redcoat1812 wrote:Hi there,
I am interested in recreating an officers uniform for the 44th East Essex circa 1840's. In particular that of a Major. Would anyone have any pictures etc of such a coatee from this period, or information for where I could find some?
jf42 wrote:Am I right in thinking that the ball-tufts on Infantry shakos, having replaced the white feather in 1835, remained all-white for battalion and grenadier coys of most regiments until the introduction of the 'Albert' shako? Thereafter, they returned to the original company distinctions of white-over-red, white and green. My point being, the cap distinction of a centre company in the 1840 would differ according to whether it was first half of the decade or the second and which model shako he was wearing. Roughly speaking.
I'm guessing the 24th Regiment shako shown, by the red base to the long white plume, must date from before the change to all-white feathers in 1831. Or was this a later peculiarity of the 24th?
jf42 wrote:Those bell-top shakos are handsome but a nightmare to wear, I imagine.
My mention of 1831 for white feathers was slightly wide of the mark.
On February 10th 1829, it was ordered that the company cap distinctions for Infantry Regiments (Light Inf and Rifles excluded) should be changed to an all-white feather or worsted plume. Rifles and Lights adopted a green worsted ball-tuft to replace falling plumes of cockfeathers or horsehair.
This news prompted the Fifth (Northumberland) Regiment to protest at the 'extinction' by this measure of the white feather distinction that the Fifth wore, it was said, to commemorate their victory over a superior French force on St Lucia in 1778 (It was only recently, in 1824, that the Fifth had obtained official authority to wear a distinction that had been in evidence certainly since c.1792).
On petition from the Fifth's Colonel, the King granted a distinction as an equivalent for that which the Regiment has lost and in July 1829, the Regiment were authorised to wear a red-over-white feather in place of the white "as a peculiar mark of honour, whereby its former services will still be commemorated, and a perpetual incitement be afforded to a continuance of its good conduct" (H. Taylor, Adj. Gen.
Horse Guards. July 11th, 1829)
The Fifth were designated Fusiliers six years later and the red-over white hackle is still worn by the Royal Regt of Fusiliers today.
What the infantry's grenadiers said regarding the purloining of their white feather distinction, I have yet to ascertain. The Highland regiments, apart from the Black Watch retained white feathers in their feather bonnets until the suspension of Full Dress in 1914.
I have not seen the text of the actual Order of Feb 1829. Michael Barthorp states in British Infantry Uniforms since 1660 that the change to the white feather was ordered in 1831 and that green ball-tufts were adopted by the Rifles and Lights in 1830. I have yet to explore those inconsistencies more thoroughly.
There might have been confusion with changes to Foot Guards headgear in 1831 or arising from the fine series of paintings by Alexandre-Jean Dubois Drahonet in the Royal Collection executed between 1831 and 1834.
I am uncertain of the copyright situation so I shall post the link:http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/egallery/maker.asp?maker=13073&row=60
jf42 wrote:My profound apologies at my accidental omitting of reference tothe Fusiliers- although, of course, they were grenadiers in all but name.
The chagrin of the 7th, 21st and 23rd at the upstart Fifth stealing a march on them must have turned the air blue.
1816 feathers on 1929 shakos- chacos?-. Of course.
All of which begs the question, why when Horse Guards were conceding distinctions to every Jock, Lacadaemonian and Percy, did this imposition of swingeing, tactless uniformity take place. Cost? Hardly.
jf42 wrote:I would have expected no less of those Fuzileers.
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