Articles - Some Royal Provincial Belt Plates and the Revolutionary War: - Vanguard of British Neo-classicism in America?


Some Royal Provincial Belt Plates and the Revolutionary War:

Vanguard of British Neo-classicism in America?

Gary Hughes
Curator, History and Technology at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John


L’arrivée du néo-classicisme britannique dans la toute nouvelle République américaine est en général considérée comme l’étape inaugurale des progrès d’une expression nationale. L’Indépendance coïncidait avec l’influence de Robert Adam sur le style fédéral, qui fut suivie de l’idéalisme de Thomas Jefferson, du rationalisme de Benjamin Latrobe et, enfin, du style Greek Revival. Les années précédentes, qui étaient celles du conflit, sont en général considérées comme un temps d’arrêt de la création, mais certains faits montrent que les Loyalistes américains connaissaient la révolution stylistique inaugurée par Adam, surtout à New York. Cette étude examine les réactions à cette influence à travers l’œuvre de l’orfèvre Lewis Fueter, qui a produit des baudriers pour les troupes royales ou loyalistes durant la guerre. Ses motifs et ses attributs montrent un lien avec Adam, antérieur et différent, et qui s’inscrit non pas dans les termes d’une identité nationale, mais plutôt dans ceux de la communauté anglo-américaine au sens large.


The arrival of British Neo-classicism in the newly minted American republic is usually seen as an opening phase in the advancement of national expression. Independence coincided with Robert Adam’s influence on the Federal style, followed by Thomas Jefferson’s idealism, the rationalism of Benjamin Latrobe and, finally, the Greek Revival. The preceding war years are usually treated as a period of arrested development but during the conflict there is evidence that Loyalist Americans were aware of Adam’s revolution in style, especially in New York City. This study examines the reaction to this influence through the work of silversmith Lewis Fueter who produced shoulder belt plates for Royal Provincial or Loyalist troops during the war. His designs and attributions reflect an earlier and different iconographic connection to Adam couched not in terms of national identity but rather that of the wider Anglo-American community.

1 It is generally accepted that Scottish architect Robert Adam (1728-1792) precipitated a stylistic revolution in Britain following his return in 1758 from his European Grand Tour, an experience that held to the belief “that the European sojourn was necessary to … artistic fulfillment because it offered first-hand exposure to the European masters and provided a glimpse of the storied landscape of Europe” (Ketner 1993: 70). Adam spent four years on the continent, mostly in Italy where he met architect and mentor Charles Louis Clérriseau in Florence, travelled with him to Rome and was introduced to an avant garde circle of Neo-classical theorists, including artist and engraver Giovani Piranesi (Fleming 1962; Rowe 1965). The classical tradition of architecture, rooted in an organic continuum from the Renaissance, was in the process of being deconstructed into specific ideas and styles that could be applied to circumstances of the day. Rome had been seen as the consequent inheritor of the classical Greek tradition, but the two were now viewed as separate and distinct. This was fuelled by the science of archaeology and mid-century excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii (LeesMilne 1947: 42-45; Pierson 1986: 206; Stillman 1988: 28-39).

2 Like other “males of gentle birth” with or without an architectural pedigree, Adam visited Herculaneum in company with Clérriseau, spending a day underground by torchlight and above in a small museum where recent finds were exhibited. Later, the pair went across the Adriatic to Dalmatia to examine Diocletion’s palace at Spalatro (now Split, Croatia) (Fleming 1962: 155-57, 237-43). Adam was constantly measuring and sketching at various sites, testing his observations against Piranesi’s view that the elements of classical culture could be abstracted to form something new, that the rules were unimportant compared to “the beautiful spirit of Antiquity” (Stillman 1988: 27). This became the core of Adam’s approach to design—at once anti-classical and revolutionary.1

3 Adam’s impact in Britain was immediate, although rarely obvious on the exterior of his buildings. This was partially due to the fact that the great country house building boom of the first half the18th century had effectively ended; his elevations, in any case, did not differ substantially from the Renaissance Palladianism of predecessors William Kent and Lord Burlington. The interior of a structure, however, was a different matter. Here both the planning and decoration were completely new, banishing the heavy, plain and rigidly controlled surfaces of the Palladians with a lighter more delicate tone based on his discoveries in Roman houses. Layout also changed with the arrangement of interior space done according to need, and not formal principle. Much of Adam’s work in this early part of his career focused on the reinterpretation of the interiors of existing buildings (Oresko 1975: 12; Stillman 1966: 2-6). Syon House, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland in Middlesex and a former 15th century abbey in the Jacobethan style, was a signature example (Fig. 1). By the early 1770s, with Britain enjoying ever increasing wealth, there was demand for town houses by owners of country estates. Adam designed or redesigned these houses, including the exteriors (Fig. 2), but lavished far more attention on the interior plan and decoration.

4 Adam, of course, was not the only Neoclassicist in Britain. William Chambers had also taken the Grand Tour, James “Athenian” Stuart and Nicholas Revett published Antiquities of Athens in 1762 and a young James Wyatt would soon mount a serious challenge to Adam’s mantle. Nevertheless, he endured as perhaps the dominant British architect and designer in the second half of the 18th century (Rowe 1965: 22). Part of this was his aptitude for business and self-promotion, including relocation from Edinburgh to London soon after his return from Europe. In London he made the rounds of his Scottish connections while courting other aristocratic patrons, circulating his designs and demonstrating the breadth of his knowledge. While most of this time in Italy was spent in the capital, he also toured the country, selectively borrowing ideas from other ancient sites and from Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Despite an admiration of Greek architecture through Stuart, Revett and other sources, his work only included minor elements of this idiom. Some of Adam’s decorative vocabulary was not new—the swag or festoon of bell flower husks, laurel leaves and acanthus—but became identified with the style because of their use and combination with his urn shape, arabesque foliage, anthemion cresting and vibrant supporting wall and ceiling colours (Friedman 1984: 98-99, 121; Gerson 1981; Stillman 1966: 16).

