A Very Fine And Rare Guidon Of The 10th Regiment Of Hanoverian Dragoons
Of single-sided swallow-tailed form and of yellow silk finely embroidered in silver and gold metal threaded on grounds of coloured silks, at the centre within a frame of Union sprays 'No. X.D/REGT', a tripart scroll below inscribed 'SUSCIPERE ET FINIRE' (To Undertake and Accomplish), centred on four evenly spaced roped roundels, two displaying the White Horse of Hanover, and two Union Sprays (some damage and restoration)
104 cm. x 62 cm. (framed and glazed)
- This item is catalogued as follows:
It is the reverse side of the Second Guidon of the British 10th Dragoons and dates from c.1747 to the early 1750s. At that time, the regiment would have carried three guidons: the King's, or First, Guidon and two others, the First Guidon having a crimson field or ground.
During the mid- to late 1740s, details of the flags, uniform and insignia of the British army came under scrutiny from, and control by, H.M. King George II and his second son H.R.H. The Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland KG KB (1721-65), Captain-General of His Majesty's Land Forces 1745-57. Hitherto, the regiments of the army had been distinguished by the use of their colonels' names in their titles and their colonels' heraldic Arms and mottoes on their Standards, Guidons, Colours and drums: to which the King and the Duke were opposed and which they sought to eliminate.
In 1747, Regulations were issued to the army's Clothing Board by Col. Robert Napier, the adjutant-general. These specified the designs for the Standards and Guidons of cavalry and the Colours of the infantry; the practice of the use of the colonels' heraldic devices must cease and that a regiment's number must replace it. The relevant paragraph, affecting the Second Guidon of the regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons, reads as follows:
The second and third Standard and Guidon of each Corps to be of the Colour of the Facings of the Regiment, with the Badge of the Regiment in the Centre, or the Rank of the Regiment in Gold or Silver Roman Characters, on a crimson Ground, within a Wreath of Roses and Thistles on the same stalk, the Motto of the Regiment underneath; the White Horse, on a red ground, to be in the first and fourth compartments. The distinction of the third Standard or Guidon to be a Figure 3 on a circular ground of Red underneath the Motto. Those Corps which have any particular badge are to carry it in the centre of their second and third Standard or Guidon, with the Rank of the Regiment on a red Ground within a small Wreath of Roses and Thistles in the second and third Corner.
From this, it can be seen that this lot conforms exactly to the Regulations of 1747 for the Second Guidon of the 10th Regiment of Dragoons; because this is the reverse side of the guidon, the White Horse of Hannover which would appear in the first and fourth 'compartments' (or corners) on the obverse side is here placed in the second and third corners. The 'facing colour' of the 10th Dragoons at that time was yellow the colour of the field of this guidon; since the 10th Dragoons at that time had no distinguishing badge, the rank of the regiment is rendered as N°XD. The motto, 'Suscipere et Finire' was in the 18th century associated with the Duke of Cumberland; it is conceivable that the 10th Dragoons had adopted it by the period of this guidon both as a compliment to their Captain-General and in commemoration of the regiment's service, at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746, at which the suppression of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46 was accomplished.
In 1751, a Royal Warrant was issued containing' Regulations for the Colours, Clothing, &c. of the Marching Regiments of Foot' and 'Regulations for the Uniform Cloathing of the Cavalry, their Standards, Guidons...and Camp Colours'. It appears to be the case that, following that Royal Warrant, the standard designation for a regiment of dragoons that had no distinguishing badge was simply the Roman numeral followed by the letter D. An example of the First, or King's, Guidon of the 10th Dragoons, preserved in the Regimental Museum of The King's Royal Hussars in Winchester, shows that, after 1751, the regimental designation was XD. It seems likely, therefore, that this item can be dated c.1747-51.