Officer, 4th Foot, 1743

£4.00

I Infantry Uniforms of the British Army 1660-1790

Availability: In stock

The 4th Foot were raised in 1680 as the 2nd Tangier Regiment but renamed the King’s Own Royal Regiment by King George I in 1715. It now forms part of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. This officer is shown dressed for duty. On active service he was armed with a spontoon or fusil, if an officer in a grenadier company. His coat is like that worn by privates, but with laced button-holes on lapels and ornamental slashes on the sleeves. The pockets of officers’ coats displayed much variety. [Three-cornered flaps remained on the tails of full-dress tunics until 1914 – a survival of a pocket such as this]. The full-bottomed wig has been abandoned for a neater affair: the officer’s own hair treated and powdered. This fashion persisted until about 1808. The hair on top of the head was cut and forced to grow backwards by plastering with grease. The hair at the sides was curled with tongs and the rest tied in a queue at the back with string or ribbon. Officers used to ‘˜do’ one another’s hair. To set hair well was a social accomplishment. The barber would dress it about once a fortnight. Those whose hair was too short ordered a false queue. Before a parade hair might be dressed the day before, the officer having to sleep on his face to protect his coiffure. Hair so treated must have been filthy (there is a description of the smell of soldiers’ heads in church on Sunday on a hot day).

Dimensions 24 × 37.5 cm