23rd Lancers Georgian Uniform Group

A 23rd Lancers Georgian uniform group as worn by Lt Colonel J.M. Cutcliffe who commanded the 23rd Light Dragoons at Waterloo following the untimely absence of Lt Col John Dawson 2nd Earl of Portarlington who was apparently delayed in getting to his regiment in time to lead the regiment at Waterloo.
Shortly after Waterloo the 23rd Light Dragoons were converted to Lancers but the regiment only existed until 24th November 1817 when they were disbanded whilst at Radipole barracks.
As such this uniform can be accurately dated to late 1815 through to November 1817 and is probably a unique surviving example of a complete 23rd Lancers uniform. Other incomplete examples are known to exist in a private collection and at the Isle of Man Museum.
The uniform comprises a massive first pattern lance cap with a crimson mortar board and wide silver lace at the waist. The helmet plate is a large silver rayed plate with gilt battle honors and a gilt royal arms, curiously there does not appear to have ever been a provision for a feather plume behind the GR boss. The front peak is a somewhat strange adaption being folded over and has a silver metal edging and silver Russian braid. A rear upturned leather peak with silver Russia braid and tracing completes the cap.
The jacket is navy blue with crimson facings and silver embroidery on the collar and cuffs in the correct lancer pattern design. The plastron front close with hook and eye attachment and retains all its silver regimental buttons. At the back of the jacket the sleeves and back are piped in a crimson line with a short coatee tail with a silver wasser fall fringe.
The epaulettes conform to regimental pattern with silver embroidery and silver fringe tassels with a crown denoting a field rank officer. On his right shoulder is a silver aigulette secured to the jacket by tabs on the buttons. The pouch belt is silver herringbone lace with a wide crimson silk train and silver ornamentation and prickers and chain. A wide crimson and gold lace girdle sits at the waist secured at the rear by a buckle and olivets.
The sword belt is silver lace with a crimson silk train and retains both its sword and sabretache slings. A massive sabretache hangs on his left side.
The cossack shape overalls are crimson with two rows of silver lace down the outer seam. The 23rd do not appear to have had a regimental pattern marmaluke sword and therefore I assume they carried the 1796 Light Dragoons sabre.
Overall an outstanding example of an early, historically important, British Lancer uniform in very good condition for its age complete with all Cutcliffe`s order`s of chivalry and his Waterloo medal..
Lt-Col. John Mervin Cutcliffe (1778-1822), CB, Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order, member of the Imperial Ottoman Order of the Crescent and who served with distinction at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Cutcliffe was the senior Major of the 23rd Light Dragoons on the eve of the battle and in the absence of John Dawson, 2nd Earl of Portarlington, the 23rd commanding officer, whose untimely absence resulted in him being unable to link up with his regiment on the morning of the battle. Major Cutcliffe was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel by the Duke of Wellington and placed in command of the regiment. Cutcliffe was severely wounded early in the battle. He married the Hon. Charlotte Talbot, the youngest daughter of Robert Talbot .
Cutcliffe died in 1822 without any surviving male progeny, his son Harry Luppincott Cutcliffe having died as an infant. His daughter and heiress was Frances Cutcliffe (1780-1867), wife of Zachary Hammett Drake I (1777-1847) of Springfield,



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