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GUEST,Lighter Help: Twa Recruiting Sergeants - How old? (70* d) RE: Help: Twa Recruiting Sergeants - How old? 29 Aug 13


Thanks for the tip, Gutcher! The facts are most interesting....

According to the sympathetic account in David Herbert's "Great Historical Mutinies" (1876), this one took place in May, 1743. The regiment had been marched from Perth to London for service in Flanders, though as usual the men were told nothing more than that they were going to London to turn out for inspection by King George, who had never seen a Highlander. When a general showed up for the review in place of the King, the Highlanders, who'd never expected to be ordered out of Scotland, became suspicious and restive, particularly since the English they'd encountered on their march mostly saw them as unpredictable, gibberish-speaking primitives. Within the regiment, a rumor quickly spread that it would be sent "to the American plantations...to be kept for life in those realms of the most degrading banishment to penal servitude."

Rather than risk it, most of the regiment decamped for the Border in the middle of the night. Soon surrounded by English troops and threatened with "no quarter," they negotiated a truce and were taken into custody.

Three enlisted men, including Pvt. Farquhar Shaw, were shot at Tower Hill after court-martial. A hundred and thirty-three other mutineers (most of whom, apparently, intended only to resume their previous duties in the Highlands) wound up convicted and transported, many indeed to Georgia and the West Indies. The remainder of the regiment was deployed to Flanders - which seems to have been the plan from the beginning.

Since the 42nd comprised six companies, I have to assume that far more than "forty-twa" remained for service on the Continent.

Herbert gives the Watch's original Gaelic name as "Freicudan Dhu."


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