Earl of Seaforth’s Highland Levies

Active1639
1644 to 1646
1648
CountryScotland
AllegianceCovenanter
ConflictsFirst Bishops' War
First Civil War
Second Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelEarl of Seaforth
Area RaisedInverness
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesArgyll 1645
Urry 1645

Covenanter highland levy serving in the Bishops' wars then fighting at Auldearn

Service History

1639

  • Raised from Seaforth's clansmen
  • February: Seize Inverness with the Lovat Frasers
  • May: March to Elgin, where negotiations take place with the Royalists
  • May: Return home and disband

1644

  • August: Seaforth musters the Mackenzies, joining the Earl of Sutherland

1645

  • January: Raised in the Inverness area
  • February: Battle of Inverlochy?
  • February: Seaforth promises to join Montrose but reneges
  • Garrison Inverness
  • May: Seaforth raises the Mackenzies, MacLennans and Macaulays of Lewis to join Urry
  • May: Battle of Auldearn
  • Quarter on Lord Lovat's lands

1646

  • Lady Seaforth surrenders Chanonry Castle to Middleton
  • Seaforth, having treated with Montrose, then surrenders to Middleton
  • Seaforth repents at Edinburgh and is pardoned

1648

  • August: Seaforth commissioned to raise 800 foot to be sent to Perth in September
  • August: Allegedly Seaforth leads 4000 men towards Lanark but returns for the harvest (based on a single reference in a family history)

Notes

A history of the unit is shown in Edward M. Furgol’s A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651 Edinburgh, 1990. ISBN 0 85976 194 0

Clan Mackenzie

In 1639 they were likely un-regimented Highlanders, Furgol labels them a ‘retinue’.

Flags and Equipment

Equipped with pikes and muskets in 1645.

Notable Officers

George Mackenzie, Second Earl of Seaforth

Earl of Seaforth, chief of the Mackenzies was widely regarded as excessively duplicitous, making and breaking alliances with both Montrose and the Covenanters.

Strength

  • August 1648: 800 foot authorised

See Also