Murray's regiment of the Scots Brigade

58 Murray's Scottish regiment
Melgund Castle near Aberlemno
Robbert Murray of Melgum took his name
from Melgund Castle near Aberlemno,
Scotland, known for its Pictish Stones.
Commanded by:
Walter Scot1655-1673
Henry Graham1673
Hugh Mackay of Scourie28 Apr. 1677
Aeneas Mackay1692
Robert Murray of Melgum1697-17nn

1 Walter Scot's regiment

Scottish troops had been serving in the United Provinces for a long time when the Franco-Dutch war erupted in 1672. At the time this Scottish regiment was commanded by Walter Scot, who had been appointed in 1655. The first major action for Scot's regiment was the defense of Nijmegen. This city surrendered to the French on 9 July 1672. Walter Scot's regiment was taken prisoner of war, but the senior officers and 10 men of each company were allowed to leave1.

2 Henry Graham's regiment

2.1 Henry Graham becomes colonel

On 8 February 1673 Henry Graham became lieutenant-colonel of the regiment2. In April 1673 Walter Scot resigned due to old age and was succeeded by his lieutenant-colonel Henry Graham3. In researching primary sources for Henry Graham as colonel in the next years, the regiment then seems very absent. There are however multiple mentions of a Colonel 'Grim'. The fact that Graham was designated as 'Grim' becomes apparent in the next actions of the regiment.

2.2 Fight at Kloosterziel

In July 1673 'Prince Maurits of Nassau'4 made a plan to re-capture Zwartsluis. The operation started by concentrating troops near Blokzijl. On 20 July 1673 Colonel Grim's regiment arrived in time on the Hasseltse Dijk near Kloosterzijl (between Hasselt and Zwartsluis). His orders were to entrench himself there and thus to prevent the French from marching re-inforcements to Zwartsluis, north ot the regiment's position.

Between 4 and 5 in the morning the regiment's position at Kloosterziel was fiercely attacked by the French, who were repulsed thrice. The enemy then brought up 6 guns and a mortar and finally the regiment was chased from its position. The attacking regiments were stated to be those of Chamilly, Comte de Seaus and Bourgogne. Colonel Grim, his lieutenant-colonel and several captains were taken prisoner, Captain Asquin and several lieutenants killed, and about 150 soldiers were killed or wounded5. We then have have to look at the information the Hollandsche Mercurius added. Three captains: 'Sandelandt', 'Afquin' and another, as well as three lieutenants and an ensign were killed6. Captain Sandelandt and Captain Afquin (Erskine) are names of officers of the Scottish regiments in service of the States General. In fact Colonel Erskine and Lieutenant-colonel Sandelandt were in the third Scottish regiment that had been in Maastricht till 30 june 1673, and would later become a Dutch regiment7. It required some effort, but now we can trace the regiments actions by looking for what Colonel Grim's regiment did next.

2.3 Conquest of Île de Noirmoutier

In May 1674 the Dutch fleet of 66 ships of war was assembled and Grim's regiment, 7 others and 62 companies embarked under Count Willem van Hoorn8. This fleet under Michiel de Ruijter sailed from the Wielingen on 24 May, reached Dunkirk on the 26th and Dover on the 27th9. It then continued cruising in the Channel and anchored in Torbay on 8 June. In the evening of 8 June a squadron under De Ruijter left for the West Indies.

The main part of the fleet consisted of about 36 ships under Tromp and left Torbay on 18 June. It sailed to Ouessant and reached Belle-Île on the 23rd. On the 23rd a general order for the landing on Belle-Île was given, in which Colonel Graham's regiment was mentioned as marked with a Blue flag10. On 27 June the troops actually landed on Belle-Île and camped at Sauzon. After plundering some life-stock the troops re-embarked on 30 June, without having taken the fortress.

