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Duke of Beaufort's Musketeers

The Duke of Beaufort's Musketeers

The Beaufort Musketeers were one of twelve infantry regiments formed at the same time and for the same reason. An entry in the city's calendars shows that the Beaufort Musketeers were 'recruiting by beat of drum on 4 July'. The Regiment comprised ten companies, each a captain's command. The Duke was not only Colonel of the Regiment but also had his own company. In the same way his lieutenant-colonel and his major were in addition commanders of the companies they had raised. The remaining seven company commanders held the single rank of captain: they too had raised their own companies.

Those of the twelve regiments raised to face Monmouth, which escaped disbandment, became 7th to 15th of Foot in the expanded Regular Army. Six weeks later, the Beaufort Musketeers were being reviewed, resplendent in their red coats, having been confirmed as 11th in order of precedence, alongside fellow regular regiments at Hounslow Heath.

The majority of the regiment were armed with muskets but approximately one in five were armed with the pike. Since the invention of the plug bayonet the 18 foot long pike, as a battlefield weapon, had diminished.

Records show that the newly raised regiment had the standard design red coat with a facing of 'tawny cloth' to difference the regiment from others, for the practical purpose of command and control on the battlefield and for regimental identity in camp. There is however, some discussion regarding the interpretation by Victorian artists of Orange Tawny.