Dumbartons Regiment


Colonel George Douglas, 1st Earl of Dumbarton's Regiment of Foot

The Royal Regiment of Foot

1660 to 1685

“Nemo me impune lacessit”

“No one will touch me with impunity”

“Wha daur meddle wi’ me”
- Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard

“I know these men, they will fight. If I had but them all would go well.”

- Monmouth at Sedgemoor, 1685

“While in the service of France in the 17th century the officers of the Picardy Regiment of France and the Officers the Regiment had a dispute of which regiment was the oldest. A French Officer said that perhaps the Scots should call themselves Pontius Pilate’s Bodyguard to which a Scots officer responded with “You must be mistaken Monsieur, for had we really been the Guards of Pontius Pilate, our sentinels would certainly never had slept at their posts.”

- Excerpt from “The Glories and Traditions of the British Army. (Naval and Army Illustrated Feb 26th 1897). The First Royal Scots or Lothian Regiment by Chas Lowe


'With us any captain may keep a piper in his company, and maintain him too, for no pay is allowed him, perhaps just as much as he deserveth.”

- Pallas Armata, by Sir James Turner, 1683


“Whereas the Scottish regiment under the command of George, Lord Douglas, did, in obedience to our orders, come over readily and cheerfully to our service, wee are resolved to intertain and recruite the same although we think fitt to raise the greatest part of the recruits here in this kingdom because of the leavies now making in Scotland for our service there yet , seeing the regiment is a Scottish regiment, wee have thought fitt to raise for it two hundreth men in that our ancient kingdom of Scotland”

- Letter from Charles II to the Privy Council, September 1666

The above quote makes it clear that at least one occasion, and perhaps more, soldiers from England were recruited to serve in the Regiment. There was some bias against service in the Regiment in parts of Scotland and England because it was considered a French Regiment and the officers were, for the most part, Catholics.

Company Organization

At the Time of the Restoration, a Company of Foot was authorized one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Ensign, three Sergeants, three Corporals, 2 Drummers and 100 ”Private Centinells”. Ideally, the company would have been comprised of one third pikemen and two-thirds musketeers.

On 16 July, 1685, James II decreed that the company organizations would change to one Captain, the Lieutenant position to be abolished as vacated, one Ensign, 2 Sergeants, three Corporals, one Drummer and 60 “Private Centinells.” It is doubtful that either company organization was ever at full strength. 

Chronology of the Regiment to 1688

May 1620 Sir Andrew Gray raises a regiment of 1500 men in Scotland to serve under Frederick V, The Elector Palatinate and King of Bohemia

September 1620 Regiment goes into service under the Margrave of Ansbach against the Duke of Bavaria. Captain Hepburn’s Company is the Lifeguard of Frederick V.

8 November 1620 Defeat of Frederick V at the Battle of White Mountain. Gray’s Regiment goes into service under the Graf Von Mansfeld in the Upper Palatinate.

25 April 1622 Battle of Weisloch. Mansfeld defeats Tilly’s Imperialist Army

August 1622 Mansfeld defeats Spanish at Fleurs

1622-23 Service in Holland 

1622 Siege of Bergen Op Zoop

The Battle of White Mountain

7 April 1623 Sir John Hepburn, a Captain in Grays Regiment takes The Regiment into Swedish service. The regiment consists of 8 companies with 72 musketeers, 54 pike and one piper in each company

1625 Gustavus II Adolphus appoints Sir John Hepburn as Regimental Commander

1625-26 Lithuania 

1625 Kokenhusen 

1625 Dorpat 

1626 Wallhof 

1626 Birze

1626-29 Prussia

1626 Danzig
1626 Dirchau
1627 Kestmark
1629 Stum

28 May -14 July 1628 Siege of Stralsund

23 June Stralsund transfers from protection of Christian of Denmark to Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden. Alexander Leslie reinforces garrison with elements of Hepburn’s Regiment

16 July 1630 Gustavus II Adolphus lands at Peenemunde in Germany with 2 Regiments of Cavalry, 4 Swedish Regiments of Foot and 4 Regiments of foreign foot. Hepburn’s Regiment of Foot and MacKay’s Regiment of Foot are among those regiments.

Gustavus II Adolphus, King of Sweden, Finland and Livonia

August-September 1630 Capture and defense of Rugenvald castle. Relieved and reinforced by Hepburn’s Regiment.

“The word treaty has been omitted from my instructions thus I have only powder and ball at the service of the Count De Monteculculi.”