On 2 July 1674 the fleet sailed again and reached Île de Noirmoutier on the 3rd. On 4 July the troops landed and took the island. From this basis the fleet then continued operations against French Merchant ships and fisheries. The fleet left Noirmoutier on the 23rd and arrived before San Sebastián on 31 July. On 8 July Tromps squadron with the soldiers left the fleet in order to sail to Cadiz. On 7 september it left there and continued to Barcelona and reached the Golf de Roses on 2 October. The fleet then returned and reached Cap Saint Vincent on 5 November. The first of its ships that reached Holland did so in early December. In December 1674 there is also a curious remark about the 90 English and Scots companies being formed in 3 regiments; 2 English and 1 Scots, one of these formed by Colonel Smith11.

2.4 Battle of Cassel

In late August 1675 Grim's regiment was in Halle, and because it was warned that De Montmorenci wanted to attack it, it retired to Brussel, arriving there on 2 September12. For 1676 I did not find any particulars of the regiment. There is a 1676 list of officers of the regiment then paid by Gelderland: Col. Henry Graham; Lt-col John Lamy; St-maj. Geo. Canocke; Alexander Colyear; Pieter Watkin; Jacques de Champfleury; Johan Abrahal13. On 11 April 1677 it participated in the Battle of Cassel. Here it lost Colonel Grim; Captain Brus (Bruce?); Lt. Witterhorst; ensign Kinnegem and the adjudant killed. Cap-lt Voet was missing and Lt. Cloutier was wounded14.

3 Hugh Mackay regiment

3.1 battle of Saint-Denis

By appointment dated to 28 April 1677 Hugh Mackay of Scourie15 was appointed as new colonel of the regiment. On 27 August 1677 he took the oath to the States-General.

In 1678 the Mackay regiment was again in Flanders and participated in the 14-15 August 1678 battle of Saint-Denis. The regiment lost: Major Colyeard; Capt. Charles Graham; Lt. Lancy and ensign Grant were killed. The wounded were Lt-Col Buchane; Lt. James Graham; Ensign Graham16. The Battle of Saint Denis had concluded the Franco-Dutch war, and so the regiment had some quite years.

3.2 The Monmouth Rebellion

In 1685 the Mackay Regiment crossed over to England in order to support James II against the Duke of Monmouth. During its short stay in England it did not see any fighting, but Hugh Mackay was appointed as Major-general by James II. An appointment which was 'confirmed' when he took oath to the States-General for that office on 7 February 1686. In September 1685 Mackay's regiment participated in maneuvers near Palace het Loo16b. On 14 August 1686 Mackay's was in camp near Nijmegen16c. In 1687 it participated in the maneuvers near Dieren16d.

3.3 Part of the invasion of England

Companies of Mackay's regiment in 1688
Col. Hugh MacquayPetrus Watkin
Lt-Col. Davidt CollyaertCharles Graham
St-maj. John BouchanEverhard Hacquet
Walterus BoyeAlexander Lamy
Geo. ConockeWillem Schaep

At the time the Prince of Orange crossed to England in late 1688 the regiment was composed as in the table to the left17. Note that David Colyear (1657-1730), older brother of Walter Philip, and Baron Portmore and Blackness in 1699, was Lieutenant-Colonel of this regiment. In the biography of David Colyear he is mentioned as being made colonel of this regiment on 31 December 1688. In fact he became colonel of Scottish regiment that had been on the side of James II, and would later be known as Portmore regiment.

3.4 Campaign in Scotland

After the landing Major-general Hugh Mackay was appointed to restore order as commander in Scotland, and to this effect he arrived in Edinburgh in mid-March 1689. He brought with him a small army consisted of the Anglo-Dutch regiments of Mackay, Balfour, and Ramsay. A few days before his arrival the Convention parliament had started its proceedings. By its authority Mackay gave appointments to raise new forces. These were the regiments of Leven (later 25 Foot), and Viscount Kenmore and the Companies of Horse of the Earl of Annandale and Lord Belhaven.

