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"Amended British Army Uniform Charts." Topic

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dibble20 Nov 2017 4:02 p.m. PST

As you many of you know, I have been working on the British uniform charts of both the line and militia units. Well here are the updated British line regiments charts.

I have amended the mistakes that were published first by de Bosset in 1803 then copied by Hamilton-Smith in his updated 1812 version. These mistakes have carried over to many, many publications up to and including C.E Franklin's British Napoleonic Uniforms book. The Regiments in question are the 58th (Rutlandshire), 74th, 78th (Ross-shire Buffs), and the 98th.

In the contemporary painting examples that I have posted below, I have included Hamilton-Smith's chart cartouch to highlight the errors.

The updated version of the charts are in 6 parts and I have now included the regiment names too.

I hope these charts will be of some use.

If anyone spots any errors, please highlight them for me.

Paul :)

Whirlwind21 Nov 2017 1:47 a.m. PST

Thanks very much, looks very useful.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 2:30 a.m. PST

It is superb to have all this at a glance. How useful to immediately see the lace arrangements and style eg bastion etc., even the details of the lace design and the "metal colour" for officers. Is it OK to download and save these?

But best of all…pure chance…a unit I had never heard of. The 99th POW's Tipperary Regt of Foot. Incredulous, I checked CE Franklin and sure enough…..

Now these I need to know more about. Since checked on-line and drew a blank. Much mention of switching to 98th in 1816 but before that…not a sausage!

von Winterfeldt21 Nov 2017 4:34 a.m. PST

excellent, now please can you do the same thing for cavalry as well.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 6:32 a.m. PST

Oh yes.

good point.

Is it not why the study of uniforms of the "British Army" is such challenge? French Line…pah…blue with cuffs and collars red and a bit of white. Do the next unit……. same and again. Do some in shabby overcoats for a change. OK I will concede Light regts.

British. Ignore Guards. We have Line, Fusiliers, Light, Rifles, buff faced regts with all their strange "webbing", no two lace arrangements the same, as we have seen here. Highlanders in kilts, in trews, even in Light Regts (but still with Highland distinctions). 28th shako. 71st Bonnet…..etc etc.

dibble21 Nov 2017 7:06 a.m. PST

von Winterfeldt

The British light cavalry regiments are very complicated when it comes to numbering, disbanding, and uniform & facing changes. the reorganisation wasn't done with ease as far as us enthusiasts are concerned. I need to do lots more research on them and do more than one cartouch for each regiment if I use the starting point of say, 1800, earlier than that and it would mean 'more' head scratching. The layout of the cartouche 'key' itself also needs to be looked into to come up with a easy to understand system. A look in Franklin's tome will highlight the confusion with the light Cavalry arm aptly…

I'm also embarking on a very up-hill task of showing yeomanry cavalry regiments in a similar way which so far, is progressing very slowly.

Paul :)

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

Great stuff, Paul.

God wills it29 Nov 2017 10:53 a.m. PST

Very helpful…thankyou very much.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

excellent resource, many thanks

von Winterfeldt30 Nov 2017 11:39 a.m. PST


In case, there you have this immense collection of portraits, you could make a book – showing the portraits and then the colour schemes, like you did on the 98th – for example the difference on the portraits "buff" and then on the scheme.

dibble30 Nov 2017 12:35 p.m. PST

Thank's von' It's a good Idea. I should have a long think about it.

Just an aside: I have updated C.E Franklin's artwork and text of those four regiments quoted above. For my own personal use of course!

Paul :)

dibble01 Oct 2020 2:51 p.m. PST

Just an update in case anyone is using this post as a reference:

Further research has shown that he 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment should be bastion loops in pairs, as should the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment.

ferg98109 Oct 2020 1:23 p.m. PST


Decent amount of work gone into that research

Good effort.


Nine pound round09 Oct 2020 2:05 p.m. PST

The fun and variety in painting the French comes with the musicians and the immense numbers of non-line units. It is tedious, it's true, to paint 12 identical Young Guard battalions for Roguet's division circa 1810, but you get the Battalion de Neufchatel for a nice palate-cleanser: suddenly everything is yellow and red!

The most interesting units to paint that I have found are the "provisional" battalions of the British Peninsular Army- essentially amalgamated battalions. For a ten figure Empire battalion, five figures in one uniform, five in the other. Few people notice in 15mm, but if you know what to look for, it's a neat effect.

Dibble, curious about your methodology- you work from portraits? Do you use single ones, or match the lace and facing colors to multiple paintings? I ask because of the well-known British tolerance for a degree of individuality in officers' clothing, and of course, artistic license- how do you reconcile those? Definitely an interesting project, though, and I appreciate your willingness to share your efforts.

dibble09 Oct 2020 6:41 p.m. PST

I almost never (unless the uniform depicted is blatant) go on single examples. I normally go by a minimum of three and how competent the artist is with said detail. I only show two in the examples above due to space, but I will post other examples of the 58th, 74th, 78th, and 98th if you like?…

I have many examples of miniatures that are impossible to pin down due to a total lack of information. I would not post anything without being sure of accuracy and being able to back up what I post with evidence but this of course doesn't mean that I can't make mistakes, thus the request for anyone to point out any they can see or perceive.

One of the problems (there are lots of others) is that the officers in those days had a habit of moving from regiment to regiment so even having information about the sitter ( which is not very common by a long shot) does not necessarily mean that you know the regimentals he is wearing, depicts, especially if he served in regiments with similar facings, spacings and braid colour.

I will post evidence of the 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment and 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment so watch this space. I'll also post an excellent, contemporary picture of a 'mounted' 2nd KGL Hussar that came up for auction a while ago. It should be of interest to many of you, in fact, I may post a 'total' update here when I have finished sorting out the files.

Sorry to bang on about this but: It seems that many, many illustrators and historians rely too much on the charts by de Bosset and Hamilton-Smith (Smith copied de Bosset warts and all!), which, though they are of use, are nevertheless inaccurate and are carried over by said historians/illustrators. And from what I have discovered, Hamilton-Smith's Militia schematic is full of faults too.

Nine pound round10 Oct 2020 3:49 a.m. PST

Thanks for explaining- you're not banging on at all, I was curious about how you did it, as it seems like it must be an enormous project. I have certainly depended heavily on Carl Franklin and Hamilton-Smith, but it's clear reading Franklin that he had a task relying on old patterns and such fragmentary contemporary information as was available.

Edwulf10 Oct 2020 5:03 a.m. PST


"and sure enough…..

Now these I need to know more about. Since checked on-line and drew a blank. Much mention of switching to 98th in 1816 but before that…not a sausage!"

From 1806 they were in Bermuda and 1811 sent to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. Saw no major actions. Probably why they are mostly unheard of.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2020 10:39 a.m. PST

Hi dibble

On regiments 97 and 100 what is the significance of there being two facing colours shown? Is there uncertainty about which they wore?

Edit: ah, I've just checked the key – change to Royal.

dibble11 Oct 2020 1:49 p.m. PST

Edit: ah, I've just checked the key change to Royal.


dibble14 Oct 2020 2:07 p.m. PST

Here are the pictures of individuals of those Regiments I have listed above, as evidence of the DeBosset/Hamilton-Smith Errors.

See my first post above, for the related examples.

30th, 58th, 74th:

78th and 98th:


And for all you KGL Cavalry buffs out there, here is that contemporary picture of a Mounted KGL 1st Hussar (I said 2nd in my post above…Sorry :( ) and also a miniature of an officer of the 2nd. The 1808 picture of the 1st is very interesting too and gives us a fine detail of the troopers of that time.

1st and 2nd Hussars KGL:

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