Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 78th Regiment of Foot

By Steve Brown

Secondary Titles:

Highland; 1794 - Ross-Shire Buffs

Regimental History

1793:

7 March – raised in Ross-Shire by Lord Seaforth

1794:

10 February – 2nd Battalion formed at Fort George

1796:

June – 2nd Battalion disbanded at Cape Town

1804:

17 April – 2nd Battalion re-formed at Fort George

1816:

29 February – 2nd Battalion disbanded at Canterbury

 
Colonels

1793:

8 March

Francis Humberstone MacKenzie

1796:

3 May

Alexander MacKenzie Fraser

1809:

15 September

Sir James Henry Craig, K.B.

1812:

13 January

Sir Samuel Auchmuty, G.C.B.

Colonel-Commandant

1796:

27 February

Alexander MacKenzie Fraser

Stations and Combats – 1st Battalion

1793:

7 March – raised in Ross-Shire; Fort St George; July – 5 companies to Guernsey; October – remaining 5 companies to Guernsey

1794:

Guernsey; September – to Flanders; Flushing; Tuyl; Bommel Waart; October – Arnhem; Nijmegen; Waal

1795:

Geldermalsen; retreat to Bremen; April - to England; Harwich; Chelmsford; May – Harwich; Southampton; August – to Quiberon; Isle de Dieu; December - Spithead

1796:

Poole; February – Portsmouth; June – Cape of Good Hope; absorbed 2/78th men; Muizenberg; Saldanha Bay; Wynberg; Simon’s Town; November – to India

1797:

February – Calcutta; Fort William; Berhampore; October – 6 companies to Chunar; Benares; Chunar

1798:

Chunar; March – Allahabad

1799:

Oudh

1800:

Oudh; Calcutta; December – Fort William

1801:

Fort William

1802:

Fort William

1803:

Fort William; March – Bombay; June – Poonah; August – Ahmednuggur; ASSAYE; Argaum; December - Gawilghur

1804:

Gawilghur; July – Bombay; received 400 men from 2/78th; received 336 militia volunteers

1805:

Bombay; May – 5 companies to Baroda; July – received 100 men from 2/78th

1806:

Baroda

1807:

Baroda; Goa

1808:

Goa; received 350 men from 2/78th

1809:

Goa

1810:

Goa; received 200 men from 2/78th

1811:

Goa; March – Madras; to Java; June – Malacca; August – Chihingching; JAVA; Batavia; Fort Cornelis

1812:

Java

1813:

Java

1814:

Java; received 92 men from 2/78th

1815:

Java

1816:

Java; September – to Calcutta

1817:

Calcutta; March – to England; July – Portsmouth.

Stations and Combats – 2nd Battalion

1794:

10 February – formed at Fort George; August – 6 companies to Netley; November – 4 companies at Poole

1795:

Poole; February – Portsmouth; June – Cape of Good Hope; Cape Town

1796:

Cape Town; June – disbanded; fit men into 1/78th

1804:

17 April – re-formed at Fort George; sent 400 men to 1/78th in India

1805:

Fort George; March – Hythe; September – Portsmouth; Gibraltar

1806:

Gibraltar; May – Sicily; Messina; June – Melazzo; July – Calabria; MAIDA; August – Messina; Taormina; Syracuse

1807:

Sicily; March – to Egypt; Alexandria; Abfimador; Rosetta; El Hamet; to Sicily; ordered to Lisbon but diverted to England

1808:

Canterbury; received 350 Scots militia volunteers; sent 350 men to 1/78th in India; Littlehampton; Isle of Wight

1809:

Isle of Wight; August – flank companies to Walcheren; to England; Fort St George

1810:

Fort St George; sent 200 men to 1/78th in India

1811:

Fort St George

1812:

Fort St George; September - Aberdeen

1813:

Aberdeen; December – sent 92 men to 1/78th in Java

1814:

Aberdeen; January – to Belgium; Antwerp

1815:

Nieuwpoort; high rate of sickness; March – Brussels; Brussels garrison during Waterloo campaign; December – reduced to 6 companies

1816:

Brussels; February – Ostend; Ramsgate; Deal; Canterbury; 29 February – disbanded at Canterbury.

Careers of Senior Officers (shown as highest rank attained in regiment in the period)

Lt Col Francis Humberstone MacKenzie

Born Ross-Shire 1754; Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of 78th Foot 8 March 1793 despite being virtually stone deaf; resigned July 1795; brevet Colonel 3 May 1796; 1st Baron Seaforth in 1797; Colonel of Ross-Shire Militia 1798; subsequently Major-General 29 April 1802; Lieutenant-General 25 April 1808; died January 1815.

