Sunday, 22 August 2010

British Rangers 1750s

Although the most famous, then and now, Roger's Rangers were not the only irregular light troops employed by the British. Many wore a uniform, more or less, of cut-down double-breasted military-style jacket, often in green, as shown here, with Indian additions like leggings. Moccasins were the usual footwear. Some wore variations on normal civilian frontier costume and like soldiers everywhere when clothing wore out they wore what they could get, by fair means or foul. The strong Scots influence is shown by the Scots bonnet worn by one of these. The other wears a cut-down tricorne, with a front flap that could be lowered to protect the eyes from the sun. Weapons usually included musket, long knife and tomahawk. Indian-style backpacks were also common.

I was commissioned to do a variety of ranger types and Moshe who commissioned them kindly allowed me to post these on the blog.


Fitz-Badger said...

Interesting about the headgear.
(there was an old movie with about Roger's Rangers, with Spencer Tracy, if I remember correctly)

David said...

Thanks for the comment, FB. Yes, the cut-down tricorne is the 18th century equivalent of the baseball cap! I bet some "bad boys" wore it back to front. ;-)

The film was "Northwest Passage" 1940: I loved that film as a boy; it was frequently on TV (as I remember) on wet Saturday afternoons in the 1960s. :-) As so often, the Indians are the villains of the piece, which I didn't like so much. And of course it was a Hollywood version so, shall we say, somewhat divergent from the truth... ;-) But hugely entertaining nonetheless. Was that the one where one of the characters hasn't time to reload his musket and shoots an Indian with the ramrod over a large fallen tree? Mmm, perhaps not - I think it was another film but which one escapes me.



Anonymous said...

Dear Sir
I would like to use some of your illustrations, for the style, as a base for my illustrations of an earlier period, not copies but as a baselineand mine would be freehand sketches not computer images, I must admit as not being very good with new technology,still verymuch old school
best regards Jacdaw

David said...

Hi Jacdaw,

Certainly, if it's a non-commercial project, I'd be happy for you to use some of my templates as a base for your illustrations. Will you be posting yours on the web? If so, I'd like to be given the website address when you've done them, please.

Thanks and good luck with the drawing. Let me know how you get on.

All good wishes,