Grenadier, 42nd (Highland) Regiment, 1751


Uniforms of the Scottish Regiments 1730-1959

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Since 2006: The Royal Regiment of Scotland. In 1725, following the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, General George Wade was authorised by George I to form six “watch” companies to patrol the Highlands of Scotland, three from Clan Campbell, one from Clan Fraser of Lovat, one from Clan Munro and one from Clan Grant. These to be “employed in disarming the Highlanders, preventing depredations, bringing criminals to justice, and hindering rebels and attainted persons from inhabiting that part of the kingdom.” The force was known in Gaelic as Am Freiceadan Dubh, “the dark” or “black watch”. This title was made the official name of the regiment in 1881. The uniform worn by most members of the regiment was originally similar that of the Independent Company, but here shows a Grenadier of the regiment, as depicted by Morier in 1751. Currently Grenadiers of infantry regiments were changing from mitres to fur caps. The 42nd seem to have worn fur caps from the beginning. The coat, with its regimental lace, is more elaborate than before, and has a turned down collar of a type not in use in other regiments until later. The plaid is of the dark Government tartan with a red stripe added – apparently a distinction of the Grenadiers of the regiment. The buff facings were changed to blue in 1758 when the regiment became ‘The Royal Highland Regiment of Foot’ as a reward for its distinguished conduct. The check pattern of the hose is different from the more usual pattern seen subsequently. This hose was made of stitched cloth and worn with a garter round the top not turned down over the garter. The Black Watch takes its precedence from the date of the amalgamation of the Independent Companies, but it is a direct descendant of those companies and has its roots firmly in the original companies of 1624.

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Dimensions24 × 37.5 cm