Lt Col Alexander Mackenzie (Fraser) of Belmaduthy

Born Ross-Shire 1758; Major in 78th Foot 8 March 1793 (on transfer from 71st Foot); Lieutenant-Colonel 24 July 1793; commanded 78th Foot in Flanders 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant 11 July 1795; brevet Colonel 3 May 1796; served at Cape of Good Hope 1796; served in India 1797 to 1800; subsequently Major-General 29 April 1802; took Fraser surname 1803; commanded brigade in Hanover 1805; served in Sweden 1808; Lieutenant-General 25 April 1808; commanded 3rd Division in Peninsula September 1808 to January 1809; served in Walcheren 1809; died of Walcheren fever 13 September 1809.

Major George Hay, Earl of Errol

Born Scotland 1767; 16th Earl of Errol 1778; Major in 78th Foot 24 July 1793 (on transfer from 58th Foot); to Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel in 1st Foot Guards 2 May 1795; died 1798.

Lt Col Alexander MacKenzie of Fairburn

Born Scotland 1771; Major in 78th Foot 25 July 1793; served in Flanders 1793; Lieutenant-Colonel 10 February 1794; commanded 2/78th Foot 1794 to 1796; served at Cape of Good Hope 1796; brevet Colonel 26 January 1797; exchanged to Lieutenant-Colonel in 36th Foot 22 May 1797;  subsequently Major-General 25 September 1803; commanded a Division in Italy 1806; Lieutenant-General 25 July 1810; General 19 July 1821; died Bath October 1854.

Lt Col Alexander Malcolm

Major in 78th Foot 31 May 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel 11 March 1795; on half-pay 1797; died 1798.

Lt Col John Randoll MacKenzie of Suddie

Born Ross-Shire c1763; Major in 78th Foot 2 August 1794; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 15 November 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel 15 July 1795; brevet Colonel 1 January 1801; commanded 2/78th Foot at Maida; subsequently Major-General 25 April 1808; commanded brigade in Peninsula December 1808 to June 1809; commanded 3rd Division June to July 1809; killed in action at Talavera.

Major James Smith Baillie

Major in 78th Foot 2 August 1794 (on transfer from 59th Foot); to Lieutenant-Colonel in 99th Foot 20 September 1794; died of fever en route Cork to Barbados March 1796.

Major Michael Monypenny

Major in 78th Foot 28 October 1794; commanded reserve at wounded at Cape Town August 1795; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 73rd Foot 23 July 1799; retired January 1807.

Major John Campbell, Earl of Breadalbane

Born Scotland 1762; 4th Earl of Breadalbane 1782; Colonel of Perthshire Fencibles June 1793; Major in 78th Foot 11 March 1795 (on transfer from 116th Foot); to Lieutenant-Colonel 3rd Breadalbane Fencibles 11 July 1795; died 1834.

Lt Col Alexander Adams

Born Pembrokeshire 1770; served in Flanders 1794 to 1795; served at Cape of Good Hope 1795 to 1796; Major in 78th Foot 30 August 1798; served in India 1798 to 1811; Lieutenant-Colonel 7 April 1802; commander at Goa 1807; commanded a Brigade in Java 1811; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1814; Lieutenant-General 22 July 1830; killed in a shooting accident in Pembrokeshire September 1835.

Major John MacKenzie of Gairloch

Born Scotland 1764; Major in 78th Foot 15 November 1794; served in Flanders 1795; on half-pay 1798; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1800; to Lieutenant-Colonel Ross & Cromarty Fencibles 9 May 1800; brevet Colonel 29 April 1802; subsequently Major-General 25 October 1809; served on east coast of Spain 1812 to 1814; Lieutenant-General 4 June 1814; General 10 January 1837; died June 1860.

Major Alexander Grant

Major in 78th Foot 11 July 1795; retired 1796; died 1807.

Major William Montgomery

Major in 78th Foot 15 July 1795 (on transfer from 4th Foot); to Major in 3rd West India Regiment 4 October 1797; Lieutenant-Colonel in 43rd Foot 25 July 1799; died 25 October 1800.

Lt Col Hay McDowall

Major in 42nd Foot 24 March 1784; Lieutenant-Colonel in 57th Foot 6 April 1791; served in Flanders 1793; brevet Colonel 21 August 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel in 36th Foot August 1795; brevet Colonel 21 August 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel in 75th Foot 1 September 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel in 78th Foot 22 May 1797; subsequently Major-General 18 June 1798; Commander-in-Chief in Ceylon 1798 to 1804; Lieutenant-General 30 October 1805; Commander-in-Chief in Madras 1807; lost at sea near Cape of Good Hope March 1809.

Lt Col Hercules Scott

Born Kincardine 1775; Major in Ross & Cromarty Fencibles January 1800; Major in 78th Foot 9 May 1800; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1805; Lieutenant-Colonel 28 July 1807; exchanged to Lieutenant-Colonel in 9th Garrison Battalion 12 May 1808; Lieutenant-Colonel in 103rd Foot 12 May 1808; served in Canada 1813 to 1814; killed in action at Fort Erie August 1814.

