List of British fencible regiments

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This is a list of British fencible regiments. The fencibles (from the word defencible) were British Army regiments raised in the United Kingdom and in the colonies for defence against the threat of invasion during the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars in the late 18th century. Usually temporary units, composed of local volunteers, commanded by Regular Army officers, their role was, as their name suggests, usually confined to garrison and patrol duties, freeing the regular Army units to perform offensive operations.

The article is broken into two periods the first list is for the fencible regiments raised during the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence the first was raised in 1759 two years after the start of the Seven Years' War and the last was disbanded in 1783 when active hostilities with the America colonies ended and the British recognised the de facto existence of the United States of America to be formalised by the Peace of Paris (1783).

There is a far larger list for the French Revolutionary Wars and the Irish Rebellion of 1798. They regiments were raised during a time of great turbulence in Europe when there was a real fear that the French would either invade Great Britain or Ireland or that radicals within Britain and Ireland would rebel against the established order. There was little to do in Britain other than garrison duties and some police actions, but in Ireland there was a French supported insurrection in 1798 and British fencible regiments were engaged in some minor pitched battles. Some regiments served outside Great Britain and Ireland. Several regiments performed garrison duties on the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. A detachment of the Dumbarton Fencibles Regiment escorted prisoners to Prussia, and the Ancient Irish Fencibles were sent to Egypt where they took part in the operations against the French in 1801.

When it became clear that the rebellion in Ireland had been defeated and that there would be peace between France and Britain in 1802 (The preliminaries of peace were signed in London on the 1st of October 1801) the Fencible regiments were disbanded. The final ratification of the Peace of Amiens was concluded in March 1802. When the Napoleonic Wars resumed the British used alternative methods to defend the Home Nations and with the exception of the Royal Manx Fencibles (third corps, 1803–1811) no more fencible regiments were raised for home defence.

Several fencible regiments were raised in the early 1800s in Britain for the defence of Canada, some of these saw active service during the Anglo-American War of 1812 (see the section (Further information).

List of fencible infantry regiments raised prior to 1793[edit]

The total number of British fencible infantry regiments raised during the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence was nine, of which six were Scottish, two were English and one was Manx.

lo-
cal
Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
SH[a] Argyll Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow

[b]

Colonel John, Duke of Argyll.[1] July 1759 1763 When embodied was 1,000 strong. Quartered in different parts of Scotland until the peace of Paris (1763), when it was disbanded.
SH Sutherland Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel William, Earl of Sutherland.[1] July 1759 1763 Raised July 1759, but the officers' commissions were dated in August. 1,500 men assembled within nine days after his Lordship had arrived in the north with his Letters of Service, but the authorised establishment being only 1,000 men, the remainder had to be rejected. Permission, however, was afterwards given to augment the strength to 1,100 men. This corps was remarkable for the fine appearance of the men, as well as for their peaceable, domiciliated habits in quarters. After doing garrison duty in various parts of Scotland it was disbanded.
SH Argyll, or Western Fencible Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Lord Frederick Campbell.[1] February 1778 April 1783 Embodied at Glasgow. Volunteered to extend its services to any part of the world where their country required them. This offer was accepted, but their services were not required abroad. Served in Scotland, and disbanded at Glasgow.
SL South Fencible Regiment. Facings green Colonel Henry, Duke of Buccleuch.[1] 10 April 1778 1 April 1783 Embodied at Edinburgh. Offered to serve in any part of Great Britain. Served in Scotland. Disbanded at Dalkeith.
SH Duke of Gordon's North Fencibles Highland dress. Facings Yellow Colonel Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon.[2] May 1778 1783 Embodied at Aberdeen. Served in Scotland. Disbanded at Aberdeen.
SH 2nd Sutherland Regiment Highland dress. Facings Yellow Colonel William Wemvss of Wemyss.[2] January 1779 1783 Embodied at Fort George. Were stationed principally in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. Distinguished for "the sobriety, probity, and the most scrupulous and orderly attention to duty" of its men.[3] Disbanded at Fort George.
En Fauconberg's Fencibles[2] 1779 1783 Raised in 1779 in Yorkshire. Confined to garrison duty in England and disbanded in 1783.
En North's Fencibles[2] 1779 1783 Raised in 1779, in the Cinque Ports. Confined to garrison duty in England and disbanded in 1783.
Mx Manx Fencible Corps 1779 1783 First corps.[4] Raised in 1779 in the Isle of Man, consisted of three companies of infantry, disbanded in 1783.[4]

List of fencible cavalry regiments raised between 1793 and 1803[edit]

