Royal Scots Army

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Royal Scots Army
Ryal Scots Airmy
Coat of Arms of Scotland (1660-1689).svg
Active 1660–1707
Country Scotland
Allegiance Monarch of Scotland
Part of Scottish Military
Colours Blue & White         
Engagements
Disbanded 1 May 1707
Commanders
General-in-Chief
"Scottish Army" redirects here; for other Scottish armies, see Military of Scotland.

The Royal Scots Army (Scots: Ryal Scots Airmy), was the army of the Kingdom of Scotland between the Restoration in 1660 and the Acts of Union of 1707. A small standing army was established at the Restoration, which was mainly engaged in opposing Covenanter rebellions and guerrilla warfare pursued by the Cameronians in the East. There were also attempts to found a larger militia. By the Glorious Revolution in 1688–89 the standing army was over 3,500 men. Several new regiments were raised to defend the new regime and, although some were soon disbanded several took part in William II's continental wars. By the time of the Act of Union in 1707, the army had seven units of infantry, two of horse and one troop of Horse Guards. Early units wore grey, but adopted red like the English army after 1684. In 1707 the existing regiments were incorporated into the British Army and new Scottish and particularly Highland regiments would be raised from the 1740s, some of which had a long history within the army.

History[edit]

At the Restoration in 1660 the Privy Council of Scotland established a force of several infantry regiments and a few troops of horse to act as a standing army. These included a troop of Life Guards, a second troop of which was raised in 1661, Lieutenant-general William Drummond's Regiment of Horse, five independent troops of horse, a regiment of Foot Guards, later known as the Scots Guards and Le Regiment of Douglas, formed and serving in France since 1633, which returned and eventually became the Royal Regiment of Foot.[1][2] There were also attempts to found a national militia of 20,000 foot and 2,000 horse on the English model. The standing army was mainly employed in the suppression of Covenanter rebellions and the guerrilla war undertaken by the Cameronians in the East.[3] In addition a "Foote Company of Highland Men" was raised[2] and three troops of Scots Dragoons in 1678. Another three were added to make The Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons in 1681, by which point they were already mounted on grey horses that would give them their name of the Royal Scots Greys.[4] On the eve of the Glorious Revolution the standing army in Scotland was about 3,000 men in various regiments and another 268 veterans in the major garrison towns, at an annual cost of about £80,000.[5]

Late 17th-century dragoon of the Scots Greys.

After the Glorious Revolution in 1688–89 ten regiments were raised for the defense of the regime. Some were soon disbanded,[6] but others served against Jacobite rebels, in Ireland and increasingly in William II's continental wars, beginning with the Nine Years' War in Flanders (1689–97).[7] Their role was of such importance that the Scots Parliament forced Queen Anne to give royal assent to the controversial 1704 Act of Security by threatening to withdraw all Scottish forces back out of the Confederate armies.[8] By the time of the act of Union in 1707, the Kingdom of Scotland had a standing army of seven units of infantry, two of horse and one troop of Horse Guards, besides varying levels of fortress artillery in the garrison castles of Edinburgh, Dumbarton, and Stirling.[9] The new British Army created by the Act of Union incorporated the existing Scottish regiments and some units would have a long regimental history,[3] while new Scottish regiments, particularly of Highlanders, would be raised from the 1740s.[10]

Uniforms[edit]

Early units were probably dressed in homespun woollen cloth of hodden grey, which had been used during the Wars of the three kingdoms in the 1640s. Dragoons continued to wear grey, but from 1684 red cloth was imported from England to make uniforms that matched those of the English army. The dragoons also eventually adopted red.[11] Militia units may have been uniformed in blue. Units were differentiated by contrasting colours visible on the collars and cuffs on a regimental basis.[12]

Regimental histories[edit]

The following is a list of regiments commissioned between 1660 and 1707.[13]

