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Örjan Martinsson

Danish Cavalry Uniforms 1700-1730


Enlisted Cuirassiers
 

National Dragoons Raised 1704
(Converted to enlisted cuirassiers 1710-11)
1 Livgarden til Hest 17 Jyske National Militia
2 Livregiment til Hest 18 Sjællandske-Fynske National Militia
3 1st Sjællandske Enlisted Dragoons
4 2nd Sjællandske
5 3rd Sjællandske
6 1st Jyske 19 Livregiment Dragoons
7 2nd Jyske 20 Holstein
8 3rd Jyske 21 "Hungarian"
9 4th Jyske 22 Württembergska
10 5th Jyske National Dragoons Raised 1717
 
11 1st Fynske
12 2nd Fynske
13 Holstein (Oldenborgske -1702)
14 Württemberg East Sjællandske
15 "Hungarian" West Sjællandske
16 Brockdorff's Jyske-Fynske

This page describes the uniforms of the Danish cavalry during the Great Northern War. Just like the page about Danish infantry uniforms, my information come from Karsten Skjold Petersen, Torstein Snorrason, Daniel Schorr and Lars-Eric Höglund (read more about them on the infantry page).

The Danish cavalry had the same cut and colours on their coats as the infantry. But apart from the regular coat the cavalry man also had a buff coat made from elk skin and it was this clothing they usually wore in combat. From 1707 they also wore a black cuirass (although only with a front plate). Livgarden til Hest (Horse Guards) and 1st Jyske had worn cuirasses even before 1707. Another difference from the infantry was that cavalry officers until 1708 (when it was forbidden) had reversed colours on their coats compared to the privates. If for example the privates had red coats with blue facings then the officers had blue coats with red facings.

The cavalry men's vests and breeches were normally made of yellowish leather. The hats had silver lace and an iron skull cap inside to protect the head. When the army shifted to red coats 1711 it was also decided that the saddle cloth should be red with edges in the same colour as the coat's lining.

Officers had as distinctions a sash and also silver and gold lace on their hat, saddle cloths and belts. Unlike the privates they were not armed with carbines.

The dragoons were considered to be mounted infantry and as such they did not have buff coats, cuirasses or a skull caps in the hat. On the other hand they ha grenadiers in their ranks which could have had special grenadier caps.

Livgarden til Hest
(Horse Guards)

N. Krabbe
H. de Cheuses
B. J. Mörner
B. F. Oertzer

1699
1708
1709
1712

1700-1756 Red coat (crimson 1702-1710) with white buttons and leg clothing of yellowish leather. No vest until 1710 and thereafter a light blue/bleumerant vest.
1700-1708 Yellow facings and lining.
1708-1774 Light blue/bleumerant facings with silver edge, white buttonholes and light blue/bleumerant lining.
1710-1774 As an alternative to the coat they also had a paille-yellow buff coat with red buttonholes and unknown colour on the lining.

Torstein Snorrason states that the uniforms given to Livgarden in October 1699 (red coats with yellow facings) had silver buttons (i.e. "white" buttons which were not made of pewter). Furthermore they wore a red cassock with yellow facings which had the King's cypher embroidered both on the front and the back.

The uniform which in 1708 was worn by the quartermaster and corporals (NCOs) included a hat with silver lace and black cockade of silk. The neck cloth was of black velvet. The cloak was crimson with blue lining and decorated with 7 ½ "ellen" silver lace. The saddle cloths and pistol covers were also crimson as well as decorated with silver lace (13 ½ "ellen") and pearl embroidery (probably the King's cypher). The breeches were of deer buckskin. The belts were of leather, but for parade they were covered with velvet in the regimental colour and silver lace. The hair pouch also had a thin silver lace. Unlike the privates the NCOs were not armed with carbines.

