Officer, 6th Foot, 1735


I Infantry Uniforms of the British Army 1660-1790

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This officer of the 6th Foot is wearing neither gorget nor sash, so is off duty. His elegant coat bears little resemblance to those worn by the men of the regiment. He is wearing an aiguillette on his right shoulder – commonly worn as the mark of a commissioned officer, or non-commissioned officer in the infantry, and was worn by all ranks in some cavalry regiments. The origin of these shoulder knots is obscure: it could have been from picketing ropes for horses (because of the pegs at their ends like the pegs used on picketing ropes) and ropes for tying up hay used by foraging parties. They were worn by servants in private houses and still appear on some royal liveries. It is possible they were merely decorative additions to dress, added during a time when such decoration was not considered unmanly. They disappeared in the Napoleonic wars but revived in some cavalry regiments later and are now worn by officers and NCOs of the Household Cavalry and by some staff officers. The 6th Foot were another of the ‘Six Old Corps’ who retained their ancient badge of an antelope on their caps. They won this badge at Saragossa in 1710 where they won a resounding victory over French and Spanish cavalry, capturing, among other things, a Moorish flag bearing the device of an antelope. The 6th is now amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Additional information

Dimensions24 × 37.5 cm