The British cavalry and light dragoon regiments were raised to serve in any part of Great Britain and consisted of a force of between 14,00 and 15,000 men.[5][6] Along with the two Irish regiments, those British regiments that volunteered for service Ireland served there. Each regiment consisted of eighteen commissioned offices and troops of eighty privates per troop. The regiments were always fully manned as their terms of service were considered favourable. At the beginning of 1800 all of the regiments were disbanded.[5][c]

Britain
loc Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
First Regiment Colonel The Honourable John Villiers. [7] 14 March 1794[d] Early 1800
Ancient British Regiment Colonel Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn[8] 14 March 1794 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Lancashire Regiment [9] Colonel Thomas Peter Legh.[9] 14 March 1794 Early 1800
Rutland Regiment [3] Colonel Noel Edwards.[10] 19 March 1794 Early 1800
Somersetshire Regiment [4] Colonel John, Earl Poulett.[11] 28 March 1794 Early 1800
Norfolk Regiment [6] Colonel William Harbord.[12] 10 April 1794 Early 1800
Cinque Ports Regiment [2] Colonel Robert, Lord Hawkesbury.[13] 1 May 1794 Early 1800
Windsor Foresters [5] Colonel Charles Rooke.[14] 1 May 1794 Early 1800
Surrey Regiment [7] Colonel George, Lord Onslow.[15] 1 May 1794 Early 1800 See also the Loyal Surrey Regiment
Hampshire Regiment Colonel Thomas Cooper Everitt.[16][17] 13 April 1795 Early 1800
Cornwall Regiment [11] Colonel George, Viscount Falmouth.[18] 14 April 1795 Early 1800
Loyal Essex Regiment Buff facings.[19] Colonel Montague Burgoyne.[20] 20 April 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Berwickshire Corps Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Alexander Don[21] 21 April 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Cambridshire Regiment Colonel Robert Jones Adeane.[22] 25 April 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Lanark and Dunbarton Regiment Black facings, bonnet and trews or kilt.[19] Colonel William Hamilton.[23] 2 May 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Dumfrieshire Regiment Colonel Michael Stuart Maxwell.[24] 4 May 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Fifeshire Corps Lieutenant-Colonel Comm. J. Anstruther Thomson.[7] 8 May 1795 Early 1800
Warwickshire Regiment [12].[e] Colonel George, Earl Warwick.[25] 19 May 1794 Early 1800
Lothian (East & West) Regiment Colonel John Hamilton.[26] 29 May 1795 Early 1800
Lothian (Mid) Regiment William Earl of Ancram.[27] 29 May 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Sussex Regiment Colonel Sir George Thomas[28] 13 April 1795 Early 1800
Princess of Wales's Regiment [13] Colonel William, Earl of Darlington.[29] 14 April 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Pembrokeshire Corps Lieutenant Colonel Comm. Henry Davis.[30] 18 April 1795 Early 1800
Oxfordshire Regiment Colonel Thomas Parker.[31] 20 April 1795 Early 1800
New Romney (or the Duke of York's own) Regiment Colonel Cholmely Dering.[32] 20 April 1795 Early 1800 Served in Ireland.[5]
Roxbrough and Selkirkshire Regiment Colonel Sir John Scott.[33] 21 April 1795 Early 1800
Princess Royal's own Regiment Colonel Andrew McDowall.[34] 1 May 1795 Early 1800
Perthshre Regiment Colonel Charles Moray.[35] 29 May 1795 Early 1800
Ayrshire Regiment Colonel Andrew Dunlop.[36] 19 June 1795 Early 1800
Irleand
loc Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
First Regiment fur-crested Tarleton helmets, dark blue jacket, with white cord and lace, and white britches.[19] Colonel Robert, Viceroy, Jocelyn.[37] 18 July 1795
Second Regiment Colonel Edmund, Lord Glentworth.[38] 18 July 1795

List of fencible infantry regiments raised between 1793 and 1803[edit]

Scottish fencibles[edit]