The privates had the same year blue and undyed (i.e. grey) stockings. The uniform buttons were made of pewter. The hat and cloak were similar to the NCOs but of lesser quality and the cloak did not have as much silver lace. The saddle cloths and pistol covers were the same as the NCOs. Likewise with the hair pouch. The carbine and the cartridge box belts were both edged 5 ellen silver lace. The blue cartridge box cover was also covered with silver embroidery (1 1/4 ellen).

The postmaster in Malmö wrote in December 1709 that the Horse Guards had red coats and cloaks with blue facings and silver lace. Torstein Snorrason states however that they fought in the battle of Helsingborg in their buff coats and cuirasses (the latter decorated with Frederick IV's cypher). Despite of that the losses in this battle were so great that the new uniforms ordered afterwards would no longer be in crimson but instead of the cheaper madder red shade.

Lars-Eric Höglund mentions that the red saddle cloths should have a light blue lace in 1711.

I have made a guess that the facings to the buff coat (middle image) had the same colour as the red coat. I have also guessed that the Horse Guards later uniforms had the same appearance as the Foot Guards and the Grenadier Corps, thereof the white embroidery along the buttonholes and the shape of the silver edge on the facings.

Livregiment til Hest

K. D. Rewentlow
J. F. Bardenfleth

1697
1714

1700-1713 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1766.
1713-1715 Red coat with yellow facings.
1715-? Red coat with blue lining.
1722-? Red coat with orange facings and vest.

Before 1699 the Livregiment had grey coats with red lining, but the uniform regulation from this year called for red coats with yellow lining. In 1709 the cuirasses were decorated with the King's cypher and 1710 were the NCOs issued coats edged with silver lace.

Despite of Karsten Skjold Peterson note of blue facings in 1715, the regulation of 1716 continued to prescribe yellow facings. I have guessed that the buttonholes to the buff coat were embroidered in red just like Livgarden til Hest because yellow is difficult to distinguish from the elk skin the buff coats were made of.

Holstein Cuirassier Regiment
(Oldenborgske until 1702)

F. J. Dewitz
J. Gersdorf
J. Kneyl
K. Rantzau

1701
1709
1714
1716

1700-1713 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1768.
1713-1765 Red coat.
1722-? Light blue facings and lining (to 1756) and light blue vest (to 1730).

Snorrason wrote the the regulation of 1699 called for grey coats with red facings and that it otherwise was like the Livregiment. The meaning of the latter is somewhat unclear but I interpret it as if cuirasses with the King's cuirasses were issued 1709 and that they had red coats when they returned from Flanders.

Because it was hired to the Maritime powers 1701-1713 the regiment was not included in the regulation of 1711. The one from 1716 however decreed a red coat with steel grey facings and lining.

Württemberg Cuirassier Regiment
(The name was used 1705-1717)

K. Ahlefelt
Prince of Württemberg
H. Schubart

1700
1705
1717

1700-1713 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1765.
1713-1765 Red coat.
1722-1730 Light green facings and vest.

This regiment was raised 1700 and hired to the Maritime powers 1701-1713 so it is not included in the regulations of 1699 and 1711. Lars-Eric Höglund mentions however that the coat was light grey and that its regimental colour possibly was mid blue. Although, considering the regiment's later facing colour, it is worth noting that a faded green colour can appear to be blue.

The regulation from 1716 call for red coat with light green lining and facings.

Torstein Snorrason wrote that an officer of this regiment with the rank of cornet (officer cadet) wore a buff coat with gold and silver lace and a cuirass. The saddle cloth too had gold lace. But unlike other officers he had no sash.

"Hungarian" Cuirassier Regiment
(Got its name after the return from Austrian service 1709. Was actually named after its colonels)

N. H. Ditmersen
P. Trappaud
F. Winterfeldt
J. K. Prehn
U. O. Dewitz
K. Frijs

1701
1706
1707
1707
1709
1717

1700-1713 Grey coat. Blue facings and lining 1709. Leg clothing of yellowish leather until 1767.
1713-1767 Red coat.
1713-1716 Steel grey facings and lining.
1716-? Yellow facings with blue stripes. The lining was either blue or yellow.
?-1722-? Paille-yellow facings with two light blue stripes, paille-yellow vest and 1722-1738 paille-yellow lining.


