Officer, 77th Montgomery Highlanders, c.1763


Raised in 1757, disbanded in 1763

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Following the collapse of the rising of 1745, the government realised how much potential fighting material there was untapped in the Highlands of Scotland, and between then and about 1800 some twenty regiments of Highlanders were raised, none of which had a life of more than ten years before disbandment. During their short lives, however, they nearly all saw foreign service, many in North America. Typical of these was the 77th, raised in 1757 by the Hon. Archibald Montgomery, and disbanded in 1763 after service in Canada against the Indians. This plate is based on a portrait of the Earl of Eglinton, who commanded the regiment during most of its existence. The portrait itself was evidently painted some years after the sitter had left the regiment, long after the regiment was disbanded, and the cut of the coat is that of about 1780 rather than of 1763.  No doubt the sitter preferred to be painted in a fashion which would not look too antique. The sporran, with its leopard skin and silver tassels has become much more ornate, and yet it still bears a close resemblance to its prototype and is much like the sporran worn by officers of the Black Watch in about 1780. The bonnet, too, has begun its long evolution into an impressive affair, with the addition of a few feathers, which were eventually to swamp the real bonnet altogether.

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Dimensions 24 × 37.5 cm