loc-
ale
Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
SH[a] Princess of Wales' (Aberdeen Highland) Regiment.* Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Sir James Leith.[39] 25 October 1794 11 September 1803 Raised 25 October 1794. Embodied at Aberdeen. Disbanded in Ireland, 11 September 1803.
SL Angus Volunteers Facings Buff,[39] or facings yellow, and bonnet and trews [40] Major-Commandant John Fraser.[39] 27 September 1794 1799 Strength, two companies.
SL Angusshire Regiment Facings yellow[f] Colonel Archibald Douglas.[39] 20 October 1794 19 July 1802 Had a good many Highlanders from the Highland borders. Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Perth.
SH 1st Argyllshire Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel George, Marquis of Lorne, Afterwards George, 6th Duke of Argyll.[39] 2 March 1799 Embodied at Stirling. Its services were confined to Scotland.
SH 2nd Argyllshire Regiment Highland dress. Facings Blue Colonel Henry Mord Clavering.[39] 25 October 1794 24 July 1802 Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Ayr.
SH 3rd Argyllshire Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Archibald Macneill of Colonsay.[39] 15 June 1798 3 July 1802 The name of Argyll did not properly apply to this corps, as the number of Argyllshire men was very small. Its service extended to any part of Europe,[g] and in 1800 was sent to Gibraltar. Ordered home at the peace of 1801. Disbanded at Dumbarton.
SH Breadalbane Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Earl of Breadalbane. 2 March 1793 28 July 1802 3 Battalions
Breadalbane Regiment — 1st Battalion Lieutenant-Colonel William Maxwell Morrison (late 77th Foot).[39] 2 March 1793 18 April 1799 Embodied at Perth. Volunteered for duty in Ireland, August 1798, but its services were not required. Remained in Scotland. Disbanded at Fort George.[h]
Breadalbane Regiment — 2nd Battalion Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Macdouall of Logan.Scobie 1914, p. 356 8 March 1793 18 April 1799 Embodied at Perth. In 1798 the greater part of this corps volunteered for service in Ireland, and landed at Carrickfergus in September. Returned to Scotland in March 1799. Disbanded at Paisley.
Breadalbane Regiment — 3rd Battalion Lieutenant-Colonel John Campbell of Achallader.[41] 9 December 1794 28 July 1802 Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Ayr.
En Loyal British Regiment Facings Blue Colonel Sir Robert Stuart, Bart.[41] 24 October 1794 1802
SH Caithness Legion. The bonnet and tartan pantaloons (truis). Facings yellow.[i] Colonel Sir Benjamin Dunbar of Hempriggs. 15 November 1794 1802 Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Enniscorthy.
SH Royal Clan Alpine Regiment Highland dress. Facings Blue. Colonel Alex. Macgregor Murray of Napier Rusky.[41] 21 September 1798 24 July 1802 Raised for general service in Europe. Embodied at Stirling. Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Stirling.
?? Duke of York's Own (Banffshire) Regiment The bonnet and truis.[41] Facings probably yellow.[19] Colonel Andrew Hay of Mountblairey.[41] 26 July 1798 1802 This regiment had a number of Highlanders in its ranks.[41] Garrisoned Gibraltar.[j]
SH Dumbarton Regiment. Black facings, Highland dress, [41] or trews [19] Colonel Colin Campbell of Stonefield.[41] 14 August 1794 5 October 1802 Embodied at Dumbarton. Served in Guernsey, and afterwards in Ireland during the rebellion, where it was actively occupied and employed as a light infantry corps in the mountains, under Sir John Moore, who kept it constantly near his person. "By the recommendation of General Moore, a detachment of the regiment was ordered as a guard to 400 rebel prisoners sent to Prussia, with directions that 'the detachment should consist entirely of Highlanders, as the service required confidential, trustworthy men'.".[42] Disbanded at Dumbarton.
SL Lord Elgin's Regiment. The bonnet and truis.[k] Facings green Colonel Thomas, Earl of Elgin.[43] 28 November 1794 15 October 1802 There were about 300 Highlanders in this corps. Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Linlithgow.
SL Fifeshire Fencibles Facings yellow Colonel James Durham of Largo.[43] 20 October 1794 11 April 1803 Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Kilkenny.
SH Fraser Regiment. Highland dress. Facings black Colonel James Fraser of Belladrum.[43] 29 November 1794 12 July 1802 Embodied at Inverness. of the soldiers, 300 bore the name of Fraser. Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Glasgow.
SH Glengarry or British Highland Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Alex. Macdonnell of Glengarry.[43] 14 August 1794 1 July 1802 Raised as a Catholic corps. According to General Stewart, more than one-half of the men in this regiment were enlisted from the estate of Glengarry. Of the thirty-two officers, twenty-two were Macdonnells or Macdonalds. Served in Jersey, Guernsey, and in Ireland, where they were actively employed during the rebellion, earning for themselves the sobriquet of the "Devil's Bloodhounds".[l] Disbanded at Ayr, after which the greater part of the regiment emigrated, together with their families and relations, to Canada, settling in a district to which they gave the name of their native glen.