According to Torstein Snorrason the enlistment patent from 1701 stated that the regiment should have grey-white coats and cloaks with blue lining and facings as well as leather vests and breaches. But the original patent cannot be found today and the information comes instead from 1709.

Lars-Eric Höglund wrote on the other hand that regiment in 1709 had a "red coat with steel green collar". This information is most likely derived from Vaupel and "steel green" instead of "steel grey" is in his work a common typographical error caused by his publisher's difficulty to read Vaupel's hand writings. The year also seems to be a confusion with the above mentioned enlistment patent and the regulation from 1711 which calls for red coats with steel grey lining and steel grey facings with white lace along the buttons.

Both Höglund and Schorr wrote that the regulation from 1716 prescribe a red coat with blue lining and yellow facings with a blue stripe. Although Höglund also mention that there are other sources describing a coat with yellow collar and lining.

Brockdorff's cuirassier regiment

This regiment is neither included in Karsten Skjold Petersen's or in Lars-Eric Höglund's book.

Torstein Snorrason notes that the regiment in 1710 had a grey-white coat, as well as leather vest and breaches. It also had cuirass and the normal cavalry equipment. The facing colour is however not mentioned.

According to the regulation from 1711 it should have red coats with violet lining and violet facings with white lace along the buttons.

The regiment was disbanded because of bad conduct during the battle of Gadebusch 1712.

1st Sjællandske

K. See
H. Lövenhjelm
J. F. Bcoathuus

1698
1710
1716

This regiment is together with the other Sjællandske cavalry regiments oddly enough not included in Karsten Skjold Petersen's book.

According to Snorrason the coat was light grey with crimson lining. The Swedish force at Humlebæk in 1700 reported that the regiment wore grey coats with red facings. This is also confirmed 1709 by the postmaster in Malmö who also mention a cloak with the same colours.

The regulations from 1711 and 1716 determined the coat to be red with black lining and facings.

2nd Sjællandske
(disbanded 1714)

M. Numsen
J. Rantzau
K. Juel
K. Rantzau

1685
1703
1708
1710-14

This regiment was hired to the Maritime powers 1701-1713 and was thereafter disbanded. It is thus not included in the regulations from 1711 and 1716. According to the regulation from 1699 however it should have had a light grey coats with purple lining.

3rd Sjællandske
(2nd Sjællandske from 1714)

B. F. Raben
H. F. Legel
S. H. Donop

1679
1707
1710

According to Snorrason 3rd Sjællandske had light grey coats with sky blue lining. These colours are confirmed by Swedish reports from the landing at Humlebæk 1700.

The regulations from 1711 and 1716 calls for red coats with yellow lining and yellow facings with a black stripe.

1st Jyske

F. Legaard
H. Eyffler
R. G. Grabow
D. Revenfeldt

1696
1709
1714
1716

1700-1714 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1767.
1714-1765 Red coat. White buttons from 1716.
1722-1730 Orange facings with a white stripe.

According to Snorrason the coat was light grey with grass green facings in the early part of the war. Although when the English envoy Vrigny saw the regiment at a muster 21 June 1702 he described it as dressed in buff coats with cuirasses. The buff coat is reported as having cuffs of leather (uncoloured cuffs?) with golden embroider (which also the gauntlets had). The helmets were not worn because of the cold weather and they had instead hats with silver lace and a black cockade.

In the spy report from the Malmö postmaster in December 1709 the regiment is reported to have had white coats (i.e. light grey). Curiously enough was 1st Jyske the only cavalry regiment he described as a "cuirassier regiment". This could suggest that the regiment had more armour than the others. In 1699 they had received permission to retain their full cuirass, i.e. cuirasses which also covered the back and helmets and possibly protection on arms and legs.

