Help support TMP

"76th and 80th Regts." Topic

34 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the American Revolution Message Board

1,766 hits since 17 Dec 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

historygamer17 Dec 2012 5:16 p.m. PST

Anyone have good documentation of what these units looked like? Best I can come up with so far is the 76th wore green facings (with highland kit?), and the 80th had yellow (probably not kitted out as highlanders?).

Interested what others might have and the supporting documentation.

95thRegt Inactive Member17 Dec 2012 6:57 p.m. PST

I painted up the 76th using the Perry Highlanders in overalls. I plan on doing the 80th at some point as well.


historygamer17 Dec 2012 7:26 p.m. PST

But what documentation are you going by to do that? From what I have read the 80th may not have even dressed in Highland kit at all. What is your source documentation?

historygamer18 Dec 2012 10:49 a.m. PST

Wow. I've stumped our panel. SM. Anything on these units? My documentation is sketchy at best. Kemp says green facings for the 76th, nothing for the 80th in this period (more on their F&I version, but different unit). They are rather involved in some of the southern campaigns and a must have if doing BG scenarios. :-)

Considering their make up, it is tempting to make them look Highland somehow.

Bandolier18 Dec 2012 1:29 p.m. PST

In the new Carl Franklin book it states in 1777 the 76th wore the kilt or belted plaid in government sett in full dress. So like most things I suppose you have the option of full dress in kilts or overalls for campaign. Nothing noted for the 80th.

unfashionabledc Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 2:05 p.m. PST

Katcher (King George's Army Osprey 1973) says:
76th – Deep green facings, lace with black stripe, gold metal, highland kilts and bonnets.
80th – Yellow facings, lace with red stripe between two black stripes, silver metal.

As the 'Royal Edinburgh Volunteers' the 80th would be a lowland regiment – so dressed as your bog standard line unit.


historygamer18 Dec 2012 5:12 p.m. PST

I am not familiar with the Franklin book. How detailed does it get? What are its source documents? Does it deal with both field dress and regulation dress?

Katcher was good, but I am surprised these units have not bee updated in other books.

epturner Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 7:33 p.m. PST

I don't think these units had much of a history besides the one Virginia campaign and the Penobscot expedition. The 76th had green and the 80th yellow facings. That much I do recall.

I am desperately trying to remember the one good reference I have for the Penobscot debacle. I do not see it on my bookshelves, so I can only hope that SM comes up on the line to answer…


historygamer19 Dec 2012 8:52 a.m. PST

I just contacted one of the leading authorities on the subject and he says so far he can find nothing on their uniforms either, and he is in the midst of writing a book which these two regiments are going to be featured. That tells me a lot right there.

They were late war created units, but were at a number of southern battles.

Virginia Tory19 Dec 2012 9:24 a.m. PST

The 80th are depicted in the Osprey book The Redcoat 1750-1793 (or thereabouts).

They seem to have been kitted out as a regular infantry unit, per the 1768 Warrant. Here's what one person did:


historygamer19 Dec 2012 10:25 a.m. PST

Bad link VA Tory :-)

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 11:35 a.m. PST
historygamer19 Dec 2012 11:46 a.m. PST

A lot of those links were out of the AWI period. Also, the Wiki write up for the 76th called them a Scottish Light Infantry regiment, which denotes the author didn't know what he was talking about. :-)

As I said, I did consult one of the national experts on the period for British Army uniforms. He is hoping an upcoming trip to the archives in Kew will help shed some light on these two little known regiments, as he has nothing on them of substance. Lawson and other usual references are kind of silent on them as well. A mystery! :-)

Bandolier19 Dec 2012 3:38 p.m. PST

British Army Uniforms from 1751-1783 by Carl Franklin is the title. Has a page of uniform plates per regiment over that timeframe. Plus half a page or so of notes per regiment. There are specific notes for the AWI period. There is an appendix of sources with 19 major sources shown amongst "many other books". Highland units have patches of their tartan shown where applicable and none are noted for the 80th. So, all together, the advice above makes sense.

unfashionabledc Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 5:30 p.m. PST

There's no question of the 80th being highlanders – they weren't. They were raised in Edinburgh, far removed from the northwest, not just geographically but culturally too. Ditto for the other lowland regiments (e.g. 82nd Lanark, 83rd Glasgow) raised at the time – they were all uniformed in standard 'english' style.

None of the sources i've seen disagree on the basics – we know when and where the 80th were raised, their authorised uniform, and where they served – so i'm struggling to see what the 'mystery' is..?

historygamer19 Dec 2012 6:51 p.m. PST

So what did the 76th and 80th look like, especially in the field (versus warrant)?

What are the sources you are using?

Virginia Tory19 Dec 2012 7:45 p.m. PST

Hmmm….well, I guess you could go with warrant or cut down coats and round hats (in the absence of any other firm information).

