3rd Foot Guards (Or Scotch Guards)

3rd Foot Guards (Or Scotch Guards)
Portrait of George Ramsay
George Ramsay by John Baptist Medina
Commanded by:
George Earl of Linlithgow23 Nov. 16601
James Douglas13 June 16842
George Ramsay1 Sep. 16913

1 Origins of the Scots regiment of Foot Guards

1.1 In Scotland

The Earl of Linlithgow was the first colonel of this originally Scottish regiment which is claimed to have been founded in 1660. It was involved in all kinds of internal strife. In 1679 it had to defende Glasgow from the Convenanters. On 22 June 1679 the Scots guard played a pivotal role in the Battle of Bothwell Bridge5.

When Linlithgow became Justice-General in 1684 his regiment was given to James Douglas4, who produced his commission on 15 July 16846. In c. 1688 200 of the regiment under Captain Streighton, and a detachment of the Scots Greys went on a punishment expedition. It was directed against the clan of Mc Donald of Keppoch who had raided the Mc Intosh.

1.2 to England

During the events which led up to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 James Douglas was a Lieutenant-General. Under his command the Scots Guard marched south to face the Prince of Orange. It reached London towards the end of October and was quartered in the vicinity of Holborn. It next advanced with the royal army and was stationed at Reading. It's said that while there one of its battalions revolted to the prince of Orange and that Douglas did not prevent them from doing so.

After William III came to power in England, he would send his Scots Guards to Flanders, and send Scottish regiments in Dutch service northwards to subject rebellious areas in Scotland. This might have to do with (perceived) loyalty, but it is remarkable.

2 The Scots Foot Guards during the Nine Years War

2.1 In Flanders

On 6 October 1689 the Scots guard was on the extreme right of the alliance order of battle near Alteren7. In the winter of 1689-1690 the Scots Guard was quartered in Brugge and Gent8. In July 1690 the Scotch guards participated in the battle of Fleurus. In August 1690 the Scots Guard was in camp near Halle10. In March and April 1691 the Scots Guard was in the camp near Halle, and designated to be in the alliance army assembling to try and lift the siege of Mons11. This attempt failed and Mons surrendered on 10 April 1691. In June the Scots Guard then camped in near Oprebayx12. On 26 June 1691 it was near Gemblours13.

2.2 George Ramsay of Carriden

In September 1691 George Ramsay9 became colonel of the regiment. Note that on 4 November 1688 he had been appointed as colonel of a Scottish regiment in Dutch service

On 3 August 1692 the Scots Guards participated in the Battle of Steenkerque with two battalions. They came off lightly with 1 killed and 10 wounded14. In June 1693 the Scots guard camped near the Abbey of Parck with 1 battalion in the first and 1 in the second line14b. In July 1693 the Scotch Guards participated in the battle of Neerwinden. Still under George Ramsay the regiment participated in the 1695 siege of Namur.

2.3 Back to the Scottish Establishment

The Scottish or third regiment of Foot Guards was on the December 1698 list of troops in English pay15. In March 1699 it was however not on the list of troops to be maintained by England and so the conclusion has to be that it had by then reverted to the Scottish establishment.

3 In the War of the Spanish Succession

The Scottish government probably did not want the Scotch Guards to leave Scotland during the War of the Spanish Succession.

4 Notes

1) English Army Lists and Commission Registers, 1661-1714, Vol. IV London 1898, page 3 has 23 November 1660 as date of Linlithgow's appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
2) English Army Lists and Commission Registers has 13 June 1684 as date of James Douglas' appointment (not present in the commission entry books)
3) English Army Lists and Commission Registers has 1 September 1691 as date of George Ramsay's appointment (present in the commission entry books)
4) James Douglas. His older brother was William Douglas 3rd Earl and 1st Duke of Queensbury and Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. This James Douglas should not be confused with James Douglas 2nd Duke of Queensbury.
5) History of the Scottish regiments in the British army by Archibald K. Murray, page 50 has the Scottish Guard playing a central role in the Battle of Bothwell bridge.
6) Memorials and Letters Illustrative of the Life and Times of John Graham of Claverhouse Viscount Dundee London 1862. by Mark Napier
7) DIGAM has the: Bataille der Holländischen armée wie sie sich wieder die Franzosen bei Alteren den 6 October gestellet., with the Scots Guard on the right.
8) Wilhelm III von Oranien und Georg Friedrich von Waldeck by P.L. Müller, The Hague 1873 v. 2 page 227 has the appendix D: Die Niederländische Armee unter Waldecks Oberbefehl im Winter 1689-90, has the 'Schottische Garde (Ob. L. Maitland.)' as wintering in Brugge and Gent.
9) For George Ramsey (?-2 Sep. 1705) see: The history of the reign of Queen Anne digested into Annals under 1705 page 286.
10) DIGAM has a map: Campement de l'Armee des Confederes d'aupres de Halle, du 13-23 Aout 1690, with the Scots Guards on it.
11) DIGAM has the: L'ordre de Bataille des trouppes des Alliez qui composerent l'Armée du Roy Guilhaume Henrie etant campée a Halle pour aller au secours de Mons en Hennau le 26 Mars ?? Avril 1691, with the Scots Guard in the third place on the right after the English Guard and the Dutch Guard.
12) DIGAM has the: Sterckte van de Arme, Soo als die gecampeert geweest is tot Oprebaijx den Juny 1691, with the Scots Guard on the exreme right of the second line.
13) DIGAM has the: Armée de sa Majesté le roy d'Angleterre; campée aux environ de Gemblours de puis le 26 June 1691, with the Scots Guard again on the exreme right of the second line.
14) Wilhelm III von Oranien und Georg Friedrich von Waldeck by P.L. Müller, The Hague 1873 v. 2 page 238 has the appendix G: Verluste der Alliierten bei Steenkerken. 3 Aug. 1692, it has the first and second battalions of the Scots Guards with their losses.
14b) Europische Mercurius for June 1693 page 289 has the Lyste van het leger der Geallieerden, gecampeerd by d'Abdye van Park, onder den Koning van Engeland en den Keurvorst van Beyeren. With one Scots guards battalion in the first and one in the second line.
15) See House of Commons Journal Vol. 12 16 December 1698.