Fig. 1. Syon House, Middlesex,1762-1769; Three Sections of the Library; Engraver Unknown. Works in Architecture published 1778-1822. Reprinted by Geo. Polley and Sons, Boston and New York, ca. 1890. Archives and Research Library, New Brunswick Museum.
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Fig. 2. The Williams Wynn House, St. Jame’s Square, London, 1772-1774; Engraver John Roberts. Works in Architecture published 1778-1822. Reprinted by Geo. Polley and Sons, Boston and New York, ca. 1890. Archives and Research Library, New Brunswick Museum.
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5 With his 1764 publication of the folio Ruins of the Palace of Emperor Diocletion at Spalatro, Adam’s fame as an antiquarian increased. Nearly a decade later in 1773, the first volume of The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam appeared featuring plates from country house commissions during the 1760s. The inclusion of brother James on the masthead reflected the younger man’s business acumen more than his ability in design, notwithstanding his own Grand Tour and his drafting skills. Instead he acted as a chief of staff to the business and his talents no doubt added to the success of The Works, a widely distributed landmark publication which reflected Robert’s addiction to design. In addition to interior wall, ceiling and floor compositions, and drawings for chimney pieces, wall mirrors, tables, chairs, silver hollowware and candelabra, he extended his services to such details as doorknobs and escutcheons. Whole rooms were at his command. Little wonder architectural historian Damie Stillman would call his influence “…widespread, ubiquitous and longstanding” and this stage of Neo-classicism characterized as “Adamesque” (1988: 275) or, as Sir John Soane later put it, “Adamatic” (Rowe 1965: 32).

6 Drawings by young architects like Adam and Chambers produced during their Grand Tour featured elaborate and monumental structures, usually palaces, public buildings and bridges, but there were no boundaries; unusual projects were included, even a doghouse (Stillman 1988: 49-58). The exuberance of youth amidst a classical bounty accounted for some of this but it was also a learning experience for the return home. During his tour in the early 1760s, James Adam produced plans, elevations and details for a parliament house in London. Assisted by Clérisseau and several draughtsmen, it represented his main creative activity while in Rome. Although more the dilettante with unrealized ideas, the parliament drawings were interesting, especially the design for a “British Order” complete with the appearance of lions and unicorns in the capitals and friezes (Fleming 1962: 303-11). While his huge domed structure with centrepiece of chariot, horses and centurions never advanced to project level, the order and several other drawings with his signature were proposed for alterations to Carlton House in Pall Mall in 1762. Featured in the first volume of The Works,the drawings were never executed (Oresko 1975: 154).

7 Meanwhile, at Syon House Robert Adam was busy working out his own style in brick and plaster. He had spent some time theorizing, but more in doing, and one of the major features of his work was the importation from Rome of huge Ionic columns for the ante room. He then copied two trophy panels from the originals for both Marius and Octavianus Augustus and used them as insets between two sets of columns. Smaller trophy panels were repeated in the hall. These military compositions included decorated shields, helmets, quivers and weaponry (Stillman 1966: 64-65). The smaller peltoid shield used in these panels became a favourite ornament of Adam’s interior decoration (Gerson 1981: 76). Elements such as bellflower husks, laurel wreaths and palm fronds migrated from the panels into his designs. Some of these details were published in the first volume of Works in 1773 while others had to wait until 1779 when Volume II was released. A third volume was published in 1822 thirty years after both Robert first, and then James had died.

8 There is little doubt that the Adam influence spread across the Atlantic but the question of how it translated to the new United States of America is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say that the various stages of Neo-classicism noted in the abstract never assumed a neat progression of style nor was it precisely coincident with the end of the revolution. Thomas Jefferson was designing his first version of Monticello in the 1770s and co-designed the Virginia state capitol with Adam’s mentor, Charles Louis Clérisseau between 1785-1786 well before America’s first building in the Adam style in 1788 (Whiffen and Koeper 1983: 102-04). There was also a small foothold of Adamesque influence just before the revolution in the design of one chimney piece and several plaster ceilings in Virginia while the Library Company of Philadelphia had a copy of the first volume of the Adam brothers Works in 1773 (Park 1961: 124-26; Whiffen and Koeper 1983: 100). Yet general academic histories usually arrange the players in the Adam, Jefferson, Latrobe and Greek Revival schools in that order because of the overall timing and impact each had on the young republic (Pierson 1970: 210-15; Roth 1980: 53-55).

9 While there is a small amount of evidence of Adamesque interior design in pre-revolutionary America, its iconic significance is small when compared with the heightened emotions in wartime, particularly a civil war in which Loyalist sympathies were expressed. This paper will now turn to the work of silversmith Lewis Fueter who remained in New York City during the revolution making sword belt plates for officers in the Royal Provincial Corps. His designs and attributed designs on these artifacts are not only the most complex examples of any made during the conflict, they also demonstrate a progression away from a more traditional military and domestic idiom to one dominated by a purely Neo-classical architectural feature. In the process, Fueter crossed a definite boundary line in type iconography, probably one never repeated. Thus men who fought for the King’s American Regiment, many of whom later settled in New Brunswick, were equipped with a belt plate derived from the Adam revolution.

Loyalist New York

10 The principal metropolitan centre of Loyalist or Tory control during the Revolutionary War was always New York. It had played that role in colonial America before the revolution—a cosmopolitan commercial and industrial hub. By the time of General Washington’s retreat and the arrival of General William Howe’s army in September 1776, the city’s population numbered only about 5,000. Within a year this figure had doubled as the presence of troops increased and Loyalist refugees arrived from neighbouring provinces or counties under patriot control. By the end of the war, New York had become home to about 70,000 people (Bell 1983: 6).

11 New York remained a commercial centre during the war, supplying the civilian population with a seemingly endless variety of material goods, either imported from Britain or secured from local suppliers. Occupation by the British Army and the recruitment of Loyalist or Royal Provincial regiments meant that an increasingly larger proportion of manufacture and supply was directed to a sizeable officer clientele and the rank and file. The New York Gazette (NYG) and the Weekly Mercury featured advertisements offering weapons, portraits, uniforms, cloth and accoutrements, metal smithing, camp equipment, leather goods and embroidery to name only a few.2

12 A contemporary view of New York in the November 1776 issue of TheUniversal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure shows a city extending a little less than two miles inland from Battery Point (Fig. 3). Most manufacturing and mercantile establishments were located midway, near the Hudson and East River waterfronts. This workshop portion of the city had a dozen or more Loyalist producers including sword cutler Charles Oliver Bruff, gunsmith Jacob Allen and sword maker James Potter, all on Maiden Lane. Potter’s contribution was notable, making more than 1,500 horseman’s sabres from British steel for mounted Royal Provincial and British Army units, most of them used during the southern campaign near the end of the war (Dobozy 2000: 30-38; Goldstein 2007: 14-25).

