Portmore's regiment of the Scots brigade

62 Earl of Portmore's regiment
David Colyear 1st Earl of Portmore
David Colyear became the 1st Earl of
Painting by John_Baptist_Medina
Commanded by:
John Wauchope1688
David Colyear lord Portmore1688
Earl of StairApr. 1703
William Borthwick1 Jan. 1706

1 Wauchope's regiment of Foot

1.1 James II recalls his countrymen

Portmore's regiment was both a relatively new regiment and a very ancient one. It was founded when in early 1688 King James II recalled 'his' soldiers from the Anglo-Dutch brigade. In order to employ the relatively low number of men that answered this call, James II founded three new regiments. One of these was raised at Musselburgh for Scotland.

1.2 How the regiment was composed

Its first colonel was John Wauchope. The Mackay regiment, later nr 58 Murray contributed Captains John Gordon; Aeneas Mackay and Henry Graham as getting appointed to this regiment. The Balfour regiment, later nr. 57 Lauder, contributed Gavin Hamilton and Henry Balfour. From Wauchope's Ramsay regiment, later 59 Colyear's, came Colonel John Wauchope; George Hamilton and John Dalyell1.

1.3 Becomes David Colyear's regiment

With regard to the choice of these officers to return to Scotland one can perhaps think that the result was a regiment of fanatic pro King James II soldiers, but a more obvious explanation would be that these officers were the ones who were least settled in the United Provinces, and thus had most to fear from reprisals. Soon after the revolution the command was conferred upon David Colyear, Earl of Portmore, who had been lt-Colonel of the Mackay regiment. He was the older brother of Walter Philip, who would become colonel of Colyear's regiment

2 Colyear's regiment during the Nine Years War

2.1 Cork and Kinsale

That Colyear's regiment was not perceived very differently than other English regiments can be decuced from the fact that the old regiments of the Scots brigade were sent to Scotland, and Colyear's was sent to Flanders. In the 1689 Battle of Walcourt it had 1 corporal killed2. In early 1690 Colyear's regiment was called back from Flanders. Next the regiment was employed in the expedition to take Cork and Kinsale3. On 22 September 1690 Colyear's regiment arrived in Cork harbour4. It stayed there some time, because in March 1691 300 of its men marched to Bantry, and in April a detachment defended Iniskeen.

2.2 Siege of Athlone

In a list published in January 1691 Colyear's regiment can be found as 'David Coliers' regiment5. After the Siege of Athlone it was ordered to join the main force, but it probably missed the Battle of Aughrim. When the war in Ireland was over Collier's regiment was ordered to leave by embarking at Cork and Kingsale in November 16916. In January 1692 Colyear's regiment marched through London and was to receive new clothes before a supposed crossing to Flanders7.

2.3 Service in England

In early 1692 there was fear of a French invasion attempt. Therefore plans were made to concentrate an army near Southampton. In April 1692 the Colyear regiment received orders to march to Southampton8. On about 26 April Colyear's regiment had received its new clothes and was reviewed by the queen in Hyde Park, and supposed to embark for Flanders on the 27th9. In the end it probably marched to Southampton, where the Duke of Leinster had been ordered to make a camp10.

On 29 May 1692 the Battle of Barfleur was fought, and the subsequent destruction of a large part of the French fleet at La Hogue relieved fears of an invasion attempt. The alliance then made plans to make a descent on the French coast and to that effect a number of troops was embarked. In mid June 1692 this fleet sailed from Saint Helens. We can suppose that Colyear's regiment was on this fleet, because in July 1692 we find David Colyear in a Council of War on board the Bredah off of the Highland of St. Albans11.

In 1693 the regiment was again listed as part of the British forces, now as Collier12. In February 1693 David Colyear was made Brigadier-general13. Colyear's regiment probably started the year in England, because in late April 6 of its companies were ordered to the Isle of Wight13b. On 14 May 1693 Collier's regiment started to embark at Portsmouth14. In August 1693 the Colyear regiment was ordered to Flanders14b. In November 1693 Colyear's was ordered to Oostende and Nieuwpoort14c. In all probability Colyear's indeed arrived there in early December14d.

In early February 1694 Colyear's was again ordered to Flanders15. By 1 March it obviously had not moved yet, because there were again orders to embark16. One can again doubt whether these orders were executed, because in late May it was camped near Portsdowne17. In mid-August 1694 Colyear's regiment was on board the fleet and rumored to go to Flanders18. For 1695 I've not found any particulars of the regiment.

In May 1696 Collier became a Major-General19. In August 1696 David Colyear was to marry the Countess of Dorchester20. The actions of the regiment are not very clear in these years. It seems that from 11 March 1698 Colyear's regiment was on the Scotch establishment.

