Civilian Fashions visit here:
If you need
help with the resizing of period patterns, then visit the
La Couturiere Parisienne.
'Clothing, not costume' - we wear copies of period
clothes and uniforms usually handsewn as accurately as
possible, or copying the construction techniques using
existing surviving articles of dress or period tailors
patterns (this also applies to our ladies clothes). Our coat
patterns are taken from a 1690's Army Tailor's book, with
the colours researched from original regimental accounts
uniforms and clothing are available from us, and there are
regimental seamstresses for those who either find a needle
and thread challenging or just wish to expand on their
knowledge. Below you will find a guide to regimental
uniform, which also shows how much it changed in a 20 year
A few differences should be
noted from the later 1745 British Army uniforms:
- Coats and breeches are
still cut in civilian style. Officers have the luxury of
wearing the latest fashions in regimental colours.
The coat should cover to the knee, hiding the
breeches beneath. Breeches must not fall 2 inches below
- The pockets are slightly
smaller and lower down, a hang-up of the 1670's.
- The cuffs are at their
- Spatterdashes (Leg
coverings to protect) are still optional to individual.
- Army hats have only just
begun to be 'military cocked', to differentiate between
the civilians and serving men.
- Coats are buttoned all
the way up to the cravat.
- Waistcoats (vests) have
sleeves, and also made from wool. Effectively a soldier
would be wearing two coats.
- Buttons are pewter and
domed; not flat.
- Shoes were still the
same style as the 1670's, with buckles now replacing
- Only officers wore wigs.
Marlborough introduced the smaller 'campaign wig' into
- Common soldiers wore
their hair loose or tied, which was shoulder length.
Justacorps made in France for
the Scandinavian armies, c.1690, ©Stockholm Army Museum
As with all
re-enactment groups, getting the all important equipment and
uniform can be, at times, a lengthy progress, especially if
you are short of a 'shilling' or two. It is uncommon for new
members to be fully equipped within the first year or so. We
will help in the building up of your equipment and costume,
and point you in the right direction for suppliers of the
hardware such as muskets. We also have a limited stock of
regimental equipment. In general you should be agreeable to
apply for the shot gun and black powder licenses (or already
hold one) in order to use the firelocks/flintlock muskets.
The earliest reference to the
colours carried by the regiment show them to have consisted
of the white cross of St Andrew on a blue ground; in the
center, a thistle and crown in gold surrounded by the circle
of St Andrew and the motto "Nemo me impune lacessit" in
gold. There were several minor variations between the
Lieutenant-Colonels', Majors' and Captains' Colours.
The above colours are dated 1745
and were found walled up in a Scottish house in the 20th
century. This flag was used at the battle of Culloden by
Lord Ogilvy's Foot. Ogilvy served in Orkneys in his youth
and perhaps chose the pre-1707 Orkney's colours because he
was incensed at the Act of Union which got rid of the
traditional cross of St. Andrew. Note how he subtly changed
it by moving the thistle and the motto to the top.
The Act of
Union in 1707, uniting England and Scotland, brought much
change to the structure of the British army. A new flag was
introduced for the whole nation, the early variation of the
Union Flag [not 'jack'; this is a naval term]. This resulted
in the incorporation of the Scottish Cross of St. Andrew
with the English Cross of St. George, making a truly unique
flag. Orkneys new colours took on the regimental facings and
became white with the union flag in the corner, and the
thistle and motto in the middle. Records show that some
Scottish regiments refused to change flags immediately in
1707, preferring to let the old ones 'wear out' first. In
1742 the flag changed again and took on the Union Flag
style, and the pre-1707 crest was deleted.
For more information about flags and colours
to see a selection of other regiment's colours, as well as a
brief outline to flag protocol.
The following period
extracts are taken from the "Records of the Royal Scots",
kindly provided by Lt. Col. R P Mason of the Royal Scots
1678 clothing warrant
"A cloth coat lined
with bayes, 1 pair kersey breeches, 2 shirts, 1 pair of
yarne hose, 1 hatt edged and hatt band, 1 sash, 1 sword and
belt for each man."
The predominant colour for
hat lace and hat bands was at this time white.
Army List published by
Nathan Brooks, 1684
"The Royal, or
Dumbarton's...distinguished by red coats lined with white;
sashes white with a white fringe, breeches and stockings
light grey; Grenadiers distinguished by caps lined white,
the lion's face proper crowned, etc."
The records also describe the
beaver hat bound and edged with white tape: coat with
white cuffs and lining to the skirts; flat white metal
buttons; breeches and stockings grey; garters white; belts
Hounslow Camp, 1685
"Dumbarton's red, lined
with white, grey breeches and stockings"
Gerpines Camp, 1692
"..red, lined white."
"1st and 10th Foot.
Red breeches and stockings"
By the early 18th century the
hat brim was cocked up on three sides in the familiar
tricorn style, the coat fuller and longer in the skirts,
worn open at the breast to expose the shirt and waistcoat,
and the skirts frequently buttoned back in action.
Gaiters were probably
officially introduced between 1725-9, but were worn on
campaign in the Flanders mud and privately purchased. The
first mention of issued gaiters for infantry "at two
shillings a man" on the clothing warrants is 1735.
Board of General
"A good full bod'd
cloth coat, well lined, which may serve for the waistcoat
the second year; a waistcoat; a pair of good kersey
breeches; a pair of good strong stockings; a pair of good
strong shoes; two good shirts and two neckcloths; a good
strong hat, well laced. For the second year:- A good cloth
coat well lined as for the first year; a waistcoat made of
the former year's coat; a pair of strong kersey new
breeches; a pair of good strong stockings; a pair of good
strong shoes; a good shirt and a neckcloth; a good strong
hat, well laced."
Unfortunately these worthy
gentlemen were more concerned with the quality than
recording details for posterity and re-enactors!
viz., swords, belts, cartridge boxes, and drum carriages,
shall be provided out of the off-reckonings."
corporals and drums be clothed in the same manner, but
everything better in its kind."
Whitehall 16th March
1708-9 (1709 in the modern calendar)
To colonels of regiments
in Flanders, the standard was to be "red coats, with
black buttons and button holes". This is confusing as
records also show that Orkney's wore white lacings on their
The first official mention of
blue facings is in 1742. A relatively recent plaster model
in the regimental museum shows white facings and buff
leather cartridge boxes. The buff leather boxes are borne
out by illustrations based on the 1742 clothing warrant,
when many regiments had black boxes.
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Lord Orkney's Regiment and M. Cotton
No part may be
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