Thursday, 19 May 2016

15th Foot

What became the 15th Foot was raised at Nottingham in June 1685 by Sir William Clifton, the Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, to help deal with the Monmouth Rebellion.  Clifton didn't remain colonel of the regiment for very long - he died in 1686, aged only 23.  After some years in Scotland and Ireland the regiment fought with Marlborough at Blenheim.  It was part of the Scottish garrison from 1714 to 1724 and in the 1740s fought in the Caribbean at Dominica, Jamaica and Cuba and at Cartagena.  Designated the 15th Foot in 1751, the regiment deployed to the Americas at the start of the French and Indian War and fought with Wolfe at Louisburg and Quebec.  The regimental lace was later amended to include a black line in remembrance of Wolfe's death.  The regiment remained in Canada until 1768, when it returned to the UK.  But it returned to America in 1776 and fought in the AWI until being sent again to the West Indies in 1779.  During the AWI the 15th acquired the nickname of "The Snappers" - at Brandywine the regiment ran short of ammunition and what was left was given to the best shots, with the remaining men simply "snapping" powder charges.  Unfortunately the regiment was captured at St Kitts in 1782 and had to reform from scratch (at which point it was given the county title of Yorkshire East Riding).  After five years in Ireland the regiment returned to the Caribbean in 1805 and remained there, so taking no part in the Napoleonic Wars.  The 15th returned to Canada in 1862 as one of the battalions shipped to the Americas in the wake of the Trent Affair (so one could also model it with the Perries' conjectural "British Expeditionary Force" figures).  The regiment was one of four battalions which fought in the AWI that are the ancestors of the modern British Army's Yorkshire Regiment, the other three being the 14th, the 33rd Foot (Cornwallis' own regiment) and the 76th.

This is something of a counterpart to the 44th Foot I painted at the end of last year - I wanted to use up my remaining metal British infantry figures and the 15th is the second and last full unit that I had in the leadpile.   Like the 44th, the 15th Foot is a useful regiment to have in one's collection if you like the big northern battles.  It appears in the Fort Washington, Brandywine, Germantown and Whitemarsh scenarios as a 16-figure unit and also as 18 figures in Monmouth 1 (i.e. the "morning action" contained in the second volume of "British Grenadier!" scenarios).  The classic Howe-era campaign dress of cut-down coats and slouch hats is perfect for these battles.  Incidentally, I've never really been sure whether the figure I've used as an officer is supposed to be a sergeant or an officer.  Under the 1768 Royal Clothing Warrant, officers were to carry "espontoons" while sergeants carried "halberts".  I know there is a technical difference between the two in terms of shape, and I think the figure here is probably carrying a spontoon.  If this chap is an officer, then he's removed his right-shoulder epaulette as well as all his lace.

These marching figures are among my favourites in the Perry AWI range.  They are straightforward to paint, with good faces (shared with the corresponding Continental infantry packs) and look quite elegant.  The 15th brings my tally of British line battalions to 32 (not counting converged battalions of flank companies and Marines).  I'll have some further thoughts on British line regiments in a couple of weeks when I post about the first batch of "reinforcements" that I've been painting over the past couple of months.

16 figures.  Painted March-April 2016.  Flags by GMB.



Der Alte Fritz said...

I believe that a spontoon has a straight pointy tip and a halberd sort of looks like an axe head. The figure looks to be an officer, rather than an NCO. My guess that the sculptor left the brim turned down to distinguish it from the rank and file who would have their brim turned up on the left side so that it does not interfere with the musket.

David said...

As ever Giles, fine work and interesting background information.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

As always Giles a very fine looking regiment!!


Iowa Grognard said...

Great looking regiment as always Giles.

The yellow is never easy, but you've done it again.

Simon Jones said...

Metal figures, hurrah! I think the figure is an officer with a spontoon. A halberd has a cleaver like head, I used to carry one as a Sgt in the ECWS.


Stefan (aka. Monty) said...

Excellent paintjob and a really interesting historical coverage.

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