Lewis Fueter

13 Lewis Fueter (1746-1784) came by his trade naturally. The son of Swiss immigrant Daniel Christian Fueter, Lewis had accompanied his family from Bern to London in 1752 and then to New York two years later. Although trained in continental traditions, Daniel soon adapted to Anglo-American tastes which, in this period, often meant the Rococo style. While a watered down version of fashion imported to England from France, the English and American Rococo silver still had a swagger and movement among its sinuous S and C curves, scrolls, shells and cartouches (Quimby 1995: 23-24, 230). Fueter senior took his son in as an apprentice while practicing in Southbury, Connecticut, during a three year hiatus between 1765-68. The next year he was back in New York where a partnership between father and son was announced in the New York Gazette in January 1769. Within a few months, however, the partnership ended when Daniel returned to Switzerland with most of his family, leaving only Lewis and another son, Daniel.

14 Lewis continued on his own, announcing a new location for his shop on Queen Street near Maiden Lane in May 1774. The next year he became a Freeman of the city. As a major port, New York always maintained a significant military presence and Fueter found a considerable amount of work among the British officer clientele. In 1773, for example, he completed a large salver—now in the collections of the New York Historical Society—for Captain Thomas Sowers of the Royal Engineers. The Rococo style engraving is said to have been done by a London trained craftsman because of its high quality (Hofer 2005: 159, 161). In that instance this may be true, but the strict division of labour typical of English shops did not necessarily translate to America where the maker could also be the engraver (Fales 1973; Glanville 1987; Kaufman 1969: 61; Ward and Ward 1979: 38). Thus Lewis Fueter likely both made and engraved some of the pieces he was commissioned to do. Lewis’s knowledge of metallurgy was likely learned from his father who promoted himself as a goldsmith who bought and refined gold and silver, gilded and analyzed the properties of each (Quimby 1995: 230). In a 1775 advertisement in the Gazette Lewis advertised his relocation “at the Coffee House Bridge” and advised services that included “guilding in all its branches” (Ensko 1983 [1948]: 57). He is also known to have assayed gold coinage and an “LF” (Lewis Fueter) counter stamp matching those on spoons in the collection of the Winterthur Museum has also been found on several coins in the period (Quimby 1995: 237; Roehrs 2005: 44-47).

Fig. 3. Plan of the City and Environs of New York in North America. Engraving on Laid Paper, 1767; Dr. H.S. Spangler Collection, New Brunswick Museum, 28467.
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15 Lewis Fueter’s work for the British Army was combined with a pacifist religious upbringing. The family had converted to the Moravian Church, likely during their short stay in London (Calhoon 1973: 386; Magee 1984: 110-19; Quimby 1995: 235). With the outbreak of hostilities at Bunker Hill in June, 1775, tensions reached new heights in the Thirteen Colonies. The next summer with General Howe’s army threatening Manhatten, gangs of patriots ranged through the city intent on confronting known or suspected Loyalists or Tories. A determined neutrality or at least a non-commitment to bearing arms was not good enough and one must suspect that Fueter’s religious persuasion and army clientele marked him as suspect.3 In any event, one of these mobs caught up with him and several others on August 12. A letter written from Staten Island by an unknown Tory reports: “The persecution of the loyalists continues unremitted. Donald McLean, Theophilus Hardenbrook, young Fueter, the silversmith, and Rem Rapelje of Brooklyn, have been cruelly rode on rails, a practice most painful, dangerous and, till now, peculiar to the humane population of New England” (Jones 1879: 596-97).

16 It is not difficult to imagine the hardening of one’s attitude after such treatment and, not surprisingly, Fueter stayed on following the British Army’s occupation of the city in September. According to the late Ian Quimby of the Winterthur Museum, most of Fueter’s commissions during the war “were for military accoutrements such as camp cups and at least one cross-belt plate, the latter being the only known American example” (1995: 235). The New Brunswick Museum, however, has two highly decorated silver sword belt plates made by Lewis Fueter for Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hewlett of DeLancey’s Brigade and Ensign cum Lieutenant Justus Earle of the New Jersey Volunteers, both Loyalist regiments which settled in New Brunswick in significant numbers (Wright 1972: 65-66).4 The reverse side of each is stamped L. FUETER5 (Figs. 4 and 5).

17 There is one other silver sword belt plate, also from the 4th Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers matching the design of the Justus Earle example except for the initials “PC” standing for Major Phillip van Cortland.6 This plate is in an American private collection and independent scholar Todd Braisted notes in personal communication of July 7, 2006, that it was almost certainly made by Fueter. A fourth belt plate of gilt over brass made for an unknown officer of the King’s American Regiment and held in the collections of the Canadian War Museum bears some similarity to Fueter’s work but ultimately may have been designed by another smith or engraver (Fig. 6). Finally, there is another and later version of a gilt over brass belt plate for the same regiment, again in a private collection in the United States. It is unmarked but distinctly resembles the engraving style of the DeLancey’s and New Jersey examples and is therefore attributed to Fueter (Fig. 7). 7

Development of the Sword Belt Plate

18 Whether Quimby’s cross-belt plate reference was to an example from DeLancey’s Brigade, the New Jersey Volunteers or another Royal Provincial or British regiment is not known. Originally descended from British Army waist belt buckles and then waist belt plates, the officer’s sword belt plate affixed to a belt over the right shoulder became almost universal by 1776 (Lefferts 1926: 193). This change was likely due to the greater ease and quickness with which the belt could be worn, as opposed to under the waistcoat or coat. It also provided greater access to the sword. Initially the shoulder belt plate was simply a waist belt plate worn diagonally with two studs at one end and a hook at the other. Soon, however, the markings on the plate shifted to a vertical orientation from the horizontal (Calver 1950: 176-77; Parkyn 1956: 1).

Fig. 4. Sword Belt Plate, ca. 1778; Stamped “L. FUETER” Verso; Silver, Lt. Col. Richard Hewlett, 3rd Battalion, DeLancey’s Brigade, New Brunswick Museum, 2005.42.2.2.
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Fig. 5. Sword Belt Plate, ca.1778; Stamped “L. FUETER”Verso; Silver, Ensign (Lieutenant) Justus Earle, 4th Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers, New Brunswick Museum, 2006.1.
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19 Engravings on plates were often quite plain. Infantry regiments had been numbered in the line following the Warrant of 1747, appearing on the plate as Roman numerals along with a Crown, Royal Cypher or both by the war’s outbreak.8 Engravings were sometimes supplemented by a spray of leaves, usually bay laurel, with a few exhibiting somewhat more complexity. Officer’s plates were either silver or gilt over brass and oval or rectangular. Increasingly they became more ornamental than functional. This change echoed the waning power of the sword in comparison to the bayonet during the war (Neumann 1973: 51). Still, the sword was emblematic of status and rank and many officers of the British Army and Royal Provincials carried them on parade and in battle formation (Elting 1974: 33-35, 46-47; Lefferts 1926; Smith & Kiley 2008).

