The 2nd Footguards – The Coldstream Guards 1685
From “Origin and services of the Coldstream Guards” by Colonel Mac Kinnon
The First & 2nd regiment of His Majesties Foot Guards
The officers of this first Regiment of foot Guards (consisting of 24 companies, and two companies of grenadiers) were exceedingly richly habited ; some in coats of gold cloth, others in crimson velvet, embroidered or laced with gold or silver : but most of them in fine scarlet cloth buttoned down the breast, and on the facings of the sleeves with Silver Plate. Their scarf’s ( which they wore about their waists ) were either net-work of gold or silver, or of crimson taffeta richly fringed with gold or silver. And their hats were adorned with tours of white feathers.
The captains were distinguished by corslets or gorgets of silver plate doubly gilt ; the lieutenants by corslets of steel, polished and sanguined, and studded with nails of gold ; and the ensigns had their corslets of silver plate.
The private soldiers were all new clothed in coats of red broad cloth, lined and faced with Blew ; their hats were black, laced with silver, turned up and garnished with blew ribbons. Their Breeches were of blew broad cloth, and the stockings of blew worsted.
The musquetiers were armed with snaphance muskquets with snaguin’d barrels, their foot eight inches in length ; good swords in waist belts, and collars of bandoliers ; and the pikeman with pikes sixteen foot long, each headed with a three-square point of steel, and good swords in broad shoulder belts, wearing also about their wastes sashes or scarf’s of white worsted fringed with blew.
The grenadiers ( viz. two companies) were clothed as the musquetiers, but distinguished by caps of red cloth lined with blew shaloon, and laced with silvers galoon about the edges ; and on the frontlets of the said caps ( which were very large and high) was embroidered the kings cipher and crown. Each of these grenadiers was armed with a long carabine strapt, the barrel thereof three foot two inches in length ; a cartouch-box, bionet, granada-pouch, and a hammer-hatchet.
The officers of this Second regiment of Foot Guards ( Web Editer highlight ) (consisting of twelve companies and one of grenadiers) were exceedingly richly habited, but differing in their embroideries, laces and fringes, which were of gold, and their buttons of gold thread, from the officers of the first Regiment of foot guards, which had them silver.
The captains, lieutenants, and ensigns, were distinguished by corslets or gorgets, as those officers of the First Regiment, and their hats were also adorned with tours of white feathers.
The private soldiers, viz musquetiers, pikemen, and grenadiers, were in all points armed and accoutred as the First Regiment, and agreeable to them in their clothing except their breeches, which were of red broad cloth, and their stockings of red worsted. Their hats were black, turned up, and laced about with gold galoon, in which they wore red ribbons, and the sashes or waste scarffs of the pikeman being of white worsted, were fringed on the sides and at the ends with red worsted.
The grenadiers had their caps lined and faced with Blew chaloon, and laced with gold galoon, and embroidered on the frontlet with the Kings cipher.
The colours or the Ensigns of this regiment had been of Blue taffata: the colonels without distinction; the lieutenant-colonels with a white plain cross throughout , surmounted by a cross of crimson taffeta, or cross of St George ; as were the ten other ensigns. Only the Majors ensign was distinguished by a white pile wavy issuing out of the canton of the first quarter, and the several captains by numeral letters, viz. The eldest by I, the second by II, the third by III, and so to the youngest or ninth captain, who had IX, all painted in white on the dexter cantons of the first quarters. these ensigns were devised by Mr Francis Sandford, for his Grace George late Duke of Albermarle, when he commanded the regiment, and approved of by his late majesty King Charles the Second, and by his present Majesty when Duke of York.
But the distinctions in the ensigns of the First Regiment of Foot Guards being altered by the present King (as is said Before,) His majesty did then also direct that the alterations following should be made in the ensigns of this second Regiment of Foot Guards, that they might be more agreeable to the colours of the first Regiment ; (1) for, excepting the colonel ensign, which was purely of white taffeta, the other eleven were charged on the centre with the letter I, in white, ensigned with an imperial crown of gold painted thereon ; the second with II, their third III, the fourth with IV, and so forward to the ninth captain, who was distinguished by IX, each of them under an imperial crown of gold. And thus did these ensigns fly at the coronation.