- Robert Monro in response to surrender terms at Coberg

July 1630-Mar 1631 Seige of Coberg. MacKay’s and Hepburn’s Regiments defend against 8,000 Imperial soldiers attempting to lift seige at Schievelbein.

24 December 1630 Seige of Greifenhagen

“In these warrs if a fort be to be stormed, or any desperate piece of service to be set upon, the Scottish have always had the honor and the danger to be the first men that are put to such a business.”

- The Swedish Intelligencer

1631 Seige of Demmin

24 March 1631 Scots Brigade formed under the command of Sir John Hepburn and consisting of Hepburn’s Regiment, MacKay’s Regiment, Stargate’s Regiment and Lumsen’s Regiment

“Sir John Hepburn being made Colonel of the Briggad, his Regiment, Colonel Lumsedells, Stragates and ours, made up the Scots Brigad.”

- Robert Monro

1631 Storming of Frankfurt On Oder. Hepburn wounded in the assault while carrying 20 pound petard to the cirty gates. Monro leads the Brigade into the city and garrison is overrun.

8 April- 18 April 1631 Seige of Landsberg. Outworks taken by MacKay’s and Hepburn’s Regiments. Defeated Imperial garrison of 6,000 granted the honors of war and depart city with “2,00 female camp followers“

“I with my partie, did lie to our poste, as betwixt the devil and the deepe sea for sometimes our owne cannon would light short and grase over us, and so did the enemies also.”

- Robert Monro at Werben

July 1631 Seige of Werben

“We were not able by the rising of the dust to see about us, much less discerning the way of our enemies or the rest of outr brigades whereupon, having a drummer by me, I caused him to beat the Scotch March, which recollected our friends unto us.”

- Robert Monro at Brietenfeld

7 September 1631 Battle of Breitenfeld. Scots Brigade in the reserve and are used to refuse the Swedish flank and persue the fleeing Imperial army

1631 Defense of Ochsenfurt by Scots Brigade.

“My brave Scots, why have you been too quick for me?”

- Gustavus II Adolphus at Oppenhiem

20 November 1631 Siege of Oppenheim. City captured by 200 Scots before main assault, Scots capture first Spanish colors take by Swedish Army

December 1631 Surrender of Mainz

Jan- 5 March 1632 Garrison of Mainz

March 1632 Seige of Donauworth

March 1632 Assualt river crossing of the Lech River at Rain

April 1632 Seige of Oberndorf

April 1632 Seige of Ingoldstadt

April 1632 Seige of Landshut

May-June 1632 Occupation of Munich and garrison duty Hepburn appointed Governor of Landshut and Munich

July- August 1632 Occupation of Nurenberg and skirmishing with entrenched Imperial forces

3 September 1632 Storming of Alte Fest

1632 Storming of Furth 

"In such dress the 800 Irish lately in Stettin walk about”

“They are a strong, hardy race, contenting themselves with little food, if they have no bread they eat roots and carrots; in case of necessity they are bale to walk twenty German miles in a day; they have besides muskets, their bows and quivers and long knives.”

- Scottish Soldiers at Stettin, 1632

August 1632 Sir John Hepburn leaves Swedish Service

And now sire never more shall this sword be drawn for you this is the last time I will ever serve so ungrateful a Prince”

- Sir John Hepburn to Gustavus II Adolphus at Furth, 1632

September 1632 Sir Robert Monro takes command of the Scots Brigade

16 November 1632 Gustavus II Adolphus killed at Lutzen

26 January 1633 Louis XIII Commissions Sir John Hepburn to raise a regiment in Scotland

4 April 1633 Colonel Sir John Hepburn under a warrant from the Privy Council of Scotland, given under King Charles I's authority at Whitehall on 28th March raises a regiment of 1,200 men in Edinburgh for service in France. 2,000 men are recruited and enter French service. Scottish companies in French service since 1589 are consolidated with Hepburn’s Regiment.

1633-34 Rhineland

July 1634 La Mothe 

November 1634 Heidelburg

1634 Relief of the besieged remnants of the Green Brigade at Landau. The last of the 36 original pipers in MacKay’s Regiment welcomes Colonel Sir John Hepburn into the city. The Green Brigade goes into French Service under command of
Sir John Hepburn.

