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28 October 2014
Legacies - Highland

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Footsoldiers of Empire: The Highland Regiments

The first Highlanders to serve in the British Army were six companies, formed from Highlanders from pro-Hanoverian clans in 1725. These companies were stationed across the Highlands with the intention of preventing cattle raiding, inter-clan warfare and carry out the disarming of Jacobite clans. In 1739 the king authorised the raising of four further companies of “natives of that country and none other to be taken” to form an infantry regiment under the command of the Earl of Crawford. The first muster of the new Regiment took place at the Perthshire town of Aberfeldy in 1740. The extremely dark tartan of the uniform, combined with the police – or “watch” duties they performed led to the troops being christened “the Black Watch” by their Highland neighbours – a name which has stuck to the present day. More...

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