Name/First Colonel Date Commissioned Other Colonels/Names Date Disbanded
Lt-General William Drummond’s Horse 1660 ?
1st Troop of Life Guards 1660 4th Troop of Horse Guards 1709 1746
2nd Troop of Life Guards 1661 1663
3rd Troop of Life Guards 1663–64 1676
Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons 1694 Royal North British Dragoons 1707, 2nd Dragoons 1717, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) 1877 Amalgamated 1971
Royal Regiment of Foot 1633 His Majesty's Royal Regiment of Foot 1684, 1st (Royal) Regiment of Foot 1751
Marquis of Argyll's Royal Regiment 1642 Life Guard of Foot 1650, His Majesty’s Foot Guards 1661, 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards 1714
Lt-General Thomas Dalyell’s Foot 1666 1667
Sir William Lockhart’s Foot 1672 1674
Sir George Munro’s Foot 1674 1676
Earl of Mar’s Foot 1677 Royal Scots Fusiliers 1695 Amalgamated 1959
Lord Douglas’s Foot 1678 1679
John Wauchope’s Foot 1688 1717
Lord Bargeny’s Foot 1689 1689
Lord Blantyre’s Foot 1689 1689
Earl of Glencairn’s Foot 1689 1689
Earl of Mar’s Foot 1689 1689
Lord Strathnaver’s 1st Foot 1689 1690
Grant’s Foot 1689 1690
Laird of Grant’s Foot 1689 1691
Viscount Kenmure’s Foot 1689 1691
Earl of Argyll’s Foot 1689 John Lord Lorne 1694 1698
John Hill’s Foot 1689 1698
Richard Cunningham’s Foot 1689 1698
Sir James Mocrief’s Foot 1689 George Hamilton 1694 1714
Earl of Angus’s Foot 1689 Cameronians, 26th Foot 1751 Amalgamated 1881
Lord Leven's Foot 1689 Semphill's Foot c. 1745, 25th Foot 1751, King's Own Borderers 1805 Amalgamated 2006
John Hill’s Foot 1690 1698
William Douglas’s 1st Foot 1694 ?
William Douglas’s 2nd Foot 1694 1697
Lord John Murray’s Foot 1694 Earl of Tullibardine 1697
Lord Lindsay (later Lord Crawford)’s Foot 1694 1697
Robert Mackay’s 1st Foot ? ?
Robert Mackay’s 2nd Foot ? 1697
Lord Strathnaver’s 2nd Foot 1698 John Lord Lorne 1702, John Marquis of Tullibardine 1717
Lord Strathnaver’s 3rd Foot 1702 1713
Earl of Mar’s Foot 1702 Alexander Grant 1706 1713
Lt-Col George MacCartney’s Foot 1704 1713

References[edit]

  1. ^ K. A. J. McLay, "The Restoration and the Glorious Revolution 1660–1702", in E. M. Spiers, J. A. Crang and M. J. Strickland, eds, A Military History of Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), ISBN 0748633359, p. 14.
  2. ^ a b C. C. P. Lawson, A History of the Uniforms of the British Army Volume 1 (P. Davies, 1967), p. 57.
  3. ^ a b E. M. Furgol, "Warfare, weapons and fortifications: 3 1600–1700" in M. Lynch, ed., The Oxford Companion to Scottish History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), ISBN 0-19-211696-7, pp. 637–8.
  4. ^ C. Grant, The Royal Scots Greys (Botley: Osprey, 1972), ISBN 0850450594, pp. 1–3.
  5. ^ J. Young, "Army: 1600–1750" in M. Lynch, ed., The Oxford Companion to Scottish History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), ISBN 0-19-211696-7, pp. 24–5.
  6. ^ C. C. P. Lawson, A History of the Uniforms of the British Army Volume 1 (P. Davies, 1967), p. 59.
  7. ^ Leask, Anthony (2006). Sword of Scotland: Our Fighting Jocks. Pen and Sword Books Limited. p. 85. ISBN 184415405X. 
  8. ^ J. Panton, Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy (Scarecrow Press, 2011), ISBN 0810874970, p. 485.
  9. ^ D. Grove, and C. Abraham, Fortress Scotland and the Jacobites (Batsford/Historic Scotland, 1995), ISBN 978-0-7134-7484-8, p. 38.
  10. ^ A. Mackillop, "Highland Regiments 1750–1830" in M. Lynch, ed., The Oxford Companion to Scottish History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), ISBN 0-19-211696-7, pp. 25–6.
  11. ^ J. Tincey, The British Army: 1660–1704 (Botley: Osprey Publishing, 1994), ISBN 1855323818, p. 15.
  12. ^ C. C. P. Lawson, A History of the Uniforms of the British Army Volume 1 (P. Davies, 1967), pp. 57–8.
  13. ^ C. C. P. Lawson, A History of the Uniforms of the British Army Volume 1 (P. Davies, 1967), pp. 57–65.

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]