2.4 On the Scottish establishment

After the peace of Rijswijk the three old Scottish regiments of the Anglo-Dutch brigade returned to the service of the States General accompanied by three other Scots regiments. After that certain Dutch regiments were dismissed out of English service, and as a consequence the United Provinces dismissed the three new Scots regiments.

3 The regiment in the War of the Spanish Succession

3.1 Returns to Dutch service

When the conflict about the Spanish Succession seemed to turn to war in 1701 two of these new regiments were again taken into the service of the Dutch, accompanied by one other regiment. This latter was the regiment owned by David Colyear also known as Lord Portmore. The money for taking Portmore's regiment into Dutch service was arranged by the second extraordinary state of War for 1701. It had 24 new Scots companies to be paid by Holland and 12 new Scots companies to be paid by Zeeland, but left the names blank30. In 1702 the extraordinary state of war mentioned the names of the regiment and companies as follows31:

David, Lord PortmorePieter Carele
Lt-Col. James ColyearTheodore de St. Deleges
St-maj. John HepburnJohn Sinclair
John MonnetHenry Rattray
John HamiltonWilliam Ogilvie
Arthur InnesJohn Campbell

3.2 Siege of Kaiserswerth

The Dutch opened their first campaign of the War of the Spanish Succession with the siege of Kaiserswerth. On 16 April 1702 Portmore's regiment was part of the alliance troops that closed in32. In the bloody assault on the counterscarp on 9 June 1702, Portmore's suffered the highest losses of all; 100 dead and 168 wounded33. Later on Portmore's was mentioned in camp at Dukenburg on 7 July. On 21 December 1702 Portmore's was in 's Hertogenbosch33b

3.3 becomes Dalrymple's regiment

On 27 February 1703 David Colyear first earl of Portmore was appointed as colonel of the Bellasis regiment, the later second foot, and thus the regiment became vacant. As a replacement Queen Anne recommended John Dalrymple viscount (later earl) of of Stair, up till then lieutenant-colonel of the Scots Guards34. He was supposedly appointed on 4 April 170335.

3.4 Captured in Tongeren

It's however not that sure what happened with this appointment. In early 1703 a Scots regiment designated as 'Portmore's' was in Tongeren together with the Dutch Van Elst regiment. This post was only secured by a simple medieval wall. On 9 May the French summoned the town, but after a refusal by the Dutch commander Van Elst, they started a formal siege. From half past four in the afternoon till dusk the town was bombarded and the next day Tongeren surrendered, the 1,100 strong garrison becoming prisoners of war36. The allies were anxious to get these regiments back, and they planned to exchange them with the garrison of Huy even before it was taken. They even made a condition about this exchange in the capitulation of Huy, but in fact the exchange was handled differently. On 10 October 1703 the Huy garrison was exchanged mostly for prisoners made at Ekeren, and on the 17th the two battalions were returned to the Alliance37. It's thus quite probable that Dalrymple only came into possession of his regiment in October 1704, and thus the confusion was brought about.

3.5 Brabant Lines

In July 1704 the Dalrymple regiment was in Ouwerkerk's army near Maastricht38. It probably enjoyed the whole rather dull campaign, but I've found no particulars of its actions. In earl 1705 the Dalrymple regiment was again in Ouwerkerk's army near Maastricht39. Later in 1705 it was present in the Battle for the Brabant Lines.

3.6 Borthwick's regiment

In January 1706 Dalrymple and Borthwick agreed to exchange their regiments, and so Dalrymple became colonel of the Cameronian regiment (later 26th Foot) and Borthwick became colonel of this regiment40. In May 1706 Borthwick's fought in the Battle of Ramillies.

