Noblemen’s Regiments

The Jacobite Rebellion created a need for a rapid expansion in the size of the British Army.  This was facilitated by members of the aristocracy volunteering to raise regiments.  A total of 13 Noblemen’s Regiments of infantry were raised, plus two Regiments of Light Horse.

Four of the infantry Regiments are recorded as being in red uniforms, with yellow, green and red facings (the fourth facing colour being unknown).  Most, if not all, of the remaining Noblemen’s Regiments seem to have worn blue uniforms with red facings, as illustrated in this print of the Marquess of Granby’s 71st Foot.

Grenadier caps exist of two of the Noblemen’s Regiments (including Granby’s) and it seems reasonable to assume that they all had Grenadier Companies.

Four of these Noblemen’s Regiments are recorded as being present at the Second Siege of Carlisle which took place from 21-30 December 1745.  In his book “The Sieges of the ’45” on P 88, Jonathan Oates lists Bedford’s 68th, Montague’s 69th, Granby’s 71st & Halifax’s 74th as being at Carlisle.  However, his description of the siege does not mention the activities of any of these Noblemen’s Regiments.

In the book “Rebellious Scots to Crush” edited by Andrew Bamford, Appendix 1 P196 also lists these same four Regiments as being at Carlisle. 

There is however some doubt about whether these regiments were actually there.  The book “King George’s Army 1740-93 (2)” by Stuart Reid – Notes to Plate A2 P23 says Montague’s 69th & Halifax’s 74th were at the Siege of Carlisle, but does not mention Bedford’s 68th or Granby’s 71st.

There is also a detailed article in the book “Rebellious Scots to Crush”, titled “The Noblemen’s Regiments” by Andrew Cormack and on P86-92 this shows movements of these Regiments as follows:

Bedford’s 68th – To Litchfield – 19 Nov 45.  To Newcastle – 9 Jan 46.

Granby’s 71st – To Litchfield – 19 Nov 45.  To Newcastle – 9 Jan 46.

Montague’s 69th – To Litchfield – 25 Nov 45.  To Carlisle – 9 Jan 46.

Halifax’s 74th – To Litchfield – 19 Nov 45.  To Carlisle – 9 Jan 46.

That suggests that only the 69th and 74th went to Carlisle, but that they did not arrive until after the siege was over.  However, it would have been theoretically possible for all four Regiments to have marched from Litchfield to Carlisle in the time available, and they could have arrived before the siege.  Perhaps because that particular move was ordered locally, it was not recorded.

I therefore decided to model all four of these Noblemen’s Regiments.  I was planning to model them anyway as part of Cumberland’s Midlands Army for a “What If” scenario of a battle between that Army and the Jacobite Army as they marched south through England.  I assumed that all four were in blue uniforms with red facings so selected four different poses of RedBox figures so as to be able to easily distinguish between them.

From the left these are Bedford’s 68th, Montague’s 69th, Granby’s 71st & Halifax’s 74th. In each case I have shown an original figure and a modified one, the conversion being simply to show them with their coats not turned back, which as achieved by welding small pieces of sprue on to the figures.

The Noblemen’s Regiments had an establishment of 800 men each and they were funded once they had reached half of this number.  I therefore decided to model them on the same strength as my Regiments of Foot, which is 14 figures, representing 420 real men at my 1:30 figure ratio, which was the average Regiment strength at Culloden.  The 14 figures represent their tactical organisation for an understrength Regiment of 12 centre platoons and two grenadier platoons.

The Noblemen’s Regiments Grenadier platoons are in the same pose as the rest of their Regiment but have grenadier caps with head swaps from the one pose of four grenadier figures in each RedBox set.

Two of the Centre Platoon figures in each Regiment are portrayed as a Command Stand of one Officer (Standard Bearer) and one drummer.  There are 43 figures in each RedBox British Infantry set, but there are only two officers and one drummer, so I converted some figures as officers and drummers.  Here is the conversion of the figures for the Command Stand for Bedford’s 68th Foot, with the original figures on the left of the picture and the converted figures on the right.  The drummer’s mitre is taken from a set of Revell Prussian Infantry.  I only have one set of these, since the figures are too tall to fit in with my other figures, but I have used them as spare parts for conversions such as this.  The drum is scratch built from a piece of sprue.

Here is a similar conversion of figures for the Command Stand for Montague’s 69th Foot, in this case using a RedBox Officer (Standard Bearer) figure.

Here is the conversion of figures for the Command Stand for Granby’s 71st Foot.  The figures for the Command Stand of Halifax’s 74th Foot are identical to these.

Regiments of Foot with red facings would have carried white flags with a red St George’s cross.  However, I thought it more likely that these Noblemen’s Regiments would have carried flags with heraldic badges of the Noblemen who had raised them.  I also knew from previous research that the Cumberland and Westmorland Militia, who had red coats with red facings, had a red flag with the Coat of Arms of their Colonel,  Sir James Lowther, and was still carrying this in 1757.  I therefore used electronic copy and pasting to create suitable flags for these four Noblemen’s Regiments as below.

Here are one figure each of the Grenadier Companies and Centre Companies of the four Regiments: Bedford’s 68th, Montague’s 69th, Granby’s 71st & Halifax’s 74th.

Similarly here are the Command figures for the four Regiments.

This is the complete Duke of Bedford’s 68th Foot in column.

And the Duke of Montague’s 69th Foot, also in column.

Followed by the Marquess of Granby’s 71st Foot in line.

And finally the Earl of Halifax’s 74th Foot, also in line.

6 thoughts on “Noblemen’s Regiments

  1. mosstrooper7 May 3, 2023 / 10:26 am

    Interesting uniforms makes a change to the usual red.


  2. Steve Wroblicky May 3, 2023 / 7:28 pm

    Love the history you mentioned in the beginning of your post. Nice work with your painting too.


    • rodwargaming May 3, 2023 / 8:27 pm

      Hi Steve,

      I enjoy the historical research as well as the painting (plus often converting).



  3. John W. June 7, 2023 / 1:51 pm

    Rod you really should watch this ground breaking video looking into the effectiveness or otherwise of the Highland Targe in deflecting or absorbing musket & pistol shots. Those looking into whether the Targe is bullet proof have used different layers of plank softwood & hardwood, firing their musket & pistols with the Targe positioned at different angles. The best Targe is the one that used softwood with the testers recommending that the highlanders cover them with studs.


    • rodwargaming June 7, 2023 / 4:21 pm

      Hi John,

      Great video. The conclusions don’t surprise me, since layers of softwood with wool between them are going to be more effective (due to the shock absorbing qualities) than hardwood or targes without the wool. As one of the guys said during the video, it is not unlike the theory behind modern Kevlar. Having said that, the targes were more effective than I expected, particularly if the bullet hit a stud.



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