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"Fitzjames Horse standards" Topic

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Rod MacArthur25 Jan 2017 3:41 a.m. PST

According to the Project Seven Years War website, the French Irish Fitzjames Horse had four standards (all yellow trimmed silver with a golden sun), presumably one per squadron.

In 1746 the entire Regiment was sent to Scotland to join the Jacobite Rebellion. However three of the squadrons were captured at sea, the fourth took part in the Battle of Culloden, but surrendered after that.

Does anyone know what happened to their standards? Potentially all four could have been captured, although it is possible that they were destroyed to prevent that. Captured Jacobite flags were destroyed, but this would not have applied to captured French flags. Normally they would end up at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, but I am not sure if this is so for these.


bc174525 Jan 2017 7:03 a.m. PST

Hi Rod been wondering that myself….have not come across mention of them in any of the mainstream books/ articles on the '45.

I can't believe if they had been captured that one of the main authors wouldn't have mentioned it. I can only surmise that they left them in France to prevent them becoming trophies 'if' anything went wrong.

Also little mention of the Royal Ecossais standards which were presumably taken when the first bttn surrended on the 19th, unless they destroyed them prior to this…..

Interesting topic…..I am sure one of learned friends will point us in the right direction…..


As an aside….an interesting list of captured flags at the Royal Hospital Chelsea can be found here…..

Chokidar Inactive Member25 Jan 2017 8:16 a.m. PST

Good God bc1745, that is an amazing list! Also interesting to read about the two copies of the illustrated record! That has to be worth checking into.
Thanks again

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

As an aside, the list mentions the colors of the 2nd US Infantry (#15, south side, Great Hall) as having an unknown capture date. A little on-line research reveals that the 2nd US was only engaged with the British in Sep 1814 during their defense of Fort Bowyer (now Fort Morgan) below Mobile, Alabama. That defense was successful. However the second defense, in Feb 1815, wasn't successful and the fort was captured. That is probably when the colors of the 2nd US Infantry were captured by the British.

And further down the list are the colors of the 4th US Infantry, also with an unknown capture date (#33, gallery on left of entrance). As of 2011, these colors were photographed in the Welsh Regiment museum link . And additional listings (#30 and #52, flags in the Chapel) are also of the 4th US and reflect the circumstances of the capture.

And also in the chapel are several flags (#5 and #7) of US units captured at Bladensburg in 1814. And another 2nd US color (#8).

And as Chokidar said, it would be very interesting to see the illustrated records mentioned at the bottom of the list.


attilathepun4725 Jan 2017 11:57 a.m. PST

@Colonel Campbell,

The 4th U.S. Infantry was included in the U.S. force surrendered (disgracefully) by General Hull at Detroit in 1812, so that is almost certainly the where and how the colors were captured.

bc174525 Jan 2017 2:06 p.m. PST

Interesting guys…….

Sorry Rod for hijacking a great question…..

bc174525 Jan 2017 2:22 p.m. PST


The list is from a 1927 document placed online – the first record is held by th RHC, an application to the trustees may(!) allow access….. The copy in the Chelsea library…..possibly may be in the PRO or the National library….

What is interesting is the article states the flags have come from several sources in 1835……

So would captured French Jacobite standards etc be sent to RHC in 1746……..


Rod MacArthur26 Jan 2017 10:01 a.m. PST


I also noticed that the list of captured flags at Royal Hospital Chelsea all seemed to be 19th Century, and not earlier, so perhaps the tradition of putting them there had not started in 1745.

If Fitzjames Horse left their standards behind in case they got captured that shows a pretty pessimistic view of their expedition.

I am sure I read somewhere about a Royal Ecossais flag being capured. I seem to recall it was an Ordnance one, not the Colonel's colour. I will have to look at my collection of Jacobite Rebellion books again. If it was captured it is quite possibly in Scotland.


bc174527 Jan 2017 10:27 a.m. PST

As three sqns were captured at sea maybe they were able to jettison them overboard prior to being boarded?


Rod MacArthur29 Jan 2017 2:12 p.m. PST


Yes, I wondered if that was the explanation. The 4th Sqn surrendered after Culloden, not on the battlefield itself, so they would also have had time to destroy their standards.


Musketier Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 3:01 p.m. PST

Not my specialty period, so apologies if the question is silly, but were Fitzjames', Royal Ecossais and the Irish Piquets there as a "French" force, or "let go" from French service to fight for their cause, in a deniable move supporting the Jacobite pretender? I seem to recall reading that they changed the cockades on their hats, which would point towards the latter. If so, they may have had to leave behind the standards they had been issued by and for the King of France?

Rod MacArthur30 Jan 2017 10:25 a.m. PST

Britain and France were in the middle of fighting each other in the War of Austrian Succession when the Jacobite Rebellion started. The French clearly saw it as a way of diverting British troops, and it worked since almost the entire British Army on the continent was shipped back to UK.

The Fitzjames Cavalerie, Royal Ecossais and Irish Piquets (a composite battalion of detachments from the Irish Brigade) were all regular French troops and were treated as Prisoners of War when captured, unlike the rest of the Jacobite Army, who were treated as rebellious traitors. There were also a number of French Artillery and individual staff officers.

I am sure they remained as French Army, since otherwise they would have lost their status as legal combatants, and ran the risk of being treated as rebels.

Many French wore white cockades anyway (there seems to have been a real mixture of cockade colours in the French Army) and it would have made sense for all to wear white as a means of identification, particularly since the Fitzjames Cavalerie and Irish Piquets wore red uniforms.


spontoon04 Feb 2017 1:35 p.m. PST

Wow! What a list of "colours"! I wish there were pics!

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