In February 1812, a regiment known as the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles was raised in Canada, a proportion of which was made up of soldiers of the former fencible regiment or members of their families. The colonel of the regiment was E. Baynes and a major in the regiment was George Macdonnell. It was disbanded in August 1816.[44]

SH Royal Inverness Highlanders Highland dress. Initially buff facings, became blue facings when they became the Duke of York's.[19] Colonel John Baillie of Dunean.[43] 21 November 1794 25 August 1802 Embodied at Inverness. Served in Ireland during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and after its suppression the designation of the corps was changed to "The Duke of York's Royal Inverness-shire Highlanders" as a compliment to their good behaviour. In 1801 the regiment voluntarily offered to serve in any part of the world, but owing to the preliminaries of peace having been signed, their services were not required abroad. Disbanded at Stirling.
SH The Regiment of The Isles or Macdonald Fencibles. Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Alexander, Lord Macdonald.[45] 29 May 1798 26 July 1802 Embodied at Inverness. Served in Scotland and England. Disbanded at Fort George.
SH Lochaber Fencibles Highland dress. Facings black Colonel Donald Cameron of Lochiel.[45] 15 June 1798 26 June 1802 Embodied at Falkirk. Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Linlithgow.
SL North Lowland Regiment Facings green.[m] Colonel Thomas Balfour.[45] November 1794 6 August 1802 There were a number of Highlanders in this corps. Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Dundee.
SL West Lowland Regiment.[n] Facings Green.[o] Colonel Earl of Eglinton.[45] 2 March 1793 26 March 1799 Disbanded at Musselburgh.
HS Princess Charlotte of Wales' or Loyal Macleod Fencibles. Highland dress. Facings blue Colonel John Macleod of Colbecks.[45] 15 June 1798 11 June 1802 Embodied at Elgin. Served in Ireland. Disbanded in England at Tynemouth Barracks.
HS The Northern or Gordon Fencibles Highland dress. Facings yellow.[p] Colonel Alexander, Duke of Gordon.[45] 3 March 1793 1799 Embodied at Aberdeen. Its services were confined to Scotland, but the men having volunteered to extend it, the offer was accepted, and in 1794 the regiment moved to England. "When quartered in Kent, the King, who had never seen a Highland regiment, ordered them up to London, where they were reviewed in Hyde Park in the presence of His Majesty, who expressed himself highly satisfied with their appearance".[46] Disbanded in Scotland.
SI Orkney Battalion. Facings yellow Major-Commandant Thomas Balfour.[47] 20 April 1793 1799 Strength, three companies.
SH Perthshire Highlanders.[q] Facings yellow.[r] Colonel William Robertson of Lude.[47] 20 October 1794 27 February 1799 Embodied at Perth. "Although called Perthshire Highlanders, this was a misnomer, as the number of Perthshire Highlanders, or Highlanders of any county, was very limited".[48] Disbanded at Preston.
SL Prince of Wales' Own The bonnet and truis. Facings yellow Colonel Sir William Johnstone, Bart.[47] 15 June 1798 21 May 1802 Served in Ireland.[47] May have garrisoned Gibraltar.[j] Disbanded at Plymouth.[47]
SH Reay Highland Regiment Highland dress. Facings light grey-blue Colonel Mackay Hugh Baillie of Rosehall.[47] 24 October 1794 13 October 1802 Embodied at Elgin. Served in Ireland. Was present at the battles of Tara Hill and Ballinamuck. Disbanded at Stirling.
SH Ross-shire Highland Regiment Highland dress. Facings yellow Major-Commandant Colin Mackenzie of Mountgerald.[47] 20 November 1794 1799 Strength, two companies. Although a small corps, the men were noticeable for their "exemplary character and physical capacity. No man was punished; none died during its service".[49]
SH Ross And Cromarty Rangers. Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Lewis Mackenzie, Younger of Scatwell.[50] 8 August 1798 27 July 1802 Raised for service in any part of Europe. Embodied at Inverness. Served in Scotland and Ireland. Disbanded at Inverness.
SH Rothesay and Caithness Highlanders. Highland dress. Facings yellow[s] Colonel Sir John Sinclair of Ulster.[50] 2 Battalions.
Rothesay and Caithness Highlanders — 1st Battalion. Lieutenant-Colonel James, Earl of Caithness.[50] 7 March 1794 6 May 1799 Embodied at Inverness. Remarkable for the size of its officers, twenty of whom averaged six feet in height, and who were consequently known as "Thier-nan-more" or "The great chiefs". Served in Scotland and the north of England. Disbanded at Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh.
Rothesay and Caithness Highlanders — 2nd Battalion. Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Williamson.[50] 19 November 1794 July 1802 Embodied at Forfar. Served in Ireland for two years, where it was distinguished for its exemplary conduct. In 1797 this battalion volunteered for service in any part of Europe, but was not called upon to go abroad. Disbanded at Glasgow.
SI Shetland Battalion Facings — Major-Commandant George Malcolmson.[50] 8 February 1798 1802 Strength, two companies.
SL Southern Regiment.[t] Facings Light grey-blue Colonel James Hope-Johnstone, 3rd Earl of Hopetoun.[50] 2 March 1793 12 April 1799 Served in Scotland. Disbanded at Linlithgow.
SH Grant or Strathspey Regiment Highland dress. Facings green. Colonel Sir James Grant of Grant.[51] 2 March 1793 April 1799 Embodied at Forres. Served in Scotland. Disbanded at Inverness.
SH Sutherland Regiment. Highland dress. Facings yellow Colonel Major-general William Wemyss of Wemyss.[51] 2 March 1793 March 1799 Embodied at Fort George. Extended its services to Ireland in 1797. Disbanded at Fort George, many of the officers and men transferring their services to the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, raised by General Wemyss on a letter of service dated 16 April 1799.
Loyal Tarbert Regiment. Facings blue Colonel Sir Edward Leslie, Bart.[51] 27 July 1798 19 June 1802 Disbanded at Plymouth.
The Loyal Tay Regiment. Facings blue Colonel Sir Robert Anstruther, Bart.[51] 25 October 1794 28 June 1802 This regiment had a good many Highlanders from the Highland borders. Served in Ireland. Disbanded at Stirling.

