Kings Regiment

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The Kings Regiment in historical military prints by Cranston Fine Arts of the Manchester Regiment and the Kings Liverpool Regiment in Victorian uniform prints by Harry Payne.

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Manchester Regiment by Harry Payne.

Manchester Regiment by Harry Payne.

Item Code : UN0008Manchester Regiment by Harry Payne. - Editions Available
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Liverpool Regiment by Harry Payne.

Liverpool Regiment by Harry Payne.

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A West Suffolk regiment-the 63rd-had for its linked battalion the 96th; and these were combined as the Manchester Regiment in 1881.  The first-mentioned was originally a 2nd battalion to the 8th, and became independent under its late number in 1758, receiving the county name of “West Suffolk” in 1782.  “General Wolfe’s Regiment,” as it had been once called, first came under fire in the expedition to the West Indies in 1759, when Martinique, Guadaloupe, Grenadam St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and many other islands, such as Defeada and Santos, were captured.  It returned home after these exploits, but was sent back to take part in the war of Independence, fighting at Bunker’s Hill, Brooklyn, Brandywine, Fort Clinton, New Jersey, Charleston, Hobkirk’s Hill, and Eutaw Springs.

           Men were heavily weighted in those days.  Those of the 63rd twice “returned to the charge, in the middle of a hot summer’s day, encumbered with three days’ provisions, their knapsacks on their backs, which, together with cartouche box, ammunition, and firelock, may be estimated at 125lb. Weight.  Many of the men, too, served as Mounted Infantry, under Colonel Tarleton, one of the most enterprising of the “partisan” leaders in the war; and they behaved with conspicuous gallantry at the affair of Sherar’s Ferry in 1780.           In 1794 the regiment served in Holland, and fought at Nimeguen, but returned to the West Indies in the following year, sharing in Sir Ralph Abercromby’s expedition 1796, and in the defence of Honduras in 1798; after which it came home reduced to only 150 men.  Recruited to full strength, it again served under Abercromby in the Holland campaign, seeing much hard fighting at the Helder, Zuyp, Schagerburg, Bergen-op-Zoom, and Egmont-op-Zee.

           The expedition to Ferrol gave the regiment its next employment, and during the operations Sergeant-Major Nugent was promoted for gallantry in having disarmed and made prisoners two Spanish sentries.  But its West Indian services were not yet completed.  After the capture of Madeira in 1807, it again assisted in the capture of Martinique two years later-when the articles of surrender were signed by Major O’Rourke of the 63rd-and at Guadaloupe, St. Martin, and St. Eustatia; but on the outbreak of hostilities again in 1815, the 63rd for  the third time shared in the capture of Guadaloupe, when “the eagles and standards of the French” were surrendered, and Captain Lynch with the light company covered the landing at Bailiffe, and checked the advance of three hundred French soldiers, who had been sent to oppose the debarkation.  In 1819 the regiment came home, and, after general service on various stations, it was sent to Burmah in 1838, and suffered loss in the fighting at Moulmein. 

           In the Crimean campaign the 63rd was present at the Alma, Inkerman, and through out the whole siege of Sevastopol, losing altogether 947 off all ranks during the war.  In the Afghan War it joined the 2nd division of the Kandahar force, but was not present in any of the more important actions.  From India it was transferred to Egypt in 1882.           The 63rd had a 2nd battalion from 1804 to 1814, but this saw no active service.           The 96th was recruited in Manchester in 1824 and was preceded by five of the same number-viz, the first, which served from 1760 to 1763; the second, from 1780 to 1783; the third, from 1793 to 1798; the fourth, formed from a 2nd battalion of the 52nd, and numbered the 96th in 1803, but disbanded as the 95th in 1818; and the fifth, raised in 1798 as the “Queen’s Germans,” was called the 97th in 1802, and disappeared as the 96th (“Queen’s Own”) in 1818.  The last saw service in Egypt in1801, and in the Peninsula.  It bore the name of the “British Musketeers,” and from it comes the Sphinx badge, and the words “Egypt” and “Peninsula,” which appear on the appointments, etc.           The work of the present battalion, as far as active service goes, began in 1844, when a detachment-the rest of the regiment being in New South Wales-was sent to New Zealand, and fought at Kororarika and Stokes Pah.  In 1881, as the 2nd battalion of the Manchester Regiment, it was sent to Egypt, and formed part of the garrison of Alexandria during the operations which led to the battle of Tel-el-Kebirand the fall of Cairo.  Since then it has seen no active service.

