Marine Officer
(Artist and Year painted is unknown)

     We have come to think of the British Marines as a royal unit, but the Marines did not receive that distinction until 1802, when they were praised highly for their courage and discipline by Admiral John Jervis, victor at Cape Vincent.

     Battalion soldiers wore a laced black cocked hat and looped with two white tassels.

Richard Livesay, Lt. George Belson, Corps of Marines, c. 1780, NAM
     The regimental Coat worn by the soldier of the battalion companies of British Marines was the standard madder red coat of the British infantry at the time. The facings of the coat were white along with the soldiers small clothes. Distinctive features of the uniform include a brass belt plate featuring an anchor, and coat buttons ornamented with the a fouled anchor motif. Marines also were one of the first units in British service to wear white cross belts to support their cartridge box and bayonet holder.

Marine Lt. Squire, by Jonathan Singleton Copely
(Courtesy of the Royal Marines Museum)

     While at sea officers of Marines were recommended always to dress their men in ‘sea caps, jackets, and check shirts’ and to ‘take away and store their uniform coats hats and caps, also their white shirts, a pair of stockings, and a pair of shoes…’ by this means ‘the marine officer will be qualified to turn out a clean, well dressed guard for the reception of a superior officer, and when disembarking to do duty with land forces on short, they will be able to make a soldier like appearance.

Lieutenant George Dyer, by James Northcote, dated 1780
(Courtesy of the Royal Marines Museum)

1775 Marine Grenadier and Light Infantry Cap
(Courtesy of the Royal Marines Museum)