Leaving Sir John Lanier to blockade Edinburgh castle, Mackay then marched north and made some arrangements that were not successful in bringing the Highlands under control. He returned to Edinburgh about the first of July, and found the castle had surrendered on 18 June. Mackay then still had to deal with Dundee's rebellion. As commander of a small army which was to subdue the Highlands he reached Perth on 24 July. On 26 July this force reached Dunkeld, and on 27 July 1689 it reached the pass of Killiecrankie. In the ensuing Battle of Killiecrankie Major-general Mackay's regiment was commanded by his brother Lieutenant-colonel James Mackay. It seems that Dundee personally attacked this regiment and was indeed killed by its fire. In the end the regiment ran from the Highlanders charging them with swords. Lieutenant-colonel James Mackay was abandoned by his men and killed.

Thus Mackay's regiment was scattered, but apparently Mackay quickly succeeded in regrouping his forces. Within a few days after the battle Mackay succeeded in destroying a party of Highlanders led by Dundee's successor Colonel Cannon. Mackay then marched to Aberdeen, but the Scottish parliament took independent action by sending the Cameronian regiment to Dunkeld. This was attacked by Colonel Cannon on 21 August 1689 in the Battle of Dunkeld, and the Highlanders suffered serious losses. This enabled Mackay to subdue the men of Athole, and soon the whole country up to Inverness followed.

In June 1690 Mackay marched from Perth to Badenoch and arrived at Inverlochy on 3 July. Here Mackay met with an expedition of three frigates and 600 soldiers and nearby started the construction of Fort William. At the end of July Mackay's regiment was in Stirling18. After the alarm caused by the Battle of Beachy Head Mackay marched back to Edinburgh. The Jacobite Major-general Buchan and Cannon then marched to Cromdale, where their forces were soundly scattered. This did not end the rebellion and later Mackay marched with some cavaly and 1,400 Dutch (probably including his own regiment) to lift the siege of the Castle of Abergeldie. Mackay then marched to Inverness were he subdued the Earl of Seaforth. This spelled the end of the rebellion and on 10 November 1690 Sir Thomes Livingstone was appointed as commander in chief in Scotland.

3.5 In Flanders

In early 1691 Major General Hugh Mackay crossed the Channel to serve in Flanders. He was probably destined to command the British part of the army. After his arrival in Flanders King William however perceived that some of his commanders in Ireland were not getting along, and so he decided to swap them for Mackay and Tollemache19. In early May 1691 Mackay thus left London to serve in Ireland. Here he participated in the Battle of Athlone, where he was wounded on his hand20. Later he participated in the 23 July 1691 battle of Aughrim. In August 1691 Mackay was made Lieutenant-General20b.

In late 1690 Major-General Mackay's regiment was mentioned as to be maintained by parliament for 1691 with 12 companies of 100 men each, and thus remained recognizable as a Scots regiment of the Anglo-Dutch brigade21. It was normally under the command of his nephew Lieutenant-colonel Aeneas Mackay. In July 1691 the regiment was in camp near Gemblours22. In September 1691 the Battle of Leuze was fought, but the infantry did not see much action it.

3.6 Battle of Steenkerque

In January 1692 Mackay was designated to have a significant command in the confederate army. Under William III the field command would be: General of Infantry count Solms; Ginckel as general of the Dutch Infantry, and Meinhard Schomberg as general of cavalry. The Lieutenant-generals would be Mister Ouwerkerk and Mackay23.

The campaign of 1692 started with the French siege of Namur, which ended on 30 June. In an attempt to regain the town William III attacked the French on 3 August 1692 in the Battle of Steenkerque. Here Hugh Mackay was killed. His regiment took heavy losses and had its lieutenant-colonel Aeneas Mackay wounded24.

