No. 70 Highland Armed Association


In the late 1700s, in response to the outbreak of yet another war with France and the constant threat of possible invasion, many, mostly autonomous, Armed Associations or Volunteer Corps units were formed, often without official sanction. The first Scottish volunteer forces were formed during this invasion panic of the Napoleonic era.  The Highland Armed Association (renamed the Royal Highland Volunteers), were formed in 1797. They preceeded the formation in 1803 of the Loyal North Britons and it is in 1803 that the first ever documented evidence of pipes and drums playing together on the march is found.  This marks the birth of pipe band history.  The Highland Armed Association of London and The Loyal North Britons would later become the 14th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Scottish) and the 23rd Battalion London Regiment originated as the Newington Surry [sic] Volunteers before 1799 when it was one of 65 volunteer corps units reviewed by George III.

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Original Description of the unit from  1799:
No. LXX.
THE Highland Association was formed in July, 1797, when it was resolved, that before a Candidate become a Member he should be recommended, and his address be given the Secretary, who is to inquire his Character and Station in Life; of which the Committee being acquainted, they are to decide, with delicacy and feeling towards the Candidate, but with lively and tenacious attention for the respectability and honour of the Highland Association. This Corps at present consists of two Companies but mean (if possible) to extend to 800 Privates, to be all Battalion men. They have no Colours at present, nor are they to be joined to any other Corps; and every individual is to hold his own Arms. Their Officers are not yet gazetted.  Thew Committee consists of the following Gentlemen:
Mr. Donaldson, Whitehall; Mr. James Hal Stuart, Lincoln’s Inn; Mr. Macdonald, Pall Mall; Mr. William Ogilvie, Savile-row; Mr. James Ogilvie, Savile Row; Mr. L. D. Campbell; Mr. Tod, Hampstead; Mr. Ross, Fenchurch Street; Mr. Sheriff, Tower Royal.
A scarlet Jacket with yellow Facings; silver Lace on the Button-holes; Buttons white, with Crown and Thistle; a belted Plaid and Hose; a High­ land Bonnet, smartly mounted with Ostrich Feathers; a green hackle Feather fixed under the Cockade with silver Loop over it, and Button of the Corps; an ornamental hair Purse in front of the Kilt; the Shoe to be tied with a leather Latchet; the Plaid to be made of the Tartan, similar to that worn by the 42nd Regiment.
Officers and Serjeants shall wear Broad Swords, and Privates the Firelock and Bayonet; Belts of white Leather; the Breast-plate of tutanag, with Crown and Thistle in centre.
N. B. Drill Ground, Mr. Burton’s Field, and Plant’s Riding House, Moor Place.

Additional information

Weight 0.0121 kg
Dimensions 25.5 × 32.5 cm