If your ancestor served as an officer in the British Army between 1661 and 1826, expect to find his name appearing here in one or more of these army lists.
These are records of officer service in the English Army and later British Army from 1661, when King Charles II issued the Royal Warrant that created the first regiments of what would become the British Army, until 1826.
Typically expect to find the following information in these records
The event date is typically the date that a man was first commissioned.
Army lists and commission registers are extremely useful in helping you to build a picture of an officer’s service. Trace the man from the start of his career as an ensign through various promotions in the years that followed.
For the military purist, here too you will be able to search for a specific regiment and see the officer personnel in that regiment, beginning with the Colonel and working down through the ranks. Line Infantry, cavalry and militia are all included in this collection.
This collection covers a key period in British history, from the restoration of the monarchy in 1661 through to the Napoleonic wars and post Waterloo.
Precedence in the British Army was and still is important, and here, in this small collection, you see what would become household name regiments, beginning to form and become populated with officers.
The 1st & 2nd Life Guards take precedence in the Household Cavalry and were re-organised by King Charles II when he was in exile in Holland between 1659 and 1660. The Royal Horse Guards (or Blues) followed in 1661.
Line cavalry regiments follow behind the Household Cavalry, and behind them come the Royal Artillery. The Foot Guards follow the artillery, with the Grenadier Guards formed in November 1660, followed by the Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards, also in 1660. It would not be until 1st April 1900 that the Irish Guards would be formed, and 1915 until the Welsh Guards were formed.
Following behind the Foot Guards came the infantry of the line. Regiments were designated with ordinal numbers and the 1st Regiment of Foot was the Royal Scots, followed by the 2nd (Queen’s Royal) Regiment of Foot and so on. These regiments of foot would later become county regiments under Lord Cardwell’s reforms of July 1881.