Monday, September 18, 2017

Colonel Simon Fraser's Letters to Lord Murray


Hon. Simon Fraser to Mr. Murray of Strowan
Dunkeld, 19th Feb. 1757.
     Dr Sir, -- I have seen some men that are brought in here by a Constable, some of whom say they have had money for Col : Montgomery, & one in particular was inclinable to prefer enlisting wt. me to any other. As I suppose they came here by the Duke’s order, I would not attempt doing any thing without his Grace’s permission. At same time, as his Grace was so good as to say he wou’d not discountenance my recruiting, if any of the men prefer enlisting wt. me to going elsewhere, I flatter myself His Grace will have no objection to my getting any who are still unengaged, & make that choice. The man I mentioned to have already made it, had received no money & was perfectly disengaged, but I wou’d do nothing wt. him without asking his Grace.
     Pardon this trouble. I am just setting out. God bless you, & do me the justice to believe me very much your faithful servt.
S. FRASER.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Petitions of Captain Hugh Fraser

Petition of Capt. Hugh Fraser, born on the Estate of Lovat, late of the 78th Regiment, for a farm. He had served his Majesty 28 years, 26 of which in the 27th Regiment. In the war before the last in the West Indies, and in Scotland all the winter Campaign during the late rebellion, and all the last war in America, and was at the reduction of Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Isle aux Noire, and Montreal. He purchased a Company in the Hon. Col. Simon Fraser’s corps, but the peace following soon thereafter the regiment was reduced, and he way put on half-pay. Read 13 Feb. 1764.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Raising of the Highland Regiments in 1757

In his eloquent survey of the career of the elder Pitt Lord Stanhope says---

     Was it not he who devised that lofty and generous scheme for removing the disaffection of the Highlanders by enlisting them in regiments for the service of the Crown? Those minds which Culloden could not subdue at once yielded to his confidence; by trusting he reclaimed them; by putting arms into their hands he converted mutinous subjects into loyal soldiers.

And he afterwards quotes Pitt's own words, spoken a few months before his death.

     I remember how I employed the very rebels in the service and defence of their country. They were reclaimed by this means; they fought our battles; they cheerfully bled in defence of those liberties which they had attempted to overthrow but a few years before.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Transport Vessels for the Highland Battalions

Whitehall March 10, 1757.
Ldrs of the Admty. 
My Lords
I am commanded to signify to your Lordships His Majesty's Pleasure that you do forthwith cause a sufficient number of the Transport Vessels, (ordered by my Letters of the 22d past) to be fitted up, victualled, & provided with Bedding, for receiving on board, and conveying to North America, at the rate of two tons for each person, Two Highland Battalions of Foot, commanded by Lt. Col. Montgomery & Lt. Col. Fraser, Each Battalion consisting of 44 commission & Staff officers, 80 Non Commissioned officers, 20 Drummers, & 1000 private Men, together with the usual allowance of 6 Women, & 3 Servant to Each Company. And it's the Kings' further Pleasure that the said Transport Vessels so fitted up, be directed to repair to Cork in Ireland, under such convoy as your Lordships shall judge sufficient, where the Two Battalions above mentioned are to be embarked; and from whence such of the Transport Vessels, as shall have on board the Battalion, commanded by Lieut. Colonel Montgomery are to proceed to Charles Town in South Carolina, and the remainder, with the Battalion, commanded by Lieut. Colonel Fraser are to proceed to Halifax, in Nova Scotia, at which place they are to be respectively disembarked; And your Lordships will accordingly give the necessary Orders for this purpose to the Commanding Officer of the s Officer, commanding the said Convoy, & Transport Vessels.
                                                                                                        Draft

Friday, August 18, 2017

78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls: Part 1

Part 2: 78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls.
Part 3: 78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls

The following is a list of the officers and men of the 78th Regiment (Fraser's Highlanders) and the company to which they were attached when the regiment was discharged in 1763. Of the approximate 850 enlisted men and NCO's, only 170 documented men remained in America. There were other soldiers that stayed, but exactly how many is not officially known.

