X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website Celtic Croft website
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information Houston Kiltmakers Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    16th July 19
    Location
    Central Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    135
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Black Watch Purpose and Uniform 1725-1739?

    As i understand it the Black Watch was formed in 1725 to police the Scottish Highlands and by 1939 were formed into a regiment of the regular British Army. On 1725 General Wade, Commander-in-Chief in North Britain issued an order regarding the uniform of the companies: "take Care to provide Plaid Cloathing and Bonnets in the Highland Dress for the Non-Commission Officers and Soldiers belonging to their Companies, the Plaid of each Company to be as near as they can of the same sort and Colour."

    * My questions to the Rabble; Excepting the plaid and bonnet, is there any written references, paintings or other images describing or showing the colour or style of the jackets and/or waistcoats?

    All my written and online references indicate a jacket of some variation of Red/brick. But none of them indicate to my satisfaction at least, the colour or shade of tunic during the aforementioned time period.

    *Am i correct in describing the Black Watch as a police force from 1725 to 1739, after which they became a martial Force?

    Thanks much

    Jacques
    Last edited by Jacques; 18th August 20 at 11:59 PM.
    "I know of no inspiration to be got from trousers."
    Lt. Col. Norman MacLeod, QOCH, c. 1924

  2. #2
    Join Date
    2nd January 10
    Location
    Crieff, Perthshire
    Posts
    4,047
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whilst some of the Highland Independent Companies (HIC) were regimented in 1739 to form the 43rd (later renumbered to the 42nd) regiment, and much later called the Black Watch, the HIC goes back much earlier. Wi,i is not alwaus completely accurate but this gives a good overview - see here.

    Before the HIC were regimented the colour of their coats may nothavebeen red at all. There is a reference to two HIC men in a brawl, one of which was described as wearing a blue coat. There are no pictures or accurate descriptions of their dress before 1739 that I'm aware of.

  3. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to figheadair For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    16th July 19
    Location
    Central Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    135
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Whilst some of the Highland Independent Companies (HIC) were regimented in 1739 to form the 43rd (later renumbered to the 42nd) regiment, and much later called the Black Watch, the HIC goes back much earlier. Wi,i is not alwaus completely accurate but this gives a good overview - see here.

    Before the HIC were regimented the colour of their coats may nothavebeen red at all. There is a reference to two HIC men in a brawl, one of which was described as wearing a blue coat. There are no pictures or accurate descriptions of their dress before 1739 that I'm aware of.
    Peter,
    Thank you again for your assistance. The source you provided seems well written and very informative. With this information and the many accompanied references and bibliography (which may add to my ever growing library), i shall be busy for some time, happily immersed in the social, political and military history of Scotland.

    If the rest of the Rabble has any further thoughts, opinions or recommended references, i would very much like to know them. i live to read.

    Thanks much

    Jacques
    "I know of no inspiration to be got from trousers."
    Lt. Col. Norman MacLeod, QOCH, c. 1924

  5. #4
    Join Date
    20th August 11
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
    As i understand it the Black Watch was formed in 1725 to police the Scottish Highlands...

    *Am i correct in describing the Black Watch as a police force from 1725 to 1739, after which they became a martial Force?

    Thanks much

    Jacques
    The Highland Independent Companies in 1725 were referred to as a 'Watch'- 'employed in disarming the Highlanders, preventing depredations, bringing criminals to justice, and hindering rebels.' In their earliest incarnation, independent companies formed in 1667 were intended to serve as 'a constant guard for securing the peace of the Highlands' whose duty was to 'watch the braes'- or at least that was the idea. By the C18th the Highlands of Scotland were the only region of Great Britain where natives habitually went armed and formed the nucleus of private war bands under the command of local chieftains, ready to engage in clan feuding and raiding, robbery and extortion, or even open rebellion. The government hoped to contain this disruptive element once and for all.

    There was nothing unusual in forces maintained by the Crown acting as a police force. What was different about the Independent companies is that they were troops raised locally, accustomed to the arms and tactics of the Highlander, and speaking the same language, as well as clothed in Highland dress. It was these last elements which were possibly most significant, in that the general populace might be more accepting of the presence of fellow Gaels rather than of sassenach soldiers in regiments recruited from Lowland Scotland or England, and speaking the language it should be easier for the Watch to gain the intelligence required to thwart banditry and sedition. At least that was the theory.

    The Highland Independent Companies 'alias Blak Watch’ were not quite constabulary, militia or security contractors, but rather a bit of all three.

    In the end it was more conducive to the peace of the Highlands simply to form numerous Highland Regiments in addition to 'the Black Watch' and lure the clans' fighting men out of the hills by recruiting them to fight for the government in foreign lands. As James Wolfe wrote:""They are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and no great mischief if they fall."
    Last edited by jf42; 21st August 20 at 01:28 AM. Reason: point re Highland dress added

  6. The Following User Says 'Aye' to jf42 For This Useful Post:


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0