20 In the British Army, wearing only the sword belt appears to have been restricted to senior regimental or battalion officers while more junior officers were sometimes armed with muskets or fusils and thus had a second belt over the left shoulder to carry a cartridge box. In this case, the scabbards or frogs for the sword and bayonet were usually combined with the sword belt remaining on the outside and the plate either having a purely ornamental function or connecting the two belts with its hook and studs.9 There is visual and documentary evidence that Royal Provincial officers also wore cross belts.10 An orderly book for DeLancey’s Brigade dated March 2, 1778—and printed in 1917—notes that: “As - silver Plates for the Bayonet Belts & Epaulettes must be made on purpose, each Officer will request the Pay Master of the Battalion to procure him two Silver Epaulet & a Silver Plate for his Belt to form & Device already determined” (Kelby: 1917: 47).11

21 Enlisted men in both forces wore cross belts with belt plates, usually simpler in design and of brass or a copper alloy like bronze. These progressed through the various stages of wear as with the officers, changing from a horizontal to vertical orientation, although the Royal Welch Fusiliers entered the conflict still with waist belts and plates with a shoulder belt for the cartridge box (Calver 1950: 161-66; Troiani and Kocher 2007: 5). In addition—especially for Royal Provincials—supply sometimes depended on home grown sources and, instead of a hanger, a hunting sword would be used. Irregularity of clothing, kit or weaponry could be and often was indifferent of rank.

Fig. 6. Sword Belt Plate, ca.1780; Maker Unknown. Gilded Brass, King’s American Regiment, Inscribed Verso “1780, Fanning’s Regt. Dragoons.” Canadian War Museum, 19840573-001.
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Fig. 7. Sword Belt Plate, ca.1782; Maker Unknown. Gilded Brass, King’s American Regiment, Private Collection.
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Heraldry and Regimental Colours

22 In contrast to regimental colours, no warrant covered the design of belt plates at the beginning of the war (Calver 1950: 176). In comparison with most British belt plate designs, Lewis Fueter’s marked and attributed plates are almost riotous in their detail. Ironically, this appears to be in part because he derived some inspiration from English heraldry. Originally descended from classical times when military leaders used identifying figures on their shields, heraldry gradually developed in Europe, approaching a strict code of form by the time of the Crusades. Royalty adopted coats of arms, and while the warrior in society continued to be celebrated, family descendents, by and large the nobility, assumed the honour. Armorial ensigns were placed on buildings, furniture, monuments and floors. In England, by the reign of Richard III, heralds were incorporated as a collegiate body.

23 The age of chivalry and jousting tournaments furthered the heraldic movement with the college attempting to regulate use and assumption among families. This became a problem as those with wealth attempted to acquire noble distinction. Inevitably, without the true power to exclude, the college declined, especially after Cromwell and the Restoration. The form of the coat of arms also changed. At the time of Richard I, the shield or centrepiece was surmounted by a helmet and above that a crista or crest resembling a plume of feathers. For most English kings after Richard, crowns were placed above the helmet and crest. Eventually the crest developed beyond the plume or crown and assumed a range of form, including animals, foliage and mythological creatures. In many instances, the helmet gradually disappeared but the crest remained. Mottos were also distinguishing features on coats of arms, usually supporting the crest, the arms or both. Some mottos related to family and its achievements but many changed over time, losing whatever association they once may have had and eventually becoming mere sayings reflecting some predominant passion, moral or religious expression (Fairbairn 1905: v-vi; Washbourne 1882: 9-32).

24 Armorials were no doubt acquired by those without lineage, but it became far more common for the urban well to do and lesser gentry to use personal devices suggesting the family name—apples representing Appelton or, in a more subtle allusion, laurel for Noble (Glanville 1987: 200; Kenk 1963: 169). Other devices included the owner’s initials in cipher as was the case for a 16th century lawyer and his wife, sometimes figures on jewellery like seal rings or, outside of London, a manufacturer’s mark.12 These figures essentially replaced the shield in the composition of the arms.

25 Regimental colours also featured armorials and personal devices descending from the lieutenant colonel. However, the warrants of 1747 and 1751 largely abolished these distinctions with the intent of swaying allegiance away from the colonel and toward the Crown (Lawson 1941: 170-71; Sumner 2001: 3-5). Those regiment-assigned numbers began conforming to a more standard design which included Roman numerals surrounded by a wreath of roses and thistles under a crown on both the King’s and the regimental colours. There were some variances. Sometimes the King’s colour would have its number centred, surrounded by laurel and the regimental colour with roses and thistles. The motto was generally dropped although those regiments of the “Old Corps” with “ancient devices” or royal badges were permitted to bear them on their colours with mottos as applicable. Thus, for example, the 3rd Regiment, or Buffs, displayed a dragon on their regimental colour and the Royal Welch Fusiliers sported the three ostrich feathers of the Prince of Wales. Each of these would have heraldic overtones.13

The Plates Described

26 Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hewlett of the 3rd Battalion, DeLancey’s Brigade was a native of Hempstead, New York, on Long Island, and a veteran soldier, having served in the Seven Years War. An outspoken and prominent Loyalist, he was sought by the Continental Congress which had ordered his imprisonment at all costs (Dallison 2003: 90). Hewlett’s belt plate measures 7.5 x 4.8 cm and features the Royal Monogram G III R at top, above a Crown with two palm branches on either side over the personal cipher R H for Richard Hewlett and, below, the motto, FIDE ET FORTITUDINE with laurel branches on either side. The plate has a decorative border. The motto stands for “By Faith and Fortitude” but has no relationship to the heraldry of brigade commander Oliver DeLancey, battalion commander Gabriel Ludlow or Hewlett himself, and must by then have become a common expression. Heraldic design is almost certainly the source for the personal cipher replacing the shield and a likely source for the palm branches as crest with motto at the base. It was well known that palm, and especially laurel were used as crest figures in heraldry and domestic silver, but it was not observed in use for the DeLancey, Ludlow or Hewlett families (Fales 1973: 239, 242).14 The Crown used is that of George I, later in service to George II and III as well as William IV. Queen Victoria adopted a new style. The plate has no engraved military unit designation.

