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Örjan Martinsson

Finnish Uniforms 1700-1721


The pictures are from "Geographisk Charta Anno 1696" and depict an officer from Tavastehus Regiment, drummers from Nyland Infantry Regiment and a cavalryman from Nyland and Tavastehus Cavalry Regiment.

My information about uniforms on this page comes almost exclusively from Lars-Eric Höglund’s book "Stora nordiska kriget 1700-1721 - Fanor and uniformer" but I have also added information about the early infantry uniforms from Gunnar Brolin’s article in Karolinska förbundet’s yearbook 2013.

For many regiments, particularly during the period after the battle of Poltava, the uniforms are stated to have been made of “vadmal” (= coarse wool) without mentioning any colours. Vadmal clothes were usually grey (undyed wool), but that was not always case and even if they were grey the lining and cuffs could still be of a different colour (such as blue or yellow).


Österbotten Infantry Regiment


1688-1703


1703-1710


1710-1718


1718-1720

Colour on the vest and the karpus’ facing unknown.

Had karpus in 1712 as well as coat and breeches made of vadmal.

Colour on hat lace and buttons as well as the cloak’s lining and collar is not mentioned.


Björneborg Infantry Regiment


1696-1704
Vest not mentioned.


1704-1710


ca 1712


1716-1720

Colour on the vest, buttons and the karpus’ facing unknown.

Vadmal coat, no colours on it is mentioned. The hat lace colour is also unknown but the only hat lace colour that is mentioned for Finnish regiments at this time is yellow.

Anders Larsson states that they in 1713 had 204 blue coats with yellow lining as well as blue collar and cuffs edged with yellow. Furthermore, a shoulder strap in blue and yellow, yellow button holes, pewter buttons and yellow breeches.


ÅboLän Infantry Regiment


1697-1704


1704-1710


ca 1712


1718-1720

The facing colour on the karpus is not mentioned.

Colour on vest, buttons and karpus unknown.

Vadmal coat, no colours on it are mentioned. But its double regiment had in 1709 yellow cuffs and collar and pewter buttons. The hat lace colour is also unknown but it was yellow in 1716 when the coat was still of vadmal.

Hat lace and button colour unknown, had however yellow lace in 1716.


Nyland Infantry Regiment


1696-1702


1702-1710


ca 1712


1718-

Vest not mentioned.

Vest and facing on the karpus not mentioned.

Had both grey and yellow stockings. Button colour unknown.

Colour on hat lace and buttons as well as the cloak’s lining and collar is not mentioned.


Tavastehus Infantry Regiment


1690-1702


1702-1710


ca 1712


1716-

Höglund claims that a uniform with red facings (instead of yellow) as ”likely” and has no information about colour on vest and buttons. But according to Brolin, blue cloth to coats and yellow cloth and baize to cuffs and lining were ordered in 1689 and transported to the regiment.

Yellow and grey stockings,
Colour on vest, buttons and the karpus’ facings unknown.

Piecoat and coat of vadmal, no colours on them are mentioned. The hat lace colour is also unknown. Breeches made of vadmal or leather as well as both yellow and grey stockings.

Colour on hat lace and buttons as well as the cloak’s lining and
Collar is not mentioned.


Savolax Infantry Regiment

According to Gunnar Brolin (KFÅ 2013) the regiment should have received new uniforms at the regimental drill in 1691, consisting of blue cloth to coats, yellow cloth to cuffs, yellow baize to lining, fabric to karpuses, brass buttons and leather breeches. In the supplement to part 2 of Höglund’s uniform trilogy it is mentioned that captain Myrman’s company in 1699 received a new outfit consisting of blue karpus, blue coat with three dozen pewter buttons, blue cuffs and yellow lining, leather breeches, and white wool stockings which were intended to be dyed yellow.


1691-1702


1708-1710


ca 1712


1718-

Höglund states that the stockings were "possibly" blue in 1696. Received new coats with pewter buttons 1in 702 as well as hats and blue breeches in 1705.

Had blue and yellow breeches, Colour on vest, buttons and facings on the karpus unknown.

Same uniform was also worn in 1715. Colour on cuffs, lining and buttons not mentioned, but its double regiment had in 1707/08 pewter buttons, yellow cuffs and collar.

