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Steve Day

Caps Regimental Cap Shako Stovepipe

Hi, I’m looking for some info about shakos or caps, as we’re looking at the possibility of make these in-house or finding a new supplier.  I know you guys have done a lot of research and I could really do with your help if I’m going to make changes in our group.

I’m interested in the bugle horn and peaks.  I know you have gone for brass bugle horns, which are very slim-line compared to other versions I’ve seen, and you changed over to square peaks some time ago.  Could you please advise me against the info you have on these items.

Cheers,
Steve 3/95th
Ben Townsend

Hi Steve,

An 1801 clothing warrant for the Rifle Corps details a brass cap plate,

"...each Sergeant, Corporal, Drummer (bugler), and Private Man shall have..
A Cap, cockade and tuft as above specified (viz., A Cap made of Felt and Leather with Brass plates Cockade and Tuft conformable to a pattern approved by Us, the felt crown of the cap and Tuft to be supplied annually, the leather part and Brass plate and the leather cockade every two years.)"




Clothing Warrant 1801 from Book of Entries, Military and Martial Affairs, 1801 i.e.3.59. Record Office. Dublin. Reproduced in History of The Rifle Brigade, Verner, vol1 p.42

The brass badge we use corresponds to Georgian light infantry archaeological finds from Spain, Portugal, North America and England.

The square peak was introduced in 1809:

17th April 1809, Clothing regs for Riflemen
"...alteration in the Peaks of the caps of the Rifle Corps has been approved, and that they are in future to be square instead of round, as has hitherto been the case."
(WO3/47, 474-5; 17 April. 1809, Adj General to?)

Hope this is food for thought.
Cheers, Ben
Obadiah

Ain't we been down this road before Steve?

Adding to what Ben has put,  have a look at this from our research section. http://95th-rifles.co.uk/equipment/regimental-cap/

Dave
Mercian Pete

That just shows you what you can miss if you don't explore a website thoroughly!  I didn't really appreciate how much info was on the Research section of the website. It's brilliant!
Steve Day

Food for thought indeed, many thanks.

The problem I have is that I need to convince a number of people within our group before I can introduce any changes, and I’m not just talking about our Quarter Master team.  To do this I need overwhelming evidence I can present them.

I recently purchased a booklet on ‘The British Infantry Shako 1800-1897’ as published by the Military Historical Society dated 2008.  This booklet also refers to the Order of 1801 and describes the Caps to be supplied, and goes further to detail the size of the brass plates as 6 ¼ inches high and 4 inches wide.  This can only refer to the brass cap plates worn by the line infantry, with the exception of the Highland Corp.

Under the same heading (so I’m assuming here that this statement is included in the same Order), the booklet states “the Rifle Corps not to wear the brass fronting to their caps, but instead to have a Bugle and Crown, with green cord around the cap.  Unfortunately, it’s not clear whether these bugle badges were brass or not.

The booklet also refers to ‘The Clothing Regs 24th Feb 1802’ which goes further to clarify the 1801 order and details the periods for replacing the felt caps and parts of the cap as you described.  As part of these Regs it repeats the Order relating to the Rifle Corp not to wear the brass plate but have a bugle & crown.

Unfortunately for us, there is no surviving rank & file Caps for the Rifles, so we only have the written word that rarely gives us the detailed info we’re looking for.  Even the various prints and paintings out there cannot be relied upon as many were drawn many years after the wars.  Many of the bugle & crown / ribbon shown in these prints and paintings do not appear to be brass in colour or too difficult to tell what they are made of.  I’m assuming the cap badges we have used in the past are based on the description of a bugle & crown as moulded onto the buttons we use for our tunics.

Do you have any more details about the brass bugle badges found in Spain, Portugal, North America and England, i.e. where are they displayed / held, and how can we be sure these are English and were issued to the 95th?

The reference to WO3/47, 474-5; 17 April. 1809, Adj General to? Regarding the square peaks is interesting.  Is it possible to go somewhere to see the whole document?  I can see from the link provided by Dave, we have what looks like 2 officers and possibly a musician of the Rifles with square peaks.  Are there any other illustrations or documents out there that show the rank & file had these peaks?  I’m sure that quite often musician had more elaborate uniforms than your rank & file.
Neibelungen

As a side note, the cap introduced in late 1815 was the so called 'Regency Shako' rather than the 'Bell-top  Shako'.