4 Aeneas Mackay regiment

4.1 Battle of Landen/Neerwinden

After the death of his uncle Aeneas Mackay became colonel of the regiment. In January 1693 there was again published a list of the troops to be kept up that year, now Mackay's regiment would have the same composition as the other regiments25. In June 1693 Mackay's regiment was in camp near the Abbey of Park26. On 29 July the Battle of Landen/Neerwinden followed. In 1694 Mackay's regiment continued in Flanders. In July 1694 Mackay's was in camp near Mont Saint André27.

4.2 Second Siege of Namur

On 14 April 1695 Mackay's was in Holstein-Plön's army in Flanders. On 30 June 1695 Mackay's regiment was in the camp of Woutergem under the Prince de Vaudemont, covering the Siege of Namur. On 13 July 1695 it participated in his famous withdrawal28. Later it was present in the Siege of Namur.

On 3 December 1695 the Commons made up the list for the 1696 army. Aeneas Mackay's was mentioned in its regular place near Colyear and Lauder29. Apart from that 1696 and 1697 were so uneventful that there is little information about Mackay's regiment.

5 Murray regiment

5.1 Murray's back to Dutch service

On 30 March 1697 Robert Murray of Melgum became colonel. At some time during the disbanding of the English army the Murray regiment then passed back to the service of the United Provinces. In January 1699 the States General determined the Murray regiment to be in garrison in Namur.30

5.2 Murray's regiment in the War of the Spanish Succession

In October 1702 Murray's regiment was in the Siege of Liège, but suffered no losses31.

On 30 March 1703 Murray was designated as brigadier for the army near Maastricht32. In a 10 May 1703 Order of Battle Murray's regiment is part of the Murray brigade33. This meant that the Murray regiment was most probably involved in the stand off near Lonaken. In August 1703 the Murray participated in the operations to conquer Huy, and on 5 September it was in the camp of Hannut34. Later in September 1703 Murray's regiment was in the Siege of Limbourg35. Murray's regiment ended the year with participation in Noyelle's operation to destroy the lines near Wasseige on 28 December 170336.

In March 1704 Murray was promoted to Major-general. In July 1704 Murray's was in Ouwerkerk's army37.

In August 1706 Murray's regiment was in the siege of Menin.

