Grenadier Officer, 1st Guards, 1688 (Grenadier Guards)
Named The Grenadier Guards after the Battle Waterloo, 1815; Part of the Guards Division
1st Guards (now the Grenadier Guards) assisted at Charles II’s departure from Holland in 1660. In 1677 the hand grenade was introduced, and a grenadier company was added to each infantry regiment. Composed of picked men of fine physique, they took place of honour on the right of the line. Grenadiers assumed different dress to the rest of the regiment. They wore a characteristic cap (the broad-brimmed hat interfered with slinging a flintlock and throwing a grenade) so a brimless hat was worn. It became very ornamented. This one is early, its shape different from the mitre. Grenadier’s coats were laced differently to the rest of the regiment. The song ‘The British Grenadiers’, refers to their ‘looped clothes’ – the extra loops of lace, or tassels, with which they were adorned. This coat is different from that worn elsewhere in the regiment. The claret colour was worn by grenadiers for many years afterwards. This officer carries a firelock but no sword. The musket was a new weapon: musketeers were ousting pikemen from the ranks. It became a weapon of honour, carried by all officers of grenadier companies. They usually carried a sword too, but here he carries a plug bayonet instead. The uniform gives the impression of ceremonial dress rather than intended for use on active service, for which he would have worn something a little less expensive.
Source: Portrait of an officer of the Regiment.
|Dimensions||24 × 37.5 cm|