The Black Watch was the oldest of the Highland regiments. It traces its origins to the para-military force of Highlanders raised to police the north of Scotland in the 1720s. In 1739 it was decided to make it a full part of the British Army.
This is the text of the official commission ordering the creation of 43rd Regiment of Foot.
GEORGE R Whereas we have thought fit, that a regiment
of foot be forthwith formed under your command, and to consist
of ten companies, each to contain one captain, one lieutenant, one
ensign, three Serjeants, three corporals, two drummers, and one
hundred effective private men; which said regiment shall be partly
formed out of six Independent Companies of Foot in the Highlands
of North Britain, three of which are now commanded by
captains, and three by captain-lieutenants. Our will and pleasure
therefore is, that one serjeant, one corporal, and fifty private men,
be forthwith taken out of the three companies commanded by captains,
and ten private men from the three commanded by captainlieutenants,
making one hundred and eighty men, who are to be equally distributed into the four companies hereby to be raised; and the three Serjeants and three corporals, draughted as aforesaid,
to be placed to such of the four companies as you shall judge
proper; and the remainder of the non-commissioned officers and
private men, wanting to complete them to the above number, to be
raised in the Highlands with all possible speed; the men to be
natives of that country, and none other to be taken.
This regiment shall commence and take place according to the
establishment thereof. And of these our orders and commands,
you, and the said three captains, and the three captain-lieutenants
commanding at present the six Independent Highland Companies,
and all others concerned, are to take notice, and to yield obedience
Given at our Court at St. James's, this 25th day of October,
1739, and in the 13th year of our reign.
By His Majesty's Command,
(Signed) : Wm. Yonge.
To our Right Trusty and Right Well-
Beloved Cousin, John Earl of
Craufurd and Lindsay.
The following muster rolls date back to November 1757, after the Battle of Ticonderoga and the regiment's step up in seniority to become the 42nd Foot. They give some idea of the clans which contributed soldiers to its ranks. The roll of Captain Reid's company does not include the men wounded at Ticonderoga and Captain Murray's company was not at the battle.
Captain Reid's Company (Commanded by Capt. James Murray)
Capt. James Murray, wounded.
Lieut. Kenneth Tolmie.
Lieut. David Mill, Wounded.
Ensign Charles Menzies
Sergt. Alex'r Gumming
Sergt. James McNab.
Sergt. John McAndrews.
Sergt. John Watson
Corporal John Gumming
Corporal Jonathan Grant
Corporal Angus McDonald
Corporal John Stewart
Drum Walter Mclntyre,killed.
Drum Alan Campbell.
James Mclntyre, killed.
John Buchanan, killed.
Angus Cameron. Hugh McKay.
Hugh Cameron, killed.
Donald Carr, killed.
John McKenzie, killed.
James Farquharson, killed.
Dougall McLachlan, killed.
Hugh Fraser, killed.
Arch'd McDonald, killed.
James McDonald, killed.
William McDonald, killed.
Peter McFarlane, killed.
Norman McLeod, killed.
Donald McNeil, killed.
Donald McQueen, killed.
Hugh Ross, killed.
John Sinclair, died of wounds.
Charles Stewart, died of wounds,
Donald Stewart, died of wounds.
Walter Stewart, died ofwounds .
Captain Murray's Company (Commanded by Capt. James Abercrombie)
Sergt. Wm. Grant.
Sergt. Charles Robinson.
Sergt, John McQueen.
Alex Fraser (1).
Alex Fraser (2).
Corporal John Leslie.
Corporal Robert Lachlan.
Drummer Alan Campbell.