meets with the army officers to give order for providing martial coats, of such coloured cloth as they think most serviceable.

From: 'Volume 9: May 1650', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1650 (1876), pp. 135-185.

(3.) That the Admiralty Commissioners appoint quickly a fit vessel to transport to the Downs the 3,000 swords provided for Reynolds' forces; also the red coats and shoes when they are ready.

From: 'Volume 155: May 1657', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1656-7 (1883), pp. 362-390.

18. Whereas by contract with Sir John Reynolds, Major Rob.Cobbett was to provide 6,000 red cloth coats at 9s. each for his soldiers, and 4 grey coats for the Marshal-General's men, at 5l. each,total cost 2,720l., which are certified to be delivered,— order to advise a warrant for their payment, after the 3,000l. ordered to Col. John Carter.

From: 'Volume 156: August 1657', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1657-8 (1884), pp. 48-86.

Mardike Committee to Col. Smith, Governor of Hull. As the transport of men to Mardike requires despatch, you are speedily to complete the 300 or more, for each of whom you will be allowed 20s. for charges of raising and conducting aboard, which you are to pay them at their being shipped, and tell them that on landing in Flanders, they will receive coats, shoes, and stockings. You are to provide yourselves with the necessary funds from the county, and draw a bill of exchange on Wm. Jessop, with whom an order has been taken accordingly. The Admiralty Commissioners will appoint vessels at Plymouth for the transport, and you are to communicate with the Commissioner, probably Capt. Hatsell, about your proceedings. With note of like letters to Col. Norton and Sir John Coppleston. [I. 78, p. 869.]

From: 'Volume 180: March 1658', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1657-8 (1884), pp. 311-354.

For 1,200 coats and breeches for the soldiers,from the money collected for the Protestants in Piedmont.

From: 'Warrants for Payments by the Council of State.', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1659-60 (1886), pp. 576-600.

18, 19. Whereas it is reported from the Dunkirk Committee, on Rob. Walton's petition, that on 18 Nov. 1658, a contract was reported to the then Council as made with Walton, for 150 red coats, breeches, stockings, and shoes, for the sick and wounded sent from Flanders to Dover, at 24s. a suit, which, with packing charges,amounts to 181l. 13s., which clothes are certified by Lieut.-Gen.Fleetwood to agree with the pattern, and were sent to Dover, but although warrants were given, no part of the money has been paid.Also that Walton provided on order 2,500 suits, consisting of coat,breeches, stockings, shoes, and shirts, for the Dunkirk and Mardikeregiments, at 24s. a suit, and 100 gowns, at 14s. each; total,3,074l., and order was given for payment, but nothing paid;—order that the auditor of Exchequer pay to Mr. Walton 181l. 13s. and3,074l., total 3,255l. 13s., due for the said clothes.

From: 'Volume 205: October 1659', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1659-60 (1886), pp. 232-260.


Pretty clear that red keeps popping up til the bitter end. The cut, facings and all that is still unclear but at least the coat is red.....

That do ? ;-)



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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby Dathi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:41 pm

A little more pertainent perhaps

April 3 1654
Comissioners of Customs and Excise.
To allow 1,600 yds. of red cloth for Gen. Monk's regiment to pass free to Scotland

Warrants of the Protector and Council', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1654 (1880), pp. 433-443



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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby Merlon. » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:57 pm

All very interesting stuff, but the OP was asking about a 1650s Royalist regiment, rather than a Commonwealth regiment.
Post Restoration of course you get a mix of red and blue coats, but apart from the Coronation description which is sadly quite vague, nothing specific about Wentworth & Russells regiments which merged to form the 1st Foot Guards



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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby Dathi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:11 pm

Merlon. wrote:All very interesting stuff, but the OP was asking about a 1650s Royalist regiment, rather than a Commonwealth regiment.
Post Restoration of course you get a mix of red and blue coats, but apart from the Coronation description which is sadly quite vague, nothing specific about Wentworth & Russells regiments which merged to form the 1st Foot Guards



There were Royalist regiments ..? ;-)



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Merlon.
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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby Merlon. » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:15 pm

Dathi wrote:There were Royalist regiments ..? ;-)

Lord Wentworths were raised in Bruges in 1655, probably a regiment in name only dressed in French cast offs, given how parlious Charles finances were.



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Re: Grenadier Guards - Early History

Postby nix » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:35 pm

The guards museum in London has some very early examples up and are happy for people to ask and help research


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