Sir George Buchannan’s Regiment of Foot

Active1639
1644 to 1645
1650 to 1651
CountryScotland
AllegianceCovenanter
ConflictsFirst Bishops' War
First Civil War
Third Civil War
TypeFoot
ColonelSir George Buchannan
Area RaisedStirling & Linlithgow
Coat ColourBlue (1639)
Flag ColourBlue?
Flag DesignWhite saltire?
Field ArmiesLeslie 1639
Urry 1645
Leslie 1650

Covenanter foot from Stirlingshire, serving on and off throughout the Civil Wars

Service History

1639

  • Raised in western Stirlingshire
  • Join Leslie’s army at Dun’s Law
  • June: Standoff at Dun’s Law
  • June: Disbanded following the Treaty of Birks

1644

  • August: Raised anew from Western Stirlingshire for service in Scotland
  • Autumn: Serving with Argyll
  • September: At Aberdeen
  • October to May 1645: In garrison at Inverness

1645

  • February: Pillage Elchess and Cockston
  • May: Urry's army arrives at Inverness
  • May: Battle of Auldearn (det?)
  • Disbanded sometime prior to 1647

1650

  • July: Buchannan commissioned Colonel to raise a regiment in Stirling, Clackmannan and Linlithgow
  • September: Battle of Dunbar
  • December: Buchannan again commissioned colonel for Clackmannan, Stirling and Dumbarton this time

1651

  • May: At Stirling
  • Recruits allocated from Stirling
  • July: Battle of Inverkeithing, regiment destroyed and Buchanan captured

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

One of the few Highland units in Leslie’s army of 1639. Also known as the Laird of Buchanan's Regiment.

In 1645 Buchanan's probably sent a detachment to fight at Auldearn while the rest were left behind to secure Inverness.

Coats, Flags and Equipment

Buchannan's Highlanders were described by an English cavalryman, John Aston, while at the camp at Duns Law in 16391):

the Highlanders, whose fantastique habitt caused much gazing by such as have not seene them heertofore. They, were all or most part of them well timbred men, tall and active, apparrelled in blew woollen wascotts and blew bonnetts. A paire of bases of plad, and stockings of the same, and a paire of pumpes on their feete : a mantle of plad cast over the left shoulder, and under the right arme, a pocquett before for their knapsack, and a paire of durgs (dirks) on either side the pocquet. They are left to their owne election for their weapons ; some carry onely a sword and targe, others musquetts, and the greater part bow and arrowes, with a quiver to hould about 6 shafts, made of the maine of a goat or colt, with the haire hanging on, and fastned by some belt or such like, soe as it appeares allmost a taile to them. Theise were about 1,000, and had bagg-pipes (for the most part) for their warlick instruments. The Laird Buchannan was theire leader. Theire ensigns had strange devices and strange words, in a language unknowne to mee, whether their owne or not I know not.

By the Third Civil War they possibly carried blue flags with white saltires but this is conjectural.2)

Notable Officers

Sir George Buchanan of that Ilk

Sir George Buchanan of Buchanan, Laird of Buchanan. He was captured at Inverkeithing in 1651 and died that year.

Strength

  • 1639: Approximately 1000 foot
  • September 1644: 500 foot with a few cannon attached
  • July 1650: Levy quota of 1124 men
  • July 1651: 896 common soldiers mustered

See Also

1) Six North Country Diaries by John Crawford Hodgson. The Publications of the Surtees Society Vol. CXVII, Durham, 1910. available online via Archive.org
2) Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the 17th Century 2: Scots Colours Partizan Press 1988