The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment

Beds and Herts regt

Archibald Douglas's Regiment of Foot
raised at Reading from southern counties; known until 1751 by the names of nine other colonels

The 16th Foot or Bedfordshire Regiment was raised in October 1688 by James II in an effort to muster loyal regiments and thereby counter the threat from William of Orange. The regiment was raised by Colonel Archibald Douglas at Reading, one of twelve regiments raised at the time. The regiment was known by the names of its successive colonels until numbered 16th Regiment of Foot in 1751, it was then renamed again in 1782 as the 16th (Buckinghamshire) Foot and then in 1809 as the 16th (Bedfordshire) Regiment of Foot, Buckinghamshire became the 14th (Buckinghamshire) Regiment. It only became known truly as the Bedfordshire Regiment in 1881 split into the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment. The 3rd Battalion was created from the Bedford Militia and the 4th Battalion the Hertford Militia. In 1919 it then became the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment which, in 1958, was amalgamated with the Essex Regiment to become the 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot). This was subsequently redesignated in 1964 and again in 1968 to become the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment and subsequently renamed, in 1980, the 3rd Battalion (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex). In 1992 it was disbanded.

Archibald Douglas was an officer in the Royal Scots, from whom the nucleus of the regiment were formed.

When the Prince of Orange takes over the throne from James II (James VII of Scotland), Douglas refuses to serve under the new King and Robert Hodges is given command of the regiment. Just six other officers take the oath with Hodges, including Hans Hamilton who would rise to command the regiment from 1713.

The regiment took part in the Battle of Namur, during King William's War of 1689-1697. During the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the regiment distinguished itself, receiving battle honors at Blenheim in 1704, Ramilies in 1706, Oudenarde in 1708, and Malplaquet in 1709. In 1747, the regiment was ranked as the 16th Foot and became the 16th Regiment of Foot in July of 1751.

The 16th Regiment of Foot arrived in New York in 1767. The regiment was immediately sent to Florida where it remained until the outbreak of the American Revolution. In 1779, the 16th Foot participated in the defense of Baton Rouge (Louisiana) and the defense of Savannah, Georgia. In 1781, the regiment returned to Florida, taking part in the siege of Pensacola before returning to England in March of the following year.

 

 

 

This page was last updated on 20 December 2013

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