           The badge of the “Fleur-de0lys,” formerly worn by the 63rd, is supposed to have been bestowed in commemoration of its long and brilliant services in the West Indies against the French; but its use was forbidden in 1856 “because written authority sanctioning its wear could no be found.”  The coatee was replaced in that year by the tunic, and it was certainly worn before that date on the former by the officers and sergeant-major.  It is scarcely likely it would have been used without permission, and some might well have been granted; but the only record disappeared when the regimental baggage was lost at Helvoetsluys in 1795.  The green facings of the 63rd and the yellow of the 96th were altered to white in 1881.  Those of the 63rd had been first black, then very deep green (1768), with white and green lace, and deep green with silver lace in 1813.  Gold lace was worn after 1832.  The badges are the arms of the city of Manchester, and the Sphinx with “Egypt,” which was worn by the 96th, but can only have been derived from the regiment that was disbanded in 1818; an eight-pointed star, however, bearing the number, was once the decoration of the buttons and breast-plate of the 63rd.  The star was worn in remembrance of its good work under Tarleton from 1775 to 1781.  The button now bear the Garterand its motto, and within it the Sphinx and “Egypt,” crowned.  The Sphinx also appears on the collar on an eight-pointed star, on the waist-plate with the name of the regiment, and on the forage-cap.  The helmet-plate bears the arms of the city of Manchester.

           The 6th Royal Lancashire Militia, raised in 1855, furnishes the 3rd and 4th battalions.  The volunteer battalions are the 4th Lancashire, Manchester (green and scarlet); the 6th Lancashire, Manchester (scarlet and yellow); the 7th Lancashire, Ashton-under-Lyne (scarlet and white); the 16th Lancashire, Manchester (scarlet and white); the 20th Lancashire, Ardwick (green and scarlet); and the 22nd Lancashire Oldham (scarlet and white).      The 63rd once had the name of the “Bloodsuckers.”             The depot was at Ashton-under-Lyne


The regiment was raised in 1685 as the Princess Anne of Denmark's Regiment,  becoming in 1751 the 8th of foot.

Regimental Battle Honours

  • 1701 - 1715,  Blenheim, Ramillies, Ourdenarde and Malplaquet during the War of Spanish Succession

  • 1740 - 1748  battle of Dettingen during the War of Austrian Succession.

  • 1803 - 1815  Martinique during 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars.

  • 1812 - 1814, Niagara during the American war of 1812.

  • 1857 - 1858, At Delhi  and Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny

  • 1878 - 1880  Battle of Piewar Kotal, in Afghanistan during the Second Afghan war

  • 1885 - 1887  The Third Burma War

  • 1899 - 1902  Ladysmith during the Boer War 

  • 1914 - 1918  Retreat from Mons, Aisne. Marne Ypres (1914, 1915 and 1917)  Festubert, Loos, Soome (1916 and 1918) Arras Scarpe, and Cambrai

  • 1919,  Third Aghan War of 1919

  • 1939 - 1945  Normandy landings, Battle of Cassino, Trasimene Line, Tuori, Forli, Rimini LIne, Athens, Chindits operations,1943, and 1944  during the second world War

  • 1950 - 1953  Battle for The Hook during 1953


Nine Victoria Cross's have been won, the first three were during the Boer war, and Six during the First World War.