4 Notes

1) Ferguson volume 1, page 478 has this information about the foundation of Wauchope's regiment.
2) Hollandsche Mercurius for 1689, page 178 has a 6 September 1689 letter mentioning 1 corporal of 'Coljar's' killed.
3) Luttrell's diary for August 1690 page 93, has Colliers ordered to march to embark at Portsmouth, for the expedition with an as then unknown objective.
4) State of Cork by Charles Smith 1750, page 202 On the 22d of September the fleet came into Cork harbour.
5) Europische Mercurius for 1691 page 27, has Colyear's regiment on a January 1691 list of troops to be maintained by William III.
6) Europische Mercurius for November 1691 page 86, has the regiment of Collier embarking at Cork and Kingsale.
7) Luttrell's diary for January 1692 page 335, has Sir 'David Colliers' marching through the city and supposed to go to Flanders.
8) Luttrell's diary for April 1692 page 425, has 'Sir David Colliers' ordered to Southampton, where a camp will be made.
9) Luttrell's diary for April 1692 page 432, has 'Sir David Colliers' reviwed in Hyde Park and supposed to embark for Flanders.
10) Luttrell's diary for May 1692 page 441, has Schomberg ordered to make a camp near Southampton under a 2 May entry.
11) House of Commons Journal for 28 November 1692 has an entry about David 'Collier' on board the Breda.
12) Europische Mercurius for 1693 first part page 59, has a colonel 'Collier' regiment in the list of troops for 1693.
13) Europische Mercurius for February 1693 first part page 109, has Sir 'David Collier' made Brigadier-general.
13b) Luttrell's diary for April 1693 page 78, has Cutts ordered to get 6 companies in garrison on Wight under a 15 April 1693 entry.
14) Luttrell's diary for May 1693 page 99, has Sir 'David Collier' embarking on 14 May 1693.
14b) Luttrell's diary for July 1693 page 148, has Colliers ordered to Flanders under a 29 July 1693 entry.
14c) Luttrell's diary for November 1693 page 223, has Colliers ordered to Oostende and Nieuwpoort under a 11 November 1693 entry.
14d) Luttrell's diary for December 1693 page 235 has: The regiments that embarqued lately for Flanders are, we hear, arrived safely at Ostend, under a 5 December 1693 entry.
15) Luttrell's diary for February 1694 page 267, has Sir 'David Collyers' ordered to Flanders under a 8 February 1694 entry.
16) Luttrell's diary for March 1694 page 277, has Sir 'David Colliers' ordered to forthwith embark for Flanders under a 1 March 1694 entry.
17) Luttrell's diary for May 1694 page 310, has Sir 'David Colliers' camped at Portsdown with 9 others under a 15 May 1694 entry.
18) Luttrell's diary for August 1694 page 351, has Sir 'Colliers' on board the fleet and ordered to Flanders under a 2 August 1694 entry.
19) Luttrell's diary for May 1696 page 53, has 'Collier' becoming a major-general under a 2 May 1696 entry.
20) Luttrell's diary for August 1696 page 99, has 'David Collier' to be married to the countess of Dorchester under a 20 August 1696 entry.
30) Ferguson volume 2 page 26 has this 2nd extraordinary state of war for 1701.
31) Ferguson volume 2 page 27 has this 2nd extraordinary state of war for 1702.
32) Staatse Leger Volume 8 part 1 page 686: Insluitingsleger voor Keizersweert, has Portmore's regiment.
33) Staatse Leger Volume 8 part 1 page 691: Lijste van dooden en gequesten van de troupe van den staat, bij de atttaque van de contrescarpe voor Keysersweert bekoomen, den 9 juni 1702; has Portmore's regiment with 100 killed.
33b) Pelet for 1702 has: Etat des troupes Hollandaises. Anglaises et autres, en garnison dans les places ennemies, du 21 Décembre 1702, with Portmour in 's Hertogenbosch.
34) Correspondence of Marlborough and Heinsius: nr98a Marlborough to Heinsius on 27 March 1703, The Hague: Comme sa Majesté a trouvé bon de donner un régiment en Angleterre a Mylord Portmore, et qu'ainsi le régiment qu'il commandoit au service de leurs Hautes Puissances, vient a vaquer, Sa majesté m'a ordonné d'en faire part a Leurs Hauts Puissances, et au même temps de leur recommander en son nom M. Dalrymple, fils aisné de my Lord Staires, qui est a présent Lieutenant-Colonel des Gardes Ecoissoises, pour lui succéder dans le commandement du dit régiment...
35) Ferguson volume 2 page 33 has Dalrymple's appointment.
36) Europische Mercurius for May 1703 page 287: Dat de Fransche Armée van Montenaken opgebroken was en na Tongeren marcheerde. De Geallieerden hadden hier twee bataillons in leggen, te weeten, van Elst en van Portmore, Schotten, bestaande in zeven honderd man.
37) Europische Mercurius for October 1703 page 282 has these prisoner exchanges.
38) Staatse Leger Volume 8 part 1 page 757: Ordre de Bataille van het leger van Ouwerkerk, 26 July 1704, has Dalrymple's regiment and three other Scots next to each other.
39) Ordre de Bataille de l'année 1705, sous le commandement de Monsieur Ouverkercke, reflecting the situation before the English army returned from the Moselle.
40) Correspondence of Marlborough and Heinsius: nr363 Marlborough to Heinsius on 2 January 1706, The Hague: Comme le service pourra souffrir, tandis que l'eschange des régiments entre My lord Dalrimple et le Colonel Borthwick est en agitation, je vous prie de voulois bien faire en sorte que cela soit déterminé dans cetter séance des Etats de Hollande sei cela se peut.