Button colour unknown. Lining and cuffs on the cloak not mentioned. In 1716 the vest, breeches, stockings and hat lace were yellow while the cloak is not mentioned.


Viborg Infantry Regiment

Gunnar Brolin writes in KFÅ 2013 that the regiment went to war with uniforms that had been issued in 1683 or 1684. These were in such poor condition that many soldiers had replaced them with grey vadmal coats and other items which gave the regiment a motley impression ("old vadmal coats, grey, white, black as the peasants could afford to give them, one have a karpus the other have a hat”).


1684-1701


1702-1710


?-171
5


1716-
Button colour unknown.

According to Höglund they had leather breeches or blue cloth breeches.

Vest not mentioned. Had hat or blue karpus 1708/09 (facing colour on the karpus is not mentioned). In 1701 they had blue karpus with yellow facings as well as brass buttons on the coat. The uniform issued in 1702-1703 had pewter buttons but the headgear is not mentioned.

Dressed in vadmal and grey wool stockings. No colours apart from the stockings are mentioned.


3-männing Regiments on Foot


Åbo, Björneborg &
Nyland
1700-1702


Åbo, Björneborg &
Nyland
1702-1706


Åbo, Björneborg &
Nyland
1706-1708


Tavastehus, Viborg
& Savolax
1702-1704

Höglund mention only grey vadmal clothes and grey stockings.

Compare the double regiments which were raised at the same time.

Blue coat with yellow lining and cuffs, yellow breeches and yellow stockings.

Headgear is not mentioned but with yellow lace was common among regiments in the Baltic provinces.

Hat, blue coat with yelloe lining and cuffs, leather vest, blue breeches and yellow stockings. Had in 1708 karpus or hat.

Was disbanded after the battle of Lesnaya in 1708.

Blue coat with brass buttons, yellow lining and cuffs as well as blue breeches.

Was disbanded after the fall of Narva in 1704. Probably had the same uniform as Åbo, Björnborg and Nyland in 1700-1702.


All regiments
1702


Double Regiments on Foot

When the war broke out in 1700, the Finnish indelta regiments were transferred to Livonia. In their place, Finland was to be defended by newly raised 3-männing regiments. But these were also transferred to the Baltic provinces in the autumn of 1700. To ensure Finland's defense, the double regiments were therefore raised, which, unlike Swedish männing units, were not a one-time recruitment, but had their losses were replaced in the same way as the indelta regiments. Each rote would therefore be responsible for one soldier to the regular regiment and one extra soldier. As 3-männings regiments had already been created, the strength of the double regiments was only two-thirds that of the regular regiment. But as the 3-männing regiments disappeared as independent units, the corresponding double regiments came to attain the same strength as the regular regiments. Then when the regular regiments were lost in 1709-1710, the double regiments came to replace them as regular indelta regiments.

Note that it was only the six southern provinces that set up double regiments. Österbotten had not introduced the "indelningsverk" and was instead recruited through conscription.

Höglund does not describe Tavastehus and Nyland's uniforms separately, but only states that they looked the same as Björneborg's.

Grey vadmal coat with yellow cuffs and vadmal breeches (compare the 3-männing uniforms in the same time period).


Åbo Län
1709


Björneborg
1706


Savolax
1707/1708


Viborg
1707

Höglund mentions that they had both grey vadmal coat with pewter buttons, yellow cuffs and collar as well as blue cloth coats. They also had leather vests and leather breeches. Stockings and headgear are not mentioned.

The only details that are mentioned are: "Hat, blue coat, vest, breeches and stockings". In 1703 they received 463 blue karpuses and 105 red breeches.

Hat, grey vadmal coat with pewter buttons, yellow cuffs and collar, lather vest, leather breeches and yellow stockings.

Hat, grey pie coat with pewter buttons, yellow cuffs and collar, vadmal breeches and grey stockings.