The 76th have reenactors…


Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 8:22 p.m. PST

VT I already posted that link and it seems to have been dismissed by HG so I don't think we are going to able to scratch his itch. I'm with unfashionabledc, what's the issue here? Why all the panic?

historygamer19 Dec 2012 9:22 p.m. PST

Rallynow: Well, most of the links you posted started out talking about the 1790s. or beyond, so that wasn't particularly helpful. This is an AWI board, and other than the 76th facebook page (which provided no details on their kits – though they looked pretty good), the links you posted weren't in any way helpful I have cut and paste some of them below:

"On 25 December 1777 the 76th was again re-raised as the 76th Regiment of Foot (Macdonald's Highlanders) by Colonel John MacDonell of Lochgarry, in the West of Scotland and Western Isles, as a Scottish Light Infantry regiment. It was disbanded at Stirling Castle in March 1784. The regiment was again raised for service in India by the Honorable East India Company in 1787."

Uh, not very helpful, and downright wrong. Highland Light infantry? Really?

"The 80th Regiment of Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, created in 1793 and amalgamated into The South Staffordshire Regiment in 1881."

Off by almost 15 years. Not helpful, as this is an AWI board.

"The 80th Regiment of Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, created in 1793 and amalgamated into The South Staffordshire Regiment in 1881."

Again, off by 15 years. Not related to the AWI unit at all, so yes, I am dismissing your posted links are not helpful, and most not even in the AWI, unless I missed something.

Yes, I am aware of the Royal Warrants, but since these were not always followed, or kits were modified in the field, what were these two units wearing? Inquiring minds want to know. Did the 76th ditch their kilts, or keep them? Did the 80th modify their kits, and if so, how?

It could be that no good documentation on these units has come to light yet. They are late war, and some of that stuff tends to slip under the radar. But, it is why I asked my question. And yes, my standards are pretty high. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with admitting we don't know either.

Thomas Mante Inactive Member20 Dec 2012 5:37 a.m. PST

I take it there is nothing useful in Strachan: British Military Uniforms 1768-1796? Franklin has entries for both 76th (MacDonald's) and the 80th (Edinburgh) regts.

Franklin comments that the 76th wore kilt/belted plaid in government sett for 'full dress' (quite!). His plate only shows reconstructions of the coat not the plaid. Deep green facings and wite small clothes. 76th lights were attached to 2nd LI Bn and also served as mounted infantry in 1781 in Virginia. I suspect that the chances are they are in trousers by 1781?

The 80th plate depicts his interpretation of the '68 warrant c.1778. Apparently yellow facings and white small clothes (no surprise there then!).

As to Franklin, wait to pick one up cheap. Some rather silly errors, most of comments (such as they are) on campaign kit are tucked away in text and none are illustrated in the plates. On the copy I have the plate for the 77th is missing and the plate for the 76th is repeated on opposite page (printing/lay out error). It is useful to have but by no means a panacea, his sources are the usual suspects plus he mentions materials in TNA WO papers etc but as none of his material is referenced in any way…..

historygamer20 Dec 2012 1:54 p.m. PST

Thomas thanks for all that. I find these two units rather fascinating. I think there is so much coverage on the 42nd and the 71st it is neat to see another Highland unit in the field at some historic battles. The 80th is also fascinating to me as well.

Again, thanks for the Franklin review. I will indeed wait. :-)

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2012 6:39 p.m. PST

You're welcome.

number4 Inactive Member20 Dec 2012 7:48 p.m. PST

Not many folks realize that the only thing highlanders and lowland Scots despise more than the English is…..

each other!

Lowlanders don't hold any love for the 'kilties' and the feeling is mutual. As for the question of Highland dress in the southern campaigns, it seems very unlikely: TMP link

historygamer20 Dec 2012 9:03 p.m. PST

number 4:

Thanks for that link. I had been searching on the regimental numbers, not the word "Highlanders."

Here is part of one of SM's post:

"This is purely from memory, so I may be wrong, but aren't there some kilted Highlanders in the van Blaremberghe paintings of the Surrender at Yorktown? If so, they could only be the 76th's centre companies. Supposedly done from eye-witness reports/drawings, by French officers (including Berthier) but then I think the British all got new uniforms just prior to the march out."

Yes, the British were indeed issued their new uniforms, to help raise morale. It was also reported that many of them hid their faces behind their hats – which would indicate round hats or uncocked hats.

There had been lots of transport ships in the harbor, so no doubt all their cargo was offloaded before they sank the ships, and the new uniforms must have been part of that cargo.

I couldn't see any highlanders in the copy of the painting I have, but I may not have the entire painting.

number4 Inactive Member24 Dec 2012 2:38 p.m. PST

One can only hope they didn't lift their kilts to hide their faces in them! :))

MacDonaldshighlanders Inactive Member12 Oct 2016 1:34 p.m. PST

the 80th are actually in blue facings by the time they arrive in America.