It should be noted that in these subsistence rolls there are female names appearing in italicised script type. And the more interesting question of what part they played in the regiment can be found in the following notes:

78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls: Part 2

Part 1: 78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls.
Part 3: 78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls.

The following is a list of the officers and men of the 78th Regiment (Fraser's Highlanders) and the company to which they were attached when the regiment was discharged in 1763. Of the approximate 850 enlisted men and NCO's, only 170 documented men remained in America. There were other soldiers that stayed, but exactly how many is not officially known.

It should be noted that in these subsistence rolls there are female names appearing in italicised script type. And the more interesting question of what part they played in the regiment can be found in the following notes:

78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls: Part 3

Part 1: 78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls.
Part 2: 78th Regiment Subsistence Rolls.

The following is a list of the officers and men of the 78th Regiment (Fraser's Highlanders) and the company to which they were attached when the regiment was discharged in 1763. Of the approximate 850 enlisted men and NCO's, only 170 documented men remained in America. There were other soldiers that stayed, but exactly how many is not officially known.

It should be noted that in these subsistence rolls there are female names appearing in italicised script type. And the more interesting question of what part they played in the regiment can be found in the following notes:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Major Clephane's Company's Expenses from Kilravock to Glasgow, 1757

A detailed account of Major Clephane's company's expenses on their march from Kilravock to Glasgow, Scotland encompassing approximately 180 miles over a 10-day period, with layovers for entertainment, supplies, and fresh horses. The soldiers would stay in Glasgow for an additional 10 days or so, presumably waiting on the arrival of the remaining companies from the regiment.

Newspaper accounts depict the recruits' uniforms reviewed in Glasgow during this period, and about April 19th proceeding west to Port Patrick en route to Donaghadee, Ireland. From there they would eventually march south to Cork, Ireland and depart for North America in 10 transport ships under cover of the Enterprize, a 40-gun man-of-war, on June 30, 1757.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Letter from Major Clephane, Second Highland Battalion, to the Doctor, 1757

Kilraick, April 8, 1757

My dear Johnie,
No doubt that you will be much surprised that, till now, you have had no letter from me ever since I came to this place, which is not 20 days, but I’m persuaded you’ll give great allowance for my silence, when I tell you that till yesterday I have not been 24 hours at one time here; sometimes one day at Inverness, next day return here, and a third day at Nairn, and so on alternately, often reviewing my recruits, and Kilraick and I engaging good men and dismissing worse. In short, this has been my life all this while. Add to all this a crowd of company always in the old Castle, under pretence, forsooth, of seeing me, which, God knows, is only a pretence in many; but no more of that. Now I come to tell you, which I well know will give equal pleasure to you as to me, that I have at last sent off for Glasgow 124 recruits along with Colonel Fraser’s company (our two companies making the first division of the battalion,) and yesterday I sent off six men more to go with the last division from Inverness, which leaves that to-day, so that I hope the whole battalion will be at Glasgow by the

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Calendar of New York Colonial Land Papers; Soldiers of the 78th Regiment

Be sure to explore our database of Quebec Land Petitions as some of these same names will appear in both areas.

1763

Sept. 14. Certificate of Major Abercrombie that Roderick Fraser, corporal in Capt. Hugh Cameron’s company of the 78th regiment, served for the space of seven years.

Nov. 29. Certificate of Alexr. McLeod, captain of the 78th regiment, that Donald Fraser is dismissed, and allowed to go about his lawful affairs.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Connecticut Quarters for the 63rd Regiment or Second Highland Battalion, 1758

The Fraser Highlanders spent their first North American winter, that of 1757-58, in Stratford, Connecticut, with the cantonment spread out as far as 30 miles from headquarters. In this undated letter below, Lt. Colonel Simon Fraser describes several of the Connecticut Controuts followed by his Monthly Return from January 1758.