The Scottish Fencibles raised in 1793 had eight companies each, except the Orkney, which had three.[51]

Those raised in 1794–1802 had ten companies, except the 1st Battalion Rothesay and Caithness Regiment, which had eight, and three others — the Angus Volunteers, Ross-shire and Shetland Fencibles — which had only two companies.[51]

Of the total number of Scottish corps raised from 1739 to 1802, independent of Colonel Macneil's Argyll, Colonel Robertson's Perthshire (both having very few Highlanders), and the Ross-shire Fencibles (which are not included, as their number was small), the total number of Fencibles raised in the Highlands, and considered as exclusively Highland, amounted to twenty-six battalions[52] Some of the other Scottish Fencibles, however, although not nominally Highland, had a number of men from the Highlands in their ranks, and this fact is noted in the above list under the regiments concerned.[51]

English fencibles[edit]

Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
Royal Lancashire Volunteers.[53][44] Blue facings?[19] Sir Thos. Egerton, Bt.[53] 1779 1783 This regiment's services were confined to garrison duty in England.
Royal Lancashire Lord Grey de Wilton.[53] 16 October 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Northampton[53] Blue facings red collar.[19] John Manners Ker.[53] 20 October 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Loyal Essex[53] John E. Urquhart.[53] 20 October 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Loyal Nottingham[53] Green facings.[19] James O'Connor[53] 20 October 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Suffolk[53] John Robinson[53] 20 October 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Loyal Somerset[53] Yellow facings.[19] W. F. Forster[53] 20 October 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
York[53] Hon. G. A, C. Stapylton[53] 20 October 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Devon and Cornwall[53] Robert Hall[53] 15 November 1794 1801–2 Ten companies.
Prince of Wales' Leicester[53] Major Parkyns[53] 15 November 1794 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Cheshire[53] Charles Courtenay[53] 17 November 1794 1801–2 Ten companies.
Loyal Durham[53] Green facings.[19] Barrington Price[53] 26 February 1795 1801–2 Ten companies. Served in Ireland during the rebellion
Northumberland Francis[53] Blake[53] 28 February 1795 1801–2 Ten companies.
Newfoundland[53] Skinner[53] 25 April 1795 1801–2 Ten companies.
Scilly[53] Captain Henry Gudgeon[54] 19 April 1796 1801–2 One company.[55]
Loyal Surrey Regiment.[56] Colonel George Augustus Pollen.[57] 1799 1800 1794: formation as the Surrey Cavalry, From 1800 became the Loyal Surrey Regiment of Rangers.[57]
Royal Canadian Volunteers.[56] 1799 The regiment was posted to Nova Scotia[58]
Fauconberg's Fencibles.[44] 1799
North's Fencibles.[44] 1799
Loyal Surrey Regiment of Rangers,[44] or Pollen's Fencibles[44] Colonel George Augustus Pollen.[59] 1800 1802 Ten companies. Previously the Loyal Surrey Regiment of Fencible Infantry. In Nova Scotia.[59]

Irish fencibles[edit]

Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
Loyal Irish (ist Battalion)[53] Handcock 15 November 1794 1801–2 Ten companies.
Loyal Irish (2nd Battalion)[53] Handcock 15 December 1794 1801–2 Ten companies.
Loyal Limerick[53] Sir Vere Hunt 15 June 1798 1801–2 Ten companies.
Ancient Irish[53] T. J. Fitzgerald 4 June 1799 1801–2 Ten companies. The Ancient Irish volunteered for service abroad, and were actually sent to Egypt for a time, taking part in the operations against the French in 1801.[53]

Welsh fencibles[edit]

Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
Cambrian Rangers[53] William Edwards[60] 8 August 1798 1801–2 This regiment was composed of ten companies.[53] It served in the garrison of Gibraltar.[j]

Manx fencibles[edit]

Name Uniform Commander Raised Disbanded Notes
Royal Manx Regiment (1st Battalion) Duke of Atholl.[61] 20 February 1793 1801–2 Second corps.[4] The 1st Battalion of Manx Fencibles had three companies (for first corps, raised in 1779 see the Manx Fencible Corps above).
Royal Manx Regiment (2nd Battalion) Blue facings, fur crest around hat.[19] Duke of Atholl 7 April 1795 1801–2 Second corps.[4] Ten companies. The 2nd Battalion served in Ireland. Some of the men in this battalion were recruited in return and the list of officers shows a few names which suggests a connection with Perthshire.[62]
Royal Manx Regiment 12 July 1803 1811 Third corps.[4] The services performed by this regiment was the defence of the Isle of Man, assisting the Revenue in the prevention of smuggling, and supporting the civil power. The four last companies of the Regiment were raised partly with the view of their supplying volunteers for line regiments.[63]

Further information[edit]

Three other Fencible Corps many have been raised between 1795–1798, which were disbanded in 1801–2 viz.:[44]

  • Royal Birmingham or Rann's Fencibles
  • Nova Scotia Provincial Regiment (for service in Canada), 1803–1816: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario.[44]
  • Prince Edward's Island Fencibles (for service in Canada)[44]

In 1803 four Fencible Corps were raised (probably in the British Isles) for service in Canada. They were:[44]

  • Newfoundland, or Skerret's Fencibles,[44] 1803–1816: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario.[58]
  • New Brunswick, or Hunter's Fencibles,[44] raised in 1803, numbered 104th in 1810, New Brunswick.[58]
  • Nova Scotia, or Wetherall's Fencibles[44]
  • Canadian Fencible Infantry, or Peter's Fencibles[44]

They were all disbanded in 1816.[44]

Besides the established regiments there were seven regiments (each of one battalion) for which Letters of Service were issued, but which never appear to have been formed.[64] Five were to have been raised in Scotland and two in England, with a strength of ten companies each:[65]

Date of letter of service or Order of raising Colonel or Commissioner Notes
20 October 1794 Lieutenant-Colonel Morison
15 November 1794 David Hunter
15 June 1798 Dunbar
20 July 1798 Dunlop
31 July 1798 Alex. McGrigor
10 August 1798 Tyndale
10 December 1798 James Kann

The total number of fencible infantry corps embodied 1793-1802 was thus 61 battalions of which 29 were Scottish, 15 were English, 4 Irish, 1 Welsh and 2 Manx. "Most of the Fencible Corps," writes Sir John Fortescue "were created either in 1794 or 1798, and to judge by the old Monthly Army Lists of 1799, the greatest number of them in existence at one time in Great Britain was 31 regiments of cavalry and 45 battalions of infantry. But by March 1800 the greater part of the cavalry had been disembodied, so that it would not be wise to reckon the Fencibles as exceeding, at their highest figure, twenty to twenty-five thousand men".[66] [u]

The preliminaries of peace were signed in London on the 1st of October 1801. The final ratification of the Peace of Amiens, however, was not concluded until March 1802. Fortescue writes "most, if not all, of the fencible infantry were disbanded in May 1801, before the signature of the preliminaries of peace",[67] but Ian Scobie states that this was not so, as the greater number were not disbanded until late in 1801 or early in 1802, and that many of the Scottish fencibles, were not disbanded until some time after the Peace of Amiens had been signed (as will be seen from the preceding lists).[68]

The disbandment of the fencibles in 1802, and "the establishment in that year of a permanent Scots Militia, rendered unnecessary any further organisation on a large scale of this more ancient but partial system of national defence".[62]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Key: SH, Scottish Highlands; SL, Scottish Lowlands; En, England, Mx Isle of Man.
  2. ^ All the fencible regiments raised prior to 1793 were required to serve only in the country in which they were raised, except in time of invasion. All the Scottish ones, except the South Fencibles, wore the full Highland garb (Scobie 1914, p. 353).
  3. ^ The only commissioned officers who received half-pay, were the adjutants; and the quarter-masters were given a stipend of two shilling per day (TT 1861, p. 305)
  4. ^ Unless otherwise noted, the date raised for the fencible cavalry regiments is given as the date of the commander of the regiment was commission as commander as listed in (British War Office 1797).
  5. ^ A Birmingham recruiting bill for the Warwickshire Regiment of Fencible Light Dragoons (Langford 1868, p. 179)