Rawdon12 Oct 2016 2:33 p.m. PST

Don't forget the 82nd Foot. It was raised in 1779 in the Highlands by the Duke of Hamilton at his personal expense, expressly for service in America. It was assigned the job of capturing Wilmington, NC, which it accomplished in February, 1781. It spent the balance of the Southern Campaign both garrisoning Wilmington and mounting flying expeditions into the countryside. When the British officially abandoned the South, the 82nd was shipped to Nova Scotia. From there it was ultimately shipped home and was mustered out in 1784. In Southern service the troops wore trousers, but did wear the distinctive Highland headgear. Facings were black.

Rawdon12 Oct 2016 2:43 p.m. PST

Typo in my previous post – it was raised in 1778. A bit more about its service: originally shipped to New York, arriving in 1779. From there, half of the regiment was sent to Halifax and half was sent to Penobscot. It was reunited in 1781 for the Wilmington mission. The common nickname for it was the Hamilton regiment. The uniform details are presented in Franklin's book. The contemporary sources are said to be in conflict about the flank companies, and it is possible that one or both of the flank companies were surrendered at Yorktown.

42flanker12 Oct 2016 5:57 p.m. PST

I have only just caught up with this thread. As Franklin's name has come up again, it is worth pointing out that the weakest parts of this flawed book are those dealing with Highland troops and flank corps in AWI. Suffice it to say that it states the Black Watch were disbanded at the end of the war. it really does need to be treated with caution. The format suggssts a completenesss that is not really there.

Major Bloodnok13 Oct 2016 6:28 a.m. PST

In Hew Strachan's British Military Uniforms 1768 to 1796 there are entries for some returns of the 76th Regiment of (Highland)Foot.

For 7th January 1778 Deep Green facings are listed.

1778 Inspection returns of 76th Foot. Amherst Papers. W.O. 34. "Returns include 10 Serjeants' Fusils, 40 halberds and 2 bagpipes"

19th March 1783. Headquarters Records of the British Army in America. Return of clothing and necessarys embelezzled and lost. P.R.O 30/35, Vol 65, pp 7164-6. "76th Regiment: Serjeants coats; scarlet cloth; bonnetts; shirts; shoes; soles and heels; garters; mitts; black feathers; Captain Graham's embroidered waistcoat and silk breeches; Lieutenant Martin's bedstead."

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Oct 2016 11:42 p.m. PST

Can't believe I missed this thread first time around!

Franklin's book is imperfect because I think he tried to do the same thing he did with his previous work on Napoleonic-era British infantry, which works ok for the WAS/SYW period, but really does not for the AWI as the latter has far more (and less well documented) variations in dress.

MacDonaldshighlanders Inactive Member16 Oct 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

sorry for my earlier vague response, I'd like to keep this thread going if we can. The 80th was 100% in blue facings, despite what katchner or any osprey book says. I have an original painting of the units commander, Thomas dundas whcih shows blue facings. There is also a captured bell of arms tent cover which is blue of the 80th's. Not only that, but there is a newspaper article discussing the 80th's change to blue facings, as well as a hessian officer's drawings of different facing colors he is seeing in New York. As for the 76th, I am the reenactment unit's president and can tell you the only times the 76th were in kilts and highland dress were in times of garrison. Whenever they fought or were on campaign, they were most assuredly in trousers. I hope this helps, I can also send links to the info posted if anyone wants it.

Virginia Tory16 Oct 2017 7:19 a.m. PST

Blue denotes a Royal regiment--interesting, as I don't think they had that in their title.

42flanker16 Oct 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

The 80th, Erskine's Regiment, were given a subsidiary title 'Royal Edinburgh Volunteers' (alternatively, perhaps, 'Edinburgh Royal Volunteers') –

Reference: WO 17/201
Description: 80 Foot. 1778 June: Colonel Sir William Erskine's Regiment, or the Edinburgh Royal Volunteers,; at Edinburgh.


Thomas Dundas, Lt Col. (Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 16)

Early in 1778 the corporation of Edinburgh offered to raise a regiment of foot for the king's service. The offer was accepted, and a regiment, consisting of a thousand lowlanders, in ten companies, was formed under the name of the 80th (Royal Edinburgh Volunteers) Regiment of Foot. The colonelcy was given to Sir William Erskine, who was then serving in America, and Dundas, who had acquired the reputation of a smart and able officer, was appointed lieutenant-colonel, his commission bearing date 17 Dec. 1777. He proceeded in command of the regiment to America in 1779, and served under Clinton and Cornwallis in the campaigns of 177981, most of the time at the head of a brigade composed of the 76th and 80th regiments.

1778.01.05 ,80th Regiment of Foot (Royal Edinburgh Voluntiers), raised by letter of service in Scotland for service in North America (placed on Establishment 17 Jan. 1778)

1778-1783: scarlet: facings: yellow [?]


A number of other short-lived regiments raised by public subscription included a'Royal' distinction: 72nd Royal Manchester Volunteers, 83rd Royal Glasgow Volunteers. In addition there were the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants.

The 'Royal' in the title would indicate blue facings.

Meanwhile five others- 85th Westminster, 86th Rutland , 90th Yorkshire, 91st Shropshire- remained simple 'Volunteers.'

Not many made it across the Atlantic to serve in the American war.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.