The later was introduced 1829-1844, while the former was 1816 to 1829, with a variation of the officers style around 1822.

The primary difference being about 9 1/2" - 10 1\2" wide compared to 11" of the Bell-top and 7-8" tall compared to 6 1/2" of the bell-top. The officer's change in 1822 was a variation in height and plume as well as shako plate.
(Hence the reference to chinscales which never appear before then).
iain

Hi Steve
Original document for WO3/47 is attached
 
Paul Durrant

Steve Day wrote:

The reference to WO3/47, 474-5; 17 April. 1809, Adj General to? Regarding the square peaks is interesting.  Is it possible to go somewhere to see the whole document?  I can see from the link provided by Dave, we have what looks like 2 officers and possibly a musician of the Rifles with square peaks.  Are there any other illustrations or documents out there that show the rank & file had these peaks?  I’m sure that quite often musician had more elaborate uniforms than your rank & file.


Here's some more square peaks (note no powder magazine/horn on the first) and a couple of Rifle Volunteers units that mimicked the 95th;

 

 
Volunteer corps
havercakelad

If you are striving for accuracy then, IMO,  caps using blocked construction are a must. Craig armstrong has supplied caps to several units.
havercakelad

Craig Armstrong makes decent caps for several units. They are blocked too which makes them more authentic.
Ben Townsend

Steve,
I believe you are confusing two documents. The one in the Bryan book is NOT the clothing warrant of 1801 I referenced above. This is a seperate warrant for solely the 95th, issued in Dublin. As you can see, it lists brass cap furniture.

The dug examples come from Spain, France, UK and North America, all from sites of the era. Ours is based on one in the possession of James Kochan. All are identical. We can confidently say that they are Georgian cap plates. Are they 95th plates? We can't say, as they aren't found with numbers. The order to add numbers to LI cap plates comes in 1814. My contacts in the Pyrenees say they havent dug any numbers, despite finding multiple plates.
The chubby silver buglehorn so beloved of re-enactors is usually a copy of a post period horn. Often from a victorian glengarry.  Gavin once detailed to Blakey and me the specific items he used to create the composite badge he produced for the 3/95th. I dont know if these are the ones you still use.
Steve Day

Thanks to everyone, you've given me a lot to think about.

Steve
Obadiah

Is there much to think about? You either stay with a cobbled together Victorian cap badge or go with one that is at least a period Georgian military cap badge.

The only thing I'm still not sure of is whether the 95th wore a crown on their caps? Other than the one reference period images don't seem to show it. If there was one would it be combined with the bugle horn or separate?

Are going down the 1812 pattern cap {Belgic} road or staying with the 1806 pattern cap?
Ben Townsend

In the absence of any evidence Im still inclined to think that in the context, 'buglehorn and crown' the crown refers to the ribbons etc from which the buglehorn is suspended.
Eddie

ben wrote:
In the absence of any evidence Im still inclined to think that in the context, 'buglehorn and crown' the crown refers to the ribbons etc from which the buglehorn is suspended.


I can't run with that Ben me ole mate - a crown is a crown not tied ribbons or strings - its a Royal symbol and not to be messed with!
You are very familiar with this image I know dated 1800 ?

John Waller

Has that officer got a moustache?
Ben Townsend

John- yes, a moustache. There are several images of Rifle officers with moustaches. They were permitted to wear these on service. I believe it says so in the 1801 SO.

Eddie- a crown is always a crown- to you maybe. But to a georgian terminology is rarely what we would consider consistent. For example, from the same year as the pic you reference, heres a usage of 'crown' in connection with caps, refering to the felt part of the body.

"
"...each Sergeant, Corporal, Drummer (bugler), and Private Man shall have..
A Cap, cockade and tuft as above specified (viz., A Cap made of Felt and Leather with Brass plates Cockade and Tuft conformable to a pattern approved by Us, the felt crown of the cap and Tuft to be supplied annualy, the leather part and Brass plate and the leather cockade every two years.)"



Clothing Warrant 1801 from Book of Entries, Military and Martial Affairs, 1801 i.e.3.59. Record Office. Dublin. Reproduced in History of The Rifle Brigade, Verner, vol1 p.42"

I suggest checking the Green book for further light on early practice. Can someone please post the relevant sections. Im away from my library.
khazzard2000

Sorry but I'm with Eddy on this one. Georgian language may be slippy in some cases but I think here it is fairly in line with modern usage. A crown can be a golden gewgaw or it can be the top of someone's head or hat, any modern dictionary will give you both definitions, as will Johnson. Any I think by the usage we can assume them meant the felt part of the cap in one instance and a royal symbol in the other.