According to the regulation from 1711 they should have had red coats and feuille-morte facings with a white stripe and feuille-morte lining. But the 1716 regulation changed that to yellow facings with a white stripe (according to Schorr along the middle of the cuffs) and yellow lining.

2nd Jyske

A. M. Utterwich
B. Bcoatdorff
H. H. Lüttichau

1696
1706
1711

1700-1713 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1768.
1713-1764 Red coat.
1722-? Orange facings and orange vest.

According to Snorrason the 2nd Jyske's regimental colour was dark blue. Lars-Eric Höglund wrote on the other hand that they had light grey coat with light blue. Höglund is however in agreement with Schorr that the regulation of 1716 decreed a red coat with facings in feuille morte.

3rd Jyske

D. Bcoatdorff
H. de Cheuses
E. K. Deden

1691
1709
1713

1700-1713 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1766.
1713-1766 Red coat.
1722-1730 Light blue facings with two orange stripes and light blue vest.

According to Snorrason the regiment had a light grey coat with facings and lining in feuille morte when the Great Northern War began.

The regulation from 1716 calls for a red coat, blue facings with a stripe in aurora, and blue lining. Schorr's description of the appearance of the facings (small picture) is different from the 1716 plate (large picture), but it corresponds with the uniform carried 1722-1730 according to Karsten Skjold Petersen.

4th Jyske
(disbanded 1714)

J. Rantzau
R. G. Grabow

1699
1708-14

This regiment has not been described in Karsten Skjold Petersen's book.

According to Snorrason the 4th Jyske had light grey coats with isabel facings and lining. Because it was hired to the Maritime powers 1700-1713 and thereafter disbanded it is not included in the uniform regulations of 1711 and 1716.

5th Jyske
(4th Jyske from 1714)

A. E. Prehn
F. W. Schmettow
F. W. Schmelingh

1685
1702
1716

1700-1713 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1768.
1713-1768 Red coat.

According to Snorrason the regiment had a light grey coat with yellow lining and facings. Because it was hired to the Maritime powers 1701-1713 it was not included by the regulation 1711. The one from 1716 states however that the regiment were to have red coats, violet facings with white lace along the buttons and violet lining.

1st Fynske

S. Bcoatdorff
F. Holck
K. Juel
J. Körbitz

1691
1705
1710
1717

1700-1706 Light grey coat with light green facings and lining. Leg clothing was of yellowish leather until 1757.
1706-1711 Unknown uniform.
1711-1730 Dark green facings with a white stripe, and until 1765 dark green lining.
1714-1765 Red coat. White buttons from 1716.

Possibly blue facings 1709, read more about this in the description of 2nd Fynske.

 

2nd Fynske

F. Ahlefeldt
H. H. Lüttichau
K-O Camps
F. A. Danneskjold-Laurvig
M. Rosenörn
K. Rosencrantz-Schack

1696
1706
1707
1709
1712
1715

1700-1713 Light grey coat (red facings 1702) and leg clothing of yellowish leather.
1713-1765 Red coat and leg clothing of yellowish leather.
1722-? Green and orange facings as well as a green vest.

Snorrason states that the coat was light grey coats with orange lining and facings. Because orange at this time referred to a more reddish shade of this colour (which was also called aurora) it is very possible that it could have been interpreted as red. Karsten Skjold Peterson's note of red facings 1702 is therefore not necessarily a contradiction to the Snorrason.

 It says in the 1709 spy report from the Malmö postmaster that "Fynske regiment" had "white coats and cloaks, blue cuffs and collars" Both Fynske cavalry regiments participated in the Scanian campaign 1709-10, but Torstein Snorrason have identified this regiment as the 2nd Fynske Regiment.

Blue facings is however not mentioned in any other source for the Fynske regiments. Green is on the other hand a very common colour among both cavalry and infantry regiments from Fyn. Perhaps the facing colour was green originally but had become blue as a result of the yellow dye used to create green had faded more than the blue dye. This was a fairly common  phenomena in older times.

