Please help me!

As one of my modules for university next year, I have to write a 3,500 piece on a topic of my choosing. Having spent my summer looking at 18th century redcoat soldiers, this was the obvious choice! So I’ve whittled down the mass of items relating to soldiers down to clothing – something that really interests me, I can get great comparisons from and something which hasn’t been studied all that intensively leaving room for me to get in there without having to worry about copyright and all sorts of other issues!

So as a start (I want to try and get something done before term starts) I was wondering if anyone knew of any good websites, books, articles or anything else that talked about/mentioned/used 18th century Redcoat clothing. I have no idea where toย begin and so any suggestions would be extremely helpful…

Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

(Wouldn’t it be great to be able to timetravel… Dr Who. Where are you when I need you?)


9 thoughts on “Help!

  1. Dani

    Hi Gemma,

    Fascinating area for research! There’s a series of books that you’d find very useful: Osprey’s Men At Arms Series:

    The first one is: Stuart Reid, King George’s Army 1740-93: Infantry (Osprey Publishing, 1995)
    I have a copy if you want to borrow it. It goes into a good amount of detail and has some excellent illustrations of uniforms.

    • Thanks for all your suggestions and help Dani! I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me ๐Ÿ™‚

      If I could borrow the Stuart Reid book that would be fab?! And I shall definately have a look at the war of 1812 website. I just can’t wait to get started now. I wish it was Sept 26th already….

      Thanks again! Gem.

      • Dani

        lol Don’t wish the last of your hols away, you’ll be up to your eyeballs in work in no time :p

        I’ll drop the book into your pigeonhole on Monday ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Gemma, best place to start if you haven’t seen them already are the Royal
    clothing warrants. Also copies of the 1742 clothing book from Windsor Castle are great for uniforms around 1750. The Rpyal Collection has also digitized Morier’s Grenadiers painting which are available on their website.

    • Hi Adam. The clothing warrants and clothing books sounds like fantastic sources – do you know where I would be able to get a copy of these? Would it be worth making a trip to the National Archives do you think?

      I’ve just taken a look at Morier’s paintings; they are absolutely beautiful and will come in very useful as part of my study!

      Thank you for all your help and suggestions.


      • Hi Gemma,

        The Clothing Warrants for 1751 and almost certainly 1768 are available on the web, if you google them you should be able to find them. The ones in between and following on from these dates are probably available in the National Archives. There are also the journals of soldiers who more often than not describe their dress. The Unknown Soldier of the 68th from Oxford certainly describes his uniform and goes into detail in the end of his journal about the individual costs of the uniforms.

        The Clothing books is also available on the web,

        Best of luck with your work, I wrote my original dissertation on recruitment of the British Army between 1793 and 1850.

      • Brilliant! I shall have a google search and see if I can find them. I am planning a trip to the National Archives sometime over the christmas holidays, so I shall certainly have a look for them then.

        Thank you very much for the link to the clothing books – it is a fascinating website and shall come in extremely useful.

        Thanks Adam, I shall let you know how I get on with the research and writing up. Only 3500 words and I know I shall have tons more to say than I’m allowed. Ahh cool. That sounds extremely interesting (it really is a fascinating area- I should love to learn more about recruitment as it is a topic my tutor is also interested in…) – what made you choose to write about recruitment? How did you get into looking at this particular era?

        I’m beginning to find that I am getting more and more addicted to 18th century military history and it’s now becoming an obsession so I hope I can write a dissertation on the subject! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. It was based around my belief or bias that the British Soldier wasn’t quite the always the scum of the earth his comtemporaries made him out to be. Which is to some degree true, when you consider at least in the army you were fed and clothed it was often a better life than say a field hand. You also get the desire for adventure and even patriotism during the French Wars. Of course you also get the drunks and criminals too, It’s an interesting topic.

    Sadly enough my interest in the 18th and early 19th century army stems originally from Sharp! Which got me into re-enactment, which led me to be more interested in how soldier lived than the battles they fought. Which turned me into a progressive living historian and now I spend my weekend shivering under one woollen blanket in barns after marching 12 miles in three hours!

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