Lt Col Patrick McLeod

Major in 78th Foot 18 November 1802; Lieutenant-Colonel 17 April 1802; served at Maida 1806; commanded 2/78th Foot in Egypt 1807; killed in action at El Hamet 21 April 1807.

Major David Stewart

Major in 78th Foot 17 April 1804 (on transfer from 42nd Foot); to Lieutenant-Colonel Royal West India Rangers 26 April 1808.

Lt Col James Macdonell

Born Scotland 1781; Major in 17th Light Dragoons 1 July 1802; Major in 78th Foot 17 April 1804; Lieutenant-Colonel 7 September 1809; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 2nd Garrison Battalion 21 February 1811; to Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel in Coldstream Foot Guards 8 August 1811; served in Peninsula 1812 to 1814; commanded the defence of Hougoumont at Waterloo; subsequently Major-General 1830; Lieutenant-General 1841; General 1854; died London 1857.

Major William Campbell

Major in 78th Foot 13 December 1804; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 25 July 1810; wounded in action at Fort Cornelis 26 August 1811 and died 2 days later.

Lt Col James Fraser

Major in 78th Foot 23 July 1807; Lieutenant-Colonel 1 May 1812; died 1813.

Lt Col John McLeod

Major in 5th Garrison Battalion 22 September 1804; Major in 56th Foot 21 February 1805; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1805; Lieutenant-Colonel in 9th Garrison Battalion May 1808; Lieutenant-Colonel in 78th Foot 12 May 1808; commanded 2/78th Foot 1808 to 1816; brevet Colonel 4 June 1813; subsequently Major-General 12 August 1819; Lieutenant-General 10 January 1837.

Major Robert Hamilton

Major in 78th Foot 21 April 1808; retired October 1810.

Lt Col Martin Lindsay

Major in 78th Foot 4 January 1810; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 25 November 1813; Lieutenant-Colonel 25 November 1813; on half-pay 1816; Lieutenant-Colonel 12 August 1819.

Major George Wyndham

Major in 78th Foot 31 January 1811 (on transfer from 1st Foot Guards); exchanged to 12th Light Dragoons 25 April 1811.

Lt Col Sir Edward Michael Ryan, Kt.

Major in Hanger’s Corps 27 February 1799; Major in a Reserve Battalion July 1803; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1805; Major in 2nd Garrison Battalion 26 February 1805; Lieutenant-Colonel in 78th Foot 21 February 1811; died at sea en route from Java to England March 1812.

Major William Frederick Spicer

Major in 12th Light Dragoons 30 May 1805; Major in 78th Foot 25 April 1811; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 4 June 1811; retired November 1811.

Lt Col David Forbes

Born 1772; served in Flanders 1794 to 1795; served at Cape of Good Hope 1796; Major in 78th Foot 29 August 1811; served in Java 1811 to 1817; Lieutenant-Colonel 28 July 1814; on half-pay 1817; subsequently Major-General 1840; died Aberdeen March 1841.

Major Duncan MacPherson

Major in 78th Foot 7 November 1811; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 12 August 1819.

Major James McBean

Major in 78th Foot 14 December 1811; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 12 August 1819; retired June 1821.

Major Duncan McGregor

Wounded at Maida 1806; Major in 78th Foot 25 November 1813; on half-pay 1816.

Major Colin Campbell McKay

Born 1776; served in Ireland 1798; served in Sicily 1806; wounded three times and POW in Egypt 1807; served in Flanders 1814; Major in 78th Foot 11 August 1814; on half-pay 1816; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 10 January 1837; died June 1841.

Sources:

War Office. Army Lists 1794 to 1815. London: various years.

Chichester, Henry Manners, and Burges-Short, Henry. The Records and Badges of Every Regiment and Corps in the British Army. London: William Clowes & Sons, 1895.

McKenna, Michael G. The British Army – And Its Regiments and Battalions. West Chester, Ohio: The Nafziger Collection. 2004.

Reid, Stuart. Wellington’s Officers, Volume 1. Leigh-On-Sea: Partizan Press, 2008.

Reid, Stuart. Wellington’s Officers, Volume 2. Leigh-On-Sea: Partizan Press, 2009.

Park, S.J. and Nafziger, G.F. The British Military – Its System and Organization 1803-1815. Cambridge, Ontario: Rafm Co. Inc. 1983.

Philippart, John. The Royal Military Calendar, or Army Service and Commission Book. London: A.J. Valpy, 1820.

Electric Scotland Website – 78th Regiment. October 2010.

London Gazette Website. October 2010.

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. October 2010. National Library of Australia.

19th Century British Newspapers Collection. October 2010. National Library of Australia.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2011

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