Billets are included in the Number of Officers, also two officers absent at New York. And in the several Controuts the sick in Hospital are included as their Billets are kept for them.
S. Fraser. Lt. Col. Commandt
of 63d

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Extract of Letter from Lord Breadalbane to John Campbell of Barcaldine, Feb. 1757

London, 19 Feby. 1757
     Sir, - I have now before me your letters of the 30th past and the 6th and 10th inst. I hope the Major is with you before now. I'm glad to hear his Company is in such forwardness. I wrote long ago to Achalader to help him what he could, and I wrote the same two posts ago to Carwhin. I have heard (and also believ it is true) that the D. of Ar. had insisted that no men should be raised in his countrey. I was also told that I had declared the same as to Breadalbane: I did indeed say that I believed few men would be got in Breadalbane because I had discouraged idle people, and most men there are employed; and indeed I would not chuse to have the country stript of men, so as to be defenceless in case of any future troubles, which I hope will never happen, but I cannot forget the year 1745.
     I heard it said a fortnight ago that Major Clephane had raised 70 men in four days: and that Capt. Campbell (brother of Capt. Dougal) had got 70 men in Glasgow. I am curious to know if it is true.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Payroll Account of Serjeant James Robertson, 78th Regiment of Foot, 1758

Much like today accounting books were used in the eighteenth century for documenting military pay and other related expenses accrued over periods of time. The payroll account of Serjeant James Robertson, 78th Regiment, covers the period of July 5, 1757, through April 24, 1758. 

Note: Category headers and bracketed script have been added for clarification and do not appear in the original document. Additionally, it would not be uncommon to discover accounting errors as these were gentlemen who created inaccuracies the same as you and I.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Letter from Colonel Simon Fraser, 2d Highland Battalion, to General Forbes, Feb. 25, 1758

Dear Sir

     I hope you are Satisfied before now that I am not so much to blame as you Imagin'd with regard to the Returns but to prevent a poſsibility of mistake I send inclosed the Return for this Month, & have sent one also by this bearer to Genl. Webb.
    The 35th, 44th, & 48th have kept the vests the drafts from our Regt. had on, the reason aſsigned is that those Regts. have no vests to give them, however that be, I fancy you will think it unreasonable that so many Men of our Regiment shoud go about without vests, while those Regts. wear the vests bought for our Men and paid for by me - the original price will not be an equivalent, because if those vests are not return'd, I must buy new ones at a leas'd rate than those cost at home, & yet perhaps those Regts. may grudge paying the Reginal price; I beg you may be so good to Advise me what I shoud do in this Matter, which I have mention'd to Genl. Webb, but without making any demand.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Accoutrements of the 78th Regiment of Foot, May 1758

Albeit nothing official has ever been located in describing exactly what tartan the 78th Regiment Highland Dress uniform consisted of, this author has discovered an accounting ledger among the personal paperwork of Major James Clephane, dated May 1758. The ledger's purpose was for tracking expenses for every man in the company, including uniform items and monthly pay, and each soldier had his own account, which detailed the following accoutrements he received. Considering the date of the ledger and the types of items listed we believe these to be of initial government issue.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

British Officers of the 78th Regiment Serving in America

Compiled from the 'Army Lists' of the English army for the period of the French and Indian War, by Worthington Chauncey Ford in 1894, the author was fortunate enough to find these annual rosters in the Astor Library, New York, and from the 'official' registers the following 89 names from the 78th Regiment of Foot have been extracted. Alphabetically arranged, this list included name, rank, and date of commissioning.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Soldiers of the 78th Regiment Discharged in America

Although 158 names appear in Col. J.R. Harper's The Fraser Highlanders (p.123-5), this list contains 170 soldiers of the 78th Regiment of Foot discharged in Quebec, Canada in 1763. The list does not include commissioned officers. It's possible some of these men joined the 15th Regiment and participated in the continued securing of Quebec from 1763-68.