Enlisted Regiments

The two Ingermanland regiments were raised in 1700 in Ingermanland and Kexholm county by Otto Vellingk, who was governor-general of these two Finnish-speaking provinces. The infantry regiment was to consist of 1,000 men (of which 700 from Kexholm county). It was captured by the Russians when Viborg capitulated in 1710, but some escaped capture (76 men) and together with remnants from regiments in the Baltic formed the Finnish Enlisted Battalion in 1711. Narva's garrison regiment which was also a mainly Finnish-speaking unit contributed 145 men (this regiment is however presented among the Baltic regiments). In total, the Enlisted battalion consisted of 395 men in 1712.


Ingermanland Infantry Regiment
1703


Finnish Enlisted Battalion
1711-1719


Ingermanland Dragoon Regiment
1702-1712

In 1702/03 the coat was blue with yellow lining and cuffs. Breeches were blue. In 1707 they had blue coat, leather vest, leather breeches and yellow stockings.

Blue coat. Cuffs and lining were yellow in 1702 and the breeches were likely blue. In 1708 they had both karpus and hat with lace (colours not mentioned but drummers had silver lace on their hats).


Åbo & Björneborg Cavalry Regiment


?-1702


1702-?


ca 1708


ca 1712

"Likely" uniform according to Höglund who does not mention anything about hat lace, button colour and edge on the shabraque.

Also had hats. The shabraques are not mentioned but I have guessed that they were just made of black leather since the rest of the uniform appear to have been the result of a tight budget.

Höglund mention only "hat, blue coat". Could possibly have had yellow cuffs and hat lace and blue shabraques if the regiments in Lewenhaupt’s corps were uniformly dressed.

No colours are mentioned besides of "vadmal". In 1718-1719 they had uniforms of both vadmal and blue cloth but these were in poor condition.


Nyland Cavalry Regiment


1696-1702


1702-1704


1707-1709


ca 1712

Colour of the hat is not mentioned by Höglund, but his description appears to be based on an illustration from 1696 (see at the top of this page) where the hat has the same colour as the coat and red lace.

Also had hats. The shabraques are not mentioned but I have guessed that they were just made of black leather since the rest of the uniform appear to have been the result of a tight budget. Received uniforms in 1704 which have not been described by the sources.

The information comes from Bengt Nilsson. The hat is not mentioned but the pistol covers were of white leather.

Had both blue and grey cloaks. Had in 1718 blue coat instead of vadmal coat. Colour on hat lace, buttons, cuffs, lining and shabraques unknown. But this regiment is identical with the double regiment before 1710 and that had yellow facings.


Karelska Cavalry Regiment
(Viborg)


1694-1702


1702-?


ca 1708


1713-

Shall according to Höglund have had the same uniform as Åbo & Björneborg (that is grey coat with cuffs and shabraque in the regimental colour).   Höglund mention only "hat or karpus, blue coat". Could possibly have had yellow cuffs and hat lace and blue shabraques if the regiments in Lewenhaupt’s corps were uniformly dressed.

Button colour and cuffs/lining not mentioned. 1710-1712 the karpus, cloak and coat were of vadmal.


Karelska Dragoons


1695-?
Shabraques unknown.


ca 1708


ca 1712


1716

Höglund only mention that they received blue coats during the period 1704-1708. Could possibly have had yellow cuffs and hat lace and blue shabraques if the regiments in Lewenhaupt’s corps were uniformly dressed.

Dressed entirely in vadmal. Apart from the yellow hat lace, no colours are mentioned.

The only colours that are mentioned is a blue coat and leather breeches.
 


Other Finnish Cavalry Regiments

According to Höglund all temporary Finnish mounted units had blue shabraques with an edge made of black leather. Note that the double regiments were transformed into the regular indelta regiments when these were restored after the battle of Poltava. The uniforms of the Finnish Stånd Dragoons are completely unknown.


Åbo, Nyland & Viborg
3-männings
1700-1701


Åbo Län
Double Regiment
1707


Nyland
Double Regiment
1707


Karelska
Double Regiment
1701

"Likely" uniform according to Höglund who does not mention hat lace.

Only mentioned that they had hat, blue coat, leather vest and leather breeches.

Hat lace not mentioned.

Only mentioned that they had hat, grey vadmal coat with blue cuffs. The description of the uniform in 1707 is identical with Åbo Län Double Regiment.

See also the infantry uniforms and cavalry uniforms for the rest of the Swedish army.