Both Daniel Schorr and Lars-Eric Höglund writes that the regulations from 1711 and 1716 stated that 2nd Fynske should have red coats, aurora facings with green edge and green lining (small picture). The plate from 1716 show however a reversed colour scheme and that is the one depicted in the larger picture to the right.

Livregiment Dragoons

C. de la Batt
K. Rodsten
K. A. Holst
R. H. Bülow
H. H. Bibow

1700
1706
1709
1710
1712

1700-1701 Unknown uniform except the leg clothing which was of yellowish leather until 1797.
1702 Red coat with white facings and lining.
1702-1713 Unknown uniform.
1713-1766 Red coat with white facings.
1720-1763 White vest.
1735-1774 White lining and white buttons.

The image to the left depicts the Holstein Dragoon Regiment which was disbanded 1701 by a merger with Livregiment Dragoons. According to Lars-Eric Höglund this regiment had red coats with green facings and lining.

Höglund wrote about Livregiment Dragoons (without giving a date) that they had hats with silver lace and a black cockade. Their coat was crimson with white facings and lining. The grenadiers had fur caps with silver embroidery in the front.

The postmaster in Malmö reported 1709 that Rodsten's dragoon regiments had red coats and cloaks with white cuffs and collars. The regulations from 1711 and 1716 also confirm that Livregiment Dragoons had red coats with white facings.

"Hungarian" Dragoon Regiment
(Got its name after the return from Austrian service 1709. Was actually named after its colonels)

K. Rodsten
P. D. Trampe
F. Gersdorff
R. H. Bülow
G. E. Bülow
D. E. Holsten

1700
1704
1706
1708
1710
1711-14

1700-? Blue facings and lining.
1709-1714 Grey coat with orange facings and lining.

This was originally two dragoon regiments commanded by Rodsten and Juul which were hired to Austria 1701 and merged 1703 after they had suffered great casualties in northern Italy. Then it fought in Hungary until it returned to Denmark 1709 and received new uniforms. During the time in foreign service the regiment received Austrian equipment (which they kept after they returned home) and it recruited new soldiers on location so that it almost exclusively was composed of Hungarians and Germans. The regiment was disbanded 1714 and most of its men were transferred to the Württemberg Dragoon Regiment. At that time the ratio of ethnic Danes in the Hungarian Dragoon Regiment was still as low as 4 % (the average for Danish cavalry regiments was 29 %).

No other regiment has as much conflicting information about its uniforms as the Hungarian dragoons. Lars-Eric Höglund notes that in 1700 they had a red coat with facings and lining in blue. This would then have changed in 1703 to yellow coats with light blue lining. After the return to Denmark 1709 they were issued a blue or grey coat with orange lining and facings. The postmaster in Malmö reported however that they had had red coats and cloaks with blue cuffs and collars.

Torstein Snorrason who has written a article about this particular regiment mention that during its time in Austrian service sources describe its coats as grey with orange facings, blue with yellow facings and yellow with blue facings. For the time in Danish service he refers to a specification from July1709 which say that the regiment should have blue coats with orange lining and facings. But he considers it doubtful that they actually received these uniforms. Snorrason instead refer to the above mentioned spy report from the Malmö postmaster as well as an image of one of its officers who died 1711 and is depicted in a red coat with blue facings.

The regulation from 1711 stated that the regiment should have red coats with lining in aurora and facings win aurora with a white stripe. Although, according to Snorrason, the regimental commander complained over this decision because he had recently received blue cloaks and saddle cloths which were not due for replacement until two years' time. He thought it was better to instead have dark blue as their regimental colour, and that the old coats could be used as camisoles (vests).

