Nags of Norfolk: Modelling the Holkham Yeomanry

About a year ago, I reported on my visit to Holkham Hall in Norfolk and discussed the history of it’s own yeomanry cavalry troop which lasted from 1798 to 1828. After some investigation on the uniform of the Holkham Yeomanry Cavalry in a post earlier this year, I’ve decided to go for it and have a bash at reproducing a vision of this long-forgotten troop in 1/72 scale.

I’m using Strelets British Light Dragoons in Egypt set and have sourced a double 2nd-hand set for less than half the price on eBay. So far, I’ve concentrated on Strelets’ horses which I’ve been previously perhaps a little unfair in describing as over-fed. With some paint on them, they now look muscular rather than portly and I always appreciate the clear, crisp detail provided by these ‘old-style’ Strelets kits. Besides, I imagine that these steeds of Norfolk farmers and local men would have been substantially better fed than regular army horses on campaign.

Following evidence that Thomas Coke of Holkham Hall requested permission to dress his yeomanry troop in the ‘colours of the 10th’ (light dragoons), I’ve taken that to have extended also to the shabraques which the wealthy agriculuralist Coke has very generously supplied to all his troopers!

For it’s design, I’ve broadly followed the 10th’s colours as seen on this Britains model below. Instead of a white device on a red background in the corner of the cloth, I’ve gone for a black emblem, hoping to mimic the ostriches I saw on the Holkham Yeomanry standard in Holkham Hall.

Being Napoleonic cavalry, they could conceivably be included as the 34th regiment in my Napoleonic Cavalry Project when complete (be they yeomanry or the 10th Light Dragoons themselves). Additionally, I’ve had a vague idea to include the standard in a scene with these figures. I’d like to recreate the act of it being presented to them by Mrs Jane Coke of Holkham Hall, a moment reported on in some detail by the local newspaper in 1798. After being given some great ideas by Mark at Man of Tin blog, I’m considering my options…

For now, my yeomanry horses are now being put out to grass whilst I turn my attention to the Holkham men themselves next!

9 thoughts on “Nags of Norfolk: Modelling the Holkham Yeomanry

  1. As always, your horses have painted up beautifully. I’m very jealous that you have this set as I over looked it for years, not thinking that they may well have served as early light dragoons in Portugal and Spain! Now I’m committed to a crowd funding project with Hat for these dragoons that seems to be in an endless limbo, or I would order the Strelets in a second.
    Look forward to seeing the riders.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cheers, Bill. Yes, I think they’d serve well as early Peninsular light cavalry. Like you, I am also one of those crowdfunders of the Hat dragoons but got tired of waiting so I plumped for this set which was going cheap. I thought that they would do nicely for a volunteer cavalry troop like these.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Again you have done a great job on the horses ,I just love this set and have purchased two set over time but so far have only used one mounted guy on my first Nappy dio !,looking forward to seeing what you do with the men .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. About a year ago, I reported on my visit to Holkham Hall in Norfolk and discussed the history of it’s own yeomanry cavalry troop which lasted from 1798 to 1728.

    That is a very short negative seriv=ce history!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jay. That’s fascinating! People working or connected on the estate would have certainly been a part of this troop I’m painting. I’m working on the riders now so hopefully will be able to show them soon. I’m also minded to include a figure of Lady Coke presenting the troop banner to them in some way, which involves me sourcing an appropriate figure.

      Thanks for the encouragement, it’s great to hear it has piqued someone’s interest who are connected with its history!


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