Ross & Cromarty War Memorials

Early History of the Seaforth Highlanders

English with Gaelic translation

 

SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS REGIMENT - THE ORIGIN

The story which led to the creation of the Regiment goes back to when William, fifth Earl of Seaforth, found himself on the wrong side after the 1715. Both his title and estates were forfeited under the Acts of Attainder. In the 1745, his eldest son supported the Government, and the Protestant Succession, and William's grandson, Kenneth Mackenzie, was allowed to re-purchase the estates from the Crown, and was created Earl of Seaforth once again in 1771.

In 1775 the American War began and the new Earl, in gratitude, offered to raise a Regiment of Foot on his estate. In the past, this had realised a force of 1,000 Men at Arms. The offer was accepted in December 1777, and the Earl received 'a letter of service to raise a Regiment of Foot, with himself as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant. The Regiment was to comprise 50 Sergeants, 2 Pipers, 20 Drummers and Fifers, and 1010 Rank and File. Recruits came mainly from Clan Mackenzie. The Earl's own estates provided 500, and a slightly lesser number came from the estates of other Mackenzies such as Scatwell, Kilcoy, Applecross, and Redcastle. This ensured that sons and brothers obtained commissions in the Regiment. Clan MacRae was also involved, and had been faithful followers of the Seaforth family for a long time. At one time there were so many of them that it was referred to as 'the Regiment of the MacRaes'.

In 1778 (May 15th) the Earl of Seaforth's Regiment assembled at Elgin, Morayshire, with a strength of 1041 Rank and File. And so began a great adventure which continued until London government saw fit to terminate this valuable tradition by ???. That tradition, and its advantage in local recruitment, could have been preserved had they retained regimental identity by making Seaforth, Cameron and Gordon Companies in The Highland Regiment. Lord Seaforth's Regiment, known as the 78th, later changed its name to the 72nd, then the Duke of Albany's, and was, prior to recent changes, the 1st Battalion Seaforth HIghlanders. Another Regiment was formed, mainly through Seaforth influence, in 1793, and became the Ross-shire Buffs, later the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. This was the Battalion which was involved at Magersfontein. At about the same time, Lord Macleod, then heir to the Cromarty title, raised another Regiment called the 74th, later the 71st, which became the Highland Light Infantry or HLI. It is a remarkable fact that in some fifteen years no less than 3 of the 12 Highland Regiments were raised in Ross-shire.

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RÈISIMEID NAN SÌOPHORTACH – AN TÙS

Tha an eachdraidh às an deach an Rèisimeid a chruthachadh a’ dol air ais gu Uilleam, còigeamh Iarla Shìophort, a thàinig gu bhith air an taobh cheàrr às dèidh 1715. Chaill e còir, an dà chuid air a thiotal agus air oighreachdan, fo na h-Achdan Dìtidh. Ann an 1745, thug a mhac a bu shine taic dhan Riaghaltas is dhan Chòir-sheilbheachd Phròstanaich, agus mar sin chaidh cead a thoirt do dh’ogha Uilleim, Coinneach MacCoinnich, na h-oighreachdan a cheannach air ais bhon Chrùn. Chaidh an tiotal a thilleadh air ais cuideachd is chaidh a dhèanamh na Iarla Shìophort ann an 1771.

Ann an 1775 thòisich Cogadh Ameireaga agus thabhainn an t-Iarla ùr, mar bhuidheachas, Rèisimeid Coise a thogail air an oighreachd aige. Bha seo roimhe air feachd de 1,000 saighdear armaichte a chruthachadh. Chaidh gabhail ris an tairgse san Dùbhlachd 1777, agus fhuair an t-Iarla ‘litir seirbheis gus Rèisimeid Coise a thogail’, agus e fhèin ri bhith na Cheannard Leifteanant-Chòirnealair. Bha 50 Sàirdseant, 2 Phìobaire, 20 Drumair is Feadair, agus 1010 Saighdear Cumanta ri bhith san Rèisimeid. B’ ann bho Chlann MhicCoinnich a thàinig a’ chuid a bu mhotha de na fir a bha air an ùr thogail. Thàinig 500 bho oighreachdan an Iarla fhèin, agus thàinig beagan na bu lugha bho oighreachdan eile le Clann MhicCoinnich, leithid Sgatail, Cùil Challaidh, a’ Chomraich agus Caisteal Ruadh. Bha seo a’ dèanamh cinnteach gun robh mic is bràithrean a’ faighinn choimiseanan san Rèisimeid. Bha Clann MhicRath cuideachd na lùib, agus iad air a bhith nan luchd-leantainn dìleas do theaghlach nan Sìophortach airson ùine mhòir. Aig aon àm bha na h-uimhir dhiubh ann is gun robhar a’ gabhail ‘Rèisimeid Chlann MhicRath’ orra.

Ann an 1778 (15mh Cèitean), chruinnich Rèisimeid Iarla Shìophort ann an Eilginn, Siorrachd Mhoireibh, le neart de 1041 Saighdear Cumanta. Agus b’ ann mar sin a thòisich dàna-thuras sgoinneil a lean air adhart gus an do cho-dhùin riaghaltas Lunnainn an dualchas luachmhor seo a thoirt gu crìch ann an ??? Dh’fhaodadh an dualchas sin, a bha buannachdail gus muinntir na sgìre a thogail dhan arm, a bhith air a ghleidheadh nam biodh iad air dearbh-aithne rèisimeideach a chumail le bhith a’ dèanamh nan Sìophortach, nan Camshronach is nan Gòrdanach nan Còmhlain san Rèisimeid Ghàidhealaich. Bha Rèisimeid Iarla Shìophort aithnichte mar an 78mh, ach às dèidh sin chaidh an ainm atharrachadh chun an 72na, an uair sin gu ‘Duke of Albany’s’, agus ro na h-atharrachaidhean o chionn ghoirid, b’ iad 1d Bhuidheann-catha nan Sìophortach. Chaidh Rèisimeid eile a chur air bhonn, gu ìre mhòir tro bhuaidh nan Sìophortach, ann an 1793, agus b’ iad ‘Buffs’ Shiorrachd Rois, is na b’ anmoiche 2na Buidheann-catha nan Sìophortach. B’ e seo a’ Bhuidheann-catha a bha an lùib Magersfontein. Mun aon àm, thog am Morair MacLeòid, a bha aig an àm na oighre air tiotal Chromba, Rèisimeid eile air an robh an t-ainm 74mh, is na b’ anmoiche an 71mh, agus às dèidh sin Coisridh Aotrom na Gàidhealtachd. Tha e iongantach, taobh a-staigh còig bliadhna deug, gun deach 3 de na 12 Rèisimeidean Gàidhealach a thogail ann an Siorrachd Rois.

Faic ‘Tuilleadh Fiosrachaidh’ airson barrachd mu na Sìophortaich – a’ gabhail a-steach bhidio agus clàr-fuaime.


 

 

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