The men who delivered in their swords were authorised three shillings sword money, and 14 days pay at the rate of 7 shillings when they officially received their discharges.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Troops Destined for the Siege of Louisbourg

Major General

Staff Brigadiers
Lawrence
Whitmore
Wolfe

Corps [with Rank & File]
Royal:  983 
Lascelles:  985 
Warburton:  993
Monckton:  802
Lord John Murray:  1000
Lawrence:  1000
Bragg:  700
Webb:  834
Forbes:  695
Hopson:  969
Whitmore:  992
Amherst from England:  900
Anstruther, Col. from Ireland:  700
Recruits with Col. Whitmore for Lord Murrays Regt.:  300
Proportion of recruits with Col. Whitmore for 10 Batts. at 94 per:  940
Officers, Serjeants & Drummers:  1092
3 Companies of the Royal Regt. of Artillery Officers included:  330
Total:  14,215

Saturday, June 17, 2017

78th Regiment of Foot: Officers Requesting Leaves of Absence, Aug. 1761

Albany, 11th August 1761
Dear Sir,
              I give you Joy of the Reduction of Belleisle the Packet that was supposed taken being at last arrived Safe at New York, having waited at Falmouth for the June Mail.
             The Letters Arrived here last Night, and I have Directed that those for the Several Governments in Canada shall be sorted that I may Dispatch them immediately.
             I Don't doubt but you will receive in your Letters all the News which the Packet brings but least your Correspondents Letters may not be so lately as when the Gazette came out, I send you a Copy of the Capitulation of Belleisle.
             The Secretary at War has acquainted me of the King's Intentions in regard to the Contingent Men, on which I write to the Commanding Officers of Corps, and I leave those of your Government open for your perusal. I have also received a List of promotions from the War Office a Copy of which I Enclose to you.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Chelsea Pensioners

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement and nursing home for veterans of the British Army and first opened its doors in 1692. Known the world over as Chelsea Pensioners, some of the initial soldiers admitted were injured at the Battle of Sedgemoor. 

Soldiers from the 78th Regiment first arrived at the facility in November of 1758 with injuries sustained at the Battle of Louisbourg in North America. Nearly 200 Fraser's Highlanders would be admitted through the spring of 1764.

Note: Please consult original record where indicated for further clarification.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Orders to Governor Burton; Trois Rivieres, Aug. 1763

New York 1 Aug 1763
Sir

You will have seen by my letter to Governor Murray which was enclosed in my last to you, and left open for your Perusal, that I intended the 15th & 27th and 2d Battalion 60th for the Government of Quebec; and that they were to furnish five compleat companys for your Government as the 15th are now embarked for Albany, I send Governor Murray full Instructions for reducing his own Battalion and compleating the other two Regiments, according to the New Establishment, after which, he will immediately detach five companys from either of those Corps, to relieve the two companys of the 4th Battalion 60th and the three companys of the 78th present in Trois Rivieres, the former which are to proceed to Montreal, to join the Battalion, and the latter to join their Regiment at Quebec. You will please to dispose of the five companys in your Government in such a manner as you shall judge best for the service, transmitting to me a particular state thereof by the first opportunity, after they are stationd. I shall desire Governor Gage to furnish you with a Detachment of Royal Artillery from the company of that Corps, which is to be allotted to the Government of Montreal and in the return you make me, you will be pleas'd to include that Detachment.

47th and 78th Regiments to Join the 15th Regiment, Aug. 1763

New York, 1st Aug 1763
Sir,

As the 15th Regiment are now embarked, ready to sail for Albany, and that the 27th will soon follow, from whence they are to proceed to your Government, agreeable to what I wrote you in my last, I think proper to transmit you full instructions, relative to the formation of the overall Corps, that are to remain in ye Governments of Quebec and Trois Rivieres, according to the new Establishments, as well as what regards the sending home of the 47th and 78th Regiments, after they are drafted to compleat the other Corps.

