43rd Foot and 64th Foot

I have just finished modelling the two Highland Regiments of the British Army during the Jacobite Rebellion, the 43rd Foot (Murray’s Black Watch) and 64th Foot (Loudoun’s).  I had originally modelled the 3 ½ companies (7 figures) of the 64th Foot and one company (2 figures) of 43rd Foot which were at Prestonpans, where they acted as a baggage guard as seen below.


The wall is from PaperTerrain, with added stone chips stuck on top.  The wagon is scratch built with sides from Wills (now Peco) model railway fencing, wheels from various artillery guns and horses from the Hät Napoleonic French Artillery Limber.  The rearmost female figure on top is from the Atlantic Ancient Life set and the other two are from the Airfix Wagon Train set.

I decided to model both the 43rd and 64th at my standard (weak) British battalion size of 14 figures, representing a tactical organisation of 12 platoons plus two grenadier platoons.  The 43rd Foot (Black Watch) had suffered considerable casualties at Fontenoy and, cut off from its recruiting grounds in Scotland, would have had problems replacing them.  The 64th (Loudoun’s) was constantly disrupted as it tried to form.  I do have plans to expand both battalions at a later date.  All of the figures for both battalions are Redbox from either their Highland Infantry or their Militia and Loyalist Troops sets.

Here is my portrayal of the 43rd Foot (Black Watch).


The 43rd Foot were originally formed in 1740 from the six Independent Companies who acted as a security force in the Highlands between 1725 and 1739.  Four new companies were added in 1740, and they were issued with a uniform, whereas previously they were indistinguishable from other Highland clansmen, apart from a black cockade with a red cross in their bonnets.



I did make one modification to these figures, and that was to weld on a broadsword to the ordinary soldier figures, since originally only the officer and piper figures had these.

My standard system for painting a Black Watch tartan is to start with blue, add a dark green overstripe, then a thin black topstripe down the centre of the green overstripes.

The hose (socks) have pale pink diagonal lines painted on them, with a red dot wherever these cross.




The Black Watch were originally numbered as the 43rd Foot, but were renumbered as the 42nd Foot in 1749.   They commenced with buff facings, but this was changed to blue in 1758 when they became a Royal Regiment.  Here is their command stand, showing their Regimental Colour.

The piper has a different tartan to the rest of the battalion.




I did model grenadiers for both the 43rd and 64th.  The Redbox Highland Infantry set has four grenadier figures, wearing the fur cap authorised for both Regiments in 1747, so I used headswaps to put these fur caps on two figures of each battalion.


I am showing them wearing this fur cap one or two years early, however I am sure that this item was not dreamt up by some bureaucrat in London, but would have been at the request of the Regiments themselves.  It is not unheard of in the British Army for Regiments to get retrospective approval for items which they had been wearing for some time, so I am assuming that is what  happened here.


The Black Watch was moved to London in 1743, where a rumour spread that they were to be posted to the West Indies.  This led to a mutiny, following which several mutineers were executed and 200 others were posted to different regiments overseas, including some to the West Indies, ironically the fate which they had mutinied to avoid.  The Regiment then moved to Flanders where it fought bravely at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.  Returning to England after Fontenoy it remained in London.   There were doubts, probably quite unjustified, about its loyalty since it is estimated that one third of its men had relatives in the Jacobite Army.

However there were three Additional Companies (recruiting companies) of Black Watch in Scotland.  These were said to have originally been at full strength (ie 100 Rank & File per company), but did suffer from desertion.  I have therefore modelled them as two figures (representing 60 men) per company.  They are in the same uniform as the rest of their Regiment, but in a different pose, as shown below.

IMG_3568These three companies accompanied General Cope on his march north from Edinburgh to Inverness.  He sent one company off to Inveraray, to assist the Argyll Militia there.  That company later fought at Falkirk and was part of the force guarding the baggage at Culloden.  A second company was left in Inverness, where it joined up with the newly formed Independent Companies (these companies will be covered in a future post).  The third company accompanied Cope on his voyage from Inverness back to Dunbar, joined the baggage guard at Prestonpans and was captured there.

Here is my battalion of 64th Foot (Loudoun’s).   Various descriptions show them with white, off-white or pale buff facings.  I have opted for the latter.


This was formed in 1745, but was still not complete when the Jacobite Rebellion broke out.   One of the company commanders was Captain MacDonnel of Lochgarry who defected to the Jacobites in July 1745, taking his company with him.  A month later Captain MacPherson of Cluny did exacly the same thing.   Both of these officers later commanded Jacobite Brigades.  3 ½ companies of the 64th Foot were captured at Prestonpans.  Lord Loudoun was at that battle, acting as Adjutant General to General Cope, but he escaped capture and continued to recruit his Regiment from his base at Inverness.  Officially its strength was 12 companies, probably 9 centre companies, one grenadier company and two Additional Companies (recruiting companies), but it did not reach full strength during the Jacobite Rebellion, so my depiction as a weak (14 figure) battalion seems reasonable.

Detachments of anything from one to three companies took part in various actions in the north of Scotland.  Three companies were formed separately in Western Scotland, and operated with the Argyll Militia.  The rest of the battalion (at whatever strength it finally reached) was undoubtedly present at the defence of Donoch Firth, but spread out along the northern bank of the Firth by individual companies.  The success of the brilliantly executed Jacobite assault river crossing drove them back, and forced them to withdraw to Skye.

After the Jacobite Rebellion the 64th Foot reached its full strength and was sent to Flanders.  In 1747 it joined the Dutch defenders of Bergen-op-Zoop, where it led a successful charge against the French besiegers, although in the end the city fell to the French.  Interestingly two of the nine Dutch battalions defending the city were Scots Regiments of the Dutch Army (Colyear and Majoribanks).  Furthermore, one of the Regiments of the French Army at that siege was the Royal Ecossais, reformed after their return from captivity in Scotland.



Here is the 64th Foot command stand, so you can see their very pale buff (or light cream) Regimental Colour.

If I had depicted their facings as white, then their colour would have been white with a red St George’s Cross, which might look a bit odd for a Scottish Regiment.

The piper is in a different tartan to the rest of the battalion.





Finally, I decided to model one 64th Foot captain.   Normally I would not model such junior commanders, but I wanted one to represent Captain Campbell of Balimore, who was killed at Culloden leading a detached half half battalion of his own 64th Foot company and three companies of Argyll Militia.

Some wargame rules need commanders for all such detachments, which is why I model them.

That same figure could also represent other 64th Foot captains with independent commands, such as the commander of the baggage guard at Prestonpans.  There were three captains of the 64th Foot and one of the 43rd Foot with that detachment but, although I know all of their names, I am not sure who the senior one was.

My next project is to model the Highland Independent Companies which formed the largest part of Lord Loudoun’s force based in Inverness and northern Scotland.







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