27 Laurel had been used on the regimental colours of the Royal Welch Fusiliers before 1751 and on the Kings colours of several others thereafter. There are examples of palm and laurel on the colours of British Foot Regiments during the turn of the 17th century and another instance where the portrait of Marlborough is surrounded by a laurel wreath (Lawson 1940: 53, 144). Adding to the personal nature of the belt plate is its attachment to a sword belt/ scabbard combination of vegetable-dyed leather. Normally, such issue, at least to British troops, would appear as buff, black or white in colour. Like the British officer, the Royal Provincials were responsible for their own clothing, sashes, swords, gorgets and belt plates. Some of this was supplied from overseas, but obviously not everything, and irregularities in dress continued. In Hewlett’s case, the belt and scabbard may have formed part of his earlier service. As late as 1782, Lt. George Campbell of the King’s American Regiment would complain that no two officers looked the same on parade.15

28 Ensign Justus Earle’s belt plate measures 7.5 x 5 cm and is similar in appearance to Colonel Hewlett’s but has a different figure on either side of the Crown, another motto and the appearance of the battalion designation where the DeLancey’s example has none. The decorative border has also changed. The designer, probably Fueter, may have used branches of the box-wood tree—a substitute for palm in more northerly climates—or simply a generic leaf form akin to a pattern on at least one British Army gorget of the period (Chevalier and Gheerbrant 1996: 116; Phillips and Rix 2002: 126; Troiani and Kochan: 2007: 12). Once again, the motto does not relate to the regimental and battalion commanders or the owner and may be roughly translated as vigorous love of country. Below the motto is 1V N.J.V. BATT. Earle was a native of Hackensack, New Jersey and became an Ensign in the 4th New Jersey in April, 1777. He was captured and exchanged twice before his promotion to the 3rd New Jersey in late December 1781 (Jones 1927: 69-70). Presumably this plate was produced at some point between his initial appointment and second capture in 1779 and he was able to conceal it from the enemy since it would have represented a valuable souvenir.

29 A third belt plate to consider is the gilt over brass example in the collections of the Canadian War Museum. It has no stamp and, at 7.3 x 4.8 cm, compares to both the DeLancey’s and New Jersey Volunteers examples. Its border is like the DeLancey’s plate but similarities fade thereafter. An undulating band of what appears to be bellflowers or bellflower husks sweep across the top above a crown. A cipher of an owner does not appear. Instead the motto PRO REGE ET PATRIA within a garter surrounds the Royal Cypher G 3 R over the title The King’s American Regiment. Scroll work and a display of arms support the garter on either side below the crown. On the reverse is a handwritten inscription 1780, Fanning’s Regt. Dragoons (Allen 1983: 45). Edmund Fanning was Lieutenant Colonel of the King’s American Regiment and was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia in 1783. This plate was obviously made after both the Hewlett and Earle examples. Its gilt colour also reflects the protocol of matching the accoutrements like belt plates, gorgets and epaulettes with the uniform’s lace. In contrast both DeLancey’s and the New Jersey Volunteers had silver lace and thus silver fittings (Lawson 1961: 115-21).

30 The final plate is another example of gilt over brass composition, again for the King’s American Regiment. While it has a comparable garter with motto surrounding the Royal Cypher GR, a display of arms, cannon, flags and a familiar decorative border and is not marked verso, there are significant differences. The size at 7.6 x 6.4 cm represents a slight increase but the most obvious contrast is the large figure of bellflower husk festoons dominating the top of the plate above the crown. There is also a return to a double figure motif with the spray of laurel branches at the bottom. The numeral “4”enclosed by the laurel signifies the regiment’s ascension to the American Establishment in March of 1781. This, according to the On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies, “guaranteed their officers half pay at the end of hostilities, confirmed their rank in British North America, and allowed the unit to purchase distinctive clothing directly from England.”16 Although this might have included belt plates and gorgets, the engraving style on the King’s American plate corresponds with Fueter’s examples, especially the lettering, cypher, borders and the use of dual figures. The 1780 inscribed plate from the regiment appears somewhat primitive by comparison, as if fashioned in a folk art style.

31 It is clear that these belt plates exhibit a successive increase of formal presentation through the movement of the royal cypher to a central position within a garter. Individual characteristics typified by personal cyphers have ended and thus invite comparison with the changes wrought on regimental colours at mid century. Wider comparisons with other Loyalist and British belt plates tend to confirm a comparable process, always realizing that there were no written standards, only trends (Parkyn 1956).17

Rome in Britain

32 Military design does not exist in a vacuum. The historical development of the belt plate is one strand in a larger mutually shared influence with domestic architecture in Britain during the third quarter of the 18th century. The British Empire’s rapid expansion after the Seven Years War had served to intensify comparisons with ancient Rome. The British elite was educated in the classics, toured the scenes of antiquity and equated its republican virtue, stoicism and righteousness with a new golden age of civilization under Pax Britannica. To aid and protect its growth there was imperial Britain, and to enshrine this power there was a need to imitate it monumentally in stone (Brendan 2008: xvi). Of course other nations have seen themselves as the new Rome but with an empire far larger than that of Emperor Trajan, Britain might well have a better claim than Russia under Ivan the Great or France under Napoleon.

33 In the second volume of Adam’s Works there isa glass (mirror) and commode table installed at Syon House. Of special interest at the centre of the mirror is a peltoid shield with two sprays of laurel behind it (Oresko 1975: 178). A similar laurel figure without the shield can be seen on the DeLancey’s, New Jersey Volunteers and Kings American regimental plates. In the same volume were designs for chimney pieces in the third drawing room and a dressing room for the Earl of Derby’s townhouse in Grosvenor Square (Fig. 8). The example in the drawing room included another peltoid shield at the top of the mirror with two sprigs of palm, reminiscent of the top figure on the DeLancey belt plate (Fig. 9).