I enclose you and abstract of the King's Instructions to me for reducing and disbanding the several Corps in North America are likewise a copy of an additional order, authorizing me to cause as many drafts to be made, from the Corps so to be reduced or disbanded, as may be necessary to compleat the several regim`ts destined for the service of this country, to their respective establishments, according to the new plan.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Recruitment

One question most often asked by genealogists' is where they can obtain a list of soldiers, recruited in Scotland, who served with Fraser's Highlanders (originally numbered 2nd Highland Battalion) in Canada during the Seven Years War, 1757-63. 

At the outset, the chances of identifying your ancestor as a soldier from the regiment are slim, but not entirely impossible. Officer biographies are much more common and often contain genealogical data that we're able to connect with, whereas the scarcity of non-commissioned officers' records (serjeants, corporals, and private men) makes identification more difficult. And it's because of the latter that we're forced to seek additional records for clues.

Land Petitions

Be sure to explore our database of Colonial New York Land Surveys as some of these same names will appear in both areas.

There are 3 steps involved with Land Grants:
  • Land petitions
  • Land allotments
  • Letters patent
1. Land Petitions
When New France became a British colony in 1763, a new land system was introduced. Lands were granted as part of townships in areas not already seigneury lands. Many early settlers, both military and civilian, submitted petitions to the Governor to obtain Crown land.

2. Land Allotments
If approved, the petitioner would obtain land on which to settle and work. Full ownership was often contingent on certain conditions being met, such as clearing, building, etc.  Authorities wanted to make sure that people actually settled the land and established themselves: colonization was the primary goal.

3. Letters Patent (Lands Granted)
Once the conditions were satisfied, the Government issued a Letter Patent, representing the final confirmation of a land grant. The two volume publication showing the successful land grants, List of Lands Granted by the Crown in the Province of Quebec from 1763 to 31st December1890, is available at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, or remotely using their online catalog.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Levy Money for the 2nd Highland Battalion, or Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 1757

War Office 13 January 1757.

My Lord & Sir.

His Majesty Having been pleased to order two Highland Battalions of Foot to be forthwith raised and sent to North America each Battalion to consist of 40 Serjeants 40 Corporals 20 Drummers and 1000 Private Men besides Commission Officers (their Establishment to commence from the 23rd Dec`r last incl and to Allow three pounds per man Levy Money I have the Honour to Acquaint you therewith) that you may be pleased to lay a Memorial before the Rt. Humble the Lords Commissioners of his Maty`s Treasure for the Money wanting for this service. I am
My Lord & Sir
                                  Barrington


Lord Visc`t Dupplin
                                        Paymaster Gen`l
& Tho`s Potter Esqr

Early Newspaper Accounts for the 78th Regiment (2nd Highland Battalion)

1757

Schofields Middlewich Journal, or Cheshire Advertiſer.
January 4, 1757. [NUMB 27.]
The two Regiments raiſing in the Highlands are to conſiſt of 1000 Men each, to be commanded by Col. Fraſer, Son of the late Lord Lovat, and Major Montgomery, Brother to the Earl of Eglington. No Lowlanders to be received into theſe Regiments, but are to be raiſed from the following Clans, viz. the Campbell's, the Mackenzie's, the Frazer's, the Macdonald's and the Grants.

London Read Weekly, or British Gazetteer
Saturday, January 29, 1757. Nº 39010.
To expedite the raiſing of the two Highland Battalions of foot to be ſent to North America, we hear, that the Captain of each company has undertaken to raiſe fifty men ; the two Lieutenants twenty men each, and the Ensign ten ; by which means each company will be complete in ſix weeks from the date of their commiſſions, and are to make together a body of 2000 men. The two battalions to be raiſed in the Highlands are to be in the Highland dreſs, both officers and men.

Colonel Simon Fraser's Letters to Lord Murray

Hon. Simon Fraser to Mr. Murray of Strowan Dunkeld, 19 th Feb . 1757.      Dr Sir, -- I have seen some men that are brought in here by...