Regiments in which Douglases have served

George, 4th Earl of Angus defeating the Black Douglases
at the Battle of Arkinholm, 1455
Image courtesy of Andrew Spratt

Until 1751 British regiments were designated by the name of their colonels, and regimental names changed accordingly with the colonels. This can be a major source of confusion in identifying regiments: (1) colonels changed regiments, (2) regiments changed colonels, (3) colonels changed their names, e.g. the Earl of Something became the Duke of Everything, and (4) many colonels had similar or identical names, e.g. fathers and sons. (The Buffs and The Green Howards derived their names from the simultaneous colonelcies in 1738-48 of Thomas Howard and Charles Howard when the regiments were differenced by the colour of their facings as the "buff Howards" and the "green Howards".) This confusion was as problematic for contemporaries as it is today for the modern researcher, and was one of the principal reasons for numbering regiments in 1751. This index should help resolve almost all confusion about names before the numbering of regiments in 1751. It is also instructive to track how colonels purchased more senior regiments (and more expensive commissions) to assure job security.

     Personal titles are "final" and do not necessarily apply during the time of the colonelcy, but prior titles are included for clarity. Colonels appointed after 1751 are listed on the regimental pages, but not indexed here, except for those whose colonelcies straddled 1751, in which case the complete list of their appointments is presented here. Please rely on the search engine to locate other post-1751 colonels.


Regimental recruiting methods were not always fair, as this record from 1691 shows:

A few days after the above date (21st Jan 1691), as John Brangen, servant to Mr John Sleigh., merchant in Haddington, was going on a message to a writer's chamber in Edinburgh with his master's cloak over his arm, he was seized by Sergeant Douglas, of Douglas of Kelhead's company, carried to the Canongate Tolbooth, and thence hurried like a malefactor on board a ship in the road of Leith bound for Flanders. This man, though called servant, was properly clerk and shopman to his master, who accordingly felt deeply aggrieved by his abduction. At the same time, Christian Wauchope petitioned for the release of her husband, William Murdoch, who had been' innocently seized' and carried off eight days ago by Captain Douglas's men, 'albeit he had never made any paction with them;' 'whereby the petitioner and her poor children will be utterly starved.' Even the town-piper of Musselburgh, James Waugh by name, while playing at the head of the troop, and thinking of no harm, had been carried off for a soldier. 'If it was true,' said his masters the magistrates, 'that he had taken money from the officers, it must have been through the ignorance and inadvertency of the poor man, thinking it was given him for his playing as a piper.' He had, they continued, been' injuriously used in the affair by sinistrous designs and contrail to that liberty and freedom which all peaceable subjects ought to enjoy under the protection of authority.'

map 1890Military Scotland in 1890

Regiments featured in The Douglas Archives

13th Dragoons
1st Dumfries Mounted Rifles
32nd Regiment of Foot
8th/9th Lanarkshire Volunteers
97 Battery, Royal Artillery
99th Regiment of Foot
Angus Regiment of Fencibles
Archibald Douglas of Darroch’s Regiment of Foot
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Brig-General William Douglas Regiment
Charles Douglass' Regiment of Marines
Col Archibald Douglas's Regiment of Foot
Col J Douglas's Regiment
Col James Douglas of Morton Regiment
Colonel Robert Douglas’ Regiment of Foot
Conneticut Regiment
Douglas Battery, Ector's Brigade
Douglas of Kilhead Regiment of Foot
Douglas' First Texas Battery - Smith County, Texas
Forfar and Kincardine Militia
Gardes Écossaises - The Scottish Guards
James Douglas of Mouswald’s Regiment of Foot
Perth Regiment of Canada
Richard Douglas Regiment
Régiment de Douglas
Scots Brigade
Scots Guards
Sir William Douglas’ Regiment of Foot
Sir William Douglas’ Troop of Horse
The Cameronian Regiment
The Royal Company of Archers
The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Royal Scots, Régiment de Douglas
Wadsworth Brigade
Witwatersrand Rifles


See also:

Mar's Regiment/Royal North British Regiment of Fusiliers

•  Royal Artillery Drivers