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British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

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British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby Jabbamiles » August 23rd, 2017, 1:51 pm

Good day to you all, first post in a long while and a question.
During the mid period of the Napoleonic wars, specifically the Peninsular War, what would have been the colour of the lace for "Royal" regiment's drummers.
I am aware the jacket was red with blue facings but I have recently seen mention of a "Royal" lace, being yellow with blue thread running through it, being used on drummers jackets with the usual white, with regimental distinctions, for rank and file.
Can anybody shed some light on this please?

Thanks
Tony.
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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby Josh&Historyland » August 24th, 2017, 8:25 pm

Jabbamiles.

To kick things off, I'll just breeze through what I know.
Regiments designated the title Royal or the dignity as such, the 42nd Royal Highlanders etc, or the 4th Kings Own for instance, where identified by dark blue facings. Personally, excepting the Rifles I've never heard of any lace being anything but white.
It is my understanding that pre the 1812 reforms and for a natural delay thereafter battalions of the line followed the convention of reversed facings. See this thread.

http://www.napoleonicwarsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2505

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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby jf42 » August 25th, 2017, 6:14 am

Jabba, do you mean the lace chevrons on the drummers sleeves, which was distinct from the bands of buttonhole lace across the chest. At this time drummers of Royal regiments did not wear coats in reversed colours. As Josh says, coat lace at this time was essentially white.

The description of yellow lace with a 'worm' of blue running through it, sounds like buttonhole lace of a specific regiment from the period before the short closed coat replaced the lapelled coat of the the C18th, circa 1797-1800.
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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby Jabbamiles » August 25th, 2017, 7:48 am

jf42 I was assuming that all the lace on the jacket would be the same and that the sleeve lace wouldn't be different from the button hole lace.
The reference to a "Royal" pattern lace for Royal regiment drummers did have as reference late C18th uniforms so I suppose it may have been discontinued by the early C19th.
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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby Jabbamiles » August 25th, 2017, 9:13 am

I think the confusion may have arisen due to the following from Franklin's "British Army Uniforms of the American Revolution"

"Drummers circa 1751

The warrant of 1751 noted that drummers of royal regiments wore red, lined and faced in blue and laced with royal lace. The drummers of other regiments were to wear coats of the facing colour lined and faced in red and laced as the colonel 'thought fit for distinction sake', but the lace was to be of the colour of that worn by the rank and file. There is no record, which I can find, of the drummer lace of this period of 1751.

Drummers circa 1768

Drummers usually wore reversed colours with red collars and cuffs. The drummers of the Foot Guards and those of royal regiments wore scarlet jackets, faced with royal blue and 'royal' lace, 'considerably raised above the common lace'. Lace for drummers of other regiments was 'to be raised in the same manner' and 'in such manner as the Colonel shall think fit'. However, there is no record of the lace for the period, apart from the books of J. B .& N. Pearse that are later, during the Napoleonic War. "

With people wondering if this was still the case by the Napoleonic wars.

Also the Mont Saint Jean website has the Royal Scots' musicians with yellow lace, maybe just a regimental peculiarity by 1815?
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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby PaulD » August 25th, 2017, 12:13 pm

Hello Jabbamiles

The attached might help http://royalscots.tripod.com/sitebuilde ... ngregs.pdf - it describes changes between 1768 and 1802 and para 50 covers drummers coats and lace, including the Royal regiments
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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby Jabbamiles » August 29th, 2017, 8:02 am

Cheers PaulD,

So from what that says "Royal Lace " was a thing still in 1802 but could be white and blue or white, blue and yellow.

Tony.
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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby PaulD » August 29th, 2017, 8:31 am

Yes - there's seldom a simple answer!
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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby Jabbamiles » August 29th, 2017, 9:18 am

For 28mm wargamimg figures the answer is white :)

Thanks for the help.

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Re: British "Royal" Regiments Drummer's lace

Postby jf42 » August 29th, 2017, 9:59 pm

As ever in these questions, it is better to start with an individual regiment in which one is interested and investigate the available data. Generalisations frequently prove unreliable and can lead to confusion.

Royal lace had a fleur-de-lys motif. The precise reason for this French royal emblem being displayed is not clear, but it did remain part of the Royal coat of arms unti circa 1801, which might be relevant.

This was not a stricly codified decorative detail. I have read that drummers of the 63rd Regiment, formed from the 2nd Battalion of the 8th King's Regiment in 1758, although not a royal regiment, as was its parent regiment, displayed a fleur de lys in their lace. (This may or may not have been the origin of the fleur de lys emblem worn intermittently by officers of the 63rd and later adopted as a cap badge by the Manchester Regiment (63rd & 96th) in the 1920s).
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