• 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

1700s

Explore 1700s stories

Gold 20 years' good conduct medal, 13th Regiment of Foot, c1825

Regimental medals

Before campaign medals, gallantry decorations and good conduct awards were introduced in the 19th century, many regiments rewarded outstanding service with their own ‘unofficial’ medals.

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The Battle of Dettingen, 1743

Battle of Dettingen

Fought in southern Germany on 27 June 1743, Dettingen saw British forces stand in alliance with those of Hanover and Austria against the French. It was the last time a reigning British monarch personally led his troops in battle.

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Helmet plate, officer, 1st West India Regiment, c1880

The West India Regiments

Raised in the 1790s to defend Britain's Caribbean colonies, the West India Regiments fought as infantry in several campaigns. They remained a part of the British Army until disbandment in 1927.

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Shako plate, 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment, c1855

40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot

This infantry unit was formed in 1717. It continued in service until the 1881 British Army reforms, when it became part of The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment).

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Tipu Sultan's war turban taken during the capture of Seringapatam in 1799

Tipu Sultan's war turban

A rare helmet belonging to one of India's greatest warrior princes sheds light on the relatively unknown Mysore Wars, a series of conflicts in the late 18th century that helped decide the political future of southern India.

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The Battle of Minden, 1759

Seven Years War

Fought between 1756 and 1763, this conflict can claim to be the original 'world war'. Franco-British fighting in North America and India became part of a general war in Europe with far-reaching consequences.

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The death of Major Pierson and the defeat of the French attack on Jersey, 1781

American War of Independence: Key battles

In 1775, Britain’s American colonies rebelled in a bid for independence. The British Army performed fairly well in battle against the rebels, but it was unable to prevent the loss of territory following French and Spanish entry into the war.

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Battle of Bunker Hill, June 1775

American War of Independence: Outbreak

In 1775, political and economic concerns led the inhabitants of Britain’s 13 American colonies to rise up in revolt. The subsequent conflict divided families and communities across North America.

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The Duke of Marlborough, 1702

The Duke of Marlborough: Corporal John

Marlborough’s long career as a soldier and statesmen spanned the reigns of five monarchs. His triumphs were not only due to his amazing military talents; they were also a result of politics and patronage.

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King George II at the Battle of Dettingen, 1743

War of the Austrian Succession

This 18th-century conflict was caused by the question of Maria Theresa’s succession to the Austrian crown. During the war, British troops proved their worth as soldiers. But the armies in which they served enjoyed mixed fortunes on the battlefield.

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'An East View of the Great Cataract of Niagara', 1762

The earliest European view of Niagara

Thomas Davies' watercolour, ‘An East View of the Great Cataract of Niagara’ (1762), documents the struggle for control of North America and illuminates the history of British exploration and science.

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10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars, 1812

Cavalry roles

Soldiers who fought on horseback were known as cavalry. Often dominating the battlefield, they performed a variety of roles, from smashing enemy formations to scouting and reconnoitring.

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