However, I am more inclined to see the whole affair as another example of where the early regs are quickly abandoned for practical or economic reasons. Powder horn anyone?
Ben Townsend

Forgive ne if I continue to play the advocate:

If one can have corn meaning the top of a head, or a hill, or a hat, why not a badge as well?

After all, one can be crowned in laurels, or in cornwreaths. So why not in ribbons.
Steve Day

The crown & bugle has had me confused.  As Ben said, the majority of the prints out there shown the ribbons.  I've not seen the print of this Rifles officer before, but that's definitely a 'crown'.

I'm not sure which way to go as yet.  I see you have a nice bugle & crown on the forum.  I'm surprised you haven't changed this for a brass one yet :-)

At this moment we are going for the 1806 pattern, but I'd also like us to have the Waterloo pattern as well.  Both were worn.

Cheers
Steve
Obadiah

The image you refer to Steve is one that I did, photo shop is a wonderful thing.  

Waterloo pattern? What the hell is that? Ben do you know of another cap that came out during Waterloo?

Dave
Ben Townsend

Steve,
Here are some images of a few of the corroborating finds of Georgian LI cap badges. These include, in order, examples found in The Peninsula, in France, in North America and in England, at sites known to be British army camps.










First two images courtesy of and from collection of Thomas Nielson, second belongs to James Kochan, and the last is my own Fragment from Kent, compared to one recreated from the Kochan horn.
Paul Durrant

From Steve Davies' posts on 'Board of Clothing Letters 1798-1799':

WO7/31 p.296-297

"Horse Guards, 11th December 1799.
Sir,
I have received the Commander in Chiefs orders to transmit to you a cap, which being approved of by His Majesty for the universal use of the Infantry of the army, instead of hats, His Royal Highness has ordered to be lodged in the office of the comptrollers of army accounts, there to be had recourse to as occasion may require.
His Majesty is pleased to permit the colonels to engrave the number of their respective regiments on each side of the lion, on the lower part of the brass fronting, and likewise to the regiments, which are entitled to that distinction, His Majesty grants permission to bear their badges, in the center of the garter. The Grenadiers, who are allowed to wear their caps occasionally, when they do not use their proper grenadier caps, may if their colonels choose it, bear the grenade in the same manner as regiments, wear their badges. It is His Majesty's pleasure, that the tufts used by grenadiers shall be white, those of the light infantry dark green. All soldiers shall wear the button of their respective regiment in the center of the cockade, except the grenadiers, who will use the grenade, and the light infantry in the centre of the cockade will bear the distinction of a small bugle horn.
The caps are to be made of a sufficient size to come completely on the soldiers heads, they are to be worn straight and even, and brought forward well over the eyes.
I have the honor to be,
Your most humble servant,
Harry Calvert.
A.G.



WO7/31 p.309
"Comptroller Office, Whitehall. 21st December 1799
Mr. Fauquier is directed by the Board of General Officer appointed especially by his Majesty's warrant to transact all matter relative to the clothing of the army, to inform Mr. -------- (left blank intentionally) that it is particularly informed that the crowns of the caps approved by His Majesty for the use of the regiments of infantry, shall be made of felt of the best and most durable quality, and the leather part of the cap dressed with the flesh side outwards, without which attention they will not wear well for the time allotted, and the board has directed that the crown of the caps should be larger than the pattern produced as it is to be of a sufficient size to come completely on the man's head."
Jonathan Rogers (5/60th)

This may be of interest also:

WO3/35 p.304

"Horse Guards
20th Dec 1802.

It having been reported to the com. in chief, that the caps of the 70th Rgt. are worn by the men of that corps in a manner contrary to The King's Order of the 24th of July 1800, which directs, that "they shall be worn straight and even and bought forward well over the eyes." I have in consequence received HRH's commands to desire, that you will cause inquiry to be made into the circumstance, and if it proves to be as reported, that you will call upon the officer commanding the Regt. to state for HRH's information, the reason for this deviation from the established regulations."