Scots on the March

1635 Lorraine Colonel Sir John Hepburn commands 8,000 man force that includes Le Regiment De Hebron

“The Scots fought for eight days, almost without intermission leaving the ways by which they retreated more remarkable by the blood of their enemies than their own”

- Duke d’Epernon, 1670 on the Rhine crossing at Bingen

1635 Louis XIII appoints Sir John Hepburn as a Marshall of France

1635 Fresche

1635 Bingen

“To the best Soldier of the Age”

- Inscription on Sir John Hepburn’s tomb at Toul Cathederal

21 July 1636 Colonel Sir John Hepburn dies at the siege of Saverne near Strasbourg

November-December 1636 360 Recruits for the Regiment from Scotland
allowed by Charles I

1636-37 Colonel George Hepburn commands the Regiment until his death at Chatillon

1637 Strength of Le Regiment De Hebron described as being 48 companies of 150 pike and musket and one piper for each company, totaling 8,316 men

1637 Landrecies

December 1637 Regiment De Douglas under command of Colonel Lord James Douglas

1638 Spanish Netherlands

1638 Artois

1638 St. Omers

1638 Ensisheim

1639 France in Picardy

1642-44 Italy

14 August 1643 Siege of Turin
1643-44 Garrison of Turin

1644-48 Spanish Netherlands

1647 Douai
1647 Lens
1648 Ypres

21 October 1647 Colonel Lord James Douglas dies at the Siege of Douai

1645 Colonel Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus and Ormond Commands the Regiment

24 0ctober 1648 Peace of Westphalia

31 December 1648 Charles I Executed

1648-54 French Civil War (Le Fronde)

1650 Paris
1652 St Antoine
1652 Vinneneuve St George
1652 Bar-De Luc
1652 Ligny
1653 Chateau Portieu
1654 Arras

1 January 1651 Charles II crowned King of Scotland

1654 Coronation of Louis XIV

1656 Colonel Lord George Douglas Commands the Regiment

1655-59 Franco-Spanish War in the Netherlands
1658 Saint Venant
1658 Mardyck
1658 Dunkirk Dunes

1659 Merging of Regiment de Rutherford into the Regiment de Douglas increases size of the regiment to 2,000 men.

1660 Regiment garrisons Avennes. Regiment consists of eight companies, each company with one third pike and two thirds shot.

January 26 1661 Charles II’s Royal Warrant establishes a standing army

1661-1662 English Service as Douglas’ Regiment of Foot.

1662 3 new companies of 100 men each recruited in Scotland. Regiment consists of 23 companies of 100 soldiers each

1662- 1664 French Service

1664- 1667 Second Anglo-Dutch War in England at Chatham (increased 8 to 12 companies)

1667 Return to French Service now in a uniform of red coats with white cuffs and a strength of 1,500 men.

1667-1668 The War of Devolution

1667 Siege of Lille
1667-72 Garrison at Lille

1671 Regiment receives 6,000 Scottish recruits to form 16 new companies of 375 men each.

1672 British Brigade established under nominal command of the Duke of Monmouth and the Regiment represents 2/3 of the brigade manpower with 3,432 men in 33 companies

1672-74 Franco-Dutch War in the Netherlands

1672 Grave
1673 Maestricht

1674-78 Franco-Austrian War in Rhineland

1674 Heidelburg
1674 Landau
1674 Manhiem
1674 Saverne
1675 Trier (Marshall Turenne killed and only 200 men remaining in
Regiment following the siege)
1676 Dachstein
1676 Phillipsburg
1677 Freiburg

1675 Colonel Lord George Douglas created 1st Earl of Dumbarton and Regiment becomes the Regiment De Dumbarton

1676 Regiment returns to Scotland to reconstitute following the siege at Dachstein, returning to French service in time for the battle of Phillipsburg.

1677 The Earl of Dumbarton promoted to Marechaux De Camp (Lieutenant General) in the French Army

1678 Enters English Service and garrisons Hertfordshire

1679-1680 Ireland all 21 companies

1678 Grenadier Company Formed

1680-84 Tangier 16 companies

1684 Return from Tangier awarded title of “The Royal Regiment of Foot” and posted at Rochester

6 February 1685 Charles II dies.

23 April 1685 Coronation of James II.

May- June 1685 The Earl of Dumbarton posted to Scotland as Commander In Chief

21 June – 18 July 1685 Monmouth’s Rebellion
16 June 1685 Battle of Sedgemoor 5 companies

1686 Second Battalion Formed
1st Battalion 11 Companies 50 men each
2nd Battalion 10 Companies 50 men each

March 1686 September 1688 Second Battalion posted to Scotland

September 1688 Entire Regiment garrisons Hertford

December 1688 Regiment supports King James II

January 1688 The Earl of Dumbarton follows King James II into exile in France.

