I have further notes on this matter of white uniforms for drummers. Sources from the mid-19th century, especially the plates published by the Conde de Clonard in his "Historia Organica..." and also in his "Album de la Infanteria..." and "Album de la Cabbaleria..", usually show the drummers and fifers of line regiments during the reign of Carlos III (1759-1788) wearing the regimental uniform ornamented with the royal livery lace according to a general order of 1736. However, documents contained in various archives reveal that the royal livery used by drummers and fifers was in fact blue faced with red (or scarlet) from 1760. A few such documents are presented below.
The blue and red uniform was brought in by a royal order of King Carlos III of 11 March 1760. It specified that:
“...generalmente no usen los tambores, timbaleros, y trompetas, de otra Franja que la de la Librea de Su Real Caja, sobre el Vestido de Paño azul. y divisa encarnado, dejando su colotacion al arbitrio de los Coroneles, o, Comandantes.” - "As a rule, drummers, kettledrummers and trumpeter will use no other lace than that of the livery of our Royal House, on blue wool clothing with scarlet facings, except that its positionning will be at the choice of the colonels or commanders..." (Archivo General de Simancas, Guerra Moderna, leg. 2986, Resolucion de su Majestad Sobre el vestuario de los Cuerpos, y uniformes de los Oficiales de su Ejercito, 11 de Marzo 1760.)
The livery lace, as the livery itself, was that of the Bourbon family which ruled the kingdoms of France, Spain and Naples in the 18th century. This lace is shown in Clonard’s 19th century prints as being white with red criss-crossing. This was an artistic convention to simplify the real and very complicated lace which, basically, consisted of a white chain on a crimson or red background according to detailled prints and actual specimens. This lace is illustrated in COMPANY MUIA plate No. 565. (There was also a “grande” version of this livery which was even more complicated.)
This was adopted in Spain as well as in Spain’s overseas dominions. For example, a document pertaining to the uniforms supplied in 1768-1769 to three metropolitan and the Corona colonial regiment in New Spain mentions that the:
“Vestido para Tambores y Pifanos de los cuatro Regimientos. Casaca azul con divisas encarnada con franja de ordonanza. Chupa encarnada con franja de ordenanza. Calzones azul. Porta-caxa encarnado con franja” - "Clothing of the drummers and fifers of the four regiments. Blue coat with scarlet facings and with livery lace. Scarlet drum belt with livery lace" (Archivo General de la Nacion [Mexico], Historia, Tropas Veterenas, tomo 165. [1768-1769] Mecanismo, arreglado y equitado para la construccion de los Vestuarios de los Regimientod de Ynfanteria de Saboya, Ultonia, Corona y Flandes...)
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