6 Notes

1) La Mercure Hollandois 1673 for 1672 page 275 has Il y avoit eu dans la Ville 9 compagnies de Cavalerie, le regiment de Caffiopin, des Walons, & de Scot,.. for the presence in the defense of Nijmegen.
2) Fergusson page 498 for a note about Henry Graham's career.
3) Hollandse Mercurius 1674 for April 1673, page 56 Den Lt. Coll. Greyms kreegh 't regiment van den Coll. Scot, door den selve, mits sijn groote ouderdom, gerenuncieert. for the presence in the defense of Nijmegen.
4) That is Johan Maurits van Nassau Siegen
5) Leven en Bedrijf van Willem Hendrik de Derde Prince van Orangien, en.. ; has the 'Verhael van 't gepasseerde voor Swart-fluys, op den 20 July 1673, written by the stadholder of Friesland.
6) Holllandsche Mercurius for July 1673 page 115 adds this information about Erskine and Sandelandt getting kiled.
7) Ferguson page 502 and before has information about these officers and the junior members of their families. One might be tempted to think that Erskine's regiment had been speedily brought forward after leaving Maastricht, and was commanded by Graham, but Afquin/Erskine was a colonel, and both him and Sandelandt serving under Grim is unthinkable.
8) Holllandsche Mercurius for May 1674 page 101 has Grim embarking.
9) Holllandsche Mercurius for July 1674 page 141: Verhael van 't gepasseerde in 's lands vloot, zedert des felfs utylopen, tot den 26 Julij 1764.
10) Holllandsche Mercurius for October 1674 page 214 and folowing has extracts of a diary by Johan Bergh, who was a volunteer on this fleet and transmitted some papers.
11) Holllandsche Mercurius for December 1674 page 263: De 90 Engelsche en Schotse vaendelen bragt men nu op 3 regimenten / 2 Engelsche en een Schots / waer van er 1 onder den coll. Smith wierdt geformeert;
12) Holllandsche Mercurius for September 1675 page 183: Montmorenci meenden oock het Hollants regiment van den Collonel Grim, 't geen in Halle gelaeten was..
13) Ferguson page 509 for this list of the regiment paid by Gelderland.
14) Holllandsche Mercurius for 1677 page 44 for the losses in the Battle of Cassel.
15) Ferguson page 507 for a note with some detail about Hugh Mackay.
16) Holllandsche Mercurius for 1678 page 184 for the losses in the Battle of Saint Denis.
16b) At DIGAM is a map: Campement van soodanige trouppes als waarover Sijne Hoogheyt Revue heeft gedaan, ende deselve doen excerceren it has a regiment Macquay regiment
16c) At DIGAM is a map: Plan du campement sur la Bruierie de Mock (Mookerheide) le 14 August 1686 it has a regiment 'Mackay'
16d) At DIGAM is a map: Campement de l'Armee de Son Altesse Monseigneur le Prince d'Orange a Dieren, l'annee 1687 it has a regiment 'Mackay'
17) Ferguson page 515-516 for this list.
18) Mackay to the Privy Council 28 July 1690: They are disposed as follows: my regiment at Stirling.......
19) Europische Mercurius for April 1691 page 7 has the statement that Mackay was to command the English troops in Flanders. It also explains the presence of his regiment in Flanders.
20) Mercure Historique et politique for July 1691: Le Major General Mackay fut legerement bleffé à la main.
20b) Mercure Historique et politique for September 1691: Le roi a fait lieutenants generaux de ses Armées le Major General Kircke, le Lord Douglas & le Sieur Mackay; & le Brigadier Trelawny a été fait Major General.
21) Europische Mercurius for January 1691 page 25 has the list of troops for 1691.
22) Europische Mercurius for July 1691 page 68 has the list of troops near Gemblours.
23) Mercure Historique et politique for January 1692 page 85 for this description of the command in 1692.
24) Europische Mercurius for August 1692 page 95 has the list of losses at Steenkerque.
25) Europische Mercurius for January 1693 page 59 has the troops for 1693.
26) 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.
27) Europische Mercurius for July 1694 page 52 has the Order van Bataille van het Leger der Geallieerden in het Campement van Mont St. André.
28) The map 'Plan de Camp que l'armée de sa Majesté Britanique commandé par Son Altesse le Prince de Vaudemont prit le 30e du mois de Juin à Woutergem'has Mackay's regiment.
29) House of Commons Journal for December 1695.
30) Europische Mercurius for 1699 part 1 page 139 has the Dispositie der cavallery, dragonders, en infantery voor den garnisoenen van den Jaare 1699, with Murray's regiment in Namur.
31) Staatse Leger Volume 8 part 1 page 711: Lijst van Doden en gewonden voor de citadel van Luik, has Murray's regiment.
32) Staatse Leger Volume 8 part 1 page 712: has the designation of generals for the 1703 campaign with Murray on the Meuse.
33) DIGAM has the Ordre de Bataille de l'armee alliee le 10 May 1703, with Murray's regiment.
34) DIGAM has the Ordre de Bataille de l'armée des Alliés au camp de Hannuë le 5me Sept. 1703, with a 'Moré' brigade containing the 'Moré' regiment.
35) Staatse Leger Volume 8 part 1 page 739: Troupes qui sone au siège devant Limbourg, fait à Vervié ca 26 Septembre 1703, has Murray's regiment.
36) DIGAM has the Plan de la Situation du payx et lingne Ennemis entre la Rivière Mahangne et Geete Fait le Decembre 1703., it has regiment Murray.
37) Staatse Leger Volume 8 part 1 page 757: Ordre de Bataille van het leger van Ouwerkerk, 26 July 1704, has Murray's regiment.