January 1688 Regiment renamed Schomburg’s Regiment

March 1689 Regiment refuses command of a foreigner and mutinies At Ipswich prior to embarkation for France

Dumbartons Drums

Dumbartons drums they sound sae bonnie,
And they remind me o my Johnnie,
Such fond delight does fall upon me,
When Johnnie kneels and kisses me.

My love he is a handsome laddie,
And though he is Dumbartons caddie,
Some day Ill be a Captains lady,
When Johnnie tends his vow tae me.

Across the fields of bounding heather,
Dumbarton sounds the hour o pleasure,
The joy I know will know no measure,
When Johnnie kneels and kisses me.

Tis he alone that can delight me,
His roving eyes they do invite me,
And when his tender arms enfold me,
The blackest night does turn and flee

“You may take all duties of a Souldier to be, as the Lacedaemonians did, to be three. First, to give exact and perfect obedience to all the lawful commands of Superiours. Secondly to endure the fatigue, travel, and discommodites of War, whether it be in Marching, or working at Trenches, Approaches Sieges, hunger, thirst and cold with an exemplary patience. Thirdly, In time of Battell, Skirmish or Assault, to resolve either to overcome, or dye. But Reader, do not seek all these in every souldier, do not seek any of these exactly in any souldier, for you will not find them; let it be enough if they have some of them in some degree, though not in perfection.”

- Pallas Armata, by Sir James Turner, 1683

“After this landed the valorous Major Hackett with the renowned regiment of the Earl of Dumbarton; all of them men of approved valour, fame having echoed the sound of their glorious actions and achievements in France and other nations; having left behind them a report of their glorious victories wherever they came; every place witnessing and giving large testimony of their renown; so that the arrival of this illustrious regiment more and more increased the resolution and courage of the inhabitants, and added confidence to their valour.”

- Tangier’s Rescue, by John Ross


Brander, A.M., The Royal Scots ( London, 1976)

Childs, John, The Army of Charles II ( London, 1976)

Dalton, Charles, The Scots Army, 1661-1688 ( London, 1909)

Ede-Borrett, S., The Army of James II, Uniforms and Organization (UK 2001)

Glozier, Matthew, Scottish Soldiers in France in the reign of the Sun King ( Leiden, 2004)

Grant, James, The Scottish Soldier of Fortune, ( London, 1890)

Malestein, Arthur J., The Restoration Army: Its Mission, Men, and Equipment

Reid, Stuart, Last Scots Army 1661-1714 ( UK, 2003)

Smithers, A.J., The Tangier Campaign, The Birth of the British Army ( UK, 2003)

Tincey, John, Armies of the Sedgemoor Campaign ( UK, 1998)

Tincey, John, The British Army, 1660-1704 ( UK, 1994)

Tincey, John, Monmouth’s Drill Book ( UK,1968)

Turner, James, Pallas Armata: Military essayes of the ancient Grecian, Roman, and modern art of war. Written in the years 1670 and 1671 (NY, 1968)

Weaver, Lawrence, The Story of the Royal Scots ( UK, 1915)

Weygand, Max, Turenne, Marshal of France ( London, 1930)

Williams, Noel Saint John Williams, Redcoats and Courtesans: The Birth of the British Army, 1660-1690 ( London, 1994)

Additional Recommended Reading

Ashley, Maurice, George Monck (NJ, 1977)

Chandler, David, Sedgemoor 1685 ( UK, 1999)

Coote, Stephen, Royal Survivor, The Life of Charles II ( UK, 1999)

Coote, Stephen, Samuel, Peyps, A Life ( UK, 2000)

Du Puy, Trevor, The Military Life of Gustavus Adolphus, (NY, 1969)

Kitson, Frank, Prince Rupert, Admiral and General at Sea ( London , 1999)

Jamison, Ted, George Monck and the Restoration: Victor Without Bloodshed ( Texas, 1975)

Keeble, N.H., The Restoration, England in the 1660s ( UK, 2002)

Miller, John, After the Civil Wars, English Politics and Government in the Reign of Charles II ( Essex, 2000)

Miller, John, James II, A Study in Kingship ( London, 1999)

Monro, Robert, His Expedition with the Worthy Scots Regiment called MacKeys ( London, 1637)

Wedgewood, C.V., The Thirty Years War, ( London, 1938)

“It has been reported and is probable that Lord Dumbarton’s Regiment, which was their nursery for men of honor, did drawn 55,000 recruits from Scotland, whereof few returned with whole bones and less with estates”

John Crookshanks, 1713