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"1800 uniform changes -Regiments of foot" Topic

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42flanker10 Sep 2021 9:32 a.m. PST

Greetings all. I should be grateful for guidance towards chapter and verse of regulations introducing the changes to the uniforms of infantry regiments in 1800, notably the adoption of the felt cap in place of the cocked hat.

I have the text of the proposed amendments of 1802, edited by W.Y. Carman. Were the 1800 changes similar, issued in a single document or were they, perhaps, more piecemeal?

Many thanks

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 9:48 a.m. PST

One presumes you are referring to the British army?


42flanker10 Sep 2021 10:23 a.m. PST

Indeed. My apologies for any opaquity. I had assumed 'Regiments of Foot' conveyed that.

Prince of Essling10 Sep 2021 3:48 p.m. PST

According to page 109 in C E Franklin's "British Napoleonic Uniforms": "The 'Stovepipe' shako was introduced for the infantry in a General Order of February 1800.".

Cecil C P Lawson "A History of the Uniforms of the British Army" Volume 5, page 1 merely says "The cocked hat now reached its largest dimensions, to be replaced in 1800 by the cylindrical lacquered cap, later changed to felt. It was about 8 inches high and called the 'stove pipe' or 'sugar loaf'.".

42flanker11 Sep 2021 3:58 a.m. PST

Thank you, your Highness. The February reference is interesting but I am hoping for reference to the contemporary orders or memoranda similar to the 1802 documents, rather than via, say, a 21st century compendium such as Franklin's.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 4:12 a.m. PST

>>apologies for any opaquity.

Ahh opaquity- the first line of defence of the dilettante!

Prince of Essling11 Sep 2021 4:25 p.m. PST


Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research
Vol. 15, No. 60 (Winter, 1936), pp. 188-208 (25 pages)
Published by: Society for Army Historical Research
reproduces the text of the 24th February 1800 General Order signed by Harry Calvert Adjutant General, Horse Guards.

Will post text tomorrow once I have been able to extract it.

dibble11 Sep 2021 10:12 p.m. PST

The relevant pages:

Prince of Essling12 Sep 2021 1:09 a.m. PST

Thanks Paul, Saves me the effort – however need to add Cattley's corrigenda:

Page 189, line 30 – For 'buttons' read 'button'.

Page 190, line 32 (referring to the alteration of 1806) – The shako was also altered in shape as well as material: the new one tapered towards the top so that the shape was quite different from the original "stove pipe" shako. The Circular of 20th October 1806, was very indefinite and has caused much confusion among antiquarians, artists and others, who have often mistaken it as authorizing the "Waterloo" shako (raised front), for which no definite order has been traced.

42flanker12 Sep 2021 8:44 a.m. PST

Thanks Paul, most helpful.

It's also worth noting that the author's explanation of the the term 'shako' as originating from a (presumably) Magyar word csak meaning 'peak'- is one version of a long standing fiction of uncertain origin.

There is no Magyar word 'csak.' The Magyar word for the peak,or bill, of a cap is csúcso

The term csákós suveg, usually translated as 'peaked cap,' is better translated as 'tall cap'; 'csákós being the adjectival form of the noun csákó which derives from a word suggesting a 'point' or 'pinnacle.' My Hungarian neighbours confirm this.

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