18th Century

A Brunswick campfollower with child during the Saratoga campaign of 1777. Period accounts describe them as loaded down, with children, smoking pipes, barefoot and very smelly (even by 18th Century standards). She is wearing an old cast-off uniform from the regiment belonging to her husband/partner. Art by Don Troiani.

“A little later on 31 July, the Queen briefly rallied. She took some broth and asked those at the bedside to pray for her. Her pulse picked up, giving her doctors some hope, ‘but this was the flash of a dying light.’ She died at seven-thirty in the morning of Sunday August 1 without having been able to receive communion from John Robinson, Bishop of London, who, throughout her final hours, had been waiting to administer the sacrament.

Free at last of all her pain, care, and sorrow, this most conscientious of rulers had discharged her final duty. Despite his sadness at the loss of his ‘dear mistress,’ her physician Dr Arbuthnot could only account it as a mercy, knowing that ‘sleep was never more welcome to a weary traveller than death was to her.’”

Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion, by Anne Somerset

The Mystery of the Minden Roses

When the British infantry and artillery were first advancing to the battle of Minden on August 1st 1759 they passed through some German gardens and the soldiers picked roses and stuck them in their coats or hats. In memory of this, each of the Minden regiments marks 1 August as Minden Day. On that day the men of all ranks wear roses in their caps. Royal Anglians, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the PWRR wear red and yellow roses; the SCOTS wear red; RIFLES wear Yorkshire white roses. From this tradition, and to mark the heroism of the Yorkshiremen who fought, 1 August has been adopted as Yorkshire Day. The R WELSH do not wear roses on Minden Day as the Minden Rose was incorporated into the roundell of the capbadge of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and so is worn every day of the year. Retired members of the Regiment do sport roses in the lapels on Minden Day. Artillery regiments with Minden associations wear red roses.

Every year since 1967, six red roses have been anonymously delivered to the British Consulate General in Chicago on 1 August. Only in 2001 and 2002 were no roses sent. A note that comes with the roses lists the six regiments and says, “They advanced through rose gardens to the battleground and decorated their tricorne hats and grenadier caps with the emblem of England. These regiments celebrate Minden Day still, and all wear roses in their caps on this anniversary in memory of their ancestors.” The consulate asks for the name of the sender so that they may thank the individual in person, but the identity of the donor remains a mystery.