XXVIth Regiment of Foot
In the center of each colour is to be painted, or embroidered, in gold
Roman characters, the number of the rank of the regiment, within the
wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk. The second Colour to be
the colour of the facing of the regiment, with the Union in the upper
canton; except those regiments which are faced with red, white, or black.
An earlier Regimental Colour possibly carried by
one of the detached companies of the 26th Foot.
The 26th was first raised in 1688 by authority of the Lords of the Convention.
The regiment was known as The Cameronian Guard, named for Richard Cameron,
a minister of the National Covenant of 1638, which petitioned Charles I for religious
freedom and a presbyterian church government in Scotland. In 1689, the regiment
entered British service under William III retaining the title of the Cameronians.
The regiment first saw action in the heroic defence of Dunkeld where they repulsed,
with great loss, a highland army of some 5,000 men. The Cameronians took part
in the capture of Namur in 1695 and some years later, rendered gallant service
in Flanders and won special renown at Blenheim in 1704. The regiment further
distinguished itself at Ramillies in 1706, Oudenarde on 1708 and Malplaquet in 1709.
From 1726 until 1738 the Cameronians fought against the Spanish in Gibraltar.
In 1751, the regiment was designated the 26th Regiment of Foot.
The 26th Foot arrived in New Jersey in the Summer of 1767. In 1775, the
regiment was sent to Canada where individual companies served all along the
frontier from Ticonderoga to Three Rivers, Canada. The Cameronians were
the first British Regiment to come in contact with the troops of the rebelling
colonies, when Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys captured
Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775. Later that Fall, the companies of
the 26th garrisoned at Fort Chambly, surrendered to patriot militia without
a a single shot being fired. Detached companies of the 26th Foot were also
in garrison at Fort St. Johns, when on November 2, 1775; the fort, along with the
armed schooner Royal Savage and the supply sloop George III, were captured by
General Richard Montgomery. The Regiment was reformed in New York in
the Spring of 1777. Honor was regained by the men of the 26th during the
New Jersey campaign and at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.
In December of 1779, the men of the Cameronians were drafted
into other regiments and the officers returned to England.
In 1817, John Trumbull, a distinguished American painter and aide-de-camp
to George Washington in 1775, was commissioned by the Congress of the United
States to paint four 'revolutionary period scenes' to be placed in the rotunda of the
Capitol at Washington. The first painting that Trumbull completed shows the signing
of the Declaration of Independence in what is now called Independence Hall in
Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776. Trumbull sketched the individuals and the room from life.
On the wall are British standards captured during the American invasion of Canada.
Based on the narrative above, perhaps we can assume that John Trumbull painted
the Naval Ensigns of the Royal Savage and George III and the
Regimental Colours of the 26th Regiment of Foot.
The front [of the drums] to be painted with the colour of the facing
of the regiment, with the King's cypher and crown, and the
number of the regiment under it.
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