    June 2, 1794.—Warwickshire Regiment of Fencible Light Dragoons, commanded by the Earl of Warwick. All high-spirited Young Men, who are able and willing to serve their King and Country, in support of their most excellent and happy Constitution, the Envy of the World, have now a glorious opportunity of shewing their Zeal in the Warwickshire Regiment of Cavalry, to serve only during the present War, and within the Kingdom of Great Britain, to be commanded by the Right Hon. Earl Brooke and Warwick, and other officers of the County.

    A Bounty of Five Pounds will be given to each young man who is approved of, and One Guinea to any Person bringing such Recruit.

    They will be all mounted on fine Hunters, superior to most Regiments of Light Dragoons.

    Let them repair to the Sergeant, at Mr. Owen's, the sign of the Eagle, in Hill Street: and at the Rose and Crown, in Moor Street, where they will enter into present Pay and Good Quarters. God save the King.

  6. ^ "According to Colonel Hamilton Smith this corps wore the bonnet and kilt" (Scobie 1914, p. 355), but it may have been bonnet and trews (Reid 2011, p. 20).
  7. ^ The soldiers of those fencible regiments whose services extended, or who volunteered their services (and were accepted), to any part of Europe, or the world, were entitled to pensions when disabled, in the same manner as if in regiments of the line. Neither at that period nor for many years after were there any such pensions to officers, however severe their wounds, or however much disabled (Scobie 1914, p. 355 cites Stewart of Garth, Sketches of the Highlanders, vol. ii. p. 330.).
  8. ^ Duncan Ban MacIntyre, the famous hunter-bard of Glenorchy, was a soldier in this battalion, in which he served till its disbandment. His discharge document is still in existence (Scobie 1914, p. 355 cites Calder, G., The Gaelic Songs of Duncan MacIntyre ).
  9. ^ The belt-plate of this regiment bore the Thistle and Crown, with the word "Caithness" above, and below, the legend, "Flodden Field" (Scobie 1914, p. 356).
  10. ^ a b c "The Regiments in the Garrison were 5th, 44th, Cambrian Rangers, Banffshire Fencibles, 2nd Argllshire Fencibles, and the Prince of Wales Own Fencibles, Governor's Letter Book, 1759–1800, GGA." (Musteen 2011, p. 218 (note 54)) — other sources state it was the 3rd Argl Fencibles who garrisoned Gibraltar.
  11. ^ General Stewart and Colonel H. Smith's Mss. According to Colonel Smith's drawings, purses (sporran) were worn by regiments in truis as well as by kilted ones. The purses he shows are mere indications, all alike, and evidently not regimental variations. It seems improbable, however, that purses were worn in all the regiments wearing truis.
  12. ^ So called on account of their garb and their unfailing success in hunting down the rebels (Scobie 1914, p. 357 cites Macdonell, Rev. Father Macdonell, The Glengarry Fencibles, Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness xxvi 
  13. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 358 notes: According to Colonel H. Smith, this corps wore the infantry uniform, with truis
  14. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 358 notes: also known as the " Western Fencibles."
  15. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 358 notes: In Kay's ' Edinburgh Portraits,' vol. ii. p. 330, it is stated that this regiment wore the Highland uniform, "to which garb the Earl was extremely partial". According to Colonel Smith, however, the uniform was that of the Line, with truis.
  16. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 359 Notes: General Stewart of Garth. This regiment wore black belts (Colonel H. Smith's Mss.)
  17. ^ Also known as "The Perthshire Regiment of Fencibles" (Scobie 1914, p. 359).
  18. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 359 notes: General Stewart of Garth. The regiment, however, wore the kilt, probably of Robertson tartan. Military History, of Perthshire, p. 176.
  19. ^ The uniform of this regiment consisted of the red jacket and white waistcoat, red and white hose, buckled shoes, white goatskin purse with black tassels, "feathered bonnet, with a plaid thrown across the shoulders, and tartan pantaloons, in imitation of the truis, surmounted with a stripe of yellow along the seams, a fringe of tartan on the outside of the thigh, and the same round the ankle".Scobie 1914, p. 360 quoting Stewart of Garth, Sketches of the Highlanders, vol. ii.

