King and Regimental Colours for the 1st, 2nd and 4th West Indies Regiments.
Eight West India Regiments were commissioned between 24 April and 1 September 1795. In addition to incorporating into the 1st West India Regiment the Carolina Corps that had been in existence since 1779, the original intention was both to recruit free blacks from the West Indian population and to purchase slaves from the West Indian plantations. Between 1795 and 1808, an estimated 13,400 slaves were purchased for service in the West India Regiments at the cost of about £925,000. This constituted about 7% of the enslaved Africans imported into the British West Indies during this period. The eighth of the newly raised regiments (Skerrett’s) was disbanded the following year but the quality of the new corps led to a further five West India Regiments being raised in 1798.