Fig. 8. Derby House, Grosvenor Square, London, 1773-1774; Two Chimney Pieces; Engraver Giuseppe Carlo Zucchi. Works in Architecture published 1778-1822. Reprinted by Geo. Polley and Sons, Boston and New York, ca. 1890. Archives and Research Library, New Brunswick Museum.
Thumbnail of Figure 8Display large image of Figure 8

34 Seventeenth-century heraldic designs on silver included these figures; architect Robert Gibbs had used them as memorial accents earlier in the 18th century and Adam employed them without necessarily evoking any military connections (Fales 1973: 239; Friedman 1984: 99, 101; Glanville 1987: 213). His 1763 tea pavilion with palm fronds for Sir Lawrence Dundas in Hertfordshire and laurel wreaths as part of ceiling and wall decoration confirm the usage of these figures (Lees-Milne 1947: 29; Oresko 1975: 114). But the notion of imperial Britain through force of arms was a strong thread in Pax Brittannica and this appears to have found greater impact during the American Revolution.18

35 Lewis Fueter had certainly connected the two in New York. Laurel sprays were used on the waist and shoulder belt plates of several British regiments sent to America while laurel and palm were featured on the colours of several Hessian regiments.19 Print culture very possibly influenced their usage through a book on heraldry—perhaps a later edition of John Guillim’s A Display of Heraldry (Ward and Ward 1979: 76), a first edition of The Works in Architecture or a publication like The Universal Magazine of Knowledge andPleasure. The latter served as a reliable barometer of popular taste in terms of content and illustrations and by the summer of 1780 was featuring maps of several American provinces with title surrounds in palm sprays and bellflower festoons. This is comparable to Adam’s designs for silver which by this point had entered a larger market through Matthew Boulton’s Soho works in Birmingham where silver and silver plate were manufactured (Rowe 1965: 58-65). But perhaps the most striking example of Adam’s reach were two illustrations of his projects in the December 1782 and August 1783 editions of The Universal Magazine. These included his design for a monument to Major John Andre erected in Westminster Abbey and the front elevation of Caen Wood (Kenwood), the Earl of Mansfield’s estate north of London which Adam remodelled between 1764 and 1779. Ongoing work had been featured in the brothers’ Works (1773) but of more significance is the fact that no other prominent British architect was mentioned in The Universal Magazine during the Revolutionary Waryears. While unlikely to have influenced Fueter’s work, their inclusion is another indication of how Adamdefined the period. Thus it was surely Adamesque if bellflower swags or festoons appeared on title surrounds for maps or anywhere else in print or on object.20

Fueter’s Designs

36 The design of Col. Hewlett’s belt plate uses laurel beneath his initials and palm under the crown. The Romans had made laurel a symbol of military and intellectual glory within its larger context of immortality. Palm was also known in the ancient world and later in the more general terms of victory, regeneration and immortality. By the middle of the 17th century palm had become a popular surround for armorials on domestic silver symbolizing conjugal love (Glanville 1987: 213). While the marriage bed may not have been what Fueter intended in the 1770s, the figure was at least back in style at that time, along with laurel and bellflower festoons (Fales 1973: 242). In ecclesiastical heraldry, palm branches represent the martyr triumphant and its use by Fueter was possibly inspired by his Moravian religion and sense of unjust treatment at the hands of the rebels (Chevalier and Gheerbrant 1996: 592, 734; Kenk 1963: 177). Its position beneath the crown certainly bore a range of feelings—loyalty and affection seemingly paramount.

Fig. 9. Derby House, Grosvenor Square, London, 1773-1774; Chimney Piece, Third Drawing Room; Engraver Giuseppe Carlo Zucchi. Works in Architecture published 1778-1822. Reprinted by Geo. Polley and Sons, Boston and New York, ca. 1890. Archives and Research Library, New Brunswick Museum.
Thumbnail of Figure 9Display large image of Figure 9

37 Less noticed, perhaps, is the decorative border, but its form at least suggests the dentil pattern in the Roman Doric cornice and shown in later applications by pattern book makers like Asher Benjamin (1969: 40, 46). Alternatively, it could reflect the early English influence of Norman crenelated moulding (Harris 1977: 146). In any event, given the care in the fashioning of the plate, a random border feature seems uncertain, especially since the New Jersey and King’s American examples have specific patterns as well, all of them different. The border patterns of all three have similarities to selected illustrations in the four volume publication of Sir William Hamilton’s collection of Greek pottery in 1766—a significant contribution to the knowledge of ancient design and one Adam would have known well (Glanville 1973: 218; Rowe 1965: 27-28).

38 Ensign Earle’s belt plate has a similar twofigure arrangement with laurel again framing the owner’s initials with applied motto. Fueter’s choice of foliage next to the crown is unusual in that there is no comparable figure on any other belt plate of the period yet discovered. If indeed boxwood, it was a symbol of immortality, but it was also characterized in terms of resolve and perseverance because of its hard composition (Chevalier and Gheerbrant 1996: 116-17). Like palm and laurel, it was known in classical antiquity. Boxwood is used in the heraldic arms of several British families, mainly Scottish, and the engraver may have drawn inspiration from that source (Kenk 1963: 170).21 The decorative border is somewhat reminiscent of the waterleaf motif used by Adam and illustrated in several panels from the Hamilton publication.22

39 While the 1780 King’s American Regiment belt plate appears similar in some respects to Fueter’s other examples it is rougher, lacking somewhat in proportion and the design crowded. Ultimately, despite its interesting figures and rough charm, it must be attributed to another engraver, an individual who perhaps worked in Fueter’s shop. There were a number of other smiths and/or engravers in New York at this time but only one advised of his work on “officers’ gorgets and sword belt plates”—that being a John Murray from the 52nd Regiment who posted an advertisement in the February 21, 1778, issue of the NYG.23 One would expect engraved plates sent from England to be more formal in appearance as opposed to the less formal folk art. It is possible that blank gorgets and belt plates were supplied through Britain.24 On the other hand, the process of gilding metal was certainly known in America during this period (O’Donnell and Campbell 2000: 49-51). Fueter had advertised his services as a gilder just before the revolution and was no doubt capable of this work.25

40 The band of bellflower husks that cross the first King’s American belt plate are somewhat lost on its busy surface. This is not the case with the dominating festoons of the second plate. Like its predecessor, it is a complex overall design but nothing seems constricted, including the laurel spray enclosing the numeral “4.” The display of arms on this and the preceding plate are also familiar in Adam’s domestic work, supporting the Crown or a cameo of Brittania.26 The general formation of the lettering, especially the “E” and “O” compare well with the Fueter plates while the crisp and sure border, once again, may be traced to the Hamilton examples. It helps that Fueter’s attributed example dispenses with the Fanning plates’s Rococo styled scrollwork, simplifying the composition.

41 The festoons remain the most distinguishing feature not simply because of their size or definition but because they are so identified with the period. Perhaps Fueter saw the earlier plate with its band of husks. It is likely, since the second example appears so obviously to be his work and he may have been asked to redesign the plate on the occasion of the regiment’s placement in the American line. In any event, the earlier plate was replaced, at least officially, and the new design repeated on both the plate and accompanying gorget.27 The significance of the figure must be its application in the service of a military accoutrement where this adornment became a primary iconographic element of a Loyalist soldier’s uniform near the end of the American Revolution. Unlike the palm or laurel, however, which crossed back and forth, generally on a standard plane of meaning, the festoon was a rarity in military iconography.28 Captain H. Oakes Jones notes that the design of the King’s American Regiment example is uncommon, especially the festoon complex which he does not identify, simply commenting in a footnote that “[t]he meaning of the figure is unclear” (1923: 26).