    In a rare work, consisting of four quarto pages, compiled by Colonel Sir John Sinclair, and entitled, Account of the Rothesay and Caithness Fencibles, there is an excellent frontispiece illustrating the uniform of the regiment, which is exactly as General Stewart describes it (Scobie 1914, p. 360). This "Account" was "particularly addressed to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and private soldiers of the (1st) Battalion, that they might remember they belonged to so respectable a corps". From it we learn that this battalion might claim the distinction of being the first fencible corps raised for service in Britain, the previous corps being embodied for service in their own country only, (Scobie 1914, p. 360 citing Old Scottish Regimental Colours', by Andrew Ross, S.s.c. , p. 126.).

  20. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 360 notes: Also known as the "South Fencibles " or the "Hopetoun Invincibles".
  21. ^ Fortescue 1915, p. 889 notes: The official list of Auxiliary Forces in 1800 shows 13 regiments of fencible cavalry and 46 battalions of fencible infantry.
  1. ^ a b c d Scobie 1914, p. 353.
  2. ^ a b c d Scobie 1914, p. 354.
  3. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 354 cites General Stewart of Garth
  4. ^ a b c d e MNHL staff 2012, p. 4.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k TT 1861, p. 305.
  6. ^ Haydn 1866, p. 297.
  7. ^ a b British War Office 1797, p. 13.
  8. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 7.
  9. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 17.
  10. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 28.
  11. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 29.
  12. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 20.
  13. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 9.
  14. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 33.
  15. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 30.
  16. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 15.
  17. ^ British National Army Museum staff 2013.
  18. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 10.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Reid 2011, p. 21.
  20. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 12.
  21. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 6.
  22. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 8.
  23. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 16.
  24. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 11.
  25. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 32.
  26. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 18.
  27. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 19.
  28. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 31.
  29. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 24.
  30. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 22.
  31. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 21.
  32. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 26.
  33. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 27.
  34. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 25.
  35. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 23.
  36. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 5.
  37. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 34.
  38. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 35.
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h Scobie 1914, p. 355.
  40. ^ Reid 2011, p. 20.
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h Scobie 1914, p. 356.
  42. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 356 cites General Stewart of Garth.
  43. ^ a b c d e Scobie 1914, p. 357.
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Scobie 1914, p. 362 Suppliemetal page facing 362
  45. ^ a b c d e f Scobie 1914, p. 358.
  46. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 358 cites General Stewart of Garth
  47. ^ a b c d e f g Scobie 1914, p. 359.
  48. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 359 cites General Stewart of Garth
  49. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 359 cites General Stewart of Garth.
  50. ^ a b c d e f Scobie 1914, p. 360.
  51. ^ a b c d e f g Scobie 1914, p. 361.
  52. ^ Cites 1 General Stewart of Garth.
  53. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Scobie 1914, p. 362.
  54. ^ British War Office 1797, p. 79.
  55. ^ Odd Stories, Legends & Poems: Court Marshall of Garrison Soldier, Scillypedia: Encyclopedia of the Isles of Scilly, retrieved January 2012  quotes Court Marshall of Garrison Soldier, The Times (5221), 25 September 1801 
  56. ^ a b Scobie 1914, p. 362 notes "Colonel H. Smith mentions this regiment".
  57. ^ a b "1794: formation (Surrey Cavalry); Loyal Surrey Regiment of Fencible Infantry, under Col George Augustus Pollen. From 1800 became the Loyal Surrey Regiment of Rangers" (British National Archive staff 2013, "Loyal Surrey Regiment of Fencible Infantry").
  58. ^ a b c CMHG civil servants 2011, p. 1
  59. ^ a b "Previously the Loyal Surrey Regiment of Fencible Infantry; in Nova Scotia under Col George Augustus Pollen. 1800–1802: Loyal Surrey Regiment of Rangers. 1802: disbandment" (British National Archive staff 2013a, "Loyal Surrey Regiment of Fencible Infantry").
  60. ^ British War Office 1800, p. 16.
  61. ^ The Dukes of Atholl held the Sovereignty of the Isle of Man, which had come into their possession in 1736 (Scobie 1914, p. 363 cites Atholl & Macdonald 1908, p. 183).
  62. ^ a b Scobie 1914, p. 363 cites Atholl & Macdonald 1908, p. 183
  63. ^ Palmerston 1810, p. 116.
  64. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 363 cites History of British Army, vol. iv., Part II., pp. 943–944.
  65. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 363.
  66. ^ Fortescue 1915, pp. 889–890.
  67. ^ Fortescue 1915, p. 890.
  68. ^ Scobie 1914, p. 364.

References[edit]

Attribution

Further reading[edit]