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"Uniforms of Tangiers Garrison" Topic


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Supercilius Maximus12 May 2017 11:13 a.m. PST

I have a few questions on the uniforms worn during the period of the Tangiers Garrison (1662-1684):-

1) Did pikemen still wear reversed colours in all regiments?
2) Did drummers wear reversed colours in all regiments?
3) What did the mercenary Spanish horse wear?
4) Did the artillery have a uniform, and if so, was it all red as worn in the 1690s (rather than the royal blue of the 18th Century)?
5) Did all foot units have matchlocks, or did the Guards contingent have firelocks yet?
6) Were grenadier companies formed, either by the Guards detachment (which had them from 1677 back home), or by the other units (from about 1680)?

Many thanks.

Camcleod15 May 2017 10:04 a.m. PST

Don't know if this is any help or even accurate :(
Simkins painting of a battle of the 2nd Foot of the Tangiers Garrison :

picture

Guillaume deGuy15 May 2017 3:41 p.m. PST

SM
I have some interest in the Tangier Garrison but haven't really started to research it yet. I found a (free) Google book:
History of the British Standing Army A.D. 1660 – 1700 by Clifford Walton (1894) which has a good deal of information on dress and equipment.
Can't vouch for the accuracy.

He indicates that in the first part of Charles II reign the pikemen did wear reverse colors but no indication of when that changed.

The book may be an interesting read (let me know :-) )

Camcleod15 May 2017 7:34 p.m. PST

You may be interested in:
A History of the Uniforms of the British Army: Volume One
by Cecil C P Lawson

He covers the early British Army and mentions some of the things you questioned.
A quick look shows the following:
1) Pikemen in reversed colours for some Regts. in the early part of the reign of Charles II.
2) Drummers seem to have followed the custom of reversed colour coats.
6) Grenadiers added to Infantry Regts. from June 1678.

As reference for the Tangiers Garrison he mentions a series of watercolours done by Hollar who was in Tangier in 1669 as one source and another set of oil paintings in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Guillaume deGuy16 May 2017 6:01 a.m. PST

One more tidbit concerning 3) the Spanish Horse from Vol I – The First Colonial Soldiers by Drenth and Riley. They conjecture that they came from the Regiment of the Duke of Osuna and, if so, would have worn a uniform of "white or grey unbleached cloth".

Supercilius Maximus17 May 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

Thank you, gentlemen.

I have Lawson and looked up the relevant section in Volume 1 – the Hollar watercolours I am familiar with, but as you say, he also refers to a series of oils in the National Maritime Museum in London, one of which shows a review/parade in honour of the Alcalde Omar. Annoyingly (and, for Lawson, rather too typically) he gives few details that allow the artworks to be easily identified – they don't seem to be in the NMM's on-line catalogue now, but then he was writing in the early 1960s – and he doesn't give a date, either for the painting, or for the event. It sounds like it might be late 1670s, perhaps pre-grenadier companies as these are not mentioned.

However, he does mention pikemen and drummers wearing the same clothes as the rank-and-file, officers in red and grey, and one unit completely in grey, the rest in red (the troops are too small to show items such as facings, apparently). He also says sailors were decked out in uniforms in order to take part and boost the numbers of the garrison – so presumably spare uniforms were not a problem.

Interesting information on the Spanish horse – thanks, GdG.

I'm left wondering how "grey" the light grey officers' uniforms actually were, given that "grey" and "white" seem to almost be used interchangeably in the ECW, and some regiments with white facings have them listed as grey in the Army lists for the 1700s.

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