The Kings (Liverpool Regiment)

The increase to the army on the outbreak of Monmouth’s rebellion led to the formation of this regiment by Lord Ferrars, and it was first named the “Princess Anne of Denmark’s Regiment of Foot.”  Its early history is remarkable for the stout resistance made by Colonel Beaumont and Captains Packe, Orme, Post, Cook, and Pastor to the attempted packing of their companies with Irish Roman Catholic recruits.  This occurred at Portsmouth, and these “Portsmouth captains” were removed to Windsor Castle for trial, and were dismissed the service; but the colonel was reinstated by William 3rd.  In the Irish campaign it fought at Carrickfergus, the Boyne, Limerick, Cork, and Kinsale; and in 1702, when Princess Anne of Denmark became Queen, the “Queen’s Regiment” embarked for the Continent, and saw service at Kaiserswerth, the siege of Venloo, Ruremonde, Liege, Huy, Limburg, Landau, Sandvilet, Menin, Ath, Lisle, Tournay, Mons, Pont-a-Vendin, Douay, Bethune, Aire, St. Venant, and Bordeaux, and the battles od Schellenberg, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, and Arleux.  In the Jacobite rising of 1715 it shared in the disaster at Bumblane, and the following year received the new title of the “King’s Regiment of Foot,” with the badge of the white horse of Hanover on a red field, and the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; but the latter was not placed on the colours until 1846.    The king’s was at Dettingen and Fomtenoy (1743-45); at Falkirk and Culloden (1746); at Roucoux and Val (1746-47); at Warburg, Zierenburg, Campen, Kirch Denkern, Eimbeck, Groebenstein, and Cassel (1760-62); at the Cedars and Fort Stannix, in Canada (1776-77); at Nimeguen (1794); and in the Egyptian campaign of 1801, at Aboukir, Alexandria, and Cairo.  The 8th took part in the expedition to Copenhagen in 1807, and to the West Indies in 1809, when Martinique was captured; and then took an active part in the campaign of 1813-14, fighting at Ogdenburg-when two colours were captured-Fort George, Sackett’s Harbour, Stoney Creek, Forty-Mile Creek, Beaver Dams, Black Rock, Buffalo, Chippawa, Niagara, Fort Erie, Snake Hill, and Plattsburg, for which good services the word “Niagara” was placed on the colours.  During the Mutiny the 1st battalion was in India, and did good work at Dehli, at Bolundshuhur and Alighur, at Agra, Lucknow, and Cawnpore, and the operations in Oude.  A second battalion, raised in 1756, became the 63rd; another, raised in 1804 and disbanded in 1815, was in the Walcheren Expedition, and was in Canada from 1809 to 1814.  During the winter of the latter year six companies marched on snow- shoes through the roads from New Brunswick to Quebec, and served at Plattsburg.  The present 2nd battalion was raised in 1858, and added “Peiwar Kotal” and “Afghanistan, 1878-80” to the “honours,” for gallant services in that war under Sir Frederick Roberts. It also served with Prendergast in Burmah.  The scarlet uniform had originally yellow facings, altered to royal blue in 1715, also when the badge of the white horse was added.  The white horse, with the regiment mental name and title laurelled, is on the button, and on the helmet and waist-plate (with the motto); the white horse and Garter is worn on the forage- cap.  The tunic collars have the Lancaster rose, with 2King’s” below it.  Though not entitled “Royal,” the officers’ forage- caps have the scarlet band.  The badges are the royal cipher within the Garter, crowned, the white horse within the Garter, crowned, and the Sphinx with “Egypt.”  The lion is also used as a collar-badge.  It is the only regiment that has Old English lettering for its badges.  The two Militia battalions were formed from the 2nd Royal Lancashire battalion, and the men wear on their forage- caps the “rose” within a wreath.  The Volunteer battalions are all Lancashire regiments with the exception of that from the Isle of Man (scarlet and blue), which is attached.  They are the 1st (green and black), the 5th and 18th (green and scarlet), the 13th, 15th, and 19th (scarlet and blue).  The only nickname is the “King’s,” or, in the last century, the “King’s Hanoverian White Horse.”  The depot was in Warrington..

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