Right on Lanspessade; there were "Anspessade" in the French metropolitan and colonial forces in the 16th to late 18th century. Lance-Corporal in the British forces since probably the 16th century. We in Canada have them in the French Regime and after 1760 also. It was a appaointment within a unit, something like the US private first class, so not part of establishment rank.
Chevron officially appear in British forces in 1802, on 14 July - Chevrons on right sleeve adopted for rank badges of N.C.O.'s. Corporals: 2 bars of regimental lace; Sergeants: 3 bars of white lace; Sergeant Major: 4 bars of silver lace; Quarter Master Sergeant: 4 bars of white lace. (PRO, WO 3/33 G.O. 14 July 1802. Epaulettes or shoulder knots were worn up to that time by N.C.O.'s. It should be noted that Sergeant Majors had a double breasted coatee like those of the officers, with silver or gold lace depending on the regimental lace for officers. The chevron were points down, made with doubled up half inch lace, and set on backing cloth of the regimental facing color. This is well illustrated in Fosten, D.S.V. & B. K., "The Thin Red Line: Uniforms of the British Army between 1751 and 1914", London, 1989, pp. 48-51. In practice, Lance Corporals (or "Chosen men") also had one bar of regimental lace.
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