42 The captain’s statement was not out of place in the early 20th century. The festoon was likely never again so prominently featured on military hardware. It’s appearance on the belt plate and the gorget of a prominent Loyalist regiment indicates Fueter’s recognition of the importance of a motif in the characterization of a country and an empire. This process began with the use of palm and laurel and ended with the festoon, one of the most recognizable shapes of Neo-classical design. The first plate issued to the King’s American Regiment may have occurred on the eve of their participation in the southern campaign and thus may have seen the bulk of the fighting. The plate with festoons likely replaced this following the regiment’s return to New York between 1782 and early 1783.29 Despite the fortunes of war having turned against them, Royal Provincials continued to battle fiercely until the end, even raising a new dragoon regiment on Long Island in 1781-82 (Chartrand 2008: 62-64; Dallison 2003: 42-44). A hint of this stubborn desperation must be seen in the progressive design of these belt plates.30

43 As the war neared its end and patriots celebrated the dawning of a new era, British and Americans left behind in New York City dreamt of another continuum, one that began with the victories of 1759, the vast expansion of empire and its confluence with a new age of architectural design based on an accurate reading of the past and brought to material form by Robert Adam (Fleming 1962: 312-13). It is not surprising that a Loyalist like Lewis Fueter would notice iconographic developments across the ocean and hope for the continued preservation of Britain in America (Bonwick 1991: 101). But loyalty to the Crown meant exodus; so he joined the Loyalist shiploads sailing from New York, boarding a vessel for Halifax in 1783 and then on to Jamaica the next year where he drowned in a hurricane that summer.31 Richard Hewlett and Justus Earle came to New Brunswick the same year and settled in Queen’s County. New Brunswickborn folk artist Thomas MacDonald immortalized Earle in a watercolour portrait in 1820 (Fig. 10), six years before his death. Hewlett died in 1789 but his 1785 salt box house still stands in Hampstead Parish on the banks of the Saint John River opposite Long Island which he named in memory of his former home32 (Fig. 11).

Fig. 10. Portrait of Justus Earle, February 9, 1820, signed below image, centre: “Thomas MacDonald.” Watercolour over graphite on wove paper. New Brunswick Museum, 2002.48.1.
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Fig. 11. The Hewlett House about 1900. Photographer unknown. Albumen Print? It remains today, if anything in better condition, minus the shed. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Hampstead – Queenstown Silver Stars Exhibition photographs: P365-66.
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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the conference, “Loyalism and the Revolutionary Atlantic World,” University of Maine at Orono, June 4-7, 2009.