The interpretation I have made is that the spy report from 1709 is correct and that the Hungarian dragoons fought in the battle of Helsingborg in red coats with dark blue facings and had red cloaks. I have also guessed that the still had these uniform colours in the battle of Gadebusch with the exception that they were issued blue cloaks 1711. The comment that the old coats could be used as camisoles probably meant that they were turned inside out in so that a red coat with blue lining became a blue vest. Al this means that I have not followed Karsten Skjold Petersen who notes that they had grey coats with orange facings 1709-1714. These and the other alternative coats are illustrated below:

An explanation to the large number of similar uniforms could be that observer confused the coats with the cloaks which may have had the colours reversed compared to the coats.

Torstein Snorrason have made the assumption that the regiment wore traditional Hungarian caps (instead of the tricornes I have depicted them with) because most of the regiment consisted of Hungarians.

Württemberg Dragoon Regiment
(disbanded 1721)

Prince of Württemberg-Oels
J. Bonar
W. Schulenburg

1701
?
1713-21

1701-1702 White coat with yellow facings and yellow lining.
1703-1721 Unknown uniform.

The English envoy Vrigny wrote in 1702 that Württemberg Dragoon Regiment's uniform was a white (light grey) coat with yellow facings. The enlistment patent from 1701 notes however that they should have blue coats with facings and lining in red. Lars-Eric Höglund has interpreted this as if the white/yellow coats were a temporary uniform, and this also appears to be Karsten Skjold Petersen's conclusion. Torstein Snorrason on the other hand believes that Vrigny made a mistake and actually described Prince Carl's Infantry Regiment which according to Snorrason should have had grey coats with yellow facings and were deployed in the same area. To make it more confusing, Skjold Petersen believes that it was Prince Carl's regiment which had blue coats with red facings.

The regiment was hired to the Maritime powers 1703-1713 and is therefore not included in the regulation from 1711. The one from 1716 decrees red coats with lining and facings in aurora.

Sjællandske-Fynske National Dragoons
(enlisted cuirassier regiment from 9 March 1711, disbanded 1721)

F. H. Sprengel 1704, H. E. Prehn 1710, G. D. Finecke 1719

1704-1714 Unknown uniform

 1714-1721 Red coat.

According to Snorrason the Sjællandske-Fynske national dragoons should have had light grey coats with blue facings and red saddle cloths. The spy report from December 1709 by the post master in Malmö states however that "Fynske national dragoons" had blue coats and cloaks as well as white facings and collars. A probable explanation is that they had turned their coats inside out to fool the Swedes. The blue coats actually confused the Swedes on more than one occasion during the Scanian campaign.

The uniform regulations from 1711 and 1716 prescribed that the regiment should have red coats with light green lining and light green facings with a red stripe.

Jyske National Dragoons
(enlisted cuirassier regiment from 15 December 1710, disbanded 1721)

1704-1713 Unknown uniform
1713-1764 Red coat.

According to Snorrason the Jyske national dragoons should have had light grey coats with red facings and blue saddle cloths.

According to the regulations from 1711 and 1716 the regiment should have had red coats with light blue lining and light blue facings with a black stripe.

National Dragoons Raised 1717

A new batch of national dragoons was raised in 1717 and replaced the two regiments from 1704 that had been converted to enlisted cuirassiers 1710-11. This time they consisted of three regiments with the names: East Sjællandske, West Sjællandske and Jyske-Fynske. They wore red coats but apart from that their uniforms are, according to Karsten Skjold Petersen, unknown until 1722. Lars-Eric Höglund mentions however that their collars were: light blue with a wide white edge; light yellow with red and white edge respectively light brown with a black edge.

East Sjællandske
K. Rantzau 1717
K. F. Haxthausen 1720

West Sjællandske
F. Eberhartz 1717

Jyske-Fynske
F. E. Amthor 1717

1722-? Blue facings with paille-coloured stripe.
(1728)-1730 Blue with black and white stripes
1722-? Orange facings with two light blue
stripes. Orange vest.
1729 Facings and lining in paille.
1722 Paille-coloured facings with a light blue
stripe. Lining and vest in paille.
?-1730 Paille-coloured facings and collar
with black and white stripes. Lining and vest
in paille.

Read also about the artillery uniforms.