Apologies if there are any mistakes in my transcription, attached is my photograph of the page.
Paul Durrant

Worn at a 'jaunty' angle, I reckon!
Steve 60th

Here's a couple more letters I came across when viewing WO7/33, which seem to be laying the groundwork for the 1806 cap and therefore discontinuing the lacquered cap:

WO7/33 P.23

  "Horse Guards, 17th July 1802

Sir,
I have instructions to acquaint you, that Mr. Bicknell army hatter has laid before the commander in chief a cap made of a composition for which has obtained His Majesty's patent which evidently produces a much better and more durable cap, than the one now in wear by the infantry of the army. A Pattern one I herewith transmit at the same time I have direction to inform you that the other army hatters are of opinion they can each produce a cap of similar quality for the regiments they respectively have the honor of serving.

His Royal Highness therefore has directed to encourage a composition that will be prepared with their patterns by the meeting of the next clothing board, and it is His Majesty's pleasure that you submit the whole to the consideration of the General Officers assembled, and request they will have the goodness to report their opinion thereupon, for His Royal Highness's further information.
I have the honor to be,
W. Wynyard.

Tho. Fauquier Esq."



WO7/33 P.71

  "Horse Guards, 18th February 1803

Sir,
I have received the Commander in Chiefs directions to acquaint you for the information of the Clothing Board, that in instances where regiments of infantry may, on the 24th December next, be entitled only to skulls to their caps, His Majesty is graciously pleased to dispense with the adoption of the cap lately approved for the infantry of the army until the year next following.
I have the honor to be,
Harry Calvert

Tho. Fauquier Esq."




WO7/33 P.429

  "Comptroller's Office, Whitehall 6th March 1806

Sir,
The Clothing Board of General Officers assembled yesterday at the Horse guards, having taken into consideration certain objections stated to have been found to the lacquered caps now in use for the infantry of the army, was pleased to direct that you should prepare as soon as possible a sample of two felt caps, one calculated to last for one year and the other for two years with which you are to attend the Adjutant General and to procure to him an exact computation of the 4 pence (?) of each cap respectively.
I have the honor to be,

Tho. Fauquier Esq."

Ben Townsend

Wandering off down the path of light infantry caps in general, I was reviewing this image of a (British) cacadores officer, from the NAM,



It bears some similarities to the 'Kershaw' cap of the 43rd. The NAM have this to say about it,

'Major Sir John Scott Lillie, 7th Cacadores, Portuguese Army, 1820 (c).

Oil on canvas, artist unknown, 1820 (c), with later additions, post -1848.

Lillie (1790-1868) joined the Army as an ensign in the 6th (or 1st Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot in 1807. In 1808 he was part of the first expedition to Portugal, during the Peninsular War (1808-1814). He joined the Portuguese Army in December that year as a captain in the Lusitanian Legion, and took part in various engagements in defence of Portugal. Promoted lieutenant in 1810, he fought at the Battle of Busaco (1810) and the retreat to the lines of Torres Vedras that year.

The contribution of the Army of Portugal to the Peninsular War is often underestimated, though it comprised up to one-third of Wellington's Army. Lieutenant-General Beresford was appointed to oversee its training, and it was he who raised the famous Caçadores or corps of light infantry. The 7th Caçadores was formed from a battalion of the Lusitanian Legion.

Lillie commanded the 7th Caçadores in several battles which included the Pyrenees (1813), Nivelle (1813), Orthes (1814), and Toulouse (1814), for which he received the Army Gold Cross. He also received the Military General Service Medal (1793-1814) with seven clasps for these engagements. At the Battle of Toulouse, he was severely wounded and left for dead on the battlefield for some 48 hours.

This painting is thought to have been painted in celebration of Lillie's marriage in 1820. However, many of the honours and awards he wears were added later: he was awarded the CB in 1831 and the Military General Service Medal was not issued until 1848.'

Lillie's medals were sold at Christies in 2001,





'Décorations du major John Scott Lillie, vente Christie’s London, décembre 2001. De gauche à droite : Ordre du Bain / Army Gold Cross for Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthes and Toulouse (en haut) / Field Officer’s small Army Gold Medal for the Pyrenees, three clasps, Nivelle, Orthes, Toulouse (en bas) / Military General Service / Ordre de la tour et de l’épée (Portugal) / Commander’s Cross for five actions (Portugal) / Campaign Cross for four years (Portugal) / Ordre du Lys. '

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