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1 Adam’s “compositional malleability … was, perhaps, the quintessential feature” of his style (Oresko 1975: 22). Instead of following rules descending from Palladio and disciples, he would mix and match components like capitals and friezes, lightening and flattening heavier elements and combining them in original ways.
2 See for example gunsmith Michael Genter (January 13, 1777), portrait painter John Ramage (November 15, 1780), tailors Samuel and John Kirk (May 22, 1779), dry goods merchant Thomas Courtenay (September 10, 1778), silver and gold smith Joshua Slidell (June 16, 1777), whitesmith Andrew Coughlan (September 5, 1781), saddler and cap maker John Barr (July 1, 1782) and embroiderer Levy Simons (January 3, 1778).
3 Robert Calhoon (1973: 369) notes that the Moravian Brethern “were opposed to both military service and oaths of allegiance.” Joan Magee (1984: 112) follows the story of Peter Etter and his family who emigrated to Pennsylvania from Switzerland ca. 1740 and soon thereafter converted to the Moravian Church. Etter later served as an Ensign in the Philadelphia Associators commanded by Benjamin Franklin. This was a militia unit but he, as far as is known, saw no action. Thomas J. Wertenbaker (1948: 106) generally casts all Moravians as loyal to the King.
4 Fueter no doubt did work for British regiments as well, but no examples are extant. Other regiments which sailed from New York to New Brunswick in significant numbers included the Queen’s Rangers, King’s American Regiment, Prince of Wales American Regiment and the Guides and Pioneers.
5 The mark in Roman letters is also seen on two spoons and one ladle in the Winterthur collection, ca. 1775, and the same mark in script on one ladle. Of interest is the engraving of the Deutch family crest armorial device on the handles of all five pieces, an indication of the continuing importance of heraldic knowledge and application in the trade (Quimby 1995: 235-37).
6 Van Cortland sailed for England in 1783 and his plate was returned to the United States at some point, probably during the 20th century. Chartrand (2008: 45) notes that there is a silvered officer’s plate in the collections of Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario, with crowned Royal Cypher and New Jersey Volunteers below. This has not been seen by this author but does raise questions about the maker.
7 A visual of another of these plates is shown in Chartrand (2008: 15) and held in the Todd Albums, Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University, Providence, RI. An illustration of an officer in the King’s American Regiment is shown in Chartrand, Plate H, with this plate and matching gorget. See Jones (1923).
8 See Calver (1950: 157, 160).
9 See Smith and Kiley (2008: 129, 130, 132, 136, 139, 150) for senior officers with sword belt only. An exception were aides-de-camp who were junior officers. Musicians and colour bearers were in the same category. Officers with swords, muskets and cross-belts are seen at pages 134, 142, 147, 150. Sergeants also wore swords along with their firearms (see pages 134, 137, 140).
10 The only pictorial evidence of Loyalist officers with cross belts, sword and firearms are DeLancey’s Brigade (Lefferts 1926: 216-17), a flank officer in the King’s American Regiment (Elting 1974: 46-47) and Queen’s Rangers, Light Infantry (Elting 1974: 44-45; Smith and Kiley 2008: 162; Chartrand 2008: Plate G). In personal communication of July 6, 2006, independent scholar Todd Braisted suggested that most Provincial officers carried only a sword. Lefferts (1926: 214), however, states that “The officers wore a “breastplate on their cross belts.” It is possible that cross belt wear was restricted to flank companies—light infantry and grenadiers. All three battalions under study had light infantry companies and the King’s American Regiment also had a company of grenadiers as well as a troop of dragoons. As usual, no rules governed wear in this regard.
11 Aside from the DeLancey’s, New Jersey Volunteers and King’s American Regiment belt plates, pictorial representations of others located include the King’s American Dragoons (Lawson 1961: 239; Calver 1950: 179), the King’s Royal Regiment of New York (Allen 1983: 45), South Carolina Royalists, King’s County Militia and Butler’s Rangers, other ranks (Troiani and Kochan 2007: 54, 56, 15); Chartrand (2008: 44) and Butler’s Rangers, officer’s (Calver 1950: 160), Royal Fencible Americans and Queen’s Rangers (Chartrand 2008: 43, 46). The quote from Kelby (1917) applies to all three battalions of DeLancey’s according to the title of the reference but design could differ amongst battalions of the same regiment. See Note 6. The terms regiment and battalion were used interchangeably but both the New Jersey Volunteers with six and DeLancey’s were exceptions.
12 See Smith and Kiley (2008: 144-46).
13 See volume 2 of the two-volume set of Fairbairn (1905) Plates 2, 3, 4, 12, 7 and 5, 16, 26, 49, 61) for the use of laurel and palm in heraldic crests. There are more examples and laurel is five or six times more popular than palm.
14 Fales (1973: 242) mentions that along with “delicate festooning and bell-flower swags”… “very thin crossed laurel and palm branches” were favourite surroundings about the time of the American Revolution. This would have encompassed heraldic surrounds and other designs.
15 Personal communication with Todd Braisted on July 7, 2006.
16 See kar8hist.htm (accessed December 5, 2011).
17 For Loyalist Regiments see Note 10. A recent discovery of an officer’s belt plate in Nova Scotia exhibited the cipher CB under the Crown and above the title New York Rangers, a militia regiment under command of Captain Christopher Benson.
18 See Troiani and Kochan (2007: 152-53) for an illustration of a cavalry trooper’s shabraque or horse blanket with the regimental numeral prominently displayed surrounded by a laurel wreath.
19 See Troiani and Kochan (2007: 79) for a photograph of an Anbach-Bayreuth regimental colour featuring palm and laurel sprays beneath the initials of the principality’s ruler and his motto with crown surmounting. The same colour and those of other Hessian regiments with similar figures are shown in Lawson (1961: 254). Given the close intertwining between Britain and Hanover during most of the 18th century, this transfer should come as no surprise (see Simms 2008). The white horse of Hanover appears on a cavalry guidon of the Kings American Dragoons, a Royal Provincial regiment raised on Long Island in 1781-82. See un-numbered title page in Chartrand (2008). See Fales (1973: 242) regarding this figure’s popularity in domestic design.
20 See especially maps of the Province of New York in The Universal Magazine (Vol. 67, July 1780), Connecticut and Rhode Island (October 1780) and Massachusetts Bay (December 1780). In addition to the maps in The Universal Magazine, several issues (November 1778), (January and March 1779) featured wall paintings discovered in excavated houses in Herculaneum. The design for Major Andrè’s memorial appeared in Vol. 71 and Kenwood in Vol. 73. See also Bryant (2001: 1).
21 It is well known in France where the Gauls made the plant a symbol of eternity. It was also featured in French heraldry and may have spread to Scotland as a result (Chevalier and Gheerbrant 1996: 116). Other attributions of this figure included acacia greggi, mistletoe and black locust.
22 See Rowe (1965) for examples of these designs (Plates 3, 43, 55A and 91A); also Glanville (1987: 218).
23 Two other engravers advertised in the NYG. George Smith, from London, did “engraving in the neatest manner” (January 17, 1778) and James Smither, “late of Philadelphia, engraves elegant Coats of Arms, Seals, maps and copper plates” (May 22, 1779).
24 This would be in the same manner as James Potter fashioning swords from imported British blades. It would have required production of sword hilts, assembly to the blade, sharpening and possibly heating and curving the blade to its known shape as a horseman’s sabre. See Goldstein (2007: 18-19). Also see Glanville (1987: 202, 215) where American customers of imported English plate have the pieces engraved on their side of the Atlantic to save money.
25 O’Donnell and Campbell (2000: 48) note that “During the Revolution, New York City craftsmen demonstrated abilities, unmatched in the Colonies, to design and produce ornate belt plates while under British control.” The King’s American Regiment belt plate is illustrated on page 49 and is the same plate featured in this study. The authors continue, noting its construction was a thin layer of gold fused to a brass plate and that “it was likely made by a New York City craftsman who later supplied state militia plates.” Fueter would be the only recognized smith doing such work at this time and he certainly didn’t stay around to supply American militia plates. There may have been others but no names have surfaced. Gold plated belt plates fused with copper were later produced for the New York militia with the stamp J& A. SIMMONS verso. Simmons was a silversmith in the city and the plates were produced in the turn of the century period according to O’Donnell and Campbell (50-51).
26 See crest or crown on chimney piece in figure 8.
27 Lefferts notes that officers of DeLancey’s Brigade were also equipped with a silver gorget (1926: 214). If so, then these were likely fashioned in Fueter’s shop, making him no stranger to the business of their manufacture.
28 Bellflower husks were included as a border and circlet on shields in separate Roman trophy panels adapted for Syon House but its use on 18th and 19th century belt plates other than that on the King’s American Regiment example has not been seen (Oresko 1975: 84). Circlets of bellflower husks enclose the white horse of Hanover in the first and fourth corners of the King’s American Dragoon’s guidon presented to the regiment in August 1782 (see note 19) but are less distinct on its busy surface. Examples on similar artifacts have not been noticed. See Sumner (2001, vol. 1) plates A-J. Laurel and, to a lesser extent, palm were used on British belt plates well into the 19th century. See Parkyn (1956: 1-2, 115, 133, 181 and 282) among other examples. It is interesting that laurel forms a surround for the personal ciphers on the Hewlett and Earle plates and the royal cipher in the second King’s American plate while the top figures surrounding the crown are all different.
29 See kar8hist.htm (accessed April 9, 2010).
30 The regiment raised was the King’s American Dragoons which operated as part of the New York garrison. More than 250 members of this regiment embarked for the Saint John River Valley at the end of the war. Meanwhile, detachments of the New Jersey Volunteers and DeLancey’s Brigade had made a heroic stand at the Siege of Ninety Six in the north western part of the province May to June 1781, and fought again along with the light infantry company of the King’s American Regiment at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, in September of the same year. See Robert Allen (1983: 13-16) and for full details of the battle records of the King’s American Regiment, DeLancey’s and the New Jersey Volunteers, see also Dallison (2003: 42-44) and Chartrand (2008: 7-9, 11-13).
31 See Roehrs (2005: 46- 47).
32 The house is more specifically in the Village of Queenstown today but this community did not exist in 1785.